February 27, 2015
Various groups today marched to the historic mendiola bridge to again press for the resignation of President Benigno Aquino III in the aftermath of the bloody Mamasapano incident. This time the multisectoral groups were joined by students from different universities in Manila who marched from different points going to Mendiola. It was the first big protest march to Mendiola one month after the Mamasapano incident.
“From EDSA we return to Mendiola, which is near the seat of power. We come from various communities, school and workplaces demanding that the current leadership step down and that a People’s Council for National Unity, Reforms and Peace be established,”said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.
“The people’s demand for genuine change is spreading across the country. The lying president must go along with the rotten social system. People Power should lead to something more beneficial than just a change of leadership and a return to the old ways,” he added.
Speakers at the protest action discussed Aquino’s role in the Mamasapano incident, corruption issues, human rights violations, failed social services and other economic issues.
The protests come at a time when the French president Francois Hollande is holding a 2-day state visit to the Philippines. “Aside from brushing up on his French, now would be good time for Aquino to read up on the French revolution to remember what motivates people to rise up in struggle,” Reyes added.
The groups decried the Palace cover-up of aquino’s role in Mamasapano. “The Palace story line changes every week. The congressional hearing are being influenced to clear the President of any liability and instead pin all blame on officials such as General Napenas and General Purisima to run the operation along with the involvement of the US government,” Reyes said.
“We will be awaiting the results of the probe of the Board of Inquiry next week. we however won’t be surprised if the report clears the President of any wrongdoing. That is already a given. Still, from what has been revealed so far, the president cannot escape accountability,”he added.
More mass protests are expected to take place in the coming weeks in anticipation of the release of the finding of the PNP Board of Inquiry and as hearings at the House of Representatives are set to resume.