The Million People March in Ayala, Makati

October 4, 2013

 

■  PART  I - Photos/Text (this page)

■   PART II -  Papers/Documents on the pork barrel system

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Photos by Arkibong Bayan, Agapito Gaddi and Efren Ricalde as indicated by the filenames
           
  The pork protesters in Ayala  
     
     

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Aquino is biggest hindrance to pork abolition – Bayan
News Release October 4, 2013

The umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan marched today in the country’s financial center as part of the Million People March protest in Ayala. The latest mass action, the fifth so far since August 26, carries the message of abolishing all forms of pork barrel funds and accountability for all those involved in the scam. The protest comes in the wake of revelations that Malacanang disbursed some P150 billion in so-called Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) which critics consider to be just another form of pork.

Part of the Bayan march was an 8 feet tall, 10 feet long “Golden Baboy” signifying pork barrel as a “false idol” being worshiped by politicians. The effigy was paraded along Ayala and was used as a background for people wanting to take pictures and “selfies” with #abolishpork signs.

“The Pork Barrel King Aquino is the biggest hindrance to the abolition of this source of systemic corruption. He has consistently acted to defend the pork system. He has sought the lifting of the SC TRO on pork barrel funds. He has transformed PDAF into itemized pork in the 2014 budget. He has used alleged government savings as his own pork and as an instrument to influence Congress. And he refuses to give up his own lump sum funds,” said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.

“The reason why pork has not been abolished up to now is because the president does not want it to be abolished. Our protests therefore should be clearly addressed to the chief executive. He has to be made answerable to the people,” he added.

Bayan assailed Aquino’s use of so-called government “savings” as pork, saying that it was unconstitutional and undermines the power of Congress to appropriate public funds. “In a time when public services are starved of funds, when rank and file government employees could hardly make ends meet; it is simply unconscionable that the Executive would centralized these so-called savings and convert them as pork for lawmakers,” Reyes said.

It also criticized Malacanang for saying that the DAP issue was merely meant to divert attention from the PDAF scandal.

“Mr. President, the issue is pork, in all its forms. The issue is systemic corruption that is not limited to the PDAF, but also includes much larger lump sum discretionary funds such as those under your office,” Reyes said.

Bayan said that it is preparing for protests in October upon the resumption of the session of Congress where it is believed that the 2014 proposed budget will be passed. The proposed budget still retains much of the pork even if the previous PDAF was realigned to various agencies and itemized.

- See more at: http://www.bayan.ph/site/2013/10/aquino-is-biggest-hindrance-to-pork-abolition-%e2%80%93-bayan/#sthash.ZVcZXyja.dpuf


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Bayan calls on people to continue protest against “Pork King” Aquino
News Release
October 3, 2013

The President is challenging the people to prove him wrong on the issue of the pork barrel system. The people will do just that on October 4 according to the umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan.

A huge Golden Baboy, 8 feet tall, 10 feet long and 4 feet wide, will be paraded along Ayala as marchers push the call for pork abolition and accountability. The Golden Baboy takes on a biblical reference as a “false idol” worshipped by politicians.

“The title Pork Barrel King bestowed on Aquino is appropriate. The Aquino government has not abolished pork but rather institutionalized discretionary spending in support of political patronage and control of the Legislative branch. Aquino keeps saying that he is different from GMA and therefore his use of pork is justified. But how different is he really when it comes to pork barrel spending?” said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.

“Pork misuse continued well into his term. He has also sought the lifting of the SC TRO on the pork barrel funds including his own Malampaya pork. And with the issue of government savings being converted to pork, and allotted without congressional oversight and in violation of the Constitution, Aquino appears no different from his predecessor,” Reyes added.

Bayan said that Aquino favors the continued existence and use of pork under different schemes and modes. This can be seen through the following:

1. The fake abolition of PDAF in the 2014 budget as lawmakers still get to nominate pet projects through various implementing agencies via an itemized pork system.
2. Seeking the lifting of the SC TRO on PDAF and the Malampaya funds.
3. The continued existence of Special Purpose Funds that are beyond congressional scrutiny and function as presidential pork
4. The unconstitutional use of the Disbursement Acceleration Program as a mode of controlling so-called “savings” and unobligated funds and converting these into pork for lawmakers

“Pork misuse is now being placed at the doorsteps of Malacanang. Aquino can’t continue invoking Gloria Arroyo as his defense every time there is a controversy. The misuse happened during his term. He is being accused of violating the Constitution through the use of the DAP. He is being accused of using pork to advance the impeachment of the Supreme Court Chief Justice. He should be answerable to the people,” Reyes added.

Bayan will lead a contingent that will march from Glorietta in Ayala going to Paseo de Roxas tomorrow. It will join other groups in the #Abolishpork Movement which includes Archbishop Oscar Cruz, Concerned Citizens Movement led by lawyer Harry Roque, BABALA with stage actress Monique Wilson, student councils and organizations under Youth Act Now!, medical professionals under the Rx Abolish Pork group as well as labor and peasant groups. The groups will march from Glorietta to Paseo de Roxas at 3pm. ###


- See more at: http://www.bayan.ph/site/2013/10/bayan-calls-on-people-to-continue-protest-against-%e2%80%9cpork-king%e2%80%9d-aquino/#sthash.Bb3xlPdl.dpuf

 

     
     
     
     
     
           
     
     
     
The Golden Baboy

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Streetwise
By Carol Pagaduan-Araullo
October 10, 2013

Taking stock

Since the massive, largely spontaneous public expression of outrage last August 26 in light of the 10 billion-peso Napoles pork barrel scam, subsequent events and revelations have only validated and underscored the call for the abolition of all forms of “pork” or lump sum, discretionary funds including what is now called “presidential pork”.

There is the uncovering of the highly questionable Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) which legal luminaries, economists and budgetary experts have singularly described as unconstitutional and illegal. Malacaňang's feeble attempts to justify, evade and muddle the issues (i.e. DAP is not anomalous because it is being used for good, not being stolen and the result is economic growth and improved social services) only serve to fuel doubt and suspicion.

Malacaňang has also chosen to dissimulate or ignore accusations of its brazen use to bribe legislators to impeach a sitting Supreme Court Chief Justice not so much because he is corrupt but because he was not to President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino’s liking, being a hindrance to the Aquino administration’s consolidation of power and a threat to the Cojuangco-Aquino interests in the Hacienda Luisita case.

Since the issue does not blow away, Mr. Aquino himself is made to argue for DAP using another worn out and transparent fallacy of admitting to a lesser offense to obscure the bigger ones. Like Ms. Arroyo's belated "I am sorry!" act, he acknowledges on second thought the possibility that some DAP funds may have indeed been misused by corrupt government officials and their cohorts but absolves his men – and by inference himself - of any knowledge of and complicity in the crimes committed. Then, with characteristic arrogance and misplaced confidence, he challenges his detractors, "Try to impeach me!"

Indeed former Chief Justice Renato Puno’s call for the abolition of congressional pork and the DAP through the mechanism of a “people’s initiative” is precisely premised on the principle that the people are the real sovereign and state sovereignty only derives from people’s sovereignty.

There is also the unstated but clear premise that not only Congress but also the Office of the President cannot be relied upon to abolish congressional, much less the presidential, pork because this goes against their deeply ingrained, selfish interests. It is akin to the biblical admonition that it would be easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

Where is the anti-pork movement at this point, after five major mass protest actions against it in Metro Manila (the latest being a week ago at Ayala Avenue in the heart of Makati’s financial district) echoed by similar mass demonstrations in Cebu, Iloilo, Davao and other urban centers?

What is paramount is that the anti-pork movement is not losing steam or focus as some vocal commentators and opinion writers claim. Yes the numbers joining the protests have gone down after the initial outburst of anger, dismay and inchoate protest captured by the “Million People March” (MPM) in Luneta last August. But the rallies have continued with sizeable numbers (don’t go by the grossly understated police estimates). This despite orchestrated attempts to sow intrigue, fear and division in the anti-pork movement’s ranks and among the general public emanating from the Malacaňang psywar machine, pseudo-abolish pork quarters, rabid Aquino regime defenders in the dominant and social media and still others with dubious intentions.

The basic demands for the complete abolition of all “pork” funds and their rechanneling to pro-people programs and projects as well as full accountability of those behind the pork scams and the return of the stolen monies remain front and center of the anti-pork movement.

At the same time, with further exposure of the rotting carcass of the pork barrel system and its major role in underpinning the feudal system of patronage politics and the even the much bigger reactionary system of bureaucrat capitalism, there has certainly been a “leveling up” in terms of analysis and ergo the movement’s demands. For example, the line that it is “diversionary” to call the Aquino regime to account for defending and seeking to entrench the pork barrel system and for seeking to limit accountability to Napoles, Opposition legislators and the former president, Mrs. Arroyo and her officials has not gained much ground.

The protests are, as already noted, nationwide. A wider cross section of society is participating. And relatively new forces such as anti-pork “netizens” are fast becoming politicized. These forces have advanced from being amorphous, disorganized or unorganized, preferring to be leaderless and with general articulations of their positions to greater coherence, cohesion and purposeful action.

Observers note that August 26 saw many middle and upper class Filipinos going out of their comfort zones to express their disgust over the gross thievery of public funds. The September 13 rally saw the student youth in their thousands responding to the call of the #abolishporkmovement and the Catholic Educators Association of the Philippines (CEAP); the religious sector in significant numbers brought forth by the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines (AMRSP), the protestant churches and long-time social activist church people; and the multi-sectoral mobilization by militant mass organizations and various anti-corruption, anti-dynasty groups.

The September 21 demonstration was unmistakably more proletarian and lower middle class in composition with majority coming from nearby urban poor communities but there were also sizeable contingents from the middle forces such as those in the trucking business operating in Manila’s port area and those in the health, legal and teaching professions.

The October 4 Ayala rally initiated by the Scrap Pork Network and some individuals who issued the call for the MPM including those in the #abolishporkmovement had a core force of a few thousand from activist formations but more than two-thirds were Makati denizens who showed up to express their support for the anti-pork demands, They intently listened to the speakers expound on the issues and enjoyed and were inspired by the cultural performances that gave vent to their aggrieved sentiments and fueled their readiness to take action on the pork issue.

In all the foregoing protest mass actions, the participation of artists - well-known folk singers to pop music chorales, rock bands to community “ati-atihan” drummers, various mass-based activist cultural groups as well as theater people and poets (a National Artist included) have been a staple feature.

Unity has been maintained amidst diversity. Politically the spectrum spans those who already lay principal responsibility in terms of policy and misuse at Malacaňang’s doorstep and are inclined or on the verge of calling for Aquino’s resignation, impeachment and even ouster to those who are critical in varying degrees of Mr. Aquino’s position and action or lack of it but who are not yet ready to call for his removal by any means. But even the latter will call a spade a spade; e.g. the DAP and other presidential pork as categorically antithetical to Mr. Aquino’s “matuwid na daan” rhetoric.

On many people’s lips is the question, “Where do we go from here?” What to avoid, watch out for, and keep from happening? And what can we look forward to in terms of instituting real change in so far as substantial, fundamental reforms? (Next week: Change is inevitable)#

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OCTOBER 03, 2013
The plot thickens
by Carol Araullo

The Aquino regime’s gross abuse and misuse of public funds through the now discredited and derided pork barrel system is becoming fully unmasked what with the disclosure of how Malacanang has been illegally juggling and misappropriating more than a hundred billion pesos via the Department of Budget and Management-concocted Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP). This monstrous anomaly is apart from and on top of utilizing to-the-hilt congressional pork funds as carrot-and-stick to bend a pliant Congress to its will.

But this time presidential pork is implicated in President Aquino’s single-minded campaign to oust via impeachment then sitting Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona who Mr. Aquino considers a stooge of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Moreover, the Corona Court had handed down decisions unfavorable to the Aquino administration and the Cojuancos, apart from being, unsurprisingly, corrupt. More than two billion pesos from the DAP were allegedly used as a bribe (aka “incentive”) for the honorable gentlemen and ladies of Congress to find CJ Corona guilty of corruption casting a dark shadow on what the Aquino administration has been touting as a sterling example of its anti-corruption crusade.

