ABOLISH THE PORK BARREL SYSTEM!

Press Conference at UP Diliman
Picket Rally on Taft Avenue, Manila

 

August 16, 2013

/p

 

 

     
   
 
/p

/p
Photos courtesy of College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP), C.J. Chanco and CONTEND-UP
as indicated by the filenames
           
           

 

COA findings strengthen calls to abolish pork
Posted on 17 August 2013 by BAYAN

News Release August 17, 2013 T

The Commission on Audit findings that some P6.2 billion in Priority Development Assistance funds may have been lost to corruption from 2007-2009 strengthens the calls to abolish the pork barrel system, according to the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan).

“There can be no ifs and buts. The pork barrel system has to go. Billions of pesos are apparently being channelled to ghost projects, questionable NGOs and unscrupulous politicians. The Napoles NGO’s appear to be just among the 82 NGO’s that have questionable practices and links to politicians. The system is so corrupt that there can be no other way to address the issue but to abolish pork altogether,” said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.

“It is time to end the ‘public-private partnership’ of lawmakers, spurious NGO’s and corrupt government agencies who are responsible for plundering the nation’s coffers,” he added.

Bayan said that it is very likely that the questionable practices from 2007 to 2009 may have continued up to the present administration. The group said that it was necessary to review the PDAF disbursements during the Aquino administration. It said that what is posted on the Department of Budget and Management website are just projects supposedly undertaken using the PDAF of lawmakers but no stringent audit appears to have been carried out.

The DBM website on PDAF projects show that even under the Aquino administration, hundreds of millions of pesos were allotted to projects such as livelihood trainings and seminars. The group said that even partylist lawmakers appear to have questionable PDAF use as some projects have no connection with the sectors or regions that they claim to represent.

While admitting that the scope and depth of corruption in the PDAF was shocking, Bayan asked why the COA recommendations fell short of calling for the abolition of the PDAF and the investigation of erring lawmakers.

In its recommendations found on page 139 of its report, COA asked lawmakers to limit their participation in PDAF project to identification of eligible projects and implementing agencies, and to ensure that projects fall within their congressional district or sector. COA also recommended that some NGO’s and government agencies be probed.

“What is striking in the COA report is that there is no recommendation to probe the lawmakers who may have been involved in the questionable PDAF projects. Only some NGO’s and government employees have been recommended for investigation. COA also does not recommend the abolition of PDAF. Given what COA itself has revealed as corruption on a massive scale, these recommendations are certainly not enough,” Reyes said.

“The COA found at least 6 lawmakers tied to certain questionable NGO’s, yet there was no recommendation to investigate these lawmakers. If despite the COA report no one is held accountable, then corruption will continue. That’s impunity,” he added.

Bayan said that pressure should be made to bear on President Benigno Aquino III and his allies in Congress to hold accountable all those involved in the scam.

“The whole system – the executive, legislative and judiciary – is on trial here. A scam of this magnitude demands that officials be made accountable. Lawmakers, bogus NGO’s and erring officials of implementing agencies should be thoroughly investigated. Congressional hearings should also be undertaken. PDAF projects for 2014 should be halted. Aquino cannot act as if it’s business as usual. His refusal to scrap pork is very telling,” Reyes said. ### -

 

See more at: http://www.bayan.ph/site/2013/08/coa-findings-strengthen-calls-to-abolish-pork/#sthash.XrEOu2xa.dpuf

 

     
           
     
     
     

 

Joint Press Release
August 4, 2013
References: Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares
Gabriela Rep. Luz Ilagan
ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio
Anakpawis Rep. Fernando Hicap
Gabriela Rep. Emmi de Jesus
Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate
Kabataan Rep. Terry Ridon

MAKABAYAN: PNOY’S PRO-PORK STAND EXPOSES DAANG MATUWID AS A SHAM
 

Bloc will not access their own pork barrel allocation

We, the Makabayan Coalition, denounce in the strongest terms the pronouncement made by President Benigno S. Aquino III that he is in favor of retaining the pork barrel system.

The President has chosen to make his stand known at a time when evidence provided by whistleblowers, together with findings of the Commission on Audit that are only now coming to light, are uncovering a widening network of corruption centered on the misuse of the Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF), involving scores of legislators, including members of his own Liberal Party, and even a member of his own Cabinet.

Furthermore, the President has chosen to make his stand known when the snowballing public outrage has, for the first time, transformed the call for the abolition of the pork barrel system into a realistic proposition. No less than the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines has taken a stand against pork. The President’s own allies in the Senate had expressed public support for the abolition of PDAF. The timing of his statement is clearly intended to squelch the momentum in favor of the abolition of the pork barrel system. It now appears that the so-called “pork barrel scam” is a continuing racket that is not just a legacy of the previous administration, but persisted for years under the Aquino dispensation.

President Aquino’s pro-pork barrel stand utterly robs his vaunted anti-corruption campaign of any credibility. Daang Matuwid will be exposed as a sham. How can he reconcile Daang Matuwid with the system that has spawned what could prove to be one of the largest, longest-running corruption rackets in our history? The President himself has revealed how far he is willing to go in his anti-corruption drive—not far enough! It ends when it could threaten to disrupt the system of patronage politics that enables the President to use PDAF as a carrot-and-stick to control Congress and subvert separation of powers and checks-and-balances. It ends when it could lead to the abolition of the pork barrel system which political dynasties rely upon to ingratiate themselves with voters and maintain their grip on power.

We call on President Aquino to re-examine his stand, repudiate his support for pork, and respond immediately to the call of the times by removing the item on PDAF and the President's own pork barrel in the proposed 2014 budget already submitted by Malacañang to Congress.

