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Nation

Low turnout for Baguio's anti-'pork' protest

Artemio Dumlao - The Philippine Star

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines – Only a handful attended the Baguio City protest actions calling for the abolition of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).

At least 200 showed up at the Igorot Garden at the heart of the city on Monday morning, despite massive condemnation in social networking sites by Baguio netizens.

Street parliamentarians led by the Cordillera People's Alliance (CPA) held a program at the park calling for the abolition of all forms of congressional and presidential pork barrel, including discretionary funds.

Michael Cabangon from the Anakpawis party-list said all kinds of pork including the president’s must be junked and instead channeled to the regular budget to remove patronage and even wide corruption.

Instead of only limiting the protest about the pork,  militant groups took the chance to again challenge a fundamental change in society and chided “Matuwid na Daan” by the present administration as nothing but rhetorics.

For so many years, said Abigail Bengwayan of the CPA, “Cordillera congressmen have been receiving millions in their PDAF. But the broad masses of Cordillera indigenous peoples have yet to taste or see the development that is due to them, without our ancestral lands being plundered by big foreign and local businesses that also violate our self determination.”

We have yet to see plunderers in government actually serve their terms and the Filipino people seing justice, added Cabangon in native Iluko.  

“It even remains to be seen if Napoles and all others involved in the PDAF scam will actually be probed, tried, and aptly prosecuted,” Bengwayan added.

Both leaders of the groups protesting against pork were mum on the very low turn-out of Monday’s protests. Even the Church did not join Monday’s protest actions.

ABIGAIL BENGWAYAN

ANAKPAWIS

BAGUIO CITY

BENGWAYAN

CABANGON

CORDILLERA PEOPLE

EVEN THE CHURCH

IGOROT GARDEN

MICHAEL CABANGON

PRIORITY DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE FUND

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