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Pork pa rin ‘yan! Militant solons will not partake over P100M allocation per congressman

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

MANILA – Militant solons from the Makabayan bloc will not partake of any of the so-called P100-million worth of allocation per congressman under the proposed P4.1-trillion national budget for 2020, Deputy Minority Carlos Isagani Zarate (Bayan Muna) said.

Zarate stressed that if the said line-item allocations is not in contrary with the 2013 Supreme Court ruling against lump sum funding and post enactment intervention of members of Congress, the supposed entitlement is still considered “part of the pervasive patronage system.”

“Even itemized allotments can be considered pork barrel as long as congresspersons exercise discretion on its implementation like selecting beneficiaries and contractors,” said Zarate.

“We believe this is still a violation of the Supreme Court decision… the pork barrel system should be abolished. Hiding behind semantics and technical definitions would not do,” he added.

Zarate said the allotted allocations per congressional districts or constituents in the case of party-list solons is still “the same patronage and corruptive system” used by Malacañang “to keep Congress under its strong influence and pliant to its wishes.”

“We must get rid of the pork barrel system and have a national budget that genuinely and directly goes to the basic services that is needed by our constituents, as well as projects that truly usher us to national industrialization and development,” said Zarate.

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