Pork Barrel Scam

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Pork barrel is the appropriation of government spending for localized projects secured solely or primarily to bring money to a representative's district. The usage originated in American English.[1] In election campaigns, the term is used in derogatory fashion to attack opponents. Scholars, however, use it as a technical term regarding legislative control of local appropriations. The press and social media continue with commentaries and condemnation of the so-called “pork barrel” and the role of Janet Napoles and her beneficiaries from the three branches of government. One of the items in the web had a photo of Manuel V. Pangilinan stating he earned P81 million and paid P26 million to the BIR, making him the fourth largest taxpayer. Juxtaposed to his photo was that of a Senator which quoted his estimated annual income as P420,000 but with an estimated pork barrel scam of P1 billion with no BIR listing. This is illustrative of the corruption which is pervasive in our government system. The citizenry is justifiably enraged and some have expressed outright disgust with this bad governance. I think it is worth making the following observation that seem to undermine the President’s moral authority however unwittingly. I have no doubt that the President is honest. That, above other attributes, is the source of his strength domestically which explains his high approval rating, and internationally as evidenced by our improving credit rating and rising interest from foreign investors. As a former member of Congress, the President sees value in the honest application of this money to meet local needs. But he underestimated the public sentiment and so his perceived dithering about “abolishing” the pork barrel certainly knocked his credibility a few notches down. But it was his meeting with Janet Napoles in Malacanan Palace as well as accompanying her to Camp Crame

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