• Belmonte, Drilon take us all for fools

    38

    It’s so sad for our country that our high officials, the leaders of the legislature, either are taking us for fools, think we’re all stupid, or are treating us like kids who don’t deserve any explanation.

    Reacting to the escalating protest that the 2015 budget still retains pork barrel that the Supreme Court  ruled unconstitutional, House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. simply dismissed Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago’s criticism in two curt sentences: “That’s her opinion. No pork in our budget.“ He didn’t bother to elaborate, even in The Philippine Star, which his sons manage, that could have given him a whole page for an explanation. “No pork barrel, basta!” is what Belmonte is saying.

    Senate President Franklin Drilon on the other couldn’t get rid of his arrogant, threatening so-sue-me ways, and said: “If you think there’s pork in the 2015 budget, go to the Supreme Court.”

    Despite the vehement protest of the chamber’s now most senior, and most distinguished member, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, the Senate approved the budget a day after the feisty legislator’s privilege speech. No interpellation, no speech by the sponsors of the budget bill to argue against Santiago’s protest. The senators obviously sent a message that they think she just spouted utter nonsense. It is significant though that only a bare majority, 13 out of the 24 senators, voted to approve the budget.

    We have an arrogant Senate and House of Representatives that think the nation doesn’t deserve an explanation on an issue the Supreme Court itself had said its piece: that the pork barrel is unconstitutional. I am outraged that they can claim that there is no pork barrel, when they know there is.

    Source: DBM. 2014 as “Bottom Up Budgeting” Projects 2015 as “Grassroots Participatory Budgeting” Projects. Name in bold font are members of House Justice Committee, in charge of impeachment complaints.

    Source: DBM. 2014 as “Bottom Up Budgeting” Projects 2015 as “Grassroots Participatory Budgeting” Projects. Name in bold font are members of House Justice Committee, in charge of impeachment complaints.

    There are lump-sum funds in the budget that President Aquino through his Budget Secretary Florencio Abad has the discretion to direct the use of, to ensure the loyalty and cooperation of a senator or a congressman in his schemes.

    One such fund is the agriculture department’s P13 billion budget for “National Programs for Rice, Corn, High Value Commercial Crops and Livestock.” The proposed budget doesn’t specify how and which areas this huge fund will be used, with the department given the discretion to allocate it as it wishes, just as long as it “prioritizes the major rice-producing provinces. Several other departments and agencies have such lump-sum budgets. Senator Francis Escudero, who always pretends to be angry at this administration, unwittingly disclosed his real servility to it by saying he “cannot trace these lump-sum funds.” What? Does he need somebody to tell him the page in the budget bill where such funds are provided for?

    New pork: ‘Grassroots Budgeting’

    I, however, have focused in my research on what I am sure 100 percent is the pork-barrel fund in the 2015 budget bill, revised a bit to go around the Supreme Court ruling Abad has diabolically termed this pork barrel 2015 edition as the “Grassroots Participatory Budgeting Projects.”

    “Diabolical” as he gave it a noble nomenclature to pretend it is a democratic exercise, when it is designed entirely to disguise the pork barrel scheme for next year. Even its total next year, P20.9 billion, is Abad’s calculation of the inflation-adjusted amount for the pork-barrel funds of P16 billion each for 2011 and 2012.

    Belmonte, Drilon and Senate finance committee chairman Escudero can’t even say the term “Grassroots Participatory Budgeting” (GPB) in their replies to critics who are alleging that pork barrel exists in the 2015 budget. They are so intent on keeping this 2015 pork barrel a secret they don’t even dare mention its nomenclature.

    One of the Supreme Court’s definitions of pork barrel, which it ruled unconstitutional, is as follows: “An appropriation of government spending meant for localized projects and secured solely or primarily to bring money to a representative’s district.”

    Going by this definition, the GPB projects are incontrovertibly pork-barrel money. Aquino and Abad, however, revised certain aspects of its use in order to skirt — in their calculation—certain conclusions of the court.

