Philippines preempts protest, says to plug leaks in "pork barrel" funds
MANILA (REUTERS) - The Philippines will plug leaks in a controversial fund set aside for legislators' pet projects, the latest in President Benigno Aquino's efforts to clean up one of South-east Asia's most corrupt nations.
Mr Aquino's announcement on Friday appeared timed to preempt a planned march at Manila's largest park on Monday in protest against lawmakers' misuse of "pork barrel" funds, or those used to impress voters.
Organisers said the protest action will go on nevertheless.
Despite the Philippines' strong fundamentals - GDP growth in the first quarter was the fastest in the region - corruption has been a chronic problem hindering economic growth.