MANILA - Former Chief Justice Reynato Puno has called for a People's Initiative to abolish all forms of pork barrel, including the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).
Puno urged the convenors of the Million People March to convene a People’s Congress and “exercise for the first time the reserve power given to the sovereign people in 1989 by Republic Act 6735."
He said the power to enact laws is not exclusive to Congress but can be exercised directly by people anchored on the doctrine that "the people are the sovereign people."
"The people should unsheathe and use this power to make laws whenever their elected representatives default in the performance of their sacred duty to enact laws to promote the general interest, or worse, whenever they betray the public trust," he said.
He said it is obvious that Congress will no longer make a move.
"The One Million People March Movement should continue educating and elevating the awareness of the people about the evils of the PDAF, the DAP, etc, in our public plazas,” said Puno, who was once commended for his activist court.
The Million People March petition on Change.org to scrap all pork already has close to 90,000 signatures gathered on site and 15,000 gathered online.
“To maintain the momentum of the movement, its leaders should now focus in providing our people with a specific solution to the problem of our rotten pork barrel system by proposing a comprehensive law that will extirpate it or at the very least, checkmate its misuse and abuse,” Puno said.
Last September 21, Puno again showed his brand of activism by rallying members of the Methodist churches in the Philippines to join the multitudes seeking justice against the perpetrators of the pork scam.
Puno is the chairman of the Puno Memorial United Methodist Church’s administrative council.
“The [priority development assistance fund] Scam is the sad story repeated again and again in the history of governments. But the PDAF Scam is more than the story of how our people’s money was pocketed by some lowlifes among our legislators,” Puno had said during a gathering at the Good Samaritan Church in Quezon City.
He believes the scam could develop into the “worst to hit our government as trillions of pesos misused by our public officials can still be unearthed by the Commission on Audit.”
He described the pork as evil.