Hong Kong groups protest against the Con Ass and June Bribes


June 4, 2009


Video: BAYAN indignation rally vs Con Ass


The June Bribes: List of congressmen who railroaded the Con Ass resolution



Members of the United Filipinos in Hong Kong (UNIFIL-MIGRANTE-HK), BAYAN-HK, Gabriela Women’s Party – HK and Bangon Pilipinas Movement trooped to the PCG-HK and took turns lambasting HR1109 and its proponents


Photos courtesy of United Filipinos in Hong Kong (UNIFIL-MIGRANTE-HK)

Press Release
04 June 2009

For reference:
Dolores Balladares, UNIFIL-MIGRANTE-HK, Chairperson (9747-2986)
Edgar Robles, Bangon Pilipinas HK, Spokesperson (6391-9718)
Cynthia Abdon-Tellez, Gabriela Women’s Party – HK, Chairperson (9740-9406)
Normay Uy Carnay, BAYAN-HK, Country Information Officer (9647-2567)

HK groups protest against Chacha
“People’s voice must prevail and not GMA’s”

Charter change and the House approval of HR 1109 drew more flak today as Filipinos in Hong Kong staged a protest action at the Philippine Consulate General in HK against what they deemed as the” biggest betrayal of the House of Representatives for the interest of GMA.”

Members of the United Filipinos in Hong Kong (UNIFIL-MIGRANTE-HK), BAYAN-HK, Gabriela Women’s Party – HK and Bangon Pilipinas Movement trooped to the PCG-HK and took turns lambasting HR1109 and its proponents.

“For those congressmen who said ‘Aye’, you just marked your political death among OFWs. We’ll aggressively promote among our families and friends in the Philippines to vote against you for you allowed yourselves to be puppets of the criminal government of GMA. People’s voice must prevail and not GMA’s,” said Dolores Balladares of UNIFIL-MIGRANTE-HK.

Balladares added that OFWs have opposed Chacha been from the start for as, OFW groups believe, it will only worsen the economic situation in the country, intensify the displacement of people, tighten foreign control over the Philippines, and worst of all, keep GMA in place.

“For putting us in this condition, Nograles and company have become ‘undesirables’ within Filipino communities around the world,” she stated.

Meanwhile, Norman Uy Carnay of BAYAN-HK assailed the congressmen who bulldozed HR1109 through the Congress as going against the will of the Filipino people.

“Any self-respecting official who calls himself a member of the House of Representatives should know by now that ChaCha has never had the support of the people. These congressmen who supported HR1109 need their titles revoked and just be labeled as the Malacanang thugs inside the Congress,” he said.

Carnay believed that GMA’s continued rule beyond 2010 and, thus, her freedom from prosecution for the piled up cases against her, remain to be the ultimate agenda of Chacha.

“Political developments such as the merging of administration parties and now this resolution all point to a grand scheme of GMA to maintain power beyond 2010. The stage has been set and the puppets in Congress have played their part,” he said.

Bangon Pilipinas HK representative also hit the fast-tracked approval of HR1109. The group’s spokesperson, Edgar Robles said that the move showed that the Arroyo administration and its allies are only concerned with its own interest through charter change and a blatantly disregard the people’s plight.

“This again showed how deceptive and without integrity this government is who has repeatedly said before that they are setting aside Chacha,” he added.

For their part, Cynthia Abdon-Tellez, chairperson of the Gabriela Women’s Party – Hong Kong chapter hit the “very undemocratic and self-serving” process that the approval of the said resolution took.

“Gravest of the travesties on democracy the pro-Chacha congressmen committed was prohibiting the public from witnessing the proceedings. They were brutish enough to act with impunity and have HR1109 passed but also too cowardly to let the public see how they have betrayed the people for the sake of GMA,” she remarked.

The protesters said that their action was only the first that they will do.

“The offensives of GMA and camp to push through with Chacha must be met by the people’s rage. Shame on GMA, shame on her lackeys in Congress,” she concluded.#

* The views and opinions contained herein do not necessarily reflect the view of The Dean and the Council of St. John's Cathedral

The Secretariat
United Filipinos in Hong Kong (UNIFIL-MIGRANTE-HK)
2/F., New Hall, St. John's Cathedral,
Garden Road, Central, Hong Kong SAR
Tel : (852) 3156-2447 Fax : (852) 2526-2894 / 2735-4559
E-mail: secretariat@unifil.org.hk


Download statement in PDF format

Download copy of the Con Ass Resolution



Indignation rally against Con-Ass

by Kodao Productions


Hundreds of militant activists trooped to the House of Representatives to denounce the passage of a resolution calling members of congress to convene into a constituent assembly to change the Philippine Constitution.

Braving pouring rain, the protesters blocked the buildings main gate, waving flags and delivering speeches calling congresspersons who voted for House Resolution number 1109 as shameless.

They also expressed unconditional support to the progressive party list congresspersons who valiantly opposed the said resolution.

The passage of the resolution in the dead of the night is an imperialist imposition to allow for trade policies that would benefit multinational corporations and term extension to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her minions in Congress, the militants said.

The protesters vowed more protests to block the proposed constituent assembly.




June 3, 2009

We strongly denounce the railroading of the House of Representatives’ unconstitutional Resolution 1109 calling to convene Congress as a constituent assembly to amend the Philippine Constitution.

We believe the resolution is intended to change the charter in order to strengthen Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s hold on the reins of power either through term extension, a shift to parliamentary system of any other underhanded device.

