Tag Archives: Corruption

[Press Release] Labor group hits DAP defenders, tells lawmakers to abide by the SC decision -BMP

Labor group hits DAP defenders, tells lawmakers to abide by the SC decision

A LABOR group reacted to the avalanche of statements made publicly on the recently concluded Disbursement Acceleration Program by the Supreme Court (SC). The statements, the group says is tantamount to the refusal of Palace allies to act in accordance with the decision and shield Aquino and themselves from accountability.

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Among the lawmakers and public personalities which defended the DAP were Senator Antonio Trillanes, Representatives Walden Bello of Akbayan partylist, Ben Evardone of Eastern Samar, Winston Castelo of Quezon City, Miro Quimbo of Marikina and renowned constitutionalist Joaquin Bernas S.J.

“Now that the SC has decided, these so-called representatives of the people have revealed that they are not of the people but representatives of Aquino. They are obviously parroting the statements and positions of Palace officials,” said Gie Relova of the Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP).

“After fattening themselves, the least they could do is shut up and abide by the SC decision. Though we expect them to be kapal-muks, they should instead start admitting their roles in the illegal disbursement of public funds” he added.

The lawmakers’ statements ranged from a mere “administrative lapse” to “done in good faith”, also the statement issued by Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda.

Relova noted that most of the statements made by the lawmakers in defense of the DAP was also contiguous to their positions to whether President Aquino would be held accountable for the juggling public funds without going through Congress.

BMP took exception at the opinion of Joaquin Bernas who was reported to have said that, “It seems to me it’s more of ignorance of the Constitution, and ignorance is not a ground for impeachment”.

“For a veteran constitutionalist and professor of the law, the good Father maybe suffering from mental lapses. Ignorance of the law maybe applicable for petty infringements such as traffic violations since traffic routes are often altered. But the Constitution has not been changed since 1987” he said.

Relova further explained that, “How can Bernas claim Aquino’s ignorance of the DAP’s constitutional violations, when then Senator Aquino filed Senate Bill 3121 or the Budget Impoundment Control Act in March 4, 2009, in his Explanatory Note Aquino cited Article VI Section 25 of the 1987 Constitution acknowledging its existence and limitations of the power of the Executive. The very same provision the Supreme Court says the DAP of Aquino, Abad and Purissima violated in its decision”.

Article VI Section 25 of the 1987 Constitution stipulates that, “Congress may not increase the appropriations recommended by the President for the operation of the Government as specified in the budget. The form, content and manner of preparation of the budget shall be prescribed by law”.

“Bernas is acting as a modern-day Padre Damaso in his defense of Aquino and his abuses’” Relova held.

The militants insisted that Aquino and all the bureaucratic technocrats such as Budget Secretary Butch Abad, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Treasury officials Roberto Tan and Rosalia de Leon for they willfully committed blatant constitutional violations and should be held liable.

“We all know that they are not honorable and will not resign from their posts, so the only option remaining for the nation to achieve justice is to oust them from office. No matter the cost, if that is the only way to regain our dignity,” Relova concluded.

Press Release
03 July 2014
Contact Person:
Mr. Gie Relova
0915-2862555

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[Statement] P597 milyon pa lang nahahanap, nasaan ang kabuoan ng mahigit P10 bilyong kinurakot? -FDC

P597 milyon pa lang nahahanap,
nasaan ang kabuoan ng mahigit P10 bilyong kinurakot?
Kalayaan Mula sa Kahirapan, Kurapsyon at Utang!

Ngayong ika-12 ng Hunyo 2014, paiigtingin ng sambayanang Pilipino ang laban tungo sa ganap na kalayaan: mula sa kahirapan na lalong pinalalala ng sistemang bukas sa pandarambong sa pampublikong pondong inutang na, kinurakot pa.

FDC

Kasama ang Kilusang Kontra TRAPO at Kontra PORK (KonTRAPOrk), patuloy na lilikha ng ingay at aksyon ang Freedom from Coalition (FDC) hanggang sa tuluyang mabulabog at tumayo mula sa kampanteng pagkakaluklok ang mga nasa Palasyo ng Malacañang at Konggreso. Dinggin ang atas ng mamamayan:

· Ikulong ang LAHAT ng mga nagnakaw sa kaban ng bayan!
· Ibasura ang LAHAT ng uri ng pork barrel!
· Wakasan ang kontrol ng mga TRAPO sa pananalapi ng taumbayan!

Higit pa sa dramang pagsasampa ng kaso laban kay Pogi, Sexy at Tanda ang gamot sa kanser ng kurapsyong lumulukob sa Pilipinas. Mas malaki pa ang halagang kailangang tuntunin sa bulsa ng mga nakinabang sa pamamagitan ni Napoles at sa Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) ni PNoy. At ang mga ito ay sintomas lamang ng mga kasalukuyang polisiyang patuloy na ipinipilit ng gobyerno sa bawat batang hindi makapag-aral, manggagawang may kakarampot na trabaho at sweldo, OFW na nagtitiis mawalay sa pamilya, ina na kandakuba sa paghahanap ng paraan upang itawid sa gutom ang mga anak, at biktima ng bagyong Yolanda na umaasa sa pangakong tila tinangay na ng hangin.

