LP: RP needs peaceful electoral uprising to move forward

February 24, 2010

Delon Porcalla
Philippine Star
February 24, 2010

MANILA, Philippines – After two bloodless popular uprisings that toppled two corrupt governments, the country this time may look to the coming elections in their quest for meaningful change, the Liberal Party (LP) said.

“We need a peaceful electoral uprising to move our nation towards a new direction, led by leaders with integrity, leaders with a desire to see genuine change happening,” Sen. Francis Pangilinan, LP spokesman, told a press briefing.

Pangilinan’s pronouncements came as the LP prepares its “show of force” in tomorrow’s celebration of the 24th anniversary of the 1986 EDSA People Power which toppled the Marcos dictatorship and catapulted Corazon Aquino to the presidency.

“I think it will take a political upheaval of sorts to move the country towards a new direction. Change will not happen if people do not clamor for it. 2010 is a golden opportunity to mobilize people peacefully,” he said.

Pangilinan said he sees genuine change taking place only in an Aquino presidency. Sen. Benigno Aquino III is LP’s standard-bearer in the coming May elections. Sen. Manuel Roxas II is his running mate.

LP campaign coordinator Florencio Abad agreed with Pangilinan that the coming polls are a “great opportunity to move for change” but said there are “alarming indications” that the Arroyo administration is trying to hold on to power.

He cited as examples the Commission on Elections’ orders removing officials with “genuine and unprecedented mandates,” the replacement of police directors in 20 provinces and cities, and the termination of worthwhile projects in districts whose officials are critical of the administration.

“I am afraid the spirit of EDSA has been overwhelmed by this culture of corruption and greed prevailing in the government with impunity. As a result, a majority of the Filipino people has turned to indifference and helplessness,” Franklin Drilon, who is in LP’s senatorial slate, said.

Meanwhile, Aquino, Roxas and the 12-man LP senatorial slate will gather at the Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City tomorrow for the EDSA rites.

“There will be a call to arms of the Yellow Army. Let’s paint Araneta yellow on the 25th. Our official line is ‘People Power is Equal to Vote Power, Learning from Experience, Fighting for the Future’,” Abigail Valte, LP media bureau head, said.

Among the celebrities who have offered their services for free are singer-composer Ogie Alcasid, singers Christian Bautista and Eric Santos, rock band Sponge Cola and ska/reggae outfit Brownman Revival.

The event will be broadcast live on ANC News Channel from 6 to 8 pm and also on IPTV online.

Pangilinan and Abad conceded that LP would likely be criticized again for politicizing tomorrow’s event.

“It’s both political and commemorative. People power, anywhere you look at it, is political. It ousted a dictator,” Pangilinan said. “What can be more political than that?

“We moved the nation towards a new direction precisely because of people power and we have to move it towards a new direction in 2010. We believe it will be a people power peaceful electoral revolt that will move our nation towards new direction,” he added..

“We expect other camps to criticize us for doing that. But you cannot separate Noynoy from his parents (Ninoy and Cory). You cannot deny the fact that Noynoy has been an intimate and almost inseparable part of the whole process,” Abad said.

Lessons

An official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines said EDSA 1 should teach Filipinos the value of upholding the truth and preserving the sanctity of their votes.

“Each one of us has a responsibility to uphold the truth and to turn away from cheating,” Cubao bishop and CBCP treasurer Honesto Ongtioco said in an interview with the Church-run Radio Veritas.

“I just hope that this would be in the hearts and minds of all those who want to become public officials,” he said.

He said he believes massive cheating will spark another popular uprising. “If there is a failure of election, because of clear cheating, I believe a lot of people would still organize and proclaim the truth. Whether it is people power like EDSA 1, I am not sure,” he said. “There might be another form or way as effective as EDSA 1.”

Defending Cory

Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay defended the late President Corazon Aquino from insinuations in Facebook that she was not at EDSA when the people power revolt took place in 1986.

“President Cory was at EDSA. I was a witness to her being there,” Binay said.

“It seems everything is fair game to political operators, even the memory of a democracy icon, and I find this appalling,” Binay said.

“We may have disagreements over our choices in the coming election. But we should remember that if it were not for EDSA and the sacrifices of all those who fought against the dictatorship, we would not be having elections at all, or be free to express our opinions,” Binay said.

Meanwhile, Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile said Filipino voters should choose leaders with vast experience and who are deeply committed to the ideals of the 1986 People Power Revolution.

More than a million Filipinos responded to then Manila archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin’s call for them to troop to EDSA to prevent the military from arresting then defense minister Enrile and vice chief of staff Fidel Ramos who holed up at camps Crame and Aguinaldo after their plot to overthrow Marcos was discovered. – With Jose Rodel Clapano, Celso Amo, and Evelyn Macairan

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Lessons

An official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines said EDSA 1 should teach Filipinos the value of upholding the truth and preserving the sanctity of their votes.

“Each one of us has a responsibility to uphold the truth and to turn away from cheating,” Cubao bishop and CBCP treasurer Honesto Ongtioco said in an interview with the Church-run Radio Veritas.

“I just hope that this would be in the hearts and minds of all those who want to become public officials,” he said.

He said he believes massive cheating will spark another popular uprising. “If there is a failure of election, because of clear cheating, I believe a lot of people would still organize and proclaim the truth. Whether it is people power like EDSA 1, I am not sure,” he said. “There might be another form or way as effective as EDSA 1.”

Defending Cory

Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay defended the late President Corazon Aquino from insinuations in Facebook that she was not at EDSA when the people power revolt took place in 1986.

“President Cory was at EDSA. I was a witness to her being there,” Binay said.

“It seems everything is fair game to political operators, even the memory of a democracy icon, and I find this appalling,” Binay said.

“We may have disagreements over our choices in the coming election. But we should remember that if it were not for EDSA and the sacrifices of all those who fought against the dictatorship, we would not be having elections at all, or be free to express our opinions,” Binay said.

Meanwhile, Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile said Filipino voters should choose leaders with vast experience and who are deeply committed to the ideals of the 1986 People Power Revolution.

More than a million Filipinos responded to then Manila archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin’s call for them to troop to EDSA to prevent the military from arresting then defense minister Enrile and vice chief of staff Fidel Ramos who holed up at camps Crame and Aguinaldo after their plot to overthrow Marcos was discovered. – With Jose Rodel Clapano, Celso Amo, and Evelyn Macairan

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