We, the Makabayan Coalition, express our determination to fight for the abolition of the whole pork barrel system and other sources of corruption in all branches of government.

We will not access our own PDAF allocations as we fight for its abolition. We will press for the rechanneling of Congress' and the President's pork barrel to finance the building and operations of more public schools, public hospitals and low-cost houses for the poor instead of privatizing and commercializing these services.###

-------------------------------------------

News Release

August 15, 2013

Reference: Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Javier Colmenares, 09178350459

BAYAN MUNA CHALLENGES MALACANANG TO LET GO OF THE GRAFT RIDDEN MALAMPAYA FUND

Spend presidential pork on pension for barangay officials

Bayan Muna Representative Neri J. Colmenares today called on Pres. Benigno Aquino to relinquish his presidential pork in the Malampaya Funds, and channel the fund to providing pension to barangay officials.

“The Malampaya Fund is a much abused presidential pork barrel because its disposition merely rests on presidential discretion. If it is not used in corrupt projects or given as a dole out to presidential allies, it is misplaced in unnecessary pet projects of the president. It was used in non-energy related road projects in districts of presidential allies and nearly P 2 Billion were even spent by the PNP on irregular contracts during the last administration. Now we find out that Php 900 Million was again lost on ghost projects. Ginagawang gatasan ang bilyung-bilyung piso ng Malampaya habang ang taong bayan ay halos hindi na makakain tatlong beses sa isang araw. Pres. Aquino must let go of this graft ridden presidential pork.” said Rep. Colmenares.

“It is about time that the Malampaya fund be saved from marauding politicians and put in an item which could not be reached by the corrupt and the greedy. This is the reason why we refiled House Bill 180 or the Barangay Pension Fund Bill last month mandating the use of the Malampaya fund to fund pension benefits for all barangay officials namely Barangay Chairman, Kagawads, the Secretary and the Treasurer. The bill provides for a lump sum pension of about P50,000.00 for every year of service to barangay officials who retired from government service,” the solon said.

Discrimination

“All barangay officials, unlike their other colleagues in government retire from service without any pension. While the military is being allotted by Malacanang billions of pesos each year for their pension, Congress and Malacanang consistently refused to fund the pension of these barangay officials even if they perform the same government functions like all government employees. This discrimination should stop now. It is about time that an institutionalized pension system for barangay officials using the Malampaya fund be set up” explained Colmenares.

“The Bill will repeal that portion in PD 910 which grants the President the power to allocate the Malampaya fund to any project he wants. This absolute discretion leads to irregularities or discriminatory allocation of funds to presidential friends and pet projects. This certainly violates the supposed bottom-up budgeting and the zero based budget principles being mouthed by Malacanang as the framework of our budget. If Pres. Aquino is serious about his budgeting principles, then, he should let go of his presidential pork in the Malampaya fund and give barangay officials something to look forward to after they retire,” ended Rep. Colmenares. ###

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Bayan Muna: Pork Barrel Inherently Anomalous, Mere Restrictions Won’t Clean It
Aug 17, 2013


Bayan Muna Rep. Neri J. Colmenares today called the pork barrel inherently anomalous and challenged Pres. Benigno Aquino III to abolish the pork barrel system and let go of his presidential pork. Colmenares dismissed talks of stricter regulations of pork disbursements as useless and nothing more than insidious attempts to perpetuate and salvage the graft ridden pork barrel system.

“Pork barrel by nature is a lump sum amount which is used for patronage politics because, not only the amount but also the selection of the projects and its beneficiaries rests on the approval of one person. A presidential pork, like the Malampaya Fund, is inherently anomalous because (1) it is a source of graft and corruption; (2) it is used to favor allies by adding to their already bloated pork barrels giving these lucky officials electoral advantage; and (3) it violates the required collective and deliberative process of budgeting public funds, diverting these funds to unnecessary whimsical projects” explained Rep. Colmenares.

“The P 900 million Malampaya funds coursed through the DAR for ghost beneficiaries recently unearthed in the current pork barrel scandal is an example of the blatant corruption with which pork barrel is vulnerable to. The unexplained P2.14 Billion surprisingly given to the PNP in 2009 for “disaster preparedness” is at the very least highly irregular,” he added.

“Even if no corruption takes place, pork is still inherently anomalous because it is used in patronage politics. The 138 SARO’s giving P8.6 billion to certain lucky districts through the DPWH is an example of this anomalous patronage politics,” Rep. Colmenares added.

“There is no explanation why some districts got P 15 million, many got P40 million while some got more than P 200 million. DPWH SARO 09-09492 amounting to P500 million was given to a luckier district. Since there are more than 138 districts in the country, there were unlucky districts that were not favored by the presidential pork,” he said.

Rep. Colmenares further explained why pork is inherently anomalous. “The budget is supposedly a group output because it comes from the submission of government offices of their needs and deliberated by Congress to decide how much amount goes to which project of certain agencies. But in the end, millions or even billions of pork barrel may be arbitrarily spent to deodorize trash, build waiting sheds or similar whims, thereby negating the much ballyhooed “zero” or needs based budget of the Aquino administration,”

Pork is not an equalizer and anomalies cannot be regulated or restricted

“No amount of strict regulation or restrictions can stop these anomalies and all these talks about stricter monitoring is just a scheme to perpetuate this anomalous system. These did not work before, these will not work now. The pork barrel system must go and it must go now” declared Rep. Colmenares.

“Pres. Aquino is certainly not following the wishes of his “boss”, the Filipino people, when he supported the pork barrel system calling it an “equalizer”. It is in fact the great “un-equalizer” because it is enjoyed, not by everyone, but only by favored allies of the pork holder” said Rep. Colmenares.

