Congress is the Philippines’ biggest criminal syndicate

Tony Lopez

Tony Lopez

The biggest criminal syndicate in the Philippines is not any of those crime groups listed regularly by the Philippine National Police.  It is Congress.

As a syndicate, Congress is really massive—24 senators and 289 congressmen. This group of con men and women help themselves with money called the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAP) to the tune of P25 billion, if not more, a year. The simple word for PDAF is pork barrel.

In ancient times, the term referred to a barrel of goodies larded with pork so it becomes greasy and difficult for those trying to grab it. Slaves competed to get the barrel. I suppose applying lard around the barrel was the equivalent of leveling the playing field.

In today’s parlance, pork barrel has become billions of pesos. It is grease money so that our congressmen and senators—our slaves or public servants—do their work. Instead, these senators and congressmen have become our masters—veritable Mafia bosses who keep driving us citizens to greater penury, misery and economic enslavement.

The senators and congressmen come from no more than 70 families—our dynasties and political elite.

Since we have had a Congress for the past 83 years and nothing has happened to the Philippines—in terms of greater income equality, substantial job creation (12 million Filipinos today are either jobless or underemployed), massive reduction in poverty (China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Azerbaijan have proved that you can reduce poverty by 90 percent in just ten years), one can argue that you can eliminate our Congress and it won’t make a difference to the lives of ordinary Filipinos. In fact, my life, your life, our lives could be better.

Imagine the savings if Congress did not exist. We already have more than 15,000 laws, anyway, one law for every active lawyer we have in this country. And more laws than we probably need in a lifetime. Any act of man, and sometimes, even acts of God, are already covered by an existing law.

Our Congress is there just to pursue its criminal operation, a plunder of mind-boggling scale and gall. To paraphrase a famous quote of President BS Aquino in his last State of the Nation: “Where do these people get the thick skin of their faces?”

The rate of plunder is P200 million per year per senator, the pork barrel allowance. Multiply that by six years—the term of a senator, and the amount becomes truly gargantuan—P1.2 billion. Multiply that by two—the allowable maximum terms of a senator and the amount becomes even more gargantuan, P2.4 billion. There are 24 senators so the entire loot amounts to P4.8 billion per year. Or P28.8 billion in six years.

In some cases, there are siblings among the senators, so a single family—out of the 22 million (million) families in the Philippines—takes away P5.8 billion in 12 years. This P5.8 billion is an amount far more than what all of the more 300,000 small and medium enterprises can make in their entire corporate life.

The rate per congressman is P70 million per year or P210 million in three years (the one term of a congressman). Congressmen are allowed three consecutive terms or nine years. So multiply P70 million by nine years and you get P630 million—per congressmen.

There are 289 congressmen so the total loot in a year is P20.23 billion. Add the senators’ loot of P4.8 billion and you get P25.03 billion for the entire Congress. Per year.

For the years 2007 to 2009, our Commission on Audit conducted an audit on the PDAF and so-called Various Infrastructures, including Local Projects (VILP). PDAF is for so-called “soft” projects like education, health, livelihood, social services, financial assistance to address pro-poor programs, peace and order, culture and the arts. VILP is the “hard” portion or public works. VILP is why it’s more fun—rather, fund—in Congress.

In the COA audit for 2007 to 2009, those who participated in the plunder involved three cabinet ministries—Department of Agriculture, Department of Public Works and Highways, and the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

DA has become synonymous with hunger (4.9 million Filipino families or 25 million Filipinos had nothing to eat at one time in the last three months, according to the Social Weather Stations).

DPWH has become synonymous with highway robbery— the kind perpetrated by our senators and congressmen. And the social welfare of DSWD could as well stand for “private welfare” of our 70 elite political families.

Aside from the three cabinet departments, also involved in the massive looting of taxpayers’ money were four government corporations—Technology and Livelihood Resource Center (TLRC), National Livelihood Development Corp. (NLDC), National Agribusiness Corp. (NABCor), and Zamboanga del Norte Agricultural College Rubber Estate Corp. (ZREC).

Plus five provincial governments—Tarlac, Bataan, Nueva Ecija, Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental; and eight city governments—Mandaluyong City, Manila (including 12 barangay), Las Piñas, Tabaco, Iriga, Naga, Panabo. Plus 94 barangay of Quezon City.

The COA audit for 2007 to 2009 validated P101 billion in VILPs (infra funds) released by the Department of the Budget nationwide, P12 billion in PDAF released to DA, DPWH and DSWD; and P2.36 billion from allocation for Financial Assistance to LGUs and budgetary support to GOCCs.

An anonymous person, Luis Abalos, who was not a congressman in the 13th and 14th Congress, received P20 million. I guess this is the equivalent of a ghost payroll, the kind of shenanigan only our Congress is capable of.

Of the P12 billion PDAF released by DBM, only P8.374 billion or 69 percent was audited. Of the P101.6 billion in infra funds (VILPs) released, only P32.66 billion (32 percent) was audited.

In other words, the leakage or “bribe” is 30 percent for PDAF and 68 percent for infra funds of senators and congressmen. Three senators and six congressmen helped themselves with P1.393 billion of infra funds.

About P6.156 billion was transferred by three Cabinet departments—DA, DPWH and DSWD —to 82 non-government organizations (NGOs). The P6.156 billion came from the PDAFs of 12 senators and 180 congressmen.

Ten NGOs received a total of P2.157 billion. All ten are linked to Janet Lim Napoles.

Six other NGOs got P189 million. These six included those owned by the legislators or with a relative as incorporator or officer. In other words, the senator or the congressmen gave the money to himself. The gall talaga.


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  1. Every body who can read Mr Lopez article will surely say 100% correct . And everybody who can read all the comment will agree too.>>>>> I have not read most of the comment, but there is one thing we need to consider and think about it.>>>>Bakit kaya naka pag nanakaw ang mga KAWATAN na ito>>>Dahil po nasa puesto sila>>>Bakit nasa puesto sila>.> Dahil po tayo ang naglagay sa kanila dito…And tha’s where the problem started.. “TAYO ANG NAGLAGAY SA MGA KAWATAN NA ITO SA KANILANG MGA PUESTO. ..Most of them are re-elected TONG-GREASE MAN and SINA TONG. Alam nating lahat, na sa loob ng 3 yrs term nila puro NAKAW, KAWAT ang ginawa, PERO ipinuesto parin natin silang muli>>>> BAKIT, BAKIT BAKIT ?? And that is the problem of some of our kapatid na PINOY.

  2. Mr. Lopez,
    I can agree with you with all the corruption that has been going on, but 2007-2009 should not be the only gauge to measure how much money had gone to waste. It should not be the so called ” pork barrel” or PDAF as one will call it, but the entire budget inclusive of the presidential pork (discretionary fund) should be examined.
    The current CCT (CONDITIONAL CASH TRANSFER) has a budget allocation of 60 plus billion for one year, how is this going to be accounted? When COA itself admitted that it lacks the manpower to conduct an audit for pork barrel given to hundreds of NGO’s. In CCT, the government talks of 4. something million families, are we kidding ourselves? This I think is one of the biggest scams yet. What about the hundred of billions of pesos granted to Mindanao for development, can somebody tell what has happened to it?
    Pnoy is such a story teller, he cannot even account for his father’s real killer. He’s full of air and anecdotes, he is for selective justice, meaning if you’ve crossed his or his family’s path, then beware.
    Those who are found to be guilty of funneling their pork barrel to Napoles shoud be jailed, but again, we should look at all the monies given out by the government, past and present, properly accounted for.
    I do not believe that this current government is not corrupt as propagandists would like people to believe. Pilipinos, like it or not, are corrupt by nature. Pakikisama system is a culture which can breed corruption, and us Pilipinos are known for this “pakikisama”. Thank you

  3. I believe that corruption can be abolished in the higher government offices, but we have to remember that sometimes and most of the times we Filipinos are also corrupt in our own simple ways. Deleting the corruption in the book of PH society is a long process, it will be a rough road but still we as Filipinos, if we unite as one and act for a common goal we can abolish this.
    Let’s stop blaming, we all know who are the culprits, stop pointing fingers to them, it will not do good, instead let us act. Let us work together to achieve the justice we’ve been demanding for so long. Let us scrutinize every political candidates and vote for those who are sincere in public service, who were was once like us (ordinary citizens). Let us watch our money and let us make sure that these pennies go to those in need. We need to encourage one another not to support those who are buying votes. If we want to rise, we need to have the desire to rise, as Seneca said, “The greater part of progress is the desire to progress. ”. We need to choose the leaders who are not looking for a position but wants to show the right disposition, “Genuine leadership is all about disposition not position.” – John C. Maxwell
    The Pork Barrel should go to the NGO Leaders who are raising funds through non-political acquisition. To the teachers who journey the mountains and seas and rivers to teach the unprivileged. To the doctors who chose to serve the people in the rural areas. To those farmers and fishermen who battle the nature just to produce food for the nation. To those street sweepers who ignore the heat and risk of accident just to clean the roads. To those working students who fight the sleepless days and nights just to reach their dreams. And to everyone who pays taxes, everyone who is Filipino and to everyone who is in need.

