September 21
LevelUP
and NeverPorkget March and Rally
■  Part I      ■  Part II     ■ Iloilo

 

Luneta, Mendiola

 

September 21,  2013

/p

 

 

     
Ka Mameng Dioneda of KADAMAY Justine Flores of KMP:
 


Dr. Carol Araullo of BAYAN
 
/p

/p
Photos by Arkibong Bayan, Agapito Gaddi, Sine Panayanon
and Southern Tagalog Exposure as indicated by the filenames
           
    The Pork Barrel King and supporting cast    
     
Luneta
     

 



 

Carol P Araullo
Speech opening the #Sept21LevelUp and #Sept21Neverporkget rally in Luneta.
-----------
Magandang umaga sa inyong lahat. Sa lahat ng nagpunta dito sa Luneta para ipagpatuloy ang laban sa pork barrel system at sa bulok na sistema ng pulitika sa ating bansa. Mabuhay kayo!

Makasaysayan ang araw na ito di po ba. Ika-41st anniversary ng pagbaba ng martial law. At naging tradisyon na natin na imarka ang araw na ito sa pamamagitan ng mga salitang “Never Again!”

Never again sa martial law; sa pasistang diktadura’t malawakang human rights violations; sa walang kaparis na pagnanakaw sa kaban ng bayan, sa cronyism; sa pagiging sunud-sunuran sa dayuhan; sa walang habas na pagsasamantala’t pang-aapi sa sambayanan.

19 years old pa lang ako ng mag-martial law. College student. Single.

Napilitan akong mag-underground para umiwas sa dragnet na humuli sa mga katulad nila Senador Ninoy Aquino at Jose Diokno at sa mga libo-libong Pilipino sa unang mga mass arrests. Kasama ako sa lista ng huhulihin dahil ako’y lider estudyante sa Pamantasan ng Pilipinas o UP, dahil ako’y aktibista na nag-oorganisa sa mga komunidad ng maralita sa lunsod, dahil ako diumano’y subersibo. Subersibo sa interes ng mga naghahari-harian sa bansa.

32 years old naman ako nang mag-people power at ibagsak ang Conjugal Dictatorship ng mga Marcos. May asawa na’t dalawang maliliit na anak, kasakasama namin sa EDSA.

Sabi ng marami noon, nanumbalik na raw ang demokrasya dahil naibalik na ang Konggreso. Meron nang halalan. Ang mga korte ay gumagana na. May mga pahayagan, radio at tv kaya may magbabantay na sa katiwalian at may boses ang mga ordinaryong Pilipino. Ang militar at pulis ay nasa ilalim na ng civilian authority kaya huhupa na ang mga human rights violations, magiging mapayapa na ang bansa.

Ngayon makalipas na ang apat na pu’t isang taon. Ako’y senior citizen na kaya kailangan na ng kodigo. Malalaki na ang mga anak kaya lang, sa kasamaang palad, wala pa akong apo.
At heto pumutok ang isa na namang malaking iskandalo sa pulitika, sa panahon ng inaakala ng marami na mayroon nang kalayaan at demokrasya, at tinatahak na diumano ang matuwid na daan. Ang karumaldumal na Napoles pork barrel scam worth at least 10 billion pesos.

Ito ang nagbukas ng can of worms, ika nga. Dahil sa pagkakalantad ng pork barrel scam, naungkat na rin ang kay rami pang anomalya sa sistemang pork barrel noong panahon ng nagdaang Arroyo administration at maging sa kasalukuyang administrasyong Aquino. Ng existence ng congressional at presidential pork barrel na umaabot sa nakakalula, nakakalokang daan-daang bilyon hanggang trilyong piso.

Umaalingasaw ang baho ng patronage politics sa bansa. Nalalantad ang pag-ayaw ng karamihan sa mga myembro ng Konggreso’t maging ni Presidente Aquino na wakasan ang sistemang ito. At higit pa, ng mas kabuuang sistema ng bureaucrat capitalism kung saan ang poder sa gubyerno ay ginagawang negosyo at ang kaban ng bayan ay personal bank account ng mga tinawag na lider-bayan.

Ika nga, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Wala pa ring tunay na pagbabago.

At bakit nga ba? Di ba namamayagpag sa ngayon ang mga hatchetmen, mga crony at mga political heirs ni Marcos? Ang isa nga dyan, ngayo’y senador at – susmaryosep -- nag-aambisyong maging Presidente ng bansa sa hinaharap. Ang isa’y nirerecycle ang sarili mula mberdugo sa martial law tungo sa respetable at magaling na pinuno ng Senado.

Di ba ni walang isang human rights violator noong panahon ng diktadura ni Marcos at sa mga sumunod na mga sinasabing demokratikong gubyerno ang napaparusahan? Di ba ang AFP at PNP ay pugad din nga mga kurakot kung kaya’t ngayon nabibilang na ang mga heneral sa mga multi millionaires? Palibhasa nahirati nung panahon ng martial law?

Di ba ang sistema ng elite democracy, ng demokrasya para sa iilan ang umiiral sa ngayon bagamat may regular na eleksyon upang ihalal kung aling political dynasty, sinong asendero o malaking negosyante o tauhan nila ang maiuupo? At syempre pa, basta tuta ng Kano?

Di ba ang sistema ng hustisya sa ngayon ay sistema ng inhustisya dahil karaniwa’y pumapabor sa may kapangyarihan o kuneksyon at sa may perang panuhol sa piskalya, sa husgado at sa kapulisan?
Mga kababayan, ang ating pagtitipon ngayon ay tinawag sa kakatwang slogan na “Neverporkget”. Sa biglang pagtingin, parang pinaglaruan lamang ang mga salitang “Never forget” para maipasok ang salitang “pork”. Pero sa totoo lang ang pork barrel scam ni Napoles ay matingkad na manipestasyon at halimbawa ng burukrata-kapitalismo na likas sa sistemang pampulitika sa ilalim ng estadong malakolonyal, at pamana sa atin ng martial law ang higit pang pagsahol nito.

Kaya isigaw natin muli ng buong lakas at tapang: Tama na, sobra na, wakasan na! Abolish ang lahat ng uri ng pork! Usigin ang mga may sala! Gamitin para sa ikabubuti ng mamamayan ang pera ng taumbayan!

Magkaisa at ituloy ang laban!




 

     
     
   Mendiola  
     
           
     
     
     

x

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

News Release
September 21, 2013

#neverPORKget protests on September 21 as plunder continues 41 years after Martial Law
 

The umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan will join various anti-pork groups in a nationwide protest on September 21, the 41st anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law. The rally will come just a few days before the Lower House is set to pass on second reading the national budget with a modified and itemized pork included.

“September 21 reminds us how the plunder of public funds has continued decades after the Marcos dictatorship. It reminds us that corruption is truly systemic and has persisted under a social order that serves the interest of a few. It also reminds us how plunderers like the Marcoses have remain largely unpunished throughout our history, a fact that is relevant today as the people demand accountability for the PDAF scam,” said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.

“The pork scam has exposed the business that is government and business is booming judging by the billions that have been siphoned by different officials. The people have every reason to protest on September 21,” he added.

Bayan is supporting the call of the #Abolishpork movement for nationwide gatherings and marches on September 21 and has come up with the hashtag #neverPORKget, a reference to the “never forget” slogan for past Martial Law commemorative activities.

The group also warned Congress and Malacanang that it faced growing public outrage if it pushes through with a plan to realign the PDAF to government agencies and transform these into “itemized pork” subject to the recommendations of lawmakers.

“Malacanang and the Lower House are singing the same tune that there is no more PDAF and that the funds will be realigned to various agencies like the DPWH. However, there remains the involvement of lawmakers in identifying projects and beneficiaries. Malacanang and the Lower House are fooling us. That’s still pork. The system of pork and patronage has not been abolished at all,” Reyes said.

“This is the effect of Aquino’s policy pronouncement that he is abolishing the lump sum PDAF but retaining pork and patronage in the 2014 budget. Aquino has no interest in abolishing pork. With the new system, he becomes more powerful as all solons now have to cozy up to the Department of Budget and Management and the various line agencies for the inclusion of projects. Truly, Aquino will be the king of all pork, he added.

Anti-pork protests are expected to continue next week, until September 27, when the Lower House is expected to tackle lump sum appropriations. ###

 

----------------------------------------------------
Aquino undermines search for truth and accountability
Press Statement
August 30, 2013
Renato M. Reyes, Jr. , BAYAN secretary general

If the church is the refuge of whistleblowers, Malacanang now appears to be the refuge of plunderers.

President Benigno Aquino III, by meeting with Janet Napoles and providing her special treatment, has himself undermined the search for truth that he has promised. That Janet Napoles, one of those suspected of orchestrating an elaborate scam involving congressional funds, can simply walk up the Palace door and meet the president, simply raises too many questions and fans suspicions.

Napoles’ meeting with the president and his cabinet officials has sparked talks of a deal with Malacanang. Any deal with Napoles, especially at a time when no charge of plunder has been filed against anyone in the PDAF scam, undermines the search for truth and accountability.

Any deal that seeks to focus the prosecution only against foes of the administration is not true accountability. Any arrangement that seeks to absolve the Aquino government or any of its current officials of any wrong doing is not true accountability.

We cannot take at face value, and swallow hook, line and sinker, the President’s statement that we will go where the evidence leads.

Apart from the publicity gimmick employed by Palace spin doctors to make Aquino look good, what is most bothersome and alarming is the consistent special treatment being accorded Napoles, as if she has already qualified for the witness protection program of the government. People are asking why Napoles was escorted by several officials from Camp Crame to Makati City Jail, then allowed to stay in an air-conditioned room. The actions of government towards Napoles come into sharp contrast with its treatment of other whistleblowers who have not received this kind of support and attention from government.