The P10B Napoles fund scam that had outraged the public enough to spark the biggest protest action against the “pork” last August 26 and sustain mass protests thereafter on September 11, 13 and 21 has uncovered not just the PDAF-related can of worms. The entire stinking pork barrel system with the humongous Presidential lump sum, discretionary funds at the forefront has been revealed and its main objectives exposed: to shore up the feudal patronage politics system; to line the pockets of corrupt government officials and their private counterparts (a decidedly successful ”public-privatepartnership”); and to consolidate the hold of whichever elite faction of the ruling classes wields state power by controlling not only the executive department but both the legislature and the judiciary as well.

The scale, magnitude and pervasiveness of anomalous pork use reveal that political patronage - a mild and seemingly tolerable aspect of realpolitik - is not a mere aberration but a deceptive euphemism for deep, insidious and systemic graft, corruption and bribery at the loftiest levels of government.

The immaculate “yellow” image of Mr. Aquino as squeaky clean and incorruptible began its besmirching when he refused (inexplicably for many) to abolish PDAF outright and even defended it as necessary, benevolent and rational. The stain grew larger when it became clear that not only did Mr. Aquino have his own stinky pork barrel funds, these had grown to phenomenal amounts even far exceeding those of his predecessor, Mrs. Arroyo. And just like Mrs. Arroyo, the ultimately corrupt ruler in Mr. Aquino’s book, he cynically used his presidential pork to control Congress and tame the judiciary to conform to his liking.

Mr. Aquino’s attempts at damage control with the deceptive “abolition” of the PDAF in the 2014 national budget (Malacanang has assured its allies that they will continue to have their pork and eat it too albeit in a different form); the surrender of the fugitive Janet Lim-Napoles under suspicious circumstances; the filing of plunder charges against senators, congressmen and their alleged accomplices in the Napoles scam and former and current officials in the plunder of the Malampaya Funds; and even the announcement that presidential pork (aka Special Purpose Funds) would fund the rehabilitation of Zamboanga City after the all-out military offensive against the MNLF have not kept the stench of the pork barrel system from enveloping his Teflon image.

Senator Jinggoy Estrada’s pitiful attempt at ratting on his fellow senator’s as a guilty man’s defense of the indefensible and a warning that he will not go down alone, has inadvertently opened the lid on another explosive issue: President Aquino’s illegal impoundment (or the President’s action of not spending all or part of a sum of money appropriated by Congress) and realignment of government funds upon the his sole discretion, without the authorization of Congress, for items not found in the GAA and, worse, to bribe and manipulate Congress into doing his bidding to advance his clique’s narrow political and economic ends.

(Let us not for a moment forget that the alleged bribery to attain Mr. Corona's impeachment together with the collusion between the Agrarian Reform Department and the management of the Presidential kin’s Hacienda Luisita has resulted in an even more contemptible swindle against the farmer-worker beneficiaries of HLI who now stand to come out empty-handed after the Corona Court’s favorable decisions.)

According to ACT Party List Representative Antonio Tinio:
“It is a little-known fact that, since 2010, the Aquino administration has introduced numerous provisions in the General Appropriations Act that have further strengthened the President’s power to impound Congressional appropriations and realign funds at his discretion…

The so-called Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) is the smoking gun that illustrates how the President abuses the power to impound and realign the budget for purposes not even authorized by Congress in the GAA. DAP is nothing less than the President arrogating unto himself the power of the purse. It is Presidential discretion over public funds gone wild. It shows how Presidential pork is generated at the budget execution stage, by the President declaring savings in the middle of the fiscal year, so that he can then realign the funds as he sees fit.

Former President Gloria Arroyo was notorious in abusing reenacted budgets to give the Executive control over huge chunks of the budget. President Aquino has been grossly abusing the Presidential powers of impoundment and realignment to do the same. In both cases, the objective is to enable the President to dispense political patronage.”

But what is most enraging and preposterous is that the Aquino regime, like its predecessors, has been rejecting demands and denying appeals from the workers, teachers and other government employees for wage hikes and the release of pensions and benefits due them with smug and even arrogant explanations that government has no funds for these.

Meantime, aside from fattening the bureaucrat capitalists - government officials using their positions to enrich themselves - the Aquino regime has taken no effort to hide its fawning servility to foreign multinational corporations and their domestic business partners, granting them tax holidays, sovereign guarantees and other incentives, as well as removing tariffs and other restrictions on their imports. In what can now be seen as the same mindset of putting the interests of the privileged few above the law, even the Constitution that he swore to uphold, Mr. Aquino had declared to foreign businessmen that his government would take the necessary measures to help them go around legal obstacles that hamper their operations and extraction of profits.

Such anomalies - nay grievous crimes against the people - have been going on for decades and are inherent in the ruling socio-political system. But it is only now, ironically under a regime that had hitherto been perceived as the least tainted by corruption and piously claims to lead the nation on a "righteous path", that the people are seeing graft and corruption at its ugliest, most rotten form, how it works, and how it keeps the vast majority of our people in deep poverty and misery. #

Published in Business World
4-5 October 2013

 


 


     
     
     
 
     
     
     
     
     
     
           
March to Paseo/Ayala
           
     
     
     

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PRESS RELEASE
October 1, 2013

Reference Benjie Valbuena, ACT Philippines National Chairperson
0916 2294515

Dagdag Aquino'S Pork/Panuhol (DAP)

Kinokondena ng Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) ang paggamit sa pondo ng taumbayan upang suhulan ang mga senador sa pamamagitan ng Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

Ayon kay Benjie Valbuena tagapangulo ng ACT "nakapagngingitngit sa galit ang nangyayaring ito sa gobyerno, mula sa 10 billion pork scam ni Napoles at sa ngayon naman ay panunuhol sa anyo ng DAP."

HuliDAP ito ang nangyari matapos mabuking ng taumbayan ang sitema sa ilalim ng ahensya ng DBM sa pamumuno ni secretary Abad kakutsaba ang presidente ng senado na si Senador Franklin Drilon.

Ayon pa ka Benjie Valbuena, "Maliwanag na ang DAP ay isang anyo ng pork barrel na tanging Malacanang at DBM Sec.Butch Abad ang may kapangyarihan kung saan ito gagastusin, kaya naman madali nilang ginamit ito na panuhol sa mga senador upang i convict dating si Chief Justice Corona."

"Kapag kaming mga guro at kawani sa gobyerno ang humihingi ng dagdag na sahod at benipisyo sa gobyerno sinasabing walang pondo o di kaya depende sa savings, ngunit paano na ngayong na pati ang savings ng mga ahensya ay ginamit narin na panuhol ng Malacanang at DBM Sec.Butch Abad" dagdag ni Benjie Valbuena.

"Ipinanawagan namin na dapat na mag resign si Sec. Butch Abad at si Senador Franklin Drilon." Ayon kay Benjie Valbuena.


ALLIANCE OF CONCERNED TEACHERS - PHILIPPINES
2/F Teachers' Center Building, Mines st. corner Dipolog st., Brgy. VASRA, Quezon City
Tel.Fax: (+63 2) 453 9116, (+63 2) 426 2238
E-mail: act_philippines@yahoo.com, actphilippines@gmail.com
Mobile: Mr. Benjamin Valbuena, ACT Chairperson (+63 916 -229 4515)
Ms. Francisca Castro, ACT Secretary-general (+63 917-8502124)

 

           
     
     
     

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04 October 2013
PRESS RELEASE
Reference:
Marc Lino Abila
National Secretary General
College Editors Guild of the Philippines
Mobile No.: 0928-855-9622


CEGP: Aquino’s DAP is worse than PDAF
 

Thousands of people from various sectors massed up in the country’s central business district in Ayala Ave. in Makati City to express the people’s distaste to President Benigno S. Aquino III’s anomalous lump-sum funds and the use of such to consolidate his power in both houses of Congress and other government agencies.
 

“The Filipino youth have had enough of Aquino’s hypocrisy and shrewdness,” said Marc Lino Abila, National Secretary General of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines. “The anomalies in the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) are proofs that this administration is self-serving and probably even more corrupt than the previous administration of Arroyo.”
 

“The use of the people’s money to further consolidate Aquino’s control in the government is despicable while millions of Filipinos continue to suffer from poverty,” Abila explained. “Instead of directly allocating these funds to social services such as education, health, and housing, Aquino uses his pork barrel to favor his political and big business allies through Public-Private Partnerships and Conditional Cash Transfer which do not address the problems of our people.”
“More than three years have passed but Aquino’s slogan of ‘Daang Matuwid’ still remains a slogan and out sight,” Abila said. “We need a systemic change and not just a change in regime to eliminate corruption and a government which shall truly serve the interest of the Filipinos and not the pockets of those in power.” ###


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College Editors Guild of the Philippines

Media Email: cegp.newsdesk@gmail.com
Website: www.cegp.org
Facebook: Cegp Pambansang Opisina
Twitter: @CEGPNational
Hotline Number: 0926-722-2723

 

     
           
     
     
     
           


Philippine Peace Center

4/F Kaija Bldg. 7836 Makati Ave cor Valdez St.,

Makati City, Metro Manila

Tel-(632) 8993439; Fax-(632) 8993416

 

IMPERIALISM AND PORK[i]

by Rey Claro Casambre

9 Oct 2013
 

What do Marcos and all his successors  have in common? Presidential Pork.

What do Macapagal, Marcos, Estrada, Arroyo and Aquino III have in common? Whistleblowers

What do Manuel Roxas and all other Philippine presidents after him have in common? US backing

 

I first heard the term "pork barrel" when I was still in early grade school (late 1950s).  It would crop up every now and then in conversations or in the newspapers in connection with some anomaly in government, which later I would associate with graft and corruption.  It was not clear though, exactly what it was, why it was wrong and who were involved.  But I was pretty sure that "pork barrel" anomalies then were seen as isolated cases, aberrations in what was widely believed to be a basically vibrant, progressive and democratic Philippine social and political system. 

 

Then there was Harry Stonehill. The ex-GI multimillionaire who put up the US Tobacco Corp., Republic Glass Corp., Philippine Tobacco Corp., Far East Publishing Corp., Philippine Cotton COrp., American Asiatic Oil etc. and was investigated in 1962 by the NBI under then DOJ Secretary Jose W Diokno  for frustrated murder, tax evasion,  smuggling,  misdeclaration of imports and bribery.  Diokno personally led the raid on Stonehill's offices, hauling away truckloads of evidence including a "blue book" that had Stonehill's list of pay-offs to government officials for various favors.  On top of the list were no less than incumbent President Diosdado Macapagal and Senate President Ferdinand Marcos, both of the ruling Liberal Party, and more than 200 big names in Congress and the Executive branches, from both political parties, as well as members of media. Stonehill was promptly arrested and at the height of hearings on graft and corruption conducted by the House of Representatives Committee on Good Government led by then Rep. Jovito Salonga, Macapagal conspired with Speaker Cornelio Villareal to have the HOR pass a resolution releasing Stonehill from custody, and then had him promptly deported, abruptly aborting the investigations and prosecution of Stonehill, to the surprise and consternation of Salonga and Diokno, who was also promptly dismissed from his office.

 

(Interestingly, like the Napoles pork scam, the Stonehill case came to the fore after Martin Spielman, a close Stonehill associate, sought protection from authorities after Stonehill allegedly tried to have him killed over some business transactions. In the process of being interviewed by the NBI, Spielman revealed Stonehill’s other shady deals and illegal activities such as tax evasion, smuggling, misdeclaration of imports and bribery of government officials.) 

 

Aside from these parallels with the Napoles scam, what else does the Stonehill case have to do with the pork barrel issue?  It is well known that Macapagal deported Stonehill partly because he was exposed to have received a P 3 million campaign contribution from Stonehill in his presidential bid against the incumbent Carlos P. Garcia. It appeared Macapagal was only shielding his name from further disgrace.  What is not well known is that it was Col. Edward Lansdale who persuaded (or ordered?) Stonehill to help fund Macapagal's bid against Garcia.

 

Landsdale was the infamous CIA operative who directed the campaign against the PKP and the HMB, engineered the election and was a close adviser of Ramon Magsaysay and his predecessors. But Magsaysay reportedly incurred the ire of Lansdale, shortly before he was killed in a plane crash in March 1957, when he rejected Lansdale’s proposal to send Philippine troops to Vietnam. Garcia, who was Magsaysay’s vice president, assumed the Presidency and won in the next presidential elections in November. He was eligible for another term in 1961,  but was perceived by the US-CIA as having taken his "Filipino First" industrialization policy of import substitutions a bit too far, contrary to US imperialist interests. Thus, the support for Macapagal.

