Joint Rally of Ateneo, Miriam College and UP to Abolish All Pork


● Read: Joint statement of the presidents of Ateneo, Miriam College and UP


Diliman, QC


September 11, 2013





Sept. 11, 2013
Krista Melgarejo, UP Student Regent, Katipunan Kontra Korapsyon spokesperson (63.926.645.3953)
Anton Dulce, Media Liaison (63.917.519.7758)

Katipunan schools' students, faculty join forces, calls for abolition of entire pork barrel system

Students, professors, and administrators of the University of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila University, and Miriam College held a joint protest today in front of the latter school to show their solidarity with nationwide protests against the pork barrel system.

They slammed the Aquino administration for what they called a 'pig-headed' refusal to admit the existence of the P1.4 trillion pork barrel, and 'foot-dragging' regarding moves to abolish the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and other components of the pork barrel.

"It is ridiculous that while Filipino students are very much aware of the existence of the so-called 'presidential pork', President Aquino and his cohorts continue to pretend that there is no such thing" said Krista Melgarejo, University of the Philippines Student Regent, and co-convener of Katipunan Kontra Korapsyon (Katipunan Avenue against Corruption), the alliance of the three schools.

The student leader reiterated the definition previously provided by various anti-pork barrel groups as 1) Any 'lump-sum' fund and 2) any fund whose release and usage lies upon the discretion of a single individual. She said that based on such, pork barrel cannot be limited to the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) which will amount to P25 billion next year. Instead, monies such as the Malampaya fund, Special Purpose Funds, and unprogrammed funds will total to at least P1.4 trillion next year.

"The President's refusal to even just admit the existence of presidential pork is unbecoming of an administration which claims it is on a 'Daang Matuwid' and that we ordinary Filipinos are its bosses" added Melgarejo.
Rechannel pork to State Universities

She also expressed disgust at budget cuts which UP and other State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) are facing next year, saying that there are enough funds for education and other social services if only Aquino would abolish his pork barrel.
UP faces its biggest ever slash in history at P1.4 billion. 78 other SUCs will suffer similar fates next year.

“Aquino has no right to tell students that they should just endure budget cuts when he is sitting on hundreds of billions of peso” she said.
Aside from the Katipunan protest, students and faculty members also held their own noise barrages and marches in the following campuses of the UP System: Manila, Baguio, LB, Cebu, Miag-ao (Iloilo), Palo (Leyte) and Mindanao (Davao). ###




JOINT STATEMENT of the Presidents of
Ateneo de Manila, Miriam College and University of the Philippines

11 September 2013

We, the Presidents of the Ateneo de Manila University, Miriam College, and the University of the Philippines, join our faculty, staff and students in their deep concern about, and condemnation of, the misuse of public funds by unscrupulous government officials and their conniving associates. We stand in unity with a keen desire to end the deeply entrenched culture of graft, corruption and patronage in our political system.

We assert that accountability, transparency and other principles of good governance require not only the prudent use of discretionary funds but also the assurance that public funds are used for the genuine needs of our people.

We strongly urge our national leaders from the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government to re-examine their use of discretion in the allocation and use of public funds, to probe into the deeper roots of the pork barrel scam, and to address in particular the culture of corruption that destroys our selves and our communities, especially the poor.

We express our deep gratitude to all those who, driven solely by pure motives and love of country, participated in the “Million People March” all over the country for their courage, vigilance, and leadership in spearheading the new moral revolution against corruption in our country. We join their voices and demands to open all government records for public scrutiny and punish all those involved in the misuse of public funds.

We ask that the institutions tasked by law to ensure accountability in the public service, such as the Ombudsman, Sandiganbayan, Civil Service Commission, Commission on Audit, Department of Justice, and the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, expedite their investigations and immediately file the appropriate cases against public officials involved in corruption. No effort must be spared to ensure that those accountable for these crimes be punished at the soonest possible time.

We support the call for greater re-channeling of public funds to basic social services, particularly education and health care, so that public investments promote inclusive growth and long-term human and social development.

