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Position Statement on No to Pork, Yes to FOI!

Given the recent issue of Napoles' P10B Pork Barrel Scam, it is clear that the clamor for justice and accountability from our government has yet to be answered. The abuse of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) should challenge the government further to uphold transparency so as to end corruption, and restore public trust.

The purpose of the PDAF, ideally, is to be allocated to so-called priority projects, which are significant, yet small-scale in nature. These projects, apart from programs done in a bigger scale by national agencies, are to be implemented in congressional districts in the forms of education, healthcare or even infrastructure. However, the privilege that PDAF offers, as highlighted by the Napoles case, is often the source of corruption by our officials as we know it. 

The PDAF has created a system for corruption to thrive from generation to generation. Resolutions to exempt the pork barrel from audit have been passed before, showing how there is great need for this system to end once and for all. Abolishing the pork barrel can move us forward to what truly is the "tuwid na daan", and further into that just and humane society that every citizen of this country is longing to see. It is high time that the government hears loud and clear the clamor of Filipinos reclaiming the power they have vested upon their officials, and ending the impunity that has been so long thought of as crowned upon them.

The demand from the government, especially the Senate and the Congress, should be to take action on the side of the Filipino people. As much as government agencies can work together to hopefully investigate the Napoles scam, so can they eradicate the possible resurfacing of issues such as the use of public funds for personal gain once again. There is an opportunity to begin the movement towards a transparent government by enacting the People's FOI, and ultimately, abolishing the pork barrel. 

If the will of the people is justice, then justice is not an option to be merely set aside. No to Pork. Yes to FOI!

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