By Carol Pagaduan-Araullo
“Con-Ass” and the people’s wrath
The anti-Charter change (Chacha) and anti-Arroyo forces had barely a week
to mount the muscle-flexing protest action yesterday in Ayala Avenue,
Makati City and in major urban centers nationwide. They achieved a big
measure of success by gathering thousands in Makati and hundreds if not
thousands more in various cities and big towns nationwide. They displayed
broad participation by the organizations of the basic sectors among the
working people, the civic, professional and artist groups, the Catholic
religious congregations and some bishops, the protestant churches, the
opposition leaders and parties, and government officials and
military/police officers critical of the Arroyo regime.
Earlier mini-protests erupted in various parts of Metro Manila and “viral”
protest spread as well in the virtual world of the internet giving a
foretaste of what could lie ahead for the Arroyo clique as it schemes,
manipulates and buys its ways to staying in power beyond 2010, the
Constitutionally-mandated end of GMA’s term in office.
There is no denying that a vast majority of the people have had enough of
Mrs.Arroyo and her ilk. The crimes of her regime just keep mounting
despite the many times that she has been caught red-handed. She has
willfully ignored calls for accountability by the people, by the political
opposition, religious and business leaders and even by the international
community appalled at rampant human rights violations.
Shamelessly, Mrs. Arroyo has clung to power; she has refused to resign.
She has used emergency rule and various other draconian measures including
extrajudicial killings, militarization of rural and urban poor
communities, illegal arrest and detention and the filing of trumped-up
criminal charges against her perceived enemies, to prevent her ouster
through popular uprising.
Mrs. Arroyo and her clique have come up against Constitutional term limits
that makes her stepping down from power a given. She could appoint a loyal
and pliant presidential candidate for the national elections in 2010 and
utilize all the dirty tricks in the books (and some she has invented) to
make that candidate “win” in order to buy political insurance for herself
and her cohorts. The same way she preempted every impeachment move by
buying off the “honorable” members of the HOR; the way she squelched every
investigation into anomalies of her administration by appointing a
subservient Ombudsman; and the way she stopped every attempt to pry open
inquiry into the most scandalous of corrupt government deals by her hold
on the Supreme Court, majority of whom are her appointees.
But obviously that isn’t enough to ensure protection from being haled to
court once she loses her presidential immunity. Similarly, she cannot
predict where the political winds may blow once out of power; political
debts can be easily forgotten or overtaken by the pressing concerns of the
new administration whose own interests may no longer coincide with that of
This is the real reason for the desperate, despicable and brazenly
unconstitutional move called “Con-Ass”, recently railroaded by Mrs.
Arroyo’s allies in the House of Representatives (HOR), by the mere
expedient of a majority vote on House Resolution 1109 sponsored by no less
than Speaker Prospero Nograles. H.R. 1109 empowers Congress to convene as
a constituent assembly in order to revise the Philippine Constitution by
two thirds of all congressmen and senators voting jointly. And since the
more than 200 members of the Lower House vastly outnumber the 24 members
of the Senate, this bogus Constituent Assembly can be convened and make
revisions in the Charter even without a single senator participating.
The illegal and fake Constituent Assembly, packed by Arroyo allies whose
compliance to her marching orders are ensured by millions-worth of
incentives, will undertake the shift to a parliamentary system from the
current presidential system. In this way, Mrs. Arroyo can run as a
representative in her congressional district and manipulate her way into
becoming prime minister later on by simply buying off the majority of
members of parliament.
Time and so many legal impediments seem to make this scenario untenable.
Still, all the moves of Mrs. Arroyo and her allies constitute an
undeniable trail of deception, lies, maneuvers, buy-offs and quid-pro-quos
that point the way to this as the major ploy of the Arroyo clique.
Despite Mrs. Arroyo’s posturing that the merger of the two political
parties loyal to her, the Lakas-CMD and Kampi, is proof positive that the
2010 presidential elections are pushing through as scheduled, the truth is
such a merger party is precisely what Mrs. Arroyo will use to bamboozle
the opposition once she moves to get the prime minister position in a new
For someone supposedly so focused on the business of running the country,
Mrs. Arroyo has noticeably gone on frequent sorties into her hometown and
adjoining towns, part of the Congressional district in Pampanga where she
will likely run for congressperson. Now why should a former president of
the country be interested in running for the lowly post of a
congressperson if this isn’t the stepping stone to the most powerful post
in a parliamentary form of government?
Will the fear of the people’s wrath give pause to Mrs. Arroyo and her evil
cabal of plotters? At this point it is clear that this hardly is the case.
The Arroyo clique has taken an important lesson from the Marcos
Dictatorship on what are crucial to achieve their Machiavellian designs.