We call on our faculty, staff, students, and respective academic institutions, as well as those of other colleges and universities, to analyze the various issues related to corruption and public accountability, such as the extent of discretion exercised by government officials in the use of public funds, the implementation of projects, the public accounting system, and public budgeting; and to discern from this analysis the solutions that are actionable and sustained. We call on you to mobilize and participate in activities that will allow for greater discussion of accountability, such as classroom discussions, forums, and mass actions.

By these actions, may we, as institutions of higher learning, continue to do justice to the values that we hold dear – “service of a faith that does justice”; “truth, justice and peace”; and “honor and excellence” - in the service of true participation in nation building.

Jose Ramon T. Villarin SJRosario O. Lapus Alfredo E. Pascual
President, AdMU President. Miriam President, UP





September 12, 2013

Press Release

UCCP Bishops insist that all forms of Pork Barrel—barangay to presidential—must be abolished

In a statement released today, UCCP Bishops indicted politicians who have used Pork Barrel for thievery as “no better than Judas” as they labeled Pork Barrel scam a betrayal of the nation.

“We are calling the Christian faithful to action,” said Bishop Elorde Sambat, North Luzon Jurisdictional Area.

“We must do something to stop politicians from using bogus projects for the poor to steal public funds. Judas Iscariot was interested in the same thing during Biblical times,” said Bishop Sambat.

“Just listening to stories from communities makes clear that kick-back scams and Pork Barrel plunder are all too common. We are calling the Filipino people to join us in demanding investigations of all Pork projects. Making individuals and entities responsible for their stealing of public funds will help our nation. Corruption chokes our development,” said Bishop Art Asi, South Luzon Jurisdictional Area.

“We express great concern about the large sums of Presidential Pork. All Pork Barrel should be abolished; it is much too vulnerable to graft and corruption. A budget with billions in discretionary funds is unnecessary risk, especially when so many funds are left to the discretion of one person, namely President Aquino. Having campaigned on the slogan ‘kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap,’ President Aquino should stop resisting the public’s demand to abolish all pork barrel,” said Bishop Asi.

Members and friends of the UCCP held a noise barrage action in Quezon City today urging people to join the FORWARD MARCH LUNETA: ABOLISH PORK BARREL to be held at 3pm tomorrow. The UCCP will be joining an ecumenical service at the Central United Methodist Church, Kalaw Avenue at 1:30pm, before marching to Luneta where an Interfaith service will be conducted.

Similar UCCP noise barrages and public actions were also held in Davao City and other parts of the country.

“Now is the time to demand accountability and transparency from our nation’s leaders. We add our voices to the swelling multitude: ABOLISH PORK BARREL NOW!,” concluded Bishop Sambat. ###

For Reference and Interview:
Bishop Art Asi, 0927-7860922
Bishop Elorde Sambat 0922-806-1320

Press Statement

September 12, 2013

Abuse of the Poor and Betrayal of the Nation
Abolish Pork Barrel and End the Climate of Impunity
A Pastoral Letter

But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?” (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) John 12:4-6, NRSV

The Pork Barrel System has long been the subject of exposé and rumor as a key component of patronage politics and plunder of the Philippine public treasury. Though many have made reference to the stealing of Pork Barrel funds, public outrage ignited by whistleblower Benhur Luy and further inflamed by the Commission on Audit’s report of a 10-Billion Peso JLN-Janet Lim Napoles Pork Barrel Scam is well founded. The burden of generating the national budget is viewed as a collective responsibility: factory workers, rank-and-file office employees and professionals comply with tax deductions in their bring-home pay, and in recent years, each and every one of us pays the 12% Value-Added Tax on every purchase and transaction. The piercing evidence, that billions in public funds have been stolen by corrupt politicians and their cohorts, rightly elicits our anger, disgust, and corrective action.What makes this a double insult to our Christian sensibility is that these funds have been stolen largely under auspices of providing development assistance in poor and needy communities. We have paid a significant portion of our earnings as taxes with an understanding that these monies are utilized to uplift our nation, including efforts toward poverty alleviation for economically poor families. Sadly, our political leaders have proven themselves to be no better than Judas—their pronouncements of the needs of the poor have been merely a façade for their own thievery and abuse of power. Our nation has been betrayed by those stealing from the common purse and we unequivocally denounce that the poor, who continue to endure hunger, demolition, unemployment and underdevelopment, have been abused for such plunder.

