Unprecedented call to abolish pork barrel in Philippine Congress precedes ‘million people march’ on August 26

I am normally ambivalent to calls for street protests organised around objects of “outrage” that could have been mitigated or prevented if Filipinos had simply participated in democratic governance properly and intelligently (such as voting wisely and applying a critical mind to politicians’ trite populist rhetoric). So I have mixed feelings about the latest call to attend the “million people march” to the Luneta Grandstand at 9 a.m. on the 26th August, Monday.

On one hand, I am inclined to regard it with bemusement considering many of those who are now set to march with fists pumping in the air in “indignation” are the very people who routinely eat up the banal bullshit weaved into the campaign rhetoric of the popular politician of the moment. On the other hand, the breadth and volume of the clamor to do something about Congressional pork we are seeing today is unprecedented. As such, I believe we should in this instance all set aside our political colours and give this movement a chance.

anti_pork_barrel_rally_aug_26_2013

Grace Pulido-Tan, chairman of the Commission on Audit, in a media conference she called shortly after releasing their audit report on Congress’s use of pork barrel funds confirmed what Filipinos have long suspected — that the national scam is deeply systemic to governance in the country and far far bigger than “the Janet Lim Napoles issue”…

Pressed to capture in one word what the special audit – on pork barrel releases from 2007 to 2009 – found, Pulido-Tan replied: “Kahindik-hindik.” In English, “Disgusting”.

Pulido-Tan said the misuse of the billions became possible because of a combination of corruption and the failure of national government agencies, lawmakers’ offices, and lapses by the Department of Budget and Management itself, which did not follow its own rules in some cases. She also said there was widespread disregard for rules that appeared loose to begin with.

Confirmed too is the role media plays in engineering confusion and misguidance in the public in order to protect politicians who happen to bask in Big Media’s favour or demonise people so that they serve as decoys and distractions to the real issues surrounding pork barrel thievery. Media watchdog Spin Busters, for one, have examined the details of the COA report and noted how legislators who had worked closely with Malacañang had been conveniently left out in the “exposés” and “scoops” issued in recent weeks by the country’s major news organisations.

[Iloilo Rep. Niel] Tupas [who was chief prosecutor in the impeachment trial against former Chief Justice Renato Corona] was tagged by COA in questionable NGO deals worth P542 million along with fellow BS Aquino BFF, Joel Villanueva, now the head of TESDA. Also, Edgardo Angara, father of Sonny Angara, who won a Senate seat on the Yellow ticket last May. COA was deeply suspicious of old man Angara’s P81.55-million financial assistance to a pet NGO and a P14-million feeding program with another NGO where he’s, uhm, an incorporator. That looks like the Napoles business model: cultivate a cottage industry of paper NGOs and monopolize the pork barrel pipeline.

Funny how quickly the tables turn on the sneaky business that is Philippine “journalism” as Spin Busters now observes…

Now that COA chief Grace Pulido-Tan let the cat out of the bag, [the Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI) is] forced to report about the widening scope of the pork scam. Thanks to Gil Cabacungan, even if his reputation precedes him, for incessantly pitching the story about BS cabinet exec Proceso Alcala’s own meat processing operation to a PDI newsdesk that’s always looked the other way.

Don’t be surprised about the apparent PDI “news management,” one that contains the damage to Napoles and steers clear of President BS buddies. Whoever leaked the story to PDI editors (who eventually assigned the writing to the brilliant and no-strings-attached Carvajal) sure had his own news management in mind and specific, laser-focused targets for the exposé.

Goes to show the erstwhile “heroes” of 1980s “people power” mythology — the supposedly “free” Philippine press, and certain yellow-shirted senators and congressmen — simply cannot be trusted.

If this “Million People March to Luneta” to protest Pork in Congress is really the “non-partisan” movement it advertises itself to be and a true grassroots emergent initiative that is independent of and not associated with any of the known news engineers like the PDI, ABS-CBN, and Rappler.com, then it’s got my vote and encourage all to heed its call:

TARA LET’S DO THE MILLION PEOPLE MARCH TO LUNETA! AUGUST 26, ARAW NG MGA BAYANI

WE, THE TAXPAYERS, WANT:
1. THE PORK BARREL SCRAPPED.
2. THE SENATORS AND CONGRESSMEN IN THE PORK BARREL FUND SCAM INVESTIGATED AND CHARGED ACCORDINGLY, WITH FULL MEDIA COVERAGE FOR THE PEOPLE TO SEE.

