Tag Archives: Benigno Aquino

[Press Release] Environmental groups welcome CCC review of coal -CEED

Environmental groups welcome CCC review of coal

CEEDAdvocates for the environment wlecomed the Climate Change Commission resolution signed by outgoing President Benigno Aquino III, reviewing policies pertaining to new and existing coal-fired power plants in the country in light of the Philippines’ international commitment to shift to a low carbon economy.

Members of the Green Thumb Coalition, a network of civil society and grassroots organizations pushing for the incoming administration to address several issues pertaining to the environment, viewed the pronouncement as a positive step towards moving away from dirty and harmful energy and towards a path of sustainable, renewable energy for all.

Gerry Arances, Convenor of the Center for Energy, Ecology and Development (CEED), noted that considering existing policies like the Renewable Energy Act of 2008 and even the highly-contested Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 (EPIRA), the streamlining of policies on fossil fuel energy sources – particularly coal – has been long overdue.

“For years under the Aquino administration, there has been conflict between the government’s pronouncements promoting the utilization of renewable energy resources and its actual policy of opening the country up to the construction of new coal-fired power plant projects,” said Arances.

According to Arances, with 27 new coal-fired power plants adding to the19 existing facilities in the country, the Philippine’s power mix has grown even more dependent on coal at the expense of renewable energy in the past few years.

“With the growing international rejection of coal from European governments to US state governments, technology utilizing this energy source has been proven to be obsolete,”Arances stated. “As a recent Oxford study concluded, these facilities if approved will become stranded assets, binding our country to a phased-out energy resource for the next 50 years while the rest of the world is shifting to renewables,” he added.

Grassroots communities support development

Communities threatened by the construction of coal-fired power plants were also welcoming of the CCC pronouncement aimed at “harmonizing” policies on coal plants with policies on environmental protection and international obligations to combat climate change.

“Even with the past election season grabbing most of the public’s attention, the people of Batangas City have aggressively campaigned against the construction of a 600MW coal plant in our hometown,” said Batangas City Councilor Kristine Balmes.

Balmes, the same party as that of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte, PDP-Laban, enjoined her presidential bet to follow through with his promise of abandoning coal as an energy source.

“Our future president has been very vocal about shifting to renewable energy sources and eventually phasing out coal,” said Balmes. “We urge him to fast track this shift as a response to our needs as a community, specifically our health, environment, security and livelihood.”

Activist groups urge DOE and DENR to reflect policy shift; Duterte camp agrees with coal phase-out

“While not explicitly stated, the six-month comprehensive review of policies and permit processes entail an immediate moratorium on all coal operations,” said Sanlakas Secretary-General Atty. Aaron Pedrosa. “We therefore demand that the Department of Energy and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to immediately issue administrative orders reflective of the CCC resolution,” Pedrosa added.

Pedrosa, who also heads the Energy Working Group of the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ), said that an immediate suspension of all existing coal-fired power plants and coal mining operations, as well as the suspension of processing for proposed coal plants, are necessary if policies on coal will be subject to review based on their environmental and climate impact. “We must uphold the precautionary principle, which suggests that activities that could possibly cause damages to the welfare of people must be treated as harmful until proven otherwise,” stated Pedrosa.

Atty. Pedrosa, also stressed that the moratorium on all coal-related activities must carry over to the new administration, regardless of who sits in the Duterte cabinet. Pedrosa recalled the response issued by the Duterte camp to the Green Thumb Coaliton presidential survey, where the then-presidentiable stated: “The Duterte Administration agrees with the eventual phase out of coal power plants and other plants that use harmful fuels and steer the country for more investments in RE.”

References:
Gerry Arances – Convenor, Center for Energy, Ecology and Development (CEED) – 0917 630 6098
Coun. Kristine Balmes – Councilor, Batangas City – 0917 703 1698
Atty. Aaron Pedrosa – Secretary-General, Sanlakas – 0927 592 4830

PRESS RELEASE
May 27, 2016

 

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[Statement] A fight against an entire system of corruption and political patronage -#ScrapPork Network

#ScrapPork Network Responds to President Benigno S. Aquino III’s October 30, 2013 Address to the Nation

In his Address to the Nation, the President presented the DAP, or the Disbursement Acceleration Program, as an expression of ‘Tuwid na Daan’. He also expressed displeasure at persons who, he said, criticized him unfairly and maliciously in relation to the pork barrel issue, and who called him names such as Pork Barrel King.

scrap pork network

The #ScrapPork Network (SPN) has consistently taken the position that the pork barrel issue is not about personalities per se. As we in SPN have repeatedly and clearly proclaimed, this is NOT a fight against just one person. Neither is the solution in the hands of a single person only. It is an all-encompassing concern for all citizens of this country which necessitate fighting against an entire system of corruption and political patronage.

