• ‘SUPREME COURT, WHAT SUPREME COURT?’

    Drilon, Abad, Roxas, Aquino – most voracious pork-lovers in our history

    24

    Second of Two Parts

    One would think that for all their righteous, chest-beating slogans, and with the Supreme Court ruling in 2013 that pork-barrel is unconstitutional, these Liberal Party leaders would have some delicadeza in distancing themselves from such kind of funds.

    In fact, the biggest case of corruption – in terms of money involved – filed in the Sandiganbayan ever, even eclipsing the plunder case against former President Joseph Estrada, involved pork-barrel funds. The Court even waxed dramatic in condemning the pork-barrel scheme:

    “For as long as this nation adheres to the rule of law, any of the multifarious unconstitutional methods and mechanisms (of the pork-barrel system) the Court has herein pointed out should never again be adopted in any system of governance, by any name or form, by any semblance or similarity, by any influence or effect.”

    The Supreme Court rallied the nation in its decision declaring pork-barrel unconstitutional: “At a time of great civic unrest and vociferous public debate, the Court fervently hopes that its Decision today, while it may not purge all the wrongs of society nor bring back what has been lost, guides this nation to the path forged by the Constitution so that no one may heretofore detract from its cause nor stray from its course.”

    “Supreme Court, what Supreme Court?” I can imagine President Aquino and his budget secretary Florencio Abad arrogantly saying. Maybe Aquino even mumbled, “Tinanggal ko nga Chief niyan, e.” I was told that the wily Abad, who fancies himself to be the brains of the daang-matuwid farce telling his boss: “Madali lusutan iyang Court decision.”

    The hubris of Aquino and his Liberal Party stalwarts is just mind-boggling. They acted as though the country had no Supreme Court at all, that it did not rule on the pork-barrel system. As if to brandish before the High Court a defiant dirty finger, they even increased the pork-barrel fund from P20.9 billion in 2015 to P24.7 billion under the 2016 Budget.
    pork-lover20160106They merely renamed it, from its old Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to “Grassroots Budgeting” in 2014 and then Bottom-Up Budgeting before that year was over, until 2015.

    Instead of allocating the pork-barrel funds in lump sum per congressional district, they did some pencil pushing and asked the congressmen to list their pork-barrel projects, which didn’t – couldn’t – contain sufficient detail. The congressmen would provide the details needed to implement these projects, such as the sites where they were to be undertaken and which contractor would build them.

    One would have to be a fool to believe that the congressmen wouldn’t tell the implementing departments such details, especially that the “bottom-up projects” were described in the budget law only in broad terms such as “local government support for local road projects,” “skills training” and “protective services” (what the heck is that?)

    Unconstitutional
    But this is exactly why the Court struck down the pork-barrel system as unconstitutional, since it “empowers Congress or any of its members to play a role in the implementation… of the (budget) law, and therefore, violates the principle of separation of powers and is, thus, unconstitutional.”

    But everyone knows that the pork-barrel system, as practiced in the Philippines, is scandalous not just because it uses national government funds (raised through our sweat, the taxpayers’ sweat) to strengthen the legislators’ local support, as they will point out in the next election season that these pork-barrel projects are “their accomplishments.”

    Worse, really, is the fact that the pork-barrel system has been one of the easiest sources of graft for congressmen.

    The horror stories surrounding the Janet Napoles scam are extreme cases of pork-barrel corruption, in which non-existent entities “received” the funds that eventually ended up in large part in the hands of legislators.

    The more common type of corruption using pork-barrel funds involves the congressman’s designation of the contractor or implementor of the project, who then pays him grease money of as much as 40 percent of the project’s cost. This is so easy in the provincial setting where the political and economic elite move in the same small circles.

    Do some arithmetic: If even just 20 percent of the P24.7 billion pork-barrel funds this year end up that way through such a mechanism, some P5 billion would go to our 200 district representatives, with each getting an average of P25 million yearly. Not bad for them, right?

    The Abads’ Batanes: Beautiful but desolate, yet the biggest recipient of pork-barrel funds per capita.

    The Abads’ Batanes: Beautiful but desolate, yet the biggest recipient of pork-barrel funds per capita.

    Could this be the explanation for why Aquino, Roxas and Drilon’s home provinces have been getting huge pork-barrel funds since this yellow regime assumed office?

    How else could you explain why their provinces have been given allocations of huge pork-barrel funds from 2011 to 2016 as shown below? Neither the population nor the economic levels of those provinces can explain it:

    * Franklin Drilon’s home province Iloilo: P2 billion;
    * Aquino’s Tarlac: P995 million;
    * Manuel Roxas’ Capiz: P818 million.
    * Abad’s Batanes: P336 million

    The scheme became so scandalous really, and I am astonished at how people who claim to be proponents of good government have no qualms about appropriating as much pork-barrel funds they can get.

