Church Groups Deliver Letter to Members of 16th Congress:
Abolish Pork, Rechannel Funds, Punish scammers, Junk DAP

 

Batasan, QC

 

October 14,  2013

 

■  Interview with Prof. Jose Maria Sison:
Corruption under the Aquino Regime and the need for system change

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Media Release
October 14, 2013

Church People Troop Congress to Beseech
for the Abolition of Pork Barrel

October 14, 2013. Two days after the nationwide ringing of church bells, members of the Church People’s Alliance Against Pork Barrel troop to Congress to pray and hand over letters regarding the clamor of the people for the abolition of pork barrel.
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Carrying letters addressed to the leadership and members of the House of Representatives, the faithful expressed their firm stand with the poor and their moral mandate against the prevailing corrupt system in the government. Letters to Representatives of the 16th Congress namely Feliciano Belmonte Jr. (House Speaker), Neptali Gonzales II (Majority Leader), Ronaldo Zamora (Minority Leader), Isidro Ungab (Chair on Appropriations Committee), Benjamin Asilo (Chair on People’s Participation Committee), and Oscar Rodriguez (Chair on Good Government and Public Accountability) were personally handed by leader-convenors of the alliance. The rest were sent via email.

The letter signed by Bp. Deo Iniguez, DD and three other conveners stated that “we cannot remain blind when our rights to necessary social services are denied. We cannot turn a deaf ear when the aspiration of the oppressed and marginalized for social justice reverberate the land. We cannot be indifferent to the aspiration of the people for a better society with abundant life for all”

They also reiterated their demand to Abolish pork barrel, Re-channel funds directly to social services like education, health and housing, Make accountable those involved in the pork barrel scam and Declare DAP as anomalous and unconstitutional.

The alliance urged congressmen/women to also take “the side of truth, justice and accountability”. Further, they also plea by saying “As you prepare for the final deliberation of the 2014 National Budget, let your hearts be touched by the millions of Filipino people who has entrusted you to make our lives for the better, to restore the trust to the public office, and put an end to the acts of bribery, corruption, and abuse of power. May the guidance of the One True Light bring enlightenment. Let us abolish pork barrel, now!”

The Church People’s Alliance Against Pork Barrel concluded the prayer and letter-sending with its firm commitment to continue all possible avenues in sustaining the campaign as we journey with the poor.##

Reference:
Sr. Genevieve Go, SNDS
Mr. Nardy Sabino
Convenors
Church People’s Alliance Against Pork Barrel
09339604907, standforthepoor@gmail.com

 

           
     
     
     

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Press Release: Raise High the Prophetic Voice Against Pork Barrel, DAP and Corruption!
October 12, 2013 at 6:54pm
Press Release
October 11, 2013

Raise High the Prophetic Voice Against Pork Barrel, DAP and Corruption!

Today, October 11, 2013 at 1PM, church people reaffirm their stand against pork barrel and corruption in government with the simultaneous ringing of church bells of more than 1500 churches around the country.

The Roman Catholic (Archdiocese of Manila, Jaro, Cebu, Lipa, Capiz, Nueva Segovia, Tuguegarao and the dioceses of Catarman, Sorsogon, Ilagan, Borongan, Bayombong, Cabanatuan, Batanes, Marbel, Libmanan, Antipolo, Balanga, Imus, Tagbilaran, Malaybalay, Palawan, Iligan, Cotabato, Digos and San Jose) and member churches of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines such as the Iglesia Filipina Independiente and the Episcopal Church will ring out against the old corrupt system and ring in truth, justice and accountability. The United Church of Christ in the Philippines, United Methodist Church as well as the Promotion of Church People’s Response will stand with their fellow Christians with bells, chimes and gongs in reverberating the same aspiration.

Church people reiterate their united stand on the abolition of pork barrel in the branches of the government especially funds under the sole discretion of the President that comprises hundreds of billions from our national budget. The president remains indifferent, worse, callous in heeding the voice of the people as PDAF system and his own pork is still very much present under his administration particularly in the 2014 national budget.

