Encouraged by the success of the first open assembly convened in Lipa City, Batangas by the National Transformation Council on August 27, A.D. 2014 / DHU al-Qa’da 2 A.H. 1453, we who broadly represent the citizenry, under the leadership of delegates from the visayas and mindanao, have gathered in Cebu city on October 1, A.D. 2014 / DHU al-Hijjah 7 A.H. 1453 to proclaim our support for the Lipa Declaration and to propose concrete and immediate steps to translate the desired objective of national transformation into a viable program of action.
We noted with great pain that while the moral and spiritual crisis and its political and economic effects continued to deepen, the national political leadership consistently failed to show the will or the capacity to respond to these ills in any appreciable measure.
Aside from the grave problems which prompted the Lipa Assembly to call on the President to immediately step down, various new issues have since emerged, to which the incumbent administration has failed to adequately respond. These include:
1) The dire security situation created by the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and the reported contacts between this extremist force and elements identified with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, for whom President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III is trying to rush a Bangsamoro Basic Law that would create a new political entity for the MILF, to replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, which had been created earlier by law for the Moro National Liberation Front; under the present circumstances, this could put the entire country in grave peril.
2) The total failure, if not downright refusal, of the Aquino regime to comply with a direct order of the Supreme Court to file criminal charges against all the lawmakers and members of the executive department and the Commission on Audit who were involved in the grave misuse of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), both of which the Court had unanimously declared unconstitutional;
3) The total absence of any official effort to reform the Automated Election System, which was thoroughly corrupted and debased by the Commission on Elections in its effort to produce “machine-made” and “de facto” high government officials during the 2010 presidential and the 2013 senatorial elections, but which the administration is once again preparing to use in the projected 2016 presidential elections, without restoring the safety features and accuracy mechanisms, which the Comelec had illegally removed in the previous two elections;
4) The unprecedented yet unprosecuted and unpunished corruption in the top leadership of the Philippine National Police (PNP), which has thoroughly demoralized the PNP rank and file and substantially eroded public support for and confidence in the law enforcers;
5) The arbitrary imposition of unreasonable taxes on the poor, including the smallest sari-sari store owners and sidewalk vendors, on the various professions and on all religious institutions, without any public hearing or accounting, ostensibly for the purpose of raising revenue to support government operations, but in effect feeding the politicians’ insatiable appetite for corruption;
6) The unresolved electric power crisis which has brought about the most expensive electricity rates in the world amid extended power outages that threaten to throw back the country into a literally dark age, and for which the only imagined solution by the President is the grant of emergency powers to himself.
In light of all these, and recalling all the points raised in the Lipa Declaration, we call upon the National Transformation Council:
To now pursue all necessary and available lawful means to compel President Aquino to step down at the soonest possible time;
To immediately organize the equivalent of a government in waiting, consisting of men and women of integrity and proven worth, in order to assure the nation and the international community that President Aquino’s removal and the prosecution and imprisonment of every culpable member of the government for corruption will not create a political vacuum;
To initiate extensive consultations with the Islamic community in southern Philippines in order to arrive at an authentic consensus on how to solve the long-festering multicultural problem in the area, free from any possible intervention by any foreign interested party, beginning with the countries in Southeast Asia, and including the new extremist entity called “Islamic State in Iraq and Syria” by those who control it;
To cause the immediate filing of criminal cases against all the senators and congressmen, members of the Cabinet, the Commission on Audit and the various government agencies involved in the misuse of the PDAF and the DAP from 2010 to date, and to use whatever public pressure is necessary to make all those involved in these cases to immediately vacate their respective positions;
To organize a panel of experts who will undertake a comprehensive study of the country’s energy problem and propose solutions that will be free of any political bias for or against any particular energy source, and take into primary consideration the interests of the general public and the consumers rather than the various actors in the generation, transmission and distribution chain;
To organize public support for the PNP rank-and-file in their call for a thorough cleanup of the PNP and an immediate change in its top leadership; and
To institutionalize a public forum, where aggrieved individual citizens could air their just grievances and mobilize public support for such grievances without being subjected to the arbitrary censorship imposed by government and the conscript press.
To actively support the call and effort of the concerned citizens of the country to establish a People’s Truth Commission to discover and reveal the accountability and any consequent liability of the administration of President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III, arising from its massive misuse of public funds through the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) that has been ruled unconstitutional by unanimous vote of the Supreme Court.
Invoking the aid of Almighty God the most gracious and most merciful, and reposing our trust and confidence in the Filipino people, we pray that all these may come to pass soon.
Done in Cebu city, this 1st day of October A.D. 2014 / 7th day of DHU al-Hijjah A.H. 1453.