Monsod: P10B scam just tip of the iceberg

Posted at 08/26/13 5:32 PM

MANILA - Economist and former NEDA director general Solita Monsod believes the P10 billion pork barrel scam is just the tip of the iceberg of a wide and massive malversation of public funds.

Monsod, who also attended the Million People March in Luneta, said out of the more than P100 billion in public funds, the Commission on Audit was only able to audit P39 billion due to the unavailability of documents.

She said the rich and poor have a stake in the issue because everyone pays taxes in one way or the other.

"Show your anger, rich or poor. Don't say it's not my business dahil lahat tayo dinadaya, binababoy, di na pwede yun!" Monsod said.

The former NEDA chief is also not in favor of the administration's tack of shifting to line item budgeting, insisting that pork should be scrapped altogether and let lawmakers do what they're supposed to do which is making laws.

"Sukang suka na ang tao. (Former president Joseph Estrada) said before let's tighten it up, make safeguards. O saan tayo ngayon? Nonsense! Let's just scrap the pork barrel."

Monsod said the people should not only be angry at businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles assuming the allegations are true.

"Bakit di tayo nagagalit sa mga mambabatas? O sa government agency na nagrelease ng pondo? Where does the responsibility lie? Do you think the NGO would have succeeded without the imprimatur of these officials? Of course not," she said.

But another former Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Cayetano Paderanga said, while he condemns the misuse of funds, pork should not be abolished all together.

Paderanga said he wants to reform the pork barrel allocation with all transparency and accountability enforced.

He said local concerns may be drowned out in the national budgeting process. He said there should really be extra funds alloted for local programs and concerns but persons or officials handling it must be accountable.