    Instead of allocating a certain amount (P70 million) annually per congressman as in the old pork barrel system, the GPB allocated P12 to P15 million per municipality. This was a boon to some of Aquino’s lackeys. Eastern Samar representative Ben Evardone in effect will get P170 million next year, a jump from the P58 million the average he was allocated for 2011-2013.  No wonder he’s the noisiest in defending Aquino’s 2015 budget and shouting  deadpan, “No pork in budget.” Abad’s Batanes, where his wife is sole congressman of, will get P95 million, from the P58 million the previous years.

    To hide these pork-barrel funds, these are not put in a separate major allocation, such as “Priority Development Assistance Fund” or “Countrywide Development Fund”, as was the practice since 1990.

    Instead, there is a special provision in the budget of 14 departments and agencies that provides that out of these a certain amount will be used exclusively for “various programs and projects of LGUs” which are identified in another part of the bill. That for the Agriculture department for instance is as shown in the following provision:

    Provision in agriculture department's budget for pork barrel

    Provision in agriculture department’s budget for pork barrel

    The biggest GPB fund among the 14 departments and agencies is P5.8 billion in the Interior and Local Government department, which allocation prompted Senator Santiago to claim that the budget was tailor-fit for DILG Secretary Mar Roxas’ presidential bid in 2016. The DILG chief would have nearly total control of this multi-billion fund.

    In Abad and Aquino’s thinking, there can be no pork barrel, since the funds are allocated to municipalities, not to congressmen. A party-list congressman and Senator Santiago, however, have exposed the fact that the GPB projects are determined by the congressmen, with the latter explaining that forms were even distributed by Abad for this purpose. No wonder the congressmen are so supportive of the 2015 budget bill.

    Abad claims that the GPB does not violate the court’s ban that Congress cannot interfere with budget allocations after the law has been passed. But the list of GPB projects contains so many fund items with still unidentified uses. Who will determine what projects would be funded? Everyone knows that it will be the congressman who has and always will be municipalities’ only link with the Budget department.

    Abad though invented another ruse that he thinks will hide such congressmen’s role in local projects, which is the reason for the scheme’s “Grassroots Participatory” description. He claims the GPB projects were chosen not by congressmen but by an assembly in each of 1,600 municipalities consisting local officials and leaders of NGOs.

    Such hogwash, and it’s very insulting for Abad to think that we would believe that.

    There isn’t any country in the world, including the most egalitarian and democratic societies, that has succeeded in having such bottom-up budgeting system. Abad changed the name to “Grassroots Participatory Budgeting” as budget officials were deliberately misnaming it “bottoms-up,” instead of “bottom up.” They probably thought they were celebrating with Abad his brilliant trick.

    tiglao.manilatimes@gmail.com
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    38 Comments

    1. ROBERT B. DECIERDO on

      From the very beginning I never, never, never believed in this person, he is so unqualified to lead our country all what he does is ask the decisions from his advisers and cabinet secretaries in which they have vested interest. So his ideas and decisions are more corrupt than the past presidents. I pity our dear Philippine Republic for having a very irresponsible and non-performing head of state. All he does is blame his failures to the past president yes! because until now he still keeps on blaming her for his failures. Now my fellow citizens of the Philippine Republic please choose wisely and responsibly for our next president. Hope this coming president will be a good, God fearing, mature and responsible, who has balls to decide what is good for our country. God bless us and our Republic.

    2. When I was interviewing a District Engineer of the corruption prone DPWH. The DE or the chief of the district showed to me all the ongoing and the already bided hundreds of millions of pesos projects in the two congressional districts in my province.
      Susmariosep, all of the projects have been contracted by the favored private contractors of the two congressmen.
      “Kaya pala natangal iyong isang DE dito kasi akala niya when the Supreme Court dealt 14-0 the pork barrel as unconstitutional, he thought he was already too powerful in awarding projects to his fair-haired boys’ contractors after sensing that the solons have been stripped off with privileges to give projects to contractors at their whims and caprices,“ I told the new DE.
      But Malacanang has a game plan how to skewer the high tribunal. Lately pork barrel is alive as exposed by a congressman of progressive party-list group Act. Congressman Tony Tinio said that Commissioner Patricia Lichuanan and then Health Undersecretary Janet Guarin of the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) and Department of Health (DOH), respectively have been caught res gestae when they instructed congressmen that they still have a say to projects in their district.
      (NOTE: See my full article “Reason Behind Cha-Cha: Pres. Aquino Fears Jail” for your insight that you can accessed at http://wwwmortzcortigoza.blogspot.com/2014/08/reason-behind-cha-cha-pres-aquino-fears.html )
      That instruction I surmised came from Malacanang for Lichuanan and Garin to inform the solons that happy days are here to stay.
      The implementation of invaluable projects means, 20% to 50% of S.O.P or cut illegally given by ingratiating private contractors, who constructs below par public infrastructures, to their patron congressmen or senators for them to use in their patronage politics.

