Why comparing pork barrel scams and natural disasters during Arroyo’s and Aquino’s terms is ultimately pointless

2010_april9_noynoy_psych11Sometimes, you’ll see things on your timelines (FB and Twitter) that you don’t expect to. Apparently, a few people think that it is a worthwhile exercise to compare former president Gloria Arroyo and current President Benigno Simeon Aquino III (BS Aquino), in terms of pork barrel and natural calamities faced. But then again, should we really be surprised? Both the issues with the pork barrel and how Filipino society copes with natural calamities have been persistent issues for years.

With regards to the pork barrel, comparisons between the two presidents started coming up especially after the latest Commission on Audit (COA) report was released. What critics of BS Aquino’s government seem to have noticed is that the report covered only the period from 2007-2009, which coincide the last three years of Arroyo’s term. “Why was the period from 2010-2013 not covered?”, asks, for example, the Daily Tribune.

If you remember, though, one of the responses Aquino had, when outrage was first gaining momentum, to direct everyone’s attention to the fertilizer scam that supposedly happened during Arroyo’s time. However, he did not mention the P10 billion figure, instead he used the P90 million figure associated with a bogus deal of the Department of Agriculture (DA).

With such responses, one would get the impression that BS Aquino is trying to say that compared to Arroyo, he’s not as bad and therefore there’s nothing to worry about under him. However, doesn’t that miss the point? A scam is a scam regardless of the amount, and that something still happened despite it already being well into BS Aquino’s term tells us that either he hasn’t been effective in controlling corruption, or that he’s actually making it worse.

Now, speaking of the recent Habagat 2013, comparisons with Habagat 2012 and Ondoy in 2009 are inevitable. For data collection, for example, it would be appropriate to measure the amount of rainfall, which is what scientists did. To elaborate, Ondoy dumped 455 mm, Habagat 2012 472 mm, and Habagat 2013 600 mm, according to the report.

If you ask me, the only trend I can see is that it’s getting worse; but we didn’t really need to know the amount of rainfall dumped to conclude that. Although I haven’t heard BS Aquino directly say that Ondoy is still worse because it happened during Arroyo’s term, I wouldn’t put it past him to actually come out with a statement something like that in the coming days.
Under pressure on two big issues, it makes you wonder: is the Aquino government looking for more straws to grasp at in order to divert attention from how it responds (or does not respond, as may be deemed appropriate)?

Ok, so Aquino would like to believe that he’s still doing better than Arroyo. So What?

Ultimately, such comparisons between the Aquino and Arroyo administration are pointless. Why? Because the problems still persist, and the people still don’t seem to care that they do.

glorianoynoyrains

BS Aquino had campaigned on the premise/promise that he was going to be everything that his predecessor was not. Yet at the start of his term he did not do the one obvious thing that would really differentiate him: abolish the pork barrel. Until now, he hasn’t, after making that statement he added that disbursements would be suspended until a probe by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is completed.

If he eventually does get to abolishing the pork barrel, then it will perhaps be one of the best things he’ll ever do as President. Why relinquish control over the one thing that gives him control of both houses of Congress? Because it’s the right thing to do, if, indeed, “kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap.”

No matter how much BS Aquino would like us to believe he was justified in axing the Laguna Lake Rehabilitation Project because it was “tainted with corruption”, it only served to further highlight how incompetent and narrow-minded he was. First off, it showed that: more than the merits of the project, that it was associated with Arroyo was the apparent prime consideration in canceling it, and thus depicted a vindictive and narrow-minded way of thinking. Second, by dismissing the project as one that would “just dump silt to be recovered to another portion of the lake”, he showed an unwillingness to listen to advice from experts in a field wherein obviously he is not one.

The project above is just one casualty. There was another P1.9 billion in flood control projects also cancelled by BS Aquino, seemingly arbitrarily.

Mr. President, whatever flood control plans you have for the nation, they were needed yesterday.

The Filipino people, however, are not blameless either. They are, to a certain extent, responsible too for why things turned out the way they did. And the problems are getting worse. I’m not going to say “before they get better.” Why? Because if Filipinos keep repeating their insanity over and over, it’s definitely not going to get any better.

Whoever between Arroyo or Aquino did less damage, the significance of it all shrinks when put side by side with the gross negligence that the Filipinos have been practicing towards electing their leaders, keeping them accountable, taking care of their surroundings, and generally practicing discipline and restraint as a people.

