Group urges investigations on other presidential advisors, appointees
THE youth group Anakbayan today said it was not surprised with the corruption raps against presidential adviser on environmental protection Nereus Acosta, saying the administration of President Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino III is ‘just as corrupt as any and all of the administrations before it’.
“From Day 1 of the Aquino administration, we have had no illusions about its claim of ‘good governance’. For us, ‘Daang Matuwid’ is just as non-existent as President Aquino’s lovelife” said Vencer Crisostomo, national chairperson of Anakbayan.
Acosta, who was a representative in Congress for the province of Bukidnon before his appointment, was charged with misusing his priority development assistance fund (PDAF), more popularly known as ‘pork barrel’. P5.5 million of his ‘pork’ was transferred to a private company owned by Acosta’s family.
Corruption irremovable under Noynoy
“Until bureaucrat-capitalism has been completely eliminated, corruption will remain like a stain on our society” said Crisostomo, referring to a term popularized during the Sixties and Seventies which is used to describe the phenomenon of ‘elite politics’.
He further clarified ‘bureaucrat-capitalism’ as a ‘historical phenomenon’, tracing back to the ‘gobernadorcillos’ and ‘cabezas de barangay’ of the Spanish era.
“The first Filipinos who collaborated with the Spanish provide the basic prototype of every corrupt politician that followed them: in return for serving the elite such landlords and foreigners, they are allowed to skim off the taxes being collected from the farmers and other natives” he explained.
Probe other Aquino appointees
The youth group meanwhile called for probes on other ‘more suspect’ presidential advisors and appointees, saying “This is just the tip of the iceberg”.
Crisostomo in particular called for the investigation of presidential advisor for political affairs Ronald Llamas, National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) head Joel Rocamorra, and Akbayan Rep. Kaka Bag-ao, all who are also top officials of the partylist group represented by the latter.
“With various scandals such as the P140 million ‘extra’ pork barrel received by Bag-ao and the misused P27 million in the NAPC, as well as the lavish show of power and wealth in Llamas’ AK47-stuffed SUV, Akbayan leaders in government should be the top priority for any genuine anti-corruption drives” said the youth leader.