Tag Archives: People Power

[Statement] NO to a charter change that will further entrench political dynasties, extend terms of office and surrender our sovereignty! -AMRSP

NO to a charter change that will further entrench political dynasties, extend terms of office and surrender our sovereignty!

STATEMENT ON THE 32ND ANNIVERSARY OF EDSA I

“If my people… shall humble themselves and pray, and seek my presence,
and turn from their evil ways, I will forgive them their sins, and I will revive their land.” 2 Chr 7:14

We, the members of the ASSOCIATION OF MAJOR RELIGIOUS SUPERIORS IN THE PHILIPPINES, join the whole nation in celebrating the 32nd Anniversary of the 1986 EDSA Revolution. From the dark years of martial law until the fall of the dictatorship, the Church had played an important role. Throughout the years, the Church has had an undeniable influence in shaping the Philippines’ history.

The birth of the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines (AMRSP) in the early 70s, in particular, was a reaction and an answer to the realities during those turbulent years. This year, in celebration of the anniversary of People Power I, the AMRSP also rekindle that fire of hope in a miracle that a peaceful revolution is indeed possible.

To dream the impossible dream – At EDSA we fulfilled a seemingly impossible dream. A united people toppled a dictatorship after 14 long years of tyranny and darkness. At EDSA, we shouted NEVER AGAIN! The aftermath of EDSA I saw in the Filipino nation a genuine sense of hope. Our bishops in those times saw the events of February 1986 as having renewed the Filipinos’ faith in each other, the faith in their nation, and deeper still, our faith in God who writes our history.

To fight the unbeatable foe – Fourteen long years of struggle and resistance paid for by blood, sweat and tears of our martyrs and heroes paved the way for the EDSA uprising. The unsung, faceless and nameless heroes and martyrs of the resistance paid with their lives so that we may taste freedom and democracy. We showed the world that dictatorship can be toppled. Tyranny can collapse in the face of a united and determined people rising up to change their lot.

To bear with unbearable sorrow – More than 100,000 victims of human rights violations and their descendants still bear the sorrow of a disappeared kin, a salvaged son or daughter, a tortured freedom fighter and the years of separation because of imprisonment.

To run where the brave dare not go. – AMRSP cast its lot with the poor, deprived, oppressed but struggling sectors of our society. True to its prophetic tradition it members immersed themselves in factories, slums, haciendas, in the lupang ninuno of the IPs and lumads, in the mountains even. And these they all did, our forebears, to “right the unrightable wrong”, “to love pure and chaste” not from afar but totally immersed in the daily life-struggles of the workers, peasants, indigenous peoples, urban poor, women and youth.

At EDSA we reached that unreachable star!

Today we are once again called to continue to dream and to toil in the vineyard to realize that dream. The struggle to emancipate our people from poverty and want remains an “unbeatable foe”. Dynasties and elitism remain an “unrightable wrong”. Tyranny and the insatiable lust for wealth and power remain the bane of our leaders. Hate and divisions reign in our politics, culture and social life! Indeed there is a pressing need to change ourselves and our society!

This year, the Philippine Church celebrates the Year of the Clergy and Consecrated Persons. These same people stood side by side with other Filipinos and faced the danger of being killed; men and women armed with rosaries, flowers and prayers. The legacy of EDSA I and the lessons that we learn from it bid us to assert and fight for the following ideals:

Never Again to tyranny and dictatorship!
Yes to rule of law and justice!
Yes to an equitable distribution of our wealth and resources!
No to political dynasties!
Yes to people empowerment and a government for, of and by the people!

Today we say NO to a charter change that will further entrench political dynasties, extend terms of office and surrender our sovereignty!

Today we march for our rights, our freedoms and our dreams for a better life for our people!

Today we light a candle for peace and justice, for all of Creation. Today we light a candle in hope that we may be led to the path of righteousness and a land flowing with milk and honey.

