Huge success-A A +A
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
CONVENORS of the Cebu Coalition Against the Pork Barrel System congratulate the estimated 10,000 participants of the September 29, 2013 march-rally against the pork barrel system. (Other accounts pegged the crowd at 5,000 people--Opinion Editor)
The official estimate of 10,000 participants was at least 25 percent higher than the coalition’s internal objectives.
It was very evident when the sun shone brightly at the start and everyone breathed a huge sigh of relief that the weather was going to cooperate.
At exactly 1:30 p.m. as planned, the parade started along Osmeña Blvd. to the Plaza Independencia. Police reported no incidents and Citom succeeded in implementing their “open/close” system thereby preventing traffic disruption in every direction.
Students from the University of Cebu, Cebu Doctors University, University of San Carlos, University of the Visayas, University of San Jose Recoletos, Southwestern University, University of Southern Philippines, University of the Philippines-Cebu, St. Theresa’s College, and other Catholic schools joined groups from the religious, civil society and business sectors.
Three bugle and drum corps, a dance troupe and a tribal progressive band also joined the rally. The participants abided by the guidelines the group had written for itself and thereby we succeeded in holding a peaceful rally.
The convenors based its assessment of success from the following:
First, the anti-pork message and potential solutions that the people wanted to express was said and heard by the public and media loud and clear.
Second, the whole event was flawlessly executed in military-like fashion such that the Mass started five minutes earlier than planned and the whole rally ended exactly as planned.
Third, the law-abiding group was successful in expressing its great indignation against corrupt practices without breaking any local laws and ordinances themselves.
The parades marshals were made up of leftist and rightist groups working in harmony and efficiency together, fighting a common cause.
Fourth, although each group of the over 50-organization coalition were allowed to carry their own organization’s banners and flags, they all worked together in their united front against the pork barrel system and showed mutual respect with one another.
Fifth, and probably unheard of from any other rally, the group left the march route, the Fuente Osmeña circle and Plaza Independencia cleaner than when it first arrived.
The group’s official estimate of the size of the crowd was done using the Aug. 26 rally’s official estimate by the city authorities. Then, the crowd estimate was 3,200 and the parade extended from Fuente Osmeña until Sanciangko St., a length of around 800 meters.
Yesterday, the parade extended from Plaza Independencia all the way to the Fuente circle, a length of 2.45 kilometers or 3 times the length of the Aug. 26 rally.
Therefore, logically, the number of people yesterday was estimated to be at least 3 X 3,200 or close to 10,000. However, the most important number that the group is counting is the number of signatures already submitted.
The convenors also wish to thank all sponsors, donors, and friends who made this rally the success that it was and to the city authorities who helped direct and guide the group safely.--Cebu Coalition Against the Porl Barrel System convenors: Msgr. Rommel Kintanar, Marc Canton and Marilu Chiongbian
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 01, 2013.