 

Here is a 50-year old clear but not well-known demonstration of how US imperialism intervenes in Philippine politics to ensure that the ruling regime remains compliant with US impositions, i.e., a reliable puppet . From colonial times, the US has set up and nurtured a political system dominated by the local big landlords and comprador-bourgeoisie who benefit from and perpetuate the semi-feudal agrarian pre-industrial economy and the dependent and subservient neocolonial state. These local reactionaries are amply rewarded by being allowed to use the state bureaucracy to further enrich and entrench themselves in power. This is what the national democratic movement calls "bureaucrat capitalism".  Until the 1970s, a two-party system was installed and functional, with the rival political parties alternately taking power, competing with and accommodating each other while collaborating in exploiting and oppressing the rest of society, ever mindful of their common interest to preserve the ruling system. 

 

This  compete-and-accommodate modus vivendi, however, has its limits. The chronic crisis inherent in the semi-feudal economy and aggravated by the global economic crisis meant that the pie for accommodation among the reactionaries was steadily contracting. In the late 1960s, that crisis would reach its terminal level with the exhaustion of the land frontiers that had hitherto effectively served as the "safety pressure valve" that had prevented or mitigated peasant unrest and rebellion.  It is no historical accident nor coincidence that in the late 1960s,  armed revolution erupted nationwide under the leadership of the CPP-NPA and in Western Mindanao under the MNLF-Bangsamoro Army.

 

Martial law was the state's response to the crisis. The Marcos ruling reactionary faction employed force to maintain itself in power, suppressing not only the growing protest and resistance of the people but also the political opposition from rival factions of the ruling class. Accommodation gave way to cronyism, kleptocracy and monopoly.  US imperialism fully backed the Marcos dictatorship because it had no doubt that Marcos was willing and able to preserve the ruling system, go along with US impositions and serve US interests in the midst of global economic crisis, precisely to keep that support.

 

 

 

 

Was the pork barrel system abolished with the abolition of Congress and the two-party system? Only if you believe that there is only Congressional pork. Again, the little-known fact is that it was Marcos, during martial law, who instituted presidential pork by issuing a decree allowing him to disburse funds not included in the line-budget. Aside from this, the monopoly over the reins of government opened new avenues to plunder the national coffers and profit from selling out the economy and national sovereignty and patrimony to foreign monopoly capital, such as enormous bribes for projects like the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, Chico River Dam, etc. 

 

When the Batasang Pambansa was established in 1978, Marcos reintroduced Congressional pork through the Special Fund for Development Projects amounting to P500,000 per assemblyman. Kleptocracy, cronyism, corruption and human rights violations (especially with the assassination of Ninoy Aquino) amidst economic crisis reached such proportions that people's resistance and protest, including armed struggle and military rebellion rose to a crescendo, prompting the US to dump Marcos in 1986, in another demonstration of how decisive US imperialism is in shaping Philippine politics according to its interests.

(Was it mere coincidence that the EDSA people’s uprising that overthrew Marcos started when his close associates, Ramos and Enrile, sought refuge in Camp Crame after they learned that Marcos had ordered their arrest after uncovering a coup plot?)     

 

When martial rule ended with the overthrow of Marcos, the Cory Aquino government did not rescind the decree on presidential pork and instead retained the power to disburse funds through lump-sum appropriations. Aquino further ensured US and other imperialists' support by declaring, to no less than the US Congress, that her government would honor all its international financial obligations. At the brink of overthrow in the 1989 coup attempt, the Cory government was rescued by the US when it sent two F-4 jets in what was called "persuasive flights" against the military rebels, clearly sending the signal that the US will not allow the coup to succeed.  And to cement support from local reactionaries after the series of coup attempts, Cory likewise restored the Congressional pork in 1990 through the Countryside Development Fund with P12.5 M annually for representatives and P18 M for senators.

 

In 1996 Pres. Fidel Ramos increased the Presidential Pork through the Public Works Fund, School Building Fund, Congressional Initiative Allocation, El Nino Fund, & Poverty Alleviation Fund.  In his national development program deceptively called “Philippines 2000” that promised to make the Philippines a “newly industrialized country” at the turn of the century, Ramos fully opened up the economy to foreign capital, drastically reduced tariffs even beyond the GATT/WTO schedules, and set aside even the bogus land reform program in favor of agricultural showcases.   

 

Estrada for his part retained the congressional pork, merely renaming it Lingap para sa Mahirap Program and eventually the Priority Development Assistance Fund. It is common knowledge that Estrada narrowly escaped impeachment by bribing some members of the Senate Tribunal into voting against opening the second envelope that might have led to his conviction. Although this move backfired as the people rose in indignation and took it upon themselves to force his resignation, the incident gives us a glimpse of how the so-called system of check-and-balance among the branches of government had been grievously undermined by political patronage and bribery.

 

(Was it just another mere coincidence that the Estrada corruption case came to the fore when one of his close associates, Chavit Singson, sought protection from the authorities after an ambush attempt on him allegedly by Estrada’s orders, then spilled the beans on Estrada?)

But it was Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, the beneficiary from Estrada’s ouster, who used political patronage and bribery to the hilt and succeeded in defeating several attempts to impeach and oust her from office, using her presidential pork such as the Malampaya Fund and her control over the congressional PDAF. At the same time, GMA ensure continuing US imperialist backing despite her extreme isolation by banking on her economic expertise to satisfy the impositions and comply with the neoliberal prescriptions of the IMF-WB-WTO, and ruthlessly carrying out a murderous counterinsurgency campaign, the Oplan Bantay Laya.

(Again, was it mere coincidence that GMA’s “Hello Garci” and NTN-ZTE whistleblowers, Sgt Doble and Engr Lozada, came to the fore because they were being targetted for liquidation?)

 

Now we are faced with the same phenomenon, more overtly monstrous and diabolical,  but with its real nature and essence still unveiled. While public outrage is strong and unabating, the anger is directed at the ugly surface manifestations such as corruption, thievery, deceit, etc.   Aquino continues to enjoy US backing and support, as his predecessors did, by continuing the policies that protect US interests, especially the neoliberal economic policies and counterinsurgency campaigns. The true and more sinister nature of pork as a mere form of bureaucrat capitalism -- set up and sustained by US imperialism, and thriving with feudalism -- is yet to be revealed and understood.  Only by grasping and addressing this can the pork system be decisively uprooted, and ultimately bureaucrat capitalism, along with imperialism and feudalism.


[i] Paper prepared for Alliance of Concerned Teachers Forum on Pork Barrel, 09 October 2013

 

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REAKSYON NG GABRIELA SA BINTANG NG KORAPSYON NI AQUINO KAY ARROYO: PAREHO LANG KAYONG KORAP!

“Ang lakas ng loob ni Aquino na ibaling ang bintang ng korapsyon kay Arroyo para iligtas ang sarili niya. Ang totoo, pareho lang silang korap!” Ito ang kagyat na naibulalas na reaksyon ni Joms Salvador, Secretary General ng GABRRIELA, matapos marinig ang pahayag ni Pangulong Aquino na halos P1 trilyong ang pondong ginamit ni dating Pang. Arroyo sa mga kaduda-dudang proyekto.
 

Ayon pa kay Salvador, nagsasalita na naman si Pang. Aquino dahil may nakatakda na namang malaking mobilisasyon laban sa kanyang pork barrel at gayundin sa katiwalian kaugnay ng “pag-imbento” ng Department of Budget Management na Disbursement Acceleration Program. “Kinakabahan na naman ang Palasyo kaya kailangan na namang ibaling sa iba ang usapin para magmalinis at magpa-pogi na naman si Aquino.” Dagdag pa ni Salvador, alam naman pala ni Aquino ang mga katiwalian sa panahon ni Arroyo pero hindi pa rin niya ito puspusang inusig at pinananagot.
 

“Pinalalabas pa ni Aquino na gumugulong ang perang kinurakot ni Arroyo kaya matindi ang bira sa kanyang pamamahala. Gusto pa niyang palabasin na bayaran ang mga nagpoprotesta,” ani Salvador. “Desperado na talaga ang Malakanyang dahil unti-unting lumalabas ang baho ng gobyernong Aquino kaya’t dinadamay na niya ang lahat ng puwedeng idamay.”
 

Nakatakdang muling magmobilisa sa Oktubre 4 sa Ayala ang GABRIELA ng mga kasaping maralitang kababaihan na galit na galit na sa limpak limpak na salaping kinukurakot ng mga opisyal ng gobyerno samantalang ultimo pambili ng bigas na isasaing ay pinaghihirapan nilang kitain dahil sa sobrang pagtaas ng presyo. “Tuluy-tuloy kaming magpoprotesta sa katiwalian ng gobyerno hanggang walang napaparusahang mga nagkasala. Nagsimula sa pork barrel hanggang sa iba pang katiwaliang lumitaw, lahat dapat maparusahan kahit pa Pangulo kung makikitang may kasalanan,” pagtatapos ni Salvador. ###

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Reference: GABRIELA Rep. Emmi De Jesus 09173221203

01 October 2013
For immediate release

No recess for people demanding solution to rice crisis and calling to scrap the pork barrel system

Gabriela Women's Party (GWP) Rep. Emmi De Jesus demanded Aquino to begin to listen to his boss, the Filipino people, in arresting the rapidly deteriorating political and economic crisis brought about by daily developments in the unsolved pork barrel scandal gripping his administration and the declining economy after the House of Representatives went into recess.

"Sawang sawa na ang taumbayan sa araw-araw na bagong rebelasyon tungkol sa pork barrel: ngayon naman bilang panuhol sa boto laban sa pinatalsik na Chief Justice Corona. Ang tanggapan ni Presidente Aquino ang puno't dulo ng lahat ng komplikasyong ito, kaya ang apela naming mga mambabatas ay gawin na niya ang nararapat na hakbang na matagal nang iniatas sa kanya - ang totohanang pagbasura sa presidential pork!" De Jesus said.

The progressive legislator said Aquino is courting his own downfall as fresh details emerge that allege he and his budget secretary Butch Abad directly stage-managed Corona's impeachment votes in both houses of Congress, using up to a billion pesos from the previously less-known Disbursement Acceleration Program or DAP funds.

De Jesus said that the passage on second reading of the General Appropriations Bill in the lower house last week only managed to stoke the anger of the people further. "Now that Congress is in recess, the Makabayan legislators go around to see how much more desperation our constituents feel from the unsolved problems of higher prices and bad governance. History has proven that it is the voices of the people that can topple down a regime - and the call for Noynoy's resignation has already started" she said.

GWP and the GABRIELA alliance today picketed the offices of the Department of Agriculture and the warehouse of the National Food Authority in Manila, calling on the food agencies to act on their most pressing concern, the shortage of rice and uncontrolled hikes of its prices nationwide as a springboard for the mammoth anti-pork protest Friday dubbed "Angry Peeps vs Pork Barrel" in the Makati business district.

The Gabriela solon said they will continue with protests during the recess to mobilize against the General Appropriations Bill's passage and push for the Makabayan ammendments that the President's pork barrel be allocated to basic social services, increase of salaries of workers and government employees and support to agriculture. ###

--
Representative EMMI DE JESUS
Gabriela Women's Party
"Babae, Bata, at Bayan.... Tuloy ang Laban!"

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25 September 2013
For immediate release
Reference: GABRIELA Rep. Emmi De Jesus 09173221203

Wrangling Over Pork TRO Unhealthy as Children’s Health Budget Remains Anorexic - Rep. De Jesus

“The height of insensitivity,” was Gabriela Rep. De Jesus’ comment on the Malacanang move to push the Supreme Court to lift its TRO over the remaining 2013 PDAF.

“Bakit sila nagkukumahog na hawakan ang natitirang PDAF ng 2013? Dahil ba may pagmamalasakit sila sa kalusugan at iba pang pangangailangan ng kanilang constituents? Samantalang sa gumugulong na budget hearings para sa 2014 General Appropriations Bill, hindi mo naman makita na ipinaglalaban nila ang mas mataas na budget para sa edukasyon at kalusugan,” added De Jesus, commenting on the Aquino administration-sponsored General Appropriations Bill #2630.

