THE Independence Day message of outgoing President Benigno Aquino 3rd has been crafted as if only he and the members of his yellow followers have the monopoly on courage in fighting a dictatorial regime. Instead of preaching us vigilance over our freedom, he and his fellow casual residents of Malacañang should tell us where they were when Metro Manilans gathered at EDSA 20 years ago. Specifically, where was his mother, who together with her cronies, benefited most from what eventually became People’s Power?
A personal suggestion: Somebody should review the history surrounding the EDSA revolt that would explain how Corazon Aquino accidentally assumed the presidency. Had the counting of the votes been completed, the members of the elitist yellow tribe would have been greatly disappointed by the results of the snap election. Didn’t she lose to the late Ferdinand Marcos?
While Malacañang’s outgoing temporary occupants led by their chief had the temerity to advise us “to be vigilant” over our “hard-won freedom,” they forgot to report to us their achievements in the last six years. Like Leni Robredo, their anointed vice president whose victory would remain doubtful in the next six years, they must be very proud of DAP and PDAP.
Personally, I can only commiserate with Aquino the son and his allies when they shall have finally stepped out of Malacañang on June 30. By then, they would start missing the powers that they must have enjoyed very much but oblivious of the anomalous release of money that they would opt to bury among the dead files that they intend to leave behind them.
Before Malacañang’s departing occupants exit from the Palace, they must tell us where and how they spent the Filipinos’ contributions to their spending habits such as Development Acceleration Program. If they would not know where to start their exposition, I suggest one topic that I wrote about in this space on July 10, 2014. I titled it “DAP money for Hacienda Luisita? What for?”
I had originally posed the two questions for the readers of The Manila Times but which I am now addressing to Aquino the son and his friends who, however, may find the posers not deserving at all of any kind of response. In public relations practice, the rule is to simply ignore what could neither be explained nor justified. DAP is a concrete example of such PR model that has failed as a budget diversionary strategy for having been outlawed by the Supreme Court.
Nevertheless, I still find it timely even today to ask the same questions but with elaboration. “How did Hacienda Luisita qualify as a beneficiary of Aquino administration’s dole-out program? If P471.5 million in DAP’s money went to his family, he should tell us so and how his family’s hacienda spent it. Did any or all of it go to the tenant farmers as beneficiaries of the agrarian reform law? If not, who will pay for it?
It seems nobody has an explanation on the use of P471.5 million that was sourced from DAP. As a matter of fact, until now no one has the answer why the money even went to the Cojuangco-owned hacienda. Ironically, the Department of Agrarian Reform had been justifying its incursion into government funds that were not intended for financing the agency’s agrarian reform program. Why did DAR not tap the state-owned Land Bank of the Philippines?
Please tell us before you leave who applied for P471.5-million grant and who approved it? Has the amount been returned after the High Court ruled the disbursement as illegal?
Who must be held responsible for the release to Hacienda Luisita of public funds that were coursed thru DAP. An amount as huge as P471.5 million would have fed many of the more or less 25 million poorest of the poor Filipinos who have become even poorer under the soon-to-vanish Aquino regime.
I will explain in a separate Duediligencer how I arrived at 25 million. As of now, I can only say the way the government has been presenting economic statistics has been misleading. It is about time the National Economic and Development Authority present a true wealth and poverty profile of Filipinos. Per capita income does not and will not reflect the true living status of the rich and the very rich and the poor and the very poor among the country’s more than 100 million population.