As one digs deeper into the pork barrel fund scam, more and more names of
government officials and institutions emerge. This now begs the question: How
far-reaching is the pork barrel fund scam in Philippine government? Does it
involve high-ranking officials in the executive branch and inside Malacanang
Malacanang does not seem to echo the indignation felt by the rest of the
population, and this rather lukewarm reaction of the President’s Office casts
doubt on its integrity and sincerity to stamp out corruption in the Philippines
Isn’t it strange that ever since the President took office in 2010, the pork
barrel allocation has increased by 150%? And now that the pork barrel fund
scam has been exposed, the President is not even remotely prepared to
abolish it? The public outcry for its abolition is so strong given that
government agencies and lawmakers – including those who last year staged
the patriotic act of impeaching the erring Chief Justice – are said to be
involved in the impudent and systematic looting of government funds.
But is President Noynoy heeding the call of the people who voted for
him? Wasn’t it just two or three years ago when he said that we are his boss?
Budget Secretary Abad has been quoted in the newspapers as saying that
the priority development assistance fund (PDAF), as the pork barrel fund
is formally called, is a “necessary evil.” I tend to agree. It is evil. It is used
for evil acts by evil lawmakers who make a farce out of poverty alleviation
programs. But, necessary? For whom is the PDAF a necessity, I wonder?
Obviously not for the poor who continue to be poor in spite of pro-poor
programs. A recent study by Social Watch Philippines shows that
government programs benefitting the poor in the last six years did not
do much to alleviate poverty levels.
It is unfortunate that pro-poor programs are the favored schemes to veil
corrupt practices, specifically in the case of the pork barrel fund scam.
The poor have no capacity to defend their rights and fight for their privileges,
Janet Napoles did not operate alone. She was allowed by a rotten system
to thrive because they needed somebody to organize the stealing for them
while these same government officials and lawmakers feign public service
Even if Janet Napoles is caught, somebody new from the same species will
soon emerge for as long as there is a need for the kind of service that they
peddle. For as long as it is necessary.
- Janet Lim Napoles, where art thou?
- Senator Zubiri’s resignation is not honorable
- Remove Chief Justice Corona from office
- Think before you tweet, nitwit
- An Open letter to President Noynoy Aquino