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Website: http://www.amrsp.ph
Facebook: @amrsp.org

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[Press Release] Workers remember Edsa in one word: ‘Sayang’ -PM

Workers remember Edsa in one word: ‘Sayang’

The 1986 People Power uprising created great opportunities for the country to move forward and to fulfil the great Filipino dream of enjoying a better quality of life.  Yet for the labor group, Partido ng Manggagawa (PM), the past 28 years can truthfully be described as ‘sayang’ or wasted opportunities bungled by post Edsa rulers.

pmLogo1

In a statement PM enumerated some of the major achievements of Edsa, which, if haven’t been wasted, could have transformed the life of the working people adequately better.

These include the dismantling of the Marcos dictatorship and replacing it with a relatively more liberal order; the institutionalization of anti-corruption measures; the ratification of a new Constitution that embodied a strong national patrimony and social justice provisions; and; the regular holding of national and local elections thereafter.

“But behind Edsa’s democratic façade were undisputable facts about its failed outcomes,” said PM Chair Renato Magtubo.

The group stated further that while every Filipino especially those who braved the streets against the dictatorship must be recognized for making Edsa 1 and also Edsa 2 possible, it is worth evoking as well that there really is a visible failure in making life better for the masses under the rule of post-Edsa regimes.

Notwithstanding the unaddressed problem of corruption, PM cites as a more biting example the failure of the two Aquinos (Cory and PNoy) to capitalize on their immense mandate and popularity to move the country away from the ‘business-as-usual’ development path imposed by foreign and local capital.

“So when PNoy asked his cabinet men and women on why the unemployment rate remained high despite the remarkable growth in GDP over the past several years, it only showed how pathetic the second Aquino can be to remain puzzled over the issue of jobless growth which is a problem that has been there since the time of his mother,” said Magtubo.

The average unemployment rate in 1986 was 6.7 percent. In December 2013 it stood at 7.3 percent based on government’s official survey to as high as 27.5 percent based on the survey by Social Weather Station (SWS).

The group also drew some pessimistic parallelism on the two Aquinos, particularly on the power issue.  PM explained that Cory Aquino left the Presidency with a crippling power crisis.  PNoy might finish his term in 2016 leaving the same problems of high power rates and thinning power supply.

And with the elite class apparently exercising full control of government and businesses, the group considers the PNoy government very far from being inclusive.

In conclusion, PM pointed out that the major failures of Edsa led to the perpetuation of elite rule, inequality, and chronic poverty in the country. They include:

§  The intensification rather than the weakening of political dynasties due to lack of political reforms and the pervasiveness of corruption;
§  The dogged subservience to neoliberal policies such as privatization, deregulation and liberalization which prevented the country’s march towards industrialization and inclusive growth;
§  The corporate capture of almost all branches of government.

The group, however, won’t declare people power as “sayang”.  It maintained that all is not lost of Edsa, specifically on the necessity and wisdom of resistance and collective action taking this form.

“Workers will never give up the union spirit of collective action.  With the whole system faithfully serving the interest of the 1%, we have no choice but to keep the people power option our ultimate recourse to effect change that is truly meaningful,” concluded Magtubo.

PRESS RELEASE
Partido ng Manggagawa
25 February 2014
Contact: Wilson Fortaleza
09178233956

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[Press Release] Labor vows to lead the next EDSA revolt towards genuine social change -BMP

Labor vows to lead the next EDSA revolt towards genuine social change

TWENTY-EIGHT years after the first EDSA people power uprising, militant labor expressed indignation at the outcomes of the 1986 uprising which they branded a “hijacked revolution” and vowed to correct this by ensuring that the lessons of history shall be applied. The group likewise slammed Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte for her recent statement regarding the uprising.

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The Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) asserts that the opposing faction of the country’s local elite led by then opposition leader Cory Aquino “hijacked” the struggle against the dictatorship and merely supplanted the Marcos dictatorship with “elite democracy”, relegating the masses to mere bystanders after Marcos’ ouster without any substantial policy altered to uplift the lives of the poor.

