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‘Regime change’ activists to stage Edsa protest

MORE than 10,000 pro-reform advocates will gather in front of the Edsa Shrine on Feb. 22 to call for “regime and system change now” and ask President Benigno Aquino III to resign.

Rodolfo Javellana, president of Water All for Refund Movement and United Filipino Consumers and Commuters Inc., said the broad-based alliance of people’s organizations—the 2.22.15 Coalition—planned to march and converge at the Edsa Shrine to push for real change and reforms.

“Our main theme is regime and system change now,” Javellana said.

“We are not only calling on the President to step down but also other Cabinet officials such as Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, Chief Peace Adviser Teresita Deles, Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman, Senate President Franklin Drilon and several top officials.

“Ours is different from the other groups and Mr. Peping Cojuangco calling for the President’s resignation. We are not singling out the President.”

Javellana made his statement even as Malacañang said the calls for Aquino’s resignation over the Mamasapano debacle did not enjoy the support of the majority of Filipinos.

“For one, we do not share the same perception that it is gaining ground,” deputy presidential spokeswoman Abigail Valte said.

“The President is no stranger to calls for resignation. In the course of his more or less five years in office, we have seen these sporadic calls from different groups, and they always have not resulted favorably for them.”   

The 2.22.15 movement is composed of Save the Nation, WARM, UFCC, Tanggulang Demokrasya and Solidarity for Sovereignty, among others.

Businessman Manny Lopez, the movement’s convenor, said their group was composed of well-meaning people seeking reforms in the entire government system.

He said they were not satisfied with the way the President had the handled major issues plaguing the country, such as the Mamasapano clash that killed the 44 police commandos.

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