Whether called a bribe or an incentive pork barrel funds MOTIVATE Filipino politicians

Bribe or incentive? Why does this question even matter? For many weeks now, Filipinos have been left to sift through mounds of information pouring out of traditional media and the Net to make sense of what’s going on as more “revelations”, “confessions”, and “testimonials” emerge about who got how much. Indeed, whether it is a “bribe” or an “incentive” both words used to qualify the wholesale dole out of largesse in the form of pork barrel funds were meant to motivate.

Motivate what exactly?

One thing’s for sure, very few if any of the senators and House representatives who had attracted the spotlight in the last several months have been able to cite specific benefits arising from their spending of their pork barrel allocations. And even for those who are able to, it seems that sort of information tends not to resonate with the public. Perhaps it is because the results of all that spending routinely fail to impress — the odd waiting shed or pedestrian overpass, an unfinished or thinly-paved stretch of road, various quaint charity or community building “projects”. When you have a billion-odd pesos of pork spread thinly across hundreds of politicians and low-level bureaucrats, all you get are these inconsequential structures and activities that, taken together, cost a sum of money net of whatever these politicos pocket. As to what value they collectively add to Philippine society, it is doubtful that they deliver returns that exceed that cost.

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.
Subscribe to our Substack newsletter, GRP Insider!
Learn more

As Senator Jinggoy Estrada himself asserted: “It is not up to the senators to determine whether an NGO is bogus or not…”, proving that where the money goes and whether or not it actually delivers benefit is not exactly something high up in the list of things pork-guzzling politicians lose sleep over.

Highly-motivated Atlantic salmon

Highly-motivated Atlantic salmon

And that is why people have turned to the outcome of the 2012 impeachment trial of former Chief Justice Renato Corona. Why did a “trial” that was launched by a sloppily-written complaint railroaded through Congress by a “furious” President and propped up for half a year using flawed and illegally-obtained “evidence” still manage to result in a conviction? The answers seem to be emerging now: There was, in 2012, some sort of motivation that allowed a political feat not too different from the way salmons manage to swim upstream a torrential river to mate. Call it a “bribe” or “incentive”. It doesn’t matter. The motivation was substantial.

Allegations that senator-judges willing to hang Corona were each given 50 million pesos while chief verdict vote shepherd Senator Franklin Drilon got 100 million are now turning the heat up from under the Senate. Which senator will squeal next? In a recent article Manila Times chairman Dante Ang let us in on a bit of what he and columnist Rigoberto Tiglao knew about the backstage discussions going on at the time…

Two independent sources have confirmed that DILG Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas, some days before the actual voting, called Revilla and asked him for a meeting.

Roxas and Revilla drove to Bahay Pangarap. To Revilla’s amazement, Roxas left all his security aides, took the wheel of a bulletproof SUV and asked that he also leave his bodyguards behind. He complied. But as he was about to board the SUV, Roxas asked him to sit in the back of the car. He did.

When they reached Bahay Pangarap that same afternoon, they were greeted by the President and DBM Secretary Abad. After a brief handshake, the President said, “Tulungan mo na ko sa isyu na ito (referring to the Corona impeachment trial). Bong replied: “Gagawin ko po, Mr. President, kung ano ang tama.”

During the same meeting, the P50million additional PDAF was taken up. It was not clear who brought up the P50-million “reward.” Revilla had reportedly admitted accepting the P50-million additional PDAF.

And perhaps, for some, it is never too late to right the wrong and come clean…

Some of them are now feeling remorseful. Their consciences are bothering them no end. Because of that, they are now unburdening themselves in private. They have begun to talk of the preceding events that ultimately led to the conviction of Corona.

Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla, for instance, was so moved by the Estrada privilege speech that he was entertaining the idea of following suit. Up to this writing, he is still weighing his options and the consequences. So far, he is still trying to summon his courage to come out in the open.

But don’t hold your breath. As we have seen earlier, as far back as 1996, pork barrel thievery had already become a high-profile topic. And even during the Corona trial or, for that matter, just about any activity that involves Congress, pork barrel millions have always been at stake. And yet, the question remains:

Where are the results?

Unfortunately for Filipinos, there is nothing more powerful than pork to motivate Filipino politicians to abolish pork.

25 Replies to “Whether called a bribe or an incentive pork barrel funds MOTIVATE Filipino politicians”

  1. Why fight it? Embrace it. The Filipinos can have the world’s first openly corrupt system of governance where graft and plunder are both legal.

    Sounds crazy, I know. But it’s obvious that the Filipinos will always be corrupt because the public continues to enable the corruption.

    Stop fighting! Embrace it! Consider it a unique part of Philippine culture. Go into the future with a path uniquely FILIPINO!


    “And I can’t fight this feeling anymore.

    I’ve forgotten what I started fighting for.

    It’s time to bring this ship into the shore,

    And throw away the oars, forever.”

    – Can’t Fight This Feeling, by REO Speedwagon

    Still not convinced? Go listen to the song. Better yet, watch the video. I know the song is about a guy finding a girl that he finally commits to. But pretend the guy is the Philippines and the girl is Corruption. OMG, it suddenly makes sense!


