Lawyers, court workers to beef up Rizal Park rally
Lawyers and court employees are set to take part in a rally Monday, National Heroes Day, at Rizal Park in Manila to oppose any move that would lift presidential term limits set in the Constitution and to assert the judiciary’s independence from Malacañang.
The multisectoral rally is expected to gather the same forces that mounted the Aug. 26, 2013, Million People March that expressed public outrage over the scam after it was exposed last year by a series of Inquirer reports.
The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) and the Judiciary Employees Association of the Philippines (Judea) said they would add their voices to those opposing “Cha-cha” or Charter change, which was recently floated as a way for President Benigno Aquino to seek a second term in 2016.
“We will protest against Cha-cha (Charter change) and call for judicial independence,” said IBP president Vicente Joyas. “We called [for our members’ participation] on short notice but there are chapters in Metro Manila that have expressed their willingness to participate.”
Joyas said about 300 members of the 60,000-strong IBP were expected to assemble in front of the Supreme Court compound on Padre Faura Street in Manila before marching to Rizal Park.
Judea president Jojo Guerrero said his fellow officials and other members would also support the protest. The group has emerged as one of the vocal critics of Malacañang in its conflict with the Supreme Court, which in July declared unconstitutional parts of the Aquino administration’s controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP). Tarra Quismundo
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