    3. ok lang naman ang pork na yan kung tama ang implementasyon.kasi kung magkasakit ka o kamag-anak mo at kulang ka sa pera dyan pwede kang lumapit.sa bawat ospital meron dyang listahan ng senador at kongresista na pwede mong lapitan may pondo sila like sa national children hospital.kaya lang meron talagang ibang nagpapa-lusot.kung maaayos lang at magagamit ang pork na yan sa tama ok lang yan.

    4. Romeo M. Menorca on

      An employee in a business organization will not be very creative doing foolish things if he knows his boss is smart, keen, competent, in-the-know most importantly a no non-sense leader/manager.

    5. Mr. Tiglao please look into the allegation that each congressman who voted for the approval of the 2015 budget received 500k from the Palace… Very reliable source ang info na ito kasi isang congressman ang nagsabi nito….. Cash ang ibingay hindi projects… I do believe that this money came from the coffers of our government.. Ninakawan na naman ang taong bayan ng administrsyon na ito….

    6. Kiera Miguel Vigo on

      Cosalan is our Congressman.
      No wonder biglang yaman sila. Anak niya napag aral sa US without scholarship tapos kung mag asta mga mayayaman kala mo pera nila ang ginagamit! By the way ah? Si Cosalan ay very close kay Mar Roxas. Kasi ang asawa po niya ay pinsan ni Mar. May bago ding condo sa Makati ang anak.
      Lahat puro galing sa — PORK. Magkano ang mag pa masters ng Abogasya? 5Million pesos mahina para sa anak nya. Bastos na Cosalan! Kung maka asta kala mo kung Sino

    7. We’re not stupid indeed!! with Drilon and Belmonte, saying that there’s no more pork. It’s obvious that the “master thief” Abad, with the blessing of his “ignorant” Boss, has invented another illegal scheme, to steal our money. Congress and Senate should be ashame of being conspirators…but..in this country… politicians have none of that. Kapal talaga ni Abad!… giving P95M to his wife’s Batanes, na ang population ay parang isang barangay lang!!

    8. Thank you so much Ambassador Tiglao.

      Please, continue to expose these “Animals” in the Senate.
      Sana mabuhay pa si Miriam, at sana siya na lang ang next President.

      Mabuhay Ambassador!
      Mabuhay Manila Times!

      Very well said. Again thank you Ambassador.

    9. puro kayo angal panahon ni GMA hindi kayo umangal ng ganyan na walang matino na taga COA buti nga ngayon estrikto ang COA para iaudit ang pondo ng bayan at may napaparusahan pa

      • @Boy o… nung panahon ni GMA, umangal ka ba? kung oo at di ka pinigilan, so bakit ngayon panahon ni PNoy umaangal naman ang iba, gusto mo naman pigilan? kung hindi ka naman umangal nung panahon ni GMA, so bakit ka nagrereklamo kung hindi umangal ang iba noon kung ikaw nga hindi umangal? ano ba yan?

      • Kung masama noon, masama pa rin ngayon. Ke magreklamo ka o hindi. Mas masahol pa nga ngayon at sinaway nila nang harapan ang Supreme Court sa ginawa nilang Budget for 2015. Apaw na apaw talaga ang pork barrel kahit iniba pa nila ang patakaran. Sa bulsa ng mga Senador at Congressman pa rin ang patutunguan ng mga buwis natin. Mga hayup talaga.