If this is a prelude of the deals that will be made in the future, the people should be even more vigilant.
-------------------------

Palace paranoia on EDSA slammed as protests set to return to Luneta

News Release
September 11, 2013

Why is Malacanang so afraid of the EDSA prayer vigil versus pork?

This was the question raised by the umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan as it slammed what it called “Palace paranoia” regarding anti-pork protests and activities. The group said that after EDSA, anti-pork protesters will be going back to Luneta on Friday, September 13.

“The defenders of pork are using disproportionate force against a prayer vigil that only seeks to air the public’s sentiments against pork. The entire PNP in Metro Manila is on red alert for a prayer vigil? Malacanang has sown intrigues against the action in an attempt to stop the momentum of anti-pork protests after August 26,” said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.

“Truth is, after the Supreme Court’s issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order against PDAF and the president’s Malampaya pork, Aquino is now isolated on the issue of the pork barrel system. The regime is becoming more and more desperate in trying to turn back the losing tide,” Reyes said.

Bayan will be joining religious and student groups on Friday for another anti-pork action in Luneta. The event is organized by a broad #abolishpork movement composed of religious formations, artists, anti-corruption advocates and whistleblower, youth and student groups, netizens and other concerned citizens. After the Friday the 13th rally, the groups will march again on September 21, the anniversary of Martial Law.

“The President should now heed the people’s clamor. He does not need to wait for the final decision of the Supreme Court. He can simply move to abolish pork NOW. He should lead by example and give up his own presidential pork and abolish the PDAF system and other similar lump sum appropriations. These funds should be rechanneled directly to social services such as health and education and be free from congressional or presidential discretion,” Reyes said.

“The biggest problem now with the pork barrel is Aquino’s insistence on retaining this rotten, graft-ridden system. Aquino thinks pork is indispensable if he hopes to control the legislature. Aquino, for all his talk on daang matuwid, basically seeks the retention of the decades-old system of patronage politics that reinforces elite rule in the country,” the Bayan leader said.

Bayan also called on the people to demand accountability for all those involved in the PDAF scam. Two months after the story broke out, not one person has been charged with plunder. ###

 

     
Program speakers  and performers ▼
     
     
     
     
           
     
     
     

x

25 September 2013
For immediate release
Reference: GABRIELA Rep. Emmi De Jesus 09173221203

Wrangling Over Pork TRO Unhealthy as Children’s Health Budget Remains Anorexic - Rep. De Jesus

“The height of insensitivity,” was Gabriela Rep. De Jesus’ comment on the Malacanang move to push the Supreme Court to lift its TRO over the remaining 2013 PDAF.

“Bakit sila nagkukumahog na hawakan ang natitirang PDAF ng 2013? Dahil ba may pagmamalasakit sila sa kalusugan at iba pang pangangailangan ng kanilang constituents? Samantalang sa gumugulong na budget hearings para sa 2014 General Appropriations Bill, hindi mo naman makita na ipinaglalaban nila ang mas mataas na budget para sa edukasyon at kalusugan,” added De Jesus, commenting on the Aquino administration-sponsored General Appropriations Bill #2630.

“Sa sobrang kakapiranggot ng nilalaang budget para sa kalusugan ng batang Pilipino, hirap na hirap kaming hanapin nasaan nga ba ang budget na yan. Sapagkat hindi signipikanteng nagbago ang kalagayang pangkalusugan ng batang Pilipino, hindi ba’t nararapat lang na maging signipikante naman ang bahagi ng 2014 budget para sa programa at serbisyo ng kalusugan n gating susunod na henerasyon?”

Comparative infant mortality rate from 2008 to 2011 showed insignificant improvements, from 25 to 22 per 1000 live births. The top three causes of infant mortality were bacterial sepsis of newborn, pneumonia and respiratory distress of the newborn, all with available solutions if only appropriate budgets were allocated for such.

“Panahon na upang matigil ang pagkakait ng kinakailangang pondo para sa mga serbisyong kailangang kailangan ng ating mga naghihikahos na kababayan, laluna ang mga kababaihan at bata,” asserted Gabriela solon Emmi De Jesus today while preparing for the DOH budget deliberations.

“Habang humahaba ang script ng mala-telenovela na Senate probe at pagpipigil ni Drilon sa pagtetestimonya ni Janet Napoles hinggil sa P10-billion pork barrel scam, namamatay at patuloy na nagkakasakit ang mahihirap na kababaihan at bata,” she added.

“Kahit mahirap, makitid at baluktot ang daan, kailangang tawirin itong deliberasyon sa plenary para sa 2014 budget upang hindi madehado ang mga mahihirap at mapataas pa ang budget para sa kalusugan at edukasyon. Sa mahirap na tahaking ito, sana ay patuloy na kasama namin ang mga Million Marchers na nananawagan sa pag-aabolish ng pork barrel sa lahat ng anyo nito,” the Gabriela representative ended.###

--
Representative EMMI DE JESUS
Gabriela Women's Party
"Babae, Bata, at Bayan.... Tuloy ang Laban!"
-----------------------------------------------------

NEWS RELEASE

25 September 2013
For Reference: REP LUZVIMINDA C. ILAGAN 0920-9213221
Jang Monte (Public Information Officer) 0917-4049119

RABIDLY SALIVATING FOR PORK: GABRIELA SOLON SLAMS AQUINO MACHINATIONS IN SENATE AND SUPREME COURT TO PRESERVE PORK

“Keeping whistleblowers from testifying while pushing for the removal of the Supreme Court’s TRO on the PDAF and the Malampaya fund all indicate that Aquino and his allies are all rabidly salivating for pork. Naglalaway sila na parang mga asong ulol.”

Thus said Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Luzviminda Ilagan today as she challenged both the Senate and the Supreme Court to prove its independence from the executive as President Aquino and his allies now moves toward obstructing Senate investigations on the pork barrel scam and lifting the SC Temporary Restraining Order on the Priority Development Assistance Fund.

“We urge both the Senate and the Supreme Court to not toe Malacanang’s line and heed the people’s clamor to get to the bottom of the pork barrel scam, abolish the pork barrel in all its forms and ensure accountability for all those involved in the massive plunder of our people’s money,” said Ilagan.

Ilagan said the decision to keep pork barrel scam whistle blowers as well as Janet Lim Napoles from testifying in Senate investigations are all attempts to gag witnesses and prevent the truth from coming out.

“What are they afraid of? Obviously Benhur Luy and the other whistleblowers have in their possession, damaging information that can jeopardize Aquino’s bid to retain not just his discretionary and lump sum funds but the PDAF of his allies in both houses of Congress,” said Ilagan.

The Gabriela solon also said Aquino and his allies should stop using scholars and patients in pushing for the lifting of the SC TRO on PDAF. “These are services that could easily be addressed if funds are appropriated for schools and hospital services, prompting these institutions to reduce if not forgo tuition fees and charges for medical services.”

Ilagan renewed calls to abolish the pork barrel in all its forms and to re-allocate funds to basic social services. “Along with the Makabayan bloc we have filed House Resolution 298 to appropriate all Presidential lump sum and discretionary funds to basic social services. We will also be introducing amendments to the General Appropriations Bill at the proper time.”#
----------------------------------------------------

NEWS RELEASE

24 September 2013
For Reference: REP LUZVIMINDA C. ILAGAN 0920-9213221
Jang Monte (Public Information Officer) 0917-4049119

AS WAG THE PORK SCENARIO FALLS INTO PLACE, ILAGAN DEPLORES MULTIPLE VICTIMIZATION OF MINDANAOANS TO PRESERVE PORK, POLITICAL POWER

“Like pieces of a puzzle falling into place. The timing of the siege and the recent revelations from Magadalo partylist representatives on where the MNLF forces have sourced their finances all point out that there is a connection between the Zamboanga siege and the pork barrel scandal. One does not have to be a rocket scientist to connect the dots and figure this out.”

Thus said Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Luzviminda Ilagan amid allegations that individuals involved in the pork barrel scam had financed the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) to stage the siege on Zamboanga. Ilagan also noted that the MNLF had occupied four Zamboanga municipalities at the height of the late Rep. Romeo Candazo’s pork barrel expose in 1996.

“This is an outrage. Soldiers and MNLF forces were killed in battle. The lives of tens of thousands of civilians were imperiled, and what for? To wag the dog, or in this case, wag the pork?” asked Ilagan.

An enraged Gabriela solon also notes how despite President Aquino’s supposed 10-day recluse in Zamboanga, “no political resolution has been reached in order to address the demands of the MNLF. On the contrary, a military solution was pursued and the conflict continued. And as if on cue, after properties have been destroyed, Malacanang announces the release of President Aquino’s pork barrel funds to finance the rehabilitation of Zamboanga, striking on the critiques of the Presidential lump sum funds.

“Naglolokohan ba tayo dito? Huwag naman nating paglaruan ang buhay ng mga tao para lang makaligtas ang mga mandarambong sa pananagutan at patuloy pang makapagnakaw ang iilan,” said Ilagan, who hails from Mindanao.

Ilagan also notes that Mindanaoans especially Zamboanguenos are now victimized several times over. “Mindanaoans live in the country’s poorest regions and are deprived of basic social services supposedly due to lack of funds. Now that we are demanding accountability for the plunder of public funds, our land is being bombarded and our people are being killed.”

“It is to the Aquino administration’s interest not to resolve the crisis in Mindanao. No different from previous administrations, the Aquino administration sees the machination of a Mindanao war to escape the people’s condemnation. In fact, No government had the intention of addressing the root causes of the armed conflict and implementing fundamental reforms to achieve a just and lasting peace.”

