Pork Barrel Redux: DBM Secretary Abad Confirms “Douchebaggery” as Official Administration Policy

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angryLest anyone is tempted to buy the desperate attempt of the current occupant of Malacañang (to the extremely limited extent he has had anything at all to say about it) that abuse of the pork barrel is something that only happened when OTHER people were in charge, here’s a reminder from a little more than a year ago (first published on the now-dormant Weather on Neptune last July) of Mr. Straight Path’s official perspective towards this curious institution:

DBM Secretary Abad Confirms “Douchebaggery” as Official Administration Policy

In a brief interview published in the Inquirer this week, Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad, Jr. confirmed that the Aquino Administration would continue to use the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) allocations otherwise known as “pork barrel” as a political tool to curry favor with Congressional allies and punish opponents. Abad did not clarify whether or not anyone who disagrees with the policy should kiss his ass.

Abad named Zambales Representative Mitos Magsaysay, Iloilo Representative Augusto Syjuco, Jr., and the two sons of former President and Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as among those Congressmen who did not receive any of their PDAF in the past two years, and had zero allocation in the 2013 budget submitted to Congress this week. When asked why the funds were being withheld, particularly in an election year, Abad explained “These are political realities we have to consider,” without elaborating, although he earlier characterized Rep. Magsaysay, an outspoken critic of President Aquino, as “a special case” because “she says a lot of things.”

Abad’s home district, incidentally, comprises the Batanes Islands, which have a population of roughly 15,000 (the country’s smallest province) and are represented in Congress by his wife Dina. While most Congressional districts receive between P70 million and P140 million in PDAF funds, Abad reportedly approved P800 million for his wife’s district at the end of 2011.

What is truly disappointing – appalling, really – is that for all N/A’s rhetoric about “transparency” and “good governance”, not only did the current occupant of Malacañang reject the chance to literally put his money where his mouth is and put an end to the entire inefficient and corruption-ridden PDAF scheme, he has directed that it be used in the most blatantly cynical way possible. It would have even been praiseworthy, if only mildly so, if strict rules for its rational distribution and accounting had been imposed, but no; instead, he trots out his bookkeeper to announce that the new “political realities” are that those who oppose him – and by extension, the people they represent – will be sanctioned for doing so.

Daang na matuwid? Absolutely. It’s the same money-paved path to hell walked by every government this country has had for the past quarter-century.

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About BenK

I write a column for The Manila Times on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Most of the energy sector and the heads of several government agencies probably wish I didn't.

20 Comments on “Pork Barrel Redux: DBM Secretary Abad Confirms “Douchebaggery” as Official Administration Policy”

  1. @BenK, well done Sir. BUT BUT BUT…the ‘last quarter century’? Sorry, but that smacks of anti-Aquino rhetoric. That is not to say that they too, are just the same as all the rest of the thieving SCUMBAGS, no, not at all. BUT it does in no small way EXONERATE(?) the thieving SCUMBAGS who pre-date the post Marcos era and goes as far back as, at least, 1965. Which would make a more ACCURATE version of your statement to read ‘the last 47 yrs’, OR should it be stated ‘the last HALF-CENTURY’? That would be a more accurate and more un-biased assessment, dontcha think? HHMMM.

    1. If that “smacks of anti-Aquino rhetoric” it’s supposed to. Let’s clarify that straightaway. Pork barrel in its current form was initiated by Cory Aquino, whose presidency and the manner of its coming to being defines the country as it is today — not what happened before then. So quit trying to mitigate for the clan that would qualify as the Asian Borgias, if only they weren’t all kind of retarded.

      1. Ousting ONE family did not work in ’86 and it won’t work now. YOU missed my point,by an ocean, and I don’t care (You ,of all people, missed it!).
        Fuckin country is DOOMED.

        1. THEY ARE ALL THIEVES? MY GOD MON, b4 and after the AQUINO’s….I have to SPELL IT OUT 4 U?(it is actually there but now in different, blunt terminology).
          u kno, it actually seems that, for reasons only a blind man could not see, citizens of the country are actually un-aware that every single one of their elected officials are INVOLVED.(do not forget the appointees too). Not to mention the scams the GOCC’s are involved in.
          In a different thread someone asked the unbelievably stoopid question:”Why didn’t the CJ inquisitors ask” certain questions?(as a sort of insinuation of CJ’s innocence regarding $$$$$$) a paraphrase is involved here but the point was they could not do so BECAUSE THEY ARE ALL INVOLVED IN IT! HOLY SHIT, either that guy is blind OR dumb as shit gets OR he is one of them. GOD DAMM!
          THE COUNTRY IS DOOMED. I mean really, its fucked! Real shame too.

