The wimpiest, most shameful Congress

32

I cannot run out of words to describe how low our Congress, has stooped to be so subservient to, or so fearful of President Aquino.
With his Disbursement Acceleration Program, which threw to the dustbin Congress’ appropriations law, Aquino has politically slapped its members on their faces.

Advertisements

With his “I-am-not-a thief” speech in which he claimed he had the power to use budget funds at his whim, Aquino spat on their faces.

Sidekicks? Senate President Drilon, left and House Speaker Belmonte, right.

Sidekicks? Senate President Drilon, left and House Speaker Belmonte, right.

Is there a protest from Congress, from its leaders Senate President Franklin Drilon and House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, against the President’s usurpation of their authority to determine how government funds can be used?

Not even a whimper. Not even a “please no more.”

There is clearly a public outrage over Aquino’s fiscal dictatorship. Eight different petitions were filed at the Supreme Court asking it to rule it unconstitutional, by groups representing the entire political spectrum, among them: Left organizations, several party-list representatives, NGOs, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, the Philippine Constitutional Association, religious groups, and government employees belonging to eight huge labor unions.

Congress didn’t protest at SC
Congress is not among these groups, not even its members except for a few party-list representatives, when it should have been the first to ask the High Court to rule whether Aquino’s DAP violates the

Constitution or not, since it is its power that the president hijacked.

Congress has been so quick to call investigations of this and that, obviously relishing such broad power to act as an inquisition “in aid of legislation.” In such investigations, senators and congressmen have demonstrated how arrogant they are, as if they above the law in trampling upon citizens’ rights.

The Senate’s Blue Ribbon Committee had had six sessions investigating alleged scams involving the pork barrel funds, which according to the estimates—unverified, however—by a newspaper that broke the story amounted to P10 billion.

But the DAP involved sixteen times more, P158 billion. Is it because the P10 billion, since the budget department released only data it wanted to, implicated only opposition senators, while the P158 billion was hijacked by their benefactor, the President?

Why can’t Congress call for an investigation how it was politically raped by Aquino through the DAP?

Why doesn’t it call Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, or if they fear the former congressman of the smallest district in the country, just his undersecretaries to explain what the DAP is about?

Congress decided through the budget law it passed that the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao should get taxpayers’ money, i.e., a budget of P13 billion in 2012.

Aquino’s DAP nearly doubled that, throwing P8 billion more to a regional government notorious as a dark hole of state funds. Aquino’s DAP gave more than P2 billion more to Social Welfare Dinky Soliman’s dole-out programs which are a form of vote-buying for the 2016 elections.

Aren’t these allocations crying out for full-blown congressional investigations?

DAP strikes at the root of our system
Aquino’s DAP strikes at the very root of our republican system. Starting with the First Congress created in 1946—and even in its prototypes during the American occupation, the Philippine Legislature (1916-1935) and the National Assembly (1935-1941)—our version of a national legislature, the supreme embodiment of democracy anywhere in the world— always held the so-called power of the purse.

That is, Congress—and not one man, the President—determines how each and every peso of taxpayers’ money is spent. It is the most common feature of all democracies all over the world, both in their parliamentary and presidential forms, that the body elected by the people which has the sole power to enact laws, also has the sole authority to determine how government money is to be used.

This power represents a deep principle of republican democracy. We agree to form a nation-state which protects our life, limb, and property and which works to make the conditions of that nation-state conducive to our prosperity. But we pay a price for that state to exist: we give up part of our hard-earned money so that state can function—taxes.

To ensure though that our money is spent wisely, the constitution authorizes not a single person, such as the president, but Congress of 270 members to prepare the budget law.

Our Constitution even made sure that that no entity monopolizes the process by allowing only the House of Representatives to propose the budget total for a year. The Senate may make changes in the allocations, but it cannot increase the total. Many months and much government money are spent for officials of government agencies are hauled to Congress to justify the budgets they are asking from the legislature.

And then the Senate and the House have to tediously work out their many differences on how government money should be spent by agreeing to one single appropriations bill.
The process doesn’t end there.

As a check on Congress’ power over the purse, Constitution specified that the budget has to be approved by the President. He can even veto it and require Congress to revise it to accommodate his wishes, or else no new budget law is enacted. In that situation, the budget of the previous year is adopted for the current years’ program of expenditures.

Constitution had tight system over budget
The constitution certainly required such a tight system of checks and balances to ensure that the use of taxpayers’ money complies with the priorities set by our representatives.
Aquino threw all that out of the window through his DAP.

Congress has to do some real soul-searching, or the 16th Congress will go down in history as worse even than the fake National Assembly from 1943 to 1944 that was a puppet of Japanese imperialism, headed by President Jose Laurel and Speaker Benigno S. Aquino, or Marcos’ stamp-pad Batasang Pambansa.

