SC ruling on PDAF a 'political Yolanda'

by Lynda Jumilla, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 19 2013 11:52 PM | Updated as of Nov 20 2013 09:05 AM

MANILA - A "political Yolanda" is how some analysts view the Supreme Court's decision to junk the pork barrel system, with President Aquino being a victim as he could lose a lot of his control and influence over Congress.

In the Philippines and in other countries, the pork barrel system is widely seen as a tool for a President to wield control and influence over Congress.

With the Supreme Court's decision to declare the pork barrel system unconstitutional, analysts believe the President's way of doing business with Congress is about to change.

"Sa tingin ko, ang decision ng Supreme Court, masasabi mong 'political Yolanda' kasi it shakes the institutions both the executive and legislative branches," said Malou Tiquia, a political analyst and consultant.

Tiquia believes Aquino may have difficulty pushing for certain measures or blocking certain moves in Congress without the proverbial carrot in the form of congressional pork.

"Kung wala yung pork barrel mapipilitan kang mag-wield ng control through the party system. But the party system in the country is soft, walang discipline," she said.

"Kung wala kang carrot and stick, walang susunod sa iyo, so napakahirap especially with the disaster we have," she added.

Professor Prospero de Vera of the UP National College of Public Administration and Governance said the President will have to rethink how to get the cooperation of lawmakers.

"He cannot rely anymore on just simply getting votes by way of PDAF. That's the biggest change," he said.

Despite losing the pork barrel, suffering a hit in survey ratings, and entering the last two years of his term, Aquino is by no means a lameduck president, de Vera said.

"Hindi pa naman because you can look at this issue of the PDAF, the DAP, and even Yolanda as opportunities for the President to shine," he said.

He said what Aquino needs to do is be a decisive leader -- one who builds consensus and produces results. - ANC