100 Days of Aquino III: Where's the change?

 

October 8, 2010  Posted: October 14, 2010

 

 

■    Video clips/Manila

 

 

Manila      ■ Davao City        Australia      ■ Hongkong      Saudi Arabia

 

 

Poems:   

 

 ■  The Rider by Raymund Villanueva    

 

■  Tula kay P-Noy ni Nonilon Queano

 

■  Tatlong Tanaga ni Nonilon Queano

 

■  Asyenda ni Nonilon Queano

 

■  Pe-noy (Bugok) ni Mark Angeles

 

■   Sumpa na Naging Sumpa by Axel Pinpin (with video of presentation)

 

 

 

 
   

First 100 Days of PNoy:

 “Target-shooting?”
 


16 killed, 2 missing

10 frustrated murders

28 illegal arrests

24 illegal detention

10 torture cases

754 victims of forced evacuation
 

/p

/p

Photos courtesy of ArkibongBayan, Bayan-SMR, Karlos Manlupig, Marion Ramirez

and Sarah Raymundo as indicated by the filenames of the photos

           
           

 

Streetwise
By Carol Pagaduan-Araullo

Ominous first one hundred days

President Noynoy Aquino’s spinmeisters dubbed his speech assessing the first 100 days of his administration as “Isang Daang Araw Sa Isang Daang Matuwid: Report Kay Boss”. The clever play on words is meant to once more invoke the image of a presidency hewing to the straight and narrow path against corruption in government and of Mr. Aquino’s professed accountability to the people as his “boss”.

It is not at all surprising that Mr. Aquino and his supporters have ended up congratulating themselves on the administration’s claimed achievements and deriding his critics as seeking to merely set back his so-called reform agenda and maintain the status quo. Ominously, he even issued a veiled threat to these critics saying that their days are numbered.

Too bad for Mr. Aquino, there are a growing number of Filipinos who are tired of simplistic campaign rhetoric and crowd-pleasing gestures. They are looking for concrete actions and policy measures in the immediate and a platform of government for the remaining five years and nine months of his term.

Unfortunately too for this administration, while strong survey outcomes and carefully crafted and executed public relations measures are good grist for the media mill, the reality of the ongoing socio-economic and political crises of Philippine society is already catching up with Mr. Aquino’s hyped-up mystique.

In the first hundred days of his administration, Mr. Aquino’s ideological and political mind set - that is, his overall framework, priorities, inclinations and outright biases – has more clearly come to the fore.

Rather than reinforce his claims as a harbinger of much-needed reforms in government, he cuts a more and more conservative if not unabashedly reactionary figure, a traditional politician who will protect, uphold and promote foreign and domestic elite interests rather than those of the common tao.

Organizations of workers, peasants, urban poor, the student youth and professional sectors as well as faith-based organizations say Mr. Aquino has failed dismally where it counts.

He has not moved an inch in the criminal prosecution of former President Gloria Arroyo or any of her minions for graft and corruption on a grand scale.

He has not put a stop to extrajudicial killings and the body count is rising. He refuses to acknowledge the government’s counter-insurgency program, Oplan Bantay Laya, as directly responsible for the Arroyo regime’s bloody human rights record, and he has extended it as his government’s program.

He curries favor with the military and police generals by giving them huge increases in their budgets while looking the other way in so far as their crimes of murder, abduction and torture as well as thievery of soldiers’ pay, benefits and equipment. He has done nothing to break the culture of impunity with which the AFP and PNP perpetrate corruption and human rights violations.

He says hardly a word and takes no steps towards addressing the feudal tenurial relations in the country benefitting big landlords such as the Cojuangco-Aquino clan of which he himself is now the most prominent member. But he and is spokespersons have favorable comments for the management of Hacienda Luisita as they employ all kinds of vile tactics to frustrate land reform from reaching the Cojuangco-owned estate.

He continues with the honorable-debtor policy that was the legacy of his mother and all post-Marcos Dictatorship regimes, not only persisting in the payment of onerous debts but in prioritizing debt servicing over any and all government expenditures, especially basic services such as health, education and housing.

The Aquino administration’s neoliberal economic policy framework is completely unchanged from that of the Arroyo regime with its liberalization, privatization and deregulation thrusts. The result: more joblessness, more poverty and misery, greater environmental destruction and further denationalization and deindustrialization of the economy.

Not only does Mr. Aquino fail to see the connection between the endemic poverty and backwardness of the Philippine economy and these failed policies, he attempts to portray them as something innovative.

This is the case with the private-public partnerships (PPP)held up by Mr. Aquino as his centerpiece economic strategy though they are nothing more than the joint ventures of old. In fact many of such build-operate-transfer projects have ended up over-priced and, for the most part, graft-ridden, with the debts incurred in their implementation guaranteed by government and recovered through unconscionably high user fees and taxes.

US-Philippine relations under Mr. Aquino’s watch are still framed in the old neocolonial mold which Mr. Aquino even continues to describe as “special” apparently oblivious to all nationalist reassessments of the historically and currently unequal, lop-sided relations.

Mr. Aquino’s speech and Q & A in a forum sponsored by the US Council for Foreign Relations during his US trip is revealing. He declared the Philippines as “open for business under new management”. He assures US business interests that his regime will be “investment friendly” and that the doors are wide open to private investment in infrastructure projects, tourism, mining and business process outsourcing.

Mr. Aquino reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to uphold US geopolitical interests and foreign policy thrusts in the Philippines and in the Asia-Pacific region to the point that he was speechless about the RP-US Visiting Forces Agreement, the permanent presence of US troops on Philippine soil and related national sovereignty issues.

He displayed first and foremost, for his US audience of big business and policy makers, that he is a leader of the same kowtowing mold as Mrs. Arroyo and even his mother before him. Then he touted his popularity and credibility as one that can - in a gross perversion of “people power” - rally the people behind his regime’s policies, no matter how anti-people and undemocratic these turn out to be.

Mr. Aquino has not taken any steps to end the decades-old armed conflict in the country through peace negotiations and addressing its root causes. Instead he parrots the military’s line that the New People’s Army is a terrorist organization and that a ceasefire is a precondition to any reopening of peace talks.

From Mr. Aquino’s first one hundred days, it seems that the only change our people can expect is a change for the worse. #

Published in Business World
8-9 October 2010

 

     
     
     
     
           
     
 
     
     

 

Press Statement

Reference: Marie Hilao Enriquez, Karapatan Chairperson
4 October 2010 Mobile number: +639175616800

HUMAN RIGHTS RECORD OF THE US-AQUINO REGIME IN ITS FIRST 100 DAYS:
SAME POLICY OF STATE TERRORISM AND IMPUNITY;
PERSISTENT WORSENING HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION.

THE FILIPINO PEOPLE MUST ASSERT AND DEFEND THEIR RIGHTS TO LIVELIHOOD, FREEDOM AND JUSTICE!

POLITICAL KILLINGS, ABDUCTIONS, TRUMPED-UP CHARGES, ILLEGAL ARRESTS, TORTURE, DETENTION AND MILITARIZATION CONTINUE WITH IMPUNITY AND ARE GETTING WORSE.

We in KARAPATAN (Alliance for the Advancement of People's Rights), together with HUSTISYA!, DESAPARECIDOS, Ecumenical Movement for Justice and Peace (EMJP), and SELDA, are crying out for justice with the mass of the Filipino people as we hold President Benigno Simeon Aquino III accountable for the continuing human rights violations under his watch.

We condemn the intensifying wave of extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances committed by the state security forces. The first 100 days in office of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III have already claimed the lives of at least 16 victims; the number is about to equal if not surpass the 18 killed in the last six months of the past regime (January-June 2010). Already 2 victims are already missing in Surigao del Sur. The manner of the slaying has become even more horrendous -- with houses forcibly entered, victims dragged, tortured and killed right in front of their families and loved ones.

Save for "showcases" like the Ampatuan massacre, the perpetrators of 1,207 killings, 205 enforced disappearances and hundreds of human rights violations cases under the Arroyo regime are still NOT prosecuted and convicted. Hence; the continuing impunity. Most of the recommendations of the UN Special Rapporteur Professor Philip Alston are left unheeded. Whatever little remedy that victims’families were able to gain at the UN Human Rights Committee on the complaints filed with it as in the two EJK cases brought to its attention (Marcellana & Gumanoy in 2006 and favorably judged by the UNHRC in 2008) remain elusive as the government did NOT ACT on any of the instructions of the Committee up till now.

Recently, another case – that of the killing of Benjaline Hernandez – filed with the UNHRC in 2006 has just obtained a favorable ruling. But, just like the other two cases, the families and human rights defenders are waiting for the government’s action to implement the UNHRC views.

Today, there are still 388 political prisoners languishing in various military camps and detention cells throughout the country. Among them are the Morong 43 health workers illegally searched, arrested, detained and tortured under false charges. While Aquino's mother released all 441 prisoners of conscience in her first two months in office, the son did not even make any reference on them.

Like his predecessor, the President made bold announcements on human rights; but sadly, these remain general statements without substance and real meaning to victims as his words are just empty rhetoric meant to appease the Filipino public and the international community. Now the state security forces have been emboldened to commit more appalling violations and crimes against humanity as the supposed new administration just carries on the economic and political policies of the regime it just replaced.

Pres. Aquino promised to "solve" the killings, but the killings go on. He formed a "Truth Commission," but cases of human rights violations are excluded from its investigation. The Inter-Agency Legal Action Group (IALAG), an agency formed under the counter-insurgency program that was responsible for slapping of false charges against activists, was supposedly abolished last year; but, a whole new set of trumped-up charges are being levelled against leaders, activists and human rights defenders. PNoy commanded a "rights-based" military offensive, as the AFP is continuing its historically mercenary role.

The President as commander-in-chief remained deaf to calls of abandoning the counter-insurgency program, Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL), that engendered the gross and systematic violations of the previous hated regime. Instead, Pres. Aquino and his military officials extended the anti-people OBL till December 2010 and announced putting in place of a new counter-insurgency plan similarly backed by the US government next year.

We denounce the continuing militarization of rural and urban areas where most of the killings, enforced disappearances, abductions, torture, bombings and displacement of entire communities are being done by state and state-sponsored forces for the benefit of big business.

The justice system is being abused in a marked offensive of filing conjured criminal charges against leaders, activists and critics branded as "terrorists". The recent rulings of the Supreme Court bring much worry rather than assurance to the poor as it convicted victims of torture, strips them of an already slim protection and displays a propensity to tip the balance of justice towards more powerful families who already have more in life and even more in law for centuries.

Thus, we are sounding the clarion call for justice in this first 100 days of the Noynoy Aquino administration. Nothing has changed. Human rights must be defended as we march defiantly against an unjust order, being maintained by the present administration and backed up by the same US imperial power that has propped up Philippine dispensations that violated the rights of their own people. We are confident that the exploited and oppressed masses shall not waiver in the commitment of the Filipino people for genuine freedom, democracy, peace and progress.


