[Press Release] SANLAKAS padlocks MERALCO gate to protest increase in power rates

Stop meralco’s greed!
Prioritize public needs first
before profits for a few!

The Left coalition SANLAKAS conducted a protest rally this morning in front of a Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) office in Quezon City. Around eighty (80) mass activists of SANLAKAS picketed MERALCO’s Kamuning branch to partly express the general public’s opposition to the constant overpricing of power rates by the country’s largest power distributor.

During their protest action, the militant group attempted to symbolically ‘padlock and chain’ the main entrance door of the MERALCO office with a giant padlock-chain held by the activists. This dramatic action, which was led by Rasti Delizo, the SANLAKAS Spokesperson, and Flora Santos, who heads the activist organization’s National Organizing Department, was a symbolism of the growing anger of the basic masses. As they did this, the rest of the group’s activists conducted a ‘mass-die-in’ (a group lie-down) as they chanted slogans against MERALCO’s greedy profiteering methods.

According to Delizo, “SANLAKAS totally opposes the never-ending schemes of MERALCO to always make quick greedy profits through constant overpricing in collusion with its puppet government agency, the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).  This joint ‘Profits-first Corporatocratic Alliance’ is certainly a national weapon of mass destruction to permanently ensure the economic-social hardship of the majority of our poor masses who depend on a daily power supply in order to live decent and humane lives.”

The SANLAKAS Spokesperson further said, “With a looming national economic predicament reinforced by the current global capitalist crisis, our country’s poor masses cannot afford to remain passive. We must urgently unite to fight the Philippine State’s pro-neoliberal laws, such as the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 (EPIRA) which privatizes the entire power industry. This fundamentally sacrifices the common good by ensuring private profits over the people’s general welfare. We must immediately put a stop to this by exposing MERALCO’s greed, apply national mass pressure to end MERALCO’s anti-poor elitist economic agenda, and to replace the EPIRA with a new power sector legal framework that basically ensures electricity-consumers’ control of our country’s power setup.”

Before self-dispersing, SANLAKAS called on the general public to support the Freedom from Debt Coalition’s (FDC)-initiated ‘National Day of Protest’ against increasing power-rates and to repeal the EPIRA law. This national campaign will culminate on October 11, 2011 through simultaneous coordinated ‘Power-off’ actions (a temporary shutdown of electricity in pre-selected areas and communities) nationwide from 7:30-8p.m. on that date. -30-

*For more information, please contact Mr. RASTI DELIZO
(SANLAKAS Spokesperson) @ cellphone#:  0999-8092461

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