    Take the case of Budget Secretary Florencio Abad’s home province of Batanes, with a population of just 18,000 (2015 estimate), or about 4,000 households, smaller than a barangay in Quezon City. (But that’s the official count: I was told that half of the people registered as residents of Basilan don’t really live there.)

    In representing Batanes in Congress, Abad has been taking turns with his wife, Henedina, who had been dean of Ateneo de Manila University’s School of Government, claiming to be a font of knowledge for good government. I don’t know what kind of “governance” is taught there. Jesuitic?

    Guess how much in pork-barrel funds this Lilliputian province of 18,000 people has been getting since the husband Florencio became budget secretary?

    An allocation of P70 to P90 million yearly, as much as or bigger than that for the much poorer provinces as Quirino (200,000 people), Marinduque (257,000), Siquijor (100,000), Guimaras (183,800) and even Camiguin (95,000).

    Batanes, in fact, has had by far the largest pork-barrel per capita: For 2016, its P90 million allocation means P5,000 pork per person, with Abra being a far second with only P1,500.

    Please don’t tell me this doesn’t have anything to do with the fact that Henedina’s husband is the budget secretary, and her daughter, Julia, the head of the Presidential Management Staff. Pork-barrel funds under her predecessor and political rival, Dr. Carlo Oliver D. Diasnes, amounted to only P13 million in 2009 and P17 million in 2010.

    Would you believe that from 2011 to 2016, pork barrel allocations to Batanes have reached P336 million, three times the P105 million allocation to Apayao, the third poorest province in the country, with a population ten times that of Batanes?

    Had that P336 million been actually distributed to the 4,000 households in Batanes, they would have been a lot happier with a per capita allocation of about P80,000.

    But where did the money go? What the heck have the Abads been using pork-barrel money for? Provide air-conditioners and LED TV to each household? Build concrete houses for each cow? Didn’t it cross Henedina’s mind to just allocate part of Batanes’ pork barrel to setting up soup kitchens to feed the poor in slums near her Ateneo office?

    No wonder, for all their power in Batanes and national prestige, and for all the pork the Abads are supposed to have brought to the island, Henedina only won by a meager 137 votes in the 2013 elections. The Ivatans certainly have more integrity than other people in this country.

    And you still believe those proponents of the daang-matuwid hogwash?

    tiglao.manilatimes@gmail.com

    Share.
    loading...
    Loading...

    Please follow our commenting guidelines.

    24 Comments

    1. delfin todcor on

      They are opereting the government like a syndicate and and self serving!!! May our officials be awaken by the this message from Proverbs 14:34New American Standard Bible (NASB)
      34 Righteousness exalts a nation,
      But sin is a disgrace to any people. Proverbs 15:27New American Standard Bible (NASB)
      27 He who profits illicitly troubles his own house,
      But he who hates bribes will live.

    2. delfin todcor on

      The courts must rise up and protect the National treasury by hiring the best investigators of the world and dig all the proof so that we can have enough evidence against the Liberal party officials who are insatiable from open secret tax plunders practice. All the present and previous officials must be made responsible and accountable otherwise the flawed sytem will be repeated due to the temptations that money can do. The law must be enforce by the Judicial institutions if not all our government institutions will be weakened and all will be lost to the delight of the enemies of freedom!The Bible warned us all in Matthew 16:26New American Standard Bible (NASB)
      26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? Luke 12:16-21New American Standard Bible (NASB)
      16 And He told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man was very productive. 17 And he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’ 18 Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.”’ 20 But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night [a]your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’ 21 So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

    3. gabriela silang on

      it wont be long…it wont be long.
      what you sow you shall reap.
      the way of karmic justice has its way…
      and maybe beyond the comprehension of man.
      it wont be long…
      it wont be long…
      in fact it’s quite so near.
      retribution at last!

    4. light bringer on

      What business ventures did aquino get himself into for his networth to grow exponentially from the period of him sitting as chief executive up to this date? Therefore, this is not very much surprising.

    5. ang dali naman maniwala ki tiglao ng mga ibang tangang tao ditto nag nagkumento, lahat ng sinusulat ni tiglao dito pawang kasinungalingan, research den pag me time. bakit hindi mo tiglao e kwento yong mga pork barrel na pinamigay ni arroyo during your time in malacanang, kaya nga hanggang ngayon ang daming nakulong dahil sa PDAF scam na kagagawan nyo nong nasa malacanang kayo diba. E kwento mo ren yong pinamigay nyo na tag 500,000,00. sa mga congressman at congresswoman sa malacanang mismo. diba pati si gov. ng Pampanga nag reklamo dahil binigyan nyo ng paper bag na me 500,000.00 bakit hindi mo sinabi yong pork barrel ng kandidato mo na si binay na hanggang ngayon un liquidated magkano ba yon kupal na tiglao. Si arroyo nakakulong magkano kinuha na pork barrel ekwento mo ren kupal ka talaga kagaya ng ibang tagahanga mo dito.

