Every day the opposition and even usually pro-Aquino personalities demand that Malacañang’s Budget and Management Secretary Florencio Abad come clean and tell all that he knows about the PDAF and DAP releases. There are also new calls every day for him to be grilled—by congressional committees of both houses.
Our page 1 story today tells of the United Nationalist Alliance’s Congressman Tobias Tangco accusing President Aquino’s administration of covering up the “crime scene” of the alleged misuse of the presidential funds released through the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).
The Navotas representative is the UNA secretary general. He accused the leadership of his own congressional house of working together with the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to continue refusing to release the list of lawmakers who have received and abused DAP funds.
Rep. Tiangco has been the most vociferous in making this accusation. But others also have, albeit less angrily. “Where is the master list [of the recipient beneficiaries and the lawmakers who sought the DAP funds’ release]. If they don’t want to present it because it may incriminate them, then, we can say that the Administration is adopting a no-gun-no-murder defense to cover the DAP crime scene,” Tiangco said.
He criticized Speaker Feliciano Belmonte and Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad for coming up with alibis instead of disclosing the names of lawmakers who helped themselves to the DAP funds.
“The first excuse of Sec. Abad is that it was on a Sunday when he was asked about the list so the records were not available, while the Speaker said he could not recall it anymore,” complained Tiangco.
Mr. Tiangco is right.
Secretary Abad is stonewalling. President Aquino himself and his spokesmen (and woman) keep saying that there is really no need for the passage and enactment of a Freedom of Information Law because the Aquino administration is very transparent and honest. Sec. Abad’s refusal to issue the list negates this claim of transparency.
But transparency and access to complete information is essential to a governance that treads the Tuwid na Daan (the Righteous Path), which is the President’s moral banner. Mr. Abad’s refusal to be transparent, which Mr. Aquino apparently approves of, shows that Tuwid na Daan is just a gimmick.
Senator Tito Guingona impressed us in the years before President Aquino and his allies became the rulers of our country. We thought he was a man of integrity and true moral footing like his father. But today he has become a slavish camp follower of President Aquino and the politicians who are his cronies, using the powerful Senate Blue Ribbon Committee to please the President and his fellow high and mighty power-holders in our country.
Mr. Aquino has frittered away the treasure that is the good Aquino name that his saintly mother and his martyred father left behind. He did this by betraying the Spirit of EDSA in allowing his administration to be possibly as corrupt as previous corrupt ones. And by betraying promises he made during his campaign for the presidency. One of these promises was a vow to prioritize the passage and enactment of the Freedom of Informational Law, which is essential to having a Tuwid na Daan government.
We hope and pray Senator Guingona decides to redeem the Guingona name and holds Blue Ribbon Committee hearings to find out the truth about DBM’s participation in the incredible treason, crime of plunder and sins of cruel-to-the-poor avarice in the abuse of the PDAF and DAP.