Saturday, January 2, 2010

Militants begin GMA step-down countdown

By Katherine Adraneda
The Philippine Star
Updated January 02, 2010 12:00 AM

Original Story:

MANILA, Philippines - The nation welcomed 2010 and militant activists started yesterday their countdown to the end of what they described as the Arroyo administration’s “dreaded reign of terror.”

The Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) claimed that there is a “collective wish” among Filipinos to see President Arroyo’s regime finally end this year.

“There is no way the people will allow President Arroyo to prolong her stay in MalacaƱang,” said Renato Reyes Jr., secretary-general of Bayan, an umbrella group of different activist organizations nationwide. “And we are looking forward to hopes and promises of a New Year without Mrs. Arroyo.”

He said the President, however, is bent on staying in public office by running for a congressional seat in her home province of Pampanga.

Critics consider this move as the “first step” in alleged plots of shifting to a parliamentary form of government, thereby making Mrs. Arroyo eligible for the position of prime minister.

Reyes said: “There is hope because Filipinos will continue to fight for change and struggle for what is just. Those wishing Mrs. Arroyo would stay in power forever can dream on. The people won’t let it happen. The last nine years have been fraught with corruption and human rights abuses. There is no way people will accept a scenario of having Mrs. Arroyo stay indefinitely in MalacaƱang.”

He said Bayan hopes that for the New Year, justice would be achieved in the many cases of corruption, killings, abduction and torture purportedly committed under the Arroyo administration.

Bayan also urged the people to remain vigilant to make sure that the May 2010 automated elections will not lead to a general failure of elections, a scenario which activists believes would be more beneficial to Mrs. Arroyo.

The group appealed for justice for the victims of the Maguindanao massacre and Hacienda Luisita massacre, as well as the hundreds of cases of activists who were killed or have disappeared in the last nine years under the Arroyo government.

“We hope that those still missing will be one day reunited with their families. We also hope the whistleblowers against the misdeeds of the regime can resume normal lives free from threats,” Reyes said.

“We hope the many victims will find the justice they have long been seeking. We hope that those who abused their power for the last nine years will finally be made accountable,” he added.

Original Story:

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