Sustain protests against Aquino regime's corruption and pork barrel

Communist Party of the Philippines
August 29, 2013

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) urges the Filipino people to sustain their protest actions against the Aquino regime's corruption and pork barrel in order to advance their democratic interests and economic rights and welfare.

The Filipino people's demand to abolish the entire pork barrel system has become ever more urgent amid the people's seething economic hardships characterized by spiralling costs of basic commodities, low incomes, massive unemployment, widespread landlessness and landgrabbing and lack of access to free and accessible health, education and housing services.

The massive demonstration on August 26 at the Luneta is a clear manifestation of the scale of the Filipino people's disgust with the Aquino regime and the ruling system of corruption it represents and defends. The Filipino people are infuriated over the abuse of the pork barrel funds but are also incensed by the fact that official auditing by the Commission on Audit did not cover years under the Aquino regime (2010-present), as well as years when the Aquino clique and Benigno Aquino III were still in the good graces of the then ruling Arroyo regime.

By stubbornly promoting the congressional and Malacañang pork barrel system and committing the public relations blunder of simply renaming and promising to reform the pork barrel system, Aquino succeeded only in further alienating the people. The slurry of comic suggestions for replacing the name of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) clearly comprise a cynical rejection of Aquino's worn-out PR move.

Aquino and his media spinmeisters are working double time to placate the people's anger. In a desperate attempt to downscale the significance of the August 26 Luneta demonstration, Aquino's spokesman even had the gall to claim to the August 26 demonstrators that "we are on the same side." The organizers of the Luneta demonstration, however, rightfully rejected Malacañang's claim, pointing out the barefaced fact that Aquino has been strongly defending the pork barrel system.

In the hope of drawing the people's ire away from Aquino and drowning out the people's demand to abolish Aquino's trillion-peso discretionary funds, Malacañang orchestrated the Napoles drama, taking advantage of the public outrage at the profligate lifestyle of the Napoleses whose riches are believed to have been accumulated through corrupt dealings with congressmen and senators.

Malacañang ordered the filing of illegal detention charges against Napoles. This was followed by days of attention-grabbing "manhunt" operations and Aquino's announcement of a P10-million bounty, only to end in the farcical "surrender" of Janet Lim Napoles to Aquino himself. In a crass show of political accommodation, Aquino himself, with his top officials, brought Napoles to Malacañang and subsequently remanded her to the national police headquarters in Camp Crame (instead of a detention facility in the city where the criminal charges against her were filed).

Over the past several days, it has become quite apparent that Aquino and his PR managers are easily becoming riled up in the face of suspicions that the Aquinos and the Aquino clique have also dealt with Napoles in the past, including seeking her support for the Aquino campaign in 2010.

The pork barrel issue has exposed to the Filipino people that the Aquino regime is not the clean government it purports to be. The Aquino regime defends the pork barrel system with great zeal as it is a crucial instrument to maintain the stability of the ruling reactionary political system and perpetuate the oppressive semicolonial and semifeudal system against the Filipino people.

The demand to abolish the pork barrel system is tightly intertwined with the Filipino people's demand to end the automatic appropriation of funds for debt servicing and to increase allocations for education and health services. They demand an end to the policy of privatization and deregulation and the regime's program of Public-Private Partnership which subject crucial public service to the whims of big foreign and local business partners of the Aquinos. They demand affordable housing services and an end to the campaign to demolish urban poor communities to free prime real estate for big business interests. They demand an increase in wages and an end to abusive employment policies. They demand genuine land reform and national industrialization.

The Filipino people must persevere and sustain their protest against the pork barrel system and direct the heaviest blows against the ruling Aquino regime, which presently serves as the biggest purveyor of corruption funds and the staunchest defender of the system.