Ayon sa imbestigasyon ng Ombudsman, umaabot sa P242 milyon ang kickback ni Revilla, P183 milyon naman kay Estrada at P172 million kay Enrile. Sumatotal: 597 milyon. Nasaan ang mas malaking bahagi ng 40 hanggang 60 porsyentong kinulimbat mula sa bilyun-bilyong pisong Napoles scam?
Sa pagiging inutil ng gobyerno sa pag-ampat ng kurapsyon sa kaban ng bayan, paulit-ulit ang panloloko sa mamamayan: hindi na nga napakinabangan ang mga proyektong pinondohan ng utang, awtomatiko pang binabayaran ang mga utang na ninakaw.

Kasabay ng pagtunton sa ibinulsa ng mga magnanakaw sa gobyerno, nararapat din na alamin ng taumbayan ang mga inutang ng pamahalaan para sa taunang pambansang budget na nagtakda ng pondo para sa mga proyektong napasama sa pandarambong. Nararapat din na busisiin ang mga batas na nagbibibigay ng tanging kapangyarihan sa Pangulo upang mangutang sa ngalan ng Pilipinas at ang awtomatikong paglalaan ng pondo para sa mga utang na ito.

Matagal nang isinusulong ng FDC ang panawagan para sa isang komprehensibong pagtutuos o audit ng utang ng Pilipinas at ang pagkakansela sa mga inutang na mapapatunayang nabahiran ng kurapsyon. Ngunit nagbibingi-bingihan ang mga nakaraan at kasalukuyang administrasyon. Ngayong 2014, aabot sa 8.8 bilyong dolyar ang nakatakdang pambayad-utang ng Pilipinas, kasama ang mga hindi pinakinabangan ng mamamayan.

At katawa-tawang patuloy na ipinagyayabang ng administrasyong Aquino ang “paglago” ng ekonomiya. Ang katotohanan, lumaki ang utang ng Pilipinas ng 20.41 porsyento sa loob ng tatlong taong panunungkulan ni PNoy. Mula sa 4.71 trilyong pisong utang ng pambansang gobyerno, umaabot na ito 5.44 trilyong piso. Hindi pa kasama rito ang utang ng mga lokal na pamahalaan at ahensya ng gobyerno.

Ang ipinagmamalaking paglago ng ekonomiya ng Pilipinas ay nakasampa sa likod ng 25 bilyong dolyar na padala taun-taon ng mga OFW. Samantala, tinitipid pa rin ang mga serbisyong pampubliko at kulang ang trabaho. Kaya nga, siksikan sa mga silid-aralan, marami pa ang hindi makapag-aral, dinadagsa ang mga call center dahil halos dito lang maaring kumita nang malaki, at milyun-milyong Pilipino ang nangingibang-bansa sa gitna ng kakulangan sa proteksyon laban sa pang-aabuso at illegal recruitment.

Wakasan na ang panloloko. Kung hindi kikilos ang gobyerno, kikilos ang masang Pilipino. At ngayong ika-12 ng Hunyo 2014, sa pagsasama-sama ng mga naghahangad sa tunay na kalayaan at demokrasya, ipapaalala natin sa Pangulo at sa Konggreso kung sino ang tunay na may kapangyarihan at ito ang atas ng mamamayan:

Ikulong ang LAHAT ng mga nagnakaw sa kaban ng bayan!
Ibasura ang LAHAT ng uri ng pork barrel!
Wakasan ang kontrol ng mga TRAPO sa pananalapi ng taumbayan!

PAHAYAG – 12 Hunyo 2014
Freedom from Debt Coalition
11 Matimpiin St. Bgy. Pinyahan, Quezon City, Philippines
(+63.2) 921.1985; (+63.2) 924.6399 | http://www.fdc.ph

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[Statement] UNITY STATEMENT OF THE 6.12.14 Protest Coalition

UNITY STATEMENT OF THE 6.12.14 Protest Coalition

061214 Ouch PiNoy

“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?

Read more @ https://www.facebook.com/events/698641330194073/

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[Event/Campaign] Ouch PiNoy, Sumagot, Managot … Kung hindi… Lagot!

061214 Ouch PiNoy

On Independence Day, we call upon all Filipinos to take a stand and take back what is rightfully ours. Let us break free from the crippling hold of corruption, perpetrated by individuals at the very heart of government.

We declare 6.12.14, Freedom from Corruption Day, and say, “TAMA NA!”

2pm, Kartilya ng Katipunan Shrine (beside Manila City Hall)

Feel free to start a parallel event in your province or abroad. If you want to coordinate with us, send us a message at scrappork@gmail.com

Read more @ https://www.facebook.com/events/698641330194073/

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[Press Release] The Napolist, club of multi-millionaires in gov’t signs of systemic disorder – PM

The Napolist, club of multi-millionaires in gov’t signs of systemic disorder – PM

The list of government officials implicated in the Napolist and a club of multi-millionaires occupying the highest positions of power in government are signs of a serious systemic disorder afflicting Philippine society, the labor group Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) said in a statement.

