SONA NG BAYAN 2010    - Part 1

 

July 26, 2010

 

 

■  People's March     ■  The People's SONA 2010       ■  Harry Potter or Lord Voldemort?    ■   Prosecute Arroyo

 

 

■   And Daang Matuwid     ■  The People's Agenda    ■  The Southern Tagalog contingent

 

 

■  Media       ■  Video clips     ■  The Police

 

 

SONA NG BAYAN 2010 Part 2

 

SONA NG BAYAN2010 Part 3

 

 

   
   
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“Will he be a Harry Potter or will he turn out to be a Lord Voldemort?”
           
           
           

News Release
July 23, 2010

SONA effigy to pose question of “illusion vs reality”

Artist groups are preparing the effigy for this year’s annual State of the Nation Address (SoNA) rally showcasing what they call “the tensions between illusion and reality” when it comes to the new adminstration. The group said that their visual portrayal of Aquino will be “kinder” than their portrayal of the previous president. The effigy will have a “Harry Potter” theme.

“Will the Noynoy ‘magic’ be enough to address the most basic peoples issues? Will there be real change or just the illusion of change?” this was the question and challenge posed by artist group Ugat Lahi. The group has made a total of nine effigies of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo for her 9 SONA’s. This will be their first for Aquino.

“Will he be a Harry Potter or will he turn out to be a Lord Voldemort?” the group said.

Aquino will be rendered as a magician waving his wand, while around him will march people bearing signs that will show the country’s various roblems: sovereignty, worsening poverty and hunger, economic crisis, corruption, human rights violations, environmental degradation, and intensified strife

As in previous SoNA rallies, the effigy will be among the visual highlights of the mass action on July 26. Rally organizer Bagong Alyansang Makabayan said that the march to Batasan on Monday hopes to remind the Aquino government that there are many pressing issues outside the problems of corruption and misrule. A list of “demands and challenges” have been lined up by various sectors and these will comprise the speeches for the rally program.

“The effigy poses a question and challenge to the new administration, if it can really address not just the problems left by Arroyo but also the systemic problems that have been plaguing us regardless of who weilds power in Malacanang,” Ugat Lahi said.

When asked if the effigy will be burned, the group said that that is not part of the plan for Monday’s rally.

“President Aquino campaigned on the strength of promises of change,” said Max Santiago of the Ugatlahi Artists Collective, one of the artists working on the effigy. "As president, he is in the best position to address the peoples demands for change.”

”But at the end of the day, will Noynoy’s ‘magic’ be enough to solve our problems, or will it merely cover them up? Will there be real change, or will the promised change turn out to be merely illusory?”

“After showing the effigy, we will listen to President Aquino’s speech, since we are interested to know whether or not he will take up the challenge of carrying out the reforms the country badly needs at this time,” Santiago said. ###
 

     
           
     

 

Hindi Manhid

Alexander Martin Remollino
 

At kanyang tinapos
"ang pamumunong manhid sa mga daing ng taumbayan."
Pero, wala siyang sinabing
ang mga daing ay hahayaan niyang dumapo
sa kanyang mga tainga:
ang tangi niyang sinabi
ay hindi siya magiging manhid sa mga ito.
Kaya't habang nagtatalumpati siya sa Batasang Pambansa,
ang mga raliyista
ay dapat makuntentong kausapin ang mga sarili
sa Quezon Memorial Circle.

 

These kids try to capture the soap bubbles generated by PNoy the Illusionist. The bubbles disappear as soon as they are caught.

     

 

Press Statement
July 27, 2010
 

TWO PROPOSALS FOR A JUST AND LASTING PEACE
By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chief Political Consultant
NDFP Negotiating Panel

The Negotiating Panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) has repeatedly declared its readiness to resume peace negotiations with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) under the Aquino II administration. It has also signalled its willingness to receive in The Netherlands or Norway a senior emissary or a team of emissaries of said administration to discuss the possible course and perspective of the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations.

On my part, as chief political consultant of the NDFP Negotiating Panel, I have long proposed the resumption and acceleration of the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations, especially with regard to social and economic reforms, in accordance with The Hague Joint Declaration and subsequent major agreements.

I have also gone so far as to propose a concept of immediate truce and alliance on the basis of a mutually acceptable declaration of principles and policies upholding national independence and democracy, confronting the basic problems of the Filipino people and adopting effective measures of social, economic and political reforms. It is unjust for anyone to expect that the revolutionary forces and the people to simply cease fire and surrender to a rotten ruling system that shuns patriotic and progressive demands and refuses to engage in basic reforms.

 

I hope that the Aquino II administration can consider seriously the two proposals for the benefit of the people. Like the NDFP, I welcome any serious step of said administration towards the attainment of a just peace and national unity by addressing the roots of the armed conflict and arriving with the revolutionary forces and the people at agreements on basic social, economic and political reforms.
 

I urge the Aquino II administration to override such counterrevolutionary notions as those previously spelled out by its officials that the military can get anything it wants despite the severe economic crisis and bankruptcy of the reactionary government, that the revolutionary forces and people surrender and that they can be destroyed and pacified in the next three years.

I challenge the Aquino II administration to reject the US Counterinsurgency Guide and take the path of seeking a concord of just peace and national unity with the NDFP by addressing the roots of the armed conflict and forging agreements on social, economic and political reforms. It is malicious and unjust to construe the people's resistance to injustice, oppression and exploitation as the problem rather than as the consequence of foreign and feudal domination.

Such monstrous problems as foreign monopoly capitalism, domestic feudalism and bureaucratic corruption are the longrunning and current causes of underdevelopment, unemployment, poverty and misery. All well-meaning forces and people must unite and work together to confront and solve these problems and work for a new and better Philippines that is truly free and democratic, socially just, progressive and peaceful. ###

==============================

Aquino shuts the door to peace negotiations

by Jose Maria Sision

July 27, 2010

My press statement is clear: It is unjust for anyone to expect that the revolutionary forces and the people to simply cease fire and surrender to a rotten ruling system that shuns patriotic and progressive demands and refuses to engage in basic reforms.

In his SONA, Aquino was actually shutting the door to peace negotiations by preconditioning the formal talks with his "malawakang tigil-putok" bago mag-usap. This precondition is in gross violation of the The Hague Joint Declaration and the very process of peace negotiations. Aquino thinks other people are stupid by thinking that he can get by with demagogic street expressions and gimmicks. Enough of demagogy and gimmickry!


 

 

 

Interview on GRP-NDFP Peace Negotiations
With Luis Jalandoni, Chairperson, NDFP Negotiating Panel**

By Paolo Capino

RPN 9 News Desk Supervisor

Q.: Sir, do you have any pre-condition before you are willing to talk with the government?

We have no precondition for resuming formal peace talks with the Aquino government. We have repeatedly declared that we are ready to resume formal talks on the basis of The Hague Joint Declaration and other peace agreements signed from 1992 to 2004. The Hague Joint Declaration states that no precondition that negates the inherent character and purpose of peace negotiations may be imposed and that the agenda will take up human rights and international humanitarian law, social and economic reforms, political and constitutional reforms and end of hostilities and disposition of forces, in that sequence.

Q. Do you agree with a ceasefire?

We do not agree with Mr. Aquino's ceasefire ("malawakang tigil-putukan") as a precondition for formal talks. This precondition is a violation of The Hague Joint Declaration. It practically blocks the resumption of formal talks and prevents the negotiations on social, economic and political reforms to address the roots of the armed conflict. These reforms, such as genuine land reform and national industrialization, are necessary to respond to the basic aspirations and demands of the peasants, workers and other sections of the people. They are necessary to achieve social justice as the foundation of a just and lasting peace.

Q. What are your other thoughts on the peace talks and what other issues will you likely ask the government for the resumption of the talks?

We have the concrete proposal to resume formal talks on the basis of The Hague Joint Declaration and other agreements. We are suggesting that the Aquino administration send an emissary or team of emissaries to meet with us here in The Netherlands or in Norway to discuss preparations for the resumption of formal talks. Such emissaries were sent by former Presidents Corazon Aquino and Fidel Ramos as well as Gloria Arroyo.

The release of political prisoners (as Cory Aquino did in 1986 and Ramos too from 1992), the indemnification of victims of human rights violations under the Marcos regime, the release of NDFP consultants (detained in violation of the agreement of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees), the resumption of meetings of the Joint Monitoring Committee (mandated to monitor the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), negotiation on social economic reforms, are among the points we will take up. But all these and other points both sides will bring up, can be discussed with the emissaries.

The Aquino government should also consider the concrete proposal made by the NDFP on 27 August 2005: "Concise Agreement for Immediate Just Peace" which was personally handed over to the GRP Panel in Oslo on 28 August 2005. Mr. Aquino appears not adequately informed about this and the other above-mentioned concrete proposals of the NDFP.

 

     
     
           
           

x


PRESS RELEASE
July 27, 2010
Reference: Roy Morilla, KMP Public Information Officer (0907-418-0098)

Peasants can't find the text "land reform" on Noynoy's SONA transcript

After hearing the first State of the Nation Address (SONA) of president Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino, peasants belonging to the militant Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP, Peasant Movement of the Philippines) and its Southern Tagalog chapter Katipunan ng mga Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan (Kasama-TK) said that they never heard the phrase "reporma sa lupa" or "land reform." The groups said the Aquino said the word "lupa" just once but it was referring to a proposal to lease lands within military bases.

"This is really new or this is the `pagbabago' Aquino is talking about, ridding off land reform as a legitimate issue and agenda, escaping from the centuries-old problem of landlessness and `iwas-pusoy' on the issue of Hacienda Luisita and other haciendas controlled by rich and powerful landlords," said Danilo Ramos, KMP Secretary-General in a press statement.

"We somehow expected something like this, especially when he zipped his lips on the land issue on his inaugural speech. Also, we all know that he belongs to the powerful landlord clan of the Cojuangco-Aquinos," Ramos added.

KMP and Kasama-TK are the organizers of the 100-Day Peasant Camp-out for Land and Justice, which began July 1 to press the new administration to include the peasant agenda on his first 100 days of governance. The groups were able to send their demand letters to Aquino but until now they have yet to hear anything from the president.

"We sent our legitimate demands to the new president with the hope of him being open and transparent. Some of our calls included the pull-out of military from farm communities especially in Hacienda Yulo in Calamba, Laguna and Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac. We also demand that agri-products of farmers be allowed to be transported out from Hacienda Yulo. Those were simple legitimate demands, but the president who claims `Pagbabago' has yet to send feelers that he would heed our grievances," added Ramos.

"There is nothing shocking about Noynoy's SONA speech, no mention of land reform, no concrete plans of prosecuting Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. He sounded like being interviewed on a showbiz program, claiming of exposés without actual plans to do anything about it," said Axel Pinpin, Kasama-TK Secretary-General.

The groups said that Aquino only said the word "agrikultura" once referring to programs similar to Arroyo, the word "bigas" just twice regarding excessive importation of the National Food Authority. He mentioned the three victims of extra-judicial killings but not Pascual "Tatay Pascual" Guevarra, the 78-year-old farmer who is struggling to keep his land inside the Fort Magsaysay Military Reservation in Laur, Nueva Ecija. A part of his farm was converted by an extension of the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) towards Aurora province. Aquino was involved on the SCTEX project when he led its construction piercing through Hacienda Luisita without consulting the agri-workers who are supposedly co-owners of the lands affected.
In addition, Aquino discussed majorly on irrational government spending but never mentioned the P728-million Fertiizer Scam, prosecuting former agriculture officials Joc-joc Bolante and Cito Lorenzo and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. None was also stated about P217.8-million Rice Scam raked up by fly-by-night foundations close to Arroyo and former NFA and Dept. of Agriculture official Arthur Yap.

“There is also no mention of prosecuting Arroyo of her implementation of Oplan Bantay Laya, which killed more than a thousand activists, where 561 were peasant victims, 129 peasants were victims of enforced disappearances and many where accused of fabricated charges, the recent is former SAGUPA-SB (KMP Eastern Visayas) leader Dario Tomada who is now at Camp Karingal,” said Ramos.

"We see him allergic of the Filipino peasants. The road his leading is crooked away from genuine land reform and justice. The more he ignore us, the closer we would get as we are to protest at Mendiola tomorrow morning pressing him to resolve land disputes all-over the country by distributing the lands farmers have dreamed of for decades," Ramos called. #
 

     
           
     

 

PRESS RELEASE
July 26, 2010
Reference: Roy Morilla, KMP Public Information Officer (0907-418-0098)

Aquino told on his 1st SONA: Give up Luisita, distribute other haciendas

Farmers from three prominent haciendas in Southern Tagalog and Central Luzon that include farm workers from Hacienda Luisita urged President Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III to give up his family’s control over the 6,453 hectare sugar estate and have its distributed for free to some 10,000 farmer worker beneficiaries at the soonest possible time.

At the same time, the farmers pressed the 50-year old bachelor president to  certify the congressional approval of the controversial House Bill 374 otherwise known as Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB) as the 50-year old  bachelor president takes the center stage this afternoon for his first State of the Nation Address (SONA).

Some 2,000 striking farm workers and landless farmers from the 7,100 hectare  coconut plantation Hacienda Yulo in barangay Canlubang in Calamba City and the 8,650 hectare prime agricultural estate Hacienda Looc in Nasugbu, Batangas and farm workers in the 6,453 hectare Hacienda Luisita owned by the Cojuangco-Aquino family said it is highly predictable President Aquino will  evade issues surrounding Hacienda Luisita and other high profile cases  involving land use conversions and landgrabbing escapades of the few landed elite in the country.

“President Aquino is the President of Hacienda Republic. He will use his  sugar coated and illusion-driven SONA to escape and evade all political  inquiries and commentaries pertaining to his family’s illegal and immoral control of Hacienda Luisita”, said KMP secretary general Danilo Ramos in a press statement.

“He is serving as feudal icon to other hacienda owners who have been  resisting agrarian reform beneficiaries demanding land rights and social justice. It is for this reason, why Noynoy is not touching Luisita and other  haciendas on his first SONA, and perhaps in his succeeding addresses in the next five years,” the KMP official added.

Ramos further said:”Big hacienda owners are supporting Aquino’s use of state  power to protect their unlawful and immoral control on the 6,453 hectare sugar plantation in Tarlac province. The hacienda oligarchs are all happy  with Aquino and like the landed family of the President, they don’t want to hear any policy statement on agrarian reform that would benefit landless and
land-lacking farmers in the country.”

The KMP , the Kalipunan ng Samahang Magbubukid ng Timog Katagalugan (Kasama-TK), the Alyansa ng Magbubukid ng Gitnang Luzon (AMGL) and the Hacienda Luisita based groups United Luisita Workers Union (ULWU) and Alyansa  ng mga Manggagawang Bukid ng Asyenda Luisita (Ambala) said Aquino’s refusal to honor and recognize the land rights of Filipino farmers would mean an open  declaration of war against Filipino farmers as early as this period.

“Hacienda Luisita and bigger issues on land reform are intentionally omitted  in his 1st SONA because Aquino is politically allergic to discuss Luisita and  other Luisita like cases such as the 7,100 hectare Hacienda Yulo controversy  in Barangay Canlubang and the 8,650 hectare perpetual land use conversion of  prime agricultural land in Hacienda Looc,” Kasama-TK secretary general Axel  Pinpin said.
 

 

 

Pinpin said if Aquino really wants to address Luisita and other high profile  issues involving haciendas in favor of the land reform beneficiaries through appropriate legislative action, the President could easily send marching orders to Congress to repeal the extended CARPer (CARP with reforms) law and enact GARB or HB 374.

