WAshington D.C.: By the time this gets printed, the Federal government will probably be shutdown since the US budget didn’t pass. The first after 17 years. A continuing resolution was issued by the House but the Senate will be back only Monday afternoon. The interesting quid pro quo happened, budget or Obamacare was the proposition considered. Obamacare is already a law but Republicans would want to defer, if not totally scrap it. The next best wedge is the federal budget and last minute backroom negotiations may not result in a bipartisan consensus. Shutdown begins Monday (September 30) midnight.
From afar, I reread the speech of Mr. Jinggoy Estrada, the changing responses of Mr. Frank Drilon, the unbelievable claims of Mr. Butch Abad and the biting response of Sen. Joker Arroyo. These days I would rather use the generic Mr. than Senator or Honorable for in my book trust is at its lowest now. It’s in a political free fall. Sen. Joker though is deserving for deciding to engage than walk away even while he has retired. Then there is the implications to be read from the CCTV footage that Napoles lawyer Lorna Kapunan released before media. We want the truth, right? But can we handle the truth?
Why would a group of amateurs think that Filipinos are stupid? Immediately after the 3rd SONA the country has gone spinning all directions and yet three percolating issues were not even discussed in the SONA. Saan nanggagaling ang kakapalan ng mukha ninyo para lokohin ang taong bayan? Inekon, PDAF and smuggling in Customs. Inekon now is the ambassador’s word and Vitangcol’s threat; PDAF is a continuing striptease pinning key opposition leaders, hitting two of the Three Kings and smuggling has been swept under the rug with the the so called reassignments.
COA has released partially the audit for 2007-2009, the P10B of Napoles but the GOCCs remain pending and so as with 2011-2012. COA is also set to release the 23B Malampaya fund and we await, again in suspended animation, the audit of the 1.10B Corona-impeachment related discretionary releases. And we are not even touching Godofredo Roque’s tentacles and still unnamed syndicates prowling the House of Representatives.
Whoever thought and designed the pork offensive surely got rid of so many obstacles along the way to 2016. But since the design was too centric to some characters, the operators are not left with enough elbow room and predetermined exit strategies to reap benefits from it; just like the results of 2013.There, the total number of votes is a runaway total that cannot be supported by historical precedence in terms of turn out and simple addition of results.
The alphabet soup of discretionary funds increases day-to-day. Now there is DAP or Disbursement Acceleration Program. In explaining this fund, Abad said he is releasing the information for transparency purposes. Why 20 Senators were given additional funds and how they used it were left to the readers’ imagination. DAP was said to be formulated in 2011 to “ramp up spending and help accelerate economic expansion.” Now the executive branch is saying spending from legislature speeds up economic expansion? Which is which? With PDAF, they question the identification of projects as already implementation? With DAP, what do you call their reasoning? The timing is also questionable. Timing of releases were made last quarter of 2012 but two got theirs earlier in August 2012. So please pray tell me, how can senators “accelerate economic expansion” when re-electionists filed their Certificate of Candidacies in October 2012. How can they accelerate when there is a public works ban because of the campaigns that started February 2013. Abad is in quicksand here.
Then Abad said the releases came from Personnel Services and Unprogramed funds.
PS is achieved from Accretion Law and rationalization of positions In the bureaucracy. Imagine PS to be used for discretionary? Shouldn’t those be savings and be realigned before usage? Unprogramed funds are realized depending on collections. I smell presidential pork there.
Then Abad said DAP “will boost government spending” so I ask how? DAP will “expand the economy” so again I ask how? And hold on to your sits . . . ”it led to growth from 3.6% to 6-7%.” Madre mia, so the Legislative Branch is now the engine of economic growth? Handling it a lot better than the Executive Branch or contributing more than the combined strength of the OFW remittance? A bad explanation!
Abad further explains with the matching “tigas ng mukha” that DAP is “valuable fiscal tool for accelerating government spending and the delivery of goods and services to the people, not as an instrument of political coercion.” So, please release more Information on how DAP was used and let the taxpayers decide if indeed there was delivery of needed goods and needed services. Accelerating government spending is a given in discretionary spending, you know that Mr. Abad!
If indeed Abad was concerned about transparency, then he should have done so before the privilege speech of Mr. Estrada. If indeed the senators wanted a clean bill of health, they should have disclosed the information even before the Estrada speech.
They should have revealed receiving additional pork before the Blue Ribbon seriously tacked pork. Now that the Pandora box is open, explaining is an afterthought; writing a script smacks of doublespeak and we are all stupid.
As Madonna starts a revolution, a 17 minute movie on FOI, Abad prevaricates. The ideologue and brain thrust of this administration has resulted in total betrayal of public trust. I used to have a high regard of Abad. Today, he is a bad dream that we need to shake off for all the obvious reasons.Sad.