What next after the August 26 million people march to Luneta versus the pork barrel?

In a previous article, I harped on the fantasy world where it could be possible to hope to see senators and congresspersons found guilty of abusing the vast sums of discretionary funds made available to them out of the national budget being marched out of their homes or offices handcuffed. “This is my definition of a pipe dream,” one commentor opined. Many held the same sentiment. After all, since when has real justice been possible in a country where everything is rigged — from the way traffic cops decide whether to issue a citation or not up to the way strategic decisions that affect millions are evaluated in the halls of Congress and Malacañang?

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[Photo courtesy Showbiz Government.]

But the question What’s next? haunts the heady minds of Filipinos following the successful staging of a “picnic protest” today at the Luneta. The obvious next steps, of course, are ones ideally taken towards the direction of bringing to justice everyone who is guilty of abusing public funds — specifically people who have access to the focal point of all the outrage: pork barrel funds.

According to President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino III, it was really former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who is to blame for the blatant thievery surrounding the pork barrel funds…

“(The problem) was the collusion among a former president ready to trade favors just to remain in power, legislators, and members of the bureaucracy who were willing to conspire, enabled by a passive and indifferent citizenry,” he said.

Aquino said the public was outraged because the previous administration treated the PDAF as its own private fund to use as it pleases.

“All these factors put together make the PDAF prone to abuse,” he said.

Never mind of course that President BS Aquino himself chose to include a sizable amount of pork in the national budget he put forth for approval by Congress. You’d think that a man truly serious about “eliminating corruption” would start by putting an end to the single biggest source of institutionalised plunder. Yet, according to an “infographic” being circulated by Malacañang minions all over the Net, President BS Aquino can do no wrong — that despite BS Aquino himself holding all the cash members of Congress salivate over, it is really no one else but “a former president desperate to hold on to power” who is to blame for this mess…

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And as if that weren’t enough, BS Aquino seems to be already preempting the eventual failure of his flaccid attempt to prosecute all the people named in that now famous Commission of Audit (COA) report on the use (or misuse as the case may be) of pork in Congress, saying that the whole effort will not likely yield a conviction under his watch…

“So I really don’t think that we can have any conviction under my term,” he said.

“I’m told that for one case to be finished will take around three to five years. At the very minimum, cases will be filed – and that is my expectation. And I will be on their case, hopefully, especially for those under the executive (department).”

That really does not come across as very credible. President BS Aquino, back in 2012 has demonstrated how much can be achieved if he put his mind to the task. The President gets what he wants when he really wants it as evident in the way he orchestrated the railroading of an impeachment complaint against former Chief Justice Renato Corona and his prosecution and conviction in a Senate kangaroo court.

[House Representative Tobias] Tiangco was outright confirming the allegations that the impeachment of Corona was backed by the president’s orders and that the Congressmen were not even allowed to ask questions during the Power Point presentation outlining the hastily and badly-written articles of impeachment.

You wonder then why President BS Aquino is suddenly feeling a bit impotent about the idea that he most certainly has it in his power to fast-track a roundup of Pork thieves.

Interestingly, the highlight of the August 26 “million people march” against Philippine pork barrel politics, was Corona himself gracing the occasion. According to news reports, Corona was reportedly jeered by the crowd and forced to leave…

“Epal!” was what many of the protesters at Luneta called Corona, who left the anti-pork barrel march after the crowd made it clear he was not welcome there.

A separate report on dzRH radio said many of those at the rally surrounded Corona’s vehicle while chanting “Epal, epal!”

Yet this is a man who, as we know, was convicted by a process largely rocketed through a pork-hungry Congress by no less than President BS Aquino himself. Indeed, pork was likely the carrot being dangled from the stick before the snorting noses of the “senator-judges” who “convicted” Corona on these trumped-up charges, many of which were substantiated using evidence sloppily and often illegally collected by Malacañang’s army of small ladies and Media “thought leaders”.

How is it that all the wrong arguments still manage to win after such a seemingly successful coming together of “concerned citizens” against the infamy of Philippine pork barrel politics?

Well to a few people (moi included) it really isn’t much of a mystery. As “an admired Filipino economist, based in New York” once observed, of the intellectually-bankrupt Philippine national “debate”…

“They are droll and unintelligent, focused on the trivial or the irrelevant.” When the issues are of some significance, it’s the wrong arguments that prevail, the wrong side wins. Logic and common sense take the backseat to political arguments and the views of the poorly-educated. There seems to be some bases for her disenchantment.

Despite, the message of “hope” that this picnic rally sent rippling across the national consciousness, it seems many people do not really understand the real issues as they choose to latch on to incomplete pictures of what really is at stake here. Instead, they have allowed the usual suspects to set the usual tone to which an unwitting public readily dances to.

That of course sets the scene for President BS Aquino’s assertion that it is really all former President Arroyo’s fault that pork barrel funds are routinely stolen and his fearless forecast that there will be no convictions before his term ends — which is basically saying that he expects nothing to come out of all this ultimately. And all the you-know-whos will simply continue laughing all the way to the bank.

