REPRESSION has now become overt oppression. The Black & White Movement joins a country aghast and appalled over the panicky and brutal treatment accorded by the Philippine National Police to our fellow citizens peaceably assembled in a prayer assembly and procession yesterday. In a democracy with a free society, water cannon shouldn’t be the antidote to peaceful pilgrims making a prayerful journey, without banners or flags, from plaza Miranda to churches in the nation’s capital.
The Black & White Movement considers former Vice-President Teofisto Guingona, Jr., former governor Oscar Orbos, Senator Jamby Madrigal, Fr. Robert Reyes, and Rep. Satur Ocampo, and all those who bore the brunt of the apparent lack of command and control on the part of the police. Atty. Orbos put it best, when he told media the gathering was not about supporting a partisan political agenda: it was about undertaking a test, to see if the Philippines remains a country that guarantees its citizens their rights.
The country, the President, and the confused, water cannon-happy troops at her command, failed the test. The test was failed, because the President, from the time the “Hello Garci” scandal broke out, has continuously, consistently, and unashamedly, failed every moral test of her integrity, and every political test of the sincerity of her leadership, and the authenticity of her mandate. Every second of every day she remains in possession of Malacanang is a continuing failure: for just as she has failed to produce Virgilio Garcillano, and indeed, has turned a blind eye to efforts to bring him to justice, so has she failed every opportunity to be answerable to her country and people.
The Black & White Movement believes that time has only served to emphasize the fact, that the country is headed for more repression, more oppression, and inevitable tyrrany, so long as Mrs. Arroyo refuses to listen to the clamor of her people for change. As a nation said to her father in 1965, so must we say again in 2005: “Alis Diyan!”