      • saang planeta ka ba naroroon ngayon? di mo ba nababasa kung gaanong kalaki na ang budget para sa pork barrel ngayon kumpara sa panahon ng ibang presidente?
        siguro kasama ka sa mga nakikinabang sa pork barrel. hwag ka nang tumanggi. pimapakain mo sa mga anak mo, galing sa nakaw na kayamanan ng bayan

    6. Ang mga politiko na yan ay hndi naniniwala na may Diyos,kaya nagagawa nila ang magnakaw,at wala silang konsensya sa kung ano man ang sasapitin ng kanilang kapwa at para sa akin tayong lahat na mga mamamayan ng Pilipinas ay dapat ng gumising para sa tunay na ipagbabago ng ating Bansa,sa tunay na landas ng matuwid sa isip at sa gawa at hndi sa salita na puro kasinungalingan lamang, at panloloko. GOD Almighty is with us,and He will help hndi nya ipapahintulot na mangyari o mangibabaw ang kasamaan dapat na natin itong ipaglaban.

    7. Walang hiya. Saan ni Roxas dinala yung 818 million. Pumunta kayo sa Capiz para Malaman Kung mayroong improvement ang Capiz. Inaswang talaga in Roxas yung pera na yun. Kaya malakas gumastos as pag candidato niya. Walang hiya ka Roxas….

      • So aptly put !

        Wake up ! Filipinos,,,Don’t let your birthright go down the drain..
        .I have been here 8 yrs married a Filipino …This is a wonderful country, the people are marvelous..
        .Don’t let education go to the rich —
        Good hospital care go to the Rich –
        -Justice go to the rich …

        Say No!
        Dr David M Meyer {PhD Psych}

    8. Ano ngayon ang dapat gawin sa mga yan na nagpapahirap sa bayan? Kun bawa’t matinong mamamayan ay magbibigay maski piso, sigurado akong maaari na kumuha ng serbisyo ng mga mersenaryo sa Yugoslavia o Bosnia upang tuldukan ang tahasang pagnanakaw sa kaban ng bayan.

      Maybe, thru this column, everyone can contribute names not just of legislators but members of the civil service which everybody can vet whose voracious appetite for pork has to be stopped soonest. Surely, the listing can be improved daily and once there is a majority vote on a plunderer, a surgical operation can be put in place yesterday.

    9. Kailangan maging wise na tayo next election, we need to vote only to those candidates that we know deserves our votes and thrust. We still have candidates that are true with their selves not like other candidates that only fool us and deceiving us that they are the answer to our prayers of good governance.

    10. hekorba Korbal on

      Walang hiya at magnanakaw ka rin pala Secretary Florencio Abad…..may pakarkartelya pa kayo dati sa Liberal dati….yon pala magnanakaw ka din pala.. ilabas mo ngayon ang ipinagmamalaki ninyong kartilya ng Liberal Party, wala naman sa kartilya na magnakaw ka ng kaban ng bayan di ba? Pinagsisihan ko ang panahon na inukol at inubos ko sa Liberal Party …..akala mo kung sino na Santo kong magsalita itong Abad na ito noon yon pala ay saksakan ang pagkaganid sa pera ng bayan ….Magresign ka na Abad, maawa ka naman kay Juan Dela Cruz..

      • Leodegardo Pruna on

        Ngayon mo lamang ba nalaman? Kaya ng pangalan ay A BAD man. Pero hindi lamang siya, kasama niya ang boss kaya nasabi niya minsan kung siya a makukulong isasama niya ang kanyange boss. Pagpalain tayo ng Panginoon.

      • Matagal nang magnanakaw yan. Matagal na. Ngayon lang sumobra sagad. Lintang walang kabusugan. Pareho ni Drilon.

    11. This people(Aquino/Roxas/Abad/Drilon ) have no Conscience .
      We must all vote against this current LP candidates on coming election. They have trashed our government .

      • I absolutely agree. . Junk the Liberal party candidates in the coming election. “Daang Matuwid” is a hoax. Those who believe this claim of Aquino and Roxas are blind. There is a group in New York headed by Loida Nicolas Lewis who is acting as campaign manager for the LP. She supports Aquino. Why do these Fil-Ams interfere with local affairs when they don’t live here and therefore do not know what really is happening.

    12. Tita Rimandop on

      818M for Capiz?
      Come to Rixas City and see our potholed city streets, our unfinished airport (since Yolanda) and listen to Yolanda survivors who receieved less than half of the monetary aid allocated for tlhem. Come and see, and wonder, 818M?

      • Roxas never won in any election in Capiz. Capiznons don’t like him. His mother always buys votes for him pero di pa din manalo! I know. She tried buying my Tita who is a political figure in Capiz.

    13. The personas mentioned and shown in this article are only some of the biggest thieves who steal government and public money without even an ounce of a conscience how they continue to become rich at the expense of the ordinary, poor tax payer.