Palace: Aquino's yellow ribbon call not serious

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III's call for the people to wear yellow ribbon as expression of support to his administration should not be taken too seriously, a Palace official said Thursday.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. made the statement as some quarters instead called the people to wear peach ribbon as a campaign to impeach the President after the Supreme Court (SC) declared parts of the administration's Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) as unconstitutional.

There were those who asked the public to wear black ribbon.

Aquino asked the people to wear yellow ribbon after a businessman asked him during "Daylight Dialogue: The Good Governance Challenge" in Malacañang last Tuesday on what the President exactly wanted from the public to help his government to continue reforms and to sustain economic gains amid SC's ruling on DAP.

"Wala naman talaga 'yon. It was just a light moment in the entire dialogue, ano. Kaya I don’t think mayroong project doon na, ‘sige, simula ngayon bilangin natin kung mas marami ‘yung dilaw o mas marami ‘yung peach,’ ano," he said.

He said that the President did not want to start any color competition.

"We can take (call) it seriously, but not too seriously," Coloma said.

Meanwhile, an image of a flag ribbon is circulating online as a symbol of pledge to the nation.

Former Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal used the ribbon as his Twitter profile.

"No more red, yellow, peach, blue, orange or whatever colour..People should stop focusing on partisan politics..," Larrazabal said.

During the Daylight Dialogue, Aquino said he wanted to know if his administration still enjoys the support of the people and one way of doing this was to come up with a "manifestation of support."

"We’ll come up with, perhaps, a manifestation of the support—if I still have the support of our people—and concrete examples of these, perhaps wearing our yellow ribbons, amongst other things, just to demonstrate exactly in a quick manner where the sentiments of our people lie," he said during the dialogue.

"But we will be posting a more detailed list of requests to our bosses in the coming days," he added.

Court employees, however, will be in fighting mode on July 21 (Monday) in response to Aquino’s alleged veiled attacks to the Constitution and the judiciary over the DAP issue.

Supreme Court Employees Association (SCEA) president Jojo Guerrero said they will hold a rally after the flag-raising ceremony at the High Court wearing black and red shirts.

Aquino refused to accept the adverse ruling on DAP. In a televised address on Monday, the President said he found the decision unsettling and should be revisited. He also warned of a clash between the executive and judicial department on the issue.

His allies in the House of Representatives, meanwhile, are pushing for the abolition of Presidential Decree 1949 that created the Judiciary Development Fund (JDF), citing allegations of lack of transparency in the use of funds taken from docket fees.

Some lawmakers tag the JDF as the pork barrel of the judiciary.

"Kailan kami nagkaroon ng pork? Di nga kami nakakatikim ng bacon. Naloloko ba sila? Di nga kami nakakatikim kahit paa ng manok. Di naman pork itong binibigay sa amin ng JDF," said Guerrero.

Eighty percent of the fund is released monthly to justices, judges and employees as cost of living allowance while the remaining 20 percent is intended for office equipment and court facilities.

The JDF has a balance of P1.38 billion as of March this year, according to the SC.(SDR/Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)

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