Boulevard of broken dreams
By Joe Rivera
A million or so Filipinos marched Monday, August 26, to Rizal Park, formerly known as Luneta, to collectively show their outrage against the system of pork barrel that has been at the front and centre of Philippine politics for quite sometime. Janet Napoles, the pork-barrel queen, made sure this issue won’t die down as she continues to elude authorities. The euphoria of last Monday’s protest is over now and we’re back to base one, with reality staring down hard at us.
Even before the march, President Noynoy Aquino has already pronounced he would abolish the Priority Assistance Development Fund or PDAF, the congressional pork barrel. Although at first Aquino was for retaining PDAF because he believes that it has some benefits to local governments and other civil organizations like cause-oriented NGOs, he had to backtrack after realizing the huge swell of opposition on the eve of the people’s march. The truth, however, is he could not unilaterally make this decision on his own without involving Congress.