CEGP-Southern Tagalog: PNoy’s defense speech covers up corruption, belies people’s protests vs. pork barrel

The College Editors Guild of the Philippines – Southern Tagalog Chapter sees the recent speech of President Aquino as an awful muddling of the evils of the Disbursement Allocation Program and his pork barrel, among a plethora of discretionary funds in his clasp.

Recent calls for the abolition of the pork barrel system, including the President’s discretionary funds, have recently been dismissed and belied as baseless by the president himself, speaking on national television last night. The protests, he said, were only meant to distort the administration’s alleged reputation in prosecuting the government’s corrupt.

Once again, he has proved that for three and a half years, he has been lying to his so-called bosses about economic growth and development, while seeking to enable himself and his cohorts to steal funds coming from the blood and sweat of the masses. His use of media outlets to deliver his divisive and diversionary speeches only means that he is half-hearted on affirming to the calls of the people; also, he is ever-desperate to defend the interests of his allies in government.

In the Southern Tagalog region, land-use conversion schemes and militarization efforts are executed by state forces in order to burden and terrorize the people, endangering the latter’s livelihood and even their very lives.

The recent harassment of campus journalists and students by military and police elements, including private goons in Brgy. Patungan, Maragondon, Cavite for their youth cultural camp is evident of the readiness of the government to instill terror to its people wanting to expose the truth. This is reinforced by pork barrel allocations for counterinsurgency plans like PAMANA and Oplan Bayanihan, which is more than what the government allocates to state universities and colleges in need of higher state subsidy.

CEGP-Southern Tagalog, as a patriotic and democratic alliance of student publications, calls for the abolition of the pork barrel and other discretionary and lump-sum funds and for rechanneling these to basic social services to deliver true development for the Filipinos. It is also one with the call in passing a genuine freedom of information act to induce transparency and accountability in government transactions. Moreover, it also supports CEGP alumnus and former Chief Justice Renato Puno’s call to create the People’s Initiative to abolish all forms of pork barrel.

It encourages student publications to utilize the campus press to express the truth not usually said in mainstream media, thereby erasing the myths of transparency and a corruption-free government once and for all; also strengthening the cause in the wide campaign of the people against corruption.

With a government that enables the theft of public funds, ignorance of social services and betrayal of its own people, it is imperative that the campus press must clear the murky path of Aquino administration and continue to unite with the people for the attainment of genuine democracy.###