Is President Noynoy Aquino breaking his promise to ‘abolish’ pork?

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noynoy_aquinoSeems like a campaign is being mounted by Malacanang to backpedal on prior calls to “abolish” most forms of discretionary funds within the budget — such as Congressional pork barrel and “special funds” at the President’s disposal which many have described as Philippine President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino III’s personal pork barrel. It has, indeed, begun and is reportedly starting with an appeal to the Supreme Court to dismiss complaints being lodged at their office against the continued disbursement of these funds…

Saying “reforms are already underway,” President Benigno Aquino III and fellow respondents have asked the Supreme Court to junk petitions seeking to have the pork barrel system declared as unconstitutional.

In a 23-page comment filed Monday, the Office of the Solicitor General also urged the high tribunal to lift the temporary restraining order on the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) in 2013.

The respondents argued that the TRO would “work to the damage of innocent citizens who rely on the operations of the PDAF for educational and medical assistance purposes.”

In mid-July of this year, no less than presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda issued a categorical challenge to all members of Congress to give up pork citing the way former Senator Panfilo Lacson had refrained from using his own pork barrel allocation while he was a member of the Senate — an achievement Lacierda described as “worth emulating”.

An announcement made later by President BS Aquino that he will see to it that these pork barrel funds will be “abolished” was seen to be a wily attempt to water down a growing public clamour against pork that reached a crescendo in the “million people march to Luneta” rally held on the 26th August in Luneta.

Unfortunately for President BS Aquino, his credibility as an objective determiner of the fate of these controversial funds has been put to question following revelations that he has in a few occasions in the past consorted with alleged pork barrel scam ringleader Janet Lim Napoles following the emergence of photos of Aquino posing with members of Napoles’s family including Janet herself.

Not many people are surprised. As Get Real Post writer Ilda had earlier observed

It’s no secret that President BS Aquino uses the pork barrel funds to wield power over members of Congress, which is supposed to be an independent branch of government. This was evident when he strong-armed members of the lower house into signing a hastily and badly written impeachment case against former Chief Justice Renato Corona. After months of relentless trial-by-media propaganda against Corona before and during the trial, BS Aquino and his army of “little-ladies” who helped gather “damning” but false evidence managed to rile up the public against Corona. Members of Congress were eventually compelled to convict him for what they interpreted as his failure to fully disclose his dollar savings in his statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN).

A skeptical public has long suspected that there is no way in hell pork barrel politics will ever be eradicated in the Philippines. For many politicians, pork has become the whole point of campaigning for a seat in Congress. The business community, for its part, have strong interests in keeping the pork flowing from the public coffers into the dubious “public works” that dot the country. And, of course, where else do dole outs to social parasites like squatters and vote sellers come from but from all these virtually unauditable sources of illicitly-appropriated taxpayers’ funds.

Seeing that the President himself is now trying to weasel his way out of a promise to “abolish” pork makes it difficult to maintain any hope that true reform is in the Philippines’ cards over the foreseeable future. So much for daang matuwid.

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26 Comments on “Is President Noynoy Aquino breaking his promise to ‘abolish’ pork?”

  1. Aquino is part of the political establishment.
    Though , he is is robot. He uses Pork barrel as a “carrot and stick” to his political enemies…
    By the way : I’ back… I took a good vacation…

    1. Hindi ako sure sa galit ng taumbayan, Orlando. Mukhang kayang-kayang lokohin ni Aquino ang taumbayan. Sumasakit na siguro ang tiyan ng mga nasa Malacanang, lalo na ang Communications Team ni Aquino, sa katatawa.

    2. taong bayan? you mean the hakot crowd? they don’t exist unless may lunch pack & take home. of course your too stupid to realize that.

  2. “…Seeing that the President himself is now trying to weasel his way out of a promise to “abolish” pork makes …”

    He is a weasel. He weaseled his way to the senate and his presidency. And pinoy idiots let him.

    1. R U just figuring out that the country is a failed state? OMG! it has been that way for at least 20 yrs., more like 50 yrs.!
      I feel soooo sorry for you. Only one thing left to do!
      Leaving the country is more appealing than getting your hands dirty though. and if you do Get Smart, don’t go back, OK?

