Even before the million people march that happened August 26th, online group ‘Anonymous Philippines” has successfully marred at least 32 government websites by Sunday morning.
Despite President Benigno Aquino III’s announcement last Friday about the abolition of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or Pork Barrel of lawmakers, Anonymous Philippines fear that PDAF will just take on a new name and will remain to be shamelessly pocketed by ill-mannered legislators.
On the hacked sites, the group posted:
“Everyone should see. We appreciate the fact that you have now responded to the public clamor to abolish the PDAF. However, the alternative package of still allowing the Congressmen and Senators to identify sponsored projects to be funded, albeit as line items in the annual budget, continues to leave MONEY with grasp of conniving and corrupt public officials… In effect, this merely shifted the time-frame upon when these projects are identified and approved. Therefore, the PORK BARREL REMAINS! We pursue our call for you to completely abolish the Pork barrel system!”
President Aquino refuses to get rid of his Presidential Social Fund, which in essence is his own Pork Barrel. Last year, his social fund amounted to a total of PhP 24.8 billion, almost as much as the combined pork barrel of all the congressmen and senators in the Philippines. Meanwhile, Vice President Jejomar Binay is open to the removal of his office’s social fund worth PhP 200 million.
In 2000, after a shocking expose about the adamant corruption in the House of Representatives, the then known Countrywide Development Fund (CDF) was said to be reformed and given the name “PDAF”. Its name may have changed, but its ill fate remained — crooked politicians keeping as much as 60% of the PDAF for themselves, according to whistleblowers as supported by the unaccounted amounts reported by the Commission on Audit.
According to the Anonymous Philippine Cyber Army, the government sites they hacked include:
With report from Louis Bacani