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“Kleptocracy and the rule of the elite minority in a democracy are systemic wrongs. This form of rule will never bring this country to prosperity and inclusiveness,” said PM Chair Renato Magtubo.

The group was referring to the list of 120 legislators and several cabinet officials implicated by Janet Lim Napoles in her expanded affidavit and the published list of multi-millionaires both in the legislative and executive branches of government based on the 2013 submission of their Statement of Assets Liabilities and Networth (SALN).

The 2013 SALN again showed that the entire government is absolutely under the exclusive rule of multi-millionaires who represent a tiny minority in the country.

Magtubo, a former partylist representative, explained that this systemic disorder implies not a vague but a definite form of rule that marginalizes the majority of people, “since policy making cannot be separated from the class position of those who make the rules.”

This, he said, is the reason why strategic measures to curb the plague of contractualization and implementing the constitutional provision on living wage were never made an agenda of the past and present Congresses, while laws giving incentives to private corporations and foreign capital pass like bullet trains.

“PNoy can always mouth his vision of inclusive growth in every occasion until the end of his term in June 30, 2016. But under this kind of rule, the road leading to that remain impassable,” said Magtubo.

PM said further that this problem is made worse by the reigning culture of kleptocracy when those in power exploit the national resources for their narrow interests.

The labor party stressed that the country needs radical political and economic reforms to save itself from total failure.
PRESS RELEASE
Partido ng Manggagawa
29 May 2014
Contact: Renato Magtubo
09178532905

[Statement] “Show us results of the pork scam investigation now!” -CEBU COALITION AGAINST THE PORK BARREL SYSTEM

“Show us results of the pork scam investigation now!”
May 16, 2014

The Cebu Coalition Against the Pork Barrel System, representing the more than 80 civil society organizations in Cebu, feels increasing indignation for the slow progress of the investigation into the most shameful accusations of crime the legislative branch of Government has ever faced in its entire history.

Cebu Coalition Against The Pork Barrel System

For the first time in the history of our country, the Legislature has come under the severest and most vociferous suspicions on its integrity. This is the one time in our history that a branch of Government is being blamed for its gross inability to lessen poverty in the country. People have come to doubt that Legislators never ran for office to serve the public good, but only to dip their fingers into the pork barrel funds.

While we are glad that more evidence has surfaced, and more witnesses come forward, we also feel disgusted at the apparent mishandling of the emerging issues.

As a unified group, we have come before God Almighty and prayed for the Truth to emerge fully out of this gigantic mess, and it appears our prayers are slowly being answered, yet hampered at the same time by persons whose interests remain in question.

We are compelled therefore to express our stand regarding the following issues.

1. Expose the true list. The emergence of the so-called different versions of lists of guilty officials supposedly from Janet Lim-Napoles and the undue attention the controversy stirred within official and media circles only served to confuse the public and muddle the process of getting the truly guilty punished.

2. More witnesses must come forward. The public’s sense of betrayal has reached a very high level, the disappointment with government so palpable, and the clamor for Truth now so strong. People are realizing that of the problems of the country, CORRUPTION has taken the worst toll on the lives of the ordinary citizens. This issue is a FIGHT BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL.

We urge those who are in the know to come forward NOW, to do the right thing, to side with the GOOD and somehow clear your name for yourself and for the sake of your families.

GOOD will overcome EVIL, and when that happens, those who have a tinge of conscience left would do well to be on the right side. Regardless of how far down the wrong path you have gone, you are given a chance to stand once more on principle, for your sake and that of your descendants, and most importantly to help right the destiny of this country.

3. For the accused to RESIGN. True statesmen, those honorable men who are bred and raised to adhere to strict codes of conduct, will immediately resign under public accusations against their integrity, to allow investigations and legal scrutiny to proceed, unobstructed by any influence coming from them. Besides, DECENT legislators can submit documents that can withstand scrutiny.

To insist on staying in office because of their electoral mandate is WRONG! They cannot hide behind the pretense that they have to serve the electorate that placed them in office. The people voted for them in good faith, in all innocence of their possible crimes. The only way for these legislators to prove that this good faith is held sacred is to step down and step aside and allow the process of justice to proceed without delay, and to remain outside their office until their names are cleared.

“Delicadeza” is a long held value, practiced by the HONORABLE STATESMEN of this country, and of other countries as well. What exempts this present crop of legislators from this high standard of conduct? Do we sense Fear, fear that when one steps down, he loses substantial platform to influence the judicial system?

4. For all involved agencies to produce results. Although we believe in the strategic importance of not “telegraphing one’s punches” by withholding evidence, we are of the opinion that this strategy does not apply to the Pork Barrel Scam anymore because for certain, the guilty parties are already preparing their own defenses.

The grand announcements and the feigned moves only fuel exasperation with the system of justice in our country, creating the opinion that any person in authority can toy around with it, delay it, or derail it, for any purpose other than bringing the guilty to justice. These announcements, if not followed by significant action can achieve only one thing: make the press releasing official look good in the media.

