By Miguel Raymundo
PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III’s Disbursement Acceleration Package (DAP) renders Congress useless. DAP is PNoy’s signature and declaration to the Filipinos that he has no need for Congress.
Filipinos spend tens of billions of pesos a year for salaries of congressmen and senators and to underwrite their stealing. Thievery in this Congress has gone too far that a weekly business magazine rightly described it as a crime syndicate.
Who needs a crime syndicate for a Congress? Even PNoy, by his acts, says he does not need Congress, except perhaps to impeach a Supreme Court Chief Justice.
Then will somebody please simply abolish Congress for failing the Filipino people for decades now?
First, Congress failed to protect the people from the biggest crime syndicate in the country led by the President himself.
The President misappropriated some PhP174Billion in forced savings from the budget of executive offices. He pooled these savings to form an illegal fund called the DAP. The Use of these savings is a product of technical malversation—a crime with defined penalties that include a jail term and dismissal from service.
This is PNoy’s biggest crime so far, a thievery ten times worse than that of the PDAF scandal supposedly masterminded by one Janet Lim Napoles.
While PNoy could be the most dishonest President this country has ever had by the magnitude of stealing now going on, his is a long list of dishonest acts from abandoning campaign promises to allowing subalterns to run away with billions of government funds.
PNoy promised us Daang Matuwid. With runaway corruption in the government service, no one but his yellow allies believed this. But of course Daang Matuwid meant a straight path of billions of pesos to the pockets and bank accounts of these yellow allies.
PNoy promised to wipe out poverty. Poverty incidence has gone up as we slipped deeper in international ratings on the measure of success in the fight against poverty.
PNoy said “Pag walang corrupt walang mahirap” and we see the reason why the “mahirap” has increased in numbers.
The people pay over P35Billion in keeping Congress. In return, Congress enacted insignificant laws, like in 2012 a bill on reproductive health and the postponement of elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, according to election lawyer Romulo Macalintal.
Every year, the only significant bill passed is the General Appropriations Act (GAA) or the national budget, the obligatory congress action to legalize government expenditure.
Under PNoy this GAA is not the bible in his spending, this is a scrap of paper that does not merit his attention or, worse, his respect. And, for circumventing the provisions of the budget and violating the Constitution, PNoy ought to go to jail.
According to Macalintal, the PhP35Billion savings from abolishing Congress could be used for other purposes.
But wait, should Congress be abolished, there will be absolute control of the purse by the executive branch.
Remember, Mr. Macalintal, the lawmakers are simply beneficiaries of theft by the executive branch. Remember that the process of stealing starts from Malacanang, passes through Congress and, finally, actually disbursed by the executive branches controlled by the Palace.
So Congress is just one step in the process of theft. Most guilty are those in the executive department, especially people in Malacanang.
Every step in the way in the disbursement of government funds has safety measures against acts of thieves.
I was the chief of budget division and management services division during the martial law days in one office attached to the Office of the President. I had this case of the top official ordering me to transfer funds from capital outlay to maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE).
I refused to obey the order, advising the boss it was technical malversation. I briefed him, thinking that being new the government service he did not know our duties. I told the boss this was against the law and I could go to jail if I followed his order.
The national budget defines how the government funds must be used, I told him and I have a duty to my position as budget officer. Of course I resigned few months after that briefing for too suddenly it became very hot in the kitchen.
The system is not rotten. The people in the system are. In solving the corruption in Congress, you don’t kill the system. The solution is for us to stop electing the corrupt to Congress.
Those elected and continue with their thieving ways should be charged in court and put to jail. That is assuming our justice system is working, but that is another story.
The presidential is system is not rotten. It is working fine in other countries like the United States of America. The person in the position makes the position of President rotten.
In the case of the Philippines, our President has shown how he has ruined the image of his position, being most guilty in the PDAF-DAP crime. He should be impeached for everyone to again respect our system.
He is the puppeteer, the one using government cash as strings in the public dance to massive corruption.
Now, if you think stealing from the government coffers is the only form of corruption hurting the economy so much, think again.
Yes corruption has hurt so much the economy that when PNoy and budget secretary Florencio Abad were pooling forced savings to create DAP, the GDP growth went down to half at over 3%.
The forced savings meant putting a stop to infrastructure projects and other people welfare initiatives, pulling out from the national spending over P170Billion.
The ripple effect of this dip in national spending was slow down of economic activities by suppliers to government projects and no jobs. Government spending is also intended to inject life to the economy, to create employment by direct hiring by government and suppliers. Downstream, even the sari-sari stores had to suffer. The net effect of reduced government spending is reduced cash in circulation, reduced disposable income of families.