We acknowledge the efforts of government at proposing changes in the budget process and the public finance system, and at investigating and holding persons liable for the massive pork barrel scam. We also acknowledge the achievements that our country has gained in the arena of international political economy. But these are not enough.

A systemic flaw in governance requires a systemic response. The pork barrel system has long plagued our institutions to the detriment of the entire citizenry. Nothing and no one are spared from the corrupting effects of the pork barrel system. It is therefore a challenge to the President that while he does not solely hold the solution to this systemic problem, he is in the best position to lead the nation out of this rut.

If he truly meant what he said about guiding the people towards the tuwid na daan, then, Mr. President, the pork barrel system is blocking the way. Join the people in destroying this barrier.

***

#ScrapPork Network Unity Statement & sign-up form: http://scrapporknetwork.com/scrappork-network-unity-statement/

#ScrapPork Network’s 8 Concrete Calls to the Government and to the People
http://scrapporknetwork.com/8-concrete-calls-to-the-government-and-to-the-people/

http://scrapporknetwork.com/scrappork-network-responds-to-president-benigno-s-aquino-iiis-october-30-2013-address-to-the-nation/

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[In the news] Philippine vote seen as referendum on Aquino -InterAksyon.com

Philippine vote seen as referendum on Aquino
By Agence France-Presse
May 13, 2013

InterAksyon logo2MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines goes to the polls Monday to choose thousands of local leaders plus national legislators in what is seen as a referendum on the presidency of reformist Benigno Aquino III.

Police and the military have been placed on heightened alert for expected poll-related violence that has already claimed about 60 lives since campaigning began in February.

“The president is asking voters to put their confidence in those on the administration slate to help him carry out the rest of his reform agenda as they have committed,” deputy presidential spokeswoman Abigail Valte told AFP.

“We reiterate our appeal for everybody to go out and exercise your right to suffrage and your right to vote.”

Read full article @www.interaksyon.com

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[In the news] Edsa 27 -INQUIRER.net

Edsa 27

Philippine Daily Inquirer
February 24, 2013

inquirerIt cannot be denied that the second Aquino administration has done much in a concerted effort to revitalize the spirit of Edsa. But we must not conflate the legacy of the People Power Revolution with any administration, not even this one.

This is precisely the mistake the Edsa People Power Commission makes, when it blithely assumes that today’s 27th anniversary celebration is an occasion to spotlight President Aquino’s brand of “kayo-ang-boss-ko” governance. A key passage from the commission’s press release reads: “Approaching the midpoint of the Aquino administration, Edsa 27 will be an opportune time for all Filipinos to gather together as an expression of unity and support behind the unprecedented political, legislative and economic gains of President Benigno S. Aquino III.”

Actually, no. The Edsa anniversary, like the yearly rites we observe for Independence Day, the birth of Andres Bonifacio and the martyrdom of Jose Rizal, is not only resolutely nonpartisan; it is part of the necessary myth-making process that lies at the heart of our nation-building project. The myths that we need are not fabrications or noble fictions, but the larger truths of history: that we have the power of self-definition; that the freedom we are entitled to must be earned again and again, that it cannot be won without a struggle; that the face of the oppressor, the “manlulupig” and “mang-aapi” we describe in our national anthem, can assume the countenance of a fellow Filipino; that we have it in us to liberate ourselves, according to our fundamental dignity. The last line of “Bayan Ko,” the unofficial anthem of the anti-Marcos freedom struggle, phrases it well: “makita kang sakdal laya”—We long to see a nation that is truly free.

