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    Posted July 31, 2014 by

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    Why Philippine President shielding allies?

    ANTI-PORK protesters have been asking Philippine President Benigno Aquino III to stop shielding his allies involved in the P10-billion pork barrel scam. They claimed the incessant call has just fallen on his deaf ears, adding that there seems to be a dearth of evidence against them.
    Different religious groups and individuals, including Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo, have challenged Aquino to clean up the mess from explosive revelations made by scam queen Janet Lim-Napoles and Associate Justice Arturo Brion of the Supreme Court.
    In his opinion declaring the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) as unconstitutional, Brion said Department of Budget and Management Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad was its author.
    In her affidavit submitted to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, Napoles also said Abad was behind the manipulation of the P10-billion Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) controversy, implicating lawmakers mostly coming from the opposition party.
    Meanwhile, Pabillo said it’s not just those in the opposition who were involved in the pork barrel issue, but also those who are allies should be prosecuted.
    “It’s not just those in the opposition who were involved in the pork barrel issue, but also those who are allies. All those involved should be prosecuted, and not just a few should be brought down because of the issue,” he pointed out.
    He stressed that all those involved in the scam should be prosecuted, and not just a few should be brought down because of the issue.
    The protesters said the government must prosecute all those involved in the pork barrel scam and jail the guilty. And by “all,” it means even the President’s friends.
    Anti-pork barrel protesters have also challenged lawmakers linked to the controversy to go on leave if their hands are really clean, just to allow the investigation to proceed without any chance of them exerting influence over it.
    “They don’t have to resign, they could just go on leave for six months so that a proper investigation could be done,” Pabillo said, adding that the controversy should not be used as a political issue just meant to pin down members of the opposition.
    While most of those implicated in the alleged misuse of public funds have professed their innocence, the political opposition and the religious groups have joined the condemnation of the pork barrel system, noting that despite so much funds being circulated, so many Filipinos have remained poor.
    Reacting to Aquino’s election slogan “if there is no corruption, there would be no poor people,” protesters said this could either mean his slogan was wrong, that there could be poverty even if there’s no corruption, or it could mean there is corruption, which is why there are so many poor people.
    “If what he is saying is correct, then this is a reminder to him that there is still corruption,” Pabillo said, adding that Congress should have no use for pork barrel. If it could not function without it, then that would mean it was a hopeless institution for it was not created because of the pork barrel.
    The collective rage against the pork barrel scam continues to simmer, while Aquino is coddling his political allies.
    Should the Sandiganbayan (graft court) convict Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Jr. and Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, who are now under the custody of the Philippine National Police at Camp Crame, sincerity of the Aquino government will remain in question.
    From the camps of those already named in plunder and graft cases, all the way to President Aquino, what the people see are efforts to tar enemies but coddle allies. This is the time to dismantle the very system that breeds Enriles, Estradas, and Revillas.
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