Tuesday, June 23, 2009

June 30 march versus Con-Ass to be held in Manila

Various religious, youth, cause-oriented and civil society groups are set to hold a march throughout the city of Manila to sustain efforts opposing the Constituent Assembly being planned by allies of the President.

The planned march will be on June 30, exactly one year before President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s term of office expires on the same date in 2010. The activity was agreed upon in a meeting at the St. Scholastica’s Archives Museum yesterday, June 23. Organizers have applied for a rally permit with Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim.

The march will start from three points in Manila; Taft Avenue, Espana (via Recto and Avenida) and Intramuros. The three columns are expected to pass by communities, schools and parishes. By 6pm, rallyists are expected to converge at the Liwasang Bonfacio for a final symbolic action. Participants are urged to bring noisemakers and wear the national colors of blue, red, yellow and white. Interested groups or individuals may join the protests via the different routes.

The protest action has also been billed as a countdown to the State of the Nation Address of Mrs. Arroyo on July 27. Opponents of the planned Constituent Assembly believe that it is possible for Mrs. Arroyo’s allies to convene the Con-Ass after the SONA.

A dialogue has been set tomorrow at 2pm at the Manila City Hall between rallies organizers, the Manila City government and the Manila Police District.

“We just can’t accept the assurances by the House majority that they will not convene the Con-Ass during the SONA. It’s not true that they are not callous, as they would like us to believe. If they were indeed sensitive, then they wouldn’t have forced House Resolution 1109 in the first place, because all the surveys showed that the people were against it,” said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.

“It is necessary that we sustain the protests to send a clear and unequivocal message that any Con-Ass during or after the SONA would be resolutely opposed by the people. This is a warning to these insensitive lawmakers who are obsessed with perpetuating themselves and Mrs. Arroyo beyond 2010. Their plan to shift to parliamentary form of government is not lost on the people,” Reyes added.

The June 30 march will be participated in by schools, religious congregations, youth formations, cause-oriented and civil society groups.Those who attended the meeting were formations like the Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines (AMRSP), Solidarity Philippines and representatives from La Salle Taft, University of the Philippines, Kabataan Kontra Cha-cha, Concerned Citizens Movement, Pagbabago: People's Movement for Change, All-UP Workers Union in Manila and the Solidarity of Health against Charter Change.

Contributed by Prof Carl Marc Ramota, DSS

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