“If the Zamboanga siege is indeed a ploy to bring attention away from the pork barrel scam and extinguish the people’s heated demands to abolish the pork barrel, then this is the height of callousness, of total disregard for life all for political and financial gain,” concluded Ilagan. #
 

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
           
     
 
     
     

x

Never PORKget SEPT 21:

CRONIES NI MARCOS NOON, KAIBIGAN, KAKLASE AT KABARILAN NI AQUINO NGAYON

Ginugunita ng sambayanan ang anibersaryo ng Martial Law ng diktador na si Marcos upang ipaalala sa kasalukuyang henerasyon na hindi na dapat maulit ang pang-aapi at pagsasamantalang sinapit ng mamamayan sa kamay ni Marcos at ng kanyang mga cronies. Ngunit makalipas ang 41 taon, muling nauulit sa kasalukuyang administrasyong Aquino ang mga pangyayaring itinakwil na ng mga Pilipino kasama ni Marcos. Ito ang pahayag ng GABRIELA sa paglahok nito sa malaking mobilisasyon laban sa pork barrel at sa mga ala-Marcos na asta ni Pangulong Noynoy Aquino.
 

“Kung merong cronies si Marcos noon, mayroon namang mga kaklase, kaibigan at kabarilan si Noynoy na nagpapakasasa sa korapsyon kasama niya,” ani Joms Salvador, Secretary General ng GABRIELA. “Kung gaano kagarapal at harap-harapan ang pagnanakaw sa kaban ng yaman noong panahon ni Marcos, patuloy ito hanggang sa kasalukuyan sa kasinungalingang ‘walang korap at walang mahirap’ na pamamahala ni Aquino.”
 

“Kung merong giyera si Marcos sa mga MNLF sa Mindanao noon, mayroon ding nilikhang giyera si Aquino laban sa MNLF sa Zamboanga ngayon,” dagdag pa niya. “Ginagamit din ni Noynoy ang giyera sa Mindanao upang ilihis ang galit ng taumbayan sa pork barrel at korapsyon at gayundin upang maghigpit ng seguridad laban sa mga protesta ng mamamayan kahit dito sa NCR. Nagawa na rin ni Marcos ang mga ganitong estilo ni Noynoy.”
 

Ang mensaheng ito ang bitbit ng GABRIELA sa kanilang pagdalo sa rali mula Luneta patungong Mendiola ngayong Setyembre 21. Kasama nila si “Noynoy” na nakasuot ala-Rambo upang kutyain ang asta ni Aquino na “hands-on” sa war front sa Zamboanga. “Libu-libo nang sibilyan ang lumikas sa giyera na nilikha lamang ng gobyerno para pabanguhin ang pangalan ni Aquino. Anong klaseng Pangulo itong binibihisan lamang sa press release at publicity?”
 

Muling ipinanawagan ng GABRIELA ang ceasefire sa Zamboanga at ang pag-upo sa negosasyon kapwa ng gobyerno ng Pilipinas at ng MNLF upang mapigilan ang higit pang pinsala sa buhay at kaligtasan lalo na ng mga sibilyan sa Mindanao. “Kung seryoso ang gobyerno sa pagtugon sa hinaing ng mga kapatid nating Moro, makikipag-usap siya sa mga rebelde at hindi dadaanin sa kamay na bakal ang usapin kagaya ni Marcos,” pagtatapos ni Salvador. ###
----------------------------------------------

Reference: GABRIELA Rep. Emmi De Jesus 09173221203
21 September 2013
For immediate release

Women should struggle vs ‘fiscal martial law’

On the 41st anniversary of the declaration of martial law, a lawmaker called on women’s movements to fight the Aquino regime’s dictatorial usurpation of the Congress’s power to control the budget and investigate rampant corruption at all levels.

“The Aquino administration's inconsistent policies on fighting widespread corruption coupled with his all-out war solution to Mindanao's political problems left behind many casualties, including the advancement of women's rights and welfare,” Rep. Emmi De Jesus of the Gabriela Women’s Party said at the “Never PORKGet” protests at Luneta park.

De Jesus said situation of Filipino women and children continue to take a beating as Aquino fights to retain his office’s hidden pork allocations to the detriment of social services and education, while increasing military spending.

The woman lawmaker revealed that a roundtable discussion yesterday dubbed, "Addressing Gender-based Violence through Legislation," a forum of women’s rights organizations, services for women remain desperately unfunded three years under Aquino. “While incidences of rapes by state forces, murders, sexual assault, domestic violence and many other forms of anti-women acts increased dramatically under Aquino even after Congress passed protective laws and policies.”

Led by the women’s rights organization EngendeRights, the forum participants put forth a demand for the rechanneling of pork barrel funds to fully funding the Women’s Protection Units (WPUs) in the government-owned hospitals under the jurisdiction of the Department of Health. In response, De Jesus exhorted the women leaders to help Makabayan, the pro-women progressive block in Congress, push for the adoption of its resolution in Congress to remove the authority of the Office of the President over discretionary funds including the Malampaya revenues, Special Purpose Funds and the Presidential Social Fund.

“The lessons of our history in fighting martial law demonstrated that legislative advocacy alone cannot fully address gender-based violence. On this anniversary of the dictatorship, I call on all women to further increase militant street actions if we ever hope to rid the country of corruption and this creeping fiscal martial law plaguing the legislature," De Jesus ended. ###

--
Representative EMMI DE JESUS
Gabriela Women's Party
"Babae, Bata, at Bayan.... Tuloy ang Laban!"
-----------------------------------------------------

NEWS RELEASE
16 September 2013
For Reference: REP LUZVIMINDA C. ILAGAN 0920-9213221
REP EMMI DE JESUS 0917-3221203
Jang Monte (Public Information Officer) 0917-4049119

GABRIELA SOLONS INSIST P2.26T 2014 NATIONAL BUDGET IS NOT PORKLESS

Gabriela Women’s Party Representatives Luzviminda Ilagan and Emmi De Jesus today said there is no truth to the propaganda that the P2.268T 2014 National budget now undergoing plenary debates at the House of Representatives has gone pork-less.

“The 2014 budget is just as greasy and teeming with pork. It is a trigger for hypertension. Lalong nakaka-highblood ang pagpapanggap,” said Ilagan.

According to Ilagan the “Committee on Appropriations' recommendations for legislators to simply submit project recommendations to implementing agencies supposedly in place of the P25B Priority Development Assistance Fund for legislators is in fact just sugar-coated pork.”

De Jesus for her part said, "Panloloko lang lahat. Hindi naman inaalis ang PDAF. The mere fact that legislators still have the discretion to choose which projects to endorse is proof that legislators' pork barrel is very much alive."

The Gabriela solons also said lump sum and discretionary funds allocated to the Office of the President and other executive agencies have not been touched. “It is our firm position that the pork barrel in all its forms, existing in various government agencies, must be abolished.”

Along with colleagues in the Makabayan bloc, Ilagan and De Jesus are set to file a resolution to re-allocate all pork funds towards specific items in the budget under agencies responsible for the delivery of basic social services like education, health, housing and welfare, then services can and will reach their constituents.

“Kung paglalaanan ng wastong pondo ang bawat departamento at magiging mapagbatay ang bawat isa sa atin, matitiyak ang paghahatid ng serbisyo nang hindi na kailangan pang dumaan sa kahit sinong pulitiko,” ended De Jesus. #
-----------------------------------------------------------------

WHAT ABOUT YOUR OWN PORK BARREL, MR.PRESIDENT?

In reaction to President Noynoy Aquino’s announcement of the abolition of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), the women’s group GABRIELA said that the President was predictably silent on his own unprogrammed funds constituting his own Pork Barrel. “What applies to one must apply to all,” said Joms Salvador, Secretary General of GABRIELA. “Thus, the President’s own Pork Barrel must also be abolished.”

Salvador said that the President’s statement conveniently zeroed in on the legislators’ PDAF while skirting the issue involving his own Pork which amounts to billions of pesos in the 2014 proposed budget. “He merely aims to douse the flames of dissent against the pork barrel at an early stage before it conflagrates into big-time protests and result to an expose of his own administration’s corruption.”

She said that the move is part of a script created by Aquino’s political spin-doctors, much like a predictable telenovela. “The real life politica-novela has designated a kontrabida in the person of Janet Lim Napoles,complete with cohorts and sidekicks in Congress and in NGOs, while Aquino fancies himself the bida emerging in the end to save the day. Now we expect the axe to come down on Aquino’s opposition in Congress and not on his allies. Meanwhile, tuloy ang ligaya for Aquino and his own gang of porkies.”

[At almost 1 Trillion Pesos, or almost half of the 2014 national budget, President Aquino receives the biggest allotment of pork barrel (lump sum discretionary funds) among all elected government officials in the Philippines. ]

At almost 1 Trillion Pesos, or almost half of the 2014 national budget, President Aquino receives the biggest allotment of pork barrel (lump sum discretionary funds) among all elected government officials in the Philippines.

She also said that the general public must remain vigilant and diligently watch closely as the PDAF funds are distributed to different line items of various agencies because this does not automatically mean that the funds will go to various social services that will directly benefit the people. “Aquino’s dogged pursuance of the neo-liberal policies imposed by imperialist financial institutions since time immemorial will ensure that big businesses and their own cohorts in the government rather than the ordinary citizens will benefit.”

“We will definitely purse the demand for the abolition of the President’s own Pork Barrel and through Gabriela Women’s Party and other progressive partylists in Congress, the transfer of the PDAF to various line agencies’ budget will be subject to scrutiny to ensure that the greater majority of the people, which comprise their constituents, will be at the winning end. ###
 

     
     
     

Luneta to Mendiola  March ▼
 
     
     
     
     
           
     
     
     
           

           
     
 
==          
     
     
           

x
News Release

September 20, 2013

Reference: Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares, 09178350459

BAYAN MUNA: COA MALAMPAYA FUND REPORT WOULD JUST FOCUS ON ARROYO BUT MISUSE CONTINUES UP TO AQUINO ADMIN

Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares today said that the supposed Commission on Audit (COA) report on the Malampaya funds would focus more on the Arroyo administration but would not touch the Aquino administration even if it perpetuates the misuse of the funds. The progressive solon based his observation from two documents he obtained from the COA itself and the Department of Energy (DOE).

