Anti-pork barrel rallies held around and outside PH

Besides Luneta Park, simultaneous protests against the pork barrel were also held in other parts of the country on Monday.

ABS-CBN Cebu’s Rico Lucena said Cebu City’s historic Fuente Osmena rotunda, the venue of anti-Marcos rallies in the past, was the venue of anti-pork protests in the city. Lucena said protesters marched towards the Plaza Independencia.

In Iloilo City, ABC-CBN Iloilo City’s Bea Zaragoza said various groups held their protest actions at the provincial capital grounds. Later, progressive groups who joined the main protests proceeded to hold their own protest action.

In Davao City, ABS-CBN’s Danjo Revilla reported that more than 3000 composed of teachers, students, the religious and progressive groups converged in Rizal Park calling for the abolition of the pork barrel. They also challenged the President to scrap his own pork fund.

ABS-CBN Cagayan De Oro’s Maricel Butardo also reported that Archbishop Antonio Ledesma issued his own pastoral letter urging citizens to join the protests. He also called for the passage of the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill for transparency in government. Runners also ran around city in protest and a noise barrage was held in Plaza Divisoria.

In Cagayan, ABS-CBN’s Harris Julio said protesters from the academe, lay organizations, students, and businessmen marched from San Jacinto Church to Rizal Park. Members of the business community expressed dismay that the huge taxes they pay end up in the pockets of unscrupulous individuals.

In Zamboanga City, ABS-CBN’s Jewel Reyes said around 1500 participants from the region joined the protest rally in the city. Some of those who joined said it was time for the voice of Zamboanga residents were heard since it was reported that the alleged mastermind of the P10 billion pork barrel scam businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles has roots in the region. Businessmen also expressed frustration that their taxes were being wasted. Senior citizens also joined the rally saying the government should solve corruption now for future generations.

Filipinos also protested in different parts of the world.

ABS-CBN Los Angeles reporter Steve Angeles said protesters picketed the Ritz Carlton where Napoles’ daughter Jeane reportedly owns a unit. The protesters said corruption is draining the Philippine economy and that ill-gotten wealth in the country is allegedly being transported out of the country and into the US. Another group of protesters also held a vigil at the Philippine consulate in Los Angeles. They also called on the President to give up his own pork allotment.

In the US East Coast, ABS-CBN’s Don Tagala reported that around 200 Filipinos from the tri-state area picketed in front of the Philippine consulate in New York calling for the abolition of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and the President’s own pork. Loida Nicholas-Lewis said Philippine lawmakers must be pork barrel-free and those involved in the pork barrel scam must be investigated, prosecuted and convicted. 

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