February 25, 2015
This year’s EDSA anniversary coincides with the first month of the Mamasapano incident and what could well be the worst political crisis to hit the Aquino administration. Protests across the nation were held to call for Aquino’s accountability in Mamasapano. In Manila, groups held an interfaith prayer and human chain despite being blocked by hundreds of police along EDSA Santolan.
“The nation is at a crossroads. Whether to simply accept a lying, inept and puppet President or to continue the great tradition of People Power for genuine change. We choose the latter. We choose to fight for truth and accountability and meaningful change. Thus, Aquino must go,” said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.
“The past month has seen the President repeat one lie after another in order to escape accountability in the Mamasapano debacle. Aquino merely shuffles the blame between SAF Director Napenas to suspended PNP Chief Purisima. Aquino takes none for himself. He has no regrets authorizing a suspended general to run the operation,” Reyes added.
Bayan said that Aquino’s biggest sin to date is authorizing a suspended PNP chief to run a sensitive operation via remote control while disregarding all necessary government coordination. “The problem is not that Purisima lied to Aquino. The problem was Aquino placing a suspended official in charge and relying on that official instead of the proper government officials and agencies. The problem was the President all along. Now he lies to us repeatedly to cover-up his role,” Reyes said.
Bayan said that Aquino cannot continue invoking the memory of his parents and the anti-dictatorship struggle just to shield himself from any accountability. “EDSA was also about holding those in power accountable. Aquino cannot make himself an exception in the quest for truth and accountability,” Reyes added.
“EDSA is not about one color (yellow) nor the plight of one family. It is about the people rising up for change,” he added.
Power of the People
The group said that in the face of the lies and cover up of the President, the people are called on to summon the great tradition of “people power”.
“The power of the people is truly realized in united action. It is a potent weapon for change. Yet in the past, its fruits have largely been enjoyed only by a few, as the rotten social system remains. It is therefore necessary that people power yield something more than business-as-usual outcomes,” Reyes said.
In calling for a People’s Council for Unity, Reforms and Peace to immediately replace Aquino before holding elections, Bayan is hoping that the next people power would be more beneficial to the people and would pave the way for more meaningful changes.
“Apart from calling on Aquino to step down, the people demand land reform, national industrialization, sovereignty and peace. There is of course no illusion that one ‘people power’ would be able to achieve all these. It would necessary that the people wield their power as often as possible to advance these goals,” he added.
Bayan will lead a march to Mendiola on February 27 to again call on Aquino to step down. It is expected to be the first major protest near the Palace after the Mamasapano incident. ###