By Mortz C. Ortigoza
The members of the Liberal Party in Congress have been doing all the sleight of hands to buttress the budget like that of the Department Interior Local Government to help save the lethargic presidential aspiration of its head - DILG Secretary Mar Roxas.
|DIRTY HARRY AND TABAKO. After they swapped their|
shirts, former President Fidel Ramos, a Pangasinense, raised an
"O.K" sign to Davao City's Mayor Rod Duterte. The cigar-
chomping former president was in the city recently. (Photo
Thanks to the expose’ of Senator Merriam Santiago who was guest speaker recently of the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila.
Santiago assailed the P104.5 billion budget of the DILG that stinks with anomaly. She cited one of the items there funded by P12.9 billion for a water service that should belong to the National Irrigation Administration.
Aside from denouncing the P37.3 billion pork embedded in the P2.6 trillion 2015 budget, Santiago insinuated that the P12.9 billion intended for the water service would be used as campaign funds for the ambitions of some politicians in the LP.
The amount was part of the “errata” allotment for water supply and low-cost housing programs of the government.
LP Secretary General Senen Sarmiento however explained that the funding for water services in the DILG budget was not related to irrigation. The Salintubig project, he said, was designed to improve health and sanitation and provide water to rural communities in accordance with the Millennium Development Goals.
Was the feisty Senator wrong here my “cousin” former Region 11 and incumbent Region 1 Regional Manager John Celeste of the National Irrigation Administration?
For me if it did not fall under NIA. It did not either fall to the ambit of the DILG.
It should be a fund for the Local Water Utilities Administration, the Department of Public Works & Highway, or the National Housing Authority.
But the problem with LWUA, DPWH, or NHA they did not fall under the behest of Roxas. If it does not fall under Roxas then it would not make Boy Pick-up, er, Mar Roxas good before the eyes of the public. LWUA is under the Office of the President. Incase billions of pesos of these funds would be used by water utilities in local government units all over the country, the one who gets the plaudits would be Administrator Andres F. Ibarra and not Roxas.
Remember Prospero “Butch” Pitchay, the former infamous Administrator of the LWUA, where he pampered with loans and grants wide eyed mayors whom he thought could help his high budgeted but failed senatorial bid in 2007?
Whether we like it or not LP bright boys have been making all kinds of skulduggery to pocket billions of pesos to boost the 2016 political stocks of the party in the P2.6 trillion budgets that reek with pork.
“What pork barrel? Did the Supreme Court deal the Quo d’Grace on it in November 2013?” you posed probably as you read this column.
Let’s cite what I found months ago when I was interviewing a District Engineer of the corruption prone DPWH. The DE or the chief of the district showed to me all the ongoing and the already bided hundreds of millions of pesos projects in the two congressional districts in my province.
Susmariosep, all of the projects have been contracted by the favored private contractors of the two congressmen.
“Kaya pala natangal iyong isang DE dito kasi akala niya when the Supreme Court dealt 14-0 the pork barrel as unconstitutional, he thought he was already too powerful in awarding projects to his fair-haired boys’ contractors after sensing that the solons have been stripped off with privileges to give projects to contractors at their whims and caprices,“ I told the new DE.
But Malacanang has a game plan how to skewer the high tribunal. Lately pork barrel is alive as exposed by a congressman of progressive party-list group Act. Congressman Tony Tinio said that Commissioner Patricia Lichuanan and then Health Undersecretary Janet Guarin of the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) and Department of Health (DOH), respectively have been caught res gestae when they instructed congressmen that they still have a say to projects in their district.
(NOTE: See my full article “Reason Behind Cha-Cha: Pres. Aquino Fears Jail” for your insight that you can accessed at http://wwwmortzcortigoza.blogspot.com/2014/08/reason-behind-cha-cha-pres-aquino-fears.html )
That instruction I surmised came from Malacanang for Lichuanan and Garin to inform the solons that happy days are here to stay.
The implementation of invaluable projects means, 20% to 50% of S.O.P or cut illegally given by ingratiating private contractors, who constructs below par public infrastructures, to their patron congressmen or senators for them to use in their patronage politics.
The bottom line here is President Benigno C. Aquino III knows that to make the lawmakers toe the line, he would allow these deep seated practice of allowing them to relish on the spoils of the loot. Otherwise, he undermines himself through impeachment or sees urgent bills the Palace wants torpedoed in the floor of Congress.
That kind of immoral quid pro quo transaction, that Maid Merriam smells, shows how presidential survival prevails over the Supreme Court's decision versus the obnoxious pork barrel.
My kasimanwa (town mate) former Cotabato Province Governor Manny Pinol told me recently that the link of a column “A President of our Times” I sent to him through Face Book went viral just after nine hours when he posted it at his MannyPinol.Com's page of FB.
When I took a peek last Saturday on that Playing with Fire’s column by Sunday Punch’s pen pusher, the fiery, Gonz Duque, the article has 2,032 Likes, 221 Comments, and 408 Shares.
Gonz wrote:” In our view—all these names, Binay, Roxas, Bongbong Marcos, Miriam Santiago, Ping Lacson, Alan Peter Cayetano, and lately, Rody Duterte—ay dapat we should carefully scrutinize .If you ask us, and we are saying this after much thought, we would suggest that slugfest man from Davao, Mayor Rody Duterte! Why? Because he—his bravado, simple approach to governance (bitayin ang mga criminal, lalo na ang criminal na pulis!)—fits the Presidency to a T”.
Pinol told me that the no-nonsense Davao City Mayor Rod Duterte, despite being ambivalent for the prexy bid, would be available to come here in the humongous vote rich Pangasinan Province to grace any big social functions.
Pinol has been doing the yeoman’s job in the social media to make the Davao City’s Dirty Harry presidential bid a possibility. The bid, son of a gun, have been sending ripples all over the country now.
“Mas okey pag si Duterte ang president. Mawawala ang mga masasama ang loob,” a mayor told me lately.
The renowned anchor Tina Monzon-Palma of ANC’ cable TV program said that in her latest informal polls, Duterte topped the presidential bets incase election would be held on that time her personnel entertained callers in a phone patch.
Let’s wait how the scientific Social Weather Stations and Pulse Asia have on Duterte on their next polls.
With Filipinos gloomy already on the seemingly hopeless wars of our government against the bad guys who are into big time crimes like massive corruption, ubiquitous robberies and rampant illegal drugs, they need somebody with guts and incorruptibility just like a Dirty Harry in that Clint Eastwood’s flicks who coldly pumped bullets on the malefactors who would not toe the line in the name of tranquility and the public good.
As a sign of protest votes against the trapo or traditional dirty politicians that lord our country since time immemorial, the growing numbers of voters gravitate to Rody Duterte’s kind of dark justice.
“Okay na si Rody sa Pangasinan visit. Set lang schedule earlier para makapag prepare siya. He will talk about enhanced local autonomy through federalism so you could entertain the idea of a federal Ilocandia State which would include Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union and Pangasinan,“ Pinol told me.
So proprietors of universities, colleges, and other institutions who want to invite the mayor, you already know the drill. Just send your intention to my email at email@example.com and I’ll relay it to Governor Pinol so you can hear and see up close and personal the Dirty Harry of Davao City whose chutzpah in peace and order made the Durian City the No. 4 safest city in the world and with one of the lowest crime rates in the Philippines. With these records, gee whiz, Davao could shame the Wild West rambunctious 2.8 million Pangasinan where criminals riding in tandem lord the street in a weekly basis.
(You can read my selected columns at http://mortzortigoza.blogspot.com and articles at Pangasinan News Aro. You can send comments too firstname.lastname@example.org).