For migrant sectoral group Migrante Partylist, negative public sentiment on Pres. Benigno Aquino III’s involvement in the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) and abuse and misuse of pork barrel funds is “beyond repair”.
The group made the statement after Malacanang announced that Aquino and his Cabinet members are prepared to embark on “sorties” aimed at conducting public dialogues to further explain the DAP and other contriversies connecting the president to corruption of public funds.
“As far as overseas Filipinos are concerned, no amount of damage-control can relinquish Aquino’s label as ‘Pork Barrel King’. If anything, his latest primetime speech only served as a stamp-pad for his staunch position to defend DAP and hold on to the pork barrel system, especially his own,” said Migrante Partylist president Connie Bragas-Regalado.
Bragas-Regalado said that they are highly doubtful that Aquino’s sorties are genuinely aimed to listen to public opinion. “Since August 26, there had been plenty of times for Aquino to heed the people’s clamor. Instead, he devised maneuver after manuever to undermine protests, justify the DAP and the presidential pork and divert accountability.”
“No, the objective of those sorties will not be to ‘listen to the people’ but to attempt to further justify the DAP and presidential pork to the people. It is a desperate attempt, really. But unless Aquino abolishes all pork, including the unconstitutional DAP, he has no way to go but down,” Bragas-Regalado said.
She said that the DAP is not a “distraction”, contrary to Aquino’s claims.
“The DAP is not mere distraction. It is the main issue. We find it hyprocritical for Aquino to be pointing fingers at his opponents when he himself is utilizing public funds for his own political expediency.” ###