July 24, 2009
Militant workers and poor led many of the pre-SONA noise barrages launched today as a build up to the SONA protest on Monday. The theme of the pre-SONA protests was opposition to the planned convening of a constituent assembly and the threat of the imposition of martial law.
Renato Magtubo, national chairperson of Partido ng Manggagawa (PM), averred “Between Avelino Cruz’s analysis and Ronaldo Puno’s denial, the former is more believable as far as the threat of martial law is concerned. Puno is just a palace sycophant who keeps on praising her empress while Cruz is the brave boy who told the ugly truth that the empress was actually not wearing any clothes. But the workers would go beyond Cruz’s advice to the soldiers not to follow illegal orders. The workers ask the soldiers to follow their conscience and support the people in the event they will overthrow a would-be dictator who plots to rule forever.”
PM joined other labor groups that are part of Manggagawa Kontra Chacha in a noise barrage in the early evening at Timog corner Morato in Quezon City. In the afternoon, hundreds of members of Fortune Tobacco Labor Union marched from the factory at Parang, Marikina to the busy area of Concepcion Church. Similar noise barrages were held in other working class areas like the Cavite Economic Zone in the town of Rosario, the Bicutan Market at Bicutan Interchange in the SLEX, 5th Avenue in Caloocan proper, Bukid Area in Caloocan City and Shopwise in Antipolo City.
Judy Ann Miranda, PM secretary general, stated, “Today the working class marches side by side with the middle class in indignation at Gloria Arroyo’s attempt to extend her term. So while students of Ateneo take time to protest outside the campus, the workers march from their factories and the poor demonstrate at their communities for the common agenda of defending civil liberties and resisting the return of dictatorship.”
Simultaneous protests were also staged in the cities of Ilo-ilo, Bacolod, Cebu, Davao, General Santos City, Iligan City and in Cabanatuan City where students and faculty of Wesleyan University held a noise barrage in the afternoon.
“The mass actions today are not just a build up for the counter-SONA protest on Monday but also a preview of the nationwide outrage that will erupt in case the planned con-ass is actually summoned or martial law is truly impose. We should defend our freedoms and rights that will be taken away in the event of the imposition of martial law. If the threat of martial law does not come to pass it can only be because of the people’s protests such as this noise barrage,” insisted Miranda.