Pork ‘realignment’: Ph Senators will continue to kiss Malacanang’s ass to get their pork

Members of Philippine Congress are proving yet again that they will not be divested of billions of pesos in “discretionary” funds without putting up a fight. The most recent sleight of hand is coming in the form of “realignments” of some senators’ Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) allocations. According to Neal Cruz in his Inquirer.net column this “realignment” means “transferring the budget allocated for an approved item in a project to another item”. This, it seems, is an approach now being used by nine senators to re-allocate vast sums of their pork barrel funds to other departments and projects.

According to reports, the nine senators are the siblings Alan Peter and Pia Cayetano, the siblings Jinggoy Estrada and JV Ejercito, actors Bong Revilla and Lito Lapid, PDAF critic Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Ralph Recto, and Antonio Trillanes.

pork_barrel_realignmentThe Philippine Supreme Court had declared the PDAF or congressional “pork barrel” unconstitutional last year. According to Section 25 of Article VI of the Philippine Constitution, “No law shall be passed authorizing any transfer of appropriations; however, the President, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and the heads of Constitutional Commissions may, by law, be authorized to augment any item in the general appropriations law for their respective offices from savings in other items of their respective appropriations.” At a minimum, any changes in the budget needs to be a collective decision by Congress and authorised by the top heads of each government branch. But the manner with which these “realignments” were performed in this instance, does not seem to be derived from any sort of authority emanating from the top.

The decision to continue utilising their respective pork barrel funds under the guise of “realignment” seems to be a deliberate defiance of the Supreme Court’s edict. Senator Jinggoy Estrada yesterday reportedly found “nothing wrong” with transferring his pork to the cities of Manila (where his father, former President Joseph “Erap” Estrada is currently mayor), Caloocan, and Cagayan de Oro.

To be fair, the Department of Budget and Management confirmed that release of these funds will still be subject to Malacanang approval. Interestingly, this means that Philippine President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino III and his henchmen wield ultimate power over the fate of all that money. In short, the these Philippine Senators will still need to work hard to remain on President BS Aquino’s good side. In short, they will need to continue kissing Yellow ass.

This is evident in the manner with which Senator Jinggoy Estrada makes his appeal to the President’s lieutenants…

[…] Estrada appealed to the Department of Budget and Management not to impound the pork allocation since Congress approved the realignment and thus, the funds should be automatically released.

Earlier, the DBM said that not all items in the 2014 national budget would be automatically released and that some items, including Estrada’s realigned pork, would be subject to selective releases.

“Well, sana huwag naman ma-impound dahil ang maaapektuhan kasi ‘yung mga taga-Maynila, Caloocan at ‘yung mga taga-Cagayan (hopefully it is not impounded because it will really affect the residents of Manila, Caloocan and Cagayan),” he said.

…a fascinating appeal considering the way the Senator had in the past expressed how the ultimate destination of his pork millions is of little concern to him. When outrage erupted in mid-2013 over revelations that vast sums of pork barrel were allegedly going to bogus Non-Government Organisations (NGOs), Senator Estrada washed all responsibility off his hands by going on record to say that “It is not up to the senators to determine whether an NGO is bogus or not.”

Nevertheless, there are two key points that need to be emphasized here:

(1) Despite being rendered illegal by the Supreme Court, pork barrel funds still exist and they are being shuffled around by Philippine legislators; and,

(2) Philippine President BS Aquino continues to wield absolute power over the ultimate disbursement of these now illegal pork barrel funds.

Will pork barrel politics in the Philippines ever go away? Not when Filipinos continue electing crooks to be their leaders and “representatives”, certainly not when traditional politicians and oligarchs like President BS Aquino continue to be allowed to do crooked stuff with impunity, and certainly not when the country’s self-described “thought leaders” continue to cleverly justify the banal thievery in Philippine society.

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40 Comments on “Pork ‘realignment’: Ph Senators will continue to kiss Malacanang’s ass to get their pork”

  1. Napoles in some sense is playing the role of Jose Canseco in 2005-2006. Not a perfect analogy since Canseco would talk to anyone who would listen. GRP knew that the whole impeachment process was manipulated by pork but it took some Instagram postings for the pinoy netizens out there to care. Of course the wool over their eyes crowd still preach that Noynoy will improve the system and change what people don’t like. Sorry to those that believe this bozo would abolish corruption. Noynoy is like a Habanero. He inserted himself into the soup of corruption and gave it his own special flavor. At the end of the day, it is still a soup of corruption.

    1. @ Gogs…Here it is, the piece of the puzzle that has been waited for! The way the POS thieving weasels were going to go around being outright caught thieving, not go to jail, and then to continue the thieving straight away!

      it took what? 7 months for the whole ‘pork scam’ to play itself out, the whole time the thieving was still going on, and now…TA-DA…the cat is outta the bag! the new improved way to rob the treasury!!!

      What is happening in Thailand right now? Can anyone think of another place where that should be happening?
      HINT: Think Local!

