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February 29, 2008

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Rage against corruption and deceit! Advance the new people power!

The beleaguered Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo regime continues to tremble with the outpouring of support for the truth icon Jun Lozada. Collective actions held on a nationwide scale from Manila to provincial centers and key cities are all clamoring for KATOTOHANAN AT PAGBABAGO!

Amidst the political turmoil, some sectors remain skeptical on People Power and the post-Arroyo scenario. Are we really suffering from People Power fatigue and will the replacement of GMA heeds the Filipino people's clamor for change? Is this the message that those in power projects to dampen the growing people's fervor for change?

The necessity of people power stems from the worsening social crisis and the reality that the GMA regime will cling to power at all costs. GMA has totally avoided any accountability not only on the issue of corruption but also to the issues of extrajudicial killings, political repression, unjust economic impositions, puppetry and widespread poverty among others. We have seen the brazenness of this regime on how it silenced, persecuted and harassed government critiques. We even witnessed this brazenness in the abduction of Jun Lozada.

Simply put, this regime will not fold on its own. It shall take the people's collective action to get rid of this repressive and corrupt regime.

As an alternative, we are proposing for a caretaker council, which will be composed of the following: the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Senate President, Speaker of the House and Vice-President. The caretaker council will prepare for a snap election. We believe that the people should define through a clean and credible snap election the replacement of GMA.

However, we should ensure that the People Power should not be limited to the removal of GMA. The new People Power should guarantee the people's active participation in governance through the collective supervision of government. It should put in place mechanisms for people's participation in different democratic councils/committees where it shall act on legitimate demands. It must institutionalize respected watchdogs and monitoring groups in order to guard government officials from graft and corruption and other bureaucratic evils. While this may not mean absolute change due to the systemic problem of corruption, it would pave the way for an improved system of transparency and accountability.

People Power therefore must evolve. It should not be personality-centered but people-centered. Whoever replaces GMA should bear in mind the people's clamor for good and responsive governance. On the other hand, the people should not waiver in the advocacy for change after GMA's removal - our role is to remain vigilant and protect the gains of people power.

We cannot allow apathy to triumph alongside with the other evils of bureaucracy. We have to continue to fight these bureaucratic evils towards the ouster of the corrupt and fascist GMA regime. With the worsening political and economic crisis, People Power is the most powerful alternative for the Filipino people.

Let us live out what history taught us, that People Power or people's collective action is the highest form of people's participation in governance. Our fate as a people is in our hands. #

Tongtongan Ti Umili-Cordillera Peoples Alliance

Reference: Ms. Chie Galvez, Secretary General

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