An Anarchist and Autonomous Community-Based Resource Center in Muntinlupa City (Manila south), Philippines
“YOU ARE SWINE, AND WE’RE SAYING THAT’S AN INSULT TO THE PIG!”
Thousands of people showed up yesterday to participate the anti-pork barrel protest. The event was decentralized, it was truly diverse; people from different walks of life converged in solidarity to struggle against oppressive policy of the corrupt government.
PRIORITY DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE FUND(PDAF)
is a discretionary fund to members of Congress. Originally established as the Countrywide Development Fund (CDF) in 1990, it is designed to allow legislators to fund small-scale infrastructure or community projects which fell outside the scope of the national infrastructure program, which was often restricted to large infrastructure items. Legislators are allocated large sums of the annual national budget i.e. — 200 million pesos for each senator and 70 million for each representative.
Some of the key findings of the special audit covering the years 2007, 2008 and 2009, and that she said took nearly two years to finish:
• Dozens of lawmakers received PDAF beyond their respective allocations (each senator should get P200million and each lawmaker, whether for congressional district or party list, P70 million). One lawmaker, whom she declined to name, received P3 billion of PDAF in all.
• Some funds were released for projects outside of a congressman’s legislative district or sector.
• One non-lawmaker, a certain “Luis Abalos,” received P20 million PDAF and no agency could explain how this happened.
• Implementing agencies did not, strictly speaking, implement projects but loosely turned around and gave monies to NGOs, with some of the NGAs even charging a 3-percent “management fee.” There were also no endorsements from the Executive agencies before releasing money to NGOs, violating DBM’s own rules; releases were made essentially at the behest of trhe sponsoring legislator. This violated Resolution 12-0087, of Government Procurement and Policy Board, now covered by the Government Procurement Reform Act.
• Of the 82 NGOs covered by audit, many had dubious addresses; some were traced to shanties, or just the home addresses of some members.
• The delivery of goods and services by NGOs, amounting to billions of pesos, were not made through public bidding.
• Some suppliers denied dealing with NGOs; some admitted selling some agricultural items and services, but only in the amount of a few thousands, not millions as claimed by the NGOs.
• Some suppliers had no business permits when COA checked with respective LGUs.
Legally speaking, P-Noy’s intervention is limited only to suspension. The execituve branch has no power to bilaterally act to abolish PDAF. The senate is the proper legal channel to scrap pork barrel. Some senate and congress members are involved in this scam. Many of these lawmakers and politicians are set to defend PDAF. You know where this logic will end-up.
The system of representation is obviously not working. A system where few people authorized to formulate and implement laws and policies is designed to cheat people. Pork barrel issue is only one of myriad cases where these corrupt politicians and lawmakers rob the people and got away.
Politicians and political parties have endless ideas with regard to the word DEMOCRACY. But the people who are suppose to be the main subject of a democratic system are left behind. Unconsulted, uninformed/misinformed, ignorant and most of all starving.
It is proven many times that state agencies and market institutions are incapable of solving crises that cause hunger, poverty, ignorance, ecological destruction and social injustice. It is about time to put things in our own hands.
LETS OCCUPY SPACES (public and corporate control); DEMOCRACY IS ABOUT PEOPLE DIRECTLY PARTICIPATING IN DECISION MAKING PROCESS. A process that is devoted to encourage highly diverse people to talk, to express their feelings, to manifest their discontents, to debate and argue to collectively resolve issues that are directly affecting their social lives.
Basket ball courts, parks, parking lots, corporate centers are conducive and encouraging spaces to hold meetings, assemblies and gathering to share thoughts, fun, music, materials, documents, ideas, actions, experience, food and struggle.