POWER Dabaw and BAYAN-SMR lead consumers

in protest rallies vs power rates increase

 

Davao City

 

September 29, 2010

 

 

   
   
 
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Photos courtesy of BAYAN-SMR and Karlos Manlupig as indicated by the filenames
           
           

 

 

Bayan challenges Noynoy’s clear-cut actions vs. poverty, injustices
Press Statement
July 28, 2010


When it was thought to be a SONA of truths and a start of great changes for the nation, less was heard than a “tell-all” of old stories.

It was not uplifting to hear again enumerations of corruption by the past administration for what could inspire people to do more and not just dream again is to see Gloria Arroyo suffer in jail. And on behalf of Gloria Arroyo’s victims of corruption and various human rights violations, we believe prosecuting Arroyo would indeed be a better start –off, a move which will make Pres Noynoy Aquino more of a president than of a mere man of words.

It is wise to be realistic than to go with the flow. There is no way the people can dream again with the priorities uttered by Noynoy in his speech. Noynoy has revealed himself as a believer and follower of US imperialist dictates, as a US-puppet in the making.

Take away the expose and “tagalog” speaking president, the essence of Noynoy’s SONA are retentions of US-dictated economic policies -- privatization, deregulation, and liberalization embody the framework of his policy making.

There were no mention of scrapping anti-people and anti -poor policies that were enacted during the previous administrations such as the E-VAT, Oil Deregulation Law, and the Visiting Forces Agreement and Mutual Defense Treaty.

With his support for the intensification of built-operate-transfer scheme, privatization of more Government Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCC) and its heavy toll on the Filipino poor majority is clear to worsen.

Noynoy’s presidency is not far from ending-up like the conventional ones --- the type that is bound to exist and end with its term of office. For the 15th time that the country had a change in presidency, the people have not seen any President brave enough to breakaway from the controls and dominance of US imperialism.

There has not been a time that genuine land reform -- the total distribution of lands among the farmers and creation of a planned agriculture which products are for local sustainability rather than for exports -- was given a priority as a government policy.

Filipino workers continue to work at the mercy of greedy capitalists. While salaries and wages are nailed at its lowest rate amidst the skyrocketing cost of living, the workers remain unsecured as our own labor policies favor contractual employments.

Our indigenous peoples are up to now waging the struggle for their right to ancestral domain as their lands have been the targets for mining, plantation expansions and profit-driven dam and energy construction.

Noynoy could have said much about truths that is at the heart of every Filipino’s dream for genuine political change but he chose not to for having hailed from a landlord family owning more than half of Tarlac, other haciendas and private monopolies in the business industry and him, being a landlord himself, his own family is at stake.

There are bigger problems than corruption that cause inequities among the people. For more than hundred years now that our people and resources are exploited for foreign-vested interests, such is worse than corruption. It is hard to believe that Noynoy can address insurgency when he chooses to ignore the root cause of poverty and inequities in the country. For every Filipino who is perennially deprived of his rights to dignified job, food, shelter, education, and other basic social services, insurgency will continue to be a resort for his defense and assertions.

There is more to fear when we see Noynoy acting blind about the political killings which greeted his first 26 days in power. As the AFP’s commander-in-chief, he is not innocent about the operations of the institution he leads. It is his duty to stop the military’s brute and anti-people operations under Oplan Bantay Laya unless he wants to suffer for himself the same anger the people have for the former president.

Noynoy’s 6-year term is crucial at this point when everybody longs for genuine change. He’d better rethink his administration’s economic and political policies than his disappointing first SONA. The people’s demands and not just dreams are clear in reminding Noynoy of his mandate to uphold human rights and lead firmly as the country’s president. We don’t need him to act merely as a US puppet.

     
     
           
     
     
     

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KARAPATAN-SMR Secretary General harassed by 1003rd Infantry Brigade, Philippine Army in Davao City, Philippines
UA No: 2010-09-08


UA Date : 30 September 2010

UA Case : Threat/Harassment/Intimidation

Victim/s : Kelly M. Delgado
• 34 years old, male, single
• A resident of F. Torres St., Davao City
• Secretary General, KARAPATAN-Southern Mindanao Region (SMR)

Place of Incident : Apongcola, Anda Street, Davao City

Date of Incident : 21 September 2010

Alleged Perpetrator(s): BGen. Eduardo del Rosario, commanding officer of the 1003rd
Infantry Brigade attached to the 10th Infantry Division, Philippine
Army (10th IDPA) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)

Account of the Incident:

At around 10:00 AM of 21 September 2010, BGen. Eduardo del Rosario and Datu Ruben Labawan (implicated in the killing of Julius Tamundez, refer to UA No: 2010-09-03) held a press conference at Apongcola, Anda Street, Davao City where the AFP General accused Kelly Delgado of masterminding a plot to liquidate the Eastern Mindano Command spokesperson, Lt. Col. Randolf Cabangbang, allegedly to avenge the abduction and death of Rebelyn Pitao, the daughter of Leoncio Pitao, a known New People's Army (NPA) commander.