The pork barrel system and its other forms or names is a tragedy to the majority Filipinos who wallow in misery, poverty and ill social services from rampant government corruption. The ringing of bells signals our deep attachment to the cries and struggles of the poor for justice, peace and abundant life . The prophetic ringing of bells is a sound demanding our leaders of the country to repent and stop deceiving the people with criminal schemes. The prophetic ringing of bells affirms our condemnation of the acts of political patronage, bribery, corruption, and abuse of power. The prophetic ringing of bells marks the presence of God in our midst and our renewed hope as we struggle for a better society with abundant life promised to all (John 10:10).

As an imperative of our faith, the Church People’s Alliance Against Pork Barrel sustain our commitment to stand with the poor and restore justice in our land so that sooner, we shall achieve a society bereft of corruption instead Shalom reigns.

Reference:

Rev. Fr. Ben Alforque, MSC
Sr. Maureen Catabian, RGS
Mr. Nardy Sabino
Convenors, Church People’s Alliance Against Pork Barrel
09339604907;
standforthepoor@gmail.com

 

     
           
     
     
     

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NEWS RELEASE
14 October 2013

For Reference: REP LUZVIMINDA C. ILAGAN 0920-9213221
Jang Monte (Public Information Officer) 0917-4049119

GABRIELA SOLON: DAP UNDENIABLY PORK, A FORMULA FOR MALACANANG’S USURPATION OF CONGRESS’ POWER OF THE PURSE

“President Aquino’s DAP is pork. It is illegal and unjustifiable, it breeds political patronage and it should be abolished.”

Thus said Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Luzviminda Ilagan as she joined colleagues from the Makabayan bloc in a press conference at the House of Representatives today. They called for the immediate abolition of the Disbursement Acceleration Program or DAP created by President Benigno Aquino to supposedly fast track government spending for projects deemed urgent and of high importance.

The Gabriela solon further said that Aquino and his ilk in the Department of Budget and Management led by Sec. Butch Abad cannot justify the use of funds that are being re-aligned through DAP as savings. “How can these be classified as savings when they are siphoned from unfinished or unimplemented projects?”

“The DAP makes Malacanang a pork barrel monster, gobbling funds from every department for entitlement and patronage.”

“Malacanang has no business dipping its dirty fingers into the funds that have already been allocated for specific projects. There is no excuse for this executive usurpation of power. The power of the purse belongs to Congress. It is the Constitution that states that it is Congress that has the sole mandate to impound, disburse or legislate supplementary budget allocations for projects and other government expenses.” said Ilagan. #

 

     
           
     
     
     

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NEWS RELEASE
14 October 2013

For Reference: REP LUZVIMINDA C. ILAGAN 0920-9213221
Jang Monte (Public Information Officer) 0917-4049119

PORK SCAM, POVERTY, OVERALL FAILURE IN GOVERNANCE LED TO PLUNGE IN AQUINO RATING - ILAGAN

Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Luzviminda Ilagan today said the plunge in President Aquino’s trust rating is an expected result of the Aquino government’s overall failure in governance.

“The drop in Aquino’s popularity rating is a natural consequence following his failure to heed the people’s demand to abolish the pork barrel in all its forms and hold those involved in the pork barrel scam accountable as well as to address the problem of unemployment amid increasing prices of rice, oil and other commodities,” said Ilagan.

The previous weeks saw the price of rice increasing from P37-P42 to as much as P40-46 per kilo. Unemployment rate went up to 7.3% in July. This is a 7% increase from the unemployment rate in July last year.

The survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations between September 20-23 yielded a net satisfaction rating of +49, noticeably +15 points lower than the survey conducted in June.

Ilagan also warned that Aquino’s satisfaction rating is set to drop even further for as long as he keeps up with attempts to shield allies from accountability and refuses to totally abolish the pork barrel system.

“You cannot steal bread from someone who is hungry and not expect some form of resistance or retaliation. The government’s inaction on the pork barrel scam and the worsening poverty in the country will produce dire consequences for Aquino and his ilk. Mahirap kaaway ang mga taong nagugutom. Tinawag nga niyang mga boss pero hindi naman niya pinakikinggan.” #

 

     
           
     
     
     
           
     
 
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OCTOBER 13, 2013
Interview with Prof. Jose Maria Sison:

Corruption under the Aquino regime and the need for system change

The Philippines has reached its own version of an impasse. On one side are the Filipino people demanding for the abolition of pork barrel and discretionary funds, including that of President Aquino’s, and on the other side is the Aquino administration, which has been adamantly defending the pork barrel fund under different names whether PDAF or the DAP and has been stubbornly refusing to give up President Aquino’s own pork barrel funds. How will the impasse end?