The controversial GARB was re-filed in the first week of July by its main  author—Anakpawis party list Rep. Rafael Mariano, a farmer himself and current KMP chair. The re-filed bill was co-authored by the progressive bloc in Congress led by Bayan Muna Reps. Teodoro Casino and Atty. Neri Javier Colmenares, Gabriela Women Party (GWP) Reps. Luzviminda Ilagan and Emmy de
Jesus, Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) party list lawmaker Antonio Tinio  and Kabataan party list Rep. Raymond Palatino.
 

The bill if enacted will automatically cover vast landholdings for free land  distribution that includes Hacienda Luisita, Hacienda Yulo, Hacienda Looc, scattered thousands of agricultural lands owned by business tycoon Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco, the vast tracts of plantations leased to multinational companies like Del Monte in Mindanao the and the controversial 3,100 hectare
Fort Magsaysay in Laur, Nueva Ecija.

“But President Aquino is not listening to the legitimate cry and agrarian  demands of Hacienda Luisita farm workers and Hacienda Yulo farmers and this  is the real score at the moment. We dare him to come up with a strong presidential instruction urging congressmen from both side of the political equation to certify HB 374 as urgent and necessary, and his first SONA is the  right time for this,” said AMGL chair Joseph Canlas.

Canlas said the official response of President Aquino so far was the violent  demolition of peasant camp-out in Mendiola Bridge and the dispersal of striking farmers on July 3 that led to the mass arrest of 41 farmer activists and the injury of 13 other Southern Tagalog activists.

“So far this is the concrete step taken by Aquino as far as the agrarian  issues surrounding Hacienda Luisita and Hacienda Yulo are concerned and for the farmers the act is simply incorrigible and extremely reprehensible,” he said.

“The Southern Tagalog and the Central Luzon regions have become the regional  laboratories for land reform reversals, land reform denials and land use conversions since the dictatorial regime of former President Ferdinand Marcos. Hundreds of thousands of prime agricultural lands have been
subjected to automatic control of big landlords and were primed for land use  conversions at the expense of land reform beneficiaries and other land tillers across the region,” Canlas noted.

Citing a report filed by Ibon Foundation, the KMP said as of December 2006,  DAR has cancelled at least 108,141 CLOAs and Emancipation Patents (EPs) involving 204,579 hectares. CLOA and EP cancellations are increased by 3,790% from 1995 data of 2,780, while land area increased by 1,162% from 16, 213 hectares. Of the cancellations, majority or 87% were due to subdivision
of mother-CLOAs into individual CLOAs. It involved about 82% of the lands to 167,486 hectares.#

     
Ang Daang Matuwid
           

Press Statement
July 26, 2010


The People’s State of the Nation and the Road to Change

Today, President Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III delivers his first State of the Nation Address (SONA). It will be his first major policy pronouncement since taking office on June 30. His first SONA should be an indicator of how his administration will differ from previous regimes.

Because it is his first SONA, it should define his programs for the next six years, as well as his plans for addressing the problems left by the Arroyo regime.

And the Arroyo regime left numerous grave problems that cannot be addressed simply through anti-corruption slogans, with anti-“wangwang” peroration. The problems are in fact systemic and have worsened from one regime to the next.

The country is mired in a fiscal crisis of unsurpassed proportions. Unemployment and underemployment are at their worst in half a century. Much-needed social services are severely lacking. Landlessness continues to plague most of the peasantry, who comprise the majority of the Filipino people. Human rights continue to be wantonly violated. Foreign impositions impinge on the country’s sovereignty – or what is left of it.

• The budget deficit shot up to an all-time high of P298.5 billion last year. The deficit for the first half of 2010 has gone beyond initial projections. Meanwhile, government spending for health, education, and housing continues to shrink while 42.7 percent of the budget is allocated for debt servicing.

• By conservative estimates, more than 4 million Filipinos are unemployed, while over 7 million are underemployed. Those who are employed have to put up with extremely low wages.

• Power and water rates regularly increase while 30 percent of all barangays have no access to electricity and 17 percent of families throughout the country have no access to safe drinking water.

• Seventy percent of the peasantry – who comprise the majority of the Filipino people – are landless. Poverty is most prevalent in the countryside. Many big landholdings like the Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac and Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco’s plantations in Negros remain untouched by land reform.

• The extrajudicial killings that became rampant during the Arroyo regime, and claimed the lives of more than 1,200 people, continue; no less than five people have fallen prey to extrajudicial killings in the first two weeks of the Aquino administrations. Meanwhile more than 200 victims of enforced disappearances remain missing and more than 300 continue to languish in detention on account of their political beliefs. The counter-“insurgency” plan Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL), which targets unarmed activists and other civilians, has not been abandoned.

• Foreign military presence on Philippine soil continues under the auspices of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), with US troops permanently deployed in Mindanao in violation of the Constitution.

• The country remains tied to unequal trade agreements through the World Trade Organization and the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA).

With these, Bayan challenges President Aquino to undertake the following urgent measures:

1. Prosecute Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her henchmen for their crimes.
2. Immediately address the problems of joblessness and poverty.
3. Increase wages and provide other forms of economic relief for the people
4. Increase the budget for social services.
5. Implement genuine land reform.
6. Stop extrajudicial killings and other human rights violations, and end the OBL.
7. Uphold national sovereignty, abrogate the VFA and scrap the GATT and the JPEPA.

Institutions for accountability have been damaged and undermined by the previous government.The prosecution of Arroyo and her cabal of corrupt officials remains a pressing concern for a people who have long been denied of justice. Expose’ are good only insofar as they will lead to accountability.

We note with great concern President Aquino’s apparent continuation of the failed economic policies of hs predecessors. His economic managers continue to push for new or higher taxes as a way of raising revenues – in effect passing on the government’s fiscal burden to the people. The VAT on toll fees and the drive to have even small vendors issue receipts are some examples. The current government appears to be taking the same neo-liberal path as previous regimes.

While he has made statements against human rights abuses like extrajudicial killings, there has been no concrete action to punish the perpetrators, including the masterminds. The current government has also been non-committal about calls for the distribution of Hacienda Luisita and has not spoken about land reform in general. President Aquino is also silent about even reviewing the VFA, the GATT, and the JPEPA. We note also the current administration’s silence in the face of continuing US military presence in the country and the violation of our national sovereignty.

While Aquino has high approval ratings based on the latest Social Weather Station (SWS) survey, these approval ratings rest on shaky ground. While the survey shows Aquino having an 88-percent approval rating, it also shows that 53 percent of respondents believe he can fulfill only some of his promises, while only 14 percent believe he can fulfill all his promises.

As far as majority of the people are concerned, there are no illusions President Aquino will bring about fundamental changes. President Aquino should take this as a sign that he must immediately address the most basic peoples issues and demands. His approval ratings will ultimately be eroded if no meaningful reforms take place.

At this juncture in our history is important for the people to exercise vigilance and to continue engaging in collective action as the only proven means to achieve social change.

BAGONG ALYANSANG MAKABAYAN
July 26, 2010

The Daan Matuwid sppears to be a straight path, but just a few steps ahead, it veers  to the right.

They tried hard to hold the streamer in such a way that the Daang Matuwid would have a straight path. But its natural state is that it has its twists and turns.

The "traffic" signs along the Daang Matuwid
           
     
     
     

 

Aquino asked to address fiscal and economic crisis, human rights during SONA
News Release
July 25, 2010

The umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) today said President Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino should make clear policy pronouncements on people’s issues in his upcoming first State of the Nation Address (SoNA).

Aquino has vowed to expose more misdeeds of the previous government even as it bared that the government coffers had been emptied.

Bayan will be holding its annual SoNA rally on July 26, the same day Aquino delivers his first SoNA.

The group said the rally will carry demands by various sectors and cause-oriented groups concerning national sovereignty, social justice, economic development, good governance and public accountability, human rights, protection of the environment, and the forging of a just and lasting peace.

“The fiscal and economic crisis are some of the issues we should look at. We are pushing for a pro-people and socially just response to the problem. The Aquino government can take the positive thrust of not passing new taxes on the people, prosecuting Arroyo and her cabal of corrupt officials, freezing their assets in favor of government, and in abandoning the automatic appropriations for debt servicing so valuable resources can be freed,” said Bayan secretary-general Renato Reyes Jr.


“With government resources depleted, it also makes no sense in spending so much for the military. Social services should be prioritized over debt spending,” he added.

Aquino has vowed to increase the number of troops and in effect increase spending for the military.

“Human rights is another issue we are closely looking at. There is the outstanding issue of justice for the rights victims of Arroyo. There is also the continuing political killings of activists and journalists even during the first weeks of the Aquino government. There has to be a strong statement from the commander-in-chief calling for an end to the policy of extrajudicial killings that seems to have been carried over from the past government,” Reyes said.

“The release of all political prisoners, including the Morong 43 and the many others who fought against the Arroyo government should be announced. This is one SONA pronouncement that will enjoy public support,” Reyes added.

Bayan's own version of the State of the Nation would show chronic unemployment and underemployment of some 12 million people, the ever growing budget deficit, mounting hunger and poverty, low wages, landlessness, inadequate budget for social services, lack of genuine sovereignty and continuing gross human rights violations.

The Bayan leader said Aquino’s SoNA should make specific statements about such issues as the RP-US Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA), debt renegotiation, land reform and provisions for economic relief for the poor, the domestic fiscal crisis and the effects of the global economic crisis, prosecution of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her henchmen, ending extrajudicial killings and scrapping the counter-“insurgency” plan Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL), arresting the destruction of the environment, and the resumption of peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Bayan said that the SONA rally aims to challenge Aquino to address the long-standing problems of the country. Even the effigy is a challenge to the new government to implement “genuine change, instead of just the illusion of change” says the group.

This year’s SONA effigy has a “Harry Potter” theme, a reference to the popular wizard. According to the Ugat Lahi artist’s collective which makes the yearly visual, the question they are raising is if the Aquino “magic” will be enough to bring about genuine change or just the illusion of change. The groups said that they will not be burning the effigy, unlike during previous rallies against Arroyo.

In a recent SWS survey, Aquino enjoys an 88% approval rating. However, only 14% believe that he can fulfill all his promises. Some 53% think he can fulfill only a few of his promises.

When the president gives his first SONA, the militant groups will pause from their program to listen. After the speech, they will rate the address and give their reactions. The groups vowed to stage a peaceful protest focusing on the peoples issues and demands for the new government. The rally site is expected to be just past the EVER Gotesco Mall, a development that has dismayed the different groups hoping to get closer to Batasang Pambansa. ###

     
           
     
     
     

 

FAQ kung bakit may rallly sa unang SONA ni Pangulong Benigno Aquino III

FAQ kung bakit may rallly sa unang SONA ni Pangulong Benigno Aquino III

1. Bakit may rally sa unang SONA ni Aquino? Di ba’t masyadong maaga pa para mag-rally?

May rally sa unang SONA ni P-Noy upang ipaalaala at ipabatid sa kanya ang iba’t ibang problema ng mamamayan, lalo’t yaong iniwan ng nagdaang rehimen ni GMA, at upang hamunin siyang tugunan ang mga problemang ito. Malalaki ang problemang iniwan ng nagdaang gobyerno: malawakang korapsiyon, paglabag sa karapatang pantao, pagkawasak ng kabuhayan ng mamamayan at pagyurak sa pambansang soberanya. Ito rin ang mga isyung kakaharapin ng bagong gobyernong Aquino.

Ang rally sa SONA ay nananawagan ng “Katarungan, Karapatan, Kabuhayan at Kalayaan.” Ang lalamnin ay mga isyu’t karaingan ng mamamayan. Mahaba na ang kasaysayan ng mga problemang ito, at di naman natugunan ng mga nagdaang administrasyon.

Mahalagang maipabatid ang mga isyung ito sa bagong administrasyong Aquino at itulak itong kagyat na tugunan ang mga kahilingan ng mamamayan.

Sa kasaysayan natin, kahit sa mga gobyernong nailuklok matapos ang Edsa 1 (Corazon Aquino) at Edsa 2 (Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo), hindi naman kusang ibinigay ang mga repormang hiniling ng mamamayan. Kinailangan pa ring ipaglaban ang mga ito sa kalsada.

May mga kagyat na isyung dapat harapin ang bagong administrasyon, kabilang ang panawagan para papanagutin si Arroyo at ang mga alipures nya, pagpigil sa mga pagpatay ng mga aktibista at mamamahayag, pagsagot sa krisis sa tubig at pagpigil sa mga bagong buwis. Dapat ding tugunan ng bagong administrasyon ang nagbabagang mga isyu ng ito.

Kamakailan ay tinipon ng iba’t ibang sektor ang mga isyu’t panawagan sa bagong administrasyon. Tinawag itong “Peoples’ Challenge: Katarungan, Karapatan, Kabuhayan at Kalayaan.”

2. Bakit hindi na lang suportahan si Aquino sa kanyang unang SONA?

Pinakikitunguhan natin si Aquino batay sa mga tindig nito sa mga isyu ng mamamayan. Sa ngayon ay tanging sa usapin pa lang ng pagpapanagot kay Arroyo nagkakaroon ng panimulang tindig ang administrasyon. Naging mainit ang pagtanggap natin halimbawa sa appointment ni Leila de Lima bilang Secretary of Justice. Sinusuportahan natin ang mga hakbang na panagutin si Arroyo at mga opisyal niyang nagkasala ng kurapsyon at mga paglabag a karapatang pantao. Subalit may mga indikasyonng ipagpapatuloy ng bagong administrasyon ang ilang patakaran ng nagdaang administrasyon. Halimbawa ay ang pagpataw ng VAT sa toll fee na lubhang magpapahirap sa mamamayan. May mga kuwestiyon na rin sa mga tipo ng appointments sa gabinete na maaaring magresulta sa tinatawag na mga “conflicts of interests.” Di rin kinokontra ng administrasyon ang mga di-pantay na kasunduan tulad ng VFA. Kapos din ang naging pahayag ni Aquino sa magkakasunod na pagpatay sa mga aktibista dahil tila sinusuyo pa niya ang suporta ng militar.

Gayunpaman, sa rally sa SONA ay makikinig ang mamamayan sa magiging talumpati ni Aquino. Nais nating malaman ang kanyang magiging tugon sa mga isyu ng bayan, di lamang sa usapin ng korapsiyon, kundi pati na rin sa usapin ng ekonomiya, karapatang pantao, at patakarang panlabas.

Pero siyempre pa, wala tayong ilusyong matutugunan nang buo ang mga problemang inilatag natin. Natutuo na din tayo sa karanasan natin matapos ang mga gobyerno ng Edsa 1 at 2. Maraming limitasyon ng kasalukuyang pamahalaan, bunga ng class interests na nangingibabaw dito at bunga ng pagsandal nito sa US at sa AFP.

Ayon sa pinakahuling SWS survey, mataas ang approval rating ng pangulo, umabot sa 88%, pero 14% lang ang naniniwalang matutupad niya ang lahat ng kanyang pangako nung eleksyon. Nasa 53% ang nagsasabing ilan lamang sa mga pangako ang kaya niyang matupad. Tunay ngang walang ilusyon ng makabuluhang pagbabago ang karamihan ng mamamayan pagdating sa bagong administrasyon.

Samantala, ginagalang natin ang opinyon at inisyatiba ng ibang grupong magpapakilos din sa SONA para magpahayag ng kanilang suporta kay Aquino.

3. Bakit may effigy pa ngayong SONA? Susunguin din ba ito gaya ng mga nagdaang effigy?

Ang effigy ay isang komentaryong biswal sa kasalukuyang sitwasyon. Bahagi ito ng paghamon sa administrasyon na tugunan ang mga isyu ng mamamayan. Ang effigy ngayong taon ay may temang “Harry Potter” o isang madyikero. Ang tanong at hamon ng mga visual artist: “Magkakaroon ba ng tunay na pagbabago, o ilusyon lamang ng pagbabago? Masasagot ba ng Noynoy ‘magic’ o popularidad ang mga hinaing ng mamamayan?”

