de quiros, coloma, pork

Once upon a time, we were idol worshippers, and by idol we meant Conrado De Quiros. Every morning we ran to the newsstands for his polemics, especially those that captured national anger over Gloria’s evil reign (a fact apologists like Bobi Tiglao perpetually deny). We clung to CDQ’s every word, got a natural high from the ink in his columns. When he said it was black, we believed it to be black. When he said it was white, that was that. CDQ had the last word.

that about sums up how loved conrado de quiros was in the time of gma.  more than any public intellectual, because never high-falutin, rather, writing in easy if dazzling english that resonated with the reading public as he gave voice and form and substance to rumblings on street kantos and in workplaces, coffeshops, family gatherings, and the internet.

in the time of pNoy, however, the first three years at least, he was mostly an unabashed apologist come hell or high water — whatever the problem, it was worse when gloria reigned.  but the good news is, it would seem that he draws the line at pork, PDAF and DAP both, and is fully behind the abolish-all-pork-&-pass-FOI-bill actions. read his most recent columns, here, here, here, and here, and rejoice.

i know, i know, defending his brother (pNoy appointee) emil and the SSS bonuses in two earlier columns still rankles.  but that was a damned-if-you-do damned-if-you-don’t kind of situation.  and it was a valiant effort naman; valid naman his defense from the pov of the establishment that pays executive officers huge salaries and bonuses for good performance, i.e. increased profits.  problem is, nothing much trickles down to members in terms of really good service man lang.  something’s not right with the system, and THAT needed acknowledging.  i wonder nga if he ever considered saying, i’m not my brother’s, much less the establishment’s, keeper.  because, in his place i might have, sabay, no offense meant, kapatid.

pero puwedeng palampasin.  great to have him on our side in this struggle against deeply rooted widescale corruption.  best of all, he obviously still has the ear of the palace, despite the rants vs PDAF and DAP.  if not for de quiros, wouldn’t we still be suffering the irritating student-council, and rather arrogant, briefings of lacierda and valte?

october 20, exasperated at the palace communication group’s failure to anticipate and more effectively deal with the plunder-accused jinggoy estrada’s allegations of anti-corona bribes that inadvertently led to the toxic revelation that is DAP, de quiros wrote:

… government’s communication department has been unprepared for challenges like this from the start. That department has three de facto secretaries who are not talking to each other. They are Ricky Carandang, who is now no longer to be found except when P-Noy takes a trip abroad when he suddenly reminds the world he is still alive; Edwin Lacierda, who is a lawyer, who goes on to explain everything in a way Joker Arroyo finds amateurish (for being visible, he is one of those who has suffered a plunge in ratings); and Sonny Coloma, who has the communications skills but is kept to administrative and organizational functions.

just two days later, coloma was on cam, apparently taking over palace briefings, even if graciously insisting that this is par for the course, he’s part of the group, after all.  naturally he is defending DAP, too, but at least he’s not antipatiko about it, and at least the press gets to engage with a pro.  oh, and i love his tagalog.

in a more recent column, de quiros trained his guns on the liberal party that he blames for the president’s stubborn refusal to scrap all pork.

P-Noy doesn’t need pork, he is not seeking another term. He doesn’t need pork, he can get the senators and congressmen to do what he wants not by getting them behind him but by getting the people behind him. If his purpose is true and good, like impeaching Corona, the people will back him. He doesn’t need pork, he need not pursue his agenda behind the prying eyes of the public, he can always do it under the glare of their scrutiny: If that agenda is lofty and inspiring, they will fly their banners behind it. That is how legacies are made.

He doesn’t need pork, but his people do. Mar Roxas and Butch Abad do. The Liberal Party does.

They’re the ones who want another six years, they’re the ones who dream of another six years. They’re the ones who need to keep the senators and congressmen happy so they’ll support them. They’re the ones who need the money to get the politicians to support them. The question is whether P-Noy will remain true to the vision that made him soar or to the cabal that made him sink. Unfortunately, he seems to believe those two are one and the same, the latter the extension of the first. Which makes him need pork, too.

reminded me of something i heard through the grapevine soon after corona was convicted.  to the effect that palace peeps were ecstatic: six more years! referring to the 2016 elections (talbog ang three years pa ni kris aquino).  to doubting thomases, the retort was: watch us!

who would have known that barely a month and a half later, the inquirer would explode the napoles-PDAF bomb and that the collateral damage to the palace would be so colossal.

of course the president might yet rise to the challenge, take the plunge and scrap all pork, prepare to win 2016 for his annointed based on merit rather than pork and patronage.  that would be awesome and, yes, we are watching, though not with bated breath.


