His own man

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THE claim that it’s not Benigno Aquino III who really wants to keep the pork barrel system intact, either by renaming it or by insisting that discretionary funds are not part of it, is straight out of the Marcos period.

Then it was Imelda Marcos who was being accused of all the terrible things Marcos was doing. Today, so some Aquinophiles argue, it’s either the Liberal Party, Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, Jr., Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II , or all of them together who want to preserve the pork barrel system.

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What’s in a name?

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AS SOME congressmen have argued, not necessarily because they themselves benefit from it, pork barrel funds have been known to help far-flung communities, even if it’s only in the form of a basketball court, a bridge, a road, or a barangay hall.

Some pork barrel-built roads do lead to nowhere, and pork barrel-built barangay halls have been known to leak like sieves when it rains. But that isn’t always the case. The chances are one can find, somewhere in the length and breadth of this archipelago, roads that do start and end somewhere, and barangay halls that have been known to adequately shelter community residents when it doesn’t only rain, but pours.

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