Analysis by Raïssa Robles
Is the Scrap Pork Network behind the People’s Initiative promising something that might get shot down by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional in the end? Something even Congress can easily overturn?
Why didn’t any official in the Integrated Bar of the Philippines see the potential constitutional defects and suggest amendments to the draft law entitled “An Act abolishing the presidential and congressional pork barrel system, strengthening the system of checks and balances over public funds, prohibiting certain acts, and providing penalties therefore?”
Or did the IBP president simply back it without reading the draft law?
Don’t get me wrong. I am personally for banning the congressional pork barrel and for putting an end to political patronage and political dynasties.
But today’s move to ban pork through a People’s Initiative has me really puzzled. And wishing that the public was first consulted on such an important matter and shown the draft law that the Scrap Pork Network now wants the public to legislate by signing the People’s Initiative.
I really, really wish those behind the petition had first posted the draft law on the social networking sites Facebook and Twitter so it could have been refined, BEFORE launching the sign-up campaign.
UPDATE: as of 11:07 PM, August 25, 2014
I’ve posted a rejoinder from Bayan Muna Congressman Neri Colmenares about the draft law possibly being unconstitutional. Colmenares insists it is not. His arguments give much food for thought. He reminds us that this is the first ever People’s Initiative to legislate a law.
To read Colmenares’ “memo”, please click on this link.
Banning pork is a laudable move.
But sadly, yesterday and today’s entire exercises and the People’s Initiative itself may not achieve the intended effect of banning pork because the draft law is seriously defective.
Here are FOUR reasons why.
NUMBER ONE. The draft law to ban pork barrel by means of a People’s Initiative promises something that it cannot deliver without amending the Constitution. And the draft law does not propose any such constitutional amendment.
The draft law states in Section 10:
SEC. 10. Amendment or repeal of this Act. This Act may only be repealed, modified or amended by a law that has been approved by the people under the system of initiative and referendum enshrined in the 1987 Constitution.
In short, once approved by a referendum, the draft law asserts that the same can only be changed or scrapped through another People’s Initiative and referendum.
This is apparently the come-on that is attracting people to sign up for the People’s Initiative.
Before today’s sign-up exercise at Luneta in Manila, Phoebe Zoe Maria posted on Facebook that a law passed through a People’s Initiative is “far more superior” than the provisions in the 1987 Constitution that were passed by the 1987 Constitutional Commission [underlining is mine]:
“A law passed through People’s Initiative (PI) is far more superior than what was previously passed by the Constitutional Commission (CONCOM) so that it can supersede the provisions of the constitution when approved by a referendum. The ‘Abolish the Pork Barrel System Bill’ through this PI is far more superior than the rest of the provisions of the 1987 constitution. A law passed through PI cannot be repealed by other forms except through another law passed through PI also.“
That is simply not correct.
But don’t take my word for it.
Read Father Ranhilio Aquino, Dean of the San Beda College Graduate School of Law, who said in a series of tweets last night:
Ranhilio Aquino @rannie_aquino
I support the initiative, and I concur with the CBCP’s position on it, but it should be crafted well
Ranhilio Aquino @rannie_aquino
I am in solidarity with the movement for people’s initiative to scrap pork, whether this be old or new pork.
Ranhilio Aquino @rannie_aquino
But the only way to be effective is to be cautious. Any improvident move that meets with a serious reversal, judicial or otherwise,
Ranhilio Aquino @rannie_aquino
will be devastating on our movement. It is a basic principle of political law that the power of Congress to legislate is limitless…
Ranhilio Aquino @rannie_aquino
in the sense that it may legislate on anything, SUBJECT only to the twin provisos that there be no violation of the Constitution AND
Ranhilio Aquino @rannie_aquino
that the power of future Congresses be not impaired. Any provision therefore in the proposed initiative that attempts to limit repeal
Ranhilio Aquino @rannie_aquino
is facially defective. Furthermore, CJ Puno’s advise is to the point: While we may be in earnest about gathering signatures
Ranhilio Aquino @rannie_aquino
Having said all that I am in solidarity with the people as they initiate legislation that Congress seems unwilling to pass.
Ranhilio Aquino @rannie_aquino
One of the organizers of the People’s Initiative Against Pork called me up in relation to my misgivings about certain draft provisions.
Ranhilio Aquino @rannie_aquino
I want to make this very clear: I SUPPORT THE INITIATIVE. And the CBCP is right in lending its support and endorsement as well.
Ranhilio Aquino @rannie_aquino
“The Legislative power shall be vested in the Congress of the Philippines xxx except to the extent reserved to the people
Ranhilio Aquino @rannie_aquino
by the provisions on initiative and referendum.” That to me is exceedingly clear: It means that the people BESIDES CONGRESS can legislate.
Ranhilio Aquino @rannie_aquino
But Cong. Colmenares reads more. He claims that the people can forbid Congress from repealing or amending what they pass by initiative.
Fr. Aquino was referring to Article VI Section 32 of the Constitution which states:
The Congress shall, as early as possible, provide for a system of initiative and referendum, and the exceptions therefrom, whereby the people can directly propose and enact laws or approve or reject any act or law or part thereof passed by Congress or local legislative body after the registration of a petition therefore signed by at least Ten Percentum of the total number of registered voters, of which every legislative district must be represented by at least Three Per Centum of the registered voters thereof.
