Question from the bishops and nuns:

Our land is our patrimony to our children and to our children’s children.

What will become of them if our land is already owned by foreigners?

 

June 9, 2009

 

Read Statement of the UP Diliman Community on Con-Ass and Charter Change

 

 

Present at the Press Conference of bishops and nuns:

Bishop Deogracias Iniguez, Diocese of Kalookan and co-chair of the Ecumenical Bishops' Forum, Fr. Rex RB. Reyes, Jr., General Secretary of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP), Mo. Mary John Mananzan, OSB, co-chair of the Association of Major Religious Superiors (AMRSP), Bishop Lito Tangonan of the United Methodist Church- Manila Episcopal Area (UMC-MEA), Bro. Mike Valenzuela, FSC of the La Sall Brothers, The Most Rev. Godofredo David, Supreme Bishop of Iglesia Filipina Independiente, Bp. Leo Alconga, Jesus is Lord, Bp. Jessie Suarez, United Church of Christ in the Philippines- South Luzon Jurisdiction, Fr. Jose Dizon, Solidarity Philippines, Bp. Elmer Bolocon, UCCP, Ecumenical Bishop's Forum, Fr. Charlie Ricafort, MI , Chairperson-Task Force on Urban Conscientization-AMRSP, Fr. Peter Casino,OSA, Bro. Nardy Sabino, Promotion of Church People's Response, Sr. Maureen S. Catabian, RGS-WJPIC, Interfaith Justice and Peace Network, Sr. Eva Madayag,OSB( Benedictines for Peace) , Sr. Lita Navarro,ICM

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Photos courtesy of Ecumenical Bishops Forum
           

 

News Release
June 10, 2009

Parliament of the streets convenes today to denounce Con-Ass

It is on.

Thousands joined protests all over the country today to denounce moves to revise the Constitution via a Constituent Assembly without participation of the Senate.

“Today we convene the parliament of the streets so that the people can express in no unmistakable terms their vehement opposition to Arroyo’s charter change and Con-Ass maneuver. Today the ‘nays’ will ring loudly throughout the country. Let it be known that the people are united against moves to keep Arroyo in power,” said Bagong Alyansang Makabayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.

Last June 2, through viva voce’, by shouting “ayes” and “nays”, an overwhelming majority of the Lower House voted in favor of a resolution that calls for the convening of a Constituent Assembly.

“Today’s protest will be constituted by a broad range of forces, parties, faiths, groups and formations from a wide cross section of society. This unity among various groups and personalities has been caused by the very real threat of having Arroyo stay in power. It is somehow to the credit of Mrs. Arroyo and her cohorts that the nation urgently comes together in protest,” said Bayan chair Carol Araullo.

 

 

Bayan will be marching from the corner of Paseo de Roxas and Makati Avenue to joining different groups at the Ayala and Paseo intersection. Similar protests are expected in Baguio, Calamba City, Lucena City, Batangas City, Nasugbu, Bacoor, Dasmarinas and Silang Cavite, Antipolo City, Cebu City, Tagbilaran City, Sorsogon, Naga, Legazpi, Bacolod, Iloilo, General Santos City, Iligan, Cagayan de Oro city, Cabadbaran in Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur and Surigao City.

“We’re just starting. More protests will follow, that we are sure of. Unless the Con-Ass resolution is withdrawn and Arroyo’s allies stand down, there should be no let up in the mass actions,” Reyes said.

Bayan decried that during the eve of the rally, misleading text messages about the rally kept circulating. Some text messages even claimed that joining the rally would lead to contacting the H1N1 virus. The group also said that the timing of the rotating power interruptions was also “unfortunate”.

“The Arroyo regime has done everything to deceive the people, downplay the protests and harass the participants through police ‘control points’. These measures show the desperation of the administration in covering up its accountability in this dastardly deed. The people are not stupid though. They know that cha-cha is a self-serving means to keep Gloria in power,” Reyes said.
 

           

 

 

Selling the Birthright for a Pot of Porridge

Statement of the Ecumenical Bishops Forum
on Charter Change through the Constituent Assembly

House Speaker Prospero Nograles declares that the only purpose of amending the Constitution through the Constituent Assemble (Con Ass) is to improve the economy of the nation particularly by allowing foreigners to own land in the country. Many doubt this declaration, suspecting that once the process of amendment begins, everything else in the Constitution can be touched. The worst fear is the extension of the term of office of the incumbents, including and especially that of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Given the timing of the move, the fear is not baseless,.

