Fight for Livelihood and Social Justice:

The 3rd national convention of Anakpawis partylist

 

SB Gymnasium, Quezon City

 

November 12, 2009

 

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Anakpawis partylist Rep. Rafael Mariano Ka Daning Ramos, KMP Secretary General Anakpawis partylist Honorary Chairperson Carmen Deunida
           

 

'‘Anakpawis Partylist, a formidable political force in 2010’

 

Reference person:
Cherry Clemente

Position:  Secretary General
Contact information: 0919-9549151

Date:  November 12, 2009

Bannering the theme “Fight for Livelihood and Social Justice!” Anakpawis Partylist convenes its 3rd national convention as a formidable political force advancing the politics of change and reforms.

The largest representation of marginalized social sectors from workers, peasants, urban poor and transport gathered to bare its patriotic and pro-people platform for 2010. Local and national leaders from 16 regions, 40 provinces and hundreds of Anakpawis chapters all over the country convened at the SB Gymnasium, Amoranto Sports Complex.

Anakpawis Secretary General Cherry Clemente said, “to continue tradition of progressive and genuine marginalized representation in Congress, Anakpawis affirms its participation in the upcoming partylist elections despite hardships and attacks from the incumbent administration.”

Clemente said Anakpawis’ platforms will still focus on the long-time demands of workers, farmers and ordinary Filipinos that remain unfulfilled by the current administration. “We will fight for genuine land reform, national industrialization, economic relief, delivery of basic social services and poverty and hunger eradication.”

“We will also fight against corruption and political dynasty that are the roots of political and moral decay within the government.” We reject ‘traditional and transactional politics’ that dominate Philippine political system and practiced by Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo,” said Rep. Rafael Mariano.

Rep. Joel Maglunsod added, “we pride Anakpawis as among the strongest opposition force in the country’s political spectrum. Since 2003, more than 60 Anakpawis leaders and members perished due to extra judicial killings, many are still missing and some are in detention. Yet we continue to gather the most dedicated and active members as we enjoy the broadest support from our reliable mass base nationwide.”

Anakpawis targets to gain three seats in Congress in 2010 and add another to its current two representatives, Rep. Rafael Mariano and Rep. Joel Maglunsod. “We will show the government that we are the real representatives of the marginalized Filipinos and not other nuisance partylists that were created by the Arroyo administration to vilify us and other progressive partylists in Congress.”

“A powerhouse cast of Anakpawis nominees will be selected from our best leaders. We always seek to empower the people and do our best to serve and represent them even within the ‘reactionary’ government,” Clemente stressed.

Anakpawis likewise affirmed to give all out support for the candidacy of Rep. Satur Ocampo and Rep. Liza Largoza-Maza for the Senate. #

 

     
Message of  Anakpawis vice chairman Rafael Baylosis read by Sammy Malunes

KMU Executive Vice-President Lito Ustarez

           
     
KADAMAY Chair Leleng Zarzuela Rep. Cynthia Villar proxied for Sen. Manuel Villar Gabriela Women's Partylist Rep. Liza Maza
           
           

 

Former political prisoner seeks House seat
 

Reference person:
Rep. Rafael V. Mariano
Position:  Representative
Contact information:  09209507361
Date: November 12, 2009

A political detainee during the Marcos, Aquino, and the outgoing Arroyo administration is now eyeing a seat in Congress.

Randall “Ka Randy” Echanis, 61, deputy secretary general of the national peasant group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) was elected as a nominee of the party-list group Anakpawis during its National Convention held Thursday at the Amoranto Sports Complex in Quezon City.

“I feel humbled by the complete trust given to me by the peoples’ movement. They can look forward that I will continue to bring their struggle in Congress if given a chance,” says Echanis.

For his part, Anakpawis party-list Representative Rafael Mariano said “the nomination of Echanis would give a big boost to our party’s campaign in 2010.”

“Ka Randy’s nomination will surely provide a big boost to the fighting morale and strong determination of our party members and machinery,” Mariano said.

The militant lawmaker vowed that they “will make sure to secure three seats in the coming party-list elections and frustrate attempts by the administration and the military to prevent our party’s victory and deny the people to have genuine representatives in Congress.”

Anakpawis’ top-three nominees include incumbent congressmen Mariano, Joel Maglunsod, and Echanis, respectively.

Echanis was exposed to activism as a student of the Philippine College of Commerce (now Polytechnic University of the Philippines) when he joined rallies condemning the United States’ war of aggression against Vietnam and immersed in student issues. In college, he joined the Kabataang Makabayan (KM – Patriotic Youth) and became chairperson of KM – University of the East Chapter in 1970, and a participant of the First Quarter Storm of 1970.