  4. OMG… a first by a congress in the World! We Filipinos should have awaken long time back. Why are electing these congressmen not to create laws but of fortune for themselves? Poor Filipinos…poor Philippines!

  5. Spent 5 yrs in the Phil’s. can’t complain, had a blast but at the end of the day it was horribly corrupt. Just as night follows day, everyone knew their politicians are on the take, it was a given. The police liked to shake you down. There were numerous other scandals at the time that eroded the trust of the general public.

    At the time, pudong in shanghai was just a rice field. Look at china, just look at what they have done, look at Taiwan, a basket case till the early ’90’s. Thailand’s’ tourism grows every year. Burma has finally opened up and even Vietnam is on the up and up and where’re the Philippines’ now? Basically in the same place as where they are in the mid 90s when I left. Is there hope? You need to define hope first. In my opinion the politicians are at the root cause and if a fish rots from the head then I’m afraid the Philippines must cut out their cancer called congress. Will they? Not on your life. Why? Because anyone can work their way up and become a congressman. Along the way, they can amass a wealth they can only dream of and this is what gives them hope…

  6. I salute you Mr. Lopez for having the balls to write this article . I take my hat off to
    you and I wish that other journalists will follow your example and have the guts too! More power to you and I look forward to reading more of your articles about our
    National Bosses who think they own this country and its people! God bless our country!

  7. John Machiavelli on

    Next election, I am running for congressman for the city I live in. Right now, I am broke and need to pay my debts. I also like playing the roulettes. That’s a side issue but my heart is really helping poor people out of poverty. I am a Christian and go to church every day, er, at least everey Sunday. So, watch out for me – John – in the next elections and I will be your savior from poverty.

  8. John Machiavelli on

    In about 2-3 months, this news (pork barrel, corrupt politicians) will be FORGOTTEN. We will move to the next issue, say, Charice’s transition to gay or there will be outcry because some famous celebrity bashing Manila as a dirty city. Even Mr. Lopez will change gear and tackle another topic….oh, well, life goes on. In the meantime, the politicians will come out from the boondocks and merrily continue plundering the country…the poor don’t care, they are too dumb to know what’s going on.

    • I fully agree! Unless something very,very drastic (or draconian) is done what’s going on will continue till the mountains become plains – and the cows come home! Everyone but everyone is or will be on the take,no two ways about it! Situation hopeless,solution nil!

  9. Marlon S. Badillo on

    Sir I will be glad if you will discuss in your column about Captain Jimmy Napoles, the “King of the Hypocrite”, he almost die in his fight against corruption in the Military that
    is why he joined the RAM, but when his wife Janet Napoles is doing the corruption he stay silent because he and his family is benefited.

  10. Philippines need change .Im from Chicago and everybody knows ,Our Governor and any other been sentenced here for using budget on the wrong way . They need to do it. Justice for the people of Philippines fair is fair .For me banned and make a law to prohibits family in any Government position one is enough.If ever they want to help cut off their salary or do as voluntary will see if they still want to be elected if its free. Too many Politicians theres no more budget and still a lot receiving money from the govt. cut it ! lay off some .In 5 years if they do so ,can start the funds to help the people ,direct the funds to the organization rather than to the elected officials.

  11. There is only one solution. I urge very Filipino business entity and every Filipino not to pay their taxes. The government cannot possibly imprison everyone by doing so.That way there will be no more funds these thieves can steal. Every business and each Filipino should instead give their hard earned money to their favorite charity

    • myrna a. lopez on

      I agree to the above recommendation – exempt all common Filipinos(excluding government employees from the top down) from paying their taxes for a year- 2013-2014. Instead, let the senators and congressmen give back to the particular gov’t agency what they stole
      from the people thru the PDAF. COA should monitor if the money each one stole has been paid back. This would be the only solution to punish those people because it seems improbable that the president of the country will have the guts to imprison them aside from letting them pay back what they stole.

  12. Former Filipino on

    Courageous comment Mr. Lopez, What the Filipino people need is to have a courageous brave honest leader to unite the people the masses and start a revolution capture all corrupt politicians and their families, political dynasties and their families, anyone who steal money from govt. coffers anyone who enrich themselves in questionable way, anyone who received bribe to enrich themselves and parade them in Luneta and execute them one by one. No mercy. Collect all their properties and monies and return to the people. Let there be no rich nor poor everyone will have what it needs, whoever want to become rich will only attain it in a fair hard work and honest way, this is the only way to make a credible change in the so-called Phil. democracy,

    • Fidel Castro of Cuba did something along that line when he took power in 1959! And Cuba is now one of the least corrupt (if corrupt at all!) in the Americas! But he wasn’t in a democracy! Doesn’t that say something about democracies?

  13. noong panahon nang mga Marcos walang takot na hinarap/hinaramg ang mga Tanke,Bala, at kung ano ano pa baka panahon nanaman po para ipakita ang PEOPLES POWER sa mga Bulok na nanunungkulan sa ating Gobyerno.mabuhay po kayo Tony Lopez!!!!

    • Tingin mo ba may naitulong yang People Power na ginawa nila kay Marcos? Sa time ni Marcos 1usd is to 2php lang ang currency conversion… At lahat pinangako (if not all.. most of them) nya nagawa nya. Kahit pa sabihin ng marami na greedy or OA ang paggamit nya ng power, he has made the Philippines number one country in Asia. Yung mga sumunod na administration? Ano ginawa? NGANGA! After the time of Marcos, sunod sunod ang corruption.. at malamang, ung mga anak anak pa at ibang kamag-anak ng mga namumuno yan sila na ung next generation ng mga corrupt gov’t officials. May choice ba? Sila sila rin nagpapatakbo ng election eh!!! KALERKS Much!!!

  14. Thanks Tony for your outstanding article. I believe time has come to dismantle not only the so-called “pork barrel” but Congress as well… a total overhaul of our political system. There should be a people’s court to try the “scalawags.” We have been in a “plunder economy” and everybody is witnessed to that. “Plunder the poor taxpayer to augment the wealth of the rich and powerful.” A plunder case is a non-bailable offence and carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

    • I thought “plunder” was punishable by death! Who changed that law? And what happened to the two,three or four “plunder” cases in the courts for years now? Nothing,absolutely nothing;in fact the “guilty” parties are now, if not more powerful, at least as powerful as before- or pardoned! (I wish the punishment of “hell” were as “reliable” as our laws!) And that’s one of the biggest problems in the Philppines: not only are there too many laws but nobody applies them! And,worst of all,the guilty get away wth it!

  15. I’m concerned about Tony Lopez’s safety. I included him in my prayer list.
    Criminals, in their shameless greediness wont hesitate to do harm on Tony.

    Anyways, those crooks are hell bound. Mahirap magsisi at magbalik loob sa Diyos ang mga plunderer. The will be subjected to God’s law of restitution. Isasauli ang ninakaw ng higit sa doble ng original na halaga. Papaano na??? Maybe they thought that with their millions they can BRIBE God??

  16. If all these comments posted in the internet be captured and collated into a volume of books and presented to the congress/senate would be more meaningful. These public official don’t even have a time anyway browsing the internet, let alone reading all these comments. It’s like a Bible for example in the book of Deuteronomy Chapter 5: Verse 17-19: You shall not murder. Neither shall you commit adultery. Nether shall you steal. Perhaps I would find my comments in Volume 10:105 of the “Book of Litany of Graft and Corruption” which is written: “The Philippine Senate needs a Kumisyon to oversee the Kumisyon who oversee the Commission of the Pork Barrel Kumisyon”. Then a law will be passed to read a verse from the book every time a session in the senate will begin. I am not saying that the usual prayers be taken away like the time of the Corona impeachment, but hoping against all hope per chance our senators will change.

  17. Pnoy Ang Dugo Ko on

    Mahusay at matapang ka Mr. Lopez, saludo po ako sa inyong mga talata. Kumbinsido po ako sa lahat ng iyong sinambit at nakakapanghina po ng kalamanan kung ating iisipin na ang dapat na magsasaayos ng ating batas ay siya pang sumisira. Bagama’t ganito na tayo noon, hanggang ngayon walang pagbabago dahil ang mga tao ay hindi rin marunong pumili ng mamumuno sa atin.

    • I am just wondering why COA has not released its PDAF audit for YRS 2010-2012. It might be interesting to know what our current congressmen, senators, and executive department officials have done with the PDAF. Besides, many of these legislators were former LAKAS party members of former Pres. Gloria Macapagal who are now with LAKAS PALA (LP) of the Aquino Administration.

  18. How can you eliminate graft and corruption when all you blame is the govt. and its different bodies – and totally ignore one important part/fact: the people themselves! As someone said to me once: “it is an impossibility to have an honest (serving) politician because in order to win he has to buy votes from the very same people who want him to be honest,otherwise he cannot win! And unless he can print his own money he/she must recoup his expenses,or go bankrupt! Or engage in corrupt practices!”
    Let’s face it: corruption is practically inbred,so endemic and widespread it is, and unless something very,very drastic is done (think Fidel Castro of Cuba!),which in a democracy would not be tolerated nor possible, it will be a constant part of life in the Philippines! So get used to the saying: “there’s no such thing as an honest politician!” – but add: “not all of them are crooks though,some do it simply to survive!” Which is what everybody is trying to do in our country!

