By John Rizle L. Saligumba
DAVAO CITY — Davao journalists are leading the call for Davao’s version of the one-million people march against pork on August 26 to call for the abolition of the pork barrel or the now infamous Priority Development Assistance Fund or PDAF.
Unlike City Councilors who said they refused the abolition of pork,journalists—editors included– are making a stand as citizens and opinion-makers.
Mindanao Daily Mirror managing editor Jon Joaquin encouraged people to run barefoot in the march from CM Recto Street’s Freedom Park. to Rizal Park in San Pedro Street.
“Anyone (who) want to do a short — as in short — barefoot run with me from Freedom Park to Rizal Park starting at 8:30 am on August 26? That’s just one kilometer so that those who aren’t used to barefoot running can still participate. You can wear tsinelas if you want. Basta, no running shoes,” said Joaquin in a Facebook post.
“I just want to make it clear, though, that barefoot running isn’t a sacrifice. It’s actually the best way to run,” he added.
A Facebook Event Invitation was created by Joaquin with Nico Alconaba, Mindanao Bureau Chief of the Philippine Daily Inquirer and SunStar Davao Editor-in-Chief Stella Estremera. Some 173 people have already confirmed their attendance.
The turnout would surely increase in the coming days as the group has invited around 2,600 journalists and friends.
The media too, like most netizens and ordinary folks, are appalled with how the national budget is being siphoned to corruption by Congressmen and Senators through PDAF, also known as pork barrel.
Dodong Solis, radio commentator of Radyo ni Juan network said, “Oo, suporta ta journalist sa million people march karong Lunes tungod kay ang isyu sa iskandalo sa pork barrel ug ang dakong kurapsyon sa kwarta natong mga Pilipino dili man bulag sa mga isyu’ng kurapsyon nga adlaw-adlawng giexpose sa media – gawas pa dugay na nato nga giduso ang FOI aron makatabang nga masanta unta sa bilyon-bilyon nga gibulsa sa mga politiko gikan sa kaban sa nasod. (Yes, we journalists should join the million march on Monday because the pork barrel scandal and corruption of the Filipino’s money is no different from the issues we the media have exposed every day. This is aside from our call for the Freedom of Information bill to uncover the billions being pocketed by politicians from the nation’s coffers).”
Alconaba has even started printing shirts for the march with the slogan “Makibaka huwag magbaboy (Fight, don’t be a pig)”, a pun on an activist slogan “Makibaka, huwag matakot! (Fight, be not afraid!)”.
A series of exposes revealed 23 legislators including Davao City’s Third district Congressman Isidro Ungab siphoned 10 billion pesos to fake NGOs headed by businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles.
Rep. Ungab denied the claim saying he had reports to prove his PDAF went to legitimate beneficiaries.
The Makabayan progressive bloc in the House, which includes Davao-based activists Bayan Muna’s Atty. Carlos Zarate and Gabriela Women Party’s Luzviminda Ilagan are calling for the aboliton of the PDAF and rechannel the funds to more social services.(John Rizle Saligumba/davaotoday.com)august 26 against pork, davao august 26, million march august 26, pdaf, philippine development assistance fund, pork barrel, pork barrel fund