President Benigno Aquino III yesterday vowed to do everything possible in his power to bring to justice the scammers and those who benefitted by misusing the Priority Development Assistance Fund, also known as the pork barrel fund of the lawmakers.
In his speech during rites commemorating the National Heroes Day at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City, the President said he will ensure that misuse of the PDAF will never happen again.
He called on all Filipinos to join government efforts to implement stricter measures in the disbursement of the fund to further prevent others from being tempted to use it for personal gain.
Rep. Alfredo Abelardo Benitez (Neg. Occ., 3 rd District) yesterday also said a very clear message and demand for reforms were evident in yesterday's anti-pork rallies throughout the country.
“The people have had enough”, he said.
“As I have always advocated, a new mindset should replace our political way of life. We must strengthen our public institutions that provide basic services,” he said.
Benitez stressed the need to veer away from patronage politics and a system that provides politicians with the means to perpetuate such practices.
Bacolod Rep. Evelio Leonardia said the rallies yesterday tell us that democracy is very much alive.
“We respect the sentiments of all those who joined the rallies. I feel that with the strict measures taken by the President, this is one kind of pork that has no more cholesterol,” he said.
With all the attention and outrage shown by the people, that will force transparency and accountability in government, he said.
“We must see to it that a thorough investigation is done on all the abuses on how the pork was used all over the country, including, of course, Bacolod,” Leonardia said.
Benitez and Leonardia were the only solons from Negros Occidental who responded to a question from the DAILY STAR on their reaction to yesterday's rallies.*CPG