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The Ombudsman: Aquino’s top political assassin … and undertaker

It is astonishing that Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales still found the gall to berate the press the other day in an unexpected palengkera language: “Nabubuwisit na ako. Wala nang ginawang tama ang Ombudsman! Palagi niyo nang kinukwestiyon. If you feel that I am impeachable if I have done wrong, I welcome it. I will give my position on a silver platter,” she shouted.

Who does she think she is? That she is the fountainhead of justice that she doesn’t need to explain to the nation, through the media, the very widespread belief that she is prosecuting only the Opposition?

Perhaps in our subconscious, we Filipinos, given our peasant history, still automatically bow down, in fear, to elderly ladies with an imperious Doña visage. That’s the only explanation – combined with the national yearning for an anti-graft crusader to root out corruption – I can think of for her arrogance and the media’s docile attitude toward her.

Since her appointment in 2012, she practically has been Aquino’s deadliest political assassin. It is Aquino’s corruption of the Office of the Ombudsman to turn it into his political assassination squad against his enemies that marks the depths of depravity of this regime, its severe damaging of our Republican institutions.

Not even strongman Marcos had dared to use the Ombudsman as such a weapon. While the Office of the Ombudsman has, for decades, been riddled with corruption – because of its low pay-scale for lawyers – this is the only President who has made the Ombudsman herself as his attack dog. He has damaged our prime anti-graft institution for a generation.

Aquino-target No. 1

Chief Justice Renato Corona – the biggest obstacle to the Aquino clan’s Plan B, which was to give up Hacienda Luisita to agrarian reform but for the Supreme Court to rule that current prices be used to compute their compensation, at P10 billion.

The Ombudsman lying at the 2012 impeachment trial to politically assassinate Aquino’s no. 1 enemy at that time. Below: The succeeding targets. Inset: The current target?
The Ombudsman lying at the 2012 impeachment trial to politically assassinate Aquino’s no. 1 enemy at that time. Below: The succeeding targets. Inset: The current target?

It is another demonstration of the media’s hold of people’s thinking that few know it was really Morales who made the fatal blow in the political assassination of Corona, and take him down.

And it was Morales’ blatant lying that was the dagger that dug deep into his heart. Morales lied in Corona’s impeachment trial when she claimed that data provided by the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) showed that he was hiding $12 million in his dollar accounts.

The only other explanation for making such falsehood is that she didn’t understand reports on bank transactions data, which sounds really impossible as she isn’t exactly poor, based on her Statement of Assets and Liabilities and Net worth (SALN), which showed her net worth at P40 million. Or perhaps she just repeated what she was told to say by another Aquino operative, Commission on Audit member Heidi Mendoza.

The $12 million figure Morales claimed was the sum of all transactions over nine years, rather than Corona’s remaining account balance. That means that a $100 deposit, which was withdrawn and then deposited again, (perhaps in a better time deposit) was counted as $300.

I studied the AMLC documents and estimated Corona’s dollar accounts – just a little over $1 million, mostly accumulated before he even joined the government in 2001. I wrote a column explaining this when I was still with the Philippine Daily Inquirer (“Corona’s deception on Corona’s bank accounts,” May 17, 2012), which I’m sure she or her staff read. They didn’t respond to my column.

How could a former associate justice of the Supreme Court lie that blatantly, or distort figures to humiliate and remove a former colleague of hers? And she has remained as the country’s top corruption fighter?

If she had any decency, her lie – or mistake – should have prompted her to resign. Of course, she didn’t.

Morales’ lie – bannered in screaming headlines by newspapers – created the public outrage against Corona’s purported huge “unexplained wealth,” portrayed as worth half a billion in pesos. It was a total lie.

But it was the smokescreen for the 20 senators to remove him as Chief Justice – in exchange for the P10 billion in pork-barrel funds and hijacked money called the Disbursement Acceleration Fund (DAP).

Morales’ lie was crucial. By March, or three months through the trial, all of the eight charges – among them, believe it or not, that he favored Philippine Airlines (PAL) in a case filed by flight attendants, another discussing the Vizconde massacre case with the father of the victim, and the most outrageous, his 40 fictitious mansions – were proven factually wrong.

