Think about it: On Pork Barrel and the Filipino people

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Pork Barrel in Philippine Flag Foreground

From a small flame, the Pork Barrel Scam has grown into a wildfire. The burning is too much that it was out of control. Then, it billowed a colossal cloud of smoke that had caught the attention of the Filipino people. This scam has brought rage that caused the taxpayers to outburst and scream their sentiments about it.

Because of this scam, the Internet became a box full of scrambled opinions from the different responding Netizens (Net + Citizens). There had been civil acts like the Million People March last August 26, 2013 held at various sites in the country.

While browsing the Net, I have noticed some actions and reactions, comments, posts, and the likes, that are overreacting. The following concerns are, on my point, what Filipinos should think about:

1. The Pork Barrel Scam used as Propaganda

Yes, there had been established facts of the corrupted funds. This was proven by the Commission on Audit, later investigated by the National Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice. However, there is no sufficient evidence as to who really are the parties for this scandal. And also, proceedings are yet to happen.

For the mean time, while there is no final statement yet, some politicians grab the opportunity abusing this scandal. They could silently inject to media rumors of other politicians who are connected to the scam.

For factors, such as some media do not exercise proper scrutiny of information and/or the factor of bringing the headline first than other source to the mass, the rumors are released to the public. Adding the ignorance to the issue, Pinoys then would react according to what the news is all about.

The result, the name of the victim politician (or non politician as may be) is blemished and it will be remembered by the public. A Propaganda.

2. Abolition of PDAF and other Funds

If we look upon the expenditures and usage of the PDAF and other funds, we could see that some accounts are reasonable.

For example, the university where I attend to is a state university. This institution provides quality education for a cheaper cost than the private colleges. Some funding are sourced from the IGPs (Income Generating Projects) of the school. While the inflows of the IGPs are not enough to cover expenses, some funds are provided by the State. These assistance comes through the Commission on Higher Education and funds of Government Officials.

Now, if we assess the abolition of these funds, where would those schools get the out-of-fund expenditures? Where would Government scholars get their stipends? Also, where would LGUs and other NGOs get the necessary funds to back their functions?

Filipinos should not ask for the abolition of these funds. What is better is demanding for a fund policy that aims to verify, regulate and control acquisition and release of these funds. The Government must be able to have internal control that checks and balances for the funds’ usage and see to it that they are used for the common welfare.

3. On Senator Jinggoy Estrada’s excuse for the Blue Ribbon Committee: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMC1CKk8Eec

“However, being one of those whose name has been mentioned in connection with the Pork Barrel issue, I feel compelled to excuse myself from participating in these proceedings. I believe that my presence during this investigation may be conceived as deterring the resource persons from providing relevant information or may be perceived as impeding the free-flowing discussions among the participants here.” – Senator Jinggoy Estrada

I admire his action. Hearing his statement, he has provided a good reason for excuse. However, I was dismayed by the comments of the viewers for this video.

I have seen Senator Estrada’s active participation when the Senate sits for a hearing. And during those hearings, he ensured objective and unbiased judgment regarding the cases.

A good politician knows how to isolate his function as an officer and his image as a senator. But a good politician knows when he has the confidence of the people to undergo to the hearing. Now, even though he performs his duties as a part of legislation, the judgment he will be rendering has lost the trust of the Filipino people. 

4. Janet Napoles: human rights?

I pity her. Because of the madness of the public, she was forced to go in hiding. Fearing for her life, she surrendered herself when the P10M price for her was released.

I believe Janet Napoles still has the “Personality” that the Law provided her. She is not yet declared guilty yet she was deprived of her civil rights.

If you, as a Citizen, would be in her shoe, what would you feel?

 

Yes, we are Filipinos and we have all the rights to participate in the issues of our country. But have it in ourselves that participation is only proper when we are sufficiently aware about it.

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