The Cebu Coalition says, “ENOUGH!!! STOP PRIMPING BEFORE THE MEDIA!!! SHOW RESULTS!!!”

FOR REFERENCE:
MSGR. ROMUALDO G. KINTANAR
Convenor
CEBU COALITION AGAINST THE PORK BARREL SYSTEM
Tel. No. 272-8091; Email: archdiocesandiscernment@gmail.com

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[In the news] Aquino vows to step up fight against corruption -INQUIRER.net

Aquino vows to step up fight against corruption.
Philippine Daily Inquirer
April 21, 2014

President Aquino on Sunday vowed to step up his campaign against corruption in government for the remainder of his term.

inquirer

In his Easter message, the President said the public should expect his administration to “further strengthen our institutions” during the last 26 months in office.

“There would be even more corrupt [officials] who would be held accountable,” he said in Filipino.

At the same time, he promised a more robust economy, more social services and eventually “improvement in the lives of Filipinos.”

Read full article @newsinfo.inquirer.net

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[In the news] Santiago sees Palace hand in Gigi’s return -INQUIRER.net

Santiago sees Palace hand in Gigi’s return.
By TJ A. Burgonio, Philippine Daily Inquirer
April 21, 2014

It’s not farfetched that the Aquino administration has convinced Jessica Lucila “Gigi” Reyes to testify against Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile over the alleged P10-billion pork scam in exchange for her acquittal, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago said Sunday.

inquirer

Santiago said it would be logical for President Aquino to order government officials to bring home eyewitnesses in the “galactic corruption” to pin down its brains.

The former trial judge said Enrile was the mastermind who convinced Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr. to take part in the scam.

If reports were true that Enrile was unaware of the abrupt return of Reyes, his former chief of staff, this could mean that they had “broken up,” said Santiago, who has a running feud with the former Senate president.

Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/595941/santiago-sees-palace-hand-in-gigis-return#ixzz2zXXCTfJg

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[Petition] Senator Jinggoy Estrada: RESIGN IMMEDIATELY..because honor must be restored in the Senate -Change.org

Senator Jinggoy Estrada: RESIGN IMMEDIATELY..because honor must be restored in the Senate
By #ScrapPork Network

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More than seven months after the August 2013 Million People March, which called for an end to pork and the punishment of all abusers of pork, the Office of the Ombudsman has finally indicted three very high government officials: Senators Juan Ponce-Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla, for allegedly diverting more than P600 million of taxpayers’ funds.

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In other countries, executive and legislative officials step down from their posts when their wrongdoings are exposed. This is why the Scrap Pork Network launched a petition calling on Enrile, Estrada and Revilla to resign immediately from the Senate. The petition also says that if they don’t, the people should pressure the Senate to start moves for expulsion.

If you agree with the Scrap Pork Network’s call, sign this petition, share it on social media, and invite friends and kin to sign:

Sign petition @www.change.org

[Press Release] Labor group says, Blue Ribbon sleeping on the job -BMP

Labor group says, Blue Ribbon sleeping on the job

The labor group Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) likewise echoed the worry of some senators that the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) is receiving less attention by the highly-influential Blue Ribbon Committee.

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The BMP claimed that members of blue ribbon committee under the leadership of Senator Teofisto Guingona III seems to be “playing blind, deaf and mute to the clamor of the people to reveal and investigate the DAP” wherein the personalities involved belong to the ruling Liberal Party, including President Noynoy Aquino.

“That is the very point Congress has oversight powers and the Blue Ribbon Committee’s mandate is to scrutinize government personalities, mechanisms and operations for the purpose of enacting laws that will address certain loopholes in the system,” said Gie Relova, Secretary-General of BMP in Metro Manila and Rizal.

“Everyone knows that Senator Guingona is a partymate of the President, even ordinary folks can easily view this prejudice”, favoring members of the Liberal Party in the Executive branch. So why is he acting in this manner? Is Guingona waiting for another million people march, this time in the Senate grounds for him to prioritize the DAP investigation? Then is shall come his way, sooner than he thinks,” Relova warned.

“Let us remind the good senator that he himself is accountable to the tax-paying public not only the President,” Relova concluded.

28 February 2014
Contact person: Gie Relova
Secretary-General, BMP-NCRR
0915-2862555

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[Statement] To junk the pork and trapo politics, we need to junk the Presidential pork -Kilusang KonTRAPOrk

To junk the pork and trapo politics, we need to junk the Presidential pork

Photo by FDC

Photo by FDC

The struggle against the pork is not yet over, in fact it is just intensifying.

Today, the so-called “Disbursement Acceleration Program” (DAP)—or one of the components of the president’s pork—is up for scrutiny by the Supreme Court during the scheduled oral argumentations. However, before we get lost in the tangle of legal jargon and partisan mudslinging, we must remind ourselves that the DAP issue is not simply, as the Aquino media team tried to spin it last year, an issue of whether or not the funds were embezzled, nor is it just an issue of whether or not President’s influence peddling during the impeachment of the former Chief Justice Renato Corona is ethical or illegal. Neither is it a mere “distraction” from the prosecution of the perpetrators of the Napoles PDAF Scam. It is not even just about the Executive branch’s unconstitutional usurpation of the Legislative’s power of the purse. It is far bigger than that.

