Aquino’s injustice to local governments

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HEADING into the 2016 elections, the Aquino government and the administration party (the Liberal Party) will have a ton of anomalies, violations and policy mistakes to explain.

It may seem like small change in the sea of misgovernance, but one of the biggest sins Aquino and his chief advisers have committed is the gross injustice and cruelty they have inflicted on local governments and local communities.

In this sector, where we all live, Aquino and his chief cohort Butch Abad have cruelly, deliberately and contemptuously starved us of public funds, which belong to us and our communities by law.

Adding hypocrisy to injury
This crime was inflicted with no small amount of hypocrisy.


In November 2013, when Supertyphoon Yolanda/ Haiyan struck, President Aquino and local government secretary Mar Roxas went to great lengths to tell local and international media that our local governments had the responsibility as alleged “first responders” to cope with the havoc wreaked by the typhoon. That was their way of saying that the national government should not be blamed for the sluggish and inadequate government response to the catastrophe — for the bodies of victims on the streets that went for days uncollected, for the failure of the relief and rescue effort, for the collapse of peace and order, and for the absence of civil defense.

But now comes information that should make us weep.

That same year, 2013, according to the Commission on Audit, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) under Secretary Butch Abad refused to release to local governments P302-billion of their internal revenue allotment (IRA) from national taxes, as provided by the General Appropriations Act and the Constitution.

This was one of the direct offshoots of the Aquino government’s Machiavellian scheme to use, impound and redirect the national budget to projects and expenditures of their own choosing, like the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

Specifically, the COA found that in 2013 “the IRA shares for CY 2013 of the local government units in the national taxes amounting to P302, 806,286,459.00 were not automatically released to LGUS but maintained under DBM administered funds (Fund 103) in violation of Section 6, ARTICLE x, General Provisions of the1987 Constitution,”

which provides that the share of the LGUs in the national taxes shall be automatically released to them.

A crime against the people
Just before Congress adjourned sine die last June 11, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago filed a resolution calling for an inquiry into this violation of the law and the injustice done by the national government to thousands of local communities throughout the country.

This is plainly a crime against the people. Every citizen is part of a local community and LGU, whether he lives in Metro Manila, or in the countryside. In our respective ways, we all feel the brunt of this deprivation in terms of diminished or delayed services in our communities. In some cases, this can take the form of more crimes in our neighborhoods, and the failure to deliver basic services, such as garbage collection and the like.

Yet with total heartlessness, the administration held back these funds. The sum involved even exceeded the sums illegally directed to the DAP, which in its first year only involved about P147 billion. P302 billion is double the amount.

DBM has sought to justify this anomaly by saying that “the maintenance of the DBM Fund 103 for release to LGUS is necessary to segregate the funds intendeddd for LGUS from the funds for their regular operations.

COA has retorted, “there is no legal provision mandating that the DBM should adminster the LGUs’ share in national taxes. What is clearly in the constitution and the GAA is that these funds shall be automatically appropriated and released to the LGUs.”

Scheme for control of 2013 elections
The reason for the maltreatment of local governments was to ensure victory in the 2013 elections for the administration. Aquino wanted LGUs to be dependent and subservient to him.

This is irresponsible and unjust twice over. The national government, gets almost all of national resources and income. And yet, it is the local governments which stand closest to the lives of our people. In terms of trust, as shown by trust surveys, the citizenry places its greatest trust in their local governments, because they are truly first responders in their need for basic public services. Ordinary Filipinos, if asked in an honest survey, will readily declare that they trust their mayor or councilor, more than the president.

We live in a constitutional republic in which our elected officials are bound by the constraints of the Constitution, which means they don’t have a license to do whatever they please

As we head to national elections next year, many of us are wondering what Aquino will do, by hook or by crook, to ensure the victory of his chosen candidates, and to avoid jail when his term is over. Will Smartmatic do this task for him, and will we pay again this totally shameless company billions to cheat us?

