Quantcast

‘Internet loudmouth’ at center of pork protest

By |


PEACHY Rallonza-Bretaña

She’s just an “Internet loudmouth” who could not help venting online her anger over the pork barrel scandal gripping the nation, with allegations about the funneling of people’s money to private pockets.

But with the same burning desire for change as thousands of Filipinos, advertising executive Peachy Rallonza-Bretaña became a central figure in the first massive protest under the Aquino administration.

Bretaña insisted she was not a leader of the Aug. 26 march to Luneta—just the person who suggested the time and the place for the march.

But Bretaña, a mother of three boys, a self-avowed “cat lady” and, to her brothers, their “loudmouth sister,” has become an example of the ordinary, politically unaffiliated citizen who does not want to take the pork barrel issue sitting down.

She did not plan the march but it all came together because people from different backgrounds “stepped up,” she said.

“That’s the whole beauty of that Million People March,” she told the Inquirer.

“It’s not beyond us to be leaders in our little group. It’s not beyond us to speak in one voice. It’s not beyond us to respect each other’s differences. It’s not beyond us to act so amazingly great. We’re capable of it,” she said.

How it began

The march to Luneta arose from people who were not the usual members of the parliament of the streets.

The idea for the rally came from music executive producer and Neocolours vocalist Ito Rapadas, who, angered that taxes were being used to line the pockets of unscrupulous people, shared the thought on Facebook.

Rapadas was not alone. Soon, his friends were reposting his status, including fellow musician Monet Silvestre.

Bretaña saw the post and suggested the rally be held at Rizal Park on National Heroes’ Day.

The idea took off.

Various backgrounds

The Filipinos behind Power ng Pinoy, a TV program in the United States, created a Facebook event page where thousands signified their intent to join.

People from various backgrounds—cause-oriented groups and the private sector—met to serve as coordinators.

Bretaña said she herself was not an activist.  The only rally she attended when she was a student at the University of the Philippines was the 1983 funeral march for assassinated opposition leader Benigno Aquino Jr., the President’s father.

She actually prefers to work alone and pursue the causes she believes in.

That is partly why she chose to “disengage” from the group behind the Facebook event page and those that acted as coordinators of the gathering, she said.

 

Big picture

There’s no animosity between them but she said dealing with people from diverse backgrounds, with different levels of involvement, was something she, as a neophyte, was not emotionally prepared to handle.

Hence, her decision to step back.

Bretaña prefers to zero in on an objective and take a more simplified and focused approach.

“The others are so deep in their work and that’s good,” she said. “They’re more exposed, more knowledgeable, so some of them want something different… I’m focusing on the big picture.”

She chose to focus on the call to scrap the pork barrel and hold people accountable, regardless of political affiliation.

 

‘A long fight’

Even as she returns to her advertising job, Bretaña plans to gain a deeper understanding of the pork issue. She wants people, especially those who ask her what to do next, to do the same.

“The pork barrel issue is going to be a long fight,” she said.

There have been calls for another mass gathering, this one on Edsa on Sept. 11. Bretaña is not connected with the group organizing that and believes it is too soon for such a gathering, she said on Twitter.

Bretaña said the anger that led people to converge at Manila’s Rizal Park continued to simmer.

Not a few were aghast about how alleged scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles was seemingly accorded special treatment when she surrendered to the President.

 

Other causes

“It was like a production number,” Bretaña mused.

“I wish he hadn’t been personally involved. Because the people’s perception is that there was special treatment given. That’s why it became highly suspicious,” she added.

The pork barrel was not the first cause Bretaña had taken up. She had been pursuing causes dealing with children and animals.

She was one of those who filed a case against TV host Willie Revillame for goading a crying, 6-year-old boy to dance suggestively onstage in exchange for cash.

That complaint was dismissed by the prosecutor but she said the issue raised awareness on how to properly treat children.

Love for animals

As in the Million People March, Bretaña’s involvement in that case arose from her venting her ire on Facebook.

When she saw the video of the crying boy, her anger was so intense she kept on posting messages, hoping to reach someone who could do something about it.

She and other like-minded individuals came together to file the complaint. They are her friends up to now and were even fellow volunteers at the Luneta event.

Her animal welfare advocacy is also something she lives for. She calls herself a “cat lady”— 20 felines share the family home, sometimes taking over her side of the bed.

Most of her cats are “rescues”—fellow animal lovers are welcome to adopt them. Her family also has three dogs, one of them picked up off the streets.

