Cayetano backs 'People Power' vs pork
MANILA - Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano on Friday said he will not join Monday's protest against the alleged misuse of pork barrel funds despite his own call to abolish the pork barrel.
"Suportahan po nating lahat yung Lunes para makita ng lahat ng legislators. Tingin ko po dapat hindi pumunta mga pulitiko pero buong puso ko pong sinususportahan mag People Popwer ang ating mga kababayan na ipakita na yes to projects sa buong Pilipinas na walang anomalya but no to pork barrel," he told ABS-CBN's "Umagang Kay Ganda."
A day of protest against the alleged misuse of public funds will be held on Monday, August 26, coinciding with the National Heroes’ Day.
The protest, dubbed "A Million People's March to Luneta,” aims to show public outrage over the misuse of lawmakers' pork barrel.
"That's what a lot of people are looking at August 26 for. It's a venue for them to just vent. Let’s have a day of venting our anger but also a day to think about constructive ways to deal with this,” said Vince Lazatin, the executive director of the Transparency and Accountability Network (TAN).
Groups and individuals joining the protest are not in favor of suspending the pork barrel of senators and congressmen. They want it totally scrapped and those involved in the fund misuse put behind bars.
On Thursday, Cayetano personally filed two resolutions: one seeking to abolish the pork barrel system, and the other, to appoint former Sen. Panfilo Lacson as special investigator in the probe on the priority development assistance fund.
"I want to take personal responsibility and make this really a crusade. I think the time is now. I think there's a real good chance na ma-abolish talaga ang pork barrel," he said.
"All the senators and congressmen are feeling the people's clamor na i-abolish 'to," Cayetano added.
In Senate Concurrent Resolution 196, Cayetano cited the P10-billion pork barrel scam and a Commission on Audit report showing that more than P6 billion in PDAF went to questionable nongovernment organizations.
"The continued presence of the PDAF in the National Budget is viewed by the public as an unwillingness of the legislature to address the many abuses and instances of corruption in the system and an unwillingness to heed the voice of the Filipino people for dramatic change," the resolution states.
If it is approved by both houses of Congress, Cayetano's concurrent resolution would have the effect of a law. He said this would guarantee that the PDAF will cease to exist in the 2014 national budget.
Sen. Francis Escudero, meanwhile, filed Senate Resolution 193 also to call for the scrapping of the pork barrel system.
Sen. Teofisto Guingona III, who will lead an investigation next week on the alleged misuse of the PDAF, believes lawmakers can still perform their jobs without pork.
"Remember always that senators are supposed to be lawmakers, and therefore ang pangunahing layunin namin, gumawa ng batas," he said in an interview.