Tag Archives: Malacañang Palace

[In the news] Church folk stage lantern parade to call for ‘pork’ abolition -INQUIRER.net

Church folk stage lantern parade to call for ‘pork’ abolition.

MANILA, Philippines– A coalition of Catholic clergy, religious and laity on Monday staged a protest calling for the total abolition of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel.

inquirer

The Church of People’s Alliance held a Lantern Nativity Walk from Bustillos Church to Mendiola in Manila with the message to Malacañang: abolish the pork barrel system in the government.

“We remain committed to abolish all forms of pork barrel from all agencies of the government. We want Congress to pass a law that will totally scrap PDAF and even the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP),” said Fr. Ben Alforque of Church People’s Alliance.

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[Campaign] switch off the Christmas lights -PM

switch off the Christmas lights -PM

switch off the Christmas lights -PM

switch off the Christmas lights -PM

Partido ng Manggagawa

Kapag manggagawa ang humingi ng dagdag sweldo, pahirapan pang ibigay ang P10.

Kapag power cartel ang nagsabing magtataas ang presyo, walang kibo ang gubyerno. Ang P4.15/kWh na dagdag singil ng Meralco ay dagdag P830 sa may konsumong 200 kWh kada buwan. Ang dating P12/kWh na singil ay magiging P16/kWh na, na siyang pinakamataas na presyo ng kuryente sa buong mundo.

Kaya hindi sapat ang magalit. Kailangang magprotesta.

pmLogo1

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[Statement] You miss the point, Mr. President, pork is essentially patronage, not only fund misuse -Kilusang #KonTRAPOrk

You miss the point, Mr. President, pork is essentially patronage, not only fund misuse

President Aquino’s televised address to the nation last night, October 30, 2013 on the issue of pork is a big disappointment.

P-Noy’s defense of the the Disbursement Acceleration Program ( DAP ) only shows that the President misses the essential point about the pork barrel issue – essential to transparent, accountable and honest governance. And that is – that pork, whether congressional or presidential- is a tool for patronage politics that breeds corruption and perpetuates elite dynasties in power.

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We have no dispute with the need for the Executive to have a level of discretionary funds for contingencies, emergencies and disaster relief. However, there should be clear parameters in the amounts and how they are going to be spent. This should make the use and the auditing that follows less vulnerable to manipulation.

To attribute the many-sided and enlightening public discussion on DAPas the handiwork of those guilty of pocketing hundreds of millions, even billions of pesos of congressional pork , is as misleading as if not more than the attempts of congressional thieves to confuse the issues and muddle accountabilities.

The call to bring to justice all those who misused PDAF and other pork has always accompanied the demand to abolish all pork. That has been resounding from Luneta to Edsa to Makati to the increasing number of local assemblies and protest marches throughout the country. What concerns all is that justice may be thwarted in the labyrinth of the judicial system and the horse-trading between Malacanang and Congress.

What we expected from P-Noy last night was a list of needed reforms in the public finance system of the country, beginning with the elimination of all pork What we got was a shrouded defense of pork.
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Press Statement of KILUSANG KONTRAPORK with FREEDOM FROM DEBT COALITION
In Response to Pres. Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III’s Address to Nation
(during the primetime telecast on October 30, 2013)

Follow and Like #KonTRAPOrk @https://www.facebook.com/KonTRAPOrk

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[Featured Site] The FOI Youth Initiative (FYI)

The FOI Youth Initiative (FYI)

Youth4FOI

The FOI Youth Initiative (FYI) is a national network of youth and student organizations that call for transparency and accountability among public officials and offices through the immediate passage of the People’s Freedom of Information Bill. As a member organization of the Right to Know, Right Now! Coalition, we are in solidarity with the struggle of various sectors of society for the transformation of the government as an institution that is open and honest to the people it serves.

The FYI was formed in August 2012, during the Third Regular Session of the 15th Congress. Together with 71 organizations from schools and communities all over the Philippines, we began the first youth-led campaign for the FOI Bill. We diligently attended hearings on the bill and actively engaged legislators in both Houses of Congress. At the same time, we held various discussions in various parts of the country to educate our fellow young people on the issue. Moreover, we joined various sectors in marching to Malacañang to pressure the Executive to heed our call. Unfortunately, those opposed to the bill were successful in derailing its approval in the House of Representatives.

Our resolve remains steadfast.

Now, with more than a hundred organizations comprising our ranks that continue to grow, we plan on intensifying our efforts within and beyond the halls of the legislature this 16th Congress. With this, we invite you and your organization to become partners of the FYI as we mount our strongest campaign yet for the passage of the People’s FOI Act. Click here to find out how your group can join us!

Visit their site @youth4foi.blogspot.com

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[Statement] of SENTRO and APL on the scandalous ‘incentives’ of SSS commissioners

Joint Statement of SENTRO and APL on the scandalous ‘incentives’ of SSS commissioners

Photo by Rapha-El Q. Olegario

Photo by Rapha-El Q. Olegario

Last week, Emilio de Quiros Jr., president and chief executive officer of the Social Security System (SSS), almost nonchalantly admitted that he and seven others in the nine-member Social Security Commission (SSC) got huge bonuses as part of the so-called performance-based incentive (PBI) for the state-run pension fund’s accomplishment in 2012, when it posted a net income of P36.2 billion or 42 percent year on year increase.