In 1983, he was arrested without warrant by elements of the then Ministry of National Defense Security Group under Cols. Gregorio Honasan, Red Kapunan, and Rodolfo Aguinaldo. He was released after the 1986 people’s uprising.

In 1990, during the administration of the late President Corazon Aquino, Echanis was again arrested by combined elements of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP), the Naval Intelligence and Security Force (NISF), and the National Capital Region Defense Command (NCRDC). He was released from detention in 1992 after the case filed against him for violation of PD 1866 (illegal possession of firearms in furtherance of rebellion) was dismissed by the Manila Regional Trial Court.

In January 28, 2008, Echanis was arrested by military and police elements in Negros Occidental, while attending a consultation with farmers and farmworkers on the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (House Bill 3059) and in preparation for the 2nd National Rural Congress to be spearheaded by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on July 2008.

Echanis was released from prison last August by virtue of a Supreme Court order granting him a P100,000 bail. #
 

PISTON Chair Steve Ranjo
PAMALAKAYA Chair Fernando Hicap

Anakpawis partrylist Reps. Mariano and Maglunsod in a duet

     
     
     
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Militant solon decries harassment of staff; demands Congress to explain
 

Reference person: Joel Maglunsod
Position: Representative
Contact information:  0928-4279255
Date: November 9, 2009

Anakpawis Rep. Joel Maglunsod today demanded the House of Representatives leadership to explain the alleged background checking ordered by Congress Sergeant-At-Arms Ret. Brig.Gen Horacio Lactao on one of his legislative staff, Maureen Hermitanio.

Last October 24, 26, 28 and November 3, two unidentified men, went looking for Hermitanio, at her residence in San Mateo, Rizal and insisted to talk to her for background investigation allegedly ordered by Brig. Gen. Lactao. The men, in plainclothes, repeatedly refused to give any identification and leave the documents on the alleged background check order, initially presented themselves as members of the San Mateo Police.

In all instances, they stressed that the background checking was ordered by Brig. Gen. Lactao and needed for Hermitanio’s work in Congress. The men are also looking for several other congressional staff members of party-list organizations based on a list in their possession.

Last November 5, Hermitanio, together with Maglunsod’s Chief Political Affairs Officer Lualhati Roque and Anakpawis staff Ofelia Beltran-Balleta confronted the police agent who was identified as PO1 Bonifacio Dela Cruz. He named his companion as PO2 Ireneo Descaya. Dela Cruz said they were just following orders from San Mateo Police Chief Intelligence Officer Michael Angeles.

It was only then that Anakpawis discovered that conduct of background investigation (CBI) order was based on a memorandum from the Philippine National Police (PNP) CALABARZON Regional Office dated July 22 and a letter request from HOR Sgt-At-Arms Horacio Lactao dated July 1 addressed to the PNP, a memorandum from a certain TDI dated July 3, and an action slip from the Office of Chief PNP dated July 1, 2009 as part of the preparation for the opening of Congress’ 3rd regular session and President Arroyo’s SONA last July.

Other partylist congressional staff included in the order were Tony C. Rom, Agnes Marcell C. Lorenzana, Teresa C. Del Rosario, all residents of Rizal province.

Rep. Maglunsod attempted several times to personally confirm the 'CBI order' with Gen. Lactao but the latter was on leave according to Legislative Security Bureau personnel.

“We need to know if there is indeed an order from Sgt-At-Arms Lactao for the conduct of background investigation on Hermitanio and other congressional staff of either partylist House members or district representatives,“ the Anakpawis solon said.

“We strongly condemn this case of harassment and invasion of privacy against Ms. Hermitanio and Anakpawis Partylist,” Maglunsod said as he noted the suspicious timing of the surveillance activity with barely weeks before the deadline of the filing of candidacy for the 2010 national elections.

“We will file a house resolution to investigate this case and we also expect Sgt-At-Arms Lactao and House Speaker Prospero Nograles to answer and address this issue.”

Maglunsod added, “It is crucial and imperative to know if Congress is giving out personal information like name, address and other details of its employees and congressional staff to non-civilian entities like the PNP and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and if the HOR is in coordination with such institutions regarding surveillance activities on House Members, as well as congressional staff and employees.“

“The House leadership must look into this matter with due diligence as it is the duty of Congress to protect and look after the welfare and security of all its employees.”

The solon’s office already sought legal advice and will take legal actions on the matter. Maglunsod said they are also considering filing a complaint before the Commission on Human Rights (CHR).

