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“Pork users: mad and madly corrupted”


LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… The greedy stir up conflict, but those who trust in the Lord will prosper…” (Proverbs 28:25, the Holy Bible).                                                               
CALL FOR LAWMAKERS: ABOLISH PORK BARREL: Here is the third part of the 2003 privilege speech of former Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson, assailing the pork barrel of lawmakers: “To all of us in this august chamber, maybe we can help alleviate the burgeoning budget deficit by waiving our 2003 pork barrel fund allocations. We can actually do our share, no matter how small, in balancing the budget by doing just that. 

“With twenty-three senators, at PhP211M each, four billion, eight hundred fifty-three million (PhP4.853B) will automatically be deducted from the 2003 national budget. The Speaker of the House, Jose de Venecia, can equally display his statesmanship by doing the same in the lower house. 

“With more than 200 congressmen, at PhP65M each, that would be another PhP13B at least. Let us be the first to sacrifice for the sake of tiding us over a financial nightmare. I, therefore, call on the Senate and the House of Representatives to voluntarily give up the pork.                                                            

“SCRAP PORK, THERE IS LIFE WITHOUT IT”: “Mr. President, it is a simple choice between self-respect and self-aggrandizement. That is exactly my point. Those among us whose hands remain untainted and unsoiled by the fruits of corruption from the evil `pork’ must now be insulated from the temptation it may bring upon us. How? Let’s try scrapping the `pork.’ There is life without it!

“We all know who we are and what we are on this issue. That is one thing we are all sure about. Mine are not speculations - I definitely have my own sources. The figures I brought out earlier are never a figment of my imagination. If the `pork barrel’ stinks, how much longer must we suffer the stench? I believe it is time to abolish it altogether.             “Mr. President, we were elected by the Filipino people to make good laws for the common good and never to make gold under the `pork barrel’ system. We are here to make laws, not to build roads and bridges. We were voted into office to provide check and balance under the principle of powers; and not to accept fat checks to enhance our bank account balance.                                                            

“PORK USERS: MAD AND MADLY CORRUPTED”: “Former French President and Prime Minister, the late Jean-Raymond Pompidou, was correct. There is a whale of difference between a politician and a statesman. He said, `while a statesman places himself at the service of the nation, a politician places the nation at his own personal service.’

“With the `pork barrel’ system, we are all perceived as dirty, corrupt and greedy politicians. Without it, we can all become better statesmen and public servants. Whenever our committees investigate anomalies in government, does it not occur to us how equally guilty they think the legislators could be?

“Mr. President, pardon my asking. There are all kinds of arguments to defend the `pork.’ Its advocates invent new methods and formulas to make every legislator happy. Ironically, in the mind of every Filipino, they are all mad and madly corrupted by it…”                                                            

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By Atty. Batas Mauricio

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