“Sa sobrang kakapiranggot ng nilalaang budget para sa kalusugan ng batang Pilipino, hirap na hirap kaming hanapin nasaan nga ba ang budget na yan. Sapagkat hindi signipikanteng nagbago ang kalagayang pangkalusugan ng batang Pilipino, hindi ba’t nararapat lang na maging signipikante naman ang bahagi ng 2014 budget para sa programa at serbisyo ng kalusugan n gating susunod na henerasyon?”

Comparative infant mortality rate from 2008 to 2011 showed insignificant improvements, from 25 to 22 per 1000 live births. The top three causes of infant mortality were bacterial sepsis of newborn, pneumonia and respiratory distress of the newborn, all with available solutions if only appropriate budgets were allocated for such.

“Panahon na upang matigil ang pagkakait ng kinakailangang pondo para sa mga serbisyong kailangang kailangan ng ating mga naghihikahos na kababayan, laluna ang mga kababaihan at bata,” asserted Gabriela solon Emmi De Jesus today while preparing for the DOH budget deliberations.

“Habang humahaba ang script ng mala-telenovela na Senate probe at pagpipigil ni Drilon sa pagtetestimonya ni Janet Napoles hinggil sa P10-billion pork barrel scam, namamatay at patuloy na nagkakasakit ang mahihirap na kababaihan at bata,” she added.

“Kahit mahirap, makitid at baluktot ang daan, kailangang tawirin itong deliberasyon sa plenary para sa 2014 budget upang hindi madehado ang mga mahihirap at mapataas pa ang budget para sa kalusugan at edukasyon. Sa mahirap na tahaking ito, sana ay patuloy na kasama namin ang mga Million Marchers na nananawagan sa pag-aabolish ng pork barrel sa lahat ng anyo nito,” the Gabriela representative ended.###

--
Representative EMMI DE JESUS
Gabriela Women's Party
"Babae, Bata, at Bayan.... Tuloy ang Laban!"

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For immediate release
3 October 2013
Reference: Rep. Emmi De Jesus 09173221203

Actions, not tantrums, needed to end Aquino’s pork scandals

“Noynoy Aquino must stop play-acting like a brat, hurling dares and taunts at his perceived enemies. He must squarely face the people’s demands to end the curse of his pork barrel, instead of shifting all blame of government corruption on Gloria Arroyo.”

Gabriela Women’s Party Rep. Emmi De Jesus said this in response to increasingly provocative public pronouncements President Aquino aired across this week to critics who presented legal protests against the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

De Jesus said she will join protests by the Abolish Pork Movement this weekend in Makati City, which the lawmaker said will be inflamed even more after news broke out that budget secretary Florencio Abad processed pork allotments to the senators who voted to convict the impeached chief justice Renato Corona.

“Mr. President, be careful what you wish for, you just might get impeached. If the Congress here seems not ready to do that, Egypt, Iceland, and other countries have recently shown to us how the people themselves went to the streets and booted out leaders who don’t listen anymore,” De Jesus added.

The Gabriela lawmaker said that the discussion on the constitutionality of DAP and the pork barrel system is better served by dignified humility from the president rather than verbal tantrums.

“Sobra na ang tatlong taon ng patuloy na korupsyon, at wala nang dahilan na isisi pa din kay Gloria Arroyo pati ang katiwaliang naganap sa ilalim ng Daang Matuwid ni Aquino. Kailangan ng mga taxpayer ang Presidente na gumagawa ng direktang aksyon, at hindi itong parang paslit na nagmamarakulyo sa kanyang mga kritiko,” De Jesus ended.

---------------------------------------------
09 October 2013

For immediate release
Reference: Rep. Emmi De Jesus 0917.3221203

Solon nixes Lacierda's denial on PDAF, backs Puno's initiative proposal

A partylist crusader against the pork barrel system belied claims by palace spokesperson Edwin Lacierda that President Aquino, on his mere say-so, has preempted the Supreme Court in abolishing the Priority Development Assistance Fund or PDAF.

"Noon lang nakaraang buwan, nagsusumamo ang Palasyo sa Korte Suprema na alisin ang Temporary Restraining Order sa natitirang PDAF at Malampaya funds, ngayon naman ay binuwag na daw ang PDAF. Tanong tuloy ng sambayanan, ano ba talaga, Noynoy?" Rep. Emmi De Jesus of Gabriela Women's Party said.

"Alam na lahat ng tao na pawang komedya na lang na ipilit pa din ng Malakanyang na binuwag na ni Aquino ang PDAF. Buhay pa ang pork barrel system sa General Appropriations Bill (GAB) of 2014. Kaya nananawagan ang Gabriela sa iba pang mga mahistrado ng Korte Suprema na birahin na ang pork barrel sa mismong ugat nito, ang konsepto ng entitlement ng mga pulitiko. Tiwala kami na hindi mabobola ang mga mahistrado sa simpleng papapalit laman ng etiketa na nakatapal sa expired na produkto."

De Jesus also supported the call of retired Supreme Court Justice Reynato Puno to overturn the pork barrel system via people's initiative. "Justice Puno's call for the total abolition of entitlement and discretionary funds in fact reinforces the measure filed in July by the Makabayan bloc, House Bill 1535, which eliminates all pork barrel in the executive and legislative agencies."

De Jesus called on the public to guard against the sneaky resurrection of PDAF in the GAB as the House resumes session on Monday as Filipinos are starting to organize around the anti-pork people's initiative. ###


--
Representative EMMI DE JESUS
Gabriela Women's Party
"Babae, Bata, at Bayan.... Tuloy ang Laban!"
 

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
           
     
     
     

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Sept. 27, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

‘Presidential pork remains intact in 2014 budget’ – youth solon
Lump-sum funds assailed anew

Reference:
Cong. Terry Ridon, Kabataan Partylist Representative (09155310725)
Marjohara Tucay, Kabataan Partylist National Media Officer (09273268776)

As the plenary debates for the 2014 national budget draws to a close today, Kabataan Partylist Rep. Terry Ridon pointed out that discretionary funds that constitute what has been dubbed as the “presidential pork barrel” is “intact” and “very much alive” in the 2014 national budget.
 

“Even if the House leadership say that Congress has abolished the Priority Development Assistance Fund – which in reality was only reapportioned and hidden in department budgets – the larger problem remains. Despite the repeated call of the people to realign what has been dubbed as the ‘president’s pork barrel’ worth over P1 trillion, the Aquino administration did not give up even a single cent in its pork funds,” Ridon said.
 

According to the briefing paper released by Kabataan Partylist last month, the P1.3-trillion presidential pork for 2014 is composed of the following: lump-sum funds in the national budget, including the Special Purpose Funds worth P310 billion, unprogrammed funds worth P139 billion and automatic appropriations worth P796 billion; questionable in-budget line items including funds for intelligence and confidential expenses worth P1.4 billion, PAMANA funds worth P7.22 billion, Conditional Cash Transfer Funds worth P62.6 billion, and funding for Bottom-Up Budgeting worth P20 billion.
 

During the last day of the House plenary deliberations for the General Appropriations Bill, Ridon again assailed lump-sum funds that constitute a large part of the presidential pork barrel.
 

“Most of these funds are prone to corruption, as financial oversight over such funds is minimal if not inexistent, and the utilization of the said funds rest solely on the president,” Ridon said.
 

“Take the P1-billion contingent fund, for example. It is said to be used ‘exclusively to fund the requirements of new and/or urgent projects and activities that need to be implemented during the year. It may be likewise be used to augment the existing appropriations for local and foreign travels of the President.’ But what is the difference between priority projects funded under the regular line-item budget and the programs and projects that will be funded by the contingent fund? There’s redundancy in the allotment of funds, and there’s clearly too much discretion given to a single person, even if he’s the president of the Philippines,” Ridon said.
 

The youth solon also assailed the unprogrammed funds, which has increased exponentially during the Aquino administration.
 

Unprogrammed funds are released when revenue collections exceed targets, or when foreign funds are generated.
 

During the Aquino presidency, unprogrammed funds increased exponentially, both as amounts proposed in the annual national expenditure program and as amounts actually utilized:
 

· 2010: Proposed unprogrammed funds amounted to P68.9 billion, of which P5.86 billion was eventually utilized
 

· 2011: Proposed unprogrammed funds amounted to P66.9 billion, of which P20.4 billion was eventually utilized
 

· 2012: Proposed unprogrammed funds amounted to P161.69 billion (no data on final amount utilized)
 

· 2013: Current unprogrammed funds amount to P117.5 billion
 

· 2014: Proposed unprogrammed funds amounts to P139.9 billion
 

“Unprogrammed funds are also under the president’s sole discretion, and the whole amount is intact in the 2014 budget,” Ridon said.
 

“With the 2014 national budget set to be passed today with bulk of the presidential pork still intact, it’s clear that Aquino and his allies are not sincere in truly abolishing the pork barrel system.”
 

“Aquino’s outright refusal to abolish the presidential pork reveals that his regime is not unlike past regimes – an administration that would go to any length to remain in power. The people deserves better than your lies and half-truths, Mr. President, and we’re determined to intensify the fight,” Ridon ended.###

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
2 October 2013
 

Youth solon urges Congress to investigate DAP
 

Reference:
Cong. Terry Ridon, Kabataan Partylist Representative (09155310725)
Marjohara Tucay, Kabataan Partylist National Media Officer (09273268776)

Kabataan Partylist Rep. Terry Ridon has filed House Resolution 359 today urging the House Committee on Appropriation and the Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability to investigate the Aquino administration’s Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), which recently came under fire after several senators revealed that the said funds were used as “incentives” for legislators who supported the impeachment of former Chief Justice Renato Corona in 2012.
 

“We have repeatedly said in the past that discretionary funds that are under the sole control of the President are highly vulnerable to corruption and misuse. Now, we’re witnessing what such funds can do concretely – it can make or unmake even the highest officials of the land – just as what happened to former Chief Justice Corona,” Ridon said.
 

In the past days, the DAP has come under fire after Sen. Jinggoy Estrada revealed in a privilege speech at the Senate that several legislators from both chambers of Congress received millions of pesos from the DAP as incentives for voting in favor of Corona’s impeachment.
 

“Though not all senators have admitted that DAP was used as a form of incentive for the successful impeachment of Corona, no one has denied receiving the said funds. Even Senate President Franklin Drilon himself said that he received P100 million,” Ridon said.
 

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has also confirmed that several senators received around P50 million in additional funds as part of the DAP while several senators received P10 million to P15 million each.
Created by the Aquino administration in 2011, the DAP is a spending mechanism that aimed to “fast-track disbursements and push economic growth in light of the global slowdown and the onslaught of recent calamities.”
 

Back in 2011, DBM Sec. Florencio Abad defended the creation and funding of the new program saying, “While there was a turnaround in our disbursement performance in August, it was not enough. That is why President Aquino instructed his government to execute these additional projects to bolster economic growth in 2011.”
 

The projects included in the DAP for 2011 included public works and agriculture infrastructure projects, housing, relocation and resettlement projects, additional funding support for local government units (LGUs), rehabilitation of rail systems, projects that support peace efforts, healthcare insurance for indigents, human resource development training, among others.
 

The implementation of the DAP continues up to the present, with DBM revealing that as of October 1, 2013, a total of P137.3 billion has been released under the DAP mechanism. This includes P82.5 billion released in 2011 and another P54.8 billion in 2012. DBM further revealed that for the said period, a total of nine percent of the DAP funds, or some P12.3 billion, was released to projects identified by legislators.
 

“Apart from being used as a tool to control Congress, the DAP may prove to even be illegal and unconstitutional,” Ridon said.
 

“The DAP is unconstitutional as it violates Article VI Section 25(5) of the 1987 Constitution which states, ‘No law shall be passed authorizing any transfer of appropriations; however, the President, . . . may, by law, be authorized to augment any item in the general appropriations law for their respective offices from savings in other items of their respective appropriations,’” according to HR 359.
“No law has been passed to authorize or legalize DAP and the funds released under the said mechanism, thus clearly violating the above-cited constitutional provision,” the resolution explained.
 

