The Long View: Form and substance

The Long View
Form and substance
By Manuel L. Quezon III
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 23:23:00 05/19/2010

SINCE CHIEF JUSTICE RENATO CORONA decided to accept the poisoned chalice from President Macapagal-Arroyo, the least he is expected to do is to drink from it. Not least because he has gotten to be chief justice due to efforts and arguments first forwarded in 1998—when his appointment as a judge by President Ramos was voided by the Supreme Court—and which finally bore bitter fruit in 2010, when the Court granted itself an exemption from constitutional prohibitions on presidential appointments during the campaign and transition period, thus paving the way for Corona’s becoming chief justice.

So in a sense he is joined at the hip to the point of view that there shouldn’t be any sort of ban on appointments during election periods or in the transition from one administration to the next. And here, the contrast between this assertion—whether on the part of President Arroyo, who set aside precedents dating back to her own father’s revocation of the midnight appointments of his predecessor—and the present Supreme Court itself (in granting itself an exemption) not to mention Corona himself, who ignored former Chief Justice Manuel Moran’s decision, based on delicadeza, to decline an opportunity to return to the high court by means of a midnight appointment, is instructive.

The President’s decision to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Chief Justice Reynato Puno, the decision of the Supreme Court to reject challenges to that assertion of the power to appoint during the campaign and transition period, and Corona’s accepting the appointment—these are part and parcel of the institutionalization of impunity that has become the hallmark and chief legacy of this administration.

It’s the brazenness of the whole thing, the impunity of it all, that is astounding. And, in turn, it indicates why there are such irreconcilable differences between those who oppose the appointment (and criticize Corona’s thinking he can accept the poisoned cup and be exempt from the effects of drinking from it) and those who demand its uncritical acceptance.

At the heart of the clash of perspectives is the role personal ethics should play in such situations: on the one hand, the President has every right to propose wielding her powers in a controversial manner, and the Supreme Court has every right—the duty, even—to resolve it, and that in the end because they said so, that’s the end of that.

Setting aside the recent track record of the high court for making decisions, then reconsidering them, and in the process overturning decisions that in the past would have stood as final, there remains a question that is beyond the province of the law, and more within the province of how, exactly, officials should handle their powers.

Should they approach their powers with self-control and restraint in mind, or throw caution to the winds on the Marcosian principle that “nothing succeeds like success!” so long, as a cowed and frightened “Supreme” once whispered to him, “a color of constitutionality” is preserved? There is only one word to describe the President’s decision to assert what she saw as her prerogative to appoint Corona, and that word is, malicious.

And in that sense, the Supremes and their new chief are complicit, though they and the President know full well the truth of that old maxim: possession is nine-tenths of the law. Whether the country is divided on the legitimacy of the new chief justice, with some viewing him as de facto and others, de jure, the reality is he now presides over the high court, has been recognized as such, and the options of the next chief executive in terms of dealing with a co-equal branch of government, are limited.

Since we are bound to respect the office, never mind our personal opinions of the temporary occupant of that office, we will all stand when the new chief justice enters a room, and we are, so long as we remain committed to a government of laws and not men, will accept the decisions of the Supreme Court even when yesterday’s decisions end up overturned by tomorrow’s new decisions based on repeated motions for reconsideration—though hardly anyone doubts the pending second motion for reconsideration of the high court’s paving the way for Corona’s appointment will be overturned.

Only if you view challenging the validity of the malicious midnight appointments of the President—and I am paraphrasing the words of her father in characterizing the midnight appointments of his predecessor, the executive act that formalized what Moran already knew, eight years earlier, as the wrong thing for an incumbent to do in the closing days of his term—as illegal, can anyone think there is a constitutional crisis. Last anyone checked, going to court or even impeachment are bonafide constitutional methods for rectifying wrongs.

But there is a crisis: of legitimacy, and of ethical governance. The line has been drawn in the sand, and the cunning trap here is the clamor from certain quarters to put a premium on appearances and to downplay the deep significance, the fundamental difference in approaching governance, between the President and her expected successor.

In the end what every administration has the right to expect, is to set the tone for its turn at the helm. This is why there have been so many innovations and departures from tradition in inaugurations. Thus putting in place a chief justice who soiled his own robes not only justifies, but almost makes mandatory, some sort of deviation from tradition. Whether a barangay captain or associate justice administers the presidential oath matters less than the next president’s right to demonstrate that ethics will be part of his core approach to the responsibilities of his office.