In light of this grave abuse and plunder, we, Bishops of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines, call for the Pork Barrel system in all its manifestations—from the barangay to the presidential Pork Barrel—to be abolished. We demand a thorough investigation and prosecution of those who have manipulated and plundered Pork Barrel for personal gain. The prevailing climate of impunity, combined with patronage politics, corrodes and chokes our nation’s advancement. The Filipino people long to be freed from the grips of self-serving greed, and the economically poor, as much as ever, deserve opportunities for genuine development. We call all the faithful to discern God’s summons for Christian action in these critical times. Let us join together in our homes, churches, and even the public parks in decisive and persistent action. Now is the time to demand accountability and transparency from our nation’s leaders. #abolishpork

Bishop Reuel Norman O. Marigza, General Secretary
Bishop Elorde M. Sambat, North Luzon Jurisdictional Area
Bishop Roel P. Mendoza, Middle Luzon Jurisdictional Area
Bishop Arturo R. Asi, South Luzon Jurisdictional Area
Bishop Jaime M. Moriles, West Visayas Jurisdictional Area
Bishop Dulce Pia-Rose, East Visayas Jurisdictional Area
Bishop Melzar D. Labuntog. Northwest Mindanao Jurisdictional Area
Bishop Modesto D. Villasanta, Southeast Mindanao Jurisdictional Area



News Release
Sept. 9, 2013


The largest association of Catholic institutions has endorsed the
Sept. 13 rally at the Luneta for the abolition of the pork barrel

In a memorandum release last Monday, Sept. 9, the Catholic Educational
Association of the Philippines (CEAP) invited its member schools to
participate in this Friday's event dubbed "Forward March to
#abolishpork" at the Luneta, from 3-6 p.m.

Signed by CEAP President and NCR Trustee Fr. Gregorio L. Bañaga, Jr.,
CM, the memorandum says:

"This (Sept. 13) event is a multi-sectoral initiative and will begin
with an Interfaith service. The program will also will feature a
cultural presentation that will discuss the issues of corruption in
the pork barrel system. The event will be an educational venue as the
organizers expect the majority of the participants to come from the
younger generation.

"I hope that you can join in this collective undertaking as Filipinos
continue to pursue truth and genuine accountability. Last August 24,
2013, the CEAP has released a statement entitled “PDAF: Let the Truth
out!.” This statement calls for the abolition of the pork barrel
system and the thorough investigation of the ones involved in the
anomalous use of the funds allotted for PDAF."

Also joining the rally are various congregations under the Association
of Major Religious Superiors of the Phils. (AMRSP) as well as
Protestant churches. The Catholich Bishops Conference of the
Philippines (CBCP) has also called on Catholics to support various
initiatives to abolish the pork barrel system.

The rally is being organized by the #abolishpork Movement which met
last week to coordinate various initiatives for the abolition of the
pork barrel system. In its "Call to Action", #abolishpork said that
despite the widespread public outcry for the abolition of all forms of
pork barrel funds, President Aquino "continues to disregard his
'bosses' and persists in retaining the system of discretionary, lump
sum appropriations for individual members of Congress and the Chief
Executive in the national budget, although with a new mechanism for
its release."

"We demand the abolition of the pork barrel system and the direct
allocation of taxpayers' money and other public funds to public
hospitals, schools, public housing and other social services. We must
remove the discretionary power of individual politicians and
government officials over such funds for greater transparency and
accountability." they declared.

