ILPS SOLIDARITY AND SUPPORT FOR MASS ACTIONS
AGAINST FAKE CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY
By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson, International League of Peoples' Struggle
On behalf of the International League of Peoples' Struggle and in
coordination with its Philippine Chapter, I convey the firmest solidarity
with and support for the Filipino people and all the patriotic forces that
are outraged by House Resolution 1109 and are determined to stop the fake
constituent assembly of the congressional asses of the Arroyo regime.
The broad masses of the people have all the right to be indignant and
exert every effort to thwart the “con-ass” scheme. The evil purpose of
this machination is to perpetuate the Arroyo regime under the pretext of
adopting a parliamentary system and make the most blatant anti-national
and anti-democratic amendments to the 1987 constitution of the reactionary
state. Anything goes once the “con-ass” fast break gets underway!
The congressional asses of the regime have announced that their main
interest is to carry out constitutional amendments for letting foreign
investors acquire ownership and control over all natural resources and
economic enterprises to the extent of 100 per cent and to sell out the
economic sovereignty and national patrimony of the Filipino people.
The regime and its congressional asses seem to be oblivious of the
economic and social devastation already wrought by so-called neoliberal
globalization through de-nationalization, liberalization, privatization
and deregulation in favor of the monopoly capitalists and their big
The regime and its congressional asses are also hell-bent on letting US
and other foreign military forces unrestricted stay and operations in the
Philippines and on doing away with the constitutional provisions against
the basing of foreign military forces and nuclear, chemical, biological
and other weapons of mass destruction.
The Arroyo regime intends to remove the constitutional restraints on
martial law, emergency rule and violations of human rights. It seeks to
undercut the formal guarantees of civil and political liberties in the
bill of rights. Driven by its desire to keep and enlarge its ill-gotten
wealth and by its fear of future prosecution for corruption, the Arroyo
ruling clique is obsessed with perpetuating itself in power, engaging in
state terrorism and being propped up by US economic and military power.
The broad masses of the Filipino people are justly seething with anger
over the evil scheme of “charter change” through “constituent assembly”
monopolized by the congressional asses of the Arroyo regime. The broad
united front of forces against the scheme includes the patriotic and
progressive mass organizations of workers, peasants, urban poor, fisher
folk, indigenous people, women and youth, the civic and professional
associations, the religious institutions, the opposition parties, the
anti-Arroyo government officials and the military and police officers.
I look forward to the success of the protest rallies at Ayala Avenue in
Makati and other places on June 10 as the opening salvo for more massive
and militant protest mass actions. Whatever is the degree of success at
mass mobilization on Wednesday, the people and the broad united front must
exert all efforts to increase the number, fervor and scale of participants
in the further protest mass actions to be undertaken in the national
capital region and in the entire country.
We must learn the best methods of arousing, organizing and mobilizing the
people from the most successful protest mass actions in recent Philippine
history, including the First Quarter Storm of 1970 and the mass actions of
1970 to 1972, the anti-fascist mass campaign from 1983 to 1986, the
funeral marches for Aquino in 1983 and for Olalia in 1986 and the mass
uprisings of 1986 and 2001.
We must not be satisfied with only one big meeting away from the
presidential palace. We must have several major assembly points, whose
rallyists march to and converge on the big meeting that is relatively
close to the palace and has the option to close in on it. Remember that in
the 1986 overthrow of Marcos, when most of the BAYAN people were at EDSA,
the people mostly from Kilusang Mayo Uno and the League of Filipino
Students concentrated on Mendiola in order to ultimately break through the
Also in 2001 the incumbent president decided to call it quits when he saw
tens of thousands of youth led by Anakbayan and the student organizations
marching from Edsa and nearing the palace. It is a favorable circumstance
that several schools, colleges and universities are in the vicinity of the
palace. Properly and effectively aroused and mobilized, the student masses
cannot be stopped from occupying the streets, plazas and churchyards that
are relatively close to the presidential palace.
It is not enough to have big mass actions only in the national capital
region. It is necessary to have Lakbayans from Central and Southern Luzon.
It is necessary to hold the mass actions nationwide in all provincial
cities, capitals and major towns. And before the day of the big rally, it
is necessary to hold build up rallies in particular communities,
factories, farms, schools and parishes.
