Activists gear up for SONA protests

Posted at | Updated as of 07/25/14 8:42 PM

MANILA - Groups allied with militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) gear up for nationwide protests on Monday when President Benigno Aquino III delivers his State of the Nation Address (SONA).

Thousands are expected to join the march towards Commonwealth Avenue near the Batasan Pambansa.

Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes Jr. said the protests will be a call for government accountability over the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) believed to be a form of presidential pork barrel.

"Our institutions have been compromised by pork. The executive and legislative branches are colluding in covering up the DAP. And on Monday, these die-hard defenders of pork will be gathered under one roof and will again be proclaiming the virtues of pork and patronage politics," Reyes said in a statement.

"The President and his allies in Congress insult us repeatedly, during their televised speeches and their Senate inquiries. It is time the people say 'Enough! No more!,'" he added.

Lawmakers of the Makabayan bloc and anti-pork barrel groups, along with Church officials, are expected to speak at Monday's protest.

Reyes said this year's SONA rally will be bigger because of Aquino's failure to bring about change amid corruption and widespread poverty.

"How can additional pork barrel be considered beneficial for the people when we all know that pork is a source of corruption and patronage politics?"

"If you've had enough of the endless lies and deception, join the protests on SONA and let the government know your outrage," Reyes said.