A Beautiful Conviction

Remove the drama and theatrics of the Blue Ribbon Sub Committee Hearing on the Makati City Hall Building it would seem such a simple case of whether the Binay family enriched themselves using public funds. But the reason for having a hearing in aid of legislation seems to have a more complex reasoning behind it. Whether one is for Binay or not. The hearing is less of hearing and more of an inquisition and a public trial – waged by Senators AP Cayetano and Antonio Trillianes. And in aid of what legislation?

Better use of public spending? Congress just rubber stamped a big budget despite objections to it. This in the light of the controversy and scandal that was brought about by the DAP and PDAF.

Anti-Political Dynasty Bill? What is the difference between the Cayetanos of Taguig and the Binays of Makati? The amount of time they have stayed in power? Family members occupying political positions?

They can call in aid-of-legislation but it is clear that it is in aid-of-demolition. The aim is tarnish the image of Binay. because it is near election time. And it does not matter that Binay is guilty or not. Just try him in public.

The irony in all of this is the same irony that covered the PDAF and DAP scandal. It would seem that misuse of public funds is not limited to one group of politicians. There was a healthy amount of selfies of Napoles with Politicians from both side of the political fence. Those who abused PDAF and DAP did not come from one party alone. And now expensive public works and building did not occur only for the family in Makati. Even the Senate President Senator Franklin Drilon has been accused of alleged involvement in a building in Iloilo. And now there is going to be an investigation as well. And this from a Senate and Congress who impeached a Chief Justice for his SALN. It is no surprise then the trust rating of the Senate and Congress is at an all time low.

And the sick joke about it all is that the Binay, Trillianes and Cayetano show is just the latest reboot of a political scandal tried in the Court of Public Opinion. We have witnessed several public hearings in aid of legislation whose only intent is to let the public know. The batting average of legal conviction is at a best minimum or none at all. This is an indictment of our Justice System or Justiis System. Most of those accused of political corruption are removed from office, exiled or detained. Only a few are convicted and even if they are some are even pardoned. And what of the Filipinos. The closest we get to convicting a public official is if he or she is hauled of to a public hearing by their peers who are their rivals, enemies, friends and sometimes family. Granted there are those legislators who do want justice and those who seek to improve the law, yet there are still those who have other motives. But for Us, the People, it is the closest we can get to a trial, to a conviction and to punishment. A BEAUTIFUL CONVICTION: A CONVICTION THAT IS NOT. And ultimately the joke is on us.

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