Tag Archives: Noynoy Aquino

[Press Release] Talking Peace but Waging War Aquino betrayed the peace process, killed BBL, militants say -BMP

Talking Peace but Waging War
Aquino betrayed the peace process, killed BBL, militants say

A MILITANT labor group accused President Noynoy Aquino of abandoning the peace process between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). The group further claimed that Aquino likewise killed whatever chances the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) had to be enacted.


The Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) in a statement said that, “Aquino betrayed his own cause for the BBL, because he himself admitted to having full and prior knowledge of the Mamasapano attack in his nationwide address. By giving the green light to proceed with the arrest operation despite being well-informed that the suspects’ location was a base camp of the MILF, this equates to sabotaging all the painstaking peace-building efforts of all stakeholders, including his own Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process”.

“This is a classic case of doublespeak, while proclaiming to pursue peace in Mindanao, Aquino back-stabbed the peace process with an armed, ill-advised, and uncoordinated intrusion on a known MILF territory. Aquino recklessly by-passed all agreed mechanisms for coordination between the GRP and the MILF under the 1997 Ceasefire Agreement,” they added.

“Now, that people are agitated with the Mamasapano tragedy, he naively maintains that he seeks the enactment of the BBL despite the overwhelming undercurrent for vengeance. Aquino has only himself to blame if the Mamasapano tragedy spills-over and the BBL junked by attention-seeking legislators who are merely riding on the sentiments of the public” Gie Relova of BMP pointed out.

The group believes that Aquino had all the means and powers within the Office of the President to employ less confrontational methods to avoid bloodshed and spoil the gains the peace process has achieved.

“For all we know, Aquino could have simply dialed the number of MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal for coordination but opted not to do so. The non-usage of less confrontational methods is indeed the five-million-dollar-question that must be unearthed by the Board of Inquiry,” Relova urged.

“The Mamapasano betrayal only proves that the President could not be counted upon to secure peace with justice for both Moros and Filipinos,” the labor leader asserted.

The BMP also distanced itself from right-wing groups who are criticizing the President for not going after the Moros or the MILF. “We criticize the President not because he’s not as “tough” on the Moros as he should be, but because he sabotaged the peace process,” he declared.

The militants likewise denounced Aquino and his favored generals within the military hierarchy whom they branded as, “cold-blooded mercenaries for doing the dirty chores of their American puppet masters”.

They also added that, “To sacrifice the lives of the forty-four police commandos and twenty-four Moro victims to please the Americans is a new all-time high in terms of their servility”.

Relova dared US Ambassador to the Philippines, Philip Goldberg to come forward and own up the reports that the US was involved in the Mamasapano tragedy.

“It is a known fact that Marwan has long been in the order of battle of the American intelligence community, a motive to neutralize Marwan and Usman is very well-established. If they truly treat us as allies and are supportive of the peace-building efforts in Mindanao, then Goldberg must disclose all he knows for the sake of a grieving nation and the future of the peace process,” he said.

The militants also said that according to their sources, the spin doctors of the Palace are working double-time to downplay the participation of US armed forces in the botched police operation in Mamasapano.

4 February 2015

Ref. Gie Relova 0915-2862555
Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino

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[Press Release] Children from shanty towns present Noynoy their Christmas wishes – SM-Zoto/KPML

Children from shanty towns present Noynoy their Christmas wishes

AS THE Simbang Gabi heralds the commencement of the yuletide season for many Filipinos and with just eight days before Christmas Day, indigent children accompanied by their parents from the Metro’s urban poor communities belonging to anti-poverty groups Samahan ng Mamamayan-Zone One Tondo Organization (SM-ZOTO) and Kongreso ng Pagkakaisa ng Maralitang Lungsod (KPML) conveyed to President Noynoy Aquino their Christmas wishes through carols and letters.


They groups bewailed that their families shall be celebrating a paskong-tuyo or a poor man’s Christmas for they could not afford even a decent Noche Buena this Christmas due to their low wages and contractual work. They also claimed that they shall only have their usual fare for the traditional Christmas dinner and their children will as well subsist with hand-me-down clothes and toys.

