Rumor has it that there will be a campaign to try and convince the public that members of Philippine Congress need the priority development assistance funds (PDAF) or pork barrel funds to help continue the nationwide scholarship and medical assistance programs initiated by some members of Congress.
True enough, two of President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino’s allies in Congress have filed a petition with the Supreme Court to lift the temporary restraining order on the PDAF so they can access the frozen funds allocated for the remainder of 2013.
The two Congressmen who think the Filipino people are stupid are Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone and Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali. To refresh everyone’s memory, Umali was infamous for lying about getting damning but bogus information from a “little lady” during the impeachment trial of former Supreme Court Justice Renato Corona. He probably thinks his credibility is still in tact.
You have to hand it to these two clowns for risking the wrath of the public. They have no problem showing their eagerness to receive the funding amidst the scandal and criminal investigations currently gripping the nation involving the use of bogus NGOs to siphon the funds. Where do they get their kapal ng mukha? Where else but from BS Aquino. Because they belong to the same political party as the President, Malanacang is more than willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. If they were from a different political party, Malacanang would be the first to say these two are so callously corrupt.
Obviously, most of the congressmen are of no real use to the Filipino people. They only ran for congress because of the privileges attached to the office. Other than that, some of them only manage to craft bills such as the renaming of an airport or major road after another member of the Aquino family. Some of them are always absent from the sessions. Senate President Franklin Drilon was on to something when he proposed the abolition of Congress as well. They seem to be a total waste of time and space anyway.
Malacanang mouthpieces and propagandists will be busy in the next weeks trying to distract the public from the pork barrel scams and attempt to call for the retention of the funds for “humanitarian” reasons.
For the sake of those who are still not convinced, here are reasons why the pork barrel funds or any of the other funds allocated to both legislative and executive branches of government should be scrapped:
1) Members of Congress, both the upper and lower houses will be forced to do their jobs, which is the crafting and deliberating of laws if they are not distracted by having to deal with NGOs in allocation of their pork barrel funds.
2) Removing the pork barrel funds from among tasks managed by members of Congress will free up their time for more important things like the simple task of attending sessions in Congress instead of lunching/meeting with bogus NGO founders.
3) Abolition of the pork barrel funds and other funds currently allocated to the office of the President will level the playing field during elections. This means ordinary citizens who are better qualified but do not have funds to campaign will have a better chance of getting elected to public office. Think about it. Part of the reason members of the same clan keep winning during election is because they have access to tax payer’s money, which they use for vote buying. This is the reason why Congresswoman Lani Mercado had to warn the public not to ask them for money if and when they lose their access to pork barrel funds and its various incarnation.
4) There really is no reason why monetary assistance, scholarship and medical assistance have to be coursed through the members of Congress. There are departments that exist like the Department of Education, that can take over the so-called “projects” the Congressmen supposedly have for their constituents.
5) Instead of allocating funds to members of Congress, the budget for improvement of education and public hospitals should be increased. This has a better chance of reaching the public and improving millions of lives.
6) Removal of pork barrel funds allocated to Congress means members of the legislative branch of government can act more independently from the executive branch. The President of the Philippines will have very little chance of strong-arming the members of congress into doing what he wants. In other words, the checks and balances in our country’s institutions may have a better chance of working. Leaders like BS Aquino will have to use their charm in stating their case.
7) Without the allocation of pork barrel funds, mediocre leaders like BS Aquino will be forced to resign and allow someone who has better diplomatic and persuasive skills to take over the sensitive post. The only reason a vindictive person like BS Aquino can bully his way around is because members of Congress who should be scrutinizing his decisions have to kiss his ass. Not doing so could mean they will miss out on the allocation of funds for their “projects”.
8) Finally, with the abolition of the pork barrel funds, Filipinos might just vote for public servants who can offer solutions to the country’s problems instead of someone who can give them few hundred bucks or goods — money funded by the taxpayers.
BS Aquino may have said, “It is time to abolish the pork barrel funds” three days before the million people march but the President may have had singer Adele in mind who sang “just ’cause I said it, it don’t mean I meant it”. He’s probably realized that it would be hard to control congress without giving them pork barrel funds.
History has proven that BS Aquino is not above deceiving the public for his own gain. Recent reports have alleged that the President’s stimulus funds were used to buy some of the Senators who convicted Corona during his impeachment trial. Indeed, BS Aquino is very fond of pulling a fast one on his “bosses” with the aid of his bottomless Presidential funds.
In life, things are not always what they seem.