Paid hacks of Mrs. Arroyo will deny what we who have strong memories of the Marcos years know for sure: HOR Resolution 1109 is prelude to an Arroyo dictatorship. We vowed “never again,” after Martial Law. Never again, indeed.

We call on the people, on people’s organizations and the Opposition to unite to oppose and defeat this anti-democratic and self-serving move on the part of Malacañang and its cohorts in the House of Representatives.

We cannot sacrifice our children’s future to benefit a corrupt and illegitimate leadership.

Join nationwide protests against Con-Ass.

In one voice, we say: “Junk Con-Ass now!”

Signatories (original signed):

Jejomar Binay, Mayor, Makati City
Liza L. Maza, GABRIELA Women’s Party
Carol P. Araullo, Bayan
Emmi de Jesus, GABRIELA
Bibeth Orteza, Pagbabago! People's Movement for Change
Carlos Siguion-Reyna, NMPP
Juana Change, Artists’ Revolution
Roy Velez, Gloria Stepdown Movement
Lito Ustarez, KMU
Renato Reyes Jr., Bayan
Jun Lozada
Ver Eustaquio, UMDJ
Sr. Estrella Castalone, AMRSP
Rez Cortez, FPJMD
Vencer Crisostomo, Kabataan Parylist
Nardy Sabino, PCPR
Cristina Palabay, GABRIELA Women’s Pary
J. L. Linggoy Alcuaz, FPJVB
Rev. Marie Sol Villalon, UMC-PCPR


For Immediate Release
June 3, 2009

Reference: Rhonda Ramiro, Secretary-General, BAYAN USA, email: secgen@bayanusa.org


Filipino-Americans under the banner of BAYAN USA, an alliance of 14 Filipino organizations in the United States, are expressing outrage over last night's vote by the Philippine House of Representatives to approve House Resolution 1109, which would allow for the convening of a Constiuent Assembly (Con-Ass) made of members of the Lower House and Senate in order to amend the 1987 Philippine Constitution, or enact Charter-Change (Cha-Cha).

"Con-Ass is a major step towards transforming an undeclared martial rule into the official dictatorship of the Arroyo government," states BAYAN USA Chair Berna Ellorin. "It is one of the biggest threats to democracy in the Philippines since the days of the Marcos dictatorship, and it must be stopped."

Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo herself has repeatedly sung of the praises of her proposed amendments to the 1987 Philippine Consitution, including total economic liberalization in favor of foreign corporate interests as well as lifting existing provisions prohibiting the establishment of permanent military bases by foreign troops. But it is the proposed amendment by the Arroyo administration to shift the Philippine government into a parliamentary system, combined with the lifting of provisions that limit martial law powers, that has drawn the most opposition from Filipinos in the Philippines and worldwide.

"Arroyo intends to take over as the new Prime Minister with an indefinite term status if Cha-Cha is passed," Ellorin continued. "This provides an official policy framework in the Constitution for fascist dicatorship and martial law."


BAYAN USA also criticized the validity of last night's Lower House vote for HR 1109, as the vote only came from the one legislative body in the bicameral Philippine Congress.

"They cannot vote without the Senate," Ellorin continued. "This so-called 'House Majority' that voted in support of Con-Ass are not Arroyo allies, but those who have been bribed by the Arroyo administration through pork barrel money in exchange for loyalty to Arroyo. Even the opposition was prevented from airing their views. This is cronyism no different from the Marcos era of massive graft and corruption."

BAYAN USA also raised that with rampant cronyism at play in the Philippine Congress, it is certain that the Constituent Assembly to convene will not have the best interests of the Filipino people in mind when altering the Philippine Constitution.


Record highs in the number of overseas absentee voter (OAV) registration from Filipinos abroad, including the United States, provides strong indication of overseas clamor to vote Arroyo out of office by 2010.

"Filipinos, especially those of us overseas, cannot trust their own government these days. Filipinos abroad are compelled to be part of the change they would like to see in Philippine politics," Ellorin ended. "But aside from our ballots, we must engage in community actions and public pressure to make our opposition to Cha-Cha visible to Manila. After all, we keep the Philippine economy afloat with our billions in dollar remittances every year. We must be part of saving what is left of democracy in the Philippine Constitution and in our homeland."

Street demonstrations protesting HR 1109 have already been confronted with violent dispersals by police near the Batasan Complex in Quezon City.

News Release
04 June 2009

Reference: Emmi de Jesus, Secretary General, 317-2302 / 0917-3221203

GABRIELA enjoins Filipino women to lend voice to viva voce against charter change

Members of the militant women's group said that their chapters and member organizations nationwide will sweep within communities, factories and schools to enjoin women and their families to join the series of protest actions against charter change.

"The dishonorable members of Congress shamelessly violated the will of the people by railroading the passage of House Resolution 1109. Congress has proven that they do not represent the people, thus, the people themselves must take to the streets to shout the real viva voce," said Emmi de Jesus, GABRIELA secretary general.

"Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has committed enough crimes against the Filipino women and has repeatedly betrayed the interest of the Filipino people. There is no way women will allow Arroyo to indefinitely perpetuate her power," de Jesus added.

De Jesus said that aside from mass campaign, their chapters and member organizations will hound the members of the 14th Congress who voted for the passage of HR 1109 and tag them as definite "losers" in the elections 2010. "Those who approved HR 1109 created havoc by betraying the people. They will not get any respite from the people's ire during recess."

