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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, September 5, 2013
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No Tipon Sept. 11 rally
BY CARLA GOMEZ

The Tipon-Negrosanon Pork Barrel Untaton group yesterday announced on its Facebook page that they are not organizing a rally on Sept. 11.

However, it said its members are closely monitoring the developments in the surrender of alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Napoles, and continue to pray for the healing of the nation.

Bishop Vicente Navarra yesterday also said the Diocese of Bacolod is not staging a rally on Sept. 11.

This was in reaction to news that the Archdiocese of Cebu is leading a rally against the Priority Development Assistance Fund, or pork barrel, in Cebu on that day, and of a possible mass action being organized in Manila.

But Malacañang on Tuesday said it was clueless about a rumored protest action being planned for Sept. 11 in Metro Manila.

“I really don’t know who made the plan…I understand that the organizer of the first Million People March, Peachy Bretaña, disowned this second march. But, again, this is a public assembly so…everybody has the right to freedom of expression,” presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said in a press briefing.

There are rumors that supporters of the Arroyo administration and the United Nationalist Alliance are behind the “Edsa Tayo” protest on Sept. 11, which marks the birthday of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, but Lacierda refused to comment on the matter.

Tipon, that staged a rally on August 26 in Bacolod along with the rest of the country to call for the abolition of the pork barrel fund, said in its statement yesterday the actions of its members will always be guided by their love of country.

“We are not organizing any rally or march on Sept. 11. We are ordinary citizens who have to make a living, send our children to school and make sure that there is food on our table for our families. Wednesday is a working day and we do not want to disrupt anyone’s routine with any call to action. Taxes we have to pay the government do not observe any holiday”, it said.

Tipon said its members are “in the midst of mobilizing volunteers to raise more awareness in their demand for good governance by making sure everyone has signed the manifesto that shall always remind us of why we have all come together. We welcome everyone’s help and suggestions for the ongoing signature campaign.”

The group said it will make sure to inform everyone in advance if and when there is a need to organize another march to show government that “we will never give up on our country.”*CPG

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