Two other people on Twitter gave the same views: @TheChiefJester and @Mrsunlawyer.
@TheChiefJester, who told me he is a “lawyer by profession” who prefers anonymity, sent a series of tweets to @momblogger, Noemi Lardizabal Dado, one of the key proponents of the People’s Initiative.
@TheChiefJester tweeted the following to @momblogger:
@momblogger You can’t limit power of Congress by law because that is against the Constitution.
@momblogger It makes sense, yes. But it violates plenary powers of Congress under Article VI of the Constitution.
@momblogger I’m referring to Second 10 only. It limits plenary powers of Congress (Art VI). Opens constitutional challenge.
To which @momblogger tweeted back to @TheChiefJester
if it is unconstitutional , let it be challenged in Court.
Frustrated by the inclusion of Section 10 declaring that Congress has no right to touch the People’s Initiative law once passed, @TheChiefJester sent out this tweet to his followers:
This is all for waste. Sayang. Inayos nyo muna sana yung produkto bago kayo naghype sa media. #SignUpvsPork
This morning, @TheChiefJester tweeted the following as people gathered in Luneta to sign up:
Worst, @IBPNatl is at Luneta! Do they even realize the defects in the PI petition/bill they are supporting?
If I were the client, and these were my lawyers, and they produced that shit of a petition. They wouldn’t have jobs now! #SignUpvsPork
To #SignUpvsPork organizers: practice the transparency you espoused. Tell us who f*cked up the draft PI petition/bill. We want to know.
If you think public clamor will cure technical defects in PI petition/bill, you’re no better than the legislators you despise #SignUpvsPork
The petition is f*cked up. Don’t sign it. It’s a waste of paper. No thanks to sloppy legal work, if you can even call it that. #SignUpVsPork
NUMBER TWO. The draft law lacks a “separability clause” which protects all other sections from being scrapped should the Supreme Court declare any section unconstitutional.
Both @TheChiefJester and @Mrsunlawyer noted this absence on Twitter. A “separability clause” can be found in every major law approved by Congress. It simply states the following:
Separability Clause. — If any provision of this Act or the application of such provision to any person or circumstance is declared invalid, the remainder of the Act or the application of such provision to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected by such declaration.
Without the “separability clause” the entire law could be in danger of being scrapped if any section is found to be unconstitutional.
However, because the anti-pork law through a People’s Initiative would be an expression of the people’s will, the Supreme Court may simply strike down the problematic Section 10 and allow the rest of the law to stand, despite the absence of a separability clause.
NUMBER THREE . Even if the Supreme Court upholds the rest of the People’s Initiative law, this can still be easily changed or scrapped altogether by Congress.
Ordinarily, the batting average of Congress in passing laws is quite low. But there is one law that Congress is always required to pass every year and that is the General Appropriations Act (GAA) which contains the national budget for the next year. Those which the Scrap Pork Network want to ban can easily be put back through the GAA.
Congress can easily scrap or alter the People’s Initiative law by simply inserting alternative sections to this effect in any GAA.
NUMBER FOUR. Congress is likely to amend the People’s Initiative law because this goes beyond the Supreme Court ruling banning congressmen’s PDAF or the Priority Development Assistance Fund. In fact, the People’s Initiative law seeks to ban what the Supreme Court did not ban. It seeks to add in the law what the Supreme Court refused to rule upon.
Let me explain.
Contrary to what the Scrap Pork Network would like the public to believe, the November 19, 2013 Supreme Court ruling on PDAF did not totally rule out what the Scrap Pork Network defines as pork barrel. In short, the Supreme Court only gave a partial ruling.
Some people might say that the Scrap Pork Network is being disrespectful toward the Supreme Court by not accepting its ruling on pork. I believe the Scrap Pork Network is well within its rights to do something to fill in the gaps of the SC ruling by enacting a law using the People’s Initiative.
What are these gaps?
The SC ruling on congressional pork
First of all, let’s review what the Supreme Court actually said in its landmark ruling. You can read the SC ruling on PDAF at the end of this piece.
Insofar as the PDAF is concerned, the SC said [underlining mine]:
“…the Congressional Pork Barrel which is herein defined as a kind of lump-sum, discretionary fund wherein legislators, either individually or collectively organized into committees, are able to effectively control certain aspects of the fund’s utilization through various post-enactment measures and/or practices. In particular, petitioners consider the PDAF, as it appears under the 2013 GAA, as Congressional Pork Barrel since it is, inter alia, a post-enactment measure that allows individual legislators to wield a collective power.”
Notice that the Supreme Court declared PDAF unconstitutional because it allows lawmakers the final say in the use of lump-sum funds even after the GAA is approved by Congress. In other words, the SC ruled that lawmakers should not have a say “post-enactment” of the GAA.
But can lawmakers have a say while they are deliberating on the national budget? The lawmakers and the presidential palace think so. Because of this, there’s a move now in Congress for lawmakers to identify projects while the congressional budget deliberations are going on. And to “earmark” which projects are theirs in the proposed budget.
Is this legal? The lawmakers and Budget Secretary Florencio Abad believe so.
