23 August 2013

[FYI in Manila Times] Youth groups plan show of force at anti-pork barrel rally

by Ritchie A. Horario

Several youth groups will rally their members to join the protest against the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) on Mo

The FOI Youth Initiative (FYI) on Friday said it will participate in the Luneta rally along with the Right to Know, Right Now! Coalition, an alliance of civil society organizations.

FYI is a national network of 129 youth and student organizations pushing for the passage of the Freedom of Information (FOI)  Bill.

“We are in solidarity with the call to abolish the pork barrel,” said FYI convener Allan Pangilinan.

The group said it will not bring banners identifying FYI or any other organization, as prescribed by the organizers of the event.

“Our presence there as young people coming together to join fellow Filipinos is our clear statement that we have had enough of the old ways of traditional politics,” Pangilinan said.

He said one of the solutions to curtail corruption that stems from patronage politics is the enactment of the FOI Law.

“When we have FOI, we will be able to guarantee participatory governance that will ultimately empower the people to become active partners in watching over our public officials whom we elected into office,” Pangilinan said.

He urged government officials to “show their sincerity in [their] struggle against corruption by enacting laws that will safeguard the spending of the people’s funds, starting with the passage of the Freedom of Information Law.”

The group is asking the government to conduct a ”thorough investigation” of the scandal involving the pork barrel and to punish those found guilty.

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