Buencamino is a fellow of Action for Economic Reforms. This was published in the September 15, 2010 edition of the Business Mirror, page A6.

A rumor without a leg to stand on will get around some other way. – John Tudor

Aide: “Sorry to disturb your Sunday Mr. President but have you seen the Inquirer’s headline?”

PNoy: “No.”

“You may want to read it.”

“I can’t.”

“Why not?”

“I don’t buy the Inquirer. Read it to me.”

“I can’t.”

“Why not?”

“My vision is blurred.”

“You’re blotto at the Penn lobby again?”

“No, I waited all night for the Inquirer’s early edition.”

“Hmmm, okay, then get someone to read it to you.”

“I already did, that’s why I called.”

“Ask her to read it to me, please.”

A few minutes later….

PNoy: “Call the Communications Group.”

“Ok, whom should I talk to?”

“They’re a team; talk to anyone you like.”

A minute later….

Aide: “They’re not answering their phones.”

“I asked you to call the Comms Group not the Department of Foreign Affairs.”

Another minute….

Aide: “They’re preparing a statement.”

“I don’t need a statement; I want to know whom the bishop accused of taking payola and who makes the pay-offs.”

“He didn’t name names.”

“I’m supposed to guess?”

“No, he said you’re supposed to know.”


Aide: “He said, ‘the plumber, the womanizer, the drunk, the fibber, all of them know who is taking payola… except Malacañang… c’mon.’”

“C’mon, why is he lumping the plumber with degenerates? He must not think highly of plumbers.”


“Never mind. What else did he say?”

“He said the two suspected officials are not members of your cabinet.”

“Well, that eliminates some people, including you.”

“He said the suspects are in charge of overseeing security matters.”

“Gee thanks but overseeing security matters is the job of every man and woman in the armed forces, the police, and the barangay tanods.”

“You can eliminate the women. He said the suspects are males.”

“Oh goodie!”

“Yes. And he added that one of them has been in service for a long time while the other is new.”

“Why doesn’t he just name them; that would save a lot of time and money.”

“Because that’s not the point of the Twenty Questions game.”

“We’re playing a game?”

“Hehe, no. He said he will name them, in due time and at the proper forum.”

“Okay, while he’s biding his time, I will order the PNP and the NBI to look into his allegations.”

“It’s better that you wait.”

“Wait for what, why?”

“Because the investigators will have to start with him.”

“Obviously. The first step in any investigation is to talk to the person who made the allegation.”

“And so the investigators will be stuck in square one.”

“But we can’t just wait for him.”

“You’re right we can’t because he said you should already know, you have intelligence funds and various agencies at your disposal.”

“He said that?”

Aide: “Yes. And he said ‘We don’t have a single centavo but why do we know?’”

“He keeps saying he knows but he refuses to give me names. Fine, will he give me some leads?”

Aide: “No. He said, ‘No one gives receipts, no one writes checks….’”

“Duh. I know that but what about a Boy Mayor or a Sandra Cam, does he have one?”

“Not that I know of. Besides he thinks that’s useless. He said, “They say, ‘Show it, prove it,’ then nothing happens.”
“He hasn’t even communicated with me and he’s already saying nothing happens?”


PNoy: “He claims he knows about payola but he won’t say who is involved then he blames me for not knowing and says it’s proof I’m tolerating jueteng?”


“So I’m the bad guy. No?”

“Why don’t you meet with him and ask for his help.”

“I’ll write him a note.”

Dictates note to aide….

“Dear Archbishop Oscar Cruz, Thank you for calling my attention to jueteng payola. Rest assured I support your war against the nation’s most beloved pastime but you have to give me something more than just a blind item to work on. I don’t have time to play Twenty Questions with you. Just gimme names, dammit. Yours in Christ, PNoy.”