Duterte should walk the talk on corruption
Stephen Monsanto’s call for the suspension of “obscene” compensation to highly paid public officials (“Gov’t can save money by freezing ‘irrelevant’ officials,” Letters, 5/26/20) whose “services” as “public servants” have become irrelevant or useless in the face of the current COVID-19 pandemic, should first and foremost be about the pork barrel of congressmen and senators.
Said to be worth about P84 billion hidden in plain sight in this year’s national budget (“Lacson seeks realignment of ‘pork insertions’ to soften blow of pandemic,” 4/27/20), imagine how much food that kind of money would bring to the tables of millions of Filipinos out of work since the nationwide lockdown was enforced more than two months ago, and which could last till the end of the year—or, as President Duterte himself has told the nation, until a vaccine is found (which scientists predict could take another year).
With most public works and projects at a standstill, and the alleged “P10-billion pork barrel scam queen” Janet Lim Napoles and her ilk out of “commission,” all that money has just been lying around largely unused or underutilized (“for later release,” i.e., when happy days are here again). The government continues to panhandle for donations from the private sector because it says it’s almost flat-broke. Yet it remains blind to the racket that Congress has always been up to with the people’s money.
President Duterte keeps saying he hates corruption in government or even just a “whiff” of it. It’s high time he started walking all that talk. And what better way to do that than by removing all pork barrel insertions in the budget and keeping them far away from the reach of dirty politicians? However, it’s not a question of “can he do that,” but “will he do that” (and risk losing the support of lapdogs?).
Margie Megan Librando
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