STOP OPLAN BANTAY-LAYA AND U.S. INTERVENTION!
STOP THE KILLINGS!
SURFACE THE DISAPPEARED!
FREE ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS!
INDEMNIFY THE VICTIMS!
END IMPUNITY!

 

     
     
     
           
     
     
     

 

Missing out land reform thrice:

Aquino not leader enough to face the land issue, groups said
by Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP, Peasant Movement of the Philippines) on Friday, October 8, 2010 at 11:42pm

Peasants belonging to the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP, Peasant Movement of the Philippines), Katipunan ng mga Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan (KASAMA – TK, KMP Southern Tagalog) and Alyansa ng mga Manggagawang Bukid sa Asyenda Luisita lambasted president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino’s deliberate omission of the land reform issue on his report of his first 100 days as president.

No land
“This is the third time he did not mention about land reform, following his inaugural and SONA speech. This is already intentional and it is clear that he is not a leader enough to face the land issue,” said Antonio Flores, KMP Spokesperson.

“Aquino’s omission of the land issue on his 100-days report is an indicator of his intellect and leadership competence. He does not comprehend the scale of the landlessness issue and the implication of his continuous negligence of the farmers,” Axel Pinpin, KASAMA-TK Secretary-General said.

“He is scared of us [Hacienda Luisita farmers]. He knows the land issue is his quicksand, being a hard-core landlord from the Cojuangco-Aquinos who are clinging on their control over the 6,453-hectare Hacienda Luisita,” Felix Nacpil said, AMBALA chair.

The groups are now on the third day of resilient protest at Mendiola which they dubbed as “Battle of Mendiola.” They have been on protest since October 6 and attempted to set camp but elements of the Manila police as ordered by Malacańang already dispersed them twice. The farmer groups condemned the violent dispersals and are demanding Aquino to resolve the land problem and bring out fundamental reforms to Filipino peasants that are the majority in the country.

“He blabbered about cancelling bonuses of government officials, suspending government projects, again criticizing again the former Arroyo government, sacking the PAGASA chief, this and that, but not touching the most fundamental problem in the country that is landlessness,” Flores said.

The groups said that he even acted as an opposition of the P18.5-billion Laguna Lake dredging project when his own justice secretary Leila De Lima issued a statement that it not covered by the government’s bidding process.

“He is totally lying and grandstanding when the exact opposite is being pursued by his government. All those he mentioned are very far from the farmers’ belly, farmers and their families could not eat that. They are all useless to farmers when we are being kicked out of our farms, Aquino should work for our lands to be distributed to us,” said Flores.

The groups are primarily demanding Aquino to push Genuine Land Reform, particularly the distribution of Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac, Hacienda Yulo in Calamba, Laguna and Hacienda Looc, in Nasugbu, Batangas. These areas have imminent threats of dislocation of farmers, thus, groups are tencious in drumming up the issue. In addition, with Aquino’s inaction of their issues, the groups gave Aquino a grade of “zero” for his first 100-days in office.

“His presidency did nothing end the dislocation of farmers from the lands of haciendas, 3,100-hectare lands of Fort Magsaysay Military Reservation in Laur, Nueva Ecija, 2,074-hectare lands in Alangalang, Leyte, 13,000-hectare Hacienda Santa Isabel and San Antonio in Ilagan, Isabela and many more. Aquino is no hope for the Filipino farmers who are longing for Genuine Land Reform,” said Flores.

No justice, continuing rights abuses
“He is brutal, he continued in criticizing the hated Arroyo government but he continued its counter-insurgency program Oplan Bantay Laya, he never mentioned anything about human rights violations. His first 100-days tolled 9 peasant victims of extra-judicial killings, the latest was Rene Quirante of Kaugmaon (KMP Negros Oriental) killed on October 1 and the latest political prisoners were Darwin Liwag and 2 peasant activists. Liwag is the Vice-Chair of KASAMA-TK and Secretary-General of PUMALAG (KMP Laguna),” Pinpin said.

“Liwag was with us at our press conference at the peasant camp-out in front of the Dept. of Agrarian Reform (DAR) on September 29, he joined the protest against the P18.5 Laguna Lake dredging project on September 23, in front of the Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), now he was arrested and being accused as a member of the New People’s Army (NPA). This is an all-out attack of the Aquino government against the peasant movement,” shared Pinpin.

The groups are also calling for the Aquino government to end the rights abuses against peasants and give justice to the victims. Tanggol Magsasaka (Peasant Network for Land, Justice and Human Rights) reported that 9 were victims of extra-judicial killings, including Pascual Guevarra, a 78-year old farmer inside the 3,100-hectare Fort Magsaysay Military Reservation, 2 from Paquibato District in Davao City, 4 peasants including a high school student were massacred in Mobo town, Masbate, a copra farmer in Mawab, Compostela Valley and Quirante from Negros. The human rights group also said that 2 peasants were abducted and still missing in Marihatag, Surigao del Sur since September 1.

They are also calling for the immediate release of Liwag and 2 of his colleagues, Dario Tomada, a peasant leader from Eastern Visayas arrested July 22, Felicidad Caparal of Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura and groups of peasant political prisoners in various jails across the country.

Burning down the Haciendero Republic
As symbol of the groups over-flowing protest, they burned an mock presidential seal written with “Republika ng Haciendero” at Mendiola bridge. They are on the conclusion of the 3-day Battle of Mendiola and the groups said that they are successful in exposing Aquino as an anti-peasant haciendero president.

“We were ignored, we were beaten up, we are being killed and arrested. The Aquino government is a ‘Haciendero Republic’ and we are burning it down at the very foot of Mendiola bridge. The Filipino people witnessed how insensitive and brutal Aquino is,” Pinpin said.

“It is crystal clear that Aquino is an enemy of the Filipino peasants. He is only capable of monkey jokes. We vow to launch more protest to put his back against the wall and work for Genuine Land Reform. Aquino is destroying his already dwindling down artifical popularity, in due time, no paid survey firms and media apologists could ever save his incompetent presidency,” said Flores. #
 

     
     
     
           
     
     
           

 

Ephphata Forum

A Faith - based Discernment on Social Issues

Secretariat: Solidarity Philippines - Room 106, CICM Guest House Building

No. 60, 14th St., New Manila, Quezon City

Telephone Number: (02) 584-3190

E-Mail Address: religiousdiscernment@gmail.com

17 October 2010


Dear Ma’am/Sir,

 

Please publish our letter in your Letter to the Editor Section.

 

Thank you.

 

Fr. Wilfredo Dulay, MJ

Convenor

Religious Discernment Group and Ephphata Forum

______________________________________

 

Open Letter to President Benigno Simeon Aquino III

 

Dear Mr. President,


We, the convenors of the Ephphata Forum and Religious Discernment Group,  greet you once again as you complete your first one hundred days in office.  We trust that our first letter to you dated August 5, 2010 and received by Undersecretary Ma. Lourdes Ong, of the Presidential Assistant Office of the Special Assistant to the President has reached you. As stated in that letter, we considered it good that you called the people your “bosses” and declared that you wanted to lead us in the path of Righteousness, “sa daang matuwid”.  In Isaiah we hear this reference to making the way straight (Is 40:4) so that the glory of God may be seen.  Luke takes up this theme where Jesus quotes Isaiah in his mission statement (Lk 4: 18-19): this is the challenge for one to be righteous and make the way straight:

 

1.       Preach good news to the poor:  this means poverty alleviation.  Schemes such as the Conditional Cash Transfer Program (CCT) have been shown to develop mendicancy and do nothing about the underlying causes of poverty.  The money could be better spent creating jobs and improving basic services such as health and education. We are concerned that there is no budget for the National Food Authority (NFA). If instead the budget was increased, the farmers could sell their produce at a fair price and many would no longer need dole outs such as the CCT.

 

2.      Set prisoners free: we commend your asking Dept. of Justice Secretary Leila De Lima to review the case of the Morong 43, but the 388 political prisoners, including the illegally detained 43 health workers should be freed immediately.  We are concerned at the continuing arrests, particularly of peasant leaders on trumped up charges.  We call on you to be a righteous person and release all political prisoners.  We are extremely concerned that 16 leaders have been extra judicially killed since you took office.  This shows that the culture of impunity implicating some members of the military continues unabated.  To pave the “daang matuwid” the perpetrators of all extra judicial killings must be held accountable and the victims compensated.  We are disappointed that Oplan Bantay Laya has been extended since it has been documented that this Oplan has given rise to the continuing human rights violations.

 

3.      Proclaim a Jubilee year:  central to the jubilee year in Lev 25, is the breaking up of landed monopolies into small family farms and providing services so that the farmers become productive.  We regret that until now you have failed to effect the distribution of their land to the tenants of Hacienda Luisita, but have instead tolerated the maneuverings of family members to undermine the social justice provisions of land reform in the Constitution.

 

4.      Be a peacemaker:  this means resuming Peace Talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).  Unless the basic causes of poverty are addressed within the framework of national sovereignty, there will be no true development for the people and no peace.

 

Finally, as the survey shows, you retain much popularity among the people.  We call on you to follow Jesus who sided with the poor and the oppressed.  Let them be your “bosses”:  they will continue to support you for as long as they know you are really trying to be righteous, as we, too, shall try.

 

As stated in our first letter we are ready to pursue with you “ang daang matuwid” but there is much to be done to make this a reality.

 

In behalf of the Ephphata Convenors,

 

Fr. Wilfredo Dulay, MJ                                                                     Fr. Gregorio Obejas, OSM

Fr. Quirico Pedregosa, Jr., OP                                                           Sr. Pat Fox, NDS

Fr. Tito Maratas, MSC                                                                      Fr. Jose Dizon

 

           

 

xNews Release
October 8, 2010

“Where’s the change?”
Groups march to Mendiola to mark Aquino 100 days

The umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan today led a multi-sectoral march to Mendiola to mark President Benigno Aquino III’s first 100 days in office. The group protested the continuing absence of any meaningful reforms under Aquino, and his failure to address issues such as human rights, the prosecution of former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, land reform and pro-people economic development.

The groups carried a streamer with the question “100 araw: Nasaan ang pagbabago?” (100 days: Where is the change).They also carried score cards on several basic issues which they said the president failed to address.

“Mr. Aquino says the Philippines is ready for take-off, but we’ve heard the same line before from almost all previous presidents. It’s been 100 days and we don’t see many achievements or results as far as genuine change is concerned .There’s plenty of rhetoric but little accomplishments that could be felt by the poor,” said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.

Bayan said that the real audience in the “scripted town hall meeting” was not the Filipino people but the big foreign investors and businessmen.

“The so-called achievements in the stock market, foreign reserves and government spending were for the ears of the big businessmen. These things are hardly even felt by Juan dela Cruz.Malayo ang stock market at foreign reserves sa bituka ng ordinaryong mamamayan,” Reyes said.