Hindi susunugin ang effigy na ito.

4. Bakit gustong makalapit ng mga rallyista sa Batasan? Di ba puwedeng sa Quezon Memorial Circle na lang?

Taon-taon ginagawa ang rally sa SONA, at naging tradisyon nang sa kalsada ito idaos. Laging hangad ng mga grupong makalapit sa Batasan para makita ng mga mambabatas at iba pang matataas na opisyal ng gobyerno ang mga isyung dala ng mamamayan.

Sa unang SONA ni Arroyo, pinayagan ang rally sa kanto ng Sandiganbayan at Batasan Road. Pero sa mga sumunod na taon, itinaboy papalayo ang mga rallyista. Naging simboliko ito ng napakalaking agwat sa pagitan ng gobyerno at ng mamamayan.

Sa kanyang talumpati sa inagurasyon, sinabi ni Aquino na “tapos na ang gobyernong manhid sa daing ng taumbayan.” Ito dapat ang maging batayan para maging mas bukas ang bagong administrasyon sa pakikinig sa mga isyu’t hinaing ng mamamayan. Lalo namang hindi uubrang gawin sa loob ng Quezon Memorial Circle ang rally (tulad sa mungkahi ni Aquino), dahil bukod sa malayo sa Batasan, tagung-tago pa ito sa madla.

Maging mapayapa at organisado ang darating na rally sa SONA. Pagpapahayag ito ng damdamin ng mamamayan sa iba’t ibang isyung kinakaharap nila.

Kahit ang Commission on Human Rights-NCR ay in-endorso sa panawagan ng Bayan para magdaos ng pagtitipon sa pinakamalapit na pwesto sa Batasan.
 

     
     
     
           
     
The People's Agenda
           
     
           
=          
==          
     
     
           

 

ACT TEACHERS PARTY-LIST
Office address Rm. 618 South Wing, House of Representatives, Batasan Hills, Quezon City, Philippines 1126
Tel. +632-9316193 · +632-9315001 loc. 7317
Email tinio.dal@congress.gov.ph · rep.antonio.tinio@gmail.com

July 26, 2010
NEWS RELEASE
Reference: Antonio L. Tinio, Representative, ACT Teachers (0920-9220817)

PNoy will lead us on the path to greater poverty and underdevelopment

ACT Teachers Party-List Representative Antonio Tinio expressed dismay at pronouncements on economic policy made by President Benigno Cojuangco Aquino III in his State of the Nation Address this afternoon.

“In his SONA, President Aquino packaged himself as a ‘privatization president,’ presenting ‘Public-Private Partnerships’ as the cure-all for the country’s problems, such as infrastructure, delivery of social services, even national defense.

“First of all, where’s the change promised by this new presidency? From the time of Ramos, we’ve had almost two decades of massive privatization in various guises, such as build-operate-transfer schemes, outright sale of government corporations to the private sector, long-term leases of government assets, commercialization of social services, and the like. So-called ‘PPPs’ (public-private partnerships) are nothing new,” said Tinio.

“Privatization of power-generation has led to electricity rates that are among the highest in Asia. Privatization of water has resulted in higher prices and chronic water shortages. Privatization of tollways has led to astronomical increases in user fees. Privatization of education has likewise resulted in higher tuition and other fees. Based on our concrete experiences, privatization enables the big foreign and local corporations to make huge profits at the expense of ordinary taxpayers and consumers,” added Tinio.

Tinio pointed out that the catastrophic flooding of Central Luzon caused by the untimely release of floodwaters from the San Roque Dam during last year’s typhoon Pepeng highlights the dangers of public-private partnerships. “Profit was the main consideration for NAPOCOR and the Japanese firm that runs the San Roque Dam when they opened the floodgates, not the lives and livelihood of millions of people along the path of the Agno River.”

“More privatization is not the solution. Based on his SONA, Pres. Aquino is determined to lead us on the path to more poverty and underdevelopment,” said Tinio.

The ACT Teachers Representative also noted that Aquino was conspicuously silent on the issue of land reform as well as the human rights violations of the previous administration. He also noted that the President failed to address the demands of workers, such as the need to raise wages and salaries and the outcry of public sector employees against the Government Service Insurance System.

Tinio welcomed the revelations made by Pres. Aquino regarding the misuse of public funds by the previous administration, but noted that he fell short of calling for the prosecution of those involved. “His revelations are only useful if coupled with the political will to prosecute and punish the former President Arroyo and her cohorts. How come his exposés aren’t matched by the corresponding charges of plunder against those responsible?” #
 

     
           
     
     
     
Prosecute Gloria Arroyo
     
           

 

P-Noy, tama na ang mga salita at pangako!
Ang kailangan ng taumbayan ay kongkretong aksyon!
 

Pahayag ng Alliance of Concerned Teachers sa kauna-unahang SONA ni P-Noy
July 26, 2010

Sa panahon ng kampanya noong eleksyong Mayo 2010 at sa loob ng dalawampu’t anim na araw matapos ang panunumpa ni P-Noy bilang bagong pangulo ng bansa, narinig na natin ang halos lahat ng nais niyang gawin. Kaya’t tama na ang mga salita at pangako. Panahon na ngayong isagawa niya ang kanyang mga tinuran. “P-Noy should start to walk his talk!”

Sabi ni P-Noy: “Kayo ang Boss ko!”

Kung gayon, dapat niyang kagyat na isagawa ang mga panawagan ng mga guro at kawani:

• I-refund ang P1.7 billion kontribusyon sa GSIS na di-makaturungang kinaltas sa mga guro at kawani mula 2002 at 2006.
• Ibasura mga di-makatarungan at iligal na mga polisiyang Premium Based Policy, Claims and Loans Interdependency Policy (CLIP), automatic deduction of arrears na ipinatupad ng masugid na tagasuporta at kasapakat ng rehimeng Arroyo na si Winston Garcia ng GSIS.
• Imbistagahan ang tunay na kalagayan ng panananalapi ng GSIS, alamin ang mga di-makatarungang transakyong isinagawa nito sa ilalim ni Garcia, at ipagsakdal si Garcia at kanyang mga kasapakat sa pagpapahirap sa mga guro at kawani ng gubyerno at paglabag sa tinatadhanan ng batas sa GSIS.
• Ibigay na ng buo ngayong taon ang umento sa sweldo sa ilalim ng Salary Standardization Law 3.
• I-upgrade sa Salary Grade 15 ang entry level na sweldo ng guro.
• Dagdag na P3,000 sa basic pay ng mga kawani ng gubyerno na nasa Salary Grade 1-10.
• Pondohan ng sapat at ipatupad ang Magna Carta for Public School Teachers.
• Irespeto ang job security ng mga guro. Ipatupad ang mahigpit na regulasyon sa kontraktwalisasyon sa sektor ng edukasyon.

Sabi ni P-Noy: “Hindi natin ipagpapaliban ang mga pangangailangan ng ating mga estudyante, kaya’t sisikapin nating punan ang kakulangan sa ating mga silid-aralan.”

Kung gayon, dapat na kagyat na punuan ni P-Noy ang kakulangang 61,343 na classroom para sa taong 2010-2011.

Subalit hindi lamang ito ang dapat hindi ipagpaliban na mga pangangailangan ng mga estudyante. Kailangang kagyat ding punuan ni P-Noy ang 2010-2011 shortages na 54,060 teachers, 4,538 principals, at headteachers; 816,291 seats, at 113,051 water and sanitation facilities, additional Php 400 million para mapunan ang textbook shortage ng DepEd.

Kailangan ding isagawa ni P-Noy ang mga sumusunod:

• Itumbas sa 6% ng GDP ang budget sa edukasyon.
• Palakasin ang pagtuturo ng makabayang kasaysayan at kultura at paglilingkod sa sambayanan sa kurikulum.
• Itaguyod ang paggamit ng wikang Filipino at mga lokal na wika at isulong ang angkop na paraan ng pagtuturo.
• Gawing angkop ang sistema ng edukasyon sa mga pangangailangan ng pambansang industriyalisasyon at modernisasyon ng agrikultura.
• I-rechannel ang pambayad ng utang panlabas sa edukasyon at iba pang serbisyong panlipunan.
• Punuan ang mga kakulangan na guro, klasrum, libro at iba pang mga rekursong pampaaralan.
• Libreng Edukasyon para sa elementarya at hayskul at abot-kayang edukasyon sa kolehiyo.
• Itigil ang komersyalisasyon at pribatisasyon ng mga State Universities and Colleges.


Sabi ni P-Noy: “Begin the process of providing true and complete justice for all.”

Kung gayon, dapat na gumawa na si P-Noy ng kongkretong hakbang para itigil na ang extra-judicial killings at impunity na patuloy na bumibiktima sa hanay ng mga aktibista at hindi armadong sibilyan.

• Ipatupad ang mga rekomendasyon ni United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions Prof. Philip Alston:
a. Extrajudicial executions must be eliminated from counterinsurgency operations.
b. As Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, the President must take concrete steps to put an end to those aspects of counterinsurgency operations which have led to the targeting and execution of many individuals working with civil society organizations.
c. The necessary measures should be taken to ensure that the principle of command responsibility, as it is understood in international law, is a basis for criminal liability within the domestic legal order.
d. The Government should immediately direct all military officers to cease making public statements linking political or other civil society groups to those engaged in armed insurgencies. Any such characterizations belong solely within the power of the civilian authorities. They must be based on transparent criteria, and conform with the human rights provisions of the Constitution and relevant treaties.
e. Transparency must be introduced to the “orders of battle”, “watch lists”, and similar list of individuals and organizations maintained by the AFP, PNP, and other elements of the national security system. While their contents might justifiably be considered secret, which lists exist, their purposes, the criteria for inclusion, and the number of names on each should be made public.
• Dapat na kagyat na buwagin ni P-Noy ang mga paramilitar na grupo tulad ng CAFGU, CAA at CVO, i-dismiss ang mga opisyal ng militar na sangkot sa mga extrajudicial executions, ibasura ang counter-insurgency plan “Oplan Bantay Laya,” at papanagutin si GMA at ang mga sangkot dito.

Sa loob lamang ng ilang linggong panunugkulan ni P-Noy, rumagasang muli ang pagpapatupad ng Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL) ng mga hibang na militar. Nagbigay itong muli ng go signal sa iba pang masamang elementong hawak ng mga warlords na maghasik ng pamamaslang at karahasan sa hanay ng hindi armadong sibilyan tulad ng mga guro at mga mamamahayag.

Hindi isinaisantabi ng ACT ang posibilidad na ang pagpaslang sa mga gurong sina Mark Francisco ng San Isidro Elementary School sa Palanas, Masbate, Edgar Fernandez ng Roco C. Pahis Sr. Central School sa Masbate City at Josephine Estacio ng Tenejero Elementary School sa Balanga, Bataan ay bahagi ng hibang na kontra-ensuruhensyang programa ng militar na Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL). Dalawang bagay ang nagpapalakas sa posibilidad na ito:
1. Ang estilo ng mga pagpatay sa mga gurong ito ay tulad ng mga pagpaslang sa mga aktibistang target ng OBL ng military – in broad daylight at mga perpetrators na naka-bonnet, naka-camouflage na uniporme at naka-motorsiklo.
2. Ang ACT ay isa sa mga ligal na progresibong organisasyon na patuloy na pinararatangang prenteng organisasyon ng rebolusyonaryong kilusan at isinasailalim sa matinding vilification campaign, harassment at pagpaslang.
• Ang mga gurong sina Napoleon Pornasdoro at Vitoria Samonte na kapwa National Council member ng ACT ay kapwa biktima ng extra-judicial killings sa ilalim ng OBL ng militar.
• Ang ACT TEACHERS Partylist chairperson at National Artist Prof.Bienvenido Lumbera ay isinailalim ng paniniktik ng militar noong nakaraang taon at ang mga militar na may pakana ng paniniktik ay di pa rin pinaparusahan.

Sinabi ni Prof. Philip Alston sa kanyang final report sa UN na “The military is in a state of denial concerning the numerous extrajudicial executions in which its soldiers are implicated.”

Hindi dapat gumaya si P-Noy sa kanyang militar at sa nakaraang rehimeng GMA sa kanilang “State of denial.”

Kung totoo si P-Noy sa pagsasabing “…dito magwawakas ang pamumunong manhid sa mga daing ng taumbayan,” kailangan niyang gumawa ng mga mga kongkretong hakbang sa mga panawagan ng taumbayan.

Kung gusto ni P-Noy ng tunay na pagbabago, dapat niyang aksyunan ang adyenda sa edukasyon at adyenda ng iba pang sektor ng ating lipunan.

Ipaglaban at kamtin ang tunay na diwa ng pagbabago na hangad ng sambayanan!
Ang guro ng bayan, patuloy sa paglaban!




ALLIANCE OF CONCERNED TEACHERS
2/F Teachers’ Center, Mines St. cor. Dipolog St., Bgy. VASRA, Quezon City, Philippines
Telefax: 453-9116 Mobile: 09178502124; 0920-9220817 Email: act_philippines@yahoo.com Website: www.actphils.com
Member, Education International

 

     
     
     
           
     
     
     
The People's SONA
     
           

 

PRESS RELEASE -- July 26, 2010
Ref: France Castro, Secretary General (Mobile No. 09178502124)

Militant teachers to P-Noy: Walk your talk, ACT NOW!

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) joins the thousands of people’s and cause oriented groups who will march the streets today, to call on to P-Noy to heed and take concrete actions on the demands of teachers and of the people.

“The teachers have heard enough of what President Benigno Aquino III wants to do during his campaign and inaugural speeches. The people are now demanding that these words are transformed into concrete actions! The peoples’ demands should be addressed, and P-Noy should now ‘walk his talk’,” said ACT Secretary General France Castro.

Castro slammed P-Noy’s previous populist tactics and motherhood statements which does not really address the basic issues of the people, but instead merely diverted the public’s attention from the core problems. “This is not what we expect from him.” Castro deplored. “The teachers and the people have suffered long enough under the previous president. It’s now time for P-Noy to carry out our demands and allow us reprieve from the oppressive policies of the government.”

The militant teachers’ Alliance listed immediate and concrete demands to address the needs of the teachers, education workers, and students, which included raising the teachers’ salaries and filling the shortages required for quality education, and dealing with the teachers’ problems involving the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS). The teachers also called on P-Noy to stop the killings of activists and unarmed civilians; to free all political detainees; and to render justice for all victims of human rights violations.

“We expect that P-Noy will give, in his first State of the Nation Address (SONA), marching orders that will concretely address the demands of the people, if he is to show his sincerity in bringing about

change in the government.” Castro added.


To the President, Castro said: “Enough of the promises, P-Noy. It’s time to ACT NOW!”###

     
      Anakpawis Rep. Rafael Mariano
     
Gabriela Rep. Emmi de Jesus, ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio, Gabriela Rep. Luz Ilagan, Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño, Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares and Kabataan Rep. Mong Palatino
     

 

KARAPATAN to PNoy: “Stop the killings Now! Scrap the OBL and don’t embark on another counter-insurgency program”
Submitted on Thu, 07/15/2010 - 12:00

“It is still the same military in denial mode speaking on the current spate of extrajudicial killings going on in the country,” Marie Hilao-Enriquez, chairperson of the human rights group Karapatan, said, of AFP spokesman Brigadier General Jose Mabanta’s blanket denial of the AFP’s involvement in the said cases.

Karapatan has put the blame of these killings squarely on P-Noy’s hands, as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, especially in the light of the President’s NON-issuance of a categorical statement to the AFP to putting a stop to the extrajudicial killings, which the group says, is a license to the AFP to commit more of the same.

