Filtered By: News

Palace officials deny tweeting vs. anti-'pork' rally

Two of President Benigno Aquino III's spokespersons on Tuesday denied tweeting against the previous day's massive protest against the alleged misuse of pork barrel funds in Manila.

The issue started after presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda and deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte on Sunday retweeted a blog post titled "The Hyprocrisy of Indignation."

The post states that "the [people's] anger is palpable" and that "it is a nice, but misplaced sentiment." It later on asks the public to allow government to correct the system, occasionally praising Aquino for what he's been doing since assuming office.

Lacierda, however, said that although he retweeted the tweet, he never shared the sentiment that the people's anger was "misplaced."

"When did I say it was a nice but misplaced statement? In my tweet?" he told GMA News Online in a text message on Tuesday.

He also said that the fact he wore white on Monday, the day of the protest, the largest one under the Aquino administration, should send a message that he supports the protesters's cause.

"Of all colors I could have worn yesterday I chose white. Didn't Marshall McLuhan teach us that the medium is the message?" he said, referring to the late Canadian philosopher of communication theory

Valte, for her part, told GMA News Online that she was not against the rally.  

"No, not at all," she said. "Kindly check my timeline from yesterday and judge if the tweets were against the rally."

Monday's rally against pork barrel pushed through despite Aquino's announcement last week calling for the abolition of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), or the pork barrel of lawmakers, and replacing it with a new mechanism that would facilitate the funneling of funds for local projects.

Some 75,000 people gathered at the historic Luneta Park for the event, with smaller gatherings also reported in other major cities in the country and even abroad.

Malacañang has earlier said that it is "on the same side" with the protesters in fighting corruption. — KBK, GMA News