De Quiros, who is also the concurrent vice chair of the SSC, the governing board of the SSS, further justified the commissioners’ “windfall reward” for a supposedly job well done by emphasizing that SSS employees who passed the performance evaluation also received bonuses, and the PBI is authorized by law and specified by Memorandum Circulars 2012-14 and 2012-11 issued by the Governing Commission for GOCCs (GCG), the government agency that oversees government-owned and -controlled corporations like the SSS.

We, the members and leaders of the Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL) and its mother labor center, the newly established SENTRO or Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa, express our disgust and alarm over this unconscionable and scandalous “bonus” – while the Filipino people are still reeling from the shock and anger over the misuse of billions or possibly trillions of pesos of public funds notably the PDAF-DAP-presidential pork barrels; and while millions of SSS members are facing a mandatory increase in contributions starting in January as well as the planned additional premiums every two years.

It is also ironic that although the SSC boasts of achieving billions of net income – the basis for the bonuses of P9.4 million for the SSS commissioners and P276 million for qualified SSS employees – the SSS top management also acknowledged that the pension fund has an astounding P1.1 trillion “unfunded liabilities” or future financial obligations that have no funds yet, thus the purported need for a series of hikes in payments of SSS members. Thus, is the granting of generous if not appalling perks a case of “premature celebration” among SSS executives?

Belonging to a “Class A” GOCC, every SSS commissioner is paid P40,000 every board meeting he/she attends and P24,000 per committee meeting or an annual maximum of P960,000. Indeed, the gaping and unjust income divide and privileges between ordinary workers and employers are also happening even in a pension fund – called SSS – bankrolled by private sector workers.

SENTRO and APL extend our deep solidarity to the SSS members, the “lowly” workers who patiently and diligently pay their contributions despite meager benefits and pensions in return. They are the true and principal SSS benefactors and the ones who keep alive this pension fund.

SENTRO and APL reiterate this resolve and principled stand even if one of our top leaders – Daniel Edralin, the chair and vice chair of APL and SENTRO, respectively – sits as one of the three labor representatives in the SSS Commission. In fairness to him, the APL and SENTRO proudly announce to the public, especially the SSS members, that Danny Edralin has not accepted this “bonus”.

SENTRO and APL call all the members of the SSC, especially those who represent the workers, to do the honorable thing. They owe it to their members or the workers and SSS members that they represent to reject these unreasonable bonuses – or return them to the SSS coffers if they already received them.

While the said “incentives” are within the rules and are sanctioned by the GCG or even endorsed by Malacañang, they are nonetheless outrageous if not outright immoral and an affront to ordinary workers, the SSS members, for such huge bonuses are even way beyond what these workers would earn during their usual working lives.

We also call on the SSS Commission and the GCG to once again review and revise their rules and policies on “incentives,” including the PBI, by making them more just and transparent, as well as with the end in view of further cutting down the long list of emoluments given by the various GOCCs and GFIs (government financial institutions).

Finally, SENTRO and APL are urging the SSS Commission to bare to the public all the emoluments it enjoys.

Contact Person:
Frank Mero
SENTRO Chairperson
(0915) 294 2634

11 October 2013

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[Statement] Labor group urges Napoles to bare all in open court -PM

Labor group urges Napoles to bare all in open court

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Perhaps everyone at this point in time, including politicians in Malacanang, want a share of a limelight from Janet Lim Napoles. So whether she is a real VIP or someone who finds Malacanang as the safest place to surrender had become the subject of wild speculations.

We heard the explanations of Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda on the circumstances behind the graceful end of the August hunt for Napoles. We would leave the Palace do the explaining on this matter.

What is important now is we finally have Napoles. But the people are really not after her body, despite her VIP treatment last night. What we are more interested is how she is going to tell her story about the whole pork barrel racket. Will she bare all? Or will she be just another Jocjoc Bolante, Garci or Lentang Bedol in the making?

Our challenge is for her to bare all and for Malacanang to ensure that she is not coached or censored under custody. People were already suspicious about her VIP surrender. Malacanang cannot afford another blunder if Napoles comes out in tight lips.

One way to erase this suspicion is to hold the Napoles trial in an open court, similar to how the impeachment trial of Renato Corona was conducted.

PRESS STATEMENT
Partido ng Manggagawa
29 August 2013
Contact Renato Magtubo @ 09178532905

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[Press Release] Only 90% Submitted PBB requirements, DepEd Admits -TDC

Only 90% Submitted PBB requirements, DepEd Admits

logo TDC

While reiterating the opposition to the scheme of Performance-Based Bonus (PBB) used by the government for year 2012, the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) asked the Department of Education (DepEd) to expedite the process so teachers will be able to receive the promise bonus within the month of July.

“The 6-month delay in the supposed release of this particular bonus is a manifestation that there are flaws in the scheme and it has to be reviewed.” Said Benjo Basas, the group’s national chairperson.

