c/o Bayan office, 23 Maamo St., Sikatuna Village,
Quezon City ≠ Tel. Nos. 922-5211, 435-9151
for democracy, oppose the rising tyranny
the Estrada regime
Statement of People Resist)
crisis is brewing. The battle lines are drawn. On the one hand the people, who
yearn for genuine democracy and progress; on the other, President Joseph
Estrada, veering towards increasingly fascist measures and a more shamelessly
corrupt and abusive rule.
Since the start of
his term, President Estrada has sought to restore the Marcoses and their cronies
to power and wealth. The latest attempt to erase the Marcos legacy of tyranny
and corruption is the failed Estrada-Marcos-Swift settlement agreement which
would have absolved the Marcoses of their crimes for a measly $150 million.
Other deals are being secretly negotiated. The message is clear: under the
Estrada government, systematic thievery and corruption is all right.
We are appalled by
President Estrada's brazen abuse of power and his propensity to bully and harass
his opponents, real or perceived, including sections of the mass media. His
attacks on the Philippine Daily Inquirer and the Manila Times are
attacks on the people's right to information and a free press.
violators continue to be exonerated and their crimes whitewashed. Examples are
the Kuratong Baleleng case and other "salvagings". In the countryside,
the government's heightened counter-insurgency campaign has displaced peasant
communities, destroyed lives and property and revived the dreaded CAFGU,
vigilantes and other paramilitary fanatics. The Estrada regimeís mailed-fist
policy has led to the breakdown of peace negotiations and the consequent
escalation of armed conflict.
The government is
seriously considering proposals to expand warrantless arrests, legalize
wiretapping, revive the anti-terrorism bills and bring back the anti-subversion
law together with other instruments of martial rule.
The Estrada scheme
to rewrite the 1987 Constitution is fraught with danger. It opens the floodgates
to amendments that would remove the barriers to authoritarianism, water down the
Bill of Rights, and include police-state provisions. Self-serving schemes to
extend term limits or to change the system of government will surely be
introduced by a constituent assembly packed with politicians representing vested
The Erap Cha-cha
scheme is a sell-out of the nation's patrimony and economy. President Estrada
wants to enshrine the doctrines of globalization into the Constitution, ignoring
the fact of globalizationís destructive impact on national economies and the
lives of peoples all over the world. Ostensibly to attract foreign investments,
he would remove all remaining barriers to foreign ownership and control of land,
exploitation of natural resources and entry into businesses reserved for
Filipinos such as mass media, public utilities and the retail trade. He proposes
to clip the Supreme Courtís powers of review of economic policies and
decisions and arrogate the Senateís sole function to ratify international
The Erap Cha-cha
aims to excise the Constitution's nuclear-free provisions as well as those which
contradict the RP-US Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).
Enough is enough.
libertarians, religious leaders, human rights advocates, members of various
people's and non-government organizations and concerned lawmakers call on our
people to oppose the rising tyranny of the Estrada regime.
Oppose all immoral and unjust compromise deals with the Marcoses and their
Oppose moves to stifle press freedom!
Uphold human rights and oppose the curtailment of the people's civil and
Resist the Erap Cha-cha and all attempts to rewrite the Constitution for
anti-people and selfish ends.
People Against Rising Tyranny (People Resist)