Want to still add your voice to the Million People March?
MANILA - The organizers of the Million People March may yet see their online protest against pork barrel go viral.
The petition started by Peachy Bretana managed to get 40,000 signatures during the Million People March on Monday.
As of 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, however, the online version at Change.org had already obtained more than 11,384 signatures.
Besides Bretana's, there are also 21 other similar petitions at Change.org. One says to return the money to the people, another wants a one-time grant of P7 billion to the cash-strapped Philippine General Hospital.
Inday Espina Varona, campaigns director of Change.org Philippines, told ANC that the protest “is only the start of the sustained campaign."
"It’s a breakthrough for so many groups who worked together, much less the individuals who really don’t want joining rallies," she said.
Bretana initiated the call to converge on August 26 for the abolition of the pork barrel, which eventually led to the Million People March in Luneta.
For petitioners like Bretana, the protest did not end on Monday.
Varona explained, “the petition makes it clear that the people behind this…believe it’s not enough to scrap the [Priority Development Assistance Fund] and all kinds of pork.”
She said the petitioners want the perpetrators of corruption brought to justice.
“The biggest message, basically, is that we are taxpayers, we demand that there can be no longer unaccounted and unaudited money,” she said.
Bretana’s petition says: “Pork is not just PDAF. Pork means all modes of public spending that has little or no accountability. This includes the billions and billions of discretionary funds in all branches of government.”
It adds: “Thus, we the people, stand firm on the #1MillionMarch to launch a sustained campaign to fight pork until it is banished from Philippine politics.”
Online petitions have become a key activism tool as more people get access to the internet.
Change.org, in particular, has become a venue to engage people and add their voices to issues ranging from the mundane to the profound.
A couple of Change.org’s famous online petitions include a 22-year-old’s call to have the Bank of America drop plans to charge $5 monthly debit card fee. Around 300,000 added their voice to the petition, which forced Bank of America to scrap the plan.
Fourth graders in the US also petitioned the Universal Studios to strengthen the environmental message in the film “The Lorax.” Universal Studios heeded the call.
In the Philippines, one of the most memorable ones was the petition started by Karlo Marko Altomonte asking music icon Sting to move his “Back to Bass Tour” concert from the SM Mall of Asia Arena to another venue.
Altomonte, an environmentalist, told Sting in the petition that the venue is owned by a conglomerate that plans to uproot trees in Baguio for a mall expansion. Sting answered the call.