  1. I guess I’m more of an apologist than CDQ, where I believe the term apologist is usually used by babbling anti’s who use the easy slur to demean anyone who supports anything President Aquino does. We apologists tend to also be realists who recognize that a President works in a horribly challenging environment, surrounded by con-men and self-interested crooks, and he has duties that are huge and complex and he might once in a while, unlike the critics who have no such heady responsibilities, mess a task up. I believe the Philippines needs a strong and good President and the discretionary funding that serves as his six-shooters. If he uses those six shooters to defend those who are also of his ilk, that is, good, earnest people, who am I to complain?

    I also think the Philippines (and the US) would be better off if people and politicians would stop trying to demean and bring down the leader of the land, as if chaos and bad will were their ideal.

    • ricelander

      “If he uses those six shooters to defend those who are also of his ilk, that is, good, earnest people…”

      Would you care to enumerate who these good and earnest people the President has been defending with those six shooters, JoeAm. I hope you are not referring to Abad and Drilon and the rest of them who used to be GMAs ilk which is a legion in itself inside his adminstration.

        • ricelander

          I like them except for de Lima who happens to be one of GMAs favorites btw. Robredo in particular whom the President disliked when alive, but started praising only after death. Roxas and Abaya too (if not for the PPPs under them that would not move)

          Still, I do not understand how discretionary funding serving as six-shooters have been used or will ever be used to defend them.

          • De Lima headed the Human Rights Commission and swam upriver to the best of her ability. I’m surprised she was a GMA favorite because she was making waves, in a positive direction.

            If the President’s DAP supported programs in the areas of authority of people he favored he could raise them up. Perhaps the use of the term “six-shooters” was not the best.

  2. This call for scrapping the pork because it is a source of cholesterol which is bad for the body if allowed to exceed the limit is a bit too simplistic and illogical. Might as well scrap beef, too, and all food that has cholesterol content and starve the body of badly needed nutrient. Illogical. By concentrating on scrapping, the real evil which are the crooks is being glossed over.

    I say, scrapped the crooks, not the pork. The government has been doing the dirty job of trying to jail those thieves and what did it gets in return but critics who shifted the blame on the administration for trying to rid the government of evil crooks. Illogical talaga.

    • ricelander

      “By concentrating on scrapping, the real evil which are the crooks is being glossed over.”

      And the real evil ones are Enrile, Estrada, Revilla and possibly Marcos, Sotto, Binay, who else… We get rid of them and the Philippines will miraculously rise from the ashes to become an economic giant.

      By the way, why is DBM sitting on PDAF documents of PNoy, Roxas and political allies, refusing to submit them for meticulous scrutiny of COA, in the same manner the “enemies” are being subjected to. Hmm this is also Daang Matuwid I guess… Or is it akin to, as JoeAm is saying upstairs, six gunners defending the good and earnest.

      • “And the real evil ones are Enrile, Estrada, Revilla and possibly Marcos, Sotto, Binay, who else… We get rid of them and the Philippines will miraculously rise from the ashes to become an economic giant.”

        Ah, the good ricelander, playing with sarcasm. Nothing wrong with that, except that you seems not happy with the government running after the big plunderers of the people’s tax money, why is that? More than 40 people are being charged, big fish and small fish, and that is only the start, more on the line. Are you blaming the administration for running after the crooks because you think it will not make the Philippines an instant economic giant? I’m amazed.

        • ricelander

          No, I am amazed that you think you can keep with the charade that this is all about cleaning up the government of plunderers.

          I ask again, why is DBM sitting on PDAF documents of PNoy, Roxas and political allies, refusing to submit them for meticulous scrutiny of COA, in the same manner the “enemies” are being subjected to?

          Justice cannot be selective, it is blindfolded. So when there is selectiveness, it is not justice working at will but something else. Beware I say when justice is used as front for other motives.

          • Ah, ricelander, the government charging big time plunderers in the proper court of law and you are calling it a charade. No wonder you are not happy.

            You want the government to investigate people you want to investigate. Will not happen. You, as a private person, cannot dictate on the government who to investigate.

            A government can opt to do its job of ridding itself of thieving politicians and government officials if it wants, or, the government can choose to do nothing. If it chose the former you call it a charade. Now I know what you want, and that amazes me.