Aquino believes the end justifies the means. He thinks in his gut that if a policy is personally advantageous, they should find a way to implement it, regardless of whether he has the constitutional authority to do so.

Disaster we must face today
This mindset constitutes the great danger to the nation and the elections next year. Under no circumstance, should we just accept a repeat of this injustice this year and next year.

If you think this criticism harsh, I say inaction in the face of such outrage is complacent and cowardly. For it is our nation which will unravel before our eyes.

The deliberate screwup of the 2016 balloting is the disaster we must already face today.

yenmakabenta@yahoo.com

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20 Comments

  1. Touche! Unfortunately, for as long as we are under this highly centralized system of governance these inequality to the LGUs is going to continue. It’s only the degree of cruelty that varies but it will always happen no matter who occupies Malacanang. This old colonial system is designed to efficiently plunder the country’s resources and subjugate the natives. The conquestadores are long gone but the system is still very much in place making our so called democracy a big farce. Let’s revise the constitution and put in place a federal parliamentary form. Insisting on keeping this colonial system and hoping for a better result is downright insanity.

  2. Mr Makabenta has been on the forefront on systematically exposing the sins of this “Daang MATUWID” administration of PNoy, but so far, no critical mass of an honest-to-goodness opposition to same is near the horizon.
    the current crop of Oppositionists belong to the same “tradpol” sector and cannot be relied upon to effect significant reforms to our sociiety – they’ll probably follow the same path as this current president, and we Filipinos will still wallow in our sorry state for a few decades more!
    We should take a courageous, moral stand just like Mr Makabenta, and say so…For starters, we can’t even take a united stance on those “cheating” PCOS machines!

  3. yen, former congressman mandanas of batangas filed a in the supreme court a case against dbm and abad for withholding the ira of lgus. i do not know what happened to the case, if it was resoved or junked by the sc. this is one of the reason why mandanas was eased out from the chair of the house ways and means committee when he was still a member of the coalition and congress.

  4. What this government has done and is dong is wrong and criminal but the people won’t do anything about it.

    Mr. MAKABENTA is correct when saying “inaction in the face of such outrage is complacent and cowardly. For it is our nation which will unravel before our eyes.”

    Another person once said the people get the government they deserve.
    Think that is true as well.

  5. Mr. Makabenta is this not under R.A. 3019 Anti Graft and Corrupt Practices Act? How come no local government units filed a case against DBM for withholding their IRA? About time this practice is stopped.

  6. Thank you for sharing.Our municipality is suffering under this present administration because we are not Allies.During the past election they the LP candidates including the one occupying the highest position in DILG who is aiming to be the next President tried and attempted to rigged the result were in the comelec in charged tried to switch the memory card so as to render the LP candidates winner but GOD is Great.Now if we are to choose who our next leader he should be one who is compassionate and not corrupt.

  7. Manly Garcia on

    P-Noy is also bad a cousin.
    Paniqui (Tarlac) Mayor Miguel Cojuangco Rivilla is P-Noy’s second cousin and is on his last term. Last year, Rivilla was unseated by NPC’s Rommel David after a court-supervised – but not Comelec-sanctioned – ballot recount found double-shading.of some 3,000 votes. It was anomalous from many points of view. (Please check numerous news websites). We wrote a letter (hand-carried and properly recieved) to P-Noy requesting for some sanity in our muncipality (at least, to instruct DILG to maintain some protocol). We never got any reply from virtually anybody from the Office of the President, not even from a lowly clerk. If this can happen to a president’s cousin, this can happen to every Filipino requesting official assistance. Manhid ang daan matuwid! Or it may have been because Rivilla was not a KKK personality.

  8. angel paredes on

    the only way to prevent this budgetary injustice to the pilipino people is to have a grass root -LGU budget system initiative thru legislative representative who in turn work out and be accountable for its delivery for intended lgu projects implementation. a net requirement for this to happen is credible citizens ngos of various local stakeholders.
    on this manner transparency and accountability will be meaningful and possible with citizens stake holders viz a viz their respective needs.