The BMP cited that the regimes after Edsa Uno pursued the anti-poor policy of privatizing much-needed social services, followed by unrestrained profiteering by corporations in deregulated industries, the wanton contractualization of labor and excessive and regressive taxation capped off by the government’s business-as-usual attitude towards the mounting grievances of the people as the major manifestations of the failure of “elite democracy”.

All mentioned policies emerged after the EDSA uprising.

“Sadly, nothing has changed in twenty-eight years in the lives of ordinary folks. The regimes of Cory Aquino, Fidel Ramos, Erap Estrada, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and now Noynoy Aquino have all contributed to make workers conditions a living hell every day since 1986 despite being only beneficiaries of the people that struggled and died fighting the dictatorship.  All policies and programs initiated during their terms were favorable only to the elite and their foreign business counterparts,” said Gie Relova, the BMP Secretary General for Metro Manila and Rizal.

“The ever-growing gap between the super-rich and the poor today has only widened; this can be traced to the tyranny of capitalists and its agents in the government feeding their voracious appetite for profit and extravagance,” he said.

Relova explained further that, “Capitalist abuses are fortified by the enactment of unjust laws such as the Electric Power Industry Reform Act, the Oil Deregulation Law, the Automatic Appropriations Law and the Department of Labor and Employment’s Order 18-A which render the people defenseless against the onslaught of capital”.

The BMP leader also took a swipe at Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte saying that, “Look who’s talking? Valte’s statement has no weight. If truly for the people, how come all policies have adverse effects on the poor. Her statement only show that this government is trying it’s hardest to find their relevance among the people as it continues to fail in addressing chronic social issues such as unemployment, land reform and socialized housing”.

Last Friday, Valte claimed that, “Edsa belongs to the people” and should not focus solely on the major players in the 1986 revolt.

The BMP also claimed that even graft and corruption then and now has immensely worsened. “During the dictatorship, the Marcos family and their cronies feasted on the national coffers. Corruption, though rampant, was in-check. No one could have more than what Apo and Imelda should get,” said Leody de Guzman, BMP national chairperson.

“After EDSA 1, with the return to the pre-Martial law system of elite democracy, political clans from all levels had a feeding frenzy. The free-for-all contest for the spoils of EDSA 1 has corrupted in all layers of governance, from the nationally-elected positions down to the barangay level. Corruption worsened as it is now done under the veneer of freedom and democracy,” De Guzman clarified.

The BMP vowed that the next people power revolt whether it is in EDSA or anywhere else will be led by the labor sector for it will not be simply against a singular leader but against the whole rotten economic and political system of elite rule and their allied foreign interventionists.

Genuine change they say can only be initiated if the interests of the capitalists and landlords are expunged and not to be considered in policymaking.

24 February 2014
Contact person:
Gie Relova
0915-2862555

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[In the news] ‘People Power to erupt if SC stops impeach trial’ -Cebu Daily News

‘People Power to erupt if SC stops impeach trial’

Cebu Daily News
February 25, 2012

A FORMER human rights lawyer said another People Power revolt may erupt in the aftermath of the Senate impeachment trial.
Democrito Barcenas believed people will once again converge on the streets if the Supreme Court (SC) stops the impeachment proceedings against Chief Justice Renato Corona.

“I don’t think people will not rise (if a temporary restraining order will be issued to stop the impeachment). A small spark can create a conflagration,” Barcenas said in an interview.

Barcenas is hoping Filipinos would continue the campaign to eliminate corruption as the country celebrates the 26th anniversary of the first Edsa People Power revolt.

“I’m not fully satisfied. The goals that we pursued are still ongoing. The fight against corruption is ongoing,” he said.
Barcenas, who was among the activist lawyers jailed in Cebu during martial law, said the charges filed against former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and the impeachment trial proved that the war against corruption remains.

Read full article @ cebudailynews.wordpress.com (http://cebudailynews.wordpress.com/2012/02/25/people-power-to-erupt-if-sc-stops-impeach-trial/)