    • Few months ago during the local election, the citizens behaved as Santa himself came to their doors.. Money was given by politicians left and right, some locals listed them self in several neighbor (true-or-false) told me she got 1000 pesos from candidate in Mindanao and 300 pesos from local major office here in south Cebu.

      Point is..NOT ONE person declined to accept the “peso for vote” bribe, indicating that no-one understand integrity, honesty, corruption on the grass root level nor care!! Rather they accept this as “normal” my Pinay wife stated..”So What”..??

    • true indeed, most politicians resorted to vote-buying during election in order to win, but the money they used are the pork barrels they earned from their position. for neophytes they would not hesitate to invest some amount knowing that they could easily get the roi in a short span once elected. but if there’s no such thing as pdaf, only people with sincere desire to serve will run for public position. candidates will not buy votes and people will not expect dole outs from the candidates during election. my point is, its not the people’s fault rather, the candidates. where there is a giver, there will always be a receiver…

    • elmer collong on

      You have a very good grasp of reality for the professional politician in the country, sir, but I beg to disagree on the point you are making that the aspiring to be elected has to buy votes. It’s a prostitute’s argument there where they have to sell their bodies in order to eat. Understandable, but not necessarily acceptable. I have to agree with Art E on this because, the politician, aspiring to be a leader, must show that he or she is also moral. Equally, if said aspirant is truly talented as a leader, it shouldn’t be necessary to buy votes. It’s when they have nothing to show for that’s when they have to lean on money, or influence, or coercion and all the other ugly things we see today. Like a prostitute, the argument that they are simply trying to survive like you and me eventually doesn’t stand. They ruin society. Working in a government hospital, I see the effect on the people. Mapapamura ka and think dark thoughts talaga. It’s defeatist thinking, Andrew. We must stand with the good and keep pushing for a day where things are better and the next generation will look up to us and thank us for at least trying. I’d rather hold firm to the saying ” all evil needs to succeed is for a few good men to do nothing”. Without the pork barrel, I’m sure some bad eggs will be discouraged from running, and the people will be more critical and conscious of the background of candidates and the conduct and accomplishments of elected officials. Corruption may be endemic, but we used to live in caves and we used to be a Spanish colony, di ba?

    • The fact that members of the Philippine Congress could steal with impunity massive amounts of taxpayers money says a lot about accountability in the Philippine government. The reason why corruption is rampant in public service is the fact that NO ONE ever gets jailed or even expelled out of office for financial malfeasance. As long as this continues on, the systemic failure in accountability will always have the same result: massive corruption! And unless Filipinos themselves demand a change, the status quo will remain. Knowing that corruption itself is a way of life in the Philippines, I have no faith that there will be major changes and clean-up in the Philippine government. Thus, the Philippines will remain in the list of “Failed States.” (Foreign Policy Magazine, Aug.2013 issue).

    • “Some do it to survive” is rather a poor and an invalid excuse to tolerate the massive corruption in Philippine Congress. First of all, I seriously doubt if there’s any poor politicians in the Philippines. Mainly rich people and movie stars can afford to invest in elections and it’s a “business investment”-they want to be in office NOT to serve their fellowmen but to empower themselves and to accumulate as much wealth as possible.The reason why these people ran for office is mainly to pad their bank balances. ALL Philippine politicians are crooks-only in varying degrees! And Filipinos themselves are to blame for electing these scums. Jose Rizal once said, “There are no tyrants where there are no slaves.” He was right!

    • I agree with most of the comments. The Philippines’ corruption problems by the politicians down to the ordinary folks working for the Government as the policemen, BIR, Customs, etc. have been going on for decades. They are ingrained already in the culture and almost impossible to eradicate. Different political leaders come and go and still the corruption continues. Don’t you think the problem could be the very system of governing the country: the democratic system of electing officials. The Philippines copied this system from the U.S. However, you cannot compare the quality of the electorate of these 2 nations. The U.S. democratic system works because they have an educated and strong middle-class and a very informed electorate. A large majority of the Filipino voters are not familiar with its system of government, what is going on in Congress, the qualifications of the candidates, etc. They follow their friends, relatives or pastor’s suggestion who to vote for rather than studying the candidates intently and thinking for themselves. The right to vote is a serious and sacred matter and should not be sold off. Many times they just vote for someone whose family is well-known or a celebrity or a famous sport figure. That’s not going to cut it. Vote for the candidates whose platform makes sense and can deliver for the good of the community and ultimately the country. Would you also say that the people are disciplined and very respectful of the country’s laws? That’s another problem area. As they say, the fish smells from the head. But in your case, the fish smells from all over. Best of luck.

    • Julie and Elmer: You missed my point entirely! By “doing what they do to survive” I meant simply that they want to “survive”,i.e.,”continue”, so they can continue,ad infitum,doing what they’re doing as there’s plenty of money in it,plenty,plenty,plenty! It’s not “surviving” like a prostitute has to do (which,by the way,sounds like “lawyer talk!) or because they’re poor or lack money! (Everyone,and his/her dog,know there’s no such person as a “poor politician”!)

  19. I have seen, heard, and communicated with many Filapinos and 99.9% of the Philippine citizens are strong, resilient, hard-working and smart when they are not force-fed by corrupt leaders. The citizens of the Phils create a strong foundation so a vibrant, future economy is within grasp. Since this article found it’s way to the press, it is in the public eye and everyone needs to come together and take massive action…copy this article in case it is taken down, get it in your local media, translate it if needed and stand tall for your rights to a lifestyle worth living and fight until the pendulem swings-God had granted you this lifechanging opportunity so band together and stir the pot!

  20. Amelia Sebastian Uy on

    Mabuti naman at ngayon napag-uusapan na yan. Ang tagal din nanahimik tungkol sa mga isyu ng corruption na gamit ang pork barrel. Salamat sa mga nag-ingay sa kongreso at sa mga naglakas ng loob na isiwalat ang mga nagsasamantala sa kaban ng bayan.



  22. The only business in the Philippines that we can visibly witness, progressing are politicians. Mansions here and abroad, luxury cars , private armies, businesses and so on. How much are the legal salary of this officials that they can afford those extravagant? Those are from PDAP or pork barrel fund and other government fund. Abolished PDAP and allocate that money for Infra, social services and research and development and technology and salary for civil servants through efficient, organized and transparent public administrator of government agencies. Their must be separation between politics and administration. Politics are mandated to create laws and overseer of Public Organization to achieve goals.

  23. most politician running for public official because of money. noong bata ako tanda ko pag my election sa municipality namin hindi ma complete ang 8 persons line-up sa councilor. kasi walang pang salary noon ang councel parang honorarium lang. now na may salary na ang mga councilor sa liit nang municipality namin halos aabot sa 40 ang tumakbo. before ang mga tumakbo my qualification talaga. aside of being brainy my truck record talaga for public service kung hindi lawyer galing NGO. but now omg basta may pera pang bili nang vote takbo. inisip kulang hindi naman sila rich pero bunili nang vote. paano nila ma return yong pera nila na binili nang vote? kaya dapat alisin na yong mga pork barrel im sure wala nang patayan every election. at im very sure wala nang tatakbo sa congress at senador. kaya lang naman sila tumakbo sa ganyan because of power ang money. comment kulang ito. walang personalan.

  24. Whatever we say or do it will not change the fact that our country is one of the poorest in the world. We are all complaining about our corrupt government officials but we keep on voting on them each election. Don’t you guy’s get it. They are all corrupt if not maybe 95% of them are corrupt. It’s not about the congress or the senate or whatever branches of government we have. Abolishing them is not the answer. Reading, Blogging or posting it somewhere will not solve our country’s problem. We need to take actions on it. Instead of reading and leaving a comment let’s take a step forward by means of action. I always see comments telling that Political Families are powerful that we can’t do anything to have them prosecuted. Yes as per our Philippine law they are right because they own our law. But in the law of the people we can have them immediately prosecuted. We don’t need any investigations. If we can all act together to stop this. We can do our own kudeta. Not a militaru khu. But a filipinos khu for a better future. Let’s stop ignoring our country’s problem. I’m calling for each and everyone of filipinos to act. This is for our kids future. TAMA NA ANG WALANG PAKIALAM. TAMA NA ANG LILIPAS DIN YAN. TAMA NA ANG WALA NA TAYONG MAGAGAWA. Let’s act guy’s not for just ourselves but for all of us. Let’s make our own law. Let’s take to them what they created. And let them hear one of the favorite phrase of our Judiciary branch.


    So Ordered,
    By Filipinos!

    Let’s prosecute them all until the good one’s are the only one’s left.

    • “Sentenced to death by beheading”? Now,where did I hear that word before? Iraq? Afghanistan? Pakistan? Sudan? Definitely not from a (mostly)Christian nation! Let’s just apply the law,which we have a lot of, AS IT SHOULD BE APPLIED,and I’ll be content with that! Let’s not become animals or uncivilized in the process! To paraphrase a former President: “I prefer a civilized Philippines than a vicious and bloodthirsty Philippines!