Because the people are faced with a treasonous, corrupt and bloodthirsty
regime in hubris, it is necessary to outstrip the successful protest
actions and campaigns in recent Philippine history in terms of arousing,
organizing and mobilizing the broad masses of the people and persuading
the military and police of the reactionary state to respect the democratic
rights of the people, particularly the freedom of speech and assembly, and
not to follow orders from above to inflict violence on the people and
violate their human rights.###
The photos correspond to the list of the congressmen who endorsed the
representaive is addressed Honorable So and So. They do look very
honorable and very respectable ladies and gentilemen when clad in their
formal attire. But remembering how they railroaded the Con-Ass at
midnight, we immediately recall this poem by the late National Artist
Amado V. Hernandez:
Ayon kay Darwin
ni Amado V. Hernandez
Nakita ng bata ang unggoy sa hardin
"Bakit walang damit?", ang patakang tanong
Ang amang nagbasa ng aklat ni Darwin
Sa bunso'y ganito ang maliksing tugon:
"Pag binihisan mo ang unggoy na yan
Saka isinakay sa magarang awto
Laking alingasngas kung mapagkamalan
Na isang kagawad ng ating Kongreso!"
The State Terror That Is
the Constitutional Assembly
Statement of the Congress of Teachers and Educators for Nationalism and
June 8, 2009
When an incumbent president is
guilty of graft and corruption, massive electoral fraud, human rights
violations and the worst forms of complicity to imperialist plunder and
violence, any move that will indefinitely extend her power must be opposed
The formation of a Constituent Assembly that will eventually adopt changes
to the Constitution is yet another attempt by the U.S.-Arroyo regime to
use the rule of law as a means for felonious ends.
Macapagal-Arroyo' s Cha-Cha sideswipes our historic struggle for peaceful
and and progressive Philippines.
What is at stake in opposing the Macapagal-Arroyo- sponsored
Constituent Assembly is our right and responsibility to defend the
people's democratic rights. While the current constitution is not perfect,
it is only through the democratic exercise of our freedoms can we
determine the changes needed for the rule of law to serve the people.
The proposed Charter Change (Cha-Cha) poses a threat to the hard-won
provisions enshrined in the 1987 Philippine Constitution which addresses
the abuse of military power and the fascist character of a government that
only protects the interest of the ruling elite. The prohibition against
the permanent settlement of military troops and their engagement in combat
exercises within our territory is the people's vow to defend national
sovereignty. Arroyo's fascistic regime, however, can only run to its
imperialist master to reinforce and inflict its perverse sense of law and
order. With more that 1,000 victims of extra-judicial killings and more
than 200 people disappeared since Arroyo assumed office in 2001, it is our
most urgent task to expose the most brutal forms of torture and killing
this regime has unleashed and thwart all sorts of maneuvers for Arroyo to
sow state terror beyond 2010.
Provisions against foreign ownership of public lands and utilities in the
current Constitution are a testament to our commitment to national
industrialization. Yet Cha-Cha attempts to lift provisions that protect
Philippine economy from unlimited foreign economic domination. Amid the
toughest of times, what we need are job security, domestic growth and
access to social services. Arroyo's Cha-Cha totally eradicates our claims
to these constitutional rights in its bid to allow the most powerful
foreign entities to exploit our natural resources. Cha-Cha's absurd
purpose is to further empower foreign corporations to operate, gain
absolute control over and rake profits from utilities such as electricity,
communications and water. Instead of genuine change, Arroyo's Cha-Cha aims
to further entrench the neoliberal doctrine gleaned in the new provisions'
bias for foreign and private big business to take control over public
utilities and our democratic institutions.
The Constituent Assembly that will pave the way for Arroyo's Cha-Cha is
nothing but the ruling clique's means to manage the systemic crisis and
the overwhelming opposition to the oppressive system that it generates
from the people. The Arroyo regime is making use of an erstwhile formula
tried and proven to be bankrupt: it aims to manipulate the legal structure
for the same to set the limits to the contradictory forces that, with our
decisive intervention, would turn Philippine society around.
CONTEND strongly condemns the congressional lapdogs of Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo responsible for yet another obscene fraud committed
against the people. We call on our fellow educators to arouse, mobilize
and organize among our colleagues and students to join the thousands upon
thousands of angry yet hopeful voices demanding for justice, freedom and
Oppose the Arroyo-led Constituent Assembly, JUNK CHA-CHA!
Down With Imperialist Plunder! Up With Our Struggle for National
End Macapagal Arroyo's fascist regime, OUST GMA!
Join the June 10 Makati rally to Junk Con Ass, 5 pm,
Corner of Ayala and Paseo de Roxas
The Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy or
CONTEND is a progressive organization of academics based in the University
of the Philippines- Diliman.
