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By Oscar Franklin Tan
The Supreme Court announced its landmark ruling that lawmakers’ pork barrel is unconstitutional but released the complete decision days later. The weighty question in that interim is why Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno was announced as “concurring in the result only” in the decision of the decade. It turns out that she and Justice Marvic Leonen argue that the decision does not require budget allocations to be line items and prohibit lump sums.
By Cielito F. Habito
One hopes that the diversion of media and public attention by the recent calamities away from the yet unresolved scandal around the illicit use of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) will not be for good. Among other things, the scandal has inflicted collateral damage on the legitimate community of nongovernment organizations (NGOs) doing genuinely good work all over the country. Suddenly, NGOs seem to have taken on a negative light in the eyes of many Filipinos, all because alleged scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles and her ilk are said to have managed to employ dozens of bogus NGOs to siphon massive sums of taxpayer money into private pockets. Worse, among government’s knee-jerk reactions to the scam was an early declaration by certain officials that henceforth no public funds would be coursed through NGOs.
By Conrado de Quiros
However long the procession takes, a local saying goes, it still winds up in church. However long the Janet Napoles saga takes, it still ends up in her and her three favorite senators’ prosecution.
By Denis Murphy
Now that the worst is over in Tacloban and some other typhoon-devastated areas, it may be time to look not only at the awful tragedy there but also at the last six months, which were marked by a series of manmade and natural disasters seldom seen together in such a short period. It may be good to look at them now because people are quick to forget, especially with Christmas just a month or so away.
By Oscar Franklin Tan
Lawmakers’ pork barrel is unconstitutional, the Supreme Court announced last Tuesday, shortly before the hearings on the Disbursement Acceleration Program. The high court appears to have stabbed the pig many times over to ensure its death, based on the unreleased (at this writing) decision’s available excerpts.
For the first time in living memory, a bill seeking the abolition of political dynasties has cleared the first legislative hurdle: committee approval. The next hurdle is considerable: a debate on the floor, to be conducted mostly by disapproving political dynasts. Good luck with that.
I read with much interest Randy David’s summation of President Aquino’s Oct. 30 address (Opinion, 11/3/13).
The stubborn refusal of the administration to heed the public’s persistent clamor for the total abolition of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) makes one wonder why the wishes of the “bosses” are being taken for granted. Majority of them are poor, and this could be the reason they are being treated like beggars with mere “doles” from government, as if these were not their rightful share in their country’s much-talked-about improved economy. Thus the refusal bolsters the perception that those funds were being used for purposes other than for development programs or for the benefit of the people, especially the poor.
By John Nery
I write out of a sense of duty—knowing not only that “politics” is the last thing people want to read about these days but also that other subjects (discussed fortunately in other columns or in the news pages) are, truly, matters of life or death.
This is in response to the article “QC street crackles with ‘Porktoberfest’” (Front Page, 10/27/13). The article stated that around 400 people joined the “Porktoberfest” to call for the abolition of the pork barrel and to prosecute people who used public funds wrongly.
By Fr. Joaquin G. Bernas S. J.
What came out of it? To answer the question we must first consider what legislative investigations are for.
By Rina Jimenez-David
“It was none of my doing, and yet I cannot do anything about it” was how Senate President Franklin Drilon expressed his frustration over the current blue ribbon committee hearings on the pork barrel scam.