The Lipa declaration: An urgent call for national transformation

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Adopted on August 27, 2014 by groups demanding the resignation of President Benigno Aquino 3rd.

We are Filipino citizens of different personal, professional social and economic backgrounds and political persuasions and religious beliefs. We have gathered here in Lipa City on this 27th day of August A.D. 2014/ 2nd day of DHU AL-QA’DA A.H. 1435, under the auspices of the National Transformation Council, to reaffirm our deeply held convictions and beliefs about the common good and our highest national interests, in the face of the most pressing challenges.

We invite all our compatriots everywhere to reaffirm with us the same convictions and beliefs.

We believe that:
A crisis of unprecedented proportions has befallen our nation. The life of the nation is in grave peril from the very political forces that are primarily ordained to protect, promote and advance its well-being, but which are aggressively undermining its moral, religious, social, cultural, constitutional and legal foundations;
Unbridled and unpunished corruption and widespread misuse of political and economic power in all layers of society have not only destroyed our common conception of right and wrong, good and bad, just and unjust, legal and illegal, but also put our people, especially the poor, at the mercy of those who have the power to dictate the course and conduct of our development for their own selfish ends;
Far from preserving and defending the constitution, as he swore to do when he assumed office, the incumbent President Benigno Simeon Aquino has subverted and violated it by corrupting Congress, intimidating the judiciary, taking over the treasury, manipulating the automated voting system, and perverting the constitutional impeachment process; President Benigno Simeon Aquino 3rd has also damaged the moral fabric of Philippine Society by bribing members of Congress not only to impeach and remove a sitting Supreme Court Chief Justice but also to enact a law which disrespects the right to life of human being at the earliest and most vulnerable stages of their lives, in defiance not only of the constitution but above all of the moral law, the customs, culture, and consciences of Filipinos.


Therefore, faithful to the objective moral law and to the universally honored constitutional principle that sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them, we declare that President Benigno Simeon Aquino 3rd has lost the moral right to lead the nation, and had become a danger to the Philippine Democratic and Republican state and to the peace, freedom, security and moral and spiritual well-being of the Filipino people.

We further declare that we have lost all trust and confidence in President Benigno Simeon Aquino 3rd, and we call upon him to immediately relinquish his position.

And we call upon the National Transformation Council, (Hereafter the council), to assume the urgent and necessary task of restoring our damaged political institutions to their original status and form before we begin to consider electing a new government under normal political conditions.

The role of the council will not be to succeed President Aquino, but solely to prevent the total destruction of our political system, and to rebuild and nourish its institutions back to health so that all those interested could join the political competition later, without the dice being loaded in anyone’s favor.

Like a crew whose task is to put everything in order before a commercial carrier, which had earlier developed some problems in midair, is cleared again for takeoff, the council’s duty will be only to repair the battered tripartite system and to make sure that the people are once again able to freely and intelligently elect their own leaders.

In this connection, we welcome the council’s proposal to open broad public consultations on the need to modify and strengthen the presidential system or to shift from the Unitary / Presidential system to a federal / Parliamentary System, endowing such structure with:
A totally independent judicial department, free from any kind of intimidation or bullying by either the Executive or the Legislative Department, and with the sufficient wherewithal to clear the backlog of the courts and fast-track all cases;

A merit-driven, professional civil and military service;
Totally transparent government budgeting, procurement, disbursement, accounting and auditing systems and procedures; and
An irreproachably independent and completely dependable electoral system, free from the virus that has corrupted the Automated Voting System Since 2010.

Whatever the final form of government the citizenry decide to adopt, absolutely indispensable are the integrity and independence of the courts, and the existence of an incorrupt electoral system by means of which we, the people, are able to freely and intelligently choose our own leaders in free and honest elections. Without these, we cannot speak of a normally functioning democratic and thus we fully support the council’s position that until we have such a fraud-free electoral system, we should refrain from holding any farcical election. But once we have it, we should encourage the best qualified men and women in the country to participate in the open electoral process so that together, we could put an end to the stranglehold exercised by the corrupt and incompetent political dynasties upon our elections.

