“Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap,” “Tuwid na daan” and “Kayo ang boss ko,” these are just some of the mind-conditioning lines of President Benigno Aquino III to win the hearts of the people, but he can’t fool all of us at the same time.
Illusions of a corrupt-free government and “tuwid na daan” were already shattered as the pork barrel scam shocked millions of Filipinos last month. News reports revealed P10 billion worth of taxes has fallen in the hands of Janet Lim Napoles and suspected members of bogus NGOs (non-government organizations)where pork barrel of several legislative officers were allocated.
“It is no longer enough that we wait for the Anti-Pork Barrel Bill to be discussed in Congress, for we know that there are many legislators – both in the Lower and Upper Chamber – that benefited from this diabolical largesse, and they would surely be hell-bent to block any move to abolish the pork barrel. We need to express dissent in our schools, in our communities, and intensify the public outcry against this large-scale scam being operated by those in the position of power,” said Kabataan Partylist Rep. Terry Ridon. Senators allegedly funded bogus NGOs from their pork barrels include Senators, Revilla, Enrile, Estrada, Marcos and Honasan.
Amidst the opposition of the people, Aquino wants PDAF (Priority Development Assistance Program) to stay saying “It is really the share of constituents in the budget.” His nephew Senator Bam Aquino shares the same stand. Both the House of Representatives and Senate are dominated by Aquino allies from Liberal Party and Akbayan, each senator is privileged to have P200 million PDAF a year while each congressman is entitled to have P70 million budgets each year.
Meanwhile, presidential sister Ballsy Aquino together with some DOTC (Department of Transportation and Communication) officers allegedly tried to extort $30 million from Czech firm Inekon in exchange for a favorable result in the bidding for the P3.77-billion capacity expansion project of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT 3).
Other corruption scandals allegedly happened under the Aquino presidency includes P18 million calamity funds and International Aid for Typhoon Pablo victims allegedly mishandled by DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) Sec. Dinky Soliman, P10 million amount of pork barrel sent to non-existent projects by several senators and congressmen, including former Akbayan Rep. Risa Hontiveros, P391 million anomalous PNP (Philippine National Police) weapons purchased by then-DILG (Department of Interior and Local Government) Undersecretary Rico Puno, P240 million amount of revenues lost due to smuggling linked to the Bureau of Customs Commissioner Angelito Alvarez, P140 million pork barrel received by Akbayan Rep. Kaka Bag-ao when she was no longer a congresswoman, P27.07 million salaries received by irregular employees of National Anti-Poverty Commission, mostly members of pro-Aquino Akbayan Partylist, P500,000 yearly bonuses received by each MWSS (Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System) top official and 20,000 people covered by the relocation site construction contract received by Jose Acuazar, brother-in-law of Executive Sec. Paquito Ochoa.
It is inevitable to eradicate corruption with the current policies imposed by the Aquino government. Pork barrel is not the sole apparatus of the ruling elite to corrupt the hard earned taxes of the people, it also includes CCT (Conditional Cast Transfer Program), infrastructure projects and other mechanisms to consolidate the political hegemony of Aquino dynasty. Corruption is just part of the system where those who are in position uses its political power to gain economically, and it is just in our united action we can pressure the government to abolish such practice.
The campus press and other alternative media’s role to expose the worsening corruption under the Aquino regime is very critical during this time, we cannot rely on the corporate-controlled and mainstream media for it only serve as mind conditioning propaganda of the state to propagate “tuwid na daan” and the illusion of change under the yellow government.
It is just in our united action we can abolish such practice of corruption in our society.