KonTRAPOrk logo1 small

Ultimately and more importantly, the DAP controversy is about trapo politics, and the lack of transparency and accountability—if not the utter impunity—in the way the sitting President and our political elites use the toiling masses’ money to promote their narrow political agenda and political careers.

DAP was born out of the Executive’s distortion of the already constitutionally infirm and democratically repugnant provisions in the 1987 Revised Administrative Code (E0 292) – the President’s power of impoundment (Section 38, Book VI) and power to re-align savings (Section 39, Book VI).

On one hand, by twisting the meaning of these provisions, the sitting President can and has artificially created PDAF-like funds, discretionary and lump-sum funds that he/she can distribute to Congressmen and Senators, and use to buy off their political support. Thus, the peculiar controversy with the Presidential pork has less to do with its size, although its magnitude is undeniable, than with its tendency give birth to new forms of pork. During President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s term, for example, the administration had been borrowing more than it should and reporting the excess as “savings.” Under the Aquino administration, we have the DAP. The President, through the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), asked individual legislators to “endorse” projects and programs that will be funded by the DAP. How the politicians were picked and what standards were used, is subject to the unrestrained discretion of and remain to be undisclosed by the Executive.

On the other hand, the Senators and Congressmen will again be able to acquire funds for more scholarships and medical aid, or substandard roads and unfinished bridges, to buy off their poor constituencies’ electoral support. This is how pork and political dynasties continue to prosper. This is how trapo politics thrives.

Hence, essential to the emancipation of the people from patronage system and to the dismantling of trapo politics, is the scrapping of the President’s pork, including the controversial DAP.

We have seen the abuse and impunity happen in the past, as in the case of PGMA. We saw these happen under the Aquino administration, through the DAP. Without addressing the vulnerabilities of our budgetary processes and the failure of our democratic system, these will happen again under the succeeding administrations.

By defending the DAP and the Presidential pork, President Aquino is the one who put himself on the other side of this fight, the side against a more accountable, democratic and empowering use of the people’s money.

PROTEKTAHAN ANG KABAN NG BAYAN! DAP AT TRAPO POLITICS IBASURA!

KILUSANG KONTRAPORK
AKBAYAN, Aniban ng Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (AMA), APL-SENTRO, Bukluran sa Ikauunlad ng Sosyalistang Isip at Gawa (BISIG), Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP), CPVA, Faith-based Congress Against Immoral Debts (FCAID), Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC), FRC, Kampanya para sa Makataong Pamumuhay (KAMP), KAISA KA, KAISA UP, Kongreso ng Pagkakaisa ng Maralitang Lungsod (KPML), KMBM, KULAY, KUMPAS, KATARUNGAN, KILUSAN, LPLU, MATINIK, Medical Action Group (MAG), Metro Manila Vendors Association (MMVA), NAGKAISA, PIGLAS-KABABAIHAN, Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA), Pambansang Koalisyon ng Kababaihan sa Kanayunan (PKKK), Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM), Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Transportasyon (PMT), Partido ng Manggagawa (PM), Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ), Samahang Maralitang Nagtitinda (SAMANA), SARILAYA, SANLAKAS, Sanlakas Youth, Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP), Woman Health Philippines, Youth for Nationalism and Democracy (YND)

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[Statement] #ScrapPork Network still hears loud “Oink!” from 2014 Budget

#ScrapPork Network still hears loud “Oink!” from 2014 Budget

The 2014 General Appropriations Act still contains discretionary and lump sum funds of lawmakers and P83.24 billion in unprogrammed funds, according to the watchdog group, #ScrapPork Network (SPN).

scrap pork network

As it stands, the National Budget is a “shameless and unconscionable violation of the Supreme Court ruling declaring the Pork Barrel System unconstitutional,” said #ScrapPork Network spokesperson Peachy Tan.

She also said the government failed to seize the opportunity to create a display of genuine “tuwid na daan” by not turning the rehabilitation of disaster-stricken areas as models for transparency and responsive budgeting. Tan hit Sen. Jinggoy Estrada’s “special provision” earmarking P200 million to support local government units, half of which is allocated for the City Government of Manila governed by his father, Mayor Joseph Estrada.

“He is one of the principal suspects on the Napoles plunder case wherein he is accused of pocketing P200 million from ghost projects with Napoles NGOs, and now, he is violating the Constitution with a liposuction of his pork, only to be transferred to his dad,” Tan said.

She added that the new budget is proof that piecemeal reforms in governance will only come under perennial attack from traditional politicians “who will throw scraps at the public while they find creative means of diverting the people’s funds.”

Tan reiterated the need for the Filipino to be vigilant, instead of jubilant, in the midst of the reported “pork-less” budget and the declared unconstitutionality of the Pork Barrel System. “Clearly, unprogrammed funds still exist and lawmakers like Jinggoy can still allocate funds appropriated to them on their own discretion,” Tan cautioned.

Major disasters like Typhoon Yolanda, she added, could be the “opening of the floodgates” for more “discretionary spending.”

