Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding

News, December 2008


Al-Jazeerah History


Mission & Name  

Conflict Terminology  


Gaza Holocaust  

Gulf War  




News Photos  

Opinion Editorials

US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)




Editorial Note: The following news reports are summaries from original sources. They may also include corrections of Arabic names and political terminology. Comments are in parentheses.


Thousands of Filipinos Take to Street against Changing the Constitution to Allow Gloria Arroyo to Stay in Power

    MANILA, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) --

Thousands of Filipinos took to the streets on Friday in the capital city of Manila to protest against pro-administration lawmakers' efforts to amend the 1987 Constitution.

    Organizers are expecting 20,000 people to attend the rally, starting at 4 p.m. local time (0800 GMT) and slated to last till 9p.m. (1300 GMT), in the Philippine financial district of Makati.

    More than 4,700 anti-riot police have been deployed near the site to make sure the demonstration will go on in a peaceful way.

    President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's political opponents organized the rally and alleged that the efforts of her allies in the House of Representatives to push the constitution change are meant to extend her stay in office beyond 2010. The current constitution limits a president to one term of six years.

    "I hope we will be able to stop Cha-cha (Charter change)," said Senator Manuel Roxas, a potential presidential candidate for the 2010 elections.

    "Charter change now (is) a rape of our constitution," he told reporters.

    The Congress, dominated by Arroyo's allies, is holding public hearings on constitution amendment to change some provisions that block the development of some key industries. Critics say they are not opposed to constitution amendment, but insist that it should come after the 2010 election.

    Besides Roxas, participants also include potential presidential aspirants senators Loren Legarda, and Francis Escudero and Makati mayor Jejomar Binay. The mayor's supporters even carried banners saying, "Binay for President!"

    Organizers earlier said they will allow key political figures to have a three-minute speaking time during the rally program.

    The Senate Thursday signed a resolution expressing its stand against a constituent assembly for the Charter change.

    And some senators said that any attempt by the House of Representatives to unilaterally propose revision of the constitution, without approval by three-fourths of the Senate voting separately, is unconstitutional.

    Prospero Nograles, Speaker of the House of Representatives and staunch ally of President Arroyo, said Thursday that it will do little to stop Charter change efforts at the Lower House and calling the rally a mere "loud propaganda" of the political opponents.

    "Truthfully the demonstrations on the streets and the loud propaganda of its so-called leaders can't vote for or against Cha-cha (Charter-change) unless they are members of Congress," Nograles told reporters.

    "That's democracy and it's the vote of congressmen and senators that will count, not the vote in the streets," he added.    

Editor: Chris

Fair Use Notice

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.





Opinions expressed in various sections are the sole responsibility of their authors and they may not represent