MANILA - Various mass actions are expected to be staged beginning next week in protest of the constituent assembly (Con-ass), which was approved by the House of Representatives last Tuesday.
The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), however, reminded protesters to do away with violence when holding rallies.
“Express it in a peaceful non-violent way in order that we may not fall into the trap that will necessitate martial law again,” said CBCP president Archbishop Angel Lagdameo in a statement posted on www.cbcpnews.com.
“Learn the lesson from the past,” he added, pertaining to the declaration of martial law in 1972.
Lagdameo also called on the lower chamber of Congress to drop House Resolution 1109. He noted that the CBCP stands by its position against Charter change before the 2010 national elections.
“If there should be let it be after 2010 and via a Constitutional Convention whose delegates are democratically elected by the people,” said Lagdameo.
The umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) welcomed the CBCP statement.
“The nationwide rallies are expected to be peaceful and organized but the outrage will certainly be there. Rain or shine, we will march against Con-Ass," said Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes Jr. in a statement.
“There are now efforts in the various provinces and regions to mount protest actions together with the religious and the opposition. We're reaching out and organizing provincial and regional activities to coincide with the June 10 Ayala rally,” he added.
The June 10 rally in Makati City is expected to be attended by leaders and members of the United Opposition, BAYAN, Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines (Women), Concerned Citizens Movement, Edsa 3 Coalition, Black and White Movement, Gabriela, and Kabataan,
Former vice president Teofisto Guingona is also set to participate in the rally along with members of the Liberal Party, Change Politics, MyErap, Akbayan, Sanlakas, Artists Revolution, Pagbabago, Filipinos for Peace, Justice and Progress Movement (FPJPM), Movement for Good Governance, and Bangon Pilipinas.
“There is now a broad consensus among many political, religious, civic and professional organizations that what is happening with Charter change and Con-ass is wrong. The only way to thwart this self-serving scheme is to go out and protest," Reyes added.
Meanwhile, rally organizers are scheduled to meet with the Philippine National Police on Monday.