Finally, we support the council’s proposal that with political reform there must go hand in hand comprehensive economic reform. With one strong voice, we must now say a vigorous “NO,” as Pope Francis has suggested, to an economics of exclusion and inequality, coming from a misguided vision of the human being and of society harmfully acted upon through myopic laws, policies and programs.

As the council prepares to embark upon the necessary reforms, we call upon the Armed Forces of the Philippines, as the constitutional “protector of the people and the state,” to extend its protective shield to the council, and not to allow any armed group to sow violence, disorder or discord into its peaceful ranks.

Adopted in Lipa City, this 27th day of August A.D. 2014 / 2nd day of DHU AL-QA’DA A.H. 1435.

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17 Comments

  1. And where did the National Transformation Council get its mandate? Were the members of the council duly elected representatives of the Filipino people? You can’t be the accuser and judge at the same time. If you have grievances, you have to follow the due process. Wait for the next election and vote for candidates that represents your ideals. SimounIII

  2. Starting EDSA 1, Filipinos gathered to remove the leader of our country. Until now, it is the notion of many. The question is, who wanted this type of government? Who elected each president? And who wanted them all ousted? Did everyone of you realizes each thing that you are complaining had been made by you? Just be all honest, when you elected each leader, have you ever asked yourselves, if you are truly picking the right candidate? Why can’t you all think of that, so you wil not waste more time to complaining? Are we all a family, complaining to an irresponsible father of the house and just wanted him kicked out. Can’t we make things better even the head of the family is not able to give what we had expected? Doing things in the house for the success of the family is better than complaining about an unable leader of the family, right? Time is too short and time approaches so fast for the president to leave, why not do things for he was unable instead than complaining. If you are confident to show people that your group had done things that the president was incapable, go out, show your work, and we may be with you!
    This is just my simple understanding with your matters.

  3. The National Transformation Council (NTC) meeting in Lipa manifest Democracy is working in the present administration. The NTC clamoring for reforms could be compare also to the action of Koalisyon ng Mamamayan para sa Reporma (KOMPRE), Mabuti ang layunin ni PNOY sa prinsipyo niyang “Tuwid na Daan”. Si PNOY ay hindi Corrupt .Karamihan ng mga opisyales ni PNOY sa kanyang administration ay corrupt dahil hindi naman niya pinalitan ang mga dating mga tauhan ni GMA na nasa gobyerno pa rin. Suriin natin mabuti at tanggapin na ang problema ay wala sa liderato kundi nasa bulok na sistemang pang politika at sistemang pangkabuhayan. Kahit ang NTC pa ang umupo ay ganun parin ang sistemang mangyayari. Ang kailangan natin ay isang Revolutionary government na handang purgahin ang mga hadlang sa radikal na pagbabago. I dont care kung sino mang grupo ang magsagwa ng pagtatatag ng Revolutionary government. Pwedeng ang grupo ni PNOY na tuwid na daan. Puwedeng ang grupo ng Magdalo soldiers. Puedeng ang grupo ng National Democratic Front. Pwede rin ang grupo ng NTC pero dapat malaman muna na Sambayanan kung sino sino ang lider ng NTC. Dahil kung NTC ay binubuo din ng dating mga lider ni GMA, Ramos at Marcos ay hindi kayo susuportahan ng mamamayan at kasundaluhan.

  4. Really? Sino ang ipapalit nyo? I am sick and tired of your holier-than thou attitude. Look what happened to Iraq. US got rid of Saddam Hussein without preparing for a leader who can hold that country together. Don’t fool me with your idealism. The person behind this idea of impeaching the president for shallow reasons is trying to grab the power for himself. Yes, Pres. Aquino is not a perfect president but he is the best so far this country has ever produced. He needs your help to make this country better and not your cries for his ouster. There are a lot of undesirables to whom you should focus your anger and frustrations: First and foremost are the corrupt voters who elected “crocodiles” to the senate and congress in exchange of few hundred pesos (that did not last a minute in their hands because of tong-its, shabu ,etc…). Next get rid of those who got elected because of their looks and popularity and not because of their intelligence or innate desire to serve the country. I need not mention names here for they are too many and you perfectly know who they are.