  25. Corruption will NEVER be abolished. It is already ingrained in Philippine society. It is everywhere from the highest offices of government like former presidents Marcos, Estrada etc down to the street police asking for tong to students paying unscrupulous teachers to get advanced copies of exams. It is everywhere…high and low. This is caused by lax adherence to rules, lax attitudes toward rules and the common good. Politicians who are elected consider public service as “their turn” for self enrichment. Only an act of supreme divine intervention….a miracle will eradicate this plague. If I only had one wish…it would be that we became a state, a colony of the United States…look at Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam? You can criticize my opinion…its ok…look how many million Filipinos are suffering as a result of corruption. I could just dream how progressive our country would now be without corruption. Filipinos don’t know how to form an effective government model..they vote aging, retiring movie stars and singers….pathetic! You get what voted for…what are their qualifications anyway? There is no U turn from corruption.

    • If the Filipinos don’t shape up, China is already encroaching…maybe they will come in and fix it. Wake up!

  26. These corruption of mega-magnitude flourished because nobody is checking them. There is no preventive measures being followed. There were issues before from the previous administrations and there is nothing done on how to prevent in the future. Sorry, Filipinos, we just have to cry out loud and shout on the top of our lungs, but this will happen again and the cycle goes on and on. Common sense dictates that you have to take care of your body by not exposing yourselves to viruses so that you won’t get sick and that’s prevention. This is a vicious cycle from one administration to the next, because nobody is checking. Mr. Lopez, thank you for your article, but my question is: Why is COA just released their so-called findings after these things happened? Is it their role to check only after these things happen? If there is a project, are they not going to have, at least, an ocular inspection to validate any disbursements? Are they just watching with their open eyes and make a report for the media? Are they not supposed to protect the assets and resources of the government by implementing measures to avoid abuses? To whom are they (COA) accountable? It would be a patriotic service to the Filipino people if COA will release to the Filipinos on what is their role in the government and what are they doing. I am not speculating any conivance here, because I don’t know much their role. What is the media saying about this COA agency. Thank you for your time.

  27. Halos mamatay na ako sa pagod sa marangal at produktibong pagtratrabaho dahil sa pagtataguyod ng kaginhawaan ng aking pamilya, ngunit wala pa rin akong asenso at ang hirap pa rin ng buhay ko. Itong mga Politikong ito sa congreso ay paupo-upo lamang at nagkukubli lang sa paggawa ng batas na kunwari kanilang pinagkaka abalahan, pero naka concentrate naman sila kung paano mapapa sakanila ang parte nila sa PORK BARREL. Di na kailangan ang Congreso dahil marami na tayong batas at magiging kanlungan lang ito ng corruption na sana mapupunta sa mga naghihirap na taong bayan. Sa totoo lang karamihan naman ng mga batas na kanilang pinanunukala ay hindi naman nasusunod at naipapatupad. Para nga lang sa mga interes ng mga kapitalista, Politiko at mayayaman nga lang ang mga batas na ginagawa nila. Nakakalungkot dahil harap harapan na nga lang ang kanilang pagnanakaw ay sila pa ang mababangis na tumutuligsa sa mga maliliit na mamamayang nagkakasala sa batas. Pero kung susuriin natin ay sila pa pala ang HARI NG CORRUPTION AT SINDIKATO na nagkukubli sa posisyong ipinagkaloob din ng taong bayan. Mamamayang Pilipino!!! Go out and seek the ABOLITION OF CONGRESS MOVEMENT. Tama na, Sobra na, Alisin na sila. Mga pahirap sa bayan!!!

  28. everyone is corrupt even the barangay tanod, they asking money when they are rounding up during their duty to assure their security. traffic enforcer asking grace money to pass through small violation, nothing to trust at all. if the money goes to government agency all of the officer and workers are also corrupt. their contact contractor is also corrupt.

  29. According to this article of Mr Lopez, the COA report of Congressmen and Senators their PDAF funds were being deposit to several NGO’s. For example, Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile gave 469.39 million, Sen Jinggoy Entrada gave 307.195 million, Sen Bong Revilla also gave 471.39 million and to name a few. Only Sen Miriam Santiago gave 300K to a catholic religious organization which is prohibited by the law “that no public funds be used to any religious sect”. More than 50% of their PDAF was deposited to these NGOs. For what purpose? If you analyzed these sum of money that they have deposit to these NGOs, it is clear that it was for keeping their funds “public money” for their own purpose. I want to stressed the word DEPOSITED because these NGOs were just safekeepers of their PDAF and as soon as they need it they will just ask for it. What a crook…

  30. My comments on August 20 was shelved. I’m not sure what’s the reason. Maybe it’s because I mentioned about the Malacanang to initiate it’s reform by scrapping their Intelligence Fund that is CAO-Free Audit and I also commented on the scrapping of the SUC’s gov’t subsidy and the GOCC’s transparent report. But anyway, I hope we will not be bias in all of our reporting because what the public wants to know is the truth of the matter.

  31. Manuel B. Zuniga Sr. on

    Abolish Congress totally.I salute you Mr. Lopez.Keep up the good work.Take care and God bless.

  32. Engr Lope Cortez on

    Mr. Lopez thank you so much for that very enlightening write-up of our Congress that is run by well educated, moneyed and religious people. After reading, I was ashamed and embarrased to know that that Institution is not now credible. Under that shade are law makers and law breakers. Now my question is, what is the best solution to avoid reoccurence of this unacceptable behavior? My suggestion is to “Shut Down” Congress and Senate and investigate. it will resume its function only when the investigation and guilty are identified. I think the Filipino people is the highest authority in the land. Then let’s do it. I will ptay to the Almighty God for His entercession. God bless Phillipines.

  33. It’s time concerned citizens of this country to do something. For starters we need to organize. Organize in such a way that we can influence the result of an election – so we can elect a qualified statesman & leader. It’s going to a long journey, but we need to start somewhere. Let’s organize!

  34. Hindi na ko magtataka kung pati mga biggest crime hindi mareresolba kasi sila din ang may gawa. Minsan napapaisip ako yung ibang krimen like bombahan, banggaan ng mga barko etc ay baka sila din ang may gawa para ma divert ang atensyon ng mga tao.

  35. How refreshing to read thoughtul, responsible comments. Maybe they have been edited (for good). Am glad that the such an important issue as congressional thievery has drawn serious comments.

  36. Well said Sir! We don’t need congress of unqualified people! Tapos may mga party-list pa pandagdag sa budget para nakawin lang. Di na kelangan 300 lawmakers.
    Sobrang dami na magnakaw ng pera. Maliit lang naman ang Pinas pero andami nila, wala namang ginagawa.

  37. these are leeches and vampires in barong tagalog. Their cover up to look like they are nationalistic. Shame on you!! Pwe!! Only difference is they won’t let go until they’ve sucked every last drop of lifeblood of the Filipinos.

  38. The source of corruption must be eliminated or abolished. The money should be handed to private or religious institutions for the transparent, open use for the public welfare. Cut down the number of elected members of corrupt congress- they , and their families ,are expensive to support. The judiciary and executive branches must have the teeth, will and to punish all the guilty ones after court trial.
    Educate the masses not to vote for the corrupt, thieves, and all with unexplained wealth politicians ..We also need an unbiased media. Better still, we need a Gestapo-like supervisory eyes and ears in all branches of the government

  39. Blame should also be on the mis-educated Filipino voters… for consciously & persistently voting those “porky” political dynasties…

  40. Tama yan sir Lopez, isang untouchable na syndicate ang congress at senate, iisa lang ang magpapabalik ng tiwala sa mga pilipino sa lahat ng nasa gobyerno, ito kung ang mga ito ay masusunod.
    1, itigil ang pork barrel
    2. kasuhan ang mga nakinabang at ikulong
    3. kunin sa kanila ang lahat ng ninakaw nila
    4. at kailangan malaman ng lahat ng pilipino na ito ay nangyari
    Dito cgurado hahangaan ka ng boss mo pinoy, pag de mo ito magawa mananatili na ang mga pilipino ay walang tiwala sa mga nasa gobyerno, at alam nyo malabo ito mangyari kc nga mga UNTOUCHABLE ito dahil nga isang malaking syndikato ang senate at congress ng pilipinas sa buong mundo, talo pa nila ang MAFIA sa Italy.

  41. I agree with Mr. Lopez article , punish all this senators and congressman because i believe they are all corrupt . hang them right now so justice may be than for all filipino who suffer and poor..nakakainis na paulit ulit na lng ang coruption nila sa kaban ng bayan !

  42. Barangays in Quezon City? One barangay captain there sends his son to Ateneo, drives kinda expensive cars plus all the luho. He might be a lawyer but when you’re a public official, aren’t you supposed to take a leave/hiatus from your private practice? Or could he be using his office in the barangay hall for personal use? This barangay captain was already reported last election by ABSCBN I think re vote buying and now I think another family member will run.Maybe we should also look at the barangay levels and LGUs.

  43. This is the group of self-righteous people who convicted Renato Corona. Now the judgement for them has come! What a shame! They must be ousted from their offices too. The Bible is always true and correct- “What you sow, you reap.” The president must be ashamed of his team! Corrupt to the bones!

