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ON TARGET

Aquino under pressure not to abolish pork

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Janet Lim-Napoles, the alleged mastermind behind the P10-billion pork barrel scam, has gone into hiding and can’t be found in any of her 28 known addresses or houses.

Will she ever surface is a hard question to answer.

For all we know she could have been kidnapped, and now lies buried in some isolated spot.

A dead man or woman tells no tale, as the saying goes.

If Napoles starts talking, she just might bring down this government.

*  *  *

Once again, the massive theft of people’s money during the administration of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has been exposed.

A new Commission on Audit (COA) report says that former Compostela Valley Representative Manuel “Way Kurat” Zamora, who paraded himself as the “poorest congressman,” supposedly received P3.114 billion in pork barrel funds, which would now make him a billionaire.

I checked on Zamora with my sources in Tagum City, Davao del Norte, Compostela Valley’s neighboring province.

They told me Zamora is as poor now as during the time he joined Congress years ago.

A simple man in every way, he was surprised why he was reported to have received a windfall when all he got for those three years was P210 million.

People I interviewed on the phone in Tagum who know Zamora laughed at the report.

“Saato pa, Mon, dunaynagkuhasa P3 billion uggibutang saiyang ngalan. Di man puwedeng amu kawatsi Wa Kurat kaywa man siya’y buot (In short, somebody got the P3 billion allotted for him. Way Kurat is incapable of being corrupt because he’s a bumpkin),” said one of them.

*  *  *

Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando “Nonoy” Andaya, who was the secretary of the Department of  Budget and Management during the period covered by the COA report, saw nothing wrong with allocating funds to congressmen in excess of their annual pork of P70 million.

He intimated he was just following orders from his boss, Gloria. Even if he knew that the orders were illegal?

Andaya should be charged with plunder along with Gloria.

*  *  *

The public is clamoring for the abolition of the pork barrel, which has been a source of corruption for many legislators.

I learned from a Palace source that President Noy is for the scrapping of the pork.

But there is talk that pressure for its retention is being brought to bear on the President by his close advisers, particularly Budget and Management Secretary Butch Abad.

Who should the President listen to—the public, whom he calls his “boss”— or his underlings?

*  *  *

We have experienced a heavy downpour the past few days which, God forbid, could replicate the floods of tropical storm “Ondoy” in 2009.

We can’t fight Mother Nature but we definitely can do something to prevent constant flooding, especially in Metro Manila.

Let’s drive out the squatters away from the Metro because they clog waterways beside their homes with their garbage.

The government should also start desilting rivers which easily flood even with little rain.


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Tags: Benigno Aquino III , Commission On Audit (COA) , floods , Janet Lim Napoles , Pork barrel , Weather




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