The anatomy of corruption, Part 2
(PART 1: The anatomy of corruption)
Who really owns the 350-hectare prime property, reportedly worth P1.2 billion in Rosario, Batangas? “It’s mine,” said TOYM awardee for entrepreneurship Antonio Tiu. But he says he owns only 150 hectares worth almost P450 million supposedly bought from a certain Laureano Gregorio. The Binays only own a modest 9 hectares bought at P10 per square meter.
Is that why the VP bewailed that the “rich” are after him because of his poor origins? Deja vu. When Erap was ousted, he used the same “class war” line. It didn’t work then and it doesn’t work now. Is the same spin doctor running out of sound bites?
As the intense grilling wore on, Tiu was forced to admit that he didn’t have the title yet. His P11-million downpayment got him the usufruct, or the right to enjoy the use and advantages of the property. He smugly added that the title would be his after two years upon completion of the deal.
The convoluted web of alleged dummy companies was woven by lawyers of Subido Pagente Certeza Mendoza and Binay, with the help of friends, campaign contributors and legitimate (?) businessmen from the private sector. Moreover, the infamous Hilmarc’s Construction Corporation is once again in the middle of the disputed transactions.
Representative Abigail Binay wins a Rockwell Grove condo and it turns out that the sponsor of the raffle is the same contractor who benefits from overpriced Makati contracts: Hilmarc’s Construction Corporation
Hilmarc’s chairman, Engineer Efren Canlas allegedly built the Rosario mansion with “an English formal garden, a pool fit for a resort, a 40-car garage and staff house, a farm of imported orchids, an air-conditioned piggery, a cock farm, a man-made lagoon, and other amenities.” Whistleblower Mercado further claimed that the salaries of the staff and the maintenance costs of the mega-farm are shouldered by the Makati City government.
Mercado claimed that Hilmarc’s was paid back through the overpricing of various Makati constructions. Apparently, Ospital ng Makati, Makati City Hall, the University of Makati, Makati Science High School and the controversial P2.7-billion parking building, were all built by the “suki” contractor.
Furthermore, the generous sponsor of the raffle where Representative Abigail Binay won a Rockwell Grove condo was one and the same: Hilmarc’s. Winning through a raffle is certainly creative. What good luck!
By now it’s pretty obvious that corruption is a cartel that can ensnare not just government officials but their cohorts and accomplices from the private sector, business and even the academe! During GMA’s regime, she even had the “Mitsu-bishops”. Indeed “car-rot” is a dish served well in the corruption cartel.
The UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) recognizes the often ”slippery and complex nature of corruption.” Complicit unscrupulous lawyers invent and reinvent new and tested methods to circumvent the law by exploiting weaknesses and loopholes in the bureaucracy.
UNCAC describes the most common forms:
- Bribery when a person with authority accepts or solicits a bribe to exercise a function in a particular way.
- Kickback refers to a payment given in return for receiving a contract which is kicked-back to the one who awarded the contract.
- Trading in influence or influence peddling where improper influence is exerted over the decision-making process for undue advantage.
- Illicit enrichment or hidden wealth where officials cannot explain their wealth in relation to the income they lawfully earn.
In the ongoing investigations against the Binays, it seems like all possible forms of corruption on the UNCAC list, check out. If proven, the law firm as well as private sector businessmen are equally culpable as participants and collaborators of the well-oiled Corruption Inc.
Janet Napoles’ machinations of fake NGOs and ghost beneficiaries are crude, amateurish and easily dismantled compared to the multifarious layering, recapitalizations, transfer of ownership, usufruct, unregistered transfer of ownerships, etc.
VP Binay may have had a Freudian slip when he declared that all the testimonies were hearsay and would not stand up in court. He was probably betting that all bases are covered and no paper trail could be linked to him directly.
The literati proselytize that the masa must be contained during elections because they are the ones who vote for actors and trapos or sell their votes. True, a massive voter education should be undertaken. But all things considered, this is penny ante compared to the grand corruption perpetuated by the “upper crust”.
The number of companies involved with the Rosario property and the Tiu enterprise is dizzying. Sunchamp Real Estate Development Corporation is only the beginning. The board is composed of lawyers, businessmen, and even a former AIM professor! Antonio Tiu is a multi-awarded entrepreneur with the gift of gab that can sell Jones Bridge many times over. It can’t get more elite than that.
Giving generous campaign contributions is the traditional way that businessmen curry favor from winning politicians. It’s called reciprocal business. It might also be another creative way to launder tainted wealth. Imagine the Tiu family donating P15 million in one day for Binay’s 2010 campaign. That can certainly buy a lot of favors.
Maybe it’s the “educated” that should be controlled during elections.
Almost 4 out of 5 or 79% of all Filipinos want VP Binay to face the Senate investigation and answer the charges of corruption. According to the SWS’ September 26-29 survey, only 10% disagreed, while 11% were undecided. So we wait to see if he will follow his contituents’ wishes, as the stomach turns.
Money is the root of all evil, right? Wrong. There is nothing evil about being wealthy so long as it was earned by the sweat of one’s brow. Some even argue that lack of money is the root of crime, terrorism and violence.
The original and accurate verse is from 1 Timothy 6:10. As written to him by St Paul: “Love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
Amen to that. – Rappler.com