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‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement reaches Manila

MANILA, Nov. 25, 2011— The movement similar to the “Occupy Wall Street” in New York City has reached the Philippines shores.

In Manila, it is convened by no less than a Catholic bishop who heads the Church’s social action arm.

Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said “Kilusang 99%” is a social reform movement which is about “making the poor the center of development and making the government accountable for the welfare of the majority.”

“In the Philippines, we find similar restlessness brewing among our sectoral group… this rising tide of discontent, coupled by the indifference of the general public, is substance for insurgency which the Church hopes to stem,” he said.

Pabillo chairs the National Secretariat for Social Action – Justice and Peace of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

But the Occupy Wall Street-style movement, the prelate clarified, is not directed to the Aquino administration or any particular leader.

He said it is mainly addressed to the well-entrenched financial system that has bred social injustice, economic imbalance, corporate greed and the darkest side of capitalism.

“What is happening now is that the government is just at the backseat and they just let the market, which seeks profit and not the common good, dictate,” he said.

“We really need to talk before it’s too late,” said Pabillo. “We don’t want violence and rebellion but we just want the people who are mostly affected by these problems to be heard.”

Among the sectors leading the K99% are those coming from the various labor groups, farmers and fisherfolk organizations, the indigenous peoples and the urban poor.

Inspired by the Arab Spring, the Occupy Wall Street started last September 17 at the financial district of New York City.

To date, it has now spread to around 1, 500 cities globally with the common cause to expose how the richest 1 percent of people are writing the rules of an “unfair” global economy.

“This is really a wakeup call for the government and the business sector to do something for the common good,” Pabillo said.

Pabillo also said that a manifest of the Kilusang 99% is set to be launched next week. [CBCPNews]