Earlier the group revealed that the teachers’ PBB for fiscal year 2012 has not been paid and the succeeding dialogue with some officials of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) showed that many agencies, especially those with large number of employees are also in the same predicament with that of the DepEd.

“It is clear that this is not the fault of the teachers and employees, yet they suffer.” Basas added.

The group also called the attention of Malacanang and asked the president to order the concerned agencies to fast track the processing of PBB release. The Palace through Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte responded by saying that the delay was caused by the late submission of documents from the DepEd field offices.

In a dialogue with the DepEd, Thursday, the TDC aired their grievance to Assistant Secretary Jesus Mateo, the department’s focal person on the matter of PBB. Mateo confirmed that as of the moment, only around 90% of the DepEd system has submitted the documents and only 50% of such were validated by the DepEd.

TDC asked the DepEd to remind the remaining field offices to immediately submit the necessary requirements so it could start the process. Mateo promised them that he would call the respective schools division superintendents right after the meeting.

“Still, we believe that the scheme used by the government to reward the performing employees is defective and needed to be reviewed and amended.” Basas ended.

The PBB is an incentive granted by the government to public school teachers and other employees under President Aquino’s executive order number 80, signed in July last year. It is a merit-based incentive system that would give the employees of the government a cash bonus ranging from P5, 000 to P35, 000 depending on their and their agency’s performance. The TDC however remained apprehensive of the scheme which they describe as “deceptive and unfair.” #

NEWS RELEASE
July 5, 2013

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[Press Release] Teachers to P-noy: Sufficient funds for K-12 -TDC

Teachers to P-noy: Sufficient funds for K-12

logo TDC

Amidst the signing into law of Enhanced Basic Education Curriculum of 2013 or the K-12 Education Program (RA 10533), the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) once again expressed its apprehension on program.

“K-12 is the flagship program of this administration and therefore education sector should be given the funds it needs for successful implementation.” Said Emmalyn Policarpio, an elementary teacher from Valenzuela City and the group’s Secretary-General.

President Benigno Aquino III signs the K-12 law today.

The group is wary of the program and said that mere signing of law would not resolve existing problems of the education sector without drastically resolving the resource shortages.

“While the Department of Education (DepEd) is doing everything to close the gaps and that includes solicitation from private donors, partnership with LGUs and indirect contributions from parents and students like in Brigada Eskwela, these small measures would not be enough considering the ever-growing necessities of public education sector.” Policarpio explained.

The TDC said that the determination of the DepEd and Malacanang to push thru with the program, the signing of the bill approved by the Congress into law does not guarantee a solution to the dismal condition of Philippine public school system.

“Less than a month from now, our schools will re-open for another year. We cannot just rely on private sponsorship or community mobilization. The government should have a better policy on education financing.” Policarpio furthered.

The group also pointed out that instructional materials for K-12 curriculum were not readily available. And the worst, according to TDC is the government’s disregard to the welfare of teachers when it hired the kinder teachers in contractual terms and will be paid P3000 monthly for the special job.

“If P-Noy wants a global standard in length of education cycle, it is but just for the people to demand a global standard in terms of education input.” Policarpio ended.

The group earlier asked Malacañang to consider postponement of the program and call for a wider dialogue, information dissemination or even national debate. The group instead, challenged President Aquino to put necessary funds to resolve the shortages in school inputs, most of them are actually backlogs of the past administrations.

Reference: Emmalyn Policarpio, Secretary-General, 0939-7798649

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wk of disappeared copy

[In the news] Long wait ends for HR victims -PhilStar.com

Long wait ends for HR victims
By Mike Frialde, The Philippine Star
February 25, 2013

philstar-logo-white1MANILA, PhilippinesLabor leader Romy Castillo will never forget the events of July 23, 1984, the day he was introduced to wet submarine, dry submarine and electrocution.

Following his arrest by agents of the Marcos regime, Castillo was subjected to nine days of torture and abuse meant to break his will and make him admit his affiliation with the communists.

His ordeal finally ended on Feb. 26, 1986, the day after the people power revolt booted Marcos out of Malacañang.

President Aquino is set to sign into law today an act recognizing the atrocities of the Marcos government and granting reparation to human rights victims like Castillo.

Castillo, now 61, recalled that around 2 a.m. of July 23, 1984, agents of the Metrocom Intelligence and Security Group (MISG) raided the staff house of the labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) in Barrio Tubigan, Antipolo, and arrested him and four of his fellow labor leaders. He was beaten until he lost consciousness.

Castillo, also known as Ka Romy, said they were planning to stage a big rally of workers against Marcos.

Read full article @www.philstar.com

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[In the news] RH, ‘desaparecidos’ bills now laws President signed without fanfare -INQUIRER.net

RH, ‘desaparecidos’ bills now laws
President signed without fanfare
December 29, 2012

inquirerWithout fanfare, President Benigno Aquino III signed the reproductive health (RH) bill into law last Dec. 21.

It was signed together with the Anti-Enforced Disappearance Act.

The highly contentious RH law provides “universal access” to reproductive health services and supplies such as contraceptives.

Unimpeachable administration sources confirmed to the Inquirer late Friday an initial report from House Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II that the measure had been signed by Mr. Aquino in Malacañang before the four-day long weekend began, four days after it was passed by both chambers of Congress amid staunch opposition from the Roman Catholic hierarchy and prolife organizations.

The measure is now known as Republic Act No. 10354.

A member of the President’s inner circle, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, however issued an unequivocal confirmation to the Inquirer.

“I think RH has been signed, but I’m not sure when,” said Abad in a text message at 9:17 p.m. on Friday.

Read full article @newsinfo.inquirer.net

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[Blog] The Casiguran Marchers, tired and disappointed but not defeated! by Jofti Villena Delizo

The Casiguran Marchers, tired and disappointed but not defeated! “Wala silang utang na loob sa iyo”! My Personal Reflection on the Dialogue between Mr. Noynoy Aquino and the Casiguran Marchers by Jofti Villena Delizo Casiguran Marchers 2 joftiI am writing this under my name because what I am going to express in this reflection is not in any way sanctioned by my network, where I work as the project coordinator. Definitely, we are one with the Casiguran marchers in this advocacy against APECO.

I had to let several days pass by to think things through to be objective about what happened. However, even after a few days and after having watched the full coverage of the dialogue many times, my opinion remains the same about the Casiguran Marchers dialogue with Mr. Aquino. The actions of Mr. Aquino (I call him this because he’ll never be my President) have clearly proven how unbecoming of a President he is.

I am at a loss for words on how I felt when I saw how rude you can be, Mr. Aquino, to the 120 Casiguran Marchers who walked for 17 days under the scorching sun, heat, rain, and dust just to dialogue with you and register their complaints against the APECO project.

These people came with very high hopes because as simple Juan/Juana dela Cruzes they know that they are right and that they have done so much to fight for what is rightfully theirs in the first place as citizens and contributors to our society. They believed that talking to the most appropriate person in this country, which is YOU, Mr. Aquino, is enough to change things in their rightful favor. They think so much highly of you Mr. Aquino! And they thought that you could provide them with a clear solution, but you turned out to be a very, very big disappointment to all of us (the Casiguran Marchers and their supporters).

Why RUDE: 1. YOU MR. AQUINO CAME IN LATE and made the Casiguran Marchers wait for half an hour to 45 minutes. Maybe you forgot that you were to meet your bosses that morning. I am not so forgiving here even if you explain to me that you no longer use the sirens of your presidential convoy to avoid the Metro Manila‘s usual traffic. Surely, there are other ways to arrive on time to meet with the Marchers who walked for 17 days.

You are the President after all! If you will it, you can make it on time. That is, if you think highly of the Marchers and their welfare. In short, “mahiya ka dapat!” Then, you have the decency and the guts to tell to Fr. Joefran when he was still speaking that you have a 1:30 pm meeting. If you came on time in the first place, then there would be enough time for you to answer and not be irked at every question or comment thrown at you. Besides, you never APOLOGIZED for being late.

I found the whole dialogue so wanting of HUMILITY on your part!

2. Worse, YOU came in so unprepared! Where was your PMS-prepared ‘complete staff work’? You met with your Cabinet for 25 minutes on the issue of APECO a day before you met with the Casiguran Marchers! This was a complete disservice to your bosses! Maybe some of these marchers even voted for you in the last elections. But you gave a pittance to their valid and legitimate complaints against APECO. You already had the amendments to the earlier ASEZA lapse into law, then this! It’s already Saturday today (December 15). You promised us a one week preliminary result after the NEDA reviews APECO together with a representation “pa” coming from the Casiguran Marchers or at least their representatives in the review team.

HAVE YOU ALREADY COMPLIED WITH THIS?

In the first place, if you reviewed the amendments thoroughly and acted on it, maybe you could have done a better job. While it is true that ASEZA was not passed during your time as President, you still voted for it as a Senator and now, as the President, you allowed it to lapse into law (which made ASEZA become APECO).

You cannot pass on obligations to others especially if you have no plans of changing anything. You and your cabinet are the representatives of government, duty-bearers who have the obligation to respect, protect and fulfill the rights of all our people.

REMEMBER MR. AQUINO, you accepted this job the moment you agreed to become a presidential candidate in 2009 and when you’re cabinet secretaries accepted their respective appointments! 3. Your coming to meet with the Casiguran Marchers instead of making them march all the way to Malacanang is your obligation! Don’t make them feel like it is their “utang na loob sa’yo” that you came to them.

In the first place, if they sent you word that they wanted to meet you while they were in Casiguran, would you have gone right away? I think we both know the answer to that. History shows that rights are always fought for and are never given on a silver platter by Malacanang! Thus, the need to march. The 340-km march they made was their right as citizens and their collective political expression to resist exploitation by APECO.

There’s nothing wrong with what they did! Maybe there were some gains when you went to them instead of making them march to the Palace (i.e. the full coverage of ANC and other media exposure, etc.). Malacanang is your turf not theirs.

However, the political expression and the opportunity to educate the public about this issue, especially on the streets, far outweighs the pros of you even coming to them.

