This week, the Supreme Court did something amazing. They deemed unconstitutional the Priority Development Assistance Fund or PDAF. The PDAF is known for corruption. The SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) was an open secret that politicians get up to 20% cut of the project price. But Napoles and her cohorts blew the lid of the scam and people found out it wasn’t 20%, it was 100%!
SOP has been so ingrained in the system of government here that people accepted it. But what drove everyone off the edge was that it was so blatantly used for greed. Now, hopefully we have learned that any amount of thievery is wrong. And we will not even accept the SOP still ongoing. Too much temptation!
The Supreme Court showed their independence. Malacanang is saying that the Supreme Court bowed to public pressure. Well, good thing they did. Because our elected representatives surely didn’t listen to their constituents (except for a few good ones who have been against the PDAF from the start).
The SC also declared all forms of pork barrel from previous years as unconstitutional. And the discretionary use over the Malampaya funds as unconstitutional. Malampaya funds are only supposed to be used for projects and programs related to electricity – which is actually good because that is what the Visayas needs right now. Instead of mansions, bags and cars, use that money to bring light to destroyed areas.
This brings a new era to Philippine politics. No more executive branch waving money over the legislative and judiciary. No more “if you do not follow, I won’t release your PDAF.” Now we can have Congressmen who have the best interests of the people in mind.
Ever since the ruling came down, the House has not mustered a quorum. Morale is low and Congressmen are angry. Hopefully, come 2016, they will decide that it is not worth the time and money, and the dynasties, know-nothings, do-not-participaters, will decide not to run. And give the floor to people who want to make a difference. Maybe the Golden Age of Philippine Politics is upon us. And hopefully a change in the way cases are handled in the judiciary down the line. Maybe judges will follow the examples of the Justices and act impartially now.
Now we wait for the ruling of the SC over the DAP. I believe it will go the same way. The DAP is something the Department of Budget and Management cooked up to use funds from different projects and bring it to projects and programs not even approved by Congress. That shouldn’t be allowed. We believe in you SC. You have proven that justice truly is blind (to power, tactics, influence and money), and that the voice of the people is the voice of God. Listen.
More donations come in everyday! We reached one million in a week (even more). And I have inside information that we breached three million for the second week! So many kind hearts and generous people giving cash and goods. THANK YOU.
We do so much work and try to bring these relief goods to the people, but it isn’t easy hearing stories of politicking by our government. Like people needing to present written notes from Barangay leaders to be able to get relief goods. Or agencies repacking international aid into local bags with their logo. Or goods rotting because they have not been “searched” yet. Or even the stopping of telling the real number of dead people! I mean, people need to know, why keep it a secret or keep the number low? Just for publicity? What is the logic in that?
Even stopping Oplan Hatid at Villamor Airbase because of politicking? Because citizens should not dictate on the government, and it should be the other way around? I thought WE were the boss? Didn’t BS Aquino say that?
So sad. And the media being blacked out. Good thing we have Anderson Cooper. Who says what needs to be said. And here he is saying it:
We are doing our part. Please, government, do yours.
The team that went to Tacloban came back with such heart-rending pictures and stories. We put the sharing of Pat into an easy to read “comic book” version. Read it here.
Here is also a sharing from one survivor:
We can keep praying things will get better. And through your donations, we can do more:
We have hope in the Filipino Spirit. Working together, we can do anything!
After raising more than 1 million pesos in a week, we still have raised donations for the continuing relief effort!
We have volunteers re-packing everything daily, and now we are ready to send even more goods to the Visayas!
With God, nothing is impossible. He gives us hope. And in the midst of despair and desolation, we know He is there ready to help us and guide us back to fullness.
Thank you. And they (the goods that the money bought) ARE reaching the people. Check here for pictures and updates.
The worst thing you can do is to get a check-up. That’s when you find out you are sick of so many things…. of course, I am kidding. I am 38 and getting older. The body isn’t as healthy as it used to be. I had lots of check-ups before (western and eastern doctors) and I was always told that I was ok and just needed to lose weight. This time, it was different.
I had high blood pressure during the check-up so I need to monitor for a week to see whether I need to take medication for it already (forever!). And blood tests show I have high Triglycerides. Which, if you Google, can cause a heart attack because of the high content of fat in the blood.
Ok, I love fast food. And burgers. And pizza. And ice cream. And junk. And soda. And candy. But, things can’t be like that forever, right?
I have always said I wanted to be healthy. But because those doctors (boy sisi! Ha ha like President, like me) said I was always healthy, I never really took steps to change my lifestyle. Now, I am taking steps.
I have cut out rice (except those California Makis that I ate Friday night). I cut out soda (except that one glass of Royal I had yesterday). I am staying away from fast food (except the two pieces of KFC chicken served at the meeting yesterday)…. Ok I am not too strict yet, but I am trying. During the Mongolian lunch yesterday I only put chicken and shrimp.
Oh age and weight. Why do they have to increase at the same time?
I am starting oatmeal again. Which is a major thing for me because growing up we had to eat oatmeal every other day (on odd days we had soft boiled eggs). And I never got over it. I can’t smell it. I don’t like the texture. Gag. Choke.
But, here it is. Second day of oatmeal. Can I just eat it every other day?
I am starting to exercise again. I live on a mountain so just walking around it is tiring enough. Oh man, what is happening to me? I am doing it to live, of course. But I am also doing it for my family. And that is the best motivator.
So, help me! Check on me. Watch what I am ordering and eating. And if it isn’t good, pull it away. I will thank you later (after I scream and get angry). Here’s to starting life a little bit earlier than 40.
We were nominated again at the Catholic Mass Media Awards! We had 7 nominations last year and one won! Now we had 2, and we didn’t win, but we did get a step closer. A Special Citation! And from the CMMA, that is worth a lot. Especially for what it said:
“for the comprehensive presentation of articles that inspire and inform Filipino Catholics”
Check out Family and Life Update website for more info (here). But suffice to say, that is the main goal of the FALU website. To inspire and inform Filipino (and other) Catholics all over the world. So happy to get recognition and appreciation for that.
Congratulations to the whole team! Work hard, and it is always worth it. Next year again!