My views on this subject can be found in my blog entries Midnight appointments (January 15, 2010) and The dynamics of succession (January 23, 2010), and, in my columns Scorched earth to the bitter end (January 18, 2010) nd The presidential tar pit (March 21, 2010), and in this transcript of my interview on The Rundown last Tuesday. See also today’s Inquirer editorial, Corona of thorns.

Manuel L. Quezon III.

57 thoughts on “The Long View: Form and substance

  1. I am not bothred anymore by the action of Gloria. she is good as gone and she is really really shrewd . Her action doesn’t surpise me anaymore.

    I am actually very very interested on how Nonoy will handle the situation. Taking an oath through a barangay capatian is , very very unpresidential, amateurish, very typical or even trditional politician. Im hoping to hear a more brilliant, well thought of reaction. Im sure its just matter of time that Nonyoy will change his mind and evetually end up taking an oath to an associate justice ( Im sure its not CJ Corona) . What i dont understand is why the announcement that he will take an oath to abaranggay captain. What he want to prove by doing this? Para maiba lang sa sa mga nauunang president. But my god. Gusto nya na maiba, he should think a much better way.

    Tingnan mo hind bumilib ang mag tao sa earlier announcement nya about baranagay captain oth taking.. So Im sure hindi nya itutuloy yan.

    If he keep on flipflopping, people will get tired of him wont believe what he is saying anymore

    I know mabait si Noynoy at hindi sya mag nanananakaw. But can he really lead us? Im really worrie dabout how he will handle the teh Arroyos, the marcoses, the Villars , enrile, Santiago. Thses people are all in power together with him… Thes peopel are really realy shrewd politican….

  2. There will never be a fair justice system in the mind of people as long as the present Supreme Court and its Chief Justice are under a cloud of doubt and illigitimacy. The earlier this problem be resolved the better for the government of Noynoy Aquino to run its true course and plans of/for an effective governance up to the end of his term the better for the country in the long run.

    There is only one course of action that Noynoy has to take in order for him not to be trapped in a quagmire resulting from an ineffective governance due to a potentially antagonistic Supreme Court. Noynoy must at all cost maintain his integrity, stand by his words, be decisive, go for the jugular, must not recognize the midnight appointment, and not be afraid of any looming constitutional crisis while the Filipino people is still behind him.

    But first, he has to effectively consolidate, strengthen, and control the political forces brewing in this present new political arena.

  3. “But first, he has to effectively consolidate, strengthen, and control the political forces brewing in this present new political arena.”

    If consolidating his political mandate will be the priority, then this CJ brouhaha can be deferred until such mandate solidifies. Not to trivialize this issue, but Noynoy will probably soon realize that there are bigger fishes to fry and more pressing matters to attend to.

    As for taking his oath before a barangay captain, sectors within Noynoy’s camp are now saying that it won’t happen. Click on the link below:

  4. Not to mention that there’s a brewing controversy over the automated elections. It seemed like a good start, but wasn’t at all perfect. Now, election losers are ganging up on Smartmatic and Comelec. They have to find scapegoats. And the apparent flaws, of which there appear to be quite a number, are being blamed for their losses. Many would want to muddy the waters and raise doubts about the elections.

    I hope it doesn’t get blown out of proportions and casts a cloud on the entire elections. We had seemed to be over that hump. But should have known better that our “kababayans” are very sore losers. Coupled with the Vice Presidential controversy, it wouldn’t be a very promising start to a new administration.

  5. As a relative of mine remarked: “In the Philippines, no actually loses, they’re only cheated.”

  6. I don’t pretend to know much about the judiciary.

    But it seems to me like it doesn’t matter which president appoints which SC justice, they’ll invariably make stupid decisions.

    Like the fact that it’s Cory who appointed those judges who overturned Imelda’s convictions.

    I don’t see how Cory or Noynoy squabbling about which justice should be appointed matters.

    In other countries where the spectrum of politics is polarized and wide, it matters if a justiceis rightist or leftist. So if a president supports euthanasia or abortion or whatever, he or she will put left leaning judges in the bench of the SC.

    But in our country, where are presidents don’t have far reaching political convictions, why would it matter?

