Opinion: Pork Barrel Scams and the Possible Disposition of the Funds
POINTS OF RETENTION OF PORK BARREL HAS BASIS. Bacolod Diocese Msgr. Felix Pasquin has telling points in his contention that before the so-called PDAF funds are removed from congressmen and senators, this should be studiedthoroughly. This is because we ourselves believe that legislators will resort to other means in order to source funds for their constituents.
But we agree that pork barrel funds, even in the Office of the President, serve a purpose. In the third world society such as ours, where people usually request for funds for whatever purpose or purposes they may have need for this, one cannot expect government officials to source these from out of their own resources or their pockets to cover up for people’s needs.
BUT ENSURE THESE ARE RIGHTFULLY USED. It is the workers and farmers the urban poor and those who are in dire need who should in fact get the funds, and it is they who are being cited to as the reason for the pork barrel funds.
And this, the perpetrators of the scams know because the Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) which are the conduits of the pork barrel always refer to these sectors of Philippine society such as the JLN Trading Corporation and those in the House and the Senate which are involved here.
Janet Lim-Napoles even sounded very arrogant in her futile defense of herself, saying that she is willing to bare her bank deposits to once and for all prove her innocence, meaning that the resources she has in the bank are all legitimately acquired. But having been involved in the elaborate scam for years on end, will she not ensure that no trace or evidence of her illegal moneymaking scam in conspiracy with those in the House and the Senate, be covered up? Chances are she has already covered her tracks by stashing away the account she has scammed from government through other persons’ or people’s name in the bank deposits.
But back to our original topic, as we said the government must also see to it that the pork barrel funds are well spent and on this score if so done, it should remain as a source of good resources for the marginalized sectors, because this is of utmost need. And the government must be determined to ensure that people like Janet Lim-Napoles be meted the punishment they deserved.
And that legislators who are highly aware that they are committing criminal act, infusing funds into the scam must likewise be sanctioned. Or, people like Janet Lim-Napoles will always commit this economic, nay heinous crime.
We have always been indignant when thieves sneak into our households and cart away our valuables. These are merely in the thousands but this one like Janet Lim-Napoles’ caper is in the billions. Shall we leave this unpunished? If so, unpunished capers like these akin to robbing not only a few people but thousands of impoverished poor will continue to persist.
Continue to provide the PDAF or pork barrel funds but ensure these are properly used.
Tell you me. But, indeed!*