Congress should realize that the issue has gone beyond their little selves, and what they do now would, to paraphrase that cliché, echo to the future.

With many of its members accused of outright thievery of pork-barrel funds, an unprecedented accusation, Congress has to salvage its integrity and prestige for the sake of our republican system.

There was similar momentous moment faced by the US Congress, with its decision resulting in the strengthening of American democracy, and contributing to its becoming the sole superpower in the succeeding decades.

That was in August 1974 when Nixon’s Republican Party told him that it would not block an impeachment move the Democrats threatened to undertake against him for covering up the theft of Democratic Party’s records by White House operatives at Watergate Hotel.

That was a remarkable demonstration of US lawmakers’ patriotism by putting the welfare of their nation above those of their parties.

Congress can only salvage its integrity, and strengthen our democratic system of strong institutions, if they impeach Aquino now for his gross violation of the Constitution through his DAP. As what the Republicans did in Nixon’s case, leaders of Congress can also tell him to resign to spare the country of a politically unstable and dangerous period.

With Congress, the second branch of our Republic, so subservient to Aquino, and even the Fourth Estate appearing to be similarly so, our nation has become vulnerable to military intervention, on the valid justification that the Constitution and even the Press have failed.

I hope Congress lives up to the call of the times. Our democracy and our economy have already been so damaged by extra-constitutional upheavals.

tiglao.manilatimes@gmail.com
www.rigobertotiglao.com and www.trigger.ph

Share.
loading...
Loading...

Please follow our commenting guidelines.

32 Comments

  1. HOLY DAP. Ho-ho-ho…..Oh HOLD DAP. And they have the temerity and gall to high stinking Heavens there are NO Crooks and Thieves among their Ranks…
    Holy CRAP!!!!

  2. I hope Mr Goroza was not sleeping or drunk when he wrote his comment. His brain must have shrunk so much that the power of critical thinking and seeing things in their right perspective escaped his senses. Better go back to your drinking or sleeping and wake up when pnoy is gone. gudnite……… you are one of those who speak with their mouths, with the mouths disconnected from the brain. There are many of you out there who no matter what the facts are,. remain in the dark and let their beliefs dictate on the facts.

  3. i cant express what words i can say to these people of pinoy admin the worse and most corrupt president congress and cohorts.

  4. Maybe its time, short of abolishing Congress, for the people, its constituents, to call for a special snap elections to re-certify or renew the mandates of their respective representatives. Perhaps the funds from DAP or PDAF could be used to fund this special elections. Seem to me, we need Congress needs a fresh new mandate.

  5. Matthew Parkes, my sentiments exactly. What we have is a criminal organization bigger than any Mafia. the PCOS machine has made it a lot easier to hijack any and all election. We are being fried in our own fat – Our Tax money being spent by a president who thinks he can do anything with our OWN money.

  6. Matthew Parkes on

    How can Congress stand up with any moral authority against this unelected president?

    At least 188 members of the lower house have accepted Aquino’s bribes, ditto for 20 members of the upper house.

    And let’s not forget that the senators “elected” in May 2013 were not voted into office – some may have been – but installed courtesy of a 60% vote programmed into the hocus PCOS machines controlled by Sixtythirtyten Brillantes whose corruption is only exceeded by his role in disenfranchising the Philippine population.

    The basic problem is that there is no constitutional government right now. Aquino is the head of a criminal conspiracy involving him, his executive branch and the overwhelming majority of the two houses of Congress. As long as they keep sticking together there is nothing that can be done constitutionally to deal with them.

    The only solution? A revolution… but the last time we had one of those we screwed up so badly we ended up with an Aquino as president for the first time, and under maladministration more money was stolen from the Philippine people that Marcos stole in three times the number of years that Aquino was in office.

    We need radical reformation in this country. Nothing is working. But at least some journalists are tainted with the yellow infection, unlike certain ones employed principally by ABS-CBN….

  7. It used to be, not in the distant past of 3 years, that any issue comes up, congressmen and senators’ faces would be promptly on tv….

    when Aquino became president and started buying the lawmakers, I have not seen anyone, except the militants and partylisters, say anything remotely taking the people’s side…

    have they all been bought with the Malampaya Funds…so they are now all de-energized into silence…?

    it is so eerie…

  8. Ikaw ba Mang Rene ay tuta ng yellow ribbon? Lahat ng binabasa kung diaryo, si Mr Tiglao lamang among others, similarly situated, ang nasa center. Well-researched and fully documented ang mga articles nya. I trust him, more power, Mr Tiglao. Be safe always.God Bless You and family!

