Editorial: The next anti-pork gathering-A A +A
Thursday, September 5, 2013
THE movement calling for the abolition of the pork barrel system has taken an interesting turn.
After the successful “Million People March” to the Luneta (in Cebu, it was a march from Fuente Osmeña to Plaza Independencia), another anti-pork gathering has been set on Sept. 11 at the Edsa Shrine. Some Cebuanos are pushing for a “Fuente Ta” version of that gathering.
But unlike in the initial anti-pork salvo, the Sept. 11 prayer vigil at the Edsa Shrine is being threatened by intrigues and objections. Rumors are being spread that the activity is being used by the Aquino administration to attempt to control the anti-pork movement.
Meanwhile, the woman who coined the “Million People March” phrase for the Aug. 26 anti-pork rally at the Luneta has dissociated herself from the Sept. 11 activity.
Peachy Rallonza-Bretaña links Sept. 11 with the birthday of former president Ferdinand Marcos, whose rule invited descriptions like “dictatorship” and “kleptocracy.” She also objects to the use of the Edsa Shrine for the activity as this would affect traffic in the area.
Interestingly, the intrigues in the Cebu version of the Aug. 26 anti-pork rally came even as the activity was going on, with some of the participants claiming that the rally was “hijacked” by pro-PNoy groups. The complainers even attempted to hold their own “lightning rally” and used the media to express their dissatisfaction.
The intrigues and objections can therefore be partly blamed for the seeming loss of momentum of the anti-pork protests. The Sept. 11 activity has yet to generate the same enthusiasm that the first anti-pork protest sparked. Which is unfortunate for a
nascent movement like this one.
Then again, we may have exaggerated the potentials of a “leaderless struggle” led by so-called netizens. It now looks like the spontaneity of the undertaking may have been a bane. “Leaderless” rhymes with “directionless.”
Will the anti-pork movement fail to lift off and end up crashing because of its organizational limitations? That’s too early to say, of course. Besides, legitimate protests do have a capacity to surprise analysts, especially the arm-chair types.
So let’s see first how the Sept. 11 gathering will unfurl.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 05, 2013.