Anti-pork barrel fever spread outside Metro Manila on Monday, with demonstrations demanding an end to the scandal-tainted practice held in key cities across the country.
The rallies were smaller than the one in Rizal Park in Manila but their message was as loud: the pork barrel has to go.
People from a rainbow of sectoral organizations joined the protests in the cities of Cauayan, Santiago and Tuguegarao in Northern Luzon.
In Cauayan, the rallyists included militant groups Sentro Para sa Tunay na Repormang Pang-agraryo and Bayan.
In Aritao town, Nueva Vizcaya, multi-sectoral groups called on President Benigno Aquino 3rd to give up his own pork barrel.
In Laoag City, protesters set fire to an effigy of a pig.
In Lucena City, Quezon, close to 500 people ate boiled kamote before signing a tarpaulin with “Abolish Pork Barrel” boldly written on it.
In Legazpi City in Bicol, 500 people walked four kilometers under pouring rain to call on President Aquino to scrap the congressional Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and the Presidential Social Fund and use the money saved to improve the delivery of basic and social services.
The “Lakaw Kontra Pork Barrel” (Walk Against Pork Barrel) was led by Karapatan, Gabriela, Bayan, Piston, and members of the academe and church.
In Naga City, a protest march was scheduled for Monday afternoon to be joined by the officials of the Archdiocese of Nueva Caceres.
In Zamboanga City, hundreds of people, many carrying streamers, converged in Plaza Pershing for the “El Pueblo Unido Contra Robo” (The People United against Theft) rally.
Similar demonstrations were held in the cities of Cagayan and Davao in southern Mindanao.