Anti-pork groups hold Independence Day rally
MANILA, Philippines–Despite the filing of plunder and graft charges against those involved in the P10-billion pork barrel scam and their impending arrest, various groups said they are still “not contented.”
Groups from different sectors will take to the streets their continuous denouncement of the billions-worth Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) racket on the day of national independence on Thursday.
Activist nun Mo. Mary John Mananzan, one of the movement’s leaders, said they will reiterate their demand to make accountable the brains behind the pork barrel scam.
“The people deserve nothing less. It has become a cause of great outrage that the administration protects its allies implicated in the pork scam,” Mananzan said.
Dubbed the “Rally for Accountability,” militant, civil and religious groups including Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC), the Whistleblowers Association, Church People’s Alliance Against Pork, Artista Kontra Korapsyon (AKSYON), University of the Philippines (UP) Faculty versus Pork, Youth ACT Now! and Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) will join the march.
Expected to deliver anti-pork barrel speeches are artists Mae Paner, aka Juana Change, and Monet Silvestre, former whistleblower Jun Lozada, lawyer Harry Roque and Archbishop emeritus Oscar Cruz.
Making a comeback from last year’s million people march in Makati City, the giant “Golden Pig” will be paraded by the rallyists.
“We carry on the fight for sovereignty and democracy as we march to Mendiola Bridge today to bring the protest at the doorsteps of the Pork Barrel King himself. He has become the main stumbling block to achieving complete justice. Aquino has become the protector of thieves and the chief proponent of presidential pork,” Reyes added.
Earlier Thursday, Aquino delivered his Independence Day speech at Plaza Quince Martires in Naga City.
In the speech, the President reiterated the importance of due process and justice, citing the recent filing of cases against lawmakers involved in the scam.
“Sinunod natin ang tamang proseso: nagsagawa ng imbestigasyon, nangalap ng mga ebidensiya, at ngayon ay nagsampa ng kaso,” he pointed out.
But Reyes denounced Aquino’s speech, saying: “Nothing in his Naga speech indicated that he would be going after his allies implicated in the pork scam.”
Charged for their alleged participation in the scam are Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, Ramon Revilla Jr. and several others involved in the intricate PDAF scam allegedly masterminded by detained businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles.