Prints and Traces

TODAY’S VIEW: Stubborn Faith in a Corrupt System

Aug. 29, 2013

By DON J.PAGUSARA

My friend Lito L, who is a driver serving in the LGU and who always makes it a point to chat with me once in a while, did not surprise me when he asked:

“Bay, nganong dili man gyud wagtangon ni Noynoy ang pork barrel? Pangitaan lang daw og maayong paagi sa pagpahigayon sa pondo nga gikinahanglan sa mga kongresista ug senador? Abi ko ba tog hingpit na gyung isalikway niya sumala pa sa iyang gipasiatab sa presscon? Wa man lang diay gihapon!

[My friend, why does Noynoy still adhere to the pork barrel system? The government, he assures, will be able to find ways to safeguard the fund that the congressmen and senators need? I thought it would be totally scrapped as he promised in an earlier presscon? Sadly, it’s here to stay!]

And I assure my friend, “Itaga ni sa bato akong pulong: Bisag unsa pang pamaagi iyang gamiton dili gyud maghimpos! Mosangpot lang gihapon sa parehong pangawkaw ang mahitabo! [I swear, no matter what safety nets he will employ, this will not do! It will still end up in the same pilferage!]

As I said earlier, the Pork Barrel is an open door to graft and corruption. But the President is confident that to close the door will dissipate corruption! Haha. As long as that door is intact, no amount of safety lock can keep it safe from thieves. The dark, hairy hand of certain officials (Congressmen, Senators and/or the Chief Executive himself) will be able to open it in some very creative ways. They have in their cerebral devices the magic “open sesame!” that can unhinge the technologically safest vault and unfold before their eyes the splendor of public money!

Unsay tan-aw ninyo sa mga kongresista ug senador? Bali? Hahaha! Wala pa matawo si Hudas, daan nang mayng-laking maniobrista ang magbabalaod sa bisan asang katilingban sa kalibotan! Kun wala makasumpo si Kristo sa yawan-ong buhat sa kalibotan niadtong iyang panahon ug hangtod karon, si Noynoy pa?

[What do you think of the congressmen and senators? Naive? Hahaha! Before Judas could even tread the earth, the crafty legislators of any society in the world had already polished their pilfering skills! If Christ could not eliminate evil in the world in his own time and until now, how much more for Noynoy?

No, this door has to be gone or obliterated forever! There should be no more door or window or crack [or pork barrel of whatever name] in the budgetary system! Not to members of Congress. Not to the Chief Executive! Not to any government official!

And Why? Why? Why? In the name of righteousness and good taste. . . should Noynoy exempt the Presidency from abolishing the PDAF? Just because it has been deodorized to spell PDAF instead of Pork Barrel?

Is the President that naïve? Or stupid? Or is he simply insincere, and in fact, very cunning that he has outsmarted his bosses (us, the people)? If he has such stubborn faith in the system that he thinks he can dissipate corruption by playing around the cards he has in his hands, he is sadly mistaken. And miserably wrong!

Because even he himself, by his seeming naiveté or stupidity or by his crass insincerity is suspect! What does he want his pork barrel intact for? As “boodle” or bribe money for his so-called legislative agenda? Or as bonuses for his allies and non-allies in Congress whom he wants to perpetually toe the line?

The President should not play the role of a ‘chaste’ and yet a double-speak politician! As a politician, naturally he has his own astute ways in wanting to push his political agenda. And that makes him suspect in trying to play around the manifest will of the people.

And granting for the sake of argument that President Noynoy is above suspicion as an incorruptible or clean politician, that he is invulnerable to any graft and corrupt practices, how sure is he that the President after him would not be like Gloria? Or worse?

Mr. President, abolish the pork barrel, however it is named. Totally. Absolutely. Eternally. This is the rarest chance for you to make history! (Davao Today)

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