First is to secure the backing of the United States government (it will
give the “democratic” imprimatur to the recycled Arroyo regime via Con-Ass
and shift to parliamentary system). Then ensure the loyalty of the
military and police generals; the blessings of enough voices among the
church hierarchy and big business community; and the chorus of servile
“ayes” from so-called parliamentarians and local government officials
fattened by pork barrel and other perks.
The Arroyo clique is betting that the elite classes who rule this country
and the lone Super Power, the US of A, can be enticed to see things its
way; that is, the Arroyo clique’s narrow interests as key to protecting
and upholding their own immediate and strategic interests. For example,
apart from changing the Charter in order to make possible Mrs. Arroyo’s
continuing hold on the reigns of power in this country, Mrs. Arroyo uses
as bait constitutional amendments that will allow foreign investors to
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.
US and other foreign military forces are to be allowed unrestricted stay
and operations in the Philippines not just by means of the RP-US Visiting
Forces Agreement (VFA) but by Constitutional fiat. Many of the
constitutional provisions against the basing of foreign military forces
and nuclear, chemical, biological and other weapons of mass destruction on
Philippine soil are under threat of being excised from the basic law of
the land. The Arroyo regime also wants to remove the constitutional
restraints on martial law, emergency rule and violations of human rights.
It seeks to undermine formal guarantees of civil and political liberties
in the bill of rights achieved in the wake of the people’s victory over
the US- backed Marcos dictatorship.
One lesson that the Arroyo clique has obviously failed to learn is that
the inevitable ending for dictators and would-be dictators in this country
and elsewhere in the world is the dust-bin of history. The people’s wrath
and courageous, persistent mass struggles will definitely see to that. #
ACT condemns killing of anti-chacha
Posted June 11th, 2009 by ACTNational
The Alliance of Concerned Teachers today denounced the killing of peasant
leader Fermin Lorico in Dumaguete City yesterday.
Lorico was shot in the back of the head by unidentified gunmen soon after
speaking at an anti-charter change rally at 4 p.m. yesterday. He was the
leader of the Kahugpongan alang sa Ugma sa Gagmay’ng Mag-uuma sa Oriental
Negros (Kaugmaon), a militant peasant group affiliated with the Kilusang
Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP). Lorico was a national council member of the
In April, Lorico was in Manila to participate in the 54-day camp-out held
by the KMP outside the Batasang Pambansa to push for the passage of the
Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill.
“We denounce the assassination of Ka Fermin Lorico. We hold the Mrs.
Gloria Arroyo and her government responsible for this horrendous act
targeting a prominent critic of Malacañang, committed on the very day of
nationwide protests against her administration’s move to change the
Constitution. It shows once again that this regime will stop at nothing to
maintain its hold on power,” said ACT national chairperson Antonio Tinio.
“Ka Fermin is a martyr of the peasants’ struggle for land as well as the
people’s struggle against the establishment of an Arroyo dictatorship
through Charter change. We call on all those opposed to Arroyo’s cha-cha
to join us in demanding justice for Ka Fermin and all other victims of
extrajudicial killings, disappearances, and torture under this regime,” he
Tinio pointed out that two national officers of ACT have also been
victimized by extrajudicial killings in recent years, Vitoria Samonte of
Surigao del Sur in 2005 and Napoleon Pornasdoro of Quezon in 2006. Their
murderers have yet to be brought to justice. #
(L-R) Atty. Daquilana, Former
Mayor Mansueto Malabor and Atty. Joshua Alim-NUPL President-Iloilo
Office of Rep. Raymond ‘Mong’ Palatino
Temporary Office c/o Office of Rep. Lisa Maza
Room 309, South Wing, House of Representatives
Batasan Complex, Quezon City
June 15, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Anti-ConAss petition drive marks school opening
Youth Action Day set on June 19, Rizal Day
Kabataan Party-list Rep. Mong Palatino today marked school opening by
launching a nationwide petition campaign against the convening of a
The signature drive is the initial project of spearheaded by youth
alliance “Kabataan Kontra Cha-Cha”.
“We intend to gather one million signatures until the State of the Nation
Address in July. Let this be a testament of how youth and students
everywhere despise con-ass and attempts of the Arroyo administration to
implement charter change to extend her term,” Palatino said.
Kabataan Party-list, together with Kabataan Kontra Cha-Cha lead convenors
National Union of Students of the Philippines, College Editors Guild of
the Philippines, League of Filipino Students, Student Christian Movement
and Anakbayan, set up signature campaign booths at the University of Santo
Tomas and in the University Belt area in time for school opening today.
At the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, students held an
in-campus action against con-ass, while students from different
universities converged in Morayta later this afternoon for a symbolic
candle-lighting protest against charter change.
Palatino said that Kabataan Kontra Cha-Cha would be setting up similar
booths and protest activities in different universities and campuses
nationwide in the following days. The signature campaign is also available
online at www.kabataanpartylist.com/notochacha.
