The trouble with exposing graft and corruption in this country is that the whistle blower gets into trouble.
There is a long list of journalists and activists who are now six feet under, for instance, because of exposing and opposing graft and corruption.
For the lucky ones who are still living, tables are turned against them. The Court of Appeals justice who exposed a P10 million bribe over the Meralco-GSIS court battle is now the reverse target of finger-pointing. He is now being accused of actually demanding P50 million! Tsk tsk!
I believe this is a ploy to destroy his credibility as the Supreme Court steps into the matter. This anomaly is a big blow to the judiciary.
This is truly not a good week for wheeler dealers.
At the Senate hearing on the swine scam, a huge “arranger’s fee” was exposed in the loan by the Land Bank to Quedan Corp to fund the government’s swine program. The two incidentally are both government owned so why was there a need for a “loan arranger?”
Senator Jamby Madrigal named Davaoeno Jose Nograles, brother of the Speaker, as the alleged wheeler dealer. Jose Nograles was a senior VP at the bank before his appointment recently as president of the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation.
The Speaker has denied any wrongdoing by his brother. But just the same this is major headache for the government.
Another trouble in my list today is Cebu Pacific flying into turbulent skies.
Last June the low-cost carrier announced plans for direct Davao-Hong Kong and Davao-Singapore flights. It was featured in newspapers and its website. In gratitude for this service, the City Council passed a Resolution, which I authored, commending the airline.
Last Wednesday, I learned from Baby Montemayor, who runs a travel agency and chairs the Southern Philippines Tourism Council, that Cebu Pacific has canceled these direct flights. I told her I did not read any notice in the papers or in the airlines’ website.
I believe Cebu Pacific invited trouble in not informing its passengers about these cancellations.
Last night, I received one such complaint via email from a Davaoeno who booked a flight for 18 persons for a group vacation to Singapore. To their dismay, their Davao-Singapore flight was re-routed to Davao-Manila-Singapore and then later to Davao-Cebu-Singapore without officially notifying them.
My advise to those aggrieved is to consult their lawyers. We can bring this matter too to the attention of the Department of Trade & Industry, the agency implementing the Consumers Act, and the Civil Aviation Board, which supervises the airline industry.
A simple public notice of the flight suspension would have forewarned the public. Now, Cebu Pacific is in trouble. Not only to those who have canceled flights but to many of us who were mis-informed.
I pray I will not get into trouble for writing this. Amen.