HOW: With a massive “pocket picnic” get together
WHEN: 26 August 2013, 9am
WHERE: In front of the LUNETA Grandstand
COLOR: White
STATUS/MEME/TWEET: I am *NAME* PINOY ako. I pay my taxes, on-time & in-full. YOU, my government, owe me a full explanation. @ProtestaNgBayan
HASHTAG: #OnePinoy #MillionPeopleMarch #ProtestaNgBayan

No group banners. No political colors. No Speeches.
Just ALL OF US ordinary, tax-paying people showing GOV’T THEY ANSWER TO US. TAYO ANG BOSS DITO.

We need this outrage, anger to reach critical mass. SPREAD THE WORD. REPOST.

See their Facebook event page for details and to confirm your attendance. Could I add too: No EPAL, plez.

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38 Comments on “Unprecedented call to abolish pork barrel in Philippine Congress precedes ‘million people march’ on August 26”

  1. About time. What is sad is the fact that the “kapuspalads” and the majority of the ordinary voters do not really know what the pork barrel is really all about. I ask around about it from taxi drivers, tinderas and some rank and file but no one ever knew what it really was. I’m here down south and if there is one down here I will gladly join because I too is a taxpayer and I demand these government officials should be made to account where my taxes went. I hope that rally will fire up everyone and unmask those thieves in the government mafia.

  2. I think it is valid, opportune, and has potential, but needs more than just armchair support, and also for the media and politicians to rally round and put their heads above the parapet. Mmmm

    It also needs clear and simple marketing on a subject/system which is consciously designed to confuse and not understood by the vast majority.

    Without pork barrel every family would be a minimum 50,000 pesos better off, as it is every family owes 60,000 as their contribution to the national debt.

    Food for your kids, or pork for politicians.

  3. A NOBLE act of National conscience, GOOD LUCK with that!

    IF I understand correctly, THE PEOPLE are going to ask THE CROOKS for an HONET ACCOUNTING?(and the crooks are going to give an honest accounting of themselves? LMAO!) as well intentioned as that is, it is again MISSING THE MARK.
    the problem is two-fold. THE SYSTEM and THE PEOPLE ENTRENCHED in the SYSTEM. EVERYONE knows who they are, and until BOTH of these things are ERADICATED, and I mean FUCKIN ERADICATED (like the vermin they are) well…
    CHASE YOUR TAIL!
    DID EDSA 1 really accomplish anything? Take a good look at the people who were chased out of the country, AND WHERE THEY ARE TODAY? HUH? ya bunch of fuckin SUCKERS!!!

    a hideous act of savagery is warranted.

    1. I VERY MUCH AGREE THAT WE MUST ERADICATE THE OLD SYSTEM.

      What we need in place of PDAF is a system where WE, the taxpayer have a say on how funds are used, so as to not be abused. Perhaps a system which involves the Private Sector at an Auxiliary implementing agency/group which will actually bid for projects then process paper work and finally disburse funds on projects WE, the taxpayers, proposed. It can be modeled like crowd sourcing and so we have the maximum say. Maybe, we can say where any amount of our taxes go, like for 3000 pesos monthly tax, 40% goes to education, 30% goes to infrastucture, 20% goes to this, 10% goes to that.
      At the same time, this auxiliary implementing agency/group can also verify and certify the existence and ability of those contractors/bidders who wants to do governments work.

      I don’t know, I feel this is a viable alternative to the PDAF/CDF/PORK BARREL system we use. We must apply the Odysseus solution of stopping temptation for these politicians I say we suffocate these politicians financially by cutting off their supply of free money.

  4. I do not agree with their color, for it is a symbol of surrendering and defeat. It must be yellow, for it is a sign of peace and change.

    1. In western cultures and civilisations influenced by western culture, especially Judeo-Christian societies — like the Philippines — the color WHITE is the color most often associated with innocence. It is also often associated with new beginnings. White is also the color most associated with cleanliness. Objects which are expected to be clean, are traditionally white.