Granting without acceding, however, that what the House Speaker claims is true, such purpose is not only unconstitutional (that’s why there is need to amend the Constitution), but immoral. The Philippines is for the Filipinos, given us by the Creator. The country had been subjugated by three colonial powers, against the will of the inhabitants. And God caused it to be returned to its rightful owners, the Filipinos.

Now, the Nograles proposal is for the Filipino people ourselves to sell our God-given abode to foreigners. This is immoral, and against God’s will.

This reminds us of Esau selling his birthright to Jacob for a pot of porridge because he was famished (Genesis 25:29-34). The birthright belonged to the eldest son who is given great respect in the household, and who becomes successor to the official authority of the father. The first-born of the King was his successor.

With the plan of the illegal Constituent Assembly to allow foreigners to own land in the country, we are in effect giving up our right to our land, simply because of our economic difficulties.

Solving our economic woes does not necessitate selling our birthright to our land. Our economist surely can and must find other means of figuring out how the country can free itself from this quagmire of poverty. We must find out the causes of our problems, and address them directly without resorting to selling out our land.

Our land is our patrimony to our children and to our children’s children. What will become of them if our land is already owned by foreigners?

If only for this, the Ecumenical Bishops Forum strongly opposes the charter change and denounces the Con Ass for deliberately attempting to deprive the future generations of Filipinos of what is rightfully theirs, which is our and their land.

We say NO to selling our birthright for a pot of porridge! We say NO to the obvious attempt to ensure that GMA and her allies remain in power even after their terms expire.


Most Rev. DEOGRACIAS S. INIGUEZ, JR.,DD         BISHOP SOLITO K. TOQUERO
Co-Chairperson Co-Chairperson

June 10, 2009

 

Bishop Elmer Bolocon
Rev. Fr. Rex Reyes, NCCP Secretary General, and Mo. Mary John Manasan, OSB
           

 

Statement on Charter Change
UP Diliman Community Against Charter Change and Gloria (UPAC Gloria)

We, the undersigned faculty members, researchers, students and staff of U.P. Diliman, stand together to oppose the latest attempt to manipulate the Constitution to advance the personal political agenda of the President and her minions.

House of Representatives Resolution 1109 purports merely to talk about the “modes” of proposing changes in the Constitution. Yet it actually formalizes the official position of the House that the 1987 Constitution empowers the Congressmen to propose constitutional changes without the votes of the Senators. All it takes, says HR 1109, is merely “three-fourths of the ‘members of Congress’ without distinction as to which institution of Congress they belong to.” That reading defies the structure of a bicameral Congress, dilutes the Senators’ votes, and exploits gaps in the Constitution’s text to pervert its underlying spirit.

Next, they try to force the hand of the Supreme Court – supremely confident, as it were, of the Court’s validation. They proclaim that “a justiciable controversy … shall ripen for judicial determination … when this Resolution is filed, heard, and approved.” Yet whether a case is ripe for adjudication is an issue that is for the Court, and not for Congress, to determine.

This is not the first time that the ruling majority in the Lower House has bullied its way to flout republican governance. They have repeatedly blocked all attempts to hold President Arroyo to account: for the Garci tapes that betrayed a sinister plot to cheat in the 2004 presidential elections; the ZTE-NBN telecommunications scandal; and for the unending extrajudicial killings and other human rights violations.
 

 


They mistake the triumph of numbers for the triumph of principle. They have consistently ignored public opinion and have dared us to muster the warm bodies to overturn their vote. When some citizens attempt to do so with People Power, they insist that we work within the system and its institutions. Yet whenever we turn to such institutions – the justice system, the Ombudsman and the Congress – we are frustrated time and again by those who would decide not on the strength of our case but on their loyalties to their political patrons.

It is bad enough that Arroyo has cheated her way into the Presidency. Terrible that she has used the Presidency to prostitute the agencies of government into loyal courtiers-in-waiting. Abominable that she has used the public treasury to purchase the allegiance of politicians-for-sale. And unforgiveable that she will take us for fools who will look the other way as she and her allies waylay the very Constitution by which alone she – possessing neither moral legitimacy nor mass-based political support – remains in power.

