CENPEG’s statement on the SC ruling:
The decision of the Supreme Court (SC) today declaring as unconstitutional the pork barrel system singularly reaffirmed the public clamor for its abolition. Although it is commendable, the high court ruling was issued too late the day several years or decades after billions of taxpayers’ money had been plundered by legislators in cahoots with government agencies, LGUs, and criminal syndicates in the guise of “PDAF.” It is as well a symbolic indictment against all sitting presidents, including the incumbent one who, in their motive to make Congress a mere rubber stamp and weaken the check and balance system and separation of powers, have supported the pork barrel system and used it to extract political concessions from Congress thus making patronage politics as resilient as ever.
The SC ruling, however, should not delude us into thinking that the pork barrel system and all forms of corruption and plunder by politicians and the powers that be are over. Certainly, the wielders and beneficiaries of patronage politics and corruption remain in power at the national and local levels, hence, the greed will always find insidious ways. The culture of impunity that sustains corruption – in the government, legislature, LGUs, military, business and other sectors – is a generational problem whose solution should not stop with the SC ruling.
In the end, the partial resolution of the systemic issue of pork barrel should be attributed to the profound expression of outrage by the taxpayers themselves acting as one to bring decency, integrity, and morality in government. The power of the people has been exercised once more. It’s good that the high magistrates listened.