Filipinos and supporters in Melbourne (Australia)

identify Arroyo's 7 major sins


March 17, 2008




Photos courtesy of Philippines Australia Solidarity Action (PASA)


Call for GMA to resign

Filipinos and supporters in Melbourne, Australia identify Arroyo's 7 ghastly sins

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. ###


May Kotsakis


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