The first document is a memorandum from COA Chair Ma. Gracia M. Pulido-Tan dated June 27, 2011 to all COA cluster directors, national and local government sectors, regional directors, supervising auditors and audit team leaders with the subject of auditing of funds released to the different national and local government agencies chargeable against the DOE-Malampaya Funds.

The second document is the DOE report on the state of Malampaya funds from June 30, 2010-June 30, 2013.

“Based on the COA memo the Malampaya special report is just from 2006 to December 31, 2010 which is essentially only during the term of former Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo but the annexes only show the disbursements up to December 2009. The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) had the highest allotment at P7,073,806,659.00, the Department of Agriculture (DA) P5,824,000.00 and the Province of Palawan with P3,958,508,492.51. These are the top 3 agencies among 12 that received from the fund an accumulated P23,601,594,569.51,” said Rep. Colmenares.

“On the DOE report however for 2010 a total of P3,593,750,000.00 was disbursed from the Malamapaya with the DPWH still at the top and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM )and the Department of Finance (DOF) following it. While in 2011, a total of P13,266,555,424.00 was spent with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and DOF as the biggest spenders. In 2012, the total disbursement for the Malampaya fund was P1,988,861,066.00 with the Department of Defense (DND) and the DOF as the only two agencies that accessed it,” said the senior deputy minority leader.

“What is obvious here is that the Malampaya fund which is just supposedly just to be used for energy related projects is being used as to whatever what the president wishes whether it be Pres. Arroyo or Pres. Aquino. This is the evil of presidential pork and it has to be stopped,” Rep. Colmenares .

“We are urging the COA to do a special and comprehensive report on the Malampaya funds from the start to the pressent and not a selective one. The Filipino people deserves to see the whole picture,” ended Rep. Colmenares. ###
---------------------------------------------------------------

News Release
September 17, 2013
Reference: Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares, 09178350459

BAYAN MUNA: HOUSE LEADERSHIP NOT ABOLISHING PORK
Anti -Pork Movement warned not to fall into the trap

Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares today warned the anti-pork movement that the House is not ready to give up the pork based on the recent statements by one of its leaders Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga, Jr. criticizing the Makabayan bloc in Congress for calling for its abolition. Colmenares also challenge Barzaga to publicly criticize all legislators who publicly announced their call for the abolition of pork even if they previously accessed it including the Senators and members of the House leadership who agreed to the abolition of pork.

“Rep. Barzaga’s criticism against those calling for the abolition of pork merely because they accessed it previously shows that the House leadership, thru Rep. Barzaga, is not serious in abolishing pork. Otherwise if they are really intent on abolishing pork they should welcome all those who call for the same,” said the senior deputy minority leader.

“The people are angry at the abuse of pork barrel and not the use. However, because the 10 billion scam of Janet Lim Napoles, the call for the abolition of pork even for those who merely used it but did not misuse it became the clamor of the people. So, even if we did not misuse public funds, we believe it’s but proper for the people to call for the abolition of pork for all legislators. We’re just supporting the people’s call for its total abolition. Whats wrong with that?,” said the progressive solon.

“The people’s movement against pork is warned that based on Rep. Barzaga’s statement, the pro-pork politicians will try to deodorize pork without intending to abolish it, while attacking those who honestly call for its abolition,” he added.

“We challenge Rep. Barzaga to also criticize senators who called for the abolition of pork like Sen. Chiz Escudero, Sen. Drilon and Sen. Miriam Santiago because they also used their pork barrel before. In fact he should include Pres. Aquino who also used his pork when he was a legislator. We challenge Rep. Barzaga to publicly announce that he is for the retention of pork because he used his pork before,” Rep. Colmenares said.

“The people’s movement against pork should be inclusive. They should welcome legislators who sincerely call for its abolition. They should also welcome all sectors who may have benefitted from the pork barrel but who now calls for its abolition. We should even welcome Supreme Court justices who now believe that pork is unconstitutional even if they previously voted to uphold its constitutionality,” he stressed.

“The tactic of the pro-pork politicians is to attack the credibility of movement and personalities calling for the abolition of pork in order to divide and rule over us and prevent the death of pork. We expect that the attacks by the pro pork group against the Makabayan bloc will continue as well as against those genuinely investigating and prosecuting those involved in the scam and even the organizers of anti-pork rallies. We ask the anti-pork movement not to allow the pro-pork politicians to divide us, as we persist in delivering the death blow against the pork barrel system,” ended Rep. Colmenares. ###

 

     
     
     
     
           
     
     
     

x
Teachers slam Noynoy’s and allied lawmakers’ pork deception

“Huwag ninyo kaming gawing tanga!”
 

Thus said Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) National Chairperson Benjie Valbuena, in reaction to the House of Representatives realignment of the P25.2-billion Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) at the House committee on appropriations.
 

“Congress is trying to make fools out of people by tucking away the PDAF into different line agencies, calling it with a different name and using a different system for implementation,” said Valbuena. “But if you look closely, it is still, in its essence PDAF or pork barrel!”
 

Valbuena added that despite the distribution of the PDAF funds to several departments and agencies, it still retains many of the key features of pork barrel such as the earmarking of specific amounts, exercise of individual discretion by legislators (particularly for local infrastructure projects), and right to recommend beneficiaries. “It still retains the political patronage character of PDAF,” stated Valbuena.
 

ACT denounced the lawmakers turning a deaf ear to the public outcry for the total abolition of the pork barrel system, including the abolition of the presidential pork barrel, and the rechanneling of funds to education and other basic social services.
“It seems that the president and his allied lawmakers do not know the meaning of the word ‘abolish.’” ACT Secretary General France Castro mused. “Noynoy’s bosses – the people – are calling for total abolition, and yet, pinagpipilitan pa rin niya na ‘tinatanggal’ diumano niya ito, pero sa totoo lang, binabago lang niya ang porma.”
 

“The lawmakers of Noynoy Aquino seems adept at playing the ‘president’s pet,’ following the president’s instructions of just transforming the congressional pork barrel, while keeping the P1.3 trillion presidential pork barrel intact at his disposal.” Castro concluded.
 

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers will join the people’s Forward March to Luneta today. ###

References:
Mobile: Mr. Benjamin Valbuena, ACT Chairperson (+63 916 -229 4515)
Ms. Francisca Castro, ACT Secretary-general (+63 917-8502124)
____________________________________________________________
ALLIANCE OF CONCERNED TEACHERS - PHILIPPINES
2/F Teachers' Center Building, Mines st. corner Dipolog st., Brgy. VASRA, Quezon City
Tel.Fax: (+63 2) 453 9116, (+63 2) 426 2238
E-mail: act_philippines@yahoo.com, actphilippines@gmail.com
 

     
           
     
     
     

x
September 20, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Reference: Lito Soriano, Convenor, 0908-8608173/Connie Bragas-Regalado, Convenor, 0933-6503487

OFWs to accused in pork scam: You’ve nowhere to hide, we are everywhere

DEPORK! (Overseas Filipinos Demand the Abolition of Pork) alliance today warned all accused of plunder and malversation of public funds in connection with the P10-billion pork barrel scam that even if they flee the Philippines to evade charges, overseas Filipinos around the world will be on the lookout.

The DEPORK! alliance issued the statement following reports that six out of the 35 respondents in the pork barrel scam have already left the country even before the issuance of an immigration watchlist.

“If and once they are convicted and issued arrest warrants, following due process, OFWs worldwide will be more than ready to assist and report their whereabouts anywhere in the world,” said Lito Soriano, DEPORK! convenor.

Soriano said that they will call on OFWs to immediately report to authorities any sightings. “OFWs are everywhere. They are in airports, seaports, restaurants, hotels, resorts, railroads, terminals, anywhere and everywhere in the world that they could possibly be.”

DEPORK! convenor Connie Bragas-Regalado said that the overwhelming success and participation of overseas Filipinos in the recently-concluded Zero Remittance Day on September 19 is testament to the commitment of Filipino im/migrants, OFWs and their families in the fight against the pork barrel system and corruption in government.

“The success of the Zero Remittance Day is proof that overseas Filipinos are angry and they demand accountability of all involved in the pork barrel scam. If proven guilty, the accused will have nowhere to hide. Let this serve as a warning to those planning to escape,” Bragas-Regalado said.

DEPORK! (Overseas Filipinos Demand Abolition of Pork), a broad network of Filipino im/migrants, overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), seafarers, families, advocates and service providers around the world.

DEPORK! convenors are former Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) Admin. Atty. Carlos Cao, Former Labor Sec. Marianito Roque, Comm. (Ret.) Dante Jimenez, Secretary-General of the Philippine Association of Maritime Institutions (PAMI) and founding president of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC), Migrante International Chairperson Garry Martinez, Lito Soriano of LBS Recruitment Solutions Corp., Atty. Edwin dela Cruz of the International Seafarers Action Center (ISAC), Migrante Partylist chairperson Connie Bragas-Regalado, Rev. Mirasol Villalon from the National-in-mission for Victims of Human Trafficking, OFWs and their Families-United Methodist Church and Bishop Bart Espartero of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente. ###
(Migrante International is a member organization of DEPORK!)

--
Website: http://migranteinternational.org
Office Address: #45 Cambridge St, Cubao, Quezon City
Telefax: 9114910
----------------------------------------------------------



DEPORK! statement:
Today is Zero Remittance Day for Zero Pork
9/19/13

At least 300 Filipino migrant organizations from 23 countries around the world are participating in today’s Zero Remittance Day against the pork barrel system and widespread corruption in Philippine government.

Overseas Filipinos from Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Malaysia, Macau, Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, South Korea, United Kingdom, Austria, Netherlands, Italy, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the US have expressed support and their participation in today’s global protest action.

The Zero Remittance Day is spearheaded by DEPORK! (Overseas Filipinos Demand Abolition of Pork), a broad network of Filipino im/migrants, overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), seafarers, families, advocates and service providers around the world.

