Launching of  PAGBABAGO! People’s Movement for Change


University of Makati Auditorium


May 26, 2009





About PAGBABAGO! People’s Movement for Change:

PAGBABAGO! is a new movement that gathers concerned citizens who desire a more meaningful change in our society; not just a change of leadership in government but a decisive break from the poverty-ridden, unjust and corrupt social system that grew worse even after two EDSA uprisings.

We will be bringing these individuals and groups into a more coherent and cohesive movement for change, one that is not just issue-based but carrying a comprehensive reform program; a movement that addresses the underlying problems of Philippine society and resonates with our people’s most deeply-held aspirations.

Its Organizing Committee is composed of: Sr. Mary John Mananzan, OSB; Prof. Judy Taguiwalo (Faculty Regent, UP); Fr. Joe Dizon (Solidarity Philippines); Bibeth Orteza; Jun Lozada; Edith Burgos (Desaparacidos); Dr. Carol Araullo (Bayan); Ramon Paterno (UP Manila); Prof. Roland Tolentino (Contend-UP); Maita Gomez; Rey Casambre (Philippine Peace Center);Leonardo Sabino (Promotion of Church People’s Response); Sonny Africa (IBON Foundation); Jiggs Clamor (Karapatan); Franz Castro (QCPSTA-ACT); Leni Jara (Council for Health Development); Francis Gealogo (Ateneo-ACT); Arlene Brosas (Akap Bata); Rick Bahaque (Computer Professionals Union); Dr. Giovanni Tapang (Agham); Teri Ridon (League of Filipino Students)


From the Pagbabago website:





By Carol Pagaduan-Araullo

The launch of Pagbabago!

The founding assembly of the Pagbabago! People’s Movement for Change became the unintended launching pad for self-declared presidential wannabe, Paquito Yu, Paq for short. Actually, he is the group’s satirical mascot, the amalgamation of all that the people find laughable, irritating and downright pathetic in Philippine traditional politics and the cast of characters it breeds.

Paq gamely mixed with the crowd and gave interviews to the media even before the affair started. He insinuated himself in the program by climbing on stage and having a photo-op with guest speaker Archbishop Oscar Cruz, the young man who sang an inspirational song with indigenous instruments, and most especially with celebrity whistleblower, Engineer Jun Lozada.

He then delivered his quintessential political speech complete with giant cue cards that called for intermittent applause. His main platform was a dig at the Filipinos’ chase after greener pastures in the US of A: a strategy for getting the Philippines admitted as the 52nd state and forever banishing the need for Filipinos to submit themselves to the US embassy grinder in getting their much-sought-after US visa.

The media got the impression that Pagbabago! had endorsed Paq’s candidacy. Not true. Mother Mary John Mananzan, co-chairperson of Pagbabago!, categorically stated that it would remain non-partisan and refrain from endorsing any candidate as a group. Instead, it would draw up a “People’s Criteria” based on its 11-point program of substantive reforms. (Log on to On this basis it would measure candidates’ qualifications and track record and disseminate its evaluation widely as one of the group’s contributions to voters’ education.

The audience of founding members and guests lapped up Paq’s antics but paid even closer attention to the serious agenda for the day. For after all, they were there in earnest. From all walks of life – high and low, religious and lay, professors and students, activists and plain concerned citizens – they came. To affirm their yearning for meaningful change in Philippine society and politics and to organize a new movement that would capture the people’s imagination and move them to bring about real, lasting change.

The group’s leadership is a mix of human rights, peace and development advocates; political and social activists; anti-corruption and good governance crusaders; and artists and writers with a cause. In two months’ time, it’s membership roster grew to over a hundred. Professor Judy Taguiwalo, co-chairperson and University of the Philippines faculty regent, is confident that the movement will grow by leaps and bounds, not just in Metro Manila but in the provinces, as people learn about and identify with its ideals, objectives and the means with which it aims to shake up and change the status quo.