    Philippines + Corruption. Forever.

    1. now i realize there is some sense with adolf hitler’s utopian ideology.. we may need some form of cleansing and start again from scratch..Maybe God may finally intervene on the behalf of mankind..maybe somebody should start a revolution here.

      1. @ John Galt…..UH, MAYBE? Someone should start a revolution in the Philippines…MAYBE? HA! That is an understatement if ever one was made!

        BUT if one were to erupt the people who came to power would have to deal with the people who REALLY run the country, THEN WHAT?

        The people who run the Philippines are not those idiots who are robbing all the ‘pork’ either. You see, that is the REAL problem, once the scumbag thieves are taken care of…there is a whole different group to deal with. and they don’t kid around.

    2. Geez Man, That song sux-arse! Can’t you come up with something that was not sung by a bunch of whining wind-bags?

    3. Didn’t that band “Boston” play that crappy song? IDK, but it definitely gives me an earache every time I hear it. Horrid, maybe why its sooooo appropriate?

  2. @NeoGeo

    You want us to embrace the darkness and do nothing about it? I am an eternal optimist… you cannot fool all of the people all of the time! Watch the fun as more rallies are staged and more cases are filed against the most guilty. Impeach BS Aquino!

      1. @ John Galt…AMAZING isn’t it? The entire Filipino population does not seem to understand that every single one of the politicians in the country is a crook! The polticians take turns vilifying each other, putting on sham trials, public name calling and shaming…AND YET, the same (some even convicted felons) politicians keep popping up and getting elected, the when they finally rtetire the scumbags kids/family takes their place at the table of thieves.
        It is truly mind-boggling that the ‘collective Filipino’ has not figured out that the elections are rigged, the politicians, all of them, are thieving criminals and until the ‘collective Filipino’ gets rid of ALL OF THEM, the same exact shit is going to keep happening.

        Seriously, after 55 years of the same shit happening over and over again, with the same cast of characters, doing the same exact things time and time again, that, MAYBE, the ‘collective Filipino’ could figure it out? BUT NO! they just don’t get it…AMAZING! Sadness never had it sooooo SAD!

        1. Leave as soon as possible and never go back. The country is a hopeless mess.If you want to have a chance at having a decent standard of living try to get to a country in North-Western Europe…Norway, Finland, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweeden, Denmark.

          This advice is free and is strongly suugested you take it and do whatever is necessary to make it happen. Just one thing…it gets frikkin COLD!

  3. A bribe is a bribe; no matter what name , you use to deodorize it. We have no accounting or auditing system, to trace, where the money went.
    Aquino, himself, may had received such money, during his tenure.
    Now , he is making the investigations, to cover himself, and his ass. Anyway the investigations, will be a done deal. He controls, the Senate Congress, Judiciary and the investigators. Surely, he will make this as his vindictive tool, to destroy his political enemies.

  4. To supplement this article, I see BongV presenting a list of options on what to do with the Philippines.


    “1. A coup by ultranationalist soldiers – this has tinges of totalitarian Myanmar and can be used as a bogeyman by the Aquino regime.”

    “2. All lawmakers and current executives terms will be terminated. A transition government can be setup – and a new constitution no longer includes the protectionist provisions. The equally tax-wasting welfare state provisions of Article 13 will also be removed because these provide for welfare funds which are captured by lawmakers in collusion with vested interests.”

    “3) A breakup of the post-colonial Republic and a return to the pre-colonial borders of the nation states that were forcibly assimilated as subjects of a Spanish despot. This option will be similar to the break up of Czechslovakia into separate Czech and Slovak republics.”

    “4) A complete breakup of the post-colonial Republic and the repudiation of formal government structures in favor of informal structures such as those in Somalia. Note that Somalians quality of life improved AFTER booting out the predatorial government of Mohamed Siad-Barre.”

    After what NeoGeo has said about this nation of ours, I ask GRP on their take about these options.

    1. I’ve actually been contemplating on writing an article about the premise of David Martinez’s “A Country of Our Own: Partitioning the Philippines.” In the next few weeks or so, I would present my thoughts on Philippine Balkanization, and why it is actually desirable for this nation in this day and age.

      1. It just occurred to me…. Doesn’t Aquino enjoy presidential immunity during his tenure, and isn’t it that he can be removed from office only through impeachment?

        1. I hope it will (void the presidential immunity). Otherwise, we’re up against a wall as there’s no way the House of Reps will impeach Aquino, especially now that the decision to give them pork, and how much, rests solely with Aquino. God help us!

        2. UH, There is another way.

          Airport tarmac’s/a cast of ‘ne’er do well’ type characters/series of events…

          U kno…

  5. “One of the problems with Congress, very simply, is those people today have the best jobs they’re ever going to have. They’re failures. Well, that’s a little strong. But if $ 120,000 a year is the best job you’ve ever had, you haven’t really done very much.”

    — Tom Clancy describing the US Congress in 1993. Just change some words and it’ll describe our government (in general) or our legislature (in particular) in a nutshell.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.