Movement for Noy reforms launched
Rosalinda L. Orosa (The Philippine Star) - August 26, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Cabinet members led by Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II and presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda were in attendance as a movement supporting reforms of the Aquino administration was launched yesterday.

With the slogan “walang iwanan sa tuwid na daan,” the Koalisyon ng Mamamayan Para sa Reporma (KOMPRe) was launched as anti-government rallies were held in several cities and a people’s initiative to gather at least 5.4 million signatures to abolish all forms of pork barrel kicked off in Manila’s Rizal Park.

Roxas and KOMPre convenor Karina Constantino David denied that the movement was launched to coincide with the “Stand Up Against All Pork” rally in Rizal Park.

David, former Civil Service Commission chief, also denied that KOMPRe, consisting of civil society groups, is pushing for constitutional amendments to allow President Aquino to seek a second term – a possibility first raised by Roxas.

The speculation was fueled by the presence of Roxas, Lacierda and other Cabinet members at the KOMPRe launch held at the Ateneo de Manila University yesterday afternoon.

Several of the participants said that while they wanted the next president to continue Aquino’s reforms, they were not keen on announcing a preferred candidate at this time since they were focused on the campaign for reforms.

Roxas and David said the KOMPRe launch was planned long before groups behind the people’s initiative announced their planned activity to coincide with the first anniversary of the “Million People March” against the pork barrel in Rizal Park.

One of the convenors, Leah Navarro, said the movement was not anti-administration but rather pro-people.

Also present at the KOMPre event were Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman, Socio-economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, Aquino’s political adviser Ronald Llamas, and Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya, president of the administration Liberal Party, which is expected to field Roxas as its standard bearer in 2016.

Former tourism secretary Bert Lim was also at the gathering along with Makati Business Club executive director Peter Perfecto.

Some of the Cabinet members will reportedly push for the passage of the Freedom of Information Act and a law against political dynasties.

Apart from the pork barrel, protesters in Rizal Park and Mendiola also assailed Charter change, term extension for Aquino and his attacks on the judiciary.

Rally participants included Catholic bishops, students, artists, former beauty queens, gay rights and civic groups, judiciary employees, and members of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, #abolishpork movement, Association of Major Religious Superiors, and Scrap Pork Network.

Nuns collected signatures for the people’s initiative to demand the removal of all types of pork barrel funds and discretionary lump sums within or outside the annual national appropriation.

At the Ateneo gathering, KOMPre participants are expected to join a workshop where they will assess the progress of the 16-point “Social Contract” President Aquino made with the Filipino people when he was elected in 2010. KOMPre will also propose more reforms in pursuit of the contract.

David said they would want these proposals to reach the President. – Rhodina Villanueva, Cecille Suerte Felipe


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