Koko Pimentel delivered a privilege speech bringing to the Senate’s attention (an anomalous DepEd transaction that has now become public knowledge) the purchases made by the PS-DBM and red-flagged by the COA worth ?2.3 Billion of laptops to be distributed to 68,000 teachers and students.
Pimentel, at the end of his speech, moved that the transaction be referred to the Blue Ribbon Committee chaired by Francis Tolentino, a known henchman of Ex-President Rodrigo Duterte who is father to Vice President and concurrent chair of the Department of Education (DepEd) Sara Duterte.
It looks like the Dutertes are being blindsided by these turn of events. It further seems that the sitting President BBM had already got wind of these transactions prior to his assumption presumably being peddled by disgruntled DBM employees left out in the stinking deal. This is the usual state of affairs when some ghost projects are cooked in secrecy and some personnel who had a hand in packaging the said project are left out in the cold. These disgruntled factotums usually do a Chavit or an FVR or a JPE by going to town assailing their principals.
Francis Tolentino is now faced with the dilemma on whether to proceed with the investigation. He is a far cry from the templates of prior chairs of the Blue Ribbon: Jovy Salonga, Claro Recto, Jose Diokno, Nene Pimentel, Joker Arroyo and Richard Gordon.
Any investigation may point to the machinations of the previous administration and this is a reason of concern to the now-sitting Chair. This will bring to the fore an after-taste to the plundering Pharmally that resulted in the incarceration of Mohit Dargani and her sister Twinkle Dargani. They were later released when BMM took office upon some representations by the Duterte faction.
Should the Blue Ribbon Committee investigate these transactions? Vice President and current DepEd Secretary will be labelled as co-conspirator by association. Some people would not believe that the family of Ex-President Duterte has not benefited from these “Pabaon” or Bowing-out Transactions.
It is expected that one Samuel Mantires of the Office of the Ombudsman will join the fray by declaring that his office has assumed jurisdiction moto proprio thus giving the Blue Ribbon Committee an excuse to decline authority to investigate. Martires has bragging rights that he exonerated Leila de Lima from bribery accusations. This latest caper by Martires may project himself as an impartial arbiter. Assuming jurisdiction on the laptop fiasco shields the family of the former president from slips-of-the-tongue by one witness who may have found his epiphany. Martires is expected to hammer on lack of proof of conspiracy as he massaged the Tulfos ?60M missing ads funds for Ben Tulfo’s Bitag.
Congress may review its impeachment powers under the direction of its sitting Speaker. The Senate is on stand-by enjoying its super majority to oust any constitutuonal officer.
This is a developing story that makes Dick Gordon snickering in his sleep.
Image credit: http://www.blasoplecenter.com/press-release/ofw-group-urges-senate-blue-ribbon-and-labor-committees-to-release-its-report-on-sex-for-flight-cases/