“For fools speak folly, and their minds plot iniquity: to practice
ungodliness, to utter error concerning the Lord, to leave the craving of
hungry unsatisfied, and to deprive the thirsty of drink. The villainies of
villains are evil; they devise wicked devices to ruin the poor with lying
words, even when the plea of the needy is right.” (Isaiah 32: 6-7)*
CHURCHPEOPLE CRY OUT:
AGAIN TO ANOTHER DICTATORSHIP! JUNK GMA's Con-ASS and
moment has invited us once again to come together as faithfuls and
declare our honest and strong condemnation on the recent move of the
Lower House for a Constitutional Assembly and the continued
schemed for Charter change obviously designed and backed up by
waves of protests and dissatisfaction over this manipulation and contempt
on our constitution echo righteous indignation of the people. We
too are being called to publicly declare our prophetic pronouncement.
PEOPLE'S ACTION AGAINST GMA'S CON-ASS AND CHACHA
Wednesday - June 10, 2009
for the ecumenical community:
3:00PM*Paseo de Roxas cor Makati Ave.
Prayer and Program
5:00PM*Paseo de Roxas cor Ayala
For information call up 9251786
Video clips on
The Cha-Cha and
Con-Ass Scandals Tv Patrol
On the street reactions on
Con-Ass, Right to Reply Bill, Cha-Cha and Hayden Kho Tv Patrol
Gabriela Video: Boses ng
Masa Laban sa Cha Cha
The ConAss Con Game
Philippine Independence Day
Rally.Madison Avenue,NYC,New York
Prometheus Bound Counting the crowd Giovanni Tapang, Ph.D.
Crowd estimates figure in most news reports after a big mobilization or
event. Every time a sizeable mass action has been conducted, whether in
Mendiola, Ayala or Edsa, conflicting estimates are issued that either
downplay or magnify the data. The politics of the count is obvious as
strength in numbers is a statement in itself.
Is there some way to effectively quantify the size of the crowd in a
The most common and practicable way is to measure the area covered by the
protest and count according to some density estimate, the number of those
who attended at a certain time. This estimation is most easily done with
overhead shots and areal surveys. Although it would tend to have a bias
against those who are under some shelter or inside a building, this
estimation would give a rough guide on the size of the crowd.
Crowd density estimates stem from the fact that people would tend to
occupy around a quarter of a square meter in a very crowded space. This
translates to around four (4) individuals comfortably standing within a
square meter. Lower crowd density means a larger space between each
person. We should also note that crowd density is usually not uniform,
except in very crowded areas, and will taper off from the central hub of
activity in the mobilization.
The time when the estimate was made is also important as crowds are
dynamic systems. Making an estimate at only one point in time can lead to
a different count if it is taken at the peak of the event or near the end.
Over a period of time, the crowd size can swell or ebb due to people
coming in and out of the assembly area.
A relatively organized contingent would have their members limit this
movement both for security and to provide organization in a big
mobilization. Marshalls are usually assigned to monitor people coming in
the hanay and to limit members that loiter around. Militant groups such as
those under BAYAN has this honed to an art and thus their numbers stay
relatively intact until the end of the program.
Other methods include counting directly from real time closed circuit TV
(CCTV) which the PNP has announced they would deploy. This is difficult at
best as the visual information in these CCTV is limited due to its small
field of view, Some other methods would extrapolate the number from the
amount of artifacts (read: trash) left by the crowd. It is also common
practice for the organizers to have reports of attendance from their
contingents from which they empirically base their attendance estimates.►
Ayala area where the broad anti-Con-Ass mobilizations were held can be
divided into 5 major areas. Section A is the area of Ayala going towards
Herrera. Section B is the central area of the intersection, section C is
along Paseo de Roxas facing the stage, section D is the side of Ayala
towards Makati Avenue/EDSA and section E is the area behind the stage.
Additional side areas such as the corner underneath HSBC building and
other corners are collectively taken together. Note that sidewalks and
other establishments are not included even though there are people that
would stand there during the mobilizations.
The maximum that these areas can hold at 4 per square meter would be
89,000 individuals. Engr. Mon Ramirez of AGHAM computed the maximum to
reach 300,000 if we include the whole stretch of Ayala from De La Rosa
until EDSA, the whole of Paseo and Makati Avenue.
One should also include in the total estimate a factor that would take
into account those people that came in late as others were leaving the
event. In last year's rally this “replacement” crowd maintained the crowd
size relatively stable until early evening. Makati employees and other
groups replaced those who left early in the program. We can use a
“replacement” factor of 20% to include those who came in late as well as
those who were not counted by the estimation (in the establishments, on
the sidewalks, etc).
If it was the crowd size that is to be the target, areas like EDSA or
multiple staging areas would be good places to assemble instead of Ayala.
