Pork ‘realignment’: Ph Senators will continue to kiss Malacanang’s ass to get their pork

Members of Philippine Congress are proving yet again that they will not be divested of billions of pesos in “discretionary” funds without putting up a fight. The most recent sleight of hand is coming in the form of “realignments” of some senators’ Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) allocations. According to Neal Cruz in his Inquirer.net column this “realignment” means “transferring the budget allocated for an approved item in a project to another item”. This, it seems, is an approach now being used by nine senators to re-allocate vast sums of their pork barrel funds to other departments and projects.

According to reports, the nine senators are the siblings Alan Peter and Pia Cayetano, the siblings Jinggoy Estrada and JV Ejercito, actors Bong Revilla and Lito Lapid, PDAF critic Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Ralph Recto, and Antonio Trillanes.

pork_barrel_realignmentThe Philippine Supreme Court had declared the PDAF or congressional “pork barrel” unconstitutional last year. According to Section 25 of Article VI of the Philippine Constitution, “No law shall be passed authorizing any transfer of appropriations; however, the President, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and the heads of Constitutional Commissions may, by law, be authorized to augment any item in the general appropriations law for their respective offices from savings in other items of their respective appropriations.” At a minimum, any changes in the budget needs to be a collective decision by Congress and authorised by the top heads of each government branch. But the manner with which these “realignments” were performed in this instance, does not seem to be derived from any sort of authority emanating from the top.

The decision to continue utilising their respective pork barrel funds under the guise of “realignment” seems to be a deliberate defiance of the Supreme Court’s edict. Senator Jinggoy Estrada yesterday reportedly found “nothing wrong” with transferring his pork to the cities of Manila (where his father, former President Joseph “Erap” Estrada is currently mayor), Caloocan, and Cagayan de Oro.

To be fair, the Department of Budget and Management confirmed that release of these funds will still be subject to Malacanang approval. Interestingly, this means that Philippine President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino III and his henchmen wield ultimate power over the fate of all that money. In short, the these Philippine Senators will still need to work hard to remain on President BS Aquino’s good side. In short, they will need to continue kissing Yellow ass.

This is evident in the manner with which Senator Jinggoy Estrada makes his appeal to the President’s lieutenants…

[…] Estrada appealed to the Department of Budget and Management not to impound the pork allocation since Congress approved the realignment and thus, the funds should be automatically released.

Earlier, the DBM said that not all items in the 2014 national budget would be automatically released and that some items, including Estrada’s realigned pork, would be subject to selective releases.

“Well, sana huwag naman ma-impound dahil ang maaapektuhan kasi ‘yung mga taga-Maynila, Caloocan at ‘yung mga taga-Cagayan (hopefully it is not impounded because it will really affect the residents of Manila, Caloocan and Cagayan),” he said.

…a fascinating appeal considering the way the Senator had in the past expressed how the ultimate destination of his pork millions is of little concern to him. When outrage erupted in mid-2013 over revelations that vast sums of pork barrel were allegedly going to bogus Non-Government Organisations (NGOs), Senator Estrada washed all responsibility off his hands by going on record to say that “It is not up to the senators to determine whether an NGO is bogus or not.”

Nevertheless, there are two key points that need to be emphasized here:

(1) Despite being rendered illegal by the Supreme Court, pork barrel funds still exist and they are being shuffled around by Philippine legislators; and,

(2) Philippine President BS Aquino continues to wield absolute power over the ultimate disbursement of these now illegal pork barrel funds.

Will pork barrel politics in the Philippines ever go away? Not when Filipinos continue electing crooks to be their leaders and “representatives”, certainly not when traditional politicians and oligarchs like President BS Aquino continue to be allowed to do crooked stuff with impunity, and certainly not when the country’s self-described “thought leaders” continue to cleverly justify the banal thievery in Philippine society.

print

Post Author: benign0

benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.

Leave a Reply

40 Comments on "Pork ‘realignment’: Ph Senators will continue to kiss Malacanang’s ass to get their pork"

avatar
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Gogs
Member
Napoles in some sense is playing the role of Jose Canseco in 2005-2006. Not a perfect analogy since Canseco would talk to anyone who would listen. GRP knew that the whole impeachment process was manipulated by pork but it took some Instagram postings for the pinoy netizens out there to care. Of course the wool over their eyes crowd still preach that Noynoy will improve the system and change what people don’t like. Sorry to those that believe this bozo would abolish corruption. Noynoy is like a Habanero. He inserted himself into the soup of corruption and gave it his… Read more »
Yellow Force
Guest

The people have spoken and they strongly approve of Noynoy doing a good job in the latest surveys and polls.

The Philippine’s bond rating has been upgraded by the global financial community. I suppose, the bankers of the world approve also. Okay let me hear it. Let me hear you trolls tell me that the global bankers are yellow tard idiots. It makes your Get Real “movement”, if you can call it that, really pathetic.

But go ahead. Blog and troll all you want. In the end, Noynoy gets all the glory while you guys will remain unknown trolls forgotten by history.

Rein Carnation
Guest

Matuwid na daan. Kung walang kurap, walang mahirap. Naghihirap tayo kaya ibig sabihin maraming kurap sa gobyerno. Hanggang ngayon naghihintay tayo ng COA audit report ng iba pang NGO’s na hindi pinatakbo ni Napoles at para sa taong 2010-2013 kung talagang tuwid ang daang tinatahak ng kasalukuyang gobyerno. Saan kaya kumukuha ng kapal ng mukha ang mga opisyales ng gobyerno.

libertas
Guest

Three years into his term, Aquino has managed to lose the trust
and approval of many of his supporters.
“The ratings have dropped, especially in Metro Manila, he is now in
a full-fledged political crisis, and doubts have arisen if he can
escape being a lameduck president or even end his term in 2016,”
political analyst Ramon Casiple told GMA News Online.
20 dec 2013

libertas
Guest
Since 2010 Poverty up Unemployment up Underemployment up Crime up Corruption up Illegal gambling up Foreign investment down PPP – a non starter MDG 2015 – will fail to achieve ASEAN 2015 – Not ready The list of faux pas’, cock ups, and international blunders is too long to list Apart from the blatant scams – gun purchases, CCT, Electricity prices, BOC…. An unmitigated disaster from the outset, and underlined by recent surveys and comments from independent global analysts Forbes Transparency international Committee on human rights All of whom downgrade philippines performance under pnoy aquino Pnoy aquino should be ashamed… Read more »
Hyden Toro
Guest

J. Estrada and the rest of the Kleptocrats, are all ADDICTED TO PORK BARRELS. They cannot live without it. They are like “Shabu” addicts and Kleptomaniacs combined.

All they want is to STEAL the money, thru Pork Barrel. They’re used to stealing the Pork Barrel money. They got rich from it. Now, we removed their Pork Barrels. And like “Shabu” addicts, they cannot live without it.

Kleptomaniacs are restless, until they can steal; to satisfy their urges.

NeoGeo
Guest

Time for another million man… er… fraction of a million man march?