"The Filipino people has shown time again that our united voice and determined will eventually prevails over any flagrant abuse of power of the government," concluded de Jesus.

GABRIELA said that they will ensure thousands of women will join the anti-charter change action on June 10. ###

03 June 2009

For Reference: REP. LIZA LARGOZA MAZA 0920-9134540
Francis Uyanguren (Public Information Officer) 0915-9329407

“Pork” Reeks in the House- Maza

“It smells ‘pork’ in the House today. It’s greasing all over the place.”

Thus said Assistant Minority leader and Gabriela Women’s Party Rep.Liza Maza today as the Lower House impudently passed House Resolution 1109 last night.

“The passage of HR 1109 calling for the convening of Congress into a constituent assembly to amend the Constitution apparently confirms allegations that some solons greased their palms in exchange for their affirmative vote for the said resolution,” Maza said.

“We are full of indignation over the travesty of this Arroyo-led House of Representatives. Nothing could be more contemptible than this current administration that will do anything out of its unparalleled desperation to extend its term despite public outrage.”

The Gabriela solon challenged the House leadership to clarify this issue amidst persistent reports alleging that an additional P20 million was promised each congressman who will vote in the affirmative once the resolution is submitted to the floor for approval.

Meanwhile, Maza will join the wave of protests in the succeeding days. The lady solon believes that more and more Filipinos have expressed outrage knowing that HR 1109 will be used to pave the way for Arroyo dictatorship.

“This is a very critical time that calls for every Filipino to rise in protest. Malacanang might well rejoice with all its might today, but it must braze itself tomorrow to face people’s wrath,” Maza concluded.



BAYAN Canada
Press Statement
June 4, 2009


In the dead of the night of June 2, 2009, Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her cohorts in the House of Representatives rammed through a resolution that could change the country's Constitution and may enable the President, under fire for serious human rights violations and cheating, to stay in power well beyond 2010.

The swift passage of HR 1109 in the House of Representatives only reflects what the majority bloc, whose members belong to Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's party, plans for the upcoming elections in 2010. According to the supporters of the Resolution, the approval of HR 1109 paves the way for Congress to change the Constitution through a Constituent Assembly.

The passage of HR 1109 is but a show of force by the majority in the House of Representatives. The House cannot convene itself as a Constituent Assembly without the Senate’s approval of the same resolution. As noted by Fr. Joaquin Bernas, an expert on Constitutional matters, the House of Representatives “cannot exclude the Senate” in voting for such a measure to change the Constitution simply because “Congress is [composed of both] the House and the Senate.”

Indeed, the passage of HR 1109, done in haste and stealth, betrays the arrogance of power on the part of the House of Representatives. Past surveys, including the one recently conducted by IBON Foundation, revealed that the majority of the people did not favour Cha-cha (or charter change) at this time or before the 2010 elections.

“This is unbelievable. They hurriedly passed the resolution in the dead of the night with the intent to change the Constitution and to ensure that Gloria Macapagal Arroyo can stay in power beyond her second term which is prohibited by the 1987 constitution that came out precisely to prevent another dictatorship after Marcos’s Martial Law,” says Diwa Marcelino, Bayan Canada spokesperson for Toronto.

Bayan Canada Secretary-General Joey Calugay adds that the Arroyo regime is becoming more desperate as the elections approach. “As Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Arroyo is well aware that the military and state agents are widely known to have committed numerous crimes against the people; surely she must also know that her family's involvement in one of the worst cases of graft and corruption since the Marcos dictatorship will land her in hot water when she steps down from office. Arroyo will do everything she can to stay in power, including bribing members of Congress to pass HR 1109 and making sure her cronies toe the line,” explains Calugay.

“This type of cronyism shows that a Constituent Assembly will not vote in favour of the people's interest when making changes to the Philippine Constitution,” he further comments.



Through this Constituent Assembly, the current administration aims to strip the Constitution of its provisions that uphold national sovereignty and protect national patrimony, further laying bare the economy to continued exploitation and plunder by foreign corporate greed, thereby intensifying the present economic crisis. These will set the stage for the unbridled entry of US troops (now numbering some 40,000 US soldiers scattered in 25 provinces since the Visiting Forces Agreement took effect in 1999) into the country and the establishment of permanent US military bases on Philippine soil.

“This is the right time for people to march again in the streets and protest this kind of oppression of the Filipino people by GMA cronies in the House,” says Jonathan Canchela, Chairperson of Filipino Migrant Workers’ Movement, a member organization of Migrante-Ontario.

“Let the people’s voice be heard in the halls of Congress and in the parliament of the streets. We will not tolerate this arrogance of power and the political self-interest of the Arroyo regime.”

Bayan Canada calls on all its allied organizations to continue to monitor the developments on charter change and to organize protest actions in the coming days.