DEPORK! convenors are former Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) Admin. Atty. Carlos Cao, Former Labor Sec. Marianito Roque, Comm. (Ret.) Dante Jimenez, Secretary-General of the Philippine Association of Maritime Institutions (PAMI) and founding president of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC), Migrante International Chairperson Garry Martinez, Lito Soriano of LBS Recruitment Solutions Corp., Atty. Edwin dela Cruz of the International Seafarers Action Center (ISAC), Migrante Partylist chairperson Connie Bragas-Regalado, Rev. Mirasol Villalon from the National-in-mission for Victims of Human Trafficking, OFWs and their Families-United Methodist Church and Bishop Bart Espartero of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente.

Why September 19?

The Zero Remittance Day is a symbolic protest and a political exercise for Filipino im/migrants from different parts of the world to collectively show their outrage on issues that affect them. Today, September 19, is a significant date for OFWs as it is also the anniversary of the implementation of the Overseas Workers Welfare Assistance (OWWA) Omnibus Policies (OOP) that effectively made the $25 OWWA contributions mandatory per contract. The OOP also limited benefits and services provided by the OWWA to member OFWs.

The OOP had since been deemed anti-migrant. It is one form of taxation imposed on OFWs that has gathered an estimated P14 billion in revenue for the government from OFWs’ contributions alone. OWWA funds have long been misused and plundered by government. But despite resounding calls for a full audit, the Philippine government has kept OFWs in the dark on how their hard-earned contributions are being utilized. In fact, despite billions of OWWA funds and the $21 billion worth of OFW remittances, services and assistance for Filipino migrants in distress have gone from bad to worse under the Aquino administration. “Today, we raise our call to the government that profit from our taxes and remittances should be allocated to social services and greater state subsidy for OFWs in distress,” Connie Bragas-Regalado, DEPORK! convenor.

“Sleeping elephant no more”

“OFWs and their families must unite so they can match their economic power with political influence. OFWs have long been the ‘sleeping elephant in the room’. But today, Filipinos around the world are marking their protest against the pork barrel system and corruption in government,” said Lito Soriano, DEPORK! convenor.

For his part, co-convenor Atty. Edwin dela Cruz criticized “those who have exerted all efforts to undermine and pre-empt today’s global action.” “Some have tried but failed to belittle overseas Filipinos’ participation in the Zero Remittance Day by saying that it will not have an effect on the economy, or that families are not supportive of today’s global protest. The mere fact that they have taken so much trouble to undermine the outrage and unity of overseas Filipinos around the world is a clear testament that our message has cut across.”

“This is just the beginning, and families of overseas Filipinos are with us until the pork barrel system is abolished, those involved in the pork barrel scam are prosecuted, and systemic changes in government are implemented to eradicate the rotten culture of patronage politics and corruption. More global protests are coming and OFWs are geared for longer Zero Remittance Days in the next weeks,” said Garry MArtinez, DEPORK! convenor.

Families of OFWs and returned OFWs from Saudi Arabia, Macau, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Syria and Dubai held a rally at Mendiola today in support of the Zero Remittance Day. DEPORK! will also be joining the big anti-pork barrel rally in Luneta on September 21. ###

(Migrante International is a member organization of the DEPORK! alliance)



 

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
           
     
     
     

x
Media Release
25 Sept. 2013

Aquino’s defense of pork slammed

Disgusted with Pres. Noynoy Aquino’s pleas to the Supreme Court defending the pork barrel system, national labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno called on workers and all Filipinos to hold bigger protests for the abolition of the pork barrel system in the coming weeks and months.

KMU said Aquino’s petition asking the SC to lift the Temporary Restraining Order on the release of the Priority Development Assistance Fund for 2013 and to junk petitions asking the High Court to declare the pork barrel system as unconstitutional is shameless and should be met with bigger protests.

“Aquino is leaving Filipinos with no other option but to hold bigger protests against the pork barrel system. It has become clear that only through these protests can we force the government to heed our call against this scheme of plunder and deceit,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.

He called on the public to join a Sept. 27 march to the House of Representatives in time for the latter’s passage of the 2014 national budget containing the new pork barrel system being defended by Aquino.

The labor leader also called on the public to join protests on Oct. 11-12 in time for US Pres. Barack Obama’s visit to the country, saying the visit signifies continued US support for the pork barrel system in exchange for wider US military presence in the country.

“Aquino refuses to listen to his so-called bosses. We have repeatedly called for the abolition of the pork barrel system while he has repeatedly defended this scheme of plunder and deceit,” he added.

KMU has condemned the new pork barrel system being defended by Aquino, saying a new name and so-called “stricter rules” will not change a corrupt system that allows politicians’ discretionary use of the people’s money.

“Every week, we will hold protests in various areas in Metro Manila through which we hope to enjoin the participation of the most number of workers and the poor. Our regional chapters across the country will also hold similar protests,” the labor leader stated.

Labog said the chief executive is ignoring Filipinos’ sound arguments for the abolition of the pork barrel and is hell-bent on preserving the Office of the President’s P1.3 Trillion pork barrel and the pork barrel system.

“Our protests will continue until the end of October, until Nov. 30 which is working-class hero Andres Bonifacio’s 150th birthday, until the Dec. 6 protest marking the 100 days of the Aug. 26 One Million March, and beyond. We will not stop until the pork barrel system is abolished,” Labog said.

Reference: Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson, 0908-1636597
-----------------------------------------------------

Press Statement
21 Sept. 2013

41 years after the declaration of Martial Law
The struggle against corruption and repression must continue

Today, we unite with the Filipino people in commemorating the 41st anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law by joining the “Level Up” protest against the pork barrel system and corruption in the government of Pres. Noynoy Aquino.

This year’s commemoration of the declaration of Martial Law has a special resonance for the Filipino workers and people who are calling for the abolition of the pork barrel system and opposing the repressive moves of the Aquino government.

Martial Law was characterized by rampant corruption in government and the wanton violation of the people’s human rights. While the Filipino people were successful in ending Martial Law in 1986, corruption and repression persist to this day.

The pork barrel scam is exposing corruption in the Aquino government. Aquino has become desperate in trying to hide evidence damning to his government. He is using investigations into the scam for his propaganda war against opposition figures.

There is growing repression in the country, as shown by the use of airstrikes against the New People’s Army in Sagada, the war against the Moro National Liberation Front in Zamboanga City, and the arrest of 11 activists in Hacienda Luisita.

Martial Law remains in full effect in the government’s drive against trade unionism. Countless violations of the right to strike are being carried out, five KMU national leaders face trumped-up charges, and eight leaders of the trade-union movement have been victims of extra-judicial killings since Aquino became president in 2010.

Just this August, Benjamin Villeno, a KMU leader in the Southern Tagalog region, was abducted or disappeared as he was about to visit his family.

Forty-one years after Martial Law was declared, we vow to intensify our struggle against corruption in government and the violation of the people’s human rights. We vow to end the semi-colonial, semi-feudal system that has as permanent features widespread corruption in government and brutal violation of the people’s human rights.

Reference: Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson, 0908-1636597
---------------------------------------------------------------

 [41 years after the declaration of Martial Law]
The struggle against corruption and repression must continue

Today, we unite with the Filipino people in commemorating the 41st anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law by joining the “Level Up” protest against the pork barrel system and corruption in the government of Pres. Noynoy Aquino.

This year’s commemoration of the declaration of Martial Law has a special resonance for the Filipino workers and people who are calling for the abolition of the pork barrel system and opposing the repressive moves of the Aquino government.

Martial Law was characterized by rampant corruption in government and the wanton violation of the people’s human rights. While the Filipino people were successful in ending Martial Law in 1986, corruption and repression persist to this day.

The pork barrel scam is exposing corruption in the Aquino government. Aquino has become desperate in trying to hide evidence damning to his government. He is using investigations into the scam for his propaganda war against opposition figures.

There is growing repression in the country, as shown by the use of airstrikes against the New People’s Army in Sagada, the war against the Moro National Liberation Front in Zamboanga City, and the arrest of 11 activists in Hacienda Luisita.

Martial Law remains in full effect in the government’s drive against trade unionism. Countless violations of the right to strike are being carried out, five KMU national leaders face trumped-up charges, and eight leaders of the trade-union movement have been victims of extra-judicial killings since Aquino became president in 2010.

Just this August, Benjamin Villeno, a KMU leader in the Southern Tagalog region, was abducted or disappeared as he was about to visit his family.

Forty-one years after Martial Law was declared, we vow to intensify our struggle against corruption in government and the violation of the people’s human rights. We vow to end the semi-colonial, semi-feudal system that has as permanent features widespread corruption in government and brutal violation of the people’s human rights.

Reference Person: Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson
Contact information: 0908-1636597
----------------------------------------

Opposition senators told: Go ahead, spill the beans
20-September-2013

Go ahead, spill the beans.

This was national labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno’s statement today in reaction to threats made by senators charged with plunder over the pork barrel scam that they will expose the Aquino administration’s involvement in high-level corruption, saying such information is crucial to fighting corruption in government.

KMU also called on workers and the public to listen to the privilege speeches that will be delivered next week by Senators Ramon Revilla Jr. and Jinggoy Estrada, both of whom were charged with plunder at the Office of the Ombudsman.

“We certainly hope that the senators would fulfill their threat of exposing the Aquino administration’s involvement in big-time corruption. They should spare no one, including Pres. Noynoy Aquino,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.

The labor leader also said that Sen. Estrada’s promise of exposing the accountability of implementing agencies in channeling funds to fake non-government organizations linked to businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles would be a good start.

“It is clear that the Aquino camp is using investigations into the pork barrel scam to attack would-be opponents in the coming elections while shielding its allies. Filipinos know that corruption is systemic and crosses party lines; Filipinos want to know the whole truth,” Labog said.

