Malacañang buys time on pork barrel scam

Your presence is a statement.

Your presence is a statement.

More than a month into the Janet Napoles pork barrel scandal that started with the involvement of five opposition five senators, the Aquino administration finds itself on the defensive.

After dismissing the Napoles-operated pork barrel scam estimated to reach P10 billion as paling in comparison to the P728 million fertilizer scam during the Arroyo administration (what kind of math is he using?), President Aquino last Monday rejected calls for the abolition of much- maligned practice saying that it can be used for the good of the people. “As in everything else, there are good uses, and bad uses. Perhaps the right thing to do is apply the appropriate punishment for the misuse, but support its good use especially in communities outside the National Capital Region,” he said.

Aquino’s stand dismayed many of his supporters who held on to his campaign promise of a reformist government bannered by the “Tuwid na Daan” slogan. Some of those are calling on everybody to join the “Million People March” to Rizal Park on Aug. 26, National Heroes Day, startijg at 9 a.m. to express their outrage over how the funds for the less fortunate have been flagrantly misused by persons elected to serve the people.

Public outrage intensified with the release by the Commission on Audit of the results of its audit of the 2007-2009 PDAF which showed that the abuse was not confined to Napoles and the five opposition senators ( Senators Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Jr.; Jinggoy Estrada, Gregorio Honasan, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, and former Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile).

A number of Aquino administration- allied lawmakers were mentioned in the report who misused their PDAF namely now Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, now Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, now Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon and Joel Villanueva, now chair of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.

Rep. Iloilo Niel Tupaz, who headed the prosecution team in the impeachment of disgraced Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona, was also mentioned. Coffee shop talks mention other officials very close to Aquino.

Many also asked why COA stopped at 2009 fueling their nagging suspicion that Aquino was either trying to douse water on the pork barrel expose or limit it to Napoles to protect persons close to him.

Realizing that the expose has taken a life of its own and it would be a political suicide for them to buck the public’s anger, Malacañang is now doing damage control measures.

Monday, Aquino ordered the suspension of pork barrel funds until investigation of the scam is completed. Lawmakers who were reluctant to undertake an investigation on the fund are now willing to conduct an inquiry although many doubt if they would do an honest-to-goodness investigation of an irregularity involving them.

Even the Aquino administration allied party-list, Akbayan, finally issued a statement Monday calling for the abolition of the PDAF.

Roxas, the head of the Liberal Party, also pledged that party members found guilty of misusing their PDAFs will be sanctioned.

Nothing of these actions indicate genuine and lasting solutions against the evils of corruption and patronage politics. They are just to buy time.

The evolution of a Filipino politician. Unfair to pigs.

The evolution of a Filipino politician. Unfair to pigs.

Many are asking the origin of the term “pork barrel.”

Former Senator Panfilo M.Lacson mentioned the history of the phrase in a speech on March 11, 2003 explaining why he was not availing of his PDAF:

“It should not matter anymore under what name the system sounds. Be it the Countrywide Development Fund, or the Congressional Initiative Allocation, or the Priority Development Assistance Fund. It is, and will remain to be a fund of compulsive corruption.

“The name itself traces its origin to the pre-civil war days in the United States when, in periodic fits of generosity, white masters would give their black slaves salted pork in barrels. More often than not, the eagerness of the slaves would result in ugly shoving and rushing to grab more pork than the others. The more pork one could grab for himself, the more triumphant he would appear than the others who were meek and reluctant.

“We may not realize it, but the Filipino people would sometimes see us behave like slaves rushing to the pork barrel. A critic has a worse description – that of swines rushing to get more slabs than they can consume.”

In the midst of the destruction wrought by “Maring” a friend wondered, , “Saan kaya si Janet Napoles?”
Then added: “Sana nalunod siya.”

I said that was an unchristian thought. He replied, ““Nalunod sa pera ang ibig ko sabihin.”

