Artists file case vs Aquino-A A +A
By JM Agreda
Monday, October 21, 2013
A GROUP of artists and militants trooped to the Baguio City Police Office Friday night to report alleged corruption charges against several top officials of the country.
In a show of dismay at the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program and the pork barrel system, the Artista Kontra Korapsyon (Akksyon) were joined by Bayan Muna partylist Representative Carlos Isagani Zarate in filing blotter complaints against President Benigno Aquino III, Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa and Budget Secretary Florencio Abad.
Zarate reported to the police that those charged must be held liable for realigning funds not specified in the 2013 General Appropriations Act.
"The pork is still alive and kicking and it was only rechanneled into the six agencies with each congressman entitled to recommend which these projects will be given," he said.
The lawmaker said what is worse than the pork in the House of Representatives is the discretionary fund of the President, which totals to P900 billion in his term and are not equally given to all districts.
Coming from an anti-pork barrel forum held at the Sangkabalayan Hall in the Baguio Cathedral compound, the complainants were barred to file complaints on the police blotter as law enforcers explained they do not process criminal charges in their unit aside from traffic violations.
The group decided to continue their march down Session Road to finally file their plaints in the blotter of BCPO Station 7 Community Police Action Center near the Baguio public market.
Akksyon convener lawyer Jose Olarte Jr. said they also filed separate complaints against Senators Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., Jinggoy Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile after the National Bureau of Investigation filed cases against them for allegedly diverting their Priority Development Assistance Funds to bogus non-government organizations of businesswoman Janet Napoles.
Olarte, a community artist and folk singer, stressed the President’s discretionary funds "should be used for schools, hospitals, housing, jobs, agriculture and projects for the preservation and development of Filipino arts and culture."
"We remind the administration that its declarations of upholding justice fall on deaf ears as the root and greater section of corruption remains at large at the Senate and House of Representatives," the artists’ group said.
Police officers, meanwhile, received the blotter complaints but stressed sworn affidavits from complainants are needed to move the complaint into prosecution.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on October 22, 2013.