      1. Yeah, you’re absolutely right! It’s really a pity though when I heard my grandchild, a kindergarten, teased me with his statement (when he was watching with me the news over the TV): Mamita, don’t worry, when I’m already a doctor one day, we’ll leave Philippines because we don’t have a future here! I was shocked to hear such …

    2. I was holding on the promise of Pinoy for “matuwid na daan” but now I’m losing hope! The latest revelations at yesterday’s Jingoy’s privilege speech is a confirmation of how the present government is misleading the people about the use of “People’s Money” … just like the previous administration! Where’s the MATUWID NA DAAN HERE???

  3. Here is a hypothetical question, what if you were a public University student who is under the scholarship of the PDAF of your local congressman. How bout a cancer patient who is under chemotherapy treatment also under the PDAF of your local congressman. I wonder how you would feel?

    With the whole PDAF fund in limbo due to the supreme court’s decision the local implementing agencies won’t get those additional funds and in turn won’t be able to cater the needs of those people who suddenly cut off. (Just my 2 cents)

    P.S. I am all for the abolishment of the pork barrel, however I also believe that scrapping the system part by part to act as a buffer is a more viable solution at least until the local implementing agencies can keep up with the quota.

    1. As JA said, for your cancer patient, we already have the DSWD. I have seen it work, if you need to be more extreme, then PCSO is also there. Education, we have DECS to handle that, not your local congressman. “Suddenly cut-off” is more of a justification to have the PDAF a bit longer. Honestly, if the government has the funds, then they can just channel it correctly without red tape.

      Ang hirap kasi sa mga Pinoy kung minsan, simpleng trabaho lang ginagawa pang komplikado.

      1. Andaling sabihin na edi i bigay nilang sa implementing agency ung pera to channel the funds. (The big question is aside from the fact there is no funds due to the TRO)

        “Handa ba ung mga implementing agency to handle those big influx of people?”

        Its not just a matter of funds, me infrastructures and manpower pang kelangan isaalang alang. Imagine nyo naman mahaba na nga pila sa DSWD tapos dadagan nyo pa nung pila doon sa mga pumipila sa legislators nila. Kung ako ung cancer patient na umasa sa legislator ko malamang patay na ko three months later sa kakapila.

        You can blame red tape all you want, but the fact there is red tape is reason enough to justify scrapping it bit by bit instead of as a whole. Hindi naman mawawala yang red tape at a snap of a finger.

        Hindi ko rin gusto ung PDAF but realistically speaking its not a viable solution to scrap it as a whole. Mas maganda ung idea ni Sen. Miriam na paunti unti tapayasan ung PDAF para me buffer zone na sasalo sa fallout ng mga tao.

    2. Well, I would get really angry, but not at the people who are protesting but at the politicians who did not use the fund properly.

  4. What about the rest of the thieves? aren’t the Senators and Congressmen supposed to ‘outlaw’ the fund? What about the Supreme Court? aren’t they supposed to ‘outlaw'(make illegal) the entire fund scheme? To say the present President is the one who is responsible for ‘outlaw’-ing the fund is to miss the point. The funds are supposed to be done away with, by any means necessary, blaming one person for not doing it is just like saying that one person is the only one participating in the whole sordid stink-hole affair.

    If Aquino won’t do it, get someone who will! Surround the effin Senate and Palace with a million pissed off people, demand resignations under threat of treason charges, GET SERIOUS! Getting Real apparently doesn’t work. How ’bout “Get Real Serious”?

    Just remember after you get rid of the clowns, the real leaders of the country will show up, what then?

    1. Ey dude someone has to give the million crowd lunch packs. The middle class income can’t afford that and middle class can’t miss their work to join the rally..

  5. NAGTATANONG LANG:

    Among asian countries — if we’re not on the top, being intelligent and smart people — definitely, Filipinos are very competitive!

    Why can’t our elected government officials use their intelligence to adapt a system, i.e. clean governance — just like Japan and Singapore, to mention a few.