        2. @Benjo: Just wanted to remind you to watch your language. Using profanity to emphasize strong points is ok every now and then. But when used too often it becomes rather ho-hum and comes across as more a symptom of a lack of imagination and a deficit in eloquence. Thanks.

        3. @Beningo, OK, fair enough request/demand/warning. it is done out of frustration most often and at other times to be defensive/offensive.
          I can’t speak for those IDK, BUT there are at least 10 that have ‘no horse’ directly involved in this ‘race’ but get involved out of an indirect ‘situation’. the Philippines is one of only a handful of countries that are standing up to tyranny, BUT they are doomed to failure if they do not understand what is happening and what needs to be done.
          ICELAND is the only country thus far to have succeeded. Greece/Spain/India have the right idea but have not done what is necessary. Bulgaria might, and Portugal is out to lunch so far.
          the fact that soooo many people appear to NOT understand the simplicity of the situation and the fact that not everyone can be the Virtual Vigilante(the ONLY ONE who spells out what needs to be done EXACTLY, but fails to point out what is actually going on), it leaves a void needing to be filled. and like I say, I have ‘no dog’ in the ‘race’…so close yet so far. its sad really.
          I MUST GO NOW.

  2. There’s a belief in Asia that says evil spirits always travel in straight lines.

    Hence, “Daang Matuwid” could be said to be rhetoric that actually invites evil.

    1. IDK, but the corruption is organized, conspiratorial and systemic. if Aquino is some sort of Don Corleone? HHMM… that seems unlikely. More like Pinnochio than anything else, w/Uncle Giapeto, pulling his strings, lol!
      “Dance, likka de gooda boy, Pinnochio.”.

  3. The Senate suspends stealing today, due to weather alert.
    Normal criminality will be resumed as soon as possible.
    Apologies to NGO’s and janet lim napoles for the inconvenience.

  4. The twin policies of abolishing PDAF and implementing FoI would act like excocet missiles in reducing/removing corruption in politics, with a beneficial ripple effect throughout all levels of government/bureaucracy.

    The fact that pnoy aquino will not support either of these measures says all you need to know about his hypocricy, outright lies, and broken promises.

    Propaganda, diversionary tactics, and window dressing from malacanan will neither solve the current problems, or appease the country, but represent a serious dereliction of duty and a contemptible lack of stewardship.

    Worse, inaction in the face of such obvious solutions sends a clear message that democracy is a sham, people power is a joke, and the status quo of corruption, incompetence, dynastic rule, and oligarch control, will be maintained at all costs.

  5. BS Aquino is the beginning and the end. He has the biggest pork barrel (PHP 1 Trillion Pesos)and is the godfather of the pork barrel scandal. The daan na matuwid was all propaganda bullshit! I say this should be called: Ang Baliw na Daan! Baliw sa kapangyarihan at kayamanan nakaw sa bayan! Down with the dictator BS Aquino! Restore checks and balances! Throw away the yoke of executive control of co-equal, co-independent branches of government! Throw away political influence of the courts who try graft and corruption cases! Restore freedom and democracy!

  6. PDAF has no place in a sane society. Whatever reason lawmakers tell you about its being justified, we all know that these eventually be just this: “i need this money to recover what i spent to be elected and then some.” Aquino daang matuwid rhetoric is now exploding in his face, he has said that pork is here to stay and to buy peace, he has suspended its release. If he himself is saying that this graft ridden largesse is justified so it can bring services to lawmakers’ constituents, he is indicting his own government in its inability to provide these very services to its people. It’s all hypocrisy.

  7. One of the central aspects and critical component of a functioning democracy is the sparation of powers and the checks and balances it thereby affords – which clearly does not operate in the philippines – and pork barrel/pdaf is one of the key reasons – if not the primary reason -, creating an unholy alliance between the govt and senate/congress based upon a financial stick and carrot approach, ensuring the legislature compromises its function of ‘watchdog’, and largely reducing its legislative role to a rubber stamp. Furthermore it institutionalises the practice of ‘bribery’ and debases the principles of integrity and honour, which is also a very scarce commodity in philippine politics.

    Pdaf/pork barrel really is a major road block to any form of progress as it ensures nothing fundamentally changes in terms of dynasties, low quality of politicians, patronage politics, corrruption culture, turncoat politicians and a general lack of accountability, or even the need to listen to the voice of the people, as clearly evidenced by the current lacklustre response from all and sundry in malacanan and the senate.

  8. Please investigate the Abads. They have been cheating on the Ivatans. Batanes becomes poor every time they win. You don’t see any developments and yet we hear that much money was allocated to the poor, little province.

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