For Immediate Release
February 25, 2015
Contact: Valerie Francisco, Chairperson, GABRIELA USA, firstname.lastname@example.org
February 25, 2015 marks 29 years since the People Power Revolution or the EDSA Revolution ousted the 20-year long dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos. The administration was rife with graft and corruption, teeming with human rights violations including murders, enforced disappearances, torture, and wrongful imprisonment of activists and anyone with a dissenting opinion. Today, the son of Marcos’ rival, Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino III, is president of the Philippines. Benigno Simeon Aquino III has followed the footsteps of his father’s adversary.
On January 25, 2015, an extremely violent encounter in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, the southern part of the Philippines, killed 44 Special Action Forces, a mobile unit of the Philippine National Police, and members of the Moro Liberation Front (MILF), as well as civilians. Under BS Aquino’s watch this incident has exposed his administration’s subservience to US imperialist aggression, militarization and dominance as the clash that claimed the lives at the end of January has been linked to secret US military training, including the use of US drones, which undermines Philippine sovereignty. Additionally, Aquino has avoided any accountability as the widows and family members of the fallen have gone public with the trauma of the incident and seeking out justice. When families of the killed SAF members confronted Aquino with questions, he responded with sarcasm. Given this high profile incident, Aquino has demonstrated once again his incompetence and persistent neglect for the overall well-being of the country.
Furthermore, BS Aquino has been lackluster in the trial for the murder of Jennifer Laude, a transgender woman who was found dead on October 11, 2014 in Olongapo City. Aquino has done next to nothing to hold Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton, the US military personnel who allegedly took Laude’s life, accountable for his crime. He would not so much as attend the wake of the slain transgender woman, claiming “I don’t attend wakes of people I don’t know”. Although this case of trans-violence has gained international attention, this case comes after the Philippines and the US strengthened its ties with the recent Enhanced Defense Coordination Agreement (EDCA), which allows greater US access to Philippine military camps.
The Filipino people have had enough, and the clamor for BS Aquino’s resignation has increased as his arrogant lack of accountability and neglect of the Filipino people has time and time again proven his incompetency. Aquino is part of a long history of inept leaders continuing the plunder of the country’s resources, and failed attempts to create any real meaningful change. From the lessons of EDSA 1 and EDSA 2, we must push forward with an overhaul in the system, but in the interim, a body known as the Transition Council can be formed in the short term. This interim body could run the state of affairs, which is representative of various groups that would have the genuine interest of the people in mind, until a more permanent government can be formed. Let us reignite the power of the people once again to call BS Aquino’s resignation and continue the fight for genuine freedom and democracy in the Philippines.
GABRIELA USA chapters and affiliated organizations are holding various protest actions and education forums in light of the anniversary of People Power.
Hold the US-Aquino regime accountable for the bloody incident in Mamasapano!
Aquino Resign! Oust the US-Aquino regime!
Establish a transition council! Advance genuine change!
US Out of the Philippines NOW!