Long-overdue: President Noynoy Aquino grudgingly jumps on the Abolish Pork Barrel bandwagon

Evidently, a wait-and-see position taken by both the president and members of Congress on how the brewing outrage over pork barrel thievery in the Philippine government may play out did not work. The issue did not go away and the outrage has snowballed in the lead up to what may be a massive protest rally in Luneta on Monday, the 26th August. What’s a bunch of people caught red-faced with their hands in the cookie jar to do but come out and join the bandwagon.

Coming at the heels of an already long-overdue acknowledgment from legislators that the pork barrel funding of pet projects that had become the whole point of seeking Congressional office is now a national affront to modern governance is an even longer-overdue statement from President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino III on the matter.

Departing from his earlier statements, President Benigno Aquino III on Friday said it is time to abolish the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).

At a press briefing, Aquino also vowed that those who benefited from the alleged misuse of these discretionary funds will be held accountable.

“Nakita natin sa mga ulat na lumabas nitong mga nakaraang linggo: kailangan pa ng mas malaking pagbabago upang labanan ang mga talagang pursigidong abusuhin ang sistema. Panahon na po upang i-abolish ang PDAF,” Aquino said.

pork_barrel_scam_philippines

Yadda yadda yadda… How does the President continue to say such things while keeping a straight face?

But some of the good news first. Considering his track record of waffling about long-term plans and visions, the one impressive aspect of the President’s pronouncement was to commit to chasing down and bringing to justice those who are found to be guilty of plundering what may amount to billions of pesos in public funds doled out as pork over the years. The bad news is around the dubious characters who have been charged with spearheading the manhunt. In barely-comprehensible Tagalog, the President expressed his “confidence” in the integrity of whatever these investigations reveal under the leaderhip of the Ombudsman, Conchita Carpio-Morales and Department of Justice Secretary Leila De Lima…

“Buong-buo po ang kumpiyansa ko sa integridad nina Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, Kalihim Leila M. de Lima, at Chairperson Grace Pulido-Tan; alam kong wala silang kikilingan. Kinakatawan nila ang panunumbalik ng tiwala ng publiko sa mga institusyong kanilang pinamumunuan,” he said.

…which is quite ironic considering how back in 2010, the outcome of an investigation led by De Lima to identify who were responsible for the botched handling of a hostage situation that led to the deaths of nine Hong Kong tourists after rogue cop Rolando Mendoza hijacked their tour bus was ignored by President BS Aquino. Indeed, this lack of closure remains a source of frustration for Filipinos outraged by the gross incompetence that played out before the world and, specially so, for the families of the victims themselves some of whom are reportedly planning to take legal action against the Philippine government…

They name the Republic of the Philippines as the first defendant. The eight officials include then Manila mayor Alfredo Lim, Manila police superintendent Rodolfo Magtibay, Police Special Action Force chief Leocadio Santiago Jnr, Philippine National Police director general Jesus Versoza, Interior and Local Governments Undersecretary Rico Puno, chief hostage negotiator Orlando Yebra, and Chief Inspector Santiago Pascual III.

Solicitor John Clancey, who represents the trio, said the eight officials were sued because they were criticised in an investigation report by Philippine Secretary for Justice Leila de Lima.

The three did not specify the amount of compensation, but legislator James To Kun-sun, who has been helping the families, estimated that the compensation would be “at least several million dollars.

Apparently not learning the obvious lesson from all that, BS Aquino said he expects the probe on pork barrel thievery to take “three to five years for each and everyone” (of the persons of interest, presumably) — well beyond the remaining years of his term as President. That’s rather convenient as he likely will not need to face the accused come the time the guillotine blades need to be cut loose on them. Just what this country needs — yet another protracted investigation with dubious chance of anyone of consequence being prosecuted as an outcome.

If there is to be any closure in the pile of unresolved cases that is mounting as President Daang Matuwid works through the remainder of his term, he will have to make hard decisions about how “investigations” are conducted under his watch. With too many political-appointees leading what is by itself an already astoundingly political case, the whole effort certainly begs innovative approaches to getting real results achieved.

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30 Comments on “Long-overdue: President Noynoy Aquino grudgingly jumps on the Abolish Pork Barrel bandwagon”

  1. Typical of President Aquino to have belated reactions to concerns that have already grown to proportions that cannot be ignored.

    That statement about “time to abolish the PDAF” is damage control at its worst; BS Aquino just wants to mitigate the potential impact and effect of the rally that is planned for August 26, but it seems it will hardly be enough.

