DIFFERENT faiths, one cause.

Another rally calling for the abolition of the pork barrel system was staged last Sept. 13 at the Rizal Park. But this time, it was a gathering of different religious groups—Catholics, Evangelicals, and Muslims.

“Ibig sabihin dahil iba-iba [ang mga religion], lahat ay nag-reconcile. Those who may not belong to any denomination or sect, nakikisama rin because they understand, so it’s beyond order, it’s beyond religious grouping,” Bishop Constante Claro of the United Church of Christ of the Philippines said in an interview with the Varsitarian.

The event was also considered as multi-sectoral event after militant groups, students, netizens, and even some celebrities joined the rally.

The protest, dubbed “Forward March,” was organized by the #abolishpork Movement, a separate group from the netizens who called for the successful “Million People March” last Aug. 26.

Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz said the fight for the abolition of the pork barrel system would continue, even if the rally drew only about 3,000 people out of the expected 10,000.

“Imposible ginoong Malacañang (President Aquino) na ang mga Pilipino ay papayag sa nangyayari sa bayan namin ngayon. Nandito man kami o wala, ang nagaganap po sa ating bayan ay mahirap lunukin, mahirap tanggapin. Kaya 'wag ninyong sabihin na kami ay kakaunti lamang dahil ang konting ito ay nangangakong magdadasal at nangangako kaming kikilos," Cruz said in his speech.

Students from different Catholic schools, including UST, trooped to Luneta upon the invitation of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines.

NBN-ZTE deal whistleblower Jun Lozada, a UST alumnus, joined religious groups in their protest against pork barrel corruption. He said he would keep joining rallies in solidarity with the public.

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“St. Thomas himself said that evil is like a shadow. Corruption is just a form of evil and no matter how you shoot at it, the shadow won’t go away, so the best way to remove a shadow is to bring light in and activities like this will bring light in to the people,” Lozada said.

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