Activists respond to SONA with impeachment calls

Posted at 07/29/14 4:04 PM

LOS ANGELES - Activists took to the streets of Los Angeles to voice disapproval for Philippine President Benigno Aquino III's most recent State of the Nation Address (SONA).

The color theme for the protest outside the Philippine Consulate was peach. Activists called for the President's impeachment amid what they called a failure to address corruption issues.

"We also recognize his impeachment will not solve everything. It doesn't address the root causes or root problems of the Filipino people. Corruption is just one of them. But we know the power of the people to organize, to be in the streets, to call on the impeachment of President Aquino will be one victory," said Bayan USA regional coordinator Theresa Jaramilla.

Alex Montances of the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns, said, "We really lost trust in the Philippine government and the Aquino administration, especially because Aquino said he's supposed to be fighting corruption. Yet in his own administration, even with him and DAP, we are seeing incredible corruption".

Aquino's 5th SONA comes as the Supreme Court has ruled the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) partly unconstitutional.

However, Aquino continued to argue that the DAP program has helped improve the economy and the lives of many Filipinos.

"Stating that the ruling of the Supreme Court he did not agree with it, shows that he's still willing to defend the presidential pork barrel. He's still willing to defend a system of corruption," added Jaramilla.

Two impeachment complaints have been filed against the President over DAP.

While many of the alleged corruption involve money, activists also blame President Aquino for another type of corruption one that costs human lives -- alleged extrajudicial killings and kidnappings.

Activists claim that Aquino has not only lagged in prosecuting past administrations for human rights violations.

But another 170 suspected political killings have taken place since he took office in 2010.