Cornered with corruption charges from Sen. Franklin Drillon, Sandigan Bayan and PNoy, former Congressman and former Director General of Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Augusto “Boboy” Syjuco Jr., uses the courts as a venue to avenge his defeat and humiliation.
Syjuco was incensed of his lost to Frank Drillon’s man in the second district of Iloilo in the May 13, 2013 elections as an incumbent. This kicks off the tit for tat between Syjuco and Drillon. On September 2013, Syjuco filed a plunder case at the Office of the Ombudsman (OOO) against Drillon. Syjuco said that Drillon plundered some P75 million for retrofitting the Iloilo Hall of Justice of 1991 damage by the earthquake. The following month, on October 1, 2013, Syjuco, lodged another plunder complaint. This time, he said that in 2006, Drillon using his PDAF, made a fraudulent property purchase intended for public use. On December 1, 2014, thru his aide, Romeo Laguardia, Syjuco filed anew a plunder rap for Drillon. Syjuco said that on the recent COA findings, his 2011 PDAF of 75 million allocated for the nationwide construction of 138 classrooms remain unaccounted for.
On October 7, 2013, Syjuco filed a petition to the Supreme Court urging the high court to declare the creation and implementation of the Disbursement Acceleration Fund (DAP) as unconstitutional. Syjuco listed Drillon and Florencio Abad, the Budget Secretary as respondents. He tasked the Supreme Court to file a criminal and administrative charges against them; Drillon, for the release of the 50 million pork barrel fund, which were allegedly used for Chief Justice Renato Corona’s conviction, and Florencio Abad, being the creator of the DAP.
Syjuco is swamped with numerous graft and corruption charges before the Ombudsman and the Sandigan Bayan. These charges range from various irregularities that render government in the disadvantageous position, like in the fertilizer scam, in which he was slapped with a hold departure order, or overprice of training materials when he was head of the TESDA.
However, Syjuco couldn’t be just quiet. He petitioned to the high court to declare inoperative one provision in the Ombudsman Act, which he thinks violates the constitution – that is granting the OOO independence to veer away from partisan politics. He said, he endured injustice and injury because of Pnoy’s order to prosecute former President Arroyo’s allies. The Supreme Court junked Syjuco’s petition.
Perhaps what could have made Syjuco seethed in anger was when P’Noy in his 2013 State of Nation Address with million Filipinos tuned in. P’Noy mentioned him as like the poster boy of corrupt bureaucrat and politician in regard to the overprice of the TESDA’s training material, one among the many cases, which he was indicted for at the OOO, and now free on bail. Syjuco, in one of the press releases asked why Pnoy make him as his “punching bag”. This wouldn’t silenced him not to file a libel charge against Pnoy.
Because of Syjuco’s humiliation, it became his obsession to clutter the courts of his complaints and petitions. In November 2014, he filed a petition to the high court that the 2015 national budget saying, the lump sum amounts in the National Expenditure Program can be considered as a pork barrel system same as PDAF. Still, not satisfied, in December 2014, after the 2015 General Appropriation Act was approved; he filed again another petition reiterating the same positions.
With Syjuco’s filing of too many petitions in the courts, he could be likened to Atty. Oliver Lozano, former legal counsel of the Marcoses who is a prolific impeachment filer. However, they are motivated differently. For Lozano, it is to maintain his notoriety as “Impeachment Filer King”. For Syjuco, however, it is to avenge his defeat and humiliation.