Group fears aid to Pablo victims may end up in corrupt hands

AN alliance of small fishermen expressed apprehension that foreign and domestic aid to victims of typhoon Pablo in Mindanao if not properly monitored and administered might end up in the hands of corrupt public officials.

The Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) asked anti-corruption watchdogs to be extra vigilant in the monitoring foreign and domestic donations to victims of typhoon Pablo that devastated Compostela Valley, Davao Oriental and other parts of Mindanao.

“We are talking here of billions of pesos in foreign and local donations which are available for disposal of the national government and its agencies and politicians running in the May 2013 elections and interest groups allies with President Benigno Simeon Aquino III.

It is worthy to note that Malacanang lacks measures to ensure these foreign and domestic aid go straight to the victims and not to the pockets of political authorities, and politicians and political groups in power or associated with the Aquino ruling company,” the group
said in a statement.

Foreign, as well as domestic donors that corruption is very prevalent and well-entrenched practice even in the Aquino government, and that funds intended for relief and rehabilitation efforts may be corrupted by allies and those who are influential in the Aquino government.

“Grandslam crime of corruption is also the cup of tea of this administration. Foreign donors should make sure their taxpayers money will go the victims and not to the usual suspects in day-to-day corruption in the Philippine government,” Fernando Hicap of Pamalakaya said.

The group advised foreign donors and other private groups to look for well trusted people’s organizations and credible non-government organizations (NGOs) involved in honest-to-goodness relief and rehabilitation campaigns, instead of channeling these funds to highly suspected corrupt government officials and agencies.

“The foreign donors should be extra prudent in dealing with the equally corrupt administration of Mr. Aquino. The aid should serve the urgent and strategic needs of the victims and not the narrow interest and sinister agenda of the ruling gangland in Malacanang and their allies in and out of the Aquino palace,” added Hicap.

In response to UN campaign to raise $ US 65 million funds for victims of typhoon Pablo, several governments all over the world had pledged assistance to the Philippine government to tens of thousands of victims affected by the recent disaster in Southern Philippines.

The European Union (EU) promised to grant the Aquino government some P 160 million in total assistance to victims of typhoon Pablo, while the Japanese government announced the grant of P 22 million in emergency grant to help calamity stricken areas in Mindanao.

Other countries which offered assistance to the Aquino government to help victims of typhoon Pablo include Australia ( P 210 million), Canada (P 10 million), US ( $ 3.1 million), Indonesia ($ 1 million), New Zealand ( 500 million New Zealand dollars), China (30,000 USD) and Singapore (50,000 Singaporean dollars).


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