Labor vows to lead the next EDSA revolt towards genuine social change
TWENTY-EIGHT years after the first EDSA people power uprising, militant labor expressed indignation at the outcomes of the 1986 uprising which they branded a “hijacked revolution” and vowed to correct this by ensuring that the lessons of history shall be applied. The group likewise slammed Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte for her recent statement regarding the uprising.
The Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) asserts that the opposing faction of the country’s local elite led by then opposition leader Cory Aquino “hijacked” the struggle against the dictatorship and merely supplanted the Marcos dictatorship with “elite democracy”, relegating the masses to mere bystanders after Marcos’ ouster without any substantial policy altered to uplift the lives of the poor.
The BMP cited that the regimes after Edsa Uno pursued the anti-poor policy of privatizing much-needed social services, followed by unrestrained profiteering by corporations in deregulated industries, the wanton contractualization of labor and excessive and regressive taxation capped off by the government’s business-as-usual attitude towards the mounting grievances of the people as the major manifestations of the failure of “elite democracy”.
All mentioned policies emerged after the EDSA uprising.
“Sadly, nothing has changed in twenty-eight years in the lives of ordinary folks. The regimes of Cory Aquino, Fidel Ramos, Erap Estrada, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and now Noynoy Aquino have all contributed to make workers conditions a living hell every day since 1986 despite being only beneficiaries of the people that struggled and died fighting the dictatorship. All policies and programs initiated during their terms were favorable only to the elite and their foreign business counterparts,” said Gie Relova, the BMP Secretary General for Metro Manila and Rizal.
“The ever-growing gap between the super-rich and the poor today has only widened; this can be traced to the tyranny of capitalists and its agents in the government feeding their voracious appetite for profit and extravagance,” he said.
Relova explained further that, “Capitalist abuses are fortified by the enactment of unjust laws such as the Electric Power Industry Reform Act, the Oil Deregulation Law, the Automatic Appropriations Law and the Department of Labor and Employment’s Order 18-A which render the people defenseless against the onslaught of capital”.
The BMP leader also took a swipe at Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte saying that, “Look who’s talking? Valte’s statement has no weight. If truly for the people, how come all policies have adverse effects on the poor. Her statement only show that this government is trying it’s hardest to find their relevance among the people as it continues to fail in addressing chronic social issues such as unemployment, land reform and socialized housing”.
Last Friday, Valte claimed that, “Edsa belongs to the people” and should not focus solely on the major players in the 1986 revolt.
The BMP also claimed that even graft and corruption then and now has immensely worsened. “During the dictatorship, the Marcos family and their cronies feasted on the national coffers. Corruption, though rampant, was in-check. No one could have more than what Apo and Imelda should get,” said Leody de Guzman, BMP national chairperson.
“After EDSA 1, with the return to the pre-Martial law system of elite democracy, political clans from all levels had a feeding frenzy. The free-for-all contest for the spoils of EDSA 1 has corrupted in all layers of governance, from the nationally-elected positions down to the barangay level. Corruption worsened as it is now done under the veneer of freedom and democracy,” De Guzman clarified.
The BMP vowed that the next people power revolt whether it is in EDSA or anywhere else will be led by the labor sector for it will not be simply against a singular leader but against the whole rotten economic and political system of elite rule and their allied foreign interventionists.
Genuine change they say can only be initiated if the interests of the capitalists and landlords are expunged and not to be considered in policymaking.
24 February 2014
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