Target: Peachy Rallonza-Bretaña, social media organizer of Luneta Park protest and its 100,000 demonstrators
Goal: Commend activism against misused “pork barrel” funds
Recently in the Philippines, an estimated 100,000 protesters marched in Manila to demonstrate against politicians’ corrupt misuse of funds. With the focus upon President Benigno Aquino’s administration, demonstrators peacefully marched through the city, calling for the abolition of the Priority Development Assistance Fund, or PDAF. Under the fund, money is allocated to projects for the sole reason of impressing voters, but many have been revealed as non-existent. Please show your support of this peaceful demonstration against political corruption.
Civic groups organized the protest after a state audit proved that some legislators had funneled a total of 10 billion pesos ($226 million) to non-existent projects and groups, which had been previously set up by former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s administration. Arroyo has since been charged with electoral fraud and plunder. President Aquino was elected in 2010 on an anti-corruption platform advocating fair governance, making the irony of his sustained pork-barrel spending all too clear. The march that ended in Manila’s Luneta Park showed Filipinos united without a leader, but as Peachy Rallonza-Bretaña, one of the march’s Facebook organizers put it the movement was “leader-full” in that everyone who joined had the potential to bring about change through his or her participation.
Right before the protest was scheduled, President Aquino stated that he would abolish the PDAF, but would not start the process of doing so until next year. Please support the Filipino people and their demands for an immediate end to greed and corruption.
Dear social media organizer of the Luneta Park protest Peachy Rallonza-Bretaña and the 100,000 demonstrators,
I commend your activism in the recent Luneta gathering that brought together 100,000 people in solidarity against reckless pork-barrel spending. Your message against the Aquino administration’s corrupt misuse of public funds resulted in the largest protest demonstration since his election. Even though President Aquino made the announcement that the Priority Development Assistance Fund would be regulated to end its abuse, you carried on with the assembly, refusing to settle for the President’s promise to begin regulation next year. Hopefully, the Aquino government will follow the people’s demands and immediately start the complete dismantling of the PDAF; the whole process should be finished within 100 days and no more.
Through Facebook and Twitter, Filipinos were able to band together and peacefully express their outrage at the fund that allocates taxpayer money to fake nongovernment organizations over the past ten years. You said it perfectly that even though this protest lacked a sole leader it enabled every activist to lead for change and an end to political fraud.
I support your future plans to boycott paying taxes if the demands of the Filipino people are not fulfilled by President Aquino’s administration. Please continue your activism to end corruption in the Philippines.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Mike Gonzalez via Wikimedia Commons