Denial is a river of lies and deceit to cover-up BS Aquino’s use of the unconstitutional Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) to scandalously benefit his kin in Hacienda Luisita.
Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary and DAP-architect Florencio “Butch” Abad and Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary Virgilio delos Reyes both issued ridiculous denials and conflicting statements yesterday, which tried to obscure the DAP’s role in the expeditious disbursement of overpriced landlord compensation to the Cojuangco-Aquino family for Hacienda Luisita.
According to the DBM statement published by the Official Gazette (gov.ph), “no funds released through the DAP were allocated for the compensation of Hacienda Luisita landowners,” but Abad, in his closing quip, once again invoked “good faith” and incongruously justified DAP use for Hacienda Luisita:
“We wanted to expedite the release of these funds so we could quickly turn over the land due our farmers. The DAP allowed us to do precisely that, so that Hacienda Luisita farmers could finally own the land they’ve worked on for so long,” said Abad.
Florida Sibayan, Chairperson of the Alyansa ng mga Manggagawang-bukid sa Asyenda Luisita (AMBALA), said that that delos Reyes and Abad are so into their lies to cover-up for the Pork Barrel King, that they end up exposing more corruption linked to Hacienda Luisita, the controversial sugar estate controlled by President BS Aquino’s family.
Delos Reyes tried to downplay the DAR’s earlier admission that the DAP was instrumental in the release of funds for the Cojuangco-Aquinos, but glaringly admitted that “the actual cash release of a portion of the amount was facilitated through the DAP.”
The DAR clarified that funds for landlord compensation under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) – including payment to the Cojuangco-Aquinos for Hacienda Luisita – was “appropriated by Congress for the years 2010 and 2011, under the 2010 and 2011 General Appropriations Acts (GAAs), respectively.”
In the DBM statement, Abad even said that funds amounting to a whooping “P7.93 billion were released to compensate Hacienda Luisita landowners.”
Earlier reports state that the Cojuangco-Aquino family received P 471.5 million as compensation, an amount overpriced by at least Php 167 million, according to AMBALA. “Abad’s slip has unwittingly reminded the public how much money the greedy Cojuangco-Aquino family actually wants as landlord compensation,” said Sibayan, noting that the Cojuangcos earlier pushed for an outrageous 10 Billion-peso compensation for Hacienda Luisita.
“The DAR and DBM must reveal how much money was actually released as compensation for Hacienda Luisita because the Cojuangcos do not deserve a single centavo,” said Sibayan. “Farmworkers and their families are the actual original owners of Hacienda Luisita.”
“Delos Reyes and Abad only provided proof that sham land distribution happening now in Hacienda Luisita, and the bogus CARP as a whole are lucrative cash-cows that benefit their “stakeholders” – despotic landlords and landgrabbers such as the President and his relatives.”
“Massive plunder of public funds through the CARP was made doubly expeditious through DAP,” said Ranmil Echanis, deputy secretary general of the Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA).
Aside from landlord compensation, funds from the DAP were also reportedly used by President Aquino to bribe legislators to impeach and convict Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona, as retribution for the SC ruling on Hacienda Lusita.
“The DAR tries to refute growing public suspicion that the DAP may have been crafted because of Hacienda Luisita – with the silly and damning excuse that cash releases for landlord compensation were made even before the SC Luisita ruling.”
“Malacanang talking heads have basically chorused in confirming that the cunning ‘DAP strategy’ was indeed used to instantly pay the Cojuangco-Aquinos by seizing public funds appropriated by Congress for previous years.”
Echanis noted that the DBM and the DAR’s admission that landlord compensation for the Cojuangco-Aquinos was culled from 2010 and 2011 budget appropriations, is all the more questionable because the final SC ruling on land distribution in Hacienda Luisita did not come until April 24, 2012.
“The DAR relates these anomalous details as a matter of fact because corruption is obviously institutionalized in the CARP. These so-called Agrarian Reform Funds are easily dispensed to contemptible landlords even without the DAP,” said Echanis.
“The Aquino-Abad tag team and other Palace talking heads must stop making selective denials on certain DAP anomalies and reveal full details of the DAP.”
In Hacienda Luisita, farmworkers lament that sham land distribution implemented by the DAR has made hunger and poverty worse, with hundreds of farmers now evicted from their farmlands through direct landgrabbing by Cojuangco-Aquino corporations such as TADECO, CAT and LRC – and thousands more dislocated and threatened by massive demolition of homes and wholesale disqualification as land reform beneficiaries.
“There is a reign of impunity and terror in Hacienda Luisita under this Pork Barrel King and landlord president. Luisita farmers will join protests during the President’s State of the Nation Address on July 28,” said Sibayan.