August 20, 2013 11:03 pm  Tags: ,   Posted in: Graft and corruption

53 Responses

  1. vic - August 21, 2013 2:02 am

    I would suggest, the best course to take is the way it is being done in Quebec…There is the ongoing Criminal Probe by the Anti Corruption Unit of the Provincial Police which as of date rounded more than 100 and charges were filed in court and also those that were the victims of Fraud are also suing the accused in the Civil court even before their Criminal cases are heard…and in the Parallel level an ALL out inquiry headed by a Justice (Justice Charbonneau of the Superior court) and this inquiry is of the Blameless type with the objectives of going deeper to the root causes of the “corruption” and recommend legislative measures to the Quebec government. It is also necessary to have this very careful study before deciding on the status of the Pork and don’t get carried away by the emotion and make a decision that the President may regret later. But it is a priority to make sure that a Criminal probe should proceed without intervention from the Palace and let the Ax fall where the guilty is. This is now a Criminal Matter and it a Criminal Justice Issue.

  2. chi - August 21, 2013 8:19 am

    Who’s Who in Forky?

    Wow, really the biggest name in Pinas politics, not to mention the one big executive sec previously mentioned in the news.

    Bong Revilla said before he didn’t know Napoles, business fuckners pala ang mga anak bukod sa mga photos kasama si Napoles at Jinggoy na mga nakangiti. Aral kay Goyang si Revilla, pathological liar din. Bong is done, and all those big names involved with Janet Lim-Napoles.

    Where is COA report on pork barrel 2010- current year? Nakakaduda talaga bakit huminto sa 2009 ang report.

    Damage control, buying time…liku-liko ang daan ni Pnoy, complete opposite to his promise of transparency and honesty in public service.

  3. Snoop - August 21, 2013 2:32 pm

    Pinagaaralan muna ni Pnoy kung yung mga dating kaalyado ni Bansot, na kaalyado na niya ngayon eh kasali sa mga nakinabang sa pork. Most of those who are now aligned with him benefitted from the bansot.

  4. MPRivera - August 21, 2013 7:13 pm

    sabi ng mga kuwento sa kanto, ang baboy daw ay laging nakatungo hindi dahil nahihiya sa kanyang kababuyan SUBALIT ang mga asal baboy na pulitiko ay mga taas noo pa sa kanilang kababuyan!

  5. MPRivera - August 21, 2013 7:16 pm

    nasaan na si janet lim-napoles?

    nandoon sa kural na gintong simbolo ng kanyang kababuyan!

  6. MPRivera - August 21, 2013 7:19 pm

    kahit gawin pang dalawang libong pirma o abutin na ng daang milyon, HINDI papayag si noynoy na tanggalin ang pork barrel sapagkat mas malaki ang allocation na mawawala sa kanya.

    ilalaban ko ng tanggalan ng bayag si topacio. sino pupusta?

  7. MPRivera - August 21, 2013 7:20 pm

    “……..kahit gawin pang dalawang MILYONG pirma o ……….”

  8. TonGuE-tWisTeD - August 21, 2013 8:46 pm

    Summary of Pork:

    9-year term as Congressman P70M x 9 = P630M
    3-year term as Senator 200M x 3 = 600M
    2.5 years as President 2B x 2.5 = 5B

    TOTAL : P6.23B

    Yan ang Pork Barrel ni Noynoy mula nung maging congressman siya.

    Wag na natin isama yung Special Purpose Funds na P230B at Unprogrammed Funds na P140B pati na Intelligence Fund na napakalaki pero di natin alam. Annual figures yan.

    Kung patuloy na magmamatigas si Noynoy dito sa laban na ito. mapipilitan ang taumbayan na pati yung pork barrel niya, ipa-audit rin. Dito nakasalalay ang FOI Bill sa magiging aksyon ng taumbayan sa isyu ng malawakang nakawang ito.

    Ang tanong kaya pa bang hilutin at i-delay ni Kalbo ito hanggang sa bago niya ipasa ang Malacanang sa susunod na pangulo o mapipilitan na din siya?

    Kaya pa ba ng pasensya ng taumbayan?

  9. TonGuE-tWisTeD - August 21, 2013 9:21 pm

    Ako wala na akong pasensya. Kakabili ko pa lang ng Bass Amp ko, lubog sa baha pag-gising ko kahapon. 3 a.m. na ako natulog, sinilip ko pa sa labas bago ako umakyat para matulog. Aba pag-gising ko pinasok na pala kami ng baha. Mas malala ngayon ang baha dito sa San Pedro kesa nung habagat last year o nung sa Ondoy. Sori na lang hindi ko na kayang maglibot sa bangka para mag-rescue o mag-assist.

