Julius Babao calls for transparency and limitation on the use of pork barrel

IMAGE Noel Orsal


Like many Filipinos these days, Julius Babao is calling for reform on the rules regarding the use of pork barrel. “Parang, I really feel, I’m very vocal about this, na masyadong malaki yun.”


Julius Babao—a seasoned newsman known for his no-nonsense, nitty-gritty exposés—reveals there's more to him than meets the eye.

In a recent interview with PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) at the launch of ABS-CBN's new lineup of afternoon News and Current Affairs shows, the Bandila anchor and Bistado host related his dedication to his job.

As a broadcast journalist, he always makes sure that his reports are fair and just for all persons concerned.

“Nag-e-exert kami ng effort para kunin yung side nila.

“So, sabi namin, ‘Bibigyan namin kayo ng chance na magsalita... Ano ho ba nangyari? Punta po kayo sa office kung gusto niyo magreklamo. Bukas po ang tanggapan namin.’”

PUBLIC SERVICE. Julius' name has been attached to public service by way of exposing various forms of abuse committed by persons with authority.

The work puts him in a dangerous position, but he says, “Sa totoo lang, hindi pa ako nakakatanggap ng major na death threat kasi sa tingin ko, I’ve always been fair naman sa mga ine-expose ko, e.”

He also makes sure that he keeps his family safe while doing all this.

“Nag-iingat ako. Pamilyadong tao ako. Inaalagaan ko siyempre yung security ng pamilya ko.”

Husband to fellow newscaster Christine Bersola-Babao, and father to daughter Antonia and son Antonio, he adds, “Siyempre, hindi maaalis minsan na kinakabahan siya [Christine].

“Pero, ganun talaga, e. Yun yung trabahong binigay sa akin.”

FULFILLED. Despite his several television and radio shows, and his numerous awards, he keeps his feet firmly planted on the ground.

He says that helping to solve problems gives him a deep sencse of fulfillment.

“Natutulungan ko yung mga tao.

“Once na narinig ko na yung kuwento nila na ang laking bagay na na-solve na yung kanilang ang tagal-tagal na problema, taon na yung binibilang, na-solve namin in one episode, napakalaking bagay na nun.”

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He adds, “Basta, honest to goodness.

"Pero sa totoo lang, masarap tumulong, e.”

POLITICS. Julius is passionate about serving the public. Does he plan to enter politics?

“Alam mo, minsan kasi yung trabaho namin parang… In a way, medyo nauugnay din sa politics, kasi tumutulong ka," he says.

But Julius clarified that he prefers to be a broadcast journalist for now.

He admits, however, that he may be able to help better if he were in a position of authority.

“Although sometimes, I get frustrated na sabi ko, ‘Ang laking pera nito [pork barrel]. Ang laki ng maitutulong nito sa mga tao. Ang dami nang mabubuhay dito na mga tao. Mga may sakit, mapapagamot mo.’”

He does give credit to public officials who take public service to heart.

“But in fairness naman to that, marami din namang mga mambabatas na tumutulong talaga. Nagagamit nila yung pork barrel sa tama.

“Parang, I really feel, I’m very vocal about this, na masyadong malaki yun.”

Regarding the hot issue of pork barrel allocations, or Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), he believes it should be “transparent at i-lessen.”

“Sa akin, pinagtiwalaan ka ng tao, e. Pera nila yan.”

Julius Babao remains headstrong in actualizing ABS-CBN’s motto, “Of service to the Filipino people”.


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