A Day of Reckoning Has Come


Today, we cross a threshold. 


Exactly 100 days ago, on the day alleged billion-peso pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles “surrendered” to the President, we, the people, issued a challenge to this government. We gave it exactly that much time to investigate and prosecute all individuals involved in the monumental thievery.

 

It was not an arbitrary demand. It was borne out of our shared frustration and anger at the depth of the betrayal of the trust by no less than the people chosen to lead us. It was a demand aimed at testing the sincerity of this administration’s battle cry to pursue the “tuwid na daan”. It was, finally, a call which arose from our collective hope that the revelations would lead to a wider transformation of our political system. 


It was a vain hope. This government has failed the test. And thus we rise in anger. 


100 days after the people began a countdown to a deadline for decisive action, the pork scam’s three alleged biggest beneficiaries in Congress, Enrile, Estrada and Revilla continue to strut around as if they own the country, while many  more, including so-called allies of the administration also involved in the various scams remain scot free and seem to go about their “business-as usual” ways. 


Equally tragic is the fact that the glacial pace of the Aquino government’s action on the Napoles case has been replicated in its post-Yolanda response, with affected communities complaining of not getting any or adequate government assistance, or even a semblance of presence--- until now. Nearly a month after the tragedy, mounting reports of continued callousness or sheer incompetence in saving and securing lives and giving relief to the devastated communities---are completely unforgiveable. In fact, they are bordering on the criminal.


All of this stands in stark contrast to the speed with which the Aquino government defended the shameless attempt by big companies like the power giant firm,  MERALCO to raise power rates at a time when the nation continues to reel from the pain, loss and devastation wrought by Typhoon Yolanda. Not even a day after Meralco announced the planned rate hike, Malacañang’s Secretary for Communications Operations Herminio Coloma began lawyering for Meralco calling the rate increase, “not arbitrary...not unreasonable.” How they came to such a conclusion so quickly, without the benefit of even a cursory audit is suspicious at best.


It is increasingly clear now that got it all wrong when we thought Mr. Aquino was referring to us when he declared, “Kayo ang boss ko.” Apparently, he was making the pledge to the kings and queens of corruption, and their allies among the rich and the powerful in this country—some of them his closest associates—and greedy corporations led by Meralco. 


As it was before, so it is now. The salvation of the nation, lies not with leaders bred by the same political system we want to transform. It lies in our solidarity as a people, united in our common struggle to bring about the truly just, and genuinely democratic society we know we deserve.In our own hands, lie primarily our deliverance as a people, and our salvation as a nation.


December 6, 2013

FREEDOM FROM DEBT COALITION

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