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20 political clans control billions of pesos in pork barrel, gov't funds

A senator is entitled to P200 million in pork barrel, a congressman P70 million. Provincial governors and city and municipal mayors have access to the Internal Revenue Allotment, the local governments’ share from national taxes collected.

Many political families whose members hold national and local posts thus can lay their hands on billions of pesos in taxpayers’ money.

Twenty political families with many incumbent government officials elected last May have in their influence a total of close to P20 billion for this year.

Table 1

Political Family Aggregate Public
Funds (2007)
Marañon 1,526,581,759
Plaza 1,326,920,290
Garcia 1,306,275,367
Garin-Cari-Petilla 1,200,519,783
Espino 1,223,772,084
Zubiri 1,105,134,555
Maliksi 1,061,465,915
Marcos-Romualdez 1,039,897,452
Reyes 1,005,609,583
Umali 975,493,111
Tupas 951,831,156
Ynares 896,385,752
Villafuerte 881,888,594
Antonio 837,398,052
Durano 808,082,782
Villar 746,849,209
Ortega 702,016,025
Yap 679,293,550
Salceda 672,986,098
Angara 600,308,083
Total 19,548,709,200

At least nine families have access and influence over more than P1 billion each in government funds for 2007 alone – the Marañons of Negros Occidental (P1.5 billion), the Plazas of Agusan del Sur (P1.3 billion), the Garcias of Cebu (1.3 billion), the Garin-Cari-Petilla clan of Iloilo and Leyte (P1.2 billion), the Espinos of Pangasinan (P1.2 billion), the Zubiris of Bukidnon (P1.1 billion), the Maliksis of Cavite, the Marcos-Romualdez clan of Ilocos Norte, Leyte and Navotas and the Reyeses of Palawan (more than P1 billion each).

Table 2.

Clan Member Public Funds Amount
Rep. Rodolfo Rodrigo Plaza (Agusan del Sur, Lone District) PDAF/DPWH Fund 70,000,000
Gov. Maria Valentina Plaza Cornelio (Agusan del Sur) IRA 652,178,534
Mayor Democrito Plaza II (Butuan City, Agusan del Norte) IRA 562,731,289
Mayor Glenn Plaza (Santa Josefa, Agusan del Sur) IRA 42,010,467
  Total 1,326,920,290
Clan Member Public Funds Amount
Rep. Janette Garin (Iloilo, First District) PDAF/DPWH Fund 70,000,000
Rep. Carmen Cari (Leyte, Fifth District) PDAF/DPWH Fund 70,000,000
Gov. Carlos Jerico Petilla (Leyte) IRA 882,989,945
Mayor Michael Cari (Baybay, Leyte) IRA 94,059,442
Mayor Christine Garin (Guimbal, Iloilo) IRA 31,007,786
Mayor Nimfa Garin (San Joaquin, Iloilo) IRA 52,462,610
  Total 1,200,519,783
Clan Member Public Funds Amount
Rep. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (Ilocos Norte, Second District) PDAF/DPWH Fund 70,000,000
Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez (Leyte, First District) PDAF/DPWH Fund 70,000,000
Gov. Michael Keon (Ilocos Norte) IRA 439,806,849
Mayor Alfred Romualdez (Tacloban City) IRA 299,571,803
Mayor Tobias Tiangco (Navotas) IRA 160,518,800
  Total 1,039,897,452
Clan Member Public Funds Amount
Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri PDAF/DPWH Fund 200,000,000
Rep. Jose Ma. Zubiri III (Bukidnon, 3rd District) PDAF/DPWH Fund 70,000,000
Gov. Jose Ma. Zubiri Jr. (Bukidnon) IRA 835,134,555
  Total 1,105,134,555
Clan Member Public Funds Amount
Rep. Pablo Garcia (2nd District, Cebu) PDAF/DPWH Fund 70,000,000
Rep. Pablo John Garcia (3rd District, Cebu) PDAF/DPWH Fund 70,000,000
Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia (Cebu) IRA 1,166,275,367
  Total 1,306,275,367
Clan Member Public Funds Amount
Rep. Alfredo Marañon III (Negros Occidental, 2nd District) PDAF/DPWH Fund 70,000,000
Gov. Joseph Marañon (Negros Occidental) IRA 1,161,305,424
Mayor Alfredo Marañon Jr. (Sagay City, Negros Occidental) IRA 295,276,335
  Total 1,526,581,759
Clan Member Public Funds Amount
Gov. Amado Espino Jr. (Pangasinan) IRA 1,193,685,084
Mayor Amado Espino III (Bautista, Pangasinan) IRA 30,087,000
  Total 1,223,772,084
Clan Member Public Funds Amount
Gov. Erineo Maliksi (Cavite) IRA 922,035,593
Mayor Emmanuel Maliksi (Imus, Cavite) IRA 139,430,322
  Total 1,061,465,915
Clan Member Public Funds Amount
Gov. Mario Joel T. Reyes (Palawan) IRA 940,373,213
Mayor Mario T. Reyes, Jr. (Coron, Palawan) IRA 65,236,370
  Total 1,005,609,583

Nine political families have members in both the Senate and House of Representatives. Because of this, they have in their discretion P2.7 billion in pork barrel for this year alone. The term of office of senators is six years; they shall not serve for more than 2 consecutive terms. Congressmen are elected every three years, each should not serve more than three terms.

Table 3.

