Fil-Ams hope Obama intervenes in "pork barrel" issue

September 16, 2013

by Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

LONG BEACH, California – President Obama is going to make a stop to the Philippines in October, and Filipino American community leaders are proud of the occasion.

”I was excited when I heard the news last night that Obama will finally go to the Philippines. Because there are lots of issues, national issues that America could assist and support,” said Susan Dilkes of the Filipino American Service Group Inc.

The US president’s visit comes shortly after US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s visit. Obama’s visit comes as the country is dealing with several issues including public corruption, natural disasters, violence in Zamboanga, and tensions in the West Philippine Sea with China.

Filipinos in Los Angeles, where a lot of the slagged ill-gotten funds is believe to have been spent, hope Obama can address the pork barrel issue.

”Obama should push that President Aquino will look into Congress about the pork barrel scam since this is an issue that affects all Filipinos globally. Obama is the leader and should talk to President Aquino to make it a clean government,” Dilkes said.

”If the US likes to say they oppose human rights then they should say something about that and call investigation into the pork barrel,” Terrie Cervas of Gabriela said.

For the past few months, Filipino activists have been calling for the abolition of the pork barrel system, including President Aquino’s own discretionary funds. They fear Aquino may use Obama’s visit to his advantage.

”For Aquino, this is a way for him to get some public relations points, photo ops with Obama and try to make it seem like he still has the US support even amidst all these scandals involving him with the corruption, pork barrel and the clashes in Zamboanga. He really needs to show that the US is supporting him,” Eric Tandoc of Anakbayan Los Angeles said.

Obama will visit several other Asian countries during his tour where he will attend summits and meet with other Southeast Asian leaders.

The last US president to visit the Philippines was George W. Bush 10 years ago. 

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3 Comments on this post.

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  • johnny keatsz
    16 September 2013 at 7:30 pm - Reply

    I would like to point out to our kababayan especially in the Los Angeles area that the government of President Aquino is doing all it can too address the issue of corruptions in the Philippines like the pork barrel scam. I would rather see President Obama address China’s bullying in west Philippine sea more than any issue.

  • jorge buesa
    16 September 2013 at 8:17 pm - Reply

    President Obama, shouldn’t say anything about the pork barrel scam ? He should stay out of it, we americans have alot at home to be done ? If President Aquino can’t take of care of the pork barrel scam he shouldn’t be President of the Philippines ! For the China bullying in the of Philippines sea is not our issue it’s Philippines issue with china? Obama why should you go to philippines they is nothing for us in philippines that can help us back here in America ?

  • Mike
    17 September 2013 at 6:17 pm - Reply

    The pork barrel scam is an internal problem that the Philippines and the filipino people have to resolved especially if you are asking somebody who does not even have any credibility from his constituent. What could he say – where he cannot even resolve his own problems here in The U. S.