Monday, December 21, 2015

A bunch of demagogues

A bunch of demagogues

There is a saying that one cannot argue with somebody who is mentally challenged.  Aside from wasting one’s time, in all likelihood, it will end up in a wrangle, and nothing constructive will come out of it. This is exactly the situation now.

Despite the clear-cut ruling of the Supreme Court that the Abad formula denominated as Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) was unconstitutional, administration officials are bent on pursuing the practice as though to impress upon the public that no court can stop them.

As members of Congress insist on doing things their own way, the people are inclined to believe that indeed we voted not just one, but bunch of nincompoops.  This is now the painful reality for instead of bowing down to the verdict to allow the system to constitutionally operate, many members of the Senate and the House are literally behaving as though they are inside a mental asylum.
Such is most pathetic because their move is to taunt and challenge the court.   According to Senate President Franklin Drilon, Congress will redefine savings in the context of the national budget as part of the administration’s “public financial management reform bill.”  In short, they are determined to pursue the unconstitutional and illegal practice of skirting the constitutional requirement by just giving it a new name with an added authority to PNoy to manipulate public funds to effectively reduce those honorable as nothing more but bunch of bootlickers.
As usual, Drilon wants to impress upon our people that Congress has the inherent prerogative “to review the law and make amendments to the law if policies are being misunderstood, or the definition is unclear.”  But he overlooked the fact that the use of certain words in budgetary appropriations were lifted from the universally accepted principles  in accounting procedures, and the words “savings” and “fiscal year” have their fixed definition, just as one cannot  avoid the use of  credit and debit in accounting, surplus and deficit in trade, etc.   PICPA will rise up in arms against these demagogues.
Notably, upright civil governments only enact one budgetary appropriation a year, and it is usually titled, “The General Appropriations Act for the Fiscal Year x x x.” The end of the fiscal year is not necessarily the closing month of December, but on the 12th month after the budget was enacted.  Only those that were left or unspent in the budget can rightly be called “savings”, and there could be no savings or even anticipated savings until and after the end of the fiscal year for which that budget was appropriated.
Thus, to allow the President to allocate alleged savings before the end as of the fiscal year as naively envisioned by Drilon and Speaker Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte is to open the Pandora’s Box for the systematic looting of government funds.  PNoy would emerge as most powerful by virtue of his financial control and command of the country’s cash resources.  That would give him a free hand to deal with those “pa etse etse” eager to raise their ante because the elimination of checks and balance would have the effect of legalizing grease money.
The President will become the simpleton’s hero because he has the power to deny funds to projects sponsored  by those who incurred his ire, or to increase those he considers to have faithfully lived up to their roles as consummate political sycophants like that harebrained Congressman Ben Evardone. 
It is for this why all appropriation measures are quite strict in seeing to it that savings to be rightly and legally be called such only takes place after the end of the fiscal year.  The reason is to prevent the juggling of funds which often gives rise to the evil vices of political patronage, political dynasties and political warlordism.   Giving the President the power to get things done is pretty dangerous more so now that people are beginning to suspect they elected a charlatan who is afflicted with some kind of narcissism.
Their move to get away with the legal snag caused by the Supreme Court decision is frightening because this time, they want to make it fast and easy for Congress to introduce supplemental budget, again masterminded by the same guy who is the architect of the DAP, to fast track what he termed as the “high impact” developmental projects which many consider as mere drawing, or as they say it the legal way, a “figment of his boss’ fertile imagination”.
Besides, for Congress to introduce a supplementary budget as their alternate to DAP is to completely ignore that Congress is only required to enact one national budget annually.  That proposal peddled by Drilon exposes his ignorance because a supplemental budget can only be resorted to in times of national emergency such as in cases of calamities caused by earthquakes, typhoons, floods, epidemics or by fortuitous events that resulted in widespread damage and sufferings to our people, or when there is a serious economic spasm such as hyperinflation, acute food shortage, or a default in our balance of payment.
All those unforeseen events would require a supplemental budget because that would require additional expense for which Congress is required to act promptly.   Invariably, for Congress to pass every now and then a supplemental budget for the flimsy reason that the fund appropriated for that project was below the actual cost, or that it overshoots their estimated cost, or that they inadvertently failed to include them in the budget, then we could wholeheartedly say that we have in midst bunch mental retardates.   In fact, there is even an old decree issued by President Marcos that would prohibit and punish contractors from unilaterally jacking up the cost of the project after the contract has been signed, except under exceptional circumstances.
As if to add insult to injury, Abad and Belmonte came out to exhibit their arrogance as if to trifle with the court’s decision.  In the case of Abad, he pleaded to our people to restore their trust in the government.  Maybe that would have been appropriate if the one extolling those lofty words is not the mastermind.  Similarly, Speaker Belmonte stressed that savings could be modified, for accordingly, the word is not found in the Constitution.
We never thought that Belmonte could be sillier than he is for taking it literally that any word not found in the Constitution can be redefined even if that would reduce Congress to one of savings bank where one can make a deposit and withdraw anytime he wishes.  Belmonte wants to apply the same gambit he used as mayor of Quezon City by transforming the role of the city council to that of mendicants falling in line to get their share of the manna, while keeping to himself his huge pork barrel in the name of “serbisyong bayan.”

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