THE Anti-Pork Barrel Coalition in Cebu yesterday urged Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. and Jinggoy Estrada to resign as lawmakers since they are now facing criminal charges before the Sandiganbayan.
Monsignor Rommel Kintanar, the coalition convenor, said it is disgusting to see the three senators in the newspapers laughing off the cases against them.
The Catholic Church leader said it is not a laughing matter that billions of pesos of public funds have been lost to Janet Lim Napoles and the senators, while millions of Filipinos suffer from poverty.
He said it is the policy of the government to suspend officials if they are charged for graft and corruption to prevent them from influencing the case.
Kintanar said the senators should resign as a matter of delicadeza.
Kintanar also criticized the Department of Justice (DOJ) and other offices tasked to prosecute the culprits in the Philippine Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam.
“It seems the delay in the investigation (of the other suspects) is the game of lawyers and judges. If they (investigators) still have the conscience (to give justice to the people), they should fast-track the investigation,” Kintanar said during the 888 News Forum at Marco Polo Plaza.
Kintanar also considered the Development Acceleration Fund (DAF) of President Benigno Aquino III as pork barrel because it is a lump sum appropriation which is decided by only one person, the President.
The coalition wants the abolition of all pork barrels.
Meanwhile, another coalition convenor, Stella Palomo Monteno, urged the people to participate in their prayer rally against the pork barrel system at Fuente Osmeña tomorrow.
“We are a country that can afford free education and free health care services. But it did not happen because we have greedy leaders who pocketed public funds. If we want to do our civic duty, then we must join the prayer rally and express indignation,” Monteno said.
Monteno said the coalition is targeting 2,000 to 6,000 participants in the inter-faith prayer rally.