Church to lead anti-pork rally

A CHURCH-LED rally to demand anew for the total abolition of all kinds of pork barrel of congressmen, senators, the Vice President, the President, and all government agencies will be held Monday.

Monsignor Felix Pasquin, rector of the San Sebastian Cathedral in Bacolod City, said they are hoping to gather not less than 5,000 participants in the scheduled rally.

Bacolod Bishop Vicente Navarra has sent circular letters to all parishes, religious schools, lay associations, religious organizations and movements, basic ecclesiastical community and renewal groups to join the rally.

The speakers during the rally are election lawyer Romulo Macalintal and Bishop Broderick Pabillo.

The participants will come from three assembly points: West Negros University, Provincial Capitol lagoon, and Lupit Church and will converge at the Bacolod City public plaza. 

The group demands not only the abolition of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) but also of the Development Acceleration Program (DAP), which was allegedly used as bribe of the President to senators to impeached former Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Renato Corona.

u201cDAP was already declared illegal and unconstitutional by the SC,” Pasquin said. 

u201cThe senators who voted for Corona's impeachment were given P50 million each, while Senate President Franklin Drilon, Juan Ponce Enrile, and Chiz Escudero were given P100 million each,” Pasquiin added.

He said that the President's PDAF that amounts to more than a trillion pesos should also be abolished after it was uncovered that part of it was bungled for the passage of the controversial Reproductive Health Law.

Meanwhile, senior citizens, Social Security System (SSS) pensioners and their families are also joining the rally to condemn SSS board lead by president Emilio De Quiros for the extravagant bonuses they are enjoying like their performance bonus.

Teodoro Tomas, president of Senior Citizens Federation (SCF) in Negros Occidental, said they are also demanding for the increase in their monthly pension with the SSS.

u201cThey were never given the increase on their pensions for so long a time already and that they have been clamor in for it,” Tomas said.

This time, he added, the pensioners should be given the increase because it's the SSS members’ money that is being used by the SSS officials for their whims and caprices. Worst, he said, the SSS contributions would be increased effective January next year.

Tomas, who is also the regional chair of the SCF in Western Visayas, bared plans that he will enjoin not only the whole SCF and organizations in the province but in the whole region that they would come up with a petition addressed to the president and to congress about their concerns against the SSS.

At present, he said there are still SSS pensioners who are receiving monthly pension at P1,200 per month, which is not even enough for their medicines.

u201cWe will come up with the stand on these issues hounding SSS,” he added.

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