Abolish the Pork-A A +A
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
THIS is the most opportune time to do away with the pork barrel.
The main duty of a Congressman is to craft laws. A Congressman is the stalwart of the legislative body. In the same breath, the duty of a Senator is to legislate on a higher plane. Congressmen and Senators are elected to engage in debate so that the people are heard through their representatives in the practice of democracy.
It's not the duty of a legislator to build bridges or roads or schools. It's not the duty of a legislator to allocate funds for fertilizer in his district. It’s not the duty of a legislator to spearhead the creation of a Non-Government Organization (NGO) or a foundation.
The pork barrel is a system that breeds corruption. A Senator or Congressman is given the discretion to name the beneficiary of government funds. Here comes a bogus NGO who approaches the legislator with a proposal project – with the tempting 30-40 rebates. This is padrino system in any language.
The politician succumbs to the offer so he signs the allocations. He gets a lion’s share of the funds intended for development. The bogus NGO ends up laughing all the way to the bank.
Ms. Janet Lim-Napoles provides a face to the anomaly. She cannot explain her wealth. Her alibi that her money came from coal mine business in Indonesia is beyond belief. She initially gave a bold defense. Confronted by overwhelming evidence, Ms. Napoles fled. Flight is an implied admission of guilt. The disappearance of Ms. Napoles and her brother indicates that she can no longer deny her criminal liability. Not even the brilliance of Atty. Lorna Kapunan can shield her scam from prosecution.
Abolish the pork. Give the money directly to the people. Let the legislative check the way it is spent. Let the courts be vigilant in upholding fiscal management when needed. Let the money trickle down to the poor.
Here is a time when President Noynoy Aquino can show that he owes his loyalty to the people. Listen to what they say.
The whole Filipino people shouts – ABOLISH THE PORK.
It has become irrelevant.
It is contaminated.
By whatever name, do away with it.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on August 28, 2013.