The reports of the Commission on Audit raised the question on the disbursement of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), as it clearly show that the Filipino taxpayer’s money, P10 billion pesos of hard-earned money from the labor force and the businesses in the Philippines is plundered by greedy politicians and fake NGO’s.
PDAF is an open source for the opportunist to amass wealth from the nation’s treasury. Clearly, it is not just the Philippine Government which loses here, but the Filipino people – the taxpayers who deserve the services of the government from what they share in the national treasury. The posh lifestyle of the Napoles family, their properties, their bank assets have been exposed to be linked to PDAF in those years.
In the thread of events, they are accomplices to the crime of corruption against the Filipino people. They are not the culprits, there are many of them, sitting in power and now washing off their hands and finding the best means to save their face. That could also be one reason, why it appears to be difficult to find the Napoleses.
As accomplices, they are also witnesses who can point the finger to the politicians who shared with them the plunder from the Filipino people. Who are those senators and congressmen and executive officials who dealt with the Napoles’ enterprise. By law, non-government organizations are not allowed to be such enterprising. They are registered as non-stock and non-profit.
The COA report is indeed a tangible evidence of how PDAF is an open source for greed and corruption. Never in the history of contemporary Philippine government, that such massive form of corruption is exposed. Never in the history of the Filipino people that various sectors are stronger in number to voice their opinion against such corrupt practice.
PNoy’s vision to bring the Philippine government towards the straight path or “daang matuwid” is challenged more than ever with the exposed lost of P10 billion pesos to nothing. As Chief Executive, he has the last say whether to allow the pork barrel to be distributed to the legislators of the country. However, even if he say’s so, unless decreed or legislated that the pork barrel as to whatever other names will be scrapped in the system, corruption will remain while the open source is still there.
With the understanding that there is this fund allocated for each representative and senator, the same fund is sought by the people in many other less important things that the nation needs. Thropies, basketball uniforms, prizes, medicines, scholarships are solicited to the offices of the legislators. Given the little amount, which are reflected into millions, PDAF is used. Hence, the patronage system.
However, the use of pork barrel is not subject to COA review. Thus, a greedy legislator could actually lavish on keeping a huge mansion, spend a very long vacation abroad, buy expensive cars and send their children to study abroad. Ironically, there are still areas in the country without paved roads, no bridges connecting isolated areas, no electricity and without potable water. Millions are still homeless, jobless, sick and out of school.
The executive government could address many issues in the country with PDAF. But the very same fund, is a controlling mechanism to pressure the legislators to submit to the President’s wishes, since disbursement to the legislators of the said fund is a function of the Chief Executive. Again, patronage system.
On August 26, the civil society along with other sectors in the country and the Filipinos around the world are marching as heroes of this contemporary time, straighten the government’s path to call for scrapping the pork barrel. One million people is expected to march to Luneta Grandstand to curtail the source of corruption. Others are going to the same in key cities in the country, and the OFWs have also expressed their commitment to join the rally to scrap pork barrel.
Filipinos this is your call. You are the heroes of the nation, when you stand for what right, for what is just and for what is socially beneficial and what is nationally important. Let this heroic march, remind the corrupt politicians of this administration that their days in their seats of power are numbered. SCRAP the PORK BARREL!