Debating with a worldly wise friend over which candidate to vote for, he argued in favor of the incumbent. "Compare him to a mosquito," he said, "he's already had his fill. He won't steal as much. His opponent, on the other hand, is probably just getting started...."
My friend's assumption was that greed had certain limits; that, past a certain point, someone can say "Enough! I've had my fill!" Benjamin Abalos Sr. proves just how wrong this assertion is.
Unless you've been insulating yourself from the world, you'll know all about the National Broadband Network. In brief: it's a project that aims to connect all government agencies via their own special private network. It will be owned by the government, operated by the government, and used exclusively for the government.
Is the NBN infrastructure really needed or not? That point is moot. In a shady midnight deal, the contract was signed in China by DOTC officials without any public bidding whatsoever. Mere hours after sealing the deal, the contract was conveniently 'stolen.'
The price tag for the NBN is $330-million, roughly P15-billion at the prevailing exchange rate.
What's truly staggering is that the kickback is pegged at $198-million (P9-billion.) It's more than half the total contract price.
Add to this all the lurid details of hotel orgies in China in between which they hammered out the details of the deal. Not the technical details, I would surmise, but rather, whom to pay how much and when. Up-front payment for brokering the deal: $3-million (P135-million.)
And who's the personality allegedly behind all this? COMELEC chairman Benjamin Abalos Sr.
Here's a man who's already a millionaire many times over, holding in succession several sensitive political positions. In the sunset of his years, he ought to be taking stock of his life and making his peace with the Lord.
What are you going to do with P9-billion? How many homes can you really live in? How many cars can you drive? How many women can you bed? Isn't what you have enough?
Is there no end to your greed, Mr. COMELEC Chairman?