“The DAP is [also] illegal. The President and the DBM committed grave abuse of discretion when they identified programs and projects under the DAP and released funds for such. The DAP and the projects under it are nowhere to be found in the 2011 and 2012 General Appropriations Acts, thus by approving such, the Executive Department undermined with impunity Congress’ power of the purse,” the resolution further read.
 

“There is also the issue of whether the funds tapped for the DAP are indeed government savings. DBM has been liberal in the interpretation of the term ‘savings,’ to a point in which the budget agency classified as savings some parts of the national budget even before a particular fiscal year closes,” Ridon said.
In a recent news release, DBM disclosed that P482 million of the funds under DAP for 2011 came from “unreleased appropriations for discontinued or slow-moving projects in 2011,” while P7.75 billion was from realigned 2011 budgetary items within agencies “in favor of fast-disbursing projects.”
 

“When the DAP was first instituted in October 2011, the fiscal year was far from over, meaning the approved appropriations under the 2011 GAA was still in effect and the realigning and discontinuation of funding for GAA-approved programs and projects that occurred is illegal. It is thus clear that the Executive Department bluntly violated the 2011 and 2012 GAA by implementing the DAP,” HR 359 explained.
 

“In conclusion, the DAP can be considered as part of the President’s vast presidential pork barrel. The creation and implementation of the DAP vividly portrays the vast discretionary powers of the President over public funds, as under the said mechanism, the President can fund programs and projects even without congressional scrutiny and approval. Its alleged use in incentivizing legislators who voted for the impeachment of former Chief Justice Corona – an avowed political enemy of the Aquino administration – also clearly illustrates how the Executive Department can commandeer the legislative department easily using public funds. Such acts erode the very fiber of transparency and public accountability, and render the result of the Corona impeachment trial under suspicion,” Ridon said.
 

“Thus we urge members of Congress to come to their senses and make the Executive Department accountable for implementing an illegal and unconstitutional scheme that only served to further the administration’s political motives and perpetuate political patronage in government,” Ridon ended.###

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Inline na larawan 1
No. 5 Palosapis St., Brgy. Amihan, Project 3, QC
(02) 352.1054 | 0939.920.7112
youthactnow.pid@gmail.com
______________________________________________________
OCTOBER 4, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 

Youth group tells Aquino: DAP fiasco enough reason to step down
 

REFERENCE:
Victor Villanueva, YOUTH ACT NOW Spokesperson (0906.375.9987)
Marjohara Tucay, Media Officer (0927.326.8776)

“A spade is a spade is a spade. The Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) is pork – and Aquino should be held liable for using it to further his political agenda.”
 

This is the statement of YOUTH ACT NOW Spokesperson Victor Villanueva during the fifth major anti-pork barrel protest in Ayala today. The said protest was attended by thousands of groups and individuals from all sectors of society – from youth and students to the working class.
 

Earlier in the day, groups led by Kilusang Mayo Uno and militant youth organizations also trooped to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) head office in Gen. Solano Street, Manila to protest against the DAP and the pork barrel system.
 

“The DAP unravels the real scope of Aquino’s power over public funds. It clearly shows us how the president can realign and transfer funds already set aside by Congress to programs and projects that he so desires. The DAP issue is not a mere distraction to the fight against pork barrel. Rather, it exposes the wide latitude of control that Aquino possesses and abuses as chief executive. Now, every Filipino can clearly grasp the pure stroke of evil genius that is the presidential pork barrel,” Villanueva said.
 

In the past days, the DAP has come under fire after Sen. Jinggoy Estrada revealed in a privilege speech at the Senate that several legislators from both chambers of Congress received millions of pesos from the DAP as incentives for voting in favor of Corona’s impeachment.
 

The DBM has also confirmed that several senators received around P50 million in additional funds as part of the DAP while several senators received P10 million to P15 million each.
 

Created by the Aquino administration in 2011, the DAP is a spending mechanism that aimed to “fast-track disbursements and push economic growth in light of the global slowdown and the onslaught of recent calamities.”
 

The implementation of the DAP continues up to the present, with DBM revealing that as of October 1, 2013, a total of P137.3 billion has been released under the DAP mechanism. This includes P82.5 billion released in 2011 and another P54.8 billion in 2012. DBM further revealed that for the said period, a total of nine percent of the DAP funds, or some P12.3 billion, was released to projects identified by legislators.
 

“As the public dug further, more and more anomalies were exposed. It is enraging to discover how the DAP has been used not only for political coercion, but also to bluntly pocket large amounts of public funds,” Villanueva said.
 

In a recently published article, the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) revealed that as early as 2011, the Commission on Audit has already called the attention of the DBM for several anomalous details regarding the use of DAP funds.
 

According to the PCIJ, COA had questioned as early as 2011 the use of funds under DAP amounting to P1.043 billion allotted to projects “not supported by Physical and Financial Work Plans on the specific activities to be undertaken, targeted outputs, and the corresponding budget allocation.”
 

The said amount disbursed by DBM went to three projects: Special Capacity-Building Projects for People’s Organizations, P43.23 million; Civil Society Organizations Anti-Poverty Strategy and Localization and Empowerment Project, P250 million; and Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Transition and Investment Plan, P750 million.
 

“Such anomalous deals brokered with so-called people’s organizations and CSOs are very much similar with the pattern of corruption followed by Janet Napoles using the congressional pork. In fact, it’s so similar that we’ll not be surprised if the operators behind both are one and the same,” Villanueva said.
 

“This scandalous revelation is enough reason for the president to step down. There are critics who even say that the DAP is unconstitutional and even illegal. But the fact that it has been expressly used for political coercion and corruption only heightens the people’s wrath against this deceptive regime,” Villanueva added.
“It’s time to go, Mr. President. If you have any decency left in your corrupt and deceptive mind, step down before the Filipino people forces you to do so,” Villanueva ended.###


 

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
           
     
     
     

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Media Release
08 Oct. 2013

SC oral arguments will further expose Pork Barrel King – KMU

Joining a rally in front of the Supreme Court in Padre Faura, Manila this morning, national labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno said that the high court’s oral arguments on the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) which started today will further expose Pres. Noynoy Aquino as the Pork Barrel King.

KMU said lawyers from the Office of the Solicitor General representing respondents Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr., Senate President Franklin Drilon, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., and Budget Secretary Florencio Abad will be on display justifying the PDAF’s constitutionality.

The labor center said the Aquino government’s lawyers will show Aquino’s true colors by asserting the PDAF’s constitutionality against clear arguments that it is unconstitutional – that it is an undue delegation of legislative power to the executive, violates the separation of powers, impairs the system of checks and balances, and violates the accountability provision in the 1987 Constitution.

“The SC oral arguments will show the extent to which Aquino will distort reason and ignore the people’s interest in order to maintain the pork barrel system. These will highlight the fact that the president is the biggest benefactor of this scheme of plunder and deceit,” said Roger Soluta, KMU secretary-general.

After the P10 Billion pork barrel scandal involving businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles broke out, Aquino has been exposed as the Pork Barrel King for the following and other reasons:
 

ŕ Proposing a P2.6 trillion national budget for 2014 containing some P1.3 trillion of presidential pork,
 

ŕ Presiding over an increase in pork barrel allocations compared with the previous administration,
 

ŕ Pooling government savings to form the Disbursement Acceleration Program fund, using this as pork barrel and bribing legislators in the drive to oust former Chief Justice Renato Corona,
 

ŕ Failure to account for P130 billion in the Malampaya Fund, as stated by Sen. Ralph Recto.

“The Aquino government is being foolish and arrogant in thinking that it can go back to business as usual with the pork barrel system. Filipinos continue to speak out and protest against this corruption racket and will surely reject its retention,” Soluta said.

The labor leader called on the public to keep a close watch on the developments in the high court’s oral arguments, saying the Aquino government clearly plans to use the hearings to defend the much-hated pork barrel system.

Reference: Roger Soluta, KMU secretary-general, 0928-7215313
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Media Release
04 Oct. 013

DAP is pork, Aquino Pork Barrel King – KMU

Thousands of workers led by national labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno and workers’ alliance Action against Contractualization and Towards a Significant Wage Increase Now (ACT2WIN!) joined today’s Million People March in Ayala to protest the widespread corruption under the Aquino administration.

“Workers are enraged at how Aquino uses trillions of public funds for corruption and patronage politics. Instead of using taxes to provide basic social services, Aquino uses these funds, which have been extorted from workers’ meager wages, to promote the interests of his Kamag-anak, Kapartido, and Kabarilan (KKK),” Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson, said.

KMU said workers have every reason to tag Pres. Noynoy Aquino as “Pork Barrel King,” saying that aside from having a whopping P1.3 trillion presidential pork barrel, Aquino also continues to defend the pork barrel system amidst widespread protests calling for its abolition.

“Aquino is, without doubt, the Pork Barrel King. Despite using anti-corruption slogans ‘Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap’ and ‘Daang matuwid,’ he maintained the pork barrel system, which has long been recognized by Filipinos as a massive source of corruption,” Labog said.

The labor center also slammed the Aquino administration for defending the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), saying the DAP is still pork as it is an unprogrammed fund under the sole discretion of the president and is being used for Aquino’s personal and political interests.

“It’s disgusting that Aquino invented this new corrupt and unconstitutional scheme to bribe government officials in exchange for their loyalty. DAP is still pork and, by defending it, Aquino only proves that he is indeed the Pork Barrel King,” Labog said.

The workers also condemned P1.7 Billion DAP funds used by Aquino to bribe to senators to oust former Chief Justice Renato Corona.

“Workers are enraged at how Aquino can easily give away billions from our taxes to corrupt government officials just to ensure their support for his anti-worker and anti-people policies while workers are being insulted with crumbs for wage hikes. In short, binabarat na, ninanakawan pa ang mga manggagawa!” Labog said.

KMU warned Aquino that workers will continue protesting against the prevalent corruption under his administration.

“As more cases of Aquino’s corruption are being exposed, it is not impossible that these anti-pork barrel and anti-corruption protests would culminate in bigger protests demanding Aquino’s ouster,” Labog warned.

Reference: Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson, 0908-1636597
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KILUSANG MAYO UNO
To Kilusang Mayo UnoMe
Oct 1
Media Release
01 Oct. 2013

Aquino, Abad hit over Corona impeach bribes

After Senate Pres. Franklin Drilon and House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte admitted that legislators received additional pork barrel funds after former Chief Justice Renato Corona’s impeachment trial, national labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno condemned Pres. Noynoy Aquino and Budget Sec. Butch Abad for releasing the said funds.

KMU said it is clear that Aquino, through Abad, did use the people’s money to bribe legislators into voting against Corona who was removed from office largely on the basis of his incomplete declarations in his Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth or SALN.

“Clearly, Aquino and Abad employed corrupt tactics in Corona’s impeachment trial, which was packaged as part of the government’s anti-corruption drive. The release of bribes for Corona’s impeachment highlights Aquino’s selfish motives in pushing for Corona’s ouster,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.

The labor center said that while the public became angry at Corona over his role in former Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s attempt to leave the country, the Aquino regime ousted the former CJ primarily because the Supreme Court under his leadership ordered the distribution of Hacienda Luisita, owned by the president’s Aquino-Cojuangco family, to farm workers.

“The scale of bribery and corruption related to the Corona impeachment implies that no less than Malacańang is responsible. Aquino and Abad have seriously undermined their ‘daang matuwid’ slogan with this move,” Labog said.

Condemning the bribes, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago said that each senator who voted to convict and each congressman who voted to indict the former CJ, if shown to have received additional pork barrel funds immediately after the trial, is “presumably guilty of bribery.”

“The use of pork barrel funds to bribe legislators in the service of Aquino’s selfish motives again shows that the pork barrel system must be abolished in its entirety. No amount of reforms will improve this system of corruption, bribery and deceit,” the labor leader said.

KMU called on workers and all Filipinos to condemn the bribery via pork barrel in the Corona impeachment trial and in the passage of the Reproductive Health and Sin Tax bills, as exposed by Sen. Jinggoy Estrada in his privilege speech last Sept. 25.

“We are calling on workers and Filipinos to join the upcoming Million People March in Makati on Oct. 4 as well as a workers’ protest in Sta. Mesa, Manila in the afternoon of the same day. More protests are being planned and we are calling on workers and Filipinos to continue the fight for the pork barrel’s abolition,” Labog said.