At their young age, the carolers lamented the neck-deep poverty they are suffering because of the government’s economic policies which according to their statement to media is “not only reinforcing their wretched plight but unceasingly pushing to them to other vulnerabilities”.

“We could no longer shield our children from the harsh realities brought about by President Aquino’s rabid adherence to the reign of private corporations hoarding over basic social services. Our everyday needs are becoming more challenging as Christmas Day nears,” SM-ZOTO president, Orly Gallano revealed.

The carolers also brought with them a replica of an urban poor house to demonstrate their unchanged miserable condition despite of Aquino’s fifth Christmas as president and colorful lanterns with their demands that they hang on the gate of the President’s residence.

“This is already the fifth Christmas with Aquino at the helm but even the slightest reforms that may concretely bring about the barest changes that will uplift our condition is quickly fading from our sights,” Gallano rued.

The community leader sternly believes that there is no more hope in the horizon since by next year Aquino and his cohorts in the Senate and Batasan Pambansa will be busy politicking and gaining media mileage instead of addressing the most pressing issues affecting the majority of Filipinos.

For Anthony Barnedo spokesperson of the socialist Kongreso ng Pagkakaisa ng Maralitang Lungsod, “the recent granting of emergency powers to Aquino is but a manifestation and arrogantly display of his fidelity to the business interests of powerful elite clans that control the power industry, countering all his previous and pretentious declarations”.

He likewise averred that Aquino’s undeniable bias for the elite is more than enough for the people to rise up and force him and his corrupt cabal of traditional politicians out of office.

“Christmas is only for the wealthy and landed classes in this rotten society. The poor will have nothing to share but its misery and scarcity,” Barnedo concluded.

The groups say that the most tormenting and directly affecting their children are the scourge of contractualization and low wages, the unabated dictates of corporations in deregulated industries such as power, telecoms, oil and water as well as the demise of public social services in favor of commercialized health and education sectors.

Joint Press Release
16 December 2014

Contact person:
Orly Gallano 0918-4085175
Samahan ng Mamamayan-Zone One Tondo Organization (SM-ZOTO)

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[Press Release] Love without Justice and Integrity, Worthless, says labor group -BMP

Reaction to Aquino’s Address at the INC event:
Love without Justice and Integrity, Worthless, says labor group

A LABOR group assailed President Noynoy Aquino for his address at the inauguration of the Iglesia ni Cristo’s (INC) Philippine Arena in Bulacan where he took the opportunity to slam critics for being “un-Christian” and spreading dissent.


“Aquino’s speech was overflowing with hypocrisy and like any ordinary trapo (traditional opposition) he used the event to bolster his lagging popularity by citing religious passages when he himself is governing like a Pontius Pilate,” said Gie Relova of Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP).

The beleaguered chief executive was reported to have said, “Let me remind them, if we are fellow Christians it is our duty to love each other in the name of God instead of sowing doubt and discord”, in an effort to defend himself after a series of setbacks since the Supreme Court declared his administration’s Disbursement Acceleration Program unconstitutional.

Later, survey groups Pulse Asia and the Social Weather Station reported that Aquino suffered the biggest drop in his popularity rating since assuming the presidency in 2010.

Aquino’s political grip worsened further when public opinion on his televised address resisting the SC decision went against him. In a maneuver to drum up support, he called on his supporters to wear yellow ribbons but no spontaneous support came and back-tracked on the plea for support.

“His latest effort to regain lost political footing will be another flop. Love without justice and integrity is worthless,” the labor leader added.

“Love cannot come from thin air. Aquino’s “good governance” for the past four years has not translated to a bountiful and democratically mature society but only its exact opposite,” Relova asserted.

Relova cited double-digit unemployment rates, massive dislocation of informal settlers, price hikes on basic commodities, legalization of contractualization, demise of constitutionally-guaranteed labor rights, increase in self-rated poverty, collapse of the agrarian reform program, privatization of hospitals for indigent patients, supremacy of private corporations in essential services and the system-wide corrupt practices in all branches of government as the major issues that have paved way for the criticisms his administration is reaping.

