The party-list group Sanlakas hit the selective and sluggish progress of the anti-graft cases in connection with the Priority Development Assistance Fund and accused the administration, especially former Justice secretary and now LP senatorial candidate Leila de Lima, of using its so-called anti-corruption campaign to attack opponents of the incumbent Liberal Party.
Labor leader and Sanlakas party-list 1st nominee Leody de Guzman said that the past five-plus years have proven that the Liberal Party’s 2010 battlecry “kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap” has been exposed as “a cheap political trick.”
“In 2010, it was a mere electoral stunt to win over voters who were disgusted over the scandal-riddled Arroyo regime. Since then, not only was it a simple propaganda tool to attack the rivals of the ruling LP,” said De Guzman.
“More so, for almost six years, it became a sickening repetitive mantra meant to conjure an illusion of anti-corruption reforms under Noynoy Aquino,” added the labor leader.
De Guzman said that the administration almost succeeded in fooling the people, but the handling of De Lima of the Napoles multibillion-peso PDAF scam and the subsequent controversy surrounding the Development Acceleration Program—struck down by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional—had exposed the Aquino government’s true colors.
Anti-PDAF advocate Atty. Levi Baligod had earlier implicated 14 senators, 120 congress representatives, and several bogus NGOs in the pork barrel scam. However, under the watch of former Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, cases were only filed against three opposition senators and 25 members of the House of Representatives. Since then, only an additional five former congressmen have been charged by the Ombudsman.
“Malacañang cannot rightfully claim even an iota of fulfillment to its much-avowed anti-corruption mandate,” stressed De Guzman.
“Even after almost six years in office, the Filipino people know that corruption is still rampant in virtually all levels of the bureaucracy. As such, corruption remains as a major issue in the upcoming May elections.”