“We reiterate that it is not enough to be talking of human rights in the pursuit of counter-insurgency programs; it is our bitter experience that once counter-insurgency programs are implemented, violations of human rights are resultant features in the execution of such programs. Even as supposed ‘development programs’ or ‘civil-military operations or CMO’ are supposedly incorporated in such programs such as what the government did in Oplan Makabayan of the Estrada administration, the results are the same: civilians are the ones who bear the brunt of human rights violations. Oplan Bantay Laya is the worst and most brutal of these campaigns as it specifically targets legal organizations and personages resulting to a staggering body count and brazen impunity in nine years of the Arroyo regime and it is still in place,” explained an exasperated Enriquez.

Counter-insurgency (COIN) is a program directly imposed by the American Government since its aggression in the country in the early 1900’s. All COIN programs of all administrations are thus recycled COIN programs meant to silence the people’s resistance to break free from poverty resulting from government policies that benefit not the Filipino people but those of foreign, especially American, interests. OBL, the latest COIN, is anchored on the ‘war on terror’ by the US Bush government and highly supported by GMA that benefited only the Bush regime and GMA herself. Thus, the victims of OBL are now labeled as “terrorists or communist-terrorists” or supposed supporters of such. It leaves thousands of killed, tortured, illegally arrested and hundreds of thousands displaced Filipino victims in its wake and brazen impunity among its perpetrators who remain unpunished up to this day.

“Department of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima is correct. There is no doubt that the AFP is still behind the series of political killings, and that the counter-insurgency program Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL) is the operational plan behind it,” the Karapatan chairperson said. “The military has the motive and the resources to implement the attacks against progressive and unarmed individuals, which they have done so in the past nine years under the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo administration.”

Since the implementation of the OBL, activists and civil libertarians are targeted by the military intelligence units for target research, which involves casing or surveillance, and “neutralization” or “liquidation”. Leaders and members of people’s organizations have been vilified and accused as communists or communist fronts by the military to lay the ground for liquidation and to justify the killings.

“As long as Oplan Bantay Laya is a state security policy, political killings remain a state policy. If indeed President Noynoy Aquino says that extrajudicial killing is not a policy of his administration, then he must scrap the OBL and desist from embarking on a counter-insurgency program to supposedly defeat the insurgency, as what his predecessors did, only to end up fueling more fire into the problem they vowed to end. I hope he learns his lessons well and heed our calls for him to disallow the penchant for embarking on counter-insurgency programs that only victimize the poorest sections of the Filipino people who need most the government’s protection and nurturing.

Enriquez reminded President Aquino of the findings of United Nations Special Rapporteur Philip Alston on extrajudicial killings in the Philippines, which concluded that it is the military’s counter-insurgency operations that resulted to the killings of leftist activists. “We challenge the government to show its sincerity in ending the killings, impunity and the military’s atrocities, and to implement Alston’s recommendations,” Enriquez added.

Karapatan noted that the president has yet to categorically issue an order to scrap the U.S.-inspired counter-insurgency program, OBL. “Unless P-Noy announces the scrapping of the OBL and desist from implementing similar military campaigns, the killings and impunity will continue,” concluded Enriquez.

Karapatan believes that the insurgency can only be ended by meaningfully and substantively addressing the root causes of poverty and rebellion; NOT resorting to military solution! ###
 

Bayan NCR Chair Roy Velez
KMP Secretary General Danilo Ramos
Karapatan Chair Marie Hilao-Enriquez
           
     
     
     
     
     
  People's March on Commonwealth Avenue
     
     
           

 

PRESS STATEMENT
26 July, 2010
Reference :
Lorena ‘Aya’ Santos, Dep. Secretary General, Desaparecidos (Mobile no. 0929.4414270)
Evangeline Hernandez, Convener, Victims of the Arroyo Regime for Justice (Mobile no. 09158562151)
Telefax 4342837

On Pres. Noynoy’s 1st SONA
PNoy’s ACTION must speak louder than his WORDS

Families of victims of human rights violations hopes to not only hear from today’s State of the Nation Address of President Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III that he will prosecute and punish perpetrators of human rights violations led by Gloria Arroyo, the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police, but for him to actually DO it.

The bloodshed caused by their anti-insurgency policy Oplan Bantay Laya should not be set aside it must be seriously dealt with.

For more than nine years of non-stop and systematic repression, the Filipino people suffered more than pain. Parents lost their children to violent deaths like that of Cris Hugo, 20, a student activist who was shot dead in Albay on March 2006, Rei Mon “Ambo” Guran another student activist, 21, who was also shot this time in Sorsogon four months after the death of Cris; Beng Hernandez, human rights defender and student journalist, massacred together with three other human rights workers in Arakan Valley, North Cotabato on April 2002 and Grace Buya, a mere 12 year old elementary student who was just going to take a bath by a river but was killed by soldiers on March 2007; and to cover up for their crime took a picture of her beside a M16 rifle and thereafter declared her a child soldier.

Moreover, children were orphaned because their parents were considered enemies of the state by virtue of the pro-people causes they upheld. Eden Marcellana left behind, husband Orly a peasant leader and her two daughters after she was murdered together with Eddie Gumanoy by elements of the 204th IBde in Gloria, Mindoro Oriental in April 21, 2003 while the year before that saw the killing of husband and wife Expedito and Manuelita Albarillo also in Mindoro Oriental, both Bayan Muna and Gabriela coordinators of their town in San Teodoro. They left behind several children and grandchildren.

Many parents are still not without hope and are continuously searching for their children – Edith Burgos, Oscar and Connie Empeño, Asher and Linda Cadapan have brought their cases before courts after failing to have military camps fully accessible to them; hoping that they would find Jonas, Karen and Sherlyn. Children too are longing to see their missing mothers and fathers – Aya Santos, Ipe Soco, Nuki Calubid, Sugar and Lisa Calubad; where could have elements of the AFP and the PNP brought Leo Velasco, Gloria Soco, Celina Palma, Prudencio Calubid, Gabriel and Rogelio Calubad? They are only a few of the thousands of families still yearning for justice.

It is unfortunate that a few days into PNoy’s presidency Fernando Baldomero of Bayan Muna and Makabayan from Panay and Pascual Guevara, a peasant leader from Nueva Ecija would be killed by state-agents. President Noynoy has shown that his inauguration statement about prohibiting the Wang Wang can put the necessary sectors into action, why can’t he order a stop to the killings and enforced disappearances?

If after this, the President will remain indifferent to the suffering of families of human rights violations; should his words today be mere lipservice, then he has carved out his own figure before us, a mere illusion maker; someone who will be no different from his predecessor.

Now that PNoy is president his actions must speak louder than his words. The people hungry for justice want nothing less from him.

Justice for all human rights violations victims now! ###
 

     
     
           
     
     
           

 

Kagyat at Matagalang Panawagan ng mga Manggagawa sa Gobyernong Aquino

Hulyo 2010

Kilusang Mayo Uno

Sa loob ng mahigit siyam na taong paghahari ng rehimen ni Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, dumanas ang mga manggagawa at mamamayang Pilipino ng walang kaparis na pagsasamantala at pag-atake. Lalong binarat ang sahod, dinurog ang kaseguruhan sa trabaho, at ibayong inatake ang kilusang paggawa. Bahagi ang lahat ng ito ng komprehensibong atakeng neoliberal sa mga manggagawa at mamamayan – na kaakibat naman ng buong patakarang neoliberal na liberalisasyon, pribatisasyon at deregulasyon. Nangahulugan ito ng ibayong kahirapan at kagutuman sa hanay ng mga manggagawa at mamamayang Pilipino.

Ngayon, sa pagkakatanggal ng rehimeng Arroyo at pagpasok ng bagong gobyerno ni Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, napakaigting ng paghahangad ng mga manggagawa at mamamayan para sa kagyat na ginhawa, kagyat na mga reporma. Tampok dito ang pagpaparusa kay Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo at kanyang mga susing kasapakat para sa ibayong pagpapahirap at paggutom sa mga manggagawa at mamamayan. Kagyat na bahagi nito ang pagbawi sa tunay na halaga ng sahod, pagtatanggol sa kaseguruhan sa trabaho laban sa malaganap na kontraktwalisasyon at kaswalisasyon, at pagtigil sa pasistang atake sa mga manggagawa at kilusang paggawa. Bahagi rin nito ang malalaking reporma na matagal nang iginigiit ng mga manggagawa at mamamayan – tampok ang patatakwil sa pagsunod sa mga neoliberal na patakarang malinaw na kontra-manggagawa at kontra-mamamayan.

(see attachment for full Workers' Agenda)

           
     
     
           

 

SONA 2010
Workers warn Aquino against ‘sins of omission’ in SONA

“Tell the truth. Tell the whole truth. And tell us what you plan to do about it.”

This is labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno’s reaction to Malacañang’s statements that President Noynoy Aquino’s state of the nation speech will be “educational” and will tell the truth about the state of the government.

“We hope President Aquino tells the whole truth and not just one part of it. We hope he tells the truth about the plight of the Filipino people, especially the poor, the farmers and workers. We hope he doesn’t commit sins of omission on these issues,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.

“And we certainly hope he declares in his first SONA what he plans to do to address our plight and calls. We want to hear pro-poor plans of action in his SONA,” he added.

KMU has been calling for a legislated P125 across the board wage hike since the term of former President Joseph Estrada to regain the real value of wages. After two presidents ignored the call, KMU says workers badly need the increase now.

“Support for a substantial and legislated wage increase – that is at the least what workers want to hear from President Aquino in his first SONA. After more than nine years of stagnant wages amid skyrocketing prices and profits, we want nothing less,” said Labog.

KMU noted that Aquino left out the issue of wage hike in his inaugural address. “Workers are giving the President another chance in his SONA to address the state of wages. It’s also his chance to prove that he’s not beholden to the anti-wage hike CEOs surrounding him.”

New taxes? Worried by Malacañang statements

The labor leader said workers and poor people are “getting worried” with officials in the Aquino cabinet saying the president will disclose the sorry state of government coffers, believing that this may be a prelude to increases in the people’s tax burden.

“We are worried by these statements. Is this a prelude to asking the Filipino workers and people’s ‘help’ in the form of increasing taxes? We have seen this in the past, under the Arroyo regime, where the government made a spectacle out of the government’s lack of funds only to legitimize higher taxes,” Labog added.

Reference: Elmer Labog, KMU Chairperson, 0908-163-6597 / 0919-416-3451

__________________________________________________________________

Obrero kay Aquino: Dagdag-sahod, huwag kaligtaan

“Sabihin mo ang katotohanan, ang buong katotohanan. Tapos sabihin mo kung ano ang plano mong gawin.”

Ito ang reaksyon ng sentrong unyong Kilusang Mayo Uno sa mga pahayag ng Malakanyang na magiging “educational” ang unang SONA ni Pangulong Noynoy Aquino at isisiwalat nito ang lagay ng gobyerno.

“Dapat sabihin ni Presidente Aquino ang buong katotohanan at hindi lang ang isang bahagi nito. Dapat ilahad niya ang katotohanan tungkol sa lagay ng mga mamamayang Pilipino, lalo na ng maralita, ng mga magsasaka at manggagawa. Sana huwag niyang kaligtaan ang mga isyu namin,” ani Elmer “Bong” Labog, chairperson ng KMU.

“At sana ideklara niya sa unang SONA niya kung ano ang plano niya para tugunan ang kalagayan at mga panawagan namin. Gusto naming makarinig ng plano ng pagkilos na maka-mahirap sa SONA,” dagdag niya.

Simula sa termino ni dating Pangulong Joseph Estrada, nanawagan ang KMU na isabatas ang P125 dagdag-sahod across the board para ihabol ang tunay na halaga ng sahod. Matapos hindi pansinin ng dalawang pangulo ang panawagan, ayon sa KMU, kailangang ngayon na magkaroon ng pagtaas.

“Suporta sa pagsasabatas ng makabuluhang dagdag-sahod – ito sa minimum ang gustong marinig ng mga manggagawa kay Presidente Aquino sa una niyang SONA. Matapos ang mahigit siyam na taon ng bansot na sahod sa gitna ng nagtataasang presyo at tubo, ito ang gusto namin,” sabi ni Labog.

Ayon sa KMU, hindi binanggit ni Aquino ang dagdag-sahod sa kanyang inagurasyon. “Binibigyan ng mga manggagawa ng isa pang pagkakataon ang Pangulo sa kanyang SONA para tumugon sa lagay ng sahod. Pagkakataon din niyang patunayang hindi siya kontrolado ng mga kontra-dagdag-sahod na mga CEO na nakapaligid sa kanya.”

Bagong buwis?

Ayon sa lider-manggagawa, “nababahala” ang mga manggagawa at maralita sa mga pahayag ng mga opisyal sa gabineteng Aquino na ilalahad ng pangulo ang lagay ng pondo ng gobyerno. Aniya, posibleng pasakalye ito sa pagtaas ng buwis na sinisingil sa mga mamamayan.

“Nababahala kami ng mga pahayag na ito. Pasakalye ba ito sa paghingi ng ‘tulong’ sa mga manggagawa at mamamayan sa porma ng pagtataas ng buwis? Nakita na natin ito sa nakaraan, sa rehimeng Arroyo, kung saan ipinakita ng gobyerno ang kawalan ng pondo para bigyang-katwiran ang pagtataas ng buwis,” ani Labog.

Reference: Elmer Labog, KMU Chairperson, 0908-163-6597 / 0919-416-3451
 

     
     
     
           
     
           
           

 

KMU to Noy: Shock us by ordering Arroyo’s prosecution
Date:  24 July 2010
Reference Person:  Elmer "Bong" Labog, KMU chairperson
Contact information:  0908-163-6597

“You want to shock us? Order Gloria Arroyo’s immediate prosecution in your SONA.”

This was labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno’s reaction to President Noynoy Aquino’s statement that the people will be “shocked” by what is left of the government coffers, saying what matters at this point is his administration’s concrete action to punish the “primary thief.”

“It’s essentially pointless for President Aquino to enumerate more anomalies made by Gloria Arroyo when the former president enjoys a comfortable seat in the plenary hall. It would be more shocking if Aquino will categorically order Arroyo’s prosecution right in front of her,” said KMU chairperson Elmer “Bong” Labog.

“That would perhaps be the most shocking State of the Nation Address in the entire history of this country – and for a good reason, since Arroyo’s is the most shocking regime in recent history,” he added.

The labor leader said Filipino workers and the people have long been been shocked by Arroyo’s rampant corruption, wave of extra-judicial killings and brazen disregard for the poor under her regime.

“Aquino should instead do the next logical step towards justice and that is prosecution. If he fails to announce concrete steps for the prosecution of Arroyo, his expose’s will be seen as an attempt to evade taking concrete action while maintaining an anti-Arroyo posture,” Labog said.

Punish Palparan for a change

KMU said workers also urge Aquino to order the prosecution of notorious military officers linked to activist killings, including the “butcher” Jovito Palparan.

“In 2006, Arroyo praised Palparan in her SONA speech for waging a bloody war against activists and ordinary citizens. Workers are now hoping Aquino will utter the exact opposite for a change. He should order Palparan’s prosecution lest he be accused of perpetuating injustice,” Labog said.

Push for wage hikes, land reform

The labor group said Monday’s state of the nation address will be an opportunity for Aquino to announce priority measures in Congress. “President Aquino should categorically push for the legislation of pro-people measures including a significant wage hike and the implementation of genuine land reform.”

KMU has been pushing for the legislation of a P125-nationwide wage hike, a call ignored by two previous regimes in the span of 11 years. The demand is now contained in House Bill 375 filed by Anakpawis Party-list Rep. Rafael “Ka Paeng” Mariano.

“Should he fail to mention any of the people’s demands long addressed to him, now that the clamor for change is very strong, Aquino would be hinting at another six years of impoverishment and injustice,” Labog ended.