  2. The people have spoken and they strongly approve of Noynoy doing a good job in the latest surveys and polls.

    The Philippine’s bond rating has been upgraded by the global financial community. I suppose, the bankers of the world approve also. Okay let me hear it. Let me hear you trolls tell me that the global bankers are yellow tard idiots. It makes your Get Real “movement”, if you can call it that, really pathetic.

    But go ahead. Blog and troll all you want. In the end, Noynoy gets all the glory while you guys will remain unknown trolls forgotten by history.

    1. “The people have spoken and they strongly approve of Noynoy doing a good job in the latest surveys and polls.” – Yeah, surveys which are no doubt manipulated by the allies of the president, no less.

      “In the end, Noynoy gets all the glory while you guys will remain unknown trolls forgotten by history.” – Nonoy hogs all the glory yet is afraid of criticism.

      Obvious troll is obvious.

      1. For the record, I’ve asked random rural and urban poor (who are no doubt not included in that survey) regarding PNoy and his projects and all of them say that they don’t see ANY improvement in their lives from PNoy’s leadership.

        Care to explain that?

    2. WOW!!!!! The clouds have cleared and I can see! !!!!!!!!

      I love how you got Benigno’s piece and tore it apart point by point. I am healed!!! I am wearing a yellow ribbon from now on. Can I take you on a date to watch Little Bossings to thank you for curing me of my stupidity??

    3. Yellow Force,

      There is no point arguing with these haters. If you put up a good argument they will just call you a Troll. I guess that is their default position. They will try to bully and ridicule you.

      This is not a place for civilized discourse.

      1. Trolls of a feather stick together. Well you are probably in the next cubicle anyway. It is not Benigno’s fault that your script provided by MLQ3 or whoever does not answer the points he raises. So all you do it sprout off some P.R. spiel that does not address what Benign0 has written. Then you guys have the nerve to accuse us of not engaging properly. Writhe in my cage of torment. Go back to being Bimby’s yaya.

        1. They’re probably the same guy with one IP address.
          Their “spiels” and ways of acknowledging each other are also similar to that other troll that did that before.

      2. Looks like you actually support the “Yellow Propaganda movement” as well.

        You might consider the fact that just because we criticize the government does not automatically mean we hate this country. Thing is that you already see these country’s problems yet you turn a blind eye on it.

        Please, put your “Pinoy Pride” crap somewhere else.

      3. @ jhay

        What good arguments? All you idiots do here are post propaganda. In case you didn’t know, statements with BS as proof are propaganda.

        We would rather be nameless in history trying to enlighten the Philippines populace than be idiots like you kissing the yellow ass and contributing to the demise of this country.

        1. Once you align yourself with that good for nothing troll user, there is not much lower you can sink so you pretty much do anything. Like go to the press with a fictional heartthrob story.

        1. Like I said, they’re getting stupider and stupider everytime they show up here. Really pathetic how they think it will work a second time after it failed miserably the first time.

        2. Maybe someone can volunteer to us if MCG trolls just work out of the one place or several different sites. Like I said in previous posts, if GRP is harmless to Noynoy agenda they would not bothere logging in let alone making accounts and “participating” . Those are types that would do anything for money and eventually kill themselves over the emptiness of their lives.

        3. As I can recall, they’ve already tried threatening us with “reeducation camp”, impersonating posters, picking a fight with us online and now they’re using multiple accounts just to make it look like someone else agrees with them.
          How much lower can they get?

    4. Yellow Force, I suggest you look for and watch the documentary DVD titled “Inside Job” so you’d be enlightened about the real nature of the global banks you seem to be worshipping. They’re not exactly blameless, deliberately fooling small investors so they could get their hands on their money even as the investors lose their hard-earned money. Even Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s, which upped the Philippines’ credit ratings, are not exactly off the hook. The problem with the Filipinos is that we think the Americans cannot do anything wrong.

      1. Chrissie,

        That documentary plays up a lot of the fears and preconceived notions that the general public has about our financial institutions. It’s largely a screed perpetrated by political left wingers who think they have an axe to grind. As such it’s inaccurate in its assessments about the crisis. Read “Architects of Ruin” by Peter Schweizer for an analysis that delves further into the roots of the meltdown.

        1. Real-life executives of the biggest banks in the U.S. were interviewed, and excerpts of actual congressional hearings were shown. I find it hard to imagine how that could have been made up. Anyway, thanks for the suggestion. I’ll read the book anyway but will keep an open mind about the whole thing to get to the bottom of the matter.

        2. It’s not that what they said per se were untrue. My first point of contention is that Matt Damon assumes that “everybody” just “knows” that it’s the bankers’ fault and only theirs. The documentary is biased. It couches the information in a manner that portrays the financial services sector as “evil” bad guys in a Hollywood movie. Life is rarely black and white. Secondly, while I don’t deny the part of the banking industry, Matt Damon glosses over the culpability of the US government and US politicians, particularly the part played by personalities with whom he shares an ideological affiliation such as Barrack Obama and Bill Clinton.

