MANILA, Philippines - Former Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno argues the administration can actually cut pork as soon as possible if it wants to.
According to Diokno, since the President has the power to hold or release the pork barrel, then he can withhold the remainder of the allotted pork barrel for all legislators, citing the enormous public uproar against the PDAF.
When asked if this won't alienate the President from his political allies in Congress, Diokno said: "You cannot go against the sentiment of the people... Babango pa siya sa tao... And it will strengthen political institutions."
Diokno also proposed that the President move his discretionary funds to the general fund that will be scrutinized by Congress.
According to Diokno, the enormous Malampaya fund, PCSO fund, Social fund, Pagcor fund should be put in the general fund and Congress must approve all projects that will be funded by it.
"A power hungry President will not give it up but that's vintage Marcos rule, kaya nga tayo nagdemokrasya e," Diokno said.
President Benigno Aquino III on Wednesday defended his use of the President's Social Fund (PSF), instructing the Presidential Management Staff to release details of how it is being used since he took office. The PSF has been labeled by critics as the President's version of the pork barrel.