Street protests start over fraud-tainted Philippines elections

May. 20, 2007

MANILA — Sensing a trend of fraud against the Opposition and militant partylist groups, the umbrella organization Bagong Alyansang Makabayan today started street protests as it joined anti-fraud group Kontra Daya in a picket in front of the Philippine International Convention Center where the national canvassing of votes is being done.

Bayan also scored what it called election terror aimed at leaders of activist groups. The past week saw the murder of two poll watchers of the Kabataan partylist, abductions of a Bayan Muna leader in Palawan, and the attempted abduction of an Anakpawis leader in Las Pias.

There is a rising trend of fraud and election terror immediately after May 14. We want the perpetrators of these acts to know that we are fighting back with protest actions. We are warning the regime that if these acts of fraud and terror continue, there will be more street actions from forces across the political spectrum, said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.

Reyes noted the desperation of the Arroyo administration to downplay the significance of the latest protest vote against the regime.

The Filipino people, despite fraud and terror, have shown their rejection of Gloria through the ballot. Unfortunately, the regime refuses to recognize this. It wants to downplay the peoples overwhelming rejection of the president and her puppets. They want to make the result appear as a split decision or a tie between opposition and administration, Reyes said.

Bayan refused to accept the business as usual attitude being promoted by the Arroyo administration. The group says that moving on is impossible when the peoples vote is being subverted yet again.

The people do not want a repeat of the Garci scandal. Its time to tell the regime that it cant get away with cheating, not this time, Reyes said.

The world is still watching the Philippines. The international observers have issue strong statements against the conduct of the polls. And there is mounting pressure on the Comelec from various groups. The people are more vigilant now, thanks to Garci and Gloria, he added.

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