Anti-pork group holds picket near Supreme Court
MANILA, Philippines–Militant group Partido Lakas ng Masa held a picket near the Supreme Court in Manila Tuesday to reiterate their call for the abolition of the pork barrel system, saying that funds should be given directly to the people through barangay (village) assembly.
“Kailangan natin ng priority development funds, but we don’t want the funds na idaan sa mga elite institutions—sa Congress, sa Senate and mga line institutions. Kailangan i-diretso sa mga tao,” PLM Chair Sonny Melencio said in an interview during their picket near the SC along Padre Faura in Manila where oral arguments on the pork barrel system is being held.
(We need priority development funds, but we don’t want the funds to be coursed through elite institutions like Congress and Senate and other line institutions. The money should go directly to the public.)
This, Melencio said, can be done through the implementation of Barangay Assemblies consisting of all the residents of a village, in reference to a local government code.
He said the planning and budgeting stages for a particular project should be deliberated by the Barangay Assembly, where, he said, “every family household will be represented.”
“This is direct democracy. This is what we want,” Melencio said, noting that this will ensure that it will be the people who will decide on what the priorities are and how they will spend their funds.
It is the people who really know what projects are needed to be done in their community, Melencio said.
He used road repairs as example, saying that it has been a practice that roads are usually being repaired over and over again for personal gains.
“Matitigil na yang ganyang practice . . . pag sinabi ng tao na tapos na ang daan, ang gawin naman natin ay clinic . . . paaralan, matutuloy yun,” he said.
(This practice will be stopped. If people will say that what they need now is clinic . . . schools, these will materialize.)
“Kasi naniniwala kami . . . na pag ang masa ang kinunsulta mo, tama ang saabihin niyan. Walang pagnanakaw na magaganap kasi sa atin yan e,” Melencio said.
(We believe that if the masses are consulted they will say the right thing. No stealing of funds because these are ours.)
Melencio said it is OK with them if non-government organizations will be abolished, as long as a trusted institution will replace it.
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