 

Clean up the system

As shown by Bretaña’s example, one does not need to be a member of any political or cause-oriented group to change something for the better.

Bretaña believes things will improve and hopes the President will take action and succeed.

But currently, many people are unhappy with the way things are, she said.

“It’s just that there is so much distrust, doubt in them. The perception is they are trying to cover each other’s asses, each other’s backs,” she said.

No one is calling for a revolution, she said. People just want to clean up the system so as not to waste the gains the country has achieved.

“I think we’ve matured enough to know that working outside the system is not going to help us,” she said.

“What everyone wants is to clean up the government, not destroy it,” she added.

Mr. Aquino can do this by exercising his willpower, she said.

Related Stories:
One Filipina’s social media activism (and how it shaped the Aug. 26 protest)
Hundreds of thousands join people’s march against pork barrel
Janet Napoles and the Pork Barrel Scam








Recent Stories:

AFP ‘happy’ about Palparan’s transfer 7 mins elapsed July cash remittances up 6% to $2.1 billion in July 10 mins elapsed 2 British tourists found dead on Thai beach 27 mins elapsed Death toll in Leyte ferry disaster rises to six 28 mins elapsed PSEi slips for 5th day due to profit taking 31 mins elapsed CA affirms junking of murder case vs Michael Ray Aquino 37 mins elapsed Jinggoy loses plea to do Senate duties in detention 40 mins elapsed 4 Chinese in P7B drug bust face raps 48 mins elapsed
Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

  • SaintJames2011

    The loudmouth (that’s all it is) with no backbone!

  • txtman SUPOTiful Bading

    ANG GANDA NI PEACHY SA PICTURE NYA SA ITAAS

    PERO BAKIT NUNG NAKITA KO SYA DUN SA RALLY EH PARANG LOSHANG NA LOSHANG NA SYA? HEHE

  • Tagabukid2

    Our present politicians are always pulling us back to their good old times practices!

    To the the time where patronage politics is always at play. That is why they want huge government funds at their disposal. This enable them to spread little help in exchange for votes.

    Instead of them campaigning for certain principles, programs, and policies that will make everybody better, they want to perpetuate the tradition of patronage where people will be given small change so they will forever be indebted to the one holding the huge funds. This in turn enable the politicians to perpetuate their career and also create a dynasty of relatives rotating for the same position.

    This maybe alright if they are using their own riches. They can spend it any which way they desire. But not when those funds are coming from the hard earned taxes paid by the people! That is clearly immoral if not illegal! Ginigisa sa sariling mantika!

  • joboni96

    masaya ang imperyalistang u.s.
    sa babaeng iri

    napaka epektibo ang nagawa nyang smokescreen
    sa imperialist u.s. bases recolonization

    abalang abala sa rally kay intsik switik jeny lim ang mga pilipino
    habang niluluto ng imperyalista ang u.s. bases recolonization

    hindi naman siguro
    cia call center agent ito

    sa u.s. embassy dapat kayo mag rally
    para tutulan ang u.s. imperialist recolonization

    • koolkid_inthehouse

      welcome USA. Open all military bases for U.S. forces.

  • julieboy

    She’s a person that cares.We have a lot of people who say a lot but dont really care.She’s an animal person,this are people who have a heart for life.We should have more of her type.

  • Cue_Vas

    Beware of the Sept 11 rally.

    It is a subtle ploy to divert the issue by stating its goal as “removing all pork” including the presidential one, in other words, this is about putting the spotlight on Pnoy and not on punishing the guilty ones in the Senate. Take the heat off them ‘ika nga.

    No thinking person should go there unless the objectives are clarified first.

    • Randy Gringo

      yellowtard, hanggang ngayon naniniwala ka pa rin sa ‘tuwid na daan’ ni Abnoy mo? Eh kitang-kita naman na ka-level lang ni GMA yang si Panot.

    • Allen Douglas

      SPIN all you want. The cry is for the removal of ALL KIND OF PORK, Pnoy included. So what is not clear there?

      SCRAP PORK!!! PASS FOI BILL!! NOW NA!!

  • RicaKintana

    An example of the silent majority starting to stir …

    • Bulay_Og

      Mas majority pa rin yung mga bobotante. They will keep on voting and voting these a*holes in congress. aside from these bobotantes, There is also a big group who doesn’t want to remove from office the biggest supporter and defender of pork barrel. These bobotantes, combined with this big group being the majority will decide what our country will be like. No need for a stirring by the imaginary silent majority.



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement Advertisement
Advertisement
Marketplace