“I am proud to be part of the fight,” said Bianca Gonzalez, who joined the Million People March held at the Quirino Grandstand on Monday, August 26.
In an exclusive interview with PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal), the 30-year-old host added, “Lahat tayo gusto natin ma-stop yung pangungurakot sa taxes na binabayaran natin, and I think yun ang isang unifying na hinaing ng mga tao dito.”
When asked to comment about President Noynoy Aquino’s sudden declaration to “abolish” the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and replace it with a “new mechanism,” Bianca saw it as an effect of the huge pressure from the public.
“Ang laking factor ng social media kaya nakakatuwa. If you would have asked maybe a year ago, a few months ago, solid talaga yung pork barrel system for this administration.
"But because there’s a clamor in social media, kahit papaano parang napapakinggan. Ang gandang feeling.
“I guess from now, siguro magsisimula na yung dialogue, and hopefully, the system can be better kapag napag-usapan.”
Celebrity status aside, Bianca said she’s no different from the other rallyist crying for transparency.
“I don’t think I’m different from any other person na nandito, lumabas today to be here. Lahat tayo pare-pareho.
"It just so happened kung saan ako nagtatrabaho, kaya mas marami followers ko sa social media.
"I’m just like any other ordinary Pinoy out here, fighting for my right as a taxpayer.”
Bianca attended the mass protest along with her non-showbiz friends who share the public’s outrage against lawmakers who are involved in the controversial pork barrel scam.
“Nagkayayaan, kasi siyempre, some of us wanted to go. So, sama-sama na lang kami nagpunta. Mas masaya kapag magkakasama," related Bianca.
Bianca stayed at the Quirino Grandstand for a few hours, and also checked out the various activities and anti-pork barrel expressions of ordinary citizens.
ALL-OUT SUPPORT FROM CELEBS. At about 8:00 a.m., celebrity couple Robin Padilla and Mariel Rodriguez arrived at the venue.
The TV host/actress tweeted live updates about the event, and chatted with some of her fans and members of the Muslim groups as well.
For his part, Robin posted a 15-seconder Instagram video of their experience during the Million People March with the caption: “Ang makahulugang pagtatapos ng araw ng mga bayani. Mabuhay ang rebolosyunaryong Pilipino!”
Robin added: “I think that I shall never see a revolution planted like a tree.”
Around 10:00 a.m., actor/host Edu Manzano was spotted at the area.
He gladly accommodated the representatives of Community Investigation Group and Boses Ng OFWs, which requested for a photo-op with him.
During the program, Jim Paredes performed several songs about patriotism. When asked to comment about the controversial pork barrel scam, he told PEP, “The government should act immediately.”
In an interview with ANC, Huwag Ka Lang Mawawala star Mylene Dizon revealed her reason for joining the Million People March, “Hindi ako nagmamarunong. I’d like to learn about the scam. Gusto ko malaman ano nangyayari sa buwis ko.”
TV host Raymond Gutierrez also came and tweeted, “In Luneta to stand up for change. It’s important for young people to care & make sure the next gen doesn’t suffer the same consequences.”
Other celebrities who attended the event: Rommel Padilla, Ronnie Lazaro, Maila Gumila, and Korina Sanchez, who covered the rally.
CALL FOR A DIGNIFIED COUNTRY. Around 12:00 noon, Archbishop Cardinal Chito Tagle dropped by to give a short message.
It can be recalled that the cardinal was reportedly emotional when he first learned about the pork barrel scam involving some of the country’s lawmakers.
He commended the Filipinos for being united in this fight against corruption.
“Tayo na po at magbayanihan. Bayani, bayanihan. Ang ibig sabihin po ay sama-sama at sabay-sabay na maging bayani. Kapag sinabi nating kainan, sabay-sabay kumakain, kapag sinasabi nating tawanan, sabay-sabay tumatawa. Kapag sinabi nating bayanihan, saba-sabay maging bayani.
“Inaanyayahan ko po ang lahat na ating tignan, dinggin, at mahalin ang mga dukha at naghihirap bilang mga tunay nating kapwa at kapatid.
"Atin pong damahin ang tibok ng puso ng ating bayan, at pakinggan din po natin ang tinig ng Diyos, lalo na sa ating konsiyensiya.
“Sa ating mga sambahan, mosque, at simbahan, sa ating Kongreso, Senado, at Ehekutibo, sa anumang bahagi ng mundo, patunayan natin na marangal ang Pilipino.
"Mga sistema at patakaran, dapat daan ng kabayanihan. ‘Yan po ang ating dalangin at panawagan sa sa lahat,” the cardinal appealed.