Sign-up station vs ‘pork’ set up

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014


A SIGN-UP center for the petition to abolish the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) program and other lump-sum releases has been set up at the entrance of the San Sebastian Cathedral in Bacolod City.

Fr. Felix Pasquin, rector of San Sebastian Cathedral, said the sign-up station was opened at 5:15 p.m. Tuesday. Several individuals, including churchgoers, have already signed the petition.

"We hope to get more signatures especially on Sundays during masses from those who are against the pork barrel believing that it is a source of corruption," Pasquin said.

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He said the move is one way for the Diocese of Bacolod to show support to the people's initiative against the pork barrel as the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) also supports the move.

Pasquin said that any method of revising, repealing or amending the law should be done through the will of the people or through the People's Initiative.

The Executive and the Legislative branches should think of mechanisms on how to immediately disburse funds only in case of emergencies, he added.

On Monday, militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-Negros launched the people's initiative against pork barrel by holding a protest march from the Fountain of Justice to the San Sebastian Cathedral.

Alejandro Deoma, chair of Bayan Muna-Negros, said they aim to gather at least 10 percent of the total population in every district in Negros Occidental.

All over the country, the Abolish Pork Movement is launching a campaign to gather six million signatures for a people’s initiative to pass a law that would ban lump sums in the national budget.

Meanwhile, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP)-Negros Occidental Chapter is asking a President Benigno S. Aquino III to make a stand on the proposal to amend the Constitution.

Lawyer Enrique Tabino, IBP-Negros Occidental Chapter president, said they are against the Charter Change.

“The President should stop the guessing game and it would be better if he makes a stand about it now,” Tabino said.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on August 27, 2014.

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