 

     
     
           
     
     
           

 

Workers warn Aquino against ‘sins of omission’ in SONA
Date: 26 July 2010
Reference Person: Elmer "Bong" Labog, KMU chairperson
Contact information: 0908-163-6597

“Tell the truth. Tell the whole truth. And tell us what you plan to do about it.”

This is labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno’s reaction to Malacañang’s statements that President Noynoy Aquino’s state of the nation speech will be “educational” and will tell the truth about the state of the government.

“We hope President Aquino tells the whole truth and not just one part of it. We hope he tells the truth about the plight of the Filipino people, especially the poor, the farmers and workers. We hope he doesn’t commit sins of omission on these issues,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.

“And we certainly hope he declares in his first SONA what he plans to do to address our plight and calls. We want to hear pro-poor plans of action in his SONA,” he added.

KMU has been calling for a legislated P125 across the board wage hike since the term of former President Joseph Estrada to regain the real value of wages. After two presidents ignored the call, KMU says workers badly need the increase now.

“Support for a substantial and legislated wage increase – that is at the least what workers want to hear from President Aquino in his first SONA. After more than nine years of stagnant wages amid skyrocketing prices and profits, we want nothing less,” said Labog.

KMU noted that Aquino left out the issue of wage hike in his inaugural address. “Workers are giving the President another chance in his SONA to address the state of wages. It’s also his chance to prove that he’s not beholden to the anti-wage hike CEOs surrounding him.”

New taxes? Worried by Malacañang statements

The labor leader said workers and poor people are “getting worried” with officials in the Aquino cabinet saying the president will disclose the sorry state of government coffers, believing that this may be a prelude to increases in the people’s tax burden.

“We are worried by these statements. Is this a prelude to asking the Filipino workers and people’s ‘help’ in the form of increasing taxes? We have seen this in the past, under the Arroyo regime, where the government made a spectacle out of the government’s lack of funds only to legitimize higher taxes,” Labog added.

           
     
     
     
           

 

BAGONG ALYANSANG MAKABAYAN
SOUTHERN TAGALOG
bayanst@gmail.com
PRESS RELEASE
July 26, 2010
Reference Person:
Andrianne Mark Ng (09993696639)
Deputy Secretary General, BAYAN-Southern Tagalog

PEOPLE’S SONA 2010
Southern Tagalog’s challenge to Noynoy:

“End Arroyo’s legacy of crime, corruption! Uphold the People’s Agenda!”

“We do not want another administration such as Gloria’s that will neglect the welfare of the Filipino people.”

Andrianne Mark Ng, Deputy Secretary General of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN-ST) stressed this statement as the People’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) kicked-off 7AM today at Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City. The two-thousand throng contingent from Southern Tagalog staged a torch march from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) up to Batasang Pambansa in what they dub as the “People’s Agenda Caravan”.

Yesterday, the various militant groups from the region kicked of a caravan via-San Pablo City, Laguna to the National Capital Region to challenge the new administration to immediately address and prioritize the People’s 10-Point Agenda, a collection of omnibus demands that primarily includes the prosecutions of Gloria Arroyo’s crimes, genuine land reform, wage hike, higher subsidy for social services such as education and health, and scrapping of anti-people laws and agreements such as the Visitng Forces Agreement, JPEPA and Mining Act of 1995 among others.

“Last night, on our way to DAR, we had the experience of being harassed by members of the Quezon City Police Department,” Ng stated. He narrated the contingents’ encounter 7PM yesterday when around 5 police mobiles barred their vehicles for more than two hours and around a dozen armed policemen violently harassed them in front of the Eastwood Fire Sub Station for no concrete basis. “We value our right to air our grievances to what is happening to our country, yet what we have encountered last night remind us of how the Arroyo administration always respond to us with nothing else but state violence. Will this be Noynoy’s way too?” he stated.

Under the Arroyo regime, around 1,120 victims of extrajudicial killings including the brutal murder of leaders in the region such as Eden Marcellana, KARAPATAN-ST Secretary General and Eddie Gumanoy, chairperson of Katipunan ng mga Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan (KASAMA-TK) while 204 are victims of enforced disappearances. “Arroyo’s counter-insurgency plan of Oplan Bantay Laya 1 and 2 have marked the human rights abuse and death of the people at the forefront of our democratic struggle and yet all these cases remain unresolved and the culture of impunity still prevails,” Glen Malabanan, KARAPATAN-ST Deputy Secretary General said.

“We then urge the Noynoy administration, if he doesn’t want a bloody record such as Arroyo’s, to immediately junk these military programs to end the root cause of the killings we still see today.” Malabanan said pertaining to the current situation wherein in a span of 2 weeks, five activists from around the country have already been killed. She also stressed the 56 political prisoners most of which are from the 43 health workers are still illegally arrested and detained by military authorities.

Aside from Arroyo’s grim human rights record, the militant groups push Arroyo and her cohorts to be jailed for their crimes of corruption such as $329 million NBN-ZTE Scandal, P728 million fertilizer fund scam and P128 billion coco levy fund scam as well as the Hello Garci Scandal. “If Noynoy boasts of presenting problems that we have inherited from Arroyo’s administration, we already know those problems. What we need now are not rhetorics but concrete actions such as justice that can only be attained if Arroyo and her cohorts are behind bars,” Ng said.

Major points in the people’s agenda also include the pursuance of genuine agrarian reform and the scrapping of the Comprehensive Agrarian Refrom Program with Extension Reforms which the peasant group KASAMA-TK termed as mechanisms that only maintain the ownership of agricultural land to landlords that thereby creating conditions for peasant abuse and exploitation. “If this administration is indeed serious in genuine change, it must first give the lands to its rightful owners – the peasants who have toiled and even died fighting for their right to ownership,” Axel Pinpin, Secretary General of KASAMA-TK said. He mentioned the recent land dispute incidents such as last May 21 in Hacienda Yulo, Brgy. Canlubang, Calamba City, Laguna where 11 peasants where violently dispersed and illegaly arrested by Yulo-clan henchmen, police and military groups. In a similar incident during the 1st week of Aquino’s inauguration, the peasant protest camp in Mendiola Bridge was violently dispersed where at least 40 demonstrators where illegaly arrested.

“We haven’t forgetten the Aquino-Cojuanco clan’s sins to our fellow peasants – the merciless Mendiola and Hacienda Luisita massacres are clear examples that they will stop at nothing to protect their class-interest. The peasants will not tolerate a Haciendero Republic this time around,” Pinpin added.

“Aquino must seriously pursue the 10-point People’s Agenda, it is the only true daang matuwid he should take to ensure that he will not follow Arroyo’s footsteps,” Ng stressed.

For more details contact Roge 09272421508 or Tin 09291342394
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26 July 2010
PRESS RELEASE:
Reference: Garry Martinez, Chairperson, 09393914418

Migrante to P- Noy on 1st SONA
Stop forced migration, create jobs at home

Migrante International, an alliance of overseas Filipino workers, families and advocates worldwide, today called on President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino to make good his promise of stopping forced migration by generating more local jobs.

"Our people are being forced to go abroad out of desperation," said Garry Martinez, chairperson of Migrante International.

Martinez said that there are currently 11 million OFWs and an estimated 3,800 leaving the country at a daily rate. The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) recorded 1.9 million OFWs in 2009 alone.

"The economy's lack of development resulting in job loss at home is the root cause. It is a sad consequence when our labor force is uprooted from their families, forced to endure unfair labor practices and abuses, and in some cases, suffer injury and death, in exchange for cheap labor because of government failure to address poverty and unemployment," he said.

OFW remittances have kept the economy afloat amid fiscal deficit and the global economic crisis. Remittances have reached record-high levels at $1.6 billion last May.

"But while the national economy benefits from OFW remittances, the surge has unfortunately made it convenient for the government to skirt around curbing poverty and creating decent jobs at home," Martinez said.

He said, " Aquino should decisively deviate from the past Arroyo administration's labor export policy and focus instead on developing the national economy."

OFWs should be top priority

Martinez said that forced migration has induced grave problems such as illegal recruitment, human trafficking, modern-day slavery, discrimination and immigration crackdowns, leaving in their wake thousands of OFWs in death row, jailed or stranded overseas.

Migrante has recorded 1,665 cases of human trafficking from 2003 to 2009, with women and children as the most common victims of white slavery and forced labor. Meanwhile, there are currently 102 cases of OFWs in death row, of which 66 are from China and 26 from the Middle East; while 226 are stranded and languishing in Filipino shelters in the Middle East, Somalia and Taiwan.

"There are also thousands in jails abroad who are enduring the most deplorable and cruel of conditions and lacking much-needed support from the DFA, Philippine embassies and consulates." Of present, he said, they have recorded at least six OFWs from the Middle East Region whose remains are yet to be sent back home.

"Unfortunately, in the past, the government had failed to provide assistance, welfare and protection to OFWs. Agencies such as the DFA, POEA, OWWA and their representatives in Philippine embassies and consulates abroad have been subject to numerous complaints from OFWs and their families," said Martinez.

Instead, he said, they have but figured in numerous cases of corruption and accused of imposing exorbitant state exactions and conniving with big illegal recruitment syndicates.

"Urgent actions are needed. OFWs should be of topmost national priority in the Aquino administration," he said.

Investigate Romulo, OWWA funds

"The re-appointment of Sec. Alberto Romulo in the DFA, for one, offers dim hopes for OFWs. We hope that it does not entail the continuation of the status quo."

He asked Aquino to immediately investigate Romulo in the DFA's anomalous e-passport contract, which has gained ire anew from OFWs after the imposition of steeper e-passport in the country and abroad.

Martinez also called on Aquino to "audit and investigate" where the OWWA (Overseas Workers Welfare Agency) funds have gone.

The OWWA manages funds coming from $25 contributions per contract of each OFW. OWWA funds are said to have reached P12 billion in 2010. OFWs, however, say that the funds they contributed do not trickle down to much-needed welfare service from the OWWA. For instance, in 2005, of the 5,168 OFWs jailed, about 900 were denied services by the OWWA.

Migrante International joined other sectors in today's People's SONA rally with an internationally-coordinated action with its chapters abroad. ###
-
http://migrantecampaign.ning.com
http://migranteinternational.org
#10 Banuyo St.Brgy.Amihan, Project 3, Quezon City

Telefax: 9114910

     
     
     
           
     
           

 

National Union of Students of the Philippines
National Office Office of the Student Regent, Vinzons Hall, UP Diliman, QC Telephone 9818500 loc. 4511 or 4512

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 26, 2010

Youth groups ‘awaken’ P-Noy with jog-protest on Times St.

On the day of President Aquino’s first State of the Nation Address (SONA), youth groups early today hit his house on Times Street to ‘awaken’ him to enact concrete actions for the youth and people’s demands.

“The youth are both excited and anxious today as President Aquino is set to deliver his first SONA. Our jog-protest early this morning aims to awaken Aquino to stop making trite promises and instead execute concrete measures to address the urgent demands of the youth the people,” said Einstein Recedes, NUSP national president.

According to Recedes, among the youth and people’s demands hurled at Aquino are the prosecution of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and the immediate resolving of the education crisis and woes of other basic sectors.

“We’ve been constantly hearing his avowed commitment to pursue GMA for her crimes to the people. We now want to hear from him the definite steps his administration will take in realizing that. Equally important are the urgent social reforms he has to incite. With regards to the youth, we demand sufficient budget allocation to education, the freezing of tuition and other fee hikes, and the upholding of democratic rights in schools nationwide, whether public or private,” he said.

Palace spokespersons last week said that Aquino’s SONA speech would ‘shock’ the people for its expose of anomalies done by the past administration.

“At this point, the people do need to be shocked. What we need now is relief, relief from the damages done the Arroyo government. Since President Aquino took power, we have yet experienced relief. Hopefully in his SONA, he provide tangible solutions to the deep-seated problems of our society,” Recedes said.

Groups from the basic sectors will stage an ‘alternative SONA’ near Congress where Aquino will deliver his speech. Recedes said that thousands of youth are geared up to join the alternative SONA to exert force unto Aquino to heed the people’s demands.

“Based on the statements and actions of President Aquino so far, the youth do not harbor any illusions that with a single stroke of magic he will put an end to our pressing issues. Aquino has already disappointed many with various happenings days after he took his oath. Salient among them are the continued killings of activists and the fact that he has not yet don’t anything substantial to satiate the burning needs of the people,” he said.

“Therein lies the importance of the youth and the people going out to pressure and challenge President Aquino. The protesting people are the clear reminder that Aquino should be accountable to us. That if he does not heed our democratic demands, we won’t think twice in giving him the same amount of militancy we gave Arroyo, or even more,” Recedes said.

References:
Einstein Recedes, NUSP national president, 09156469177
Bugsy Nolasco, NUSP media officer, 09163597601
 

     
           
     
           
           

 

 FOR IMMEDIAT E RELEASE
July 26, 2010

What the youth wants to hear on P-Noy's 1st SONA
Stop the killings, re-channel counter-insurgency funds to education

"Funds for counter-insurgency would be put to better use if re-directed to address the education crisis."

This was the statement of Kabataan Partylist Rep. Raymond Palatino in anticipation of President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino's first State of the Nation Address (SONA) today.

"Aquino can hit two birds with one stone by allotting funds for the intensification of the government's counter-insurgency campaign to the education sector instead," he said.

Armed Forces Chief of Staff Ricardo David Jr. had earlier declared to end counter-insugency in three years and Aquino vowed to provide the military all necessities in order to achieve its goal. Aquino, however, had so far not made any categorical commitment to increase the budget for education.

Palatino said that to increase funds for counter-insurgency was tantamount to tolerating and condoning further extra-judicial killings instead of resolutely putting a stop to them. "It sets a deadly encouragement to the military that the past Arroyo administration's policy of extra-judicial killings and human rights violations against perceived 'enemies of the state' is still a go."

He said that the funds for counter-insurgency could be used to procure additional classrooms and chairs, textbooks, laboratory facilities among others.

"As it is, the budget allotment per capita for education is much, much less than the cost of one bullet (P 11 per student: P 14 per bullet)."

He said, unfortunately, students have been "biting the bullet when it comes to the government's prioritization of militarization and counter-insurgency over education".

"Increasing budget allocation for education would also decisively put to stop yearly tuition and other fee increases. The Aquino administration should put the interest and the welfare of the youth over giving license to trigger-happy military elements to kill one activist after the other.”

The youth solon had earlier presented to the new Aquino administration the youth's agenda for education, first among them the allocation of six (6) percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) to education as prescribed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Palatino, in today's SONA proceedings, wore a sablay (graduation sash) printed with the words, "Stop tuition and other fees increases! Stop the killings!".

The sablay, according to him, signified "every youth's right to quality education and the youth's respect for human rights by calling an end extrajudicial killings".

Palatino, together with other representatives of progressive partylists, later joined thousands of youth and students who walked out of their classes to participate in the People's SONA rally. ###

Office of Rep. Raymond ‘Mong’ Palatino
Temporary Office at 3rd Floor, Main Building
House of Representatives, Batasan Complex, Quezon City

Reference:
Kabataan Party-list Rep. Mong Palatino
Mobile: 09085927099
Email: cong.mongpalatino@gmail.com

Romina Astudillo, Media Officer
Mobile: 0915-8982964
 

     
     
           
     
     
           

 

SOUTHERN TAGALOG CHAPTER
KABATAAN PARTYLIST
SOUTHERN TAGALOG
PRESS RELEASE Reference Person:
July 26, 2010 Paulo Bautista (09264586609)
Southern Tagalog Coordinator, KABATAAN Partylist
Youth sector joins People's SONA;
 

Asserts GMA's arrest, higher educ budget

After conducting the annual State of the Youth Address (SOYA) last July 23, youths from Southern Tagalog joined other sectors in staging the People's State of the Nation Address (SONA) near the House of Representatives on July 26.