This is my opinion. Well, there’s still time for them to do just that.

4. Specifically on DENR Secretary Paje on making the Casiguran Marchers clap for giving them an extension of their stewardship contract as ordered by the President, is not their “utang na loob” to you guys at all. It is your obligation as duty-bearers (as the current representatives of this government) to effectively carry out the Philippine State’s obligations as a signatory to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).

This is to ensure that the economic, social and cultural rights of our people are fully realized. 5. MR. AQUINO, your demeanor during the entire dialogue was SO DISGUSTING! YOU acted like a true TRAPO, bereft of any principled human values!

“Pasalamat ka at magagalang ang mga taga-Casiguran. Tinatawag ka pang kagalang-galang at mahal na Presidente na kung tutuusin para sa ‘kin hindi ka naman karapat-dapat!”

On several occasions you cut off Frs. Jovie (emcee) and Joefran (parish priest of Casiguran) while they were speaking. What was your grade “ba” in your GMRC? It looks like you did not take this subject too seriously!

In conclusion, I may have given you the benefit of the doubt, but after I saw your actions that day, it showed clearly how little you see and think of the Casiguran Marchers while in fact they were the most educated and learned on this issue than you and your entourage of cabinet buffoons. The demands were so simple yet it was so hard for you to see that the Philippine Government enacted conflicting laws. This was proven by your refusal to do anything about it apart from a review, which should have been done a very long time ago.

Yes, there is a process and there’s the bureaucratic system to deal with but you are the President and you have the power to veto budgets and laws! “Hindi kami kasing tanga ng iniisip mo kahit hindi kami mga abogado!” It was not the Casiguran Marchers who were not open, but it was YOU, MR. AQUINO!

You were not humbled by the fact that the people know more than you do. Instead, you stood there so proud like the rest of your kind! Again, your CLASS really failed the Casiguran Marchers big time and you once again exposed your true CLASS character and exploitative economic agenda! I don’t know if a preliminary result of the NEDA review that may favor the Casiguran Marchers can even redeem you in the unwritten books of Philippine history!

P.S. The link to the ANC video coverage of the entire dialogue, the transcript alongside with all the facts, documentation, and infographics about this issue are provided for by the Laban Para Sa Casiguran FB page . Thus, I did not dwell on these anymore. I believe the facts can clearly explain why I support the struggle of the Casiguran Marchers. https://www.facebook.com/notes/jofti-villena-delizo/wala-silang-utang-na-loob-sa-iyo-my-personal-reflection-on-the-dialogue-between-/10151200606143167

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[Event] Lakad Katarungan, Lakad Matuwid na Daan Call for 21-Day Multisectoral March against Aurora Ecozone Sounded

Lakad Katarungan, Lakad Matuwid na Daan
Call for 21-Day Multisectoral March against Aurora Ecozone Sounded
Task Force Anti-APECO

They called it home; they made it flourish— and more than a hundred of them will troop to the nation’s capital rather than give it up.

On the day right before the likely bicameral approval of the P353.5 million budget of the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone (APECO) for 2013, various groups have bared plans for escalating the battle of Casiguran residents for their lands against the scandal-ridden, 12,923-hectare megaproject sponsored by the family of Senator Edgardo Angara, Congressman Juan Edgardo Angara and Governor Bellaflor Angara-Castillo.

APECO’s proponents have long alleged that the construction of the 12,923-hectare ecozone in the town of Casiguran will usher in a new era of economic and industrial progress for the province of Aurora.

In a press conference last November 21, 2012, at the CBCP’s National Secretariat for Social Action (CBCP-NASSA) office, representatives of more than 3000 families, whose lands and livelihoods have been threatened by APECO, sounded their intent to march an arduous 370-kilometers from Casiguran, Aurora to Malacañang Palace. The objective of the march: to exhort President Aquino to impose a moratorium and independent investigation on the operations of APECO, while fast-tracking the execution of asset reform programs in Casiguran.

Dubbed “Lakad Katarungan, Lakad Matuwid na Daan”, the Casiguran long walk will cross through treacherous mountainous areas, rainforest and coastal zones, rural flatlands and peri-urban landscapes, all while highlighting the condemnations of the Aurora ecozone long voiced by the local communities of Casiguran.

The march— which has been backed by organizations such as CBCP-NASSA, the PAKISAMA peasant federation, the Association of Major Religious Superiors, the Save Sierra Madre Network Alliance, Sulong CARPER, AR Now!, and other member groups of Task Force Anti-APECO (TFAA)— is planned to run from November 24 until December 14.

Up to 140 of Casiguran’s farmers, small fishers and Agtas will be participating.
“For five years already, the lands and livelihoods of Casiguran’s poor have been endangered by the Aurora ecozone,” said Father Joefran Talaban, Task Force Anti-APECO spokesperson. “Dozens of fisherfolk families have been displaced by the creation of APECO’s airport without any kind of relocation, and numerous farmers have been harassed and deceived by APECO’s land buyers. Agtas’ rightful claims to their ancestral domains have been consistently disrespected by the Freeport authority, and various incidents of environmental degradation such as illegal logging, mangrove clearing and river quarrying have taken place.”