  44. Strike the iron while it is hot. While this issue on prok barrel is hot, we should be vigilant and do everything within our power to abolish it. The people should join forces and unite on this.

    • Amen. We, the ordinary people, are done with rhetorics and opinions and idle conversations. The is serious matter involving the lives and future of the next generation. It is time to ACT…starting with the abolishment of the Pork Barrel and including the election of qualified responsible honest public servants. Do away with political dynasties in the Philippines. It is not too late to save the Philippines from total economic and morale collapse. Each person has a right to be self-sufficient if only the elected people in the government will have the decency and morale platform to keep all their pre-election promises.

  45. Parang nakikita ang pag ka dismaya ng mga ibang politician, paano ngayun yung ginastos nila nitong kakatapos na election?

    It’s time na talaga tangalin ang ugat ng kasamaan, no wonder hindi matapos tapos ang Dynasty at nakiki pag patayan na pag dating sa election :)

  46. Kaya mga politiko sa atin nagpapatayan tuwing malapit na ang eleksiyon kasi pag ang dami palang pera sa philippines politics..tingnan mo yung anak ni GMA na naging congressman first declare ng kanyang SALN magkano lang..nakaupo ng ilang taon biglang lumubo nakabili pa ng property sa America..

  47. Thank you Tony for this very enlightening article. I hope somebody in Pnoy’scamp rwad this and take seriously the information and lessons it contains. I also hope they would not take it against the author and those who agreed with his opinions.

  48. Leonardo Mercado on

    Halatang maykurapsyon, ang pera ng bayan ay naibigay para sa mga proyekto at programa ng mga senador at congress ; kaso sa actual ay di naman makita, at kung makita man ay wala sa tamang halaga,,,. kaya tanggalin na lang ang pork barrel nila para di sila matukso sa pera…. kaya sa munisipyo na lang ipagkaloob ang budget at siya ang bahala sa kanyang bayan,,, at madali lang iaudit,,, si mayor lang…

  49. I think it’s not only about who are the current people in power but it seems that whoever becomes the successor wants all the “benefits” of his predecessor…. From the lowest baranggay officials to the high ranking officials of the government and its branches. Greed and its offspring- corruption is the demon that can never be exorcized… from the time of our forefathers, until now.

  50. Michelle Mabawad on

    Thank you so much for this info. Habang binabasa ko po ito dko napigilan tumulo ang luha ko. . Mahiya naman kayo mga senador at congressman. Para sa mga tao yan hindi para a inyo. Lalong lalo na po doon sa mga politiko na nakata nggap ng Aid para sa biktima ng pablo sa Baganga, Davao Oriental. Bakit nyo ibinulsa, !ginamit ang para sa mga biktima. Pero anong ginawa nyo ginamit nyo sa kampanya para may pundo kayo. Attention congressman Nelson Dayanghirang ibigsy mo sa mga tao ang para sa kanila wag mong ibulsa

  51. ayrocindemi l. medrano on

    Almost all developed countries experienced civil war. It is destructve and painful. But for a country to have a genuine reforms, there should be bloodshed. Life and blood are sacred. The sanctity of blood make it an effective clensing agent for an evil-ridden government. It is just a matter of time and a right person or group to lead the real revolution. Many are waiting. What our politicians are doing is just shortening the time of waiting.

  52. Johmy Fajilan on

    It is always easy to make general accusations and sweeping recommendations. I need more specific cases involving specified lawmakers. To describe the whole Congress as the biggest criminal syndicate does not take into account the fact that there are honest and outstanding men and women in the Senate and the House of Representatives. The COA audit report was deficient in the sense that it did not discover the “clerical” error of the DBM on the alleged pork barrel allocation amount to a former congressman known as “Way Kurat”. The COA chairwoman, who appeared to have added fuel to the issue by her sensational comments, must be held accountable for the oversight.

  53. I don’t get it why Naga (in Camarines Sur?) is included who is/are involved? I don’t think so…we’ve been deprived here of basic services and other services for a long time of government’s support and Naga survived. This City has been independent from the rest in Camarine Sur because we have strong political will due to Robredo’s leadership. Ok, I get it, it’s the Villafuertes doing because he was a Congressman for the 2nd District (now 3rd District) where Naga is included. Good thing that we finally get rid the two of them – the father and the son.

  54. So then we what now???? We just read it? And re-read it.,I heard this since I was small.,same problem..same talk..,so what now?

    we comment.,we what now?

    public was informed long time ago..but nothing happens

    • Hi.
      I lived about 9 years in the Philippines (1994-2003) and observed that as well. I can tell you that we have it here in germany as well. It is just hidden.
      The problem that nothing changed is that ,as said before , everybody elected starts taking over from the others habits.
      Change can be done only if you elect people with integrity who are honest to the bones, who are not afraid to tell the truth even if it is against the rich families.
      I know from the distance it is easy to say but I feel really connected to your country as my kids are all born there.
      I wish your country all the best and hope the people in the Philippines have the power to do changes.
      Best Regards

    • Chito Manayon on

      Why not charge all of them with plunder. We have the evidence now. It’s a capital offense. I guess this is the right time to make an example. If the DOJ or any judge can’t prosecute, prosecute the judge also untili all the corrupt people are hanged or jailed. If the Americans can prosecute the Mafia to it’s knees why can’t we? DO it now Mr Noypi. That will be you’re legacy.

    • Or might as well not vote anymore.. or boycott the next national election if nothing happens about this horrible PDAF scam by then.. shame on them politicians..

    • Nothing always happens,nothing! Don’t people ever get that? If you replace one “devil” what makes you sure you’re not replacing him with another? (And most likely you are!)Remember the saying:”Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t!” Maybe the only solution,albeit partial only,is to prohibit any politician to run for reelection ever,and his relatives,down to 3rd cousin level,prohibited to run after him! It might not end corruption but it will end poltical dynastes! “Something is better than nothing”,as Gen.Pancho Villa of Mexico once said!

  55. The problem is not PDAF, it was conceptualized to make funds accessible to those who are in need. Many have been helped by PDAF: hospitals, schools, farmers, fishermen and the needy. It is obvious that the people in control of these funds are the culprits here. Senators and congressmen are the true criminals. So it’s stupid to blame the person who thought of this idea which was intended in the first place to do good for our people. We cannot blame PNOY for not hastily scrapping this. Many are still benefiting from these funds legitimately, so how can abolishing these funds hastily, help these people? Analyzing the system by identifying loopholes is the smart thing to do. One very big loophole are the congressmen and senators themselves, so therefore they should be first investigated. Changes in the system must be proposed and must be scrutinized before implementation. However, if this system cannot be proven to be 100% corruption proof, then that may be a good time to safely abolish this. It will be much easier now for the people concerned to accept this.

    • EustaquioJoven on

      The problem is PDAF. Hospitals, schools, farmers, fishermen can be provided for in the regular budget.

    • Then, Pres. Aquino should show proof that people benefited from PDAF. Remember that his pork barrel is also huge! And, nobody can question it.

  56. Hats off to you Mr. Lopez!!! I want the pork abolished. I am an employee and 32% of my salary is being taxed.

  57. Thank you Mr. Lopez for your brave article. I hope our President reads your article. Mr. President, now is your chance to really implement your daang matuwid. Abolish the pork barrel. Legislators like congressmen and senators does not need funds to enact laws. It requires only their intelligence. Why not file a bill increasing the salary of our legislators say P 1Million a month but they have to shoulder the salaries of their staff. Increase also the salaries of our President down the line commensurate to the salary of executives in a private corporation. Allocate the pork barrel to government agencies like DPWH, Department of Education, Department of Health, Energy sector and utilities such as water. What we need are roads, schools, hospitals, electricity and water. If the government can provide these basic needs or services, then the private sector or business groups can spur economic growth that can really contribute to the improvement of our lives.

  58. Who can be that Filipino President who would sincerely fight corruption and not for political gimmick to win an election? Noynoy as a person maybe a sincere anti-corruption public servant, but has no real guts to fight the culture of corruption when it is his friends, kabarilan and kasama are involved. This is a scenario, a rewind during the time of his mother. We can consider the failure of our hope during the time of his mother to eradicate corruption as it was really a gargantuan job to remove corruption after Edsa revolution, but not during Noynoy time. If he meant it, he can do it this time… he only have to remove the padrino system in the government. Can he remove religious group intervention not fearing the backlash in election time of his political friends? Can he fight against congressmen and senators transactional intervention and endorsements as padrinos? Can he remove pork barrel, which he himself has as a President, and amend the distribution of government funds for public use, how do US government do it? Can he remove the image of his administration quick to prosecute groups of not his friends, not his kabarilan and not his kasama and ordinary citizens? Pnoy as our president should answer these questions in media and put a scheme to do it but we as his BOSS (daw!) should be informed. ARE WE REALLY HIS BOSS OR SOURCES OF FUNDS?… If we are his boss, he should listen to the clamor to remove pork barrel and let us see who really are real public servants? Will these present senators and congressmen live as public servants without the pork barrels?

