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January 17, 2008

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On the EDSA II Anniversary: Live Out People Power!

We remember the EDSA II anniversary on the dates January 17 to 21 live out the essence and true meaning of people power.

The Filipino people launched EDSA II under the broad call of "Resign, Impeach at Patalsikin si Erap!" which was a collective action of the people to oust a corrupt, vice-ridden and fascist president. It was not a support or an act to put Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in position. Such ascendancy was a constitutional process and not necessarily an expression of the people's support for GMA.

Under the Arroyo administration, we have experienced state terror and fascism at its worst, where over 800 cases of extrajudicial killings took place since 2001. Indigenous peoples suffer twice the blows with the systematic prevalence of national oppression where are our very right to self determination are out rightly denied and violated.

Repression has intensified with the implementation of the Human Security Act that classifies legitimate dissent as act of terrorism. Not satisfied, the AFP and PND have jointly proposed the revival of the National ID System that would violate people's rights to privacy, communication and mobility.

The economic crisis, manifested by the worsening poverty and hunger, has angered the people so, that the militarist regime is pushed to the wall by the people's clamor for social redress. Poverty worsens everyday especially with the continued imposition of VAT and the unhampered oil price hikes, coupled with the growing unemployment.

For indigenous peoples, the dispossession and plunder of our ancestral lands intensify. Militarization of our territories heightens as we protest the intrusions and incursions of our ancestral lands.

People Power remains valid. It is not passé as government or other sectors of society claim. The people shall rise up in action so long as the State continues to violate the peoples' civil and political rights, social, economic and cultural rights, and as long as a murderous regime such as GMA's continues to employ state terror and fascism to pursue its interests.

As such, we, indigenous peoples, shall continue to be part of this process of for genuine social change and act collectively for the recognition of our collective right to self determination. #


Beverly L. Longid
Cordillera Peoples Alliance

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