A rose amongthe thorns - well done, megan!
Long suffering Philippinos must be weary of scam after scam, bribe after bribe, lie after lie. It would seem that the powerful politicians and business leaders have a total disregard for decency, honesty and integrity – and the welfare of their own citizens.
To assist my friends, and to illustrate that the larger than life scenarios I right about in my book, ‘Deadly Election’ CAN and DO really happen, I will try to explain simply this latest financial scandal.
‘Pork Barrel’ is an imported US term for the budget given to senior politicians for them to use, at their discretion FOR THE GOOD OF THEIR PEOPLE. The system has, of course, been abused for decades and has only come to light as always when some gets their nose put out of joint and becomes a ‘whistleblower’ (an occupation nearly as dangerous as journalism in the Philippines).
The audits and checks you would normally expect are largely absent as the people who steal this money are, of course, the people making the Laws. Bribery is endemic – most officials will turn a blind eye for a few pesos, issue false receipts with impunity, and lie tirelessly when it will benefit them. The Philippines has long been criticized internationally for refusing to pass banking security laws and transparency laws – the current politicians never will – they WANT to be able to carry on their money laundering and theft.
The fraudulent schemes are quite simple. The politicians could not be seen to take the money and put it straight into their own pockets – so, through an enterprising businesswoman , many fake charities, companies, projects etc would receive the money. They would then of course pass it back through various routes to the corrupt politicians and their business partners.
There, that’s it. It really is as simple as that. In any country that REALLY wanted to get it’s act together it would never have occurred, but even now it seem there is little effort to really change things.
If you are not a Philippino why should you worry? I’ll tell you why. Most of this money originates in foreign aid funds, from the US, UK and many other developed Countries. Why do we keep on feeding these rich pigs of politicians while the majority of the good Philippino people continue to live in oppression and poverty?
It is a beautiful country full of beautiful people – run by ruthless and greedy powerful family clans. This has to change, I hope it will be soon
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