Last of four parts
I was asked by Inday Espina-Varona online re the assertions made by Sen. Pia Cayetano. There are actually several sources of additional pork, such as congressional insertions apart from leadership pork. PDAF is equally divided among legislators. 70M and 200M for HOR and the Senate respectively.
If you defend a department during plenary debates, you get to get some extra projects within the department. If you stall plenary debates on departments or make it hard to get a department budget approved on plenary, then the legislator is asked what she or he wants and that is often given to her or him to get budget approved, a straight quid pro quo.
A legislator who works hard during budget deliberations, from committee to plenary, gets some insertions on his/her own effort.
Leadership also dispenses favors. So it does not mean if leadership gets more, that’s only for him/her. He can choose to assign it to a legislator. It is merely charged to his name. Leadership can also choose to allocate it to a member of the HOR. Leadership positions have huge porks.
The Drilon letter presented by Sen. Cayetano was silent on source/allocation that is why Sen. Pia thought it was the usual insertions. Take note when he made that letter, there was still no DAP but my sense is the Executive already had a plan to source out promises made in exchange for impeachment votes, whether at the filing (HOR) or in voting (Senate).
We learned from the SC decision that Abad issued a Memo to BSA3 dated 12 October 2011 seeking approval to implement proposed DAP which BSA3 approved same day. This was followed by another memo dated 12 December 2011 re Omnibus Authority to Consolidate Savings/unutilized Balances and Realignment. The President approved this 21 December 2011.
On December 12, 2011, 188 of the 285 members of HOR voted to transmit the 56-page Articles of Impeachment. Take note GAA for 2012 was in its final stages. This is where Napoles reportedly advanced money to facilitate signing.
Corona was convicted May 2012. The Executive submitted the budget for 2013 on July 2012 (no mention of DAP in Budget message) then you have Drilon’s letter of August 2012.
The NBI shakedown ops on Napoles took place December 2012 (check letter of Napoles to BSA3). It was around 3rd Quarter of 2012 when Luy decided he could do an operation similar that of Napoles.
By August 16, 2013, a presser on the special audit report was called by COA. A “leaderless” million-man march took place August 26, 2013. DAP termination was made December 23, 2013 and the rest is history.
Good faith for a King, bad faith for Chief
It has been said that the King’s acts were official acts merely ruled unconstitutional. That it was done supposedly in good faith if the Administrative Code is invoked. That it involved billions of money masquerading as a stimulus package when in fact the releases were not.
Then we had a Chief who, as a lawyer aptly pointed out, “committed a personal act of failing (in good faith, as he says) to correctly fill up his SALN, relating to his personal funds, for which the law allows him to correct (as another justice would later do). And this is supposed to be of the level of “culpable violation of the Constitution,” “high crimes” and “betrayal of public trust,” thus justifying his removal from office?
And there we have a different metric so obvious that the King wants to sweep all things re DAP because it was done in good faith. While the Chief was all bad faith.
These days, one needs to reflect on things and events happening in our country. Good faith? I have looked into the Budget Messages and provided a chronology and I see malice. It looks so ominous. Another rendezvous with destiny or are we mature enough to get accountability working for us?
Justice Brion is correct in verbalizing the question in the mind of Filipinos today: who else is there to trust? Surely not a Cabinet that claps on cue before the media. That was bad taste.
Surely, not a leader who behaves like a King and boorishly claims: “To accept his resignation is to assign to him a wrong. And I can’t accept the notion that doing right by our people is a wrong.” No, there is no assignment of wrong, there is accountability of the errors committed, of putting the Presidency, the institution, in harm’s way. Doing right by our people is to force accountability and transparency.
The King’s budget message in 2013 ended with these lines: “We are in power not to be served, but to serve. We are in power not for our own benefit, but for the collective welfare of our country and our people. We are in power not to gain a monopoly of the truth, but to heed the authoritative voice of the people and answer to their concerns. We are in power not to perpetuate our hold on it, but to subject ourselves to the sovereign will of the people.” And so the King has no clothes? And his consorts are far powerful and knowledgeable than him? But the King was given bad advice and we, the taxpayers, will let it be to the tune of hundreds of billions?
Disraeli once said: “All power is a trust; that we are accountable for its exercise; that from the people and for the people all springs, and all must exist.”