Repudiate the Lord of Thieves!

Editorial
Ang Bayan
November 10, 2013

Aquino's obduracy in defending the pork barrel system, especially the hundreds of billions of funds under his Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) has further fired up the seething sentiments against corruption in his regime and the entire ruling system.

Aquino's cloak of "anti-corruption" which he wore to conceal the rottenness of his regime and the system he administers is rapidly being shed. Nonetheless, he insists on badgering the people's minds with his illusion of a "righteous road," even if it is an illusion on the verge of being shattered.

In a desperate attempt to stop the rapid decline of his "popularity," Aquino suddenly suspended regular programming in all major television stations on the night of October 30 to deliver a speech, where he ranted that he is "not a thief" and his regime would never engage in thievery.

But Aquino failed to win the people's support. The people know full well that not only is he the Pork Barrel King, he is also the Lord of Thieves.

Aquino's thievery involves the use of public funds to buy the loyalty and support of politicians. He has also used the DAP and the President's Social Fund to push for his agenda--to the advantage of his family and clique.

He is as much a thief as the worst of the bureaucrat capitalists, the big compradors and hacienderos who have made use of their control or influence on state policy to advance their economic and political interests.

Among Aquino's biggest cases of thievery involves the use of his office to cancel government infrastructure contracts, such as for the construction of roads and bridges in order to renegotiate these to the advantage of his relatives and closest friends.

He considers unspent allocations for cancelled contracts as "savings," realigning these to so-called "accelerated disbursements" so that he could use them for expenditures without congressional approval.

One of the uses of Aquino's DAP was to bribe senators in 2012 into voting for then Supreme Court chief justice Renato Corona's ouster. This is thievery of the highest order, as it involved Aquino's use of the people's money to advance an agenda that is politically advantageous to him.

Aquino's approval of fat bonuses for his appointees to the Social Security System, Government Service Insurance System and other government agencies and corporations is likewise tantamount to thievery as these officials gorge themselves with their huge salaries and perks while the Filipino people suffer from extremely small monthly pensions, rotten health services and other public service deficiencies.

The people therefore grasp the complete accuracy of calling Aquino the Lord of Thieves.

Contrary to Aquino's expectations, the people have become even more disenchanted with him in the face of his protestations of innocence. They despised him even more when he dismissed the broad movement against the pork barrel system as merely the result of the agitation of politicians that his regime had earlier charged in court.

Soon after Aquino's speech, various groups announced plans for continued protests. As Aquino persists in refusing to heed the people's demands, he further angers the people and challenges them to intensify their resistance.