For questions or clarifications, you may get in touch with Victor
Villanueva, spokesperson of Youth Act Now and President of the UST Law
Student Government 0906.3759987; Fr. Marlon Lacal, executive director
of the Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Phils
0926.5076339; Fr. Joe Dizon of Solidarity Philippines 0920.9081994;
Prof. Judy Taguiwalo, co-chairperson of Pagbabago Movement
0916.7829666, Mr. Henri Kahn of the Concerned Citizens Movement
0917.8842589, or Monet Silvestre 0919.4922833.#




A call to action
September 3, 2013

We, ordinary citizens and all taxpayers, are outraged by the shameless plunder and misuse of public funds as so far revealed by the P10 billion Napoles pork barrel scam and COA audits on the congressional pork barrel funds.

We denounce the way the pork barrel system has made a sham of the supposed system of checks and balances between the Executive and Legislative branches of government. We likewise decry how legitimate NGOs have been wrongfully tainted by this wholesale corruption.

Despite the widespread public outcry for the abolition of all forms of pork barrel funds, President Aquino continues to disregard his " bosses" and persists in retaining the system of discretionary, lump sum appropriations for individual members of Congress and the Chief Executive in the national budget, although with a new mechanism for its release.

We demand the abolition of the pork barrel system and the direct allocation of taxpayers' money and other public funds to public hospitals, schools, public housing and other social services. We must remove the discretionary power of individual politicians and government officials over such funds for greater transparency and accountability.

Inspired by our people's dramatic and widespread participation in the August 26 Million People March and guided by its calls, we pledge to keep up the pressure on the government to:
1) Abolish the pork barrel system;
2) Prosecute all the guilty parties including all conniving senators, congressmen, other public officials and bogus NGOs;
3) Allocate pork barrel funds to social services.

These critical demands should be addressed by government with full transparency.

We call on our fellow Filipinos to participate in the various actions and initiatives for this purpose most especially the big protest actions on September 13, 3pm and September 21 at the Luneta.

Together, let us fight for a government of, by and for the people. Let us stand in solidarity and demand justice and accountability: Abolish the pork barrel system now!


Mother Mary John Mananzan OSB, Pagbabago! People’s Movement for Change
Prof. Judy Taguiwalo, Pagbabago! People's Movement for Change
Fr. Marlon Lacal, Association of Major Religious Superiors
Fr. Joe Dizon, Solidarity Philippines
Henri Kahn, Concerned Citizens Movement
Victor Villanueva, Youth Act Now!
Marco Vicencio, Youth Revolt
Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz
Mae Paner, Juana Change Movement
Monet Silvestre
Katrina Stuart-Santiago, radikalchick.com
Tonyo Cruz, tonyocruz.com
Fitz Villafuerte, fitzvillafuerte.com*
Julius Rocas, jrocas.com.ph
Noemi Dado, blogwatch.tv
Sonnie Santos, sonnie.santos.ph*
Inday Espina-Varona, indayvarona.com
Engr. Jun Lozada, NBN-ZTE Deal whistleblower
Sandra Cam, Whistleblowers Association
Col. George Rabusa, AFP whistleblower
Former Navy Lt. Nancy Gadian, AFP whistleblower
Atty. Melchor Magdamo, Comelec whistleblower
Atty. Harry Roque
Prof. Chester Arcilla, University of the Philippines, Manila*
Dr. June P. Lopez, UP College of Medicine*
Prof. Marion J. Tan, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, UP Diliman*
Fr. Bong Sarabia, Adamson University*
Carmen Serina, St. Theresa's College*
Dr. Ramon Paterno, UP College of Medicine*
Wacky Torres, UP Laya Football Club
Sr. Rizalyn Solitario, RMCICM
Fr. Rex Reyes, National Council of Churches in the Philippines
Renato Reyes, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan
Bishop Reuel Norman O. Marigza, United Church of Christ of the Philippines
Bishop Elmer Bolocon, Ecumenical Bishops Forum
Patricia Santos, College Editors Guild of the Philippines
Prof. Sarah Raymundo, UP Faculty for the Abolition of the Pork Barrel System
UP Student Regent Krista Melgarejo, UP Scrap the Pork Alliance
Menchu Sarmiento, BABALA! (Babae Laban sa Katiwalian)
Soc Reyes, BABALA!
Rev. Marie Sol Villalon, Promotion of Church People's Response
Walkie Mirana, Concerned Artists of the Philippines
Edwin dela Torre, Emerging Artists Collective
She Garcia, Quezon Reels People's Media
Rodel J. Abalus, 93.5 Easy Rock Boracay*
Jim Libiran
Diane Zapata, Bikers Against Baboy System (BABS)
Atty. Rey Cortez, National Union of People's Lawyers
Dr. Eleanor Jara, Council for Health and Development
Dr. Dante C. Simbulan, Katarungan-USA
Satur Ocampo, Makabayan Coalition
Noel Cabrera, Kapatiran Party