Diwa Marcelino - BAYAN Canada National Organizing Committee
cell (416) 809-3492 or email diwa.marcelino@gmail.com

Member organizations:

BAYAN Organizing Committee Quebec, PINAY – Filipino Women’s Organization of Quebec, Filipino Workers Support Group – Montreal (FWSG)

BAYAN Organizing Committee Ontario, Migrante Ontario, Filipino Migrant Worker’s Movement (FMWM), Philippine Advocacy Through the Arts and Culture (PATAC), Pilipinong Migrante sa Barrie (PMB), Philippine Migrant Society of Canada – Ottawa (PMSC), Damayan Migrant Education and Resource Centre, Migrante Youth, AWARE, Migrant Family and Resource Centre

BAYAN Organizing Committe Manitoba, Damayan ManitobaBAYAN Organizing Committee Alberta

BAYAN Organizing Committee British Columbia, Migrante British Columbia

Supporting organizations:

Centre d’appui aux Philippines - Centre for Philippine Concerns – Montreal (CAP-CPC), Ontario Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines – Ottawa (OCHRP), Philippine Network for Justice and Peace - Toronto (PNJP), Canada-Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights – Vancouver (CPSHR), Victoria Philippine Solidarity Group (VPSG)




Bayan leads indignation rally vs Con-Ass railroading
News Release
June 3, 2009

The umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan led various sectors today in an indignation rally versus the railroading of House Resolution 1109 which calls for the convening of a Constituent Assembly. The groups under Bayan converged at the gates of the House of Representatives, the site of recent violent dispersal of protest actions.

The group said that the measure has reinforced legitimate fears that the Arroyo regime intends to perpetuate itself in power beyond 2010.

“It was the most disgusting display of the tyranny of numbers. At least in the past impeachment votes, they allowed the opposition to air their views. This time, even opposing views were muzzled,” said Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes, Jr. who was present in the gallery during the voting last night.

“The House leadership also did not want the people to witness the vote. Many from our groups were barred at the Batasan gates, some went home drenched from the rain. There were so many vacant seats yet taxpayers weren’t allowed in the gallery. The con-ass vote last night was definitely a new low for the Arroyo-led House of Representatives. The Lower House has absolutely no credibility left and will be forever known as a rubberstamp of the Arroyo regime,” Reyes said.

Bayan chair Carol Araullo said that the persistent moves to push for con-ass will galvanize the broad anti-Arroyo opposition into taking to the streets once again.

“There is no other recourse but to engage in direct action to protest this latest measure to prolong Mrs. Arroyo’s stay in power. We cannot leave the matter simply to the Supreme Court because that is what Arroyo’s allies are hoping for. We must start the protests as soon as possible,” she said.

“That Malacanang has certified this measure as urgent leaves no doubt who the real beneficiary is,” she added.

Bayan has called on its chapters nationwide to launch sustained mass actions against Arroyo’s charter change after the House vote last night. A noise barrage protest is being readied this Friday, the group said.



Information Bureau
Communist Party of the Philippines

CPP condemns midnight railroading of "con-ass" to ensure extension of Arroyo's reign

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today said the railroading last night of the House of Representatives' Resolution 1109 (HR 1109) only shows how dead set Gloria Arroyo and her ilk are in ensuring the extension of their reign beyond 2010.

"Arroyo's cohorts in the House of Representatives' raced against midnight to approve a resolution convening Congress as a Constituent Assembly ('con-ass'), supposedly with the lower and upper chambers voting jointly, but in reality even without the participation of the Senate. Arroyo's cohorts in the Lower House employed their tyranny of numbers to ram their 'con-ass' resolution through despite objections of the opposition and the mass of the people," said the CPP.

HR 1109 was hurried through last night as Congress goes on a recess starting tomorrow. Pro-Arroyo henchmen expect the "con-ass" resolution to be questioned by the opposition as well as the Senate before the Supreme Court, but are confident that the Arroyo-appointed majority of the justices would vote in favor of the resolution.

"As admitted by its proponents, HR 1109 opens various possibilities and options for the US-Arroyo regime to remain in power, including the mere extension of Arroyo and other elected officials' term with the cancellation of the 2010 elections, as well as a shift to a parliamentary form of government with Arroyo at its helm, as she and her cohorts have long been pushing for," said the CPP.

"All these dirty political schemings bare the heightened desperation of Gloria Arroyo and her cohorts to remain in power in order for them to continue with their corruption, their puppetry and sellout to their US imperialist masters, and their oppression and repression of the people," added the CPP. "The CPP calls on all revolutionary forces and the mass of the Filipino people to unite and intensify their struggle against the US-Arroyo regime and its schemes to perpetuate its rule.

"The Filipino people have had more than enough of Gloria Arroyo. They have suffered great hardships in close to a decade of her regime's corruption, rottenness, puppetry and repression. They are determined to oust her from power as soon as they can effectively muster their forces before, during or after the 2010 elections," said the CPP. "All anti-Arroyo forces must unite to intensify the protest movement with ever larger and more widespread mass demonstrations and support the revolutionary armed struggle to finally oust the hated regime and the rotten system it seeks to perpetuate."  ►►►




To the Officers and Men of the Armed Forces of the Philippines:

Last Tuesday’s brazen railroading of the Con-Ass Resolution has erased whatever doubts we have about GMA’s true intention of holding on to power beyond 2010. This is not the first time she has trampled upon the Constitution we have all sworn to follow and respect. The EDSA Dos in 2001 was a coup d’etat that we, as an organization, took part in to oust a duly elected president. The 2004 election cheating, as exposed by the ‘Hello Garci’ tapes, was partly an AFP operation masterminded by the former Chief-of-Staff, Gen. Hermogenes Esperon. Countless other offenses have followed since.

GMA is determined and she will keep on ramming through every perceived obstacle there is, until she attains her much-coveted goal.

Now, only the collective will of the people with the support of the AFP can stop her.

I, therefore, call on every officer and enlisted man to follow your conscience and do what is right – PROTECT THE PEOPLE AND THE STATE!

God bless us all.


"The armed revolutionary forces, on their part, will further intensify the tactical offensives of the New People's Army (NPA) nationwide to weaken the Arroyo regime and help derail its manuevers to prolong its stay in power."

