- Posted August 28, 2013 by
Manila City, Philippines
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People's Protest Against the Pork Barrel System in Manila
Various groups from all walks of life converged on Luneta Park in Manila, Philippines last Monday- Aug. 26, 2013. to protest against the so-called Pork-Barrel System. The rally was conceptualized via such social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook. The rally was dubbed as "One Million March To Luneta" because its organizers hoped that about one million people will show up in Luneta. Accurate estimates put the rallyists from between 75,000 to 80,000 people. Though the rally failed to reach its expected target of one million marchers, simultaneous demonstrations sympathizing with such an event were organized all over the Philippines and even outside of the country on that day. Hence, the mass action became so dramatic for many Filipinos because many places in the Philippines became sites for mass actions against the pork barrel system last Monday.
Legislators here in the Philippines are allocated large sums of the annual national budget (about 200 million pesos for each senator and 70 million for each representative in congress) in a program called the Priority Development Assistance Fund. The said funding is termed as 'pork-barrel system' by its critics since the allocated sums are, allegedly, usually spent on ghost projects and the channeling of such funds aren't apparently transparent to the public. Many of such ghost projects had reportedly been exposed by the local media and by certain 'whistle-blowers' to the public. Many angered online activists chatted on Twitter and Facebook to organize a massive rally against such a 'pork-barrel system'.
Most of the protesters wore white and converged on Manila's largest park, Lunetea, vehemently angry at the alleged misuse of allocated funds under the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF). Protesters are demanding the total abolition of the pork-barrel system.