    10. From what I’ve understood of the Supreme Court decision regarding the DAP/Pork Barrell is that the legislators are still entitled a portion of the national budget for their local projects as long as they propose specific projects and projected costs before the approval of the National Budget and as long as these projects are aligned with the agenda of the executive branch (hence, requiring a go signal from the president before inclusion in the budget).

      The questions/loopholes here are that why are legislators still entitled budget for projects when they should be working purely on legislation, and that there will be a certain favor that can be given to the approval of proposals made by legislators who are part of the president’s political ally groups.

    11. Wala tayong aasahan kay Chiz Escudero. Puro dada lang ito at doble kara. Kala nyo tunay pero kuwidaw. me hidden agenda sa loob ng katawan nya. Me naipasa na ba itong batas? Puro at pambababae at paninigarilyo ang inaasikaso nito eh. Kaya siguro galit mga magulang ni Heart sa gagong ito dahil natunugan nila at napatunayan na balimbing. Masama ding ehemplo sa mga pamilya kasi iniwan ang tunay na asawa at anak ng dahil sa ibang babae. Meaning, kung sa asawa niya eh hindi siya naging Faithful, gasino pa sa taumbayan. Remember, sa kanya galing ang “Noy-Bi” nung 2010 kaya siguradong makadilaw ito at kay Noy. Angal-angal lang kuno para tumaas ang taripa niya mula kay Great Thief Executive. Pareho sila.

    12. Wala na bang matino sa gobyernong ito? Puro pandaraya,
      Kasinungalingan at palusot sa
      mga anomalyang ginagawa nila?
      Patay na ba sa kanila ang salitang
      KONSENSYA at KATAPATAN?
      Siguro ang magagawa natin ay
      Palitan silang lahat sa 2016, dahil kung hindi ay lalong lulubog ang
      Pilipinas sa KAHIRAPAN.

    13. Bobi, would appreciate it if you detail in your next column who and how the senators voted to pass the budget despite objections from Miriam Defensor Santiago and grilling from Sen. Bongbong Marcos and Vicente Sotto.

      • please include the names of the Tongressmen besides Belmonte, Evardone, Umali, H. Abad, et al who defended and voted for this hidden meat pork. The people will be guided well on who to vote or not to vote come 2016. The voters are free to make their choices. They vote for a thief, that’s their choice. They vote for a qualifed one and not corrupt, that’s their choice. Come what may, nobody to blame but themselves. Kakapal ng mukha. San ba kumukuha ng kapal ng mukha at bituka ang mga magnanakaw na ito?

    14. Elizabeth Agbulos on

      These things (people’s money being looted by the members of the 2 chambers ) get into my nerves. Paging KARMA, now na !

    15. Keep exposing the budget with the hidden pork. Maybe later we will have the right people in congress to do a budget without graft and corruption. We just need more Miriams.

    16. victor m. hernandez on

      Lump sum, and for what purpose? It’s easy to juggle and spend the fund for whatever they wish to do with it. That’s difficult to account. It certainly has no transparency. I suppose that appropriations are for specific purpose. That the reason why there is budget hearing; we want to hear wht the money is for, what project will it be spent. There is no blanket authority for anyone to spend a lump sum amount. Please specify where the money will be spent. We should adhere to the principles of accountability and transparency. This is not a matter of numbers is might, with a simple majority. Please don’t make a mockery of democracy that says majority is might.

    17. Tita Boluso-Rimando on

      Budgeting is one management process that requires maturity, integrity and good judgement. Budgeting requires genuine concern for the stakeholders.

      What a shame – these competencies are not evident at all; in the leaders or in the process.

      In this administration, everything and everyone has been corrupted. It’s the midas touch in reverse. All that the king has touched has become gangrenous.