    • You are right when you mentioned America. When we have the original constitution which was fully based on the US constitution, Philippines was better off at that time. Yet when the constitution was change by the self serving politician everything becomes worst. If American can go away with Pork Barrel and yet so well developed why can’t we do it there in PH? Pinoy must abolish this Pork Barrel and we will see that this Country of ours will be great again.

  59. Wlfredo Loriezo on

    According to our constitution the function of the three branches of our government is as follows: Legislative, to make laws; Executive, to execute our laws; and the judiciary, to interpret our laws. Where does it say that these senators and congressman has the authority to disburse, use and spend our hard earned money? These oligarchs, actors, actresses and entrenched political families should be banned from power. Now we are getting the gov’t Quezon was talking about, “a gov’t ran like hell by Filipinos.” Congress should be abolished. We need a “good” dictator to clean up these mess.

  60. Will it take these definitions to get rid of the criminals and thieves that aspire to these offices?

    Philippine politicians = criminals and thieves
    Philippine congress = criminals and thieves
    Philippine political dynasties = criminals and thieves
    Philippine cabinet members = criminals and thieves
    Philippine law enforcers = enablers of criminals and thieves
    Philippine justice system = enablers of criminals and thieves

    I never wanted to generalize, but it seems that the associations are needed. Until I actually see evidence to the contrary (that these offices actually work for all Filipinos), I will have to assume that these are true.

    I cannot bestow immediate honor and dignity to these offices because for the last one hundred plus years, they have shown nothing worthy of it. On the contrary, they have only perpetuated themselves in their criminality and theft. Honor, dignity and respect are earned, and cannot be given to those that have none of it.


    • A joke I heard more than 30 years ago:
      “A man was approached to donate 100 pesos to bury a local politician, and the man answered: “Here’s 1,000 pesos, bury10 of them!”
      As you can see, politicians “smelled” as far back then! So,what’s new?

  62. Can we just lock all of the Senators and Congressmen in the august chambers of their offices, throw away the key, and burn down the building? This will save a lot of our taxpayers’ money in prosecuting them for their crimes, which I’m sure they will all be acquitted of, due to their money, power and connections.

  63. Our country will remain poor to the very end because of these corrupt congressmen and senators. They run for congress/senate because they have this motive of stealing money from the taxpayers. They spend millions to buy votes and even do evil deeds just to win in the elections. The ulterior motive is just to STEAL.. Most of our people suffer from poverty and pollution because the money intended for the people’s basic services are being stolen by these corrupt, power- hungry thieves.. Rubbish is everywhere in the streets., rivers, and shorelines…………why???? because the lawmakers don’t care at all. The surroundings become worse, some roads have plenty of huge potholes, flooding is so quick, crimes exist everywhere, and all. The poor has no option but to live in danger zones at river banks and squats where livelihood is accessible… why???? It’s obvious! The pork barrel intended to alleviate poverty and difficult situations are kept in the pockets and bank accounts of these lawmakers.

    I am really sad of what has happened to our country because of our evil lawmakers and their cohorts. Our country has gone to the drain and It keeps on sinking all because of misappropriation of funds and mismanagement of our lawmakers and politicians. So, what can we do? What option do we have?

    Abolish this pork barrel and see who are sincere in serving our fellow countrymen!

  64. This is not a question anymore of being an official as elected by the people. This is already a question of why they are allowing pork barrel to be given to congressmen without giving any weight on the monitoring of their projects. It is like giving allowances and tuition to student without checking if he/she is still going to school.

    Hence, the problem is not merely at the pork barrel itself rather it is with how it was given to the crocs.

  65. FYI, hindi lang tongressmen at senatongs ang mga magnanakaw sa bayan. Sa nakikita at karanasan ko, halos lahat ng departamento ng gobyerno ay may kanya-kanyang paraan ng pagnanakaw. Kahit na sa mga civilian entities, tulad ng mga property developers.

    Nasa dugo at likas na sa karamihan sa pilipino ang pagiging mandurugas. Ipagdasal na lang natin sila…

  66. yeah! who needs congress? BUT WHO HAS THE GALL AND HEART TO EXTINGUISH IT they keep on saying that to put check and balance, the three branches of government shall co-exist maybe in the ancient timnes, but today’s present circumstance, says that we no longer need congress, they are not just a big expense in our budget, and yet…. they become the biggest criminal syndicate for robbers, plunderers abusive officials…. can somebody file a bill for its abolition?

  67. Deomedes Genaro T. Martinez on

    A timely journal of Philippine History! As one of the many Leaders of this Country, how would you like your name to be written and described on Philippine History books?

  68. Lerma Vergara on

    Thanks for your braveness to expose figures like this sir. I was once a bank employee for ten years, rain or shine struggling to earn for a living with a meager amount and have to budget what is left after tax. Often than not, most of us in those days always check our loan balances w/c are salary, multipurpose, emergency, calamity loans every month in order to renew again if we have paid at least 50% of the principal. Sometimes were tempted to get from outside lending company with a 5% interest just to cope up with our everday lives. Government employees envey our salaries most of the times cause they have a much much lower than us and even have to trade their next salaries in order to survive. Now as I go back to those days, my feelings is only a sigh,, hw we survived those hard moments when our hard earned tax were only pocketed by those politicians and empowered by their sefless ambitions.. the nerve they have!!!

  69. A very brave commentary. I wish it will also be written in a language that most filipinos understand if you want this to reach the big chunk of our population.

  70. Leonardo dela Cruz on

    Salamat po Ginoong Lopez sa expose’ ninyo. Mabuhay po kayo at sana dumami pa ang mga taong may lakas ng loob na ilabas ang bulok na estilo ng mga politiko at mga kakutsaba nila. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK SIR!

  71. If this PDAF was there for so many years and the lives of our majority countrymen were not lifted for the better. Why abolish this so called pork barrel, maybe something good will happen. No wonder many citizen of the Philippines had no trust and respect for the three branches of government and their system. the question is whose to blame the government or the citizen who vote for them?

    • First of all, talking about the trust and respect for the three branches of government is absolute. Notwithstanding, they exist anyway! Illiterate Juan dela Cruz only abides major power of the government: Police, eminent domain and Tax.

      I believed this is not a question of whose to blame otherwise this logic will just result to a chicken and egg. Like who come first the chicken or egg?

      The important thing now is many illiterate Juan dela Cruz are now aware of the garbage system of the government. Thus, Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAP).

      Respect? I vote them to served. Abolish the pork barrel system now!

  72. I used to “welga” during the Marcos time [era] because the incompetence of these “public servants” that are supposed to alleviate the livelihood of the people. I was not ashamed to be called a leftist because the truth was in front and no one bothered to complain except for few people who knew the real “faces” of these politicians. I now live in US and all the time reading the news about these senators, congressmen and their cohorts are still lavishing the riches of the country. When are they going to stop? They are not. Sad to say we can only write and scream in front of our computers because these politicians don’t have “conscience”. I leveled myself to make our country in Communism because the punishment for these thieves are death [if they ever get caught]. The saddest part is that more than half of our countrymen don’t care – they either don’t bother because it’s not their concern or people will just “PRAY” hoping that God will punish them. I don’t think these people believe in “Acts of God” or “Fires of Hell”. So, they keep on doing these horrible acts of thievery. I love my country but I don’t have sentiments to these politicians who are siphoning the people in deepest poverty. They are good when they are in jail or put them in public hanging as an example to those who are guilty. Our country should have a default button for “death penalty” for the politicians if they steal money for their own personal need [greed].
    As for your article sir, I salute your bravery. We need people who are passionate for the goodness of our country. Your article has been shared to my friends who feel the same way as myself. Thank you.

  73. Romy Concepcion on

    Thank you for the article! You are a brave man. This really makes me sad and angry at the same time. It is hard if not impossible to incriminate individual politician in congress especially since many if not all of them are in it. But graft at this level continue to make our country the sick man of asia. Filipinos will continue to work as domestic helpers and laborers to our neighboring countries. We will continue to lag and not have strong military capabilities to deter opportunistic neighbor countries.
    This needs to stop and all of us need to show once again that we are angry and we will not accept plunder by the very people entrusted to take care of the well being of our country. The first step is already being voiced out by many: Abolish the source of corruption, the pork barrel and prosecute and punish and seize the ill-begotten wealth of the plunderers once proven guilty. Our congress appears to have failed terribly to protect the interest of the country so the reason why they should continue is a big question that needs to be answered.

  74. Bobby Aban Sr. on

    It is so much to worry. I am an OFW since 1980 up to the present, meaning I am one of the 10 million OFW who keep on remitting our earning to these evil trusted senator’s and congressmen and women. Every year that I’m on my vacation I couldn’t believe that the poorer became poorer in spite of what our politicians are telling us that the economy is getting better and better..I agree with you Mr. Tony Lopes, that they are ( senate and congress ) the biggest criminal syndicate in our country. God forbid all of them for sure will go to hell with their families…for our President, you need to show your real face to us and follow the guts of Mr. Tony Lopes for letting us know the reality of our government and not your government. Without us as a voter no one can take any seat in any government position…

  75. Sir, thank u for lighten us .. not all filipinoes like me know about this figures…Huge!..whoa!…no wonder why they’re killing each other for a seat!..