Hermitanio is employed as Maglunsod’s Political Affairs Officer II since April 2009. She also previously worked as a legislative staff and researcher of Rep. Rafael Mariano and as public information officer of the late Rep. Crispin Beltran. She is also a former consultant of the Congressional Oversight Committee on Labor and Employment (COCLE). She is an advocate of labor rights, an active technology blogger and writes for various online publications. ###
 

     
     
     
     
  Registration of delegates  
           

 

Poor, hungry Pinoys won’t vote for Arroyo in 2010 – Rep. Maglunsod
 

Reference person:
Joel Maglunsod
Position: Representative
Contact information:  0928-4279255
Date: November 6, 2009

Anakpawis Rep. Joel Maglunsod said the increasing number of ‘food-poor’ Filipinos who have rated themselves poorer in the latest Social Weather Station (SWS) survey can be well attributed to the national government’s constant refusal to grant any economic relief for Filipinos. Recently, the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) announced that workers can’t expect for any wage increase this year.

In the latest survey, 53 percent or more than 9 million Filipinos considered themselves poor. Maglunsod said, “despite the increasing cost-of-living, Malacanang maintains its iron-fist stance against any wage
increase for the country’s wage earners.”

The non-granting of wage hike is one of the major reasons why Filipinos will not allow Arroyo to sit in any elected or appointed position after her term. For the past eight years, Arroyo persistently refused demands for a
legislated wage increase for workers.”

On a wider scale, the incumbent government’s economic policies, record of corruption and human rights abuses are significant restraints to Arroyo’s political ambitions beyond 2010.

The solon added, “Filipinos have a million and one reasons why they won’t vote for Arroyo. With her
track record as President, Arroyo doesn’t stand a chance in the 2010 polls, unless of course, she uses COMELEC and the administration machinery to institute a wide-spread, nationwide vote-padding and shaving (dagdag-bawas) to her favor, like what she did in 2004 to win the presidential elections.”

Reports said Arroyo is eyeing a Congressional seat in the 2nd district of Pampanga and also considers the Vice-Presidential post, as hinted by Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez. “Both VP and Congressional posts will make Arroyo immune from any legal prosecution of her crimes against the people,” the solon said.

Maglunsod encouraged all social sectors, from poor to rich people to oppose Arroyo’s 2010 candidacy plans.

“Arroyo’s greed for power and position is utterly offensive, even to middle-class sectors. The masses have
had enough of her corrupt and burdensome leadership. We say no way to Arroyo in Malacanang or Congress after 2010, over our dead bodies,” the solon concluded. ###
 

     
           

 

Wage hikes always necessary, with or without crisis – Rep. Maglunsod
Reference person: Joel B. Maglunsod
Position: Representative
Contact information: 0928-2794255
Date: October 29, 2009

Anakpawis Rep. Joel Maglunsod said the Gloria Macapagal Arroyo government will leave a legacy as the 'worst, anti-poor and anti-worker government' the Philippines ever had for perpetually refusing to grant any wage increase for the country's workforce.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and National Wages and Productivity Commission's (NWPC) announced that there will be no wage increase for the rest of 2009 because the 'financial crisis is far from over.'

Maglunsod said, “this lame excuse refutes all pronouncements of the government on so-called economic resiliency and recovery.”

“We challlenge Mrs. Arroyo, DoLE Secretary Marianito Roque, NPWC Director Ciriaco Lagunzad III and everyone down the Arroyo cabinet to try living for only P382 a day, the average daily minimum wage received by workers in the National Capital Region.”

“Since day one, Mrs. Arroyo showed her class bias towards big business and her aversion to wage hike demands and everything that workers are fighting for,” the labor leader turned solon said.

With this declaration of wage freeze, Maglunsod said “Mrs. Arroyo must prepare for 'political payback' as 'workers will settle the scores come May 2010 national elections.'

He added that the legislative measure for the granting of P125 across-the-board nationwide wage increase for workers in the private sector or the wage hike bill was virtually archived by the House leadership.

“The wage hike bill was first filed in 2001 during the 12th Congress, Anakpawis Partylist refiled it during the 13th and 14th Congresses but up to now, it was not given any substantial consideration by the administration.”

He said workers need urgent economic relief and not DoLE's 'holiday economics' antics.

“At this time of global financial crisis, workers all the more need additional wages to cope with the impact of the economic crunch. Big business and employers can get by the crisis as they have all the means and resources but wage and salary workers rely only on their income to make ends meet,” Maglunsod said.

As a matter of state policy, it is the government's responsibility promote the welfare and raise the standard of living of workers; and granting of substantial and immediate wage hike is necessary with or without crisis.” he concluded. #
 

     
     
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