“But of course, Pres. Aquino cannot let go of the pork barrel system despite the outrage of the people because he also wants to maintain his P132 billion Malampaya fund and other presidential pork barrel. Since there will be no support from Malacanang and Congress, we are asking for the people’s support for the approval of House Bill 1535 which seeks to abolish the pork barrel system. We are calling on our countrymen to organize anti-pork barrel groups and networks to deliver the fatal blow ‘para matigil na ang sistemang ito ng pambababoy sa pondo ng bayan,” concluded Colmenares.

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

News Release

August 8, 2013

Reference: Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Javier Colmenares, 09178350459

BAYAN MUNA ASKS MALACANANG: ACCOUNT FOR THE P75 BILLION PRESIDENTIAL PORK BARREL

Says Pres. Aquino enjoys ‘unli’ pork

Bayan Muna Rep. Neri J. Colmenares today demanded that Malacanang account for the P75 Billion in 2012 and P27 Billion in 2013 it has withdrawn from various agencies and realigned to various projects.

“National Budget Circular 541 issued by Malacanang clearly requires that funds in various government agencies that remain unobligated by June 30, 2012 mus be centralized to the DBM so that it could be realigned to ‘cover additional funding for other existing projects’. Paragraph 5.7.3 of Circular 451, however, also allows the “centralized fund” not only to be used to augment existing programs of any agency but also “fund priority programs and projects not considered in the 2012 Budget but expected to be started or implemented during the current year”. This provision could be constitutionally infirm.” said Rep. Colmenares.

“This could be interpreted to mean that projects or amounts not approved by Congress will be funded by public funds in violation of the Constitutional requirement that no public fund shall be disbursed without appropriation by law. Malacanang should explain what projects were funded under paragraph 5.7.3 and the amounts realigned thereto because with this circular the President practically enjoys ‘unli’- pork,” said the progressive solon.

DBM Sec. Butch Abad admitted during the budget hearings that P 75Billion came from at least eight under spending government agencies in 2012 namely, DOTC, DSWD, DOH, DAR, DENR, DepEd, DA and DPWH. He also argued that the provision “projects not considered in the 2012 Budget” in NBC Circular 541 still pertains to existing projects approved by Congress.

Colmenares, however, disagrees. “The language in the circular is clear, and it says ‘projects not considered in the 2012 Budget’. In any case, the best way to resolve this is for Malacanang to give Congress documents showing how much were centralized and which projects they were spent on. We will wait for Sec. Abad’s promise to provide Congress with a list of said realignments. ” he said.

“The fact, however, remains that this is an almost unlimited presidential pork barrel because it has been suddenly transformed into a lump sum amount and allows the president to choose projects and beneficiaries for the said fund. And this does not include the billions of pesos in PAGCOR funds given to the Presidential Social Fund and the Billions more in Malampaya funds which gives the President the authority, similar to members of Congress, to spend the funds on projects and beneficiaries he chooses or favors,” the lawmaker said.

Colmenares also asked Malacanang to explain the discrepancies found in the budget submitted by the DBCC if only to ensure transparency. “Strangely, the Budget of Expenditures and Sources of Financing (BESF) reported higher amounts of funds actually obligated by agencies in 2012 than that reported in Malacanang’s National Expenditures Programs (NEP) Table B. Worse, there are conflicting amounts appropriated for the various agencies in the same NEP book. It does not augur well for transparency that such billion peso discrepancies exist in the government budget which could have resulted from the multitude of realignments made by Malacanang. I am sure COA is having a hard time tracing these realignments. In the end however, the real issue is the abolition of pork barrel. Whether it is congressional or presidential pork barrel it is a source of corruption and it has to be abolished now,” ###.

 

 

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
           
     
     
     

 

Media Release
04 August 2013

CODE-NGO told: Look who’s talking!

Look who’s talking.

This was national labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno’s reaction to the expression of concern by the Caucus of Development NGOs (CODE-NGO) that legitimate non-governmental organizations are being dragged into disrepute by the involvement of fake NGOs in the pork barrel scam.

CODE-NGO pocketed almost P2 billion from transactions pertaining to the so-called “Poverty Eradication and Alleviation Certificates” or PEACe Bonds in 2001, purportedly as a prize from former Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for the group’s support to moves for the ouster of former Pres. Joseph Estrada.

The transaction highlighted the close connections between CODE-NGO and the Arroyo government: Dinky Soliman, former CODE-NGO head, was Social Welfare and Development secretary at the time, and Marissa Camacho, CODE-NGO head at the time, is the sister of then Finance Secretary Isidro Camacho.

“CODE-NGO’s hypocrisy is hilarous. It’s like the pot calling the kettle black, and in public. It’s like Arroyo’s accomplices in corruption are calling Enrile’s accomplices in corruption corrupt,” said Lito Ustarez, KMU vice-chairperson.

“CODE-NGO and the fake NGOs implicated in the pork barrel scam are both involved in brazen money-making schemes. CODE-NGO is insulting the public’s intelligence by making it appear that its money-making scheme is legitimate,” he added.

KMU also condemned the Aquino government’s inaction over the PEACe Bond scam, saying CODE-NGO has the nerve to make public posturings as a legitimate NGO because of the Aquino government’s inaction.

“What ever happened to investigations into this scam? What ever happened to the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s attempts to tax the money earned by CODE-NGO more than 10 years ago?” Ustarez asked.

“We cannot help but think, given the Aquino government’s continuing inaction on this scam, that it is just using anti-corruption statements aimed at certain groups to make the groups compliant to its wishes,” he added.

“If there is one thing that the ‘daang matuwid’ rhetoric should be measured against, it is the punishment of those behind the PEACe Bond scam. Aquino after all vowed to go after Arroyo for her corruption cases,” he said.

