PolWonk is a conjugation of three words policy, political and wonk which, in various aspects have been associated with the career and training she had over the years. PolWonk sums up her interests and advocacies. It is a weekly column, appearing every Fridays, in The Lobbyist

PolWonk is a conjugation of three words policy, political and wonk which, in various aspects have been associated with the career and training she had over the years. PolWonk sums up her interests and advocacies. It is a weekly column, appearing every Fridays, in The Lobbyist.
 

Three years and then some, we have accepted that substandard is the norm in public service. From the bunkhouses to the “burned out” Cabinet, to the critics making a living from being critical to the need to rest. When it used to be the best and the brightest served government, today, we have barkada lording it over technocrats simply because proximity to power is the virtue some people in this administration requires.

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When there is no closure yet on the so-called faked Special Allotment Release Orders (SAROs), the Php879 million farm-to-market roads with bogus signatures and PDAF releases from 2010 to 2013 have not been fully reviewed by Commission on Audit (COA) and the Department of Justice cherry picking on whom to persecute, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) is at it again, sweeping the dirt under the rug.

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When two former Supreme Court Chief Justices formally take a position and make the same public then something is truly screwed in our beloved Philippines.  And when a president says “taking this into account, such projects by the legislators made up a mere 9 percent of the program. Why, then, is the DAP being made an issue?" then one gets the impression that the one hand does not know what the other is doing. Truly sad for the son of Democracy's icon and the Partido Liberal who I thought would be a lot better as a party-in-governance.

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Boston, MA -- I was so impressed with the JFK Library and Museum that it practically defined my New England trip with former colleagues from the office of then Sen. Rene Saguisag. The JFK library by Boston harbor and the richness of its collection left me totally awed by JFK, his family, RFK and Jackie as well as their kids. We stayed for hours thereby requiring another trip someday to Boston to visit another Ivy League.

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New York -- 2016 is 31 months away. Immediately after 2013 a clearing operation was made and continuous to be so up to today. Dismantled in the process, depending on one's political affiliation, is the noted "opposition's" Three Kings save for one who was tentatively been sidelined. It would have been attack season for the Vice President immediately after 2013 as some operatives have intimated but was tentatively set aside because of the PDAF which got Revilla, Estrada and Enrile on the deck. Binay would have been a tactical delay because of the easy victory of Nancy. Besides the VP expressed his total and continuing support to the Chief so operators had to backed out, for a while.

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Washington D.C. -- By the time this gets printed, the federal government will probably be shutdown since the U.S. budget didn't pass. The first after 17 years. A continuing resolution was issued by the House but the Senate will be back only Monday afternoon. The interesting quid pro quo happened, budget or Obamacare was the proposition considered. Obamacare is already a law but Republicans would want to defer, if not totally scrap it. The next best wedge is the federal budget and last minute backroom negotiations may not result in a bipartisan consensus. Shutdown begins Monday (September 30) midnight.

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A lot has been said about pork barrel since we discovered Napoles. Some armchair analysts have called for its abolition and putting the blame solely on members of Congress for ghost deliveries and kickbacks. I won’t go into that because congressmen can very well defend themselves. But presidential pork is not pork is again erroneous. The operative term is discretionary.

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A lot of political analysts these days are saying pork is unique to the Philippines. This is not true. All legislative bodies have theirs. Pork in other territories is known as earmarks, entitlements, political promise making, contracts, economic arrangements, etc.

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I spent almost 10 years in Philippine Congress (both chambers) as a congressional staff and I have always been a student of legislatures. I know a lot of people will raise their brows but I will go on a limb for the institution and not the persons occupying the 16th today.

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IT was all heart that got Gilas Pilipinas to beat South Korea in a game that truly mattered for basketball pride and honor of the nation. We were united for a moment, shouting our lungs out to egg our team to gain back their composure with the injury of naturalized center Marcus Douthit. With Douthit riding the bench, it was an all-Filipino five that engineered the return to center stage for a team created, molded and nurtured by a man called MVP and a bench tactician named Chot. It was championship caliber play Saturday night with an 86-79 victory. More than anything, it was personal for every Filipino in the SMX Arena for we have not beaten South Korea for that long. Defeating South Korea ensured our ticket to Spain for the FIBA World Championships.

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IT was all heart that got Gilas Pilipinas to beat South Korea in a game that truly mattered for basketball pride and honor of the nation. We were united for a moment, shouting our lungs out to egg our team to gain back their composure with the injury of naturalized center Marcus Douthit. With Douthit riding the bench, it was an all-Filipino five that engineered the return to center stage for a team created, molded and nurtured by a man called MVP and a bench tactician named Chot. It was championship caliber play Saturday night with an 86-79 victory. More than anything, it was personal for every Filipino in the SMX Arena for we have not beaten South Korea for that long. Defeating South Korea ensured our ticket to Spain for the FIBA World Championships.

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Impairing dissent, we could end up a nation of whistleblowers and that is the way the Arroyo Administration was from crisis to crisis. When it is because of whistleblowers that we get to know the rottenness of a system, we just might end up with Wikileaks and have the Snowden effect to ensure accountability and transparency, the twin goals of Tuwid na Daan.

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