More on this from Ellen Tordesillas's latest article.
Ellen in her comments section:
Rizalist, didn’t you see the guileless and clueless Abueva say that they consulted the mayors and local officials? Those mayors and local officials that Gloria Arroyo cultivated with taxpayers money? And the consultations were arranged and managed by Bobi Tiglao’s PMS.
Fake president, fake reforms, fake dissent... and now FAKE CONSULTATIONS. LOL @ Arrovo.
UPDATE: This is related to Ellen's comment to Rizalist. Here's a prescient Malaya Editorial dated Nov. 16 2005 on GMA's P25B pork barrel funds ("Kilos Asenso", "Kalayaan Barangay" and the so-called "Healing the Wounds of Edsa" fund) and Cha cha:
WOULD you trust Gloria Arroyo with a blank check for P25 billion? Senators would not and they should ensure that the gargantuan "pork" is excised from the 2006 budget or realigned for other socially desirable but transparently implemented projects.
There are three programs Arroyo wants to launch where selection of projects and release of money will be completely under her discretion. These are Kilos Asenso with a proposed funding of P5 billion, Kalayaan Barangay with P3 billion, and Healing the Wounds of Edsa with P13.7 billion. The funding requirements total P23.7 billion although senators have rounded off Gloria’s pork barrel to P25 billion to include, we suppose, her traditional discretionary funds.
Budget Secretary Romulo Neri said the P5 billion Kilos Asenso fund is for counter-part funding for development projects of local government units. The P3 billion Kalayaan Barangay fund is for the rehabilitation of barangays in conflict areas. The P13.7 billion Edsa healing fund is for social services to indigents.
As Sen. Manuel Villar, chairman of the finance committee, and Senate President Frank Drilon said, these are good programs on paper. But why can’t the projects be undertaken by regular departments?
Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile said the Edsa healing fund is supposed to bankroll pharmacies in far-flung areas, medical care for indigents and, incongruously enough, purchases of police patrol cars. Enrile wondered how health care and police cars could remotely salve the social wounds arising from Edsa 1 and Edsa 2.
What is Gloria up to in wanting to have P25 billion in spending money for 2006?
The funds for agricultural productivity and for the repair of roads – estimated at around P4 billion in all – were shamelessly hijacked in 2004. But at least we reasonably knew where they went. There were elections in 2004 and the money was used to buy the support of congressmen and local officials. There was allegedly a systematic skimming off through overpricing, but the proceeds, again we are reasonably sure, went to the campaign kitty of Arroyo and not into the pockets of the Pidals of this administration.
Top of the head we can only think of one Arroyo initiative this year that
would need that never-as-yet-seen magnitude of discretionary spending. We’re referring to the proposed constitutional changes. The proposed shift to the parliamentary system is supposed to end once and for all the legitimacy issue hounding the administration after the cheating in 2004.
The local officials are the key to delivering the "yes" votes in a referendum. The sum of P25 billion is not too expensive a price for ensuring Gloria’s continued stay in power.
That’s all there is to this P25 billion pork.