walang kamatayang pork barrel

so, we’ve been had, we who rejoiced when the supreme court declared the PDAF unconstitutional last november and thought we had heard, seen, the last of it.

Pork Barrel is very much alive and kicking! warns prof. ben diokno.  and, like Dracula, the pork barrel is alive, in another guise, bewails neal cruz.

as it turns out, only 15 of the 24 senators gave up their pork barrel.  9 senators — the cayetano sibs, the estrada-ejercito sibs, lapid, trillanes, recto, and miriam — did not, and instead “realigned” their PDAFs with the budget of one or another line agency, or the calamity fund, in the bicam- and senate-approved 2014 budget that the prez signed into law last december.

senator chiz escudero, chairman of the senate finance committee, and very much the pilosopo lawyer, justifies it thus:

Is the realignment legal or constitutional in the light of the high court’s decision on the PDAF?

Yes, says Sen. Francis Escudero, chair of the Senate finance committee. The realignments (Escudero calls them “amendments”) came before the implementation of the P2.265-trillion national budget, he says.

The high court had declared unconstitutional all provisions of the law that allowed legislators “to wield any form of post-enactment authority in the implementation of the budget.”

But Escudero says the identification of beneficiaries of the realigned PDAF “does not violate” the high court’s ruling. “It’s well within our right to review and approve the budget,” he says. “This is preenactment intervention.”

say rin ni bayan muna partylist rep neri colmenares:

“The Supreme Court was not clear on whether lawmakers could realign the funds or not because it is clear that Congress has the power of the purse and has the prerogative where government money should be spent,” says Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares. “What it was clear on was that lump-sum items should be discontinued and that everything in the budget should be itemized.”

Members of the House had realigned a much bigger amount—P930 billion, including the PDAF. 

at parang tuwang-tuwa lang si senator chiz, as in, tipong naisahan nila ang presidente?

“In accordance with the powers of Congress, all of us can introduce an amendment. That’s our legislative power. If the President submits the budget, we can’t skirt our duty to amend it. What are we, a rubber stamp?” Escudero said by phone, chuckling. 

more like, naisahan ang anti-pork people’s movement, as in, nakahanap sila ng legal loophole (salamat sa supremes?) and it’s as if the people’s outcry against all pork-n-patronage fell on deaf ears.  it’s as if two of the nine senators, estrada and revilla, were not facing charges of receiving substantial kickbacks from fake NGOs identified with the notorious accused napoles.  and it’s as if the other seven senators were themselves untouched by any suspicion of similar kickbacks in the past.

of course, it might be that these realignments no longer allow kickbacks of any sort in any way.  if so, i wish they’d come right out and say it, assure us na, wala na pong kickback.  but of course they won’t because it would be to admit na oo nga, dati ay may kickback.

but, hey, jinggoy estrada, who aligned half his PDAF to the budget of the City of Manila of which his tatay, ex-prez erap, is mayor, is the most unrepentant, defiant, shameless, and brazen of them all.  hiyang hiya naman ako for the senate, who allowed him to gift his tatay’s city hall with a hundred million bucks.  hiyang hiya rin ako for erap, who had no idea daw that it was coming, and who doesn’t have the sense to say no-thanks, kahit out of delicadeza man lang.


pahabol.  say ng grapevine, the supreme court is poised to rule vs erap in the disqualification case filed by ex-mayor fred lim.  if true, it would serve jinggoy right.


    • This LOCAL GOVERNMENT SUPPORT FUND (LGSF) will be subjected to Conditional Implementation Veto of the President:


      The earmarking of specific appropriations for selected local government units (LGUs) under the ALGU-Local Government Support Fund, Special Provision No. 1, “Local Government Support Fund,” page 850, may not be consistent with the objectives and prioritization of the Local Government Support Fund. Accordingly, I hereby direct the DBM to issue the guidelines in the equal availment of the Fund by LGUs. Indeed, National Government support ought to be responsive to the actual requirements of LGUs in the interest of genuine local development.


      How will there be “EQUAL AVAILMENT” if almost half of the LGSF (Php200M) is already earmarked for specific LGUs: Manila, Caloocan, and Lla-lo (Cagayan)???

      Toby Tiangco says it may not be impounded by Malacañang because it is now a law.

      Hmmm…still, the President has conditionally vetoed Jinggoy’s pork…albeit, EQUAL AVAILMENT of it as part of the LGSF remains a problem!

  1. baycas, thanks for all that. natatawa na lang ako (nahawa kay chiz) at how the senators and the dbm are running circles around us…in sinister could-it-be unwitting, collusion. well, we did say pdaf would most likely reincarnate… pero talaga naman, cagayan??? along with manila, caloocan… the image in my mind is of a jinggoy gesturing emphatically with a dirty finger…

  2. manuel buencamino

    Talagang hindi mamamatay ang pork barrel because every congressional district expects its representative to bring home a slice of bacon. That is why the Constitution says “All appropriation, revenue or tariff bills, bills authorizing increase of the public debt …shall originate exclusively in the House of Representatives, but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments.” Ang mga congressman ay ang direct representative ng bawat distrito to the national government, they are supposed to make sure that the needs/concerns of their district are addressed in the budget. In other words, our budget, as envisioned by the constitution, is meant to be created from the bottom up and not the other way around. Ngayon ibang usapan na pag senators and party-list reps who do not represent districts are given slices of bacon kasi nagiging redundant, capricious, and unequal ang pag deliver ng bacon. Kalokohan na yan. But congressional districts have a right to a slice, they pay taxes and a part of those taxes must find their way back to the district.