Reference: Lito Ustarez, KMU vice-chairperson, 0908-6491992

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Media Release
12 August 2013

Workers want Aquino’s P1 Trillion pork scrapped

National labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno called for the scrapping of Pres. Noynoy Aquino’s P1 trillion pork barrel today, saying the fund should be rechanneled to various social services such as education, health and housing.

KMU branded Aquino as “Pork Barrel King” for increasing allocations to pork barrel funds since he became president and for allocating a huge section of the P2.6 trillion national budget to his discretionary funds.

The labor center said Aquino will surely use the fund to enrich his “Kamag-anak, Kaibigan at Kaalyado” and to force legislators and other politicians to approve and implement his anti-poor policies.

“It is revolting to see Aquino alloting to his discretionary fund a huge section of the national budget while social services are becoming more scarce, expensive and low-quality. Aquino prioritizes his and his KKK’s interests, not those of the Filipino people,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.

“We condemn the pork barrel king even as we condemn those who have pocketed the people’s money through pork barrel funds. The pork barrel scams show that the people’s money should not be left to the complete discretion of politicians including Aquino,” he said.

“Aquino’s P1 trillion pork barrel explains why he is defending the pork barrel system despite the corruption endemic to it, the recent scandals stemming from it, and his anti-corruption rhetoric. Aquino is noisiest in proclaiming his opposition to corruption but is the biggest defender and benefactor of a huge corruption racket,” he added.

Former National Treasurer Leonor Briones exposed that in the proposed national budget, Aquino has put around P1 trillion in lump sum items under his discretion, including P229 billion in special purpose funds, P139 billion in unprogrammed funds and P200 billion allegedly for school buildings.

Data from the Department of Budget and Management reveal that funds alloted to the Priority Development Assistance Fund have doubled when Aquino became president and has increased since then.

“Despite his rhetoric of change and ‘daang matuwid,’ Aquino is no different from previous presidents who got the biggest chunk of corruption. The dominant faction of the ruling class always gets the biggest share of pork barrel funds,” Labog said.

“We vow to press for the rechanneling of Aquino’s pork barrel to social services. It is unacceptable that state colleges are raising fees, public hospitals are being privatized, and the the poor is being asked to pay dearly for so-called housing services when the president has P1 trillion in pork barrel,” he added.

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

 

 

     
     
     
     
           
     
     
     

 

16 August 2013

NEWS RELEASE

Reference:

Marc Lino Abila
National Secretary General
College Editors Guild of the Philippines
Mobile: 0928-855-9622
Twitter: @iMacoy

Campus journalists, youth groups stage ‘whistle-blowing’ protest against corruption and pork barrel

Several campus journalists and youth groups from colleges and universities in Manila ‘blew whistles’ in Taft Ave., Manila as protest against corruption and to abolish the pork barrel system that they deem as the source of corruption in the government.

“With Janet Lim-Napoles on the loose, we cannot deny that corruption is still happening under the Aquino regime,” said Marc Lino Abila, National Secretary General of the College Editors of the Philippines, the oldest and broadest alliance of tertiary student publications.

“Even worse, in the proposed 2014 national budget, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) allocated P25.24 billion for the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and P139.9 billion for unprogrammed funds o the ‘Presidential pork barrel’ directly under the control of Malacañang,” Abila explained.

“The government keeps on allocating large amounts to PDAF and unprogrammed funds but continue to cut the budgets of state universities and colleges and other social services, abandoning its responsibility to the Filipino people,” Abila continued.

“As one of the main convenors of the Youth Act Now alliance, CEGP strongly demands for accountability of legislators and bogus NGOs that used taxpayers’ money for personal and political gain and to abolish the pork barrel system which has been proven to be a source of corruption,” Abila said.

“On behalf of the Youth Act Now alliance, we are calling all students and youth to stand up against corruption, to abolish the pork barrel system, and put into law those legislators and NGOs who are accountable,” ended Abila.

http://www.cegp.org/2013/08/campus-journalists-youth-groups-stage-whistle-blowing-protest-against-corruption-and-pork-barrel/


--
Charina Claustro
Media Liaison
College Editors Guild of the Philippines National Office
Media Hotline: 0948-416-4295

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

 

     
           
     
     
 
==          
     
     
           

 

UP professors denounce the `sablay’ pork barrel system
August 16, 2013 12:28 pm by Danilo Arao

N.B. – This is the press release distributed during the press conference this morning (August 16) at Vinzons Hall, UP Diliman. The panelists were Profs. Gerry Lanuza (CSSP), Chim Zayas (CIS), Lito Manalili (CSWCD), Monette Flores (CAL), Lanie Flores (CAL), Marion Tan (CSWCD), Sarah Raymundo (CIS), Leonor Briones (NCPAG) and National Artist Bienvenido Lumbera (CAL).

Concerned faculty members of the University of the Philippines (UP) wore their official academic costume today (August 16) to call for the abolition of the pork barrel system.

Called the UP Sablay, the sash which has the letters U and P in alibata is usually worn during the university’s commencement exercises. It symbolizes the high standards of honor and excellence in the university.

During a press conference at the Vinzons Hall in UP Diliman, concerned faculty members decided to wear the UP Sablay to deliver a simple message: The pork barrel system is “sablay.” Instead of honor and excellence, the pork barrel ends up promoting dishonor and mediocrity, according to the UP professors who attended the event.

Dr. Gerry Lanuza, a convenor of the UP Faculty for the Abolition of the Pork Barrel System and the Presidential Pork Barrel Fund, said that public funds must be used for genuine and comprehensive development for the benefit of the underprivileged.

