Category Archives: Pork Barrel

Abad should irrevocably resign now; promptly convict Napoles and all her cohorts, including top gov’t officials; full auditing of DAP; abolish all pork barrels

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BUDGET Secretary Florencio Abad must irrevocably resign now to ensure an impartial investigation and full audit of the illegal presidential Disbursement Acceleration Program, which should pave the way for abolishing all forms of pork barrel and prosecuting all those who plundered and misused the public funds, including Janet Lim-Napoles and her cohorts who looted both the DAP and its congressional counterpart, the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).

This was reiterated by the Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa while President Aquino expectedly reaffirms his intransigence in defending Abad and the DAP during today’s State of the Nation Address (Sona) overshadowing his usual economic “growth” reports – despite the Supreme Court’s ruling that essentially declared DAP as unconstitutional.

“There must be full, honest and independent accounting of the DAP, which requires a complete and untainted list and description of DAP projects to be scrutinized, as well as who requested or received or managed the funds that were released,” Frank Mero, Sentro chair, emphasized.

Sentro also expressed its suspicion on the belated and piecemeal approach of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) in issuing lists of DAP projects both on its website and press releases, and more so why it continues to withhold disclosing all the DAP project proponents, especially Aquino’s partymates and other political allies.

Reports said that this enormous and potent presidential discretionary fund allegedly reached close to P353 billion “illegally” sourced from state savings and unprogrammed funds in two years only or from 2011, when the DAP was started, to 2012.

The DBM countered that the available fund in that period was P136.75 billion “only” and a total of P114.57 billion was actually used. However, revealing its inconsistency, the DBM later reported that it released DAP funds amounting to P75.1 billion in 2011 and P53.2 billion in 2012 – or a total of P128.3 billion – aside from P16 billion in 2013.

Josua Mata, Sentro secretary general, retorted that whatever the amount and legally aside, “the DAP and all other ‘pork’ for that matter are primarily if not exclusively geared towards political patronage, and not really to pump-prime the economy but to curry favor with the senators, congressmen and other politicians to achieve vested personal or political interests.”

Sentro earlier posted on its website a more detailed statement analyzing the DAP issue – SENTRO STATEMENT ON P-NOY’S ‘PORK’

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Nagkaisa Labor Coalition Demand Aquino to Fulfill Promises to Workers and Account for Workers’ Money Utilized in DAP

A coalition of 49 labor centers, federations and workers’ organizations to promote workers’ interest, the Nagkaisa today issued a statement to give labor groups’ perspective on the fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III tomorrow, Monday, July 28th. Below is the coalition’s pre-SONA statement:

“Millions of Filipino workers and their families remains deprived of the benefits of the inclusive growth they deserve from the so-called high Philippine economic growth they helped built since 2010. It is shameful that the President in Benigno Simeon Aquino III they elected in power four years ago, has tactfully failed them.

With around 700 days left in office, there are bold indications that the man in Pnoythey thought could lead them out of vicious pit of poverty and help them cope with the rising prices of commodities caused by a liberalizing economy is, in fact, slowly abandoning the hope of the working people.

Siding with employers’ interest, President Aquino deliberately refused to break the cycle of poverty by freeing up a large segment of 25 million contractual workers when he turned down outright the Nagkaisa plead to certify the pending Security of Tenure (SOT) bill designed to responsibly eliminate the very backward contractualization work scheme imposed by the business elites.

Aquino is just staring at workers being mangled by a very exorbitant and world class electricity rates controlled by a monopsony cartel of a very few families despite persistent advice from Nagkaisa to act, form and lead a multi-agency, multi-sectoral task force that will figure out within two-year period a secure power supply and a competitive electricity rate.

The stakes just get higher with the ominous crisis in power supply.The hiatus is so real that it would reckon businesses to make significant retrenchments of workers and render the country uncompetitive and unattractive to investments that are necessary to create more new jobs.

The absence of a national strategic plan on power will surely force the state to make knee-jerk but expensive fixes that, in the end, workers, especially minimum wage earners, would have to pay more from their take home pay—reminiscent of the same blunder committed by his mother the late President Cory Aquino.

Aquino is doing nothing while watching workers profusely bleed from the day-to-day stab of recent man-made and phenomenal sudden price increase of rice, garlic and ginger.

Without any significant increase in wages amid hikes in prices and costs of other basic commodities and services during his tenure, he has, in fact,coldly insulted the workers by issuing an executive order that would raise by P10,000 the disability and burial benefits of workers the moment concerned government agencies accrue excess funds.

He has reneged on his promise to “get back” a month later with presidential response on important laborpolicy issues raised by Nagkaisa labor leaders he invited to a pre-labor day breakfast dialogue inside Malacanang Palace on April 30th.

In the light of the controversial discovery of the Disbursement Allocation Program DAP), Mr. Aquino and cohorts should account for every single centavo in the billions of pesos of workers’ money in the scheme.The Nagkaisa demand Mr. Aquino to prove that the people’s money was not siphoned off to ghost projects and illusory expenditures as payoff for political patronage.

Mr. Aquino has squandered all opportunities to make a difference in the lives of workers especially those of the rank-and-file. He has failed to commiserate with the warm bodies that broke their back in earning a living while building the economy. The Nagkaisa has performed its critical part in bringing the case to the table. Now, it cannot entirely put the blame on workers who will claim their piece of social justice on the streets.

UNITY STATEMENT OF THE 6.12.14 Protest Coalition

 

6.12.14 Protest Coalition

“The Philippines is a democratic and republican state. Sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them.” – Article II, Section 1, The Philippine Constitution.

The painfully slow progress in the investigation and prosecution of the pork scandals involving Janet Lim-Napoles’ network, among others, robs the nation blind in the realms of justice and transparency, and steals energy that could otherwise be focused on development tasks.

The expanse and breadth of the corruption linked to pork shakes the very foundation of Filipino society. The delays and theatrics, whether by the current crop of suspects or the incumbent administration, make a mockery of the basic tenets of Philippine democracy.

The Filipino people have been given the run-around. Several reports and lists — from the Commission on Audit, to those collated by Benhur Luy and other whistleblowers, to the various Napoles lists — show a vast number of legislators and executive department officials involved in pork-related corruption.

All these sectors seemingly use and discard lists or delete names according to their interests. Until now, we have yet to see a hint of resolution of this controversy. From the camps of those already named in plunder cases, all the way to President Aquino, what we see are efforts to tar enemies but coddle allies.

TAMA NA! The Filipino people demand full transparency and accountability from all branches of the government.

From now on, ZERO TOLERANCE for any aspect of the culture of corruption. We demand that the government probe, prosecute and JAIL ALL found guilty of stealing and misusing the people’s money and abusing the people’s trust. No one must be spared.

We call on each and every Filipino to come out and join this UNIFIED EXPRESSION OF OUTRAGE AND DISGUST. TOGETHER, LET US ALL DEMAND OUR FREEDOM FROM CORRUPTION – 6.12.14

There is nothing hard to understand about “ALL.” If you refuse to even start an investigation, then you are coddling the corrupt. We address this to you, President Aquino: Start acting like the President of the nation, not just of your friends. Let the wheels of justice turn and give much-needed closure to this travesty.

We are counting on you, Mr. President. Are you with us? Or against us?