Led by Kabataan Partylist, the youth sector addressed the nation regarding the current education crisis and the importance of holding former president and now Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo accountable for corruption and human rights violations during her regime. Southern Tagalog youths joined forces with other sectors during the People’s Agenda Caravan which kicked off in San Pablo City, Laguna. The caravan trooped to the Department of Agrarian Reform evening of July 25, before it united the next day with the National Capital Region delegation at Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City.

Kabataan Partylist Southern Tagalog Regional Coordinator John Paulo Bautista said that education remains to be a privilege rather than a right in the country.

“Tuition and other fees increases in different state universities and colleges (SUCs) are continuously being imposed as a result of the measly education budget allotted to fund SUCs,” Bautista said. “In the Southern Tagalog region alone, many SUCs have imposed tuition fees increases during Arroyo's term,” he added.

SUCs such as the University of the Philippines - Los Baños have increased tuition from P225 per unit to P1,000 per unit. Other SUCs in Southern Tagalog such as Eulogio “Amang” Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology (EARIST) in Cavite, Southern Luzon State University (SLSU) in Lucban and Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) which has several campuses in CALABARZON also experienced tuition fee increases. In EARIST-Cavite tuition fees increased from P15 per unit to P200 per unit while illegal exorbitant fees such as the P500 development fee were imposed. PUP saw an increased from P12 per unit to P75 per unit while SLSU-Lucban's tuition has increased from P25 per unit to P50 per unit.

“When you impose income-generating policies in SUCs, you are making education more of a commodity instead of a right. Nowadays, parents who earn minimum wage could not even afford sending their children to college. In turn, opportunities for economic growth remain to be a privilege of those who can afford college education,” said Pamela Angelie Pangahas, chairperson of the National Union of Students of the Philippines – Southern Tagalog.

In 2004, budget for education was merely 2.7% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP)--short of the recommended 6% budget allocation of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for education. Meanwhile, 11.2% of the 2004 GDP was allotted for debt servicing

“The education crisis reflects Arroyo's negligence of one of the fundamental needs of the people--most especially, the youth,” Bautista said.

Kabataan Partylist also denounced the cases of enforced disappearances and extra-judicial killings during Arroyo. “Today the youth's right to express, to organize, to assemble, and even to live are being jeopardized,” Bautista added. He recalled military mechanisms such as red-baiting and propagation of black propaganda material which happened in recent months that posed the lives of student leaders of Southern Tagalog at risk. “The bloody record of Gloria’s Oplan Bantay Laya 1 and 2 targeted even critical students only advocating their right to education,” Bautista stressed.

Meanwhile, the state of campus press freedom is dismal as campus publications are repressed, according to Roge Gonzales, chairperson of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) – Southern Tagalog. He noted the recent withholding of budget and administrative intervention in the selection of the editor-in-chief for the UPLB Perspective. “In the region, student journalists do not have the freedom to indeed write for the students – the worst case under Gloria’s regime when rebellion was filed against an editor-in-chief of PUP-Lopez in Quezon. We can see why under Arroyo’s term the brutality of the Maguindanao Massacre shook our definition of press freedom,” Gonzales said.

During Arroyo's term, youth activists such as Ramon “Bong” Ternida from Anakbayan and Rei Mon “Ambo” Guran from the League of Filipino Students while student journalists such as Benjaline Hernandez of CEGP have been victims of extra-judicial killings while UP Diliman students, Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan, remains missing since their abduction in 2006.

“Here we pose the challenge to Noynoy Aquino to create concrete changes in the educational system that Arroyo has neglected. This can only be attained through no other way but higher state subsidy,” Bautista ended.

For more details, contact Jonelle 09168785153

     
     
     
           
     
   
     
           

 

PRESS STATEMENT
July 26, 2010

Child rights group to Aquino’s 1st SONA: reverse Arroyo’s anti-children policies and programs; implement concrete agenda for children.

Today is the first State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, children’s rights advocates led by Children’s Rehabilitation Center-Southern Mindanao Regional Office (CRC-SMRO) are steadfast with its demands that the government should present a concrete programs for children.

Unlike the previous administration of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, for almost a decade of SONAs, not a single agenda for children were addressed. Filipino children were left aside and were just presented as merely tokens and object of pity. For almost a decade, children enormously suffered hunger due to poverty, socio-economic uncertainties and armed conflict situations.

For a decade of bloody regime and injustice, human rights violations for children have increased. The Arroyo regime instituted callous policies against children of the working class, poor farmers and indigenous people. The cycle of state violence perpetrated through its counter-insurgency program notoriously called Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL) 1 & 2 created a climate of fear and impunity that trampled children’s rights and dignity. Hundreds of thousands of children mostly from Moro and indigenous people were displaced because of militarization and all-out war policy. Thousands of children were orphaned just because their parents or immediate kin were killed extra-judicially by state security forces because they were critical to the anti-people and anti-environment policies and programs of the government.

The State failed to perform its obligation to protect the children at all times anywhere. Even children are not spared from the militarist attacks of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). Based on the data gathered, monitored and verified by CRC from February 2001-June 2010, about 77 children were killed due to massacres, summary executions and indiscriminate firing and/or bombings. Most of these children-victims aged 13-17 years old, many of whom are from Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), where 19 victims were documented, while 9 children-victims are from Southern Mindanao Region (SMR). But the military perpetrators quickly shifted the blame to the children-victims in order to escape from their accountabilities with 3 justifications: they’re branding children as members of armed groups/insurgents; killed children were part of “legitimate military operations”; and children-victims were merely “collateral damage”.

Children’s right to protection and safety are violated at all times, about 68 cases of threat/harassment/intimidation on children by the AFP are documented in SMR, and 56 of these happened in the highly militarized areas of Compostela Valley Province. Worst, children-victims who were branded by the military as “NPA child soldier” are vulnerable to illegal arrests/detention, torture or worst killed them. They are paraded by the military by means of exposing the children’s identity and wittingly presented to the media for AFPs propaganda purposes jeopardizing children’s best interests. CRC has accounted 82 cases of illegal arrests and detentions of children, while 59 of them were tortured physically and psychologically. High profile cases in the region includes Grecil Buya (9 years old) who was killed in New Bataan in 2007, and this year 2010, Ivy and Teri (both 15 years old; not their real names) in Monkayo, Compostela Valley, and Allen (17 years old; identity withheld) in Makilala, North Cotabato.

These cases of grave violations of children’s rights have been reported and will be continuously monitored by United Nations Secretary General to the Security Council on the Situation of Children Affected by Armed Conflict to demand the Philippine government of its state accountability in upholding the rights of every Filipino children and at all times promote their best interests as stipulated in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and the national law on children which is the Republic Act 7610.

CRC together with other child rights group, resolutely challenge the new administration of President Aquino to undo Arroyo’s despicable unchild-friendly policies and programs. We fervently appeal the president to heed the call of the people that Arroyo and her cohorts should be prosecuted for human rights violations and systematic plunder committed under her term. We fervently call on President Aquino to pursue justice for all children-victims of human rights violation and implement concrete agenda for Filipino children and protect and uphold their best interests at all times.###


FOR REFERENCE:

GIRLEY LAYAGUIN, RSW
Regional Program Director
Children’s Rehabilitation Center
Southern Mindanao Regional Office
Contact Nos. 222-5191/09273815872
visit our site at: www.crcsmro.webs.com


 

     
     
     
           
     
     
     
           

 

Weighing Aquino’s First SONA

by UP Faculty Regent Judy Taguiwalo
 

As his first SONA, I expected President Aquino to provide an overview of the directions of his administration in the coming six years.

So what are my impressions of his SONA?

The use of Filipino is a welcome change from the predominantly English SONA of the unlamented Arroyo. The addition to the list of corruption issues of the Arroyo administration through the expose of the MWSS Board of Trustees’ perks and allowances, the calamity fund mainly directed to Arroyo’s Pampanga district, the NFA rotting rice stocks and the DPWH shenanigans reinforced the fact that the nine years of Arroyo were nine years of unbridled corruption. However, government personnel would have wanted to learn more about GSIS under Winston Garcia and the extent to which employees’ contributions have been mismanaged. We are also left hanging on how he intends to prosecute Arroyo except for the statement that an EO will soon be issued on the so-called Truth Commission headed by Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Davide (yes the same Justice who swore Arroyo into office in 2001 and who accepted a UN ambassadorship from Arroyo after his retirement from the Supreme Court).

Three policy pronouncements that I find alarming:

The so-called public-private partnership which essentially means privatization of government properties and government services. Aquino merely confirms that he would be continuing the IMF-WB-WTO neo-liberal globalization prescriptions of opening up the economic to foreign and local investors whose main goal is profit maximization rather than service. This is a major source of concern for those of us advocating for more support to social services as additional provisions for education, health and other social services appear to be tied to such “partnership”.

The precondition of a ceasefire for peace talks with CPP-NPA-NDF is a pronouncement for the continuation of a military solution to a political problem.

The expansion of Philhealth coverage rather than putting in place a Universal Health Insurance proposed by concerned health practitioners and people’s organizations.

And then there are the omissions:

1. Nothing on land distribution of estates such as the Had. Luisita and Canlubang; only putting in place a National Land Use Plan.
 

2. Nothing on extrajudicial killings, forced disappearances and various human rights violations of the Arroyo administration. Nothing on political prisoners such as the Morong 43.
 

3. Nothing on the reproductive health bill and the Freedom of Information bill.

In sum, the policy pronouncements in Aquino’s first SONA do not really address the change that our country needs.

 

     
     
           
   
 
     
The contingent from Southern Tagalog
           
           

x
PRESS RELEASE Reference: Andrianne Mark Ng
July 25, 2010 Deputy Secretary General BAYAN-ST

Southern Tagalog Launches People’s Agenda Caravan

Southern Tagalog conducts a PEOPLE’S AGENDA CARAVAN on President Noynoy Aquino’s first State of the Nation Address from July 25- July 26 to showcase the different issues of Southern Tagalog and challenge the new administration to immediately address and prioritize the People’s 10-Point Agenda.


“The Arroyo administration, for nine years only caused sufferings in implementing anti-people laws and projects and neglecting the real needs of the people. It did not serve at all, rather it only worsen the situation of those from the peasant, urban poor, youth and other sectors,” said by Andrianne Mark Ng, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan Southern Tagalog (BAYAN-ST) Deputy Secretary General.
BAYAN-ST claims that wages did not increase but prices of basic commodities rises causing the increase in the overseas Filipino population. Farmers and indigenous people cannot claim their lands as their own, rather massive land grabbing and land conversion is dominant in the region causing displacement of people from peasant and urban communities. Budget for education remains insufficient and fees keeps increasing even in state universities and public schools lack classrooms, books and instructors for quality education. Healthcare service in the country is also in the line with the lack of medical facilities, equipments and personnel.
 

According to the Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights- Southern Tagalog (KARAPATAN-ST), cases of human rights violations, force disappearances and extra judicial killings still continue and worsen because of militarization in urban and rural areas. 56 political prisoners are still detained including the 43 health workers illegally arrested in Morong, Rizal. Evidences point out to suspects yet no one is found guilty, the murder of Eden Marcillana, KARAPATAN-ST Secretary General and Eddie Gumanoy, Chair of the Katipunan ng Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan, in 2003 is an example of these neglected cases.
 

“We want to challenge the new administration to push the People’s 10-Point Agenda and imprison Arroyo and her cohorts for all the corruptions they committed and sufferings they caused for nine years that is why we held a people’s agenda caravan in President Noynoy’s first SONA, he should keep his promise to abolish corruption and serve justice and give what the people needs not what landlords, like himself, and few capitalists want,” added Andrianne Ng.
 

The People’s 10-Point Agenda represents issues of different sectors and provinces of not only of Southern Tagalog but the entire country, like genuine land reform, wage hike for government employees and workers, increased budget for education, healthcare and agriculture, scrapping anti-people laws and agreements like the Visiting Forces Agreement, JPEPA, Mining Act of 1995, IPRA and EPIRA Law, Oil Deregulation Law, CARPER, etc.

For more inquiries contact Phot at 09993696639 or Tin at 09291342394
 

     
           
     
     
     
     
           

 

BAGONG ALYANSANG MAKABAYAN
Southern Tagalog
email: bayanst@gmail.com

PRESS RELEASE Reference: Andrianne Mark Ng
July 23, 2010 Deputy Secretary General, BAYAN-ST
 

BAYAN-ST attends national press con to reaffirm stand to push the people’s 10-point agenda

To reaffirm their stand to challenge the new administration to address immediately and prioritize the People’s 10-Point Agenda, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan- Southern Tagalog (BAYAN-ST) and the Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights- Southern Tagalog (KARAPATAN-ST) attended the National Press Conference held at Bagong Alyansang Makabayan Office.

To showcase the different issues of Southern Tagalog the Aquino administration should attend to, various sectors and provinces will conduct a people’s rally in the form of a FLOAT CARAVAN on President Noynoy Aquino’s first State of the Nation Address from July 25- July 26.

“We want to challenge President Noynoy to push the People’s 10-Point Agenda and we want him to imprison Arroyo and her cohorts for the sufferings they caused for nine years that is why we are going to hold a people’s caravan in Noynoy’s first SONA. This people’s caravan will feature different floats depicting local mass struggles, sectoral and provincial issues and problems the new administration should address immediately,” said Andrianne Mark Ng, Deputy Secretary General of BAYAN-ST.

The 10-Point Agenda includes issues of different sectors and provinces of Southern Tagalog, like genuine land reform, wage hike for government employees and workers, increased budget for education, healthcare and agriculture, scrapping anti-people laws and agreements like the Visiting Forces Agreement, JPEPA, Mining Act of 1995, IPRA and IPERA Law, Oil Deregulation Law, CARPER, etc.

For more inquiries contact Phot at 09993696639 or Glen at 09217420036
 

     
           
     
     
     

 

BAGONG ALYANSANG MAKABAYAN
SOUTHERN TAGALOG
bayanst@gmail.com

PRESS RELEASE
July 26, 2010
Reference Person:
Andrianne Mark Ng (09993696639)
Deputy Secretary General, BAYAN-Southern Tagalog

PEOPLE’S SONA 2010
Southern Tagalog’s challenge to Noynoy:
 

“End Arroyo’s legacy of crime, corruption! Uphold the People’s Agenda!”

“We do not want another administration such as Gloria’s that will neglect the welfare of the Filipino people.”

Andrianne Mark Ng, Deputy Secretary General of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN-ST) stressed this statement as the People’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) kicked-off 7AM today at Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City. The two-thousand throng contingent from Southern Tagalog staged a torch march from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) up to Batasang Pambansa in what they dub as the “People’s Agenda Caravan”.

Yesterday, the various militant groups from the region kicked of a caravan via-San Pablo City, Laguna to the National Capital Region to challenge the new administration to immediately address and prioritize the People’s 10-Point Agenda, a collection of omnibus demands that primarily includes the prosecutions of Gloria Arroyo’s crimes, genuine land reform, wage hike, higher subsidy for social services such as education and health, and scrapping of anti-people laws and agreements such as the Visitng Forces Agreement, JPEPA and Mining Act of 1995 among others.

“Last night, on our way to DAR, we had the experience of being harassed by members of the Quezon City Police Department,” Ng stated. He narrated the contingents’ encounter 7PM yesterday when around 5 police mobiles barred their vehicles for more than two hours and around a dozen armed policemen violently harassed them in front of the Eastwood Fire Sub Station for no concrete basis. “We value our right to air our grievances to what is happening to our country, yet what we have encountered last night remind us of how the Arroyo administration always respond to us with nothing else but state violence. Will this be Noynoy’s way too?” he stated.

