Editorial: Monday’s rally will push through-A A +A
Friday, August 23, 2013
THIS note was posted on the Facebook event invitation page for Davao’s contribution to the Million People March on Monday, August 26, National Heroes’ Day.
“To those who are asking: YES WE WILL PUSH THROUGH WITH OUR MILLION PEOPLE MARCH ON MONDAY, AUGUST 26, RIZAL PARK IN DAVAO CITY.
“PNoy didn't actually abolish PDAF. He only said "it's time" to do it. He also basically said pork will continue but under different rules and presumably under a different name but as you may have been reading, it's the same thing, and it will still be open to abuse."
“SEE YOU ALL ON MONDAY! PADAYON!”
The questions started trickling in when the Malacanang came out with the press release and announcements about President Benigno C. Aquino III’s statement saying, “Panahon na po upang i-abolish ang PDAF (It is time to abolish the Priority Development Assistance Fund).”
Many took it as him saying the PDAF will be abolished.
Let’s split hairs here. He did not say that. He only said it is time. He also said that it will be replaced. Yes, he intends to abolish PDAF and replace it with another. Budgetary reforms he calls it.
“Ngayon, bubuo tayo ng bagong mekanismo upang matugunan ang pangangailangan ng inyong mga mamamayan at sektor-- sa paraang tapat, gamit ang tama at makatuwirang proseso, at nang may sapat na mga kalasag laban sa pang-aabuso at katiwalian (We will create a mechanism that will be responsive to the needs of the people in a manner that is trustworthy, utilizing correct processes, and has enough shields against abuses and corruption),” he said.
Nice. PDAF, and where it emanates from had all those lofty ideals. But every once in a while, it gets a new name. From the Countryside Development Fund to the Countrywide Development Fund to some other name before it finally what it is now, PDAF.
Let us not allow ourselves to be lulled into complacency. That is what governments and their spin doctors are trying to do. To diffuse a boiling unrest with words meant to soothe, and lull, and make us forget the issue and create disunity and disagreements.
Budget Secretary Butch Abad has been tasked to draft the mechanism, President Aquino said.
The telling words, however, is how he concluded the official statement:
“Gagana lamang po ang sistemang ito kung makikiisa at makikilahok kayo. Ihahayag po nang buo ang impormasyon; suyurin at kilitasin po natin ito. Nananawagan akong makiambag at magsikap ang bawat isa, gaya ng pakikiambag at pagsisikap ng inyong gobyerno. Sama-sama nating pagtibayin ang pananagutan at katapatan, upang masigurong ang pera ng bayan ay ginugugol sa paraang makatarungan at tunay ninyong napapakinabangan (This system will only work if we are unified and we all participate. Information will be made available, let us scrutinize this. I am calling on each one to contribute and work for this, as government is contributing and working. Let us all together strengthen accountability and trust to ensure that the people’s money are used in ways that are just and truly beneficial.”
Wonderful words! We applaud.
But, Mr. President, we ask, how can you promise us that your government will “hahayag po ng buo ang impormasyon (information will be made accessible) if you remain against the passage of the Freedom of Information Bill? This only means that yes, you are willing to make selected information available, enough maybe to sow disunity, but you do not really intend to make all information available. That is not what the people want, but that surely fits your government’s agenda, to snuff out waves of unrest such as this Monday’s wave.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 24, 2013.