But Section 7 of the proposed People’s Initiative law imposes a jail sentence of six to 10 years, on:
(d) Any member of Congress, or his agent or representative, who directly or indirectly intervenes or participates in the implementation of any appropriation law through any post-enactment act or practice, including but not limited to identification or endorsement of projects, beneficiaries or contractors, or assuming authority or exercising influence in the release, allocation or realignment of appropriated funds [underlining mine];
What if a congressman or senator has earmarked a project during the budget deliberation so that this is included in the GAA. It’s not a lump-sum but is a specific project. Does Section 7(d) mean lawmakers can no longer inquire about a project – such as when it will start – once the GAA is approved? Will a phone call from a mayor who is an ally of the congressman be tantamount to “indirect” intervention?
Remember, the money for the project was actually defined by a specific line item in the budget before the GAA was passed. It is not lump-sum nor discretionary.
The Scrap Pork Network considers even projects earmarked during the budget deliberations as “pork barrel” that should be banned.
This is why I believe the SC decision is vague on this particular matter and needs to be clarified. The SC did not ban ALL PORK. It merely banned lump-sum, discretionary appropriations intended as pork and the post-budget approval participation of lawmakers.
The SC ruling on presidential pork
The Scrap Pork Network had previously petitioned the SC to do the following:
Scrap all congressional pork barrel;
Scrap all lump-sum, discretionary appropriations under the Office of the President because it considered them all “presidential pork barrel”
- Scrap in particular the Malampaya Fund under the control of the President;
- Scrap in particular the Presidential Social Fund; and
Order the Executive Secretary and the Department of Budget and Management to release to the public:
- all data on lawmakers’ pork barrel from 2003 to 2013; and
- the use of all lump-sum, discretionary funds including the Malampaya and the Presidential Social Fund.
Let’s go over what the SC did to these requests one-by-one.
On the scrapping of all lump-sum, discretionary appropriations under the Office of the President, the SC said:
“…the Court shall delimit the use of such term to refer only to the Malampaya Funds and the Presidential Social Fund.”
On the scrapping of the Malampaya Fund, the SC said it would only repeal part of Section 8 of Presidential Decree 910 which created the Malampaya Fund.
Section 8 of PD 910 gave the President blanket authority to do anything with the Fund by stating that it shall be used “to finance energy resource development and exploitation programs and projects of the government and for such other purposes as may be hereafter directed by the President.”
The SC repealed the phrase “and for such other purposes as may be hereafter directed by the President” because this was “undue delegation of power”. But the SC said the rest of Section 8 was constitutional and “legally effective.”
On the scrapping of the Presidential Social Fund, the SC again only struck down part of Section 12 of PD 1869 which created the Fund.
Section 12 gave the President the power to appropriate the Fund for:
…infrastructure and socio-civil projects within the Metropolitan Manila Area:
(a) Flood Control
(b) Sewerage and Sewage
(c) Nutritional Control
(d) Population Control
(e) Tulungan ng Bayan Centers
(g) Kilusang Kabuhayan at Kaunlaran (KKK) projects; provided, that should the aggregate gross earning be less than P150,000,000.00, the amount to be allocated to fund the above-mentioned project shall be equivalent to sixty (60%) percent of the aggregate gross earning.
In addition to the priority infrastructure and socio-civic projects with the Metropolitan Manila specifically enumerated above, the share of the Government in the aggregate gross earnings derived by the Corporate from this Franchise may also be appropriated and allocated to fund and finance infrastructure and/or socio-civic projects throughout the Philippines as may be directed and authorized by the Office of the President of the Philippines.
The Supreme Court merely struck down the phrase – “to finance the priority infrastructure development projects” – and said the rest were valid and effective.
On the request for public release of data on all lump-sum appropriations, the SC turned this down saying,
“The Court denies petitioners’ submission. Case law instructs that the proper remedy to invoke the right to information is to file a petition for mandamus.”
Instead of appealing the SC ruling, the Scrap Pork Network apparently decided to launch a People’s Initiative instead.
The proposed law which it is asking the public to back through a People’s Initiative has a section that would scrap the entire Presidential Social Fund:
SECTION 6. Abolition of the Presidential Social Fund. The share of the Government in the aggregate gross earnings of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation provided under Section 12 of Presidential Decree No. 1869 as amended by Presidential Decree No. 1993 shall henceforth be remitted regularly to the National Treasury and may be used only pursuant to a valid appropriation made by law. The discretionary authority of the President granted under the aforesaid Section 12 to use the fund “to finance” the restoration of damaged or destroyed facilities due to calamities” is hereby revoked.
The proposed law also has another section that would clip the power of the President over lump-sum appropriations and compel the President to do a yearly disclosure of disbursement from all these funds:
SECTION 5. Appropriation of special funds. Within the fiscal year following the approval of this Act, a report on the financial status of every account including but not limited to the Malampaya fund, the Motor Vehicles Users Charges and other off-budget items covered by a special law authorizing the continuous disbursement of funds for a special purpose shall be submitted to Congress. Every fiscal year thereafter, the President shall submit to Congress a proposed budget for the disbursement of the special funds in accordance with their purpose as part of the National Expenditure Program.
