OFWs join protests vs pork barrel
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Overseas Filipinos have expressed their support for demonstrations back home to protest corruption in the use of the legislative pork barrel.
Although mass actions are banned in Saudi Arabia, Filipinos have expressed their solidarity through social media by posting their protest photos.
In Abu Dhabi and Dubai, overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) wore white clothes in their workplaces as a sign of protest.
In Hong Kong, protesters wore red and rallied for the abolition of the pork barrel. They called for the prosecution of all involved in the malversation of the billion-peso fund.
Stan Yumang, host and program director of the Good Evening Kabayan show in Hong Kong, said: “We in HK are for the scrapping of the pork barrel. Corrupt people in the government will always find a way to fill their pockets. We are not asking for a name change for Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF or pork barrel) or for the same system to be molded into something new. What the OFWs want is for it to end.”
“Those proven guilty in participating in the pork barrel scam must receive punishment equivalent to committing treason. To gain back our trust, the government must be transparent about how they spend taxpayer’s money. We also believed that when the pork is abolished, only those with a true heart for public service would find their place in our government,” he added.
Arlene Andes based in Brussels, Belgium, told the Inquirer Radio 990 AM, that the OFWs in Europe likewise turned to social media to express their demand to scrap the pork barrel. They used Facebook to show their support for the protests.
“The OFWs are fuming mad at lawmakers who are greedy and corrupt and who are only thinking about their personal interest. These politicians do not care about the OFWs who shed blood, sweat and tears working in a foreign land just to support their families in the Philippines,” Andes said.
Jelord Vergara in Tokyo, Japan send this message: “Please fight for abolishing the pork barrel in behalf of the Filipinos working in Japan. You have our all out support.”
Engineers Jegs Certeza in Seoul, South Korea sent this message: “We abhor the deliberate immoral stealing of public funds— the nation’s meager hope for salvation. We support the public display of dismay.”
Ria Malapitan in Hong Kong demanded: “Imprison the guilty. The ordinary Filipino has been paying for the lavish lifestyle of these shameless low-life politicians for too long.”
Joyce Delovieres, financial counselor and the wife of an OFW in Singapore said: “My family has to deal with loneliness. We hope that somehow, overseas remittances will translate to better government services and projects that will eventually lead to local work opportunities. I was hoping good government would help bring back a father to my kids,” said Joyce, who was left behind to take care of their three children alone.
Last month, timed with the protest march at the Luneta Park, about 100 Filipino-American activists held their own rally in front of the posh Ritz-Carlton Residences in Los Angeles, where a unit is owned by Jeane Napoles.
The 23-year-old Napoles is the daughter of businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles, who is now detained for her alleged role in the P10-billion pork barrel scam.
Netizens noted how the young Napoles had posted photos showing her jewelry, designer shoes and handbags and Porsche cars.
Migrante International also initiated simultaneous global protests in capitals in Asia, North Africa, Canada, United States, Australia, New Zealand and Europe to demand accountability and the prosecution of all those involved in the scam.
The group also called for the rechanneling of the pork barrel to provide free, more accessible and more efficient services and welfare assistance for OFWs in distress, he said.
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