Will President BS Aquino be proven right? If there are no clear and specific next steps following this unprecedented display of indignation versus Pinoy-style pork barrel thievery, then all we can do is what the ol’ Bida Kapamilya encourages the greater public to do as a matter of routine…

Abangan ang susunod na kabanata.

Same Bat Time. Same Bat Channel.

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22 Comments on “What next after the August 26 million people march to Luneta versus the pork barrel?”

  1. President pnoy p-oinky aquino.

    The proof of the pudding…

    Pnoy is cooking up a platter of porky pies, without much filling, and not likely to feed the appetite of the poor and hungry.

    Instead of trying to serve a pig in a poke to the masses, executive chef aquino should stop porking puno and go back to the recipe book, before he gets his fingers burnt.

    And malacanan propaganda unit should stop peddling pig swill.

    The only michelin award the bald one will currently get is for the pork belly tyre he carries around his midriff.

    If he can’t stand the heat…..

  2. To, BeningO and Gogs, gentlemen, I am so proud of the people who delivered a Peaceful Million Person Demonstration. BS and Congress knew this was coming, and have at least mouthed the same old promises of reform. Too late for them,, however. “Talk is Cheap”. Time for the people to remember who is BOSS, and remind these arrogant shits that they serve at the pleasure of the people.

    We need a organized and determined road map to keep the people engaged. May I suggest the following;

    1) Public support of House Bill No. 1535 Introduced by – BAYAN MUNA Representative Neri J. Colmenares, ACT Teachers Party-List Representative Antonio L. Tinio, GABRIELA Women’s Party Representative Luz Ilagan and Representative Emmi de Jesus, ANAKPAWIS Representative Fernando Hicap, KABATAAN Party-List Representative Terry Ridon, and BAYAN MUNA Representative Carlos Isagani Zarate.

    These sponsors may or may not be your favorite representative, but the Bill addresses not only abolition of PDAF, it also eliminates feeding of the “Presidential Social Fund” (P 450 Billion)from PAGCOR, EDC and PCSO. Please take a Look,

    2) Use Public Initiative and Referendum to establish a copy of the US RICO Act.
    (I copied and pasted from RICO/Wiki; below)

    Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). Under RICO, a person or group who commits any two of 35 crimes–27 federal crimes and 8 state crimes–within a 10-year period and (in the opinion of the U. S. Attorney bringing the case) has committed those crimes with similar purpose or results can be charged with racketeering. Those found guilty of racketeering can be fined up to $25,000 and/or sentenced to 20 years in prison.

    This is conspiracy to commit a crime or fraud. Clearly, the entire Philippine Government knew about the abuse. What will get the attention of the Political Dynasties and Oligarchs follows;

    “In addition, the racketeer must forfeit all ill-gotten gains and interest in any business gained through a pattern of “racketeering activity.” The act also contains a civil component that allows plaintiffs to sue for triple damages.”

    When the U. S. Attorney decides to indict someone under RICO, he has the option of seeking a pre-trial restraining order or injunction to prevent the transfer of potentially forfeitable property, as well as require the defendant to put up a performance bond. Some have said this provision is intended to force a defendant to plead guilty before indictment.

    This freezes assets, Haciendas, Bank Accounts, Contracts, EVERYTHING.

    HOWEVER, you need to find a seriously “BAD ASS LAWYER” to make this work. Then BeningO can watch these gangsters get dragged out of their homes in handcuffs. Good luck.

  3. bill wedeking – “HOWEVER, you need to find a seriously “BAD ASS LAWYER” to make this work.”

    There goes one good idea down the drain.

  4. PLEASE MAKE A LOT OF NOISE AND
    WISHING THIS CONGRESS BE WIPE-OUT!!!!!!!!

    WE HAVE TOO MANY LAWS
    ALREADY THAT IS NOT BEING FOLLOWED ANYWAYS & SO MANY CRIMINALS ARE LIVING THERE LIKE THEIR IN PARADISE ……..

  5. MAYBE, just maybe, the people that jeered Corona were or are related to the PAL employee’s who lost their JOBS? After a SC ruling in favor of the legally represented PAL employees Corona then presided over a flip-fopping of the SC decision and ruled against the PAL employees who subsequently lost their jobs, pensions, healthcare benefits. I’d say they are pretty fuckin mad and rightfully so.

    MAYBE those people do not have as short a memory as some others think?.

    Regardless, he did no jail time and was never relieved of his $4,000,000.00 that he allegedly saved on a P65,000/month salary and other things he could not and did not prove.

    That guy should count his blessings n get to steppin.

  6. and BTW,

    why didn’t the march go to the Palace? and Houses of Congress? and while they were at it, ARREST every single member of the Government on charges of Treason and Crimes against the Filippine people?

