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For the past few months under Duterte. We’ve seen how many plunderers have been acquitted by the courts due to mere question of technicality or simply questionable impartiality of the appointed judges leaning in favor of their benefactors. Of course, for all of us in the front and always staying abreast with the daily struggles of this seemingly endless political turmoil. Where corruption appears to have worsened to a point where people has lost their voice in demanding accountability from their leaders. It seems that under Duterte, many political allies were all emboldened to continue with their corrupt practices even at the huge disadvantage of the Filipino people.
Aquino was elected with the promise of chasing against the corrupt. Maintain a clean and efficient government. No need for propagandas. Just work. He was elected as our servant and not our king.
Last 2010 during my first chance to vote in for the Presidential election. I have no personal animosity with the Aquino’s as much as I’ve heard about him and his mom’s contribution in defending our freedom during the Pre EDSA and Post EDSA era despite many threats leveled against her presidency and the lives of their family.
I see his speeches and I don’t really feel it to be quite stimulating. He doesn’t seem have the charisma of a typical politician. He speaks more like a layman. Someone you could freely talk to in the streets. He doesn’t look like one of the rich Villars and or the wits of the intellectual Gibo. He’s far from different. And I personally don’t find him ideal for the Presidency. So I ended up voting for Villar which I then totally regretted upon hearing about Villar’s involvement in the C5 Extension scandal.
And yes. The Aquino I didn’t liked and I didn’t voted for. Got elected as President of the Republic of the Philippines. There was so much fanfare from his supporters. I see yellow ribbon stickers on cars, jeepneys, pedicabs and some sport T- Shirts with his or his father’s face on it. The euphoric mood continued as Aquino continued on leading the country to one of the Philippines best moments in history.
I know that there’s been a fare share of controversies that rocked his Presidency. But be warned that many of those were at most garbled and negatively amplified using contradictory assumptions and intrigues. And even worst well-crafted blogs, memes and pages disseminating fake information to support the yellow-hate narrative.
What is the ‘yellow-hate’ propaganda?
It is a black-propaganda technique designed to nurture negative perceptions against the Liberal Party and its members. Most notably the Aquino family. If you can remember, it was Cory who chased the Marcos Family with many of its stowed away wealth through the establishment of the PCGG. The ‘yellow-hate’ propaganda has been going in back then but they couldn’t seem to find an effective channel to distribute propaganda content.
Now then came the modern version of the yellow-hate propaganda which started during the term of the President Aquino administration when he started chasing up against known political personalities linked to many corruption scandals.
The people watched as these plunderers were grilled and humiliated in public. We’ve seen the glaring testimonies and evidences offered by state-prosecutors to charge them of plunder and graft. We’ve all seen it. So the prevailing counter-propaganda was to make it appear as if its merely political persecution.
Under Aquino’s leadership – Philippines rose to 85th out of 175 countries in 2014 from 134th place out of 178 from 2010 in the Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index.
Even the former US President Barack Obama praised the former President Aquino in his policies to root out the scourge of corruption in the government.
Even the World Bank President himself who visited the Philippines back in 2014 praised Aquino for his Anti-Corruption policies and his drive to improve the economy.
“And we are absolutely certain that the impact of your administration will be felt far beyond the six years that you have as President,”
– World Bank President to President Aquino.
The PDAF Scam – 10 Billion Pork Barrel Scam / Senators Arrested!
The PDAF Scam with a cost of more than 10 billion pesos was a ploy by then businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles by channeling PDAF funds through bogus NGO’s.
This whole pork barrel Scam and Janet Napoles issue wouldn’t have been uncovered if it were not for the initiative of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Department of Justice (DoJ). These two institutions fall under the Executive branch of our government which is headed and led by President Aquino.
Three ex-Senators were charged by the Ombudsman for graft and ordered them detained in the PNP Custodial Center.
- Bong Revilla was accused of plunder and 16 counts of graft after allegedly pocketing P224.5 million in kickbacks, the biggest among the three senators.
- Jinggoy Estrada was accused of plunder and 11 counts of graft for allegedly accepting P183 million in kickbacks from his PDAF allocations from 2004 to 2010.
- Juan Ponce Enrile was accused of receiving P172.8 million in kickbacks from his PDAF allocations.