Read full article @opinion.inquirer.net

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[In the news] Remembering 1986 EDSA and People Power -The Freeman

Remembering 1986 EDSA and People Power
By Cherry Piquero-Ballescas, The Freeman
February 23, 2013

the freemanHow many of our people remember the historic events of February 1986? Then, the Filipinos showed the world how faith, unity, and courage broke the chains of dictatorship and martial law, without bloodshed. People’s power, Filipino style, became a model others would emulate later in various parts of the world.

The price of freedom did not come without costs, without sacrifices. Martyrs gave up their lives to expose, to fight Marcos and his authoritarianism. Ninoy Aquino believed in the goodness of people. Dictators and dictators’ supporters followed different values.

Ninoy’s death triggered anger, courage among millions of Filipinos. His grieving wife, Cory, reluctantly was pushed into the political arena and emerged President after Filipinos, willing to give up their precious lives marched through EDSA and various parts of the Philippines to declare “tama na, sobra na, palitan na!”

Read full article @www.philstar.com

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[In the news] Rights lawyers welcome enforced disappearance bill with guarded optimism | Sun.Star

Rights lawyers welcome enforced disappearance bill with guarded optimism | Sun.Star.

October 20, 2012

HUMAN rights lawyers have challenged President Benigno Aquino III to sign and implement the proposed bill putting persons responsible for the commission of enforced disappearances accountable.

In a statement, the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) said they are hoping that the measure will not be used the police and military to escape prosecution from the crime allegedly committed by some of their members.

“We pray that beyond the elegant and formal legal language, no false hope is added to injury by State security forces who will circumvent and even mock it on the ground like other rights laws; by a judiciary perceived by the families to be at times unresponsive and even detached from social realities,” the group said.

Militants often blame the government for scores of enforced disappearances, particularly during the time of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Read full article @ www.sunstar.com.ph

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[In the news] Post-address protest turns ugly – UCANews

Post-address protest turns ugly
Church people among at least 95 injured in clashes after Aquino gives State of Nation speech
By Mico Cortez
July 24, 2012

More than 100 people, including a Catholic priest, were injured when police and protesters clashed in Manila yesterday after President Benigno Aquino delivered his State of the Nation Address.

Around 5,000 people, including priests, seminarians, and Protestant pastors, took part in the demonstration to protest against Aquino’s alleged failure to help the poor.

Violence flared when the protesters were barred from marching on the Batasang Pambansa, the headquarters of the House of Representatives.

Activists claimed that at least 95 protesters were hurt, eight of them, including a priest, were rushed to a hospital with head injuries.

At least five policemen and four journalists were also hurt.

Read full article @ www.ucanews.com

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[Statement] Where is the road that ends impunity? -PAHRA

“Ang mali – gaano katagal man ito nanatili – ay mali pa rin.
Hindi puwedeng “Oks lang, wala lang iyan.”
Kapag kinalimutan natin ang mga ito,
mangyayari lang ulit ang mga kamalian ng nakaraan.
Kung hindi magbabayad ang mga nagkasala,
parang tayo na rin mismo ang nag-imbita
sa mga nagbabalak gumawa ng masama na umulit muli.”

President Benigno Aquino III. SONA July 2011

WHERE IS THE ROAD THAT ENDS IMPUNITY?

President Benigno Aquino III, in his last State of the Nation Address (SONA) popularly well defined impunity. That which is wrong, no matter how long it remains, is still wrong. No way can anyone say after sometime that: “It already is OK. Let bygone’s be bygone’s.”

Victims of human rights violations and their families took heart at Mr. Aquino’s statement taken it to mean that he was setting a course to break from the past culture of impunity and embark on building a course that ensures the primacy of human rights and the rule of law. It meant a road built on truth, justice, as well as guaranteeing reparation and compensation for victims. It was also expected to include institutional reforms to make sure of non-recurrence of similar violations.

And yet, as gleaned in the following sample cases, impunity persists.

The families of six workers from Trento, Agusan del Sur, still await the fate of their members since the latter were abducted last October 14, 2000. A soldier witness testified to their being beaten to death by lead pipes, later buried and bodies burnt. This was a case personally presented to Mr. Aquino early in his Presidency which has no resolution till now.

In Dona Remedios Trinindad, Bulacan, Nicanor Mariano, a charcoal maker, was killed while sleeping with some family members in a hut during a military operation on July 19, 2011. Nicanor and his wounded son, Norman, were later labelled as NPA members. No justice has been obtained by the family till now.

