Blaming GMA for pork scam-A A +A
Friday, August 23, 2013
MANY of us, except maybe PNoy fanatics, must be tired of blaming former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for the ills in the country.
This time GMA is again faulted for the pork barrel racket which stole at least P10 billion in government money, setting off widespread outrage and demand for abolition of the fund.
The COA audit covered deals from 2007 to 2009, definitely transacted before President Noynoy Aquino assumed office. That would point the finger at GMA, not PNoy who may even claim the credit of exposing the scandal.
That, however, is not central to the issue of keeping or scrapping the pork barrel.
The question may be answered only if the pros and cons are assessed carefully.
Do the loss of precious public funds and the abetting of corruption outweigh the good most elective officials, including the president, claim the pork barrel has brought?
Is the "evil" caused by the pork barrel more insidious than anything else, further making the party system more farcical, increasing the president's grip on political power, and eroding values, such as using it to buy voters' patronage?
The greater focus though is on the size of the fraud and the venality in using bogus NGOs for ghost projects purportedly to help the poor.
People would rather rage against the large-scale swindling and offensive boldness in displaying ill-gotten wealth. Not abstract, it's something they could relate to. And though the billions of pesos plundered boggle the mind, it could easily infuriate.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 23, 2013.