The eighth charge was actually his alleged failure to submit his SALN. It was an open-and-shut case since the Court’s clerk simply produced the copies of his SALN.

But because of Morales’ false testimony, he was removed as Chief Justice by the Senate for filing an incomplete SALN and “unexplained wealth”—which weren’t the charges at all.

That episode will go down in our country’s history as one of the darkest days of our Republic – with Morales playing a key role.

And she claims she hasn’t been political?

Aquino-targets 2, 3 and 4

These were the Opposition Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Revilla – who had mass following and who, at that time, were the pillars of the Opposition that could thwart his plan for his cabal to continue in power after 2016. Morales filed plunder charges against them in June 2014 in connection with pork-barrel funds that they allegedly pocketed. A month later they were all in jail.

The data which the Ombudsman used to file charges against the three Opposition leaders mostly came from the special report of the Commission on Audit – with the “whistleblower” Benhur Luy and his associates actually providing only additional evidence.

In the first place, the COA special audit had been incomplete, and biased against the Opposition, since according to the agency itself, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad ignored their requests to submit all of the documents it had asked for, mostly those involving Aquino’s allies.

Still, the COA special audit found indications of similar cases of pork-barrel fraud, in terms of the modus operandi used and the amounts involved, and implicating allies of Aquino, among them:

Former Senator Edgardo Angara; Neptali M. Gonzales II, the deputy speaker of the Lower House; former representative and Aquino’s Tesda head Joel Villanueva; Akbayan party-list representative Risa Hontiveros; Florencio G. Noel, former An Waray party-list representative who is reportedly close to the president; Senator Allan Peter Cayetano, Nacionalista-Liberal Party coalition; Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimental Jr., Liberal Party; Sen. Francisco “Kiko” Pangilinan, Liberal Party; Sen. Ramon B. Magsaysay Jr., Liberal Party; Sen. Cynthia Villar, Nacionalista-Liberal Party Coalition; and Sen. Manuel B. Villar, Nacionalista-Liberal Party Coalition.

Yet the Ombudsman hasn’t even assigned investigators going over the documents to prepare charges against these Aquino lackeys. Morales and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima kept saying there would be second and third batches of legislators to be charged. But none so far, and it’s already mid-2015 and this Administration only has 11 months to go.

“That’s the best argument [against allegations of] selective justice—Iyong pag-dismiss ko kay Purisima,” Morales, however, said in a press conference on Wednesday. The Ombudsman, earlier in 2013, also filed charges against former congressman and Aquino’s customs head Rozzano Rufino Biazon, and seven former Congressmen, for their alleged links to the P10 billion pork barrel scam.

Who is Morales fooling?

Purisima has been politically dead – and stinking, that Aquino wouldn’t touch him with a ten-foot pole – and after the Senate hearings that have incontrovertibly proved since February that he led the flawed operations that resulted in the Mamasapano massacre of 44 elite police troops. Biazon has been politically dead since early 2013 because of his huge failure to check massive smuggling as Customs head.

Morales is simply Aquino’s political undertaker, who disposes of the political bodies of the President’s dead allies. And like a Mafia boss, Aquino is relieved of that painful job to personally tell them to go to hell. And they even became the sacrificial lambs for his fake altar of the straight path.

Aquino-target No. 5?

A year before the 2016 elections, Morales blindly rushes to use the allegations – made without the rigors of rules of evidence in a regular court – hurled by Antonio Trillanes 4th in Senate hearings, to file charges against Vice President Jejomar Binay and his family, now the leading candidate for President. Never mind if Trillanes, who already hates Binay for allegedly abandoning him in his 2003 Oakwood mutiny, thinks that for being his attack dog against the Binays, Aquino will endorse him as his cabal’s vice presidential candidate.

You decide if the Ombudsman is really an anti-graft crusader, or simply, scandalously Aquino’s political assassin.

Or is it just all coincidence?