“The name ‘Casiguran’ comes from ‘Kasiguruhan’, which means security,” Talaban asserted. “But it is alarmingly clear to us that if APECO is fully constructed, there will be only worsening insecurity for farmers, fisherfolk and IP’s. Whatever APECO has claimed, there has been absolutely no kind of decent employment that has been guaranteed for all these sectors, once they have been stripped of their lands and basic resources.”

According to the marchers’ representatives as well as the national support organizations, the laws that have actually been violated by APECO have been legion— not least because of the massive land displacements that it has threatened to orchestrate. Since 2007, the Aurora ecozone has arguably transgressed the Local Government Code, the Fisheries Code, the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act, the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program with Extension and Reforms Law, and the Government Auditing Code. Disturbingly, the ecozone authority has yet to be held accountable for these lapses.

“APECO has been a waste of public funds, a danger to the livelihoods of Casiguran’s poor, and a disgrace to the good governance thrust of the present administration,” declared Talaban. “If President Aquino truly wishes to see the genuine upliftment of Aurora’s people and the pursuit of his ‘daang matuwid’, his task today is crystal clear: he must bring suspend the activities of APECO, while protecting the lands and resources of the farmers, fisherfolk and IP’s of Casiguran.”

For communications please contact:
Jerik Cruz
Task Force Anti-APECO Communications Coordinator
Cellphone: 09267284058
Email: jerik.cruz@gmail.com

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[In the news] Palace prods SC to speed up Ampatuan massacre trial -InterAksyon.com

Palace prods SC to speed up Ampatuan massacre trial
By Dexter San Pedro, InterAksyon.com
November 1, 2012

MANILA, Philippines — Just weeks before the third anniversary of the November 23, 2009 Ampatuan massacre, Malacanang on Thursday urged the Supreme Court to hasten the trial of those accused of murdering 58 persons, including 32 media workers, in Maguindanao province.

“It (trial) could move faster… It will depend on the Supreme Court on how to fast track the trial,” deputy Palace spokesperson Abigail Valte said in an interview over state-run Radyo ng Bayan.

Valte reminded state prosecutors that President Benigno Aquino III does not want any delays to come from the government side.

Read full article @ www.interaksyon.com

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[In the news] Teddy Casino to Palace: Human rights violations are Leftist propaganda? ‘Mahiya ka naman sa mga biktima’ -InterAksyon.com

Teddy Casino to Palace: Human rights violations are Leftist propaganda? ‘Mahiya ka naman sa mga biktima
By InterAksyon.com
October 24, 2012

MANILA, PhilippinesBayan Muna Representative Teddy Casiño on Wednesday blasted Malacanang for what he said was its dismissal of the continuing human rights abuses in the country as Leftist propaganda.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda, taking on the cudgels for the President in a brewing word war with Casiño, on Wednesday said the congressman shouldn’t take “personally” President Aquino’s earlier statements dismissing “Leftist propaganda” and Casiño’s low ranking in senatorial surveys.

Casiño on Tuesday had reacted to Aquino’s remarks with a cutting statement on how the President himself was “not considered presidential calibre” until his mother, the late revered former President Cory Aquino, died in 2009, and himself ranked lowly in polls.

Read full article @ www.interaksyon.com

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[Press Release] Davao Citizens’ Signing of the GPH-MILF Framework Agreement -IID

Davao Citizens’ Signing of the GPH-MILF Framework Agreement

Davao City – In time for the signing of the Framework Agreement by the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) at the Malacañan Palace, Davao-based Peace networks and various groups conduct their own Citizens’ Signing of the Framework Agreement to welcome and support the historic Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro.

The Citizens’ Signing of the Framework Agreement is the highlight of the “Davao, Duyog sa Kalinaw!”

activity to be held at the Freedom Park, Roxas Avenue, Davao City on 15 October 2012.

The convenors celebrate this milestone in the 15-year-old GPH-MILF peace negotiations not as the end of the process but rather, the beginning of more challenges ahead. The Framework Agreement sets out the mutually agreed upon principles to guide both Peace Panels and put things in perspective as both thresh out the details in the substantive agenda of the talks.

The symbolic Citizens’ signing of the framework agreement is a clear message on Citizen Participation in the peace process. The convenors believe that a sustained engagement on matters of peace and right to self-determination will generate a groundswell of informed public support to the peace talks– even for those outside the zones of conflict.

At the same time, the group commits to remaining active and vigilant especially in monitoring the succeeding interim agreements and actual implementation of what comes next. Such mechanisms guaranteeing transparency and participation of all sectors especially covered in the core Bangsamoro territory should be soon installed. Monitoring the peace process and continuing education at the community level are among the tasks civil society organizations commit themselves to doing, in building the constituency supporting the peace process.