    Not mad enough yet? they are still laughing at you, SO?

  7. Now they heard the PEOPLE’S LOUD VOICE. The ball is now in the hands of the government to police their ranks and PROSECUTE THE CORRUPT & GREEDY. Only LIFE IMPRISONMENT or DEATH PENALTY plus CONFISCATION OF THE ILL GOTTEN WEALTH will institutionalize the abolition of GREED in the government. The way most of our Legislators ignore the call to investigate their own colleagues shows that SHAME is no longer an issue to our elected representatives. GSU

  8. Napoles writing to pnoy always seemed a bit strange, and unexplained, but now a murky picture emerges.
    Ochoa’s consultant was on napoles payroll. No surprise ochoa involved. Someone has to pay for his newly built mansion.
    No wonder napoles has conveniently disappeared – with help from friends in high places, who are now free to express mock outrage.
    Pnoy and his cohorts are corrupt through and through, and the veil is slowly being lifted.
    look forward on thursday to an insipid review by the senate.
    i wonder if the senators on the committee will declare any conflicts of interests.
    their starter for 10 – which of them got very expensive, and usually engraved gifts from janet lim napoles.

  9. Pnoy and malacanan have made 2 comments, consciously or inadvertently, which suggest their next steps.

    “Investigations and any subsequent prosecutions may take 3 – 5 years” !!

    ” PDAF will still be in the 2014 budget, but hopefully a new system will be in place before the end of aquino’s term” !!

    Conclusion – string it out and string the people along until 2016 elections
    Avoid any criticism directed at pnoy.
    Keep senators/congressmen happy.
    Find 1 sacrificial lamb
    Use pnoy’s pork barrel for bribes
    Keep napoles out of sight/out of the way
    Start arroyo trial in 2015 to divert attention and as 2016 campaign ‘poster person’

    It also wouldn’t surprise me if there is a renewed effort to try and ‘tame’ the web in advance of 2016. Web or no web pnoy will soon be a lame duck president, and mar roxas a dead candidate walking.

  10. As far as I’m corncerned, I see the gathering as a start of a people engaged in politics. However, as far as public officials are concerned, these rallies are “all noise, signifying nothing” to them. If we wanted the public officials to seriously listen to us:

    1. Pass the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill. The government should be transparent in all its transaction and open for public scrutiny.

    2. Don’t vote for corrupt, inept, undeserving public officials. I pray that the 2013 election will be the last mistakes the Filipinos will take; and come 2016, I hope the Filipinos will seriously take advantage of this power the government granted.

  11. P’Noy should also ask the Senate and Congress to form a special court to hold a special hearing/investigation of the Senators and Congressmen alleged to misuse the pork barrel funds, similar to the impeachment of the former Supreme Court Chief Justice. The special court should be given 100 days to finish their investigation and mete out the corresponding penalty to guilty Senators and Congressmen (similar to impeachment). Otherwise, the people who gathered in Luneta should rally in front of both houses of Congress and force the concerned Senators and Congressmen to resign. If we can oust 2 corrupt Presidents with people power, we can definitely oust several crooked Senators and Congressmen.

    1. I don’t think your suggestion makes sense. First, what’s the basis of P’Noy “asking” the Senate and Congress to form a special court? Is that even in the Constitution? Granting it is possible, why will the Senate and Congress accede to such idea? What if they responded by saying P’Noy should join them and submit himself also to investigation?

      Naloko na!

  12. Benigno you are right on the reasons you gave on why the system is prone to abuse. So lets bring on the FOI and let them pass it. I was also thinking on the lines of citizens oversight committees composed of professionals participating in the Congress aside from the strict no-nonsense oversight of COA. No exceptions in auditing/accounting and no fear or favor! The DBM is part of it and has to be reformed. Mr. Abad has to go.

  13. Benigno you have to warn the organizers of the anti-pork barrel march. It appears very apparent that there was divide and rule infiltration at the Luneta by pro-noynoy people. Bobit Avila in Philippine Star today said that this also happened in Cebu where the Cebu Rally was hijacked by pro-noynoy people in a bid to divide and rule. The rally fizzled out. Should we march again to the Luneta we should police our ranks.

  14. Do not believe in the false promises of the dictator BS Aquino! His propaganda mill is on overdrive as he tries to hoodwink us into believing that he is against the pork barrel! Be vigilant and watchful! We need bigger and more rallies! We now need leaders of these rallies. More power of the people to convince the dictator that we mean business! I am calling on the silent majority. Wake up! Our time has come again!

  15. I agree on FOI and elections but you know the poor and uneducated prevail during elections. The middle class however can do boycotts, know the products, movies and industries of those involved and boycott if we have alternatives…hope this would affect their businesses as well…

  16. It is also ok if we have a united web page representing the silent majority for which all we have all updates and announcements related to this so that all mass movement can be coordinated. It is time to unite but with no clear leader there is a danger that this will just dissipitate and business will be back as usual.

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