CHICAGO (FAXX/jGLi) – “The government – from Congress, to Malacanang, and even the courts – have failed us. The past 50 years of governing teach us a lesson: Not only has corruption worsened but also government has not been responsive to the social and economic expectations of the people. Present statistics reveal everything. What more proof is there than to see many of our countrymen leaving to work and live abroad. Sad – but this is the reality!”
Atty. Arnedo S. Valera, lead organizer of the pork barrel rally in front of the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C. Friday, Sept. 20, minced no words when he said, “If we count all the moneys that were looted by corruption for the past 50 years, they should now total trillions of pesos – more than enough to lift millions of Filipinos from poverty and bring millions of children to college! These crimes are being committed involving the high and mighty and the who’s who of the ruling elite not just now but at least since the Marcos years.”
The co-executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based Migrant Heritage Commission said, “The Philippines’ 40 richest individuals have a total net asset equal to the combined incomes of 60-Million Filipinos. The poverty threshold in the Philippines is deepening; income disparity in the country is one of the highest in Asia.
“Everyday, more than 4,000 Filipinos leave the country in search of jobs abroad. The number of jobless, homeless, those who now live by scavenging food – the “pagpag” communities – and one-meal a day families is increasing alarmingly.
In remarks at the rally composed of members and supporters of U.S. Pinoys For Good Governance (USP4GG), Valera said Filipino politicians should clean up their act.
He added, “Against this backdrop of statistics, one cannot but join the outrage generated by the latest P10-billion pork barrel scandal dramatized in massive protests in the Philippines and across the world – from the U.S., to Canada, Hong Kong, Middle East, and other parts of the world.
“Filipinos all over the world are enraged by the levels which corruption and plunder have reached, this time involving not just one but several lawmakers and a criminal syndicate of operators and bogus Non-Government Organizations.
“The P10-bn pork barrel is just the tip of the iceberg – in high places of the government will soon be revealed.”
He added, “We are even more infuriated not because this scam happened now – this time of endless calamities and armed conflicts in Mindanao – but because this is just the latest of the unbridled robbery cases being committed on the people’s” hard-earned taxes.
PHOTO CAPTION AND CREDIT
SKINNING THE PORK: In symbolic peeling the roast pig off its skin, Filipinos, who attended the rally in front of the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C. Friday, Sept. 20, take turns in skinning the politicians, who plundered the Philippine Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of billions of pesos and urged them to resign while they await criminal trials to give justice to every Filipino. Atty. Arnedo S. Valera (third from right) is shown in this photo taken by Jenny Hona. (FAXX/jGLi photo grab from the Facebook account of Migrant Heritage Commission)