So the Philippine intelligentsia are scratching their heads; baffled as to why Philippine President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino III remains “popular” despite outrage over pork barrel thievery rippling across their society. Wonder no more! It’s always been obvious that it is Filipinos “resilience” that is at work here. Filipinos, after all, are renowned for their ability to keep a dog-like smile plastered on their faces even in the face of hideous adversity.
What accounts for that ability? Well, they don’t attribute bliss to ignorance for nothin’. Filipinos remain beholden to The Prayerful One simply because they fail to understand three fundamental concepts that would have been the key pillars of any sound intellectual capability to evaluate the dire circumstances of their politics.
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(1) Lesgislators have no business managing, much more doling out, public funds.
This is a concept I laid out in detail in my article Executives execute, legislators legislate.
Districts and their people’s and local leaders’ aspirations to develop their communities should not have been relying on funds channeled through a legislative body of government to begin with. The points around which these hollow-headed pork barrel apologists have built their arguments are constructs premised on the very thing — the pork barrel — the existence of which should the crux of the whole debate itself. Instead, of debating the continued existence of pork, the “debate” has been shunted by the nation’s “thought leaders” onto how the funds should be monitored and controlled. If Filipinos were a bit cluier — and less needier — they would’ve shut down that non-sequitur line of thinking months ago.
The principle here is quite simple:
Legislators are neither administrators, managers, nor executives.
(2) Legislators should be selected on the basis of their ability to craft laws — not on the basis of their ability to fund and run local projects.
Trouble is, for all the hollow-headed “indignation” about grandstanding “epal” politicians, the fact is, Filipinos remain utterly clueless about what criteria they should be applying whenever electing their “representatives” to Congress. The voter “education” situation is quite dire when one considers that Filipinos, as my colleague Gogs points out, do not seem to value work. It is a big problem when the electorate see money as something to be begged for rather than earned.
So the real qualifications that Filipinos need to evaluate when it comes to selecting legislators — their ability to craft good laws — are simply beyond the reach of their stunted minds, which is why circus acts, publicity stunts, and, yes, epal tactics like plastering politicians’ names and portraits all over public facilities will continue to be effective on the Filipino Voter for the foreseeable future. And bozos like the folk we are now stuck with in Congress will continue to get elected.
(3) Projects/money delivered by any government official to their constituents are not favours to the public.
They are appropriations presumably made within the context of a strategic or operational plan. Perhaps an official may take input from their immediate constituents on what the priorities should be. But incorporating that input into any decision on where to spend money goes through a process that relies on a broader strategic or tactical context to make said decision sound.
Of course, we cannot really expect the Filipino Voter to understand that either.
To the average Pinoy ballot stuffer, the typical Filipino politician represents their Santa Claus and Fairy God Mother fantasies come true. Their local “representative” is someone to wait up for come Christmas Eve. Filipino politicians are expected to personally hand out Jollibee Chicken Joy boxes in the aftermaths of mudslide and earthquake disasters. They can be “relied” upon for abuloy and ninong envelopes during funerals and fiestas.
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Until Filipinos are able to wrap their heads around these simple principles, they will remain blissful victims of the very people they consciously choose to lead and represent them. Thus the sad reality of this sad nation of 100 million “blessed” individuals.
Indeed, as charity organisation Gawad Kalinga founder Tony Meloto gushed…
Proud of PNoy! Great leader of an emerging economy -solidarity w victims of calamity, enmity w the corrupt, governs w integrity & humility.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.
8 Replies to “Three fundamental principles about the pork barrel that ordinary Filipinos will NEVER understand”
in a perfect world things in Filipino politics might be different. But life is not fair and sometimes what needs to be done is considered ‘criminal’, even when fighting ‘criminals’.
The article Gogs writes about Filipino’s not seeming to value work conveniently ignores the 10 million OFW’s that would ‘beg to differ’.
Blaming the Filipino voter for not understanding is to overlook the fact that the elections are rigged as well.
You seem to misunderstood the real problem… what I believe the writer is implying is that Filipinos cannot sacrifised for the good of their country…If you read the book “Rock the Casbah” you will understabd what he means…Jasmine Revolution was triggered by a mere peddler who stood his ground againts a police officer…When the police officer confiscated the fruits he was selling cause he didn’t want to give him bribes anymore-he rallied on his own to the point of killing himself to show indignation and condemning the corruption of the officers and government officials of his country Tunisia…read this book it will enlighten you.
how do you know what the author means? and, uh, Sure, I’ll go out and buy a copy right now…NOT! just because I do not see things the way someone else does, has no bearing on whether I am ‘enlightened’, or not.
the democracy in the RP is an illusion, as the author states himself below. the causes of the illusion is much more important than who thinks what those causes are.
as far as ‘Rock the Casbah’ goes? I’ll listen to The Clash play it b4 I read a book by someone who thought using the title would sell a few more books.
Maybe we have the best of both worlds . We have people who can’t vote and rigged elections. Therefore illusion of democracy. Proud to be Pinoy !
I shared your article BenignO to a group @Exprose Graft and Corruption…maybe some Filipinos will be able to read it and will be able to understand where the real problem is coming from…you right “filipinos are blessed people cause they allowed themselves to be treated this bad for such a long period of time.
The False Asia Survey and his propaganda networks have successfully deceived Filipinos.
This phenomenon, emerged,first,during the regime of noynoy’s mother,….the yellow army was,almost, on a full swing,until, the extreme rightist soldiers, took attempts, to dismantle, the alleged, left-winged cory supporters, and most of the cause-oriented and left leaning maoist idealists.I was one of those,who prayed hard for cory to survive the series of coups. She barely survived,though,but, other problems continued to hamper economic growth of the nation,…this time, main stream media, tv,radio and newspapers, attacked her, and her ”kamag-anaks”,inc., slimming down her already waning popularity.It is noynoy’s turn,now, to maintain, the resurrected popularity of the Aquinos,(kris endorsements,a big factor),augmented by the sweetening propaganda by the well-entrenched main stream media.However, popularity, is unpredictable, as, the mesmerized and marginalized sectors of society, are fast diminishing,either of old ages,or, their, hungry stomachs,can no longer, relay signals through, the dry thirsty mouths.Three more years,and, noynoy will have to pack his things,…confident, of a legacy, of “tuwid na daan” and, his kind policy of “walang iwanan”, while, the rest, is, history will be written, and, a new generation will remember him, as, the last president of the republic,who anointed with his glorious exit,the new parliamentary government of our beloved Philippines!
When and if the dictator BS Aquino exits he will leave an evil legacy of blame games, political persecution, manipulation, deceit and misleading propaganda centering on his less than matuwid na daan. The control of funds, people and institutions is apparent in his dictatorial style. He corrupted the senate and the lower house including the rise of the PDAF/DAP massive corruption that spread down to the grassroots level. The Philippines will suffer the consequences because of the the actions and/or inaction of this dictator. He is the worst president ever to be elected. How much indebtedness must future Filipinos suffer because of him?