By Communist Party of the Philippines
Pork Barrel King Benigno Aquino III is putting up a public spectacle to entertain the people and draw away attention from his own culpability in the entire bureaucrat capitalist scam to rob the people.
Over the past ten days, King Aquino has effected the incarceration of two senators — Ramon Revilla Jr and Jinggoy Estrada — and their cohorts accused of pocketing kickbacks from pork barrel funds amounting to hundreds of millions of pesos. Another accused senator is set to be arrested in the next few days. To the great displeasure of the Filipino people, King Aquino has extended ruling-class courtesy to his fellow bureaucrat capitalists, in having the two arrested senators confined in comfortable dormitory-like rooms. Similar elite courtesy is expected to be extended to the elderly Juan Ponce Enrile.
The arrest and detention of the politicians accused in the pork barrel scam were carried out by the Aquino regime soon after the involvement in the pork barrel scam of its key officials, namely Budget Secretary Florencio Abad and Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, was exposed; and disclosures that Aquino himself had close personal relations with accused pork barrel queen Janet Lim-Napoles.
Since March, the Aquino regime has been conducting negotiations with Napoles in order to have her stand as witness against the anti-Aquino politicians involved in the pork barrel scam. Its self-serving aim is to draw attention away from the involvement of Aquino and his officials in the pork barrel system of disbursing funds to preferred politicians.
Last June 12, at least 10,000 people marched through the streets of Metro Manila demanding the complete abolition of the pork barrel system. They demanded that King Aquino be made liable for the corrupt system of disbursing public funds under the Disbursement Acceleration Fund (DAP)—the presidential pork barrel—which Aquino disbursed to senators in his effort to ensure votes for the conviction and removal of former Supreme Court Justice Renato Corona.
King Aquino’s men have downplayed the significance of the June 12 demonstration. They ignore the fact that many of the prime movers of the large anti-pork barrel demonstrations of last year are now openly expressing discontent over the perpetuation of the pork barrel system under the Aquino regime. An increasingly broad segment of the Philippine middle class is becoming disenchanted amid worsening corruption in large government contracts being granted to big oligarchs supportive of the ruling Aquino clique. They continue to swell the ranks of the toiling masses who long have seen through the illusion of Aquino’s “matwid na daan”.
Aquino’s yellow army of media and public relations specialists has become wary of the rising tide of anti-Aquino protests, especially the participation of the middle class in street actions. Hoping to preempt the mounting anti-Aquino protests, Malacañang orchestrated the filing of plunder charges against senators Revilla and Estrada and their arrest and detention. However, the Filipino people are not amused at the public spectacle being whipped up by Malacañang, knowing well that the pork barrel system remains in full operation under the direct control of King Aquino.
Numerous groups have questioned the constitutionality of King Aquino’s DAP pork barrel before the Supreme Court. It earlier promptly issued a populist decision against the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF). Several months have already passed since. They Filipino people are increasingly becoming impatient over the failure of the Supreme Court to issue a decision on the DAP.
With Aquino’s appointee at the helm, the Supreme Court is expected to declare the DAP constitutional. To decide otherwise would to make Aquino vulnerable to impeachment. It is clearly wary of the people’s dissatisfaction over such prospects. It has been recently bared that Aquino’s appointees at the Supreme Court leaked a draft of its decision on the DAP to the Social Weather Stations (SWS) in order to measure public reaction to its decision. More than anything else, the upcoming Supreme Court decision on the DAP will be a political decision that seeks to serve the stability of the ruling Aquino regime.
The Filipino people are incensed that the 2015 budget submitted by Malacañang which is lined up with pork barrel funds. As has been the practice under the PDAF, Aquino’s budget department has asked congressmen and senators to list down projects which they would endorse. As before, Malacañang is set to allot P200 million for every senator and P70 million for every congressman.
King Aquino’s 2015 budget also implements the so-called Bottom-Up-Budgeting (BUB) system, devised by Aquino, in order to dangle pork barrel-type funds to local government units. It is reported that as much as P20 billion will be allotted for to such pork barrel funds to ensure the loyalty of local government officials.
Aquino’s adamant defense of the DAP, the PDAF-like allocations and BUB system in the 2015 budget show that he indeed is the Pork Barrel King. The Filipino people must continue to take hold of the initiative. They must not allow the Aquino regime to simply hoist one spectacle after another. They must wage all out political struggle by relentlessly opposing the DAP and the pork barrel system and exposing widespread corruption. Indeed, the Filipino people stand on solid ground in fighting to oust the Aquino regime.