Cayetano, Santiago filed resolutions scrapping pork-A A +A
Friday, August 23, 2013
TWO lawmakers from the administration coalition led by President Benigno Aquino III filed Thursday resolutions scrapping the priority development assistance fund (PDAF) or the pork barrel.
Senator Alan Cayetano, who announced Wednesday his plans to abolish the pork barrel of lawmakers, personally filed Concurrent Resolution No. 4 saying, "I want to take personal responsibility. I want this to be a crusade! I think the time is now. I think there’s a really good chance that we can abolish pork barrel."
He then explained that the process can be expedited "if someone from the House can file a concurrent resolution, then a concurrent resolution has the effect of law."
"All the senators and congressmen are feeling the people’s clamor to abolish pork barrel and what senators and congressmen should do is to pass and protect the entire budget," Cayetano said.
Senator Francis Escudero, who also filed a similar resolution Thursday, echoed the same sentiment saying, "The people have spoken and it is necessary to draw the line further between public accountability and patronage politics by being truthful to the constitutional allocation of powers and prerogatives."
"The PDAF should now be abolished in general… Now, it has already mutated into a multi-billion racket allegedly perpetrated by syndicates in both the public and private sectors. Despite proper use and disbursement by well-meaning public officials and despite its statutory laudable purpose, the misconception that the pork barrel has become a form of 'horse trading' and a major source of corruption in the government is apparently starting to become real in the eyes of the Filipino people," he said.
Meanwhile, Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago warned that the PDAF investigation to be conducted by the Senate staring next week might result into a "freewheeling talkfest, if not a total three-ring circus as senators vie for TV exposure."
She suggested that the probe to be divided into "separate topics, because the scam is so galactic in scope" such as lawmakers who gave PDAF funds to suspicious NGOs; the modus operandi of fake NGOs, like those headed by Janet Lim-Napoles; and the connivance of COA resident auditors and DPWH district engineers."
She, however, disagreed to Lacson's possible appointment as independent investigator of the fund scam "because he is a former fugitive from justice who remains unpunished and serves as the poster boy for people like Napoles who has disappeared to evade a warrant of arrest, just like he did."
"A policeman cannot be adviser to a Senate committee probing the pork barrel, because this is a question of law. He has no clue on how the law proceeds in these cases. After a cop finishes his investigation, the report is submitted to the prosecutor, not the other way around," she said.
"Ping Lacson is a political ally of Senator Juan Ponce Enrile. At the same time, Lacson is the political enemy of Sen. Revilla. Lacson has no acquaintance with the law, but has revealed his propensity for citing the law after confused coaching by his lawyers. A self-taught lawyer is a menace to society," she further explained.
Cayetano suggested that the former senator and former Philippine National Police chief Lacson to be an independent investigator of the fund scam.
This suggestion was supported by Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto and neophyte senator Nancy Binay.
Both senators also suggested the appointment of former senator Joker Arroyo as an independent investigator.
Recto said Arroyo "has not touched his pork barrel since 1992, and who has been both congressman and senator." (CPT/Sunnex)