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‘PNoy liable for SSS veto’

President Benigno Aquino III should be held liable for his decision to deprive at least 1.5 million Filipino pensioners by vetoing House Bill 5842 or the P2,000 increase in pension of members of the Social Security System, three militant lawmakers   said on Monday  .

One of the lawmakers,   party-list Rep. Fernando Hicap of Anakpawis said that primacy should be given to the mandate of the SSS to give social protection to its members as a manifestation of social justice, as stated in Section 2 of Republic Act No. 8282 or the SSS Law.

“The veto on the SSS pension hike is symptomatic of Aquino’s anti-people governance.    He ruled against the interest and welfare of the workers, farmers, urban poor, government employees, calamity victims, youth-students, even sending government forces to their deaths.    Now, he is heartlessly spoiling the pension hike for the elderly section of our population,” Hicap said.

“Aquino and his KKK [ally, classmate, shooting buddy] at the SSS are drowning the people with figures which are basically excuses not to provide the pension hike, in the process, violating the very mandate of the institution and the right of its pensioners for social welfare,” Hicap added.

Hicap said that it is an opportune moment to expose Aquino’s creed that he prefers that the institution, funded by about 33 million members, would invest in big private corporations such as the Ayala land, rather than improve the pension it provides.

“SSS fund is a provident fund not a hedge fund, it is a provision for the future and the pensioners’ future is the present,” Hicap stressed, adding that “CEO and President Emilio De Quiros Jr. is a commercial banker, his entirety is a total contradiction of providing service to SSS members, but rather how to rake up profits from giant firms owned by the few rich.”

Bayan Muna party-list Reps. Carlos Zarate and Neri Colmenares vowed to fight to reverse the veto of the President on the pension hike bill during the last three session days of Congress before the election campaign kicks off this month.

“This Congress’ last shot to side with the people and override the veto on the pension hike is on   Wednesday, February 3, the last day of session of the 16th Congress before we go on recess during the campaign period,” Zarate said.

“We strongly urge our colleagues to stand for social justice and make good on their former stance for the pension hike. I call on our colleagues to vote for the override on Aquino’s veto on the pension hike—let us make this as our legacy, our monumental move to make our society more just for our seniors,” Zarate added.

For his part, Colmenares, author of the pension hike bill, maintained that a pension hike was long overdue and feasible, adding that it is the SSS mandate to provide social protection and social justice.   

“Aquino’s veto on the pension hike is another injustice for our seniors and retirees. Today, January 30, our seniors will go out and protest, some of them even ailing and disabled, just to express their dismay over the pension hike killed in Malacanang,” Colmenares said.      “How could a cold-hearted President stand and see this and do nothing about it?” he asked.

This developed as the three lawmakers renewed their   demand for the SSS commission to disclose its investments to big companies, especially those who supported Aquino’s presidential campaign, related to his past professional career and foreign investments. SSS announced its plan to invest $1 billion or P45 billion overseas June of last year.

Topics: PNoy , SSS veto
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