In their collective keynote address, the Organizing Committee emphasized that Pagbabago!, while born out of the broad movement to oust Mrs. Gloria Arroyo, seeks to go beyond that objective and answer a common question asked by many Filipinos: what government policies must be put in place for real change to take place and who should take the helm of leadership?

With their 11-point “People’s Agenda” and the vow to act as a “People’s Watchdog” before, during and after the 2010 elections, the group is girding itself for the long haul, in the fight for genuine change against the powerful who seek to perpetuate the status quo, amidst a climate of public cynicism and despair over traditional politics. It also sees non-traditional leaders arising out of the movement itself, in the dynamic and often unpredictable process of struggling against great odds to achieve our people’s aspirations and dreams.

Pagbabago! calls for internal change: for fellow Filipinos to shed backward and counter-productive ideas and ways such as being uncritical and unconcerned, passive and fearful, and most of all, inured and resigned to the way things are - no matter how wrong, no matter how bad.

The group warned that the 2010 elections could be derailed or disrupted by massive automated cheating or a designed-to-fail automated elections. It called for vigilance and action in the light of unrelenting efforts by Malacañang, through its allies in Congress, to railroad a change in the system of government that would allow Mrs. Arroyo to remain in power even after her term. It called attention to machinations by the Arroyo camp and its major co-conspirators among the elite such as the likes of Danding Cojuangco to engineer the most dire of scenarios, including emergency rule.

It sees Mrs. Arroyo’s political body language as indicative of her intention to cling to power despite the fact that hers is a lame duck administration considering that Mrs. Arroyo is constitutionally barred from seeking another term in office. The rising incidence of extrajudicial killings, abductions, illegal arrests and detention and the renewed filing of trumped-up cases against media and the Arroyo clique’s perceived enemies indicate that political repression is the regime’s answer to any and all serious efforts to institute change.

An agitated woman asked in the open forum, “Is this movement more than just talk?” while a more subdued man drew attention to scores of urban poor communities being demolished and people thrown willy nilly into the streets, asking what Pagbabago! offered them.

The reports presented by the Working Groups of Pagbabago! - organizing and education, research, “getting-the-message-across”, electoral and campaigns - reflected the commitment, hard work and creativity of the people at the core of the budding movement to translate the group’s aims and ideals into concrete action and output.

And while Pagbabago! has yet to prove its mettle in the day-to-day, life-and-death struggles of ordinary Filipinos, there can be no question as to its relevance, timeliness and potential to make a major contribution as a people’s movement for change. #


VIDEO: Pagbabago! People's Movement for Change
Sr. Mary John Mananzan, OSB;
Bishop Oscar Cruz
Edith Burgos (Desaparacidos)
      UP MassCom Dean Roland Tolentino and Bibeth Orteza
Prof. Judy Taguiwalo (Faculty Regent, UP) Dr. Carol Araullo (Bayan) Sarah Raymundo (CONTEND-UP)


Keynote Address by the Organizing Committee*
Read by Mother Mary John Mananzan, OSB, Pagbabago! People’s Movement for Change Co-Chairperson.
Pagbabago! People’s Movement for Change Founding Assembly
26 May 2009, Makati City

On behalf of the Organizing Committee of Pagbabago! People’s Movement for Change, I would like to warmly greet all of you here today - founding and future members, esteemed guests and friends - all of you who yearn for real and meaningful change in our country: Salamat sa inyong pagdalo! Salamat din sa University of Makati sa malamig at magandang lugar ng ating Founding Assembly.

Hindi kataka-taka kung bakit maraming nagsusulputang grupo ngayon na nananawagan ng pagbabago.

Malaki ang disgusto ng mga kababayan natin sa gubyernong Arroyo. Mahirap ang buhay at tila wala nang pag-asang umasenso. Ang mga dating mga problema ng katiwalian, abuso sa kapangyarihan, kriminalidad, paglabag sa mga karapatang pantao, at paglapastangan sa dignidad at soberanya ng bansa ay higit pang pinalala ng isang gubyernong ilehitimo at walang kahihiyan.