“Again the president did not mention important issues such as human rights, land reform, the prosecution of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, migrants welfare, and the concerns of other marginalized sectors,” he added.

Bayan said that even if there were savings from so-called anomalous government transactions, it remains to be seen if these will be allotted for basic social services. There have been protests the past few weeks over budget cuts in tertiary education and public hospitals. Meanwhile, Aquino has also increased spending for debt servicing by P80.4 billion (interest and principal).

“Mr. Aquino cannot always pin the blame and make reference to the crimes of the past regime. His failure to address the current economic and political crisis is his own. He can’t blame on to the past administration,” Reyes said.

“For all the tough talk that the days of the corrupt are numbered, government has yet to file any case against Gloria Macapagal Arroyo for her crimes of plunder and human rights abuses,” he added

The group was also indignant that there has been no concrete response to human rights insofar as extrajudicial killings, harassment, torture and dismantling of para-military groups are concerned. “In his speech, Mr. Aquino talked about many things including his hairline, but no mention of human rights,” Reyes said. ###

 

     
     
           
     
           
           

 

The Rider
by Raymund B Villanueva

 

He rides his high horse
And he is liking it
He looks down on the people
And goads them to applaud

“Makisama naman kayo,” he orders
As if he is wronged
By the people he stepped on
While mounting the beast’s back

He makes his horse dance
Step sideways and run in circles
He makes it jump and rear
Going nowhere all the while

He mistakes the people’s silent stare
As an insult on his riding skills
“Puro kayo batikos,” he thunders
Atop his high horse

Indeed the people are staring
Not at the rider but at the fat horse
Which may make for a hearty meal
For their hungry children back home

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

 

TATLONG TANAGA
-Nonilon V. Queano


1.
Muntik nang mapatula
Sa bomba ng tanaga
Ngunit puno ng luha
43'y di pa laya.

2.
Sige na nga, sige na,
Ang tula ay ikasa
Apatnapu't tatlo ba
P-noy, kailan lalaya?

3. Sigaw ng bayang api
Free the Morong 43
Lumalim na ang gabi
Hustisya'y bakit bingi?

 

SUMPA NA NAGING SUMPA
by Axel Pinpin


Nang una kong malamang ikaw ay Haciendero,
Isinarado ko na ang tenga ko.
Nagpapaalala ka sa Mendiola,
Nagpapaalala ka sa Luisita,
Nagpapaalala ka sa iyong biktima.

Sa unang akyat mo pa lamang para magtalumpati
At nakita namin ang iyong ngiti na nagiging ngisi,
Alam na naming lilinlangin mo kami.

Sa unang akyat mo pa lamang sa entablado
At binanggit mo kung sino ang Boss mo,
Alam na naming wala sa amin ang direksyon ng iyong hintuturo.

Sumpa na naging Sumpa.
Sumpa na naging sumpa!
At sampu ng magsasakang iyong pinaslang at pinapaslang
At inagawan ng lupa –
Ang Sumpa mo ay naging Sumpa!

Sinabi mong walang rekonsilyasyon kung walang hustisya
At umasa ang tao sa katarungang magpaparusa sa maysala.
Sinabi mong maari na muling mangarap –
At dilat, salat, nagpapanggap na panaginip ang sa pag-asa nami'y wumasak.

Sa unang araw mo pa lamang
At wala kang inatupag kungdi pagpapahuli sa wang-wang,
Alam na naming ang iyong utak ay makitid at walang laman
Sa ikalawang araw mo sa palasyo
At lumikha ka nang mga palpak na EO,
Alam na naming hindi ka marunong mag-gubyerno

Sumpa! Sumpa na naging sumpa!
Sumpa!

Sa ikatlong araw mo pa lamang sa Malakanyang
At nagkibit-balikat ka lamang sa binuwag na Kampuhan,
Alam na naming ang interes ng iyong uri ay hindi mo isasalang.

Sa unang sampung araw mo pa lamang
At anim na aktibista na ang pinaslang,
Alam na naming ang Daang Tuwid ay duguan.

Bawal ang tumawid sa daang tuwid.
Walang tatawid, maraming balakid.
Walang tatawid, maaring mapatid.
Walang tatawid, walang tatawid.

Sumpa! Sumpa na naging sumpa!
Sumpa!

Hindi sa aming kapakanan
Na kukunin mo ang puhunan ng dayuhan
Para ilagay sa lipunan;

Hindi sa aming ngalan
Na mangangayupapa ka
Sa Amerika para sa negosyo;

Hindi sa aming dugo.
Hindi sa aming lupa.
Hindi sa aming biyaya.
Hindi sa aming ngalan.
Nalalapit na ang pagtatapos
Kaya't handa kami sa pagtutuos.
Tutuusin namin ang 100-araw
Na di ka man lang nagbigay-tanaw
Ni nagbigay nang oras o puwang.
Sa gitna nang pagkahaling mo sa wangwang,
Sa gitna nang pagnguya mo ng hotdog,
Sa gitna nang pagpapalobo mo ng kondom –
Ang pagbabago ay pantasya
Ang sumpa mo'y naging sumpa!

Sumpa na naging sumpa!
 

Isandaan!
Isandaang araw ang babantayan.
Isang daang tuwid ang bubuwagin.
Isandaan!
Isandaang araw ang babantayan.
Isandaang sumpa ang kakalasin.

Sapagkat hindi kami tatahak sa iyong daan.
Sapagkat hindi kami hahakbang sa iyong daan.
Sapagkat hindi matwid ang iyong daan.

Dahil walang daang matuwid patungong pagbabago.
Dahil walang daang patag patungong pagbabago.
Dahil walang daang kinis patungong pagbabago.

Kalayaan ang tungo kahit baku-bako,
Kahit bawal magcounterflow – sa kaliwa ang liko!

[Naisulat itong installment na SMS draft messages, to-do-list sa desktop, at sa scratch pad sa isang band studio sa Aurora Boulevard noong huling 7-araw bago ang ika-100 Araw ng Kampuhang Magbubukid na isinabay sa ika-100 Araw ni Aquino sa Malakanyang. Salamat kay RJ Mabilin ng Southern Tagalog Exposure sa ideya at pamagat. Salamat sa Time ni Saul William na pinaghalawan kung paano ito bibigkasin.]

 

VIDEO:
 
Axel Pinpin Tula-Galaw na itinanghal kasama ang STCN (Southern Tagalog Cultural Network) sa okasyon ng ika-100 Araw ng Hacienderong Rehimeng Aquino sa Malakanyang

 

 

 

 

           
           
     
 

ASYENDA
-Nonilon V. Queano/16Oktubre2010


Ako’y isinilang, lumaki’t tumanda
Sa asyendang bukid ng aking ninuno
Mundo’y do’n gumulong, tulad sa gunita
Tinagpas ng hirap, kinain ng laho

Ang musmos na hubo at hubad sa araw
May kuwerdas ang dibdib, ang balat ay hapit
Patinga-tingala at palagaw-lagaw
Limot kung kailan kumita ng langit

Ang inang kumandong sa kaniyang anak
Sa oras ng gutom, sakit, pagtitiis
Minsan’y sakada rin, halibas ay itak
Lahat pati puso’y sinimpan sa hapis

Ang amang nahutok sa pakikitalad
Sa hirap at pagod, gutom, pagdarahop
Nag-asam ng laya, nangarap lumipad
Ngunit mula’t mula’y kalos na ang salop

Walang ibabagwis ang sahod-pulubi
Ipupugal lamang nang paikot-ikot
Paano uusad kung ni ang pambili
Ng pagkain, damit, lahat di masimot

Ganito ang buhay sa asyenda namin
Bawa’t henerasyon’y kuwentong susulatin
Mistulang bilanggo kung aming limiin
At ang kuwentong ito’y uulit-ulitin

Subalit mayroong bagong pangyayari
Nitong huling araw na di pa nasulat
Mga manggagawa sa asyenda dini
Ang nagsibalikwas tila nangamulat

Kasabay din noon may mga nautas
Sa putok ng baril ng guwardiyang bayaran
Ngunit hudyat yaon ng lalong paglakas
Ng kilos protesta dito sa tubuhan

Yaong kuwentong yaon'y nais kong awitin
Ilalahad bukas at sana’y limiin,
Yaon din ang araw na sa papawirin
Sana’y makalipad kauring alipin.

 

 

 

Tula kay P-Noy
- Nonilon V. Queano/30 Setyembre 2010


Sakaling datnan ka ng ulirat
Pakiusap po, alalahanin, silang mga nangamatay.
Unahin na natin si Ninoy na Tatay mo
(Mahal mo kaya ang Tatay mo, di kaya po ba?)
Pagkaraan, paslit ka no’n,
Ang sinabi ng mayabang na Pangulong Macoy:
This nation can be great again.
Pero ang salita ay baliw na sa simula,
How can this nation be great again when
Pinagpapatay ang pinakamagagaling nating tao.

Umpisahan na sa Tatay mo
(Na, sa totoo lang,
Bobong-bobo ka kung ikumpara sa pusyaw ng utak,
At gift of gab niya –
Pero kahit na mas magaling ang Tatay mo sa iyo,
Sige na, tatanggapin na naming,
P-Noy, anak ka pa rin ng Tatay mo),

Pero kilo-kilometro na ang listahan ng disappeared at pinaslang
Na magsasaka, manggagawa (pati taga Hacienda Luisita kaya ),
Intelektuwal, guro, estudyante, makata,
Doktor, health worker, pintor, manlilikha,
Evelio Javier, Bobby de la Paz, Johnny Escandor,
Lorena Barros, Eman Lacaba, Lerry Nofuente,
Lando Olalia, Karen Empeńo, Sherlyn Cadapan, Jonas Burgos, Kimberly Luna,
Ian Dorado, Tanya Domingo, saka
(Shet, di ko na maalala ang pangalan ng kaibigan ko)
Silang may pinakamatipunong bisig,
Pinakamatatalas na utak,
Pinakadalisay na puso.
At kaming lahat na ginutom at nilason ng sistemang ito.

P-Noy, P-Noy
Kung sakaling magising ka,
(Na alam naming suntok sa buwan,
Dahil sino ka bang hahamon sa Kaharian ng Kapitalismo),
Sakali lang,
Alam mo na ang gagawin mo:
Magmamartsa ka sa hanay ng sambayanan,
Magtataas ng kamao,
Aawit ng pakikibaka,
Mangangarap ng tunay na kalayaan,
Tututok ng baril sa kalaban
At, malay natin, suntok sa buwan, malay natin
(Tulad ng Tatay at marahil, ng Nanay mo)
Sa tapang at tikas na ipamamalas,
Bayani ka ngang itanghal ng bayan mo.

