Cebu priest positive over ‘pork’ fight

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CEBU City, August 7, 2014—The Cebu-based Anti-Pork Coalition expresses hope that the “Pork Barrel Abolition Bill” will pass both the “People’s Initiative” and the referendum.

On August 23, the group is set to hold a massive signature drive and a People’s Congress in Cebu City to be attended by Cebu Archbishop José Palma and former Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Reynato Puno.

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle gives a message to Filipinos during the anti-pork barrel Million People March at the Quirino Grandstand, August 26, 2013. (File photo)

With 5.4 million signatures needed—equivalent to 10% of the country’s total number of registered voters to be collected—the “anti-pork crusaders” are working double-time to ensure they will win the fight.

Msgr. Romulo Kintanar, a priest of the Archdiocese of Cebu and convenor of the anti-corruption group explained, “[Actually] the issue here is not only not getting the 10% required by law, but to see to it that once the People’s Initiative is being approved by the Comelec [Commission on Election] then it will be approved by the whole country with a majority vote, during the national referendum.”

In an interview over Radyo Veritas, he said the support of the country’s Catholic bishops is a big help in their campaign against the pork barrel fund.

Kintanar shared, “We are very hopeful because we really rely so much on the clout of the bishops to facilitate the organization of coalition groups in the districts responsible for gathering the signatures.”

Meanwhile, the Anti-Pork Coalition slammed the Aquino administration’s attempt to redefine the word “savings”.

The group believes this is one way the government intends to legalize the Disbursement Acceleration Program fund (DAP), parts of which SC had earlier ruled as unconstitutional. (Raymond A. Sebastián)

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