The labor leader said Pres. Noynoy Aquino is being put on the defensive by the pork barrel scam because of his maneuvers to maintain the pork barrel system, including his P1.3 Trillion pork barrel for 2014, and the special treatment he gave to Napoles.

“Aquino has increasingly been put on the defensive because of the pork barrel scam. The senators’ expose’s may further ignite Filipinos’ anger at a president claiming to be anti-corruption but actually defends and benefits from the pork barrel system,” Labog said.

KMU also called on the Senate’s Blue Ribbon Committee, which will continue its hearings on the pork barrel scam even though plunder charges have already been filed before the Office of the Ombudsman, to expand the scope of its investigation.

“The Senate should stop being Aquino’s court of publicity by confining its probe to the years under the previous administration. Corruption under the present political system knows no expiration date and the Blue Ribbon committee hearing must investigate corruption under Aquino,” the labor leader said.

The labor leader called on the public to continue joining protest actions against the pork barrel system, including the Sept. 21 Luneta to Mendiola protest action, saying people’s mobilizations will force those in government to expose the whole truth behind the pork barrel scam.

Reference Person: Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson
Contact information: 0908-1636597

 

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
           
     
     
     

x

 

 

SEPTEMBER 21, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NEVER ‘PORKGET’ | Youth groups mark 41st Martial Law anniversary by staging 4th major anti-pork protest

REFERENCE:
Victor Villanueva, YOUTH ACT NOW Spokesperson (0906.375.9987)
Marjohara Tucay, Media Officer (0927.326.8776)


“Forty-one years ago, we’ve had a despotic president who declared Martial Law to consolidate power. Today, we’ve got a president who projects himself to be a beacon of responsive leadership, yet refuses to dissolve the despotic system of spoils and patronage politics that is the pork barrel. Two presidents, different tactics, same despotic rule.”

This is the statement of YOUTH ACT NOW Spokesperson Victor Villanueva during the commemoration of the 41st anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law, which youth groups along with various sectors of society marked with another multisectoral protest against the pork barrel system in Manila Saturday.

The protest comes after the House of Representatives revealed that the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) – more commonly known as the legislative pork barrel and is the source of funds in the controversial P10-billion pork barrel scam – has not been removed but only “hidden” in the allocation of various executive agencies.

“Just as we correctly pointed out even before Janet Napoles’ supposed surrender, the pork barrel still exists, albeit in a different form. Worse, the Aquino administration has not made any significant move to address the existence of the President’s own pork barrel, which amounts to over P1 trillion, despite the resounding call of various sectors of society,” Villanueva said.

Protesters from various sectors gathered early in Luneta, where an ecumenical service followed by a multisectoral protest program was held. A little past lunchtime, the demonstrators marched to historic Mendiola, signifying their rage over the Office of the President that still “clings to pork.”

“Just as the nation never forgets the nightmare that was Martial Law, the united Filipino people will also not forget how Aquino refuses to truly address the pork barrel mess. The enlightened youth now recognizes that corruption is not just a simple case of bad guys diverting money to their pockets – it’s a systemic flaw perpetuated by the ruling order to continue their dominance. The youth marches today with the same battle cry during the Marcosian years: down with bureaucrat capitalism – the system of spoils, cronyism and corruption that has allowed the likes of the pork barrel scam to proliferate and thrive,” Villanueva concluded.###

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

News Release

Youth groups, schools prepare for Level Up march with “Rage Against Pork” all over Metro Manila

9/20/13
REFERENCE:
Victor Villanueva, YOUTH ACT NOW Spokesperson (0906.375.9987)
Michael Beltran (09159230686)

Youth Act Now, together with different youth organizations and student formations, continues to "Rage Against Pork" through noise barrages throughout the Metro today. Scheduled at 12 NN and 4pm at different protest centers, today's noise barrage is also a build-up for the 3rd Luneta demonstration on Saturday, September 21.
 

Youth Act Now convener Victor Villanueva says that "young people of today have had enough of corruption and are willing to go beyond just one-off showings; we plan and we promise to keep making noise until the Palace actually listens and makes a genuine move to punish the guilty and hold all involved accountable."
 

The Porkless Friday noise barrages began 4 weeks ago in four protest centers - Philcoa, Recto, Kalaw, and Vito Cruz - and has steadily increased in location and number of participants. Today Intramuros, Kalaw, Sta.Mesa, Morayta, and Mendiola now held larger protest gatherings.
 

The protests against the pork barrel system and entrenched government corruption have also snowballed in support and involvement these past few weeks, drawing support from the Catholic Church and CEAP or the Catholic Educators Association of the Philippines. The protest forms have also found a myriad of taking up the call for a “noise barrage” having drummers, and other displays of school spirit and indignation.
 

"Mag-ingay tayo kontra korupsyon hanggang may managot!" says Youth Act Now spokesperson Einstein Recedes as he enjoins other young people to take part in today's activity and in future activities. "The sustained show of condemnation and call for transparency and accountability is what we need against such deeply entrenched corruption and crime in our government."
The whole day metro wide protests were followed up by a concert at Mendiola itself. “Camp, rock and rage against pork” saw students and youth groups camp out at the Mendiola Bridge in preparation for tomorrows Level Up protest which assemble at Luneta and proceed to take the fight there.
 

“Recedes explained that it is important to start taking our demonstrations in front of the Palace more and more. Since the start President Aquino has not only been accountable for the various fraudulent activities in his government but is himself an instigator; something that is becoming increasingly evident. The youth and people are not surprised with the recent revelations tagging Janet Napoles as having close ties with the Palace.”
 

Youth Act Now plans to draw a larger number of young participants to Luneta and eventually Mendiola to mark the solidarity of different sectors, civil society groups and concerned citizens to once again take their call to abolish pork and Aquino’s pork a step higher. ###

 

     
     
     
     
     
     
           
     
     
     

x
News Release

Youth Artists converge for “ROAR” vs pork and corruption

9/19/13
Reference: Michael Beltran 09159230686
 

Resist, Oppose and Revolt or ROAR a cultural gathering against pork and corruption that featured jamming, live painting and poetry was spearheaded by Karatula (Kabataang Artista para sa Tunay na Kalayaan), Youth Act Now and AKKSYON (Artista Kontra Kurapsyon) along with students from various universities in Manila. As part of the current outrage felt by millions of ordinary Filipinos, students sought to drum up support for the upcoming protest actions at Luneta and Mendiola.
 

Jay Del Rosario, vice chairperson of Karatula said that “recent revelations have only reinforced the demand to abolish pork, especially that of the Noynoy Aquino who is increasingly being tagged as one of its prime instigators. Though these exposes has not surprised the people.”
 

It had been reported that Napoles is closer to the President than expected having lunch at the Palace itself.
 

Students from the University of Santo Tomas College of Music played their own compositions underlining the importance of participation in social issues. While artists from the Mapua Institute of Technology and Philippine Women’s University conducted live paintings depicting the plight of the people under the systematic plunder of the Aquino government.
 

The upcoming protest at Luneta will also double as a commemoration of the declaration of Martial Law and as such parallels the ills Filipinos still face today under Aquino.
 

“Martial Law saw some of the worst plunder, graft and corruption scandals ever initiated by Marcos himself and some of which are still unresolved today. Despite Aquino’s family being a prominent figure in the anti-dictatorship struggle he is creating his own legacy of fraud,” explained Del Rosario.
 

“Artists have already shown their unity through the previous Rock and Rage concert at Luneta, we plan to continue these protests alongside the various sectors of society to fight corruption,” concluded Del Rosario. ###

 

 

     
     
           
     
     
     

x


Break Free from Pork:
Political prisoners protest against injustice and plunder

Renante M. Gamara
Eduardo O. Sarmiento
Eduardo R. Serrano
NDFP Consultants
18 September 2013

We, peace consultants of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, detained at Camp Crame, resolutely join the ever-rising militant protests of the Filipino people against the bureaucratic stealing of public funds by the US-Aquino regime.

As the ordinary Filipino says: “Ang busog naging bundat!”.(The satiated became corpulent)

The masses of the people are angry and disgusted at the regime’s maneuvers, cover-ups, and schemes to hide this massive misuse of the people’s money that feed the insatiable greed of the ruling class; and to protect from the prosecution the whole government bureaucracy (executive, legislative and judiciary) that is responsible for the proliferation and malignancy of wanton corruption and political patronage of this rotten state.

We are one with our fellow political prisoners in launching on 19 September “Break Free from Pork" — a protest action of political detainees against corruption and the pork barrel system of the US-Aquino regime.

For our part, together with SELDA (Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto, Association of Ex-detainees Against Detention and Arrest) and UgatLahi Artist Collective, will kick-off the VIP (Victims of Injustice and Plunder) Prisoners’ Protest PORKsong Revival Fest and PORKsters vs. Corruption Contest to give venue to the creativity of detention prisoners in expressing their own experiences and dreams of fighting for freedom from detention at the moment; and, for the final freedom of the Filipino people from exploitation and oppression of US imperialism, domestic feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism.

After this, we are joining the Mag-Ingay Tayo! noise barrage of the Scrap the Pork Alliance on 20 September. We salute the militancy of the youth and students who will walk out of their classes and join the protest actions in the streets on the afternoon of that same day.

On 21 September, we are also one with the rally against the pork barrel system and the corresponding 100-day vigilance for justice to be attained when the plunderers are found guilty and jailed. However, as they are being presented now, it seems that it will be a very long journey to reach a conclusion that is truly favorable to the Filipino people. The US-Aquino regime continues to hoodwink the people that the PDAF (parliamentary pork-barrel funds) had been abolished and the exposed plunderers and their cohorts will be prosecuted and punished.

But the people are fed up with the schemes concocted by Malacañang. It can no longer hide the reality that, as portrayed by ex-senator Rodolfo Biazon, ”the house is burning…” The people cannot be fooled anymore. Neither will they be cowed into submission and silence.

