NAGA CITY – Former Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno and KABATAAN Partylist representative, Hon. Sarah Elago are set to give talks on national issues on March 8, 2019 at the University of Nueva Caceres as part of the celebration of the International Women’s Day. The forum is open to the general public but mostly students and cause-oriented groups are expected to attend. The event is dubbed as “MAKIARAM: Facing the Challenges of Present National Situation.”
It will be held at the UNC Sports Palace (gymnasium) from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm. A more intimate press conference dubbed as “Hot seat with CJ” will follow. The local media and school publications are invited in the press conference.
Although the event will be held on the celebration of the International Women’s Day, the topics of the speakers are expected to focus on the criticisms of the Duterte administration on the context of the national situation. Issues such as charter change, federalism, corruption, human rights, and the war on drugs are expected to be discussed.
The said event is locally spearheaded by the Christ Youth in Action (CYA) and by the Bikol Nationalist Alliance Against Tyranny (BAN Tyranny) in coordination with the B1M movement or the “Bawat Isa Mahalaga”, a socio-political movement founded by former Chief Justice Sereno. According to the Wikipedia entry:
“Bawat Isa Mahalaga is a non-profit organization and a political movement. The organization has been active in grassroots fora with topics centered on social justice, human dignity, and national transformation.”
The movement started after the former chief justice was ousted through “quo warranto” proceedings. Many cause-oriented groups supported the former chief justice in her struggle and were expecting that she would run for a national public office as part of the opposition but she opted not to run. Instead, she initiated a movement for national transformation based on Christian values.
B1M coordinator, Ms. Sally Capucao, said that CJ Sereno will also have a speaking engagement in Iriga in the morning of March 8 at the University of Saint Anthony. Meanwhile, a voters’ education trainers’ training will be held at the University of Nueva Caceres in the morning on the same date but exclusive to UNC students.
One of the organizers said that the forum will hopefully serve as an opportunity for the participants to be inspired, mobilized and become part of the B1M movement. The said member of the organizing committee further said that “Although political in nature, the movement is primarily focused on the moral transformation of the country away from the current divisive and hate-filled culture of fake news, human rights abuses, state-sponsored murder, and corruption.”