    18. How do you think Pnoy can hold these Congressmen in his hands except by way of “pork barrel” funds though in a different nomenclature as a form of bribe. After all Pnoy does not have the personal charisma and talent to make political compromises to hold these Congressmen to do his bid. Pork barrel has always been part of political compromises between Congress and Executive branches such that a lawmaker have to lobby the President to include his constituents public work projects in the GAA, though it was the executive branch that implements and do the process of finding withot the lawmakers interference in award, funding and choice of contractor builder. The anomaly arises when the funds are specifically earmarked to the individual lawmaker who himself have direct hand in the award, funding, and of his designated pimplementing agency, contractor or builder. This is when the kickbacks arises due to the lawmaker personal control of the funds for the project and the award. Now the President has more close control of funding of project of the lawmakers that he must kiss the ass of the President to be able to have his project approved and funded by the President. Unlike the illegal pork barrel funds which were directly allotted to each lawmaker and at his discretion to implement and designate the implementing agency and chose builder, now it is the President (executive) who does himself alone to make the project funded and implemented. Now Pnoy will be more a “Pork Barrel” King of bribery!

    19. chthonic monster on

      again again again and again;

      “Once a pork barrel scheme is started, nothing in heaven or on Earth is likely to stop it. Like barnacles on a ship, too many vested interests will glom onto it and fight to protect it.”!

    20. so sad that majority of the Filipino people and its leaders do nothing. At least yung mga unang administration, lokohin man tayo, tinatago nila –ito, harap-harapan na?? 95M for Batanes???? WHY??? because its Abad country. That’s why

    21. Sir, Cong. Umali is not our representative in the lone district of Occidental Mindoro. It is Josephine Ramirez-Sato.

    22. I still cant understand exactly what pork barrel is, surely the government has to spend money on projects for the country. Now when is it pork & when isnt it pork. Please explain it in simple terms so people like me can understand it.
      Im totally against corruption as i think you will all know from my writings on here. & i will also agree with you that not only this government but all governments have treated the filipino as fools. They all want their share of money, niot for projects but for themselves. Thats why most go into politics in this country. & it does seem some of your press is also so biased just like in the usa most of the press have been giveing obama a free passage but if it had been republicans doing the exact same things the press would have had a field day with them.

    23. Kaya mga kababayan huwag po nating iboto ang mga tulisan sa senado gamitin ang utak natin huwag ang bulsa, marami pong buwaya kung ako po tatanungin hindi ko iboboto sina Drilon guingona,trillanes lahat ng kasabwat ni Abnoy.

    24. BS Aquino, the fork-tongued Pork King, shows again that he is deaf to the clamor of his people that pork barrel be completely abolished. The Supreme Court has already ruled that it is unconstitutional, yet he, assisted by Abad, and approved by his minions in Congress, still inserted billions of pork barrel in the 2015. As in the past, a big chunk of this budget will just end up in the pockets of his political allies, who in turn assures him immunity from impeachment. The pork barrel of his allies will give also them undue advantage over their opponents in the 2016 elections, thus making our democracy nothing but a sham.

    25. Ruben V. Calip on

      Satanic. Dedma. PCOS. PF doomed unless the people rise to restore our imperfect but real electoral democracy.

    26. Understanding Person on

      Nang si Chiz Escudero nga ay nag-eexplain kay Karen Davila during the interviews sa ANC ay napapatawa ako at akala yata ng mga gunggong na ito – di ko sila buko! Mga gago’t magnanakaw talaga ang mga politiko sa atin at natitira na lang na matino ay si Pacquiao…mga ganid at hayok sa pera (ng bayan). Walang pag-asa ang Pinas!

      • hwag asahan si chizwiz, true to form lang yung ginawa nya. kunwari ay angal sya ng angal but in the end susundin nya ang utos ng yosi partner nya na si boy sisi. buko na ang palabas ni chizwiz, kung baga kumita na pero inuulit ulit pa rin nya kasi marami pa syang nabobola. tanong lang, yung ingay ba ni chizwiz ay parinig lang na hwag syang kalimutan sa hatian??wala talagang maaasahan ang bayan sa mga katulad ni chizwiz, lolo(ng) frankiski, lolo sb ( ang tunay na mayor ng q.c.), gonzales, recto, etc. dapat na talagang buwagin na ang congress.

    27. Pagkatapos ng 2016 mahahabol pa ba natin ang mga tulisan sina abad at ang kanyang mga gangs!kung mayroon sana paghaghandaan na ninyo!
      Sa ngayon wala magagawa ang sino man!
      Hintayin na lang ang 2016!

