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Where to?

Where will the unfolding “P10 billion pork barrel scam” lead to?

Dr. Ramon Ricardo A. Roque, CESOIFrom the time the alleged scam was exposed many things already happened and many things continue to happen everyday.

While it has always been the perception of many that the pork barrel system is being misused for the personal benefit of politicians, the P10 billion pork barrel scam still shocked the nation not only because of the huge amount of public funds allegedly misused but also because of the seemingly blatant disregard of our laws and what appears to be a system of connivance of “trusted” officials in the legislative and executive branches with private individuals using “non-governmental organizations” as front.

In the midst of serious poverty problem in our country, a scandal like this highlights the fact that many of our government officials have been robbing us of the very resources that they are supposed to use to alleviate the plight of millions of economically challenged Filipinos.

The “Million People March” is one positive development that came out of this scandal.

While the “NGO involvement” in the P10 billion pork barrel scandal negated the value of people’s participation in national development efforts, the protest last August 26 was a clear indication that ordinary citizens are willing to assert their rights and act to reform our government.

As the P10 billion pork barrel story unfolds, more details of the corruption scheme in government are made known to the public and more questions that require truthful answers surface.

Will the Aquino Administration really abolish the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) for good? Will there be any replacement to such fund? Is this simply a “drama” staged for political reasons? Was the surrender of Janet Lim-Napoles to President Aquino a part of this “drama?” Will concerned legislators be jailed for their misuse and abuse of their PDAF?

The power shown by the people in the Million People March is the very power that we need to get the truthful answers to all our questions regarding this scandal.

President Aquino said that with the surrender of Janet Lim-Napoles, “the hunt for the truth begins.” We, the people, should assert our demand not only for the “whole truth” about this scam but also the fruit of the truth—true reforms in our government.

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