MANILA, August 26, 2013—Imagine the whole Luneta singing “Pananagutan” in unison.
The sight might have caused goose bumps as the Million People March to Luneta served quite reminiscent of the historic People Power Revolution of 1986 where the influence of citizens reigned supreme over any form of power.
Led by Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, the sea of protesters who flocked Luneta on Monday sang the church song “Pananagutan” as a form of spiritual protest to those involved in the multi-billion pork barrel scam that has robbed the country’s coffers with appalling amounts for the past 10 years.
The outraged citizens who joined the “pocket picnic” expressed jubilation upon seeing the cardinal take part in the citizen-led initiative that calls on the government to abolish the corruption-ridden pork barrel scheme.
In a short statement, Tagle called on the public to regard the poor with love and concern by listening to their call.
“I encourage everyone to see, heed the call, and love those who are poor and exploited like our own brothers and sisters. Let us feel the beat of our country’s heart. Listen to the voice of the Lord,” Tagle said in the vernacular.
The prelate also urged Filipinos from all walks of life to prove the dignity and integrity of their race by expressing utmost concern not only to one’s neighbors, but as well as to the country and to the environment.
“Within ourselves, our families, and our brothers and sisters…to whatever part of the world we may be, let us prove that the Filipino is a dignified and noble race,” he said.“Dignified because we fear the Lord, respect human life, give importance to our neighbors, love our country, and care for our environment,” Tagle added.
“The dignified Filipino shall reign. Our systems and policies must all lead toward heroism,” he added, noting the call in time for the celebration of the National Heroes Day.
Approximately 100,000 individuals joined the Million People March in Luneta to express the abhorrence of the Filipino people over the appalling misuse of public funds in the government.
The protesters—composed of sectoral and religious groups, students, professionals, and concerned Filipinos from all walks of life—condemned the multi-billion scandal springing from the channeling of lawmakers’ pork barrel to dubious non-governmental organizations. (Jennifer Orillaza)