Stories posted 2015

Sidebar, Part 2

Binay’s pork: Breaking bad

AFTER THE Supreme Court declared the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) unconstitutional in November 2013, a modified pork-like system of funneling funds to projects endorsed by lawmakers was born and from it, Vice President Jejomar ‘Jojo’ C. Binay supposedly continued to get his pork share. It is difficult to say, however, how much pork he […]

Pork à la Gloria – ‘Kahindik-hindik’
Pork à la PNoy – ‘Unconscionable’

“KAHINDIK-HINDIK” or horrible in English, was how then Commission on Audit (COA) Chairperson Maria Gracia Pulido-Tan described the corruption in pork that her team of 18 COA Special Audits Office staff and a Technical Audit specialist uncovered when they scrutinized pork-barrel projects supposedly implemented from 2007 to 2009. Part 1: Sidebar: Part 2:  Sidebar:  Part […]

Sidebar, Part 1

The modus of pork crooks

CORRUPTION, an apparent eternal scourge of Philippine government and politics, is firmly entrenched in many public agencies.It thrives often in secret, but its murky methods are the known tools of trade of crooks, big and small. They include the authors and architects – the big fish who conceive and command it, and draw the largest […]

Pols, polls & the ties that bind:

‘Candidates’ to Comelec chairs

FILIPINOS CHOOSE the people who will run their government through elections. Yet they do not hold the power to choose who will run the elections. That authority rests on the President, who appoints the chairperson and six commissioners of the Commission on Elections. For the appointment to be binding, however, a confirmation from the Commission […]

Your Honor, Your Horror?

HE WOULD have long left his post at the Commission on Elections by the time Filipinos cast their ballots in the 2016 elections. But chances are some of Sixto S. Brillantes Jr.’s actions as Comelec chief would still be felt by voters even then.For instance, three days before he retired last Jan. 30, Brillantes signed […]


‘Candidates’ to lead COA?

BEING CHIEF bean counter may not sound that impressive, and the probability of going against countless politicians could be daunting. Yet the job of leading the 9,000 personnel under the Commission on Audit is crucial enough to merit a close scrutiny of the big names that have been floated as possible successors to outgoing COA […]


COA under Grace

SHE IS the first female head of the Commission on Audit, but that will not be the only distinction Maria Gracia Pulido-Tan will be remembered for after her term of office lapses tomorrow. Indeed, she will leave behind a trail of groundbreaking reforms in the government’s premier audit institution, even though she was its chief […]


Backstory: The COA Chairs

THE PHILIPPINES has had seven chairpersons for the Commission on Audit (COA) since 1986. Yet while they have wound up being named respondents in court cases, most of these chairpersons have not been as well-known as other leaders of agencies in charge of the budget.COA exercises the role of making sure that public funds are […]

Vacant chairs, vacuous search

Who should head COA, Comelec, CSC, CHR?

A SILENT EMERGENCY is unfolding, a portent of a likely crisis of integrity should President Benigno S. Aquino III fail to act swiftly and well: Four Constitutional Commissions with mandate and power to run after crooks and foster good governance will become headless entities starting today and until May 2015. And unless Aquino acts soon to appoint the most qualified for the job, drift and inertia could ensue in these agencies, partisan politics could override his choices, and his “Daang Matuwid” reforms could head off to disrepair or reversal.

The Government and Yolanda:

A lot of money, impact too little too late

AS DONATIONS continue to pour in from both local and foreign individuals and institutions for post-Yolanda recovery and rehabilitation efforts, the Philippine government has also loosened its purse strings and released funds to aid the typhoon-struck communities.

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