    Kanina, binarahan ng mg OB Van at pickup trucks ng ABS-CBN yung National Highway kaya naman pala, magsasalita lang si Noynoy ng dalawang minuto sa evac center sa may Landayan. Laking gulat ko na makita yung mga nagwawalis ng kalsada kahit umuulan, saka bawat kanto merong pulis. Kaya pala.

  10. chi - August 22, 2013 12:35 am

    tongue, salamat sa computation ng porky ni Noy, nalula ako. Saan kaya niya dinala ang P6.23B? Dapat i-account din ng COA.

    Nakita ko ang baha sa inyo, akala ko pa mandin ligtas ang San Pedro sa tubig kaya diyan ka nag very early retirement? :)

    Kaawa naman ang mga nagwawalis ng kalsada na dinaanan ni Noy, sana walang ma-pneumonia sa kanila.

  11. TonGuE-tWisTeD - August 22, 2013 6:37 pm

    Chi, grabe rin yung baha sa inyo sa Bataan. Maging yung kina Cocoy sa Zambales, wala sanang namatay sa mga baboy ng kooperatiba nila.

    Kumpara sa bahay namin sa Pasay na hanggang bewang daw sa loob ng bahay, masaya ako sa desisyon kong dito na lang tumira. Sandali lang bumaha ng konti sa loob ng bahay. Doon sa mga kapatid ni Magno, lagpas tao ang baha, sa Malaban sa BiNan, diba Magno? O sa Sta. Rosa?

  12. MPRivera - August 22, 2013 6:49 pm

    sa santa rosa sila, tongue. mga kamag-anak namin, sa malaban sa binan.

    mas malala ngayon ang baha. dati hanggang bewang lang ‘ata. ngayon lubog ‘yung bahay.

    kaya hindi siguro nagtagal si penot diyan sa san pedro at hindi na tumuloy sa ibang bayan ay upang hindi malusaw ang matigas niyang paninindigang i-abolish ang taba ng baboy.

    lumabas pa siya at kunyari ay nakiramay sa mga biktima ng baha!

  13. TonGuE-tWisTeD - August 22, 2013 6:55 pm

    Naku e kahit Sta. Rosa lubog din.

  14. TonGuE-tWisTeD - August 22, 2013 7:00 pm

    Priest rents Napoles Forbes Park house

    Yung corruption talagang demonyo ano? Basta matinding kurakutan lagi yatang kakabit ang simbahan?

    Father, umayos kayo.

  15. chi - August 22, 2013 8:33 pm

    Nagulat nga ako, tongue, kasi ang mga towns ng Bataan na dating hindi binabaha ay lumangoy na rin. Tumagilid na kaya ang axis o binarahan na lahat ang waterways?

    Anyway, hindi naman daw 28 na bahay ang ari ni Janet Napoles. Dalawa lang daw, ang Upper House at Lower House of Congress.

    Ay naku si Father, ang dali mapasukan ng demonyita!

  16. chi - August 22, 2013 8:40 pm

    Msgr Josefino S. Ramirez in renting Napoles Forbes Park house “agrees to pay the sum of P1,120,000″ upon the signing of the contract — P560,000 for two months advance rental, and another P560,000 for two months security deposit.”

    Magagalit si Pope Francis kung ganyan ka Father!

    Saan kumukuha ng milyunes si Ramirez? Dummy yata ito ni Janet!

  17. TonGuE-tWisTeD - August 22, 2013 11:29 pm

    Excuse me, Ellen, but please let me post this very relevant privilege speech delivered on the Senate floor TEN YEARS ago:

    Living Without Pork

    Privilege speech
    March 11, 2003

    Mr. President, I rise today on a question of personal and collective privilege.

    Last week, we passed the Senate version of the General Appropriations Bill of 2003. No less than the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and principal sponsor of the bill aptly described the 2003 budget as “bare-bones”, thus appealing to his colleagues to contribute their share to arrest the projected budget deficit which our economic managers expect to hit the PhP300B mark by year-end.

    I now answer the call.

    I call for the scrapping of a very corrupt and corrupting system in our political institutions. All I ask are a few minutes of your precious time – and of your mind.

