Just like the classic Italian spaghetti western, “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” Pinoy “gunslingers” wearing gold stars on their epaulets took center stage when the “good” gunslinger started shooting from the hip at the “bad” and the “ugly” gunslingers, who were his former bosses. And as a backdrop to the shooting scene, the classic tune of the original “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” is being played to the lyric, “Kuarta na… kuarta na… kuarta na… hehehe…”
The actors in this Pinoy pancit western are: Col. George Rabusa (ret.), former military budget officer, as the “Good” gunslinger (played by Clint Eastwood in the original movie); former Defense Chief General Angelo Reyes as the “Bad” gunslinger (played by Lee Van Cleef in the original movie); and Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia (ret.) as the “Ugly” gunslinger (played by Eli Wallach in the original movie).
The story began when Rabusa dropped a bombshell during a Senate investigation hearing on the controversial Garcia plea bargaining agreement. Rabusa accused Reyes of receiving P150 million including a P50-million “pabaon” (send-off money) when he retired as Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in 2001. Rabusa added that he and his boss, then AFP Comptroller Lt. Gen. Jacinto Ligot (Garcia’s predecessor), personally delivered the money to Reyes at his staff quarters, known as the “White House.”
But Rabusa went further. He also said that chiefs of staffs “get around P10 million monthly while in service, half of which supposedly goes to their pockets.” Whoa! No wonder some generals’ wives were frequent flyers to Zurich. I guess they love to watch the snow-capped Alps. And whom would they find there too? Figaro.
Rabusa served two comptrollers, Ligot and Garcia, who were called the “Comptroller Mafia” in their heydays. And, like the Italian Mafia, they had a code of silence. The Italian Mafia calls its code of silence “Omerta” while the Comptroller Mafia calls it “Kuarta.” Indeed, “Kuarta” – which means “money” — seals their lips in silence.
But Rabusa broke the “Kuarta” code just like Sammy “The Bull” Gravano broke “Omerta” which sent the Gambino crime family’s Godfather John Gotti and more than a hundred Mafiosi to prison. Can Rabusa accomplish the same feat as Sammy the Bull? Abangan.
Military justice… News report says, “The Department of National Defense (DND) is forming a special investigative committee that will look into allegations that the military leadership maintained a multimillion-peso slush fund for discretionary use of the chief of staff.” Isn’t that like Mafia Don Vito Corleone forming an investigation committee consisting of his capos to investigate his slush fund? Hehehe…
Crime czar… Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said that P-Noy is on top of the crime situation in the country. “We don’t need a crime czar. We have PNP [Philippine National Police] Director General Raul Bacalzo overseeing the [country’s] peace and order, we have the AFP [Armed Forces of the Philippines, under Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Ricardo David, Jr.], we have the National Security Adviser [Cesar Garcia],” Lacierda said. He said that they all report to the President. Doesn’t that make P-Noy the Crime Czar? Or is it “nakaka azar” (“annoying”)? They would tell P-Noy what he wants to hear: Crime is down except for an occasional boom here and a bang over there. Yup, it’s time to promote colonels to generals, and give P50-million “pabaon” to retiring generals and appoint them as ambassadors to third world countries in Africa or tiny republics built on guano droppings in the middle of the Pacific.
Noisy minority… At his first vin d’honneur to usher in the New Year, P-Noy criticized the “noisy minority” whom he said were out to bring back the “malicious practices of the past.” Whoa! Now, that’s starting the New Year with a big bang! Hey, no guts, no glory!
Joke of the week… The “noisy minority” in the House of Representatives said that P-Noy should have listened to the travel advisories of six foreign countries about possible terror attacks in the country. P-Noy’s response was: “Those terrorist threats mentioned shopping malls, not buses, as targets.” Duh?
Hands on… The “noisy minority” also urged P-Noy to be a “hands-on” leader. I think the “noisy minority” didn’t notice P-Noy’s “hands-on” qualities. Yup, he’s been seen lately with his hands on the steering wheel of a Porsche 911 twin-turbo Carrera speeding at 150 kilometers per hour in the middle of the night on his way to Hacienda Luisita. And wait till you see him with his hands on the steering wheel of his “new flame,” a bullet-proof Lexus LX 570 SUV.
But P-Noy seems to be having some problems with his hands on the ship of State. That’s why he asked his former vice presidential running mate Mar Roxas to be his “Chief Troubleshooter.” In addition, P-Noy also hired his other “shooting buddy” Ronald Llamas to be his political adviser. Well, Ronald – who is known for his leftist politics – might convince P-Noy that “power comes from the barrel of a gun.” Hey, it worked for Chairman Mao, it just might work with P-Noy who, by the way, is a gun enthusiast. Hey, P-Noy, it’s time to show the “noisy minority” who the boss is.
Mar said that he began advising P-Noy but would not disclose what he advised him about. Well, the only noticeable change was the addition of the bullet-proof Lexus SUV to P-Noy’s car collection. But Mar was surprised when he found out that his job description includes troubleshooting P-Noy’s Porsche and Lexus! He should have just contented himself as a “houseband” of Korina.
Shooting buddies… With the addition of Ronald Llamas to his A-Team, P-Noy has now a “Chief Troubleshooter” (Mar Roxas), a Shooter (Ronald Llamas), and a “Chief Troublemaker” (Rico E. Puno). Doesn’t that sound like “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” bunch, too? Now, they’re ready to paint the town red!
Filipino of the Year… P-Noy was named “Filipino of the Year” by the Philippine Daily Inquirer. P-Noy was top choice of the newspaper’s 52 editors and assistant editors. The other nominees, in the order of their number of votes, were: The Filipino voter, Philippine Azkals, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, bar blast victim Raissa Laurel, Venus Raj, Charice Pempengco, Comelec Chair Jose Melo and Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio.
The past honorees were: 1991—Raymundo Punongbayan; 1992—Haydee Yorac; 1993—Juan Flavier; 1994—Overseas contract workers; 1995—Filipino Everyman (Juan & Juana dela Cruz); 1996—Fidel V. Ramos; 1997—Corazon Aquino and Jaime Cardinal Sin; 1998—Joseph Estrada; 1999—Corazon Aquino; 2000—Justice Hilario Davide; 2001—Supreme Court Justices; 2002—Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo; 2003—Manny Pacquiao; 2004—Fernando Poe Jr.; 2005—SEA Games Filipino athletes; 2006—Antonio Meloto; 2007—Gov. Ed Panlilio; 2008—Manny Pacquiao; 2009—“Ondoy” volunteers; 2010—Benigno Simeon C. Aquino.
Congratulations Mr. President!