By Reynard Magtoto
Thousands Bicolano Protesters against Charter Change staged rally in six provinces in the region on Saturday ahead of the commemoration of the 32nd anniversary of the EDSA Revolution.
Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) – Bicol called on Bicolanos to unite against tyranny and dictatorship of Duterte regime as well as oppose moves to change the 1987 Constitution.
In commemorating the EDSA People Power, it is important to emphasize that the constitutional and legal basis of the ouster of Marcos Dictatorship was the same provision in 1935 Constitution. It was also the constitutional and legal basis of the Supreme Court to recognize and allow Cory Aquino to legitimately become president of the Philippines through people’s movement.
According to BAYAN-Bicol spokesperson Dan Balucio, Federalism is just a stepping stone to change the 1987 Constitution and its result will only serves the interest of few politicos and business corporations both local and foreign that control the politics and economy of the country.
“Duterte regime is fascist and dictator in its form and essence. We witness that after Duterte’s first year of governance on how he disrespects human rights of the people. Even worse are his three bloody wars declaration – war on drugs, war against moros in Mindanao that led to his martial law declaration, and all-out war against the people primarily targeting progressive groups,” Balucio said.
Benjamen Cajegas of Bayan-Masbate believes that Duterte follows the footsteps of the Marcos dictatorship. “The experiences of people today are even more brutal. The killings and human rights violations are left and right. Duterte even implements anti-people policies like Oplan Kapayapaan, Train Law, Charter Change and so on,” he said.
Through Cha-Cha, Duterte ignores the sacred principle of the people’s sovereignty or the power of the people that is clearly stated in 1987 Constitution according to Rey Hababag of BAYAN-Sorsogon.
“It is clear that Duterte wanted to limit the power of the people in their rights to suffrage only. It is also clear that Duterte wanted to make the power of the people as privilege and hold them against abuses and human rights violations committed by the state,” Hababag added.
During protest rally in Virac, AFP and PNP checkpoints have slammed the way of protesters in the province.
According to Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) – Catanduanes, 229 protesters able to attend their program while more than 500 people from San Andres municipality were stopped at checkpoints.
There were two checkpoints in the town of San Miguel and another checkpoint in San Andres.
Meanwhile, AFP troops are staying in San Andres’s barangays – San Isidro, Asgad, Mayngaway, Batong Paloway and Sitio Calomagon – who are using the daycare center, plaza and church.
At least 2,859 protesters in Naga City marched going to Plaza Oragon to conduct anti cha-cha program.
Over 3, 492 Masbateños joined the anti cha-cha protest in Masbate City.
Sorsoganons, around 1, 358, also held protest action as part of coordinated protest against charter change.
Despite the heavy rain in Legazpi City, protesters here fearlessly marched from Provincial Capitol to Pinaglabanan Monument to raise their pro-people demands.
Same protest action was also held in Camarines Norte.
Meanwhile, progressive groups here are preparing for the launching of regional alliance against tyranny and dictatorship, Bicol Movement Against Tyranny (BMAT). (With reports from Jessabel Tabios, Ryan Hubilla, and Anacleto Odiver / BaretangBikolnon)