Panayanons Commemorate 38th Edsa People Power, Carrying the Call to Oppose Charter Change

Panayanons Commemorate 38th Edsa People Power, Carrying the Call to Oppose Charter Change

ILOILO CITY – Different groups in Aklan and Capiz provinces held a protest action last February 25 to commemorate the 38th EDSA People Power Uprising.

Meanwhile, more than a hundred Ilonggos from different groups and sectors also commemorated the 38th EDSA People Power in Iloilo City. The activity started with a Holy Mass at the Jaro Cathedral, where Rev. Msgr. Meliton Oso reminded the massgoers to be discerning when listening to people, especially now that ‘People’s Initiative’ is being used to deceive the people to consent to Charter Change. “When listening to God through the people, we must be discerning [because not all voices of the people are a voice of God],” said Msgr. Oso.

After the mass, different groups distributed flyers on Charter Change and marched from Jaro Plaza to the Iloilo Provincial Capitol, where a program was held.

The program was opened by Irma Espinosa of the No To Charter Change Coalition Panay. She said that the spirit of EDSA is alive. However, it will only remain a spirit as demons are still present in Malacanang and continue to spread terror.

Meanwhile, to different groups present, Charter Change is not the answer to the economic and political crisis in the country. The groups called for genuine agrarian reform, salary increases for the workers, the release of all political prisoners, to stop the implementation of the PUV modernization program, and push for national industrialization.

Prof. Early Sol Gadong of All UP Academic Employees Union reiterated the call to strengthen academic institutions and the vital role of the academe in raising awareness on the possible effects of Charter Change in education. Meanwhile, Timothy Sampang of Project Gunita said that Charter Change should be opposed as it will totally revise the history of the dark years of Marcos dictatorship.

The youth and students from different universities under the Pamatan-on Against Cha-Cha (PACC) also called to oppose Charter Change. To them, Charter Change will not address the worsening education crisis in the country. They called for a greater budget for education, junk the neoliberal policies in education, and stop the attacks against academic freedom. It can be noted that the delegates from the University of the Philippines Visayas, Miagao, were stopped at a checkpoint in Guimbal and Tigbauan towns “for queries” while traveling to Iloilo City. At a checkpoint in Tigbauan town, the armed police personnel took photos of the delegates without their consent. Moreover, the police also refused to delete said photos and give their identification upon the student’s request.

The program was closed by Elmer Forro of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) – Panay. He said that the commemoration activity was historical as different groups are again united to fight another Marcos administration./PT


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