BGen. Del Rosario claimed to have in his possession an affidavit of a witness stating that sometime in April 2009, Kelly purportedly gathered 3 NPA members and ordered them to kill the then Maj. Randolf Cabangbang. Del Rosario maliciously insinuated that KARAPATAN is supposed to uphold human rights but its secretary general ordered to kill someone. He further alleged that KARAPATAN and Bayan Muna Partylist are legal fronts of the New People's Army.

The press conference happened three days after KARAPATAN received a classified information from a reliable source from within the military that a Mission Order (MO) has been issued for the “physical elimination” of Kelly by the Eastern Mindanao Command – home to the 10th and 4th Infantry Divisions of the Philippine Army.

The above incident is only the most recent in a series of harassments by the military against Kelly Delgado. He became target of the military's harassment as a result of his fearless exposé of the military's atrocities as part of its counterinsurgency program in his capacity as the regional head of KARAPATAN.

It can be recalled that during a radio interview on 16 May 2008, a day after Celso Pojas, a peasant leader, was shot dead, an unknown listener sent a death threat for Kelly thorough the radio station's public mobile phone. It stated the Kelly would be next victim and he would soon be 6 feet below the ground. (This is the subject of an urgent action appeal dated 22 May 2008)

Taking into account the modus operandi of the perpetrators of the scores of victims of extrajudicial killings, KARAPATAN took the threat seriously. Since many of the victims were openly vilified and received death threats before they were killed, Kelly's harassment was reported to two United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteurs: on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression and on the situation of human rights defenders. The two Rapporteurs wrote a joint letter to the Department of Foreign Affairs Office of the United Nations and other International Organization last 20 June 2008 urging them to investigate the case of Kelly and appealed to make necessary measures to ensure his safety, his family and other KARAPATAN staff from the threat.

Kelly also engaged the police's investigation on his case. Together with other militant leaders, he met with Antonio E. Rivera, Chief, Investigation and Detective Management Section (IDMS) of the Davao City Police Office (DCPO), who offered police escort for him.

On 14-19 May 2009, the Exodus for Justice and Peace (EJP) initiated an International Solidarity Mission (ISM) dubbed as “A Journey of Solidarity in Defense of the People Resisting Oppression in Southern Mindanao”as a response to the rampant human rights violations as a result of the massive military deployment in the region. A concerned state agent, who requested anonymity, handed over to the ISM a copy of a powerpoint presentation prepared by the 10th Infantry Division, Philippine Army entitled “JCICC “Agila” 3rd QTR 2007 OB (Order of Battle) Validation Result” - a progress report on the OB list. More than 100 names of known militant leaders were included in the list. Celso Pojas was one of them. He was shot to death in front of his office in Davao City on 15 May 2008. Kelly was also in the list, including his photo.

This countered the military's denial of the existence of OB lists and proved the long time suspicion that people listed in such lists are indeed targeted for liquidation.

On 12 June 2010, Karapatan-SMR learned from a reliable source from the military that criminal charges were filed against Kelly. Checking on all the courts all over the region, KARAPATAN-SMR found that a multiple murder, frustrated murder and theft charges were filed against Kelly before the Branch 3 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Nabunturan, Compostela Valley Province.

The charges were based on an encounter between the New People's Army (NPA) and the AFP between 24 and 25 October 2008 in the outskirts of New Bataan, Compostela Valley Province. However, based on the documents gathered by Karapatan, Kelly's name does not appear on any of the original charge sheets for the four cases filed on 13 March 2009. His name was maliciously added to all four cases under an amended information only on 27 November 2009.



Recommended Action:

Send letters, emails or fax messages calling for:
1. The immediate formation of an independent fact-finding and investigation team composed of representatives from human rights groups, the Church, local government, and the Commission on Human Rights that will look into threat/harassment/intimidation of Kelly Delgado;
2. The military to stop the labeling and targeting of human rights defenders as “members of front organizations of the communists” and “enemies of the state,” withdraw the charges against Kelly Delgado which are fabricated ones and are meant to hinder him from doing his work as a human rights worker and stop the harassment against him.
3. The Philippine Government to withdraw its counterinsurgency program Oplan Bantay Laya (Operation Freedom Watch).
4. The Philippine Government to be reminded that it is a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and that it is also a party to all the major Human Rights instruments, thus it is bound to observe all of these instruments’ provisions.

