Solidarity Message on the October 4, 2013 Rally

It is good that the people’s indignation against the betrayal of our lawmakers through the pork barrel is brought to the business district of the land.  The efforts of the business sector to help bail out this country from economic malignance to prosperity goes to waste if those in positions of government have nothing in their heads but to tinker with people’s taxes.  The business community should all the more demand an accounting from government being taxpayers in their individual and corporate capacities.

Certain quarters say that credit be given to the President for the “daang matuwid”.  Certainly, it is under his watch that these scandalous and grossly evil practices of those in national position have been exposed.  Yet, the Presidency itself is now being called to explain fund disbursements before and after the Corona impeachment trial.  The more government officials and politicians seek to justify those releases and the pork barrel the more the truth is exposed – of a deliberate scheme to use people’s taxes for political patronage and the same willful attempt at cover up.

Many questions need answers.   Why would the President’s Office have to its discretion a reported almost Php1Trillion?  Why do politicians insist on their “services to their constituency” when everyone knows such funds can be best used through the proper agencies in the long term?  The best service these politicians can do is to study hard to enact just laws, repeal unjust ones and ensure the posterity of this republic.  Why perpetuate a system that espouses patronage, division and misery.

The National Council of Churches in the Philippines is one with the people in exorcising this country of corrupt officials.  We are one with the call for the abolition of the pork barrel system.  Changing its name does not make it any less right and just.  It is evil as our politicians show their excessive love for money and power.  Pork barrel for lawmakers including that of the President and Vice President must go.  Channel those funds to education and health – crucial elements to a vibrant country.

Let us not rest until the pork barrel is expunged from our system.  We call on the media to make it their commitment to future generation to lead in exposing the lies and the cover ups so that the truth may prevail.  We urge faith communities to persevere in the quest for justice and peace.    This country is God’s temple, too.  Rage, pray and act that the oikoumene be a sign of God’s presence and providence and not a den of thieves. (cf. Luke 19:46) Pray and act for a transformed social and political order.   May God help us.