Clan/Members Pork Allotment
Sen. Edgardo Angara 200,000,000
Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara (Lone District, Aurora) 70,000,000
Sen. Benigno Simeon “Noynoy" Aquino III 200,000,000
Rep. Jeci A. Lapus (3rd District, Tarlac) 70,000,000
Sen. Rodolfo Biazon 200,000,000
Rozzano Rufino “Ruffy" Biazon (Lone District, Muntinlupa City) 70,000,000
Sen. Pia Juliana Cayetano 200,000,000
Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano 200,000,000
Rep. Ma. Laarni Cayetano (First Councilor District, Taguig City-Pateros) 70,000,000
Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago 200,000,000
Rep. Matias Defensor (3rd District, Quezon City) 70,000,000
Rep. Arthur Defensor (3rd District, Iloilo) 70,000,000
Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile 200,000,000
Rep. Salvacion S. Ponce Enrile (1st District, Cagayan) 70,000,000
Sen. Francis Joseph Escudero 200,000,000
Rep. Salvador Escudero III (1st District, Sorsogon) 70,000,000
Sen. Manuel “Manny" Villar 200,000,000
Rep. Cynthia Villar (Lone District, Las Piñas City) 70,000,000
Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri 200,000,000
Rep. Jose Ma. Zubiri III (3rd District, Bukidnon) 70,000,000
TOTAL 2,700,000,000

The legislators assign their pork barrel to their favorite projects. Some senators and congressmen, however, do not use up the entire amount they are entitled to.

Many clan-member senators, who have national constituency, gave their pork to their hometown that is also governed by a relative.

Clan Member PDAF (2004) DPWH (2004) PDAF (2005)
Sen. Edgardo Angara 22,780,000
(out of 80,000,000)
(out of 120,000,000)
(out of 60,000,000)
TOTAL PDAF + DPWH 260,000,000
TOTAL allotment (Aurora) 75,990,000

Clan Member PDAF (2003) DPWH (2003) DPWH (2005)
Sen. Rodolfo Biazon 500,000
(out of 79,550,000)
(out of 120,450,000)
(out of 60,000,000)
TOTAL PDAF + DPWH 260,000,000
TOTAL allotment (Muntinlupa City) 95,200,000

Clan Member PDAF (2004) PDAF (2005)
Sen. Pia Juliana Cayetano 2,400,000
(out of 40,000,000)
(out of 30,000,000)
TOTAL PDAF 70,000,000
TOTAL allotment (Taguig-Pateros) 3,600,000

Clan Member Dpwh (2004)
Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago 15,700,000 (Out of 60,000,000)
TOTAL DPWH 60,000,000
TOTAL allotment (Iloilo) 15,700,000

Clan Member PDAF (2004) PDAF (2005 )  
Sen. Jinggoy Ejercito - Estrada 1,500,000
(out of 40,000,000)
(out of 60,000,000)
TOTAL PDAF 100,000,000
TOTAL ALLOTMENT (San Juan) 3,600,000
Sen. Loi Ejercito - Estrada PDAF (2003) PDAF (2005)  
(out of 53,500,000)
(out of 60,000,000)
TOTAL PDAF 113,500,000
TOTAL ALLOTMENT (San Juan) 6,000,000

Clan Member PDAF (2005)
Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile 4,000,000
(out of 60,000,000)
TOTAL PDAF 60,000,000
TOTAL allotment (Cagayan) 4,000,000

Clan Member DPWH (2004) PDAF (2005) DPWH (2005)
Sen. Ramon "Bong" Revilla, Jr. 20,000,000
(out of 60,000,000)
(out of 45,000,000)
(out of 75,000,000)
TOTAL PDAF + DPWH 180,000,000
TOTAL allotment (Cavite) 41,000,000

Clan Member DPWH (2003) PDAF (2004) DPWH (2004)
Sen. Manuel "Manny" Villar 37,000,000
(out of 120,000,000)
(out of 82,000,000)
(out of 60,000,000)
TOTAL PDAF + DPWH 262,000,000
TOTAL allotment (Las Piñas) 113,500,000

Sen. Manuel Villar used more than 43 percent of his DPWH funds and PDAF in 2003 and 2004 to aid projects in Las Piñas City. His wife Cynthia is the lone district representative of the city; brother-in-law Vergel is the mayor and several other relatives were councilors.

Sen. Rodolfo Biazon alloted all his DPWH Fund-financed projects—worth almost P60 million--in Metro Manila to Muntinlupa City, where son Rozzano Rufino was congressman.

Most local government units, on the other hand, are entirely dependent on the IRA to finance their operations and services. An audit ensures whether these funds go to the salaries of government employees and maintenance expenses.

But Prof. Leonor Briones of the UP National College of Public Administration and Governance noted that powerful clans can still call the shots when it comes to expenditures such as those on health and education.

“The hanky-panky depends on how powerful they are… Total control by a dynasty is more possible in very remote areas like the Dinagat Islands or Masbate or Maguindanao," says Briones, former national treasurer.

When all, or most, of the top posts in a province is held by a single family, check-and-balance in governance may be close to nil. Briones notes that political families who control the city or municipal council, or the provincial board can easily pass laws in their favor, be it the construction of a road leading to the clan’s hacienda or funds to a school in honor of a clan member or a foundation managed by the family.

In contrast, areas where there is an active civil society or a very strong opposition, the LGU would be forced to shape up.

“So it depends on the level of transparency of the LGU. If you have an opposition council, makikita ang anomalya. The more strong the civil society, the stronger the institution," Briones said.

But certain political families managed to keep up with the changing times. “There are so-called dynasties where younger ones are professionals, highly educated. They are not blatant. Mas subtle, hindi garapalan," Briones says.

Then there are political families who are widely accepted by their constituents such as the Angaras of Aurora. “People there (Aurora) can say malaki ang improvement, so it can also be positive," Briones says. --with reports from Allan Vallarta and Mary Ann Señir