3,000 policemen to be deployed to pork barrel protest-A A +A
Saturday, August 24, 2013
THE Manila Police District was placed on full alert on Saturday for Monday's rally against the pork barrel fund and corruption in Luneta.
MPD Director Isagani Genabe assured there will be enough personnel to head off potential troublemakers.
"We will be fielding more than enough police personnel from the regional headquarters and different districts to augment our MPD force. Around 2,500 to 3,000 policemen will be deployed to secure Luneta and its premises," he told Sun.Star.
Enough personnel will also be stationed in other areas in Manila to foil petty crimes, said Genabe.
President Benigno Aquino III had already decided to abolish the priority development assistance fund (PDAF), replacing it with a system where projects solicited by congressmen and senators will be seen as line items in the national budget.
But the President was silent on abolishing his discretionary funds, which militant groups say amounted to P1.3 trillion for 2014.
"With Aquino not keen on truly abolishing the pork barrel, including his very own discretionary funds, there are more reasons to protest on Monday," said Kabataan party-list Representative Terry Ridon.
Other areas in the country will also hold simultaneous protests in response to the alleged misuse pork barrel fund that went to ghost projects of fake non-government organizations (NGOs) and even foundations set up by relatives of lawmakers.
In a statement, Akbayan party-list said a contingent comprised of students, women and informal settlers will jog from Kalaw St. to Luneta wherein they will conduct a synchronized dance exercise.
The group will also organize "Pinoy games" with an anti-pork barrel message. These include piggy sack race, luksong baboy, pukpok the pork palayok, pin the pig's tail and pop the pork (balloons).
The National Parks and Development Committee, which supervises Luneta, appealed to protesters to make sure the event will go smoothly.
The Eco Waste Coalition, on the other hand, asked concerned groups and individuals not to vent their anger against the corruption-ridden pork barrel by dirtying the park, which has a "no smoking, no littering" policy.
"Our righteous demand to end corruption is not an acceptable alibi to turn the park into a dumpsite for cigarette butts, food leftovers and wrappers, plastic bags and even for political leaflets," said acting EcoWaste national coordinator Aileen Lucero.
She said the public should not rely on street sweepers and volunteers to clean up the mess.
The group feared a repeat of the massive littering that marred the Christmas celebration in Luneta on December 25, 2012 that attracted some 500,000 people and generated 50 truckloads of mixed garbage as estimated by the NPDC.
Lucero said those caught littering or smoking within the park premises are to pay a fine of P500 or render eight hours' community service for the first offense, P1,000 to 5,000 fine or 16 hours of community service for second offense, and P5,000 to P10,000 fine for the third offense. (Virgil Lopez/JK/Sunnex)