 

 

Vist blog of Prof. Nonilon Queano: http://noniqlai.blogspot.com/2010_10_01_archive.html

 

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Press Statement
October 7, 2010

Aquino’s first 100 days: No major achievements, no meaningful change, lots of failed promises

Renato M. Reyes, Jr. - BAYAN secretary general

The first 100 days of the Aquino government were marked by the continuation of many of the policies of previous governments, the continuing deterioration of the human rights situation and the failure to make any headway in the prosecution of former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

In his Ulat sa Bayan, President Benigno Aquino III again did not address crucial issues such as human rights violations, the prosecution of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her cohorts, land reform, migrants welfare and the plight of other marginalized sectors. The 20-minute speech was big on rhetoric but falls short of actual meaningful results.

Aquino’s superficial efforts to make himself appear different from Arroyo cannot cover-up the lack of any meaningful reforms in his government. He gets failing marks in many key areas of governance such as justice, human rights, economic reform and foreign policy.

The Aquino government finds comfort in survey results which it believes are unusually high. History however has shown that even the most optimistic survey results are fleeting if there are no fundamental changes in place. Former presidents Fidel Ramos and Joseph Estrada during their first 100 days had higher scores than Aquino but both ended up as very unpopular regimes.

The president’s first 100 days saw the following developments:

1. The failure to hold Arroyo and her cohorts accountable for gross corruption, human rights violations, and sell-out of national interests. Despite the formation of the so-called Truth Commission, no charges have been filed by the Aquino government against the former president. The TC in fact has slowed down the process of accountability. Even the Department of Justice cannot conduct its own investigations because it will have to defer to the TC. Aquino has gone after some tax-evaders and over-paid officials of the past government, but it has miserable failed to make any headway against GMA.

2. Human rights violations continue with impunity throughout the country. There are now 16 activists who have become victims of extrajudicial killings during Aquino’s first 100 days. There are continuing reports of harassment, abductions, illegal arrests, trumped up charges and torture aimed at critics of government. There have been no charges filed against the known human rights violators of the Arroyo regime. The Aquino government, despite the abuses of the past, has continued the bloody counter-insurgency policy of its predecessor.

3. Aquino has continued the failed neo-liberal economic policies of past governments. Like his predecessors, Aquino has relied on foreign investments, foreign loans and OFW remittances to prop up the ailing economy. He has not shown any plan for genuine land reform and national industrialization as basic requirements for national development. Aquino has slashed the budget for social services (education, health) and plans to impose added burdens on the people such as the MRT fare hike. He has made “conditional cash transfer” (read: dole-out) as the centerpiece program in addressing, nay covering up poverty.

4. The current government has remained subservient to foreign dictates. It has not delivered on its promise of reviewing the VFA. It has expressed unqualified support for the US war on terror and US intervention in Southeast Asia. It has not protested the indefinite stay of US troops in Mindanao.

5. The Aquino government is wracked by internal squabbles and intensifying rifts between different reactionary factions. These warring factions out to corner the spoils of power have severely hampered the functions of government. Aquino remains indecisive in addressing this reality as evidenced by his stubborn refusal to fire his friend and shooting-buddy DILG Undersecretary Rico Puno.

With the current state of affairs, the people must rely on their own strengths, initiatives and struggles in achieving justice and meaningful change. ###
 

     
           
     
     
     

News Release
October 3, 2010

First 100 days: Aquino faces widespread disappointment
It’s not a question of the glass being half-full or half-empty.

This was the reaction of the umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan to President Benigno Aquino’s assessment of his first 100 days in office, with the president saying he prefers to look at it as a glass half-full.

“Mr. Aquino created high expectations in relation to good governance, human rights and economic reforms. He now faces widespread disappointment for not delivering much during his first 100 days. With no meaningful changes, the luster of yellow may be fading faster than he thinks,” said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.

“It’s not enough to look at government achievements in terms of the glass being half-full or half-empty. Quantitatively and qualitatively, the new government is sorely lacking in major accomplishments. We can pretend things are ok and mislead ourselves with a feel-good assessment of the situation; or we can take a hard and critical look at the problems we’re facing,” he added.

Bayan said that the absence of any meaningful results in the drive to make Gloria Macapagal Arroyo accountable is a major issue with the Aquino government. The group noted that the newly-formed Truth Commission has not delivered on Aquino’s pledge to investigate and hold accountable those involved in gross corruption from the past government.

“While Mr. Aquino’s allies have supported the impeachment process against Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, we’re still a long way from prosecuting Gloria Macapagal Arroyo,” Reyes said.

“It’s fine that the regime filed charges against a tax-evading luxury-car owner, but what about the plunderers from the past government? Why does going after Arroyo and her cohorts have to depend entirely on the toothless Truth Commission?” he added
Bayan also expressed disappointment over Aquino’s over-all human rights record during his first 100 days.

“While Mr. Aquino has ordered the review of the case of the Morong 43 and while charges have been filed in three recent cases of extrajudicial killings, justice remains elusive for hundreds of other victims of human rights violations of the past regime. Meanwhile, the number of victims of extrajudicial killings under Aquino’s watch now stands at 14,” Reyes added.

“There doesn’t seem to be an official recognition of the hundreds of victims of extrajudicial killings, disappearances and torture under the Arroyo regime. Different agencies have different estimates of victims. The conviction rate is also dismal,” he added.

The militant group also observed that the same neo-liberal economic policies from the time of Arroyo are being continued by Aquino under the catchphrase “public-private partnership”.
Bayan also noted that the first 100 days of Aquino can be characterized by factional infighting which has affected various functions of government.

“The factional infighting in the Aquino government goes against the president’s promise of good governance. It will become a major source of disappointment and a continuing source of controversy,” Reyes said.

The group said that the Manila hostage incident and the national government's poor response to the crisis was a defining moment in Aquino's first 100 days. "The Palace has been on damage control mode since the unfortunate ending of the crisis. The incident exposed a lot of short-comings from the Palace leadership," the Bayan leader said. ###

     
     
           
     
     
     

xPress Statement
October 2, 2010

Aquino not doing enough to stop extra-judicial killings

Bayan condemns in the strongest terms the extrajudcial killing of peasant leader Rene “Toto” Quirante of Negros Oriental. According to human rights groups, he is the 14th victim killed under the nearly 100-day old Aquino administration. This means that on the average, one victim is killed every week since Aquino took power.

The fact that these killings continue shows that the Aquino government is not doing enough to stop them. Aquino’s boast that 50% of the extrajudicial killings under his term have been solved is a hollow and misleading claim.
The number of victims has increased and no government action has proven to deter the perpetrators. The 50% claim also conveniently glosses over the hundreds of victims under the previous fascist Arroyo regime that remain unresolved.

Why do the killings continue?

1. The state policy for extrajudicial killings and the targeting of activists continue. This policy is embodied in the counter-insurgency program known as Oplan Bantay Laya. Legal organizations and unarmed activists are still considered targets of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. This has not changed and there have been many alarming accounts from various provinces on on the harassment and demonization of legal activists. The AFP continues to deny any responsibility despite overwhelming proof and widespread belief that they are involved. A policy from the preivious regime exists. Aquino cannot solve the problem if he does not recognize this basic fact that has been articulated by many rights advocates, including foreign observers and groups.

2. No high-ranking official, military or civilian, has been made to account for the killings. Hardly any of the perpetrators have faced conviction for the hundreds of deaths during the past nine years. This has contributed to the culture of impunity within the AFP. A study by rights lawyer Atty. Al Parreno shows that from 2001-2010, only 1.05% of a more than 300 cases resulted in the conviction of the perpetrators. The Aquino government does not seem to be doing anything to change this dismal trend. Justice remains elusive.

Aquino must rein in his generals, abandon the US-directed counter-insurgency program Bantay Laya and create the mechanisms needed to prosecute the perpetrators, both past and present. We support the move for the formation of a dedicated team of prosecutors that will address the problem of extrajudicial kilings. But more than this, it is the state-sponsored counter-insurgency policy that needs to end. The State’s failure to act on the killings will mean that the blood will be on Aquino’s hands as well. ###
 

     
           
     
     
     

 

End of (100) days
October 7, 2010 - 5:37pm — chiechie

In investigating the characteristics of a certain system, one usually performs several measurements simultaneously on it to obtain an average description. Alternatively, one can observe the system for a certain period to find statistical and qualitative behavior patterns that do not change over time. If we have a-priori knowledge about the system’s dynamics, unexpected data points usually indicate the need to revise our original description. On the other hand, if the measurements match our a-priori description, it further validates it and makes it useful in forecasting future behavior.

Describing things and events in ordinary life is no different. The news that we read and hear tells us about the state of things as they happen (together with whatever bias) which one usually couples with direct personal and collective experience. This predilection to observe things for a fixed period of time is the reason why the first 100 days of an administration becomes news in itself.

The current Aquino administration’s first 100 days in office is certainly no different. His campaign promises and rhetoric of +gdaang matuwid+h together with his State of the Nation Address become our a-priori knowledge of his administration’s plans and programs and serves as our yardstick with which to measure his presidency in the past three months.

We recall that in a previous column, we wrote about the immense but not entirely impossible challenges that President Aquino would have to face in order to undo underdevelopment in the country. However, instead of planning for domestic industrial growth to provide local goods and jobs, we have heard about the Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) in the President’s State of the Nation Address. This was realized when he visited the United States offering about P740-billion worth of privatization projects, coupled with generous tax and other incentives to big foreign investors. The President promises $2.4 billion of these investments in the next three years as part of his gain from the US visit. He also promises 40,000 new jobs to be created from these investments.

Yet this is but a drop in the bucket since around half of the Philippine labor force of 39 million are either unemployed or seeking additional employment. Around 30 percent of the graduates last March (around half a million) ended up unemployed. Those who are employed have minimum wage rates that are around one-fourth of a decent living wage.

What is worse is that the burden of the privatization of public utilities and basic industries is going to be shouldered by the public. The riding public is faced with increases in the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) and Light Railway Transit (LRT) systems in Metro Manila, increases in the rates charged by private water utility companies on top of the already high—and increasing—power rates.

This lack of jobs and lack of industries would be challenges to be faced by Aquino’s secretary for the Department of Science and Technology, engineer Mario Montejo. Coming from a very public presidential reprimand of the weather chief (which ended the removal from office of Dr. Nilo Rosas) and a budget for his department that remains very small in terms of UN recommendations for a developing country, Secretary Montejo would have to contend with the acceleration of the brain drain due to further denationalization and deindustrialization that the PPP projects will bring.

It is not just a matter of increasing the numbers of highly trained and motivated men and women in science and engineering if there would be no place for them to go in the country. With our country still lacking basic industries and faced with a shrinking domestic manufacturing sector, they have nowhere to go except abroad or be absorbed by existing corporations that are mostly foreign-owned and -controlled.
It would be one-sided and futile if we hope to develop the forces of production which includes scientists and technologists without addressing relations that keep it in a stunted and backward state—foreign investment-led development, export oriented and import dependent manufacturing and industrial activity, feudal and semi-feudal agricultural production.