Mistulang opisyal na ang election campaign: sa dami ng political advertisements ng mga tinatawag na “presidentiable”; sa tindi ng batuhan ng mga akusasyon ng dumi ng mga kakandidato sa isa’t isa; at sa dami rin ng mga pumuposturang para sa “pagbabago” at para sa “reporma”, na ang ibig lang naman nilang sabihin, kami ang inyong iboto.

Ang kilusang sa pagbabago na ating pormal na itinatatag sa araw na ito ay hindi lamang bunga ng matinding pagnanais na palitan na ang gubyernong Arroyo. At lalong hindi para mangampanya - hayag man o patago - sa alin mang “presidentiable”.

Ito’y tangkang sagutin ang madalas tanungin ng marami sa ating mga kababayan: Ano ang ipapalit na patakarang gubyerno at sino ang mamumuno? Sa pamamagitan ng 11-point People’s Agenda, pagtatakda ng People’s Criteria, at pagiging People’s Watchdog sa panahon ng halalan at maging pagkatapos nito, nais bigyang sustansya ng Pagbabago! ang ibig sabihin ng panawagang baguhin ang sistema.

Gayunman, alam natin na hindi sapat na manawagan ng pagbabago kung tayo mismo, ang mamamayan, ay hindi rin magbabago. Bitiwan na natin ang mga atrasado at kontra-pagbabagong gawi tulad ng pagiging walang kibo, walang pakialam, sunud-sunuran, utu-uto, matatakutin, at higit sa lahat, manhid.

Nahaharap tayo ngayon sa isang crossroad sa buhay ng ating bansa. Maaaring ang mga kaganapan ay magtulak sa atin sa higit na pagkalulong sa bulok na sistema. O maaaring kunin natin ang landas tungo sa tunay na pagbabago.

Sa isang banda, nariyan ang halalang 2010 na itinakdang paraan ng Konstitusyon upang mabago ang mga pangunahing pinuno ng bansa. Marami nang umaasa na sa wakas mawawala na si Gloria.

Naggigirian na ang mga kandidato, deklarado at hindi. Panay ang photo-op sa midya, pagkokomentaryo sa radyo o pagsali sa mga noontime tv show para maitaas ang kanilang popularity ratings. Nag-umpisa na ang panunuyo ng mga botante at tagapagtustos sa kampanya.

Pabago-bago ang mga magkakaalyansa: ang “oposisyon” ngayon ay maaaring maging maka-administrasyon bukas. Balewala ang platapormang gubyerno dahil wala naming pagkakaiba. At tila walang nababahala o nagtataka. Sanay na ang taumbayan sa circus ng eleksyon.

Kung kayat maraming kabataan ang walang interes bumoto. Kailangan pa ng maiingay na kampanya ng masmidya, mga kandidato, at mga sibikong samahan para sila magrehistro. Laganap ang pagdududa na magiging malinis, patas at may kabuluhan ang 2010 eleksyon para sa ordinaryong mamamayan.

Mula sa karanasan natin sa nagdaang mga eleksyon, madaling makita na hindi dapat umasa nang malaki sa pagbabagong maidudulot ng halalan lalo na’t wala naming halos pagpipilian. Natuto rin tayong maging mapagbantay sa resulta ng botohan: upang matalo ang kinamumuhiang kandidato tulad ng diktador na si Marcos o si Gloria at upang ipanalo ang mga kandidatong naiiba (gaya sa party-list) na maaaring magpasok ng sariwang hangin sa mga mababahong institusyon tulad ng Konggreso.

Pero sa kabilang banda, magkaka-eleksyon nga ba? Ang pakanang Cha-cha ay buhay pa rin sa kabila nang paubos na ang panahon para mai-railroad ito sa Konggreso at Korte Suprema ng mga ayado ni Gloria. May scenario na failure of elections sa pamamagitan ng palpak na automation kundi man malawakang automated cheating.

