Press Release
March 2, 2006


IN A SHOW of force, Senate employees today staged a rally in front of the Senate building in Pasay City to protest the issuance by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of Proclamation 1017.

The employees, wearing black armbands and bearing placards, walked out of their offices at noon. The rally was in support to the senators' protest action Wednesday when they also wore black armbands before the session began.

The demonstration was led by SENADO, an organization of 1,700 Senate employees.

Shouting "Never Again to Martial Law" and "No to 1017," the employees demanded the immediate lifting of the proclamation. The rally also drew the attention of media people and Senate visitors.

Perla Mayor, president of SENADO, said more protest actions will be staged by the association until Malacanang withdrew the state of emergency. On Monday (March 6), Mayor said all employees were asked to wear black attire to mourn the "death of democracy."

"This protest action demonstrates our intense opposition to Proclamation 1017 which curtails our liberty and puts a death knell to our democracy," Mayor said in addressing the rallyists.

The SENADO president said the Senate is the last bulwark of democracy and "we as an integral part of the Senate cannot just allow the curtailment of civil liberties of our citizens. We will act as one in opposing Proclamation 1017."

Saying the proclamation is "illegal, unconstitutional and gravely immoral," Mayor said the walkout, a basic constitutional right, is just the beginning. "Freedom of speech and expression will have to be defended by all our citizens. We, in the Senate, will defend this freedom vigorously right here at home."

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