  9. These criminals should be held liable at the fullest of the law. They should not be spared from these criminal acts. The deliberate action against the people of the Philippines is tantamount to make the people more poorer, more hunger and more souls to be sacrificed. This is like what Mao-Tse-Tong did, to make the people to be controlled, we must make them hunger. This is massive massacre nationwide.

    • These criminals should be held liable at the fullest of the law.

      True but the law is controlled by the government and the Agency Heads who won’t investigate or charge anyone in the liberal party.

  10. I heard that this devilish smart conscienceless Abnoy talked with the president of Smartmatic company last November in Malacanang and now that company won the bidding for the supply of automated election machines for 2016 election. Well, the evil plan of Abnoy is working! We are going to have another Abnoy cloned President come 2016! God help us poor Pinoys! Let’s not stop fighting this conscienceless LP administration.

  11. Leodegardo Pruna on

    We need men like you Mr. Yen to articulate on issues which redounds to the welfare of the Filipino people. The administration, with A BAD man at its core, continues to run havoc on the treasury thinking that they would live forever with the money they are enjoying right now. But woe to them, there is a limit for everything and that time may come sooner than they think. God is not blind. God knows what is going on. God bless the Philippines.

    • Maganda naman at napapaliwanagan ang taong bayan sa mga naganap at magaganap na karumaldumal na eleksyon sa 2016. Itaga nyo sa bato tuloy ang Abnoy admin. Sa loob ng 5+ na taon pamumuno ni Abnoy marami ang naganap na KARUMALDUMAL na pangyayari pero walang naganap na sagot para mapatalsik ang kasalukuyang admin. Tanggap ko na hanggang ngak-ngak Lang tayo!

  12. Just ANOTHER reason why we SHOULD have a FEDERALISM style Government. It will take away from Manila the total control of ALL the money.

  13. So what is to be done? We can prevent another six-years of malady by either removing simyon now or voting for whoever is the opposite of simyon’s “annointed”. An alternative would be to remove all COMELEC officials now by hook or by crook – as a signal to those in the bureacracy that the people will never tolerate again the rape of democracy.

  14. Happily Married on

    Amen, brother Yen! Preach on! I hope that the people will rise up and take back their government from the liars and robbers currently in office.

  15. P.Akialamiro on

    As far as BS Aquino is concerned, the “die is cast”! From now on, he is a ‘lame duck’, just waiting for his termiantion, whatever that be. No matter what he does between now and the elections, is of no consequence. His achievements, are aptly described by his former ally as “palpak” and “makupad” . There is a lot of truth to these, plus the fact that his administration is also ‘vendictive’ and ‘divisive’. These are about to be ‘etched’ in the history of the country.

  16. Tama yan dahil kahit ang pera ng magsasaka ng niyog (Coco Levy Fund) eh gusto nilang pakialaman sa pamamagitan ng EO 179 & 180 issued on March 18, 2015. EO 179 is on privatization of Coco Levy Fixed Assets & EO 180 is on Usage of Coco Levy Funds. These 2 EO’s were issued despite the on-going legislative process in both houses of Congress as required in the decision of the Supreme Court to have an enabling law that will determine who will be in-charge of distribution and how it should be used to ensure that the coconut farmers and the coconut industry to; benefit from it as per SC decision on 2012.

    What they did after the issuance of these 2 EO’s is to organized a group of coconut farmers who do not even a hand on more than 3 decades of hardship of legal battle to win the case of Coco Levy Fund until it was decided with finality of SC in 2012 to justify the transfer of coco levy fund to national treasury from bank screw account.

    Buti na lang at sa pamamagitan ng Confederation of Coconut Farmers Organizations in the Philippines eh nakapag-issue ng TRO against the said 2 EO’s ang SC/