Ang National Security Adviser ay nagpalutang ng ideya ng “transition president” hanggang mapalitan ang sistema ng gubyerno. Ang kilos ni Mrs. Arroyo ay hindi kilos ng lameduck president kundi kilos ng hindi aalis sa poder. Maugong na maugong ang balita na tatakbo si Gloria sa kanyang probinsya ng Pampanga. Lumalapot ang ugnayang pampulitika ng pamilyang Arroyo at Danding Cojuangco habang napapaburan ang mga negosyo ng huli. Agresibo ang mga anak at kroni ni Gloria sa pag-agaw ng dominanteng pwesto sa mga estratehikong industrya tulad ng enerhiya at power.

At syempre pa, panay ang tanggi ni Mrs. Arroyo at ng kanyang mga tagapagtanggol, kasama na ang ilang pinunong simbahan, na may balak pa siyang manatili sa Malakanyang lampas ng 2010. Bagay na dapat interpretahin na kabaliktaran ng kaniyang tunay na binabalak. Lalo na’t sistematiko ang pananakot at paninindak sa independyenteng mass media practicioners. Tuloy ang extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, illegal arrest and detention at pagsampa ng mga gawa-gawang kaso sa mga kalaban ng administrasyong Arroyo.

Talagang walang magiging pagbabago kung magpapatuloy pa si Gloria sa Malakanyang sa iba’t ibang buktot na paraan. Ang Pagbabago! ay kailangang kumilos at makipagkaisa sa pinakamalapad na hanay upang pigilin ito.

Gayun din, hindi makakasapat ang pagpapalit ng pinuno upang mabago ang sistema, na ito’y maging para sa nakararami, hindi lamang sa iilan; para sa sambayanang Pilipino, hindi para sa dayuhan; at para sa mahirap at pinagsasamantalahan, hindi lamang sa mayaman at nang-aapi. Ang eleksyon ay maaaring magdulot lamang ng rigodon sa kung sino ang mamumuno kung hindi tayo kikilos.

Ang Pagbabago ay napapanahon, relevant, may kakayahang mang-akit at magpakilos mula sa cross-section ng lipunan, at higit sa lahat palaban at lalampas sa halalang 2010. Sa tulong ninyo at sa pagkakaisa ng mamamayang Pilipino!

Maraming salamat, po.


Fr. Joe Dizon (Solidarity Philippines)
Sonny Africa of Ibon Foundation
Maita Gomez
Paq Yu    


People's Agenda

1. Mga matapat na lider na hinalal sa prosesong malinis at patas.

2.  Pamahalang naglilingkod: Matuwid, inuuna ang kapakanan ng bayan, susugpuin ang kahirapan, magbibigay ng sapat na serbisyo, lulutasin ang problema sa utang, responsableng gagamit ng buwis, matapang sa krimen, at gumagalang sa mga karapatan.

3.  Lupa para sa mga magsasaka, sapat na pagkain para sa lahat, modernong mga sakahan at kaunlaran sa mga probinsya.

4.  Sariling industriya at negosyo, sapat na trabaho at kabuhayan sa ating bansa tungo sa totoong pag-unlad.

5.  Paggalang sa mga karapatan, pagtigil sa mga abuso at pagparusa sa mga abusado.

6.  Kapayapaang batay sa paglutas sa mga isyung pinanggalingan ng gera.

7.  Respeto para sa mga babae.

8.  Kulturang naglilingkod sa karamihan at nagtuturo na magsilbi sa bayan.

9.  Proteksyon sa likas na yaman at kapaligiran.

10.  Proteksyon ang dignidad at teritoryo ng bansa. Makipagtulungan sa mga kaibigang bansa sa buong mundo.

11.  Pagkilala sa mga Pilipinong Muslim at iba pang katutubo sa bansa.


Bibeth Orteza

National Artist Bienvenido Lumbera

with Dr. Jara (Council for Health Development) and Dr. Araullo

Singing Bayan Ko


Pagbabago! to field candidate 'Paq Yu' -, Philippine ...

27 May 2009 ... Paquito “Paq” Yu, whose name sounds like an obscenity, is a satirical character created by Pagbabago! members Bibeth Orteza and Chris ...




PAQ at Pagbabago Launching - A video by Kodao



■    Download Primer on Pagbabago

■    Pagbabago Website:



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