TWO lawmakers warned the Aquino administration on Saturday not to use the “Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino” dole program for the Liberal Party’s electoral agenda, specifically against progressive groups and other critics of the administration.
Gabriela Women’s Party Rep. Emmi de Jesus made the warning as she denounced reports that beneficiaries of the government’s 4Ps are being barred from attending gatherings and rallies led by Gabriela in commemoration of Women’s Month last week.
“The DSWD engaging in partisan politics and is now clearly a willing tool of the corrupt and oppressive for dis-empowering women. The use of government resources to campaign for or against certain candidates and political parties or sabotaging women’s participation in political actions is clearly illegal, unethical and anti-women,” De Jesus said.
Members of the Gabriela alliance and Gabriela Women’s Party had earlier affirmed that they were threatened with removal from the list of 4Ps beneficiaries should they participate in rallies on Women’s Day, March 8.
They also reported how Department of Social Welfare and Development officials and local leaders are campaigning for LP bets in 4Ps family meetings, De Jesus said without elaboration.
De Jesus explained that women, especially marginalized women should be encouraged to participate in political activities and exercise their right to express grievances against government policies that worsen women’s poverty and vulnerability to abuse.
For her part, Gabriela Rep. Luz Ilagan slammed the DSWD, Malacanang and even LP standard-bearer Manuel Roxas II for exploiting the 4Ps program that Aquino copied from former President Gloria Arroyo.
“It’s ironic that President Aquino III has kept on blaming the past administrations for the ills of society when subconsciously he admires it for pioneering the 4Ps program that is being promoted and appears to be the sole electoral agenda of the administration,” Ilagan said.