People's SONA 2009 in Iligan City


July 27, 2009



Photos courtesy of BAYAN - Iligan


The Opposite of Change
Statement of Pagbabago! People’s Movement for Change on Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s 9th State of the Nation Address
July 27, 2009

Ordinary Filipinos and the nation as a whole will find it extremely difficult to accept, much less appreciate, the achievements to be shamelessly claimed by Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in her State of the Nation Address (SONA). Simply put, ordinary Filipinos - 70% of whom are anti-GMA - will find her SONA a lot of hogwash.

Why? Because the last eight years under Mrs. Arroyo is the complete opposite of the change aspired for by our people.

While Filipinos nurture the promise of a better life, today there is only grinding poverty. While the people hope for freedom, democracy and social justice, today there is only repression and injustice. While the nation dreams of leadership guided by a sense of decency and moral ascendancy, today there is only unbridled corruption and bad governance.

Mrs. Arroyo’s rule is characterized by lies, machinations and the complete absence of integrity. This is currently exemplified by her insistence on clinging to power by illegally amending the Philippine Constitution through “Cha-cha”, engineering a palace-sponsored coup d’etat disguised as “emergency rule” and “transition government” and other nefarious schemes.

Propelled by greed and lust for power rather than the people’s interest, Mrs. Arroyo has systematically undermined the most basic requisites for a decent life: food, shelter, clothing, health and education.

Malnutrition and hunger are more widespread than ever. Chronic but preventable diseases like tuberculosis have become a permanent fixture while epidemics afflict a populace made more vulnerable by their destitution. Health and other social services have been reduced to token measures and myopic programs.

Thanks to Mrs. Arroyo, we now live in a society where principled men and women are abducted, tortured, and summarily executed with impunity, where honest and upright people are persecuted and jailed while plunderers and murderers are commended and rewarded with public office.

She has auctioned off our working men and women as cheap labor here and abroad, bartered away our patrimony and surrendered our national sovereignty to foreign interests

Shall we allow these to continue?

Our own history shows that the moving force for social change are the people themselves, collectively exercising their political will. Vigilance and accountability are necessary requisites for democracy to flourish. No right or freedom will ever be truly enjoyed unless those who have betrayed the people’s trust and aspirations are brought to justice.

We cannot allow the sacrifices of those who came before us to be diminished and sullied by the utter mendacity of those who lead us today. If we want change, then the rule of Mrs. Arroyo must end. If we seek a life of dignity, then Mrs. Arroyo must go.

The true State of the Nation is our continuing struggle: the struggle against tyrants, the struggle against exploitation and oppression, the struggle for genuine freedom and democracy.

CHANGE. We enjoin the Filipino people to complete this unfinished task.

11:00 AM to 12:00 NN Assembly at the BONIFACIO SHRINE, MANILA CITY (near Manila City Hall)



Arroyo's SONA perspective delusional - KMU; Only GMA believes her lies
28 July 2009
Campaign: Pambansang Bigwas Laban sa Con-Ass
Reference Person:
Elmer "Bong" Labog
Contact information:

After coming up with a delusional report on the country’s situation for the ninth straight year, Gloria Arroyo has nailed down the obvious: she is talking only to herself.

This was the critique made by labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno on Arroyo’s ninth SONA, which contained the usual bluff of Arroyo on the economy and her empty promises, saying that her own perspective on the state of the nation proves her isolation from the people.

“She makes it appear that her critics are saying that the glass is half-empty and that she is saying that it is half-full. We disagree. The glass is empty, Mrs. Arroyo. And no amount of lies, however magically weaved, will make the people think otherwise. We are worse off now than we were in 2001,” said KMU Chairperson Elmer “Bong” Labog.

“That it is only Mrs. Arroyo and her paid allies who believe her reading of the state of the nation shows just how isolated her regime is from the people,” added Labog.

Labog said the people would definitely not want Arroyo out if the state of the nation is improving. “Not because Mrs. Arroyo’s critics are vicious, but because the people feel the real state of the nation in their stomachs, in their bodies, and in their minds.”

Labog said there is really no good news about the state of the nation, since what Arroyo boasted yesterday are mere stop-gap measures, short-term remedies to the chronic crisis of the country’s economy.

No goobye
Labog also hit Arroyo for refusing to clarify her political plans in 2010, tucking her real agenda under the litany of sevice and goodwill.

“The whole country wants her to say goodbye, but she is saying by and by,” said Labog.

“She had actually the chance to somehow redeem herself yesterday by vowing to stop Cha-Cha and to step down in 2010. Instead, she did not address the issue of Cha-Cha and remained vague on her plans, which stands as a warning to the people,” he added.

Labog said the people will remain vigilant and will keep on fighting unless the Cha-Cha plan is abandoned by the US-Arroyo regime.#

Disproving Arroyo’s five SONA summary points:

1.We have a strong economy and a strong fiscal position to withstand global shocks.

We do not have a strong economy because nationalist industrialization and genuine land reform have not been undertaken by the government and the people. If we did not fall as flat as other countries, it is not because we are not in a strong fiscal position. It’s because we have not taken off yet.

2. We built new modern infrastructure and completed unfinished ones.

The people know that infrastructure projects are great sources of corruption. The fact that infrastructure projects are being undertaken throughout the country is proof that Mrs. Arroyo is dispensing patronage to her allies at the local level.

3. The economy is more fair to the poor than ever before.

The economy is most unfair to the poor than ever before. Majority of VAT collections are shouldered by poor and low-earning families, while big businesses evade scrutiny of their earnings.

4. We are building a sound base for the next generation.

Because Mrs. Arroyo is being judged harshly for her policies at present, she is appealing to the future generations. Her legacy for the next generation is low-paying and part-time jobs, huge-scale hunger and corruption.

5. International authorities have taken notice that we are safer from environmental degradation and man-made disasters.

What is in fact significant during her term is that international authorities have taken notice that the Philippines is being ravaged by man-made disasters wrought by the Arroyo regime: corruption, violation of human rights, and killings of workers, journalists and ordinary citizens.#