At the end of Aquino’s first century of days, it seems that the basic issues that we have pointed out to comprehensively develop science and technology are being overlooked. We cannot continue to be a country that produces mainly agricultural products and raw or semi-processed minerals for export and expect the need for expert scientists and engineers. The dependence on foreign investments and imports for capital creates a lack of industrial pull that allows our scientists and engineers to stay here in the country. Unless a massive shift in policy occurs in this administration to engage in genuine agrarian reform and domestic industrialization, it seems that the perennial problem of underdevelopment would remain as it had in the past.
 

Author:
Dr. Giovanni Tapang, Ph.D.
Author Description:
Dr. Tapang is the chairperson of AGHAM-Advocates of Science and Technology in the Philippines. They have produced a pamphlet called Prometheus Bound: The State of Science and Technology in the Philippines which can be downloaded at agham.org/prombound.pdf.
 

     
     
           
     
     
     

 

On the first 100 days of Aquino, no honeymoon is deserved - GABRIELA
by GABRIELA | A National Alliance of Women on Friday, October 8, 2010 at 2:19pm
Press Statement
08 October 2010
Reference: Lana Linaban, secretary general, GABRIELA, 09088653582

On the first 100 days of Aquino, no honeymoon is deserved - GABRIELA

Aquino on his first 100 days complains " Palagay ko ho dahil siguro binata pa tayo, hindi na tayo binigyan ng honeymoon", but for the national alliance of women’s group, GABRIELA, he does not deserve it. “Sa panliligaw pa lang ay basted ka na sa kababaihan!” is how the sector put it.

This assessment on the first 100 days of Aquino comes about after he miserably failed to address the women’s 10-point demands presented to him as he assumed office. Behind his populist posturing and public stunts, there lies the truth that his administration does not have manifest policies and programs to uplift the quality of life of the impoverished majority.

Instead, Aquino drumbeats misleading anti-poverty programs like conditional cash transfer (CCT). To be funded with P29.2 billion, he boasted that the program will help 2.3 million families in 2011. But like all other measures that do not resolve the root cause of poverty, CCT is a palliative solution that gives only brief, temporary relief.

CCT’s beneficial aspect is short-lived, while its downside is far enduring. Part of the fund will be sourced from the loan granted by financial institutions as Asian Development Bank. This will be added to our national debt and will incur interest; while on the other hand, the debilitating conditions that paralyze the poor remain: landlessness, absence of gainful employment, lack of basic social services.

Misleading, the same characteristic applies on his approach on reproductive health. In place of the Aquino administration’s failure to usher significant economic reforms, he flaunts his support towards fertility control with the proposed budget of P400 million. Women pushed for pro-poor and comprehensive reproductive health care program, one that would provide women accessible care, information and services, but Aquino is bent on reducing this right of the women to the issue of family planning and population control.

Basic social services are one of the fundamental concerns that should be addressed by the government, but scrutinizing the 2011 national budget, the deep slash made in the funds for education, health and housing are revealed. On the other hand, budget on foreign debt payment and national defense increase showing where the real concern of the government lies.

Aquino promised reforms but the first 100 days of his presidency signifies the continuation of same anti-people policies of the previous administration. He puts more hype in criticizing Arroyo but his administration’s neoliberal economic policy framework is does not at all depart from the policies adhered to by his predecessor. He continues to uphold the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and the Oplan Bantay Laya counter-insurgency program that saw the killings, disappearances and imprisonment of thousands of innocent civilians. With the newly received grant from the US-owned Millenium Challenge Corporation, Aquino is expected to kowtow even more to the dictates of the US.

What does this tell us? We have nothing to expect from Aquino. Filipino women must link arms with the rest of the people and rely on our militancy to advance our agenda. It is only through united effort and action could we earn our demands for justice and change. ###

 

     
     
           
     
     
     

 

PRESS STATEMENT - October 4, 2010

HUMAN RIGHTS RECORD OF THE US-AQUINO REGIME IN ITS FIRST 100 DAYS:
SAME POLICY OF STATE TERRORISM AND IMPUNITY;
PERSISTENT WORSENING HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION.

THE FILIPINO PEOPLE MUST ASSERT AND DEFEND THEIR RIGHTS TO LIVELIHOOD, FREEDOM AND JUSTICE!

POLITICAL KILLINGS, ABDUCTIONS, TRUMPED-UP CHARGES, ILLEGAL ARRESTS, TORTURE, DETENTION AND MILITARIZATION CONTINUE WITH IMPUNITY AND ARE GETTING WORSE.

We in KARAPATAN (Alliance for the Advancement of People's Rights), together with HUSTISYA!, DESAPARECIDOS, Ecumenical Movement for Justice and Peace (EMJP), and SELDA, are crying out for justice with the mass of the Filipino people as we hold President Benigno Simeon Aquino III accountable for the continuing human rights violations under his watch.

We condemn the intensifying wave of extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances committed by the state security forces. The first 100 days in office of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III have already claimed the lives of at least 16 victims; the number is about to equal if not surpass the 18 killed in the last six months of the past regime (January-June 2010). Already 2 victims are already missing in Surigao del Sur. The manner of the slaying has become even more horrendous -- with houses forcibly entered, victims dragged, tortured and killed right in front of their families and loved ones.

Save for "showcases" like the Ampatuan massacre, the perpetrators of 1,207 killings, 205 enforced disappearances and hundreds of human rights violations cases under the Arroyo regime are still NOT prosecuted and convicted. Hence; the continuing impunity. Most of the recommendations of the UN Special Rapporteur Professor Philip Alston are left unheeded. Whatever little remedy that victims’families were able to gain at the UN Human Rights Committee on the complaints filed with it as in the two EJK cases brought to its attention (Marcellana & Gumanoy in 2006 and favorably judged by the UNHRC in 2008) remain elusive as the government did NOT ACT on any of the instructions of the Committee up till now.

Recently, another case – that of the killing of Benjaline Hernandez – filed with the UNHRC in 2006 has just obtained a favorable ruling. But, just like the other two cases, the families and human rights defenders are waiting for the government’s action to implement the UNHRC views.

Today, there are still 388 political prisoners languishing in various military camps and detention cells throughout the country. Among them are the Morong 43 health workers illegally searched, arrested, detained and tortured under false charges. While Aquino's mother released all 441 prisoners of conscience in her first two months in office, the son did not even make any reference on them.

Like his predecessor, the President made bold announcements on human rights; but sadly, these remain general statements without substance and real meaning to victims as his words are just empty rhetoric meant to appease the Filipino public and the international community. Now the state security forces have been emboldened to commit more appalling violations and crimes against humanity as the supposed new administration just carries on the economic and political policies of the regime it just replaced.

Pres. Aquino promised to "solve" the killings, but the killings go on. He formed a "Truth Commission," but cases of human rights violations are excluded from its investigation. The Inter-Agency Legal Action Group (IALAG), an agency formed under the counter-insurgency program that was responsible for slapping of false charges against activists, was supposedly abolished last year; but, a whole new set of trumped-up charges are being levelled against leaders, activists and human rights defenders. PNoy commanded a "rights-based" military offensive, as the AFP is continuing its historically mercenary role.

The President as commander-in-chief remained deaf to calls of abandoning the counter-insurgency program, Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL), that engendered the gross and systematic violations of the previous hated regime. Instead, Pres. Aquino and his military officials extended the anti-people OBL till December 2010 and announced putting in place of a new counter-insurgency plan similarly backed by the US government next year.

We denounce the continuing militarization of rural and urban areas where most of the killings, enforced disappearances, abductions, torture, bombings and displacement of entire communities are being done by state and state-sponsored forces for the benefit of big business.

The justice system is being abused in a marked offensive of filing conjured criminal charges against leaders, activists and critics branded as "terrorists". The recent rulings of the Supreme Court bring much worry rather than assurance to the poor as it convicted victims of torture, strips them of an already slim protection and displays a propensity to tip the balance of justice towards more powerful families who already have more in life and even more in law for centuries.

Thus, we are sounding the clarion call for justice in this first 100 days of the Noynoy Aquino administration. Nothing has changed. Human rights must be defended as we march defiantly against an unjust order, being maintained by the present administration and backed up by the same US imperial power that has propped up Philippine dispensations that violated the rights of their own people. We are confident that the exploited and oppressed masses shall not waiver in the commitment of the Filipino people for genuine freedom, democracy, peace and progress.


STOP OPLAN BANTAY-LAYA AND U.S. INTERVENTION!
STOP THE KILLINGS!
SURFACE THE DISAPPEARED!
FREE ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS!
INDEMNIFY THE VICTIMS!
END IMPUNITY!

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PUBLIC INFORMATION DESK
publicinfo@karapatan.org
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Alliance for the Advancement of People's Rights
2nd Flr. Erythrina Bldg., #1 Maaralin corner Matatag Sts., Central District
Diliman, Quezon City, PHILIPPINES 1101
Telefax: (+63 2) 4354146
Web: http://www.karapatan.org

KARAPATAN is an alliance of human rights organizations and programs, human rights desks and committees of people’s organizations, and individual advocates committed to the defense and promotion of people’s rights and civil liberties. It monitors and documents cases of human rights violations, assists and defends victims and conducts education, training and campaign. It was established in 1995.
 

     
     
     
           
           

 

PRESS RELEASE – 8 October 2010
 

First 100 Days of Pnoy: “Target-shooting?”

HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS

16 killed, 2 missing

10 frustrated murders

28 illegal arrests

24 illegal detention

10 torture cases

754 victims of forced evacuation

The human rights alliance KARAPATAN lambasted Pnoy’s Ulat sa Bayan in his first 100 days. “All he talked about is money and government. We’re worried about people’s lives,” Jigs Clamor of Karapatan said.

“Pres. Aquino is taking human rights like his target-shooting. Only, civilians becomes the sorry target,” Clamor added. Karapatan held a big cutout photo of Pres. Aquino during one of his target-shooting practices at a protest rally at Mendiola, Manila.

Pnoy talked of millions saved, in pure money terms, but never of lives saved.

He spoke of contracts cancelled, but the US-backed Oplan Bantay Laya counter-insurgency plan was extended.

He talked of cases of corruption curbed, but perpetrators of human rights violations were not prosecuted and convicted.

He talked of heeding the people, but hundreds of political prisoners are not released.

He talked of government that does not oppress, but trumped-up charges are filed by authorities against legitimate critics. Worse, killings against activists continue.

He talked of government that does not ignore its people, but a number of victims continue to be denied of justice.

He talked an empty talk.

