Protest vs ‘pork’ set at Edsa Shrine-A A +A
Saturday, August 31, 2013
AFTER a nationwide mass action dubbed the "Million People March" held last week, various groups are planning to hold a prayer vigil against the pork barrel system at the Edsa Shrine in Quezon City, the location of two People Power demonstrations that resulted in the ouster of two presidents.
Like the Million People March that gathered thousands of Filipinos, the protest scheduled on September 11 spread through social media networks with the support of some celebrities.
In an event page created on Facebook, organizers urged participants in the event called "Edsa Tayo" to wear black ribbons "until all those involved in the pork barrel scam are made to answer for their crimes against the Filipino people."
"September 11, 2013. Ito ay isang protest prayer vigil para alisin na ni PNoy ang pork barrel. Tayo na sa Edsa Shrine. Tayo nang magdasal at katukin ang pintuan ng langit sa ngalan ng tunay pagbabago. EDSA TAYO. Tayo na sa Edsa kung saan tayo ilang beses nang nagkaisa," it stated.
Junep Ocampo, Edsa Tayo organizer, said told ANC that prayer vigil, which starts at 6 a.m. on Wednesday, will urge President Benigno Aquino III to scrap the pork barrel system.
"It's going to be a non-stop vigil, we will not stop until the President finally scraps the pork barrel completely," he said.
Ocampo, a former media practitioner, said politicians will be allowed to join the prayer vigil but they will not be allowed to speak.
Businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles, the alleged mastermind in the multi-billion peso scam involving the priority development assistance funds (PDAF) of congressmen and senators, surrendered to President Benigno Aquino III last Wednesday following a P10-million reward offered by the government for any individual who could provide information leading to her arrest.
Several opposition lawmakers and groups criticized the government for supposedly giving Napoles special treatment after Aquino himself, Interior Secretary and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II, and other Malacanang officials escorted her to Camp Crame where she was booked.
Napoles was ordered arrested over serious illegal detention charges filed by her cousin and pork barrel scam whistleblower, Benhur Luy.
The National Bureau of Investigation, which has been tasked to look into the said pork barrel scam, are set to file plunder charges against Napoles, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima earlier said.
Malacanang said they see no problem with the September 11 rally but was concerned over the traffic it could cause along Edsa as the date falls on a weekday unlike the Million People March, which was held on a holiday in celebration of the National Heroes' Day.
"Malaya lahat mging bahagi sa ganitong aksyon. Magiging handa ang kinauukulan para sa kasiguraduhan ang trapik hindi maantala," deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said.
According to the Facebook page created for the Edsa Tayo event, close to 2,000 users have confirmed their attendance.
It was at the Edsa Shrine where Filipinos held the People Power revolutions which ousted the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos in 1986 and former President Joseph Estrada in 2001. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)