It all started with a whistle blower. And then another. Until the issue escalated beyond control and now, the common people are really exasperated, out of patience and very annoyed with the government. The Priority Development Assistance Fund of Congress (PDAF), better known as the Pork Barrel, is now under scrutiny and hot water and the public outcry against it became worse and worse.
We all know the issue of how businesswoman Janet Napoles had a hand in every piece of the pork pie. We all know of the fake non-government organizations that Napoles allegedly used to scam almost 10 billion pesos worth of government funds. And we definitely know of government efforts to placate the burning rage of the people in this matter. President Benigno Aquino III himself said that it is time to abolish the PDAF and replace it with something else, something that according to him, will be better.
But the people won’t be appeased. When all is said and done, they went out and showed their displeasure in a peaceful manner. It is a democratic country after all, and the voice of the people cried out to be heard.
And it was heard in a manner that is nonviolent and definitely law abiding. August 26, 2013, National Heroes Day. The people marched to a rally held in Luneta. The major points are covered in the rally. Speeches and programs conducted by different groups highlighted the fact that the masses won’t be silenced, won’t be appeased, until something is done and quickly.
And going among the people, taking their pictures, shaking their hands and sharing the moment of camaraderie and pride makes this writer fulfilled as a Filipino. For we as a people have once again found something to fight for, something to be pleased about, something that we as a people lost: our sense of pride.
May that pride carry us onward to new and better things! May we never lose again the sense of vigilance as well as we go forward to fight the good fight. And above all, may the actions of the people undertaken on this fateful day never be forgotten.