Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Corrupt Allies Will be Charged Said By: PNoy
President Aquino challenged his critics on Monday (US time) to file charges against “dishonest people” around him.
This was his response to a question concerning criticisms that some of his allies are corrupt raised during the Q&A session following his speech at the John F. Kennedy School of Government in Harvard University.
“Well, the courts are open. If they think that I have dishonest people around me, then all they have to do is file an appropriate case,” Aquino said.
“The Ombudsman in particular, I think, even investigates instances where complaints are unsigned or anonymous precisely to ferret out those who are not treading the correct path,” he added.
In the Philippines, United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) spokesman Rep. Tobias “Toby” Tiangco of the lone district of Navotas City bared that 10 members of the ruling Liberal Party (LP) headed the list of recipients of millions of pesos worth of funds released via the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).
The top 10 DAP recipients, according to Tiangco, are: former Rep. Joseph Abaya, now the acting LP president (P408 million); Speaker Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte Jr. (P297.4 million); Majority Floor Leader Neptali “Boyet” Gonzales II (P263 million); former Rep. Erineo “Ayong” Maliksi (P217.8 million); former Rep. Florencio “Bem” Noel (P179.5 million); Deputy Speaker Henedina Abad (P176.6 million); former Rep. Edgar San Luis (P160.2 million); former Rep. Tomas Osmeña (P124.1 million); former Rep. Lorenzo “Erin” Tañada (P120.5 million); and Rep. Nelson Collantes (P110 million).
Tiangco said that the DAP list was based on uploaded information from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) website.
Meanwhile in his policy speech at Harvard University, President Aquino blasted anew his predecessor, former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, whom he said “seemingly adopted” the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ “handbook of how to abuse the democratic process.”
Aquino even said that the “overwhelming ambition of so many” was to leave the country during Arroyo’s regime.
“At the end of her regime, our people were so apathetic to all the scandals and issues affecting her, and government’s inability to effect change, that the overwhelming ambition of so many was to leave the country. Now, an estimated 10 million of our countrymen reside abroad,” he said.
He also recalled Arroyo’s supposed attempt to protect herself from cases after her term.
“My predecessor, who put a premium on political survival, tried to protect herself by appointing a Chief Justice to the Supreme Court, despite a prohibition on appointing people to office when a presidency is about to end,” he said, apparently referring to former Chief Justice Renato Corona, who was convicted by the Senate impeachment court.
“Much as I opposed this, for the sake of harmony, I tried to make the best of a sordid situation. It soon became clear, however, that the Chief Justice considered himself accountable to no one, failing even to meet the minimum standards of transparency outlined in our laws,” he added.
Corona would be impeached later, he said, for misdeclaring his wealth.
Aquino said Corona’s case is just one example of accountability.
“My predecessor and three incumbent senators, to cite the most potent examples, are now in detention as they undergo trial on the charge of plunder,” he said, apparently referring to Arroyo, and Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, and Ramon Revilla Jr.
Aquino also blasted Arroyo over the issue of classroom shortage.
“My predecessor, for instance, claimed that there was no shortage of classrooms and what was the solution? They had three shifts that were utilizing the same classroom,” the President said.
“The eight-hour a day became four-hour periods that some of our youngsters were going home very late at night just to be able to say that there was no classroom shortage,” he added.
In the same Q&A session, President Aquino was also asked on who would he consider as a possible successor in “upholding honesty in national government.”
“There are a lot of materials,” he said, pointing out that 2016 is not yet in his mind.
“As to naming who I think would be our successor, I really believe we have a lot of materials in the country. But if I were to mention them now, then I’m sure you can… You can imagine the repercussions back home as media frenzy,” he said, eliciting laughter from the audience.
“And perhaps, as I keep saying, now is not the time. I still have about a year and nine months to go. And if we are concentrated on… If we are all concentrated just on the next elections rather than doing the things that we have to do now, we shouldn’t allow the distraction of the election to interfere with our obligations to our people,” he explained.
He said that he’d rather attend to the needs of typhoon victims rather than the jockeying for position in 2016.
“When I left Manila there was a typhoon that was affecting our [countrymen]. Mayon volcano is starting to be restive and there was a second typhoon whilst I’m still not back home. So I think those have to be attended rather than jockeying for position in 2016,” he said.
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