By D.L. Mondelo
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Bulatlat.com

The network of corruption exposed by the pork barrel scam has gone wider and wider. What was supposedly a case of fund misuse, corruption and political patronage involving Janet Lim-Napoles and government officials and legislators during the previous administration of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has now been exposed as having continued under the current Aquino administration, which won under the campaign banner of “change” and its self-professed “daang matuwid” governance of anti-corruption and moral ascendancy. After the Aquino administration was forced to admit the existence of its own pork barrel creation the Disbursement Acceleration Program, which involved the president’s allies, the Filipino people, who were already calling for the abolition of the pork barrel fund under the Priority Development Assistance Fund or PDAF, became more incensed.

Indeed, the people realized, the tentacles of corruption being facilitated by funds that are being disbursed and spent on the wishes of government officials such as pork barrel, discretionary, un-programmed, intelligence funds and the like extend farther than what was generally expected.

However, the Philippines has reached its own version of an impasse. On one side are the Filipino people demanding for the abolition of pork barrel and discretionary funds, including that of President Aquino’s, and on the other side is the Aquino administration, which has been adamantly defending the pork barrel fund under different names whether PDAF or the DAP and has been stubbornly refusing to give up President Aquino’s own pork barrel funds.

How will the impasse end?

Progressive groups and concerned netizens have been calling for more frequent protest actions until the Aquino administration relents and those guilty of corruption punished. Former Chief Justice Reynato Puno, who has added his voice to the strong calls for the abolition of the pork barrel fund system, has come up with another course of action to complement protest actions: the people’s initiative.

In this interview, Bulatlat.com asked about the views of Left political analyst, chief political consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, and chairperson of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle Professor Jose Maria Sison. Professor Jose Maria Sison has not been a mere political observer but has been in the thick of struggles spanning six administrations: the Marcos dictatorship, the Cory Aquino administration, the Ramos, Estrada and Arroyo administrations, and the current Aquino administration.

1. Are the plunderers in the pork barrel system limited to those involved in the Napoles case? Why is Aquino pointed to as the pork barrel king? Is he also engaged in plunder? If so, how? Is the corruption of Aquino limited to the pork barrel?

JMS: The plunderers are not limited to those involved in the Napoles case. Napoles and the senators and congressmen who are her accomplices could accomplish their plundering only with the collaboration of executive officials under Aquino, particularly in the theft of Php 10 billion under the so-called Priority Development Assistance Fund .

Aquino is pointed to as the pork barrel king because he has control and sole discretion over huge lump sums of pork barrel amounting to hundreds of billions of pesos. He and his relatives and friends can at will, steal from various types of pork like the special purpose fund, unprogrammed funds, intelligence fund, presidential social fund, Malampaya fund, off budget account, among others. He has been caught with his pants down on the invention of the Disbursement Acceleration Program. He is discovered to have no constitutional peg whatsoever for this racket. He has been disbursing huge amounts of money illegally and criminally.
 

The corruption of Aquino is not limited to pork barrel. The IMF Direction of Trade no less has found out that smuggling under the Aquino regime is at least three times worse than that during the Estrada and Arroyo regimes and amounts to USD 19 billion per year. The floods have become worse under the Aquino regime because of huge cuts from infrastructure projects. The sister and brother-in-law of Aquino have been exposed for trying to shake down the Czech company Inekon. The biggest tax evaders like Lucio Tan and Eduardo Cojuangco are intimates of Aquino.

2. Aquino controls both houses of Congress by corrupting most of the congressmen and senators, with the use of pork barrel disbursements, like those related to the impeachment and conviction of Corona. It is obvious that Aquino cannot be impeached by the Lower House and tried by the Senate. What can be done to punish Aquino?

JMS: The way to try and punish Aquino now is not by impeachment by the Lower House and trial by the Senate. One way is to charge and try him after he steps down from his office in 2016. Estrada and Arroyo have been similarly charged and tried. Another way is to carry out an Edsa type of uprising as in 1986 and 2001. If the uprising is successful, Aquino and his accomplices can be arrested and tried immediately.
 