Activity organizers: Mindanao Peace Weavers (MPW), Mindanao Coalition of Development NGOs (MINCODE), United Youth for Peace and Development- Davao Region Chapter (UNYPAD), Agong Peace Network, Mindanao Peoples Caucus (MPC), Alternate Forum for Research in Mindanao (AFRIM), Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID), Generation Peace Youth Network- Davao chapter (GENPEACE) and Pambansang Kilusan ng mga Samahang Magsasaka- Mindanao (PAKISAMA). #

IID is the Secretariat of Mindanao Peace Weavers

IID is an advocacy and solidarity institution promoting peace, conflict prevention, democratization and right to self-determination in Southeast Asia. Our focus areas include Mindanao, Burma, Timor-Leste, South Thailand, Aceh and West Papua.

Press Release
15 October 2012

Contact persons:

Lyndee Prieto, Email: lyndeeprieto@yahoo.com; Mobile: 0917-724-7579
Rich de los Santos, Email: rich.delossantos84@gmail.com; Mobile: 0927.644.6524

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Press Release] Davao Citizens’ Signing of the GPH-MILF Framework Agreement -IID

Davao Citizens’ Signing of the GPH-MILF Framework Agreement

Davao City – In time for the signing of the Framework Agreement by the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) at the Malacañan Palace, Davao-based Peace networks and various groups conduct their own Citizens’ Signing of the Framework Agreement to welcome and support the historic Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro.

The Citizens’ Signing of the Framework Agreement is the highlight of the “Davao, Duyog sa Kalinaw!”

activity to be held at the Freedom Park, Roxas Avenue, Davao City on 15 October 2012.

The convenors celebrate this milestone in the 15-year-old GPH-MILF peace negotiations not as the end of the process but rather, the beginning of more challenges ahead. The Framework Agreement sets out the mutually agreed upon principles to guide both Peace Panels and put things in perspective as both thresh out the details in the substantive agenda of the talks.

The symbolic Citizens’ signing of the framework agreement is a clear message on Citizen Participation in the peace process. The convenors believe that a sustained engagement on matters of peace and right to self-determination will generate a groundswell of informed public support to the peace talks– even for those outside the zones of conflict.

At the same time, the group commits to remaining active and vigilant especially in monitoring the succeeding interim agreements and actual implementation of what comes next. Such mechanisms guaranteeing transparency and participation of all sectors especially covered in the core Bangsamoro territory should be soon installed. Monitoring the peace process and continuing education at the community level are among the tasks civil society organizations commit themselves to doing, in building the constituency supporting the peace process.

Activity organizers: Mindanao Peace Weavers (MPW), Mindanao Coalition of Development NGOs (MINCODE), United Youth for Peace and Development- Davao Region Chapter (UNYPAD), Agong Peace Network, Mindanao Peoples Caucus (MPC), Alternate Forum for Research in Mindanao (AFRIM), Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID), Generation Peace Youth Network- Davao chapter (GENPEACE) and Pambansang Kilusan ng mga Samahang Magsasaka- Mindanao (PAKISAMA).
IID is the Secretariat of Mindanao Peace Weavers

IID is an advocacy and solidarity institution promoting peace, conflict prevention, democratization and right to self-determination in Southeast Asia. Our focus areas include Mindanao, Burma, Timor-Leste, South Thailand, Aceh and West Papua.

Press Release
15 October 2012

Contact persons:
Lyndee Prieto, Email: lyndeeprieto@yahoo.com; Mobile: 0917-724-7579
Rich de los Santos, Email: rich.delossantos84@gmail.com; Mobile: 0927.644.6524

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Event] ADVISORY: Likas-Yaman Caravan para sa Alternative Minerals Management Bill! -SOS-Yamang Bayan

EVENT ADVISORY: Likas-Yaman Caravan para sa Alternative Minerals Management Bill!

“Five hundred strong people will join a caravan from different area in Luzon to Congress and Malacañang in Manila to call for the repeal of the current mining law and passage of the Alternative Minerals Management Bill (AMMB)”

Media friends are invited to cover this momentous event as indigenous peoples, farmers and fisherfolks go on a 4-day caravan to share about irresponsible mining in the Philippines and the flaws of the Mining Act of 1995

The caravan route is as follows:

(October 14) Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya

(October 15) San Jose, Nueva Ecija

San Fernando, Pampanga

(October 16) Malolos, Bulacan

Commission on Human Rights, Quezon City

(October 17) House of Representatives, Batasan Quezon City –

FINAL STOP: Office of the President, Malacañang, Mendiola

On October 15, a media briefing will be held in Quezon City to explain the calls of the AMMB Caravan. (For confirmation, contact Farah at 0915-3313361)

For more information:
Gerry Arances, 0932-8778578; 0922-8307758, gerry.arances@lrcksk.org
Valentin de Guzman, 0919-9657509
Val Vibal, 0927-3129300; 0932-8597921

Also checkout updates from the Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/LikasYamanCaravan

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Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[In the news] Cyber law talks set next week -PhilStar.com

Cyber law talks set next week
By Aurea Calica, The Philippine Star
October 05, 2012

MANILA, PhilippinesMalacañang has set a dialogue with stakeholders on the controversial Cybercrime Law even as more groups stepped up calls to repeal the law on fears that it would be used to suppress online freedoms.

A dialogue was scheduled on Oct. 9 to allow all stakeholders to air their concerns about Republic Act 10175, presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said.