In addition, the proposed law intends to tie the hands of the President and of Congress insofar as defining “savings” is concerned:
Section 3 Definitions
e) Savings refers to any available portion or balance in an appropriation item under the law, which has become free from any obligation or encumbrance as a result of (i) the completion or final discontinuance as certified by the President or abandonment, due to fortuitous events, of the work, activity or purpose for which the appropriation is authorized; or (ii) the non-payment of compensation and related costs as a result of vacancies in positions and leaves of absence without pay; or (iii) the implementation of measures resulting in improved systems and efficiencies that enabled government agencies to meet and deliver the required or planned targets, programs and services approved in an appropriation law at a lesser cost.
SECTION 4. General mandatory rules governing appropriations and disbursement of public funds.
(c) All unspent, unreleased, and unobligated funds of any government agency by the end of the fiscal year shall remain in or revert to the General Fund and shall not thereafter be available for expenditure except by a subsequent appropriation law; Provided, however, that the President, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and the heads of Constitutional Commissions may authorize their respective government agency or office to use the savings realized by the agency or office from its regular budget during the fiscal year to augment any existing appropriation item for the same agency or office under the general appropriations act; Provided, further, that the augmentation may only be done during the same fiscal year when the savings were realized; Provided, finally, that the power to realign or use savings may not be delegated to other public officers.
And impose jail terms on officials who “misuse” savings:
SECTION 7. Special Offenses. The penalty of imprisonment of six (6) years and one day to ten (10) years and perpetual disqualification from public office shall be imposed on the following persons for committing any of the following acts:
(e) Any national official who declares and utilizes savings outside of the cases provided in Section 3(e) hereof, or realigns the improperly declared savings;
In other words, the proposed law through a People’s Initiative will do what the Supreme Court did not do or failed to do in its separate rulings on PDAF or pork and on the Disbursement Acceleration Program or DAP.
This is a very bold, innovative move, I should say. But one made more difficult by the possible constitutional defect of the proposed law.
Actually, if the Scrap Pork Network really wants to inoculate it from congressional oversight, the Network should push instead for a constitutional amendment that would insert a ban on pork.
The problem is that this would allow other groups to mount their own People’s Initiative, and perhaps ask the public to back an amendment to the Constitution to allow the President to seek one more term in 2016.
Maybe this is why the Scrap Pork Network did not go the constitutional amendment route.
I tried reaching former Congressman Teddy Casino for this piece but he was unavailable for comment.
People’s Initiative law were created without the majority of the population, Such as referendum. Congressman Neri Colmenares and alike has violated the constitution and can be charge as economic sabotage by delaying the growth of Philippine and uprising against democratic government. What have these people contributed to current Philippine growth? NOTHING, NOTHING AS IN ZERO. May the curse of the HEAVEN be on these destructive group for DEMOCRATIC PHILIPPINE GROWTH.
THESE TYPE OF PEOPLE ARE USELESS!!! SAME LEVEL AS PORK BARREL SCAMMER!!! HATERS AND LOSERS WILL NEVER EVER WIN, COMMUNIST AND REDS WILL NEVER EVER WIN THE HEARTS OF DEMOCRATIC LOVING HEARTS OF REAL FILIPINO. THEY SPEAK TAGALOG, YET THEIR BRAIN IS RED AS CHINA, HATERS!!!
As the saying goes, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”
The PI looks like a good intention, but get the profile of the different scrap pork advocates. I can see the color of RED, PI will put the people on the chopping board.
Hence my initial question, why it took for the leftist ? Obviously there’s a hidden agenda for it. Why not the “good guys'”, the good individual citizen had took this kind of initiative before, considering it was already abused several times.
My question is, WHY it takes the leftist, the CBCP and a few select private individuals to stood up against the entire pork barrel system thru People’s Initiative ? We do know that this system has been here even post Marcos, but I can’t remember anything doing a few step to abolish it completely. IF there was, NONE of this would happen.
I feel sorry for the private citizens being branded as FAKE REFORMIST. They just want a legit REFORM and ABOLISH this kind of system COMPLETELY.
What have you guys done about it in the past ? Because IF there was, guys like the 3 bastards, Napoles, Arroyo and her lackeys won’t even have the guts to abuse it. As far as I can remember, NONE. You had only overthrown a dictator and that’s it.
At least this few small groups of private individuals (minus the leftist) took a guts and initiative to have reform on this corrupt practice.
Hey guys, lookie lookie.
vander anievas says
“If We Don’t Learn From History, We Are Doomed to Repeat It”.
i told my self, “read and read and read and learn our history”.
ignorant visitors in the cpm shall be bullied by the learned cpmers
Just wow. That was a legit question, but I was being branded as a troll. That was unexpected from a highly respectful journalist such as you. Since this only the valid reply I got:
“If We Don’t Learn From History, We Are Doomed to Repeat It”
Agreed. But sooner or later we won’t realize that another Napoles would come out if this kind of system (pork barrel) is not completely abolished and repeat this scam. Partisan politics will still in play.
We always say that we don’t like this kind of system, but nothing had been done in the past.
THE PEOPLES INITIVE IS ILLEGAL, NOT VOTED BY THE MAJORITY, ONLY THE REDS OK? IF THERE WILL BE REFERENDUM TO ABOLISH THE PORK BARREL, ABOLISHING MAY WIN BUT NOT BY THE REDS!!!
