The Making of a Jueteng Sextravaganza

Buencamino writes political commentary for Action for Economic Reforms.

“With four simultaneous, well-publicized investigations—in the House of Representatives, the Senate, Department of Justice and National Bureau of Investigation—it’s like the nation is watching four sex scandal videos. It is starting to confuse rather than clarify.” With that metaphor, Rep. Joey Salceda proposed the formation of an independent panel of retired justices to investigate jueteng.

Four simultaneous sex scandal videos are not confusing as long as you know who is doing what to whom. (And sex scandal videos are supposed to entertain, not clarify, just to keep our metaphors straight, Mr. Congressman.) Since Salceda used videos as a metaphor, we might as well go along and untangle the bodies for him.

In the Senate, it’s Lito Lapid, the investigating committee’s chairman, who’s doing it to the public. He said, “I’ve said before that if anybody has evidence against anyone they should file charges in court and not the Senate. We should follow the President’s position.”  Everybody bend over?

In the House, even before the first witness appeared before the House investigating committee, Majority leader Prospero Nograles had already said, “The jueteng issue is all sound and fury signifying nothing.”  I guess the House video will feature simulated encounters.

Sex video number three stars the Secretary of Justice, Raul Gonzalez, who, incidentally, played a lead role in another video last year called, Rape of the Voter, where the star used certificates of canvass to violate his victims.

In this new video, Gonzalez will give it to jueteng operators and payola recipients. He said, “She has not asked me to stop. I’ll proceed.” And so he has.

He launched an all out investigation to see if the witnesses against M1 and M2 could be arrested and prosecuted for illegal gambling and libel. A royal screwing is in the works, as they say.

The last video is the one featuring Reynaldo Wycoco of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).  His role, he says, “is just relative to the memorandum order earlier issued by the Department of Justice asking the NBI to trace the whereabouts of people allegedly involved in the illegal numbers game.”  The Department of Justice is Raul Gonzales, so the still virile- looking Wycoco is Gonzales’ stand-in.

Everybody knows that three “people allegedly involved in the illegal numbers game” are quite close to someone living along the Pasig river. As a matter of fact, one lives there with her. So why is the NBI investigating characters who live way out in the boondocks when the three main suspects live next door to NBI offices?  Ask Gonzales, not Wycoco, who, after all, is only a stuntman who plucked two men from Bicol to give it to Boy Mayor.

There are enough studs out there who are giving it to the public so there is really no need to re-engage the services of tired old studs. But in the interest of fairness, let’s do a pass on Salceda’s proposal to do it all under one tent.

The first and most crucial question is: Who will appoint the retired justices, Mrs. Arroyo or Archbishop Cruz?

Second, will Congress appropriate and give the investigation funds directly to the panel? Or will the panel have to get it from Mrs. Arroyo’s budget secretary?

Third, will the panel release its report directly to the people? Or will it submit the report to Mrs. Arroyo first?

Salceda appears to make a good case for an impartial body not “susceptible to politicking” whose “findings would be more widely respected.” But his statement is misleading. If the findings are true, people would believe and respect the panel even if it were composed of Salceda, Gonzales, Wycoco, Lapid, Nograles and the two Mikes. Credibility and respect are earned after, not before the fact.

Putting Salcedo’s suggestion aside but still remaining faithful to his sextravaganza metaphor, what do we call the two audio CDs featuring Mrs. Arroyo and an unidentified individual discussing how to do it to the voters in Mindanao? Phone sex?  And poor Mr. Bunye, the Palace spokesman, is now in trouble because those CDs turned out to be pirated.

All those videos and audios are nothing compared to what one witness did to the Lion King on the Senate floor. That was a live show and bestiality to boot. It was a performance better left on the Senate floor.

As for me I would rather put Mr. Salceda’s metaphor to a much needed rest and ponder the saying, “Where there’s smoke there’s fire.”

We all know that that saying does not always hold true. So maybe we should rephrase that question to “If it’s only smoke, then why is the entire fire department trying to put it out?”

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