Is Oriental Mindoro Representative Rey Umali desperate for pork?

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Funny how Oriental Mindoro Rep. Rey Umali is now reportedly leading a House bid to raise an impeachment complaint against the Philippine Supreme Court (SC). According to Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) Secretary-General Renato Reyes, this impeachment bid “could be an attempt to stop the High Court from declaring the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) as unconstitutional.”

Makin' bacon: Umali and Tupas back in 2012
Makin’ bacon: Umali and Tupas back in 2012
Having recently ruled the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), also referred to as congressional pork unconstitutional, the SC is now deliberating the constitutionality of the DAP, also referred to as presidential pork, and was preparing to hear oral arguments on it. However, motions reportedly filed by Budget Secretary Butch Abad as well as both chambers of Congress, the SC has since ordered the hearing to be postponed the 28th of January next year.

The DAP is a presidential fund cobbled together supposedly from “savings” on funds appropriated to various projects and activities in the national budget. But what is really noteworthy is the whole reason behind why there was so much “government savings” to begin with in 2011 and why the disbursement of these excess funds needed to be “accelerated”. It is because following his ascent to power, one of the things President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino III did was to dismantle many projects started during the term of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Interestingly, the way BS Aquino described the budget he supposedly inherited from Arroyo in his first State of the Nation Address in 2010 was that it was “depleted”.

Indeed, the key pillar in the complaint against the DAP being deliberated by the SC is the question on whether or not the funds that comprise this fund are “savings” in the real sense.

Senior Associate Justice Antonio T. Carpio said the sources of the stimulus funds do not fall under the definition of “savings” in the 2013 General Appropriations Act (GAA).

DAP funds were sourced from “realigned savings” from slow-moving projects to spur economic growth.

Its sources mostly came from dividends from Government-Owned and -Controlled Corporations (GOCCs), unprogrammed funds, and unobligated allotments.

“But they did not qualify under the definition of savings,” Mr. Carpio said.

Mr. Carpio said unprogrammed funds, “by definition,” cannot be considered as savings. GOCC dividends, on the other hand, are revenues and not savings.

Suffice to say, with the PDAF essentially abolished, only the DAP remains as the only source of slush funds for the Philippines’ cash-hungry legislators, many of whom saw these porky pots of gold as the whole point of seeking a seat in Congress. So it is quite easy to imagine the growing desperation amongst members of Congress as moves to abolish the DAP mount. Yet Umali denies any “correlation” between the impeachment bid he is leading and the fate of the DAP…

“Not true. If there is such a perception, then it does not speak well of the court and people who think that way, have no respect for the Supreme Court because they admit that the court can be swayed or threatened,” he said

Umali, if we are to recall, was party to a conspiracy to present illegally-obtained evidence against former Chief Justice Renato Corona during his impeachment trial in 2012. Five dollar accounts along with the five peso accounts allegedly maintained by Corona in the Philippine Savings Bank (PSBank) were within the scope of a controversial subpoena issued by the Senate impeachment court. The subpoena was controversial because, under Philippine law, dollar accounts are confidential and can be accessed only via a court order.

But the subpoena of the PSBank accounts traced its roots to an “anonymous source” described by Umali as a “small lady” who handed to him an envelope allegedly containing Corona’s bank documents. The revelation made by former lead prosecutor Niel Tupas Jr the previous day (the 7th Feb) highlighted yet another instance of the prosecution team pre-empting any authorisation from the Senate impeachment court to mount such actions.

During questioning, PSBank president Pascua Garcia III revealed details of Corona’s five peso accounts with PSBank but declined to present (and presumably refrained from bringing with him) documents associated with five dollar accounts allegedly kept by Corona with the bank. Garcia’s consistent position on that matter was widely-lauded by the public at the time.

The more notable insight that could be gleaned from that episode was how quickly political allies of President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino III like Tupas and Umali can so readily compromise all semblance of decency for the sake of that porky reward. Specially now that it has come out that it is very likely that President BS Aquino used pork (in the millions, as alleged) to “motivate” both chambers of Congress to progress his political vendetta versus Corona, Tupas and Umali, who seemingly were BS Aquino’s chief impeachment architects, are likely to have been amongst the biggest beneficiaries of this heavenly manna from Malacañang.

