Cebu’s march vs. pork expected to draw 8,000-A A +A
Monday, August 26, 2013
NO ROAD will be closed, but about 200 police will be fielded to watch over the rally this morning in Cebu City for the abolition of congressional pork barrel funds.
The Movement for a Livable Cebu (MLC), the rally’s coordinator, expects about 8,000 participants for the rally, which will begin at 7 a.m. in Fuente Osmeña and proceed to Plaza Independencia.
Executive Director Atty. Rafael Yap of the City Traffic Operations Management (Citom) said there’s no need to close Osmeña Blvd. or its surrounding roads, considering the rally will start early in the morning of a holiday.
At least 200 police personnel will be deployed for the half-day activity, said Cebu City Police Office Director Noli Romana.
He said the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 will also prepare one platoon as a stand-by force, if needed.
“We will check, if there are too many participants for the 200 police personnel to handle, then we will deploy addition forces,” said Romana.
Plans for the rally in Metro Manila and other key cities nationwide were hatched amid reports that billions of public funds had been given to bogus non-government organizations allegedly set up by Janet Lim-Napoles. These resources were drawn from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of senators and congressmen.
“We have to stop the abuse of the pork barrel. If the PDAF will be abolished, the funds will not get lost but will be integrated with the General Appropriations Act,” said Marc Canton, lead convenor of the MLC.
After the 8 to 9 a.m. mass at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral today, the parishioners will go directly to Plaza Independencia to join the rally, said Canton.
Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, he said, has instructed all parishes to join today’s rally.
Canton said the original plan was to hold the protest rally in Fuente Osmeña but they changed their minds because the park can accommodate only 3,000 people.
The MLC is a multi-sectoral group composed of 30 core members and about 4,000 supporters.
The MLC and Citom’s Yap met yesterday to finalize preparations for the rally.
While there will be no road closure, Yap warned road users there might be minor inconvenience because of the march from Fuente to Plaza Independencia.
Participants will occupy one lane of the two-lane road from the rotunda to the plaza.
In a media advisory, the MLC assured that the protest will be peaceful.
“Also, this will serve as a rally of every Cebuano demanding the punishment of those corrupt officials and private individuals like Janet Napoles and their cohorts who were behind the P10-billion pork barrel scam,” the group said.
Aside from the MLC, the activity will be participated in by Sanlakas Sugbo, Freedom from Debt Coalition, Alliance of Progressive Labor, Partido Manggagawa, Kilusan Para sa Pambansang Demokrasya and other local and sectoral organizations.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 26, 2013.