By MORTZ C. ORTIGOZA
A District Engineer of the Department of Public Works & Highway (where private contractors could be seen kissin' his ass too, just like the ingratiation they do to members of congress) who oversees two congressional districts, told me that the heads of national agencies (National Irrigation Administration, DPWH, Department of Agrarian Reform, Department of Agriculture) ask first the concurrence of the district congressman if he/she allows an infrastructure project funded by the central office in Manila to be realigned and eventually constructed by private contractors in his/her area.
"Pag ayaw ng congressman, ililipat lang iyong project sa ibang bayan, siyudad, o district ng departamento o agency".
This scenario only shows that without the dreaded pork, a congress person can still dip his/her finger on the cookie jar that gives him/her the much desired SOP.
Here’s what a private contractor told me how lucrative the construction business in screwing the government:
“Iyong isang government project namin na worth P20 million plus tumubo kami ng P7 million plus. Binigyan namin ang engineer doon na nagpasok ng kontrata ng P3 million.”
My source said he has to give percentages from the total worth of the contract from the National Irrigation Administration to different individuals so he could get the contract and earn a windfall.
“10% congressman, 10% mayor, 10% s implementing agency. Magulo kasi si mayor at congressman . Dapat kasi hati sila kaso suwapang pareho kaya parehong binibigyan.”
He said I could quote him but to avoid the ire of his patrons I would not reveal his name.
During the visit of Vice President Jojo Binay in Pangasinan recently (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.
Don't you know that recent Philippine official visitor US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was a Sergeant in the Vietnam War, before he became a U.S Senator?
According to Wikepidia: Hagel volunteered to join the United States Army during the Vietnam War, rejecting a draft board recommendation that he go to college instead. He served in the United States Army infantry in Vietnam from 1967 to 1968. Holding the rank of Sergeant (E-5), he served as an infantry squad leader in the 9th Infantry Division. Hagel served in the same infantry squad as his younger brother Tom, and they are believed to be the only American siblings to do so during the Vietnam War. They also ended up saving each other's lives on separate occasions. While serving during the war, he received the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, two Purple Hearts, the Army Commendation Medal, and the Combat Infantryman Badge.
Watching early today the live U.S Senate foreign relation committee hearing at CNN (Cable News Network, not Camarines News Network, stupid!).
Geez, can you imagine a Philippine Cabinet Secretary turning the table against the hubris of a Philippine Senator?
U.S Foreign Secretary John Kerry ( a Vietnam Vet, and former veteran U.S Senator) give the young Senator Rand Paul (Republican-Kentucky) a comeuppance by asking him instead if U.S will not inflict punitive action (e.g Tomahawks and bunker buster bombs turning to smithereens military establishments and armaments hidden underground- MCO) against Syria, would he think President Bashar al- Assad not gas again his people?
Geez man, the young senator just drank a glass of water before he answered the unexpected.
I could just remember the rock song we used to sing in high school over bottles of Tanduay Rhum:
"They answered my questions with questions" from the song "Question" by Alfred Mann.
The lesson political spectators can learn on the Kerry-Paul engagement (you can accessed the text and the video where Kerry lectured the "school boy" Rand at http://www.mediaite.com/tv/john-kerry-scolds-rand-paul-on-syria-we-dont-want-to-go-to-war/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medeium=feed&utm_campaign=Fee) was verbal embellishment on the part of the latter could be deceptive.
Even thought he confidently cited James Madison (father of the U.S Constitution) with those carefully crafted arguments that probably could shame Philippines' self-styled constitutional columnist Father Joaquin Bernas“ that the executive is the branch most likely to go to war and therefore the constitution vested that power in the Congress. It is explicit throughout all of Madison's writings. This power is a Congressional power and it is not an executive power. They didn't say big war, small war. They didn't say boots on the ground, not boots on the ground. They said declare war.”
Geez man, they were not enough to find him on the receiving end when Senator Kerry refuted the rising star of the Republican Party with that common sense debilitating question.
Was it then police chief Panfilo “Ping” Lacson derisively ridiculed former National Bureau of Investigation Chief Reynaldo Wycoco (a non lawyer in a lawyers' territory's agency);
“It’s not form, it's on substance” as dig to the well groomed Wycoco who has the propensity to dress up despite his incompetence to run the bureau?
The Kerry’s rebuttal was more on substance and a knockout punch.
It was like George Foreman, who absorbed all the volley of punches and showboating of Michael Moorer in a world heavy weigh championship in November 1994, until he unleashed his right knockout money punch at the chin of Moorer that brought him to dreamland in the 10th Round.
(Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org)