Youth groups slam VIP treatment for Napoles, clamor for pork barrel abolition anew

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Secretary to the Cabinet Jose Rene Almendras talked with fugitive businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles, husband Jimmy and lawyer Atty. Lorna Kapunan at the President’s Hall Receiving Area of the Malacañan Palace to yield herself to President Benigno S. Aquino III Wednesday night (August 28, 2013). The surrender feeler was sent by Atty. Kapunan to Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda hours after President Aquino announced a P10-million reward to anyone who can give information for the immediate arrest of the alleged brains behind the P10-billion pork barrel scam. (Photo by: Rodolfo Manabat / Malacañang Photo Bureau / PCOO)
Secretary to the Cabinet Jose Rene Almendras talked with fugitive businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles, husband Jimmy and lawyer Atty. Lorna Kapunan at the President’s Hall Receiving Area of the Malacañan Palace to yield herself to President Benigno S. Aquino III Wednesday night (August 28, 2013). The surrender feeler was sent by Atty. Kapunan to Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda hours after President Aquino announced a P10-million reward to anyone who can give information for the immediate arrest of the alleged brains behind the P10-billion pork barrel scam. (Photo by: Rodolfo Manabat / Malacañang Photo Bureau / PCOO)

MANILA, 31Aug2013 – Incensed by the “obvious Palace cover-up” on the “bogus surrender” of PDAF scam wingman Janet Napoles and the “VIP treatment” the government is giving her, youth groups under the banner of YOUTH ACT NOW – the broadest anti-pork barrel youth alliance in the country – staged decentralized noise barrages in several points in Metro Manila and various provinces Friday.

Armed with whistles, trumpets, pots and pans, youth and students, along with office employees, community leaders and the common folk, went out and gathered in several assembly points during lunchtime and at 4 p.m. today to “vent out their anger against the deceptive Aquino regime.”

“The Aquino administration is overdoing the theatrics. Mr. President, no one’s believing your make-believe story about Napoles’ surrender. We are in fact, even more enraged with the fact that one of the country’s top villain is being pampered by top government executives,” said Kabataan Partylist Rep. Terry Ridon.

The youth representative earlier expressed his scepticism over the seemingly “scripted” Napoles surrender. “If the government thinks it can fool the Filipino people this time around, sorry but your grand show has failed to do so. Who would believe such lie when we see right before our very eyes that Napoles is being treated like a high-profile dignitary rather than a reviled suspect,” Ridon said, adding that Napoles’ bogus surrender will only fuel greater public outrage over the pork barrel system.

“The youth and the people has again come out today to remind the government that we’re as vigilant as ever, and we’re watching every move the Palace is making. The clamor for the abolition of the presidential pork barrel remains, and has even intensified,” Ridon said.

Decentralized protest actions were held in UP Diliman, UP Manila, Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), Taft Avenue, Intramuros, T.M. Kalaw, Morayta and Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City at around lunchtime and at 4 p.m. today.

Urban poor groups also converged in Bonifacio Shrine in Manila then marched to Mendiola today to decry the government’s continued neglect for the plight of the poor while “literal mountains of cash flow in their own personal largesse.”

Similar protest activities were also held in other provinces, particularly Cebu, Davao, Pangasinan and Bacolod.

“As long as the government continues deceiving the Filipino people and pulling off make-believe stories to dissipate the dissent over the pork barrel system, the youth and the people will remain vigilant and ready to go out in the streets to expose such lies. As long as the presidential pork barrel system remains intact, the protests will continue, day in and day out,” Ridon ended.

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