Million People March gathers 2,000-A A +A
Saturday, October 5, 2013
MANILA -- Despite the growing outrage of the public over the misuse of the taxpayers' money, only around 2,000 showed up at the second Million People March rally held at the central business district of Makati City.
According to police authorities, the event managed to gather around 2,800 protesters around 6 p.m. The program started at 3:30 p.m.
Here’s a video taken during the rally:
Video by Kathrina Alvarez
Present in the second protest against the pork barrel are whistleblower Jun Lozada, political activist "Juana Change," human rights advocate Harry Roque, and other artists and celebrities.
Protesters were entertained with several performances from bands throughout the program. Among those who sang against the pork barrel are the Tres Marias composed of Lolita Carbon, Bayang Barrios and Kookie Chua.
The group called Scrap Pork Network said the Million People March aims to tell the government three things: 1) scrap the pork barrel system, 2) account for all the pork funds spent, and 3) investigate and punish those who have misused their pork.
"The pork barrel scandal goes beyond the Napoles scam. We Filipinos must sustain our demand on the government to show its determination to prosecute and punish not only its political enemies but also its own allies and appointees involved in the misuse of discretionary funds," the group said in a press statement.
The pork barrel refers to the priority development assistance funds (PDAF) allocated to senators and congressmen. In the House-approved budget, the PDAF as a lump sum item was removed following the public's demand to scrap the pork barrel system.
However, under the new guidelines, members of Congress can still propose infrastructure projects for the districts they represent.
The PDAF became a controversial item in the budget after businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles supposedly channeled the pork barrel funds of lawmakers to non-bogus organizations (NGOs).
Senators Jinggoy Estrada, Juan Ponce Enrile, and Bong Revilla have been charged with plunder, along with Napoles, for allegedly pocketing millions from their PDAF. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)