PUERTO PRINCESA City, August 14, 2014—Taking its cue from the Diocese of Kalibo, the Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Princesa went “all-out” in support of the signature drive for the people’s initiative against pork barrel.
“We’re very much all-out. If we had done it against political dynasty, we’re doing it against pork barrel. That’s why I keep telling my fellow priests that we have to support this initiative,” shared the Bishop Pedro D. Arigo over Radyo Veritas.
According to the prelate, he had invited the different parishes of Palawan to back the nationwide clamor to scrap the system, which critics believe is at the root of corruption in the country.
Arigo said he will be requesting the heads of Palawan parishes to allow use of their churches as “sign-up stations” for collecting signatures.
The Palawan prelature is composed of 38 parishes and 20 barangay (village) chapels.
The multi-sectoral alliance “Scrap Pork Movement” had earlier called on the Catholic Church in the Philippines to assume an active role in the signature campaign, a necessary step in getting a proposed bill outlawing pork passed through a people’s initiative.
The bill seeks to criminalize pork barrel, penalizing anyone using pork funds with between six and ten years of jail time.
The campaign will be officially launched by Cebu Archbishop José Palma and retired Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Reynato Puno on August 23 in a People’s Congress in Cebu City. (Raymond A. Sebastián)