* For identification purposes only




Joi Barrios-Leblanc,
Bagong Alyansang Makabayan
Women’s Desk

Hindi lamang
ang mukhang baboy
ang baboy.

May baboy na gusto nating malitson,
Habang-buhay na makulong,
Siyang nagparada ng luho at rangya,
At itinago sa kunwang kawanggawa
Ang ugaling masiba.

Ngunit malawak
ang kural at gubat,
At walang pinagkaiba
Ang patabaing biik
Sa baboy-damong mabangis.

Dalawang paalala:
Una, madulas ang nalangisang baboy sa pista.
Huwag hayaang makawala.

Ikalawa, kapag hindi sapat ang pagkakaihaw,
pagkakaprito, o pagkakakagisa,
may mikrobyo ang baboy
na nadadala sa bituka.

Kaya’t mag-ingat.

Alamin, busisiin, suriin,
Ang talinghaga sa paglapat.
Ano, sino nga ba ang dapat mapuksa?
Iyon lang bang mga sakim na hayop
na sanhi ng salot
O ang karneng nakabitin na pabuya
Sa nakatanghod na dukha.

Naghuhugas ng kamay, nagpapalit-anyo
Ang baboy sa bulwagan at palasyo.
Ngunit tayong taumbayan ay nakabantay.
Handang lumaban, handang manindigan.

Minsan na tayong nag-aklas,
Buwitre man, tuko, ahas o baboy,
Sa bawat tunggalian, hindi tayo aatras.








Photo by Dean Roland Tolentino








From: Philippine Society and Revolution by Amado Guerrero


1. The Meaning of Bureaucrat Capitalism

In dominating the Philippines, U.S. imperialism, like its colonial predecessors, found it expedient at the outset to secure the assistance of local traitors. Since it had to accommodate and assimilate the comprador big bourgeoisie and the landlord class to pursue its selfish interests, it considered as its most reliable assistants in colonial administration the political representatives of these exploiting classes. U.S. imperialism sought its first puppet bureaucrats from the ranks of the principalia. It took a special preference for renegades of the Philippine Revolution because these were very useful for scuttling the revolutionary efforts of the people and were too eager to prove their new colonial allegiance and take advantage of the bureaucratic and economic opportunities offered to them.

The pack of counterrevolutionary speculators that had crept into the leadership of the Aguinaldo government was the first group of local politicians to be permitted by U.S. imperialism to organize a political party in the Philippines. Their Partido Federal campaigned for the annexation of the Philippines to the United States. Membership in this traitor party was proof of loyalty to the alien flag and served as a guarantee for gaining appointment to the colonial bureaucracy established by U.S. imperialism.

When the Partido Federal became too discredited and isolated, the U.S. imperialists procured the bureaucratic assistance of the Nacionalista Party and assigned to it the special role of lulling the people with patriotic slogans while servilely performing colonial chores. The class leadership of this new traitor party was no different from that of its predecessor.

The Nacionalista Party was so efficient in its special role of pretending to be for independence and preventing the people from asserting their sovereign rights that it was allowed to dominate puppet politics for quite a long time. After World War II, however, U.S. imperialism saw to it that what was then the most reactionary wing within the Nacionalista Party be converted into another party so as to maintain a two-party system in which one party checks the other to stay within the bounds of a semicolonial and semifeudal society.

