‘Pork’ galaxy: Revilla, Enrile, Estrada, Napoles shine brightest
Legislator network and detected communities. (Note: Zoom in to explore the network)
MANILA, Philippines — If we were to plot lawmakers and non-government organizations (NGOs) into a galaxy-like map, based on which group received whose Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and how much, the solar system of Janet Lim-Napoles-linked NGOs and lawmakers would shine brightest.
That was what a Physics professor from the University of the Philippines more or less did, using network analysis, technology and the Commission on Audit 2007 to 2009 special report on PDAF releases.
Professor Giovanni Tapang and his students recently came out with their most-telling visualization of the PDAF trail by including the amount of transactions in the combined network of lawmakers and NGOs.
The result was a galaxy-like network of seven or more solar systems or communities, the brightest and largest of which was composed of Napoles-linked NGOs, Senators Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., Juan Ponce Enrile and Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada.
To explore the galaxy, shown as an interactive graph, one must simply mouse over and zoom in using the scroll function. Clicking on the nodes or dots representing lawmakers or NGOs would reveal data on the right side of the screen.
In September, Inquirer featured the first part of the study by Tapang, Pamela Anne Pasion and Gabriel Dominik Sison, which listed the most “influential” and connected lawmakers and NGOs.
Network analysis, which involves computer science, mathematics and sociology, has also been utilized for mapping crime rings or terrorist networks.
The data used is known to the public but Tapang said network analysis was able to convey the numbers in a simple form of visualization that was easier for the people to understand.
“The network parameters of the graph in Figure 3 are more accessible to the ordinary reader than the first two figures (published in September),” the study said.
Who shines brightest
The new graph “shows the flow of money in the combined network of legislators and NGOs… The size of the [dots] is proportional to the total amount that the legislator gave or the total amount that an NGO received,” Tapang said.
From afar, the visual shows a galaxy-like map with around seven inter-connected and color-coded networks.
The biggest dots, like the central suns of a solar system, would be the lawmaker or NGO that donated or received the biggest amounts of PDAF.
The map reveals that the biggest network, with the largest PDAF transactions, was linked to the alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Napoles which contains 18 percent of the combined number of lawmakers and NGOs.
The “brightest stars” in this network would be Senators Revilla, Enrile and Estrada; and Napoles-linked NGOs Social Development Program for Farmers Foundation Inc. (SDPFFI), Masaganang Ani Para sa Magsasaka Foundation, Inc (Mamfi), and Pangkabuhayan Foundation (Pang-FI).
Other large “stars” found in other networks are Kabuhayan at Kalusugan Alay sa Masa Foundation. Inc. (KKAMFI) and Aaron Foundation Philipppines,Inc. (AFPI).
KKAMFI leads the second largest community with 15.44 percent of the units and AFPI in the third largest composed of 12.13 percent.
Based on the study, those who donated or received the most amount of PDAF are (in descending order):
1. Social Development Program for Farmers Foundations. Inc. (SDPFFI)
2. Kabuhayan at Kalusugan Alay sa Masa Foundation. Inc. (KKAMFI)
3. Aaron Foundation Philipppines,Inc. (AFPI)
4. Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr.
5. Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Ejercito Estrada
6. Masaganang Ani Para sa Magsasaka Foundation. Inc. (MAMFI)
7. Senator Juan Ponce Enrile
8. Pangkabuhayan Foundation. Inc. (Pang-FI)
9. Farmerbusiness Development Corp (FDC)
10. Countrywide Agri and Rural Economic Development (CARED) Foundation. Inc
11. Former Surigao del Sur Representative Philip A. Pichay
12. Dr. Rodolfo A. Ignacio. Sr. Foundation. Inc. (DRAISFI)
13. Masaganang mga Bukirin Foundation. Inc. (MBFI)
14. Former Senator Edgardo J. Angara
15. Agri & Economic Program for Farmers Foundation. Inc. (AEPFFI)
16. Kaloocan Assistance Council. Inc. (KACI)
17. ITO NA Movement Foundation. Inc. (ITO NA MI)
18. Philippine Social Development Foundation. Inc. (PSDFI)
19. Malabon-Navotas Representative Alvin S. Sandoval
20. Kagandahan ng Kapaligiran Foundation. Inc. (KKFI)
Tapang said their paper was still a work in progress and was just “a sample of the things we can do with the network representation of the PDAF releases.”
“Deeper knowledge about Congress and the interlocking directorships of the NGOs would also be extremely helpful in further analysis…Nevertheless, these tools allow the average Filipino to glean information readily as opposed to tables and documents, helping them better participate in the process of democracy,” the study said.
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