Aquino warned to heed call to scrap ‘pork’ or face ‘point of no return’By Jamie Elona
MANILA, Philippines – If President Benigno Aquino III won’t heed to the call to abolish the pork barrel system, history may repeat itself and people may, once again, stand up together to call for his removal from the office, an organizer of the anti-pork rally warned Friday.
“If PNoy [Aquino’s nickname] won’t do what he’s supposed to do – to abolish the pork barrel system, especially his – he will lose all the credibility and moral ascendency to further continue ruling this country,” said Fr. Joe Dizon at the Luneta Park in Manila Thursday.
He said Aquino shouldn’t wait for more people to take the protest to the street as doing so may get him to a “point of no return.”
“If ever, Aquino should not wait for a critical mass to be formed who will tell him to his face that ‘we don’t like you anymore,’” Dizon said.
Asked if he thought that another people power was possible, Dizon said everything was possible in the Philippines.
Based on experience, Filipinos “don’t wait for election to remove a President from the office if we see that what they’re doing is wrong.”
“PNoy should learn that,” Dizon said. “He will be one of the most hated Presidents just like [former President] Gloria Arroyo],” he added.
He said law makers should even support the abolition of the pork barrel system as it would remove from them the “burden” of having to talk to their constituents. The money, he said, would go directly to schools, and hospitals, among others.
“ . . . And they can concentrate in their real jobs – to make good laws,” he said.
He said more protest actions would be held in the coming weeks.
During the event, participants shouted “Pork barrel in Aquino, shift to services.”
The call to abolish the pork barrel system came after the P10 billion scam allegedly masterminded by Janet Napoles-Lim.
The protest featured a central stage and program with performers and speeches that sought to inform the people on the different aspects of corruption.
Bagong Alyansang Makabayan said participants marched from various locations in Manila before converging in Luneta.
Catholic religious orders assembled in San Agustin Church in Intramuros before meeting up with their Protestant counterparts who assembled at the United Methodist Church in T.M. Kalaw.
A similar protest, tagged as “Million People March to Luneta was held in August and another at the EDSA Shrine in Quezon City.