Why some lawmakers can’t let go of pork

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It comes as no surprise when Malacañang announced over the weekend that four senators had requested that millions of pesos from the government’s Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) be remitted to ghost non-government organizations known to have been set up by “businesswomen” Janet Lim Napoles.

This, after those same lawmakers presumably took part in the unbridled dispensing of their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), better known as pork barrel.

Two of the four—senators Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla—were among the three upper house lawmakers facing plunder charges by the Ombudsman, the third being Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile.

The other two in the brewing DAP scandal are Senators Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Vicente Sotto III.


In all likelihood, other combinations of senators (and congressmen, of course) will face charges of misuse, either related to PDAF or DAP. Whatever its name or acronym, many lawmakers will be found to have taken part in the gross misuse of public funds. Whether they received commissions or kickbacks will be up to the proper court to decide.

Estrada, Revilla, Marcos and Sotto reportedly wrote letters asking for the transfer of funds originally set aside for the Department of Agrarian Reform to the National Livelihood Development Corp. (NLDC). Not only did the quartet ask that NLDC receive millions of pesos of their pork barrel allocations, they also specified which NGOs should serve as conduits for their projects.

Since the senators have not been charged yet, there is no need to presume them innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law. But the court of public opinion is another matter. If any of the four had presidential or even vice presidential ambitions, they can kiss those pipe dreams goodbye. We daresay that if elections were held today and they were running for another term, they would not only lose but lose badly. And since three of the four are show biz figures, they are best advised not to star in any movies in the near future, lest those films be swarmed with flies at the box office.

Ever since the pork barrel scam erupted, the public has been waiting for at least one lawmaker to be honest enough to tell us why he or she lusted so mightily after the P200 million (for senators) or P70 million (for congressmen) annual pork barrel allotments.

Allow us, therefore, to speak what’s on the lawmakers’ minds: “How the *@#$ do you expect us to recover what we spent to get elected???”

Any would-be candidate who wants to run for the Senate knows that a king’s ransom is needed for campaign expenses. By latest accounts, a serious candidate for the upper house of Congress must be able to throw away P400 million.

Candidates for “lesser” positions such as congressman, governor, or mayor can expect to spend less, but still tens of millions of pesos at the very least.

A few weeks from now, barangay elections will be held. Take a look at every residential neighborhood. Candidates for the lowly barangay positions are spending hundreds of thousand, maybe even millions, to get elected.

How the bejesus will they recoup their election expenses? Unless they have their local versions of PDAF or DAP, the next batch of barangay officials will be in for the shock of their lives.

If Janet Lim Napoles is to be credited for anything, it is for exposing the evil that is PDAF. Hopefully, future Senate wannabes will run because they want to serve as lawmakers, not as PDAF or DAP “commissioners.”

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4 Comments

  1. Minerva Hoffman on

    Time to clean up the sewer called Philippine government of it’s filth. I wonder how much tax payers money had gone down the sewer line since the Marcos’ regime? I hope Pnoy has enough time to do his terminal cleaning before his term is over. I’m hopeful that justice be served. The Philippines could have been one of the riches countries in South East Asia! We could have been prouder citizens called Filipinos!

  2. As people say, eat baboy on the daily basis, eventually you will look like pig. That’s how we look at those pork-barrel-switik lawmakers kuno. From their end, no one in his right senses would think of letting go of the baboy, kasi malinamnam, at nakakabusog! However, I still pray that ONE senapork or pigressman would take the cugels, listen to his conscience, and step out in the light to declare, “Kumain ako ng baboy! I’m ready to shed off the kilos of fat I gained. Do with me what you, in accord with hustisya, want to do.” That day would be a landmark in our corruption weary Pilipinas!

  3. This is the ‘shocking truth’ that hit the Philippines. My tears really welled on my face. I became so sad about the revelations!
    Yes, as I’ve been posting on my fb account.. “How did these mentioned personalities came to have involved themselves in such wickedness! The people whom the nation had put into positions, knowing that they can be trusted, the people who must impose and yes, creating the law are the ‘LAWBREAKERS’ beyond comprehension!
    Nakakalungkot na sila ang ating pinagkatiwalaan para sa ikauunlad ng bansa, sila pala ang mga tiwaling magdadala-nagdala sa bansa natin sa KUMUNOY ng kahirapan.
    Pero, naniniwala ako, na GOD IS IN ACTION! HE will not tolerate much more..These issues will come together for good as long as we trust GOD.

  4. There is a retired Congressman in the Visayas who was wealthy before he joined politics but become super-wealthy when he became a politician. Almost all branches of his family became politicians and held and still holds government positions, a brother became a Congressman, his sons became Congressmen, his daughter became Governor, then Congressman, his wifes brothers became town Mayor, some councilors, so on. They are, in the real sense, a political family dynasty. This Congressman already retired because of term limits, is so enamored with the government and wanted his only son to run and take his place, unfortunately the same son does not want to enter politics knowing that he has so many skeletons in his closet and considering how dirty politics, does not want to subject his family to ridicule. The retired Congressman, need to retain control in his district so he had to entice his illegitimate grandson to run for his position. Of course, as expected, the illegitimate grandson won! So are the people surprised that this phenomenon is happening? No way. Being in government is such a lucrative, money making career. Why? Because of this now infamous PORK1