  76. Wilson Figueroa on

    Mahal na Ginoong Tony Lopez,

    Matagal-tagal na rin akong hindi nakikibalita tungkol sa Pilipinas magbuhat noon na akoy lumisan 8 taon na ang nakakaraan. Isa sa pinakamabigat na dahilan ng aking paglisan ay ang tila wala nang lunas sa nakakaawang kalagayan ng Pilipinas. Isa akong ordinaryong mamayan na namuhay sa Pilipinas sa loob ng 50 taon Sa loob ng pahong iyon ay mabibilang mo sa daliri (ng isang kamay) ang magagandang nangyari sa Pilipinas. Isa ay and Edsa I, na nagbigay sa akin ng pag-asa na magbabago na ang takbo ng Pilipinas,ako’s nagkamali ng akala. Ang pangalawa ay ang Edsa 2, na akala ko’y magdudulot ng bagong pagasa. Ako’y muling nabigo. Ang problema ng Pilipinas sa katiwalian ay paulit ulit lang, iba-iba lang ang nasasangkot. May katotohan sa joke ni Erap na “weather weather lang yan”. Kung sino ang nakaupo at may kakayahang magnakaw, mahirap pigilan. Halos lahat naman ng gobyerno sa mundo ay may katiwalian at pagnanakaw. Ang kaibahan lang, sa ibang bansa ang mga namumuno ng gobyerno ay nagtatrabaho muna para lumago ang kabuhayan ng bansa at saka magnanakaw ng paunti-unti, sa Pilipinas pagkaupo pa lang sa pwesto unang iniisip pagupo ay kung papaano mapupuno ang sariling bulsa, bahala na ang kinbukasan ng bansa. Para sa inyong kaalaman Ginoong Lopez, isa ka sa aking paboritong manunulat at saludo ako sa iyong walang habas na pagbatikos sa katiwalian. 3 taon bago ako umalis sa Pilipinas dumating ako sa puntong tumigil na ko sa pagbabasa at pakikinig ng balita na puro nakakadismaya. Ang pakiramdam ko’y parang nahihiya na akong maging Pilipino. Minarapat kong mangibang bansa noong 2005 at maligayang naninirahan ngayon sa isa sa mayamang bansa sa kabilang dako ng mundo. Ang aking tanong sa sarili ay kung bakit nagyayari ito! Dahil ba sa ang karamihan sa Pilipino ay utu-uto? Na kayang manipulahin ng mayayamang pulitiko? Kailan pa kaya magigising ang ating mga kababayan? Ako’y matagal nang gising subalit kakaunti lang ang kapwa ko mulat. Paano mo tatalunin ang mga utu-uto, eh mas nakakarami sila? Yung mga pinili pa rin nila ang mananaig sa lahat ng eleksyon! Akoy nawawalan na ng pag-asa…

    • on

      Since marami sa mga Pinoy ang uto-uto at palaging showbiz at teleserye ang nasa kokote, mas bagay dito sa atin ang Parliamentary form of government where the voter gets to elect only his/her representatives, not the head of state. The less elected government officials, the better with a citizenry like ours. This way, showbiz people will most likely stay in show business and dynasties will die a natural death.

      The only problem is the change to another system of government will go through the proverbial eye of the needle dahil sa dami ng mga buwaya magtutulong tulong upang manatili ang kanilang Katasang Pambansa.

  77. Thank you brave soul! This exposure will show to the public and to the world that the Godfathers of the Mafia criminal syndicate are our senators and congressmen. They are the most dangerous kind of criminals for they use deception to accomplish their criminal act of looting the government coffers and robbing the people’s taxes. They are very dangerous for they come as wolves in a sheep’s clothing , deceiving the Filipino people who trusted them, their words in every election. One reason that they encourage every family member to run in public office. If you are a senator and your wife is a congresswoman, or any member of the family is a mayor or governor, the amount that the family can loot from the the national treasury is more than enough to make them multimillionaires. So easy, less sweat, just being smart and the perfect formula of get rich so quick is in politics. This is the reason why the Philippines could never reduce the poverty level of the 60 million Filipinos. This is a battle worst than terrorism, for you are dealing closely and trusting blindly the perceived enemies, through deception. These politicians are the real enemies of the state, of the Filipino people. They are callous and lack the moral leadership to lead this country. They are more than traitors and worst than terrorists.

  78. Your headline “Congress is the Philippines’ biggest criminal syndicate” is wrong. It is the WORLD’s biggest criminal syndicate. Republic Act 6426 or the Foreign Currency deposit act gave these scoundrels the courage to rub the treasury with reckless abundance because they thought they can hide behind the shield they themselves created.

  79. Thanks for this article least it would help me understand the effects this PDAF would have had for the entire Nation if used properly. If we already have plenty of laws, I suggest the present Congress initiate filing a final bill seeking its abolition which will take effect the mid-night of December 24, 2013 so all Pinoys will have a true Merry Christmas.

  80. Finally someone has the guts to expose these thieving governmental criminals.
    It has been going on for many years. Why has no-one ever questioned the reason that these politicians are prepared to spend millions of pesos to get elected if not as an investment for the billions they will get once in office. Remember Miriam Satiago’s famous speech during the Corona impeachment where she stated ” why does the rest of the world accuse the Philippine Government of being dishonest ” or to those words.
    Unfortunately, after a few have been caught out, there is NO RECORD of them forfeiting or returning the misappropriated funds. Marcos’s, Arroyo, Corona, Estrada.

  81. Kilala naman ni Bosing Pinoy mga yan at kasa kasama nya noong nasa senado pa sya (so me lard din pala kamay ni bosing?) So dapat tugusin na nya mga yan? Gawin mo ang dapat na matuwid na lagi mong sinasabi.Matatapos na termino mo?Wala pang naitutuwid sa mga sinasabi mo.Puro ka press realease!!!!!Salamat Mr. Lopez sa artikulong ito.

  82. Gloria Esplana on

    Bunch of marauders/pirates at best raiding the government coffers intended to help their constituents. Shame’ on you who allowing your greed and own agenda over the urgent daily needs of constituents. Have you forgotten the the people elected you to represents their needs to Congress so that they can have some sort of a relief from their flight of poverty. You guys plundered and denied them of their inherent right to represented by the person they elected and instead stole the aid that is rightfully belongs to them. SHAME ON THE PEOPLE who helped pirate the government offers.

  83. Ed Gatchalian on

    Dear Tony- thank you for this article and for the many views you have presented in your career as a journalist. Somehow, I always feel safe ruminating on your thoughts as they speak of truth. But this time, the truth really hurts. And the truth in this article makes me feel so very, very sad. And if I am honest with myself, I have to include anger in my emotions. I am now 70 years old. The first time I heard of Pork Barrel as a potential evil was during the Presidency of Elpidio Quirino, way back in 1955. That was 58 years ago. I was just wondering….if there was no Pork Barrel, we probably would be in a better situation than we are in right now. Maybe there will be less poor. Maybe lives will be more easily lived. Maybe we would not have become a nation of overseas serfs. Maybe many families would have remained intact. Maybe many, many of our countrymen would not have been killed during election campaigns….maybe….maybe….maybe…it makes me cry…for ourselves…our families and our nation. But the consolation I have is that everyone of these criminals will really have their day in court. And it is called “BEMA”. You can look up its meaning in the bible (2 Cor 5:10). The judge will be Jesus Christ. And He has all the hard evidences. And the verdict will usher in a punishment that you cannot imagine. God bless you, Tony….and may the Lord have mercy on our land.

  84. Cesar M. Gaffud on

    Scrap the PDAF, the Dept. of Budget & Management who disburses the money must be audited by a private competent accounting firm. In cooperation with COA every single cent must be accounted for. They must come up with a more systematic, simplified, & centralize disbursement of funds, no more allocation to any public or gov’t official. The DBM must publish in newspapers, websites, etc. every expenditures on projects & the like to substantiate the money disbursed. No more NGO’s who obviously become the milking cow & diverts the funds to unscrupulous politicians & government officials. The bottom line here is Transparency & Accountability of every public servant.

    • I totally agree in your comment!
      there’s no greater time than now to have transparency & accountability on each public servant.
      we have the infrastructure and the skills to make this happen.

  85. Renato Romano on

    Why can’t we just address the elephant in the room (no pun intended) One of the reasons the members of the houses need the PDAF is that it is needed to recoup the investment of elections. To get elected based on past editions one has to buy air time, people, etc. etc. A congressman needs about 100M to 200 million to get elected. A senator needs much more because of the nationwide coverage.
    They are not criminals because they have no intention in doing harm directly to the people, it is mandated by law that they have these funds to protect their key interests meaning their constituency (people who voted for them)it is an investment and any person must recoup that investment. We the people actually made this mentality. So why are we blaming them when we ourselves are at fault? When we sell our votes, when we depend on TV ads and Newspaper Ads or Surveys to choose our candidates I cannot fault them (congressmen and senators) In treating the peoples money as their money. It is because we let them, or rather we perpetrated the “money” mentality that the more one spends the more positive result that they are going to be elected. If we remove the PDAF, how can they then recoup such financial expenditures.
    I’m only wondering why the congressmen do not make it a law “The PDAF” and make it an exemption and criminal to question how it is expended, like make it a intelligence expenditure that cannot be questioned.

