PNoy’s reason for keeping the PDAF is weak, pork barrel should be abolished

The number of Filipinos who are getting fed up with Philippine President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino III is definitely growing. As Churchill would say, he has all the virtues they dislike and none of the vices they admire. Granted, there are still those who are in denial of the likelihood that BS Aquino personally benefits from the existence of the Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) or the pork barrel funds. Nevertheless, it won’t be long now before the truth behind his leadership skills comes out – that he is powerless without it.

HIs reasons for keeping the PDAF are lame.
HIs reasons for keeping the PDAF are lame.
It’s no secret that President BS Aquino uses the pork barrel funds to wield power over members of Congress, which is supposed to be an independent branch of government. This was evident when he strong-armed members of the lower house into signing a hastily and badly written impeachment case against former Chief Justice Renato Corona. After months of relentless trial-by-media propaganda against Corona before and during the trial, BS Aquino and his army of “little-ladies” who helped gather “damning” but false evidence managed to rile up the public against Corona. Members of Congress were eventually compelled to convict him for what they interpreted as his failure to fully disclose his dollar savings in his statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN).

The injustice committed against Corona was so obvious to some particularly when they compared the crimes some of the senator-judges have committed in the past that dwarf Corona’s perceived violation. A lot of people say that Corona’s non-disclosure of his dollar account wasn’t even an impeachable offense for two reasons: it was protected by the foreign currency account secrecy law and more importantly, during the trial, it was explained that some of the funds from his dollar account came from the proceeds of the sale of his wife’s property. In short, it wasn’t all his to declare.

Now that media has revealed that some of the members of congress who played a key role in convicting Corona has been diverting funds into bogus NGOs, perhaps Corona can file a lawsuit against them for wrongful conviction. If the allegations that these senators and congressmen have been pocketing millions from their pork barrel funds are true, they have to be removed from office as soon as possible even before a criminal case is filed. It’s only fair since Corona was removed using a trial-by-media, even when his “violations” weren’t criminal.

Some senators who found Corona guilty committed worse crimes.
Some senators who found Corona guilty committed worse crimes.
In retrospect, Corona’s trial, which distracted the Aquino government from addressing more important matters for almost a year, was a total waste of time. After Corona was removed from office, BS Aquino and his minions hailed it as a success in his anti-corruption campaign. A little over a year later, the Filipino people are now convinced that the anti-corruption campaign hasn’t even begun. With BS Aquino’s reluctance to stop the giving out of pork barrel funds — the source of corruption from his budget — any further statements claiming that he is for daang matuwid is nothing but lip service.

There is no real justification for providing “development” funds to lawmakers. Congress shouldn’t even have funds for projects. Their role is different. They should be busy crafting laws and deliberating them. They shouldn’t be wasting time dealing with contractors who build basketball courts, waiting sheds or any other small projects that won’t even translate substantially to the overall development of the country. It’s not as if the funds have resulted in the upgrade of the country’s railway system, schools or hospitals.

Our congressmen didn’t even think about using the funds to find alternative sources of energy. To this day, some people in some parts of the Philippines are still literally living in the dark ages, trying to make do with a few hours of electricity each day. Instead, it seems like the bulk of the pork barrel funds have been used to fund the extravagant lifestyle of “esteemed” congressmen and those who run bogus NGOs. Columnist Neal Cruz made a good point when he stressed that members of congress need to focus on their real jobs:

Constructing government projects is the job of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), not of members of Congress. The job of the latter is to enact laws, not to be a duplicate DPWH. Search the Constitution with a fine-toothed comb and you will not find any provision that authorizes Congress to be a de facto DPWH. But year in and year out, legislators act as miniature DPWHs. That is usurpation of public authority. And because they shamelessly pocket some of the money, that is corruption which P-Noy promised to fight.

Apparently, it was BS Aquino’s mother, former President Cory Aquino who instituted the practice of using the pork in the Countryside Development Fund. Prior to this, the allocation of any project from the pork barrel funds has to be approved by the House of Representatives and the Senate. BS Aquino further institutionalized the amount of pork each congressman got when everybody got the same amount every year, which translated to between Php70 to 200 million. Budget Secretary Florencio Abad tried to justify it:

Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said the P70 million in PDAF for a member of the House of Representatives and P200 million for a senator was adopted as the norm beginning in the 15th Congress.

