Napolist of bureaucrat capitalists

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And so the controversial Napoles’ list or “Napolist” is out, at least the conflicting versions of former senator Panfilo Lacson and pork scam whistleblower Benhur Luy.

Did we hear the legislative branch crash to the ground as warned by the rehabilitation czar? There was confusion, but there was certainly no collapse – at least for now.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives was even busy at work rushing the approval of Charter change (Cha-cha) at the plenary on Wednesday as the public grapples with the long list of names in the Napolist. On the sides, Lacson and Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago (who was not actually in Lacson’s list) were trading unsavory sound bytes for the press, creating the added distraction. With the Napolist confusion and frenzy in place, the neoliberal lawmakers are revealing more of what they really are: they are not just corrupt, they are “bureaucrat capitalists” at heart using public offices to secure their economic interest and that of foreign businesses, to borrow a term from national democratic activists.

At the precise time when their oath to serve the interest of the Filipino people is being tested, these lawmakers even chose to advance the agenda of foreign business lobbyists frequenting the halls of Congress. They chose to play deaf to the renewed spike in public dissent over the pork barrel scam. They instead danced to their favorite Cha-cha tune while the pork scam storm rages outside, in a fitting affirmation of their devout belief that foreign investments will solve the country’s problems.

The chambers of landlords and local businessmen, which we wish had collapsed as soon as the lists were out, are engineering a different collapse under Cha-cha. It is not the kind that will cut short their political careers but the broader, much wicked type that will see the local economy crash and burn and thousands of workers thrown into joblessness.

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