Defense of DAP further isolating Aquino from people--CPP

Information Bureau
Communist Party of the Philippines
July 14, 2014

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today said Aquino "is further isolating himself from the Filipino people with his adamant, arrogant and mendacious defense of the presidential pork barrel fund under the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP)".

Last week, the Supreme Court declared the pooling and reallocation of funds under the DAP as unconstitutional. The Supreme Court decision, however, left legal loopholes to give MalacaƱang room for maneuver to sidestep criminal suit and impeachment proceedings.

"Still, the Supreme Court decision helped consolidate public opinion against Aquino's discretionary use of public funds under the DAP and amplified the demand for complete accounting and auditing of nearly P140 billion of public funds disbursed by Aquino under the program," pointed out the CPP.

"While impeachment proceedings in the Lower House of the Philippine Congress have little chance of prospering--precisely because Aquino has succeeded in using pork barrel funds to buy the loyalty of local officials and members of congress--initiatives by progressive representatives to impeach Aquino have gained traction and support outside congress especially among the toiling masses and middle class sectors who have been disillusioned by the pervasive corruption under the Aquino regime."

The CPP said even the recent surveys of pro-Aquino Social Weather Stations could not hide the fact that Aquino is steadily becoming unpopular with only 45% satisfied with his performance in its 2014 1st quarter survey. The SWS surveys comes on the heels of an earlier survey by independent research outfit Ibon Foundation showing only 36% of the people satisfied with Aquino in April 2014.

"Aquino has refused to heed the Supreme Court decision and is instead presenting himself as a bullheaded defender of the DAP and his self-claimed privilege of allocating funds 'in good faith'," said the CPP. "He has insisted on keeping his budget secretary and other officials responsible for the DAP and accused of involvement in the pork barrel kickback scam despite mounting calls for their removal."

"Aquino is whipping up the illusion of 'economic benefits' under the DAP even if he cannot present any concrete proof of such claims," said the CPP. "Economists have invariably exposed Aquino's claims of DAP benefits as illusory, as these have not helped boost investment or raise productivity."

"The Filipino people have not benefited from Aquino's discretionary use of P140 billion under DAP," said the CPP, pointing out how Aquino continues to cut back on social spending and push for the increasing commercialization and privatization of public schools and public hospitals. "Neither has Aquino's DAP helped ease the problem of widespread unemployment, low wages, landlessness, spiralling prices and rising costs of living and other outstanding problems of the people."

"In defending the DAP, Aquino is defending the pork barrel system of disbursing funds according to his discretion and judgement," said the CPP. "Since assuming power, Aquino has been using such privilege to exert political influence in the cacique-mode of landlord politics."

He has made use of public funds to perpetuate patronage by disbursing special funds for the programs and projects sponsored by his party mates and political followers in exchange for their continuing loyalty and support.