In this last quarter of a century, the Nacionalista Party and the Liberal Party have never expressed any basic difference in programme with regard to the basic problems of U.S. imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism. The stalwarts of both parties at every level can shift from one party to the other without having much to account for except in the most superficial terms. These puppet political parties have always been alike as the democratic Party and the Republican Party or Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola are alike.

There is so much muckraking between these two reactionary parties, especially on the issue of graft and corruption. But mutually they avoid bringing up the fundamental issues involving the foreign and feudal domination over the country. What bounds them above all is their servitude to U.S. imperialism and to the local exploiting classes and their pursuit of private wealth. Their differences are at the most factional and cliquish. They are preoccupied with quarrelling over the spoils of colonial office.

The big bureaucrats are characteristically big compradors and big landlords themselves. Contrary to the liberal lie that a ‘‘poor boy can become president,” no one has ever reached the rank of even a congressman without representing the exploiting classes and without in the process joining them. By the time that someone has become president in the present system, he shall have become not only the chief political representative of the exploiters but also one of the biggest among them.

With U.S. imperialism enlarging its interests at the expense of the broad masses of the people, the colonial bureaucrats have become bureaucrat capitalists. They are capitalists by keeping the entire government as a large private enterprise from which they draw enormous private profits. They act like the local managers of the U.S. monopolies. They serve the comprador big bourgeoisie and the landlord class which are their internal material basis. Nevertheless, as distinguished from these two exploiting classes, the bureaucrat capitalists build up or expand their wealth through the exercise of political power. Classic statements to describe their distinctive character have come from their own mouths: “What are we in power for?”, “We must provide for the future of our families!” and “We are all giant octopuses here!”

Through their political parties, the bureaucrat capitalists try to give the masses the false illusion of democratic choice. But these political parties are nothing but the external trappings of compradorlandlord dynasties perpetuating themselves in power. So far, elections have been regularb held in the Philippines but U.S. imperialism and the local exploiting classes have always seen to it that only the political parties and the candidates subservient to their interests are politically permitted and financially capable of running for elective positions in the bureaucracy.

These exploiting interests contribute financially to both sides of an electoral contest to make sure that whichever wins, the forces of counterrevolution win and the broad masses of the people who are misled into the motion of voting lose. Oftentimes, these exploiters give vent to their preferences only by giving more funds to their favorite candidates. The general result is that the reactionary government continues to be their instrument and that the bureaucrat capitalists continue to draw their own profits from the preservation of a semicolonial and semifeudal order.

A party which is in control of government funds and facilities has a great advantage over an opposition party. In addition, it can also dispose at least a clique in the reactionary armed forces for fraud and terrorism. Despite all these, however, such a party that is ostensibly in power can either retain its majority position or be shoved into a minority position in the reactionary government only as U.S. imperialism and the local exploiting classes wish. These superior powers behind the entire puppet state have more disposable funds for electioneering. They are controllers of the most powerful mass media. They can manipulate the levers of their economic and political power to unleash propaganda in favor of their own policies and interests. To put the ruling party in a ridiculous position, all that the U.S. imperialists have to do is to withhold loan capital from the reactionary government or all that the local exploiting classes have to do is to manipulate the prices of prime
commodities. Besides all these tricks, the puppet politicians have to watch out in whose favor the reactionary armed forces are being swung by U.S. imperialism.