      • puwede siguro. basta ngayon pa lang ihanda na lahat ang mga solidong ebidensya kontra sa lahat ng nagnakaw at nagnanakaw ng pera ng taumbayan. Tandaan na kung walang solidong ebidensya eh paiikutin tayo ng mga hinayupak na ito sa korte, ombudsman, sandigan. ewan ko lang sa Korte Suprema. Ganun pa man dapat ready na tayo pagkatapos ng termino ng Crocodile Congress. Isa-isahin silang bigyan ng bala sa ulo. MGA MANDARAMBONG!

    28. P. Akialamiro@yahoo.com on

      First of all, thank you Mr. Tiglao for your expose’ and explanations on the 2015 budget. It seems like it is a case of “we’re right and it’s up to you to prove us wrong if you can” game being played by the subservient congress.

      With all these apparent ‘anomalies’ in the government, where have all the other newspapers and columnists gone? The Filipino people should have all the questions and explanations of what is going on in the government that will significantly impact negatively on the future of the republic. It’s been years and decades since anomalies such as what was pointed out in the budgeting have gone unchecked. that it has become a ‘clulture’ of governance in the country. I am also of the opinion that after all these years, the plight of the people is being taken for granted. I would hope that the time of ‘reckoning’ will not come for when the “the jar is too full”, the water will spill over…..Inevitably!.

      It is also quite obvious as one goes over the chart provided. All those listed are administration’s “favs”. Count me in as one of those who vehemently decry the “pork-veiled” budget.

      Steady on, Mr. Tigalo.

      • Lahat yata eh pare-pareho lang mga kababayan. Puro mga kawatan, pati si Tiglao nung panahon ni Marcos eh bakit hindi niya inumpisahan. Gets niyo? Ika nga eh weather weather lang yan. Kahit sino pa ang maupo sa mga yan eh walang mangyayari sa Pilipianas.

      • reynaldo s. paradero on

        anong posibilidad mo na magawa ang lubak2 na kalsada sa kanayonan kung walang pork barrel? tanggalin mo pork at throwbak yan during marcos time. noon ultimo patubig o kurtyente o kalsada kelangan mo hingen sa presidente. kung opposition ka wala kang kalsada patubig o irrigation. with pork barrel ultimo mga communistang party list numero unong matakaw sa pork. with pork lahat my pondo opposition ka man o hindi. kaya maraming rebelde noon dahil ang dali lang nila kumbinsihin kasi walang proyekto sa kanayonan. ang pinagtataka ko bakit nakikinig mga media sa komunistang party lists na iabolish ang pork at isa na dito si tiglao. gusto nila maghirap ang bansa, walang proyekto sa kanayonan para madali lang kumbinsihin mga tao para magrebelde at yan ang pangarap nila. kung anak mo scholar ng congressman mag rerebelde ba yan? pag walang pork kanino idaan mga pondo? sa dpwh? DA? NIA? hindi yan binoto ng mga tao kaya maski maliit na kalsada pwede nilang taposin ng 2 years. yan ba hindi mga kurakot? di tulad pag project ng congressman madaling bweltahan pagdating ng election. ung local roads walang pag asang mapondohan ng LGUs dahil karamihan sa kanila walang kakayanan. and DPWH national road lang pinopondohan ng mga yan. pag walang pork anong mangyari sa kanayonan???? di mo kelangan ng atomic bomb para patayin ang lamok. dahil ba si napoles nangurakot iabolish na pork. ikulong lahat ng may kasalanan, lahat ng nangurakot. Sa USA kada taon kaibigan my pork ang budget nila, kaya lang naiimplement ng husto hangang sa kahulihulihag kusing. di nga lang yan ang utmost priorities kasi my iba pang mas importante kaso kongreso gumawa at kung sino lamang sa numero sila mananalo. pag nagksakit ba kaanak mo gusto mo iadmit sa hospital makakhinge ka ba sa presidente? gusto mo paaralin anak mo sa college ng libre my pag asa paba pag walang pork? sa CHED pwede? subukan nyo? kung average lang anak mo walang pag asa yan. ang preside two lang ang tenga at million ang humihinge ng tulong. pati…