Asserts Need to Change Politics Now
We are leaders and members of NGOs and people's organizations (POs) and citizens from all walks of life, coming from 47 provinces and 13 cities including NCR, who have come together to re-claim politics from the hands of politicians who betrayed the people's trust. We have united and are acting to change politics from a “dirty word” into a badge of honor – marked by integrity and simplicity, commitment and service, people centered development and justice.
We are the Change Politics Movement, now numbering 4,602 members. Since our establishment on May 10, 2009, one year before the 2010 elections, we have been actively engaged in searching for “change politics” candidates whom we will actively support and campaign for in the 2010 elections. We believe that in order to change politics in our country, citizens must engage in “change politics” and actively support reform candidates. We began with agreeing on the criteria for such candidates, which centered on their integrity and track record, immediate and strategic agenda to restore the Philippines in the track of good governance and democratic reform, and capacity to win power for reform.
Then, we had nominations from our members, deliberating in groups of 10 or more, and choosing whom they believed passed the criteria among the emerging national candidates. We then strove to get to know these nominees, sponsoring candidates forums, preparing profiles and deliberating and discussing among ourselves. Last August 28, 2009, we started our 2-round voting process involving all our members to democratically select the national candidates that our movement would support.
In the middle of counting the votes Sen. Mar Roxas made his historic announcement last September 1, 2009, regarding his withdrawal of his candidacy for President, and his support for Sen. Noynoy Aquino. We were inspired and encouraged that a long-time politician could rise above his personal interests and ambition, and put country and the public good first. Sen. Roxas' declaration of support for Sen. Aquino was swiftly followed by similarly laudable statements from Gov. “Among” Ed Panlilio and Gov. Grace Padaca. Sen. Roxas, and Gov. Padaca were among the leading nominees for our movement's candidate for the Presidency.
Soon after, what had been a growing support for Sen. Aquino among our members, developed into an overwhelming clamor. _82% of our members, voting through text or on-line last Monday, September 7, 2009, manifested their support for Sen. Aquino to take up the challenge of running for the highest position in the land during this difficult period.
We thus declare our support for Sen. Noynoy Aquino's candidacy for the presidency. We believe that Sen. Aquino's integrity and commitment to good governance; his track record as a legislator in human rights and social reform especially in local governance will provide the needed leadership for change that the country needs.
We believe that we need to change politics in our country now. We cannot allow our country to continue to suffer from politics devoid of integrity, transparency, justice and concern for the poor. We need change. For change to happen, ordinary citizens – non-politicians - must be actively engaged in politics and governance, including supporting reform politicians during their candidacy and when they are in power. For change to happen, “change politics” politicians need to step up and demonstrate true public service and leadership for reform in their words and deeds. We are happy and hopeful now that we are able to see the beginnings of the change we aspire for.
Huge challenges lie ahead of us. But we are united and resolute in our efforts; we have faith in the Filipino capacity to stand up for what is good , for what is right, for what is just. Inspired by Ninoy and Cory Aquino, together with Sen. Noynoy Aquino we shall overcome and change politics to Politics for Change.