Palatino added that his office would also be sponsoring forums and campus
tours dubbed ‘Konsultahang Kabataan’ with the topic, “Con-Ass and the 2010
“We will continue to work despite (Congress being on) recess. We will be
reaching out to our constituents nationwide to gather their opinions and
unite our ranks against this dreaded con-ass. Expect youth protests to
snowball in the following days,” he said.
June 19 Youth Action Day
Palatino also announced that they are preparing for a Youth Action Day on
June 19, Rizal Day, and Kabataan Party-list’s founding anniversary.
“There is no better date to showcase youth unity and love for nation than
this coming June 19, Rizal Day. Kabataan ang pag-asa ng bayan, hindi para
sa bukas pa kundi ngayon na when our youth are being confronted with
tyrannical attempts to discard our democratic rights,” Palatino said.
June 19, Palatino said, will kick off with a Morning Jog vs. Conass at
6:00 in the morning in Baywalk towards the Manila City Hall where first
time voters will collectively register. A main program will be held in
Luneta from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon, and then participants will embark on a
march-parade around Metro Manila schools along Taft and Intramuros.
Participants will then converge in front of the Commission on Elections by
2:00pm for a closing program to call for clean and honest elections in
2010. A youth concert will also be held at 6:00 in the afternoon in Quezon
“We call on all democracy-loving youth to join us. Together, let us reject
con-ass and demand regime and societal change in 2010,” Palatino said. ###
Kabataan Party-list Rep. Mong Palatino, 09085927099
Jose Cosido, Media Officer, 09235037264
We are today’s generation of Filipino youth, young, vibrant and spirited,
transcending professions, cultures and boundaries, and to whom the hopes
and aspirations for the nation’s future is bequeathed.
Together, we vehemently oppose all attempts by the ruling Arroyo clique
and its cronies in Congress to tamper on the Constitution and perpetuate
itself in power. We denounce in the strongest possible terms the blatant
abuse of power and treachery that have come to characterize this regime.
The shameless display of arrogance and callousness of the Arroyo
government sends for all patriotic and freedom-loving young Filipinos to
dissent. The signs of times are rallying us to lives of involvement and
The youth have always played a pivotal role in ushering in significant
changes and junctures in history. We have always been at the forefront of
uprisings and revolutions every time the social, political and economic
conditions in society become too intolerable for Filipinos to endure.
Today, we have a moral and sacred duty to perform. We cannot remain silent
or with our arms crossed. We cannot remain indifferent while our own
future as a people and a nation are being compromised for selfish
political ambitions. The stakes are too high for us to take a pass.
The Filipino youth are awake and are answering the urgent call of our
time. Once again, we reaffirm the youth’s historic role as catalyst of
change and renew our resolve to put an end to the tyranny of the Arroyo
We express our solidarity with various church groups, the business sector,
people’s organizations and concerned Filipino citizens who have similarly
expressed opposition against any attempts of the Arroyo administration to
extend her term.
We believe that national leaders should be accountable to the people and
that government officials should portray the highest standards of morality
and integrity to be able to propel the nation towards genuine progress,
justice and peace.
We oppose the convening of a constituent assembly and Arroyo’s charter
change on the following grounds:
. Any attempt at charter change by the Arroyo administration would only
serve to extend President Arroyo’s regime. With her term expiration
nearing, she and her allies in Congress, led by her son Pampanga Rep. Juan
Miguel Arroyo, are left to resort to whatever “legal” means are possible
to make sure she stays in power after 2010. Arroyo is desperate because
she will inevitably have to answer to all the cases filed against her once
she is removed from position;
· Charter change can be used by Arroyo to perpetuate herself in power
through Martial Law. No different to what Ferdinand Marcos did, charter
change can be used by Arroyo to remove the 60-day limit covering the
President’s declaration of martial rule and to suspend the privilege of
the writ of habeas corpus thus allowing the State to arrest anybody
without a warrant. Alternately, the power of Congress to revoke the
President’s declaration of martial law or the power of the Supreme Court
to review the bases of a declaration of martial law can be removed;
· Charter Change will worsen the economic and social crises plaguing the
country. All past attempts of charter change have pushed to amend economic
provisions barring 100 percent foreign ownership of lands, social
institutions, and basic services, industries and infrastructures in the
country. This recent attempt through HR 1109 is no different as it
explicitly aims to allow foreign interests and entities to dominate the
country under the guise of ‘international competitiveness.’ Such a
revision will only give way to further foreign exploitation and plunder of
our natural resources, indigenous knowledge systems, and domestic human
· Charter change will aggravate the colonial, corrupt and commercial
characteristics of Philippine culture, education and mass media; and
· Charter change can allow further foreign intervention and exploitation
by allowing one-sided treaties detrimental to national development and
We call on all democracy-loving youth and citizens to stop efforts to
change the Constitution before the 2010 elections. The government’s
desperate efforts to continuously cling to power have sown deep social
discontent and division among the people.
