Dispatch from Crame No. 436: Opposition Sen. Leila M. de Lima’s Statement on the Pork Barrel Insertions in the 2019 Budget: Corruption galore!


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What a circus, to say the least! What a royal rumble! Duterte’s political allies, political vultures all, are now at each other’s throat – House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo versus Alvarez, and Reps. Andaya and Suarez versus Budget Secretary Diokno over the billions of “pork” largesse sneakily inserted into the proposed national budget.

The matrix of this scheme or scam was traced using the Watergate Scandal’s follow-the-money rule. Verily, thanks to Sen. Ping Lacson whose exposé has opened more than a can of worms.

It has become obvious that these huge chunks of public funds were made to appear as legitimate budget of agencies to sidestep the Supreme Court’s ruling against the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or more popularly known as “pork barrel.”

Rep. Andaya’s pointing to Diokno, the House’s call for his resignation, and its rejection by the Palace and the Cabinet, have set CGMA in direct collision course with Duterte. So what’s happening, is this the beginning of the end of the Duterte-Arroyo unholy alliance?

I winced upon reading in the news that, according to Andaya, projects worth P75 billion had already been bid out even before the passage of the budget, with 30 infrastructure projects given to a Bulacan-based contractor whose SEC registration and standing is highly questionable. This display of corruption is execrable. And the earnest question is – sino o sinu-sinong malalaking tao ang pumapadrino sa Bulacan contractor na ito?

The web of corruption can only get wider and more egregious. It is hard to believe that this was not done by a clique of insiders in Malacañang, but it is much harder to believe that Duterte has neither hand nor knowledge about this.

And there’s the so-called ‘parked pork’. I too would urge Sen. Lacson to tell us who is this Senate staffers and the others who are involved in this scheme.

And the latest exposé as disclosed by one of the protagonists – the road user’s tax.

Corruption galore indeed! Their greed knows no bounds.

Meantime, the lawmakers involved in the Napoles PDAF Scam are still celebrating because they know that the recent acquittal of one of them has set favourable precedent for them. Nagpipyesta ang mga mandarambong!

Ito ba ang presidenteng galit daw sa kurapsyon pero sa loob lamang ng dalawang taon ay napalaya ang mga malalaking pulitikong nasangkot sa pandarambong? Bakit tahimik sya sa isyu ng pork barrel kung saan bilyun-bilyon ng pondo ng bayan ang nanganganib mapunta na naman sa bulsa ng mga tiwaling mambabatas?

Apalling and revolting! The pork barrel system is plaguing us once more, and like a bacteria of a different strain, attacking again the country’s public financial nervous system with morbid intensity under this regime.

No doubt, like the War on Drugs, Duterte’s anti-corruption campaign is a sham. For all his bravado and tough talk, Digong is a weak and incompetent leader incapable of stopping corruption where it really matters. ###

Office of Senator Leila de Lima
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Trunk Lines:
(632) 552-6601 to 70 local no. 5750

Direct Lines:
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