Manny Pacquiao is probably thinking he’s better than any superhero in fiction movies because superheroes are endowed with special abilities to conquer the world, yet powerless to go against the purpose and mission for which they were made. Next to surrendering his life to Jesus Christ, the greatest favor “Pacman” can do to himself, his family and boxing is to leave politics like he’s running away from a burning inferno.
“Boxer, congressman, and now preacher Manny Pacquiao said he supports President Aquino’s decision to scrap the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), otherwise known as “pork barrel” funds” (abs-cbnnews.com, 8/23/13).
Good, but has Rep. Pacquiao finally seen the light? Or, was it the “tide” that swayed him to switch tune, if not the “abolish” statement from the Palace shortly prior to the grand August 26 rally dubbed as Million People March in protest of the pork barrel system and the massive scams involving billions of pesos worth of people’s “pork” money? But in spite of the “assurances” and “positive” developments about the issue, the people are unconvinced and remain to be unperturbed in demanding for the total abolition of pork barrel, not merely the P27 billion PDAF in 2014 budget.
With politicians insisting on doing things contrary to the will of those who voted them into office, where is democracy? If this is democracy, then what democracy is not? Who or “what” do senators and congressmen represent if not the people? Is the voice of the people not loud enough throughout the Philippine archipelago today?
Anywhere I tried to search it, no definition of democracy would tell us that a group or groups of elected officials may legislate or implement abuses; and that the voice or will of the people can be ignored and thwarted.
Democracy is about “eligible citizens participating equally – either directly or through their elected representatives – in the proposal, development, and creation of laws” (Wikipedia). I discovered that democracy encompasses nothing about “pork barrel” or huge amounts of money being under the discretion or impunity of any person in a position of power. Democracy is basically a government of the people, by the people and for the people.
Hence if pork barrel is what Congress is all about, there should now be a clamor to abolish Congress. This is hypothetically what the Senate President was suggesting when he said, “What will happen if we will not take a direct hand (in the identification of projects)? Let’s abolish Congress then” (Philippine Daily Inquirer, 8/27/13). So be it.
The call of the people to abolish pork barrel doesn’t just mean calling it by a new name; neither does it mean the scrapping of just the “pork barrel” of legislators. Corruption and patronage politics are what we are trying to solve in PDAF and the likes. Hence, simply removing the custody of the fund from the hands of legislators but still retaining their prerogative to choose projects to be funded by PDAF, as proposed, is still unacceptable because that would remain to be “pork” wearing a different collar, equal to patronage politics.
Junk “pork barrel” altogether and we will have the right people to govern us.
Politicians are apparently going against the tide of mounting public conscience nowadays. Despite the great deluge, is this not dictatorship? Have they forgotten Ferdinand Edralin Marcos and the lessons they should have learned from him? A sick and more humane Marcos touted the latter part of his despotic rule as being “democracy restored.” Yet democracy was restored only when the omnipotent “collective conscience” deposed him in February 1986 through People Power Revolt.
Many lawmakers have softened a bit their stance about pork barrel on account of the said mammoth rally in Luneta. But what are they waiting to happen in the days or months to come before every one of them could finally do it completely right?
Dictionary.com defines democracy as a “government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.” The term democracy is derived from a Greek word which literally means “rule of the people.”
With Heaven by their side, the Filipino people speaking and acting as one to fight corruption and evil is an unbeatable force to reckon with. Note well Mr. President, Vice-President, Governors, Mayors, the honorable Senators and Congressmen. The nation is on its knees, praying.
As for boxer/congressman Pacquiao – politics, not Floyd Mayweather, is his enemy. Politics, not Juan Manuel Marquez, is his arch nemesis in boxing. And with his forthcoming brawl against fighter Brandon Rios, the Pac-man ought to think of ways how to win spectacularly and start rising up from there after an ignominious fall last December at the hands of a middle-aged “magician.”
Pacquiao always promises to entertain the fans each time he has a scheduled fight. But the promise would be nothing but hype if he fails to win by knockout for it’s the only sure path for him, in his own words, “to make the people happy.”
Knock Rios out or “pork-scrap” it.