THE urban poor group Kadamay on Sunday rejected a recommendation that Vice President-elect Leni Robredo head the National Anti-Poverty Commission, saying she used money from the 4Ps program or dole to the poor to get elected.
That recommendation was made by incoming National Economic Development Authority Chief Ernesto Pernia.
“How can we trust Leni to address poverty in the country when she has been known to have used poverty-alleviation funds to advance her political agenda? Kadamay head Gloria Arellano said.
“Despite so many complaints from the 4Ps or Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program beneficiaries of electioneering, have we heard any apology from Leni’s camp?”
Arellano said Kadamay had a pending complaint with the Commission on Elections against Robredo and her running mate, Manuel Roxas II, for using money from the 4Ps to force its beneficiaries to attend their political sorties.
“After joining the Liberal Party’s last election, Robredo had quickly identified herself among the ‘yellow trapos’ who have made use of poverty and the plight of the poor to advance their own political interests,” Arellano said.
“The failure of [President Benigno Aquino III’s] Daang Matuwid program over the last six years is a clear indicator not to entrust poverty alleviation to anyone from the LP camp.”
Kadamay also criticized Robredo’s earlier manifestation of her desire to streamline the government’s anti-poverty efforts. It said it considered Robredo’s move as “very alarming.”
But the group praised President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s statement that he will entrust the NAPC to a woman from the Left.
Arellano said Robredo, aside from her signature bus travels and her late husband Jessie Robredo-influenced tsinelas, had nothing to prove about her sincerity in addressing poverty in the country compared to other left-leaning rivals for the NAPC post.
“Robredo, together with outgoing DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman, has to prove herself innocent of using the 4Ps to boost her win in the last election,” Arellano said.
Once Robredo was appointed to NAPC or any poverty-alleviation agency of the Duterte administration, Arellano said, Kadamay was convinced that Robredo might only continue the policies that were espoused by the Aquino administration that proved to be very detrimental to the poor.
Kadamay also expressed fears that Robredo might not endorse the implementation of genuine land reform and national industrialization as the fundamental components of any government’s poverty alleviation program.
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