To those who were complicit in the multi-million pork barrel scam operated by Janet Lim-Napoles, don’t you dare us! To those who personally benefited from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) that is meant to benefit the Filipino people, don’t you dare us! We are the people who peacefully toppled the two-decade repressive regime of Marcos in 1986. We are the people who peacefully ousted the corrupt presidency of Joseph Estrada in 2001. We are the people who are known for resilience and tolerance but quick to act when we realize we had enough. And this time, we had enough–of corruption, of misappropriation of funds, of lies and complicity, of poverty exacerbated by the selfish acts of the few.
Corruption is a common problem especially among developing countries. Some may argue that it is an inevitable part of the early phase of democratization. But it doesn’t mean that it should be tolerated. It is a flaw to whatever ideological position the state embraces. We usually shrug off the fact that corruption is rampant in the Philippine politics, from the barangay-level positions up to the highest government seat. It was a bitter pill we swallowed because we thought it requires a massive restructuring of state institutions, or because we are pressed with more immediate problems such as natural calamities, or because we are used to it. Or are we?
The Million People March today proves that we are not. Today, the nation unites once again for the scrapping of PDAF, the first step in eliminating corruption and, most probably, a significant move in improving the quality of life of the people as the funds that are meant to do so will now funnel through development projects and not to the pockets of the greedy few.
I may not be in the Philippines right now, but I am one with my countrymen in this protest. Here at ANU, Filipino students and staff gathered at 12:00 noon to show our solidarity. Dubbed as “Pork is for Grilling”, the shared lunch symbolizes our united call to completely scrap the PDAF or the pork barrel.
We were never used to corruption! For years we have endured the repercussions of this acute illness. And we are ready to take any action to make sure that shameless scams like that of orchestrated by Janet Lim-Napoles will never happen again. We will not think twice in eliminating the elements that perpetuate corruption. We want to ensure that our taxes are spent on where they should be. This is a
protest threat to the corrupt pigs in the government. Hear this and don’t you dare us!
Photos by: Mic Cabalfin