MANILA, June 26, 2014—Banging on heaven’s gate, members of an ecumenical anti-corruption group held a “National Day of Prayer and Vigilance” Wednesday, June 25, at the Plaza Miranda in Quiapo in a bid to get the much-slammed pork barrel junked.
“We are confident that by doing this, we can send a message that the government that harbors robbers of people’s fund could no longer deceive us,” said Fr. Ben Alforque, MSC, convenor of Church People’s Alliance against Pork Barrel (CPAPB).
He added, “This is now the time when we meet faithfully praying that the corruption through pork barrel will be abolished and that those guilty of stealing the funds be made accountable.”
According to Alforque, President Aquino’s (PNoy) disbursement acceleration program (DAP) should be abolished because it is the “fattest of all pork.”
“The ‘Daang Matuwid’ propaganda being trumpeted by PNoy does not sit well with the continuing corruption under his watch,” the priest explained.
CPAPB’s Marie Sol Villalon urged the public to never give up the fight against corruption.
She said, “It is only through the collective action of the people that a crooked system can be reformed or changed … PNoy shows no interest in changing the system … Worse, he lets elite political leaders use people’s money to increase their wealth.”
The event was supported nationwide by representatives from the Catholic Church and various Protestant denominations.
The prayer rally at Plaza Miranda started with the ringing of bells calling on the people of Quiapo to join in prayer.
In the Visayas, where a similar activity was simultaneously taking place, the “People’s Initiative to Abolish Pork Barrel Systems” expressed their solidarity with their colleagues in Manila in a mass celebrated by San Carlos Bishop Gerardo Alminaza at the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño de Cebú.
The People’s Initiative to Abolish Pork Barrel Systems, of which CPAPB is a part, is set to have its launching in August. (Raymond A. Sebastián)