Kabalens rally vs pork barrel-A A +A
Monday, August 26, 2013
ANGELES CITY -- Auxiliary Bishop Pablo David on Monday led other church leaders and individuals in voicing out their cry against pork barrel and all forms of corruption in government, expressing their solidarity with other people from all across the country.
The bishop celebrated a Mass at the Holy Rosary Parish, which was attended by hundreds, to oppose the latest controversies involving the government.
"This is just the tip of the iceberg," said David.
People who expressed their solidarity for the abolition of the priority development assistance fund (PDAF) wore white shirts and displayed anti-PDAF posters and streamers in front of the Museo ning Angeles and the Church.
The groups who converged in front of the church included Roman Catholic organizations, sectoral and civic organizations among others.
The church initiated the mass action, in cooperation with the Alliance for the Development of Central Luzon (ADCL) and Subli Taya Ing Upaya, Bie at Leguan Ning Indung Kapampangan (Subli).
David challenged and urged other parishes and churches in the province to support the public indignation against pork barrel.
He cited the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Politics (PPCRP), saying there should be uniform move to promote and advocate good governance.
"Kung meron lamang ang bawat parokya ng advocacy desk na tagapagtaguyod ng good governance it will a make a big difference," David said.
“May kapangyarihan ang mamayan sa kanilang kusang loob na pagbubuklod buklod," he added.
Government officials may get back the trust and confidence of the people if they are sincere in public service. "Ipakita muna na nila na sila ay hindi tiwali para bumalik ang tiwala ng taong bayan," the prelate said.
ADCL president Sonny Dobles said the real problem is the corruption.
The pork barrel issue is exploited because congressmen, senators and other government officials have discretion on how to spend their respective funds, he said.
"Laganap ing corruption, me spoil la reng pulitiko uling ali tala pakialaman," Dobles said.
He also urged government officials including President Benigno Aquino III to include the private sector in formulating development plans for the country and localities.
"Sana reng tau tuluy-tuluy nalang makialam. Dapat ing movement ayni pasiknangan de at maging consistent at vigilang la," he added.
People power does not end in protest and mass actions, Dobles said. "Dapat tuluy-tuluy banta ma-eliminate ing corruption, poverty, and environment destruction."
Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan for his part said that congressmen and senators should go back to their original mandate, which is to legislate laws.
The mayor said he supports the call for the abolition of pork barrel of lawmakers but not of the President as the latter also needs discretionary funds for other emergency situations like hostage dramas and problems of overseas Filipino workers.
Funds for programs and projects should be coursed through government agencies, he said.
"Meron naman tayong agencies pwedeng mag-implement ng mga projects," Pamintuan said.
Some Kapampangans also attended the mass action in Metro Manila.
Similar rallies were also held in Tarlac, Nueva Ecija and Bataan.
Million People March
Thousands of Filipinos converged in Metro Manila yesterday for the Million People March against the infamous pork barrel that has been dragged into public attention.
The PDAF is an annual fund amounting to some P70 million given to each of the 289 congressmen for them to spend on their identified and targeted projects. The senators, for their part, each gets P200 million of PDAF, a whopping 1.2 billion pesos in their gig as lawmakers of the country.
The government is allocating P25.2 billion for the PDAF distributed to both the House of Representatives and the Senate. The PDAF was initiated in 1990 under late President Corazon Aquino.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on August 27, 2013.