Days after he was sworn into office, President Aquino vowed to go after corrupt and erring public officials as he will lead the country towards a straight path or “daang matuwid” during his presidency.
True, Mr. Aquino went after officials of the past administration, including former President Gloria Arroyo, Chief Justice Renato Corona, former cabinet members, and retired police and military generals.
But the public has yet to see Pnoy firing people close to him who are involved in illegal activities or scams even if evidence or testimonies, whether presented to the public or made available to the media, indicate their involvement in irregularities.
One wonders if this “daang matuwid” policy of the President only applies to ordinary people and the opposition and does not cover officials of the Aquino administration, the President’s friends and relatives.
Another fine example of the President’s “all talk and no action” attitude was seen on August 23, three days before the so-called Million People March.
This was when Mr. Aquino laid down his plan to introduce a new mechanism to replace the graft-plagued Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or “pork barrel.”
President Aquino, speaking in Filipino said, “for this system to work, your cooperation is required. The information will be there for you to monitor. . Let us understand and examine it.”
But the question is: how are we going to get the information when the public does not have any access to such kind of information to understand and examine it?
Some observers think the President may be hallucinating when he gave that speech to try to pacify the angry netizens who were up in arms against the pork barrel scam.
I guess I’m not the only person wondering what information the President was talking about for us to understand and examine to see the transparency and accountable use of the people’s money.
Mr. President, the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill is still pending in Congress and it has been there for over three congressional sessions now.
You haven’t even placed it in your legislative agenda this year so that Congress can mark it as a priority bill. And now you are talking, sir, of information on government spending? But where is the information, Mr. President?
On the campaign trail in 2010, Mr. Aquino promised that he is for the passage of the FOI bill since it will be one of the main ingredients in his transparent government, and that he will definitely urge Congress to pass it into law once he is elected as President of the Republic.
You, sir, have been the President of this country for over three years now, yet you have not urged your allies in both houses to pass that f*&%$#@ bill!
For heaven’s sake, walk your talk, Mr. President.
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IS Ochoa an asset or liability?
President Aquino should now decide if he should continue with the services of his best friend, Executive Secretary Paquito “Jojo” Ochoa or kick him out of Malacanang.
Ochoa’s name popped up once again, this time over his alleged ties with pork barrel queen Janet Lim-Napoles. Surprisingly, Secretary Ochoa is mum on the issue but he fired his consultant, Bryan Yamsuan, who is said to have direct connections to Napoles.
A month or so ago, Ochoa’s name was in the papers and television regarding the “padrino” system at the Bureau of Customs (BOC).
The Executive Secretary is said to be behind the appointment of several BOC officials who have not performed well in their jobs and are being blamed for the agency’s failure to meet its tax collection target. He denied the allegations.
And now, Ochoa’s name is being linked to the questionable lease agreement between his brother-in-law, Jerry Acuzar, and the former Arroyo administration in the development of Busuanga Island in Palawan.
According to Jun Lozada, the President knows of the lease agreement but has not lifted a finger to look into the deal. Pnoy promised, upon assuming office in 2010, to look into all of GMA’s deals and vowed to cancel them if he finds any anomalous transaction.
So, Mr. President…what’s your next move?