Under the Arroyo regime, around 1,120 victims of extrajudicial killings including the brutal murder of leaders in the region such as Eden Marcellana, KARAPATAN-ST Secretary General and Eddie Gumanoy, chairperson of Katipunan ng mga Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan (KASAMA-TK) while 204 are victims of enforced disappearances. “Arroyo’s counter-insurgency plan of Oplan Bantay Laya 1 and 2 have marked the human rights abuse and death of the people at the forefront of our democratic struggle and yet all these cases remain unresolved and the culture of impunity still prevails,” Glen Malabanan, KARAPATAN-ST Deputy Secretary General said.

“We then urge the Noynoy administration, if he doesn’t want a bloody record such as Arroyo’s, to immediately junk these military programs to end the root cause of the killings we still see today.” Malabanan said pertaining to the current situation wherein in a span of 2 weeks, five activists from around the country have already been killed. She also stressed the 56 political prisoners most of which are from the 43 health workers are still illegally arrested and detained by military authorities.

Aside from Arroyo’s grim human rights record, the militant groups push Arroyo and her cohorts to be jailed for their crimes of corruption such as $329 million NBN-ZTE Scandal, P728 million fertilizer fund scam and P128 billion coco levy fund scam as well as the Hello Garci Scandal. “If Noynoy boasts of presenting problems that we have inherited from Arroyo’s administration, we already know those problems. What we need now are not rhetorics but concrete actions such as justice that can only be attained if Arroyo and her cohorts are behind bars,” Ng said.

Major points in the people’s agenda also include the pursuance of genuine agrarian reform and the scrapping of the Comprehensive Agrarian Refrom Program with Extension Reforms which the peasant group KASAMA-TK termed as mechanisms that only maintain the ownership of agricultural land to landlords that thereby creating conditions for peasant abuse and exploitation. “If this administration is indeed serious in genuine change, it must first give the lands to its rightful owners – the peasants who have toiled and even died fighting for their right to ownership,” Axel Pinpin, Secretary General of KASAMA-TK said. He mentioned the recent land dispute incidents such as last May 21 in Hacienda Yulo, Brgy. Canlubang, Calamba City, Laguna where 11 peasants where violently dispersed and illegaly arrested by Yulo-clan henchmen, police and military groups. In a similar incident during the 1st week of Aquino’s inauguration, the peasant protest camp in Mendiola Bridge was violently dispersed where at least 40 demonstrators where illegaly arrested.

“We haven’t forgetten the Aquino-Cojuanco clan’s sins to our fellow peasants – the merciless Mendiola and Hacienda Luisita massacres are clear examples that they will stop at nothing to protect their class-interest. The peasants will not tolerate a Haciendero Republic this time around,” Pinpin added.

“Aquino must seriously pursue the 10-point People’s Agenda, it is the only true daang matuwid he should take to ensure that he will not follow Arroyo’s footsteps,” Ng stressed.

For more details contact Roge 09272421508 or Tin 09291342394
--
SERVE THE PEOPLE!
Visit us @ bayanst.wordpress.com

     
           
     
           
           

 

KABATAAN PARTYLIST
SOUTHERN TAGALOG
PRESS RELEASE Reference Person:
July 26, 2010 Paulo Bautista (09264586609)
Southern Tagalog Coordinator, KABATAAN Partylist

Youth sector joins People's SONA;
Asserts GMA's arrest, higher educ budget

After conducting the annual State of the Youth Address (SOYA) last July 23, youths from Southern Tagalog joined other sectors in staging the People's State of the Nation Address (SONA) near the House of Representatives on July 26.

Led by Kabataan Partylist, the youth sector addressed the nation regarding the current education crisis and the importance of holding former president and now Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo accountable for corruption and human rights violations during her regime. Southern Tagalog youths joined forces with other sectors during the People’s Agenda Caravan which kicked off in San Pablo City, Laguna. The caravan trooped to the Department of Agrarian Reform evening of July 25, before it united the next day with the National Capital Region delegation at Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City.

Kabataan Partylist Southern Tagalog Regional Coordinator John Paulo Bautista said that education remains to be a privilege rather than a right in the country.

“Tuition and other fees increases in different state universities and colleges (SUCs) are continuously being imposed as a result of the measly education budget allotted to fund SUCs,” Bautista said. “In the Southern Tagalog region alone, many SUCs have imposed tuition fees increases during Arroyo's term,” he added.

SUCs such as the University of the Philippines - Los Baños have increased tuition from P225 per unit to P1,000 per unit. Other SUCs in Southern Tagalog such as Eulogio “Amang” Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology (EARIST) in Cavite, Southern Luzon State University (SLSU) in Lucban and Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) which has several campuses in CALABARZON also experienced tuition fee increases. In EARIST-Cavite tuition fees increased from P15 per unit to P200 per unit while illegal exorbitant fees such as the P500 development fee were imposed. PUP saw an increased from P12 per unit to P75 per unit while SLSU-Lucban's tuition has increased from P25 per unit to P50 per unit.

“When you impose income-generating policies in SUCs, you are making education more of a commodity instead of a right. Nowadays, parents who earn minimum wage could not even afford sending their children to college. In turn, opportunities for economic growth remain to be a privilege of those who can afford college education,” said Pamela Angelie Pangahas, chairperson of the National Union of Students of the Philippines – Southern Tagalog.

In 2004, budget for education was merely 2.7% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP)--short of the recommended 6% budget allocation of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for education. Meanwhile, 11.2% of the 2004 GDP was allotted for debt servicing

“The education crisis reflects Arroyo's negligence of one of the fundamental needs of the people--most especially, the youth,” Bautista said.

Kabataan Partylist also denounced the cases of enforced disappearances and extra-judicial killings during Arroyo. “Today the youth's right to express, to organize, to assemble, and even to live are being jeopardized,” Bautista added. He recalled military mechanisms such as red-baiting and propagation of black propaganda material which happened in recent months that posed the lives of student leaders of Southern Tagalog at risk. “The bloody record of Gloria’s Oplan Bantay Laya 1 and 2 targeted even critical students only advocating their right to education,” Bautista stressed.

Meanwhile, the state of campus press freedom is dismal as campus publications are repressed, according to Roge Gonzales, chairperson of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) – Southern Tagalog. He noted the recent withholding of budget and administrative intervention in the selection of the editor-in-chief for the UPLB Perspective. “In the region, student journalists do not have the freedom to indeed write for the students – the worst case under Gloria’s regime when rebellion was filed against an editor-in-chief of PUP-Lopez in Quezon. We can see why under Arroyo’s term the brutality of the Maguindanao Massacre shook our definition of press freedom,” Gonzales said.

During Arroyo's term, youth activists such as Ramon “Bong” Ternida from Anakbayan and Rei Mon “Ambo” Guran from the League of Filipino Students while student journalists such as Benjaline Hernandez of CEGP have been victims of extra-judicial killings while UP Diliman students, Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan, remains missing since their abduction in 2006.

“Here we pose the challenge to Noynoy Aquino to create concrete changes in the educational system that Arroyo has neglected. This can only be attained through no other way but higher state subsidy,” Bautista ended.

For more details, contact Jonelle 09168785153
 

     
     
     
           
     
     
     
     
MEDIA
     
           


ON THE STANDARD ISSUES OF THE DAY

(Speech delivered at Siliman University, Dumaguete City, on March 9, 1967; sponsored by the Beta Sigma Fraternity.)

THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT has too often been vilified wittingly and unwittingly as being unconcerned about current domestic issues and being concerned exclusively with questions of foreign policy.

It is our task to show that standard issues of the day such as graft and corruption, high prices, and crime and violence among others are concrete manifestations of the essential errors of our neo-colonial status, our national subordination to the ruling policies imposed upon us by foreign and feudal exploiters in our society.

At this stage, it is a fact that nationalists or national democrats in their attempt to stress the fundamental roots of social inequities have spoken in generalities that the petty- minded or colonial-minded try to misrepresent as having no concrete basis.

It should always be stated strongly that the general causes of the suffering of our people are objectively observed in the chain of symptoms and in the chain of concrete reality that we see from day to day. It is our task to observe and list the concrete facts and issues of our national life, such as graft and corruption, high prices, crime and violence, unemployment, poverty, malnourishment, ill-education and ill-health; and from all these, we proceed to our general conclusions and to the basic causes if we plan to take national and fundamental action towards their solution.

We employ generalization only to stress what is fundamental on a national scale or on an international scale. But it should be our task to relate what is general and essential to the concrete facts observed from one locality to another and from short period to short period. In other words, to know and say that the strategic problems of our nation are imperialism and feudalism entails a prior perceptual knowledge of those specific or concrete problems which appear at first as merely the responsibility of this or that particular political party or administration, or of this or that particular person. It is the task of objective and scientific analysis to determine the relationship between the particular facts and such general terms as imperialism and feudalism, or any other generalization.

We are bound by historical and objective conditions larger than anyone of us or any subjective aggrupation of men. No amount of preaching and individual or sectarian crusading will ever succeed if social inequities such as those we have mentioned are mere particular characteristics or symptoms of such a large historical and objective phenomenon as foreign and feudal domination. We have to develop on a general scale the large objective forces of national democracy that can effectively contend with the large objective forces of imperialism and feudalism.

In this discussion we have chosen only three of the standard issues of the day which frequently grace the front pages of our metropolitan newspapers. These are graft and corruption, high prices, and crime and violence which are often superficially said to be the issues or problems larger and more pressing than the basic problems that are imperialism and feudalism.

Graft and Corruption

Let us take the issue and problem of graft and corruption. It has become the traditional basis for throwing out or retaining a political party or person in public office. Generally, however, despite our moral pronouncements about honesty, we have only perpetuated a system wherein the conservative political parties play what we call an in-and-out confidence game on our people. Whatever party gets in goes out later, but only after perpetrating graft and corruption, perpetuating a malevolent tradition of graft and corruption. Why is there so much lack of uprightness and integrity?

It is not enough to seek the help of God for light or to dismiss the problem as a mystery or to blame the erring officials as inherently crooked or simply opportunist, as suggested by the cliche "To err is human". What is needed is a scientific analysis of the objective situation, of the entire system which gives rise to graft and corruption in the magnitude and regularity that we today observe. If we look around, we should know very well (from first-hand accounts of people who have gone there) that the People's Republic of China has successfully eliminated the problem of graft and corruption that had characterized the Kuomintang regime of Chiang Kai-shek and which had inflamed the Chinese people against the regime. The experience of the People's Republic of China shows that it is humanly possible to eliminate graft and corruption or to reduce it to the degree of exceptionality or abnormality. In the United States, big-time contract-pulling persists and more sophisticated ways of
making quick money have been developed by the military-industrial complex and by the big bosses of the capitalist parties. Retired military officers and men of political influence are hired by the big corporations to expedite war contracts with the government: the irregular is made so regular that it no longer looks irregular.

The problem of graft and corruption in the Philippines dates back to colonial times. If the colonial officials bought or incurred great expense to acquire their appointments in Madrid and in Manila, they would certainly commit graft and corruption to recoup their investment; read Rizal's essays and novels to confirm this statement. As in our own neocolonial times, leaders have to spend so much to run for office, the precondition for graft and corruption is perpetuated and, what is more serious, honest and genuine leaders of the masses are excluded from such office because they do not enjoy the financial support that the political representatives of the landlord class and foreign vested interests enjoy.

Because of the scarcity of opportunity for the people in colonial and neocolonial times, the government and the officials in turn become mere dispensers of privileges. To have a job, which should be a normal right of every citizen, is itself a privilege. Even within the middle social strata, such is the case; the bright boys and the mediocre ones in the middle class readily become the political agents and clerks of the ruling class. They have to conform to the exploitative system or else suffer the consequences for taking a different course of action or line of thinking.

The formal right of having a means of livelihood, the principle of freedom from want, has become a granted privilege in this society. The imperialists, compradors, bureaucrats and landlords are the selfish source of privilege, including the "privilege" of having a job. Don't they always say that they create and provide the jobs to us and they do not even mention the fact that they exploit us?

Now, as in colonial times, there is a system that does not only prevent the equal allocation of limited resources and means but also prevent development in accordance with our national needs. The interests of a vested few - the foreign and feudal exploiters - dictate the policies and actions of thhe government and officials, and are opposed to the interests of the broad masses of our people.

The government is made to function only as the mere executive committee of foreign and feudal exploiters. This has come about because our political life has been narrowed down by force of arms or by the state power of the ruling classes to an internal competition of its shifting factions, those political parties maintained and financed by the vested interests in the country. The elections of today are essentially similar to the elections of the principalia of colonial times; the only large difference, of course, is that elections today are conducted on a grander and noisier scale, Madison Avenue style; and on the mere pretense that the populace is being given the chance to make a genuine choice.

But considering the fact that only the parties of the status quo like the NP and LP, including the PPP, prevail and that a genuine working class party has always been restricted from enjoying political freedom within the system, can it not be said that a class dictatorship actually exists in our country, a class dictatorship of imperialist agents, compradors and landlords who manipulate, to uphold their narrow class interests, the prevailing political parties to give us the mere illusion of democratic choice? The question in point is: Can the masses of our people truly make use of elections and other political methods provided us by the system to discipline miscreant government officials and eliminate graft and corruption?

We know for a fact that the greatest opportunity for graft and corruption presents itself in the breach between the government and the private business sector, especially the foreign monopoly firms and the local compradors. Contracts with private entities involving appropriation of public funds or government approval provide the opportunity for graft and corruption. Again, in the breach between two private entities vying for a government contract or approval, the corrupt bureaucrat gains another opportunity for making a fast buck under the table.

It is in the development of the private capitalist sector that graft and corruption has grown in the same way it grew in colonial times, as shown by the example of Capitan Tiago, Quiroga and Don Timoteo Pelaez in Rizal's master novels - characters who symbolize the emerging cash relations in the womb of feudal society. Whereas graft and corruption can occur both between a public entity and a private entity, and between one private entity and another private entity, it cannot occur in the gap between one public entity and another public entity where public documents and public property can easily be checked and verified not only by the government officials themselves but by a political party of a new type that truly represents the interests of the masses and most importantly, by the masses themselves who have a high revolutionary consciousness.

Our proposal then is to change the entire system and make the public sector the leading factor in the command and development of our capital resources, in order to remove the malfeasance that attends the appropriation of public funds and in order to consolidate and direct our resources most effectively for accelerated economic growth. Moreover, we propose that in order to guarantee public control for the public sector, a new kind of politics, a new type of national democracy under the leadership of the working class, should prevail.

Those who would be the first to oppose the revolutionary transformation of our society and the strengthening of our public sector as the leading factor in the command and development of our capital resources are certainly those interested in the perpetuation of a colonial type of economy and a colonial type of society.

They are afraid that the public sector, if strengthened and rationalizes its investments towards industrialization, with the necessary support of the working class party and the masses, would be an instrument that can break the imperialist, comprador and landlord hold on the economy. They prefer to have their "free enterprise", meaning to say, the rapacity of corrupt bureaucrats, the foreign monopolists and the landlords.

What we are proposing is the strengthening of the public sector with the broadening of democracy to the extent that the public sector is the principal factor in our national development, and not merely secondary to the private sector which in turn is controlled as it is now by the foreign and feudal exploiters of this society.

The public sector is certain to take a leading role as the corrupt politics of the reactionary parties is replaced by national democratic politics. The organized masses under the leadership of the working class share and assume power and effectively check on the integrity and performance of public servants.

High Prices

Let us take the issue and problem of high prices. The subject cannot be seriously discussed without considering the colonial and agrarian character of our economy and its subordination to U.S. imperialism. The current rise in prices can only be understood within this context.

It is certainly dishonest for our colonial-minded leaders not to acknowledge the disastrous results of the full and sudden decontrol of 1962. Decontrol doubled the peso equivalent of the dollar in the open market, thus automatically depressing the value of the peso. This is one imperialist debauchery of our economy.

