Call for GMA to resign
Filipinos and supporters in Melbourne, Australia identify Arroyo's 7
A peaceful but indignant rally was held in Melbourne, Victoria by
Filipinos and Australian supporters on the 17th of March 2008. The rally
called for the immediate resignation of Philippine President Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo following the ZTE-NBN corruption scandal which also
massively implicates her husband, Mike Arroyo.
The group also recalled the 13th anniversary of the execution of domestic
helper Flor Contemplacion in Singapore and called attention to the
continuing abuse and hapless plight of overseas Filipino workers. Flor
Contemplacion was hanged on 17 of March 1995. She was among the Philippine
government's earlier victims of gross neglect and abandonment.
The streamer and placards highlighted what they called the '7 major sins
of the Arroyo government' namely: massive corruption, rampant political
killings, gross human rights violations, criminal neglect of overseas
Filipino workers, puppetry to the U S government, election fraud and
cheating and compulsive lying to the Filipino people.
An effigy of Juan de la Cruz hanging on the cross splashed with "Arroyo:
the cross of the Filipino people" further dramatized the protest.
May Kotsakis, of Philippines Australia Solidarity Action (PASA), in
explaining Arroyo's seven deadly sins provided examples. She mentioned the
recent National Broadband scandal exposed by the expose of Jun Lozada and
other witnesses; the abandonment and neglect of the more than 200
Filipinos stranded in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait early this year. She also
mentioned the ferocious political killings with over 860 killings recorded
to date. In less than two months of 2008, there were already 13 victims of
political killings in the Philippines. On the 10th of March a union
organizer, Gerry Cristobal was gunned down in Imus, Cavite, while on his
way to work.
The massive fraud and cheating by the Arroyo ilk at the 2004 presidential
election thus fraudulently extending Arroyo's reign to 2010 was also
pointed out. The ban on airing the 2006 'Hello Garci' tape which revealedd
Arroyo's instruction to the then Chief of the Commission on Election to
ensure that she led her opponent by more than one million votes, is now
lifted. Many witnesses, including military personnel involved in ballot
boxes swapping, have now come forward.
An open letter from Philippines Australia Solidarity Association (PASA)
which expressed support to the Filipino people in their demands: for
Arroyo to step down and give way to a political leadership which can
ensure that human rights in the Philippines is respected; to rid
government and the Philippine political system of corruption; for
political administrations to shoulder its innate responsibility to serve
and care for the Filipino people; and to ensure free and honest elections
and maintain good governance for the improvement of the lives of
Filipinos, were distributed at the rally. ###