The events of the past weeks have shown in unmistakable terms the deep and intense political crisis that continues to engulf the nation under the current Arroyo administration.
The incident at the Manila Peninsula is a stern reminder that there are still unresolved issues of legitimacy, corruption, human rights abuses and unprecedented abuse of power under the guise of upholding the rule of law. While there may be varying opinions on the Manila Peninsula incident, it is clear that the issues raised were all too familiar. That various groups and personages continue to protest these issues is a clear manifestation that the ruling administration has done little to address them.
What is also disturbing is that the government's response to dissent has been more repression and threats addressed to the citizenry. The images of media workers being hauled like criminals - and the imposition of a curfew, the first since Martial Law - reminds us that repression remains the principal response to dissent under this administration.
And despite claims of growth and development, and the pretense of a "good economist" in Malacañang, many of our countrymen still cry out for economic justice; for land, better wages and decent services. The economic crunch has in fact dampened whatever remaining holiday cheer there may be.
The crisis has gotten worse with many of our people going abroad because they see no hope in our country. Unless the above issues are satisfactorily addressed, we can expect the same turbulence, desperation and frustration to mark the remaining years of this administration.
As the year comes to an end and a new one is imminent, we are again called to renew our commitment to truth and justice. We are again called to stand together to call for accountability in government. We stand firm in rejecting a morally bankrupt Arroyo government as we strive to achieve national unity and renewal.
JOIN US ON December 14, 4-7:00 PM IN AN INTERFAITH ASSEMBLY FOR THE NATION AT THE PLAZA SULAYMAN IN FRONT OF THE MALATE CHURCH , ROXAS BLVD.
Concept Paper of the Interfaith Assembly
The Interfaith Prayer Assembly for the Nation is the second activity of an emerging partnership between Catholic Bishops-Religious Leaders and Citizens Groups. The working relations started with discussions about the current national situation participated in by the various religious leaders and concerned citizens groups last November.
From the discussions came about a Unity Statement that was printed as a paid advertisement in a major daily. The statement called for the "rejection of a morally bankrupt government." Signatories to the statement also came together last November 30 to mark Bonifacio Day and trumpet the rejection call. Thousands joined the mass action at the Liwasang Bonifacio.
The same religious leaders and cause-oriented groups again convened to discuss the events that happened in the Manila Peninsula last November 29. There was common concern regarding the unresolved issues that continue to bring about the political crisis.
A proposal for an Interfaith Prayer Assembly came about as groups continue to express their strong rejection of the current bankrupt Arroyo administration. There is a need to come together once more and affirm our commitment to truth and justice and the decisive resolution of the issues of legitimacy, corruption, human rights abuses and abuse of power. The activity will also serve as a meaningful year ender as the various groups take stock of the achievements in the struggle for the past year and look forward to the challenges ahead.
What is the Interfaith Activity?
The Interfaith Prayer Assembly would involve various faiths and cause-oriented groups coming together in prayer and action for the nation. It would be a venue to express our common sentiments for change in the nation's leadership, a coming together of groups and personalities staunchly opposed to the current bankrupt leadership. The activity will follow the format of a prayer assembly (as opposed to the usual format of a rally).
What is the Theme?
The interfaith activity will reprise the earlier theme of standing together to reject a morally bankrupt administration. It is the broadest basis of unity so far achieved among the religious leaders and various citizens groups. The activity will call on the people to intensify the fight for the decisive resolution of the outstanding issues against the Arroyo administration and for the advancement of meaningful reforms. It is a statement that we vow to relentlessly pursue the fight next year.
Who are the Participants?
All are invited to attend. Aside from the convening groups, we expect participants from all walks of life, all faiths and denominations and various cause-oriented groups.
When and Where will it be Held?
The activity will be held outdoors at the Sulayman Plaza, in front of the Malate Church, Roxas Boulevard on December 14, from 4-7:00 PM.