Who showed up at anti-pork barrel rally?

Posted at 08/25/14 2:02 PM

MANILA - Unmindful of the heat of the noontime sun, representatives from different sectors converged at Rizal Park for the protest action against pork barrel and political patronage.

Signatures are being gathered in booths for the people's initiative against pork barrel.

The initiative calls for the abolition of all forms of pork barrel and mandates line item budgeting. It criminalizes the allocation and use of lump sum discretionary funds.

Organizers believe that despite the Supreme Court decision declaring the priority development assistance funds (PDAF) as unconstitutional, the 2015 proposed budget still has what they call as presidential pork in the form of unprogrammed funds, special purpose funds, and grassroots participatory budgeting.

Convenors aim to collect 6 million signatures in one year, the equivalent of 10 per cent of registered voters.

A follow up to last year's Million People March, the event is also designed to protest proposals or moves to amend the constitution to lift term limits of elective officials.

Earlier, Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz made a quick survey of those present here and asked the people what grade they would give to President Aquino. Most of the protesters here gave the President a zero approval rating.

Mary John Mananzan of the group Babae Laban sa Katiwalian, Greco Belgica, the lead petitioner in the Supreme Court case against the pork barrel and disbursement acceleration program, and Bishop Ted Bacani all called for vigilance against pork.

Mae Paner a.k.a. Juana Change, a former supporter of President Aquino, performed a skit.

There are also celebrities in attendance. Maria Isabel Lopez and daughter Mara also spoke up against pork barrel and proposals to extend the term of President Aquino.

Lopez led the group Beauty Queens against Pork.

Kamikazee also gave a performance.

Members of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines have also joined the protest.