In the same Central Luzon province, the Manalo brothers identified then General Jovito Palaparan, Jr. during their 18-month custody with the military since 14 February 2006 as the command responsible for their abduction and torture until their escape. Palparan is presently being sought for being responsible for the kidnapping and illegal detention of U.P. students, Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeno. The students are nowhere to be found till now. Palparan’s whereabouts are also unknown till now.

Human rights violations may well recur again and again as, for the third year, there is no National Human Rights Action Plan (NHRAP) that would guide this administration’s obligation of conduct and of result in ending impunity. The Chief Executive has command responsibility here.

The truth of human rights violations is blocked. People are deprived of the freedom of information. Impunity, not only against civil and political rights, but also against economic, social and cultural rights would be further entrenched.

Legislators are an integral force in ending impunity by passing laws, such as the one against enforced disappearance, as well as the passage for the compensation for victims of human rights violations during Martial Law. Both chambers of Congress must therefore strengthen our Commission on Human Rights (CHR) by fast-tracking the passage of its new Charter. The Senate, on the other hand, should already ratify the U.N. Convention against enforced disappearance.

Local authorities should resolve the impunity of juvenile crime not by lowering the age of criminality but exercising extraordinary due diligence in implementing the law on juvenile justice.

PAHRA calls on all human rights defenders to resolutely breakthrough impunity by making human rights our preferred values in governance, development and peace.

PAHRA demands from the Aquino government its obligation a plan to end impunity.
TULDUKAN NA ANG IMPUNITY!- END IMPUNITY!

Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA)
July 23, 2012

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[Appeal] Heal the Land! Set the Farmers Free! Let the CARP Process Move!

An Appeal to President Benigno S. Aquino and The Supreme Court

Heal the Land!
Set the Farmers Free!
Let the CARP Process Move!

On November 22, 2011, the Supreme Court released the historic decision declaring the Stock Distribution Option (SDO) of the Hacienda Luisita as violative of the spirit of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP). The vast hacienda was acquired by the Cojuangco family 55 years ago through loans from the Central Bank and the Government Service Insurance System on the condition that the land would be distributed to the farmer-tillers ten years after.

Today, three months after the Supreme Court decision and 55 years after the Cojuangco-government land deal, the HLI land remains undisturbed and undistributed. Reason: a Motion for Additional Time to File for Reconsideration on Reversal of the Grant to the Farm Worker Beneficiaries of the Option to Remain as Stockholders with Motion for Leave to File Second Motion for Reconsideration on the Reckoning Period of Just Compensation. This self-explanatory Motion was quietly filed by the Cojuangco family last December 8, 2011.

This Motion is frivolous for it is a second MR. Its primary purpose is to delay the implementation of the land distribution. Under the Rules of Court promulgated by the Supreme Court itself, a 2nd MR should be dismissed outright. We, therefore, ask the Supreme Court to abide with their own Rules! Dismiss summarily this nuisance MR! Reaffirm the November 22 SC ruling! Uphold agrarian justice! Agrarian Reform now!

We also ask President Benigno S. Aquino, who quietly accepted the Supreme Court ruling on the SDO issue, to ask his own family, no matter how emotionally painful it is to them, to stop further delaying HLI land distribution. Set the Hacienda Luisita farmers free — now! Steer the nation to your corrupt-free and inclusive vision of national development. Let social justice and the Constitution prevail!

Let the CARP program move. Let DAR dismantle the other SDOs in Negros, in Mindanao. Stop the illegal maneuvers of other haciendas and plantations to evade CARP by renewing their deceptive 25-year leasebacks with the agrarian-reform beneficiaries for another 25 years. After 50 years of SDOs and leasebacks, may matitira pa bang agrarian reform beneficiaries?

With full CARP coverage, let the land grow and bloom again in peace, harmony and productivity. Let the nation’s farming agenda under your watch, Mr. President, be one of social and economic emancipation and transformation!

