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Pinoy Abroad

OFWs to continue protests against pork barrel despite PNoy's call to abolish PDAF

August 23, 2013 4:00pm
A group of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) is bent on continuing the protests they have scheduled on social media against lawmakers’ pork barrel even though President Benigno Aquino III on Friday called for the abolition of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).

The group Pinoy Expats/OFW Blog Awards or PEBA Inc. said its more than 30,000 members and Facebook fans—the majority of which are overseas Filipino workers (OFWs)—will continue showing their indignation about the misuse of pork barrel funds on social media from now until August 26, the date of the “Million People March” against pork slated to happen at Quirino Grandstand in Luneta.

In a statement sent to GMA News Online, PEBA said it is planning to show its support for the anti-pork barrel march by encouraging all of its members to change their profile photos on their social media to a picture of a clenched fist raised in protest with the words “Maki-isa! Martsa ng OFW!” underneath.

“Hindi kami mapapatahimik ng isang anunsiyo lamang. Ang grupo namin at pati na ang mga ibang OFWs ay patuloy na magpo-protesta para matanggal na [ang pork barrel] kahit sa social media. Wala man kami sa Luneta, gagamitin namin ang power ng social media para ipakita ang aming pakikiisa sa ating mga kababayan na nais nang tanggalin ang pork barrel,” the group said.

PEBA said that aside from totally abolishing PDAF, the President should prosecute corrupt lawmakers—including his allies—who benefited from pork barrel kickbacks in recent years.

According to the migrant workers’ group Migrante International, several OFW groups around the world are planning to stage protests similar to the “Million People March” in Luneta to show their support for Filipinos who want to scrap the pork barrel fund.

In a statement released Friday, the group said picket protest will be held by Filipinos in New York on August 24 to be led by the NAFCON (National Alliance for Filipino Concerns) and BAYAN-USA. Simultaneous protest activities against pork barrel will also be staged by OFWs in other cities in the United States, and also in Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates the following day, August 25.

Migrante said some OFWs in other countries are holding unique kinds of protest to show their support for the call to abolish the pork barrel.

“OFWs in Taiwan are already posting their “selfie protests” in social networking sites [while] in Thailand and Vietnam, OFWs [are planning to] launch a “black armband protest” against the pork barrel,” it said.

On Thursday, several OFWs in Hong Kong led by the group United Filipinos in Hong Kong (UNIFIL-HK) put on head gears resembling a pig’s head and held a protest against PDAF in front of the Philippine Embassy in Hong Kong.

While some Filipinos held placards with the words “Scrap pork!” leaders of the group aired their displeasure against the corrupt lawmakers who they said were the only ones who benefited from PDAF.

According to a report aired Thursday on “24 Oras,” some of the OFWs who participated in the rally said they would not have been forced to leave the country if only the President channeled the pork barrel into the creation of more jobs for Filipinos.

Protest actions will also be held in the following areas:
New York City
Sunday, August 25 at 3:00 p..m. (EDT) in front of Philippine Consulate 556 Fifth Avenue

Monday, August 26 at 11:00 a.m., in front of Philippine Embassy in London, UK

- with a report from Rouchelle Dinglasan/VVP, GMA News
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