He also encouraged like-minded groups and individuals to support House Bill No. 1535 which seeks to abolish the pork barrel system. Lanuza said that this is the most sensible legislative agenda to end the evils of pork barrel politics characterized by corruption, vote buying, patronage, waste of people’s money and rent-seeking behaviors of lawmakers.

Other UP faculty members expressed their opposition to the pork barrel in Congress and the presidential pork barrel fund. They stressed that the allocation of 1.2 billion per senator for a six-year term term and the P210 million for each member of the House of Representatives for a three-year term could be put to better use. They stressed the need for greater state subsidy to education, as well as other basic services like health.

For verification and more information, please call Dr. Gerry Lanuza (0932-845-5258) of the UP Diliman Department of Sociology.

 

     
           
     
     
     

 

OFFICE OF KABATAAN PARTYLIST REP. TERRY L. RIDON
Room 616, North Wing, House of Representatives, Batasan Complex, Quezon City
kabataanpartylist@gmail.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
16 August 2013

Solon calls for Truth Commission on pork barrel scam

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

“Disgusting, absolutely disgusting.”

This was the statement of Kabataan Party-List Rep. Terry Ridon, a neophyte minority solon who earlier called for the abolition of the pork barrel system and an investigation by Congress of the pork barrel scam.

“Since Malacanang and both Houses of Congress appear more interested in staying its investigative hands on the entire pork barrel scam, the public should now form its own Truth Commission to fully expose the extent and depth of corruption in government, similar to the multisectoral commission instituted during the time of Mrs. Arroyo.”

Ridon said that a similar Truth Commission were instituted by the public during the height of calls for the resignation of Mrs. Arroyo on the basis of electoral fraud, corruption and human rights violations.

“Since no one in government wants to lead the fight, the public itself should now undertake its sovereign duty to investigate and allow the truth to come forward.”###

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Press Release
August 15, 2013

Youth groups to hold 'Day of Action' vs Aquino pork barrel and corruption

Youth groups led by Anakbayan, National Union of Students of the Philippines and Kabataan Partylist are set to hold campus and community protests tomorrow to call for the abolition of the pork barrel system and an end to "continuing corruption" under the Aquino administration.

Students and youths will blow whistles and hold noise barrage activities in various campuses around Metro Manila starting 11am tomorrow, August 16. Expected to participate in the "Day of Action vs Aquino Pork and Corruption" are students and faculty from University of the Philippines Diliman and Manila, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, University of Santo Tomas, Unibersidad De Manila, De La Salle University, Philippine Women's University, Adamson University, and others.

"It's time to take action. We are disgusted and outraged over the Aquino administration's defense of porky lump sum funds. This shows that the tuwid na daan is a path to further corruption," says Vencer Crisostomo, national chair of Anakbayan.

Crisostomo said the arrest order for Janet Napoles is just the beginning and should not serve to cover-up the bigger crime that is the pork barrel system and the corrupt set-up.

"It seems they are setting up Napoles and relatives to be fall guys for the bigger criminals. We need to make the Aquino government accountable, we will not let-up until pork barrel is abolished and lump sum funds rechanneled to social services," said Crisostomo.

He said Aquino's pork barrel, reportedly amounting to P1 trillion should be looked into. Corruption controversies involving the president's Kaklase, Kapartido and Kabarilan should also be investigated.

Youth groups have re-convened Youth Act Now, a broad alliance formed in 2008 instrumental in mounting big youth protests against the Arroyo administration.

"This is a start. We are calling on everyone to revive the mass movement for genuine change. Let us start holding actions in our campuses, communities and workplaces and mount big protests in the coming days," he said.

Crisostomo said whistle-blowing, signature campaign activities tomorrow will start 11am-1pm in UP, PUP, UP Manila, University Belt and Taft areas. By 4pm students and youth will gather in their hundreds to hold noise barrage protests. The groups are calling for a nationwide campus walk-outon August 23 along with the commemoration of the historic "Sigaw ng Pugadlawin" and are bracing for "strikes" in the next weeks.

Reference: Vencer Crisostomo, 09328618369 09174416939 @venzie

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

News Release
8/16/13
Reference: Michael Beltran 09159230686

 

Artists slam Aquino for poisoning the nation with Pork

Members of KARATULA (Kabtaang Artista Para sa Tunay na Kalayaan) an organization of artists along with other youth groups led a National Day of Action against corruption in various schools and nearby areas. They slammed not only the continuing graft and corruption in the country but Noynoy Aquino in particular as the principal purveyor of this trend. The group, who situated themselves along the Taft Avenue area showcased a piñata in the form of an almost life size yellow pig with Aquino’s face. Similar protests along the University of the Philippines, University Belt and Sta. Mesa featured different schools, faculty and communities conducting simultaneous actions.

“This pork piñata of Aquino is aimed at the main culprit of the widespread pork barrel. In truth, the amount that senators, congressman and other officials allied with administration is only the tip of the iceberg. The president’s pork is far greater, at his own discretion and disposal. It is no wonder why Aquino and his cronies have adamantly defended the PDAF,” said Jay Del Rosario, Vice Chariperson of Karatula.

It had been recently reported that Aquino’s pork barrel in the 2014 budget, that is the amount of discretionary funds that only he can approve and decide where to put is around P1 trillion. That is almost a third of the P2.68 trillion National Budget for 2014.

Particularly noticeable is the “unprogrammed funds” of the President’s office which amount to P139 billion and contains no details on how and where it will be spent. This has actually had a dramatic rise over the years, from P68 billion tin 2011to P117 billion in 2013 until the proposed P139 billion.

The whole day protest kicked off with a signature campaign around different schools calling to scrap Aquino’s pork barrel and peaked with different schools converging for protests near their respective campuses.

