There seem to be this misconception about PDAF— pork in general. Having pork is not the same as being evil. Using pork for evil— getting kickbacks from it is evil. Can you see the difference between it? The existence of pork is not per se proof of nefariousness. Again: the mere fact a legislator has pork, and used it, does not imply wrong doing.
Take for example reading the DBM website. In 2009, Rep. Binay spent 12 million on vermiculture (product or process of composting using various worms) for the 2nd district of Makati. She also spent 200,000 pesos for indigent patients for Rizal Medical Center, and another 1 million pesos for National Kidney Transplant Institute.
These in itself do not suggest wrong doing. It does not suggest she spent her PDAF on nefarious purposes. These are the questions you can ask:
- Why does the 2nd district of Makati need to train in composting, and how effective was it for backyard vegetable and herbs gardening?
Did that training go to actual training, or ghost project?
How did the 2nd district of Makati benefit from this sort of training?
Did the NGO/Implementing Agency of the vermiculture project— real?
Is it true that the recipient were indigent patients? Can show proof?
How about this? Bayan Muna spent 100,000 pesos in 2013 for monoblock chairs. They also spent 700,000 for “Financial assistance for the implementation of CIDSS Program (Livelihood Program-Training on Organic Farming & Demo Farm and Alternative Learning System)”
Again, this in itself is not indicative of wrong doing. It does open up questions such as:
- Where those received by the targeted school (Am pretty sure if someone calls up that school they can answer yes or no, right?)
Are these monoblock chairs being used?
What is level of quality of those mono block chairs— and do they meet standards set by the Department of Education (or whomever sets standard for it).
On Livelihood program: farmers learn? Did they get info needed? Is it kulang, or do they need more training?
Again— in on itself— this data from DBM is not indicative of wrong doing.
Then you get testimony from the whistleblowers. Is Revilla telling the truth? Is Mr. Estrada? Well, you can look at the DBM data and if they correlate to what the government, the whistleblowers have to say, maybe there is something there to demand an investigation or indictment, don’t you think?
In the case of Rep. Binay— Rep. Edgar Erice’s allegations do correlate with some of Rep. Binay’s PDAF disbursement. While that in itself doesn’t imply wrong doing— it does suggest someone should investigate if these allegation are indeed true, don’t you think?
This is the problem with how the militant left frames the question. Everyone is a crook because pork is evil. Well, they used pork too. If pork was used to buy chairs for kids, I think we can all agree that shouldn’t be an issue, yes? If pork was used to cheat the people, then that’s why we punish crooks. How hard can it be for the militant left to also publish their accounting of how they spent PDAF like what Raissa Robles is asking in her post?
So all this talk that the DBM data doesn’t provide color? Of course, it doesn’t. It only provides part of the puzzle. It does not generate more color than straight cold facts. It does however get you to ask questions, like what Raissa Robles is doing, and other journalists because if this data is out there, and we citizens can’t ask our elected officials how they spent their monies, then what good is it? Put it simply, the DBM data is a data point that leads you to ask questions.