The people’s outrage over the pork barrel corruption can develop into a mass uprising beyond the ability of the government and the yellow media to counter it. The broad masses of the people are already fed up with the years of Aquino manipulation of the mass media, the opinion poll surveys and social media and the use of letter writing brigades and planted comments.

3. What do you think of the proposal of the former Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato Puno to the One Million People March Movement to undertake a People’s Initiative and hold a People’s Congress to legislate the abolition of the pork barrel system in accordance with a provision in the 1987 Constitution?

JMS: It is an excellent proposal. I can see that the people’s initiative can be joined by millions of people. It has a broad appeal and a has a definite objective of abolishing the pork barrel system through the People’s Congress in accordance with the 1987 Constitution and Republic Act No. 6735, which provides for a system of initiative and referendum.
 

The people’s initiative has a high potential for becoming a movement for moral regeneration and for system change as envisioned and advocated recently by the peace panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines. The leadership of the movement may include former Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato Puno, former Vice President Teofisto Guingona, Senator Grace Poe and stalwarts of the mass movement like Dr. Carol Araullo, Satur Ocampo and Liza Maza.

4. Going back to the possibility of overthrowing the Aquino regime, how would the people go about this? Some pundits say that Aquino cannot be ousted and replaced because those in the line of succession are also corrupt like him, like Vice President Binay and Senate President Drilon. How do you ensure having a good administration to replace the corrupt Aquino regime?

JMS: There is no need for using the existing line of succession. Philippine history has shown in 1986 and 2001 that a president can be ousted peacefully by the broad masses of the people who rise in great numbers. The organized forces of the mass uprising must persuade the military and police to respect the right of the people to speak and assemble. The effective leaders of the military and police can be subsequently persuaded to take a position against the regime and withdraw support from it.

They can be trusted by the masses if beforehand they declare that they uphold the principle of civilian supremacy and commit themselves to supporting a council of national unity as the civilian caretaker government in charge of arresting and prosecuting Aquino and his criminal accomplices and ensuring clean and honest elections within six months. The chair and members of the caretaker government can be appointed by a council for moral regeneration arising from the people’s movement against the pork barrel and entire gamut of corruption.

5. If we get rid of the pork barrel system and Aquino and his accomplices, would that be enough to change the rotten social system in the Philippines? What does it take to make a system change truly for the benefit of the people?

JMS: Getting rid of the pork barrel system together with Aquino and his accomplices is not enough to change the semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system of big compradors and landlords servile to US imperialism. So long as these exploiting classes continue to reign, bureaucrat capitalism or bureaucratic corruption will persist. The workers and peasants must smash the bureaucratic and military machinery of the exploiting classes in order to install the people’s democratic system.

6. Is it possible to have a government that you can cooperate with, short of achieving victory in the people’s war against the ruling system? What do you expect from a government that you can cooperate with?

JMS: That government must assert national independence against unequal treaties, agreements and arrangements. It must let the strength of the workers and peasants grow in a democracy. Genuine land reform and national industrialization must be carried out. A national, scientific and mass culture must flourish. The foreign policy must be for peace and development.

7. Why is it that so far there is no such government as you describe? Why is it that such government has not arisen from the peace negotiations between the National Democratic Front of the Philippines and the Manila-based government?

JMS: All presidents and regimes since the start of the peace negotiations have been more interested in serving the US and their exploitative class interests, in amassing wealth through corruption, in using military force to suppress the revolutionary movement and in using the peace negotiations to seek the surrender and pacification of the revolutionary forces and people.

8. Is there still a chance that Aquino will show interest in peace negotiations either because he wants to shore himself up politically or because he is simply interested in peace as a noble objective?

JMS: The chance is nil or close to nil. Aquino has been merely interested in preserving and expanding the wealth of the Aquino-Cojuangco clan. He cannot think and act outside of the box of puppetry to the US, satisfying the interests of his fellow big compradors and landlords, plundering the national treasury and overrelying on the use of military force and manipulation of the mass media. (http://bulatlat.com)

- See more at: http://bulatlat.com/main/2013/10/13/corruption-under-the-aquino-regime-and-the-need-for-system-change/#sthash.yzt3w13R.dpuf

 

     
     
Waiting to deliver a letter to the Speaker/HOR
     
     
     
     
     
           
     
           
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