In participation with the Million People March held on National Heroes’ Day last Monday, members of various communities and organizations gathered and marched to strengthen their call for the abolition of the Priority Development Assistance Fund or ‘pork barrel’ in laypeople’s term.
The march started at around 8:30 am and followed the Freedom Park- Bolton-Rizal Park route.
In the presence of protest marchers and a caged swine, different representatives expressed their opinions on the latest anomaly that a number of public officials face right now.
“We Filipinos do not define ourselves by the likes of Janet Napoles; we do not define ourselves by corruption; we do not define ourselves by lies, manipulation and fear,” Fr. Joel Tabora, S. J. said while on-stage.
The father president of the Ateneo de Davao University described the pork barrel revelations as a ‘decaying rat’ that Napoles has shed into light, and called for “accountability and justice.”
“We deserve nothing but the absolute truth from our leaders in government,” he added.
He, as one with the sentiments of the people, also demanded the “prosecution to the fullest extent of the law for those individuals who have gravely abused their discretion and violated the People’s trust.”
Sr. Alice Dumaboc, a member of Sisters’ Association in Mindanao, expressed in an interview her grief of learning that people only demand a few and get rejected for “lack of funds” when, in fact, there’s more than enough but in the wrong hands.
“Bilyon ang kwarta pero daghan ang walay gikaon, walay tsinelas. Gusto nila ug cosmetic surgeries pero naay ubang tao namatay kay walay ikapalit ug paracetamol,” Dumaboc stressed.
The march to Rizal Park was part of a nationwide anti-pork barrel protest. Based on Rappler’s infographics, other key areas that joined the protest include Baguio, Dagupan and Luneta among others.