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Groups celebrate edsa to call for pro-poor economic reforms

LEFT-LEANING groups staged a protest rally at the Freedom Park along Roxas Avenue on Feb. 25 to mark the anniversary of the People Power revolution and also demand pro-poor economic reforms. 

Members of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan Southern Mindanao staged a protest at Freedom Park, Roxas Avenue, on Sunday, Feb. 25, to commemorate the 38th anniversary of the EDSA People Power uprising.

Rauf Sissay, Bayan Southern Mindanao secretariat member, said the group bannered their call for “livelihood, land, rights, and independence,” and strongly condemned attempts to change the charter (cha-cha).

Sa kasamtangan nga adunay mga maniobra ang rehimeng Marcos alang sa cha-cha, o pag-usab sa 1987 Constitution, labawng gikinahanglan ang kusganong pagpadayag ug pakigbisog batok niana,” Sissay said.

Sissay said cha-cha will allow foreign ownership of public utilities, telecommunications, and even schools.

He added cha-cha formed part of a larger neo-liberal economic framework that will further liberalization, privatization, and deregulation of public services to make them inaccessible to the ordinary Filipino.

The group stood firm on their opposition against the possible insertion of political amendments to the charter, specifically lengthening the terms of elected officials, as it will only “worsen corruption, deteriorate social services and intensify human rights abuse.” 

The protest called on legislators and government officials to prioritize salary increases for workers, genuine land reforms, protection for women and children, and justice for political prisoners.

Peaceful rally

Major Marvin Hugos, commander of San Pedro Police Station, estimated the group to number around 60 individuals representing Bayan SMR, KMU, Anakbayan, Anakpawis, and Gabriela. 

He said a total of 163 PNP personnel were deployed to secure the area and the activity ended peacefully around noon.

The anniversary of the EDSA people power revolt has been excluded by Malacañang from the list of regular holidays and special non-working days for 2024, reportedly because the date fell on a Sunday.

EDSA not forgotten

Kinahanglan nga hinumdumon nato ang People Power tungod kini nga panghitabo ang nagpamatoud nga makab-ot ang kagawasan ug mga katungod pinaagi sa kolektibo ug militanteng paglihok sa katawhan,” he stressed.

He said excluding EDSA in the official holidays for 2024 can only mean “disregard and disrespect” to Philippine democracy.

Malacañang released Proclamation No. 368, signed by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin on Oct. 11, 2023, which delisted Feb. 25 from the official list of holidays. 

Malacañang, however, explained that declaring the People Power anniversary has “minimal socioeconomic impact” as the date falls on a Sunday.


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