Herd mentality of the Filipinos work both ways. Either it favor or disfavor persons, things or events. On election period, the people’s herd mentality favored the likes of “Sexy,” “Pogi” and “Tanda”. The herd mentality disfavored them now.
Former President Joseph Estrada, a movie actor turned politician had been friends with the Filipino herd mentality. But then, when evicted out Malacanang Palace, the herd mentality became his enemies.
Lots of movie personalities then entered politics as if taking a cue on the success of “Erap”. At first, the movie star’s objective of joining the bandwagon were for additional influence, power and glamor. Later, at the start of 2000 – 2009, when the movie industry suffered a decline, these movie stars found politics as a lucrative alternative means of employment. In the 90’s, under Cory Aquino, the Country Side Development (CDF) was created. Then, in 2000, on Joseph Estrada’s term, it was changed to Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel, which the Supreme Court now abolished because it has been a source of corruption among the legislators.
The herd mentality allowed movie personalities occupied elected post. Bong Revilla and Jinggoy Estrada became the poster boys of political immaturity powered by herd mentality. Now, that same herd mentality thirst for their blood because of the PDAF’s scams. Similarly, for Enrile, a wily politician, this herd mentality worked like an erratic computer blips which swung up and down in his three decades in politics. He was up during Martial Law, then down during the coup attempts, and up again during Chief Justice Corona’s impeachment trial, then down again with the current PDAF’s scandal.
Ruby Tuazon, one among the 38 who was charged of plunder, had just spilled the beans of her role as conduit of the kickback money from Janet Napoles, the PDAF’s alleged mastermind, to Jinggoy and Enrile. Her surfacing opened the floodgate for the new batch of people with herd mentality. They are the people who wanted to save their skin from prosecution. Completing the picture, to the delight of the Department of the Justice (DOJ) is Dennis Cunanan. He is the former Chief of the Technology Resource Center (TRC) where bulk of the PDAF went through, and who executed an affidavit, saying that the three musketeers of the PDAF’s scams handpicked the TRC as their implementing agency. The three musketeers respectively denied this in their counter affidavits given to the office of the Ombudsman. Dennis Cunanan further stated that Bong Revilla scolded Cunanan for not acting quick enough to process his PDAF. Jinggoy did the same lobbying for his, too. On Enrile’s part, it’s his Chief Executive Officer Gigi Reyes, and Antonio Evangelista dealt with Dennis Cunanan.
With the new development of that bandwagon of potential witnesses coming out to protect themselves from the plunder charge, this will set up the stage for conviction of the big fishes involved in the PDAF scams. The herd mentality of this kind should come out one by one, tell their tales to sustain the media without let up, till the three musketeer of the PDAF scam get arrested. Their arrest would make a template for the future legislator to beware of the good side of “herd mentality”.