Inquirer Headlines: Nation

A World with Extreme Poverty is a World of Insecurity.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Across RP, calls for truth, ouster

Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 04:34:00 02/26/2008

MANILA, Philippines -- Leftist, religious and civic groups in cities and towns outside Metro Manila on Monday marked the 22nd anniversary of the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolt by staging anti-administration marches and rallies and vowing to continue to fight corruption in government.

Groups from the Southern Tagalog region gathered in Calamba City to form a regional alliance against poverty and corruption, while in the Bicol region, a prayer rally led by the Catholic Church, militant organizations and civic groups in Legazpi City in Albay pledged to stand united in pursuing the truth and justice.

Protest actions were also held in key cities and towns in Cavite, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon.

While most leftist groups called for the ouster of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, a number called only for her resignation, while still others were “playing it safe by only calling for truth and accountability,” Tessa Lopez, spokesperson for Bayan-Bikol, said.

In Cebu City, the leftist Akbayan-Cebu presented “The Okrays” awards to recognize what it called corrupt officials in government.

The group named President Arroyo as the “best corruptress” and the President’s husband, Jose Miguel Arroyo, as the “best corruptor.”

In Bacolod City, thousands marched to the public plaza, demanding the government disclose the truth about the allegations of corruption and the ouster of the President.

In Iloilo City, around 200 protesters belonging to the militant Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) marched on the city’s main streets before holding a rally at the Iloilo provincial capitol.

In Aklan, around 150 protesters led by Bayan held a picket at Crossing Banga in the capital of Kalibo.

In Tacloban City, the League of Filipino Students held a 20-minute noise barrage calling for Ms Arroyo’s resignation but the police dispersed them.

In Mindanao, 500 members of Bayan staged a rally at Magsaysay Park in Cagayan de Oro City, and called for the launch of another people power uprising.

Some 800 protesters gathered at Freedom Park in Davao City, while in Iligan City about 100 members of Bayan threw tomatoes at a streamer with a photo of President Arroyo.

In Cotabato City, about 50 militants held a lighting rally on Sinsuat Avenue.

Nina Catherine Calleja and Jaymee T. Gamil, Inquirer Southern Luzon; Jhunnex Napallacan, Carla Gomez, Joey A. Gabieta and Nestor Burgos Jr., Inquirer Visayas, and Ma. Cecilia Rodriguez, Franklin A. Caliguid, Edwin O. Fernandez, Jeffrey M. Tupas, Frinston Lim, Inquirer Mindanao