MANILA, 16Aug2013 – Protests against the pork barrel system snowballed Friday, as students in various universities and colleges in the country conducted various anti-corruption actions throughout the day.
In UP Manila and UP Diliman, students conducted petition signings and a “whack the barrel” protest action wherein a pig-shaped piñata was hit to symbolize the “people’s growing rage against the corruption-laden pork barrel system.”
In schools around the university belt, groups under Youth ACT Now held “porkless Friday” protests, calling for the abolition not just of the congressional pork barrel but the whole pork barrel system. The youth and student groups particularly blasted the P1-trillion presidential pork barrel, or funds under the discretion of the Executive department.
The youth groups, composed of student councils and organizations from the University of Sto. Tomas, Far Eastern University, and the University of the East, lamented that the government’s focus of attention at present is the search for Janet Napoles, thereby consciously diverting attention from the real “big fish.”
“The youth is enraged with the turn of events connected with the P10-billion pork barrel scam. The government has successfully diverted attention to the hunt for Janet Napoles, while the real masterminds run free, unscathed and unnoticed,” said Kabataan Partylist Rep. Terry Ridon.
“The investigation regarding the P10-billion pork barrel scam is going nowhere, with both houses of Congress refusing to conduct their own investigations, and the NBI mainly concerned with the hunt for Napoles. While Napoles should indeed be held accountable, the masterminds behind this scam should also be revealed,” Ridon added.
“With government instrumentalities obviously trying to ignore the elephant in the room, the youth has taken the initiative to demand accountability for corrupt politicians and the system that has bred corruption of this scale. Today we express our rage against a government that continually banks on an anti-corruption platform while pocketing huge amounts of taxpayers’ money for their selfish interests,” Ridon ended.