Thursday, September 12, 2013

Bulakenyos walk for pork abolition

Photo by Rommel Ramos

MALOLOS CITY—About 800 Bulakenyos led by church leaders joined a unity walk here Wednesday in support of the Edsa Tayo prayer rally calling for the abolition of all forms of pork barrel.

Organized by Bulacan for Truth, Justice, Accountability and Meaningful Change movement (BuTJAM) in cooperation with Promotion of Church Peoples’ Response (PCPR), the unity walk started at the Bulacan University (BulSU) to the historic Barasoain church.

A support activity to Edsa Tayo, the unity walk turned prayer vigil is joined by priest, pastors from other religious groups, nuns, students and civic leaders in the province.

Participants called for the abolition of the pork barrel system, hold accountable those that were involved with the corruption and plunder of nation’s coffers, and re-channel the fund to social services. Father Rolando De Leon, the main convenor of the group explained the issue of the pork barrel “is an issue of morality and social justice.”

He added “in expense of the Filipino people that suffer from the budget insuffi ciency in social services like education, health, housing and other basic services, our lawmakers in cooperation with Janet Lim-Napoles, pocketed our money. They have liabilities to the people, they have to be punished.”

The same was echoed by Father Anacleto Ignacio, the secretary general of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) Bulacan chapter.

“The whole pork barrel system, not just the congressional pork but also the fatter presidential pork, should be abolished,” Ignacio said.

He stressed that “the P1.4-trillion presidential pork barrel alone, if justly allocated to promote peoples’ welfare, can lay down the condition to national industrialization and genuine agrarian reform that could solve the decade-long problems of the society.”

For her part, Sha De Jesus of the BulSU student council called for the realignment of pork barrel funds to social services like education.

De Jesus said, “our government is quick in creating schemes that aggravate our plight, such as implementing the Roadmap to Public Higher Education Reform (RPHER) that intensifi es state abandonment in SUCs through commercialization and paving the way for amalgamation and privatization but was unhurried in addressing the exact problem of the society.”

The group concluded their vigil shortly before lunch yesterday, but not after vowing to conduct similar activities in the next few weeks. “This is just the beginning,” said De Leon noting that the activity is just a kick off for similar actions in other neighbouring provinces of Bulacan with aim of spreading awareness on their call to abolish pork barrel.

De Leon also called for the ratifi cation of the proposed Freedom of Information Bill noting that publication of local and national government budget and programs on the internet are not enough.

He said that there are other information that are being withheld from the people.

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