During the last 25 years, third parties so-called have been put up. These parties like the Democratic Party led by Carlos P. Romulo and the Progressive Party of the Philippines led by the Manahan-Manglapus gang have served mainly to firm up the puppet and exploitative class character of the two-party system and have merely ensured the granting of concessions to their chieftains. These “third parties” have been used only to tilt the balance in favor of the most reactionary candidates at a given time in the puppet elections. Romulo’s Democratic Party was used to support the Magsaysay candidacy. The Manahan-Manglapus gang has continuously adapted its party to the needs of the C.I.A. and the reactionary diehards in the Catholic Church whose support it enjoys. The Progressive Party of the Philippines became the Grand Alliance in 1959 and launched a campaign for the decontrol policy and went to the extent of threatening the incumbent regime with a coup d’etat. In 1961, the Manglapus- Manahan gang formed the United Opposition with the Liberal Party to ensure the electoral success of the latter with its colonial platform of “free enterprise.” Now the Manglapus-Manahan gang is running the Christian Social Movement. This latest contraption of the C.I.A. and the reactionary diehards in the oldest colonial and feudal institution in the country is intended as before to mislead those who are disgusted with the present political system into counterrevolutionary reformism and clerico-fascism. Its comprador and landlord leaders echo the catchphrases of the discredited Christian Democratic parties of Europe and Latin America.

So far, the only “third party” with some positive aspects emerged in 1957 when the Nationalist- Citizens’ Party was led by Sen. Claro Mayo Recto. It was at best, however, an anti-imperialist mouthpiece of the national bourgeoisie for a short while. It had a dual character. Its failure resulted from its adherence to bourgeois constitutionalism and parliamentarism. In the end, it served only to strengthen the present political system. Now it remains a mere name with which individual opportunists qualify themselves for concessions from the present ruling party.27

2. Sources of Graft and Corruption

Graft and corruption is an integral part of a semicolonial and semifeudal society. The bureaucracy is nothing but an instrument for facilitating the exploitation of the broad masses of the people by foreign and feudal interests. The bureaucrat capitalists merely exact their share in the profits of comprador and landlord exploitation. It is their reward. In dishing out the anachronistic jargon of “liberal democracy” or “free enterprise,” they simply mean to say that private interest (individual freedom of the exploiters) is paramount to public interest.

The entire hierarchy of the Philippine bureaucracy, including the executive, legislative and judicial branches, from the time of Quezon and Osmena to that of Macapagal and Marcos, has always been ridden with graft and corruption. One has only to take note of how much property a certain bureaucrat capitalist has at the start of his treacherous career and compare it with his visible assets that accumulate from year to year to be convinced of the enormity of graft and corruption and how detestably rotten the present system is.

In the guise of collecting support for their political parties, the bureaucrat capitalists get funds and facilities from their imperialist, comprador and landlord masters. Even before winning the elections or even in losing out to their opponents, they become wealthy on account of the large campaign contributions that they get. In return for the largesse that they collect, they become bound to the class interests of their supporters.

The bureaucrat capitalists get bribe money on the adoption of laws, executive orders and court decisions. In every contract, concession, franchise or license there is a certain amount of money that is used to line the pockets of the bureaucrat capitalists. Oftentimes, they themselves are parties in private transactions directly or through trusted dummies or relatives. It is characteristic of bureaucrat capitalists today to flaunt their status as chairmen, consultants or legal counsel of private business enterprises. Public lands, including those actually cultivated by the poor homesteaders and the national minorities, are grabbed by the bureaucrat capitalists and their collaborators. These are taken over as logging, mining or pasture areas at first under a lease or some other kind of contract with the government and subsequently converted into their private property. And public works are so designed as to raise the value of these lands.

In export-import operations peculiar to a semicolonial and semifeudal country, the bureaucrat capitalists draw their own share of comprador profits by putting their own outfits and the bribe-givers’ on the priority list in foreign exchange accommodation. In the misdeclaration of imports and exports and consequent tax evasion, they cheat their own reactionary government of revenues.

Every year enormous amounts of funds are appropriated for public works. Most of these actually go into the pockets of the bureaucrat capitalists. Public bidding for the purchase of equipment and construction materials or for the hiring of a construction firm is manipulated. The payroll is also padded to pay idle proteges and also to yield more graft for the bureaucrat capitalists.

The government banking and insurance systems have been used to build up the landholdings and capital holdings of the bureaucrat capitalists and their close collaborators. Even when loans are granted to other borrowers, large percentages of the loans grease the palms of the bureaucrat capitalists. Using funds collected from workers and government employees through the Social Security System and the Government Service Insurance System, the reactionary government makes direct investments in private corporations. In the process, the bureaucrat capitalists get various concessions aside from gaining positions of authority in these private corporations.