Marco Valbuena
Media Officer
Cellphone Numbers: 09179776392 :: 09282242061



June 3, 2009

KAWAGIB urges government to prioritize plight of IDPs over Cha-Cha

DATU PIANG,Maguindanao—KAWAGIB Moro Human Rights group expresses utmost concern on
mounting number of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) also known ‘bakwits’
in Maguindanao wrought by the continuing intensive surgical military operations
against suspected positions of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) here.

The IDPs have been suffering in congested evacuation centers, schools buildings
and shanties in vacant lots for ten months now since the fighting flared up in
August 2008. They have been longing to return home but the situation has gotten
even worst as the government incessantly carries on with its campaign against
the MILF Commanders in Lanao and Maguindanao.

KAWAGIB has documented numerous human rights violations against the IDPs
especially women and children. This year, there were eight incidents where
rights of innocent civilians were violated. On January 20, 2009 two
minors from barangay Libutan, Mamasapano, Maguindanao suffered from multiple
wounds when hit by shrapnels from 105mm howitzer mortar.

On March 01, fifty seven families were once again forced to flee from Balong
and Montay to Datu Piang after the military bombarded the nearby town of Kabuntalan.
The following day, cousins Norhad Datukan, 14, Mamandok Edza, 10, Mahamidin
Edza, 13 and Ebspangga Edza, 25 went to Lumopog, Midsayap to get their banca
when two soldiers held and accused them as members of the MILF’s 105th Base
Command. The minors told KAWAGIB that they were slapped by the soldiers and Ebspangga
was detained for one day.

On April 20, Ustadz Ayub Guiamlod died in front of his students at the Jamaatul
Jabar Madrasah due to heavy artillery from 155mm howitzer mortar. His students
saw him fell to the floor trembling upon hearing the second round heavy
artillery fired at the target barangays in Datu Saudi Ampatuan and Datu Piang.

Kamid Samad, also an IDP, died when military launched 105mm howitzer mortar in
Datu Unsay, Maguindanao on April 27. His son suffered from multiple wounds.

The number of IDPs in Maguindanao have now reached 50, 333 but only 15, 522
were served.

Further, there were also reports of militaries entering evacuation centers in
Maguindanao and frisked random male IDPs accusing them of being members or supporters
of the rebel group.

Last month, non government organizations delivering assistance to IDPs and
media were barred from entering evacuation centers in Maguindanao. This act is a
complete human rights violation as it exacerbates the sufferings of IDPs and
deprives the right of the public to know the real situation of the affected civilians.
Moreover, military men have occasionally controlled food rations through food

The government should concentrate in pursuing the peace talk with the MILF instead of adopting an all-out war policy and deploying more troops in the area. But apparently, it has no desire or intent to resolve the ongoing conflict.

While thousands of civilians continue to suffer in Maguindanao, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her minions are busy advancing ruse to stay in power. Arroyo’s allies in the Lower House have railroaded on Wednesday night House Resolution 1109, which calls on members of Congress to convene as a constituent assembly or Con-Ass.

The Arroyo government and its cohorts clearly have nothing on its agenda but maintaining
its reign over the nation. Addressing the country’s immense social and economic
problems is just secondary or a mere pretense.

KAWAGIB is urging the government to end the clamor to stay in power and take a serious attention into the alarming situation of the IDPs in Maguindanao. #



June 2, 2009

Kabataan Party-list Rep. Mong Palatino, 09085927099, cong.mongpalatino@gmail.com
Jose Cosido, Media Officer, 09235037264

No compelling reason to push for cha-cha, says solon

Kabataan Party-list Rep. Mong Palatino today said that he sees no compelling or pressing need to push for charter change, even as the House of Representatives is set to hear House Resolution 1109 at the plenary today.

“There is no compelling or pressing need to amend the Constitution at this time. Instead, any proposal or attempt to amend the Constitution could only be construed as a measure to perpetuate the present administration in power,” Palatino said.

Palatino said that “the proposal to convene Congress unilaterally through a constituent assembly, with the interpretation that it can be approved via a simple majority vote in the plenary, may merely be a ruse to amend the Constitution without the intervention of a vocally anti-charter change Senate.”

“Through a constituent assembly, an administration-dominated Lower House could easily delete provisions in HR 1109 which prohibit term extension for the president, vice-president or any public official beyond 2010, or for said public officials to seek re-election,” he said.

Palatino said even the removal of protectionist economic provisions in the Constitution, per the Nograles-authored HR 737, it seems now, was merely being used to justify a very unpopular administration-backed charter change.

“This now seems to be the case as Speaker Nograles appears to have abandoned his own resolution in favor of a constituent assembly,” Palatino said ###


Congress approval of House Bill 1109 is “betrayal of the Filipino people ” OFWs in South Korea opined

“We will not let this charade and duplicity of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her allies in the House of Representatives pass without raising our fierce resistance to the setting-up of a constituent assembly to amend the 1987 Constitution. This is a betrayal of the Filipino people and high treachery,” said Pol Par, Chairperson of the Katipunan ng mga Samahan ng Migranteng Manggagawa sa Korea or KASAMMAKO.

Pol Par believes that the railroading of parliamentary process by the pro-Arroyo lawmakers in Congress to approve House Bill 1009 constituting both the Congress and Senate to a Constitutional Assembly (Con-ass) to amend the 1987 Constitution is an act of puppetry devoid of moral decency and callousness. They have treated the 1987 Constitution as a piece of soiled table napkin that can be easily disposed of after a full-meal, yet they want some more of pork barrel on their treacherous tables.