Reference: Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson, 0908-1636597

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Media Release
04 Oct. 2013

Workers picket DBM, slam ‘pork bagman’ Abad

Amidst mounting condemnation over the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), workers led by labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno picketed the Department of Budget and Management’s main office in Manila this morning to condemn Budget Sec. Florencio “Butch” Abad, whom they called “bagman of pork barrel funds.”

Claiming that the DAP is a form of pork barrel, that its creation is unconstitutional, and that it was used by Pres. Noynoy Aquino to bribe senators to oust former Chief Justice Renato Corona, the workers carried one placard with Abad’s face and placards containing letters that form the words “Bagman ng Pork.”

“Abad the pork bagman and holDAP (hold-up) implementor deserves the public’s strongest condemnation. The DAP does not have anything positive to it and could only be created with selfish and criminal objectives in mind,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.

The labor leader said the Aquino government’s excuse for the DAP, that it will be used to stimulate the economy, runs counter to the government’s economic framework which reduces government participation in the economy and encourages the activities of big foreign and local capitalists.

“We find it hard to believe that the Aquino government wanted to stimulate the economy through public funds. This excuse runs counter to the government’s policy of handing out almost everything to big capitalists through privatization, deregulation and liberalization,” Labog said.

He also said that the government, if it is sincere in trying to stimulate the economy, should not have given the pork barrel funds to politicians because politicians are known for pocketing a huge section of the said funds and not for creating jobs.

Some P1.7 Billion from the DAP was reportedly released to senators to influence the impeachment proceedings against Corona, while more than P1 Billion from the DAP was alloted to projects that were not supported by work plans, specific activities, intended outputs and budget allocation.

Senators Joker Arroyo and Miriam Defensor-Santiago have said that the creation of the DAP is unconstitutional, as the president and the DBM cannot simply create such a fund without a supporting law.

“The creation and disbursement of the DAP should be thoroughly investigated. Abad and Aquino should be held responsible for this criminal concoction,” Labog said.

The labor center called on the public to remain vigilant regarding developments in the pork barrel scam, to continue speaking out against corruption in the Aquino government, and to carry on with protests against the pork barrel system.

Reference: Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson, 0908-1636597

 

 

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
           
     
     
     
Messages for BSAIII, etc at Ayala

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Oct 4 at 10:24 AM
October 4, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Reference: Mic Catuira, Spokesperson, 0943-4968763

DAPat lang matawag na ‘Pork Barrel King’” – Migrante

Global alliance of overseas Filipinos Migrante International today said that Pres. Benigno Aquino III deserves to be tagged “Pork Barrel King” now more than ever.

The migrant group made the statement as it participated in today’s #MillionPeopleMarch against the pork barrel system in Ayala, Makati.

According to Mic Catuira, spokesperson for Migrante International, the Department of Management-concocted Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) “clearly, categorically and conclusively” exposed Malacanang’s gross abuse and misuse of public funds for political patronage.

“(That’s) More than a hundred billion pesos at the president’s discretion. The DAP is plainly pork by another name. Combined with the P1.3 trillion presidential pork, DAPat lang na matawag na Pork Barrel King si Aquino,” he said.

He added, “Crispy pata lang ang P10-billion pork barrel scam ni Napoles kumpara sa buong-buong lechon ni Aquino. Alert level na ang high blood ng mga kababayan nating OFW (overseas Filipino workers).”

Catuira also slammed Aquino apologists who are saying that the DAP is “a distraction” aimed to distract from plunder raps against some lawmakers.

“The DAP is not a distraction. It IS the main issue. While we unite with calls to prosecute and make accountable all involved in the pork barrel scam, we find it hypocritical that some sectors and Malacanang spin doctors are desensitizing the DAP just because it directly implicates the president and the ruling clique. They are the ones distracting the Filipino people from the real issue. How can the pork barrel be abolished when the president himself is utilizing it for his own political expediency?”

Catuira said that OFWs and their families around the world are mulling another and a longer “Zero Remittance Day/s” in light of the DAP and Aquino’s continuous refusal to abolish the pork barrel system. ###

--
Website: http://migranteinternational.org
Office Address: #45 Cambridge St, Cubao, Quezon City
Telefax: 9114910
 

     
           
     
 
     
     

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PRESS RELEASE
REFERENCE:
October 8, 2013
Andrianne Mark Ng
09998710771
Spokesperson, BAYAN-ST

SOUTHERN TAGALOG DEMANDS FOR A RIGHT AND JUST DECISION OF SUPREME COURT TO ABOLISH THE PORK BARREL SYSTEM

People of Southern Tagalog held a protest this morning in front of the Supreme Court to call for the abolition of all forms of pork. They expressed their great dismay on Aquino’s actions and decisions regarding Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and the infamous distribution of Development Acceleration Program (DAP).
 

While doing the protest, some participants made a t-shirt printing booth where people can have their shirts printed with “Abolish All Porks” design for free. They also held a symbolic petition signing on a 5-by-5 tarpaulin led by STOPPork, an alliance of individuals and organizations for the abolition of pork.
 

The Senate and the House of Representatives finally decided to junk the use of lawmakers’ PDAF. However, the President looks like he’s got no plans of letting go of his own. “Noynoy Aquino is finally showing his true color through the pork barrel system. His actions negates his campaign statement of “Kung walang kurap, walang mahirap (If no one’s corrupt, no one’s going to be poor,)” Bagong Alyansang Makabayan Spokesperson Andrianne Mark Ng said.
“He committed a great mistake by giving away DAP or ‘suhol’ which amounts to an astounding 50 million pesos to every senator who participated in the Corona impeachment,” he added. According to Ng, what the President did was unconstitutional because DAP can only be implemented by the decision of the Congress. Moreover, it can only be used for services for the people and the improvement of the economy.
 

Not to mention that days before the last day of the National Budget hearing in Congress, President Aquino requested the SC for the repeal the TRO on its decision to hold the use of PDAF.
 

The SC conducted oral arguments today whether to abolish the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or not. ###


--
SERVE THE PEOPLE!
Visit us @ bayanst.wordpress.com

 

     
     
           
     
     
     

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NEWS RELEASE
04 October 2013

Controversial DAP strengthens calls to abolish pork system – CTUHR

In reaction to the recent controversy on the so-called Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), the Center for Trade Union and Human Rights said that such improper use of government funds by the Executive only strengthens the calls to abolish the pork barrel system including the presidential pork.
 

“The controversial DAP only reinforces the urgent need to abolish the pork barrel system especially the presidential pork as it is used not just for political patronage but also to subvert institutional checks and balances fundamental in democratic processes,” said Daisy Arago, Executive Director of the labor NGO.
 

Arago explained that the DAP was only made known to the public after it was exposed that funds between P50 to P100 million was disbursed to 20 senators, 19 of whom voted for the conviction of former Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona in the latter’s impeachment trial in 2012.
 

Budget Secretary Abad defended the funds given to the Senators a few months after the Corona impeachment saying it was not bribe but part of the DAP. However, Senator Miriam Santiago and former Senator Joker Arroyo hit the Executive, saying DAP is unconstitutional and illegal as it did not go through budget deliberations in Congress.
 

“Like PDAF, DAP and the presidential pork are tools to gain political leverage against government critics, buy-off support . Ultimately, these discretionary funds of the Executive reinforce political patronage,” Arago said.
 

“And similar to what the Arroyo administration did, DAP and funds that are at the sole discretion of the President Aquino are diverted to fund projects only to create a good public image under the pretext of boosting the economy and in support of the poor,” Arago added.
 

President Aquino’s pork barrel fund in 2014 is estimated at P900 billion at the minimum. This is equivalent to almost half of the 2014 national budget amounting to P2.268 trillion.
 

The group said that if the Aquino government is truly sincere in combating corruption and promoting transparency and accountability in the government, it must abolish all kinds of pork barrel, including the presidential pork. The group then challenged the administration to instead directly allocate these pork funds to social service sectors through the general appropriations.###

For reference: Daisy Arago, Executive Director CTUHR. (02) 411.0256. 0917.248.4876
www.ctuhr.org

 

     
           
     
 
     
     

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MEDIA RELEASE | 8 October 2013
IBON Foundation | IBON Center #114 Timog Ave., QC | Tel. No. 927-6986
Reference: Sonny Africa | Mobile No.: +63298- 5053550

FLAGSHIP 4Ps/CCT FUNDS POSSIBLY MISSPENT

"The flagship conditional cash transfer (CCT) program hailed by Pres. Benigno S. Aquino suffers
billions of pesos worth of problems in its accounts and operation," research group IBON said in
response to President Benigno S. Aquino's speech in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Chief
Executive Officers (APEC CEO) Summit in Bali, Indonesia. Pres. Aquino hailed the administration's CCT
program as a major strategy for achieving inclusive growth.

"If irregularity is established, this could mean that at least Php 3.76 billion in Pantawid Pamilyang
Pilipino Program (4Ps) funds including under the current administration have been used as a pork
barrel either for patronage purposes, lost to corruption, or both," said IBON executive director Sonny
Africa.

Africa cited a Commission on Audit (COA) report on the Department of Social Welfare and
Development (DSWD) for 2012, which found billions of pesos worth of problems in the 4Ps/CCT
program such as unliquidated disbursements, grants released to non-beneficiaries, and grants
released in violation of established guidelines, among others.

As of end-2012, disbursements of Php3.44 billion for grants paid from 2008 to 2012 remained
unliquidated. This includes grants paid totaling Php1.32 billion for the period 2008-2011 and
Php2.11 billion for 2012. The COA report correspondingly said that this "[casts] doubts on the
propriety of disbursements of grants".

The COA also reported that at least Php50.2 million worth of grants were paid to 7,782 household
beneficiaries not on the list of validated and registered household beneficiaries. The DSWD had also
approved payments of Php 29.0 million to 4Ps beneficiaries in July and August 2012 for calamity
support even if there was no compliance with 4Ps conditionalities.

Moreover, the report questioned the validity of payments to farmers and fisherfolk of Php89.0 million
in 2012 and Php7.1 million in 2011 supposedly for cash-for-training/work projects but which did
not have supporting documents. Doubts were also raised on the existence of some Php27.7 million in
so-called PODER projects, while 36 bank accounts with Php112.8 million in balances were found to
have been opened apparently without specific authority or legal basis.

According to Africa, these apparent vulnerabilities of the 4Ps/ CCT program underscore the problem
of maintaining a multi-billion peso cash fund whose use is in practice difficult to control. "This calls
for thorough accounting," he added, saying that the problems also reinforce the argument that CCT
funds do not really reduce poverty beyond the short-term dole-out and are better used in the direct
public delivery of vital social services.

"All these make the proposed expansion of the 4Ps/ CCT to Php62.6 billion in the 2014 national
government budget imprudent," Africa concluded.

--
Rhea Veda Padilla
IBON Foundation, Inc.
IBON Center 114 Timog Ave.
Quezon City, Philippines
Phone (632) 9277060 to 62 loc 401
Mobile 09176140361

 

     
     
     
           
     
     
     

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Call center employees are calling for #taxholidaysvspork

Media Statement
October 3, 2013

The BPO Industry Employees Network or BIEN Philippines is calling for a three-month holiday in paying taxes amidst the pork barrel issue involving senators, congressmen and officials in the executive branch who are accused of plundering the people’s money.

Our call for a tax holiday is just given the widespread corruption in the Aquino government. If the taxes we pay to the government are merely being pocketed by big politicians, we might as well keep our money and have a tax holiday.

The Aquino administration is quick in giving tax holidays to billionaires and business tycoons. It is more just for the government to grant hard-working employees a series of tax holidays. We employees need some relief from the soaring prices of basic goods and payments for basic services and from indebtedness.
 

Employees contribute a significant amount to tax revenues. We note that 80% of call center agents do not have dependents registered in their tax declarations before the Bureau of Internal Revenue, making them some of the biggest taxpayers because of income bracketing.

A single taxpayer classified as “S” normally contributes 7.5% of his or her salary as withholding tax. Given that the call center industry thrives on incentives and bonuses, it comes as no surprise that each year, no less than 40% of our income goes to taxes. The BIR orders that once an employee exceeds Php 30,000.00 worth of bonuses, including the 13th month pay, 30% will be automatically deducted from it.
 

