Palace won’t stop people from joining pork barrel protest

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A Malacanang spokesman said Sunday it will not stop people from joining the
protest rally condemning the pork barrel on Monday in Manila.
The “Million People March” will express outrage over the
alleged wanton spending of people’s money through the Priority
Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), better known as the pork barrel.
“Everybody is free to join this protest,” presidential deputy spokesman Abigail Valte
said.
“What we actually encourage is for our citizens to take part in participatory governance and to closely scrutinize and monitor the implementation of projects that will be proposed by their lawmakers,” Valte said

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She said the Aquino government welcomes debate on the pork barrel issue.
Like what (Budget Secretary Florencio Secretary) Abad said, it is good that we have a
freewheeling discussion,” she said.
“And what is good about this is that it has sparked an interest on how the budget is crafted because, after all, it is the people’s budget,” Valte added.
Security measures were in place for Rizal Park rally, she said.
As many as 500 policemen arrived at the park as early as Sunday.
The event coincides with National Heroes’ Day, which rallyists say is a symbolic day of correcting the misuse of people’s money that starts with the abolition of the pork barrel system.

CATHERINE S. VALENTE

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