The place and venue will be announced later, he said.

At the same time, Lacierda said he was not aware if the executive branch could still suspend the implementation of RA 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act since it was “called to implement it.”

“We are the executive branch, we execute. What the legislative branch can do, I understand, and I have seen from some tweets that are going around, is that they can issue a joint resolution. But I don’t know if they intend to do that,” Lacierda said.

Lacierda said he could ask Justice Secretary Leila de Lima if a suspension of the law’s implementation was possible at this time.

Lacierda said so far no case had been filed for online libel or any of the contentious provisions and there were portions that would have to be enforced immediately.

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) joined the growing clamor to repeal RA 10175.

Read full article @ www.philstar.com

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[Press Release] Cybercrime law a product of low quality legislation, sloppiness of P-Noy -PM

Cybercrime law a product of low quality legislation, sloppiness of P-Noy

Even as authors retracting and proposing amendments to Republic Act No. 10175 or the anti-cybercrime law, the militant Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) advised netizens and the general public to expect more low quality legislation and more blunders from Malacanang.

“The cybercrime law was definitely a low quality piece of legislation approved and completed into law by a signature of a sloppy President,” stated Partido ng Manggagawa chair Renato Magtubo.

The labor group believes that while the State has the right to impose regulation to any industry or any activity to promote the common good, to regulate freedom just to flush out cybercriminals however requires a very meticulous mind and a careful balancing act.

“We are also interested in seeing the faces and in penalizing cybercriminals who are victimizing women, children, OFWs and many innocent citizens. But their confinement cannot be made a substitute to the curtailment of our freedom to express ourselves,” stressed Magtubo.

Magtubo, who is a former partylist representative, said the labor sector never expects a major change in this level of legislation with certificates of candidacies for the 2013 national and local elections filled up with the same names and parochial interests dominating the country’s elective positions.

The former lawmaker recalled the same blunder attending the passage of the infamous Electric Power Industry Reform Act or EPIRA, which Gloria Arroyo, upon signing, admitted that the law contained many flaws and loopholes.

“Now, we’re suffering the harsh consequence of EPIRA by having the most expensive power rates in the world. Yet Congress is not moving to repeal this law,” added Magtubo.

And as convenor of the biggest labor coalition NAGKAISA!, Magtubo also complained that while the cybercrime law was enacted in speed, the labor-backed legislation such as the Security of Tenure Bill (SOT), the Freedom of Information (FOI) and the Reproductive Health Bill (RH) gather dust in the legislative mill.

Partido ng Manggagawa
PRESS RELEASE
04 October 2012
Contact: Renato Magtubo @ 09178532905

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[Appeal] PNoy give an explicit public support for the soonest passage of the proposed bill providing compensation to victims of human rights violations (HRVs) during the Marcos administration under Martial Law – #rememberML@40

HIS EXCELLENCY BENIGNO SIMEON AQUINO, III.
President
Republic of the Philippines
Malacanang Palace
Manila

September 20, 2012

Your Excellency,

September 21, 2012, the 40th year since the imposition of Martial Law by then President Ferdinand Marcos offers a kairos, a moment of grace and opportunity, to you and your administration. It is a momentous chance to show to the country and to the world that the matuwid na daan breaks through impunity and leads to justice.

All the undersigned request Your Excellency to give an explicit public support for the soonest passage of the proposed bill providing compensation to victims of human rights violations (HRVs) during the Marcos administration under Martial Law. A follow-up to your State of the Nation Address (SONA) on this matter would signal unequivocal determination in seeking justice.

Your support will solidly be grounded in the international human rights instruments the Philippines had ratified, as well as the increasing number of national laws passed compliant to many of the said treaties since the EDSA people power.

Your Excellency’s encouragement will surely enthuse the authors and /or supporters of the Bill from both Houses of Congress.

We, the undersigned, have been very concerned, if not alarmed, at conscious efforts even in cyberspace to distort the real happenings during martial law and to dismiss altogether the atrocious violations of rights and dignity. We thus launched a campaign within a period of six months earlier to broaden and to raise awareness among the citizenry, especially the youth, of the true situation during Martial Law and the justness of enacting a long-delayed compensation bill that is fair and equitable to all victims.

Such a move and passage, Your Excellency, would be unprecedented in the ASEAN and Asian Region. It will be a standard of fulfilment that would make us Filipinos all proud in the realm of human rights.

Thousands of victims of human rights violations engendered hope that the impunity perpetrated during that period of repression would be dealt with progressively when the Presidential Committee on Good Governance (PCGG) allotted a definite portion (Php 10 billion) of the confiscated ill-gotten wealth of the Marcos estate for the victims’ compensation. After all, the United Nations “Updated Principles in Combating Impunity” states, among others, “the right of victims to have an effective remedy and to receive reparations”. Compensation, then, while not the fullness, is an integral component of justice.

Thank you very much, Your Excellency, for the kind consideration of this our request that sincerely seeks

Dignity and justice for us all,

Max de Mesa
Chairperson
Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates
Lead Convenor
#Remember ML@40 – Never Again to Martial Law!
Campaign Network

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