Karapatan joins the various sectors of society in asserting genuine justice, freedom and democracy. ###
 

---------------------------------------------------------------------
PUBLIC INFORMATION DESK
publicinfo@karapatan.org
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Alliance for the Advancement of People's Rights
2nd Flr. Erythrina Bldg., #1 Maaralin corner Matatag Sts., Central District
Diliman, Quezon City, PHILIPPINES 1101
Telefax: (+63 2) 4354146
Web: http://www.karapatan.org



KARAPATAN is an alliance of human rights organizations and programs, human rights desks and committees of people’s organizations, and individual advocates committed to the defense and promotion of people’s rights and civil liberties. It monitors and documents cases of human rights violations, assists and defends victims and conducts education, training and campaign. It was established in 1995.
-
KARAPATAN Alliance for the Advancement of People's Rights
 

     
           
     
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Davao City
     

 

IBON Commentary / 8 October 2010
IBON Foundation, Inc., IBON Center 114 Timog Avenue, Quezon City Philippines
Phone: (632) 927-6986/927-7060 to 62|Fax: 929-2496| E-mail: media@ibon.org | http://www.ibon.org

FIRST 100 DAYS: FEW SIGNS OF REAL REFORM

The first 100 days of any administration are unique – this is the moment of transition from the old government, and the new administration is at the height of its optimism, trust and popularity. These are all vital political capital for reform.

What it does in the first 100 days is not necessarily final for the remaining six years and, to be sure, just so much can be realistically done in so short a time. Yet the first 100 days offer important insight into the character of the new administration and go far in establishing the directions of governance.

At this point, the new Aquino administration is showing few signs of conviction and a real reform agenda. It has not used its first 100 days to establish any real momentum for the economic and political reform that the country has long needed– belying its promise of real change.

In terms of national economic policy, the administration must aim for more democratic outcomes and more inclusive growth. But the Aquino administration’s economic directions are wanting; redistributive wealth and asset reforms have not been placed on its agenda, with a striking low priority for real land reform. Hacienda Luisita is perhaps the biggest missed opportunity of Pres. Aquino to underscore the sincerity of his administration in bringing about agrarian change and social justice; the administration has not put a stop to non-land-distributive methods such as the stock distribution option and continues to ignore the clamor of peasants for genuine land reform.

The US $434-million Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) grant for the Philippines to fight corruption which was signed last Sept. 23 in the US as witnessed by Aquino and Hillary Clinton requires the Philippines to meet certain indicators such as open trade, economic freedom, good governance, adherence to human rights, etc. to continue receiving the ‘grant’. To qualify for support, recipient countries are required to implement neoliberal economic and political policies such as opening up the economy to foreign capital and minimizing government intervention. It must be pointed out that the MCC grant was negotiated and practically clinched during the Arroyo administration’s term. That it was officially signed under the Aquino government only highlights the fact that the US sees in the new government the perpetuation and even strengthening of national economic, political, and military policies that kowtow to US agenda at the expense of Philippine sovereignty. Moreover, projects under the MCC are criticized as part of military’s counterinsurgency campaign thereby shortcutting the process of achieving sustainable and lasting peace.

More alarming is the administration’s declaration that that it will pursue as many free trade agreements as possible – such as an EU-RP trade deal and the TransPacific Partnership with the US. Despite his track record of voting against the one-sided Japan-Philippine Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) when he was senator in 2008, Aquino is now pushing for similar and even potentially worse free trade agreements with other countries. The EU-RP trade deal, for instance, will even unavoidably be “WTO+” or entail commitments even far beyond those the country has already made in the World Trade Organization (WTO). Moreover, the US has made overtones on the need for Charter change (Cha-cha) if the Philippines is serious in pushing for free trade deals.

The proposed 2011 national government budget currently being deliberated in Congress demonstrates a lack of priority for the people’s fundamental needs: there are alarming cuts in the budgets for health and education (especially for state colleges and universities) and scant allocation for housing and local rice procurement. In contrast, the executive branch allotted a huge budget for defense and also to pump-prime private-public partnerships (PPPs), which Pres. Aquino has promised in his inaugural speech will be cost-free for the government. Lastly as in the past administrations, a huge portion of the proposed national budget is allotted for debt servicing.

Aquino, in a renewed bid to fast track financing, construction, and operation of vital government infrastructure, signed Executive Order (EO) No. 8 to attract foreign capital and give them guaranteed and almost unlimited opportunities to profit from the country’s infrastructure. The much-hyped yet not-so-novel PPP is unmindful of the country’s experience with privatization. Among others, the incessant rate hikes in utilities such as power and water as well as the looming increases in toll fees and MRT/LRT fare are bitter results of previous and current PPP initiatives.

Even as it promised not to impose new taxes, the Aquino administration has pushed for additional tax burden such as through collection of the 12% VAT on toll, which is supposedly allowed under the reformed value-added tax (RVAT) law but the previous Arroyo administration refused to implement. Its much-hyped campaign to run after tax evaders, which has supposedly netted some big fish, avoids confronting the largest local and foreign businesses. The Commission on Audit (COA) for instance, recently revealed that big foreign firms Shell and Chevron have not been paying due income taxes from its Malampaya operations. All these show that the administration continues to rely on regressive taxes that unduly burden the country’s poor while avoiding taxes on the rich.

Instead of a long-term, productive, and sustainable poverty alleviation program, Aquino continues Pres. Arroyo’s conditional cash transfers (CCT) program, which is a dole-out program that only tends to obscure the underlying reasons behind lack of access to education and health and overall poverty of the people. In the end, the CCT is a waste of resources, especially because it is funded by foreign debt, which will be repaid with interest.

Lastly, the hyped anti-corruption stance of the Aquino administration has yet to really manifest. There is no sense of determination nor urgency in going after former Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo for her administration’s accumulated corruption charges and electoral fraud. The supposed anti-corruption drive also does not show in its revenue generation for the coming year, which remains poor.

The new administration has so far fell short in crafting concrete steps towards real change in its first 100 days. It is thus urgent for Pres. Aquino to immediately reveal his vision for the country, present a viable program for development, and prove that he has the ability to rally the people according to their genuine interests. (end)

IBON Foundation, Inc. is an independent development institution established in 1978 that provides research, education, publications, information work and advocacy support on socioeconomic issues.

     
     
     
           
     
     
     

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Pahayag ng mga makabayang guro sa talumpati ni PNoy sa World Teachers‘ Day:

PNoy – hindi ka nakakatuwa!

Imbes na pakinggan at pagbigyan ang lehitimong karaingan at kahilingan ng mga guro ng bayan – insulto at panlalait lamang ang natanggap ng mga guro sa talumpati ni Pangulong Noynoy Aquino sa World Teachers' Day nitong ika-5 ng Oktubre sa Ultra, Pasig City.

Tulad ng kanyang talumpati sa inagurasyon at sa unang state of the nation address o SONA, malaking insulto sa mga guro na wala man lang binanggit si PNoy sa malaon nang karaingan at lehitimong kahilingan ng mga guro ng bayan hinggil sa mababa at di makatwirang pasweldo at benepisyo, hinggil sa kontra gurong patakaran at iskema ng GSIS, hinggil sa shortage crisis at budget cut sa edukasyon, at hinggil sa mababang honoraryum at kawalan ng proteksyon sa pagseserbisyo sa eleksyon.

Malaking insulto rin para sa mga guro na walang binanggit si PNoy hinggil sa patuloy na pagbaliwala at paglabag sa mga demokratikong karapatan at kagalingan ng mga guro kabilang ang union rights at right to strike na nakatadhana sa Magna Carta at sa Konstitusyon ng Pilipinas. At wala ring binanggit si PNoy, ni ha – ni ho, hinggil sa patuloy na kawalan ng katarungan sa mga gurong biktima ng extra-judicial killings dulot ng oplan bantay-laya ng AFP at PNP.

Sa gitna ng matinding hirap, pahirap at panggigipit na dinaranas sa araw-araw ng mga guro habang binubuhos ang lahat ng kanilang talino, lakas at sakripisyo sa pagtuturo at pagseserbisyo, ang tanging narinig at nahita lamang nila sa talumpati ni PNoy ay mga boladas at pangakong narinig na nila noong kampanya sa eleksyon, at noong inagurasyon at SONA.

Ang tanging nakaiinsultong pangako lamang ni PNoy para sa mga guro ay ang karagdagang pagsasanay at pasilidad, at ang reporma ng pag-eeksperemento sa edukasyon.

Kaugnay nito ay tuwirang ipinagyabang ni PNoy ang pangakong 2.4 bilyong dolyar na halaga ng pamumuhunan na nalimos niya mula sa kanyang byahe ng pangangayupapa sa mga tunay niyang “boss“ sa Amerika – ang imperyalistang gobyernong US at ang mga dambuhalang monopolyong bangko at korporasyon nito.

Kaakibat nito ang pagsumpa ni PNoy sa harap mismo ng mga dayuhan niyang among kapitalista at gubyernong Amerkano na gagawin niya ang lahat upang protektahan at ibayong palaguin ang naturang dayuhang pumumuhunan at ang mga tutubuin nito. Kaya malinaw na walang pakinabang dito ang mga guro, ang edukasyon, at ang bansa.

Ang masahol pa nito, wala na ngang kapaki-pakinabang sa kanyang talumpati, ay nagawa pa ni PNoy na magbiro at manlait sa harap ng libu-libong gurong hinakot at ginastusan upang makinig sa kanya.

Lumabas ang natural na mapanglait at mapangliit na eletistang katangian ng isang reaksunaryong uring kumprador-asendero na si PNoy nang ngiting-aso niyang binanggit ang kwento ng kanyang nakatatandang kapatid tungkol sa isang guro nito na tila probinsyanong may matigas na dila na ang isinagot daw sa tanong na kung ano ang tamang bigkas sa salitang “either or either“ ay “eder op dato weldo“.

Para sa mga guro ng bayan, PNoy – hindi ka nakakatuwa! Sa katuyan, nakakasawa ka na! Di mo kailan man makukuha ang tiwala, paghanga at suporta ng mga guro sa pamamagitan ng maangas, mapanglait at ngiting-aso mong boladas.

Sa loob lamang ng unang 100-araw na panunungkulan, mabilis nang nalalantad ang tunay na katangian ng rehimeng Noynoy Aquino na walang pinagkaiba sa dating pahirap, korap, pasista at papet ng imperyalistang US na rehimeng Arroyo na isinuka at kinasuklaman na ng sambayanang Pilipino. #

Pambansang Kalihiman
Katipunan ng mga Gurong Makabayan (KAGUMA)
Kasapi: National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDF)

05 Oktubre, 2010
Reference: Ka Cesar Magturo
Tagapangulo, Pambansang Kalihiman ng KAGUMA

     
     
           
     
     
     

 

**CHR participates in psywar against the NPA and abandons real victims
of human rights violations**
PRESS RELEASE
CPP Information Bureau

6 October 2010
Other versions: Waray
<http://www.philippinerevolution.net/cgi-bin/statements/releases.pl?date=101006;refer=ndfev;lang=war>
CHR participates in psywar against the NPA and abandons real victims
of human rights violations (Related statement)
<http://www.philippinerevolution.net/cgi-bin/statements/stmts.pl?author=ndfev;date=101006;lang=eng>

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines-Eastern Visayas
today assailed the regional office of the Commission on Human Rights
for participating in a psychological warfare campaign against the New
People's Army (NPA) after its successful 21 August tactical offensive
in Catarman, Northern Samar.

