We, Filipinos in Austria represented by the Pinoys in Austrian Society for Integrity, Reforms and Social Transformation (PINAS FIRST), after a lengthy deliberation would like to express our views on Proclamation 1017 of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. First, we ground ourselves to the fact that 83.09 percent of the Filipino people are deeply dissatisfied with the performance of President Arroyo (Manila Times, 19 October 2005). This was culled from the survey conducted by Ibon Foundation, a well established think tank organization in the Philippines, in the second quarter of 2005. When PGMA declared Proclamation 1017, no coup d’etat or any unauthorized movement of troops happened as occurred before during the presidencies of Cory Aquino and Joseph Estrada.  When she said that a conspiracy was brewing within the political opposition together with the extreme left and extreme right, nobody was arrested except two officers from the Armed Forces of the Philippines. It would seem that people from the opposition as well as from the extreme left are much smarter. And what caused these political extremes to exist and grow stronger on the first place – obviously, not as scapegoats for a bankrupt Presidency! When she said that such actions hurt the Philippine State, hindered economic growth and sabotaged the people’s confidence in government – well, what economic growth is she talking about when most of the revenues are simply swallowed up by debt servicing; and what confidence in government and faith in the country’s future she said she tried to protect when they are merely trampled upon by her so-called “lapses of judgment” such as the Garci Tapes.  Relevant to this, it is worth noting that after the said proclamation, church people and the migrant sector issued the following statements and we quote:       “It doesn’t look good if our government declares a state of      emergency...This could be a big provocation from among the contending       parties to use violence.”                                   – Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales 

      “Arroyo’s Proclamation 1017 is an arrogant abuse of power and the height of fascist desperation.  For overseas Filipinos and their families, it reveals the increasing isolation of a disintegrating regime. 

Arroyo’s days are surely numbered...She has absolutely no basis for disallowing rallies and other forms of dissent.”                                 -        Connie Bragas-Regalado,    Migrante International       “It is her corrupt administration that has aggravated the economic miseries of our people. GMA cheated her way to victory in the May 2004 elections, using public funds to secure votes in her favor and rig the election results…      GMA's record of political killings and violations of civil liberties, especially with her Calibrated Pre-emptive Response (CPR) scheme, is now    the worst since the downfall of Marcos…      GMA's Proclamation 1017 is grossly illegal, immoral and serves no one but the illegitimate president who refuses to heed the people's    demand for her to step down.”                                   - Promotion of Church People Response                                                   (PCPR) In the light of the above, dear countrymen, we challenge you to be a part of the remaking of history in our country: •Let us speak and act in solidarity with the vast majority of Filipino people in this crucial and challenging time of our life as a nation. •Continue to pray. “If my people, who are called by my Name, will humble themselves and pray, and see my Face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sins, and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14) •Revitalize our vow to optimize all forms of protest actions to ensure that our call to “OUST GLORIA” reverberate in every corner of our communities in Austria, across the Philippines and around the world.