    2. The color YELLOW on the other hand, is not a well loved color in western and western influenced cultures. Yellow is the color of ambivalence and contradiction, the color associated with amusement but also with betrayal and duplicity. This accurately describes the behaviour of the Aquinos and their followers.

      1. That yellow is the color of cowardice, and possibly madness too, is certainly being proven true in BS Aquino’s case.

      2. Yellow belly really describes somebody accurately. Noynoy , Cory and Kris really owe Tony Orlando royalties. With all their necropolitics over the years.

    3. So far, yellow has carried the opposite connotation.

      Wait, don’t tell me “bida kapamilya” has changed form?

      It doesn’t help that the name “gangnam” is already out of fashion.

    4. Yellow is the color of FEAR,COWARDICE and WEAKNESS. Those traits are something that the Aquino clan has displayed countless times.

      Your propaganda has failed you again, TROLL

  5. I’m on the fence on this, and I can already smell rats coming out of the woodwork. The socialist “Bayan Muna” group would participate in mass actions against the PDAF on that day – and yet this is the same group that got a significantly large amount of pork in the past two or three years.

    Additionally, the people on the protest action’s Facebook page seem to be wildly disorganized (even more so than #Occupy) and can’t even agree on how to get a permit for the whole thing.

  6. I don’t want to appear a bad guy, or a crab on this one, but the cynic in me (I’d like to think pragmatist) thinks that that call to rally against pork barrel, or whoever is organizing it, has not yet sufficiently answered the following questions:

    What happens after the rally? – How are the organizers of this one going to make sure that this doesn’t end up like one of those EDSA street revolutions, where after the protest, bahala na? (I bet someone’s going to say “because it’s going to be done in Luneta”)

    <b?Who is going to back the protest up? – As much as we don’t like to admit it, the Philippines has a strong executive, top-down culture and form of governance. There are powerful influencing forces in the Philippines, and without them, the rage of the people will definitely not be enough.

    How do they plan to convince others who are apathetic? – if they’re planning on getting a million people, that’s all well and good. But take into account the other 99 million, majority of whom don’t have a Facebook account, how are they going to get them to care? It’s hard to tell how many of the poor even have an idea of what the pork barrel is, and quite possibly, perhaps through some sort of donation or dole-out from the local government, they’ve gotten something from it.

  7. Benigno… Please do not forget that BS Aquino has the biggest pork barrel at PHP 1 Trillion Pesos! The sleeping president has to answer for this which is supposed to be above and beyond COA auditing and accounting. In plain Pilipino… Si Aquino ang pasimuno sa katarantaduhan ng Pork Barrel scandal!

  8. People get paid to register and then later on they get paid to vote, why else would people stand in long lines to register, some with heat exhaustion or worse, getting crushed, pushed? Do voters really want to do the right thing, I feel not they just want some money.

  9. The real issue behind the PDAF scam is much, much bigger that what it is. I’ve also heard a lot of hearsay in the “unprogrammed appropriations”. I don’t mean to intrude in your affairs guys. I’m new here.

      1. i agree
        but it is the first step on the road to more maturity and exposing the propaganda and hypocricy of pnoy.
        dont you just hate propaganda.

  10. 1. Special investigative body. If we leave this to the Ombudsman, it could take years 2. Prosecute, prosecute and prosecute, then sentence and jail. 3. Recover the LOOT.

    1. Yup, special investigative body…not from the government or of the government or by the government. Otherwise it will be like throwing the turtle into the river. ‘Alang mangyayari diyan.

  11. change COLOR: WHITE to

    COLOR: ANY COLOR YOU CHOOSE, NOT DICTATED BY ANYONE OR ANY GROUP.

    they updated their facebook page

    ——
    I sure 99% of the fans of this website will not go to this event. a bunch of cynics and fence sitters.
    ——
    Ninoy: the filipino is worth fighting for
    Most elites, feeling elitista, and middle class: the filipino is worth fighting for if they pay taxes and if they are not squatters

  12. I don’t know but every time I hear/read people will march to show indignation and repulsion on certain issues like corruption I always feel a deja vu feeling of wasted time and effort all over again.

    Marches don’t solve problems. Like other marches before, the march today means nothing if after the day is done every thing will be back to normal again.

    The march is just a props, a for show act meant to enable everyone who will join to show they’re against corruption. The problem there is how sure are we that everybody there is not guilty of corruption?

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