THE CPM ARE LOOP FOR CONNECTIONS FOR THE GOOD OF THE COUNTRY. DONT SAY SOMETHING, CPM ARE NOT GIVING IN OR HAVE GIVEN UP. ONE CPMER PROVIDE AN INPUT, THE INPUT WILL BE PROCESS HERE, LOGICALLY PROVIDE AN OUTPUT, SO IF YOU CANNOT PROVIDE AN INPUT, YOU ARE A TROLL!!!
YOU WILL BE SHUTDOWN LATER IF YOUR UNDERSTANDING IS OF NO VALUE!!! CONTRADICTION IS ALLOWED HERE AS LONG AS IT WILL PROVIDE NEW SETTINGS FOR CPM TO PROCESS, OK?
Ok, relax. You don’t have to shout. Geez.
I think you did raise valid questions, but when you accuse CPM not doing anything in the past and limit us with only throwing the dictator, then I think you have to admit that your emotios gotten in the way and you are out of line.
For me, I don’t disagree with the left or any organizations sponsoring this PI. That is one element of democracy. The intentions might be a mixbag with good intenstions as well as sinister ones to rile the uninformed against PNoy, but that is part of democracy. The greater public will judge the merit of the PI.
Also the detractors have their rights to question some technicalities.
The initial feedback on the PI seems a disinterest on the rest of the population because the thinking public is now not buying hook, line, and sinker when an Organization like the Communists has this reputation of opposing whoever is in power and create chaos so they will have a chance though a long shot of filling the vacuum o power when that scenario arises.
You are asking the correct questions, and it is a learning experience to find the proper answers. You just came to the right place to be educated as we ourselves are learning from each other.
That is democracy at work.
I have to admit I became emotional due to my frustration for a genuine reform and transparency. Having a mother who works as a public school teacher, who always became a front liner every election. But when the time they need funding they are always at the mercy of politicians. Yes, from time to time they get some support but you can see that their initials and faces are plastered in school buildings and medals. Heck, even chalk allowance was removed.
Going back on topic, as a private individual, what can we do ? Obviously awareness and knowledge is a primary, but definitely there must be an action needed to be done. Else, this practice will just keep repeating itself, regardless of whoever in the administration is.
I feel you, I’ve been through that phase of wild frustrations and had not a wild idea how to channel my anger correctly.
We havevsome similarities though of different circumsyance. My mom was a public school teacher too. When I was a kid, I remember watching her with my own eyes frustrated and afraid because some operators of very powerful politician forced their way in her school room cum the precinct, blatantly switched the ballot boxes and warned everybody not to make any heroic acts, while proudly showing their holstered gun.
If you are following my postings, I mentioned that we are in the phase of Mental Revolution. This is a very important phase because this will determine what kinds of aspirations and actions we are going to take. We are now thinking on what destiny to make. So participating in these exchanges and being an active citizen in sharing or even yelling our voice will be quite liberating and finding our lost dignity and value. Then we can participate in mass actions, we can petition too like the PI but we need to be careful and weigh our options and try to discern if we are being used. We can even sabotage the corrupt literally. I did it several times and it was liberating. I even tipped generously my favorite waiters whenever they agree to spit and infect some food that they served to my corrupt politicians targets.
The corrupt politicians are now put on notice. Haven’t you seen how nervous they are during the PDAF scandal? Why do you think Enrile, Jinggoy, and Bong are in jail? The administration needed a peace offering to us. PNoy knows that we are boiling inside, we are ready to explode, so the sacrifice to quell us. So when we show our frustrations again, there will be another set of sacrificial offerings, lest our anger will be directed to the administration. Now they are trembling, the politicians know that we unleashed the dormant barbarism in us,they know that we are no longer the lambs of Edsa, they know that we are now hungry tigers who are so thirsty for justice and punishment too!
We shall try to do our best to be within the law, but if the system is rigged and left us no choice, then we could be modern revolutionaries. We will fight and that is inevitable, but we need to make sure that we win. If we see ourselves as crusaders and we know in our heart that our intentions are pure, I pity the corrupt that will cross our paths for we will annihilate them and shred them to pieces!
Martial Bonifacio says
I’m a OFW and the only way for ME to verify the people who initiated the PI are “legit” reformist or not is through the internet. Let me share you some of my thoughts, opinions why i don’t support them.
“We are what we make of our Constitution. When we respect and obey the Constitution, we respect and honor the sovereign people. When we trifle with or desecrate the Constitution, we betray our nation and we become traitors to our people”. -Manuel “Lolong” Lazaro (PHILCONSA Chairman)
At first glance you will read their noble cause in news and their webpage but the ironic thing about them condemning DAP is the people who are members of it. For example the President is Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, then you have former ESTRADA cabinet Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno and former National Treasurer Leonor Briones. And the last one is Bong-bong Marcos.
If they are true to what they say then why don’t they ask FIRST the ROMUALDEZ and MARCOS family to return all the loot? Since they are prominent members of the group.
2. CBCP and retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz
There are times when CBCP stood silent against the likes of GMA (SUV gifts) and former CJ Corona and now Napoles et al. SO for me they don’t have credibility anymore.
