MANILA, Nov. 26, 2013—With the “pork” gone, the public must remain vigilant in watching against the “beef.”
A ranking church official warned Filipinos against a new mechanism of discretionary fund disbursement that could be invented by government officials now that the pork barrel was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
Retired Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz said the public must “look out for the beef” as politicians who had spent a lot of money in their political campaigns would look out for other means to recover their expenses.
“The pork is now gone. The questions is, ‘where is the beef?’” Cruz, who was among the active officials of the church hierarchy who participated in mass protests calling for the abolition of the graft-tainted pork barrel scheme, wrote in his recent blog post “The Pork is Gone! Where is the Beef?”
“What will take place of the Pork Barrel System now officially declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court? What new System will take its place? Is it ‘Corned Beef,’ ‘Dried Beef,’ ‘Beef Stew’ – or what? In other words, there must be something new invented by those who just lost their dear and endearing Pork Barrel,” Cruz said.
With the “palace and legislature both chastised to the bones,” Cruz said Filipinos should not think that the fight against corruption is already over.
He urged the public to “watch (politicians) well,” noting that those who spent so much to be elected will not just surrender and do nothing. Instead, they will strive to recover their expenses by inventing a new mechanism that could take the place of the controversial pork barrel scheme, Cruz said.
“What will Malacañang and the Legislature do next? What conspiracy will they forge in orderr to recover their losses? What inventions will the two branches of government do to make money? What laws will the leader say as urgent for his followers to comply with? What will people do next?” he asked.
‘Get rid of pigs’
Last month, Cruz said in another blog post that it is not enough to get rid of “pork” if the “pigs” will remain in the government.
“So what if the pork is gone but the pigs remain?” Cruz wrote in his blog entry “On Pork and Pigs.”
He pointed out that the massive protests and rallies organized by enraged citizens against the appalling cases of fund misuse will all be futile if those involved in government corruption will remain in their posts.
“The above question is neither intended as a mere joke nor simply meant to have fun,” he said. “It is in fact equivalent to a statement that more than only doing away with the object of thievery, what is really needed is to get rid of the thieves,” he said.
“To say it in another way, it is not enough merely to do away with the pork. It is necessary to get rid of the pigs. And this means all the pigs from the top to the bottom of the government,” Cruz added.
“How? Let those who love their country, who care for their fellowmen, who want a better future for their children, decide. It’s their concern. It’s their option. It’s their move,” he said. (Jennifer Orillaza)