We strongly believe in the sovereign right that rests on the people to
change a morally bankrupt and corrupt regime with a conscientious
leadership that can genuinely unite the nation and can bring forth
meaningful social change.
Sign up now!
Arch Lagdameo sitting with the
Fr. Mark Lester Senina, Lead
Convener of I-March & Ass. Director of JASAC
/Winnie Dublizo of KMU
Ms. Rose Duremdes-Doromal of
Alliance For Truth, Justice And Accountabilit
Atty. Joshua Alim of NUPL,
Lead Convener Of I-MARCH Delivering His speech
KMU vows to pursue destruction of ChaCha virus
10 June 2009
Elmer Labog, KMU Chairperson, 0929-629-3234
Malacañang’s biggest scandal will mean prolonged Arroyo tyranny, economic
sabotage, exploitation of workers
KMU delivers the full opposition of the workers to Arroyo’s Charter Change
in the Makati rally today.
Since the first strains of the ChaCha virus was detected when it was still
being conceptualize by the Arroyo administration, KMU has consistently
rallied against its passage for it only seeks to prolong Arroyo and her
cohorts in power, open up Philippine economy and resources to greater
sabotage of US and foreign capitalists, strengthen oppressive measures to
silence people, and pursue more policies to exploit the working class.
Now that the Arroyo administration has been isolated beyond the thresholds
of people’s tolerance, we see the most undemocratic, violent, and scheming
moves yet of this desperate regime.
Arroyo is hell bent to inflict everyone with the ChaCha virus. And our
greatest protection still is not the quarantine of our individual dismays
and angers, but the demonstration of our collective action that should be
made evident in every means and medium we can exhaust.
ChaCha will be the advent of greater joblessness, wage cuts, and worker’s
rights oppression. Giving more ecnomic power to foreign capitalists and
big corporations will give them greater venues to squeeze out every ounce
of strength from workers while freezing wage levels to the lowest. ChaCha
will only legitimize the flexible labor schemes, already imposed in large
scales now, that have depressed further the conditions of many workers
Now, more than ever, let us unite to stop the ambitions of the biggest
scandal-maker in history, and convict her of her unpardonable crimes.
Wendell Gumban, KMU Public Information Officer, 0916-472-9467
Pastor Rino Basco of Jesus Is Lord
Archbishop Gaspar Banez of IFI.
Communist Party of the Philippines
CPP sees rising momentum of
demonstrations against "con-ass" and Arroyo reign extension
June 11, 2009
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today congratulated the
various progressive and democratic organizations, sectoral groups,
religious associations and other opposition personalities for the
successful anti-"con-ass" demonstrations yesterday, saying that it
anticipates the momentum of protests to rise in the coming weeks.
"The demonstration last night of around 15,000 in Makati and a greater
mass altogether in other cities across the country manifest the widespread
and intense opposition of the Filipino people against the US-Arroyo
regime's rush to amend the constitution by convening Congress as a
Constituent Assembly even without the Senate," said the CPP.
"It is a portent of bigger and more widespread and militant protest
actions in the coming days and weeks as the people manifest their seething
disgust at Gloria Arroyo and her cohorts' shameless political maneuverings
to keep themselves in power and continue their corrupt and rotten ways,"
said the CPP.
"The demonstration yesterday soon after the rushed midnight passing of
House Resolution 1109 is a significant opening salvo in the Filipino
people's epic 'battle to the end' against Arroyo's plan to extend her
reign of terror and corruption," added the CPP.
"Bigger mass actions are anticipated in the coming weeks, especially when
classes resume and students converge back in school campuses and right
before and after Arroyo's State of the Nation Address in July when she is
expected to signal the convening of her 'con-ass.' The hated regime will
not be able to stop the spread of protest actions nationwide, and an
attempt to do so will only trigger even bigger and more widespread and
intensive protest actions."
The CPP also noted the fast growing spread of anti-"con-ass" protests on
the internet and social networking websites.
"To complement the people's protest actions against Gloria Arroyo's
'con-ass', the Communist Party of the Philippines is directing the New
People's Army (NPA) to further intensify tactical offensives in the coming
weeks," said the CPP. "The CPP urges all units of the NPA to plan out
tactical offensives and target the most hated military units that are
being used by Gloria Arroyo in suppressing the people."
Cellphone Numbers: 09179776392 :: 09282242061
Live at TV Patrol Iloilo
Baby Yolena, born March 19,
photo taken at 2 months
Got this from the now popular
FACEBOOK. The baby maybe thinking that it is OK to extend the term of GMA
as long as she serves the next 9 years in jail -- or better, in a
labor camp -- together with the FG and the Arroyo Con-Assers.
Somebody contributed this
poster. If you have one, email it to: