Environmental Advocates Wield Broomsticks to Sweep Away Pork Barrel Scammers and Systemic Corruption

Some 100
advocates for environmental health and justice today linked arms with other
citizens in Luneta for the “Million People March” to denounce the
corruption-plagued pork barrel system.
Brandishing walis
tingting (coconut midriff broomsticks) and a green banner that says “linisin
ang lipunan sa basura, toksiko at katiwalian” (clean up the society of garbage,
toxic and corruption), the contingent of environmentalists gathered at the
carabao statue fronting Rizal Monument then merged with the other protestors.
“We have come here to add our voice to those seeking to end
corruption in the government as exemplified by the nauseating and shameless
looting of the pork barrel funds,” said Aileen Lucero, Acting National
Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.
“Today, we join the rest of the country in shouting ‘enough
is enough,’ sweep out corruption that is blighting the quality of the people’s
lives, the economy and environment,” she said.
“By being united like the coconut midriffs tied together,
we can reclaim the power that we, the people, have entrusted to crooked public
officials and triumph over the systemic fraud and corruption enslaving the
nation,” she said.
By wielding the
walis tingting, the humble implement used in daily household cleaning, the
EcoWaste Coalition would like to get these two points across:
 1.  We need to clean the dirt and grime that have
seeped into the entire government through the pork barrel system and uphold
transparency and accountability in the management of public funds.
 2.  We cannot allow the pork barrel scam to be
swept under the rug and that a truthful, speedy and transparent investigation
should lead to the prosecution and punishment of all scammers involved.
Among the
environmental groups that came over to Luneta for the historic “Million People
March” were the EcoWaste Coalition, Arugaan, Ban Toxics, Buklod Tao, Cavite
Green Coalition, Eco-Marino, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives,
Greenpeace, Health Care Without Harm, Mamamayan Ayaw sa Aerial Spraying,
November 17 Movement, Papawis Lang Cycling Club, Sagip Pasig Movement, Samahang
Muling Pagkabuhay-Smokey Mountain and Zero Waste Philippines.
The EcoWaste
Coalition had earlier condemned the reported embezzlement of some P10-B pork
barrel funds, lamenting that such a huge sum of money could have eased, if not
provided enduring solutions, to the country’s waste and toxic problems.
“The plundered funds could have assisted our communities in
raising public awareness and participation in the ecological management of discards
that has proven benefits of reducing the volume of garbage for disposal to the
least,” the EcoWaste Coalition said.
The misused funds
could have also helped the government in meeting the objectives of Republic Act
9003, the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, particularly the required
closure, cleanup and rehabilitation of polluting dumpsites that should have
ceased operations way back in February 2006.