    I’ve seen a few examples, like in the case of the SC allowing foreign-owned mining in our land. This is obviously in tune with Macapagal’s right-wing politics.

    Anybody care to explain to me what political interest of Noynoy is at stake with politically disagreeable judges?

  7. Judges who are against the corporatization of CARP lands may be one. In this, Noynoy, through Luisita Corp, are at stake. But are there any political stances of Noynoy that are at stake with these midnight appointments?

    I guess the question should be: what are the political convictions of Noynoy to begin with?

  8. edit: I don’t see how GMA or Noynoy squabbling about which justice should be appointed matters.

  9. There are fatter fish to fry than this CJ issue. In the scheme of things, it’s just a blip for Noynoy. Like Cory not giving importance to the then-sitting CJ and giving Teehangkee more significance.

    And, in setting the political agenda, I doubt whether the man on the street really gives a damn about who ultimately becomes the CJ. None of them will cause significant change in their lives, anyway!

    I’m more worried about how this automation issue is now getting out of hand, and how the losers in the past election are making a case that the whole process is under a cloud. My, my! I thought we were over all of that!

  10. Cid, I agree. Nonoy needs to firm up his hold of the political forces first to advance his legislative agenda, especially now that Gloria’s allies in the House has shielded themselves
    in advance against the stick the apparent-president elect will use to whip their butts without losing the carrot.

    The 14th Congrress inserted a key provision into the General Appropriations Act of 2010, which calls for the “prohibition against impoundment of appropriations.”

    “The provision prevents the President from withholding the release of a budget allocation without the approval of both the Senate and the House of Representatives by a simple majority of the quorum.” ( breaking stories)

  11. The best position of the President-elect is to take oath under Associate Justice Carpio.

    Foremost to recognize SC as the highest office and co-equal body.

    Second to underline that the last SC ruling of exemption was in grave error going opposite direction from various SC decisions in the past.

    It is not for the President-elect to fix Puno’s court error to restore its credibility issue. The ball is on Corona’s court as the SC chief asked the public to watch him.

  12. SOP on ,”I don’t see how GMA or Noynoy squabbling about which justice should be appointed, matters”

    It does matter. For one, GMA has the number in Congress after the recent election and Corona dissented (meaning in favor of Charter Change) when Carpio wrote majority decision to junk the people’s initiative in Charter Change.

    GMA wrote the script a long time ago and so far she followed it to the letter -we are right now at phase where GMA won a congressional seat for power comeback.

    The newly inserted provision banning withholding of pork barrel (by adverse administration) was crafted by GMA allies for the future battle.

    GMA has the number both in Congress and in Court. And the President-elect is already handicap by mouthpieces asking him to follow rule of law which were hastily laid out for him to follow. It is like a puppet on a string.

  13. Most likely, Noynoy will have Conchita Carpio-Morales administer his oath. Click on the link below:

    Many people with better knowledge of the matter have urged Noynoy not to get bogged down on this CJ issue. These include Chiz Escudero, who is a member of the JBC, Fr. Joaquin Bernas, and officials of the IBP. Click on the link:

    “The Firm” has been at the center of this CJ issue, and better-informed minds have realized that this controversy could be the outcome of a falling out among thieves. The Arroyos and “The Firm” were once tight as thieves, but ultimately had a falling out. The bone of contention surely wasn’t based on lofty visions or ideals. It was about mundane matters, mostly money and power. “The Firm” has been trying to creep into the good graces of the incoming administration and wants its own man to head the Supreme Court. It wants to be an Opus Dei, even a Cosa Nostra, of sorts. A powerful, yet silent, presence. It may wear a cloak of nobility, but it exists purely for its own advancement.

    Edcel Lagman has raised the point that the incoming President won’t be able to control the pork barrel. Lagman also pointed out that Noynoy Aquino himself voted on that provision limiting the President’s power to manipulate pork, which should dismiss notions that it was a booby trap inserted by the present Congress. Lagman mentions that, at the time of the vote, Noynoy still had no idea that he would one day be President.

    On the other hand, Sonny Belmonte insists that he will have the numbers to become Speaker. It’ll take more than a nice guy or an appeal to principles to convince Congressmen to come around, and Belmonte knows that. So he must have something up his sleeve in order to get Congressmen to come to his side. Definitely, it’ll involve a lot of horse trading and quid pro quo. Here’s the article:

  14. “I’m more worried about how this automation issue is now getting out of hand, and how the losers in the past election are making a case that the whole process is under a cloud. My, my! I thought we were over all of that!”

