BATTLE ON TO RETAIN PORK BARREL

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Don’t suspend pork, abolish it.

It is now a test of will between the people who demand the outright abolition of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) on one hand and President Aquino 3rd on the other.

The revelation by whistle blowers that Janet Lim Napoles of JLN Group of Companies had cornered P10 billion funds representing pork barrel allocations of five senators and 23 congressmen has angered people in practically all walks of life.

Subsequently, Commissioner Grace Pulido-Tan of the Commission on Audit not only validated the allegations but also detailed the manner by which the scam had been committed—and identified more legislators who pigged out on the pork barrel.


In spite of the outrage, Aquino announced he will not work for the PDAF abolition. He said he will instead monitor the release and ensure that the PDAF go to legitimate projects.

It will be remembered that Napoles, as alleged by her own employees, had set up non-government organizations (NGOs) to serve as conduits for government funds. She then withdrew the funds, give 70 percent of the amount to the legislator who owned the PDAF and kept the rest as commission.

There were no projects and the signatures of the supposed recipients were forged.

President Aquino also suspended its release pending result of the NBI investigation.

The majority and minority blocs in the Senate expressed support for the move.

Sen. Loren Legarda said she welcomes the President’s directive, adding that in fact she has no intention to utilize her PDAF allocation. For his part, Sen. Antonio Trillanes pointed out that the President should be allowed to introduce the necessary safeguards against misuse.

Rep. Isidro Ungab of Davao City, chair of the House Committee on Appropriations, also agrees with the move. So did Girogidi Aggabao of Isabela, Mel Sensen Sarmiento of Western Samar, and Niel Tupas, Jr. of Iloilo.

But the people will not be mollified. Abolition, not mere suspension, has become the battle cry.

A rally against PDAF is scheduled to be held to coincide with the celebration of the National Heroes Day at Quirino Grandstand on Aug. 26. The objective, according to organizers, is to gather a million people.

The anti-pork barrel movement, now gaining momentum, draws strength from Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, who it was reported wept when he rebuked the lawmakers who steal billions when people live in shanties and scavenge in the dumps for something to fill their empty stomachs.

Initially identified to have signed over their PDAF allocations to fake NGOs were five senators, namely Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, Ramon Revilla Jr., Vicente Sotto III, and Lito Lapid, along with 23 congressmen.

The NGO report that Pulido-Tan cited says Enrile, Estrada, and Revilla funneled P857.83 million of their pork barrel allocations to three Napoles NGOs.

As if that was not shocking enough, it now turns out that former Quezon City Congressman Matias Defensor Jr. released P99.5 million of his PDAF to Matias Defensor Sr. Foundation, where he is an incorporator, member of the board of trustees, and stockholder. He in effect awarded government money to himself. It was the same scheme former Sen. Edgardo Angara used to corner his PDAF allocation.

More than a hundred senators and congressmen are involved in the pork barrel scam.

Leftists and their representatives in Congress announced they will join the rally.

Rep. Neri Colmenares of Bayan Muna and Walden Bello of Akbayan said mere suspension will not correct the inherent defect in the patronage system represented by the pork barrel.

The two added everything is wrong with the pork barrel. The President, they claimed, uses it to threaten foes and reward allies in the Senate and the House of Representatives. The legislators, on the other hand, appropriate the funds for their own aggrandizement.

Meanwhile, the woman who set off the controversy remains at large, eluding the NBI teams sent to arrest her. Her passport and that of her brother, Reynaldo Lim, have been cancelled and their bank accounts frozen.

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14 Comments

  1. I wonder if napoles felt any guilt with the floods that happened this week. Wherever she is hiding, is she feeling anything for the people affected? Maybe not…

  2. Don’t retain, suspend it, abolish it. All I want is for the funds to be used to improved our country. That’s all I want, and hopefully the people like Napoles would realize the result of their decisions.

  3. It’s hard to take in that some senators like Jinggoy and Estrada poured funds on these NGO’s of Napoles. I hope this whole issue with the pork barrel will conclude with the philippines finally moving forward…

  4. Due to conflict in sked I’d miss the Aug. 26 rally, but I’d join the people in denouncing the misuse and abuse of PDAF.

  5. I am an OFW for 32 years and I am for the immediate abolition of the PDAF (Pork Barrel). Trillion of peoples money went to greed and dishonest politician, and kept the OFWs growing because of very poor Philippine government.

    ABOLISH THE PORK BARREL NOW!!!

  6. Rosauro Feliciano on

    Those who invented this so called pork barrel are cursed by millions who are suffering brought about by the effect of such a system. If at all those fellows are already dead they are in the kingdom of the devils; on the other hand if some of them are still alive, their spirits are already possessed by the devil spirits.

  7. Raymond Stenhouse on

    Just imagine if some of the Php 67 Billion pork Barrelling (PDAF) had been directed towards infrastructure to increase drainage in Manila and other Luzon areas. Then the citizens would see where their taxes are spent instead of having their houses, cars, businesses ruined.

    Wake up politicians serve your people not your greed.

  8. renato catalasan on

    I support Aquino’s government in its determination to eliminate graft and corruption during his term. But. I’m against his firm stand and determination to keep and maintain the pork barrel… which is the very source of political corruption in and around the government.
    I therefore urge all loving and peaceful Pilipinos to make a strong and send a clear message to the president by joining the rally at the Luneta Park scheduled and set on August 26.
    Make a stand and be counted and God bless!

  9. Why not set up an online petition to abolish the pork barrel. I am sure MILLIONS will sign the petition. People who will attend the rally should also sign the petition. For people like me who can’t attend the rally but support the idea, can sign the online petition.

  10. joebert banderas on

    Panahon na na i abolish na yan yun ang pasya ng taong bayan,matagal na yang binubulsa sa mga corrupt , kahit higpitan pa ang paggamit dyan ang magnanakaw hahanap yan ng paraan kahit kinakandado mo pa.Kung totoo kang tinig ng taong bayan ang sinusunod mo e abolish mo yan.Naghihirap ang taong bayan dahil sa mga corrupt na yan,nag aabroad nalang ang iba kahit mahirap malayo sa pamilya dahil walang oppurtunity sa bansa natin.The loving of money is the rootcause of all evil.

  11. What’s going to happen to the legislators?

    In a fair world, they would be forced to repay what they stole and do community service. But this isn’t a fair world.

  12. Ladies and gentlemen, the PDAF(Pork) scam audit, according to Pulido-Tan, covers only from the last few years of the Arroyo administration. Pulido-Tan claims that she did not initiate this audit but the Arroyo administration because she was appointed only in 2010. In simple words, there could have no audit done by her during the PNoy administration and we should thank Mrs. Arroyo for initiating the audit, yet, she is being blamed for the scam. What an a-hole these current crop of guys we have running the country. Anyway, with the scandal now being investigated, there will surely be a clamor to also conduct the same audit from 2010 to 2012. You guys can now imagine what the guilty legislators must be doing now to cover their tracks and look for ways and means to blame others for the clear corruption going on. And I mean all legislators, except ex Sen. Joker Arroyo and ex Sen. Pinky Lacson who are proven to have not used their PDAF.