National youth group Anakbayan joined workers and other sectors in a protest held in Mendiola, Manila this morning, following yesterday’s conviction of the Supreme Court’s chief magistrate.
The youth group said that while they welcomed the impeachment court’s decision, the people should be warned that Corona’s conviction may give rise to an ‘Aquino court’. Thus, Aquino will be granted full control not only of the judiciary but all three branches of government.
“It did not come as a surprise seeing that the Aquino ruling clique and its legion, Akbayan Party, has stepped up tirades against the chief justice, used the congressional pork barrel as pressure point and the entire state machinery to secure conviction”, said Charisse Bañez, national secretary-general.
An ‘Aquino court’ would make the forcible shoving of policies and programs in favor of the elite few as easy as breeze.
The organization of young workers, peasants, out of school and urban poor youth and students expressed that “Corona’s conviction may not bring about significant change in the lives of the Filipino people suffering from extreme poverty and hunger”.
“We challenge the Aquino government to immediately distribute the Hacienda Luisita lands to its rightful owners. We fear that the CJ’s removal from the SC would enable the landlord president to avail of powers to overturn the high court’s decision”, Bañez said.
Ultimately, according to Anakbayan, Corona’s impeachment trial was a counterblow against a historical SC decision ordering the distribution of Hacienda Luisita and an outright maneuver to preserve the Cojuangco-Aquino family’s monopoly of the vast landholding.
Meanwhile, Anakbayan said that Aquino and his allies, who granted Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo political accommodations in exchange for a smooth transition of power in 2010, are no longer left with any ‘palusot’ for its failure to prosecute and jail Arroyo for her crimes against the people.
“Aquino can no longer stem the people’s growing clamor to prosecute and punish Arroyo for the biggest cases of corruption, war crimes and gross violations of human rights and wholesale election fraud. Aquino could’ve held Arroyo accountable sans the impeachment powwow”, they said.
If anything, toeing the line of his much-abused ‘daang matuwid’, Aquino and his ‘Kaklase, Kaibigan, Kamag-anak and Kabarilan’ (KKKK) should be held accountable for their corruption and abuse of public office for personal and partisan interests. The challenge for their disclosure of bank accounts and financial records stand.
“Large-scale corruption is rife in the implementation of Aquino’s key programs, the Conditional Cash Transfer and Public Private Partnerships where state contracts are negotiated to favor his KKKK, among other big foreign and local businessmen”, Bañez said.
But for the most part, Anakbayan presses on the people’s basic demands: job generation, decent wages and the reduction of oil price, appropriation of bigger budgets to education and other social services, genuine land reform and an end to urban poor demolitions.
“After the blitz and glitz of the spectacle that is the impeachment trial has died down, we think it’s time for the Aquino government to stop grandstanding and immediately address gut issues sidetracked in the process”. ###