Contributing $13 billion worth of revenues to the national economy, we are dismayed to find out that a huge section of that revenue only goes into the pockets of big bureaucrats. We are disgusted that the government is quick to take away our hard-earned income and is just as quick in funnelling our income to the lavish lifestyles of politicians. We go through sleepless nights, endure dangers in going to work in the wee hours of the morning, and sacrifice time with our family for our work.
 

The industry alone has a workforce of 700,00 employees. If the government gets at least an average of Php 2,500.00 worth of withholding tax from each employee, Php 1.4 billion in tax revenues would be generated. That amount is still exclusive of the tax taken from our bonuses and incentives. That Php 1.4 billion is enough to feed and shelter our fellow Filipinos who are affected by the Zamboanga crisis.
We are calling on our fellow employees to stand up for this call: to be informed, to speak out, and to act. We are also urging our companies to support our call. We employees hope to gain some economic relief with this call. We certainly hope that this call will help pressure the Aquino government into scrapping the corrupt and deceitful pork barrel system.

Reference: Ian Porquia, BIEN Philippines President, 09182182678

--
BPO Industry Employees' Network (BIEN)
BIEN is an independent network of employees in the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry in the Philippines. It aims to promote BPO employees' rights and welfare.

Website: www.bienphilippines.com
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/BIENPilipinas
Twitter: @BIENPhilippines
Mobile: 0999-8125-196

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Press Release
03 October 2013

Concerned Taxpayers say:
Give us a break! Implement a #taxholiday now!
Abolish the pork barrel system!
 

Call center agents and employees from different sectors called for a minimum of 3- month tax holiday amidst the pork barrel issue involving senators, congressmen and officials in the executive branch who are accused of plundering the people’s money and amidst the refusal of the government, especially Pres. Benigno Aquino III to abolish the corrupt system.
 

“Every pay day, almost 15 - 25% painful cut in the hard-earned salary of employees and workers. The collected taxes are supposed to be provided for social services and education of its people. The funds should be used by the government for the upliftment of the condition of the Filipino people, however it was proven otherwise. We will not sit back amidst this evident corruption and plunder of the people’s money,” said Raymond Palatino, #ScrapThePork Alliance.
 

Call center agents, who are members of the BPO Industry Employees’ Network or BIEN also expressed their disgust over the pork barrel system.
 

“Contributing $13 billion worth of revenues to the national economy, we are dismayed to find out that a huge section of that revenue only goes into the pockets of big bureaucrats. We are disgusted that the government is quick to take away our hard-earned income and is just as quick in funnelling our income to the lavish lifestyles of politicians. We go through sleepless nights, endure dangers in going to work in the wee hours of the morning, and sacrifice time with our family for our work,” said Ian Porquia, BIEN president.

“We deserve to receive our salary in full instead of adding more money to the funds that politicians can plunder,” Porquia added.
 

“Day by day, the corrupt nature of the pork barrel system unfolds before our eyes. It is high time for the Aquino government to stop clinging to the pork barrel system. This scheme for robbing us of our money will not be improved by reforms,” said Palatino.
 

During a short gathering in front of the Philippine Stocks Exchange in Makati, the #taxholidayvspork Network spearheaded by #ScrapThePork Alliance and the BPO Industry Employees Network (BIEN), encouraged everyone to stand up against the pork barrel system.
 

Participants wore pink shirts and pink ribbons, and blew out whistles to voice out their call for a tax holiday and for the abolition of the pork barrel system. They also gathered signatures from Makati employees.
 

References:
Ian Porquia, BIEN Philippines president, 0918-2182678
Raymond Palatino, #ScrapThePork Alliance spokesperson, 0922-8369693

--
BPO Industry Employees' Network (BIEN)
BIEN is an independent network of employees in the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry in the Philippines. It aims to promote BPO employees' rights and welfare.

Website: www.bienphilippines.com
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/BIENPilipinas
Twitter: @BIENPhilippines
Mobile: 0999-8125-196

 

     
     
     
           
     
     
     
Program at Paseo/Ayala intersection
     

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Put Aquino in the crosshairs of the anti-pork barrel protests
CPP Ang Bayan
October 08, 2013

Over the past several days, the Filipino people have continuously been expressing their disenchantment over widespread corruption in the use of pork barrel funds and the rottenness of the entire ruling system. They have launched protest actions nationwide, marking the breadth of their disgust and disappointment with Aquino’s failed promises of “good governance.”

Disclosures about the Aquino regime’s creation and use of the so-called Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) have only succeeded in further stoking the fires of the Filipino people’s anger. The DAP is a system of releasing public funds that is not in accordance with the approved budget and is dependent solely on the president’s discretion.

Aquino used the DAP to provide hundreds of millions of pesos to senators who sided with him in convicting and ousting former Supreme Court chief justice Renato Corona. The DAP was also used to accelerate the release of funds for congressmen and senators to secure their support for bills that Aquino personally campaigned for.

The DAP and Aquino’s other pork barrel funds have been met with a swarm of criticism. A number of lawyers have already petitioned the Supreme Court to put a stop to this illegal system and others are now seeking Aquino’s removal from power either through impeachment or resignation.

All this proves that the people are no longer fooled by Aquino’s “good governance” slogan, which so obviously serves as a thin veil for widespread corruption. His endless accusations and constant hoopla about the former Arroyo regime’s corruption now rankles the people. These are all clearly aimed at shouting down criticisms of corruption against his own regime.

The Aquino government is now scrambling to deflect and stifle people’s protests against the pork barrel even as it maintains the corrupt system of budgeting, which accommodates huge unprogrammed funds directly under Aquino’s control. In the face of undying protests against the pork barrel and corruption, Aquino has been frenziedly maneuvering politically to cover up the fact that he is at the top of the totem pole of the rotten pork barrel system and corruption. Nonetheless, he could hardly conceal his annoyance at being aptly dubbed the “pork barrel king.”

Aquino continues to exploit the big scandal involving Janet Lim-Napoles to selectively persecute political rivals, especially those who are set to challenge the ruling clique in the 2016 elections. To further infuriate the people about Napoles, Aquino has exposed her transactions with anti-Aquino politicians even as he closely controls her to prevent her from disclosing her dealings with politicians within the Aquino clique.

After the Department of Justice’s much-publicized move to file plunder cases against key opposition politicians failed to silence the people’s protests, the Aquino regime slapped Gloria Arroyo and Napoles with an additional complaint for squandering the Malampaya funds. But this is all a grand publicity gimmick. The ruling Aquino clique has yet to prove that it is capable of seriously subjecting members of its own class to criminal prosecution and punishment.

The Filipino people, however, are keenly aware that corruption involving the pork barrel funds goes beyond the Napoles scandal. Politicians from the reactionary ruling classes have been routinely engaged in bribery, kickbacks and other pork barrel-related corruption long before Napoles came into the picture. Aquino himself received pork barrel funds in 2005, when his clan was still in good terms with the Arroyo regime. Since 2010, it has been Aquino’s turn to use the pork barrel as an instrument to ensure political support for his regime. His use of these funds emboldens Aquino to immediately preempt any move by Congress to impeach him.

The Filipino people have clearly expressed the conviction that the Priority Development Assistance Fund (the congressional pork barrel) , the Presidential Social Fund, the DAP and all other unprogrammed funds whose disposition is entirely in the hands of the ruling clique in Malacańang must be abolished.

They have spurned the so-called new budgeting system which still grants congressmen the privilege of identifying infrastructure projects to be implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways—a system long ridden with corruption in the form of kickbacks and manipulated bidding. As before, it is a system that promotes patronage politics.

In advancing their struggle against the pork barrel and corruption by the ruling state, the Filipino people must train their sights on Benigno Aquino III. Not only does he sit at the top of the rotten state, he is first and foremost its main beneficiary and apologist. Aquino uses his control over billions upon billions of pesos worth of funds to buy the support of politicians and secure his rule. After three years of corruption under Aquino, it has become clear that he merely rode on the people’s rage against the rottenness of the former Arroyo regime in order to conceal his own filthiness.

The Aquino regime’s corruption must be exposed in more detail. We must show how he used the pork barrel funds to obtain political support in the last elections. Aside from the pork barrel, we must likewise expose how Aquino has been using his power as president to cancel contracts entered into by the Philippine government under the past regime, only to create new contracts favoring his close relatives, family members and cronies.

We must expose information regarding the clinching of big public infrastructure contracts, tax incentives and other privileges to the detriment of the people. A striking example is the demolition of urban poor communities to give way to projects of Aquino’s big businessman-cohorts.

The ruling system presided over by Aquino, his fellow big landlords and the comprador bourgeoisie is inherently corrupt and rotten to the core. The socio-economic system is backward and decaying. It is unproductive and incapable of sustaining itself except through capital infusions from foreign debt and investments. The ruling classes are anti-progress and parasitical and rely merely on their political power to sustain their profligate lifestyles.

The Filipino people must put a stop to the pork barrel system. They must likewise demand the end of the bureaucrat capitalist corruption of the ruling classes of big landlords and big compradors. The Filipino people must overthrow the rotten semicolonial and semifeudal system that is at the foundation of this system of corruption.

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Nakaluklok si Aquino sa tuktok ng bulok na gubyerno ng korapsyon at panunuhol
Communist Party of the Philippines
October 02, 2013

Ang Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) na ginamit ng Malacańang para makapaglabas ng di-programadong pondo ay walang iba kundi isang dambuhalang pork barrel ng presidente para suhulan o gantimpalaan ang mga konggresista at mga senador at bilhin ang katapatan ng mga upisyal ng gubyerno.

Ipinamamalas na ang paggamit ng pondo ng DAP na ito na si Aquino mismo ay nasa tuktok ng bulok na bunton ng korapsyon at panunuhol.

Sa nakaraang ilang araw, nalantad na si Aquino, tulad ng kinamumuhiang sinundan nitong si Gloria Arroyo, ay ginagamit nang lubos ang kanyang pondong DAP na pork barrel para suhulan ang mga senador at kongresista at matiyak ang kanyang adyendang pampulitika.

Noong 2011, ginamit ni Aquino ang P85.5 bilyon ng Pondong DAP (halos tatlong ulit ang laki sa batbat-ng-korapsyong Priority Development Assistance Fund o PDAF) upang siguruhin ang madulas na impeachment (pagpapatalsik) sa dating punong mahistrado ng Korte Suprema na si Renato Corona. Wala ni isang kongresista, na tumangging lumagda sa resolusyon para sa impeachment, ang nakatanggap ng pondo mula sa DAP.

Noong 2012, naglabas ang rehimeng Aquino ng P1.27 bilyon ng dagdag na pork barrel sa ilalim ng DAP para sa senado bago at matapos ang kasong impeachemnt laban kay Corona. Sa ilang buwan ng pagdinig sa impeachment, di bababa sa P530 milyon ang pinakawalan para sa mga senador para impluwensyahan ang kaso.

Ilang buwan matapos ang paghusga kay Corona ng senado, bawat isang senador na pumanig sa Malacańang laban kay Corona ay tumanggap ng P50 milyon. Ang tatlong senador na bumoto para pawalang-sala si Corona ay di nakatanggap ng pera mula sa pondo. Sa kabilang banda, nakatanggap ang susing kaalayado ni Aquino na si Sen. Franklin Drilon ng P100 milyon mula sa pondo ng DAP noong panahong iyon.

Ang pagkakapasa ng Sin Tax Law at ng Reproductive Health Law, na personal na ikinampanya ni Aquino, ay napadulas rin sa paggamit ng bilyun-bilyong piso mula sa DAP.

Inamin ng mga tagapagsalita ng Malacańang na ang pondong mula sa DAP ay inilabas sa superbisyon ni Aquino, na naglalantad sa direktang pagkakasangkot ni Aquino sa panunuhol sa mga kongresista at senador. Si Aquino mismo ay nakipagtagpo kay Sen. Bong Revilla para impluwensyahan ang kanyang boto sa paglilitis kay Corona. Tumanggap si Revilla nang P86 milyon mula sa DAP.

Lubos na disgustado ang sambayanang Pilipino sa mga gawaing panunuhol si Aquino at sa pagtanggap ng suhol ng mga senador at kongresmang kaalayado ng naghaharing rehimeng Aquino. Ganap ang galit nila na ang mga gawain ito ay ipinatutupad gamit ang iligal na paglustay ng pondo sa ilalim ng DAP. Iginigiit ng sambayanang Pilipino na papanagutin si Aquino sa ganitong gawain ng panunuhol at korapsyon.

