Monday, May 11, 2009

Nationwide Citizens Assemblies Clamor for Change Politics

Demanding an end to Filipino politics-as-usual, citizens raised their voices yesterday in unprecedented internet-linked simultaneous assemblies in ten (10) areas across the country. One year before the May 2010 elections, core members of the newly formed Change Politics Movement (CPM) from more than 38 provinces and cities converged in Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Butuan, Ormoc, Borongan, Mandaue, Dumaguete, Iloilo, Naga and Quezon City, and were linked by live video-streaming and cellular phone calls into one concerted clamor for change politics. The assemblies also served to launch CPM, which now has 2,000 core members.

“We need to take back politics from corrupt politicians and make it the sacred covenant it is meant to be, between leaders and their constituencies,” declared Dinky Soliman, one of the interim national convenors of CPM.

“Civil society has long participated in politics from the periphery --- remaining non-partisan, watching and waiting for reform as winning candidates take the reigns of power, only to be repeatedly frustrated. Not anymore. It is time for us ordinary people to actively engage ourselves and assert our right to choose leaders of integrity and accountability”, said Pepe Gasapo a community organizer and CPM leader in Mandaue City.

Jing Karaos, also an interim national convenor of CPM, added that “change politics is rooted in the participatory, people-driven nature of active citizenship”. Change politics is the practice of politics guided by the principles of transparency, honesty and integrity. It protects and respects the people’s economic, social, political and civil rights. It strengthens institutions of democracy and civic engagement. It upholds the right to self determination of all peoples and equal rights of the poor and the marginalized.

The Change Politics Movement will actively recruit new members, convene dialogues and discussions with candidates who are seen to embody change politics principles and agenda, hold deliberations among members and finally select the candidates that would be supported by the movement through text voting involving all CPM members.

Under the theme, “Baguhin ang Pulitika para sa Pulitika ng Pagbabago”, the Change Politics Movement will bring together citizens who desire to actively change politics so that the principles and practice of politics will bring positive change to governance and society as a whole.

Contact Persons: Pete Rahon - 09177337152
Patrick Lim - 09178144275

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