At least 700 Davaoeños hold anti-pork barrel protest

On Monday, August 26, Davaoeños also show their support in the nationwide movement to abolish pork barrel
DAVAOENOS UNITE. At least 700 people from different sectors in Davao City join the anti-pork barrel protest on August 26. Photo by Karlos Manlupig/ Rappler

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – At least 700 students, teachers, professionals, church people and activists, gathered in Davao City’s Rizal Park on Monday morning, August 26, to join the nationwide protests calling for the abolition of pork barrel.
A big group of protesters assembled at Ateneo de Davao University’s Freedom Park. They then marched to Rizal Park to converge with other protesters.

A short program was held to promote good governance and oppose corrupt government practicies.

Local chapters of labor groups like the Alliance of Progressive Laborers (APL) and militant groups like Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN), among other political organizations, also joined the event.

Davao was not alone as other cities in other parts of the country joined the nationwide protest.

Hope restored

Ateneo de Davao University President Fr Joel Tabora SJ explained that the protest is a refusal to “yield to the temptation of losing hope, of forfeiting our future, of living to simply bow our heads in shame.”

“We, Filipinos, do not define ourselves by the likes of Janet Napoles; we do not define ourselves by corruption; we do not define ourselves by lies, manipulation and fear,” Tabora said. 

Tabora, a vocal critic on different issues, asserted that the protest is a commitment to seize the future by exposing and opposing corruption. He also condemned the alleged pork barrel queen Janet Lim-Napoles.
“We come today to seize that future by refusing to be cowed by the magnitude of the corruption that has been recently unveiled by the whistleblowers, by the Commission on Audit, and by Napoles herself,” Tabora said.

“Her flight speaks louder than her lies. She has fled in guilt, shame and fear,” he added.

TRANSPARENCY. Ateneo de Davao University President Joel Tabora SJ calls for greater transparency in public funds during his speech. Photo by Karlos Manlupig/ Rappler

Scrap or overhaul PDAF?

Tabora said the citizens, especially tax payers, deserve to know the truth. 

“We want to know who have benefited, who have received the cuts, who are responsible for the corruption, how it all came about. We want to know if it can be cured. If not, the consequence is clear: the PDAF – the pork barrel must go,” Tabora said. 

Tabora noted that President Benigno Aquino III’s announcement of the overhaul of pork was not the position of the government when the issue was first brought out. 

“Now that millions of Filipinos are showing outrage for the extent of the scam, he has changed his tune. The PDAF must go in its present form, but a new PDAF will arise that will be better protected against misuse and [be] more transparent,” Tabora said. 

Tabora also shared his doubts about Aquino’s plans. “Pouring perfume on a stinking rat does not eliminate the rot. It is not the sweet perfume that wins, but the stench,” he said.

The protesters criticized Aquino’s P449.95-billion Special Purpose Funds and demanded a transparent report.

“The cure seems to be to do away altogether with unbudgeted, discretionary, uncontrolled, inauditable spending, to insist that the legislator legislate, and the people in the executive implement laws. If so, then the President himself is not exempt from our demand,” Tabora said. –


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