PBCI Statement regarding the current pork barrel scandal
The PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. (PBCI) laments the fact that our land and people are oppressed by systemic injustice and acts of corruption.
As a mission agency of the Church of Jesus Christ who had been entrusted with a prophetic role against these social evils, we repent that the values of the Kingdom of God have not yet penetrated our government, the business corporations, the civil society organizations and other sectors of our society to a level that justice, righteousness, and peace influence the character of our systems and the behavior of those in power. In our attitude of repentance and humility, we resonate with the cry of the Prophet Habakkuk against the violence of injustice and the injustice of violence:
“How long, LORD, must I call for help,
but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, ‘Violence!’
but you do not save?
Why do you make me look at injustice?
Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?
Destruction and violence are before me;
there is strife, and conflict abounds.
Therefore the law is paralyzed,
and justice never prevails.
The wicked hem in the righteous,
so that justice is perverted.” (Hab. 1:1-4)
In humble admission of our prophetic role as a segment of the Body of Jesus Christ in this land, we strongly condemn the unjust systems and the acts of corruption that continually trample on the neck of the poor. We, therefore, proclaim and seek to obey the requirements of God for the good of our society and the whole of humanity—“to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly” with our God (Micah 6:8).
- We call for the immediate abolition of the ‘congressional pork barrel’ which is officially known as the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).
- We call on His Excellency Benigno Simeon Aquino III to take the lead in abolishing the lump sum appropriation of nearly P25 billion in our national budget as PDAF, redirect it to appropriate government agencies, and set up transparent systems for effective and efficient project implementation.
- We call on the senators and the congress representatives to focus on their intended job— which is to create laws. The P200 million annual allocation for each senator and the P70 million annual allocation for each congress representative that are supposedly used for various projects are best assigned to proper government agencies rather than the legislators. Thus, we reiterate the abolition of these funds allocated to the legislators.
- We call on the Department of Justice, especially the National Bureau of Investigations, to conduct a full, impartial and complete investigation of the alleged malversation of more than P10 billion, which could have been used to support various projects to alleviate the poverty of many of our people. We demand that those who are found guilty in accordance with the law would receive the just consequence of their actions.
- We call on the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC), whom we have committed our affiliation, to reaffirm what we have resolved together: “to walk in humility and reject the idolatry of power; to walk in integrity and reject the idolatry of success; and to walk in simplicity and reject the idolatry of greed.” We reaffirm our declaration and our commitment as a member organization of PCEC “to partner with all stakeholders to attain equitable and sustainable peace; to promote spiritual values formation; to advocate good governance; and to seek the alleviation of poverty in our land.”
May we all experience peace within us and around us!