“Our government has collected nearly P600 million from international donations for rehabilitation and relief of Yolanda-stricken areas and a big chunk of the pledged amount has not been received yet. Reports say tons of relief goods are still undelivered by the Department of Social Welfare and Development and other government agencies while temporary shelters, in the form of bunker houses, are structurally weak and overpriced,” Tan explained.

“Yet, our government plans to spend, with full discretion, P80 billion from taxpayers money for rehabilitation. Our question is: Is this budget transparent and responsive? Have affected communities even been consulted?” she asked. #ScrapPork Network calls on the Filipino people to intensify further the battle for accountability, transparency, and democratic budgeting for 2014 might be the “Year of the Mutant Pig.”

Source: http://scrapporknetwork.com/scrappork-network-still-hears-loud-oink-from-2014-budget/

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[People] The capture of the children and the nation. By Fr. Shay Cullen

The capture of the children and the nation
By Fr. Shay Cullen

The story of the rescue of Rosemary is heartening and encouraging. When we read about such stories of young children like that of Rosemary being helped and rescued from the clutches of depraved people who are arrested, we rejoice. But we may not know that hundreds of thousands are not rescued, they suffer abuse like Rosemary who was trafficked and sold at 14 years old into sex slavery and bondage. She was rescued, sheltered and healed while many others are not. A charity like Preda Foundation with limited funds can do only so much.

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When children are saved by government social workers, police and charity workers, we applaud and approve and our admiration of good organized government services increases. Government is elected by the people, given public trust and paid through taxes on everything to serve the common good. In developing countries like the Philippines, government agencies, one by one have been captured by the rich to serve them rather than the poor. That’s why human trafficking and exploitation is on the increase.

It’s been going on for the past many years. President Aquino says he is trying to root it out. Hundreds of thousands are barely surviving dire poverty and hunger; the children are the most at risk. They totter on the edge of abject poverty. This is now seen in all its shame by the fury of typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). It bared the sprawling slums and stripped away the fragile fabric of the hovels of the teeming poor. Dire poverty was laid embarrassingly naked.

Such poverty and social injustice causes unrest, malnutrition, disease and illness. Economists say the Philippines has a strongly growing economy, creating wealth, but for whom? Little of it is reaching the poor. A cheap hungry labor force benefits the rich.

The Social Weather Station (SWS) survey showed that 21 percent of the population, that’s 4.3 million people, went hungry at least once in the second half of 2013. In Metro Manila, there was a 10 point increase in hunger up to 26%, that’s 738,000 people who went hungry. The poverty rate has not gone down and it is higher since 2005. Meaning the poor still have nothing much in the world and live from meal to meal.

As little as one percent of the population are super rich and own as much as 70% to 90% of the national wealth. They use their wealth as bribes and infiltrate the bureaucracy, police, military and congress and “capture” government agencies and bend them all to support their own interests. Government appears to serve the interests of the rich more than those of the people. Corruption is epidemic. President Aquino, considered clean of corruption himself, has made its elimination the goal of his presidency.

Rosemary was a child of poverty. When her mother died of tuberculoses, Rosemary was taken by a pimp and trafficker who later became a manager of a sex bar frequented by international and local sex tourists. Rosemary was brought up as a sex worker, one of many thousands in the brothels and sex bars of the Philippines into which they are trafficked as human slaves trapped by debt.

This is one of the greatest and most shameful failures of local and national government. The mayor and officials are seemingly “captured” by favors and services, perhaps of the industry and they allow sex industry to thrive. The collusion is sickening. HIV/Aids is spreading again as a result. There is no media or public outcry; there is national collusion it seems to allow sex tourism.

In this beautiful country, the resilient, kind, patient and friendly people are exploited and most don’t know it. They are manipulated and conditioned into believing the rich deserve everything they have got and sexual exploitation of even minors is acceptable. 60 years old folk singers can co-habitate with 16 year-old girls and it is judged okay. Mass media re-enforces this. Social media exults in it. Some justify it since they make money. They don’t see the forced abortions and the daily abuse and human rights violations. The victims seldom earn money, as most trafficked victims are “captured”, by personal debt to the bar owners and cannot escape.

Much like the nation itself, the Philippines is imprisoned by foreign debt on loans that benefit the rich and the poor are paying the interest on that national debt.

The huge increase in electricity charges in Metro Manila last December illustrates the capture of government by the rich elite. The electric power producers took over the national industry through privatization and sweetheart deals with friends in government. Most public utilities are now privatized and owned by the profit-driven wealthy elite. The electricity producers, Aboitiz, Malampaya and a few others with Meralco, mostly using filthy coal plants also approved by their friends in government, allegedly form a monopoly, a price fixing cartel and allegedly colluded to create a false electrical shortage to justify the price increase and thus maximize their obscene profits. They deny all wrong doing.

Besides that, corruption knows no end. Every day, new revelations emerge of one huge scam by government officials in cahoots with the barons of business. Rights advocates are taking a stand and opposing it. Media has the courage and freedom to reveal the truth but many journalists are assassinated as a result. The dark forces strike back.

