Friday, October 06, 2006

Tanod ba 'yan?


Our favorite professor from the UP School of Economics won’t be. Neither would she fire off another fusillade of columns at the Tanodbayan which, by its label alone implies the nation’s sentry that bars the entry of corruption and shenanigans in government service.

Prof. Solita Collas Monsod who ought to have been elected as a lawmaker in Senate had forewarned us about the Tanodbayan training its gunsights on small fry rather than sizeable targets.

She had told us that all that bluster the Tanodbayan had mustered was merely talking the talk—not really walking the walk.

We didn’t fell off our chair nor were we seized by fits of hiccups. We’re enjoying bellyfuls, laughing ourselves hoarse at the prank the Tanodbayan pulled off on the Supreme Court and the Senate.

A Senate panel took the first crack at the shady P1.3-billion contract for of automated counting machines awarded by the Commission on Elections to Mega Pacific Consortium. That deal ran roughshod over Comelec’s own bidding rules. A series of public hearings carried out by the Senate nudged out facts from a battery of witnesses that pointed up anomalies in the Comelec-Mega Pacific deal. At the close of such hearings, aghast lawmakers called for the resignation of Comelec honchos tainted by the anomaly.

In 2004, the Supreme Court ruled that the P1.3-billion contract as illegal. The High Court averred: “Truly, the pith and soul of democracy-- credible, orderly, and peaceful elections-- have been put in jeopardy by the illegal and abusive acts of the Comelec.”

That ought to have hammered the final nails on the coffin of a rotten deal.

Like a bizarre telenovela twist, Tanodbayan ignored Senate findings and the Supreme Court ruling.

Tanodbayan went a step further by overturning whatever the Senate and Supreme Court have established—why, everyone involved in that stinking deal came out smelling like roses.

Call that Tanodbayan move a practical joke, a gag’s punchline, whatever that can tickle the nation’s funny bones. Indeed, Tanodbayan has tremendous reserves of humor to keep us roaring with laughter.

Even so, our favorite UP School of Economics mentor would likely ply her witty parting shot to the Ombudsman: “Tanod ba ‘yan?

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