The Spectacular Senate Circus

by Dean de la Paz , as originally posted on Blog Watch, Philippine Online Chronicles.

“Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages. Welcome to the big top – the greatest show on earth.”

senate hall

There’s a little known saying that if one peels back and peeks behind the thick curtains that form the backdrop to a three-ringed circus, one finds ghastly deformed freaks, humorless clowns and degenerate carnival folk. It is the stuff of a Stephen King horror story – the juxtaposition of the comical with the terrifying, the trite against turpitude and the dramatic against depravation. After all, what can be scarier than faked smiles and painted faces, and craggy, twisted drawn-on grins slashed and smeared over a grisly grimace with thick blood-red rouge and oily-black mascara? It is a nightmarish image that comes to mind easily especially when the Vice President evoked such horrors last week as he described the current investigations of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee as a circus.

It is unfortunate that a circus is not a circus without Bozo the Clown. The Senate, especially the one we have today, sunk into a the dark abyss of wanton billion peso criminality where nearly all its current denizens have knowingly pilfered from the public coffers through statutory design on one end and in conspiracy with the Executive Branch on the other – as is a circus, this menagerie is hardly the arena to prosecute charges of misdeeds of any sort.

Would any right-minded citizen submit to the control of criminals and clowns even if the issue to be adjudicated was merely a disputed parking ticket? Would you entrust anything to anyone wearing mascara and a painted-on face?

How can we forget that the Senate circus ringmasters were the very ones who designed and wrote the now criminal Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) deep into the statute books, institutionalizing political patronage and then hand-picking the manner and mode of our money’s pilfering?

Was it not also these who knowingly allowed the illegal usurpation of the constitutionally-granted powers of the purse and the brazen abuse of the democratic principle of trias politica when they sold their souls to the Palace pharisees for thirty pieces of silver as they accepted bribes through the president’s Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP)?

It is unfortunate that we do not have fit and proper criteria for senators. Any crook qualifies.

Pork barrel-fed and fattened by a buffet of PDAF and Presidential DAP when they sat in judgement of a former chief justice of the Supreme Court, for the senators the feasting seems far from over and like Roman solons, they bellyache, bellow, barf and vomit only momentarily so that they might continue to feast on pork and related viands in endless gluttony.

The Vice President simply called the Senate hearings a circus. Perhaps he was being forgiving. It is in his character. He is not combative and has always been in full control of his intellect and his emotions. But we disagree. Those there, at the senate circus, pirouetting, prancing and preening, with their painted smiles and mascaraed faces, are not mere clowns as the circus allegory might initially suggest. They are criminals.

jojo binay

To his credit, as the Vice President seemed to be wearing warm and fuzzy kid gloves against those who wish him ill, the Senate, on the matter of accusations leveled by critics against him, in reality, is indeed a nightmarish circus in more ways than even Jejomar Binay can imagine.

While self-styled pseudo-guardians of the press and self-righteous acidic hucksters were quick to hog the limelight to condemn the Vice President’s response to accusations as mere preparations for 2016, in doing so they unwittingly licensed the Blue Ribbon hearings as legitimate fora to prosecute issues of legality.

How stupid are they really? Their miseducation betrays them. Did they at all finish high school where basic government is taught? How uneducated are these media hoggers of the judicial system that their motor-mouths speed past their most basic understanding of how issues of governance are first taken up at the Ombudsman’s office and then at the Sandiganbayan?

However one thinks of the Vice President, or his prospects for 2016, regardless of partisanship bias, while indeed issues that impact on public governance require critical scrutiny, are the members of this specific band of senators fit and proper adjudicators, and is the redundant arena seven long years belatedly convened outside the judicial system the proper venue for a judicial inquiry?

Long before the resolution filed by Senator Antonio Trillanes – one of the most handsomely benefitted by the patronage-laden funds from the PDAF and Presidential DAP feedlot in terms of off-budget chosen projects – the issues faced by the Vice President were already being heard at the proper court.

At the Ombudsman, evidence passes through the judicial sieve and the partisan and political garbage are separated from those acceptable under the law. Unlike a kangaroo court, or in the case of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearings on the subject of the Makati City Hall Building II, the circus acts , the clowning and the otherwise fakery, are not only acceptable, but they are so media-focused and packaged for the unthinking, undiscerning, the uneducated and the least common denominators.

At the Senate, civility and the rule of law are thrown out the window if they contradict gossipy form and substance. Note how allegations of corruption are taken as hard evidence and are consequently given media mileage in the hopes that a lie repeated enough might turn into petrified truth despite its total lack of substance. For instance, as a star witness declared that there was rigging in the bids, underlying the accusation was nothing but the cliche that all government contracts are rigged so this too must necessarily be rigged. Never mind proof. And never mind truth. Three lawmakers whose careers focus on legality simply ignored the glaring facts and decided to focus on innuendo.

Like everyone else we believe that there is a necessity to determine if indeed there was corruption either to prosecute the guilty or clear the innocent. We also believe that the rules of evidence and the strictest benchmarks of the law must be applied in determining either way because that is what our civilized and law-based justice system requires. Those are provided for in the Ombudsman court and if necessary, at the Sandiganbayan.

Unfortunately, such are alien among degenerate carnival folk and the spectacular Senate Circus.

Photo via Vice President Jojo Binay Facebook page. Congress photo via Blog Watch stock photo. Some rights reserved.