“We just wanted to put an end to the inggitan (envy) among lawmakers. At least everyone gets their share no more, no less. Dati may tampuhan pa kasi ’yung mas malakas, mas malaki (Before there was displeasure because those who were close [to Malacañang] got bigger amounts.)

Secretary Abad’s statement is proof enough that the Executive branch of government is paying Congress to grant them favors.

Failed at preventing the pork barrel scam.
Failed at preventing the pork barrel scam.
The Commission on Audit should not be exempted from any accountability in this scam. It seems they have not been doing their job properly for the last decade. Reports say that they are only focusing on GMA’s last three years in office, but what about BS Aquino’s first three years in office? It’s been said that the President’s own pork allocation from the P27 billion in pork barrel for 2014 is a staggering amount. Any promises to tighten the release of the funds will be in vain because even so-called auditors can be bought using money from the pork barrel funds, it seems.

The only solution to preventing members of congress from pocketing or mismanaging the pork barrel funds is to not give them any at all. BS Aquino just has to find a better way to bring the concerns of local constituents to the national government’s attention without using the legislators. Once the legislators don’t have pork barrel funds anymore, maybe there will be less celebrities who will seek a position in Congress and more qualified people who answer the call of duty will instead fill the legislative posts.

[Image collage of senator-judges courtesy Balita.ph.]

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Post Author: Ilda

In life, things are not always what they seem.

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46 Comments on "PNoy’s reason for keeping the PDAF is weak, pork barrel should be abolished"

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FawkesLibre
Guest
He is clearly taking his chances here. Hopefully on that day, for their sake, these public officials will change their minds and abolish it with no strings attached. Considering the damage the recent calamities caused and the hell people have been through, specifically flood victims, people will really be hot tempered on Aug. 26. I don’t think holding a concert nor holding holding anything close to an event rife with jubilation will do the victims justice. Remember people, 17 people died this time and hopefully no more. But think of the hundreds that died last time because this administration decided… Read more »
da_truth
Guest

WHAT IS THE ACTION PLAN FILIPINOS?

Simpleton
Guest
Yes only a BS Aquino groupie would be too blind to see that focusing the investigation only on GMAs last three years is a futile effort at damage control. The fund anomaly is already undeniable so the course of action is to establish that IT DID happen but not on BS Aquino’s watch.. Is there any way the people can petition for a similar investigation against the current administration? It would be really nice to establish that nothing has really changed even during BS’ term. I would like to hear what lame excuse they have next. e.g. “The corruption was… Read more »
suckmedck
Guest

PDAF is a waste of money. mga ibang noytards, they keep on saying na wag i- abolish kasi nakakatulong daw. if they want to help, then the congress and the senate must do their job: make laws that would benefit the people. dyan plng makikita mo na kung gaano inoverrrate at i- praise ang mga aquino, as if gift from the gods.

domo
Guest

“mga ibang noytards, they keep on saying na wag i- abolish kasi nakakatulong daw”
Nakakatulong nga…..para patuloy pa rin silang mga palamunin.

Sam Mamuric
Guest

Talagang inestress ang “BS” as in bullshit…

Heho
Guest

Anyone can have their own interpretation of “BS” but it’s not mentioned anywhere in the article that BS means that word. “BS” is Benigno Simeon clearly, right? (unless you interpret it that way, lols). 😀

Heho
Guest

I meant unless you interpret it otherwise (instead of Benigno Simeon, hehe. 😉

libertas
Guest
Pnoy aquino summary of pdaf speech. I have been pissing in my pants at the thought of giving up pork barrel. Senators and congressmen only pretend to like me or vote for me because i pay them well. The turncoat and political mercenary frank drilon wouldnt wait until the ides of march to stab me in the back if i did not fund his forbes park lifestyle and protect him from investigation. Even the strategy of planting a story of being ‘inspired’ by a non existent girlfriend didn’t work. Used it too many times. Must sack ricky ‘no idea’ calamitydang.… Read more »
joeld
Guest

Funny, but judging from the comments of the masa, they are practically praising PNoy for this. Such gullible masa. Kawawang Pilipinas.