This shows that the message in the mobilizations against the Con-Ass at
Ayala is the breadth of forces that were mobilized in addition to taking a
count of the size of the crowd. The groups of religious, business,
militants and the opposition attending the rallies have broadened since a
few years ago. Who protested is as important as to how many came in the
Dr. Tapang is the chairperson of AGHAM. As this article was written before
the mobilization against the Con-Ass, preliminary crowd estimates are
currently posted in www.agham.org.
June 8, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Reference: Kabataan Party-list Rep. Mong Palatino, 09085927099,
Jose Cosido, Media Officer, 09235037264
Different kind of virus to spread on June 10
Solon urges students to transform Ayala into ‘one giant classroom’
Kabataan Party-list Rep. Mong Palatino today said that classes may have
been suspended due to precautions over the AHN1 virus but a different kind
of virus is spreading among youth and students.
“Precautionary measures over the AHN1 have caused the delay of the start
of classes in colleges and universities this Monday but a more
contagious virus is spreading among our youth and students today. It is
the A-CA virus, the anti-constituent assembly virus, and more and more are
being afflicted and there’s nothing we could do to stop it,”
Palatino said that youth and students have all the reasons to be outraged
over the blatant railroading of the con-ass resolution by
administration allies in Congress.
“We simply cannot allow con-ass to push through. The Arroyos and their
allies can bribe or utilize government agencies all they want but
they will be defeated by the defiance and collective action of our youth
and our people. The only way to stop this atrocity is to go out and
protest,” Palatino said.
Palatino also called on students to make good use of the unexpected
vacation from school and join the Ayala protest on June 10.
“Let us transform Ayala into one giant classroom. Walang klase pero doon
tayo magklase sa lansangan. June 10 will be more educational and
informative of the country’s current political state than all our lectures
in school combined,” said Palatino.
Palatino also called on school administrations that are against con-ass
and charter change to encourage their students to join the June 10
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 8, 2009
Reference Person: Anton Dulce, Media Officer, 09151127148
ANAKBAYAN to soldiers, cops: Do your duty, side with the people
“Your duty is to the people. On June 10, they are in Ayala, not in
This was the message of ANAKBAYAN chairperson Ken Ramos to members of the
Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police two
days before the huge anti-Charter Change rally in Ayala, Makati.
“The best guarantee against a Martial Law scenario is to have the soldiers
and police marching side-by-side with us peacefully” he said.
Ramos mocked the statement AFP spokesman Romeo Brawner Jr. for soldiers to
remain ‘non-partisan’, ‘professional’, and not participate in the
June 10 rally.
“Look who’s talking. Extra-judicial killings, enforced disappearances,
corruption such as in the Balikatan funds: is this what Brawner is
referring to as ‘professionalism’?. Joining the June 10 rally is the least
the soliders could do to salvage the name of an institution (the
AFP) which has long been bloodstained” said Ramos.
Ramos called on to the rank-and-file soliders and cops to defy ‘any and
all’ orders to stop, disperse, prevent, and/or harass anti-Chacha
“Kapag inalis ang inyong uniform, kita naman na wala tayong pinagkaiba.
You suffer from low wages and the high cost of goods and education,
just like us. That’s why when you train your guns and water cannons at us,
para narin yung mga kapamilya niyo ang tinutukan niyo” said Ramos.
Ramos said the typical member of the two institutions has nothing to gain
from Chacha, only high-ranking officials saying “Gusto nilang
tumagal sa pwesto si GMA para tumagal rin ang pangungurakot nila. Hindi
naman gaganda kalagayan ng bansa. If GMA couldn’t do it in eight
years, she can’t do it even with 10 or more years”.###
June 8, 2009
Reference Person: Anton Dulce, Media Officer, 09151127148
Youth group challenges pro-Chacha officials, lawmakers: Join our
classes on June 10
“Ganito kami sa June 10, matututo. Sana pati kayo”
This was the challenge of ANAKBAYAN chairperson Ken Ramos to
Administration officials and pro-Admin lawmakers: to learn alongside
the youth why, and how, they oppose Charter Change.
Ramos presented a ‘curriculum for the day’, which included topics such as:
perspectives of various sectors regarding Charter Change, how it
will affect them, how Gloria Arroyo’s term can be extended, and various
ways to show one’s opposition to Chacha.
“From flooding their cellphone and email inboxes to boycotting them on the
2010 elections, It will be good for pro-Chacha lawmakers and
officials to hear first-hand how the youth plans to punish them for going
against the people’s will” said Ramos.
“Baka sakaling matauhan sila” he added.
Ramos meanwhile continued to stress the importance of the youth’s
participation on June 10, saying “Hindi na tanong kung ayaw mo sa
Chacha o hindi. Tanong na ito kung bakit dapat kumilos na tayo, at kung
ano ang pwede nating gawin”.