In and out of our country, the workers, peasants, students, women, urban poor, national minorities, and the middle section of the middle class such as the professionals, teachers, overseas workers, government employees, doctors, nurses, health workers, lawyers, and church people are continuously protesting in greater numbers, and intensity demanding from the Aquino government social justice, jobs, just wages, additional subsidies for education, housing for the urban poor, health services, subsidies for farmers and subsidies for water, electric power, oil and other basic needs.

The Filipino people are justified in demanding that this systematic and wanton corruption in the political and social system of our country be exposed and totally eradicated. The power of the Filipino people will grow stronger as the rottenness of this semifeudal and semicolonial system is thoroughly exposed and opposed through the ever-increasing disgust and distrust of the people at the pork barrel system and all other corrupt practices in the government.

The people’s power, in the final days, will deliver the fatal blow to this rotten and crumbling economic and political system of the ruling class of the big bourgeoisie and big landlords, in connivance with US imperialism.

Abolish the pork barrel system!
Rechannel funds to social services!
Prosecute the plunderers, not the innocent and rights defenders!
Free all political prisoners!
Long live the Filipino people!

 

 Masks, Litson, Etc
     
           
     
 
     
     

x

Break free from pork: political prisoners add voice to people's rage against pork, score corruption in gov’t

09/20/2013 - 12:00
Press release
SELDA

"From within prison walls, political prisoners are not unaware of the people’s rage against bureaucratic corruption," said Ramon Patriarca, detained peace consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.

In a statement sent to Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA) Patriarca cited President Aquino's pork, and " how billions more of the Malampaya and other presidential pork are pocketed through ghost projects. Of how billions upon billions of annual budget under Malacanang are ‘spent’-bereft of any transparency and the demands of accountability-under the cloak of presidential discretion and presumption of regularity."

Patriarca also scored the corruption of jail officials saying "our daily food budget is subjected to as much as 60% commission when there are not enough funds to solve overly-cramped jail conditions. Nor for the medical and other basic services deserved by inmates rendered weak and sickly by deplorable jail situation. Nor to fill up vacant trial courts and create new ones to ensure our right to speedy trial."

Of the 449 political prisoners in the country, Patriarca is the only remaining political prisoner detained in a military camp, at the AFP Central Command in Lapu-Lapu City. He is in solitary confinement for three years now.

At the Special Intesive Care Area-Camp Bagong Diwa, political prisoner’s denounced those in Malacanang, Congress and Senate and their minions saying “while they luxuriously feast and wallow in what can be squeezed from the sweat and blood of the already impoverished people, all the more and without conscience do they make the poor people go through suffering and oppression."

"These big criminal thieves, and not only Napoles, should be the ones imprisoned, and not we political prisoners who they are victimizing, gagging, depriving of liberty and applying fascism against, because of our advocacies and efforts to arouse, organize and mobilize the people in the struggle for freedom, justice, rights, progress and to uplift the lives and dignity of the broad masses of the people," SICA political prisoners said.

Break free from pork: nationwide protest of political prisoners to abolish pork

The September 19 break free from pork activities of political prisoners was a success, according to SELDA.

Political prisoners at the New Bilibid Prison held a 3-minute noise barrage. They also mounted streamers with slogans, "abolish pork barrel system! free all political prisoners!" They were able to gain the support of the other convicted prisoners, especially the Moro prisoners and even some guards.

Patriarca is on a 48-hour fasting, which started on February19-21, as a protest against the pork barrel system, for the non-operationalization of the RA 10368 (Marcos Victims Compensation Act), the arrest and detention of the Hacienda Luisita 11, and the death of a fellow political prisoner Allison Alcantara.

Other detainees in Metro Manila, Bicol, Bohol, Cebu, Misamis Oriental, and Bukidnon also held similar actions such as noise barrage, fasting, wearing of armbands with “no to pork barrel” slogan, and distribution of leaflets on the pork barrel issue among inmates. ###
---------------------------------------

Break free from pork:
political prisoners suggest alternative use of pork
09/19/2013

Political prisoners today launched “Break free from pork”, a nationwide protest against the pork barrel system, to join hands with the rest of the Filipino people calling for the abolition of the pork barrel system.

From Metro Manila, Bicol, Bohol, Cebu, Misamis Oriental, and Bukidnon, political prisoners’ action ranged from noise barrage, fasting, wearing of armbands with “no to pork barrel” slogan, distribution of leaflets on the pork barrel issue among inmates.

Detained peace consultants of the National Democratic Front (NDF) at Camp Crame launched VIP (Victims of Injustice and Plunder) Prisoners' Protest PORKsong Revival Fest and PORKsters vs. Corruption contest as a venue of creativity of political prisoners to express their hopes and aspirations for freedom from detention and, for freedom of the Filipino people from exploitation and oppression.

They also called for the prosecution of the plunderers, and not of the innocent civilians and rights defenders. The protest action also highlighted the situation of the 449 detainees all-over the country and the call to release all political prisoners.

Alternative use of pork

Believing that the presidential and congressional pork comes from the poor people’s labor, the political detainees at the New Bilibid Prison-Maximum Security Compound outlined alternative uses of pork, for the benefit of the common tao and for the development of the country.

According to the political detainees, the pork, instead of ending up in the pockets of government bureaucrats and their cohorts, could be used to:

1. Improve agricultural productivity, alleviate farmers’ situation, and provide for cheap food supply for all.
 

2. Increase the salaries and benefits of government employees, especially the health workers, public school
teachers, and other rank-and-file members of the government bureaucracy.
 

3. Provide decent, safe and free housing for the urban poor settlers.
 

4. Provide free and quality education for the Filipino youth.
 

5. Strengthen support mechanisms that guarantee the protection and welfare of overseas Filipino workers.
 

6. Provide for sufficient, efficient and affordable health services.
 

7. Provide the poor with cheap and clean sources of water and electricity.
 

8. Improve the justice system, specifically to speed up trials and processing of court cases, and increase salaries
and benefits of court rank & file employees.
 

9. Improve the condition of jails and detention facilities, especially the living quarters, food ration, and medical services, and increase the salaries and benefits of jail employees;

 
10. Implement rehabilitation programs and projects for prisoners. ###
 

     
     
     
     
           
     
     
     
Singing Bayan Ko
     

x
PRESS RELEASE
September 20, 2013
Reference: Andrianne Mark Ng, BAYAN-Southern Tagalog, Spokesperson 0999-871-0771

Kundenahin ang ”ala-Marcos” na Korupsyon, Katiwalian at
Paglabag sa Karapatang Pantao ng gubyernong Aquino
-BAYAN-Southern Tagalog sa paggunita ng ika-41 anibersaryo ng Martial Law,2 araw na protesta inilunsad

Bilang paggunita at pagkundena sa ika-41 taon mula nang ipataw ni Ferdinand Marcos ang Batas Militar noong Setyembre 21, 1972, naglunsad ang iba’t-ibang sektor at organisasyon mula sa Timog Katagalugan sa pangunguna ng Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN)- Southern Tagalog ng 2 araw na kilos-protesta mula September 20-21, 2013. Ang pagkilos ay nagmula pa sa Calamba, Laguna at Dasmariñas, Cavite at tumungong Maynila para sumanib sa pmabansang pagkilos sa September 21 sa Luneta at Mendiola.

“Apatnapu’t isang taon na ang nakalipas matapos na ipatupad ni Ferdinand Marcos ang Batas Militar sa ating bansa ngunit hanggang sa ngayon ay hindi pa rin nabibigyan ng katarungan ang libu-libong biktima ng paglabag sa karapatang pantao dulot nito”, ani Andrianne Mark Ng, tagapagsalita ng Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN)-Southern Tagalog.

Walang pinag-iba ang administrasyon ni Aquino kay Marcos, isang gubyenong punong-puno ng paglabag sa karapatang pantao, korupsyon, katiwalian at pandarambong. Ayon sa tala ng grupong KARAPATAN-ST, mayroong 62 bilanggong pulitikal ang rehiyon ng Timog Katagalugan at 37 dito ay iligal na inaresto sa panahon ni Aquino. Ang rehiyon din ang may pinakamaraming bilanggong pulitikal sa buong bansa. Naitala rin sa panahon ni Aquino ang 21 na biktima ng pampulitikang pamamaslang at 3 biktima ng sapilitang pagkawala.

Isa sa pinakatampok na panawagan ng rehiyon sa paggunita sa Martial Law ay ang panawagang Ilitaw si Benjamen Villeno, pinakabagong biktima ng sapilitang pagkawala. Agosto 27, 2013 ang pinakahuling ugnayan niya sa pamamagitan ng isang text message na mayroon sumusunod sa kanyang kahina-hinala nang siya ay pauwi sa kanyang kamag-anak sa Cavite. Sapul noon ay hindi na nakita si Ben. Si Ben ay isang lider at organisador ng manggagawa sa mga labor unions sa ilalim ng PAMANTIK-KMU. Dahil sa kanyang aktibong pakikipaglaban sa mga karapatan ng mga manggagawa, hindi maitatago ang pampulitikang motibo sa likod ng pagkawala ni Ben at maitatala na siya ang ikatlong biktima ng sapilitang pagkawala sa rehiyon. Kasabay ng pagkilos ay may binuong Task Force ang grupo, kasama ang pamilya para hanapin si Ben sa iba’t-ibang kampo ng militar, detachments at mga bilangguan.

Pangalawang panawagan sa okasyong ito ay ang tuluyang pagbasura na sa lahat ng pork barrel mula kongreso, senado at maging ang presidensyal pork. “ Ang sistemang ito na minana pa natin sa mga Amerikano ang isa sa pinaka-ugat at puno ng sagad sa butong katiwalian at korupsyon ng gubyerno. Isang sistemang pinatatakbo ng negosyo at hindi serbisyo at isang sistemang kumakanlong sa masamang kinaugalian na Padrino”, paliwanang ni Ng.

