PNoy no different from Gloria, says critic
MANILA - An activist group on Wednesday said President Aquino is no different from his predecessor, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, especially after the controversy over the Disbursement Acceleration Program.
Bagong Alyansang Makabayan secretary general Renato Reyes said the DAP funds are questionable because by their nature, they did not undergo congressional scrutiny.
"Aquino cannot use exceptionalism, that he is different from GMA, as his justification for the continued use of pork. Huli na sa bibig ang Palasyo eh. Naghahanap ng palusot. Gustong ibaling muli kay GMA ang lahat ng prublema, pati problema sa pork sa panahon ni Aquino 2010-2012," he said.
Reyes said Aquino is continuing Arroyo's practice of utilizing "questionable presidential pork."
"Yung pagpapatuloy ni Aquino sa paggamit ng kwestyonableng presidential pork, realigned at discretionary funds ay nagpapakita na wala siyang pinagkaiba sa saligan kay GMA. Di niya pwedeng sabihin na siya ay honest at si GMA lang ang hindi. Sabit siya sa kwestyonableng gamit ng pera."
In his speech, the President said about 1 trillion pesos in Mrs. Arroyo's discretionary funds were misused. He said around P637 billion were misused from the reenacted budgets alone.
The Arroyo administration survived on reenacted budgets from 2007, 2008 to 2009. Under the Constitution, budgets are reenacted should Congress fail to pass a new budget law in time for a new year.
Reyes said many of Arroyo's allies are now Aquino's allies. Arroyo's former budget secretary, Rolando Andaya, is now a vice chairman of the House of Representatives appropriations committee.
"Many of the [Liberal Party members] today in the Lower House were previously with GMA. It remains to be seen if they will be probed or if they will be protected by Aquino's magical yellow force field."