Education groups slam Duterte’s alleged ‘cover up’ of erring gov’t agencies
MANILA, Philippines — Two education groups denounced President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday over his alleged “cover up” of government agencies that were flagged by the Commission on Audit (COA).
Earlier, COA flagged the Department of Health, Department of Education, Department of Social Welfare and Development, and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board over unaccounted funds.
“This is criminal negligence at its worst. Anong sinasabi ni Duterte na stop the flagging? Tama lang ang ginagawa ng COA sa sobrang sahol ng kriminal na kapabayaang ginagawa ng gobyerno sa gitna ng pinakamalubhang krisis pangkalusugan at pangekonomya sa kasaysayan ng bansa,” All-University of the Philippines Academic Employees Union National President Melania Flores raised in a statement.
(This is criminal negligence at its worst. What is Duterte saying to stop the flagging? The Commission on Audit is doing the right thing as the government’s criminal negligence is grave amid the worst health and economic crisis in the country.)
Flores added: “Lantarang coverup ang ginagawa ni Duterte. Mariin naming kinukundena ang hindi paggamit ng pondo na nakalaan para sa pagtugon sa pandemiya at pagbigay ng tulong sa nangangailangan sa panahon ng krisis, lalo na sa mga inaaping sektor ng lipunan.”
(Openly covering up is what Duterte does. We strongly condemn the move not to use these funds allocated to respond to the pandemic and give aid to the poor in this time of crisis, especially to the marginalized sector.)
Flores likewise mentioned that the misused funds flagged by COA could cover the P11 billion slashed in the budget of the higher education sector or the P456 million trimmed from the fund of the Philippine General Hospital in 2020.
For his part, Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy Chairperson Gerardo Lanuza said that unspent money evokes hints of corruption.
“That billions of pesos for pandemic response and financial aid have not reached their intended beneficiaries cannot but make us feel uneasy given that 2022 is just around the corner,” Lanuza shared while calling for the resignation of involved offices, together with Duterte.
He added: “On top of the criminal negligence we hear talks about extending the Duterte dynasty beyond 2022, we see the persecution of the political opposition, and red-tagging and killing of activists. We cannot allow this kind of leadership to go on for another 6 years. Tama na, sobra na, Duterte wakasan na! (Enough, this is too much, put an end to Duterte).”