We must stop the slow death of our democracy and save it by all means peaceful and effective, in the courtrooms or in the streets, through the logic of constitutional persuasion or the raw power of popular outrage.

Diliman, Quezon City. 8 June 2009.
 

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News Release
June 9, 2009

Roman Catholic and Protestant Church Leaders to Urge Flocks:
Join Anti Con-ass Rally in Makati!

Roman Catholic and Protestant church leaders in a press conference today announced that they will urge their respective flocks to join the protest rally in Makati against the Malacańang-backed move of the majority in Congress to convene a Constituent Assembly (Con-ass). They also signified that they will be present at the said rally on June 10, 2009, at 5:00p.m. at Paseo de Roxas cor. Ayala, Makati.

Fr. Rex Reyes Jr., General Secretary of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP), stated that the church leaders will join the rally “to express our righteous indignation, peacefully and prayerfully, against the tyranny of numbers by majority in Congress identified as allies of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who have run roughshod on the people's democratic rights. Convening themselves as a Constiuent Assembly is sheer quintessence of compunction.”

Fr. Joe Dizon of Solidarity Philippines, expressed that "the act of the majority in Congress should be condemned as immoral. The people should assert their right to condemn this immorality and as pastors of our flock, we will accompany the people".

Bishop Deogracias Iniguez, co-chair of the Ecumenical Bishops' Forum, expressed that today's press conference by church leaders of different denominations “show our honest and strong condemnation on the recent move of the Lower House for Constitutional Assembly and Charter Change, a move that has a hidden agenda from those in who are in government . We publicly declare our prophetic pronouncement against this travesty as we urge our respective flocks to join us.”

The church leaders expressed that while the present Constitution needs improvements, they stated that it should not be used for the term extension of those who are already in office. They also said that any change in the country's Charter should be done in a democratic manner and not before the 2010 National Elections.

Present at the Press Conference were: Bishop Deogracias Iniguez, Diocese of Kalookan and co-chair of the Ecumenical Bishops' Forum, Fr. Rex RB. Reyes, Jr., General Secretary of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP), Mo. Mary John Mananzan, OSB, co-chair of the Association of Major Religious Superiors (AMRSP), Bishop Lito Tangonan of the United Methodist Church- Manila Episcopal Area (UMC-MEA), Bro. Mike Valenzuela, FSC of the La Sall Brothers, The Most Rev. Godofredo David, Supreme Bishop of Iglesia Filipina Independiente, Bp. Leo Alconga, Jesus is Lord, Bp. Jessie Suarez, United Church of Christ in the Philippines- South Luzon Jurisdiction, Fr. Jose Dizon, Solidarity Philippines, Bp. Elmer Bolocon, UCCP, Ecumenical Bishop's Forum, Fr. Charlie Ricafort, MI , Chairperson-Task Force on Urban Conscientization-AMRSP, Fr. Peter Casino,OSA, Bro. Nardy Sabino, Promotion of Church People's Response, Sr. Maureen S. Catabian, RGS-WJPIC, Interfaith Justice and Peace Network, Sr. Eva Madayag,OSB( Benedictines for Peace) , Sr. Lita Navarro,ICM

The press conference was held at Illustrado Restaurant, Intramuros, Manila.

Reference:
Nardy Sabino
Promotion of Church Peoples' Response
09299707910

 

he Most Rev. Godofredo David, Supreme Bishop of Iglesia Filipina Independiente

and Bishop Leo Alconga of Jesus is Lord

Bp. Jessie Suarez, United Church of Christ in the Philippines- and Bishop Lito Tangonan

of the United Methodist Church- Manila Episcopal Area (UMC-MEA)

           

 

NEWS RELEASE
09 June 2009
For Reference: REP. LIZA LARGOZA MAZA 0920-9134540
Francis Uyanguren (Public Information Officer) 0915-9329407

FILIPINOS WILL NEVER DANCE TO GLORIA’S CHACHA- MAZA

“Once and for all, Malacańang must heed the Filipino people’s call in rejecting ConAss and all other schemes to extend President Arroyo’s term beyond 2010. She cannot simply ignore and belittle the people’s clamor.”

Thus said Assistant Minority leader and Gabriela Women’s Party Rep. Liza Maza today as Pulse Asia’s survey reflected President Arroyo as the most distrusted public official of the country having posted the highest disapproval and distrust ratings at 48% and 46%, respectively.