"Without even the pretense of an investigation, the CHR-8's
condemnation of the NPA's offensive merely parrots the lies that the
police casualties were not legitimate targets and that the NPA used
prohibited land mines," said Fr. Santiago Salas, NDFP-EV spokesperson.

"These lies were spread by the military through various means, such
as official statements by the 803rd Infantry Brigade (of the Armed
Forces of the Philippines), as well as by the Northern Samar Peace and
Development Forum that is known to be influenced by the military. It
is clear from the repetitious accusations that there is a single force
attempting to manipulate public opinion, and that can only be the
military's psywar campaign against the NPA. The military is following
the style of Hitler's propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels, in
promoting the fascist agenda: A lie when often repeated becomes the
truth."

The NDFP-EV spokesperson also said only the most undiscerning and
diehard militarists could believe the military's psywar. "The military
wants to downplay the political impact of the Catarman ambush by
maligning the NPA. It is clearly a lie to say the police -- one of the
armed services of the reactionary state -- cannot be considered a
legitimate target. And it is even more outrageous to say the eight
heavily-armed policemen were not combat-ready when they set out to aid
a government spy punished by the NPA.

Furthermore, the civilians who lived near the ambush site themselves
reported to the media that there were no land mines anywhere, contrary
to rumors spread by the military. In fact, these civilians and the
media have every reason to be furious at the military for causing
panic and flight among the people."

Fr. Salas also condemned the CHR-8 for rendering financial assistance
to the families of the police casualties, but failing to help
civilians who were abused during heavy military operations in Northern
Samar after the NPA offensive.

"There is no reason for the CHR-8 to render humanitarian aid to the
families of the policemen -- they were not victims of human rights
violations but died in the performance of their duties as state
security forces in a legitimate act of war by the NPA.

Meanwhile, the CHR did not help many civilians who were abused during
heavy military operations against the NPA after the Catarman ambush.
These civilians suffered harassment, torture, strafing, economic
blockade, forced evacuations and other human rights violations. The
victims have trooped to the media to expose the abuses of the 52nd
Infantry Battalion, 63rd Infantry Battalion, and other government
forces in their military operations in Barangays Cuenco, Capotoan,
Paco and other villages in Las Navas and nearby Matuguinao.

These military operations continue today and adversely affect the
civilian populace.

"The CHR thus ignores the real victims of human rights violations and
shows by its words and actions that it is also an instrument of the
government's "counterinsurgency" campaign. The people must rely on
their own strength in fighting the mounting human rights abuses of the
Aquino regime."

Reference:

Roy Santos

NDF-EV Media Liaison Officer

Cellphone No. +639196199369 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting +639196199369 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

E-mail: ndfevis@gmail.com <mailto:ndfevis@gmail.com>

     
     
           
     
     
     

ALLIANCE OF CONCERNED TEACHERS
REPORT CARD

Name: AQUINO III, BENIGNO SIMEON C.
Grading Period: P-Noy’s First 100 Days

Teachers’ Comment: P-noy’s regime is slowly unmasking to be no different from his predecessor – militarist, elitist, and colonial. P-noy needs to live up to his battle-cry “Leading the country to the straight path.”

Please see the attached file.

References:
Ms.France Castro, ACT Secretary General (09178502124)
Mr.Benjie Valbuena, ACT Nat'l Vice-Chairperson (09182399222)

 

 


■   Aquino gives “token” changes to the Filipinos in his first 100 days - NDF Mindanao

 

■   Some cases of extra-judicial killings under  the Aquino III administration - KARAPATAN

 

■   Human rights record of Aquino III in its first 100 days - KARAPATAN

 

■  Palpak na script, gimik at performance - KAGUMA

 

■  Workers give perfect scores for PNoy’s 100 days


■  Arroyo style trade-union repression continues under Noynoy

 

 

   

 

CORDILLERA HUMAN RIGHTS ALLIANCE
55 Ferguson Road, Baguio City 2600

October 13, 2010

AQUINO’S 1ST 100 DAYS AND THE ROAD TO PERIL

In the first 100 days of President Benigno Aquino III’s rule, there has been no respite in the State’s assault of the people’s rights. Since June 30, 2010, there have been at least 16 cases of extrajudicial killings and 2 cases of enforced disappearance. 43 healthworkers still unjustly languish in jail along with more than 300 others who imprisoned because of their political beliefs. Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL) remains as
a National State Policy backed with a larger budget for the operations of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and support from the government of the United States of America as outlined in its counter-insurgency manual. Two days ago, on October 11, 2010, the Supreme Court declared the Human Security Act constitutional further
allowing the State to train its guns on members and leaders of legal people’s organizations it labels as its enemies and unjustly brands as “terrorists”. The militarization of communities continues.

In Lacub, Abra, the 41st Infantry Battalion (IB) of the AFP committed a series of human rights violations in the conduct of their operation last September 10-16 of this year.

On September 10, elements of the 41st IB coerced two (2) residents of Kilob, Lacub, Abra to serve as military guides in their operation. The two who were fishing at that time, were ordered, at gunpoint, to guide the group of about 50 soldiers, some of whom wore dark colored clothes and rain boots and not their camouflage army uniforms to a certain cave. Both victims protested and informed them that there was no cave in the vicinity. The soldiers however, insisted that there was one in the area
and forced the two to guide them. After walking about 200 meters from their fishing camp, the soldiers who spoke in the local dialect and whom the two believe to be from Kalinga instructed them to return. A tagalog-speaking soldier protested but the decision of the Kalinga soldiers prevailed. Upon return to their fishing camp, the victims noticed that their hammock was missing.

On September 11, elements of the 41st IB headed by a certain Lt. de los Santos threatened 3 farmers who were on their way home after gathering fish and eel in Buneg, Lacub, Abra. Soldiers fired their guns at the direction of the three who were ordered to take a different route home after they were accosted and their bags illegally searched. The victims were asked, “Apay mabalin makita dagiti bag yo?” (Can we see your bags?) and “Apay, ayanna ti kampo ti NPA (New Peoples Army) ditoy? “ (Where is the NPA camp here?)

This was followed by an incident on September 13 where the soldiers belonging to the Bravo Company of the 41st IB physically assaulted a farmer/small-scale miner in Dagni, Buneg, Lacub, Abra who was going to his pocketmine that day. After accosting the farmer/small-scale miner, he was hit by the soldiers at both sides of his torso. His bag was illegally searched and the soldiers took the plastic holding one (1) kilogram of salt and also eight (8) pieces of the twelve (12)pieces of tobacco leaves they got out from his bag. These were supplies he was to share with his fellow pocketminers. They threw his bag to the ground after seizing the said supplies.

Striking in these incidents are the accounts of the victims that the AFP have attempted to introduce themselves first as members of the New People’s Army (NPA).

These incidents have threatened the people’s security. The military presence and operations now have to be considered by the Binongan indigenous people when they conduct their activities in their ancestral domain. It is not as easy for them to go to the forests to hunt, to go to their swidden farms or to their mines because they might suffer the same fate as the victims of these recent violations or be subjected to worse. This situation impacts as well on the produce they are able to gather for their families.

Some communities in the Cordillera have reported the same mode of military operations and also a deceitful approach by the AFP as they attempt to justify their extended presence in communities. The AFP have made use of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with local government units for them to be part of the counter-insurgency campaign and also use the resources of these institutions in their military operation. While the labeling as terrorists/enemies of the State remain against members and leaders of people’s organizations that are critical of the anti-people policies of the government, the goal of this approach is still to crush these organizations and repress human rights for their agenda, especially for imperialist plunder, to prevail.

This is not the righteous path to justice that the people had hoped for. The continuing onslaught against the people’s rights has to stop and the perpetrators of the violations have to be held accountable and punished accordingly. More importantly, the Aquino government must abandon the OBL and the US counterinsurgency plan. OBL and the US Counter-insurgency program will never pave the way for peace and address
the roots of the armed conflict. These will instead, pave the way for peril for his administration. The disrespect for human rights, which is essential for the government to uphold, will make the people rise as they clamor and seek for justice.#

For reference:

Jude Baggo
Secretary General
Cordillera Human Rights Alliance
Cp: 09189199007, 09189621005

 

 
 
   

Hong Kong

Photos courtesy of UNIFIL-MIGRANTE HK

     

 

Press Release
10 October 2010

For reference:    Dolores Balladares
                          Chairperson, Tel. No.: 97472986

HK OFWs weigh PNoy’s 100 days
… and found him wanting on actions to migrant’s concerns

“For his first 100 days, we have weighed PNoy and found him wanting in terms of responding to concrete issues of OFWs and giving priority to the needs of the people.”

This was declared today by Dolores Balladares, chairperson of the militant United Filipinos in Hong Kong (UNIFIL-MIGRANTE-HK) as members of the group dramatized their view of President Noynoy Aquino’s 100 days in office.

Carrying a made up weighing scale with boxes labeled services, jobs and the likes on one end and issues such as human rights violations and budget cut on the other, Balladares said that “PNoy’s priorities carry more weight in worsening the problems of poverty of the people and disservice to the needs of OFWs.”

The group scored the lack of attention and action of the Aquino government to what they deemed as issues that could be immediately acted on by the President such as the overpricing of the E-passport overseas or concerns that needed the intervention of the President such as the mandatory fees imposed to OFWs.

“Our issues scream for attention and action but our calls went unheeded. This government never even bothered to even look into the problems OFWs have presented. One hundred days have passed and the only thing that PNoy can show to Filipino migrants is the budget cut for those in distress and for social services to our families back home,” Balladares remarked.

According to Balladares, OFWs were “extremely disappointed” for the promises of change of the Aquino administration did not seem to include Filipinos abroad. She said that the budget cut showed that the President and his government were more concerned on “how to shortchange OFWs and not on how improvements could be made to give relief to migrant workers already burdened by insufficient on-site services and numerous government fees.”

Additionally, she said that the budget cut would be done in exchange for increase in foreign debt repayment and in the military budget. She said that such have never served to improve the situation of the people.

To further highlight the view of OFWs on PNoy’s 100 days, more than 120 leaders from about 100 organizations gathered for the Second All President’s Meeting where PNoy’s performance was checked by going through the demands set by the first APM and sent to the government.

“On the eve of PNoy’s SONA last July, 138 organizations signed a joint open letter outlining our issues that required PNoy’s actions. Out of the 15 major demands, only one issue got a response from the Aquino government. This was the issue of the mandatory Pag-IBIG fee and unfortunately, it was not even the President himself who acted on it. Where are we on PNoy’s order of business?” Balladares lamented.

