ORGANIZERS of an anti-government rally that will call for the ouster of President Benigno Aquino 3rd have been meeting not to launch a coup d’etat or an armed revolt but another peaceful People Power revolution similar to the one that toppled Ferdinand Marcos in 1986.
In a statement on Thursday, former Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Teddy Casiño revealed that many cause-oriented groups, civil society organizations, political leaders, religious, laity and concerned individuals have been meeting and discussing ways on how to remove Aquino in the light of his latest “blunder”— the death of 44 police Special Action Force (SAF) commandos in Mamasapano town in Maguindanao province.
“The growing consensus is that this is just the latest in a string of blunders by the Aquino government and a reflection of the systemic flaws in our political system. Mamasapano was a fatal result of US intervention mixed with Aquino’s incompetence and lack of leadership. Many have expressed equal frustration over the administration’s failure to make a dent in the fight against bureaucratic corruption, cronyism, political patronage and criminality, not to mention the equally grave problems of chronic poverty and underdevelopment,” said Casino, who is presently the spokesman of the militant group, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan).
“Clearly the buck stops with the President. Many think part of the solution is removing him from office,” he added.
He called on the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP) and local authorities “not to prevent people from coming out in the streets to express their demand for change.”
“There is nothing to fear from People Power… It’s not a coup d’ etat or an armed revolt,” the former lawmaker said.
“We are not calling for a coup d’ etat. We want the President to be held accountable for his many failures. Most people are demanding for truth and accountability on the Mamasapano incident. Many are also calling on President Aquino to step down for this and his many other failures. These are legitimate grievances and demands and the government should not prevent people from expressing their sentiments whether in social media or in the streets,” he added.
On February 25, exactly one month after the Mamasapano incident, and on the anniversary of EDSA 1, these groups will converge in an interfaith prayer and form a symbolic human chain from 3 to 6 p.m. starting at the Camp Crame EDSA gate stretching all the way to the EDSA Shrine in Ortigas Ave.