News Flash

August 01, 2015, Saturday
  • Passenger’s disruptive behavior in Cebupac plane from Dubai forced the crew to make an emergency landing in India. 12 hours ago |
  • Crew of PH-bound Cebu Pacific plane made a Filipino passenger alight from the aircraft after causing commotion & bomb scare. 12 hours ago |
  • Enrile attends Sandiganbayan hearing on pork barrel scam. 12 hours ago |
  • DFA to file third diplomatic protest against Canada over trash. 12 hours ago |
  • Magnitude 3.4 quake jolts Sultan Kudarat. 12 hours ago |
  • DPWH to conduct road reblocking in parts of Quezon City & Pasig at 10 pm Friday. 12 hours ago |
  • UNA admits Pres. Aquino’s endorsement of Roxas has weight. 12 hours ago |
  • Binay visits communities in Cavite. 12 hours ago |
  • Binay says Roxas had been dilly-dallying on his presidential candidacy prior to Aquino’s endorsement. 12 hours ago |
  • Sen. Grace Poe hopes the 2016 election campaign will be about discussions on reforms. 12 hours ago |
  • Sen. Grace Poe congratulates Mar Roxas for getting Pres. Aquino’s endorsement. 12 hours ago |
  • Sen. Grace Poe thanks Pres. Aquino for considering her as among those who can continue his administration’s programs. 12 hours ago |
  • Roxas on serving gov’t: “Ibubuhos ko ang lahat. Wala akong ititira para sa sarili ko.” 17 hours ago |
  • Roxas to the Filipino people: “Mga boss, hindi ko sasayangin ang tiwala ninyo.” 17 hours ago |
  • Roxas on Pres. Aquino: “Pnoy allowed us to imagine again what the Filipino is capable of.” 17 hours ago |
  • Roxas: “Ako si Mar Roxas at tinatanggap ko ang hamon ng ating mga boss.” 17 hours ago |
  • Roxas: “Buong tapang at buong paninindigan kong tinatanggap ang tawag ng daang matuwid.” 17 hours ago |
  • Roxas to Aquino: “I have never met a president who sacrificed so much for the country.” 17 hours ago |
  • Roxas’ voice breaks as he remembers his brother Dinggoy’s memory. 17 hours ago |
  • Roxas says it was his brother Dinggoy who died in 1993 who should have taken on the legacy of serving government. 17 hours ago |
  • Roxas: Dito sa Club Filipino ko unang sinabing “Bayan, bago ang sarili.” 17 hours ago |
  • Pres. Aquino: “Ang magtutuloy sa atin sa Daang Matuwid, ang paniwala ko po, walang iba ang taong ito kundi si Mar Roxas.” 17 hours ago |
  • Pres. Aquino: “Bakit tayo magpapaakit sa ‘baka,’ kung meron namang sigurado?” 17 hours ago |
  • Pres. Aquino: “All of us have the obligation to choose the right President.” 17 hours ago |
  • Pres. Aquino recalls Fmr. Sen. Joker Arroyo used to compare his group as a gathering of people who could fit into a Volkswagen Beetle. 18 hours ago |
  • Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte Mayor Rommel Arnado at Club Filipino praises the peace that Aquino gov’t has put in place in his town. 18 hours ago |
  • Pres. Aquino and DILG Sec. Mar Roxas enter Kalayaan Hall of Club Filipino. 18 hours ago |
  • Program at Club Filipino includes testimonials from Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program’s beneficiaries. 18 hours ago |
  • Pres. Aquino’s convoy arrives at Club Filipino in San Juan. 18 hours ago |
  • Fire hits a residential area in Laong Laan, Sampaloc, Manila. 18 hours ago |
  • Road in front of Club Filipino in San Juan currently closed to motorists. 18 hours ago |
  • Liberal Party calls the jam-packed event at Club Filipino ‘A Gathering of Friends.’ 18 hours ago |
  • LP Senators Frank Drilon, Ralph Recto, Bam Aquino & TG Guingona as well as DBM Sec. Butch Abad among those present at Club Filipino. 19 hours ago |
  • ‘Cory Aquino Hall’ in Club Filipino where LP’s event is being held is also where Cory Aquino had taken her oath as PH President. 19 hours ago |
  • ‘Cory Aquino Hall’ in Club Filipino is where Roxas had announced that he was giving way to Aquino for 2010 polls. 19 hours ago |
  • DILG Sec. Mar Roxas arrives at Club Filipino in San Juan with wife Korina Sanchez. 19 hours ago |
  • Program at Club Filipino in San Juan for Pres. Aquino’s endorsement of Mar Roxas’ presidential candidacy begins at 10:30 am Friday. 19 hours ago |
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Pork barrel king

By The Standard | Oct. 07, 2013 at 12:01am
2013_oct07_editorialThe President last week chafed at a new moniker that an irate public had bestowed upon him: Pork Barrel King.

Before a gathering of Christian businessmen, the man who likes to remind us that we are his boss spluttered in disbelief: “We have already done a lot and then they will call me Pork Barrel King.”

Are Mr. Aquino’s superiors— that is another word for “boss” —being unduly harsh? Let us examine the circumstances behind his coronation.

Pork barrel is the common name given to the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), a discretionary amount allotted to each congressman (P70 million a year) and senator (P200 million) to fund projects of their choosing. For 2014, before the pork barrel scandal showed that some lawmakers may have diverted hundreds of millions of pesos into their own pockets, these congressional funds accounted for roughly P25 billion—certainly a princely sum.

But the royal treasure trove of discretionary funds lay elsewhere. Hidden from public view until the pork barrel scandal spread in unexpected directions, Mr. Aquino’s Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) quietly gave the President access to more than P137 billion in off-budget funds to do with as he pleased.

Of these, Budget Secretary has admitted that 9 percent or P12.3 billion went to projects identified by senators and congressmen, over and above their PDAF allocations.

Even more peculiar is that all congressmen who signed the impeachment complaint against Mr. Aquino’s political nemesis, then Chief Justice Renato Corona in 2011, and all senators who voted to convict the hapless magistrate in 2012 received millions in extra allocations. Those who did not sign the complaint and those who voted to acquit Corona received no such funding.

A coincidence? Mr. Aquino believes we are all gullible enough to think so. By way of “disproving” allegations of bribery, he says the payments were made months after the fact—forgetting that deferred payment is a common mode of doing business—legal or otherwise.

Some of the best legal minds in the country now say the President’s DAP, in fact, is in itself illegal because there is no enabling law that allows the Mr. Aquino to take funds from various line agencies by calling them “savings” and spend them wherever he pleases. The President’s assumption that he can take these funds away from their congressionally approved uses and apply them elsewhere is absurd, the legal experts say. Certainly, the Constitution does not allow him to transfer these funds to lawmakers as a reward for services rendered.

With his crimes catching up to him, Mr. Aquino tried to distract us with his shopworn tactic of pointing a finger at his predecessor, who has been in detention since 2011 and who had absolutely nothing to do with DAP.

Given the President’s tarnished record, the more accurate designation for him might be “Bribing, Criminal and Finger-Pointing Pork Barrel King.” But there is something to be said for brevity, and Mr. Aquino should be grateful for small blessings. All we have to add is, if the greasy crown fits, then he should wear it.
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