Corruption in the Philippines

[OPINION] When evil stalks our land!

Gina Ordonez
[OPINION] When evil stalks our land!
'Look at the new red-tagging case of Dr. Naty Castro. Martial law tactics are being applied now to the warrantless arrest of the multi-awarded doctor of medicine and health care advocate.'

No one is playing fair here, especially not the man who sits in Malacañang. 

The latest news in a string of ugly news is that the Commission on Audit has a new Chair in the person of a former accountant of the Davao City local government unit when Duterte was mayor. 

They were both accused in 2010 of misusing public funds worth P2.93 billion from 2003-2006, but got away with it. After a time, she was appointed as Deputy Executive Secretary for Finance and Administration under the Office of the President by Duterte. Her name? Rizalina Justol. 

She replaces the former feisty COA Chief Michael Aguinaldo, who occupied the position for the mandatory seven years from 2015-22. Aguinaldo, who headed the 9,000-strong COA personnel, recently defended the COA from attacks by Duterte and Duque when its audit reports indicated that the funds managed by DOH for the COVID-19 response had “deficiencies” worth P67.3 billion. 

He said that both the Constitution and the General Appropriations Act mandate that COA report such findings, but denied that COA accused the DOH of stealing funds, as charged by the president. So Duterte selects his “kachocaran” to replace an independent Chief to do his convenient bidding.

Should any government officer who catches the eye of this woman be alert to what magic may happen to their documents and reputation, including the Office of the Vice President, which had received the highest audit rating by COA for three consecutive years?  The machinery of fake news remains formidable, capable of destroying reputations of conscientious people as they invent fake news. Then honest people are replaced by lackeys, while the wily Duterte is still in power. Let us see!

Look at the new red-tagging case of Dr. Naty Castro. Martial law tactics are being applied now to the warrantless arrest of the multi-awarded doctor of medicine and health care advocate in her house. She who was recognized internationally for helping so many needy in Mindanao, including indigenous people, has been whisked away by the police with complete disregard to her legal rights.  

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Torn away from her sister who carried her medicines and her lawyer who was inutile in protesting that this break-in was against the law, how must Dr. Naty have felt?  It is disgusting, scary, revolting even, to see that in a society where we go to the grocery, restaurant, or drugstore freely, this is happening before our eyes through the news, and we do nothing about it.  What if we think, “If we were in her shoes, how would we react?”  

To those who want to believe that we are okay, or prefer to look the other way, should know that this is as close to home as San Juan, Metro Manila. 

Between the Malacañang of today and the one whose father sat as dictator for some 18 years in the ’70s and ’80s, evil stalks our land. 

Can you see him licking his chops when he finally nominates the three vacancies to the Comelec with the blessings of his minions? And voila! At the end of the vote count in May, his favored loyalists win. 

It seems Comelec doesn’t care about the people’s persistent rumors that it has been bought, after their colleague Ferrolina refused to disqualify Marcos Jr. from running in the presidential elections, despite its illegal, immoral, and chaotic repercussions. What’s that? Bongbong “innocent,” despite having been convicted for not paying taxes for a consecutive four years as governing head of Ilocos Norte? Hah! 

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As legal administrator of the P125 billion funds stolen by his deposed and departed father from the country, he had every opportunity to return even one half, but he has not returned a centavo. And he continues to refuse to pay the P200 billion estate tax liability owed to our government, while partying away and bribing thousands of poor and not-so-poor people to spread fake stories, including promises to give millions of pesos to them if he wins.  Even now, though, we can see how he uses his wealth to buy sponsorship and support. Grabe! 

And so from EJKs, to the transgression of our rights to the West Philippine Sea, to the stealing of our national funds for COVID protection, to the giving away of our birth right to oil-rich Malampaya, to the red-tagging of innocent journalists, to fake news that litters our social media and is fed to our unsuspecting youth and still more innocent poor, quo vadis? – Rappler.com

Senior citizen Gina Ordonez is still a passionate activist despite her years. A former MBM/MBA professor at the Asian Institute of Management and DLSU Taft, she retired as a consultant-trainer in Org & Mgmt Dev for international funding agencies, NGOs, and corporates. She has two grandsons in her care.