Friday, February 15, 2008

Makati Protest Rally vs. NBN-ZTE Deal

A protest rally was held by the United Opposition at the corner of Ayala Avenue and Paseo de Roxas this afternoon in support of National Broadband Network (NBN)-ZTE scam whistleblower, Jun Lozada. The streets were closed in that area of Makati and a stage was put up where demonstrators aired their sentiments against the corrupt Arroyo administration. The "Sobra Na, Tama Na" and "Moderate Your Greet" slogans were used to refer to the government. UP students and professors, along with militant groups, joined the opposition headed by Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay, and until recently, former House Speaker Jose de Venecia were the major figures at the rally.

I dropped by the rally with my Canon EOS400D to take some shots. Also, I supported the protest because I really dislike ex-Commissioner Benjamin Abalos, who I really believe is part of the major corruption that went on with this deal (over-and-above the big Mega-Pacific deal before regarding those automated ballot counting machines that also blew up in their faces during his term as COMELEC chairman). There were several photographers there also -- some professional from news agencies, but a lot look like photography hobbyists also like myself.

There have been recent news about the ubiquitous surveillance cameras being installed by the government to spy on movements of the opposition. They placed one in front of La Salle Greenhills where Jun Lozada is staying. There were 3 such cameras at the rally. Big Sister (or rather, "short" sister) is watching in Malacanang. The PNP gave some really lame excuse about how these cameras are being installed all over metropolis to view traffic conditions. I wonder how they propagate the signals since coaxial cables cannot carry signals that far. They must be tapping some repeaters somewhere. Could the cable tv companies be in cahoots with the government's surveillance activities?

Where there's smoke, there's fire. At least, that seems to be the battlecry of several entrepreneurs. There were many street vendors selling everything from dirty ice cream, to peanuts, barbecues, cigarettes, you name it. Some setup stalls right on the street to sell. I noticed most of the "higher-class" food establishments (eg. Jollibee, Yellow Cab Pizza) there did not really seem to have customers despite the huge crowd.

To see all my other photos of the rally, check out my Google Photos album.

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