Finally, Balladares said that organizations who attended the APM expressed their determination to pursue the demands they came out with before. She reported that some of the immediate actions the OFW groups decided on were a request for an immediate dialogue with Philippine officials in Hong Kong as well as symbolic actions that would further drumbeat the demands.

“We have been through 100 days of frustration and disappointment. Will the next 100 days or the next few years be the same for us?” Balladares asked.

--


<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
The Secretariat
United Filipinos in Hong Kong (UNIFIL-MIGRANTE-HK)
2/F., New Hall, St. John's Cathedral,
4 Garden Road, Central, Hong Kong SAR
Tel. (852) 3156-2447     Fax. (852) 2526-2894
E-mail: secretariat@unifil.org.hk
Website: http://www.unifil.org.hk
Blog: compatriots.blogspot.com
YouTube: www.youtube.com/unifilhk

 

 

 
 
 
   

Saudi Arabia

Photos courtesy of John Leonard Monterona / Migrante- MIddle East

     
   

 

KGS, Migrante members in Saudi shave head in protest of OFWs budget cut;

disgusted on P-Noy’s 100-days in office
by Migrante Middle East on Friday, October 8, 2010 at 8:31am

Statement and Photo News
8 October 2010

KGS, Migrante members in Saudi shave heads in protest of OFWs budget cut; disgusted on P-Noy’s 100-days in office

The Kapatiran sa Gitnang Silangan (KGS), a member-organization of Migrante and the Migrante chapter in Al Khobar, Eastern region, Saudi Arabia, stage an indoor protest action by shaving their heads to underscore their strong opposition and condemnation against the Aquino administration’s cutting of the legal assistance and assistance to the nationals funds for OFWs and their families and to show their disgust on P-Noy’s ‘unsatisfactory’ 100-days in office.

“Shaving our head is one way of showing how frustrated OFWs and their families on P-Noy’s ‘unsatisfactory’ performance during his 100 days in office,” said John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator.

Migrante members in Riyadh and Al-Khobar simultaneously shave their heads on Thursday, 7th October, during a scheduled indoor protest.

Monterona said on P-Noy’s 22-point labor and employment agenda, 11 of these relates and concerns for OFWs and their families; “Unfortunately, nothing has been done, if not started; his labor agenda remains well in paper,” the Saudi-based OFW leader averred.

“His inactions on numerous OFWs woes and concerns speak louder than his failed promises. On his 100-days in office, we declare P-Noy is anti-OFW, like Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo,” Monterona declared.

Migrante chapters in the Middle East vow to continue to expose and oppose the anti-people and anti-OFW policies of the Aquino administration. (end) # # #


Reference:
John Leonard Monterona
Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator
Mobile No.: 00966 564 978 012 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 00966 564 978 012 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

 

 

 
 
   


OFWs worldwide join protests on 100 days of PNoy

Posted by migrantecampaign on 10/08/10 • Categorized as Uncategorized

“100 days not a honeymoon but a nightmare for OFWs”

Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) all over the globe today joined protests on Pres. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III’s 100th day in office. Members of Migrante from the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Asia Pacific, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States launched internationally-coordinated protests against budget cuts on assistance to nationals (ATN) and legal assistance funds (LAF) for OFWs in the 2011 national budget.

According to Migrante International chairperson Garry Martinez, “For OFWs worldwide, Aquino’s first 100 days in office was more of a nightmare than a honeymoon period.”

“The president himself admitted the budget cuts on his first 100 days report yesterday, despite attempts by the DBM (Department of Budget and Management) to cover-up the big, bad and brutal budget cuts,” he said.

Migrante International earlier slammed the DBM’s “spin” to cover-up OFW budget cuts by padding it with so-called cash balances in the 2009 and 2010 LAF. “Palusot lang ito at matagumpay na nailantad ng ating mga bagong bayani. Mukhang kahit si Presidente ay hindi kinayang panindigan ang panlilito at pagpapaikot-ikot ng DBM para pagtakpan ang malaking kaltas sa budget ng mga OFW.”

Martinez also specifically criticized Aquino for the government’s failure to peacefully resolve the Manila hostage tragedy, which affected the lives, safety and job security of tens of thousands of OFWs in Hong Kong.

OFWs in Saudi Arabia shaved their heads in protest, while OFWs from other countries trooped to Philippine embassies or held in-door activities in solidarity with fellow kababayans in their respective countries. Filipinos in Hong Kong, meanwhile, are set to converge in a big protest rally on Sunday.

Here in the Philippines, returned and visiting OFWs, OFW victims, families and advocates joined the BAYAN-led multi-sectoral rally in Mendiola.

According to Martinez, Aquino failed to fulfill his promise to “direct the DFA, POEA and OWWA” to provide protection and welfare services for Filipino nationals abroad.

In Aquino’s first 100 days, he said, no urgent action has been done to address the cases of 108 OFWs in death row, 7,000 in jail and thousands stranded and awaiting repatriation. “Sa halip, binawasan pa ang budget sa kabila ng milyong dolyar na kinikita ng gobyerno mula sa mga OFW remittance at sa milyon pang nakokotong nito mula sa ating mga OFW.”

“The Aquino administration’s budget framework alone contradicts his declaration to curb forced migration by providing sufficient decent jobs at home. Instead, there is not much difference from previous administrations’ framework of deregulation, liberalization and privatization, thus further intensifying labor export at the expense of genuine national development,” he said.

“Para sa mga OFW, ‘zero’ ang grado ni PNoy sa unang 100 araw niya sa pwesto. Kung hindi reresolbahan ni PNoy ang hinaing at mga pangangailangan ng ating mga OFW, hindi malayong maglunsad ng isang ‘zero remittance day’ ang mga kababayan natin bilang pangtapat sa bokya niyang grado,” Martinez said. ###
 

 
 
   
     
     

 

Here are  some of the photos of the indoor protest staged on 8 October 2010 by members of Migrante-Al Khobar chapter to protest the 100 days of Pres. Aquino in Malacanang and his anti-OFW policies such as budget cut for OFWs legal assistance and assistance to the nationals, among other OFWs concerns.

Thank you and best regards,

John Leonard Monterona (signed)
Migrante-ME regional coordinator

 

   
   

 

Pe-Noy (Bugok)
ni Mark Angeles


Dinala mo ang Pilipinas sa Amerika
na parang bugaw.
Ano ang akala mo sa mga Pinoy,
mga lagay?
Wala namang ibang kikita
sa mga namumuhunan
kundi ikaw
na isang galamay
sampu ng mga ulo ng sili
na nagpapaikot sa iyong puwet,
o mga ulo ng halimaw
na sumisinghal
sa libot ng kapuluan
habang lalong dumarami
ang mga nababaliw sa gutom
at kalabisan.
Sino nga ba ang iyong dinudiyos,
sa katunayan,
kung balak mo pang ipapasan
ang mas mabigat na krus
ng kahirapan sa mga nahihirapan
tulad ng pagbubuwis
sa mga tindera sa bangketa
at ukay-ukay?
Tulad ng pagkakamkam
muli’t muli sa lupa
ng mga maralitang tagalungsod
at magsasaka?
Tulad ng pag-aawas
muli’t muli sa badyet
para sa edukasyon
at kalusugan?
Sino ang iniisip mong paslangin
tuwing humahawak ng baril?
Sino ang iniisip mong sunugin
tuwing humihitit ng sigarilyo?
Sino ang kinakaladkad mo sa kalbaryo?
Sino ang kinatatakutan mong magbabalik
ng lahat ng iyong hagupit,
kundi ang sambayanan?

 

 
 
   
     
     
   

Australia

Photos courtesy of  Mingrante - North Australia

     
   
 

 

Aquino – ‘New’ Villain to Filipino Migrant Heroes

 

Philippine president Aquino’s actions in his first 100 days are an indication of a regressive regime the Filipino people will experience in the next six years. 

 

Especially frightening and damning are his budget moves to reduce by half the already measly amount meant to assist distressed Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). 

 

In his 2011 budget, Aquino  proposes  to slash the  combined Assistance to Nationals (ATN) and Legal Assistance Fund (LAF) from P200 M in 2010 to a paltry P109.3 M in 2011. ATN includes funds for  repatriation, shipment of remains, medical assistance like hospitalization, psychological interventions, establishing whereabouts of OFWs, referral of labour cases, consular visitation, emergency shelter, basic necessities, translation services and financial assistance.

 

LAF funds legal support in the form of lawyers and other legal services to OFWs in distress (such as those OFWs in jail or in death row, undocumented and others).

 

By this act alone, Aquino openly violates Republic Act 10022, the amended Migrant Workers’ Act or RA 8043, which mandates that P100 M be set aside for LAF alone. Specifically, he countermands his own directive to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Dept. Of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) to address fully and immediately the needs of OFWs.

 

Pres. Aquino’s  inaugural statement– “Dadagdagan ko ang kakayahan ng aking kapwa"—magbubunga po ito, at ang lahat ay magkakaroon ng pagkakataon.” (I will supplement the ability of my people, it will bear fruit and everyone will have an opportunity)” –  rings hollow in the light of his blatant disregard of the OFWs’ plight.

 

MIGRANTE – North seethes with anger that while he has significantly increased the budget for military and counter-insurgency, debt servicing, pork barrel and corruption-bait projects such as the public-private partnership support fund, Aquino has largely ignored the ‘new” heroes – the OFWs -and provides them with a mere pittance in comparison to the amount they contribute to the economy. According to the World Bank, OFWs remit at least US19 billion yearly, and yet Aquino’s financial and other welfare attention to them will be inversely proportional.

 

Already, there are 108 OFWs in death row, 7,000 in jails throughout the world and 10,000 stranded  and recently, 146 victims of trafficking in the Middle East alone. Here in Australia, there had been a number of maltreatment, underpayment and unpaid wages and horrible working conditions which OFWs holding Visa Subclass 457 endure.

 

MIGRANTE – North demands President Aquino, who has smugly declared himself servant of the people, to give a fairer treatment to Overseas Filipino Workers by, at least, increasing financial, legal and other welfare assistance funds equal to their needs.  This is the least the government can do for those over 10 million Filipinos abroad who heroically prop up our economy and live and work through hardship and endure separation from their families and homeland.

 

MIGRANTE – Northalso reminds Pres. Aquino that social and economic infrastructure needs such as industrialisation, agricultural development and progressive agrarian change, education, health and equitable employment generation need to be addressed urgently and effectively. The lack of these has driven 4,500 daily to an exodus abroad.

 

Pres. Aquino is being given the historic opportunity to become the new  hero to OFWs – our “new heroes”. Or he could be the “new” villain if he continues with his regressive acts or lacklustre inaction for the Filipino people.

 

Migrante – North

Sydney, NSW, AUSTRALIA

October 6, 2010

 

 
 
   
     

 

 
 

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