  5. This is crazy, unrealistic. You gave up on the country. Sometimes, i feel i wanted to. But there’s flickers of hope. Can’t you see bad things are coming out because they’re not being silenced, because they’re not being hidden. Aquino is not the best, but at this time, i don’t see who can convincingly be the next president.

  6. as sir Edmund Burke said, “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” let’s do it Filipinos! support the NTC by sharing this declaration.

  7. gustong basahin un article ninyo kaya lng nung mabasa ko un date ay nawalan ako ng gana.first of all ay wala kau sa muslim country para gamitin un hegira calendar.para makauha kau ng sympatiya sa muslim community,sa totoo lng pag me nasalubong kaung muslim sa daan at magtanong kau kung anong date a hegira clendar ay di kau kayang sagutin nyan.nawala un credibilty ng writer for doing it so.pangalawa kung mag resign ba si pnoy ay sino ang bet ninyo,si binay well cguro naman lumalabs na un totoong kulay ni binay at doon ninyo ipagkakatiwala un bansa sa kanya, i dont think so,bakit kaya hindi ninyo i divert un energy ninyo educating un mga botante tell them un mga politikong dapat manilbihan sa bayan at un hindi,

  8. It is my honest belief that “God hears the cry of the poor”. The LTC is, to my honest opinion, His answer that came to us, his poor children, through the mediation of Mary, the Mother of God. Let us not forget that Lipa City was where Mary appeared years ago as the “Mediatrix of all graces”. I would like to thank and congratulate all the participants of LTC for allowing the Holy Spirit to carry out His transforming action through them. The groundwork for this great initiative has been laid down. I am inviting all our countrymen/women to pray and be ready in whatever way each can, help it succeed – all for the glory of God and for the peaceful and total achievement of the goals LTC has so beautifully set.

  9. when Pnoy signed the RH Law it caused the heavens to cry and the future generations were traded off for profit..if one can’t defend life many other lesser issues can be traded off..I signed the Lipa declaration.

  10. P. Akialamiro on

    How will overseas Filipinos join in this campaign? They are more independent- minded.

  11. because of the bad eggs under pinoy heade by abad, bondging ,roxas, guingona all lp and np at most hayop ten kawawa nmn si pinoy naddamay sa mg uton senatong at tongressmen. bayan ko gmising k

  12. Can the transformation in the country be clearly four-fold- social transformation, economic transformation, environmental transformation and political transformation? Definitely, there are challenges. But there are also intitiatives to confront such. What matters is that we are aware of these challenges, and from there we can slowly build a national consensus guided by a single key principle – a better Philippines for us today, and for the generations yet to come.

  13. Ruben V. Calip on

    Fellow Times readers, please share this declaration with your friends and the groups you belong to. And, of course, like it on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

    • jesus nazario on

      I thank God for the publication of the entire Lipa Declaration document. My wife and I were there and “imbibed’ the resurgence of the return of the EDSA spirit (in some sense but not yet strong enough) in the historic venue of Lipa.. Now, I don’t have to encode it for the purpose of, as you requested, disseminating it as widely as I can. God bless Mr. Calip !

    • I am agreement with majority of your beliefs except that I am an advocate of the RH bill after watching all the hungry and absolutely disheartening condition of many Filipino children.

  14. Ruben V. Calip on

    Please, fellow Manila Times readers who truly love our country and wish it to be saved from destruction as a general democratic state, let’s support the National Transformation Council and this declaration.
    Let’s especially help in raising awareness of the need of our country to have “An irreproachably independent and completely dependable electoral system, free from the virus that has corrupted the Automated Voting System Since 2010.”
    That virus called the Smartmatic AES (automated election system) and its PCOS machines is what was used by South American rulers, like Chavez of Venezuela, to obtain landslide election victories.