The fundamental constitutional duties of congressmen and senators are legislation, congressional oversight, appropriations, state policy formulation, investigation in aid of legislation, and development of the national consciousness on current issues and controversies through collegial deliberations and democratic consultations with the sovereign people.
The legislators malevolently exceed their constitutional boundaries when they meddle, directly or indirectly, in the executive functions of public works, construction, public utilities, and project planning and implementation.
The pork barrel tradition in Congress -- disguised as rural/countryside development funds, "congressional insertions" during the deliberations on the proposed national budget, suggested "hard and soft projects" of all sorts, and the like -- constitutes grave abuse of the "power of the purse" of Congress.
It weakens the constitutional principle of separation of powers of the three independent branches of government.
The corruption that the pork barrel system breeds rots from within the very foundation of our free society.
The ultimate victims of the pork barrel system are the sovereign people and the republic itself.
It impoverishes the poor and the middle class.
It perpetuates the political dynasties of aristocratic feudal warlords and trapos.
It feeds crony capitalism to subjugate the free market economy.
It exacerbates the comatose status of our ailing society.
It kills democracy and the rule of law.
The pork barrel system is an evil that is impossible to eradicate because it is an open criminal conspiracy between the powerful Executive and Legislative branches of government that the nation seems to tolerate.
Manuel J. Laserna Jr.