Meaningful Changes and Social Justice Remain the Primary Challenge to the Filipino People

The last elections show no considerable move towards real societal change. The pursuit of meaningful change, reform in government and social justice remain the outstanding challenge to the Filipino people. The very first automated national elections have committed major errors and technical glitches that they fall short of people’s needs and expectations.

These elections were again dominated by a few elite section of our society, representative of traditional dynasties. Based on many reports, the automated election system failed to eliminate the use of gold, guns and goons in various places. The claims of the Comelec, of Smartmatic-TIM, and of the administration that the elections were generally peaceful and successful were contrary to reports of numerous incidents of violence and killings, vote buying, technical failure of the PCOS machines, chaotic systems of voting in different polling places, etc.

The strong desire of the people, together with their courageous assertions and efforts for change made the elections possible. It was not having taken place without the patience and eagerness of the teachers, the volunteers, the watchers, and the entire Filipino people who, under the oppressive heat of the sun, exercised their right to suffrage.

The PCPR joins the call for an independent and credible body that will assess the whole Automated Election System and make accountable all agencies and individuals, both public and private, for the derailment of the May 2010 elections.

Furthermore, we are challenging those who were and would be declared winners to be true to their promises and work to uplift the lives and welfare of the people, and give their share for the triumph of justice and peace in our country. The Filipino people deserve a government that truly represents their interests.

The prosecution of Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and all her cohorts must be given priority by the succeeding administration. This will draw the line between those who are truly serious towards major reforms and those who are not. Moreover, the long standing issues of genuine land reform, just wages, human rights, unjust taxation, high prices of basic commodities, graft and corruption, and independent foreign policies are the urgent national concerns that must be addressed by the coming administration.

Nonetheless, the people will not submit to any propaganda, such as “without corruption, poverty will be eliminated,” that does not take into serious consideration the root causes of poverty and injustice in our society. Abject poverty and other social injustices are brought about by a social system that is controlled by a few ruling elite who are subservient to foreign interests.

History teaches us that only the collective action of the people will push forward meaningful changes in our nation.

This is also a challenge for the church people to discern the truth about the way towards genuine change from the perspective of the poor and, together with them, work to build the nation on a firm foundation of social justice.

To this end, the Promotion of Church Peoples’ Response stands by its mission in proclaiming the good news of salvation by its solidarity with the peoples struggle for national freedom and democracy and its prophetic role denouncing evil and wickedness in our society.

Mr. Nardy Sabino
Secretary General

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