We, the women, youth, workers, informal settlers, farmers, farmworkers, differently abled, persons with genetic disorders and the elderly, from the multi-sectoral campaign network of the Kampanya para sa Makataong Pamumuhay (KAMP) raise our voices in unison with the sound of people’s clamor for justice on the pork barrel and budget scams.
Today we join our fellow Filipinos in launching the Kilusang Masa KONTRA TRAPO AT KONTRA PORK (KonTRAPOrk) and demand for the immediate removal of all discretionary funds from the clutches of all politicos and direct this to ensuring public well-being by providing for universal health care, quality education, living pensions for the elderly and differently abled, socialized and humane housing, access to safe drinking water, electricity, transportation and most importantly, jobs generation and livelihood opportunities.
We are the sectors who directly suffer from daily deprivation and social exclusion caused by prevalence of poverty and inequality. Yet, despite meager resources, we bear the brunt of paying taxes both on our income and on consumption of goods and services. Time and again we have questioned this condition, collectively came up with answers and brought these to the attention of the government. But time and again, many of those in public office miserably fail to grasp the essence of their being servants of the people and short-changed us with palliative and temporary solutions at the pretext of lack of funds. Now, these disgraceful TRAPOS engage in a blame game as they fight over what they did with our money as if this grand theft is a mere issue of figures in pesos, and even foreign currencies.
It is disgusting at how thick their skulls and skins have become to the extent of not knowing and not feeling that what they did with our money, they did with our lives. By denying us our own resources, they have robbed us of opportunities to get out of poverty, to address inequality, to live a life of dignity.
How the government handles these pork barrel and budget scams is equally revolting. Instead of reviewing its already questionable priorities, protecting our money from further misuse and instituting reforms in the budget process, the Aquino administration and allies in Congress have merely repackaged the pork barrel system. And it looks like they are using the tactic of misdirecting public attention by branding and exerting all efforts to prove Napoles as the scam mastermind as if she alone conceived and executed the grand theft. Meanwhile, Congress is railroading the passage of the General Appropriations Act, with the pork barrel and presidential special purpose funds remaining untouched.
Clearly, honor has become a big word for the TRAPOS who have proved themselves unworthy of public trust. It is unfortunate that we, the people, are made to pay the price for the failure of government officials to serve our interest.
We, the network of people from grassroots communities and various organizations united within KAMP, joining the KonTRAPOrk mass movement against corruption and the pork barrel system, refuse to remain victims of greed, deception and abuse of power of public officials. The power to change this situation lies in our hands. We have done this before, we can and we will do it again.
People’s money for people’s protection
against poverty and inequality!
Public funds for public services!
Makataong Pamumuhay para sa Lahat!
1 October 2013
For Interviews: Ana Maria R. Nemenzo, Lead Convenor
For Correspondence: Don Pangan, Media Liaison Staff
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