  86. an elite crime at such a magnitude that we allow it to happen and dominate our poor existence as filipinos?????
    what are we going to do, where are our brilliant lawmakers, concerned citizens ? to read this will blow anyones mind without having to get through the analogy of the politics….or enough to get your stomach sick….

    i remain baffled, confused and more frustrated and disappointed with our legal , political system that these concerned well kept politicians no longer feel the need to validate the privileges, its being made , given and condoned and maybe encouraged….

  87. ngitngitngpinoy on

    Bawat araw na dumadaan lalong nagiging kapangi-pangilabot ang lahat ng rebelasyon na lumalabas sa pahayagan. Ikinahihiya ko ang pagiging Pilipino at sagad sa butong kawalanghiyaan ng bawat senador and kongresista na mayroong kinalaman sa anomalyang ito. Nararapat na suportahan ng bawat mamayang Pilipino ang protesta ng masa sa darating na Agosto 26. Patalsikin ang salot na mga senador at kongresista sa pwesto!!! Dapat sa mga yan silaban ng buhay sa Plaza Miranda!!!

  88. philippines is a hopeless case with inept and corrupt government officials – appointed or elected – on the helm of governance. their souls are already burning in HELL!

  89. Mr. Lopez, I commend you for your brave commentary on what we Filipinos already know in our guts as the corrupted state of governance in an impoverished nation we dearly love. I hope the Lord keeps you safe, as the evil-doers do not appreciate shining light on their crimes. Keep up the informative albeit dangerous work of enlightening the Filipino that might lead to a formation of a movement, hopeully peaceful and non-violent in order to affect positive change. As a Bhuddist-leaning non-devout catholic, my adherence to political neutrality will be difficult indeed, to follow, should such a movement miraculously sprout in our homeland.

  90. arturo alindada on

    I applaud you for this article. Please keep them coming – expose all the dirt.

    Wondering where we can see the listing of these NGOs, gov’t entities, involved and the congressmen/senators that dealt with them, including what amounts. It would be good to know who were the COA auditors handling each transaction.

  91. Efrain Felipe on

    “Let those without sin, cast the first stone” – Is the why no one is inquiring these monstrous scam in the history of Philippine politics. Both Houses of Senatongs and Tongressmen are keeping the lid tight but the stink is widespread. If “shame” is a virus, we could get rid of these scammers quickly but unfortunately they got
    the “shameless” immunity vaccine.

  92. Sheila V. Portal on

    President Noy, what are you waiting for? Take action immediately. This is from one of your Bosses. Walk your talk.

  93. INVITE their fall guy Ms. JANET LIM NAPOLES to at least send a video message on 26 August DAY OF NATIONAL OUTRAGE, or come incognito. Common sense tells us she couldn’t have eluded special elite teams of NBI and PNP without the overt cuddling of a more powerful security force, out to prevent her from spilling the beans on senators and congressmen. For one Janet NAPOLES–acting alone–to have continuously fooled senators and congressmen out of P10 billion over a space of 3-4 years, is contrary to mathematical probabilities, unless there was conscious collaboration involving the signature forgerer and the forgee. (Will be diving in the Apo Islands 22-24 August 2013 simply because there’s more sense and decency among the tortoises, whale sharks, sting rays and corals in the Deep.)

  94. I have mentioned this before, our government is a big well organized Criminal Syndicate compose of Filipino-Chinese. There financial resources is back up by Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Chinese businesses.

    • Mr.Samonte don’t blame this to filipino -chinese here in the philippines…i myself is a filipino-chinese and as far as i know a lot of chinese like me now are encountering a lot of hardship…only some are are true to what you are saying…i love my country bcoz here is where i was born…i work all my life abroad, dont you think it doesn’t hurt me seeing a lot of filipinos who are suffering a lot right now due to the unstoppable acts of thievery in the senate and congress….we shouldn’t blame the full account to the government but blame it to ourselves bcoz of voting these HOOLIGANS in the government…a lot of people have an epedemic i called “AMNESIA “..voters forget the past wrongdoing of these people in an instant…but still vote for them…Please Mr..PRESIDENT…bring back the DEATH PENALTY for these corrupt officials…But i will be sad if you really do it….bcoz nobody will be left in the senate and congress…thanks very much Mr.LOPEZ for divulging these criminal activities of the people we trust to help us….I hate CHINA but i love how they run their government and how they punish their corrupt officials…Hope our country still have hope to wake up and do the right thing..GOD BLESS our COUNTRY.

  95. grrr….grrrr….grrr…super duper is high time to abolish pork barrel..

  96. Excellent article!

    A common sense computation of PDAF and where it all goes is enough for the voters/taxpayers to think a thousand times before electing a public official. I like the term ‘syndicate.’ It captures the reality of the existence of our Congress. It would also be fair to assume that not all PDAF is released and went to the pockets of all legislators. There are those who do not or choose not to receive their pork barrel. And with all the math, a congressman or senator pockets at least 30% of his or her pork although some would get as much as 80%.

    Now is time to reform and set implementing rules of the PDAF. Pork barrel is necessary because voters demand their elected legislators to have visible projects. That’s the rule. Politics in this country is complicated. We cannot just abolish pork barrel. If there is cockroach in the house you don’t burn it, you simply clean it. But what if the cockroach is the source of living of the owner of the house? Then, you have to have a set of parameters to contain the cockroach so that it will not contaminate the food. It’s the same with porl barrel. Leni Robredo’s suggestion to reform the PDAF is better than totally eliminating it.

  97. Herminio Geronimo on

    What an eye opener! Who will protect the Filipinos from them? How can we escape from this? – Ger

    • We, the Filipino people can protect ourselves. We can do a “French revolution” and gather these “aristocrats and royalty” and cut off their heads as the French “common” people did to their royalty and aristocrats.

    • If the Filipino people were to allow this critical issue to be swept under the rug by the very same perpetrators who pretend to be their leaders, then Filipinos will suffer a fate of their own choosing. They should not expect anyone to stand up for them other than their own selves. Because of the extreme severity of the crime, the vast number of those involved, and the stature of the perpetrators perhaps the idea of bringing back the guillotine is not too far fetched. Abolition of the pork barrel is not enough. The country needs a good political cleansing.

    • We the people can protect ourselves, Senators are only 24 and Congressmen are only 280 against us, we are 90 Million Filipinos. We can cut their head off easily. They are the source of all the bitterness and miseries of our life…Hang this people who enriched their self thru our taxes from our hard earn money.

  98. Tony Lopez has finally written a piece I could read to appreciate; finally living to write and not writing to live! I can now put to the back burners my memories of those dark days during the Reign of Greed. Tony never ID me while I worked behind the scenes for Kuya Cesar as my then deputy represented someone bigger than life. Mabuhay Tony Lopez and may you continue to write in your in your inimitable way of “straight in your face.” Sammy’63.

  99. Saturnino R. Mendinueto, Jr. on

    Mr. Lopez, it is the Philippine Government from the President, Congress, Judiciary down to Barangay that is the biggest CRIMINAL SYNDICATES in the world. We should change our government and follow the advised of former DFA Secretary Raul Manglapus to Pres. Cory to ban former politicians from Marcos era to run/ appointed for any position in the government for 50 years. Now I suggest, ban all present government officials and families, elected or appointed, from holding any office for 100 years. This is the only way we can have CHANGE.

  100. Virgil Maravillas on


    Please be careful, you might be creating a lot of enemies but we need another Jose Rizal. If you will not lead, shall we wait for another 300 – years to correct the Graft and Corruption in the Philippines?

    I will support you on your drive. Keep up the good work. Please send a message on how I could be best to support you. I am here in the L A CA USA. and very Active with The Free and Accepted Mason, we are advocating to change the Graft and Corruption in the Philippines.

  101. Come to think of it, Mr. Lopez. During the much cursed and demonized Gloria Arroyo administration, it is made fact that there were many, many project which were accomplished, lots of these were infrastructures which turned out to help the common folks, indirectly and directly. These accomplishments were and are never denied by the current administration considering that when our current “leader” took over, he even took credit and accomplishment of several of these projects. Yet as being reported by this COA Special Audit, our legislators and government officials, even ordinary folks made lots of money c/o the Pork during those days. Can you imagine how much and more money the current legislators, government officials and ordinary citizens made during this BS Aquino administration which so far, have not shown any worthwhile accomplishment? No wonder PNoy has lots and lots of allies. These legislators, government officials, politicians had not have it so good during this administration. Lets go figure.

  102. You are a brilliant writter. You show us the facts. It is very clear. Thank you for your article and your newspaper. Isaiah 1:23-your princess are rebellious, and companion of thieves; everyone loves bribes, and follows after rewards. They do not defend the fatherless, nor does the cause of the widow come before them.

    • The heart of corruption is our corrupt government … Supposed leaders people are mandated to follow…institutional thieves…need to cut it off by all means…even if we have to start again as a nation.