    We now must move to abolish the pork barrel system. We must see its end during our watch without need to mourn its loss. It is a virus of corruption that must die.

    And, there is no better hall on this space on earth to make it happen than the Senate – expectedly, a place of men and women with mature age, with honor, with dignity, with integrity. Further, there is no better time to declare its end than now – when the country’s budget deficit is at an alarmingly uncontrollable pace. For the past year, it was PhP213B. Of course, we do not believe the numbers.

    One thing, I may say is apodictic. It is still counting. There is nothing in the pork barrel system that gives us pride. There is only everything that makes us hide in shame.

    It should not matter anymore under what name the system sounds. Be it the Countrywide Development Fund, or the Congressional Initiative Allocation, or the Priority Development Assistance Fund. It is, and will remain to be a fund of compulsive corruption.

    The name itself traces its origin to the pre-civil war days in the United States when, in periodic fits of generosity, white masters would give their black slaves salted pork in barrels. More often than not, the eagerness of the slaves would result in ugly shoving and rushing to grab more pork than the others. The more pork one could grab for himself, the more triumphant he would appear than the others who were meek and reluctant.

    We may not realize it, but the Filipino people would sometimes see us behave like slaves rushing to the pork barrel. A critic has a worse description – that of swines rushing to get more slabs than they can consume.

    Mr. President, our countrymen expect to see every peso of their taxes wisely spent on every project. They become profoundly disillusioned every time they are robbed of it.
    Let me say now what they hate to hear. But they must hear what we have been afraid to say.

    Under the pork barrel system, only less than half of the taxpayers’ money actually goes to the programs of work. More than half habitually goes to the pockets of corruption. Occasionally, depending on the insatiability of the corrupt, a shameful twenty percent of the fund is left to finance the project. Holy mackerel.

    We can pretend all day not to know. But the Filipino people have never been stupid not to see through such pretense.
    Let me give the breakdown. It is nasty.

    • 2% goes to the Commission on Audit as S.O.P.
    • 10% is given to the district engineer and other officials of the Department of Public Works and Highways.
    • 2% is passed on to the Barangay Chairman.
    • 14% goes to the contractor – 10% in profit and 4% as value-added tax, thank God!
    • 5-10%, if the Mayor or Governor so demands.
    • And – hold your breath – 20% of project cost is earmarked for the legislator who identifies the project.
    Shares sometimes vary depending on greed.
    Even the billboards that advertise the proponents of infrastructure projects are overpriced.

    Legislators who allocate funds for the purchase of medicines and other pharmaceutical products, as well as school supplies get bigger takes. By how much, Mr. President? Some suppliers say, it is, “from here to eternity.”

    In a book published in 1998 by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, entitled, “Pork and Other Perks,” the author wrote about vivid accounts of actual pay-offs involving legislators. Thus, a pay-off usually takes place inside the office of legislators. The more sophisticated ones prefer hotel rooms and restaurants. Sulo Hotel in Quezon City is said to be a favorite.

    “Pork barrel” every year runs to billions of pesos. I hate to say it. The people hate to hear it. But they lose billions of pesos anyway. They lose these billions to the many deep pockets of corruption.

    Mr. President, my esteemed colleagues, there is no saying here that every senator or congressman is corrupt. It is only to say that we have all become suspect. The public has every basis and right to suspect. And we seem not to mind anymore.

    Mr. President, those with clear conscience among us do not need to rage. They only need to help those without it.
    In this regard, may I take this opportunity to thank the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and some of our colleagues who have expressed support to this advocacy.

    One colleague, Senator Joke Arroyo has done something truly admirable: he had not allocated a single centavo from his “pork barrel” allocation for the past year. However, I cannot help but wonder how his PhP200M pork was realigned since it was part and parcel of the 2002 GAA. That is the reason why I want my allocation this year deducted from the proposed 2003 GAA. I have an unsolicited advice to the distinguished gentleman from Makati and the Bicol region – why not slash the 2003 national budget by PhP211M more?

    To all of us in this august chamber, maybe we can help alleviate the burgeoning budget deficit by waiving our 2003 pork barrel fund allocations. We can actually do our share, no matter how small, in balancing the budget by doing just that. With twenty-three senators, at PhP211M each, four billion, eight hundred fifty-three million (PhP4.853B) will automatically be deducted from the 2003 national budget.

