Today, the call for patriotic duty is upon us, all freedom-loving and justice-seeking citizens, peoples as well as women and men of the Philippines!
Today, we are called upon to exercise our sovereign will in this historical moment, and to reclaim our self-respect and dignity as a nation.
We are called upon once more to mobilize our collective courage and unity—our Power as a People, to bring an end to an illegitimate, corrupt , ruthless and rapacious Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) government.
In recent days, we staged various forms of protests nationwide to demand the resignation, ouster or stepping down of the GMA government, not only for its lack of legitimacy, unbridled greed, grave human rights abuses and widespread repression.We also resisted a recalcitrant and shameless regime for its gross violations of the constitution, the sell-out of national sovereignty and patrimony, the betrayal of national and people’s interests and the betrayal of public trust.
It took the damning testimony of one courageous whisteblower of the cancelled $329-million National Broadband Network (NBN) deal to shock and enrage an entire nation about the extent to which this government could go in its monumental greed, ruthlessness and cling on power.
Noel Lozada Jr. has shown to us what courage and patriotic duty are all about. Just as our other brave men and women, our heroes and martyrs –now and in the past, have shown that a just cause against an unjust regime is worth the resistance and sacrifices. And that this country and its people are worth dying for.
Today, we are gathered and mobilized around our rallying call: ARROYO REGIME OUT NOW! We say enough of the Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA) regime which is a government of lies and of leaders enriching themselves at the expense of the people’s natural resources and patrimony and the labor of our toiling people. We say enough of cover-ups and impunity for this regime’s evil deeds.
Today, we call for an end to this government that came into power through cheating and remained in power by silencing its critics—474 political killings in the last three years alone, and more than 180 people have been made to disappear. No more of a government that sells off the country’s minerals, forests and lands in exchange for largesse and bribes from large businesses and corporations –at the costs of the welfare and survival of local communities, our environment and posterity . We say no more to a government that lords over the people and wields its power ruthlessly like a mafia.
Today, let us show to the world once more that the Filipino people will not have anything to do with GMA and what she represents—elite rule, patronage politics and greed. At the same time, we serve notice that we will no longer allow our future to be hijacked and placed in the hands of different factions of the same elite and their brand of patronage rule that is governed more by narrow-self-serving interests and agenda at the expense of the people’s interests and welfare.
We invoke the spirit of People’s Power and draw lessons from our collective resistance and history: that only a united and determined people can make history; and that in our own hands lie our own liberation and deliverance as a nation.
Together, let us chart our own destiny towards national freedom, social justice, democracy, development , durable peace and security.
Today, let us once again, make our history as a people. Today, let us once again make our nation proud.
From the Women and Men of Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center-Kasama sa Kalikasan/Friends of the Earth-Philippines (LRC-KsK/FoE-Phil.)