An Opinion
He who is without stone,
cast the first sin.

Paulit-ulit kong itinatanong ito, since the day of Erap's plunder conviction. Two questions for everyone I ran into, ABCDE, who was willing to grant the questions time and answer. Sa unang tanong, a motley of responses, mabilis at maiikli ang mga sagot, paiba-iba, ang ilan nakakatawa. The second question, nahirapan sa paghahanap ng sagot.

First question:
What do you think of Erap's plunder conviction.
Ano ang iyong opinyon sa plunder conviction ni Erap?

Mga sagot:
It's about time.
We have to set an example.
We have to start somewhere.
Hueteng funds naman ang ninakaw. Hindi public funds.
Lahat naman sila pare-pareho.
Why you asking? You don't think he's guilty?
It will teach people a lesson.
Finally, maybe people will start thinking twice.
Of course, he's guilty. . . but who's not?
Mabuti nga, shit, I can't stand his "bigote."
Finally, I really can't stand him smirking in front of the camera.
He deserves it! Shameless way he flaunted his women and mansions.
Okay, guilty. Pero sino ba ang hindi nagnanakaw sa gobierno?
Garapal kasi.
Tanga e, bakit nagpahuli?
Bandido naman talaga iyon.
Sino ba ang hindi nangurakot?
That's good. Someone high up.
Sino ang susunod?
Dapat naman kung talagang guilty.
Kailangan, to send a lesson and message.

Um. . .Well. A motley of responses. Nothing in-depth. Nothing knee-jerk. But pre-formed slowly gelled responses from years of watching and listening to the sarsuela, now said with malignant pleasure, frustration, anger, disappointment, relief, righteousness, or a smirky told-you-so tone.

Second question:
It wasn't as simple as the first. I needed to provide a little background, sort of crash-course Plunder 101. But simplified to nuts and bolts, Republic Act 7080, defines plunder as the amassing by a public official of at least 50 million pesos through a combination of (1) kickbacks (2) misappropriation of public fund (3) illegal disposition of government assets (4) acquiring shares of stocks or promise of future employment in a business undertaking (5) establishing agricultural, industrial or commercial monopolies (6) implementing orders to benefit particular persons or special interests and (7) using his or her position to enrich him/herself at the expense of the Filipino people. (Cyril L. Bonabente. Inquirer Research. Sept 13, 2007)

Gee, hindi ba sobrang malupit ang mga conditions ng iyan?

Sino ang hindi nagnakaw in their term ng 50 million pesos?

In his Erapesque way, he would say:
He who is without stone, cast the first sin.
So, the second question:
In the past 30 years, based on that definition, who are the politicians and public officials who did not plunder the amount of 50 million pesos?
Sa nakaraang 30 taon, sino sa mga politico at opisyal, ang hindi guilty ng pag-plunder ng 50 milyong piso?
Mga sagot:
Joker arroyo.

Shit, come on. Sino pa? We should be able to come up with a list longer than that.
Daliri pa lang ng isang kamay iyan.
Rene Sagisag, my sister suggested.
Sino pa?

Um. . .
. . . . .
Paki-email na lang, kung may maidadagdag pa at mapapahaba ang listahan.
Please email the names you feel should be added to this list of politicians.
Kailangan naman mapahaba ang listahan na ito.

EDSA 2007
The Edsa Shrine
Let him who is without stone, cast the first sin
The Jeepney: Undisputed King of the Road. . . Not
A Culture of Dishonesty
Enough, Enough