In my opinion if they are true and sincere about reforms why don’t they first “ORDER” retired priest Rarmirez to confess and do a tell all on a senate hearing under oath, all the things he knows about the Napoles pork barrel scam. Ask yourself, nakinabang ba ang mangilan-ngilan miyembro ng CBCP under PDAF? Did they elaborate or list kung saan nila ginastos through NGO projects ang pera ng taong bayan?
Hindi ba yung nabuking na mga SUV came also from taxpayers money under the pretext of NGO. Tapos lumitaw yung hiling ng isang pari kay Gloria ng SUV dahil birthday niya?
The group wants to oust Pnoy et al in power due to DAP calling the administration pork barrel king but ask yourself did any of them itemize the projects or list it so journalist can verify it? How come their group can claim “ginamit namin sa tama” yet pag administration ang gumamit ng parehas na dahilan ay mali o hindi believable?
Gusto nilang matanggal kaagad si Abad yet none of them even dared to face a Senate hearing under oath like Abad or other cabinet members then explain the projects they have done so it can be scrutinize by the public.
You can check and verify the pdf files in the link below.
vander anievas says
anong PI nila yan?
decoy lang yata yun?
ang nakikita kong intent diyan ay hayaang ma-shoot down ang PI na iyan.
para yung mga kontra sa PORK ay lalong magalit kay Pnoy.
kaso hindi na naka-attract ng raliyista.
bistado na ang pakulo nila.
langaw ang nakita ko sa Luneta, daming basura.
mukhang naka-5k naman sila doon,
kasama na ang mga vendors,
at ilang namamasyal,
at ilang kundi man laging andoon ay nakikiusyoso lang.
jua(wah) ng gaanong interes ang tao.
epal na ang dating niya.
same banana peels.
pang-compost na lang.
Red Snapper says
Let them get the number of signatures they need (10%). And let them file their People’s Initiative quicky so that the SC can quickly strike it down. End of story.
Abolishing the pork barrel is one thing. But, overthrowing the government is another thing.
It seems like this is the Left vs. PNoy.
We have to be careful with this P.I. move.
What many don’t know yet is the existence of a conspiracy between the ultra-left Makabayan and the Binay camp; and the people’s initiative and so-called anti pork rallies are part of their grand scheme to remove the president and install Binay in Malacanang. but it’s a slippery slope because the two allies actually don’t trust each other. objectively, they are the only forces that have the resources and machinery to mount a large scale movement to topple the admin. (the left has funds from their partylist pdaf AND the npa’s revolutionary tax, extortion and permit to campaign. Binay has…well, his exponential billions now being exposed as the dynasty’s ill gotten wealth gained through the years). The Makabayans know the veep is as corrupt as Marcos but they have struck a deal that with him as Pnoy’s successor, their revolutionary agenda will not be disrespected as in previous admins.. i.e. hacienda luisita, land reform and US imperialist domination. Meanwhile, Binay, who has friendships forged with the Left leaders like Joma and Satur during their student days and anti-Marcos struggle, knows he can only be a disposable ally of the CPP/NPA which sees him as the worst face of bureaucrat capitalism and corruption. In short, theirs is an uneasy alliance that has an expiry date. Unfortunately for them, things will not turn out in their favor. Binay’s vaunted high ratings will be reduced to zero come 2016 when all his corrupt deeds are exposed and brought before the courts…and the crumbling Left led by its exiled aging gurus
will become a historical footnote by then. A whole new historical vista awaits the country within a couple of years.
My initial reactions:
1. As a member of one of the chapters of the IBP, I do not know if the IBP as a whole was into it. Maybe only a very few of the high officials of the IBP.
2. This ‘Initiative’ of ‘PI’ as now commonly termed, may have a good and honest goal. But it will have to burdle many substantive and procedural stages under ‘our law’ on INITIATIVES. Will cite some POINTERS on this from the California Initiatives situations.
3. Raissa, you are right. Consulting with a wide sector of society on this ‘PI’ should be necessary or essentially advisable to eliminate ‘puzzlement’ on everyone who are just as entitled to the proponents of this move.
Some POINTERS on INITIATIVES [ California Situation]
They call is ‘ballot box planning.’ ‘Yet not all members of the public support such ballot box planning efforts. Many view such measures as poorly conceived and unworkable.’
‘For those considering judicial action against such measures, timing is critical.’
‘Challenges alleging technical defects relating to the petition or other pre-election activity must be brought prior to the election or will be deemed moot.’
Their courts, one case – Chase v. Brooks, required that the complete text of the ordinance as Exhbibit to such ordinance, must be included on which the referendum was sought but held that the controversy has become moot by virtue of the election.
‘The court reasoned that once “the election is held and the electorate has spoen, it becomes moot whether the referendum petitions failed to comply with the requirements of [Elections Code] x x x. The challenger’s remedy of injunctive relief does not survive the election, but is replaced by the potential remedy of an election contest.”
‘Courts recognize that challenges concerning whether the initiative or referendum petition is procedurally or technically defective merit pre-election judicial attention.”
“Where the invalidity appears on the face of the measure [Initiative] courts are sometimes willing to step in and prevent the measure from being placed on – or remove it from – the ballot. In situations where the invalidity is not so clear, it is difficult to anticipate whether the court will accept a pre-election challenge.”