Matuwidnalandas – ngayonna!
“ The teaching of Pope Pius XI is still relevant: “the distribution of created goods, which, as every discerning person knows, is labouring today under the gravest evils due to the huge disparity between the few exceedingly rich and the unnumbered propertyless, must be effectively called back to and brought into conformity with the norms of the common good, that is, social justice”[354], Catholic Social Teachings

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[In the news] Philippines’ Aquino says more US troops welcome -InterAksyon.com

Philippines‘ Aquino says more US troops welcome
Agence France Presse
March 20, 2012

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine President Benigno Aquino said Tuesday more US troops would be welcome to rotate through the Southeast Asian nation, but ruled out permanent bases.

Aquino told AFP in an interview that talks were under way for the longtime allies to hold more military training exercises in the Philippines, as well as increase the number of times that US navy ships visited.

“We are talking with them. We will have more of the same, is what I am trying to say,” Aquino said, referring to a longstanding partnership that sees regular joint exercises and US port calls in the Philippines.

“Their ships can come and call on us, can be replenished, but our constitution will not allow any permanent berthing here in any form.

Read full article @ www.interaksyon.com

[In the news] Planking is out, ‘Noynoying’ is in -INQUIRER.net

Planking is out, ‘Noynoying’ is in.

By Jaymee T. Gamil, Julie M. Aurelio, Philippine Daily Inquirer
March 16, 2012

NOT PLANKING Militant groups have come up with a new form of protest which they call “Noynoying” involving lying on the ground, looking bored and doing nothing. MARIANNE BERMUDEZ source: INQUIRER.net

Planking is so yesterday. The new “in” thing is to just laze around as if you have no worries, or “Noynoying,” in youthspeak.

Street rallies against oil price hikes have adapted to threats against planking protesters as youth militants are now going for an easier way in making their sentiments known.

On the campus of the University of the Philippines in Quezon City, students lounging on the steps of a building looked utterly bored, some relaxed, but all very much idle.

This new look is “Noynoying,” in apparent reference to President Benigno Aquino III’s nickname.

Read full article @ newsinfo.inquirer.net

[In the news] Activists picket US embassy over troop buildup plans in Philippines – InterAksyon.com

Activists picket US embassy over troop buildup plans in Philippines
by Agence France-Presse
January 28, 2012

 MANILA, Philippines – Activists picketed the US embassy in Manila on Saturday and burned a cardboard American flag and mock stealth bomber, vowing to launch a campaign opposing a plan to allow more US troops in the country.

About 50 members of the leftist New Nationalist Alliance (Bayan) also held a huge effigy of Uncle Sam with another of Philippine President Benigno Aquino labelled as his “dog”, as riot police prevented them approaching the mission.

“If we allow more US troops to enter our country, the entire archipelago will be transformed into one military outpost for US hegemonic interests,” Bayan said in a statement distributed at the rally.

Read full article @ www.interaksyon.com

[Trivia] Lean Alejandro (July 10, 1960 — September 19, 1987)

Lean Alejandro. Photos from TFDP Memorial Wall

Leandro Legara Alejandro (July 10, 1960 — September 19, 1987), known among activists and street parliamentarians as Lean, was an activist, a student leader, and a Left-wing nationalist in the mold of Lorenzo Tañada, Jose Diokno, and Ninoy Aquino.

Lean studied at the University of the Philippines and was described by his contemporaries as an intellectual rebel. He became a member of the League of Filipino Students and was elected chairperson of the University Student Council (USC) in 1983-84. He was presiding over the first meeting of the USC in the afternoon of August 21, 1983 at Vinzon’s Hall, the day Ninoy Aquino was shot.

He was also a writer of the Philippine Collegian, where he wrote articles critical of the Marcos administration. In 1985, the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) was established and Alejandro became its secretary-general. Alongside Tañada and the other BAYAN leaders, Alejandro would be at the frontlines of the parliament of the streets during the 1980s.

Read more

[From the web] Martial laws in the Philippines – emanila.com

Martial laws in the Philippines
By Emanila Editor

September 21, 1972 is the date many remember as the date Philippine President Ferdinand E. Marcos signed Proclamation No. 1081 placing the entire Philippines under martial law.

But unknown to many, there were two other occasions in the Philippines when the power of the Philippine President to declare martial law was invoked.

The first time was on September 21, 1944 by Philippine President Jose P. Laurel. The other occasion was on December 4, 2009, through Proclamation No. 1959 signed by President Macapagal-Arroyo officially placing Maguindanao province under a state of martial law.

Read full article @ emanila.com