    If Pinoy failed us this time, WHO DO YOU THINK CAN?

    It’s about time to change for the real good …

    1. Im going to be very very sarcastic..

      Our govt officials can’t use their intelligence because they are not. They are idiots and thieves voted by the equally stupid Filipinos for the last 25+ years.

      Yeah yeah.. Things like “its time to change”, “if not now when, if not the flips then who?” – Im sure Ive hear that a million of times before and since I was a kid. I tell you what – those are all bullshits. Are you naive or what – you sure make it sound simple.

    2. Fleur, Filipinos have the aptitude for intelligence, just like all people of all races, but our problem is we generally don’t like thinking. For us, “trabaho ang mag-isip.” How can we become intelligent if we don’t want to think? If most Filipinos are thinking people, Aquino would not have won as president last 2010. But he was voted into power by no less than 15 million Filipinos, mainly because of flawed logic (“mabuting tao ang mga magulang e maiiba ba ang anak?”). I guess not many are outraged now by what Aquino has been doing (and has not been doing) ever since he became president because these 15M people who voted for him are too proud to admit that they made a mistake. As for who would have been a good president, I’m not sure of course, but I pinned my hopes on Gibo Teodoro as he was the only candidate who never maligned the other candidates, did not depend on entertainers to campaign for him, and who always focused on explaining what he would do when elected as president. He had very detailed, well-researched, and well-thought-out plans even for the distant provinces. I was thinking, he could’ve brought a breath of fresh air into Philippine politics. Sayang….

  6. kahit ano pa sabihin nyo naniniwala ako kay pnoy….ang mga sumisira sa kanya yon mga tao may kaso na at kakasuhan pa lang sa plunder….ang ginamit nilang pondo para sirain si pnoy yon ninakaw nilang pera galing sa PDAF alam nyo na kung sino sila….

    1. Wag ka sanang basta-basta kumampi o maniwala, belle. Alamin mo sana ang lahat ng bagay bago ka gumawa ng desisyon kung ano ang paniniwalaan. Isa pa, di naman namin sinasabing sigurado kaming walang kasalanan sina Enrile, Estrada, at Revilla. Di namin sila kinakampihan. Ang sinasabi lang namin, may ginagawa ring di maganda si Aquino. Kasama siya sa problema ng bansa natin.

  7. mga kababayan ko huwag naman kayo magpagamit sa mga tao ganid, suwapang, magnanakaw, etc…ako OFW sa japan ay gusto na umuwi sa pinas…gusto na rin namin ng pagbabago at nakikita namin kay pnoy ang pag-asa nmin …. wag kayo pagamit sa nagnakaw ng pinaghirapan natin at nagbabayad tayo ng buwis para lang sa bulsa nila…hindi na sila nahiya…bakit wala silang paliwanag sa mga ninakaw nila…enrile, jinggoy, bong revilla at iba pa…

    1. Naku, boyet, naiintindihan ko kung bakit gusto mo nang umuwi. Naaawa rin ako sa mga kababayanan kong Pinoy na nagdudusa sa hirap at lungkot sa ibang bansa para lang kumita ng pera. Pero wag kang maniniwala sa lahat ng nababalitaan mong maganda tungkol sa Pilipinas. Maraming handler si Aquino na nagpapabango ng pangalan niya. Isang buong Communications Team ang inappoint niya, kasama si Coloma (public relations expert) at si Carandang at Quezon (mga matitinik na media people ng ABS-CBN). Sa tutoo lang, mas mahirap ang buhay ngayon dito sa Pilipinas. Napakarami kong kilala na di makakita ng trabaho, kahit yung mga matataas ang pinag-aralan at ang ganda ng credentials, mga walang problema dating makahanap ng trabaho pero ngayon, hirap na hirap. Isa pa, di naman namin kinakalimutang may posibilidad na nagnakaw talaga sa bayan sina Enrile, Estrada, at Revilla (at marami pang iba, pati mga kaalyado ni Aquino), pero ang punto lang namin, may krimen ding ginagawa si Aquino at dapat ding panagutin siya.

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