Video of cancer-stricken woman blasting ‘pork’ making a hit on social media
Katrine De Leon, a stage four colon cancer patient, tearfully spoke in a protest action against the pork barrel system to air her woes on the weak health system in the country. CONTRIBUTED VIDEO FROM RENATO REYES JR
MANILA, Philippines—A video of a cancer-stricken woman who was tearfully addressing a protest action against the pork barrel system is making a hit on social networking sites.
Katrine de Leon of Bacon, Sorsogon province was filmed airing her woes on the deteriorating health system of the country amid the government’s alleged misuse of discretionary funds is suffering from stage four colon cancer.
The leader of the mass protest, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) secretary general Renato Reyes Jr., said in a text message to the INQUIRER.net that de Leon approached his wife near the Supreme Court on Padre Faura, Taft Avenue in Manila to ask for a chance to speak.
As of press time, the oral arguments on the pork barrel, officially called Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), and other discretionary funds are still ongoing.
In the one-minute video, de Leon, who wore a headdress and a medical mask, said she was forced to beg in the streets for a week to support her treatments and therapies.
“Sinisikap ko ‘yan. Minsan nanlilimos ako. Ang katwiran ko, sabi nila, bakit daw ako nanlilimos? Sabi ko, bakit? Nasaan ang mga pera ng pondo ng congressman na ’yan? Nasaan ang mga pinangako nila sa amin na may mga sakit? (I work hard for that [therapies]. Sometime I beg alms in the streets. People are asking, why are you begging for money? I told them, where have all the funds of congressmen gone? What happened to their promises to us who are sick?” she sobbed.
“Ang ginagawa ko lang everyday, everyday, nagra-raise ako ng funds ko para sa gamot ko, para sa chemotherapy ko, sa radiotherapy ko, lahat! (Every I raise funds for my medicines, for my chemotherapy, for my radiotherapy, all of it), ” she added.
The 44-year-old woman also recalled the difficulty in the processing of the health benefits of less fortunate patients.
“Pag pumunta kami sa PCSO (Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office), pahihirapan kami dahil ang katwiran nila sa amin ang chemo, hindi daw nila maibibigay sa dami ng pasyente. Totoo po ‘yon. Hindi lang po ako nag-iisa (When we go to PCSO, they always tell us they cannot give funds because of so many cancer patients seeking financial support. That is true. I’m not the only one who experienced this),” she said.
The colon cancer patient lamented that the government cannot even support the charity patients, noting that the administration had squandered the funds for its people.
“Lahat ng nangangailangan na pasyente dito sa loob nitong PGH (Philippine General Hospital), halos wala na silang maibigay na funds para sa amin dahil lahat yan hindi na namin alam kung nasaan (The government cannot support the [charity] patients in PGH because the funds have ran out),” she said.
But de Leon said she would never lose hope.
“Stage four ang cancer ako pero hindi ako nawawalan ng hope! (I am suffering from stage four cancer but I will never lose hope!),” she said.
De Leon ended her minute-long speech with a thought for government to ponder on: “kung naging mabuti ang patakbo ng ating mga nanunungkulan, hindi tayo magkakaganito (If our officials were honest in governance we will not be like this).”
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