BARELY a month after a strong earthquake hit parts of Visayas, Typhoon Yolanda, described as the one of the world’s strongest typhoons, wreaked havoc in the same area, leaving thousands dead.

Meanwhile, a day before Yolanda’s arrival, another storm was brewing in Pasay City as Janet Lim Napoles, the alleged “Pork Barrel Queen,” testified – or kept mum rather – at the Senate hearing on the issue regarding the misuse of lawmakers’ Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), or pork barrel.

But as expected, Napoles had a few choices of words, ranging from “Hindi ko po alam”, “Hindi po ako sigurado” to “I invoke my right [against self-incrimination].”

Thus, no substantial information was obtained. The live telecast would have been a total disappointment if it weren’t for the presence of Benhur Luy and other whistle blowers who had more interesting to share than Napoles.

Yet, amid the issue of PDAF scam in the Senate hearing, it was obvious that lawmakers had an ulterior motive to feast on Napoles and the scandal the way they feast on their pork barrel: the 2016 polls.

What was striking on that hearing was the fiery passion that senators showed in questioning Napoles. Was it really just for the sake of uncovering the truth and showcasing true dedication to the country? Or was it a ploy to make heroes of themselves in time for the next elections?

The last time the Senate did that, they convicted former Chief Justice Renato Corona and senators (who proclaimed guilty against Corona) running for reelection gained the upper hand and won seats again.

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This issue even came under fire now as these senators who voted for conviction had been exposed to have received additional lump sum from the DAP, even if the Aquino administration denies the connection between the additional cash and the impeachment trial.

It is important for people to discern the motives of their senators. Are they doing these for the country or for their self-interests?

What is clear in this sea of tattletales is that the legislators, particularly the ones who’d be ending their term, are seeking re-election or would like to run again for elective office.

They’re spraying cheap perfumes on their names by following the trend of calling for the scrapping PDAF and persecuting Napoles in order to be more attractive to the eyes of their constituents and the public, when in fact, some of them are true criminals, hiding the riches that are supposed to be used for the benefit of the needy. These lawmakers have the responsibility to take care of the people they are representing, yet all they think about is how to get new houses and cars and all the luxury the world can offer. The money reported to be stolen by these people could help big to the victims of the Bohol earthquake, which left over 200 dead and many cultural heritage treasures ruined, and the super typhoon Yolanda, which is the strongest typhoon this year that rampaged the Visayan region and whose number of fatalities continue to rise.

But of course most of them would not care. These people will have to continue looking after themselves alone. What matters most is that they look like an angel in the media and win them a position in 2016 to steal more from the funds of the people. Once the buwaya have some, he can’t stop himself from getting many more.

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What Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago said to Napoles was true.

The real perpetrators are watching, waiting for the right moment to assassinate the pawn when she is of no use.

Not that Santiago herself is excused from her noisy grandstanding, using the occasion to invoke again her self-proclaimed expertise in constitutional law and international law and to launch political tirades, unjustifiably we must say, against Senator Juan Ponce Enrile and other colleagues.

In any case, many of our lawmakers and elective officeials are just around the corner, aiming to bury what could be the truth to end all of this. But while it’s not happening, it’s the time for the Senators to shine in interrogating Napoles in squeezing the information they themselves might already know for them to have a chance to stay alive in the chaotic and corrupted world of Philippine politics.

A tag team, isn’t? In the end, everybody benefits. Everyone will get what they want: the fake fame and the stolen fortune.

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