Aquino indulges himself with the people's money

Editorial
Ang Bayan
August 26, 2013

The revolutionary forces led by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) support the struggle against Aquino's pro-imperialist, antipeople, anomalous and corrupt program of expenditures for 2014.

After three years, Aquino's words and empty showcase programs have lost their bite. The barrage of criticisms that has met his proposed budget for 2014 shows that the people are no longer lulled by Aquino's promises of clean governance.

The people have seen no changes in the system of budgeting and expenditures. Most striking is the continuing allocation by Aquino of huge grease funds for politicians--the so-called "pork barrel" under the "Priority Development Assistance Fund" (PDAF). These funds usually end up lining politicians' pockets in the form of kickbacks on public works projects or by being channelled through fake programs of bogus organizations.

The "pork barrel" has long been part of the corrupt practice of the ruling political system in the Philippines. It was taught to Philippine reactionary politicians by their American imperialist masters and has been in use since the establishment of the neocolonial state in 1946.

It is an instrument wielded by the ruling clique to ensure the support of senators and congressmen by conniving with them in the plunder of the nation's coffers. Once they receive their "pork barrel," they usually turn a blind eye and fall silent in the face of large-scale theft, corruption and various other anomalies involving MalacaƱang.

In the face of a major scandal, Aquino announced the suspension of the pork barrel's distribution, but not its abolition. On the other hand, Aquino has been justifying the existence of MalacaƱang's very own pork barrel in the form of the "special presidential fund" which is several times bigger than the funds allotted to congressmen. Although there is nothing new with presidents having funds under their control, under Aquino, these funds have doubled since 2011.

Aquino has demonstrated that he is no different from the others who ruled over the rotten reactionary state in shrewdly using public funds for his own political and economic interest.

Like Arroyo or Marcos, Ramos or Estrada, or his mother Corazon Aquino, Aquino and his clique are also experts at using the reactionary state budget to solidify their rule, rein in other politicians, suppress their rivals and enjoy the perks and privileges of power.

The Aquino regime's program of expenditures represents a huge waste of the people's money. It mirrors the interests and priorities of the backward ruling classes of big landlords and big comprador bourgeoisie in the Philippines who rely on foreign debt and investments and use political power to advance their business interests.

Aquino has no intention of allocating public funds for productive programs and using them to develop industry and agriculture. Like his predecessors, he uses these funds to serve the interests of big foreign banks and companies and their local partners. Almost half of the Aquino government's total expenditures in the coming year (or more than P1 trillion) has been allocated to service the government's debts to foreign and local banks.

While the budget to support and guarantee the profits of private investments has been enhanced (in the name of "public-private partnership"), the budget for state colleges and universities has been slashed by several billion pesos. The budget for the government's cash doleout program (the so-called Programang Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino) has been raised by 50%, even if it has not contributed significantly to alleviating the toiling masses from their poverty. The regime has allotted a huge amount for the demolition of urban poor communities but has slashed the public health budget anew.

The Filipino people are justified in their opposition to Aquino's antipeople, pro-imperialist, rotten and corrupt budget for 2014. They must resist the use of the budget as an instrument for political bribery and repression. They must assail the squandering and expropriation of the nation's coffers by Aquino and his collaborators.  They must stand up against the rotten system and method of budgeting which serve imperialist interests and worsen the subjugation and oppression of the masses of workers and peasants.

They must thoroughly criticize the US-Aquino regime for pretending to be upright and clean when it is no different from all other previous regimes in its crookedness and thievery. They must expose the rotten class rule of the Aquino regime and demand an end to imperialist, antipeople, corrupt, oppressive and repressive rule.