[Statement] You miss the point, Mr. President, pork is essentially patronage, not only fund misuse -Kilusang #KonTRAPOrk

You miss the point, Mr. President, pork is essentially patronage, not only fund misuse

President Aquino’s televised address to the nation last night, October 30, 2013 on the issue of pork is a big disappointment.

P-Noy’s defense of the the Disbursement Acceleration Program ( DAP ) only shows that the President misses the essential point about the pork barrel issue – essential to transparent, accountable and honest governance. And that is – that pork, whether congressional or presidential- is a tool for patronage politics that breeds corruption and perpetuates elite dynasties in power.

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We have no dispute with the need for the Executive to have a level of discretionary funds for contingencies, emergencies and disaster relief. However, there should be clear parameters in the amounts and how they are going to be spent. This should make the use and the auditing that follows less vulnerable to manipulation.

To attribute the many-sided and enlightening public discussion on DAPas the handiwork of those guilty of pocketing hundreds of millions, even billions of pesos of congressional pork , is as misleading as if not more than the attempts of congressional thieves to confuse the issues and muddle accountabilities.

The call to bring to justice all those who misused PDAF and other pork has always accompanied the demand to abolish all pork. That has been resounding from Luneta to Edsa to Makati to the increasing number of local assemblies and protest marches throughout the country. What concerns all is that justice may be thwarted in the labyrinth of the judicial system and the horse-trading between Malacanang and Congress.

What we expected from P-Noy last night was a list of needed reforms in the public finance system of the country, beginning with the elimination of all pork What we got was a shrouded defense of pork.

In Response to Pres. Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III’s Address to Nation
(during the primetime telecast on October 30, 2013)

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