THE scheduled anti-pork rally dubbed as ‘EDSA Tayo’ at the Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA) on September 11 has no political undertones, according to its organizers.
Junep Ocampo, one of the organizers of ‘EDSA Tayo’ said the event is not a political rally but it would be an interfaith gathering to press for the total abolition of the pork barrel system.
“This is an interfaith gathering open to all religion. We made it clear that this is not a call for the resignation of the President. This is not a political rally,” he added.
Ocampo together with co-convenor Tomas Leonor, met with Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino on Tuesday to discuss the traffic arrangement for the rally to be held at the EDSA Shrine.
Ocampo said just like the Million People March, politicians will not be allowed to speak during the gathering which is set to start at 6 a.m. on September 11 and end at 5 p.m.
In choosing EDSA as the venue of the rally, Ocampo said they considered it because of its historical significance wherein it became the focal point of previous mass action against past presidents.
The organizers also denied reports that supporters of the Arroyo administration and the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) were behind next week’s rally which coincides with the 96th birthday of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos.
But the organizers said the date even if it coincides with the late dictator’s birthday has no meaning.
Ocampo said the rally will start with at about 6:30 a.m. mass followed by reflection concert, lecture on pork barrel, then ecumenical service, songs and performances.
In the afternoon, there will be a reading of the “scrap pork prayer,” and the lighting of the “vigil candle, and then closing songs at 5 p.m.
For its part, MMDA said they are ready to handle traffic management on the day of the rally, especially considering that it falls on a weekly unlike the Million People March which was held on a holiday due to the celebration of the National Heroes Day.
“If ever this pushes through, although details are still unclear, we will plan, prepare and do our job in coordination with the National Capital Region Police Office,” Tolentino said. RITCHIE A. HORARIO