Del Rosario noted that “Aquino cannot claim to have a government that is both free and cracking down on corruption when his own office is the catalyst and beacon for fraud. It’s like a poison that he has spread out amongst his allies coupled with the numerous privatization projects he has lined up for infrastructure in government expenditure.”

Karatula called for greater involvement of the youth in the issue of corruption. They underscored the bravery and righteousness of our nation’s heroes as we celebrate 150 years since Andres Bonifacio’s birth this year.

“We are going to experience budget cuts in 79 of our state universities, as well as other social services in place of privatization projects while the prices of basic goods and utilities are constantly rising. All so Aquino and his cohorts can fill their pockets, grant themselves money making schemes through the Public-Private partnership programs. Truly it’s as if they are no different from the prayles, gobernadorcillos and guardia sibils of Bonifacio’s time” explained Del Rosario.

Karatula and other youth groups vowed to stage many other protests and walkouts in the coming weeks. ###
 

     
     
     
     
           
     
     
     

 

Press Statement
August 15, 2013
Reference: Cristina “Tinay” Palabay, Secretary General, 0917-3162831
Angge Santos, Media Liaison, 0918-9790580

Non-Abolition of Pork Barrel Violates People’s Rights to Social Services

Karapatan today joined the call for the abolition of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or the so-called pork barrel, which includes the social fund of the President and local government officials.

Cristina Palabay, Karapatan secretary general, said that “the pork barrel is not only a source of corruption but it also violates the people’s rights to essential social services.”

“Instead of using the fund for education, health, housing and other services that will directly serve the people, it passes through another unnecessary layer, where unscrupulous politicians and their agents take advantage of, for their personal gains,” Palabay elaborated.

Karapatan also censured the position of Pres. Noynoy Aquino in favor of maintaining the pork barrel, despite growing public clamor for its abolition in the light of allegations involving corruption of P10 billion in government funds by Janet Napoles with the complicity of executive agencies, legislators and local governments.

“It is more infuriating to hear how the President downplayed the P89.2 million released by the Department of Agriculture, under his administration, to a bogus NGO, placing it in contrast to the P728 million fertilizer scam and other corruption scandals during the Arroyo regime. He desperately tries to portray his administration as the lesser evil,” Palabay commented.

Karapatan noted that Aquino used the same “lesser evil” logic with regards to his administration’s human rights record, in an attempt to tone down criticisms on continuing extrajudicial killings and other human rights violations under his government.

Palabay asserted that “even a single centavo stolen from the public coffer is still and, definitely is, corruption and a blotch on the “straight path” Aquino so often flaunts about; just as a single extrajudicial killing in his time is a smudge of blood on this path.”

“The Aquino government cannot be absolved by the mere lesser number or amount of corruption, neither by the mere lesser number or frequency of extrajudicial killing and enforced disappearance. Its reaction on the pork issue is comparable to its promotion in rank of alleged perpetrators in the Burgos and Morong 43 cases, tolerating the perpetuation of impunity.”

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

August 14, 2013
Reference: Cristina Palabay, Secretary General (+63917-3162831)

Organized racket: AFP P19.25M reward to “informers” a rip-off at the expense of people’s rights

It’s simply a rip-off, an organized racket. The Armed Forces of the Philippines has no right to brag about the capture of ‘terrorist personalities and communist leaders’ through their so-called informants. It’s a shame that it spent P19.25 million of the nation’s money for capturing and torturing people like security guard Rolly Panesa and presenting him as “Benjamin Mendoza”, a high-ranking official of the Communist Party of the Philippines, for the prize of P5.6 million.

The AFP committed the same violation to Oligario Sebas, a resident of Tuburan, Cebu, who was also jailed because of the AFP’s claim that he is “Felimon Mendrez”, allegedly a CPP leader in Negros. The military said Sebas had a P5.2 million on his head and was on the list of the Department of National Defense(DND)-Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Joint Orders on Reward or Joint Order #14. Sebas was released through a writ of habeas corpus.

Karapatan criticize the DND-DILG Joint Order #14 because it is no different from the secret hit list of Gloria Arroyo’s Oplan Bantay Laya which resulted to thousands of cases of human rights violations ranging from illegal arrest and detention, enforced disappearances and political killings.

The said DND-DILG Joint Order was also used to legitimize the enforced disappearance, illegal arrest and detention of Estelita T. Tacalan, a 60-year old peasant organizer and rural health worker in Misamis Oriental. Tacalan was reported missing on April 27 this year and was surfaced on May 7 at the Dipolog City Jail where she is currently detained.

The DND-DILG’s secret hitlist should be scrapped as it has become the basis to arrest, detain, and torture people on false charges; or worse, disappeared or killed. The AFP should also be held accountable for squandering the people’s money to violate people rights. These acts confirm the AFP’s own admission that the Aquino government’s Oplan Bayanihan is a failure.

Cristina Palabay
Secretary General, Karapatan
2F Erythrina Building, #1 Maaralin corner Matatag Streets, Central District, Quezon City
Contact numbers: +63917-3162831, 02-4354146
E-mail: karapatan@karapatan.org

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Press Statement
14 August 2013

Rights Lawyers on Payment of Reward To Bogus Informers:
Handsomely Rewarding Professional Clowns to Justify Institutionalized Persecution and Profiling

The payment by the Armed Forces of the Philippines of reward money to supposed informers allegedly responsible for the capture of what it referred to as “terrorist personalities and communist leaders” is ludicrous as it is dangerous.
The reward was paid pursuant to Department of National Defense and Department of Interior and Local Government Joint Order No. 14-2012 which updated the AFP’s bounty list. Earlier on, the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers publicly questioned the propriety and legality of the joint order, since it violates the basic principles of fairness and due process. The payment - - or some observers say the division of the spoils or loot?- - is further put into doubt in the light of nagging questions as regards the identities of those they paraded as alleged “communist leaders”.

