Activists to rally vs PNoy on July 27

MANILA — Militant groups are preparing for a big rally in time for the sixth and final State of the Nation Address of President Benigno Aquino III on July 27.

“People want an end to this regime, the sooner the better. The people will also oppose Aquino’s plan to have his anointed one continue his anti-people programs beyond 2016,” said Bagong Alyansang Makabayan secretary general Renato Reyes Jr.

The group said the issues that have defined the Aquino administration include unemployment despite economic growth, continuing corruption and selective prosecution of graft cases, neglect and inadequate relief for calamity victims, questionable public-private partnership deals and its continuing human rights violations.

It also cited the killing of 44 police commandos in the Mamasapano, Maguindanao last January and the breakdown of mass transport systems such as the Metro Railway Transit and Light Railway Transit as among the issues.

“Blaming the past administration is old hat. Now at the end of his term, Aquino will have to account for the fiascos and problems that happened during his watch. The sham Daang Matuwid (Straight Path) has reached a dead end,” said Reyes.

Reyes said Aquino’s last SONA will be an occasion for the people to render judgement on the President’s term. He added various organizations under the umbrella formation Bayan are preparing for nationwide protests in time for the July 27 event.

“Expect a torrent of lies from Aquino and praises from his allies on his final SONA. The public however will be more discerning. Yellow rhetoric won’t cut it anymore. There is worsening poverty, persistent corruption, and utter lack of sovereignty. More than five years of the Aquino regime and not much has really changed, a lot has gotten worse,” he said.

Bayan called on the people to make their voices heard above the political noise that diverts the public’s attention from the most pressing social problems.

“It may be election season for politicians but it’s still the daily grind for most people. The issues of the poor must be heard amid the escalating political noise and mudslinging among political factions. The SONA protests will be our opportunity to raise the most basic issues that the Aquino regime has failed to address,” Reyes added.

After delivering his SONA in July 2014, the people have judged Aquino’s performance and many have found him wanting.

“We have lost faith in him. We no longer have illusions on his administration. It seems that the slogans ‘tuwid na daan’, ‘kayo ang boss ko’ and ‘kung walang kurap, walang mahirap’ were all just campaign gimmicks,” said George San Mateo, president of the transport group Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide.

Kabataan Party List Rep. Terry Ridon gave the President a grade of three for his anti-corruption promises in his past State of the Nation Address speeches.

“For as long as the president remains stubborn and arrogant in his defense of the DAP, he can kiss his legacy goodbye,” Ridon said.