“Habang garapalang pinipilit ng administrasyong Arroyo at ng kanyang mga kaalyado sa Kongreso ang pakanang ConAss, lalo nitong sinisindihan ang galit ng mamamayan. The Filipino people will never dance to Gloria’s chacha. There is not a grain of trust left for this current
administration that has apparently spawned infinite scandals, corruption and anomalies and has dragged the people to unparalleled poverty and suffering for the past eight years,” said Maza.

The Gabriela solon continues to urge more women to join the multi-sectoral rally against ConAss (Constituent Assembly) on June 10 in Makati saying that this is open to all individuals and
organizations who would want to express their love for their country and who ready to defend her from any vicious plot such as Arroyo’s ConAss. She explained that this will be an opening salvo for series of nationwide protests as Arroyo’s last State of the Nation Address nears.

Maza also scored the military leadership for deliberately threatening the soldiers who would want to join the said rally by discharging them from the service. The progressive solon said that the AFP cannot stop anybody from joining the protest actions. Their lame threats only demonstrate that there are indeed mounting calls for change even within their ranks,” Maza concluded.

-
Gabriela Women's Party National Headquarters
118 Scout Rallos, Brgy. Sacred Heart,
Quezon City
Telefax: (632) 9295342
Email: gabrielawomensparty@gmail.com
Website: www.gabrielawomensparty.net

Office of Gabriela Rep. Liza Largoza Maza
Rm 309 South Wing Bldg.,
House of Representatives, Quezon City
Telefax: (632) 9316268
Email: lizalmaza@yahoo.com

Office of Gabriela Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan
Rm. 601 South Wing Bldg.
House of Representatives, Quezon City
Telefax: (632) 9315586

E-mail: repluzilagan@gmail.com

 

 

RAGE AGAINST THE REGIME’S CON-ASS THROUGH TWITTER AND NEW MEDIA

Contact: Rick Bahague
Tel. No.: 02.413.4196
Mobile: +63917.884.0096
Email: secretariat@cp-union.com

“We call on the online community to voice their solidarity with the thousands who will march tomorrow at the Ayala protest mobilization through twitter and other new media tools”, said Mr. Rick Bahague, national coordinator of the Computer Professionals’ Union (CPU) in light of the major rally organized by various multi-sectoral organizations tomorrow to protest the railroading of HB 1109 calling for a constituent assembly. “We encourage everyone to join twitter if not yet a member, and tweet your messages with the #no2conass hashtag affixed.”

Twitter is a micro-blogging tool that allows users to post 140-character messages called “tweets” to keep fellow users updated on any topic of conversation virtually under the sun. “Hashtags” are keywords with the “#” symbol affixed that are included in a tweet used to indicate what topic the message is about.

“People can type no2conass in twitter’s search engine to see all messages related to the June 10 protest mobilization,” explained Mr. Bahague. “People from around the world will be able to see the words unheeded by the government when they pursued their agenda of greed in convening a constituent assembly that doesn’t have the people’s interests at heart.”

As part of its new media campaign, the twitter account of Pio, CPU’s mascot, was launched last night to tweet on-the-ground updates and comments from the Ayala rally by linking it to a mobile phone. CPU has developed a tool that posts tweets from SMS messages sent to +639071134503. “We invite everyone to send sms messages to this number and Pio will repost them as tweets,” said Mr. Bahague. SMS messages should have <no2conass><space><message> format.

CPU will also broadcast a live video stream of the rally for supporters who can’t come, such as OFWs. Pio’s tweeter, http://twitter.com/Si_Pio, will stream updates of the activity. CPU's social change page at http://cp-union.com/socialchange will consolidate these new media efforts of Pio and other organizations.

“Activists around the world have utilized these new media tools as a means of effectively reaching out to the people, as was demonstrated in the successful Obama presidential campaign”, added Mr. Bahague. “Twitter in particular would jive with the texting culture of Filipinos. If utilized in coordination with real grassroots mobilization, it can be instrumental to achieve the change we need.”

The Computer Professionals’ Union is a convenor of TXTPower, an organization of cellphone users that aims to empower Filipinos both as consumers and as citizens. It has provided technical expertise to the group on issues related to mobile technologies. # # #
 

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