February 25, 2008

Renato M. Reyes, Jr.
BAYAN Secretary General

As the nation commemorates the 22nd anniversary of the Edsa 1 uprising that toppled the Marcos dictatorship, we join all freedom loving Filipinos in affirming the need for continued collective action in the grand tradition of “people power”. No longer can we allow the perpetuation of a morally bankrupt, moribund and fascist Arroyo regime.

Mrs. Arroyo says that the world will not forgive the Philippines if another “people power” takes place. How ironic indeed that the main beneficiary of “people power” is the first one to condemn it now. The president should worry less about what other countries may think and worry more about what her countrymen demand.

Mechanisms for accountability have been corrupted or destroyed by the regime. Government tells us to go to the courts instead of the streets only because it knows that the wheels of justice are slow in this country.

The necessity of people power stems from the reality that the current government will cling to power at all costs. The present regime has totally avoided any accountability over issues of corruption, human rights abuses and gross puppetry to foreign interests. Simply put, this regime will not fold on its own. It has to feel the collective wrath of the people first.

People Power assures us that the people have a say in what will happen to the Arroyo regime. Without “people power”, the crisis would merely be resolved by representatives of the powers that be, sans the voice of the people. Our best hope that reforms will be advanced and a better alternative put in place, is if the people can muster the strength to advance their interests.

Right now, the momentum for people power is on the side of the anti-Arroyo forces. The widespread mass actions of recent weeks have shown that there is no such thing as “people power fatigue”. The youth, religious, professionals, workers and farmers are all at the forefront of the rising tide of protest against the Arroyo regime.

Arroyo’s admission that she knew of the anomalies in the ZTE-NBN deal even before its signing must not turn out to be another “I am sorry” speech from the president. Instead, it should be the basis of the people in seeking accountability from and the resignation of the president.


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