    The Speaker of the House, Jose de Venecia, can equally display his statesmanship by doing the same in the lower house. With more than 200 congressmen, at PhP65M each, that would be another PhP13B at least. Let us be the first to sacrifice for the sake of tiding us over a financial nightmare. I, therefore, call on the Senate and the House of Representatives to voluntarily give up the pork.

    Mr. President, it is a simple choice between self-respect and self-aggrandizement.

    That is exactly my point. Those among us whose hands remain untainted and unsoiled by the fruits of corruption from the evil “pork” must now be insulated from the temptation it may bring upon us. How? Let’s try scrapping the “pork.” There is life without it!

    We all know who we are and what we are on this issue. That is one thing we are all sure about. Mine are not speculations – I definitely have my own sources. The figures I brought out earlier are never a figment of my imagination.

    If the “pork barrel” stinks, how much longer must we suffer the stench? I believe it is time to abolish it altogether.

    Mr. President, we were elected by the Filipino people to make good laws for the common good and never to make gold under the “pork barrel” system. We are here to make laws, not to build roads and bridges.

    We were voted into office to provide check and balance under the principle of powers; and not to accept fat checks to enhance our bank account balance.

    Former French President and Prime Minister, the late Jean-Raymond Pompidou, was correct. There is a whale of difference between a politician and a statesman. He said, “while a statesman places himself at the service of the nation, a politician places the nation at his own personal service.”

    With the “pork barrel” system, we are all perceived as dirty, corrupt and greedy politicians. Without it, we can all become better statesmen and public servants.

    Whenever our committees investigate anomalies in government, does it not occur to us how equally guilty they think the legislators could be?

    Mr. President, pardon my asking.
    There are all kinds of arguments to defend the “pork.” Its advocates invent new methods and formulas to make every legislator happy. Ironically, in the mind of every Filipino, they are all mad and madly corrupted by it.

    I know that the pork barrel system has never been legally flawed. In fact, the Supreme Court has ruled on its constitutionality.
    But the Supreme Court never ruled that scrapping the “pork barrel” system would be unconstitutional either.
    I can only hope the Senate leadership will take a serious look at this proposal and not simply toss it to the dust heap of the Philippine Senate history.

    I am sure to lose some friends and create more enemies in this 12th Congress. I am sure skeptics will taunt me and the cynics will mock me without end.

    I remember BAYAN MUNA Party-list Representative Crispin Beltran, he who declared the lowest asset in the lower house at eighty-one thousand pesos, said in a media interview immediately after my position on the “pork barrel” issue first came out, and I quote, “mabuti pa si Lacson ay may ibang pinagkakakitaan na illegal. Paano naman kami na sa “pork barrel” lamang umaasa?” Realizing that what he said was an instant give-away, he paused and started to stutter. Another congressman commented that this representation would not need to make money from the “pork barrel” because supposedly, “I have a lot in some foreign banks.”

    Mr. President, if this is my misfortune, so be it. It is not the one I cannot possibly learn to live with.

    Mr. President, I derive no pleasure in telling what I have told. I am sure many colleagues derive no pleasure in hearing what they just heard. But the people surely hate what they already know about.

    It is time to bring the “pork barrel” system down. Or, we all go down under.

    We can surely live without “pork.” Certainly, there is life without it.

    Thank you very much!

    Sen. Ping Lacson

  18. Ellen - August 22, 2013 11:50 pm

    The Million People March at the Rizal park will start at 9 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 26.

  19. Manachito - August 23, 2013 7:28 am

    Wala na ba katapusan ang mga kawalanghiyaan ng mga mambabatas at kaanib ng pamahalaan dito sa bansa? :(

  20. Snoop - August 23, 2013 10:08 am

    Kaya naman pala pinipili ni Cayetano si Ping na manguna ng imbestigasyon sa pork. May base.

  21. TonGuE-tWisTeD - August 23, 2013 4:24 pm

    Sinabi ko lang sa taas na ipa-audit yung pork barrel ni Noynoy, ayun, inabolish na.

  22. Ellen - August 24, 2013 2:45 pm

    Tongue, hindi naman abolished e.Spin lang.

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