During the visit of Vice President Jojo Binay in Pangasinan yesterday (Geez, Yahoo's head line cries today "Where Binay was during anti-pork rally") with mayors in Pangasinan to distribute relief goods, I asked an elected official who is also a big time private contractor. "Mayor, pag tinangal totally ang Pork Barrel, baka wala ng trapo na pulitiko na tatakbo sa pagiging congressman sa 2016?
He told me they would still run. "Kahit wala na iyong P70 million yearly PDAF, nakaka porma pa rin sila sa national projects (like tens of millions of pesos of roads, buildings, etc) na bini-bidding sa DPWH (Department of Public Works & Highway) sa area nila. In short, the same favored contractors will play moro-moro with the bidding process so they can give the palatable kickback in a silver platter to the solon.
Here are the excerpts of my interviews on the evil that haunts the infamous Priority Development & Allocation Fund (PDAF) with Philippe President Jejomar Binay and Senator Peter Cayetano when I met them in Binmaley, Pangasinan (August 26 for Binay) and Lingayen, Pangasinan (August 23 for Cayetano):
|Pangasinenses relished the visit of Philippine Vice Pre-|
sident Jojo Binay. Media man Jerry Cambay (extreme
left (red shirt) and Board Member Ranjit Ramos Sha-
hani made funny faces probably to amuse
the vice president.
MORTZ: Mr. Vice President, tangalin na iyong Pork Barrel sa mga congressmen. Ibigay na sa NIA, DPWH, D.A.R, D.A para centralized na ang corruption, at least mababantayan na ng mabuti ang magnanakaw dahil kakaunti na lang itong mga offices na ito kumpara sa 288 na Tong-gressmen na may hawak ng PDAF.
VICE PRES. BINAY (Chuckled, tumawa) In fairness naman sa mga congressmen hindi naman lahat sa kanila…
MORTZ: Most of them are corrupt. Si (former congressman) Ranjit Shahani at congressmen Mark and Kimi Cojuangco ang alam ko na hindi tumatagap ng kickbacks sa private contractors. (People around laughed)
VICE PRES. BINAY: Iyong mga kasamahan lang nila na na-involved diyan sa graft & corruption.
MORTZ: Vice President noong August 23 sinabi ni Presidenti (Aquino) na wala na ang “consumable” soft projects, such as fertilizers, seeds, medicines, dentures, funding for sports festivals, others. But congressmen and sentors can still identify projects. Ang tanong ko doon: Hindi ba mawawala ang S.O.P o kickbacks doon?
VICE PRES. BINAY: Sundin na lang natin ang sinabi ni Pangulo, pagtulong-tulongan natin na mangyari ang kanyang sinabi na iyon hong problema sa PDAF ay haharapin. Ulitin ko ha, ang issue diyan sa PDAF sa aking pananaw ay graft & corruption. Kasi ho ninanakaw ang pera ng bayan, hindi napunta iyong pera sa pinag-lala-anan.
MORTZ: Is your proposed mode of giving pork to solons would be greased-free, S.O.P-free, or cut-free from the percentage given by private contractors or suppliers to the congressman or senator who intercedes for the projects?
SENATOR PETER CAYETANO: Hindi ko kayo masagot ngayon na wala ng problema ang Pilipinas. To get rid of that is a big victory. But we have a lot to do after that.
MORTZ:“Is your proposal to abolish the old system of distributing the pork barrel a tall order? Baka hindi na ipapasa ng congress ang bill na i-proposed ng Malacanang because wala na ang the carrot sa pork-barrel?”
SENATOR PETER CAYETANO: If you asked me two months ago with that same question I would tell you the plan to abolish the pork would be next to impossible.
(Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org)