11 September 2023
References: Bonifacio Ilagan, CARMMA convenor
CARMMA secretariat, 09189790580
CARMMA URGES FILIPINOS TO KEEP VIGIL VS MARCOSIAN CORRUPTION IN THE 2024 BUDGET DELIBERATIONS
They have proven the dictum right one more time: Old habits die hard. After all, the habit had been nurtured for 21 years, including 14 under martial law. It is conspiracy in pursuit of personal interest.
The so-called Maharlika Investment Fund, named after the bogus World War II guerilla outfit of Marcos Sr., was a brainchild of Marcos Jr. Its passage in Congress was railroaded by a conspiracy of the Marcos minions. The approval of the presidential confidential and intelligence funds, as well as that of Vice-President Sara Duterte, hugely scandalous in these times of mass poverty and want, was likewise a conspiratorial spectacle.
Truly, reality stares us in the face, and it must now be accepted even by the staunchest Marcos critic, that the Marcoses are back – but not because they won in the elections fair and square. It is because brazen world-class plunder and corruption, vintage Marcos, are now the norm in how the government operates.
The Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses and Martial Law (CARMMA) urges all Filipino democrats to be vigilant, make their voices heard, and join protest actions as Congress deliberates the proposed national budget for 2024. For one, the shameless transfer of PhP 125 million as confidential fund from the office of Marcos Jr to the office of Sara Duterte in 2022 — unconstitutional and therefore illegal because there was no corresponding line item budget appropriation for the Office of the Vice President in the 2022 General Appropriations Act — are glaring red flags of corruption in pursuit of personal interest.
We join calls to abolish these confidential and intelligence funds which are beyond audit scrutiny and are being used to fund state violence and repression. Instead, these must be reallocated for basic social services such as health, housing, and education, and in the budget of the Commission on Human Rights to allow it to exercise its mandate of investigating human rights violations as well as providing financial assistance and reparations for victims of rights violations.
On top of this, CARMMA demands that the Marcoses return what they stole from the Filipino people. And rather than gamble away the people’s money with their so-called Maharlika Investment Fund, they must pay their PhP 203 billion worth of estate tax dues and penalties.
We condemn the emerging pattern of conspiracy perpetrated by the Marcos Jr. administration to dismiss graft and corruption cases against the Marcoses. This includes the dismissal by the Supreme Court of the PhP1.05 billion ill-gotten wealth case and the dismissal by the Sandiganbayan of three civil cases for the billions of stolen assets, funds and properties.
Never again must we allow the Marcoses and their ilk to bleed dry our nation’s coffers. In due time, the Marcos conspiracy shall meet its match in the people’s movement for transparency and good governance because we have not forgotten.