For more pointers . . . see the link afterwards
Pls allow excuse for some speeelings etc…hehehe
The PI law does not partake of the nature of a constitutional provision. Indeed, it is approved by merely ten percent of the registered voters. On the other hand a constitutional amendment must be approved by the majority or more than 50% of voters. So, the PI law is merely a statute which is subject always to amendment or repeal by congress.
Last year I joined the million people march dahil sa pork anomaly. Pero yung million people march ngayon ay NABABOY na rin. Yung mga organizers kuno ay naging MASIBA . Kungdi man sa pera ay sa pag-EPAL.
Martial Bonifacio says
Hindi lang BINABOY kundi NILANGAW pa. Here is a link where in Renato Reyes of MAKABAYAN (kunyari) claimed that 20,000 attended yesterdays rally.
It does not even look like 5k in my opinion. Isa sa dahilan kaya hindi nakakuha ng suporta sila Juana Change at ang Makabayan bloc sa “Majority of Filipinos” ay dahil wala silang pinagkaiba sa mga politiko na kanilang kinukondena. Pare-parehas silang mga sinungaling at balimbing (tulad ni JC).
Ang masaklap pa dito ay pag ginamit sa ibang layunin yung mga pirma ng taong bayan. Sino na ngayon ang mag-ve-verify ng mga pangalan, signature at address ng mga lumagda sa PI? Sigurado bang walang nag double-double ng pirma jan?
Martial Bonifacio says
Another amusing thing in their propaganda is the “Aquino Dictatorship”. How can there be a dictatorship if Pnoy is open for re-election in 2016? Wherein the majority of Filipinos will have the last say if he will be re-elected or not?
In fact i find it unfair that those who are corrupt have stayed in power for too long, yet those who are sincere in reforms are given only 1 term of 6 years. How can ANYONE offset all those setback years?
Marcos = 21 yrs
Ramos = 6 yrs
Estrada = 3 yrs
Arroyo = 9 years
We should learn from our neighbors who have Presidents/PM re-elected and brought change and reform to their respective country. Like Pres. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia and PM Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore.
ay, rene at martial, renato reyes does not know how to count. 20,000 attendees daw, boy is seeing double and ought to have his eyesight checked for he may have been counting shadows as well. boy is behaving like junjun binay who overinflated the presyo of the world class (3rd world class more like) parking building.
juana change should undergo lifestyle change and lose weight. at the moment, only her mouth is exercising, masyadong mabunganga.
when will makabayan realize that the taumbayan are sick and tired of their rallies, rallies, rallies always rallies. their basura left behind. the taumbayan are tired of cleaning and picking up after them and are starting to hate them. not supporting them too.
the only way taumbayan will support makabayan and its endevour is when makabayan will help support the rebuilding of our nation, be seen to be makatao, picking up their basura and disposing them. leave rally ground clean and not full of rubbish. help clean the environment and be respectful. hwag yong palaging nagsusumigaw, nanginginsulto at laging galit. ayaw ng taumbayan ang mga iyan.
it’s time makabayan re-invent itself and be modern, or it will find itself isolated. unwanted.
I stand corrected. Section 9 of RA 6735 – The Initiative and Referendum Act – provides for a referendum approved by majority of the electorate.
Well done, Raissa!
I suspect this is little more than another opposition attempt to paralyze the government…but that’s just my suspicious mind remembering how Enrile-backed coup attempts wrecked the economy during Cory & other people-damaging attempts at denying whoever’s in office form making any actual positive accomplishments. We wouldn’t want those we oppose to get the credit for anything while in power, now would we?
On a separate note, having lived in a place (California) where ballot initiatives are all the rage, I hope & pray we never start such foolishness here. Not only does it involve (as in this case) lazy, stupid (or devious) law-crafting, worse, it opens up legislation to the world of professional public relations!
That’s right. Whoever has the money to spend can hire the same people who get the massa to buy particular shampoos & cigarettes to “sell” their laws. The result then being “the best laws money can buy!” (And guess who has the money.) I suppose it is at least one way to cure corruption; give the money to ad agencies instead of legislators.
With enough money, it’s even possible to keep putting previously failed initiatives back on the ballot year after year…making people vote over and over again until they vote right! Like I said, I hope & pray it never becomes common here.
Oh well, with news reports saying that “hundreds” showed up at the demo, maybe we don’t have that much to worry about…for now.
John Rovic says
It’s already telling from the lawyers they got to draft this bill, the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL), that the constitutional infirmities was part of the strategy. It was meant to be hyped not to be scrutinized. Not much different from MVPs “Last Home Stand Charity Event” which banked on the fine details the public overlooked. The NUPL knew what it did. By the way the NUPL is the legal arm of the MAKABAYAN BLOC.
And what do you think is the entire strategy?
John Rovic says
My bet is that the strategy is to force a showdown between the public versus PNoy. Makabayan Bloc was banking on this to materialize last year but fell short of their target since the President promptly responded with charges against the implicated senators.
