“Government is fooling the students and the people when [President Benigno Aquino] said that government has no more fund for education, when he just distributed it to his political supporters,” said Arian Jane Ramos, Alyansa ng mga Aktibong Kabataan sa UP Mindanao (ANAK UP Min).
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“Government corruption is an injustice to the people. Taxpayers are paying them salaries at 80 to 90 thousand monthly while it will probably take a lifetime for an impoverished farmer and lumad to earn it,” Paracha said.
Members of the University of the Philippines Mindanao Student Council held discussion circles in the campus before leading students to the anti-pork barrel rally on Wednesday afternoon. UP is one of the 79 state universities and colleges (SUCs) that had its budget slashed for 2014. Thus, the UP community is up in demanding the scrapping of congressional pork and presidential special funds and have them re-channeled to education. (davaotoday.com photo by Kenneth Jean I. Millondaga)
Bayan Muna Representative Atty. Carlos Isagani Zarate (center) stressed the need to abolish both the legislative PDAF and presidential “pork” or special funds in order to stop the culture of patronage politics. Joining Zarate is Asst. Deputy Ombudsman for Mindanao Atty. Rodolfo Elman (second, left), teachers of Ateneo de Davao University and anti-corruption advocates during Wednesday’s forum on pork barrel held at Ateneo de Davao University. (davaotoday.com photo by Barry Ohaylan)
Grim, stiff-lipped, agitated are all written in the faces of these youth over Congress’ misuse of public funds at the expense of lack of budget for education. The Youth for Accountability and Truth Now (Youth ACT Now) led around 800 youth and students in Wednesday’s march rally from Rizal Park to Freedom Park. (davaotoday.com photo by Ace R. Morandante)
An elderly lights a candle at Davao City’s Freedom Park along Roxas Avenue and CM Recto on Wednesday’s nationwide action for the abolition of Congress pork barrel and the president’s special funds. The candle lighting was the culmination of two events – the Youth for Accountability and Truth Now (Youth ACT Now) rally and a forum at Ateneo de Davao University on the pork barrel system. (davaotoday.com photo by Ace R. Morandante)
Groups in Davao City will hold simultaneous activities in line with Wednesday’s “Edsa Tayo” prayer rally and Friday’s protest march.
A University of the Philippines professor has offered a formula “for a more systematic” abolition of the pork barrel system: abolish political dynasties.
“It is not the job of congressmen to impose and implement projects such as scholarships; rather these belong to the CHED and DOH,” said Kenneth Renegado, a scholar of the Gabriela Partylist, who is also the president of the USEP League of Class Mayors.
“We want our money back. Re-channel the money to government agencies since the sole task of the legislative body of the government is just to create laws and we don’t need to transfer our addresses to the other districts just to win a scholarship from a congressman.” said Mariel Moralde, spokesperson of Anakbayan.