NAGA CITY, 22Aug2013 – “The suspension of the release of the second tranche of the PDAF is only a token move, a knee-jerk reaction by the president which is aimed at pacifying the growing discontent of the people over the corrupt pork barrel system.”
This is Kabataan Partylist Rep. Terry Ridon’s reaction to President Benigno Aquino III’s announcement via an interview with Maki Pulido of GMA7 that PDAF releases will be withheld pending the investigation of the P10-billion scam.
“Apparently, the scandal has reached exponential levels, enough for the Palace to quiver and take token steps. Yet the Palace should remember that what the people are calling for is not just suspension but the total abolition of the pork barrel system,” Ridon said.
“And when we say pork barrel system, we’re not just calling for the abolition of the PDAF, but the whole system of discretionary spending. This includes funds under the unprogrammed funds, the special purposes fund, the presidential social fund, and other lump sum accounts that are under the Executive’s direct discretion.”
“Suspending PDAF releases bears no significance to the call for abolition of the system of corruption that has siphoned billions upon billions of taxpayers’ money to the pockets of the ruling administration. Instead, this knee-jerk reaction only aims to dissipate the growing discontent of the people against an unmasked regime.”
Ridon added that Aquino’s outright refusal to abolish even just the PDAF is proof that the Palace has no real intention to heed the call of the youth and the people.
“By suspending PDAF releases, Aquino is washing his hands off the issue, making it seem that he has nothing to do with it, when in fact, he has direct power over PDAF. The fact that he can suspend the release of the pork barrel without further ado is proof to the matter.”
“Basically, Aquino just wants to go out of the water before it gets too hot for him. Sorry Mr. President, it’s too late for that,” Ridon said.
“Thus, we’ll continue with the upcoming protests. My fellow Filipino youth, mark your calendars: we’ll walk out of our schools and communities on August 23 to express outrage against this fraudulent regime! A token move will not stop us. Tama na, sobra na!” Ridon exclaimed.