    Same here carl. I immediately dismiis the issue as klaokohan lang. BUt reading the deveoplemt is making me worried too. I have a feeling that all election returns will be stricly scrtunized by the losing candidates like looking for the discrepancy in time . And that will invate dthat particular election return.

    Anther problem is that most winners was already proclaimed by the COMELEC. Then will be flooding of electoral protests.

    Im also worrie dthat the procalimation of presidnet and vice president will be delayed because of this.

  15. Ace, the insertion of that provision into the General Appropriations Act could be a real game-changer.

    We have to determine whether that is a head-fake coming from Lakas, or whether that is a simple statement of facts. At this point, when political parties are circling around and feeling out each other, there could be a lot of bluffing and exaggeration.

    However, if it’s true that the President now has very little say on the pork barrel, then any President will have an extremely difficult time passing a legislative agenda. Without pork to grease the skids in Congress, the President will have very little hold on those tinhorn Congressmen. It’s difficult enough to pass legislation that directly addresses vital issues or that isn’t watered-down. This development, if true, will make Congress even more of a circus.

  16. Sooner or later, there will be difficult decisions that require legislation. For example, take this item in the news today:

    “Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings said this month the new administration’s fiscal policies would be crucial to any credit rating upgrade.

    “The next president should clearly identify how it plans to address the budget deficit,” said Jonathan Ravelas, chief market strategist at Banco de Oro.

    “He can cut spending on less important projects and focus on those which have greater economic impact. The government also needs an immediate overhaul of the tax system and should consider raising taxes.”

    “Fitch, Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s all rate Philippine debt below investment grade.”

    How will the President be able to get Congress to pass urgent legislation when his hands are tied because he can’t use pork to prod them? Pork is the only language these people understand.

  17. “The next president should clearly identify how it plans to address the budget deficit,” said Jonathan Ravelas, chief market strategist at Banco de Oro.”

    This is another thing that I think Noynoy will most like flipflop. He said he will not raise taxes. I really really doubt it.

    Hya naku Kayhindi ko sy abinoto. But I will give him the change. And pray for his sucess.

  18. Noynoy has already identified his strategy about the budget deficit. It starts with his LIST of smugglers and tax evaders. He said in his first month of office, he will be sending to jail (five or six or more) from this LIST of tax-evaders.

    He had announced his commitment NOT TO RAISE TAXES based on his knowledge that the revenue leakage — smugglers and tax-evaders, corruption — is sufficient to cover the deficit. Noynoy plus the leakage — budget deficit is solved. -GMA-Corruption! Talsik Diyan!!! is the game plan.

  19. Thanks dodong for the explanation. This is one of the reasons I come to this blog, for lucid and simple explanations from commenters.

    Manolo’s message sometimes is hard to fathom with his difficult style of prose. At times, it’s too much style and less substance.

    Regarding Noynoy, he may not control the kitty bag, but he still has the hand the puts the moolah in it-the Bureau of Internal Revenue. I don’t think GMA and her lapdogs could go as far as controlling the Department of Budget.

    Here’s how Noynoy should double down on GMA’s threat: if the Congressmen and Senator assholes don’t remove that don’t-touch-the-pork-provision in the General Appropriations Act, he should use all the resources of the tax collection arm of the government to scrutinize every asset, business interests, business ventures, stocks, invoices, capital gains, etc. etc. of every congressmen and senator. He should pound down so much bureaucratic muscle on the tax matters of the 200 plus congressmen and senators that they could potentially end up in jail for tax evasion matters.

    It should be a simple ultimatum, follow my lead and ignore GMA or you’ll suffer the wrath of my secretary of finance.

  20. And just to hit two birds with one stone, that secretary of finance should be no other than Mar Roxas. It’s a way for Mar to prove his mantle and regain his public composure and for Noynoy to once and for all regain control of the legislative bodies.

  21. Sooner more than later, Noynoy will be be faced with the choice between —
    (1) RENEGING on his campaign promise — NOT RAISE TAXES;
    (2) cutting funding for a public-health or public-education social program.

    I cannot predict what Noynoy will do. However, I sense that Dinky Soliman may be disappointed when governance encounters that crossroad as Noynoy chooses between the advisers and backers who funded his campaign and the voters who voted for him.

