FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 28, 2013
Reference: Yves Nibungco, National Chairperson, Anakbayan-USA
Filipino Youth Overseas Demand an End to Government Corruption in the Philippines, Calls for the Abolition of All Pork Barrel
We, Filipino youth and students overseas, stand with our sisters and brothers in the Philippines who are taking to the streets in the “Million People March vs. Pork Barrel”.
We join the call to abolish the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and the presidential Special Purpose Fund (SPF). For too long, these discretionary funds have been used to fatten the pockets of corrupt politicians at the expense of our people’s welfare.
We demand that the Philippine government prioritize funding our people’s needs and not their own luxurious lifestyles. In the upcoming 2014 National Budget, the Aquino administration is set to allocate P1.2 trillion ($28.2 billion) for the president’s SPF and P25 billion ($565 million) for congress and senate’s PDAF. Despite his “Tuwid na Daan” (“Righteous Path”) rhetoric, the amount of pork barrel fund has actually doubled during Aquino’s administration and government corruption has only worsened. We demand the immediate rechanneling of all these funds directly to vital social services that our poorest sisters and brothers need, such as public education, health, housing, protection and welfare for overseas Filipino workers and even flood control.
We also call for the immediate, independent, and thorough investigation and prosecution of all parties involved in the misuse of the people’s money. The Pork Barrel must be emptied and the stench of all corrupt politicians and public officials must be aired out. Investigation and trial must be led by independent entities and not the politicians in senate and congress themselves. This process must be made public and televised. We want justice and accountability.
We recognize that this is bigger than Janet Lim-Napoles and the corrupt politicians involved in the current Pork Barrel Scam. This is about a system that breeds corruption and serves the interests of the wealthiest few while neglecting the poor majority of our people. We understand that it is exactly this type of corruption that is one of the main root of the ongoing economic crisis in our homeland, which forces millions of migrants like our parents to search for livelihood in other countries.
That is why, though we are thousands of miles away from our motherland, we are one with the people in fighting against systemic corruption in the Philippines. August 26th is only the beginning. No damage control nor deception by Aquino’s public relations team can stop the growing tide of people’s anger. The entire corrupt system must be changed in order for future generations to live in a society that is truly just and free.
ABOLISH ALL PORK BARREL FUNDS NOW!
RE-CHANNEL FUNDS TO SOCIAL SERVICES!
INVESTIGATE AND PROSECUTE ALL INVOLVED IN CORRUPTION!
Active Leadership to Advance the Youth (ALAY)
Anakbayan Los Angeles
Anakbayan San Diego
Anakayan East Bay
Anakbayan Silicon Valley
Anakbayan New York
Anakbayan New Jersey
Asian American Student Union – Saint Peter’s University
Barkada – Farleigh Dickinson University
Filipino American Student Association at Oberlin College
Filipino American Student Association of the University of Washington
Filipinos Uniting Nations at Kean (FUNK) – Kean University
Filipinos Uniting Students in Other Nations (FUSION) – City University of New York, Baruch College
Kasama – University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Katipunan – University of California Riverside
Laya Migrant Youth for Change and Action, Daly City
League of Filipino Students – San Francisco State University
PEACE – City College of San Francisco
Philippine Union of La Guardia Students Organization (PULSO) – City University of New York, La Guardia Community College
Pilipinos of Hunter (POH) – City University of New York, Hunter College
Kaibigan – Portland State University
Samahang Pilipino – University of California Los Angeles
Youth of Iglesia Filipino Independiente – Diocese of Tampa (Eastern USA & Eastern Canada)
Binnadang – Migrante Canada
Filipino Student Association of Toronto (FSAT) – University of Toronto
SAMAKA – Netherlands