Bayan: Palace’s Dismissal of Protests is ‘Sheer Arrogance’


The cause-oriented group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan or New Patriotic Alliance) has criticized as “sheer arrogance” Malacañang’s belittling of the threats of protests from various sectors, including El Shaddai leader Mike Velarde.

Aside from this, Malacañang also said it will not stop Arroyo allies in the House of Representatives from pursuing Charter change.

“Malacañang has just given the people all the more reason to go to the streets,” said Bayan secretary-general Renato Reyes, Jr. “An arrogant government like this deserves the public’s wrath.”

More than 50 organizations and personalities have already signified their participation in the December 12 Interfaith Prayer and Protest Rally in Ayala, Makati. The December 12 mass action will include Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical and Muslim groups as well as business and civic groups, students and teachers, lawyers, trade unions, government employees, farmers groups and other progressive organizations.

“The administration’s overweening pride will be its own undoing,” Reyes said. “The Charter change move is already extremely unpopular as only Malacanang and its House allies are supporting it, while a broad range of forces stands opposed to it.”

Bayan scoffed at Palace pronouncements that the executive branch cannot interfere with a co-equal branch of government in relation to the Charter change efforts.

“Malacañang should not influence Congress?” Reyes said. “Who are they kidding? They’ve been doing that since Day 1. They did that to the impeachment complaint. Now they’re telling us they can’t intervene? That’s just ridiculous.”

Despite Palace pronouncements that term extension is not on the agenda of Charter change, Bayan said that the call to stop the measure is “non-negotiable”.

“Our demand is for an end to any and all efforts to change the Constitution under Gloria,” Reyes said. “This is a non-negotiable demand. Arroyo’s allies must withdraw all pending resolutions advocating Cha-cha before the House of Representatives. This includes the Nograles resolution and the still-to-be-filed Villafuerte resolution.”

Bayan said that until all possible moves for Charter change are withdrawn, the public cannot afford to be complacent. The group said that Arroyo will do everything to stay in power.

“The only acceptable outcome is for Arroyo to give it up completely,” Reyes said. “As of now, there are no indications that Malacanang is even reconsidering or backpedalling on Charter change. Protests must continue.” (

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