Protests Vs Cha-Cha Begin

August 15, 2008 – 4:10 p.m.

As Malacañang declared all systems go for charter change, progressive groups under the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan – New Patriotic Alliance) started their protests against the renewed bid for charter change.

More than 200 members of Bayan and member organizations held a noise barrage at the Welcome Rotunda, 2:30 p.m. today.

This morning, members of Bayan chapter in the National Capital Region (NCR) held a lightning rally at the EDSA Shrine.

In a press conference, Dr. Carol Araullo, Bayan national chairperson, condemned what she called a sneak attack of the Arroyo regime. “Malisyosong ginamit ni Arroyo ang peace talks para ipasok ang makasariling adyenda.” (Arroyo maliciously used the peace talks to forward her selfish agenda.)

Araullo was referring to the peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

The Bayan leader said Mrs. Arroyo is pushing for a shift to federalism to prolong her stay beyond 2010.

Renato Reyes Jr., Bayan secretary general, deemed the charter change as a desperate move of Mrs. Arroyo to protect herself from any accountability. Reyes said that Mrs. Arroyo is guilty of plunder and gross human rights violations

Araullo said that other anti-Arroyo forces are gearing up for bigger rallies in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, Bayan Muna Representative Teodoro Casiño Jr. warned that Mrs. Arroyo may be ousted before 2010 if she would ram the charter change down the people’s throats. (

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