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[ 25 Aug 2013 | No Comment ]
HB 1535

Filed on July 17, 2013 and principally authored by Bayan Muna Rep. Neri J. Colmenares, ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio, and Gabriela Women’s Party Reps. Luz Ilagan and Emmi de Jesus, Anakpawis Rep. Fernando “Ka Pando” Hicap, Kabataan Rep. Terry Ridon, and Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate.

From the Explanatory Note:

“The pork barrel system is a form of institutionalized patronage and officially tolerated graft and corruption.  Contrary to claims…that more and better safeguards can be implemented to prevent abuse…the pork barrel is beyond salvaging and should be abolished.

x x x

“This bill aims to abolish the pork barrel system by prohibiting the President from providing a budgetary item or including in the proposed budget submitted to Congress every fiscal year any lump sum allocation to the PDAF and similar lump sum, discretionary funds.  Aside from the legislators’ pork barrel, the bill shall also abolsih the President’s pork barrel funds, such as the President’s Social Fund and the Malampaya Fund.”

To download HB 1535, click here.

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[ 23 Aug 2013 | No Comment ]

PRESS STATEMENT

23 August 2013

Reference: ACT TEACHERS Party-List Rep. Antonio Tinio (09209220817)

 

Statement of ACT TEACHERS Party-List Rep. Antonio Tinio on Aquino’s announcement on the abolition of the PDAF

PNoy’s declaration that it’s time to abolish the PDAF is obviously timed to take the steam out of the massive anti-pork protests on Monday.  We have yet to see the details of the President’s proposal, but based on his statements to the media, it could be the case of the same dog with a different collar, meaning a reformed PDAF with a different name.  Furthermore, he limited his statements to the PDAF, making no mention whatsoever regarding the abolition of the far larger presidential pork.  For these reasons, we urge the public to remain vigilant, come out in full force on Monday, and continue to fight for the thorough dismantling of the pork barrel system. ###

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[ 22 Aug 2013 | No Comment ]

PRESS STATEMENT

22 August 2013
Reference: ACT TEACHERS Party-List Rep. Antonio Tinio (09209220817)

 

It has been brought to my attention that Akbayan issued a press statement (“Tinio the Pinocchio and his P4B lie against Akbayan”) calling me a liar for accusing them of “allegedly pocketing P4B worth of pork.” Presumably, this is in connection with statements attributed to me in the news report “Solons find COA report full of flaws,” written by Christine Herrera, which appeared in the Manila Standard Today last August 19 (http://manilastandardtoday.com/2013/08/19/solons-find-coa-report-full-of-flaws/).

“ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio once again played Pinocchio by accusing Akbayan of allegedly pocketing P4B worth of pork.” To my dear friends in Akbayan, let me say: those are your words, not mine. Please don’t put words in my mouth. Anyone who reads the news report in question will immediately see that I made no such accusation. In the two paragraphs in which I’m mentioned, I simply asked for an accounting of the P4 billion that Akbayan had caused to be allocated to Agrarian Reform Communities under the “Tulay ng Pangulo” program. (“…Tinio demanded to know what happened to the P4 billion in pork that the Akbayan party-list had allocated to agrarian reform communities under the Aquino administration” and “Tinio said the Aquino government should also provide details of the disbursement from 2011-2012, particularly to the P4 billion that the Akbayan identified for the “Tulay ng Pangulo” in agrarian reform communities.”) The demand for an accounting is not even addressed to Akbayan, but to Malacañang. Again, any suggestion that Akbayan pocketed the P4 billion came entirely from you, not from me.

As a legislator, I believe that I am duty-bound to call for an accounting of the said public funds, for the sake of Filipino taxpayers. During the budget hearings, I and my colleagues in Makabayan have called for similar detailed reports on the Executive’s use of lumpsums such as the Malampaya fund and the National Greening Program funds. I see it as part and parcel of the struggle for the abolition of the pork barrel system and for greater transparency and accountability in the use of public funds.

It is unfortunate that Akbayan has chosen to respond to a legitimate query in the name of the public interest with childish name-calling, false accusations, and all manner of aspersions not just against myself, but also against my colleagues in the Makabayan bloc. Let me remind Akbayan that no one in government should be averse to public scrutiny—not even coalition partners of the President.

In light of the above, and in the interest of fairness, I ask Akbayan to post this rejoinder on their website, for the benefit of their audience and the public at large. A public apology would also be appreciated. #

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[ 21 Aug 2013 | No Comment ]

20 August 2013
Reference: ACT TEACHERS Party-List Rep. Antonio Tinio (09209220817)

ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio on President Aquino’s suspension of releases of Congressional pork barrel funds, known as the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF):

 

President Aquino’s suspension of all PDAF releases, pending the results of an ongoing investigation into the P10 billion pork barrel scam, is a token act intended to take the heat off of the hated pork barrel, and ultimately, save it. Not surprisingly, the President makes no mention whatsoever regarding the suspension of his own considerable pork barrel funds. President Aquino is stubbornly defending the PDAF despite overwhelming evidence that the pork barrel system is an inherently flawed system of patronage and corruption that can’t be fixed with more rules. The people’s clamor is for abolition of the pork barrel system, not just suspension. The President would do well to heed their call.

In the wake of the revelations regarding the pork barrel scam and the COA report detailing massive irregularities in the use of pork, there has been a frenzy of finger-pointing and buck-passing between legislators and implementing agencies as to who will be held accountable. The unilateral suspension of pork funds by President Aquino demonstrates once and for all that the buck stops with the occupant of Malacañang. It is the President that is ultimately accountable for all PDAF releases. This includes the P10 billion in pork barrel funds that were allegedly released by former President Gloria Arroyo to the bogus NGOs of Janet Lim Napoles, with the connivance of legislators and other public officials, as well as any anomalous releases of PDAF under the current administration. Massive plunder of pork happens because the President lets it happen. In the final reckoning, not only legislators, officials in the implementing agencies, and private individuals like Napoles, but also the President (previous and current), must be held accountable for the massive plunder of pork barrel funds.

Puwede palang pigilan ng Presidente ang pag-release ng pondo para sa pork kahit kailan niya maisipan. Bakit hindi ginamit ang ganitong kapangyarihan para pigilan ang release ng pondo sa mga ma-anomalyang proyekto ng mga Senador at Kongresista?

What’s also clear now is that the President’s power to impound or withhold the release of pork barrel funds has only been used as the proverbial carrot-and-stick to reward its allies and punish its foes and thereby influence Congress, but never to deny funds to questionable projects of corrupt legislators.

We should also reiterate that President Aquino’s unilateral suspension highlights the absolute power held by Malacañang over a supposedly co-equal branch of government, undermining checks-and-balances and rendering Congressional oversight effectively meaningless. This is one more reason why PDAF must be abolished, not just reformed. #