Philippines: Lumad confederation reiterates call for GMA’s ouster

Nov. 30, 2007

Confederation of Lumad Organizations in Southern Mindanao
c/o Diakonia Center, IFI Compound, F. Torres St., Davao City; Contact telephone #s: 305-0824; CP #: 0929-2658967

November 30, 2007

Lumad confederation reiterates call for GMA’s ouster

Amidst the political turmoil faced by the Arroyo administration, highlighted by the Trillanes-Lim led action at Makati city yesterday, some sectors of the civil society which have long called for the ouster of President Arroyo raise their own demands.

“The Trillanes-Lim show of outrage is only part of the greater fury of the Filipino people that continues to snowball against the president. The Arroyo government must not make a mistake of limiting the ouster-call in the Makati stand off alone. Prior the incident at Makati, there is a clear demand from bishops and religious nuns asking GMA to step down and the impeachment complaint all wrought by the cascading exposes of Arroyo’s corrupt activities, and her fraudulent cling to power,” Monico Cayog, PASAKA Vice Chairperson said.

He added the indigenous peoples’ sector has long called for the Mrs. Arroyo to yield to this call.

”Like the church and the rest of the civil society, the lumad people who have been victims of her militarist policies and plundering development projects have long been asking Mrs. Arroyo to step down. Devoid of any legitimate moral and political grounds, her presidency has caused the people to suffer from dire poverty and political repression,” stated the PASAKA Confederation of Lumad Organizations in Southern Mindanao, which is composed of twentyfive local lumad organizations and is a member of the Gloria Step Down Movement (GSM).

Cayog also noted that the report of United Nations Special Rapporteur Philip Alston that the military is behind the killings of 800 activists, journalists and civilians will result to stronger international support to the peoples’ demand for Mrs. Arroyo to give up the presidential seat.

“The Alston report vindicates the victims of system of injustice perpetrated by this government. UNSR Alston’s report is a strong testament that affirms the Filipino peoples’ unwavering fight for justice and peace. But this shameless presidency resorts to violence to suppress the peoples’ constitutional right to demand for change. The arrest of more than 50 media men covering the Makati stand-off and the tear-gassing of the Peninsula Hotel despite the presence of civilians reflect the government’s due disregard for the peoples democratic rights,” Cayog stated.

He added, “The Alston report exposes how the military’s ideals have been perverted to the policy of extrajudicial killings implemented by the Arroyo government. The Magdalo soliders’ mutiny in the first place was due to the corruption of the military ideals, and Senator Trillanes also strongly condemned the killings of activists and journalists made under this regime.”

Cayog added that out of the 800 killings reported, about 100 involve indigenous peoples leaders and civilians who are opposed to the militarization and development aggression policy of the Arroyo government.

Cayog attributed said the killings from the ranks of the lumad people and the worsening militarization in the communities coupled with the encroachment of mining, agri-business plantations and other development projects to the Arroyo presidency. #

For Reference:

Datu Monico Cayog
PASAKA Vice- Chairperson

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