In the dip in disposable income, government holding down disbursements of public funds has a temporary effect on disposable income. This dip is offset when the hijacked funds are released to fund massive corruption.
The worst source and reason disposable income is on the dive is the cost of basic necessities and utilities like food, power, water, transportation and others.
In the privatization of utilities, corruption in government is not noticed, this form of corruption deliberately moved away from public attention by the taipan-controlled mainstream media.
How bad business succeeds in bleeding dry the middle class and the poorest in this country is a long story of corruption in our congress and our President who is even more corrupt.
By Ronald Roy
Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “hypocrisy” as the false assumption of an appearance of virtue or religion. There are disturbing reasons to believe that the much-touted daang matuwid (righteous path) slogan of Pres. B.S. Aquino lll qualifies as a shuddering example of the definition.
Good attracts while evil repels, and this explains the slogan’s proselytizing power. The Tagalog catchphrase is excellent political fodder for largely religious, fanatical, and superstitious Filipinos. They are, to a fault, easily beguiled by the slogan, the same way they are often finagled by quick-money operators who build bogus shrines and sell fake healing water.
Needless to state, the slogan’s large-scale deception is pernicious to our floundering democracy, and only our citizens, if reawakened and unshackled from the yellow camp’s “Rasputinean” enticements, can be their own saviors. However, most of us didn’t believe then Pres. Gloria Arroyo’s claim that God had ordered her to ignore the public clamor for her resignation because He wanted her to continue her good work for the country; so maybe there is hope P-Noy’s bewitching mantra will fizzle out.
But, is there? My persistent irritation is that: despite the president’s slowly diminishing popularity, his slogan still appears to be getting the better of us. Without rattling in public, he quietly seethes with anger whenever confronted by legitimate dissent. And he is good at appearing virtuous, notwithstanding his obviously undemocratic contempt for opposition leaders, vis-à-vis his overwhelmingly indecent defense of misbehaving political allies.
He is a bad sport. His kind of politics is dirty and foul-ridden; and if governance were a basketball game, he would have already been ejected and banned for life which, in reality, is a possibility now that the Supreme Court has unanimously declared DAP ( disbursement acceleration program) to be unconstitutional.
The sovereign people’s anguished cry for justice and restitution of their money has been heeded by the high tribunal, and this for the moment is a reassurance that our magistrates’ principal concern is the people’s welfare — a welcome reminder that the high court is the ultimate rampart for an oppressed citizenry, and that it stands ready to play an activist role to countercheck the abusive executive and legislative departments. But this is only the start of a long, daunting struggle.
As expected, impeachment of the president quickly came to the public psyche on the day of the official announcement of the tribunal’s resolution and, as of this writing, countless theories have evolved regarding its impracticality, futility and legal untenability, as bandied about by the Palace and its cohorts; and most likely, by the time this article’s been published, a number of impeachment complaints have already swamped the lower house’s impeachment committee.
Predictably, not one of them will prosper, impeachment being a political exercise, a numbers game, where P-Noy’s lackey, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, is in full control, not to mention the president’s bottomless kitty for political self-preservation. The DAP reportedly funded the removal of impeachment respondent CJ Renato C. Corona, and it is ironic that the high tribunal’s subject DAP decision now portrays his tormentor, President Noynoy, as having received a dose of his own medicine. Karma?
As I wrote in a previous article, do not expect P-Noy to fire DBM Sec. Butch Abad who is generally seen as the brains and/or orchestrator of the DAP. How could P-Noy, really, have the heart to dump Abad whose wrongful acts he had authorized or acquiesced to? However, a charge of Technical Malversation against Abad is being studied, according to Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales. Good move, although this could be a clever ploy that effectively diverts attention and pressure from P-Noy. Resignation? I do not think Abad will “take the bullet” for his master by stepping down. I hear this guy is a kapit-tuko of the kapal-muks variety.
So, what have we got before us? The spectacle, no less, of a graft-ridden administration on survival mode, fiercely banking on the power of its hypocritical daang matuwid to convince us: that we have a virtuous leader who rules the country with the best of intentions, by using our money for allegedly legitimate and noble purposes, and without pocketing a single peso, and that this declaration should be enough to shield him against accountability. HUH??? I disagree.
Their unbearably monotonous refrain of “good intentions” and “good faith” must now be laid to rest in the face of the Supreme Court’s statement that the Palace is not yet off the hook, not till the DAP’s sponsors can prove good faith.
Well, P-Noy and cohorts are finished, and here’s why. Senate records show that Sen. Noynoy sponsored a bill to outlaw the DAP because he saw it as an evil. But his colleagues rejected it. Therefore, he has been in bad faith all along. He should graciously resign if only to reduce the ignominy of being tagged as a hypocrite.