  9. Your description of the current congress bespeaks well of its composition. With the DAP (& PDAP), it seems that congress and the executive branches are one. No wonder the President insists on the DAP — so that he can have a good hold of congress. After all, many of the members are vulnerable to corruption as shown in the ‘exposed’ pork barrel scandal. While the President claims the best of intentions, he is treading the “crooked” path in the process. I’d say, he’s ill-advised going to the provinces to explain his ‘good’ intentions. He should quit on this while he is a bit ahead.

  10. This is at last what you people need. Start standing up & speaking out, for to long people have just accept the word of the honourable, honourable, i say dishonourable people. They think they are so righteous & that they are above the law. Its the way of the philippines & its hard to change deep rooted culture. You have to remember these people came into government to get rich not to serve the people. They serve themselves 1st. Whenever i see a politician interviewed they seem to be scared of questioning them, they believe every word they utter. Thats why politicians do what they do because you allow it. I would have every single politician investigated for their lifestyle & see how much money they have, see if it is consistent with their earnings, its quite easy to do. If caught with more than their earnins says they should have, take them to court but not next year or the year after but withing a month or 2 so its dealt with quickly & if found guilty show no mercy & use the full weight of the law in sentancing

  11. Saturnino R. Mendinueto, Jr. on

    What you wrote Amb. Tiglao is the reasoned WHY I DON’T HAVE NAY RESPECT LEFT FOR OUR CONGRESS. Mga duwag sila at uglot ang mga buntot pagka’t kung labanan nila si Pnoy ay hindi na sila MAKAKUHA Dadagdagan Ang Padulas ( DAP ) galling kay Pnoy, Drillon, Belmonte at Abad. Kung pwede lang ang sinasabi ni Mirriam na duduraan ang mukha nila, lalo na mga senadores, ay di na sila makikita sa dami ng plema tatama sa mukha nila.
    Mr. Tiglao paki investigate nga kung anong ng batas ang nagawa ng Senate BRC sa mga investigation nila, in aid of legislation kuno, mula pa nuon panahon ni Sens. Magsaysay at Gordon at kung magkano ang nagastos nila. Paki investigahan din yuon sinabi ng Whistle blower na si Sandra Cam na sinabihan sila ni Sen. Magsaysay kaya hindi na nya pinatawag si Janet Napoles nuon JocJoc Bolante’s Fertilizer Scam dahil sa pakiusap ng mga senador na marami sa kanila ang sasabit sa Fertilizer Scam. Sabi ni Sandra Cam sa tv na kung pinatawag lang ni Sen. Magsaysay wala na sana NAPOLES PDAF SCAM.
    MERON AN BA NI ISANG MAGANDANG RESULTANG BATAS NAPASA SA MGA SENATE BRC INVESTIGATIONS????

  12. with all due respect Mr. Rene Garoza, you seem to be deaf mute and blind! Your challenge is non-sense…you are such a crying baby instead. I share the observation that Mr. Tiglao, the for Ambassador’s articles are direct to the point and well researched.

  13. The congress should obviously disambiguate the true meaning of the Philippine Law where few issues of the sanctions made. Where is the power of Judiciary system to implicate the written laws? It is an enormous jigsaw that was left for the Filipino people to ponder on especially if the human rights is concern. There is a clear flow of the liquidation of the real Filipino spirit where an axe is for an axe, and a tooth for a tooth on each other. If the president cant veto a very disabling decision by a law making body then whose hands should it go too? Perhaps,” the people power ” should step forward because the law is for the Filipino people common tao and not the sole government officials. Just a piece of my perplexed mind.

  14. It is never tiring reading Ambassador Roberto Tiglao’s article whatever the subject matter is. His articles are straight to the point, well researched and non-flowery. It was a very good decision for Mr. Tiglao to leave PDI because he was like a man crying in the wilderness, being surrounded by PNoy, yellow columnists and article writers serving as his rah-rah boys. The times should be very proud to have Mr. Tiglao in her organization which includes other great journalists like Saludo, Ronquillo, Tony Lopez, Murillo, Dulay, Ongpin among them. These ladies and gentlemen are the reason why The Times is the first broadsheet I read with my hot cup of coffee. Congrats to Dr. Ang.

    • I totally agree. so glad to read his columns again. PDI’s loss is Manila Times’ gain. Kudos too to the other columnists of Manila Times!

  15. I can foresee a “President Nixon” scenario will happen in the Philippines, if the Supreme Court will declare the DAP and/or PDAF are unconstitutional. The outrage of the people will be ignited and a repeat of EDSA I will happen. The petition in the Supreme Court to declare the unconstitutionality of DAP/PDAF are supported by a wide spectrum of society.

    I think the President is so scared that he is going now to the people for consultation and/or get their support to influence the court. The Supreme Court is not the Senate who succumb to the wishes of the Palace and impeached Chief Justice Corona.

