LOS ANGELES - With some of the suspected pork barrel-tainted Napoles properties within their backyard, Filipinos here commemorated the 30th death anniversary of Senator Benigno Ninoy Aquino in prayer and celebrated the country's progress since the assassination that sparked a revolution and a continued fight against corruption.
"I think it's a reminder that he really loved the Filipinos and as Filipinos we owe to follow his dreams and to become good Filipinos to stop corruption and uphold the belief that Uncle Ninoy believed that the Filipino is worth dying for," Andrea Aquino said.
"We just have to keep on trusting and giving our faith to our people, the Filipino people and their sense of resiliency and we will get there. We are a maturing democracy we are a democracy that is committed to good governance, transparency and accountability," Helen Barber Dela Vega, consul general, said.
One leader that Filipinos kept in their prayers, current President Noynoy Aquino. While Filipinos applaud the president's temporary suspension of pork barrel funds, Aquino's leadership has come in question as many accused the President of missing in action during the recent floods that affected over a million Filipinos while submerging Manila in a much as 7 feet of water.
"There's a saying you cannot please everybody. He's doing his best I also have plus and minus on his performance with the government but on the overall picture I think he's doing good," Chito Mandap, a resident of Carson, said.
Filipinos remain hopeful that Manila will once again overcome the most recent floods. They believe the pork barrel probe is proof that the Aquino administration is on the right path.
"It's hard to eradicate graft and corruption but he seems he's on the right track and its really the people around him that will make or break him so hopefully he pushes through the program of trying to eliminate the graft," Roman Mosqueda said.
"Noynoy is doing the best he can to run a country that's been corrupt for many years, and he has a very hard job on his shoulders and as Filipinos we should support him and continue to pray for him. He will do the right move because that pork barrel will go away or there will have to be certain kind of control before they can just use the money for all the foundations that are nonexistent," Andrea Aquino said.
In response to the investigation of the pork barrel funds and alleged abuses, Filipinos are staging protests throughout the world, including the Los Angeles Philippine consulate this weekend.
Consul general Dela Vega said while the consulate office is closed, they will monitor the situation and relay the results of the protest to officials in the Philippines.