Bayan says Aquino misleading nation on pork barrel abolition
MANILA, Philippines – “Pork is still pork,” a militant group said Friday in response to President Benigno Aquino’s statement that the time has come to abolish the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) more commonly known as pork barrel.
Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) slammed Aquino for “misleading” the nation that the PDAF will be abolished saying “pork by any name is still pork,” Bayan Secretary General Renato Reyes Jr. said in a statement.
“Aquino misled the nation with promises of reform while retaining the very corrupt system of patronage politics that pork represents,” he said.
Aquino in a televised press conference said that it’s time to abolish the PDAF given the outrage it has stirred on the people.
A Commission on Audit (COA) special audit report released recently found that billions of pesos from the PDAF of lawmakers ended up in the hands of Janet Lim-Napoles, alleged mastermind of the pork barrel scam, through bogus nongovernment organizations.
“Aquino expectedly did not move to abolish presidential pork which is much larger than the PDAF, at least P450 billion by some estimates,” Reyes said.
At least 15 senators have called for the abolition of the pork barrel including minority leader Juan Ponce Enrile, who wanted it to be totally removed from all government agencies.
A public protest has been set on Monday at the Rizal Park or Luneta in Manila for the abolition of the pork barrel.
“The protest on Monday must push through to call for the abolition of all congressional and presidential pork and for accountability not just of Napoles but all officials involved up to the present Aquino government,” Reyes said.
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