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Million People March @ Ayala: Pork Barrel Pointers

A month after investigating the PDAF scandal, how far are we from reaching the truth?
by Ron Jay Eduvas | Oct 3, 2013
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Expect things to really pick up in the crowdy streets of Ayala tomorrow, as people will again come together for a common cause: To stand firm and united in abolishing the PDAF, also known as the takaw-anomaly pork barrel fund.

As soon as the clock strikes 3 p.m. this Friday, October 4, people are expected to join the Ayala leg of #MillionPeopleMarch. To those who are keen on joining, the initial assembly is set to take place under the Ninoy Aquino monument at Ayala Ave. cor Paseo de Roxas.

But before you bust your lungs screaming out “Makibaka! Wag mag-baboy,” it pays to be in the know with regards to the war on the pork barrel. Does it still exist? Can Napoles come out of detention? Is Jinggoy Estrada "sexy"? And why is P-Noy being labeled as the "Pork Barrel King"? Dammit, these people want answers!

What's happened so far:

"Pork Barrel Queen" Janet Lim-Napoles remains detained at Camp Sto. Domingo in Laguna—the same camp prison used to detain former President Joseph Estrada and son Jinggoy during their plunder trial some years back. Just to clarify: Napoles is stuck here as a result of a previous case that has nothing to do with the scam.  

Meanwhile, Senators Jinggoy, Ramon Revilla Jr., and Juan Ponce Enrile III are taking flak for allegedly scheming their own PDAF with Napoles for their own personal gains. All three continue to deny these allegations.

Is the pork barrel system still alive?
During a recent speech, President Aquino acknowledged his intention to abolish the pork barrel fund, but remains undecided on whether he would continue with the temporary restraining order on PDAF. Many legitimate operational projects and non-government organizations are, after all, relying on it as their sole source of funding. At this point, the pork barrel system is still very much alive.

What’s happening now?
The Senate Blue Ribbon committee, headed by Senator Teofisto Guingona, has begun their preliminary investigations. The pork barrel whistleblowers, including prime witness Benhur Luy, have since been presented under oath on two separate occasions.

Among the many things revealed about Napoles during the hearing: Her transactions with bogus non-government organizations using the pork barrel funds, how she sometimes put cash in her bath tub whenever her bed runs out of room, and how she once called one of her senator partners "sexy."

Meanwhile, Jinggoy recently revealed during a privilege speech that the Aquino administration once released millions of pesos in public funds via the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP). Said funds were allegedly included in the senators' respective budgets, which Jinggoy believes was a “bribe” for their vote favoring the impeachment of former Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona.

Former Senator Joker Arroyo and Senator Miriam Santiago have since labeled the DAP “illegal and scandalous.” Because of these allegations, critics are now calling the president the “Pork Barrel King."

Senators Enrile and Revilla both choose to keep mum on the situation.

Continue reading below ↓

NEXT: So, what is this DAP-thing we keep on hearing?

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