For people power to succeed

FROM A DISTANCE - Carmen N. Pedrosa (The Philippine Star) - February 22, 2015 - 12:00am

First let me make clear that I am for people power however it is manifested. This is not limited to massing in the streets. Indeed, I can cite Edsa 1 and 2 as good examples of how these did not bring the desired changes. It will be the same with Edsa 3 if it does come to pass. Still, this is not to discourage people from joining street protests but only to take up its merits and demerits. It is an outlet for emotions like anger and disappointment and that cannot be faulted. By all means be there and be angry.

But it is good to be reminded that we have the technology for continuing protests and criticisms of government by its citizens. These are more useful and substantial than standing to listen to political harangues by speakers on a stage. Moreover, the technology of social media can run parallel to discussions and debates among citizens. I believe, there is greater potential for political awareness in this mode of communication than Edsas.

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Bayanko adviser Jose Alejandrino counsels that it is possible for People Power to succeed under certain conditions. Here are his criteria:

All the movements for change must agree on a common objective and a common strategy.

All the movements must agree on who will compose the revolutionary government. Bayanko believes it must include the marginalized sector, not politicians from the old guard, to be credible. Without credibility, the people won’t follow. Credibility leads to trust.

All the movements must agree on what priorities and programs are needed to reform the nation. Once established, the revolutionary government can execute these by the stroke of a pen. Bayanko’s priority is to draw up a new Constitution based on a parliamentary federal form of government.

 All the movements must agree once a new Constitution has been ratified by the people, the revolutionary government must be dismantled and new elections called.

Bayanko believes this roadmap must be made clear to the people and is the process by which we can clean the body politic of its rot.

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Bayanko met with former Chief Justice Reynato Puno last Thursday. He was among the first to wish me well with the crowdsourcing when it started in July last year and we have not seen him since.

Alejandrino, a strategist, gave an excellent analysis of the precarious situation in the country based on his past experience in dealing with similar situations and the many intel reports reaching him from different sources. He also summarized discussions with many groups, the partnership agreements that Bayanko signed with federations and associations, and the consensus that shaped up after the any meetings.

We explained why Bayanko, unlike other groups, was not calling for President Aquino’s resignation. It was necessary, we said, to leave the door open to dialogue in order to have a peaceful and orderly transition to a new constitutional order. Now if there is no possibility of dialogue, Bayanko and its partners, through their Executive Committee, will have to consider other options.

Alejandrino said he did not believe the military would stage a coup because the United States and the European Union will be the first to condemn it. His personal view was foreign governments were monitoring developments in the country which they saw as a purely internal affair between Filipinos. He did not think the United States would intervene.

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“No doubt there is much public anger caused by the massacre of 44 SAF, he said, and deep resentment inside the AFP and PNP which the Aquino government would do well not to underestimate. If the Aquino government continues to misjudge and mishandle the situation, particularly the one in Mindanao, that may be the last straw that will break the camel’s back,” he said.

We informed the CJ of our intention to recommend him to the panel to draft a new Constitution. He said he would be glad to form part of the panel and would recommend other constitutionalists to the panel.

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Bayanko is a separate movement completely independent of the National Transformation Council.

We have our own strategy and plan which must be approved by the ExCom which is a collective leadership of the heads of the federations and groups that make up the grand coalition.

This means working to achieve a consensus among members of the coalition to present a united front on various issues. Bayanko is merely one member among members.

The group’s objective is a shift to a parliamentary federal system to replace the current rotten presidential system. There will be no progress or stability for the country unless the country shifts to a new constitutional order that includes the marginalized sectors of our society instead of being dominated by the oligarchy and political dynasties.

Bayanko has stated in its public statements its stand on various issues among them the controversial Bangsamoro Basic Law which is pending approval from Congress.

To the group, a Bangsamoro federal state must be constitutionally enshrined as a part of a union of federal states where no federal state can unilaterally break out of the union without the consent of the other member states that form it.

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Bayanko believes in numbers. It is through numbers that politicians can be made to listen to the grievances of the citizenry. And lastly but more importantly Bayanko stands for God and country. It is guided by the national interest, not personal interest. It has no political ambition.


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