Monday, October 22, 2007

The Brown Bag Diaries

Amid the blast controversy that hit Makati, Bulacan Governor Jonjon Mendoza held a press conference today to shed light on the "brown bag" scandal. The governor identified several personalities during the meeting wherein cash in brown bags were handed out to him.

Gov. Mendoza also revealed that the DILG is set to serve him a suspension order in connection with the bribery It is now him who is being accused of bribery since he was the one who handed the bag containing P500,000 to Pampanga Governor, Among Ed Panlilio. Talk about absurdity.

Medoza named DILG undersecretary Austere Panadero, also present were Eastern Samar Governor Ben Evardone, former Agusan del Sur Governor Eddie Plaza, and some staff of the LPP (League of Provinces of the Philippines). Forty-two other governors were also present during the meeting.

Mendoza claimed that he was approached by a female staff of the LPP and inquired if he knew Gov. Panlilio. Medoza asked who wants to know and the female pointed to Gov. Evardone. Mendoza then approached Evardone to ask about the woman's query. Evardone replied that funds for barangay community projects were to be distributed. True enough, he was given two bags after the meeting, one for him and the other for Panlilio.

Since the Oct. 11 meeting, Malacañang has denied giving out cash to members of congress and governors. This was later debunked by Manila Rep. Benny Abante and Rep. Domogan. DENR Sec. Lito Atienza also calimed that he too received cash from Malacañang during his term as mayor of Manila.

Assertions and denials have been flying around since this controversy was exposed. The administration's damage control has backfired. Even the dormant CBCP has joined the fray. Administration defenders lack the integrity to lay credence to palace statements. Even the attempt to put the blame on JDV and the opposition did not work.

Now more questions have come up. The attempt to muddle the issue and despite the recent blast in Makati failed to douse the fires of the scandal. No amount of diversion will take away the public's search for the truth. The absurdity of some explanations offered by palace officials were so incredible that they now look more stupid than ever before. Even the announcement by the palace that it will conduct an investigation has been laughed at by the people.

So the latest statements of Gov. Mendoza has added another entry on the Brown Bag Diary. This will not die down, it will not be forgotten by the people as it proves that Malacañang is directly involved in bribery. I wonder who will be the next one to come out and reveal more. Only self-preservation can tell. Its time to jump ship and try to distance one's self from the dirty hands of Malacañang. Who will heed the call, your guess is as good as mine.