By Sandy Araneta
THE militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan on Friday slammed the ruling Liberal Party’s candidates for President and vice president, Manuel Roxas II and Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo for using the government’s dole program as camouflage for early campaigning in Mindanao.
“We condemn in the strongest terms the shameless use of public funds and government resources by the ruling Liberal Party for its electoral campaign. We will take action against these continuing violations of the law,” Bayan secretary-general Renato Reyes Jr. said in a statement.
Reyes accused the administration of using events related to its conditional cash transfer program—also known as the 4Ps—to promote the candidacy of Roxas and Robredo.
“Using the 4Ps event to promote the candidacy of the Liberal Party bets is nothing short of early vote-buying using the billion-peso CCT funds. Roxas and Robredo both have nothing to do with the DSWD. Roxas is not even in government anymore,” Reyes said.
“What is happening under the Aquino regime is no different from what Gloria Macapagal Arroyo did during her run in 2004. Once again the Daang Matuwid is exposed as a sham,” he added.
On Oct. 17, the administration standard bearers were invited as guests of honor at a Department of Social Work and Development event in Mindanao for the CCT.
“The entire event was decorated in yellow, with even the DSWD Secretary [Corazon] Dinky Soliman herself wearing the campaign colors. Even the presidential table was yellow. It was obviously a campaign sortie disguised as an official government event,” Reyes said.
The militant group also chided the Palace for using public funds to promote events of the Liberal Party on social media and the official government website www.gov.ph.
President Benigno Aquino III on Friday said he was confident that voters would elect those who would continue the administration’s work.
Speaking at the 119th general meeting of the Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines, he expressed hope that the industry would work closely with his successor to move Philippine manufacturing into the global spotlight.
“I will only be in office for the next eight months, and over the course of my term you have been one of the best partners we could have asked for. You took a chance on us; you trusted that we would be true to our word. You devoted your time and your resources to help us generate the necessary skill sets for the labor you need. You were one of the first to take us up on our offer to help different industries, and our willingness to trust in and work with one another has obviously paid off,” he said.
The President then played up the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority for producing workers for the semiconductor and electronics industries.
At the same time, he warned that his administration would not tolerate corruption, saying that even its allies are being made to account for alleged wrongdoing.
Aquino spoke to chief executive officers, presidents and other executives of 260 foreign and Filipino semiconductor and electronics companies in the Philippines.
“We have all of the websites that have been put in place to afford even anonymous tipsters the capacity to share with us leads to ferret out all of these corrupt individuals,” Aquino said.
Aquino’s comment was made after Mario Ravancho, of Vishay Philippines, a semiconductor company, told the President at the forum that the electronics companies are still victims of red tape and corruption by government employees and asked what measures are being taken to address this.
But Aquino said the salary standardization program would bring public salaries in line with those in the private sector, and give government workers incentives to perform better.
“We admit that there are still instances of corruption. There are some agencies that have so much rooted corruption in them. But, I guess, the challenge is for us to continue weeding out these people and not just tolerating the situation. Perhaps, if I may just add, whenever anybody talks about corruption, they talk about the person in government; but what about the necessary partner who is the briber? A bribee doesn’t exist without a briber,” Aquino said.
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