Ilonggos' Movement against Arroyo's Charter Change(I-MARCH)

stage march rally against Con-Ass and Cha-Cha

 

Jaro, Iloilo City

 

June 10, 2009

 

BONUS TRACKS: Anti-Cha-cha baby, Con-Ass poster

 

 

Calamba City    Bacolod City    Tagbilaran City     Cebu City     Iligan City and Valencia, Bukidnon

 

Koronadal City       Legazpi City    Baguio City     Davao City       Iloilo City

 

New York City

 

 

■  Confetti in Makati    ■   U.P. Community against Cha-Cha and Gloria (UPAC GLORIA)

 

 

Convenors of Ilonggos' Movement against Arroyo's Charter Change(I-MARCH)
BAYAN Panay Chairperson Hope Hervilla CBCP President Arch Angel Lagdameo of archdiocese of Jaro
   
/p

/p
Photos courtesy of BAYAN - Panay
           
           

 

Religious groups unite vs Con-ass
From: CBC{ Molnitor
June 1-21, 2009

DIVERSE faith groups are uniting against a common enemy. Christian leaders, that have divergent theological positions, demonstrated their willingness to lay down their differences to
fight Con-ass, or constituent assembly.

They also vowed a series of street protests starting on June 10 if President Arroyo’s allies in Congress will not halt plans to amend the Constitution through a constituent assembly.

Sr. Mary John Mananzan, co-chairperson of the Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines (AMRSP), said various groups had pledged to take part in the 5 p.m. rally in Makati City. The latest was the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP), the biggest alliance of schools in the country with 1, 252 members.

“We expect a crowd of not less than 25,000,” Mananzan said in a forum organized by Catholic Church-based media groups. “As Religious groups unite vs Con-ass. As
long as they are against Con-ass, they can join us.”

Members of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) vowed to mobilize thousands of people in June 10 rally, the first major since Malacañang allies revived Charter
change moves.

The NCCP is composed of the Catholic Church, Convention of Philippine Baptist Churches, Episcopal Church in the Philippines, Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI), Iglesia Unida Ekyumenical, Lutheran Church in the Philippines, The Salvation Army, The United Methodist Church (UMC) and the United Church of Christ in the Philippines UCCP).

Other religious groups that attend the mass action in Makati City include the Promotion of Church’s People’s Response, the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines (AMRSP), and  the Interfaith Justice and Peace Network. Backing them are groups
from the militant sector and the civil society.

Opportunity to unite

Catholic priest Fr. Joe Dizon of the Solidarity Philippines said the mass action was aimed at isolating Arroyo and her allies and repudiating their purported efforts to stay in power longer.
He said the issue of Con-ass was a rare opportunity for fragmented opposition forces, civil society and religious groups to band together against the Arroyo administration.

Mananzan said photos of congressmen who voted or supported House Resolution 1109 will be flashed on a wide screen during the mass action for induction in the “Hall of Shame.”
Moral guidelines

UCCP Bishop Elmer Bolocon said their participation in the rally was to show their strong opposition against Charter change and to give “moral guidelines” to the people.

JIL Bishop Leo Alconga said the Con-ass move is an insult to the Filipino people.

“It signals a fountain of things to come that will give our nation shame and pain because of what our lawmakers did,” he said. UMC Bishop Lito Tangoran, for his part, said church people’s participation in the demonstration was according to church’s social principles and teachings.

“We do not favor Con-ass because there is no democratic participation of the people in this move,” said Tangoran. (Roy Lagarde)

 

     
     
           
           
     
     

 

CEAP formally declares opposition to Con-Ass

From: CBC{ Molnitor
June 1-21, 2009

MANILA, June 11, 2009—The Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) has formally declared its opposition to the Constituent Assembly (Con-Ass) and the changing of the Charter before the 2010 elections.

“We oppose any schemes to cancel, postpone or change the nature of the 2010 national elections since the political crisis facing the country is deeply linked to unresolved questions of electoral cheating,” a CEAP statement said.

The Filipino people should be able to exercise their rights to choose the next set of leaders in accordance with the Philippine Constitution, it said.

This association of Catholic schools appealed to various schools in the country to raise their concerns through the participation of various peaceful mobilizations such as “busina/kampana laban sa con-ass” and letter-writing campaigns expressing their firm opposition to the Constituent Assembly as a way to amend the Constitution.

Moreover, the association has committed to assist the youth to be able to exercise their right to vote in next year’s election.

“We are committed to help our youth exercise their right to suffrage wisely by encouraging first-time voters’ registration and providing full support to political education for responsible and engaged citizenship,” CEAP said.

The association said they are mobilizing their schools in order to protect the voting process in the automated election in 2010.

“Automation needs to be fine-tuned and closely monitored to guard against wholesale frauds and disenfranchisement and to make it more accessible to and protective of vulnerable groups,” they expressed.

Meanwhile, the group expressed disappointment over various issues surrounding moves to change the Philippine Charter.

“It is unfortunate that in the present context, charter change which could truly be a genuine instrument of long-term institutional reform is viewed with deep suspicion and is seen as endangering democracy itself,” the group articulated.

Expressing their stand as a group of Catholic schools, CEAP said that it will continuously be active if only for the sake of the common good. (Kate Laceda)

 

     
           
     
           
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Streetwise
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 Mrs. Arroyo.

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 Parliament.

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 peasant leader
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 KMP.

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 added.

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 constituent assembly.

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 Elections.’

“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 City.

“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
Email: cong.mongpalatino@gmail.com
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 action.

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 regime.

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 resources;

· 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 progress.

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 protesters

 

     
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
Reference Person:
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 today.

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.
Contact information:
Wendell Gumban, KMU Public Information Officer, 0916-472-9467
 

Pastor Rino Basco of Jesus Is Lord Movement
Archbishop Gaspar Banez of IFI.
           
           


PRESS RELEASE
Information Bureau
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."
 

Reference:
Marco Valbuena
Media Officer
Cellphone Numbers: 09179776392 :: 09282242061
E-mail:cppmedia@gmail.com

     
Live at TV Patrol Iloilo
           
BONUS TRACKS
           

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:

arkibongbayan2006@gmail.com

           
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