“The abolition of the pork barrel fund is the clamor of the people, we have to follow it,” Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito-Estrada said yesterday.
Ejercito-Estrada, who was in Silay City for the induction of the officers of the Vice Mayors' League of the Philippines - Negros Occidental and Western Visayas chapters, however, refused to comment on allegations that his half-brother, Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, funneled his Priority Development Assistance Fund, or pork, to questionable non-government organizations.
“I think he can defend himself,” Ejercito-Estrada said.
“The people can be assured that I am for the truth. I have a mandate and responsibility given to me by the Filipino people,” he said.
He said the pork barrel fund, formerly known as the Countrywide Development Funds, was created during the time of President Corazon Aquino, and was dubbed the great equalizer for allowing the equitable distribution of funds around the country through projects identified by congressmen.
After the Marcos administration, putting part of the money in the CDF removed the total decision making on the distribution of government funds from the executive, and allowed congressmen to allocate funds for the needs of their areas, too, he said.
With the abolition of the PDAF, we will be creating a strong executive and a powerless legislature, he said.*CPG