MANILA, June 24, 2014—Amidst the recent arrest of senators Ramon Revilla, Jr. and Jinggoy Estrada on plunder and graft charges connected to the P10-B pork barrel scam, the Church People’s Alliance Against Pork Barrel (CPAPB) declared June 25, Wednesday, a National Day of Prayer and Vigilance, specifically for the pork barrel issue.
“We call on the faithful to gather in Plaza Miranda on June 25 at 4:30 p.m. Let us pray and add our voice [to] the righteous clamor of the people to abolish pork,” announced Nardy Sabino, CPAPB spokesperson.
The national day of prayer and vigilance will set the stage for the people’s initiative which aims to do away with the presidential and congressional “privileges”.
“This [people’s initiative] will give voice to the otherwise voiceless people and will enable them to have a stronger impact on the legal procedures, especially that Congress and Senate members have been involved in corruption,” Sabino explained.
Groups from various sectors and religious denominations pushing for people’s initiative will meet to pave the way for the People’s Congress scheduled in August.
“While we laud the declaration of the Supreme Court on the Priority Development Assistance Fund [PDAF] as unconstitutional, we remain vigilant that the same ruling be declared over the disbursement acceleration program (DAP), touted as the ‘president’s pork’,” said Sabino.
Sabino also resented the special treatment being given to Janet Napoles, who had been dubbed the “Pork Barrel Queen”.
“Revilla fares better than those who suffer the loss of social services due to corruption,” added Sabino.
The CPAPB, in its advice to the faithful, stressed, “We cannot remain idle or numbed. We are witnesses to the people’s will for change that has evolved into various forms of actions. And we pursue this call for justice until all guilty are made accountable.”
Sabino encourages the people to offer an evening mass, prayer or any symbolic gesture.
This simultaneous, nationwide action will also be a prelude to the education-signature campaign in passing the bill on the “People’s Initiative to Abolish the Pork”. (Raymond A. Sebastián)