Rolly Mira Panesa, a simple security guard for the longest time was abducted in a busy street in Quezon City, heavily tortured and now still detained for 10 months based on the AFP’s claim that he is “Danilo Benjamin Mendoza” an alleged high ranking member of the Communist Party of the Philippines in Southern Tagalog with a Php 5.6 Million bounty. The AFP chose to shamelessly rely on the perjured statements of their own professional itinerant jokes they call witnesses, and deliberately ignored the overwhelming testimonial and multiple documentary evidence, most of which were issued by government agencies themselves confirming what the AFP knew all along, that he is not “Danilo Benjamin Mendoza”.

Oligario Sebas, a resident of Negros Oriental, suffered the same fate. He was abducted and detained based on the AFP claim that he is “Felimon Mendrez” an alleged high ranking member of the CPP in Negros with a Php 5.2 Million bounty. Sebas, unlike Panesa, was subsequently released through a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus where it was quickly established that he is not “Felimon Mendrez”.

Panesa and Sebas join other detainees who have been arrested and detained based on trumped up charges, their number having increased upon the public announcement of the existence of the joint order. Their cases confirmed NUPL’s fear that the list will only be used to harass political activists, leaders of peoples organizations and even ordinary citizens who have the misfortune of being at the wrong place at the wrong time and who can be exploited as unwitting sources of huge incomes. Even bona fide assistance by human rights groups and rights lawyers organizations like NUPL regrettably is being used to discriminate and maliciously profile these victims and hence lead to plain injustice.

This cheap publicity stunt by the AFP is a conspicuous badge that they are resorting to this kind of tactic to give pretense to their false claims and justify the of arrest of innocent citizens without due regard to their rights to due process. These betray their utter disregard for the legal and constitutional rights of the citizenry, and the propensity to violate human rights without any iota of compunction.

Is there, pray tell,still any shred of decency, conscience or humanity left for all those who made and continue to make possible this kind of gross and wholesale injustice?# ebc

Reference: Edre U. Olalia
Secretary General
0917-5113373
--
National Secretariat
National Union of Peoples' Lawyers (NUPL)
3F Erythrina Bldg., Maaralin corner Matatag Sts. Central District,Quezon City, Philippines
Telefax no.920-6660
Email addresses: nupl2007@gmail.com and nuplphilippines@yahoo.com
Follow us on twitter @nuplphilippines and facebook @https://www.facebook.com/nuplphilippines
Visit the NUPL website at http://www.nupl.net/

 

 

     
     
     
     
     
           
     
     
     

 

Ma. Laya Guerrero
Spokesperson
Kabataang Makabayan
August 13, 2013
 

KABATAAN MAKABAYAN ON THE PORK BARREL


Recently the disclosures about the pork barrel mired with corruption had generated the ire of the people. There’s widespread anger against the pork barrel system and rampant corruption of bureaucrat-capitalists who lead pompous lifestyles at the height of poverty of majority of the people.

Despite the rising clamor for abolition and rechanneling of pork barrel to social services, the allotted 2014 budget for pork barrel is programmed to get P 25.2 billion. UP budget expert Prof. Briones revealed that Aquino’s multi-billion unprogrammed fund is only the tip of the iceberg, that Aquino’s Presidential Pork is a bloated P1 Trillion composed of gigantic lump-sum of P 139 billion of Aquino’s unprogrammed funds which are unliquidated funds, and discretionary funds slipped into different departments which can only be released via Aquino’s orders.

Aquino’s farcical ‘crusade against corruption’ is good only in as far as it does not hurt its own interests. Aquino’s dictum of “Kung walang korap, walang mahirap” should be relegated to the dustbin. It is deceitful, hollow slogan presenting its regime as a crusader against corruption when in fact it is sheer window-dressing to subdue the mounting people’s discontent against its regime of corruption and the exploitative rotten system.

Despite these cacophony of lies and deception in the media, news of the Ballsy Aquino-Cruz’s involvement in the $30 MRT 3 extortion scam from the Czech railway company Inekon, inclusion of Aquino’s Liberal Party politicos in the grand P10 billion pork scam are revealed. Among other hosts of scams by relatives and cronies unearthed earlier are the grand smuggling of Danding Cojuangco of sugar and oil products to evade taxes, landgrabbing of families of Paquito Ochoa from farmers in San Jose Del Monte to make way for relocation housing projects, DSWD’s Soliman and aides mishandling of P18 billion ($442 million) worth of calamity funds and international aid pouring in for victims of typhoon Pablo, Aquino’s hand in P2.8-billion road scam in Davao del Sur and so on.

Aquino’s top propagandists are all the more carefully hewing lies, distortions in order to patch up the already shattering image of the Very Righteous President.

Kabataang Makabayan sees that we can actively expose these by revealing the true state of the nation, the massive poverty amidst the unbridled corruption and enrichment of the few ruling classes, the wholesale robbery of the country’s wealth and resources and offering this in silver platter to private and giant foreign corporations, the worsening exploitation of the toiling masses by this US-Aquino regime.

But US-Aquino’s spin-masters in the media and reactionary propaganda army can not forever bury the truth from the people who daily experience the economic hardship under this regime.

All these corruption issues come atop the daily struggles of the majority of the people living under 50 pesos a day, spiraling prices of basic commodities and utilities, oil price hikes, hikes in prices of means of transportation and communication, privatization and commercialization of basic social services such as hospitals, demolition of urban poor communities for PPP projects, stagnant and low wages and contractualization, joblessness, widespread landgrabbing, force displacement of peasants and rural poverty.