  22. “Noynoy Aquino is one of those assholes”

    That’s all in the past. He’s now president. He can be excused for going with the herd now that he’s the shepherd.

  23. If I were Noynoy, I would start the bureaucratic ass-kicking with the Arroyos. Go for the jugular-congressmen Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and son Mikey. Mikey should be an easy tax evasion case as the undeclared assets controversy shows. So is Mommy, who had the gumption to reveal her exponential growth in assets and liability. There is a lot of potential for tax evasion case if all the powers of DBM were used.

    This will show the congress three things: he’s serious about his threat to go after the whole legislative body’s tax matters. If he has the gumption to go after the ex-first family, then simple legislators should think twice. Second, that he’s not afraid of anybody, even the Arroyo’s, who everyone perceived to be the top dogs of Philippine politics. And third, that he has balls. If there’s anything that impressionable indios admire, it’s balls, big balls of titanium.

    But that’s just me.

  24. That’s all in the past. He’s now president. He can be excused for going with the herd now that he’s the shepherd. – I just realized that this doesn’t make sense.

    Maybe, whatever he did as a sheep can be forgiven, for he was a mere sheeple. But now that he’s a shepherd, he better stop acting like a sheep.

  25. “Aquino authored anti-pork impound bill, says Angara

    MANILA—Presumptive President-elect Benigno Aquino III was the first senator who filed a bill last year to prevent the President from withholding the release of budget allocations.

    Aquino’s measure, Senate Bill No. 3121 or the Budget Impoundment Control Act, was consolidated with other Senate measures with the same purpose and consequently, Congress passed the General Appropriations Act of 2010 that included this anti-impoundment provision, according to Sen. Edgardo Angara.

    “So based on that, he (Aquino) believes what Congress appropriates, the President must not impound or withhold,” said Angara, who chairs the Senate finance committee. “—-source
    The anti-impoundment provision is long-overdue. GMA vetoed it during her reign. now that her time to say goodbye has come near, GMA and her allies rushed to approve it for tactical purposes.

    despite that, im happy that the House, which is full of hyenas who are eager to trade pork barrel for principles, will be more free to do their whims instead of being subservient to the president’s wishes. without the usual carrot and stick, let’s see if nonoy has enough political savvy to consolidate his political forces in the lower chamber to advance his
    legislative agenda.

  26. “Noynoy Aquino is one of those assholes…”-UP n

    Hehehe, UP n, you’re way too fast and too early with your “Surge-the-Gates” statements. Please hold your horses for awhile, there’s no gate to surge against just yet, :).

  27. “without the usual carrot and stick, let’s see if nonoy has enough political savvy to consolidate his political forces in the lower chamber to advance his legislative agenda.”

    This made me laugh. What if the legislative agenda is to withhold the carrot? The irony.

  28. SOP,

    only if he has the numbers. then he can start the “bureaucratic ass-kicking” of the Arroyos as you metioned above.

  29. He doesn’t need the congress to get the bureau of internal revenue to fuck with the arroyos. He’s the president. It means he owns the BIR.

  30. “I have a LIST and I’m going to use it!!” Noynoy said. He promised in his first month of office he’ll get in jail names on the LIST of tax evaders and smugglers. [He also said “Marcos wealth”, but that’s a tad complicated.]

    Deliver on this promise — jail for those on his LIST — and he has credibility with this

    …should pound down so much bureaucratic muscle on the tax matters of the 200 plus congressmen and senators that they could potentially end up in jail for tax evasion matters.

    The sweetest revenge is living well. Also excellent is having the respect of the citizenry when the president is hammering down on corruption — just think Fidel Castro.

  31. Don’t count on it. I think “I have a LIST and I’m going to use it!!” will be Noynoy’s version of GMA’s I will never run for elections again.

  32. “I have a LIST and I’m going to use it!!!” will either be Noynoy delivering palabra-de-honor and citizens becoming encouraged that future palabras can be listened to as promises that Noynoy will meet.

    or the words and Nov2010 to represent “palabras-de-boladas” with subsequent Noynoy utterances to be discounted — boladas-boladas lang like before.

  33. Another possibility, of course, is that citizens of Pilipinas do not expect palabra-de-consistency from presidentiables, that boladas-boladas “tell voters what they want to hear, tell them anything!!!” is acceptable to at least a plurality of Pilipinas.