Our national industrialists now have to pay more for imported capital goods, fuel, raw materials and spare parts replacements. With the resulting increase of the cost of production, some firms have been so hard hit that they have had to fold up while others have had to raise their prices in order to survive. In the course of the weakening of the peso, Filipino firms have been easily taken over by foreign firms. Otherwise, they are simply crushed by the foreign monopolies.

With the increase of the prices of the commodities that they buy and the resulting depression of their real wages, the workers have to demand an adjustment of their money wages. The hiking of the wage level in turn increases the costs of production and, the vicious cycle of capitalism, the capitalist must pass on the cost increment to the mass of consumers, leaving the workers with the same or even much lower real wages. The problem of high prices assails the vast majority of our people who have a low fluctuating income or a low fixed income.

Inflation in the Philippines has resulted from the consistent breakdown of local production in both national industry and agriculture. This in reality does not conform with the Keynesian notion that higher prices reflect higher production. This is the irony of a neocolony that must perforce be subject to developments in the imperialist metropolis.

In agriculture, the glaring irony has occurred. We are an agricultural country and yet we cannot produce sufficient food for our people. The Laurel-Langley Agreement has perpetuated the colonial character of the economy by the terms of preferential trade which favor a raw-material export and a finished-product import trade relations. This is because our landlords have been carried away by the attractive price of sugar extended by the United States and they have turned from production of staples to sugar production. Within the domestic market, even the price of sugar has risen for local consumers because the bulk of it has been exported without consideration of local needs.

Our government is so servile to U.S. imperialism that it has allowed U.S. agro-corporations to take over thousands of hectares of good agricultural lands in Cotabato and elsewhere for the production of pineapple, banana, and other fruits. This has also resulted in the decrease of ricelands in the second most important rice-growing area in the country.

In the U.S. an inflation is going on as a result of massive military spending in the Vietnam war and other forms of deficit spending by the U.S. government. And because we depend so much on manufactures from the U.S., due to lack of industries in our own country, we automatically import the inflation from the U.S. We have to pay more for U.S. goods. The reactionary government also has to get U.S. loans at more onerous terms only to cover artificially the chronic deficit in the colonial exchange of Philippine raw materials and U.S. finished manufactures.

The Vietnam war has caused the upward spiral of prices in the United States. Men are drafted for the non-productive work of fighting a war and receiving pay for it. Basic materials are being diverted from consumer goods production to the production of war materials like bombs, chemicals, military vehicles, construction materials, fuel and the like. These materials have become more expensive because of the high demand from the war industry. Thus, commodities from the United States have become expensive in the Philippines.

We observe that in the Philippines itself, as in many other client-states of the United States, men and materials are being stimulated by higher prices towards the Vietnam war. To cite an instance, if Philippine cement is massively exported to Vietnam, the cost of constructing houses here would rise; the rent for apartment houses would also rise as it is rising now. Also, the expenditure of P35 million and more for the Philippine puppet expeditionary force to Vietnam because of subservience to U.S. policies weakens the internal capacity of the reactionary government to look after the welfare and security of our people.

We can very well see that U.S. imperialist policies are basically responsible for the specific problem of higher prices.

Turning to the basic problem of feudalism, its perpetuation means the continued depression of the purchasing power of the peasant masses. Because of class oppression and backward methods, Philippine agriculture is not providing adequate food for the people. Because of imperialism, Philippine agriculture is not providing raw materials for local industries. Landlords constantly engage in luxury spending and this also tends to jack up prices. The whole feudal problem is sustained by imperialist domination.

The need to vigorously pursue national industrialization in order to provide jobs to the masses of our people is urgent.

By it, we shall provide jobs for our people and they shall be afforded the chance to buy the products of their own labor. In the long run, the unrestricted industrial development of our economy will reduce the prices of commodities. If basic land reform is used to support national industrialization, our peasant masses reaching 70 per cent of our population will be able to buy the products of our industries with their increased purchasing power. Our peasant masses would be providing adequate food and raw materials that serve as the basis for national industrialization.

National industrialization and basic land reform are the main economic demands of the national democratic movement.

Only the public sector backed up and determined by the organized workers, peasants, students and other patriotic segments of our population can lead in the achievement of national industrialization and land reform. We cannot depend on foreign investors for these; it is futile to do so as our experience in the last six decades tells us - four decades under direct imperialist rule and two decades under indirect imperialist rule. A small amount of capital is invested in quick profit areas by U.S. firms, oftentimes from our own credit facilities, and in a period of even as short as one year, super-profits squeezed from Filipino labor and from the mass of consumers are already flowing out of the country. U.S. investments always carry with them the curse of super-profit remittances which have plagued and restricted the growth of the Philippine economy. Consider the huge amount of capital that the oil firms, Caltex and Esso, are taking out of the country; consider the danger of placing
control of such a vital commodity as oil in the hands of foreigners. By this commodity alone, the U.S. controls the motion and prices of all goods in this country.

Crime and Violence

Let us take up the issue and problem of crime and violence. Smuggling, gambling, juvenile delinquency and prostitution, robbery, theft and homicide are rampant today. Their widespread presence is condemnable. But it is futile to preach about them if we do not make a systematic study of them and subsequently take critical and constructive action. It is also futile merely to do police work on the culprits. We have to attack the roots within the system which gives rise to all this malevolence.

Smuggling occurs in its pure form on our coastlines; in many instances, smugglers get their contraband through with the connivance of the PC and other armed apparatuses of the state. In its so-called technical form, the imported goods are undervalued or misdeclared at the customs area in order to avoid the payment of taxes. This is subversion of the economy systematically done with the connivance of the highest officials. The imperialist supplier of the smuggled goods, which includes the businessmen and their government, refuses to comply with the requirement of a shipper's export declaration for purposes of checking the amount and kind of goods being imported into our country and also refuses to check on his side the use of boats for "pure" smuggling. As a matter of fact, the imperialist supplier connives with obvious smugglers who arrange the transport of goods by surreptitious means.

Smuggling intensified as a result of the full and immediate decontrol of 1962 which deprived the reactionary government of the right to control foreign exchange for purposes of proper allocation and industrial priority. With dollars now freely in the hands of private entities, their misuse for quick profit operations like smuggling and real estate speculation could be made. The policy of decontrol was adopted as a result of U.S. imperialist pressures so that the foreign monopolies could destroy our local industrial gains, remit their super-profits and maintain a high rate of profit for their industries at home or their local subsidiaries. Under the guise of solving graft and corruption in dollar allocations at the Central Bank, the U.S. imperialists and their local agents agitated for decontrol; but graft and corruption merely shifted to the Bureau of Customs and to police agencies in even greater volume. The worst effects, of course, have been the sabotage of our economy and the
massive outflow of much needed capital in the form of huge profit remittances by U.S. firms and of luxury spending by their landlord and comprador agents.

At the upper rungs of our society, we see the corruption and decadence based on over-affluence amidst public want. To tide them over their boredom in a sea of mass poverty and to satisfy their distorted sense of values, our wealthy businessmen, politicians and evil gentry engage in maintaining queridas, in gambling, and in lavish banquets. Subsequently, juvenile delinquency even among their well-provided children results from the moral breakdown of the home and from their general exposure to the decadent values of imperialist culture which plays up sex and violence, as you will note from current American movies and other cultural vehicles, which are the fetishes of the wealthy. Despite the preachiness of their religious pretensions, their exclusive Catholic school upbringing, they fall flat on their faces morally; they come out as split personalities of the worst cultural complex, that of imperialist and feudal decadence in our semi-colonial and semi-feudal society.

Murder and methods of fraud and terrorism have also characterized our political life. The stakes among our corrupt politicians are control and private appropriation of public funds, maintenance of queridas and relatives on government sinecures, expansion of private businesses through special government privileges, maintenance of vice dens and control of coastlines for smuggling, to cite only a few items that are the crimes of the rich. These comprise the adult delinquency of our so-called statesmen. The magnitude and malignance of this delinquency makes the juvenile delinquency of their children look puny and awkward.

Prostitution, juvenile delinquency in slums, robbery, theft, killings for lack of appreciation of or inability to use the present channels of justice are correctly described as crimes of poverty. We may pass the strictest laws to discourage their commission; but so long as there is no change in the material basis for their occurrence, we shall continue to suffer these crimes of poverty.

Young women from the rural and city slums are annually misled into a life of shame on the false promise of decent jobs or by the sheer lack of the chance to exist decently. Prostitution is the fetishism of any exploitative social system; woman is degraded into the status of mere commodity, the way labor is regarded in this exploitative society.

The vast majority of our people are caught between the stagnation of feudal conditions and the insufficiency of modern opportunities for employment in our neocolonial situation. Robbery and theft are generally forms of spontaneous retaliation by the dispossessed against those who have excessive possessions.

Killings for various reasons at the lower rungs of our society are related to crimes involving property or the alienation of so many people from the moral values that are preached by the ruling classes which at the same time employs legal or illegal means to violate them. Make a study of the records of our brothers in jails and penitentiaries to confirm the general causes of their crimes which at first appear as personal in character.

Of course, it is foolhardy to condone crimes of poverty. But it is simply hypocritical to make any condemnation without understanding the objective causes actually larger and more compelling than the individual culprit.

We are living in a society where our foreign and feudal exploiters do not only provide us with backward, conflicting and alienated values but also restrict our own efforts to develop the forces of national and social progress and the material conditions necessary for a more democratic and nobler existence and culture for all.

The national democratic movement stands for the liberation of our nation and also the liberation of the oppressed Filipino masses. The exploitation of one nation by another nation and of man by man or one class by another gives rise to a chain of iniquities that should never be posed in isolation of their root causes if we truly stand for the freedom, creativity and dignity of man.

 

Kodao Productions Watch the live coverage of SONA ng Bayan (People's State of the Nation) at http://bit.ly/sona-ng-bayan-live Brought to you by Kodao, Bulatlat, CPU, and Bayan

 

Photos show the KODAO  and BULATLAT crew interviewing rally leaders on various issues, broadcast live on the internet..

     
     
     
     
     

 

▲ Casiño attends SONA in politically-charged designer barong -Activist haute couture
 

After boycotting the State of the Nation Adress (SONA) for the last five years, Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño will attend this year's SONA in style - clad in an Edgar San Diego Barong Tagalog.

"Since this is Pres. Noynoy Aquino’s first SONA, it is important to be dressed properly for the occasion," the Bayan Muna activist-solon said.

Casiño will be wearing a tuxedo-inspired barong using a native weave from La Union province. Here's the twist - prominently displayed at the front of the barong, embroidered on a red airbrushed background, is a logo of the "Stop the Killings in the Philippines" campaign.

“This is a first for me: combining activism and high fashion to deliver an important message to the new administration," he said.

San Diego was a pioneer member of the Fashion Designers Association of the Philippines (FDAP), of which he was a 3-term president. His haute couture designs have garnered awards here and abroad.

“I want to emphasize Bayan Muna's deep concern on the continuing extrajudicial killings (EJKs) in the country and our demand for the Aquino government to stop it and end impunity,” Casino said.

According to the human rights group Karapatan, 1,190 activists have fallen victim to EJKs under the Macapagal-Arroyo government. No one has been convicted for any of these cases.

The extrajudicial killings continue under the Aquino administration with Fernando Baldomero, Bayan Muna party-list group Aklan provincial chair and a councilor of Lezo, Aklan, who was gunned down by an unidentified man in front of his house in Kalibo on July 5; Pascual Guevarra, farmer-leader of Brgy. San Isidro, Laur, Nueva Ecija and Mark Francisco, a member of the ACT Teachers party-list group and a teacher at the San Isidro Elementary School in Palanas town in Masbate who were killed on July 9. #

Her task is to remind the speaker that time is up after an earlier note that says the speaker has only 30 seconds to wrap up

           
     
VIDEO CLIPS
   
   
   
Health sector joins SONA ng Bayan rally Sona ng Bayan preparations and march along Commonwealth Ave
   
Southern Tagalog organizations early at Sona ng Bayan assembly

P-Noy the Illusionist

   
Public health workers seek health justice to the new government P-Noy urged to consider the people's agenda
   
Human rights groups urge P-Noy to prosecute Gloria Bayan calls on P-Noy gov't to end killings
   
   
Balang Araw Live! at the Sona ng Bayan 2010  
           
     
The  police stand on guard about 300 meters away from the rallyhists
           
     
           

 

PRESS RELEASE
Information Bureau
Communist Party of the Philippines

Filipino people wants Aquino to make Arroyo face justice, and more--CPP
July 25, 2010

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today welcomed plans by Philippine Pres. Benigno Aquino III to expose in his state of the nation address (SONA) what he describes as "shocking cases" of unprecedented corruption by the Arroyo government, but added that "that will not be enough."

The CPP reminded Aquino of the need for "swift and decisive efforts to prosecute and punish Arroyo and her cohorts for their grievous crimes against the people." The demand to prosecute Gloria Arroyo for capital crimes of plunder and gross human rights violations within the new administration's first 100 days is the most urgent demand of wide sections of the people, said the CPP.

"Aquino has been in office for almost a third of that deadline. Yet, except for the appointment of the chairman of the Truth Commission, no definitive steps have yet been taken towards initiating the criminal prosecution of Arroyo. Questions have also been raised loudly about the propriety of appointing a chairman who benefited a lot from the past administration," the CPP pointed out.

The CPP said further that "Everyday Gloria and her ilk remain unpunished for wanton plunder, gross human rights violations and other capital crimes, the Filipino people become more and more critical about the new administration itself." The National Democratic Front of the Philippines also warned that Aquino's failure to fulfill his promise (to prosecute Arroyo) within the first 100 days of his rule will "outrage the people."

The CPP also pointed out that "Aside from Arroyo's prosecution and punishment for gargantuan cases of corruption and plunder, she must be held to account and be punished for the several thousand cases of human rights violations perpetrated by the fascist military and security forces under her overall command as commander-in-chief."

"It is of prime importance not only to make Arroyo responsible for the crimes against humanity perpetrated by fascist state agents in the nine and half years of her reign. Aquino must also to put a stop to the impunity with which the AFP has carried out its attacks against activists and unarmed critics of government," said the CPP.

"Aquino's failure to punish Arroyo and her key officials responsible for the military campaign of suppression and annihilation under the AFP's Oplan Bantay Laya will not only mean a failure of justice for the people. Worse, it will embolden the fascists to continue their war of terror that only victimizes the people," the CPP added. "As the new commander-in-chief of the reactionary armed forces, Aquino himself will be responsible for the blood spilt from the acts committed by his men since his first day in office."

The CPP said further that prosecuting and punishing Arroyo is only one of the crying demands of the people. "There are long-standing basic demands that have become more and more pressing in the face of the worsening decay of the antiquated semicolonial and semifeudal policial and socio-economic system and the resulting increasing sufferings of the mass of the Filipino people.

Even as the CPP expects Aquino's SONA to pin all the blame on his precedessor for the people's suffering and make lame promises for the people's political and socio-economic upliftment, the CPP called on the Filipino people to advance all the more their demand and struggle for national freedom, people's democracy and their socio-economic interests, including genuine land reform, national industrialization and social services.

"They must raise their awareness of the fact that the US-Aquino regime is just the new caretaker of a decadent social system that engenders exploitation and corruption, poverty, injustice, state violence and oppression. Aquino's empty rhetoric and shallow gimmickry can only mask the intensity of the social crisis and the people's sufferings."

"Given the new puppet's all-out espousal of neocolonial and neoliberal policies dictated by its US imperialist master, the people have no choice but to rely on their own struggles and forces for revolutionary change in order to achieve their aspiration for national freedom, social liberation and progress."

Reference:
Marco Valbuena
Media Officer
Cellphone Numbers: 09156596802 :: 09282242061
E-mail:cppmedia@gmail.com
 

     
     
     
           
     
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