Isa lamang sintomas ang isyu ng Pork Barrel sa mas malala pang sistema ng katiwalian , korupsyon at kabulukan ng gubyerno. Dapat lamang magkaisa ang mamamayan sa paglaban sa katiwalian habang nagdarahop at halos magpakamatay na sa paghahanapbuhay ay nilulustay lamang ng gubyerno ang kabang bayan ng mamamayan sa korupsyon at pagsikil sa ating mga karapatan kapag umaalma ang mamamayan.

“Mariin din namin tinutuligsa ang muling panunumbalik ng US Bases sa ating bansa. Sa pagpunta kamakailan ng US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel at sa napipintong pagdating ni Obama sa ating bansa, itinutulak ng US ang walang hangganang akses ng mga tropang kano sa ating bansa sa pamamagitan ng Mutual Defense Treaty at Visiting Forces Agreemet. Tahasang paglabag ito sa soberanya ng ating bansa. Tiyak rin madadawit tayo sa mga gyerang pinapasok ng US sa ibang bansa gaya ng Syria at sa layunin rin ng US na magpalakas sa rehiyon ng Asya-Pasipiko. Dapat lamang tutulan ng mamamayan ang panunumablik ng base militar ng mga Kano”, pagtatapos ni Ng. ###
ITINERARY:

September 20

8:00-10:00am: Protest action @ Crossing, Calamba, Laguna

Protest action @ Kadiwa, Dasmariñas, Cavite

12:00nn: Assembly @ Plaza Salamanca (Kalaw, Manila)

12:30am: March to US Embassy

1:00pm: Protest action @ US Embassy

1:30pm: Take off to Mendiola

3:00pm: Protest action @ Mendiola with BAYAN-NCR

5:00pm: March to Bustillos Church

6:00pm: Solidarity Night/Vigil @ Bustillos Church

Photo/Video Opportunities:

a.) 10th Burning of Giant US Flag depicting Obama and Aquino Faces in front of US Embassy

b.) Pictures of victims of Marcos' Martial Law and Aquino's Oplan Bayanihan

September 21

8:30 - 11:00am: Luneta

12:00nn - 3:00pm: Mendiola

Photo/Video Opportunities:

a.) Two-faced PIG featuring Marcos and Aquino faces symbolizing the Marcosian, Militarist and Corrupt of the Aquino Regime.

b.) Protesters wearing pig masks in military costume.

MEDIA COVERAGE IS HIGHLY REQUESTED Contact us @ 09058460174 | 09082197034
 

     
     
     
     
     
           
     
     
     

x
NEWS RELEASE
September 15, 2013

Marcosian terror reigns in Hacienda Luisita, 41 years after Martial Law declaration

Source Verification:
Christopher Garcia, spokesperson – AMBALA
09293200615

Anakpawis Representative Fernando “Ka Pando” Hicap and other members of the recently released Luisita 11 joined the anti-pork and Martial Law commemoration rally at the Luneta Park today to denounce the various forms of Marcosian terror being sown by the military, the police and the security personnel of the Cojuangco-Aquino clan in Hacienda Luisita.

The Tarlac Development Corporation or TADECO, a company owned by President Aquino’s clan, ordered the violent and arbitrary arrest of delegates to a national fact-finding mission in Hacienda Luisita on September 17. Nine of the 11 arrested persons were charged with malicious mischief and direct assault and were released on bail after being detained for three days at the Tarlac PNP Provincial Headquarters in Camp Macabulos.

The fact-finding mission probed into the reported anomalous land distribution scheme of “tambiolo” raffle implemented by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), the harrasment of farmworkers and their leaders by the police and the military, and the new cases of landgrabbing by Cojuangco-Aquino-owned companies such as the TADECO and Luisita Realty Corporation.

Despite the Supreme Court ruling in 2012 to distribute all agricultural land to Luisita farm worker beneficiaries (FWBs), dozens of residents in Barangays Cutcut and Balete have recently received written notices from TADECO, ordering them to vacate their farmlots within 15 days. TADECO is never mentioned as a party in the historic SC ruling and has no legal claims to agricultural lands to be distributed to farmworkers.

Flor Sibayan, acting president of the Alyansa ng mga Manggagawang Bukid sa Asyenda Luisita (AMBALA) and one of the Luisita 11, said that “the continuing harassment of farm worker beneficiaries by armed state agents, the bizarre tambiolo land allocation scheme of the DAR, and the recent ownership claims to and actual physical incursions in the hacienda of the TADECO, all point to the escalating efforts by the Cojuangco-Aquinos to sabotage land distribution in Hacienda Luisita.”

Farmworkers observed that the anomalous distribution scheme will only lead to the reconcentration of land to the Cojuangco-Aquino clan. According to AMBALA spokesperson, Christopher Garcia, DAR’s random, anarchic approach at determining which parcel goes to which household via raffle, is “actually a very calculated ploy designed to sow confusion and divisiveness among the FWBs, allowing thus the Cojuangco-Aquinos to effectively manuever in their bid to perpetuate their clan’s decades-old control of the vast sugar estate.”

“Under the CARPER, the Cojuangco-Aquinos are set to receive nearly Php 5 billion of public funds allocated by President Aquino himself as compensation for the Luisita land distribution,” Sibayan said. “But with the DAR’s tambiolo scheme, the President’s family will not only receive fat sums, they are also keen on maintaining land ownership. Ayaw bitiwan ni Noynoy ang pork, ayaw din nilang bitiwan ang hacienda.”

Hacienda Luisita has always been the economic base upon which the Cojuangco-Aquinos have built and maintained political power at all levels of government. In turn, this political power, “has always been directly employed by the Cojuangco-Aquinos to protect their economic interest in this vast agricultural estate, through deception and state violence at the expense of the Luisita peasants and farm workers,” according to AMBALA spokesperson, Christopher Garcia.

“Kahit parang Martial Law na sa loob ng Hacienda Luisita, hindi kami natatakot. Ipagpapatuloy namin ang laban para sa libreng pamamahagi ng lupa,” Sibayan added.
-------------------------------------------------------
 

 


 September 15, 2013
Source Verification:
Christopher Garcia
Spokesperson – AMBALA
09293200615

ANTI-PORK PEASANT LEADERS:
PNOY NOT GIVING UP PORK, NOT KEEN ON LETTING GO OF HACIENDA LUISITA EITHER
 

Anakpawis Representative Fernando “Ka Pando” Hicap and former congressman Rafael “Ka Paeng” Mariano, arrived this morning in Tarlac to join a multisectoral fact finding mission looking into the alleged bizarre, deceptive and coersive manner by which the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) is currently carrying out the Supreme Court ruling to distribute the controversial Hacienda Luisita to farm worker beneficiaries (FWBs).
 

Hicap and Mariano, both vocal anti-pork barrel peasant leaders and long-time advocates of genuine land reform, are echoing the position of the Alyansa ng mga Manggagawang Bukid sa Hacienda Luisita (AMBALA) that President Nonoy Aquino’s firm stance not to forgo of the controversial presidential pork is very much akin to the refusal of the president’s family to surrender its landlord interests in this perennially disputed vast Central Luzon estate.
 

According to AMBALA spokesperson, Christopher Garcia, DAR’s random, anarchic approach at determining which parcel goes to which household via raffle, is “actually a very calculated ploy designed to sow confusion and divisiveness among the FWBs, allowing thus the Cojuangco-Aquinos to effectively manuever in their bid to perpetuate their clan’s decades-old control of the more than 6000-hectare hacienda.”
 

Hicap has expressed his alarm over reports that DAR personnel had pressured a number of FWBs into signing the questionable Application to Purchase and Farmer’s Undertaking (APFU) which states that the signees all agree to pay and amortisize the parcels of land that are being allotted. According to Hicap, he has heard quite a few testimonies coming from different barangays in the hacienda saying that the FWBs were falsely told by DAR that failing to sign the APFU would mean forfeiture of any legal land claims. “Why would the FWBs suddenly sign a document compelling them to buy the land which they themselves own, not only as far as the Supreme Court is concerned, but more importantly, because they have already earned it out of decades upon decades of hard toil?” Hicap said.
 

Mariano believes that much of the said pressure came from the fact that during the raffling out of Land Allocation Certificates (LACs) held last month in the 10 barangays of the hacienda, the entourage of the DAR staff was accompanied by several platoons of the Philippine Army and the Philippine National Police. “The FWBs joining the raffle of the LACs, the signing of the APFU— these were all done practically at gunpoint,” Mariano said. AMBALA has since called out for the support of various concerned sectors especially as the presence of the military, the police and armed guards in the hacienda has continued.
 

AMBALA updated the fact finding mission that just last week, representatives of the Tarlac Development Corporation (TADECO) have started issuing eviction notices to several FBWs in Brgy. Balete and Brgy. Cutcut. TADECO is asserting that it is the rightful owner of the 200 hectares of agricultural land where these said FBWs are currently positioned and that the latter are given 15 days to vacate lest they be charged of trespasing. It was also about this time that armed men began setting up security outposts and pitching wooden markers in the said area purportedly in the name of TADECO. According to AMBALA, it is common knowledge in the hacienda and thereabouts that TADECO is owned by the Cojuangco-Aquinos themselves.
 

The fact finding mission teams— composed of church workers, online media practioners, human rights defenders and members of the Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura, Anakpawis, Alyansa ng mga Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luson and the Hacienda Luisita Peasant Supporters Network— will be led in the afternoon by AMBALA members to an open field in Brgy. Balete where, in a highly dramatic and symbolic action, FWBs, young and old, are expected to pull out and trash the said wooden markers.

Hicap has promised the FWBs that he and the MAKABAYAN coalition will immediately present the data gathered in the fact finding mission to the House of Representatives, particularly in the meeting of the House Minority set for September 18.
 


 

     
     
     
     
     
     
           
     
     
     
           
           
           

 

/p

  
 

Google