“We charge Aquino with culpable violation of the constitution, betrayal of public trust, and graft & corruption. DAP was used by Aquino to pursue his personal interest, and the best example would be the bribery of senators and congressmen, and compensation of his clan in Hacienda Luisita.” – Vencer Crisostomo, Anakbayan
By MARYA SALAMAT
Youth organizations led by Youth Act Now, Anakbayan and student council representatives today filed the second impeachment complaint against President Benigno Simeon Aquino III. They also launched a “Youth Action Day” for accountability and justice in Manila.
A total of twenty five complainants including students from UST, UP, PUP, DLSU, San Beda, NU filed the complaint endorsed by Kabataan Partylist Rep. Terry Ridon.
“We charge Aquino with culpable violation of the constitution, betrayal of public trust, and graft & corruption. DAP was used by Aquino to pursue his personal interest, and the best example would be the bribery of senators and congressmen, and compensation of his clan in Hacienda Luisita,” said Vencer Crisostomo, Anakbayan National Chairperson.
Crisostomo’s group dubbed the P150 billion ($3.457 B) to P177 billion ($4.079 B) DAP fund as “stolen money” and “pork barrel overload” or ‘unli-pork’ (as in unlimited pork) that is worse that the PDAF scam. In the PDAF scam, three implicated senators are currently in government custody awaiting trial (although said to be receiving special treatment), and the alleged conduit, Janet Lim-Napoles, is also in custody (but also said to be receiving special treatment).
But President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, whose Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) has been struck down last July 1 by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional, has yet to be held accountable for it. Amid mounting calls for his accountability and full accounting of DAP funds, he questioned and “bullied” last week the Supreme Court over the ruling. Today, after an impeachment complaint was filed by anti-pork groups (followed by this one from youth groups), his administration through Budget Sec. Butch Abad promised that they would release in the coming days the detailed list of DAP-funded projects. Meanwhile, netizens note that trend of Aquino administration’s PR blitz to gather sympathy for DAP, as it highlights supposedly successful DAP-funded programs.
In response, youth groups such as Anakbayan and League of Filipino Students staged a Youth Action Day today condemning what they describe as “large-scale corruption under Aquino.” They held noise barrage protests in some campuses and then marched from Plaza Miranda to the Mendiola Peace Arch in Manila to demand accountability from the government and reiterate the call for Aquino’s ouster.
“Aquino has turned into the monster he swore to slay: A tyrannical ruler who transformed the gargantuan amount of over 150 billion pesos of Congress-appropriated public funds into his own pork barrel, who arrogantly refuses to recognize, respect and obey the valid order of the Supreme Court that has found his pork barrel unconstitutional, who threatens the same court and its members with impeachment, and whospreads misinformation to deceive the youth and the people,” said the impeachment complaint against Aquino filed by Youth Act Now and other student and youth leaders.
Would-be impeachment killers ‘guilty’ also of DAP?
The Youth Act Now said they are prompted to avail of the constitutional process like impeachment to hold a president such as Aquino accountable because so far, he has shown “a clear lack of delicadeza, wisdom and humility to resign from office over his culpable violation of the Constitution, betrayal of public trust, and graft and corruption.”
“Aquino has aggravated the rotting system: his puppetry to the US, his anti-people policies, his corrupt administration, and his fascist, dictatorial response to those who oppose his administration, shows he is no better than the government he replaced,” said Crisostomo of Anakbayan in a statement.
The youth group warned that if BS Aquino III mobilizes his DAP allies to block the impeachment, the public would view it as an “indication of guilt.”
“Delicadeza dictates that those who benefitted from DAP desist from sabotaging and blocking this impeachment complaint. They should let the process run its course,” Crisostomo said.
He also assailed the newly unearthed multi-billion Grassroots Participatory Budgeting (GPB), which Kabataan Partylist Rep. Terry Ridon found to have unconstitutional mechanism similar to DAP.
Given the return of PDAF in another method, the DAP-like provision in other still active funding mechanism, the youth groups urged the lawmakers to help them stop the Aquino administration who will “clearly do everything to take control of government funds.” They invited other youth and the general public to show rage and protest against the “Pork Barrel King” and his allies by joining the upcoming ‘SONA NG BAYAN’ on July 28.
With Youth Act now leaders in various schools and universities, other impeachment complainants come from youth-based organizations of Student Christiam Movement (SCM), Kabataang Artista Para sa Tunay na Kalayaan atDemokrasya (Karatula), LFS, Anakbayan, College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP), National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP), San Beda College Bedan Advocacy and ConsciousnessEnhancement Society (BACES), Alyansa ng Kabataang Mamamahayag (AKM), Katipunan ng Sangguniang Mag-aaral sa UP (KASAMA saUP), college editors and correspondents and student council leaders.