“This hideous scheme of Mrs. Arroyo to amend the Constitution reveals her desperate ambition to cling to power after 2010 through revision of the term limits of the President and other elected government officials, economic and political provisions, and paving the way to change the set up of the government from Presidential to Parliamentary system. Staying in power is Mrs. Arroyo’s delusion of grandeur. She thinks that staying in power beyond 2010 is the only way that she could escape the people’s vengeance when her term ends as numerous cases are to be filed against her once her Presidential immunity has ended,” the OFW leader continued.

“There are numerous cases of graft and corruption involving her and the First Gentleman, the continuing political repression, extra-judicial killings and abduction of leaders of opposition and people’s organizations. There is the continued criminal neglect to thousands of distressed OFWs in many countries around the world, are only few of the many political blunders of the Arroyo administration against the Filipino people. More so with pro-Arroyo’s lawmakers, instead of attending to more important bills that will alleviate the hardships of the people such as the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill, the P125 across-the-board wage increase, and those that’ll improve services to OFWs, they allowed themselves to be duped into passing HB 1009”, the KASAMMAKO chairperson lamented.

“As an alliance of organizations of migrant workers in South Korea, KASAMMAKO will counteract this treacherous scheme of Mrs. Arroyo and her allies in Congress through mass protest actions in various forms and in an internationally coordinated manner. We will urge our families and relatives in the Philippines not to support or vote pro Con-ass lawmakers whose self-serving political and economic interests are more important than the common good of the Filipino people,” Pol Par concluded.

Katipunan ng mga Samahan ng Migranteng Manggagawa sa Korea (KASAMMAKO)
Seoul, South Korea
Contact numbers: 82-106-8727-526


IBON Press statement / 4 June 2009
Reference: Sonny Africa (IBON research head)


The effort to convene a constituent assembly creates the conditions for constitutional amendments that will recklessly further open up and stunt the domestic economy. Moreover, the current Charter change (Cha-cha) initiative heightens the possibility of political instability in the country.

The economy’s long-standing underdevelopment and descent into recession show how the domestic economy should be actively nurtured and protected. Cha-cha under the present administration however repeats the failed neoliberal framework and surrenders the economy to foreign capital. The crisis in the US, EU and Japan is forcing capitalist countries to become even more aggressive in seeking profitable opportunities abroad at the expense of the Third World. As it is the joint foreign chambers of commerce have already made explicit their agenda to seek to increase their profits in the Philippines, which they get from exploiting the country’s natural resources, labor, and markets.

The railroading of House Resolution 1109 by Arroyo allies also sets the stage for heightened political instability because it confirms Arroyo’s unrelenting effort and desperation to remain in power. IBON’s latest survey shows that majority of Filipinos do not favor Cha-cha and believe that the real motive behind the initiative is for the Arroyo clique to extend its term in power. Moreover, the deepening economic crisis and ensuing government neglect are significant factors creating conditions for upheaval.

However, the tipping point leading to rapidly accelerating outrage and protest will likely be reached when it becomes clear that the 2010 elections and desired removal of Arroyo from leadership would not be taking place. But while Arroyo allies apparently prefer the Cha-cha option, the people should also be prepared for other means that the ruling clique might execute out of desperation to stay in power.

It is clear that the present Cha-cha initiative is no different from the past failed attempts to change the Constitution. It serves the political self-interest of Arroyo and the economic self-interest of foreign capital, and will clearly be rejected by the people. (end)

IBON Foundation, Inc. is an independent development institution established in 1978 that provides research, education, publications, information work and advocacy support on socioeconomic issues.




“The Law has been put aside and just decrees are no longer issued. The wicked overrule the upright and nothing is seen but crooked laws.” (Habakkuk 1:4)

These words of Habakkuk, the prophet, became so real during the Second Session of the 14th Congress in one of the darkest nights of Philippine democracy when the 145-strong merged Lakas-Kampi solons approved HR 1109 for charter change through constituent assembly. This Victor Ortega et al. sponsored House Resolution, which was so wily and devious because it did not have the specific proposals for charter change and did not need three-fourths vote required in order to propose a constitutional change, gang-raped the Philippine Constitution. When HR 737 for charter change, which has specific proposals about amending some provisions of the 1987 Constitution, was even considered inappropriate, how can this nebulous HR 1109 get the support of the majority of Congressmen? Are not these congressmen intelligent enough to use proper judgment in supporting or not a questionable resolution or are there monetary reasons and marching orders from somebody that pushed them to do this act which many now consider as immoral? What interests are stake by the powers that be why this proposal was considered with great priority and be approved with haste without the bicameral character of our legislature and without passing the long process of informing and consulting the people about this House Resolution, its true nature and its impact to the lives of the citizens of our country? Arguably, the action of the congressmen who supported and approved HR 1109 is certainly unpatriotic and gives a mockery to the democratic rights of our people.

The PCPR-Negros strongly opposed this move for Charter Change through a Constituent Assembly (Cha-Cha Con-Ass). Let us uphold the democratic rights of all sectors of our society! Let us be vigilant and protect the genuine democracy of our motherland!