You may send your communications to:


H.E. Benigno C. Aquino III
President of the Republic of the Philippines
Malacañang Palace,
JP Laurel St., San Miguel
Manila, Philippines
Voice: (+632) 564 1451 to 80
Fax: (+632) 742-1641 / 929-3968
E-mail: corres@op.gov.ph

Sec. Teresita Quintos-Deles
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process
Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP)
7th Floor Agustin Building I
Emerald Avenue
Pasig City 1605
Voice:+63 (2) 636 0701 to 066
Fax:+63 (2) 638 2216
E-Mail Address: osec@opapp.gov.ph

Ret. Lt. Gen. Voltaire T. Gazmin
Secretary, Department of National Defense
Room 301 DND Building, Camp Emilio Aguinaldo,
E. de los Santos Avenue, Quezon City
Voice:+63(2) 911-9281 / 911-0488
Fax:+63(2) 911 6213
Email: osnd@philonline.com

Atty. Leila De Lima
Secretary, Department of Justice
Padre Faura St., Manila
Direct Line 521-8344; 5213721
Trunkline 523-84-81 loc.214
Fax: (+632) 521-1614
Email: soj@doj.gov.ph

Hon. Loretta Ann P. Rosales
Chairperson
Commission on Human Rights
SAAC Bldg., UP Complex
Commonwealth Avenue
Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines
Voice: (+632) 928-5655, 926-6188
Fax: (+632) 929 0102
Email: chair.rosales.chr@gmail.com



Please send us a copy of your email/mail/fax to the above-named government officials, to our address below.

URGENT ACTION Prepared by:

KARAPATAN (Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights)
National Office
2/F Erythrina Bldg., #1 Maaralin cor Matatag Sts., Brgy. Central, Diliman, Quezon City 1100 PHILIPPINES
Voice/Fax: (+632) 435 4146
Email: urgentaction@karapatan.org
Website: www.karapatan.org

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
           
     
 
     
           
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News Release
September 26, 2010

Aquino challenged on anti-poverty program

A day after President Benigno Aquino III called on the United Nations to use “people power” against, the umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan pressed the Philippine president to be more specific in his anti-poverty program and to abandon previous policies of the Arroyo government.

“Despite all the ant-corruption and anti-poverty rhetoric from the president, the current government’s so-called anti-poverty program does not seem to be clear. Its blueprint for addressing poverty seems similar to the previous government. We're approaching the 100-day mark of his administration but there is still no substantial program that will address poverty,” said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.

Bayan said the Aquino government was still adhering to a foreign-investment and debt-driven economy, wherein so-called development is dependent on external factors. The group said that over the past few decades, such foreign investments and loans have done more harm than good and have worsened poverty in the country.

“The Aquino government’s centerpiece anti-poverty program seems to be the Conditional Cash Transfer program carried over from the previous regime. This dole-out system has not made a dent on poverty over the past years, yet it will be receiving more funding this year,” Reyes said.

“Job-generation is largely dependent on foreign investments and the previously discredited Private-Public Partnership. There remains no strong commitment to land reform and national industrialization which are the necessary internal factors for economic growth and poverty eradication,” Reyes added

Bayan said that the Philippine government’s commitment to neo-liberal economic policies including freed trade, privatization and deregulation are also factors that contribute to widespread poverty.

“The Aquino government should address poverty through genuine land reform, development of the economy to serve domestic needs, genuine national industrializatoin and a departure from neo-liberal economic policies. These are long-term solutions that need to be undertaken to arrest the worsening trend of poverty and hunger in the country,” Reyes said.

Caution on $434 MCC grant

Bayan also cautioned the Aquino government on the effects of the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s $434 million grant for the Philippines, saying that the grant is not without conditionalities that may impact negatively on the Philippines.

“The MCC was created and funded by the US government under George W. Bush. It is a foreign policy instrument that promotes discredited neo-liberal economic policies for third world countries in exchange for so-called aid. Its current board chair is the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton,” Reyes said.

In her speech on the MCC signing, Clinton stressed the need for “tearing down the barriers of economic growth” as one of the principles of the MCC grant. “This is clearly in reference to opening up the Philippine economy further to foreign goods and investments,” Reyes said.

According to its website, the MCC “partners only with countries that can show measurable support for a free and open political system with access to open markets. Only countries with proven track records in anti-corruption, civil liberties and the rule of law may partner with the MCC in crafting a development program unique to their local conditions.”

“These grants and so-called aid are used to advance US economic and political interests in the guise of promoting democracy and good governance. The MCC grant in effect will only reinforce unequal and disadvantageous economic ties with the US,” he added.

Bayan was also disappointed that the issue of the Visiting Forces Agreement was not taken up with either Secretary of State Clinton or US President Barrack Obama. The group said it was a “missed opportunity to assert national interest” on a very important issue. ###

 

     
     
           
     
     
     

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Excerts from::

 

ON THE STANDARD ISSUES OF THE DAY
(Speech delivered by Jose Maria Sison at Siliman University, Dumaguete City, on March 9, 1967; sponsored by the Beta Sigma Fraternity.)

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.

 

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The readers of Arkibong Bayan are invited to click: http://www.josemariasison.org/  This is the authorized website of Prof. Jose Maria Sison.  It has been recently restructured and improved by its editors.  Thank you for your attention.

 

     
 
           
     
           
           
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