  34. what i’m trying to figure out is what a “conditional veto” is. the president apparently conditionally vetoed that provision and it doesn’t seem congress overturned her veto (or any other of her many line item vetoes in past budgets).

  35. Review the 2007 Inquirer podcast interview for Aquino’s explanations of his perspective on pork barrel, he’s been consistent on that and his belief they should not be impounded. The only refinement he made to this view during the campaign was he believes the individual quotas so to speak of each district should be aligned with a pre-prepared development or priority plan. Something is off kilter with the reporting on this story (see my question on conditional veto imposed above).

  36. “Aquino authored anti-pork impound bill, says Angara”

    Ouch! Talk about shooting one’s self on the foot.

    After his boo-boo’s about another EDSA, being sworn in by a barangay captain, saying Mar Roxas can’t be appointed to the cabinet until the 1 year ban on losing candidates is over, Noynoy is out to prove that he is his own worst enemy. 🙂

  37. Remember the pork barrel is a tiny portion of the budget, less than 2%. That 70M per district if equitably shared makes them attentive from the start; but is small enough that if one is taking a pragmatic approach, is nothing compared to other government programs.

  38. It’s interesting that Franklin Drilon now comes and says that it’s imperative for the President to have power over pork. He says it was wrong to prevent the President from withholding the release of pork. Even if it was Noynoy who filed Senate Bill No. 3121 last year, preventing the President from withholding pork barrel allocations.

    “SENATOR-ELECT Franklin Drilon on Friday advised incoming President Benigno Aquino III to ignore a provision in the General Appropriations Act prohibiting the chief executive from impounding pork barrel allocations to senators and congressmen.”

    “Drilon, president of the Liberal Party, of which Aquino is the standard-bearer, said the next President should not be stripped of the power to withhold pork barrel to prevent jeopardizing essential government services, and particularly during tax collection shortfalls.”

    “In my view, it is wrong to insert a provision in the budget law providing for an automatic release of pork barrel funds because it is not in accordance with the Constitution,” Drilon told dzMM radio.

    “As a matter of policy, we should give priority to essential programs and projects of government and not the pork barrel. Congress will appropriate, but the President will release.”

  39. i think nonoy should not listen to drilon’s advice.
    there are more decent ways to get support from the
    House. as manolo pointed out, the pork barrel is just
    “2 percent of the entire budget. it’s nothing compared to
    other govt programs.”

  40. I you noticed even the Cardinal who got hot and bothered about the Edsa statement, withdrew it later on. The Edsa statement was made in the context of the Palace’s plan to postpone the elections, which unfolded after the Cardinal spoke up. The essential point with choosing an official other than the Chief Justice to administer the oath has not changed and has been grudgingly accepted even by the SC itself. And his statement on ban is also in conformity in Roxas’ own statement that he could lose. And as I pointed out below, he has been consistent in his approach to the pork barrel since his days in the House and his run for the Senate in 07 and during the past campaign.

  41. Wow Manolo, you ‘re fast becoming a presidentaial apologist. But its a very nice change. Im wont be surprised if you Nonoy cjoose you as press secretary or any other cabinet or important position. And I do honestly believe that you shoudl be a part of his cabinet.

  42. ” Ace on Sat, 22nd May 2010 7:28 pm
    there are more decent ways to get support from the

    Such as?

    I’d like to hear people’s brilliant ideas on this. As far as I’m concerned, I’ve made my position clear: fuck the carrot, use the stick is my suggestion. The BIR stick that is.

    There are also other measures that could be used, more friendly and populist, less antogonizing. Neither carrot nor stick.

    I suggest Noynoy could use pork barrel allocation based on performance metrics.

    What it simply is, Noynoy could disburse all pork due on the first year. But on the following years, the districts have to show improvements on local GDP, mortality, poverty index, etc. to get their pork allocations.

    Of course, the agency calculating should be NEDA which, yes you guessed it, under the office of president Noynoy.

    Noynoy can simply instruct NEDA to give favorable statistics to legislators loyal to his legislative agenda, thus getting their pork.

    If a congressman is not loyal, NEDA will fuck that district’s stats, hence no pork.

  43. But again, it all still boils down to the question: what exactly is Noynoy’s legislative agenda?

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