Statement of former UP President and now chairperson of Laban ng Masa Prof. Francisco Nemenzo
The belated involvement of Makati Business Club and other elite groups in the campaign to oust Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is welcome. But we should not let them steal victory from the people.
The ouster of GMA will bring no significant improvement if the system of elite rule is left intact. Whoever accedes to Malacanang in this political framework will remain a captive of the greedy and colonial-minded elite.
For as long as the elite hold effective power, a snap election will be another contest between trapos who enjoy their financial blessings. Democracy is a fraud where people are merely asked to choose who among the candidates of the elite will represent and repress them.
The truly democratic alternative to GMA is a Transitional Revolutionary Government, a collective leadership that has the strength and political will to institute fundamental reforms. Since the country is damaged beyond repair after decades of oligarchic rule, it has to be rebuilt from top to bottom. New structures for popular participation at the grassroots level should replace the present pseudo-representative system. The neoliberal policies now dragging the country to the brink of disaster should be reversed. The public and private centers of power should be democratized. The bureaucracy, military and police should be cleansed of officials whose opulent lifestyles can only be sustained by graft and corruption.
We are appalled to hear the executive director of the Makati Business Club claim that his outfit financed the inter-faith rally last Friday. Laban ng Masa never received and will never accept any assistance from such a source. That is how the elite manipulate the elected trapos. That is why we are not only fighting for regime change; we are fighting for system change. We do not only want to rid the country of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo; we want an end to the system that breeds her type of leadership.