Gogs
Member

I trust Noynoy ‘s word as far as I can throw Drilon.

FocusontheConstitution
Guest
FocusontheConstitution

I don’t question PNOYs aim to develop the nation, but I question his competence as well as his personal attachments. Many of the attacks against him are motivated by Marcos’ interests, and the Marcos camp is virtually the worst camp and I have evidence.

We have to go back to the constitution. PNOY has to undo some of what his mother has done. He also has to initiate constitutional reforms.

Gerry
Guest

an organized crook always has a get-away plan. Kiss the peso’s goodbye for they are gone. BUT That doesn’t mean the thieves should get any more. It can be stopped, right now in fact. a li’l action is required, NOT TALK!

Leb
Guest
I don’t wish to be a defender of Pres. Noynoy but the article presumes a lot of things that are either untrue or twisted. I understand that the writer is a staunch critic of Pres. Noynoy but I also understand that even a staunches critic would find time to be objective when it comes to national interest. Everybody knows that all presidents wield power through pork barrel funds over Congress. Why single out Nonoy? Because of the conviction of Corona? I don’t think so. Corona was guilty as charged. For a chief justice to put up a lame defense just… Read more »
benign0
Admin
You’ll have to go back and read the rest of the articles in this blog, dude. We’ve been watching Noynoy since 2009 and even earlier. We have detailed accounts of how he trumped up charged versus Corona, rigged the entire Lower House to file a half-assed impeachment complaint against him, and bulldoze the senate to convict him using illegally collected dubious evidence while marshalling all his friends in the media to wage an all out bad public vilification campaign against him. True, all presidents do all that and then some one way or another over their terms. But why single… Read more »
OFW
Guest
One word ABOLISH THE PORK… Mistulang ang pag alis nito ay malaking hamon sa mga dawit at gusto pang magnakaw o sa mga bagong hirang na mga magnanakaw. Napakarami ang dapat tulongan naandiyan ang ating mga kawal na binubuwis ang buhay upang ipagtangol ang inang bayan,mga guro na sila ang humuhubog ng ating kabataan,mga kalsada sa probinsiya na hinde madaanan kapag umulan particular in Aurora,Quezon, ang mga tunay na magsasaka nadapat silang maging tunay na benificiary,mga kapuspalad na OFW na inabuso ng employer at stranded, mga matalinong kabataan na hinde makapagaral dahil sa kahirapan.Mga Filipino innovators na may kakayanan at… Read more »
mcalleyboy
Guest

@OFW… how can just abolishing the pork barrel fix things? Government is protected by self-serving laws, they have many laws that protect them from prosecution the general public can’t even check on their wealth, properties they own hidden dollars accounts, it’s almost impossible to kick somebody out of office and they end up working in another branch or? look at the customs branch, you have to pay a certain fee or your container is held up or delayed and then looked at real close, lol.. how does that spur business in country.

B.Sabio
Guest

Well impeach him! kaya lang pag dating ng election wala naman kayong nagagawa… the best solution, BOYCOTT!!, elections in the Phils., DON’T participate in any electoral process..to show to the world the distrust..

bsabio
Guest

walang mangyayari!!!

elmn
Guest

i just recommended that pork barrel should be abolished its because of a lot of corruption in our own country.

Aeta
Guest

It doesn’t matter who the next president of the Philippines will be, the way of life in the country will still be like a circus. Might as well vote for Bozo The Clown if he runs for office, to replace the previous clowns who held that office.

Rolling Bean
Guest
To avoid corruption is auditing every two years, by independent body. Where its members changes every auditing year. So there is no familiarity between politicians and the auditing personnel. People like respectable citizens from public. They have to be registered, police records, community status, integrity, and trained qualified, etc. The fund released only once the project is done. It is given to the service provider and must not go to the mayor, senate, any political body or anyone’s office account. They must only know the budget figures but not be able to hold the actual fund. No politicians would be… Read more »
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