        3. No, Matt Damon didn’t gloss over the culpability of the US politicians, even Clinton and Obama. He even mentioned in the docu that the problem started with the Clinton administration (and mentioned that Clinton was asked to comment but refused) and that Obama promised to do something about it when he was still campaigning but did not when he already won. Even the top honchos Robert Rubin, Larry Summers, Alan Greenspan, and Ben Bernanke were demonized in the docu.

        4. In fact, the point of the docu was that the U.S. government colluded with the top executives of the major finance firms (Goldman and Sachs, Merryll Lynch, Citicorp, Bank of America) in the U.S. to make indecent amounts of money at the expense of the small investors and homeowners, which sparked the financial crisis.

        5. OK, look Clinton’s part in it was he kow-towed to the corporatations to sigh NAFTA, cutting the head off the AMERICAN work-force. Obamma has given reign to the bankers to recover the gains made by the American middle-class over the last 55 years and Clinto made it possible by the repeal of the Glass-Steigel act of 1937.

          it is more complicated but in-a-nutshell, there it is!

          The USA bankers and Corporate interests seek global dominance and will run over anyone who gets in their way…PERIOD.

    5. @ yellow force

      You massive liar! All BS that you have posted just now, have been, time and again, been destroyed and proved to be nothing but lies. You chose the wrong site to post such lies.

      1. Are you surprised? Pathological lying is a prerequisite to aligning yourself with the current president. Ask Harvey Keh and the other Noynoy apologists. Those people hate GRP because we demystify the lies. I don’t understand them telling us we are irrelevant 45 times a day.

    6. I’m an American living among mostly urban poor and I can assure you that the local people in Bukidnon have seen their lifestyles regress in the past 3 years. Prices for food products have doubled and transportation costs have risen by 50% while wages have not risen and jobs are as scarce as ever.

  3. Matuwid na daan. Kung walang kurap, walang mahirap. Naghihirap tayo kaya ibig sabihin maraming kurap sa gobyerno. Hanggang ngayon naghihintay tayo ng COA audit report ng iba pang NGO’s na hindi pinatakbo ni Napoles at para sa taong 2010-2013 kung talagang tuwid ang daang tinatahak ng kasalukuyang gobyerno. Saan kaya kumukuha ng kapal ng mukha ang mga opisyales ng gobyerno.

  4. Three years into his term, Aquino has managed to lose the trust
    and approval of many of his supporters.
    “The ratings have dropped, especially in Metro Manila, he is now in
    a full-fledged political crisis, and doubts have arisen if he can
    escape being a lameduck president or even end his term in 2016,”
    political analyst Ramon Casiple told GMA News Online.
    20 dec 2013

  5. Since 2010

    Poverty up
    Unemployment up
    Underemployment up
    Crime up
    Corruption up
    Illegal gambling up

    Foreign investment down

    PPP – a non starter

    MDG 2015 – will fail to achieve

    ASEAN 2015 – Not ready

    The list of faux pas’, cock ups, and international blunders is too long to list
    Apart from the blatant scams – gun purchases, CCT, Electricity prices, BOC….

    An unmitigated disaster from the outset, and underlined by recent surveys and comments from independent global analysts
    Forbes
    Transparency international
    Committee on human rights

    All of whom downgrade philippines performance under pnoy aquino

    Pnoy aquino should be ashamed at such ineptitude. And the more he relies on uneducated trolls and false surveys, then it only confirms the panic in malacanan, which everyone is now aware of.

    Reality has bitten the incompetents in the bum.

    The only thing pnoy aquino is now presiding over is a criminals charter.

    A traitor just like his grandfather.

    Pnoy aquino’s only focus now is to keep presidential pork so he can keep bribing people/congress. ( 50% of budget unaudited and unaccountable. That is disgraceful and shows him in his true colours. A hypocrite and abject failure however you analyse it)

    And i would welcome a concise and quantified list of his achievements. Nobody can ever produce one. That says it all.

    1. “And i would welcome a concise and quantified list of his achievements.”

      Two people will hand deliver it to you: Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny.

    2. Indeed, their reliance on incompetent trolls definitely shows signs of panic at malacanang. They know that their veil of lies is already being ripped apart by sites like GRP, that’s why they are so desperate.

      1. The fact that they seem to get stupider and stupider each time they try to attack this site definitely doesn’t help in their case.

  6. J. Estrada and the rest of the Kleptocrats, are all ADDICTED TO PORK BARRELS. They cannot live without it. They are like “Shabu” addicts and Kleptomaniacs combined.

    All they want is to STEAL the money, thru Pork Barrel. They’re used to stealing the Pork Barrel money. They got rich from it. Now, we removed their Pork Barrels. And like “Shabu” addicts, they cannot live without it.

    Kleptomaniacs are restless, until they can steal; to satisfy their urges.

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