Part 4: Million People March at Luneta

The minute this movement was started, I committed to march to Luneta on the 26th. I am apalled, not only with legislators who misused their PDAF, but also with our President who has done absolutely nothing to curb the abuses of the Pork Barrel system. President Benigno Simeon Aquino III is equally as liable. All the reports coming out center on the period of 2007 to 2009 -- during the time of GMA when then Senator Noynoy Aquino and his LP allies were no longer in the good graces of GMA. There seems to be a deliberate attempt to hide the figures of legislators who, prior to 2007, were still allied with GMA (like then Sen. Noynoy Aquino and other LP stalwarts). There is also a suspicion that the Commission on Audit did not release the figures for 2011 to 2013 -- the period when President Aquino was already in power. It is a good thing that media is already showing that the Pork Barrel Funds of Pres. Aquino is 3 times more than GMA's.

Knowing fully well that the Pork Barrel system is subject to abuse, why does the President refuse to stop the Pork Barrel system? Why do some sectors keep on zeroing on legislators who are in the opposition when, in fact, the the administration is equally liable? Leonor Briones, the Philippines' National Treasurer during the time of Cory Aquino, already said that the President himself has control of almost 1-Trillion Pesos in Pork Barrel Funds. Still, some sectors allied with the President still zero in on opposition legislators. It has been shown that the Department of Budget and Management under Sec. Butch Abad has realeased one of the biggest amounts of congressional PDAF funds to his wife, Congresswoman Dina Abad -- mother of the head of MalacaƱang's Presidential Management Staff, Julia Abad! Still some sectors allied with the President zero in on the pork barrel funds of opposition legislators who have received much less.

The President campaigned on a platform based mainly on stopping corruption in government. He was sold to the people as a crusader against corruption. Some people hold the President blameless for the Pork Scandal. I respect the opinion of these people even if such is contrary to mine. But I ask them a simple question: Why is he so beholden to the Pork Barrel system which, all of us agree is one of the root causes of corruption?!!! More than half of his Presidential term is over and yet the President has not been able to stop corruption. Miriam Santiago was correct when she stated that the Pork Barrel system must be abolished and not even 1 day later, the President comes out with a statement saying that he is not in favor of abolishing it. If he were truly intent on fighting corruption, he would have stopped it at its very root cause. I, together with a lot of people, already consider the President and his allies as part of the problem. I do not advocate his overthrow but I will be marching on August 26 against the abusers of the Pork Barrel system which INCLUDES PRESIDENT BENIGNO S. AQUINO III. Peace to all the marchers!

by Philip Nazareno

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