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20/09/2013: CUISIA URGES FILIPINO-AMERICAN COMMUNITY: HELP SAFEGUARD GAINS IN FIGHT VS GRAFT & CORRUPTION

PRESS RELEASE
WDC-087-2013
20 September 2013

CUISIA URGES FILIPINO-AMERICAN COMMUNITY: HELP 
SAFEGUARD GAINS IN FIGHT VS GRAFT & CORRUPTION

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Saying the fight is not over yet, the Philippine Embassy today called on the Filipino Community to stand behind President Aquino and to remain vigilant in safeguarding the gains made by the national government in its efforts to eliminate graft and corruption.

“We thank our kababayans for their vigilance in ensuring that the gains that have been made in the fight against graft and corruption during the past three years of the Aquino Administration are safeguarded,” Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. said in a statement.

“The fight is not over. We can only emerge victorious if our people will continue to stand behind the President and walk with him along the straight and righteous path towards good governance,” he said.

The Embassy issued the statement in response to calls from the Filipino Community in the United States for the abolition of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or the so-called pork barrel of members of Congress.

“We would like to assure our kababayans that the national government headed by President Benigno S. Aquino III remains steadfastly committed to his daang matuwid roadmap and has taken steps to ensure that the delivery of services to the public is undertaken in a more transparent and accountable manner,” Ambassador Cuisia said.

“Our kababayans here in the United States may wish to know that President has heard the voice of our people on this issue. In response, he has suspended the release of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and has promised to take concrete steps to effectively address public concerns over the pork barrel system,” he said.

The ambassador also said that the Department of Justice has filed plunder and other graft charges against Janet Lim Napoles, the alleged mastermind of the P10-billion pork barrel scam, and 37 others, including some prominent lawmakers.

The NBI will also file charges next week against others involved in the misuse and abuse of the Malampaya Fund, he added.

Ambassador Cuisia assured the Filipino Community that the Embassy will convey their sentiments to concerned authorities in Manila.###