Church bells in Bataan to ring vs pork
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga, Philippines—All church bells in the 34 parishes of the Diocese of Balanga in Bataan province will peal at noon Friday to demand the abolition of the pork barrel and decry the misuse and abuse of government funds, Bishop Ruperto Santos said.
The bells would also be rung in the shrines of the Divine Mercy and Our Lady of Guadalupe and a chaplaincy of the Our Lady of Fatima at the Bataan Export Processing Zone in Mariveles town, Santos said in a text message sent to the INQUIRER.
“[We are sending] out our message that pork barrel should be abolished because it has become the deadly instrument of corruption. In its place, [there] should be a more effective, direct and clean way of delivering service, assistance and justice to our people, especially the poor,” he said.
Other dioceses and archdioceses in Central Luzon have not announced similar plans, although this was a national call for protests.
Santos urged Bataan residents to make the “loudest sound possible to awaken our lawmakers, our government officials, the politicians and the citizens that people’s money not spent for the good and welfare of the people is stolen money.”
Aside from the bells, citizens and good governance advocates can bang anything or honk their vehicles to join the noise barrage as long as these are safe, he said.
On Sept. 10, Santos led Masses at the St. Joseph Parish in Balanga City to decry corruption through the pork barrel system, known officially as the Priority Development Assistance Fund.
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