    If this happens there is only one way for the President to save the Country – make a supreme sacrifice by resigning. As President Cory Aquino asked President Arroyo at the height of “Hello Garci” controversy to resign to save the country. I echo the same to President BS Aquino, “for the sake of the country, Mr. President – resign”.

    If this happens, Vice President Binay will pardon him, as Vice President Ford did to President Nixon. It happened to the most “Powerful Country in the World” – definitely it can also happen in the Philippines.

    • agree,he should resign or face a more humiliating consequences.huwag na nating patagalin dahil sayang ang panahon at perang dapat mapunta sa pagpapaunlad.

    • Hindi mangyayari iyan, because na-install na niya ang dalawa niyang tao sa Korte Suprema.The was the original Game Plan. Kick out Corona to install his own. The other Justices can be be bribed given their record of decisions before! This is not a problem because it’s not his money anyway. There is no paper trail dahil walang audit ang “pork barrel” ng presidente. It is like Unlimited Credit Card.

  16. mr. tiglao,
    give it up! you are such a cry baby. instead of your moaning and bitching on the same topic (VERY biased attack on the administration), why not use your pen to write some kind of positive, encouraging suggestions to help our kababayans. channel your hateful and toxic writings to that of a contributor to a better human race and…get a life.
    PS. I challenge the editorial staff to post and see this comment on the paper, otherwise, like mr. tiglao says, you are wimps!

    • Darewin Ocampo on

      Typical Noytard, instead of attacking the arguments, just attack the person. You have don’t have anything to argue the points in the article so you just attack the author?

    • mr. rene goroza sir,

      Why don’t you comment against the accuracy of mr. tiglao’s comments instead of labeling them as a biased attacks on the 16th Congress ? Of course opinions are always biased. Your comment also revealed your bias. I suggest if you do not have anything of substance to say in defense of this shameful/shameless government under Aquino, it would be better for us if you don’t comment at all. Let us allow mr. tiglao to share his opinion to the public. He is doing us a big favor by communicating to us what is really happening in our society. I must say he is doing a wonderful job.

    • Like what?

      How honest and incorruptible PNoy is? How much better the Philippines is under him?

      Wake up and smell the poverty! Only the rich are getting richer. Poverty levels have not changed. So much for the all the propaganda about how well the economy is doing and what the straight but pork-laden path can do.

      All PNoy did is destroy our democratic institutions by bribing Congress with so much pork so they can be subservient to him. And you wonder why Napoles won’t talk? Because if she does, our entire government will collapse resulting from the number of people she will implicate starting from the top..

    • Biased attack? Mr. Tiglao is just explaining the truth, the real situation of our government today.

    • My suggestion IS > Impeach Simeon Aquino, the DAP bribe financial Dictator, Pork Barrel Queen and Noynoying brain. Kick the monkey out before PH becomes, “country of the apes”, ruled by monkeys.

  17. felix servidad on

    Senators and congressmen, are deaf mute
    and blind that’s the side effect of over dose DAP hmmm! maybe

    • santiago caisido on

      Hope against hope tat the judiciary will do their thing. Sana independent ang judiciary.

  18. Holy DAP. Not really surprise at how these Pavlovian Dogs reacts – salivates to the stimulus dangled to them hungry wolves-like Sens and Congs.

    DAP. Hold it there – now you see it, now you don’t. Wait! It is in the left hand – no, it is on the right hand. Jeez! -the sleigh of hand is really doing magic, kinda tricky to the eye. As The Bozz says, “Eyes on the Ball…” Yessirrrreeeee, he is the bozz, NOT you the ordinary Joe out there on the streets. Now, back to the magic……

  19. Sir Tiglao, nobody had ever written with clarity regarding the molestation of our national coffer than todays sitting president. I’m so sorry of my beloved Philippines today. How come we reach to this certain level of lawlessness?that even the president of the Republic is the one who lead us to disrespect our constitution. He thinks he is even above the law. I can understand that senators and congressmen are silent with this scandal because they are spoon-fed with hundreds of billions so that in return he the president of the land will get what he wanted from the lawmakers, which is billions of taxpayers money used for bribing them in return. When will this conjugal abused of power in destroying our democracy and patrimony ends? It is very sad to know that there was no investigation regarding the 130 billions of malampaya fund which is missing until now that even abad and purisima could not account for it.Can this looting be stop now and hindered the total destruction of our land? Is there any peaceful alternative at the moment? I hope this will end as soon as posible so that we can move on as a nation.

    • Mr. Tiglao, your articles always deliver intelligent and concise messages to the Filipino people with analytical and inquiring minds. Your messages have always awaken the thoughts and insights of people whose interests and obsessions are towards good governance. This administration under BS Aquino III is a total personification of social cancer.