In his speech, former Vice President Teofisto Guingona Jr. likened the present situation to Martial Law. “[This is] the sad story of the Filipino people and the Philippine Republic,” he said. Guingona said that from Martial Law to the present, nothing much has changed.
He pointed out just one difference. “Noong Martial Law, diretso sila.” (During Martial Law, they were direct.) “Ngayon, ganoon din ang gawa pero may postura.” (Today, they do the same things but they have pretenses.) “Iba ang salita, iba ang gawa.” (They say something, they do otherwise.)
Guingona said that when former President Ferdinand Marcos wielded an iron fist rule, the Filipino people became enraged. He said the people asked, “Who snatched our sons and daughters in the middle of the night?”
“We need 100 percent support [for this campaign]. No matter how young or old, lalaban pa rin [I will still fight.] Let us stand, let us fight for the Filipino,” Guingona said.
Guingona said, eliciting applause from the audience, “[We need] not only defend, we will also attack.”
Dr. Carol Pagaduan-Araullo, national chairperson of Bayan, seconded Guingona’s statement. She said, “The best defense is offense. Palayain natin sila sa pamamagitan ng depensa at opensa,” (Let us free them by means of defense and offense.) she added.
Araullo said the legal battle is not sufficient given the corrupt and rotten justice system. “Kailangan ang malakas na kilusang masa… Gamitin natin ang ating lakas para umatake, para sawatain ang mga imbing maniobra ng rehimeng Arroyo.” (We need a strong mass movement…Let us use our strength to attack, to frustrate the evil schemes of the Arroyo regime.)
Araullo said the conditions both in the national and international level are ripe for pushing forward immediate reforms and fundamental changes.
Anakpawis (Toiling Masses) Rep. Rafael Mariano condemned the new wave of attacks against leaders and members of people’s organizations. He said, “Ang nakakulong dapat si GMA, Joc-Joc, Palparan at mga berdugo, hindi ang mga aktibista.” (Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Joc-Joc Bolante, Gen. Jovito Palaparan, Jr. and the executioners are the ones who should be sent to jail, not the activists.)Bulatlat.com