QUEZON City, Oct. 16, 2013—Two days after the nationwide ringing of church bells against pork barrel, around 50 members of the Church People’s Alliance against Pork Barrel, on October 14 handed over to the House of Representatives letters from the Filipino people clamoring for the abolition of the fund.

In their letters to the leadership and members of Congress, the faithful urged the lawmakers to express their firm stand with the poor and their moral mandate against the prevailing corrupt system in the government.

The group’s convenors led by Kalookan Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez with Fr. Ben Alforque, MSC, Rev. Jerome Baris of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP), and Mr. Nardy Sabino of the Promotion of Church People’s Response (PCPR), stated that they cannot remain blind when the public’s rights to necessary social services are denied.

“We cannot turn a deaf ear when the aspiration of the oppressed and marginalised for social justice reverberate the land. We cannot be indifferent to the aspiration of the people for a better society with abundant life for all,” the convenors said in their letter.

They also reiterated their call to abolish the pork barrel system, to re-channel funds directly to social services like education, health and housing, make accountable those involved in the pork barrel scam and declare the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) as anomalous and unconstitutional.

“As you prepare for the final deliberation of the 2014 national budget, let your hearts be touched by the millions of Filipino people who have entrusted to you [their hope] to make our lives better, to restore our trust to the public office, and put an end to the acts of bribery, corruption, and abuse of power,” the group said.

Present during the gathering were bishops and priests from different denominations, religious men and women from the Maryknoll Sisters, CICM missionaries, Augustinians, Baptistine Sisters (CSSJB), Sisters of Our Lady of La Sallete (SNDS, Franciscans, and members from United Church of Christ in the Philippines, Iglesia Filipina Independiente, and the United Methodist Church. (Jandel Posion)