(Third of 3 parts on "The Pork Barrel, Janet and Noynoy")
There is one drawback to abolishing pork: it will be harder to get new faces into the lower house of Congress. However small its role, pork does pay partly for reelections.
Without pork Congress would be packed with the kids of incumbent mayors and governors whose IRA, to mention one of many sources of funding, is beyond reckoning and accounting.
What about a brilliant legislative record, say like mine? Truth is nobody cares nor should they. Take the Anti-Money Laundering Law Jimmy Lopez and I got thru Congress or the Securitization Act, which Ronnie Zamora and I sabotaged so that this stupid American idea would not destroy the Philippine financial system like it destroyed America’s.
The Anti-Money Laundering Law affects no one unless he is an enemy of the president, like Corona. Yet even without it, a phone call to any bank will release any information about any account to the president. I forget the name of the bank that spilled all the beans on Corona but I strongly recommend steering clear of it.
The only law I know that really helps people but whose author no one recalls is the Senior Citizens Discount for which seniors and juniors still leeching off seniors should kiss the hand of Angara.
So, other than money from rich family and friends—along with wit, flair and smashing good looks such as I possess—pork helps re-elect other faces than of the kids of incumbent mayors and governors. It certainly re-elects senators whose pork is huge, is never delayed, and is never accounted for; their salaries alone stagger the imagination.
That aside—and I wrote this before Noynoy finally spoke up—I say abolish pork. The big picture anyway stays the same: it is still the president who dispenses money to friends and denies it to enemies whatever else pork is called.
What of the separation of powers? What of it? Someone said that the power of the purse pertains to Congress. I don’t know what cheap local law school that guy went to but that is not true. The power of the purse is entirely with the president, not just the allocation of the budget, which the president alone decides but the spending of it which he alone authorizes.
Abolishing pork will not make Congress more subservient to a president than it always is: the Corona impeachment and conviction, without evidence even of unimpeachable acts is the prime example, not that I like Corona but that is neither here nor there.
And by the way, he was right when he said before he was jeered out of the place, that he has the most right to be at the rally because his impeachment was paid for with pork which is true because the impeachment complaint was written in the palace, no copy was shown to the House either before and after the House unanimously voted for it—except for Abigail Binay and Boying Remulla. While the senators are shown in COA reports to have received huge sums on or about the time, they voted to convict the Chief Justice. The Chief Justice wasn’t saying he was better than most but that he was living proof of the putrid power of pork.
What about democracy if you abolish pork? What about it? You are not in jail and you won’t be as long as you steer clear of the president unless it is convenient to make you a scapegoat for the shortcomings his administration.
Without congressional pork, the barrel will still be there, the discretionary fund of the president; except this time there will be no doubt about who dispenses it; who spends it; and who pockets some of it so that every release is potentially an act of presidential self-incrimination.
Meanwhile, Ping Lacson is talking crap. The Social Fund is off budget but it is part of the pork of the President. And in his shoes, since all that is left of Bubby Dacer are two scorched teeth, I wouldn’t talk too much about catching a fugitive from justice.
Part 1. Cooking up a storm
Part 2. More of the sameDisclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.