Cong Dong’s J’accuse moment replete with all the elements of a courtroom drama – television cameras and mics, phone recorders, voluminous legal documents, newspaper clippings, and hundreds of photocopied checks spread over a table. Aye, a table hardened by evidence?
It was too great an opportunity to miss. Thus the front page photo accompanying our banner story last issue: Oca is a thief!
There was just something that looked eerily familiar in the photograph. Yea, the photocopied checks. Which spurred some search in the internet, finding the answer in acaesar.blogspot. com where I stored past columns dating back to 2006. Here, dated Saturday, June 15, 2013:
THE GODSON seethes. Pampanga 3rd District Rep. Aurelio “Dong” Gonzales has taken his losing cause to the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) charging his nemesis – and wedding godfather – City of San Fernando Mayor Oscar S. Rodriguez as having purchased, wholesale and retail, his victory in the recent polls.
In his 10-page protest, Cong Dong alleged that Cong Oca caused his hand to sign and issue “numerous” checks in favor of as numerous payees just a few days before the elections, charged to the account of the City of San Fernando, Pampanga and the Municipality of San Fernando, Pampanga with the Land Bank of the Philippines, San Fernando Branch.
Cong Dong said that on May 10, 2013 at the city’s Heroes Hall, Cong Oca handed out “financial assistance” each in the amount of P5,000 to his so-called scholars at the Don Honorio Ventura Technological State University.
Numbering some 1,000, the supposed scholars, Cong Dong alleged, are residents not only of the City of San Fernando but also of other parts of the third district of Pampanga.
“The indiscriminate issuance of the above checks and the distribution of ‘financial assistance’ to numerous recipients, beneficiaries and/or scholars just a few days before the elections obviously constitute massive vote buying,” Gonzales charged, citing Cong Oca as having violated Section 261 of the Omnibus Election Code, which prohibits any public official or employee, including barangay officials, from releasing, disbursing or using public funds during 45 days before a regular election.
Also flouted, he added, was Comelec Resolution 9585, which implements Section 261 of the Omnibus Election Code that prohibits the release, disbursement and expenditure of public funds effective March 29, 2013 until May 13, 2013.
Were it not for Cong Oca’s “acts of massive and widespread vote-buying,” Cong Dong could have easily won last May 13. So believed his lawyers, citing his two previous landslide victories as proofs positive of his sure triumph over the comebacking Cong Oca.
“Having been elected twice already for the same position in the 2007 and 2010 elections, the sudden loss of some 87,376 votes is simply unexplainable and statistically improbable.” So the lawyers said.
The godfather speaks.
“It is all too ironic that he is protesting what he himself precisely did during the campaign and days before the election. I think he is very guilty of that, driving him to desperation.
We never bought votes and we stand by our previous statement that we were never beaten by his money.” So was Cong Oca quoted in the local papers, in effect accusing his godson of projecting his image unto his godfather, of outsourcing the blame for his defeat on him. Cong Oca turned the tables on Cong Dong on the very issue of scholarship assistance, blasting his godson as “an official who corrupted education.”
Firing away thus: “It is very sad to note that he corrupted education. Saan ka makakakita na pati kindergarten binigyan ng P800 tapos scholar na. Iyung iba naman, P10,000 per family. We have proof and evidence too of such activities during the pre-election days but we kept it to ourselves para walang gulo. Besides, it is not my character na manira ng kapwa at magakusa. Indeed, his protest is very, very ironic. Pero kapag hindi niya itinigil ang kalokohan na iyan, kami naman ang magsasampa ng mga kaso laban sa kanya.”
How did it ever come to this? Godfather versus godson? Politics sundering all spiritual bonds.
Politics has no relations to morals. Yeah, Machiavelli, as right today as then.
YEAH, BACK to one ending. To start a new beginning toward a different ending?