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Hundreds March Against ConAss in Bikol

Protesters hit Bikol legislators who signed HR 1109
ARTICLE | JUNE 14, 2009 - 2:38AM | BY JONAS

CABILES SOLTES

NAGA CITY-Hundreds of farmers, peasants and militant leaders conducted protest actions Wednesday (June 10) in key cities in Bikol to denounce the passage of a House resolution (HR 1109) seeking to convene a constitutional assembly (Con-Ass) to amend the Constitution.

In Naga City, about 200 protesters gathered at the iconic Plaza Quince Martires--built in honor of the Fifteen Martyrs of Camarines Sur-to protest against the resolution which they said would extend the term of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and would cause the sellout of the Philippine patrimony to foreigners. The group also spoke about the inefficiency of Comprehensive Agrarian Reform (CARP) Law Participants include members of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan)-Camarines Sur, Gabriela, Kabataang Pinoy, and Camarines Sur People's Organization. "We fear the House resolution would eventually abolish land reform law," said Kardo Robles, 60, a corn planter from Calabanga town in Camarines Sur, adding that it was evident that the passage of the resolution had the blessing of the President. "It's for perpetuation of power." The protesters also condemned representatives from Bikol who signed the House resolution, but they exempted Representatives Liwayway Vinzons-Chato of Camarines Norte, Arnulfo Fuentebella

protesters in the morning had marched from the congressional office of Representative Al Francis Bichara. Francisco Escudero of Sorsogon (father of Senator Escudero). from where they started a march to the thoroughfares of the city. farmers from Hacienda Berenger picketed the office of Department of AgrarianReform in the city on Tuesday. About 500 protesters joined the demonstration. led by militant groups. protesters conducted protest actions in the same place. In Sorsogon City. Another rally was conducted in Naga City in time with the celebration of Independence Day. In Legazpi City. They also started a "shame campaign" against Bikol representatives who voted in favor of HR 1109.of Camarines Sur. according to Paul Vincent casilihan of Karapatan Bikol. . the Sangguniang Panlungsod (city council) unanimously passed a resolution strongly opposing HR 1109. On Tuesday (June9). On Wednesday. and Edcel Lagman of Albay. to Peñaranda Park infront of Albay provincial capitol. A torch parade was conducted at night in the city. It also called for the people of Naga to join peaceful protest rallies. where they submitted a position paper.