    It all comes down to what he takes as the base of his presidency – his popularity. It has slid in these past few weeks and now he’s desperate to keep up the perception that he’s doing what the people really want.

  2. ‘Lipstick on a pig – still a pig’

    ‘A pnoy promise – still a lie’

    ‘A filipino politician – still a thief’

    1. So, what are you gonna do to rid the country of these vermin? have an election? haven’t you already done that?
      LOOK, until these criminals are put in jail, a real one…or worse. they are not going to stop.
      the Phiippines is soooo close, but they are gonna drop the ball, AGAIN! NO BALLS! to just demand a change. Iceland did it 4 years ago, France did it( they were peaceful until those in power did not listen) in 1795.

      Where is Johnny Saint to insinuate I am obsessed with balls, coz he has none? C’mon John, don’t hide now…TELL US Johnny, what,WTF should everyone do?

      SSSHHHHH,listen….”Live, from a hole in the sand, its Johnny Saint, tell us John….”.

  3. This statement is for BS Aquino and his yellow trolls. You can’t fool all of the people all of the time… Return the rule of law! Free the co-independent and co-equal branches of government from the control of BS Aquino! Revive the independence of COA, the Department of Justice, the Judiciary and the courts of law! Abolish the dark political expediency of controlling and influencing all branches of government and their instrumentalities! Reform the DBM as this department is part of the pork barrel problem! Make all those guilty of pork misuse accountable without fear or favor! Down with the yellow dictator BS Aquino!

  4. You know, out of all this, the only person I feel whose hands are tied is Sec. De Lima. She recommended proper action back in HK crises probe, I think she also did the same in the Taiwan/PH Coastguard probe right?

    Yet her recommendations fall on deaf ears and only choose to be used when the only thing left to do is the “right thing”.

    For this PDAF 2013 scam issue 1.0, I wouldn’t actually blame her as to taddling to Napoles, but I would wager more on that she wasn’t “allowed” to have people tail Napoles until a court order/warrant was issued and that when it was obtained, it was already too late anyway for her to do anything physically possible of detaining her.

    Anyway, lawmakers should be lawmakers. Why given them money anyway? It makes no sense in the simplest form of the the 3 branches of government if you just look into it.

    Legislature makes laws/policy
    Executive performs/works based on the laws
    Judiciary finds those in violation of the laws
    Legislature then can enact new laws/modify old ones if the old enacted ones are flawed, no longer applicable or need updating (like the creation of cyberspace now which did not exist then, digital media etc)
    Executive is updated and works based on these updated premise
    Judiciary again based on the latest/updated laws finds those in violation etc

    The legislature there never needed money to perform other than overhead expenses so it never made sense to me even before

    I hope something does come out of it (Aug 26). And I do hope its not an “EDSA” thing where it is limited to just Metro Manila congregating to display their dismay. Would there be equivalent gathering in Cebu and Davao? I’m just curious because that is like saying they don’t have a say or don’t care.

    We know they do so are they then left out by Manila?

    Just my two cents.

    1. If protests are staged in Cebu or Davao, the effect would not be as potent nor would the message be as forceful. Remember — all the main offices of all government agencies, both houses of Congress, as well as the seat of power are in Metro Manila. If you want your outrage to be felt, the National Capitol Region still needs to be the main focus of any civil protest.

  5. The president does not wanna get involved in the pork scam, you criticize. The president says he wants pork abolished, you criticize. Must you be happy now because your wish has been granted?

    1. Actually, pork barrel should be abolished in the first place because it’s the cause of corruption in the legislative.

      So you admit that you are corrupt, right? 😛

  6. that is just lip service. the only reason why he is in that palace, because of the personality cult aruound his family. i still feel that pdaf, will always be there, this time under a new name. oh please, parang pinasuot mo lang ang baboy ng magarbong damit….

    sa mga noytards, yellow “warriors”(zombies) at aquino fanatics, wag nyo sabihin na puro kami dakdak, were just stating the facts. may iba sabi nila “puro ka dakdak, ikaw nlng kaya magpresidente!” oh please typical squatter attitude. no wonder hndi na umuunlad ang pilipinas…. hayyyyy 🙁

  7. and FILIPINO’s will all fall for this BS story, just like they fall for everything else.

    This essay mentioned a ‘Guilliotine’ blade, yes?
    Sharpen it and get to choppin, OR LISTEN to those like Johhny Saint-Ghandi and let the criminals slither off under the rock they run to. LOOK, what is going to happen has already been well planned, and a lot of peso’s can be spent in 3-5 years. FACE IT: Your not getting any of it back, but you do not have to keep giving them anything. IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO.

