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Animal instinct

By the turn of the lunar moon year, it will be the Year of the Fire Rooster. Celebrations will run rife, and “Kung hei fat choy!” will ring. Indeed, we all wish, “Wealth and good fortune!” All of us, preferably, not just a few.
It seems, though (if allegations are true), that some people would rather have the Pig — a big, fat pork, yes — year in and year out.
Call it by any other name; the boar is a pig, and and pigs will be pigs, I suppose.
In fact, the cock has crowed about some shady shenanigans in Congress.
Perhaps the only one left who can resist a diet of pork, this senator is obviously not happy about it. He is loudly protesting the pork barrel, which he smelled frying in the pan.
Sen. Panfilo Lacson detests the pork system and patronage politics that he believes have long robbed the Filipino people of basic services. He says billions of pesos had practically disappeared on ghost projects and sorry excuses of projects.
And recently he broke the news in a report that reveals the dreaded pork barrel still breathing in spite of being declared dead (or rather unconstitutional) by the Supreme Court four years ago.
In the current P3.35-trillion national budget, Sen. Panfilo Lacson told a national broadsheet, some items appear to be anomalous.
Based on Lacson’s revelations, it appears they did not change the name this time, but the way it’s done.
The senator said “legislators now identify their projects prior to submission of the budget to Congress, during the budget deliberations and even during the bicameral conference” and “without official records or communication.”
He insists it is pork.
The presence of pork in the 2017 budget, however, has been denied by Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno, who countered that those funds Senator Lacson pointed out were not pork per se. These are not funds diverted during implementation of projects, it was explained, but funds allotted for pet projects recommended by lawmakers during budget preparation.
We’re talking millions and billions again. It’s very disturbing.
We know how a few brilliant minds might easily get around laws or rulings. It has also been shown that public funds can be siphoned to private coffers, and somehow these can be hidden in official sounding names. It takes the collusion of many and the silence of the rest to help such practices thrive. That’s how corruption flourishes.
This is why the frustrated masses have always been on the lookout for saviors. They thought they had found this paragon of virtue a few times in the past, only to be disappointed. Then we realized that it takes more than a paragon to help bring back honest and true service to the country, but also an iron will.
So we got President Rodrigo Duterte. He has epitomized the kind of attitude frustrated people might inwardly feel. Many believe he has the guts to straighten the crooked. And right now people want to see him applying his style beyond the war on drugs.
Duterte is but one man just as Lacson seems alone in his quest. There is a whole range of animals out there in the jungle. Let’s hope their instincts are spot on.

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