Ramos said they would also be holding discussions on ‘campaign training’,
so that the June 10 participants will be able to hold their own
activities in their communities, and in their schools once classes start
on June 15.
“Expect more protests on June 15 and beyond. And if the Administration is
set to convene the Constituent Assembly by July, we are also
prepared to convene ‘campus strikes’ on that month” warned Ramos. ###
8 June 2009
Reference: Garry Martinez, Chairperson, 09217229740
Ailyn Abdula, Media Officer, 09212708994
Hold remittances if con-ass convenes – Migrante
The biggest alliance of OFWs across the globe warns President Arroyo and
the proponents of the Constitutional Assembly that Filipinos in
different countries are getting ready to suspend sending their money to
the Philippines if the constituent assembly convenes.
Migrante International claims that it will exert all efforts to stop the
convening of the constituent assembly that they believe will pave
the way for President Arroyo’s dictatorial regime similar to that of
President Marcos’ dictatorship during the 70’s.
“What is at stake here is the lives and future of our children. We will
not let our hard-earned money be utilized by Arroyo’s constituent
assembly. This act will surely plunge our country back to the dark years
of the Marcos dictatorship,” Garry Martinez, chairperson of Migrante
Martinez stated that OFWs were outraged when Congress passed House
Resolution 1109 last Tuesday calling members of the Lower House to convene
as a constituent assembly to revise the constitution.
“We have already received a deluge of statements from our chapters and
Filipino communities abroad. They are already urging us to
coordinate an international campaign to stop this mockery of a people’s
initiative,” Martinez stated.
The group claims that Overseas Filipinos are disgusted not only with the
ulterior motives of the accomplices of Arroyo in Congress but also
with the manner it was deviously passed.
“Arrogant, scheming, and corrupt are the first three words to describe the
prime movers of this dastardly act. The only beneficiary of this
diabolic scheme is Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who is so desperate to remain
in power in order to escape her imminent prosecution of her crimes
against the Filipino people,” Martinez added.
The group explained that the no-term-extension provision and the guarantee
to hold the 2010 election are only ploys to make the railroading of
the HR 1109 more palatable.
But Martinez voiced what many other sectors feared; “Once they convene the
Con-Ass, all provisions in the Constitution are open for amendments,
including term extension.”
“We are calling on all OFWs to actively participate in bringing this evil
plan to history’s waste bin where it truly belongs. We have sent the
names of the proponents of HR 1109 to all our members so they will know
who betrayed them.” Martinez added. “If Arroyo and her lapdogs
pursue their diabolic plan, we intend to make our voices be heard
where it will be heard most.”
According to the central bank, remittances from overseas Filipinos reached
a record $1.47 billion in March. While in 2008, it has recorded that
Filipinos working overseas sent home US$16.4 billion — 13.7 percent more
the previous year.###
June 7, 2009
Reference Person: Anton Dulce, Media Officer, 09151127148
Despite suspension of classes, youth group vows to spread ‘virus’
“Don’t self-quarantine your outrage, infect everyone with your desire for
This was the message of ANAKBAYAN chairperson Ken Ramos as he urged youths
today to join anti-Chacha protests despite the CHED order moving the
opening of classes to June 15.
“Like a real virus, outrage against the railroading of HR 1109 is
infectious. But unlike swine flu, we want it to spread. It won’t
infect anyone if we stay at home and/or stay silent. That’s why we urged
everyone to go out and make themselves heard” said Ramos.
Ramos presented several ways how the youth could ‘spread the virus’.
“Tell everyone you know you’re against Chacha. Spread it through text and
the internet. Make your own anti-Chacha artworks and stick them
anywhere, whether its cyberspace or real-space. Make your own
‘anti-Chacha freedom wall’ so other people can express themselves. If you
see If you’re driving and encountered a street protest, beep your
horn to show your support. You could even organize your own noise barrage
near your home or school, preferrably every 11:09. But most of all,
join the protest on June 10”.
Meanwhile, Ramos had the opposite advice to Palace officials, telling them
to ‘shut up’ and ‘put themselves in self-quarantine’.
“They have symptoms of ‘Gloria flu’, such as compulsive lying to the
Filipino people. They say that they had no hand in the railroading
of HR 1109, that Con-Ass will not be used to extend Gloria’s term, etc.
But Gloria said way back in 2001 that she would not push for Chacha.
She also said in 2004 she would not run for president. For the sake
of the country’s health, they should just shut up and put themselves in
The List (partial only)
A quote from Albert Einstein:
"When God created the ass he gave him a thick skin."