The thing with history is that the inconsistencies in what politicians say and do over its course that dot it eventually get connected.

Umali, just the same, carries on…

“I do believe that these justices of the Supreme Court betrayed pubic trust when they did flip-flopping decisions. They should have looked at the impeachment against Chief Justice Corona when we raised the issue in one of articles. I don’t think they learned their lesson, they continued to flip-flop,” [Umali added].

But of course “honourable” Congressman Umali. Keep talking. We’ll be busy connecting the dots.

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15 Comments on “Is Oriental Mindoro Representative Rey Umali desperate for pork?”

    1. No one but abNoyNoy has been “flip-flopping” about this issue much to the confusion of the public. He says he’s against pork after defending it, in a futile effort to escape public criticism.

  1. Well, I was looking for something notable with Rey Umali as congressman and I found this:

    http://darormindoro.com/news-groundbreaking.html

    It seems his part of his loot is well utilized and still have more plans for the future. Bit then, one thing that caught my attention is Php 24M for a 7km length of road which boils down to about Php 3.3M per km of road… must be some sort of 2 lane (opposite ways) complete with street lighting and maybe some landscaping on the sides…. but hey.. this is the Philippines, maybe somebody from that area can chime in and tell us that this is not just some unfinished gravel road.

    1. I came from the town next to Bulalacao. Umali brothers built another roads from Bulalacao to San Jose using low standard materials. The existing road is usable but instead of improving it, they rebuilt the other roads where no commercial vehicles are not allowed to pass.

      1. @dreamboy

        Thanks for the input.

        There you have it, folks. Pork in action. Must be that Umali needs more pork as he used up his pork by “actually” building a “road”.

  2. We have leaders, like TUPAS the LIAR; and UMALI seeing things, like a SMALL LADY. I bet these people are snorting “Shabu” , or in need of Psychiatric care.
    All they want is the money from the Pork Barrel fund. They are not even ashamed of it. Umali and Tupas are SWINES, who are now walking on their hind legs; and have taken over the Pig Farm of Mr. Aquino. I am certain that this ORDER came from Mr. Aquino, himself; who needs the Pork Barrel Fund, in order to STEAL again. You know, that a KLEPTOMANIAC is restless, until he can satisfy his cravings to steal.

  3. Bluff lang yan ! Gusto lang nilang takutin ang SC para bomoto na constitutional ang DAP. Pero mali ang diskarte nila. Gagalitin lang nila ang mga Justices at lalo clang boboto against DAP. Wala nang pangsuhol sa mambabatas pag nawala ang DAP, papaano pa cla maiimpeach ? Ang mga Senador, iaacquit lang cla kc may mga nag-aambisyon na maging VP/Pres sa 2016. Sarap panoorin yan… laki na namang gastusin ng gobyerno…tapos wla na namang mapapasang batas dahil busy cla sa pagpapapogi sa TV.

  4. Pasalamat tayo kay Napoles. Kundi sa illegal detention ni Ben Hur na gawa ni Napoles walang Whiste blowers. Kung hindi nadawit si Jinggoy sa PDAF Scam di mabubulgar ang DAP !Ngayong nabisto na ang pambubulsa ng PDAF/DAP ng mga pulitiko, magsisimpatiya pa ba sa kanila ang taongbayan. Kahit ano pang propaganda ang gawin nila di na cla paniniwalaan ng taongbayan. Wala na clang kredibilidad !!! Gusto ng taongbayan mapunta sa mga kinauukulan ang kabangbayan, hindi sa bulsa ng mga maruruming pulitiko. Magkakaroon na savings kasi mawawala na ang billboards kung kanginong PDAF ginamit sa project. Dagdag gastos pa yang billboards eh.

  5. oh this man Umali…..kawawa naman. History will not be kind to him, especially legal scholars when he ate the poison tree during the impeachment trial of CJ Corona.

  6. oh this man Umali…..kawawa naman. History will not be kind to him, especially legal scholars when he ate the poison fruit during the impeachment trial of CJ Corona.

    1. History will definitely not be kind to those who were instrumental in removing CJ Corona through bribery and dirty tricks especially to that bald one in malacanang.

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