Hesitant over the pork barrel
Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
|NINFA R. LEONARDIA|
Editor-in-Chief & President
NIDA A. BUENAFE
MAJA P. DELY
ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA|
The leadership of the House of Representatives does not seem to be interested in conducting an investigation into the Pork Barrel scandal that is said to have siphoned off P10 billion of the people’s money over the last 10 years. Congressmen claim that a parallel probe is not necessary because they lack the credibility to probe themselves, and because the Department of Justice and the National Bureau of Investigation are already investigating the Priority Development Assistance Fund scam.
Considering that the pork barrel scam hits so close to home for this country’s Senators and Congressmen, and if you think about how it does not take much for these legislators to launch into numerous time-consuming but media-hogging “investigations in aid of legislation”, it boggles the mind how silent both the upper and lower Houses of Congress have been where this current scandal is concerned.
If this concerned any other issue or institution, an investigation in aid of legislation would already be underway to see who is ultimately responsible for this P10 billion scandal, so our legislators can ostensibly legislate laws and safeguards to prevent such a crime from happening again. Now that a humongous crime has been claimed to have taken place right under their noses, right inside their own home, they are eerily quiet.
Philippine legislators have become so fond of redundant and often useless investigations and probes into matters that hardly concern them, such as bombings and rubouts, so why are they so hesitant to probe themselves and their beloved pork barrel, when it is obvious that it is a system that they have direct control and responsibility for? An honest-to-goodness investigation into the pork barrel scandal could help them come up with ways to protect it and ensure that the billions of pesos of the people’s money that had been entrusted to them is not as easy to steal as the whistleblowers say it is. So why isn’t there any action where this issue is concerned?
House Minority Leader Ronaldo Zamora has filed a resolution seeking an investigation into the scam. Is the pork barrel and the political expediency that it buys for President Noynoy Aquino exempt from the accountability of his beloved “Tuwid na Daan”? Is he willing to get rid of the corruption that comes with the pork barrel by getting rid of it completely, or will constantly repeating a catchy slogan be enough?*