Kinukundena ng sambayanang Pilipino si Benigno Aquino III sa kanyang kampanya ng panlilinlang na “matuwid na daan” upang tabingan ang korapsyon at pagkabulok ng kanyang rehimen. Nais nilang wakasan ang tiwaling reaksyunaryong estado at ang bulok na naghaharing sistema.

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Aquino sits on top of rotten heap of government corruption and bribery
Communist Party of the Philippines
October 02, 2013

The Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) used by Malacańang to carry out unprogrammed disbursements is nothing but a gigantic presidential pork barrel to bribe or reward congressmen and senators and buy the loyalty of government officials.

Malacańang’s use of the DAP funds shows Aquino himself sits on top of the rotten heap of corruption and bribery.

Over the past several days, it has been revealed that Aquino, like his much-hated predecessor Gloria Arroyo, has been fully using his pork barrel DAP funds to bribe senators and congressmen and ensure his political agenda.

In 2011, Aquino used the P85.5 billion DAP funds (at least three times bigger than the corruption-ridden Priority Development Assistance Fund or PDAF) in order to ensure the swift impeachment of then Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona. Not one of the congressmen who refused to sign the impeachment resolution received funds from the DAP.

In 2012, the Aquino regime released P1.27 billion in extra pork barrel funds under the DAP to the senate before and after the impeachment proceedings against Corona. In the months during the impeachment hearings, at least P530 million was disbursed to senators to influence the proceedings.

A few months after Corona’s conviction by the senate, senators who voted to side with Malacańang against Corona received P50 million. Three senators who voted to acquit Corona did not receive such fund disbursements. On the other hand, Aquino’s key ally Sen. Franklin Drilon received P100 million in DAP funds during the same period.

The swift passage of the Sin Tax Law and the Reproductive Health Law, which Aquino personally campaigned for, was also attained using billions of pesos under the DAP.

Malacańang spokespersons have admitted that fund releases under the DAP were done under Aquino’s supervision, revealing Aquino’s direct involvement in the bribery of congressmen and senators. Aquino himself met with Sen. Bong Revilla to influence his vote on the Corona trial. Revilla received P86 million in DAP disbursements.

The Filipino people are utterly disgusted over Aquino’s acts of bribery and bribe taking by senators and congressmen allied with the ruling Aquino regime. They are extremely indignant that these acts were carried out using illegally disbursed funds under the DAP. The Filipino people demand that Aquino be held accountable for these acts of bribery and corruption.

The Filipino people condemn Benigno Aquino III for his “matwid na daan” campaign of deception to conceal the corruption and rottenness of his regime. They demand an end to the corrupt reactionary state and rotten ruling system.

 

 

 

 

 

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
           
     
     
     

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People’s Initiative vs Pork Barrel and the Imperative of State Reform
Posted on October 10, 2013
ISSUE ANALYSIS No. 06
Series of 2013

Sweeping reform is possible the moment people begin to struggle against personality-oriented leadership, myths, and illusions. It can be done when people begin to act as a collective power.

By the Policy Study, Publication, and Advocacy
Center for People Empowerment in Governance (CenPEG)
October 10, 2013

Former Chief Justice Reynato Puno’s proposed “citizens’ initiative” sends a clear message that the people should not expect anything noble or act of courage from the Congress and executive department to abolish the whole pork barrel system. Sustained and well-coordinated, the six-million signatures representing 10% of the country’s total registered voters as people’s initiative can be gathered favorable to exercising the people’s constitutional right in initiating a major policy reform without Congress. Many agree with Puno that both the President and Congress – now linked together in the destabilizing P10-mn PDAF scam, presidential pork barrels, and the theft of the Malampaya energy fund – will not abolish pork barrel in whatever sneaky form and, hence, only the people as the sovereign power and as the source of all constitutional authority must prevail.

When all else fails – the state’s key governing institutions refuse to heed public clamor for reform – the constitution supports people’s initiative as the penultimate resort for affirmative action. In contemporary times, people’s initiative as a political right has established a rich legacy of mass struggles – from the street parliament, to extra-constitutional and civil disobedience movements – as in the epochal civilian uprisings that ousted the brutal Marcos dictatorship in 1986 and the morally-bankrupt Estrada regime in 2001, as well as in resign movements backed by impeachment initiatives against the illegitimate Arroyo presidency. Aside from these, other people’s initiatives took the similar paths of mass mobilizations resulting, for instance, in the removal of the U.S. military bases in 1991 after the Senate succumbed to public pressure to reject the proposed bases renewal treaty that was backed by Corazon C. Aquino; as well as in stopping destructive dam projects, illegal logging, mining development aggression, and the graft-ridden Bataan nuclear-powered plant. The backdrop to these contemporary struggles – in basic issues articulated, in the forms the unprecedented mass protests took, and in the comprehensiveness of reform – dates back to the nationalist ferment of the 1960s and the First Quarter Storm of the 1970s with millions-strong protests calling for the radical restructuring of society to end exploitation and oppression by the ruling dynasties and the founding of a new state free from foreign domination.

The proposed people’s initiative against pork barrel dramatizes the failure of reform under a state that for all intents and purposes is in its terminal stage. There is a failed state when major scams and corruption cases involving high officials and politicians are brought to the fore not by the much-touted World Bank-constructed “system of transparency and accountability” but by whistleblowers. There is a failed state when major functions of government – from budget to programs, services, elections, human rights, media protection – need to be monitored by citizens’ watchdogs and investigative journalists precisely because the state’s numerous anti-graft, auditing, oversight bodies, and criminal justice system do not function. There is a failed state when public money is devoured by parasites under a culture of impunity – encouraged no less by the incumbent president – that promotes a conspiracy of corruption between the executive and legislature and covers up criminal syndicates. A failed state is unable to translate claimed GDP growths into food and jobs to majority of the people. In short, rehashed WB formulas blindly followed by the government – then and now — have all failed to uplift the lives of the poor and simply made the few wealthy families richer and more entrenched.

While systemic corruption clearly underscores a failure of governance it also aggravates the state’s inability to address widening income disparities (e.g., today the net assets of 40 richest Filipinos correspond to the total income of 60 million Filipinos), in ensuring economic stability, human security measured in terms of all-sided development, public services, human rights and rule of law, among others. On these indices, the state under the Aquino regime fails. Whether one agrees with its indicators, the U.S. Fund for Peace’s 2013 “Failed States Index” (FSI) ranks the Philippines No. 59 as a “failed state” out of 178 countries. Lumped with the Philippines are Somalia, Iraq, Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Colombia. Among Asian countries, the Philippines – now considered “in danger” – is outranked by Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Malaysia. Topping the “green” or most stable states is Finland. Early this year, Transparency International also noted no significant improvement in the Philippines’ corruption performance index. Wasn’t this the same prognosis decades ago from Marcos to the present government?

As seen in Aquino’s refusal to abolish the pork barrel – one of the major sources of corruption – such reports show that reform whether political or socio-economic is not only a zero possibility but the present state itself is intrinsically anti-reform. This is explained largely by an elite-driven government and a political system dominated by political clans – the same elements linked to numerous plunder cases – whose narrow interests are interlocked with those of the economic elite. Clan interests dominate the state and its key instrumentalities; no doubt, the state primarily serves their interests. Thus the clan- or elite-dominated state can never be a machinery for genuine reform – nor will it allow “inclusive” governance and growth – since doing so would harm its interests. The heart of the matter in the refusal to abolish the pork is that this measure will significantly reduce politicians’ power and access to public resources – contrary to their agenda of using public office as a business enterprise and as a means of perpetuating dynasties. Allowing the subjects of elite rule – slaves in the old days – to challenge the power of the tyrants over public money is an incendiary that could open the floodgates of more reform, such as abolishing political dynasties or a fair electoral competition. In the first place, Aquino III is of the same mold as the powerful political clans feasting on people’s money. His is of the belief that governance is run by patronage politics, pork barrel, trade-offs, perks, and all – “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.” His government is not much different from the past; it is one whole bureaucracy ruled by political dynasties that promotes patronage politics and allows unbridled syndicated theft of the people’s money.

In resisting public demands for real reforms all that past and current regimes could offer are bite-size measures motivated primarily to defuse outrage and project the image of “responsiveness” – “the people are my boss.” Thus, they offer band-aid solutions such as conditional cash transfer funds for poverty alleviation in lieu of lasting genuine rural and land reform; overseas work in lieu of jobs-creating basic industries and manufacturing at home; crumbs of benefits in lieu of minimum wage increases; and demolitions in lieu of real socialized housing programs for the poor. The elite-dominated state has consistently refused to implement the constitutional ban on political dynasties. More evident in the state’s anti-reform ideology is the use of its reactionary coercive machineries – armed forces, police, paramilitary, and death squads – to demonize and silence those advocating for social change. This culture of impunity remains strong until today. This should stop.

Yet, there are brighter prospects of mobilizing and harnessing various forms of people’s initiatives and struggles for genuine reform. The mass politicization triggered by the nationalist ferment of the 1960s continues to express and articulate the communal or collective desire for democratization, against authoritarian rule, cronyism, and elitist politics and, on a broader scale, for economic equality and people’s effective representation in governance. Various creative forms of struggle have succeeded in removing oppressive regimes a number of times – hijacked also a number of times most despicably by opportunistic elite factions – to electoral exercises, legislative engagements, citizens’ watching, community organizing, to – on the part of the radical Left and Bangsamoro people – revolution.

Significantly, more and more people including those from the middle-income sectors, are beginning to realize the futility and bankruptcy of bourgeois reform (tokenism) and are disillusioned by the myth of “clean politics” (e.g., of the Aquinos) as they are increasingly enraged by traditional politics. The burger chain-inspired “daang matuwid” (clean governance) has today become a butt of ridicule. Talks about the loss of public trust in government in its entire spectrum are fertile ground for the convergence of genuine reforms on the state. While before the targets of public outrage were despots and individual plunderers today more and more unorganized masses are talking about sweeping institutional reform.

But how to go about this remains a question.

Such qualitative changes in social and political consciousness are key toward strategizing upon where people’s struggles should go. There is, for instance, a need to distil, sharpen, systematize, visualize, and popularize key political advocacies, linking a specific issue (e.g., pork barrel and corruption) to the core issues of elite rule and bureaucrat capitalism. Social media is fine but it can never be a substitute to the more effective direct mass engagements, discussions, and street protests. The media, on the other hand, should not only expose anomalies but should be critical observers and active change multipliers as well.

People’s initiatives such as petition signing should be a means of public discussion and should result in the broadening of mass and organized mobilizations. Such vibrant and dynamic mass politics can give birth to more mass leaders, organizers, advocates, and trimedia message articulators. Although the spontaneity of mass protests will continue and increase as public demands are unheeded and, hence, the momentum of reform will intensify such positive efforts should be able to evolve into a broad coalition of reform voices to give teeth and leadership to any political program while respecting the independent initiatives of coalition forces. Spontaneity has the potential of broadening the spectrum of forces advocating democratic reform; organizing and leading a critical mass will move it forward.

The current political discourse provides the platform for raising anew the issue of alternative people’s governance – and how such vision can be enhanced by building and sustaining people empowerment. On this point the various – not necessarily competing – political perspectives that gravitate around the anti-pork barrel rallies as well as forums on reform should find congruence. Vigilance should be maintained in not allowing the advocacy for genuine reform be distorted or misguided by opportunism and by those compromising with the powers that be. Sweeping reform is possible the moment people begin to struggle against personality-oriented leadership, myths, and illusions. It can be done when people begin to act as a collective power.

Lessons have to be learned from previous people’s struggles particularly in the two Edsa uprisings. Only a struggle on the side of the people can be just and won. Change can only be effected by the people – no one else will. The time to stop the insanity of this kind of government system, inherently despicable with its insatiable greed for power and hypocrisy is NOW

For reference:

Bobby M. Tuazon
Director for Policy Studies
Center for People Empowerment in Governance
3F CSWCD Bldg., Magsaysay Avenue, University of the Philippines, Diliman 1101, Quezon City
TelFax +9299526; email info@cenpeg.org, cenpeg.info@gmail.com

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
           
     
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