However, Duterte’s doesn’t seem to care about the corrupt. In fact, he really doesn’t care with the courts setting them free despite flimsy justifications.
The sixteenth President who hailed from the southernmost part of the Philippines and who was then the mayor for more than 20 years in the city of Davao. During the campaign period in 2016 when he ran for the Presidency.
Duterte bragged about his unforgiving stance in wiping out the criminality and drugs by having suspected criminals executed by his infamous ‘Davao Death Squads’. In fact, in all of his many speeches. He bragged about kicking out a corrupt politician out in a flying helicopter because he said that he hates corruption and promises to kick them all out of the helicopter if they don’t return their money or stop with their actions.
But all of this — obviously all for show. When you listen to him speak. It as if you’re listening to a noon-time show with his vile and inappropriate choice of words along with the cheap cackles of the audiences. There’s really nothing to gain listening from him.
Duterte’s plunderer recycle bin.
Duterte fired more than 21 cabinet officials since July this year. But most of them were merely recycled to other positions and then close-relatives or friends were then appointed on those vacant positions. Such as Avanceña’s cousin Melissa Avanceña Aradanas, whom the President fired as commissioner of the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor in December last year, has been reappointed as deputy secretary-general of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council.
Here’s the list compiled by Rappler of known cabinet officials recycled by Duterte amidst corruption scandals.
- Jose Gabriel “Pompee” La Viña – His term as Social Security System commissioner was terminated by Duterte, yet months after, he was appointed tourism undersecretary and then agriculture undersecretary. Duterte himself claimed La Viña and former SSS chairman Amado Valdez “abused” public funds.
- Melissa Aradanas – She was among the 5 Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP) officials sacked by Duterte for supposed excessive travels and failure to meet regularly as a collegial body. She has been reappointed deputy commissioner for the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council. She also happens to be the cousin of Duterte’sl longtime partner, Honeylet Avanceña.
- Joan Lagunda – Another of the sacked PCUP commissioners, she is now environment assistant secretary. She was appointed in April 2018.
- Manuel Serra Jr – The 3rd sacked PCUP commissioner to be reappointed, Serra is now a member of the Philippine Coconut Authority’s governing board.
- Nicanor Faeldon – The former Bureau of Customs chief has been appointed deputy administrator III of the Office of Civil Defense. This, despite being accused by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) of involvement in the P6.4-billion shabu smuggling controversy. The PDEA’s complaint was eventually dismissed by the Department of Justice but the Ombudsman recommended further investigation against him.
- Vincent Maronilla – He resigned from his post as Manila International Container Port district collector after a Senate hearing where broker Mark Taguba named him as among the Customs officials who accepts “tara” or grease money. Senator Panfilo Lacson also included Maronilla’s name in his “tara” list – what he claimed to be a carefully vetted and cross-matched list of names of officials who accept bribes from “players”. Maronilla was also among those accused by PDEA of conspiring to import illegal drugs and protecting drug traffickers in a complaint filed with the Department of Justice. Despite these, Duterte appointed him assistant commissioner at the BOC.
The PDAF Scam Senators Freed!
And Duterte’s anti corruption drive turned to worst when the alleged conspirators of the 10 Billion Peso Pork scam has been acquitted or given humanitarian considerations by the court.
Bong Revilla – ACQUITTED / But asked to return money?!
Jinggoy Estrada – BAIL / Wants to follow Bong Revilla
Juan Ponce Enrile –BAIL / For his age and humanitarian considerations.
Despite strong documents linking them to the scam by several credible witnesses. Also, paper trail such as bank deposits and transaction details did showed that the trio received the money and funneled it through Napoles shady NGO’s.
Under Duterte. Our rank in the International Transparency Index nosedived due to rampant corruption and opaque wasteful spending of many government agencies.
And we are yet even falling deeper and deeper into the precipice of a one-party dictatorship similar to China’s ruling Communist Party. This is because Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is cooking up ‘Charter Change’ which slowly removes constitutional safeguards against the easy declaration of Martial Law. Removing term-limits for government officials and even empowering political dynasties across the archipelago through the shift in a Federalist form of government.
You see the annoying difference between both administrations? The question of whether President Duterte did fought corruption as hard as he promised then all of these would not have happened. However, despite our optimistic expectations. Duterte himself seems to be defending the plunderers and corrupt because they’re all his friends.