US House of Congress, Washington, D.C.
There are similarities and differences between the US congress so called "Leadership PACs"(political action committees)funds and the Philippines legislators Pork Barrel funds (PB) as reported in the CBS 60 Minutes show last Sunday. Simply stated both US and Filipino legislators are corrupt and the PAC and PB funds are sources of corruption for both US and Philippines legislators.
Steve Kroft, CBS reporter and News Senior Editor-at-Large Peter Schweizer revealed how leadership PAC loopholes had allowed members of Congress convert campaign cash into lavish lifestyle upgrades for themselves and their family members. This is similar to what the Filipinos legislators are doing and have done based on the Janet Napoles and Senate Investigations of the Pork Barrel scandal in the Philippines.
Mr. Schweizer says “It's another example, unfortunately, where the rules that apply to the rest of us, don't really apply to the members of Congress,” This is identical to what is happening in the Philippines also today.
There is a forthcoming book titled Extortion: How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes, and Line Their Own Pockets, and authored by Schweizer. The book will reveal an embarrassing and outlandish instances of cronyism and self-enrichment by members of US Congress. I am looking forward to read this book.
The funds from leadership PACs are supposed to go to help elect fellow members of one’s own political party, but lax campaign laws allow lawmakers to turn their leadership PACs money into private slush funds to fund just about anything. This is exactly what has happened of the Pork Barrel Funds in the Philippines for the last 5 years. In the case of the US funds it is not illegal, but misappropriations of pork barrel funds in the Philippines is not legal and punishable by either impeachment, fines or imprisonment.
This shows that if a person or persons are given enough power, there is a tendency for abuse. Should our Filipino legislators feel less guilty of their misdeeds knowing that they are not the only corrupt legislators in this Planet Earth? I hope not!
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