PHILIPPINES - It cannot get more ironic than this.
Friday’s march against the pork barrel on Ayala Avenue in Makati City was staged in front of the monument of martyred Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. to urge his only son and namesake to listen to the call of the people to change a government system that allows rampant stealing of taxpayer money by corrupt public officials, leaving the country impoverished.
It was the fifth mass protest against the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) since more than 100,000 Filipinos marched to Manila’s Rizal Park on Aug. 26 to demand the abolition of the pork barrel.
The public anger was sparked by the government’s discovery and investigation of the supposed theft of P10 billion from the PDAF involving businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles and members of both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Napoles allegedly siphoned off P10 billion (S$290 million) from the PDAF into her bank accounts through fake nongovernment organisations in connivance with the lawmakers.
The government has brought plunder charges against Napoles, three senators and several former and current members of the House for the pork barrel scam.