We have again another wave of people flocking into another major thoroughfare (Ayala) in protest of the Pork Barrel scheme, or is it more about the Napoles Pork Barrel scam? Let us try not to get confused. With such a wide range of participation ranging from T-Shirt vendors to the supposed “original” #scrappork organizers, what is more prevalent in the social media in the following days was the supposed hijacking of the latest Million People March (MPM). Indeed being a consolidation of sorties would eventually result in a myriad of colors ranging from yellow to red. Some seem to be more irate than the others saying that a call for ouster or resignation wasn’t the intent of the rally. But who is to say which belongs where when it looks to me that everyone seems to have been invited to the party. This supposedly being a democratic exercise, you would think that everyone was free to come in his or her own costume and effigy.
Despite the noisy lessons in division, I would think that the rally was about the abolition of the Pork Barrel and all of its variations that may include the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP). What is good about these democratic exercises, no matter how nuanced they may be is that they do raise such an awareness that our levels of sophistication has increased. People are more aware and discerning of the practices of government; the latest being that DAP might or might not be Pork. There are simplistic notions that if it smells like pork and tastes like pork, then it must be pork. Notwithstanding, the admission of the administration that the DAP could have been misused, makes it subject to similar flaws that is noted from the original pork which I wrote about in my short blog “The Pork Ball From Different Angles”.
Besides the distractions, scapegoating and public lynchings that is being dished out at the public, the administration with no less than the President is being called to account. The public could not help but be annoyed about his arrogant responses to the ramifications of his possible faults. This attitude could only backfire at him as well at his cordon of allies. With so much division being noted in these recent rallies, what is undeniable is the indication of the Liberal Party’s eroding political capital. Trust is in high demand and the president’s cache is fast being depleted.
|SUPPORT INDEPENDENT SOCIAL COMMENTARY!|
Subscribe to our Substack community GRP Insider to receive by email our in-depth free weekly newsletter. Opt into a paid subscription and you'll get premium insider briefs and insights from us daily.
Subscribe to our Substack newsletter, GRP Insider!
What is more worrisome is the lack of a coherent response from government in ways that would assuage the public’s desire to be heard. It is clear that the citizenry wants all forms of qualified pork barrel to be scrapped. It is clear that the President has the ultimate responsibility to make good on his promises of “Daan na Matuwid” that is centered on the eradication of systemic corruption. This of course includes corruption and all its instruments being the pork barrel. In my last blog entitled: “Million People March: 4 Clues as to Whether or Not we are Actually going Anywhere”, the evidence of traction could be seen if our movement is progressing along its steps. These steps go from the general to specific. Namely Principle, Policy, Process and Procedures.
I am quite happy to see that people such as Inday Espina-Varona has been trying to sustain the movement from MPM through the use of the social media. The agenda tends to be clearer when they are stated rather than implied. It also gives a semblance of traction by bringing the issues to proper debate.
While I am not one with those who are calling for the President’s ouster (yet), I also believe that the President needs to face the issue head-on. We have done ousters and impeachments before and we’re still in the same corruption riddled state after twenty-seven years! I am not sure that this drama even works. Even with a celebrated impeachment we were not able to eradicate corruption. I was really hoping we could actually get somewhere by now, and so was the promise of B.S. Aquino. Sincerity is marked by action, rather than words. I am sure that if we were able to abolish pork barrel in this administration it would be a heralded achievement that could redeem his eroding popularity. It is time for our people in government to either step-up or step-down lest our concerned citizens occupy another major thoroughfare soon enough.
John is a Senior Management Consultant for Strategy and Planning and has consulted with some of the most famous local and international companies. He has a combined experience of 15 years in the area of Enterprise Development and Corporate Strategic Planning. He has been a Professional Manager, a Management Consultant a Development Economist and an NGO Executive Director.