PCPR-Negros Occidental
June 3, 2009

The June Bribes



ABLAN, ROQUE R. JR, Ilocos Norte, 1st District
AGBAYANI, VICTOR AGUEDO E. Pangasinan, 2nd District
AGYAO, MANUEL, S Kalinga Province
ALBANO (III), RODOLFO T. Isabela, 1st District
ALFELOR, FELIX R. JR. 4th District, Camarines Sur
ALMARIO, THELMA Z. Davao Oriental, 2nd District
ALVAREZ, ANTONIO C. Palawan 1st District
ALVAREZ, GENARO RAFAEL M. JR. Negros Occidental, 6th District
AMANTE, EDELMIRO A. Agusan Del Norte, 2nd District
AMATONG, ROMMEL C. Compostela Valley, 2nd District
ANGPING, MARIA ZENAIDA B. Manila, 3rd District
ANTONINO, RODOLFO W. Nueva Ecija, 4th District
APOSTOL, TRINIDAD G. Leyte, 2nd District
AQUINO, JOSE S. (II) 1st District Agusan del Norte
ARAGO, MARIA EVITA R. 3rd district, Laguna
ARBISON, A MUNIR M. Sulu 2nd District
ARENAS, MA. RACHEL J. Pangasinan, 3rd District
ARROYO, DIOSDADO M. Camarines Sur, 1st District
ARROYO, IGNACIO T. 5th district Negros Occidental
ARROYO, JUAN MIGUEL M. 2nd District of Pampanga
BAGATSING, AMADO S. Manila 5th district
BALINDONG, PANGALIAN M. Lanao del Sur, 2nd District
BARZAGA, ELPIDIO F. JR. Cavite, 2nd District
BAUTISTA, FRANKLIN P. Davao Del Sur, 2nd District
BELMONTE, VICENTE F. JR. Lanao del Norte, 1st District
BICHARA, AL FRANCIS C. Albay, 2nd District
BIRON, FERJENEL G. Iloilo, 4th District
BONDOC, ANNA YORK P. Pampanga 4th District
BONOAN-DAVID, MA. THERESA B. Manila, 4th District
BRAVO, NARCISO R. JR. Masbate, 1st District
BUHAIN, EILEEN ERMITA Batangas, 1st District
BULUT, ELIAS C. JR. Apayao Lone District
CAGAS (IV), MARC DOUGLAS C. Davao Del Sur, 1st District
CAJAYON, MARY MITZI L. Caloocan, 2nd District
CAJES, ROBERTO C. Bohol, 2nd District
CARI, CARMEN L. Leyte, 5th District
CASTRO, FREDENIL H. Capiz, 2nd District
CELESTE, ARTHUR F. Pangasinan, 1st District
CERILLES, ANTONIO H. Zamboanga Del Sur, 2nd District
CHATTO, EDGARDO M. Bohol, 1st District
CHONG, GLENN A. Biliran, Lone District
CHUNG-LAO, SOLOMON R. Ifugao, Lone District
CLARETE, MARINA C. Misamis Occidental, 1st District
CODILLA, EUFROCINO M. SR. Leyte, 4th District
COJUANCO, MARK O. Pangasinan, 5th District
COQUILA, TEODULO M. Eastern Samar, Lone District
CRISOLOGO, VINCENT P. Quezon City, 1st District
CUA, JUNIE E. Quirino, Lone District
CUENCO, ANTONIO V. Cebu City, 2nd District
DANGWA, SAMUEL M. Benguet, Lone District
DATUMANONG, SIMEON A. Maguindanao, Lone District
Dayanghirang, Nelson L. Davao Oriental, 1st District
DAZA, NANETTE C. Quezon City, 4th District
DAZA, PAUL R. Northern Samar, 1st District
DE GUZMAN, DEL R. Marikina City, 2nd District
DEFENSOR, ARTHUR D. SR. Iloilo, 3rd District
DEFENSOR, MATIAS V. JR. Quezon City, 3rd District
DEL MAR, RAUL V. Cebu City, 1st District
DIASNES, CARLO OLIVER D. (MD) Batanes, Lone District
DIMAPORO, ABDULLAH D. Lanao Del Norte, 2nd District
DOMOGAN, MAURICIO G. Baguio, Lone District
DUAVIT, MICHAEL JOHN R. Rizal, 1st District
DUENAS, HENRY M. JR. Taguig, 2nd District (2nd Councilor District)
DUMARPA, FAYSAH MRP. Lanao del Sur, 1st District
DUMPIT, THOMAS L. JR. La Union, 2nd District
DURANO (IV), RAMON H. 5th District, Cebu
ECLEO, GLENDA B. Dinagat Islands, Lone District
EMANO, YEVGENY VICENTE B. Misamis Oriental, 2nd District
ENVERGA, WILFRIDO MARK M. Quezon, 1st District
ESTRELLA, CONRADO M. (III) Pangasinan, 6th District
FERRER, JEFFREY P. Negros Occidental, 4th District
GARAY, FLORENCIO C. Surigao Del Sur, 2nd District
GARCIA, ALBERT S. Bataan, 2nd District.
GARCIA, PABLO JOHN F. Cebu, 3rd District
GARCIA, PABLO P. Cebu, 2nd District
GARCIA, VINCENT J. Davao City, 2nd District
GARIN, JANETTE L. Iloilo, 1st District
GATCHALIAN, REXLON T. Valenzuela City, 1st District
GATLABAYAN, ANGELITO C. Antipolo City, 2nd District
GO, ARNULFO F. Sultan Kudarat, 2nd District
GONZALES, AURELIO D. JR. Pampanga 3rd District
GONZALES, RAUL T. JR. Ilo ilo City