Silence is approval in the face of evil. We must oppose all human trafficking, child abuse and price fixing especially that which hurts the poor. We must speak out, protest and declare what is true and right, come what may. [shaycullen@preda.org, http://www.preda.org]

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

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[Statement] PERSONALAN NA! Isang daang araw na ang nagdaan, pangatawanan ang tuwid na daan, panagutin lahat ng kawatan! -#ScrapPorkNetwork

PERSONALAN NA! Isang daang araw na ang nagdaan, pangatawanan ang tuwid na daan, panagutin lahat ng kawatan!
A CALL TO UNITY ON DECEMBER 6, 2013

100-day-protest. Extracted from http://scrapporknetwork.com/

100-day-protest. Extracted from http://scrapporknetwork.com/

Source: scrapporknetwork.com

A year of unprecedented natural and man-made disasters, a display of unparalleled corruption are what most Filipinos will remember of the year 2013.

On the one hand, reports of massive corruption, of people toying around with billions of pesos of our money — and a government preoccupied with defending the infrastructure that props up these wrongs. On the other, millions of survivors of disasters reeling from their loss and the balance of the population struggling to fill the vacuum in government services.

scrap pork network

The deaths, injuries and scale of destruction highlight the gaps in disaster reduction and management that an efficient budget process and exercise of fiscal responsibility could have plugged.

What we have, however, is a system that diverts too much public funds to Pork: the whole-scale award of state monies to institutions and official positions and the assigning of vast discretionary powers that often place them beyond the pale of accountability.

‘Walang personalan?’ Hindi po. No Filipino has been spared the direct impact of the corruption bred by pork. Personalan na! Walang Pilipino na ligtas sa epekto ng korupsyon.

The Scrap Pork Network believes there can be no piecemeal approach to the eradication of pork. Thus, our three main calls (1) Scrap the pork barrel system. 2) Account for all funds spent. 3) Investigate and punish ALL who misuse pork.

December 6 marks 100 days since the surrender of Janet Napoles, a major conduit for diverted pork funds. No case has yet reached the Sandiganbayan. Very few from the huge cast detailed in special PDAF audit have been charged for the loss of public funds. Nor has the public been shown detailed accounting of pork spending outside of 2007 to 2009.

The Supreme Court has recently declared the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) as illegal; a move which we certainly welcome. However, this only comprises a small fraction of “pork”, which plagues our nation.

Year after year, grassroots calls for improvement in government service have been met with one excuse: lack of funds. The billions of pesos that are just the tip of the pork iceberg show the real story: Pork and its accompanying corruption steal funds that could have improved people’s lives.

We, the #ScrapPork Network, a network composed of many different groups, as well as many unaffiliated individuals—students, activists, economists, faith-based leaders, young workers, artists, businesspeople, educators, together with other groups and individuals, are calling on all Filipinos to join us on at 4pm on December 6 to point to the failure of the Ombudsman to file cases within 100 days of Napoles’ surrender. And to call the government to account for its inadequate response to the disaster brought about by typhoon Yolanda.

We are also calling for concerned citizens all over the Philippines and even in different parts of the globe to join us at 5:00pm on December 6th in giving voice to our call to demand for systemic change.

Program:
4:00pm— Assembly and program at the Office of the Ombudsman
5:00pm— Noise barrage and united raising of the Philippine Flag
5:15pm— Torchlight Walk from the Office of the Ombudsman to Quezon City Memorial Circle
6:15pm— Program for Yolanda survivors at Quezon City Memorial Circle

[In the news] SC junks PDAF as unconstitutional -RAPPLER.COM

SC junks PDAF as unconstitutional
BY RAPPLER.COM
November 19, 2013

MANILA, Philippines (8th UPDATE) – The Supreme Court on Tuesday, November 19, declared as unconstitutional the legislators’ controversial pork barrel fund known as the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).

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The High Tribunal also struck down as illegal provisions in two laws that allow the President to use the Malampaya Fund and the President’s Social Fund for purposes beyond the mandate of the funds.

The vote against the PDAF was 14-0, according to Supreme Court spokesman Theodore Te. Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco Jr inhibited from the case because his son is a congressman. The ponente, or writer of the decision, is Associate Justice Estela Bernabe, an appointee of President Benigno Aquino III.

Read full article @www.rappler.com

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[In the news] Only 15 of 37 in pork barrel scam notified on passport cancellation – DFA -InterAksyon.com

Only 15 of 37 in pork barrel scam notified on passport cancellation – DFA
By Ernie Reyes, InterAksyon.com
November 3, 2013

MANILA, Philippines – A week after the Department of Justice requested the cancellation of the passports of 37 people suspected to be involved in the P10-billion pork barrel scam, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Sunday it has served the notice to only 15. Those who have been served notice included Senators Juan Ponce-Enrile, Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, and Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr.

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DFA spokesman Raul Hernandez said the DFA is still looking for the addresses of 22 people on DOJ’s request list for passport cancellation, as many of them hae residences outside Metro Manila.

