- Posted August 26, 2013 by
Social media fuels massive anti-graft rally in Manila
MANILA, Philippines — After a click and a post online, Filipinos from all levels of society came together for one purpose.
At Quirino Grandstand in Manila, they expressed anger over the misappropriation of the "pork barrel"—state funds used at the discretion of lawmakers and even the president.
The call for the rally dubbed as the "Million People March" started from a Facebook post and quickly gained support from media personalities, professionals, the religious and even ordinary citizens.
Police say at least 60,000 people attended the event on Monday, with some bearing placards calling for the abolition of the pork barrel, while others wore pig masks and brought other props.
The protest came after state audit and local news reports revealed that lawmakers funneled at least P10 billion or about US$ 226 million to fake non-governmental organizations.
President Aquino earlier promised that the government will address issues regarding the fund.
PRESIDENT AQUINO: "We will do everything in our power to find those who conspired to take advantage of the PDAF's good intentions, and to hold them accountable."
But protesters ignored the statement.
Militant groups even continued their protest near the presidential palace; insisting that the pork barrel should be scrapped.
Reporting from Manila, the Philippines, I am Jeric Pena.
News Package by Jeric Pena
President Aquino Speech Clip from rtvm.gov.ph (Public Domain)