I can still remember how everybody went into a frenzied state of excitement over “tuba-tuba” when no less than the president spearheaded the media campaign to promote it as an alternative fuel source more than two years ago. I remember very well that there was an up coming election at that time too.

I was one of those who jumped into the bandwagon and started a tuba-tuba nursery in anticipation of an increase demand for tuba-tuba planting materials. Then the anticipated announcement was made - the president alloted Php500M for the project and made PNOC as the lead agency purportedly to implement this alternative energy program and encourage the planting of tuba-tuba! But lo and behold, only press releases flooded the countryside after that. Money for the farmers for this project never came. To sustain media awareness for the highly budgeted project, the president even harnessed the use of military camps and her soldiers to plant tuba-tuba. This, she said, was to encourage farmers to start planting tuba-tuba. But the farmers refused to plant without guaranteed subsidies and a ready market for their produce. Little did I realize that all this hullabaloo was a mere ploy. .. and the alternative energy program is just a myth.

The head of PNOC, the lead agency for the program, resigned before the elections that year, and guess why? - Because he refused to allow the illegal disbursement of the Php500M to other than what it was intended for. Oh, and where did the money go? Well, I kept on repeating that it was election year that time, and co-incidentally one of those running for a national office was the author of the Alternative Energy Bill conveniently passed by both houses that same year. Neat, huh?

This is why Michael Liew of PIPC Scam find the Philippines a paradise! Corruption here is a way of life and the likes of him can go unnoticed. Here, he blended well with his surroundings.

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