“Sinabi ng ating legal team, ang iba wala sa Maynila at nasa probinsiya, kaya aalamin nila kung saan ang kanilang address sa probinsiya upang maipadala ang letters ng DFA (Our legal team said some are not in Metro Manila and are in the provinces, that’s why they’re finding out their addresses in the provinces so that the DFA may be able to send them the letters),” he said.

Read full article @www.interaksyon.com

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[From the web] Alternatives to the pork barrel system By Herbert Docena

Alternatives to the pork barrel system
By Herbert Docena
October 31, 2013

Although the government has yet to heed our demands, the anti-pork movement has already scored a major victory: It has freed our imagination and empowered us to ask, what can replace the pork barrel system?

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That may sound like a hollow win, but as sociologists have emphasized, one of the most underrated achievements of social movements is their ability to shake up taken-for-granted beliefs, to challenge the “naturalness” of the existing order.

Thanks to the organizing work of such networks as Kilusang KonTRAPOrk, Abolish Pork Movement, and the broad Scrap Pork Network, few today believe the claim—repeated by the President the other night—that there is no other way to provide social services and public goods but for politicians to dispense them almost any way they please to anyone who pleases them.

The movement has punctured one of power’s cherished claims: that there is no alternative. That victory clinched, the struggle to spell out and put in place a different system escalates.

Read full article @www.rappler.com

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[Video] President Aquino’s Address to the Nation on DAP, PDAF

President’s Address to the Nation 10/30/2013

Posted on YouTube by RTVMalacanang

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[Featured site] www.facebook.com/KonTRAPOrk

KonTRAPOrk
Malawakang Progresibong Multi-Sektoral na
Kilusang Masa KONTRA PORK, KONTRA TRAPO
KonTRAPOrk logo1 small
Malawakang Progresibong Multi-Sektoral na
Kilusang Masa KONTRA PORK, KONTRA TRAPO.Ang pagkasiwalat ng P10Billion Napoles-Pork Scam ay parang PANDORA’S Box na nagbukas ng higit na malaganap at malalim na suliranin ng katiwalian sa loob ng pamahalaan at sa sistemang pulitika ng ating lipunan. Ang sunod-sunod at tuloy-tuloy na pagkilos at protesta ay patunay ng determinasyon ng mamamayan labanan ang SISTEMANG PORK, patunay ng pagnanasa sa makabuluhang pagbabago.

Ang PORK ay tanda ng bulok na sistemang TRAPO at nagpapalala sa patuloy na paglawak ng kahirapan ng masa at pagpapayaman ng iilan, Ang paglustay ng kabang bayan para sa interes ng iilan at kawalan ng batayang serbisyong panlipunan.

ANG LABAN SA PORK AY LABAN NG MASA!
LINISIN ANG GOBYERNO, WALISIN ANG TRAPO!

Makiisa! Like and share konTRAPOrk @ https://www.facebook.com/KonTRAPOrk

[Event] Holy Mass for Call to Discernment on Political Corruption -Archdiocesan Discernment Group

Archdiocesan Discernment Group

Archdiocese of Cebu
August 22, 2013
To the Archdiocesan clergy, religious, lay organizations/movements, seminarians and the Cebuano public
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Greetings of truth, justice, peace and love!

Amidst the growing indignation against political corruption, specifically the misuse and abuse of people’s money (pork barrel funds), we need to reflect on the declaration of the Fourth Diocesan Synod of Cebu: a large number of people “are poor since they are deprived of access to the basic material goods and resources, and they live under social, economic, political structures which have injustice built into them. (Cebu Synod IV, The Servant Church, #4)”

Through the initiative of the Archdiocesan Discernment Group (ADG) established by Cebu Archbishop Jose S. Palma, we in the Archdiocese of Cebu join Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle’s call for a thorough investigation of the pork barrel scam, and appropriate punishment for the culprits. We join the search for the best way to use the people’s money, especially for the poor.

In solidarity with the people’s yearning for a corruption-free government, as endorsed by Archbishop Jose S. Palma, WE INVITE THE CLERGY, RELIGIOUS MEN AND WOMEN, SEMINARIANS AND FORMANDI, LAY ORGANIZATIONS, FAITH COMMUNITIES and all Cebuanos, to the following activity:

Holy Mass for Call to Discernment on Political Corruption

at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral

on Monday, 26 August 2013 at 8:00 A.M.,

to be Presided by Cebu Auxiliary Bishop Julito Cortes, D.D.

on behalf of Cebu Archbishop Jose S. Palma, D.D.

This discernment mass is an opportunity for everyone to get spiritually strengthened and nourished to bring Christ’s wisdom and love especially to the financial aspect of political governance.

Bring your community, neighbors, friends, classmates, and co-workers with you.

As we celebrate “National Heroes Day” on August 26, may the Señor Santo Niño and Mary, Queen of the Visayas empower all of us to continue the legacy of those who offered their lives for our country.

In Jesus through Mary,

MSGR. ROMUALDO G. KINTANAR
Convenor
Archdiocesan Discernment Group

Endorsed by
MOST REV. JOSE S. PALMA, DD
Archbishop of Cebu

N.B. For inquiries, please contact the Secretariat at 032-4068079 or 0923-8720288 or email to: archdiocesandiscernment@gmail.com.

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