Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Butuan assembly of National Transformation Council calls for speedy effort for Aquino to step down

The multisectoral movement, National Transformation Council has earlier issued one of the strongest statements against President Benigno S. Aquino 3rd by accusing him of having “damaged the moral fabric of society and has therefore lost the moral right to lead the nation.” The movement includes a chore group of progressive bishops and the laity.

Two assemblies have recently been convened by the group, one in Lipa City (Luzon), and another in Cebu (Visayas). The third assembly was convened yesterday, November 11, 2014, in Butuan City (Mindanao). 

The National Transformation Council believes that the nation's most pressing business "is a regime change and a total overhaul of the electoral system as a condition sine qua non for the holding of the next election". Sympathetic groups on the other hand have likewise expressed that the immediate jailing of those involved in the misuse of the unconstitutional multi-billion peso Priority Development Assistance Fund and the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) will bring about the needed regime change.  

The Butuan Assembly, November 11, 2014
Following is the Butuan Declaration:

THE BUTUAN DECLARATION:
PEACE AND GOOD GOVERNANCE IN THE COUNTRY
SHOULD BEGIN IN MINDANAO


Recalling the two assemblies convened earlier by the National Transformation Council in Lipa on August 27, 2014, and Cebu on October 1, 2014, and desiring to seize the momentum and build upon the gains achieved by those assemblies, we who broadly represent the various concerned sectors and constituencies of Eastern and Northern Mindanao, together with our allies from other parts of Mindanao, from Basilan, the Sulu Archipelago, and from Luzon and the Visayas, have come together in Butuan City this 11th day of November 2014, to proclaim our support for and contribute to the immediate realization of the declared aims and objectives of the National Transformation Council.

We commend the initiatives of the two previous assemblies, express full and unequivocal support for the Lipa Declaration – “AN URGENT CALL FOR NATIONAL TRANSFORMATION”- of August 27, 2014 and the Cebu Declaration—“DEFINING THE FIRST STEPS TOWARD NATIONAL TRANSFORMATION”— of October 1, 2014, and bind ourselves to undertake the necessary steps to help bring them to fruition.

Gathered here in Butuan so close to the First Anniversary of Super Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda, which flattened Tacloban City and devastated much of the Visayas and the Calamianes on November 8, 2013, and the 7.2 earthquake that earlier destroyed centuries-old churches, public buildings and homes in Cebu and Bohol on October 15, 2013, and on the eve of the Second Anniversary of the floods that killed and injured hundreds of people, and displaced thousands particularly in Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley on December 4, 2012, and sharing the suffering of the victims of these tragedies and their families who have waited in vain for adequate government support in their recovery and rehabilitation, we raise our voices in solidarity with the people of these communities to thank all those who came to their aid and comfort during their hour of greatest need, and to express grave disappointment with the way the Aquino Administration has failed to respond adequately to these crises.

We join the people of Tacloban, the VIsayas, and the Calamianes in demanding a full and accurate accounting of the money and other forms of Assistance, which the Aquino Government has received from foreign governments, multilateral institutions, and other donors, and how, where and when they were used for the benefit of the victims.



At this time of serious difficulties for the people of Mindanao, we express grave concern over the cavalier way the Aquino administration has treated the “Mindanao Problem”. We are determined to find a just and lasting solution to this problem, one that will bring about true and lasting peace, and a radical change for the better in the lives of all our people.

With greast sadness, however, we must say that the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), now pending in Congress, is not the fruit of honest and sincere consultations with our Muslim brothers and their Christian friends and neighbors.

This threatens to falsify our people’s deepest longing for genuine self-management of their own affairs, and instead to create new divisions, disunity and discontent, both among those who are part and those who are not part of the new entity to be created under the BBL.

We therefore ask the National Transformation Council to intensify genuine consultations with all stakeholders in order to come up with  real solution coming from the people themselves rather than from outside sources.
We specifically ask the Council to consider advancing the Federalization Agenda for the entire country as the ultimate measure to ensure the most equitable, simultaneous empowerment and development of all the Regions, and not just of those in Mindanao alone.

As continued hostage-taking for ranson and other criminal activities by the Abu Sayyaf Group in the Sulu-Sipadan area threaten to turn our Region into an ugly counterpart of Somalia, the home country of the most notorious perpetrators of piracy and kidnapping in the Indian Ocean and the Horn of Africa, we call upon the National Transformation Council to demand a creative approach to this problem that will draw the various groups involved in these activities into lawful and lucrative pursuits, with the support of the various communities in the area.

As the worsening energy situation threatens to throw Mindanao back into a new Dark Age, we likewise call upon the National Transformation Council to intervene and demand a solemn commitment from th Aquino Regime that it will put an end to monopolistic activities which is trying to seize control of power distribution in Mindanao and beyond, through the use of political influence, intimidation and force.

In direct relation to the foregoing problem, we manifest our Solidarity with the millions of member-consumers of authentic Electric Cooperatives all over the country, whose rights of ownership by virtue of their capital contribution are being ignored and violated by government officials who act to protect some big businesses rather than the people’s interest. The actuations of the Regime’s officials show their contempt for the cooperative movement and the latter’s function of correcting social inequity, promoting social justice, and enabling their millions of members to attain sustainability in their endeavor to enjoy the basic life-blessings that make for a dignified life of frugal comfort.

In the face of the evident increasingly severe deterioration of the moral, social and political fabric of our society, we call upon the National Transformation Council to speed up its effort to compel President Benigno S. Aquino 3rd to relinquish his position, so that the earnest work of national transformation could begin. More than ever, we believe that Peace and Good Governance in the country must begin in Mindanao.

DONE IN THE CITY OF BUTUAN, THIS 11TH DAY OF NOVEMBER A.D. 2014 / 18th DAY OF MUHARRAM A.H. 1436.

Susong Dalaga Hill

Susong Dalaga Hill
Susong Dalaga Hill from Bagtasan isthmus

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