All government corporations become milking cows in the hands of the bureaucrat capitalists. They are the sources of huge salaries and allowances. Purchase bids provide still bigger income for them. At so large an expense by the reactionary government, so-called pioneering enterprises are put up only to be sold at a losing price to private entities. Before being sold, these government corporations are subjected to all kinds of financial manipulation. Their bankruptcy becomes the rationale for their sale, that is, for another bureaucrat-capitalist killing. The bankruptcy of a government corporation is ridiculously used as an argument by the bureaucrat parasites themselves not against state capitalism but against socialism.

In the accounting of private assets, there is a double standard: one is the book value for tax purposes and the other is the market value. Tax exemptions and all kinds of incentives are further granted to imperialist, comprador and landlord interests. Corporate bodies and fake cooperatives controlled by the imperialists, compradors and landlords are created to cheat the petty bourgeoisie and the masses in general. In all these arrangements, there is so wide an area for graft and corruption for the bureaucrat capitalists. Oftentimes, bureaucrat capitalists are directly retained by corporations and haciendas in order to insure immediate suppression of the working people.

At every turn in the history of Philippine bureaucracy, there are special sources of graft and corruption. These could be crop loans, relief goods, war surplus goods, reconstruction funds, Chinese immigration quota, import controls, price controls, dollar allocations, rural banks, fake cooperatives, Japanese war reparations, deportation threats, alien naturalization, logging and mining concessions, pasture leases, stock exchange manipulations, government loans and subscriptions to private corporations, congressional allowances, calamity and contingency funds, barrio improvement funds, subsidies and so on and so forth.

The bureaucrat capitalists also venture directly into the most starkly illegitimate activities. They are involved in smuggling, usury, plain extortion, gambling, cattle-rustling and prostitution. These are conspicuously perpetrated at the lower levels of the bureaucracy though the top bureaucrats operate their political parties as crime syndicates. In this connection, the reactionary troops and police and the private goons of local officials also grow fat on the most anti-social activities.

The sources of graft and corruption enumerated above do not yet complete the list. A particular bureaucrat capitalist may not take advantage of all these at one particular time. But he is certainly taking advantage of some. It is extremely clear that his nominal salary is not adequate to maintain the kind of living that he leads. He would pretend to dole out his monthly salary to his proteges but in fact he gets a huge income from one stroke of the pen or one telephone call. The arch-hypocrite Magsaysay made a big show of refusing petty gifts but was in fact engaged in grand extortion. Marcos announced that he would give up his worldly goods in self-abnegation but he actually meant to create a foundation to keep in display his USAFFE medals and “glorify” himself. The most self-aggrandizing purpose of that foundation, however, is the collection of financial “contributions.”

Big bureaucrat capitalists have developed standard tricks for keeping their loot. They keep “petty cash” (in millions of pesos) in their house vaults for immediate use, deposits under numbered accounts in Swiss banks, strings of palatial houses and buildings, jewelry and all kinds of luxuries, securities in profitable corporations and land titles. To make a big joke of the Anti-Graft Law, the bureaucrat capitalists temporarily put their assets under the names of close relatives or well-known businessmen until such time that the bureaucrat capitalists can freely cite “legitimate” business ventures.

The center of fire is properly directed at the big bureaucrat capitalists who rapaciously betray the national-democratic interests of the Filipino people. No matter how they conceal their ill-gotten wealth, it will still show in so many pompous assets that they never fail to flaunt. Characteristically, they spend their money in the most wasteful and unproductive ways.

The corruption of the big bureaucrat capitalists extends downward to the lower levels of the reactionary government and the local ward leaders. But by and large, within the reactionary government, the big bureaucrat capitalists oppress and exploit lower officials and ordinary employees.



Photo by Dean Roland Telentino

Photo by Efren Ricalde