August 13, 1996 Ph Daily Inquirer headlines MNLF violence in Zamboanga and pork barrel thievery

Further proof that Filipinos have a very flat learning curve. Congressional pork barrel thievery is nothing new. It’s been going on since its re-introduction into Philippine governance back in the late 1980s by former President Corazon Aquino, mother of current President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino III.

Even back in 1996, the Inquirer had already published an “award-winning exposé” on pork barrel thievery. Interestingly, the secondary top-panel headline on the 13th August 1996 issue opened a report on violence in Zamboanga perpetrated by the Moro National Liberation Front. This was highlighted by Inquirer publisher Raul Pangalananan in a recent speech

[…] Pangalangan, in his introductory speech, showed an old issue of the newspaper with the headlines “Congress kickbacks how much for whom?” and “MNLF occupies four more towns in Zamboanga.” An infographic of a roast pig also showed the parts of the pork barrel or the PDAF supposedly reserved for kickbacks for politicians, contractors and other involved groups.

“The date is August 13, 1996. You would think these were the headlines for today,” he said.

An image of that Inquirer issue has been making the rounds in social media recently…


The beginning excerpt from the report authored by Carlito Pa[b]lo under the headline “Congress kickbacks: how much for whom” may as well describe the questions everybody is asking today:

How much kickback do members of Congress, local government officials, and executive and audit officials get from projects funded with the pork barrel?

And how much of the taxpayer’s money actually goes into the projects asuming they get implemented at all?

A [congressman] yesterday detailed what [what is] called SOP, for standard operating procedure, but actually referring to [illegible text] that go to legislators and other officials in the disbursement of the Countrywide Development Fund and the Congressional Initiatives Allocation.

Seventeen years separate today and 1996. You’d think something will have been done about that in-your-face stealing by Filipinos’ “honourable” representatives within that long period and the banditry perpetrated by armed terrorists roaming Mindanao with impunity. That puts a bit of perspective around any “hope” being drummed up by Malacañang and the President’s henchmen in the Department of Justice and the Ombudsman that actual accountable people will end up behind bars anytime soon or that “peace” will be seen in Mindanao in the next several years. Certainly expecting results by the time BS Aquino steps down from the presidency in 2016, the 20th anniversary of that original Inquirer exposé may be a bit too much to ask.


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15 Comments on "August 13, 1996 Ph Daily Inquirer headlines MNLF violence in Zamboanga and pork barrel thievery"

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THAT’s RIGHT, NOTHING HAS CHANGED! Nothing will change either! It is not going to happen, just more and more and more of the same shit, time and time again. Like a nauseating carnival ride that everyone wants to get off of, but just can not. AND SO, everyone just continues to puke all of the place will the ride just spins controllably out of control! Sounds idiotic to make such a statement but it is actually correct. The absolute corrupt system of gov’t. in place at this time in the Fail-ippines is so out of control as to be RAMPANT… Read more »
Hyden Toro

The Pork Barrel thievery is already part of our political culture. MNLF who believes in the Islamic religion, will always behave that way. We non-muslim are are called infidels. They can make treaties with infidels. And they can just break it, because, we are to them non-believers. Look at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It has been going on for half a century. When Israel , built a wall along its border: the suicide bombing stopped…


no, change has begun.
the uprising of the middle class has started.


“Let’s do the time warp again!” – The Time Warp, from The Rocky Horror Picture Show.




The difference then and now is that now, we have whistleblowers who identified the Senators and Congressmen involved, and how much they received. I just hope this is backed up by documentary evidence gathered by the NBI that will put them all to prison for the rest of their lifetimes. Hindi natutulog ang Diyos, mapaparusahan din ang mga magnanakaw ng kaban ng bayan!


“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” – George Santayana.

Expect the same news on 2030

Hyden Toro

Aquino is the worst corruptor of the political system. He himself is corrupt. Lokk at his Hacienda Luisita Mafia. Now, he uses the Pork Barrel investigation,for his vindictive agenda.


that head-line is further proof positive that a serious series of events need to take place.


[…] has been around since time immemorial, at least as far back as 1996 when the Inquirer published one of the earliest exposés about it. Yet, between that year and the present, pork barrel has hardly made it into the radar of […]