Groups slam P140M pork release for Akbayan rep
THE youth group Anakbayan slammed the Aquino administration’s release of pork barrel funds to Akbayan’s Kaka Bag-ao as ‘caretaker’ of Dinagat funds, saying this is clearly an Akbayan slush fund for the 2013 elections.
“This is corruption as clear as day. While funds of other reps have not been released, funds for Dinagat are being released under a ‘caretaker’, which, not surprisingly is an Akbayan rep,” Anakbayan Chairperson Vencer Crisostomo said.
The government appointed Bag-ao as a conduit for P140-million-peso priority development assistance fund (PDAF) or pork barrel funds for the Dinagat Islands, after its representative Ruben Ecleo was removed from office. Bag-ao seeks to represent the Dinagat Islands in the next elections.
“Akbayan has been exposed as a bogus partylist and its representatives as corrupt agents. They are getting more desperate and are resorting to dirty work for the partylist’s and Risa Hontiveros’ campaign,” Crisostomo said.
It can be recalled that Akbayan received at least P14 million in campaign funds from the Aquino family back in 2010. This is apart from the almost P60 million Bag-ao was provided for her projects as a representative.
Anakbayan also pointed out how the Aquino government had not given rival parties their share of the PDAF, while eagerly extending favors to its allies.
“Aquino is clearly using the PDAF release to manipulate the 2013 polls. It is giving its allies undue advantage over other candidates. DBM releases should be lookied into by the public,” Crisostomo said.
Labor group assails designation
Also, the Labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno condemned the designation of Akbayan Rep. Kaka Bag-ao as caretaker of the Dinagat district and the subsequent release of P140 million in pork barrel to her. The Aquino government and Akbayan Partylist are clearly engaged in patronage politics.
“In giving Bag-ao unfair advantage in her quest to become the representative of the said district, Pres. Aquino is making it clear that he is deciding things not on the basis of what’s good for the nation but of what’s good for himself and his allies,” KMU said.
He wants pro-Aquino politicians, like Bag-ao and the representatives of Akbayan, to win in the 2013 elections so he can continue to control Congress and railroad pro-US, pro-elite, anti-poor and anti-worker legislation.
Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson, said Bag-ao and Akbayan cannot hide behind rhetorics of transparency and accountability in using the fund because the Filipino workers and people know that it’s business as usual for politicians under the Aquino government.
Akbayan is being rewarded for being a rabid ally of the Aquino government in implementing neoliberal policies that are causing chronic unemployment, poverty, hunger and indebtedness among our people, Labog said.
“The Aquino government and Akbayan Partylist are hypocrites in trying to portray themselves as enemies of patronage politics and corruption when they are engaging in both in order to advance their political interests.
This is another proof that Akbayan does not represent marginalized sectors in Philippine society. It is now overrepresented in the Aquino government and is part of the Aquino ruling clique,” he said.
The group called on the Filipino workers and people not to vote for this bogus partylist group in the coming elections.