    • Batang-genyo-Alah Eh

      May puntos po kayo dyan,ka bert. Sa aking pananaw , ang Kataas-taasang Hukuman ay dapat ng magpapalabas ng hatol kung may bisa ng Saligang Batas ang PDAF at DAP para pag-aralan ng Malacanang kung ito ay itutuloy sa ibang pamamaraan. Sa gusto man o hindi ng taong bayan, kailangan ng pamahalan ang langis ng pondo upang ituloy at mapatupad ang mga plataporma ng LP bago dumating ang halalan 2016. Kung papano ito ipatutupad ng walang abusong pagnanakaw ay nasa kamay ng mga namumuno at mahigpit na mga mata ng bayan at COA.

  3. manuel buencamino

    “He doesn’t need pork, but his people do. Mar Roxas and Butch Abad do. The Liberal Party does.”

    Noynoy is the head of the LP isn”t he? So anong laro yan na idedemonize niya ang mga kapartido ni Noynoy pero si Noynoy hindi? Noynoy, Mar, and Butch have a good working relationship, why is CDQ trying to drive a wedge between Noynoy and his two top aides? What’s CDQ’s agenda?

    • ricelander

      The defenders of pork barrel are right in saying it is not the pork but the wielder. If the wielder of pork uses it wisely, so much good. So, run after those plundering it not the pork itself. The problem is that the system of pilferage seems to have been perfected with the willing and profitable connivance of every one involved that running after the plunderers has become almost impossible. Was it through the sleuthing of COA or respective agencies that the scam was discovered? No! It was through a scam artist/forgerer who was part of the entire modus operandi caught by his boss undermining her “business”. Of the more than eighty NGOs dealing with Congress, only about a dozen belong to Napoles. Can anyone believe that the rest are straight? I do not think so. So it will take another Benhur Luy to uncover another dozen or so. What does it take for a case of plunder to stick? What quantum of evidence do you need to present? Even with Benhur Luy, I do not think the case against Enrile, Estrada, and Revilla would go much further unless by some quirks of fate they themselves confess to the wrongdoing

      • agree, ricelander, enrile et al are going to fight back with every legal gambit possible, and who knows better how to than they themselves and their ilk who crafted the laws surely with their own protection in mind.

        • ricelander

          But wait, how could have I forgotten Ma’am Janet. If she could be coaxed to cooperate, it could change the entire game. She alone could nail the three, as far as I could see. But she seems hell-bent on immunity which could not be given. Who’s gonna win the presidency come next election is also in her mind.

  4. During the early days of Janet Napoles pork scandal when she was still free, there was an interview where she stated that she’s not the mastermind and that there are people, big people, above her who were calling the shots, sabi niya pa nga meron daw siyang ‘amo’. That was an elaborate move on her part, a possible escape hatch so to speak. that will open a gate for her to seek immunity. She could be a potential, and very potent, state witness if ever there’s one to be presented by the prosecution. Could be one of the reasons why she’s under extremely heavy guard because her life is in extreme danger.

    My take is that she will be granted immunity.

    • Now, plea bargaining for the ‘detention’ case…is more what I believe.

      If only the saga is “Law and Order” revived…there will be an end to this episode…

      Too bad…it’s always…

      Abangan ang susunod na kabanata…even beyond PNoy’s presidency…

    • ricelander

      I heard that too, Bert, she had a mastermind whom she hinted had already flown the coop. I was surprised that even media, at the time she was yet free to talk, would not pursue that angle. Maybe they were not intrigued enough.

      But there are already rumors who he is. Too bad, he’s not one of the people you want banished.

  5. Legally it will be difficult for the administration to pin down the senators…who wants to bet that they will not be convicted? After all that has come out in the news from the COA to the Ombudsmen…and still there are no charges being filed? That they are still in the fact finding stage…Enrile would probably be dead by then before this case against him is finished..what happened to the 100 days deadline? Everybody knows how corrupt most of our politicians are…just hard to prove in court? What the Philippines need is a benevolent dictator.

  6. Batang-genyo,Alah,eh

    Ito po ang tinatawag na “defeatish attitude ng PINOY CULTURE”. Pero Kung masigasig sina Kalihm De lima, Ombudsman Morales, COA Commissioner Pulido TAn, malamang may paglalagyan ang mga mambabatas na sankot, Itong “tatlong Maria” ang susi o inaasan ni Pangulong Pinoy para madiin at magkaroon ng pag-asa ang hinihinging katarungan pang kabuhayan at matuwid na pamumuhay ng sambayan. Ngayon at hindi bukas.

    • Batang-genyo,Alah,eh

      P>S. Hindi kailangan |isugal” ang dapat isakdal at parusahan ang mga taong NINAKAW ang “blood,sweat and tears” ng mga nagbubuwis ng buhay at tanging kayamang barya lang sa iba.