MANILA, August 18, 2014—-Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma is optimistic that the people’s initiative against the pork barrel system will succeed.
What motivates him to be optimistic, the archbishop said, is that he sees real willingness from the civil society in reaching the goal.
“To me I’m very hopeful, but even the fact that there is the clamor, this is itself is already growth in the people and of course its ultimate fruit would be that the peoples initiative will work, even if we can only hope for the best,” Palma told Radyo Veritas.
“It is a great improvement our people are more and more mature in the way we look at politics and governance and in the way we should try to help each other, inspire each other and criticize each other in a positive sense,” he said.
Various civil society groups banded together to gather the needed signatures for a people’s initiative to pass a legislation that would totally outlaw the pork barrel system.
Msgr. Romulo Kintanar, convenor of the Cebu Coalition against the Pork Barrel, earlier said that they are working to get the 5.4 million signatures or the 10 percent of the total voting population.
He said the bishops’ support gave boost to the campaign which also seeks to prohibit and criminalize appropriation and use of lump sum discretionary funds and mandates line item budgeting.
Last July during the bishops’ plenary assembly in Manila, Palma sought the prelates’ support for people’s initiative against the pork barrel.
The archbishop said the campaign will do well because many people today are more actively involved in the initiative to get rid of the pork barrel.
“I’m very happy, I like what is happening in the sense that many people are maturing more in their sense of being critical and discerning in trying to look at what is good,” Palma said.
The People’s Initiative Against the Pork Barrel is set to launch a signature campaign at a people’s congress in Cebu City on August 23.
Expected to attend are Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma and former Chief Justice Reynato Puno. (CBCPNews)