Editorial: #MillionPeopleMarch-A A +A
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
THROUGH the three years of President Benigno C. Aquino’s administration, he has repeatedly turned blind and deaf over legitimate concerns, especially when these concern people close to him.
Now there is the pork barrel issue, that while accusing fingers are pointed at opposition senators, we know too well that Pnoy’s partymates are just as tainted. Will the president’s vow to trek the “daang matuwid” be finally put to test and will he finally listen and take action?
His silence on the corruption part is disturbing. We haven’t heard anything from him, only his lieutenants are talking, and not talking much at that. Deadma, we call it. A very disturbing reaction from a leader who vows to stomp out corruption now that we are seeing the most nauseating face of corruption.
His refusal to consider scrapping of the pork barrel is even more disturbing. Someone is obviously turning a blind eye and ear, and he just happens to be the President.
As quoted in a Rappler.com report on his statement to the media Monday, "I think the premise [of people who want it abolished] is that all the ways pork barrel is used are wrong. But if you look at the COA (Commission on Audit) report, I don't think that's the case. There are some ways it was wrongly used but those cases, we investigate. There's a case now against Mrs Napoles, there's a warrant of arrest against her for something somewhat related to [the pork barrel]," he said. “Maybe what we should do is that those who misuse the pork barrel should really face more serious punishment."
So typical of the way he has brushed off issues in the past. Like those that focused on inappropriate acts of his Cabinet members and friends. Take heed.
That Senator Jinggoy Estrada would rather shut us up than put in his share to cleaning up their acts is even more disturbing.
The silence, the diversionary actions, and the counter-attacks are acts that historically have been done to water down an issue and put the blame on politics and nothing else. We shouldn’t allow this to happen.
Now is the time to demand real reforms. Now is the time to shake up the government and make all of them accountable for the billions of pesos they pocket every day.
People are already restive, they are angry, and their anger will find expression this Monday in separate venues as people will convene to protest against systemic greed in key cities of the country. The Dabawenyos are calling for a 9 a.m. rally at Rizal park on Monday, August 26, in what is being tagged as MillionPeopleMarch. A similar, and bigger protest action will happen at the same time in Luneta in Manila.
Yes, these will be people of different convictions. Some may be just against alleged corruption broker Janet Lim Napoles, others may be against Senator Jinggoy and company. Still, others will be against Aquino and his camp. But all these are one against the unimaginable heights of corruption manifested in the past few days after the Napoles scam opened the Pandora?s Box of quietly simmering government auditors.
How the President will act on these protests will surely define how his administration will be regarded in the coming days. But definitely, remaining quiet is not an option if he still sees himself as a credible leader of this republic.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 20, 2013.