With that in mind, should we expect to see the same scandals and catastrophes in the coming years, even beyond BS Aquino’s term? What will it take to finally wake Filipinos up and realize that “we have a problem”?

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About FallenAngel

А вы, друзья, как ни садитесь, все в музыканты не годитесь. - But you, my friends, however you sit, not all as musicians fit.

Post Author: FallenAngel

А вы, друзья, как ни садитесь, все в музыканты не годитесь. - But you, my friends, however you sit, not all as musicians fit.

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73 Comments on "Why comparing pork barrel scams and natural disasters during Arroyo’s and Aquino’s terms is ultimately pointless"

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Gogs
Member

Noynoy lacks the maturity to make an apples to apples comparison. All he ever cared about is looking better than Gloria. By hook or by crook. Someone like that tends not to priotize the proper things .

vibeit
Guest
Our current President and the last one has faults that only the blindest of their followers will deny. Right now the pressure is building up for the big day Aug 26. Will it just really be a million people or more? Will it just be a simple “picnic” or a revolution? And I’m not talking about a “People Power” kind. This can turn out to be worse since the nation got hit or is being hit by calamities as of the moment. The people will be hot tempered on that day. Now it is up to the President if he… Read more »
chocolate
Guest

Why do I have this feeling that Pnoy will be hiding under his bed? armed with his ps3 and ipad like a village idiot.

Gerry
Guest
“Manila, we have a problem.”, uh…NO SHIT!! It finally seems that most people have figured out that all of the politicians and their cronies have stolen everything that has not been nailed down. BUT, its gone and it is not coming back, none of it! It’s GONE! So, how to stop the whole mess from continuing should be priority numero uno! Forget about elections, they obviously do not work. This situation is beyond any rationally thought out cure. Not much else left to do, except do it! EEH GAD MON if ever a country deserved to be cleansed and to… Read more »
rookoz
Guest

Come election time, are there quality candidates Filipinos can choose? Or are they more of the same? If so should the blame be on the voters, or those who failed to stand up.

But most likely quality candidates are spit out or turned by the political system,if that case…

libertas
Guest

Bad news or bad weather has pnoy aquino scurrying away and hiding like a frightened mouse, whilst he waits for his inept miscommunications group to come up with some lame excuse or somebody to blame.
Pnoys insipid character and lack of backbone really is incredible.
No wonder the aquinos have a history of treachery and cowardice.
Pnoy aquino is clearly the appropriate leader for a nation of cowards who lets japanese rape their women, americans dictate their policies, and politicians steal their money

siomai
Guest

But let us admit it, the damage dealt by the recent storm was lower than that of the previous president and will be more lower next year because of the construction of more flood control projects. Also, cases will be filed for those who built structures that block the waterways.

suckmedck
Guest

I just found it stupid that some filipinos still believe about the “aquino magic” “people power”
bla bla. I mean you dont have to wear a yellow t shirt for godsake to make a rally sucessful. to make a rally sucessful is that all participants, must be united, and believes in one goal. what happened back in 1986, is not becuz of the color yellow, its becuz, they are united by the catholic church/ or cardinal sin, who used religion to unite people against marcos.

je
Guest

ABOLISH PORK BARREL!!

libertas
Guest

Pee-noy aquino
The rally on aug 26 will also mark cowards day – pnoy aquino will be ‘honored’ by pissing in the street.
The bed-wetter and piss poor president pnoy will as usual be pissing his pants as his hypocritical facade crumbles.
Yellow is the color of piss, and cowardice. Very appropriate.

Thomas Jefferson
Guest

siomai must be overcooked in the brains get? BS Aquino your idol is a dictator! That is the truth. Down with the yellow dictatorship!!!

WinterSoldier
Guest

Trolls and real-life fraudulent lowlifes lime Punta totally missed the point about the late Angelo Reyes’ suicide. He never did it out of guilt. Instead, he denied it UNTIL the very end.

Of course you wouldn’t bother because those liars are totally ignorant. 😀

libertas
Guest

bradley manning says he is now a girl and to call him chelsea.

pnoy ‘chelsea’ aquino said ‘ anytime dear’

da_truth
Guest

all this running of mouths but…

WHAT IS THE ACTION PLAN FILIPINOS?