    “Filipino’s wait 3-5 years and we will straighten this mess out”, LMAO at all of this, every word is a lie.

    Let the thieves investigate themselves, BWAHAHAHAHAHAH!!! if you all let this happen? YOU deserve it.
    Stoopid is as stoopid does, so whatchew gonna do? HUH?
    WHATCHEW GONNA DO?
    They are still laughing at all of you, the NERVE!

  8. Everyone knows what thieves need in order to get away with their crimes, yes?

    TIME.

    and so what does the thief ask for?

    TIME.

    R U all going to be stoopid enough to give it? TIME?
    Tick-Tock.

  9. “He who plants trees benefits a future generation and is to be applauded”

    He who steals pork condemns a future generation and should be convicted

    1. Yep, and it is impossible for ALL politicians to not steal what is not nailed down (it is not exclusive to the R.P.). and then bald-faced look the people straight in the eye and not lie about it. It is just IMPOSSIBLE.(“Give us time to prosecute ourselves.”, BWAHAHAHAHAH!).

      They will kill their opponents in an election to get the keys to the treasury. How can they be reasoned with?

      To not get each and every one of them removed from their positions is a half-measure, and will not work.
      What has transpired over the last 47 years? One after another, the same game, over and over and over. This time can be different. BUT….

      Next up? Johnny Saint-Ghandi to tell everyone his brilliant plan to reform the completely BROKEN system democratically. “Tell us John.”.

      IMO,The rally has already been planned for the wrong place.

  10. 4 things can be inferred from the panic driven press conference of pnoy aquno on pdaf/pork barrel.

    1. It will not happen. Only cosmetic changes for PR reasons.
    There will be a replay of FoI strategy by many. Support in public, but sabotage in private. Delays and obstacles whilst trying to buy time and defer/sideline the whole issue.

    2. A concerted propaganda campaign by malacanan to avoid more anger being aimed at pnoy.
    Belatedly malacanan woke up to the reality, and the one thing they cannot control, despite attempts at legislation last year, namely social media.
    Undoubtedly they will even start to try and take credit!! And ‘commission’ sws/pulse asia ‘surveys’!

    3. Expect more of the same by an emboldened social media community who are genuinely angry and are not generally the uneducated masa.

    4. Pnoy will be looking for a sacrificial lamb a la corona to focus attention on.
    ? Enrile or revilla. A dangerous game may be about to unfold.

  11. The irony of this is the Napoles issue backfiring on their faces.

    This is a mere facade so Aquino administration could save face. I doubt PNoy being a trapo would scrap the pork barrel since he needs it to control the congress.

    Plus focusing on political rivals from the “opposition” will be the climax of this moro-moro. I believe no yellow or yellow ally will be caught/prosecuted.

    Another thing I see GMA will be also blamed for pork barrel scam.

  12. With out money to give out to the poor, now what will the politician do? lol…. Philippine society seems to encourage handouts and free gifts so with out the pork barrel funds and the money that never did create any manufacturing plants or major business the Laguna de Bay floods yearly, Manila streets all flooded, now what, provincial and Municipality area’s were never developed only Mecca (Manila) and there’s never-ending talk about Manila. Start dredging this lake, this will then create land space around the lake, build an upper rail way and the below space used for major business only no more mom and pop stops make them professional business’s, start creating manufacturing plants. So far nothing has been done to this lake the main reason everything backs up, something needs to get started, yes it will cost to much but things need to happen.

  13. Lets be clear
    neither the senate/congressional nor the presidential pork barrel has been abolished.

    And judging by the tone and text in pnoys statement it will not be.

    Pnoy even said any prosecutions would take 3-5 years – buying time until after 2016. That is the strategy.

    There will be a review, proposals, propaganda, inquiries, lots of talk, name change, and some tweaking of the rules , but no concrete action.

    The process will be strung out for as long as possible so it can be called ‘work in progress’, but the bottom line is that the system stays.

    Those groups lauding “the abolition of pork barrel” are misguided, and will be sorely disappointed, and are obviously too gullible and too easily led/fooled for their own good.

  14. Noynoy was never really fit to become president. He doesn’t the intellect and leadership skills.

    He obviously doesn’t have the resolve to do away with the biggest source of corruption, the pork barrel. Wasn’t it just last week when he was saying that pork can’t be abolished?

    We’re being taken for a ride. He’s not scrapping the pork. His new scheme will allow him to control pork disbursements, making his office even more powerful and influential.

    Very dangerous.

    Don’t be fooled by his lame declarations. This is how lowly he regards his BOSSES…

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