People from all walks of life gather at the Luneta on August 26 to show their indignation over the misuse of the pork barrel funds and called for its abolition. Similar rallies were held in other cities nationwide. (Photo: Raymond Bandril/CBCPNews)

MANILA, August 26, 2013—Expressing repugnance over the multi-billion scandal stemming from the appalling misuse of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF, more commonly known as the pork barrel), the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro called on Filipinos to act upon the issue and shun corrupt-ridden schemes in the government. 

In a statement signed by Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Antonio Ledesma and Social Action Director Fr. Nathaniel Lerio, the archdiocese urged the public of Cagayan de Oro to transform the present political landscape into a government that truly heeds the call of the Filipino people. 

“We are calling all citizenry to rise up for love, truth, and justice to shun the evil of corruption that debases human dignity and destroys the abundance of our land. Let us join hands to create a new culture of life and compassion that transforms our system of governance,” the statement read. 

Echoing the sentiments of outraged citizens over the illegal channeling of certain lawmakers’ pork over fake non-governmental organizations, the archdiocese criticized the scandal as a “grave immortal act” that must not be tolerated to proliferate in the country. 

“We are deeply indignant over the scam knowing that our people are barely catching their breath just to live in very poor conditions; and yet some of our legislators have the nerve to hoard the coffers of the people into their own pockets for self-aggrandizement,” it read. 

The archdiocese urged the public to show a united stand in running after personalities involved in the scam, strengthening calls to scrap the pork barrel, and delivering the social services of the government in a corruption-free mechanism. 

Aside from calling on citizens to join mobilizations organized by various sectors in assailing the pork barrel scheme, the archdiocese also lobbied for the passage of the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill to promote public transparency and accountability in the use of public funds. 

The public clamor to pass the FOI bill has grown stronger as citizens express disgust over the appalling pork barrel scam that has corrupted the government with multi-billion funds over the past 10 years. 

“Let our faith shape our social conscience and become active collaborators in the creation of a transparent, accountable, and people-oriented government that truly advances the people’s agenda for peace, security, and progress,” it added. (Jennifer Orillaza)