Militant ‘zombies’ storm Congress

Ben Nabong
Militant ‘zombies’ storm Congress
Activists march to the House of Representatives to protest the pork barrel system and the accommodation of 'errata in the budget, which some lawmakers suspect are midnight insertions

MANILA, Philippines—Protesters dressed as monsters, zombies, and other ghastly creatures marched along Batasan Road toward the House of Representatives on Wednesday, October 29, ahead of All Souls’ Day, to express their opposition to government officials’ discretionary funds.

They also called out lawmakers for accommodating the 269-page “errata” in the proposed 2015 national budget that the Department of Budget and Management submitted after the lower house had ended the period of amendments.

Some party-list lawmakers suspect these errata are midnight insertions.

The House of Representatives approved on 3rd and final reading the proposed P2.606 trillion budget for 2015. The budget bill, which awaits approval by the Senate and the bicameral conference committee, allows Malacañang to declare “savings” in any agency at any given time of the year. It also represents the largest budget to be approved in the lead-up to a national election.

The estimated 100 pre-Halloween protesters in the “KataKURAKOTan 2,” also called the 2015 budget the “death budget.”

ZOMBIE. A participant of the KataKURAKOTan 2, a pre-halloween parade of militant activists.

Health workers also joined the protest to denounce the planned privatization of government hospitals.

Gabriela representatives Luz Ilagan and Emmi de Jesus met the protesters outside the House of Representatives building. They, too, called the House-approved budget as “death budget,” supposedly because it would deprive the poor and marginalized sectors of basic social services such as health, housing, and education.

'DEATH BUDGET.' Gabriela women's partylist reps Luz Ilagan and Emmi De Jesus joins the protesters outside the gate of the Batasan complex.


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