Palace on coercion of 4Ps beneficiaries: 'Black propaganda'
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Saturday, April 16, decried as “black propaganda” claims that some beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) were “forced” to attend a Liberal Party (LP) rally in Luneta Park, Manila.
Renato Reyes of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) claimed that some beneficiaries of 4Ps were “coerced” to join a “unity walk” rally on Friday, April 15, for LP standard-bearer Manuel “Mar” Roxas II.
Reyes added that this was allegedly disguised as the monthly Family Development Session under the government's Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Program. He also said beneficiaries would be “penalized” with a P500 deduction if they did not participate.
Communications Undersecretary Manolo Quezon III reacted to the claims, saying, “Alam niyo po nakakalungkot ang ganoong black propaganda. Lalong lalo na dahil talagang maingat ang pamahalaan na ang kapakanan ng mga benepisyaryo ang talagang hinahabol dito at hindi 'yung politika."
(You know, this kind of black propaganda is saddening. Especially because the government is really making sure that the welfare of the beneficiaries is being promoted here, not politics.)
Quezon also noted that this claim came from militant groups like Bayan, which, he said, are out to “discredit” Aquino’s 4Ps program.
“Kaya hahanap sila ng kahit anong paraan, upang siraan ang proyektong ito at magkalat ng duda tungkol dito. Nguni't may kumpiyansa kami na mismo ang mga pamilya, ang mga benepisyaryo ay hindi magpapagamit sa politika,” said Quezon.
(That’s why they will think of ways to put this project in a bad light. But I have confidence that the families and beneficiaries will not be used by politics.)
He then advised 4Ps recipients to report similar incidents to Secretary Dinky Soliman of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). (READ: DSWD to voters: Beware of local officials using 4Ps to get votes)
“Kung gusto pa nila ng additional assurance, magsulat sila sa Pangulo dahil siya mismo ang hindi papayag na gawin ang mga ganoon sa mga benepisyaryo na takutin sila o lokohin o abusuhin ang kanilang tiwala sa ano mang paraan,” added Quezon.
(If they want additional assurance, they could write to the President, because he himself would not allow that kind of intimidation, deception, or abuse of trust to happen to beneficiaries in any way.)