GULLAS, EDUARDO R. Cebu, 1st District
GUNIGUNDO, MAGTANGGOL T. Valenzuela City 2nd District
HOFER, DULCE ANN K. Zamboanga Sibugay, 2nd District
JAAFAR, NUR G. Tawi-Tawi, Lone District
JALA, ADAM RELSON L. Bohol, 3rd District
JALOSJOS, CESAR G. Zamboanga del Norte, 3rd District
JALOSJOS-CARREON, CECILIA G. Zamboanga del Norte, 1st District
JIKIRI, YUSOP H. Sulu, 1st District
KHO, ANTONIO T. Masbate, 2nd District
LABADLABAD, ROSENDO S. Zamboanga del Norte, 2nd District
LACSON, JOSE CARLOS V. Negros Occidental, 3rd District
LAGDAMEO, ANTONIO F. JR. Davao del Norte, 2nd District
LAPUS, JECI A. Tarlac, 3rd District
LAZATIN, CARMELO F. Pampanga, 1st District
LIM, RENO G. Albay, 3rd District
LOPEZ, JAIME C. Manila, 2nd District
MADRONA, ELEANORA JESUS F. Romblon, Lone District
MAGSAYSAY, MARIA MILAGROS H. Zambales, 1st District
MALAPITAN, OSCAR G. Caloocan, 1st District
MAMBA, MANUEL N. Cagayan, 3rd District
MARANON, ALFREDO D. III Negros Occidental, 2nd District
MATUGAS, FRANCISCO T. Surigao del Norte, 1st District
MENDOZA, MARK LEANDRO L. Batangas, 4th District
MERCADO, ROGER G. Southern Leyte, Lone District
NAVA, JOAQUIN CARLOS RAHMAN A. (MD) Guimaras, Lone District
NICOLAS, REYLINA G. Bulacan, 4th District
NOGRALES, PROSPERO C. Davao City, 1st District
OLAñO, ARREL R. Davao Del Norte, 1st District
ONG, EMIL L. Northern Samar, 2nd District
ORTEGA, VICTOR FRANCISCO C. La Union, 1st District
PANCHO, PEDRO M. Bulacan, 2nd District
PANCRUDO, CANDIDO P. JR. Bukidnon, 1st District
PICHAY, PHILIP A. Surigao Del Sur, 1st District
PIñOL, BERNARDO F. JR. North Cotabato, 2nd District
PUNO, ROBERTO V. Antipolo City, 1st District
RAMIRO, HERMINIA M. Misamis Occidental, 2nd District
REMULLA, JESUS CRISPIN C. Cavite, 3rd District
REYES, CARMELITA O. Marinduque, Lone District
REYES, VICTORIA H. Batangas, 3rd District
ROBES, ARTURO G. San Jose Del Monte City, Lone District
Rodriguez-Zaldarriaga, Adelina Rizal, 2nd District
ROMAN, HERMINIA B. Bataan, 1st District
ROMARATE, GUILLERMO A. JR. Surigao del Norte, 2nd District
ROMUALDO, PEDRO Camiguin, Lone District
ROMULO, ROMAN T. Pasig City, Lone District
SALIMBANGON, BENHUR L. Cebu, 4th District
SALVACION JR., ANDRES D. Leyte, 3rd District
SAN LUIS, EDGAR S. Laguna, 4th District
SANDOVAL, ALVIN S. Malabon-Navotas, Lone District
SANTIAGO, JOSEPH A. Catanduanes, Lone District
SEACHON-LANETE, RIZALINA L. 3rd district of Masbate
SEARES-LUNA, CECILIA M. Abra, Lone District
SILVERIO, LORNA C. Bulacan, 3rd District
SINGSON, ERIC D. Ilocos Sur, 2nd District
SINGSON, RONALD V. Ilocos Sur, 1st District
SOLIS, JOSE G. Sorsogon, 2nd District
SUAREZ, DANILO E. Quezon, 3rd District
SUSANO, MARY ANN L. Quezon City, 2nd District
SY-ALVARADO, MA. VICTORIA R. Bulacan, 1st District
SYJUCO, JUDY J. 2nd Dsitrict, Iloilo
TALINO-MENDOZA, EMMYLOU J. North Cotabato, 1st District
TAN, SHAREE ANN T. Samar, 2nd District
TEODORO, MARCELINO R. Marikina City, 1st District
TEVES, PRYDE HENRY A. Negros Oriental, 3rd District
TUPAS, NEIL C. JR. Iloilo, 5th District
UNGAB, ISIDRO T. Davao City, 3rd District
UY, EDWIN C. Isabela, 2nd District
UY, REYNALDO S. Samar, 1st District
UY, ROLANDO A. Cagayan De Oro City, Lone District
VALENCIA, RODOLFO G. Oriental Mindoro, 1st District
VARGAS, FLORENCIO L. Cagayan, 2nd District
VILLAFUERTE, LUIS R. Camarines Sur, 2nd District
VILLAROSA, MA. AMELITA C. Occidental Mindoro, Lone District
VIOLAGO, JOSEPH GILBERT F. Nueva Ecija, 2nd District
YAP, JOSE V. Tarlac, 2nd District
YU, VICTOR J. Zamboanga Del Sur, 1st District
ZAMORA, MANUEL E. 1st District, Compostela Valley
ZIALCITA, EDUARDO C. Parañaque, 1st District





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- Tanada
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- Antonino-Custodio
- De Venecia
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