They had their lucky break when the DAP issue was mistakenly connected with the PDAF issue. With the public duped to think the issue of Presidential fiscal powers (issue of DAP, savings, cross border transfers) was one and the same with the issue of corruption (PDAF, Napoles), it was easy for Makabayan to brand it all under the catch all umbrella of “pork”. Of course this was thanks in part to misinformation and issue muddling by the Erap-Enrile camp (Erap’s loyal ex-treasury and budget secretaries, Liling Briones and Ben Diokno, respectively. Their gambit for bringing the DAP and PDAF issues with the SC was to hopefully strike down those two with the slight possibility of getting a showdown between the SC and the President.
They were shortchangednged with the SC decisions. The High Court did not go all out for Makabayan’s legal interpretation. The President last SONA diffused the situation by instead opting for a legislative action to clarify the meaning of savings.
Without their sought after political crisis, Makabayan is hell bent on inventing one. Regardless of what it will entail. They don’t believe their P.I will pass and didn’t even take it seriously. It’s ok for them. That’s not the point. The point is for the P.I. to be the vehicle for creating that crisis. No one cares if it will be struck down, fail, watered down or even succeed so long as it will create a clear dividing line between the anti-pork movement and President Aquino.
Hmmm. Interesting take.
To deepen the contradiction…
The following gives credence to your analysis:
House panel to tackle Aquino impeachment raps
By Marc Jayson Cayabyab
Aug. 25, 2014
One of the complainants, Rep. Ridon, said Monday’s anti-pork barrel rally at Luneta Park held on National Heroes’ Day is a “prelude to the imminent downfall” of Aquino.
“Today we march on the streets, tomorrow we impeach the President,” Ridon said in a statement, noting that he remains confident that the committee would rule their impeachment complaints as sufficient in form.
“I believe that the pending complaints will easily be declared sufficient in form, as all of the complaints have satisfied the requirement of verification and endorsement,” Ridon added.
Ridon noted that the impeachment would have to weather the storm in the lower chamber dominated by presidential allies. But he said the real numbers should be based on the number of people who joined Monday’s protest against the pork barrel system.
“President Aquino may think that he controls the numbers when it comes to the impeachment process, yet the real numbers that matter are the thousands of ordinary citizens gathered here today (Monday) to clamor for genuine social change. Today, we march in the streets to remind the president that he is no sovereign ruler,
but a mere agent of the people. And the people have spoken clearly: we want you out,” Ridon said.
John Rovic says
Makabayan is obviously trying to create an artificial political crisis in the absence of a natural one. The President’s approval gives a hint. The number of people disgruntled with Aquino has only slightly increased. It’s really the number of undecided who’ve put down his positive rating. What it means is that most Filipinos are waitng for the President to make that bold reform act. His last hurrah before he steps down (Aquino’s body language shows his not interested in another term. That was just the Mar camp’s ploy). Makabayan falsely interprets a political crisis where there is none.
Aquin’s best counterattack is to go on the offensive. Instead of beng paralyzed and under siege, the administration has to bet the remaining political capital on reform measures. Namely: transparency, social services, and anti-corruption.
Of course there are other pressing issues such as the transportation crisis, rising price of basic commodities, unfinished agrarian reform, among others.
What he has to do is what no one expects of his presidency or even of any Philippine presidency. He may have to decide on what that will be.
What’s the reason for all out reform? Simple. Makabayan has shown it won’t touch any reform measure with a ten-foot pole so long as it has Aquino’s backing, ex. Makabayan partylists’ “yes with reservations” of the RH Law, rejection of the FOI Bill on the grounds that there have been compromises, and most glaringly of all branding participatory budgeting as another kind of pork (that would be unheard of in other leftist movement in any country to call participatory budgeting, a hallmark of progressive struggle, as a tool of parronage).
Aquino should take advantage of this penchant of Makabayan to take the opposite position. It should go all out on reform for Makabayan to find itself on the opposite side of the reform movement.
or the draft bill was deliberately made defective so they could claim that the SC is kowtowing so that Congress (controlled by Executive would be their play) won’t touch the JDF.
hitting three birds with one stone.
Bing Garcia says
They may be shortchanged more when the SC takes up the Motion for Reconsideration of the government.
Another great investigative work!
However, I might have to disagree that the allegedly defective provisions of the PI draft is a result of sloppy legal work. Judging from the profile of personalities and groups pushing for this PI draft, the inclusion of these patently unconstitutional provisions were deliberate and pre-meditated. These provisions reflect their twisted logic, the same logic that fuels their insatiable appetite to find wrong in anything and everything that the government or the president does. Damn the laws or the constitution. It’s either their way or the highway. People are not stupid not to see through their farce. That is why people who really want change stayed away from their rally today. They do not speak for the people. They only speak for their own interests.
By the way, PI seem an apt acronym – if you know what I mean.
And the IBP was in on it, do you think?
The IBP may or may not be on it. The officers may just be on it for the free ride. Or maybe they did not even bother to read and study the PI draft. I still believe the groups behind this PI does not really care whether it will become a law. The ultimate goal is to destabilize because that is the only situation where they can thrive.
Agree. Destabilization is the single most important goal of the PI kuno.
Johnny Lin says
These people are against People’s Initiative to extend a second term on PNoy because it violates the constitution.
They are now proposing a People’s Initiative to Scrap Pork Barrel which is also embedded in the constitution.
Beware of Fake Reformers! They grandstand at Luneta
He he he!