More “pork” rallies are scheduled after the Million Man March at the Luneta last August 26. The series of rallies are intended to put pressure on the government to scrap the PDAF which more or less has been done or promised and urgently pursue investigations leading to the prosecution of the legislators alleged to have dipped their fingers in the “pork barrel”. Now those objectives seem to be easily accepted common causes for rallying the people to get together in Luneta, EDSA, Plaza Miranda, Mendiola and other venues appropriate for venting their ire.
Enter the groups with agendas far removed from the purpose originally intended but would like to thumb a ride on the expected big turn-out for the event.
The leftists represented by cause oriented groups and the party lists with socialist leanings will be there. The speculated reasons they will be there would be to disrupt the proceedings and sabotage the scrapping of the pork which for years now have been the legitimate source of funding for their not too patriotic endeavours and also to discredit the Aquino administration which has been the gist of their rhetoric.
The group of the suspected legislators in the scam list are not expected to lie idle and just belly up without a fight. With the huge collective wherewithal of money, influence and power within this group they can organize an army of marchers, again with the end in view of discrediting the administration and the investigations conducted by the government agencies. It is a back against the wall situation for them and like cornered rats they will employ all the tricks they can muster, violence and mayhem included.
Another group with a special stake in all of these are the political groups, the opposition party who stand to gain with the retention of the status quo. They will make capital of the large crowd speculated to be more grass roots than the Luneta marchers. These are popular politicians whose popularity stem from their supposed images of being champions of the poor largely created by patronage politics which has been the conventional gambit of the “trapos”. This group also seeks the discrediting of Pnoy and his administration and may well be the most formidable because of its populist image, its efficient machinery and a big enough war chest to fund anything; from building cathedrals to financing revolutions.
Another group is composed of the progeny of the leader of the failed New Society. Much of the Marcos wealth remains intact with just a few crumbs surrendered to PCCG. A lot more of the plunder are still being pursued by the new, improved PCCG whose efforts seem to have had little progress thus far. Bongbong dreaming of the glory days in Malacanan would not hesitate to use the treasure cache left by his father to finance a grand “resbak”. The rally has been auspiciously set on the birthday of the Marcos. Expect hordes of “hakot” chanting for a return to old New Society. More than this motive Bongbong is also addressing the threat of prosecution with his alleged complicity in the “pork barrel” scam.
Not to be ignored are remnants of the not too distant past, the diseased Gloria and cohorts. Just like the legislators et al, this group is vulnerable to probes soon after the investigations and prosecution in the “pork barrel” are dealt with. Corruption is similar to cancer, the evil leaves a distinct trail which has an odious nexus, much like cancer metastasizing whose spread is interconnected. They, too, share the desire to see that Pnoy fails in his anti-corruption mission and they will easy to recognize by the kind of placards they bear during the rally.
There is, of course, the sincere and moral middle class who invented peaceful revolutions, the original organizers of the protest march at the Luneta to show their outrage against the “pork barrel scam”. These are the same people who led the EDSA I and EDSA II revolutions. Erap protested the fact that this was not a true revolution because the poor were hardly represented in any of these uprisings. Even Marcos said that the revolution that ousted him was not truly a people’s initiative because it was only in Manila and from people of the upper middle to upper classes of society; hardly populist. Through history the middle class have taken up the cudgels for the poor to ameliorate them from their wretched conditions. Those living in poverty hardly have the time to join these protest marches. They are too busy eking out a daily subsistence, or may even be clueless as to what is about in their midst, or are resigned to the fact that all these are just a tiresomeness that is not relevant to their lives. If ever they find themselves involved in these marches it is not for grievances or causes but as paid participants to mouth scripted chants and wave placards prepared by organizers.
It will be good if the turn-out is in great numbers. The government seems to respond well to numbers, big numbers and hopefully they are pushed to act with urgency on the investigations and expedite the filing of cases against the suspected perpetrators of the scam. The other demands are the abolition of the “pork barrel” which has already been attended to or promised to be attended to and the FOI bill which has not gotten any favorable response from Pnoy thus far.
Let us hope that nothing untoward will happen in the upcoming rallies. There is the risk that the groups with hidden agendas might start provocative moves which can trigger an inadvertent response from the crowd control officers in the rally. As happened in several demonstrations in the past these end up in violence with victims losing life and limb. Invariably, these are blamed on the peace keeping officers, crowd control group who are perceived as representatives of government and its leaders. The stakes are high with socialist ideologues smelling an opportunity to discredit government, suspected plunderers in desperate straits, ghosts of past despots crying reinstitution and contemporary politics rearing its ugly head to seize an advantage.
Pray earnestly that these demonstrations do not become sensational disasters that serve the immoral and harmful goals of some and that the government relent and heed the demands of marchers who are sincere of heart and purpose.
After Luneta, the subsequent rallies will not be a walk in the park, but a trek into virtual minefields which will sow confusion. There is so much at stake with so many groups of different agendas but all in agreement to thwart Pnoy’s anti corruption mission. Be not cowed by the colossal evil that confronts us. In the end Truth and Justice will prevail and there will be peace in our land.