Incompetent Aquino asked to quit over Yolanda woes


Manila, Philippines- The left-leaning fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Saturday said President Benigno Simeon Aquino III’s  sheer incompetence and wholesale neglect in dealing with the terrible calamity in Eastern Visayas and 34 more provinces hardly devastated by super typhoon Yolanda should convince the Chief Executive to quit post and pursue a permanent vacation from public office.

In a press statement, Pamalakaya vice chairperson Salvador France said President Aquino should tender his resignation anytime starting today up to the end of this month, asserting that Aquino has no political and moral ground to govern. “How can a President known for sheer incompetence, triple platinum arrogance and super obsession to pork barrel can handle a situation that requires political will, patriotism and big heart for ordinary people? Mr. Aquino is hereby indicted by tens of thousands of Yolanda victims for criminal incompetence,” the fisherfolk leader said.
“We ask the President and his political lieutenants in Liberal Party to highly consider the resignation of the former. The protest and raging outrage against Aquino’s failure to provide and extend relief and services that led to this humanitarian crisis deserves Aquino’s political career,” France added.
The Pamalakaya leader lamented that instead of attending quickly to the urgent needs of the people in calamity stricken areas, President Aquino deployed more troops and policemen effectively placing Tacloban City and nearby towns of Ormoc and Palo under undeclared Martial Law. He said Malacanang even invited US military troops to come to Eastern Visayas as if Washington is gearing up for another war of aggression comparable to its military invasion in Afghanistan and Iraq with 5,000 US troops.
France said Malacanang and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) had further worsened the chaotic situation in Eastern Visayas when the propagandists of the Office of the President and the AFP started spreading false information like previous claim of the AFP that a military truck supposedly carrying Red Cross supplies in Sorsogon was ambushed by the NPA. The Aquino administration also circulated rumors that NPA members are involved in the armed looting around Tacloban city and are indiscriminately firing their weapons in Palo, Abucay and other places in order to justify the setting up of checkpoints and establishing outright military rule and provide legitimacy to the arrival and deployment of 5,000 US troops in Yolanda devastated areas under the guise of humanitarian assistance.
Meanwhile, Pamalakaya and rural-based relief organizations Sagip Kanayunan and Tulong Anakpawis pressed the Commission on Audit (COA) to begin monitoring and auditing funds donated by foreign groups which are intended for Yolanda victims.

“We are talking here of some Php 5.4 billion or roughly 126.8 million US dollars. We cannot entrust this to the Aquino government which also champions the legacy of pork barrel and bureaucratic corruption. We hope COA will do its assignment in the name of the victims of typhoon Yolanda and for the sake of national interest and public transparency,” the groups said.

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the Aquino government had received assistance amounting to nearly 130 million US dollars from 43 international donors that came from the United States, Japan, European Union, Australia, China and Saudi Arabia to mention a few. DFA spokesperson Raul Hernandez argued that the amount “accounts only for those donations to which the donors assigned a monetary value, adding that that pledges of financial aid have to be processed in accordance with the rules and regulations of the donors before the funds reach the recipients.

Pamalakaya and allied groups Sagip Kanayunan and Tulong Anakpawis said COA along with independent body composed of church people, anti-corruption groups and service oriented organizations should handle the monitoring and audit of funds donated by foreign states and non-government organizations for victims of typhoon Yolly.

“It is a proposal that stemmed from a collective belief and sentiment that the administration of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III is not only incompetent and arrogant, but also equally or superbly corrupt and ravenous than previous administrations and that the international support for the victims would only go to the corrupt syndicate operating inside and outside of Malacanang if not properly handled and supervises.

This is a fact and not a bluff– that this administration has no political and moral authority to receive and handle international support for the victims of the recent catastrophe in Eastern Visayas and 34 more provinces,” said Pamalakaya.

The group added: ” The pork obsessed administration of President Aquino is dangerous. We cannot rely on this incumbent ruling gangland in Malacanang would ensure that these international aid for earthquake victims would go to relief and rehabilitation. Something must be done to stop this unbridled exploitation and wholesale raid of people’s resources.”

“The proposal of Pamalakaya regarding  the formation of an independent body will solicit the support primarily of faith-based organizations, trusted non-government organizations and institutions and representatives of victims and people’s organizations. “The idea is to insulate foreign aid from the corrupt regime of Aquino and make sure these would go directly for the relief and rehabilitation of people, livelihood and communities. The COA can be tapped to monitor these foreignaid and make periodic reporting on the status of foreign aid,” Pamalakaya added.

Pamalakaya reminded foreign donors that the Philippine government has yet to account theforeign assistance it received for victims of typhoon Pablo last year.

The militant group said the Aquino administration received donations from Australia amounting to P 210 million, Canada (P 10 million), US P 140 million, Indonesia (P 43 million), 500 million New Zealand dollars from New Zealand, 30,000 US dollars from China and 50,000 Singaporean dollars from Singapore.  “What happened to these foreign aid remains big question mark because no report and proper accounting were made. ” The foreign donors should learn its’ lesson well and must distrust this administration to the highest order,” the group added.

The group said also until now the Aquino government has yet to account for the P 22 million assistance it received from the government of Japan and another P 160 million from the European Union for the victims of typhoon Pablo.  ###

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