The US-Aquino regime, his cronies and corporate media conspire in order to realize the hundreds of billions worth of projects with projected superprofits thru housing, real estate and infrastructure ventures. The 2014 budget itself is a demolition budget, with P10 billion relocation budget inked by New San Jose Builders, Ayala Land and Aquino cronies.

US-Aquino regime pathetically resorts to its corporate media to “manufacture consensus” against its force displacement of thousands of families of urban poor communities along the esteros and waterways in Metro Manila. The US-Aquino regime funds and scripts with its patrons in corporate media a spectacular drama of a community in San Juan, purportedly a model of ‘voluntary demolition’ and which with beaming cameras of giant TV outfits, air nationwide how thankful this community that they are demolished, and relocated to fine small houses in locations faraway from their work and livelihood. This on top of lies by US-Aquino regime that the estero dwellers are the cause of flooding in the capital and use of brazen threats such as pronouncements by Aquino himself that demolished urban poor dwellers will be jailed should they return to their areas.

However it cannot erase in the consciousness of the people the militant struggle of the people of Silverio Compound, San Roque in West Triangle, Corazon de Jesus in San Juan and the recent struggle of the urban poor in West Kamias that blocked the armed demolition teams.

US-Aquino regime’s use of the reactionary propaganda army, showbiz glitz, hand in hand with its machinery of repression to discredit the rising tide of protests, quell dissent and intensifying armed struggle further lay bare the insecurity of this regime. The US-Aquino regime can not forever resort to Goebbelsian Lies without exposing its own deceptions which are used to build and support its bankrupt and anti-people rule.

US-Aquino is a de facto patron of corruption. The US-Aquino regime failed to prosecute Arroyo for grand plunder and has allowed GMA’s open-ended “hospital arrest” to evade prosecution. The US-Aquino regime is exposed in string of scams like padrino system in the organized syndicates of smuggling, gambling and drugs. The Kamag-anak, Kaklase, Kabarilan Inc composed of its Conjuangco-Aquino clan and comprador cronies are awarded with the priority and biggest Private Public Partnership projects funded and subsidized by public money and public loans, gifted with tax exemptions and holidays, and enjoying sovereign guarantees.

Even at the height of these corruption issues, the US-Aquino regime is ironing out the anti-people, corruption-laden and pro-imperialist 2014 budget which is but a systematic government appropriation of peoples money to giant foreign and local crony companies, to dole-outs and counter-insurgency projects.

In the proposed 2014 anti-people and pro-imperialist Aquino budget, PPP and infrastructure projects subsidized by the government get a whopping 429 billion pesos. Thru the lump-sum alloted budget for CCT, Aquino’s social-democratic friends led by DSWD’s Dinky Soliman wallow in corrupt-ridden dole-out monies which get a P62.6 billion budget in 2014, from its P32 billion budget in 2012. US-Aquino’s regime brandishes the brutal Oplan Bayanihan together with its PAMANA projects in its hopeless bid to weaken the armed revolution.

We call on the Filipino youth and people to junk this 2014 budget which is but a tool of institutionalized corruption and expose and oppose this corrupt, pro-imperialist and anti-people US-Aquino regime. We must tirelessly arouse, organize and mobilize to isolate and weaken the US-Aquino regime and rotten reactionary system.

Kabataang Makabayan calls on the Filipino youth and people to rally against corruption and strike the prevailing rotten system of semi-feudal and semi-colonial Philippine society dominated by imperialism, bureaucrat-capitalism and feudalism as the root cause of widespread scams and institutionalized corruption.
 

The chronic and worsening economic crisis of the semi-feudal and semicolonial is pushing the ruling classes in scrambling for their shrinking “share of pie”, hell-bent in clutching state positions to raid public coffers and stash them in various local and foreign banks. Bureaucrat-capitalists and the ruling classes consistently manufacture projects and money-making ventures at the expense of the people.

The US-Aquino regime is drumbeating as imposed by the World Bank its anti-corruption rhetorics of ‘Matuwid na Daan’ which will give more leverage to the crisis-ridden bureaucracy a green light for foreign loans from the imperialists. This is further burying the people into the quagmire of indebtedness while fattening the pockets and bellies of corrupt bureaucrat- capitalists, big compradors, landlords at a greater magnitude. This has been the modus of the reactionary state since the hated fascist and pro-imperialist Marcos dictatorship.

The US-Aquino regime is the prime sponsor of institutionalized loot, plunder of peoples money, wealth and resources by the ruling classes and imperialism against the Filipino people. The worsening crisis of world capitalist system and neoliberal policies imposed by imperialists to the US-Aquino puppet regime thru the policies of liberalization, privatization, denationalization, and deregulation sap dry the blood of the toiling people, crushing their livelihood and plundering the natural wealth for cut-throat profits.

 

KM calls on the students and youth, the toiling people and other exploited classes to intensify protests and unite in a broad alliance against systemic corruption and make the ruling US-Aquino regime accountable for presiding over corruption amidst grave poverty of the majority of the people.

Ultimately, while the people legitimately aspire to end corruption, it should also be exposed that corruption is endemic to the semi-feudal and semi-colonial Philippine society which is ruled by the brutal dictatorship of landlords, big compradors and bureaucrat-capitalists. Thus, the wealth and resources of the people and nation is concentrated on these handful few while the majority of our people are exploited, robbed of their rights and basic subsistence. The people can never expect genuine land reform and social change, national industrialization and development to occur under the exploitative ruling classes since it is contrary to their constant drive for super-profits, an anathema to the existence of their class rule.

Only thru intensifying the armed revolution and smashing this rotten system can we end corruption and put in power a government that genuinely represents the democratic interests and welfare of the people.###

 


 

Click here to view TV7 news video of the above
     
     
           
           
           
           
           

 

/p

  
 

Google