MANILA, Philippines – After saying that he would abolish the legislators’ Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), President Benigno Aquino III on Monday vowed to punish the people who have abused its use.
“We will do everything we can to identify and hold accountable all those who have conspired to besmirch what is otherwise a noble cause that is PDAF,” Aquino said in a speech in Filipino at the commemoration of National Heroes’ Day at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes’ Cemetery) at Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City.
“We will not allow anyone to be manipulated to feed on the greed of a few. We strive to make sure that the mistakes of the past won’t happen again to ensure the proper spending of the people’s money,” said Aquino.
Aquino’s remarks coincided with the “Million People March” at the Luneta Park in Manila, calling for the abolition of the pork barrel, which the PDAF is popularly called.
Last Friday, the President himself called for the abolition of the PDAF.
On Monday, Aquino said that in order for the new system to be effective, “the people have to be united in being vigilant about every project that will be funded”.
“Our challenge is: Let’s not wait or be content in receiving the blessings that come from the goodness of others. Rather, let’s do all we can to fulfil at every opportunity our duty to others and to our country,” he said.