MANILA, 26Aug2013 – Thousands of youth and students from various schools, colleges and universities and communities here and abroad joined various protests against the pork barrel system Monday.
“Today, the youth marches as one to expose and oppose the continued existence of the pork barrel system that not only deprives the people the funds direly needed for basic social services but also further endangers the already bleak future of the Filipino youth,” said Kabataan Partylist Rep. Terry Ridon.
In Manila, youth and students under the banner of YOUTH ACT NOW, the broadest anti-pork youth alliance in the country, marched early to Luneta to join other sectors of society in the mammoth protest dubbed as the “Million People’s March.”
“Members and affiliates of YOUTH ACT NOW have come full force today to strongly underscore our call for the abolition not just of congressional pork, but of the over P1-trillion presidential pork barrel that President Aquino is desperately clinging to. We believe that the youth should not remain silent on this pressing issue. Rather, the youth should be at the forefront of this fight,” said YOUTH ACT NOW Convenor Einstein Recedes.
YOUTH ACT NOW’s main delegation – led by various youth organizations including Kabataan Partylist, Anakbayan, League of Filipino Students, KARATULA, Student Christian Movement, College Editors Guild of the Philippines, and the National Union of Students of the Philippines – assembled in Liwasang Bonifacio by 9:00 a.m. and was joined by student and teacher contingents from UP Diliman, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Pamantasang Lungsod ng Maynila, Letran, Mapua, EARIST, and the University of the East, among others.
Meanwhile, YOUTH ACT NOW’s contingent from schools in Taft Avenue – including St. Scholastica, UP Manila, Philippine Women’s University and Philippine Christian University – converged in front of the Philippine General Hospital by 9:00 a.m.
Both groups marched and reached Luneta by around 10:00 a.m., and joined the program and activities of other people’s organizations present in the protest.
On the other hand, a congregation of over 500 bikers and cyclists also joined the Day of Rage vs Pork, with the cyclists converging in Mehan Garden at around 8:30 a.m., where they held a short program. The cyclists then rode to Luneta to join the Million People’s March.
By 2:00 p.m., the whole YOUTH ACT NOW contingent joined other sectoral groups and people’s organizations in marching to Mendiola to hold Aquino accountable for worsening the pork barrel system.