Monday, March 03, 2008

Filipino masses rock the Arroyo regime

Approximately 80,000 people attended a rally in Ayala, Makati (right) organised by different religious and political organizations calling for the ouster of Philippines President Mrs Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on February 29, 2008.

Makati is the major financial, commercial and economical centre of Manila, where many if the giant imperialist financial, banking and insurance corporations are headquartered.

The very buildings of the monopoly capitalists and their comprador henchmen shook as the people chanted for an end to the corruption and greed of the crony capitalism that links the regime to the giant multinational corporations located in Makati.

In recent times street rallies and mass demonstrations have erupted following a series of reactionary moves by the Arroyo regime.

Rodolfo Lozada, a key witness in a case of corruption involving the regime and the National Broadband Network was abducted by the security forces to prevent him testifying. Recently, Arroyo signed a $329 (USD) million National Broadband Network deal that allegedly gives a large sum of profit to members of her Cabinet, her husband, political and business supporters. Despite publicly admitting her knowledge of the deal’s anomalies she signed the deal and did not call for an investigation.

Numerous anti-Arroyo rallies have been staged in recent weeks after a former government official accused the president's husband and a key political ally of seeking alleged kickbacks from a multi-million dollar broadband deal with Chinese company ZTE Corp.Arroyo has cancelled the deal but denied any wrongdoing and said she will not resign.

Joey de Venecia, the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, was removed when it appeared that he would disclose revelations about the regime’s corruption. He was replaced by a crony of Arroyo’s husband.

There is also widespread concern that the ruling clique around Arroyo is pushing for a so-called Charter Change to amend the constitution in order to extend Arroyo’s term of office.

“It is wishful thinking for anybody to ask the Arroyo's to moderate their greed. The Mafia in Malacanang have stolen and will continue to steal the public coffers while it remains in power. This is why they want to revive changing the charter using the cloak of federalism so they can remain on top. It is unadulterated greed, pure and simple,” said Elmer “Ka Bong” Labog, National Chairperson of the Kilusang Mayo Uno or May 1st trade union organisation..

Major cracks in the regime’s edifice began appearing two years ago when Arroyo issued Presidential Proclamation 1017 to establish a state of emergency that was meant to justify the arrests of known militant leaders and military officers who were about to abandon their posts and join the people’s call for Arroyo to step down. Among those arrested was Crispin “Ka Bel” Beltran, a member of the House of Reps for Anakpawis, the political wing of the KMU.

According to Anakpawis Secretary-General Cherry Clemente, “Our country is in the brink of another historic uprising. The similarities of present and past events are chilling. The church, the youth and the middle forces are once again standing-up against an immoral, corrupt and tyrannical regime. They are no longer fence-sitters but active protagonists in the call for change. Mrs. Arroyo must be trembling like a leaf in the thought that this situation will make her the third president to be placed in a most shameful place in our country’s history.”

Congratulating participants in Friday’s anti-Arroyo rally in Makati City for their “resounding success," Communist Party of the Philippines founding chairman Jose Ma. Sison on Saturday said the handwriting is already on the wall for the government to read."I congratulate the people and the broad united front of patriotic, progressive and ecumenical forces for their resounding success in massing 75,000 rallyists in the inter-faith rally at Ayala Makati, despite the scare tactics and obstructions carried out by the Arroyo regime in a futile attempt to reduce attendance," Sison said in a statement.

Sison added that the tactics of mass mobilization used in the First Quarter Storm of 1970 and in the ouster of presidents in 1986 and 2001 are applicable to a large extent.

Given that the challenge to Arroyo is a challenge to the interests of the imperialists in the Philippines, there has been hardly a word on these events in the Australian monopoly capitalist media.

Progressive Australians can break through this monopoly censorship by regularly checking sites such as these:

The National Democratic Front:

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