The BMP believes that Aquino is only to blame for the country’s political crisis. “Aquino wasted his political capital by ramming through neo-liberal policies that were clearly anti-worker, anti-poor and benefited only an elite few of cronies and relatives.

The militant socialist labor group vowed to flood the streets with red shirt-wearing workers in Aquino’s 5th State of the Nation Address to push for his ouster from office and the establishment of a government genuinely of and for people.

Press Release
21 July 2014

Contact person:
Gie Relova- 0915 286 2555
Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino

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[Press Release] Urban poor denounce Roxas’ for claiming that DAP benefitted informal settlers -KPML

Urban poor denounce Roxas’ for claiming that DAP benefitted informal settlers

REACTING to claims made by Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas that 10 billion pesos from the recently declared unconstitutional Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) were spent to relocate waterways communities, an urban poor federation leader says it is the exact opposite.


Roxas was reported to have said that, “The money was used for the welfare of the people. The interest of the people always prevails,” during the unveiling of the Zero-ISF Water Easement in Barangay Salapan in San Juan City.

“Roxas is trying his hardest but obviously failing to paint himself as to looking after the interests of the informal settlers when in fact, the relocation program of the government with or without DAP funds is not beneficial but also consequentially detrimental to the poor,” said Anthony Barnedo of Kongreso ng Pagkakaisa ng Maralitang Lungsod (KPML).

Barnedo branded that the socialized housing program of the government as “Rated: PG or Rated: Pure Gimmickry for all the housing officials want is to bulldoze us to far-flung areas for us to rot to death. It is not for the betterment of the poor when the government “saves” us from a danger zone, only to condemn us to a death zone,”

On Roxas’ statement, he clarified that, “It is categorically untrue that the usage of DAP funds were beneficial to the informal settlers along the waterways because the government’s housing units are not for free, poor families will still have to pay monthly mortgages out of their contractual jobs. The government will even profit out of our miseries through interests”.

“The DAP’s true beneficiaries are the real estate developers who cornered billions-worth of government low-cost housing contracts. The DAP is the milking cow of the likes of Noynoy Aquino’s former classmate, Chito Cruz of the National Housing Authority and Gerry Acuzar, owner of New San Jose Builders, Inc. and brother-in-law of Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa,” the urban poor leader pointed out.

The KPML condemned Roxas for using the miseries of the poor to shield himself and Aquino from public accountability by justifying their usage of illegally juggled public funds.

“If there are available public funds and if both Aquino and Roxas truly stand for the welfare of the marginalized like they claim then provide free socialized housing and abandon their plans privatize public hospitals for indigents among others”, he asserted.

The militants believes that the government is heartless for it unjustly and forcibly uproots the informal settlers from their communities, work and school, only to be dumped to areas without even basic necessities and infrastructure such as schools, markets, day care centers, potable water, and steady supply of electricity and drainage pipes.

The most damaging, they say, “is the lack of jobs or opportunities to eke a living and pay their mortgages”.

The KPML together with ally Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino just recently announced that they are now calling for the ouster of Aquino and the establishment of a government of the masses and not the constitutional succession of the Vice President.

The groups vows to mobilize thousands of its members and affiliates on July 28, Aquino’s 5th State of the Nation Address.

Press Release
20 July 2014
Contact Person:
Anthony Barnedo 0949-7518792
Kongreso ng Pagkakaisa ng Maralitang Lungsod

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[Press Release] Liberal Party and its Tyranny of Numbers -BMP

Liberal Party and its Tyranny of Numbers
Aquino, Abad and Rep. Evardone Bastardizing Democracy, labor group says

AMIDST the snowballing calls for resignation and accountability from all sectors of society, the top-brass of the ruling party, the Liberal Party (LP) has not budged a bit and continued to assert their defenses for their involvement in the design and usage of unspent funds or the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).


Workers group Bukluran ng Manggawang Pilipino (BMP) claimed that the officials’ refusal to acknowledge and abide by the unanimous Supreme Court decision and consciously organizing the suppression of any impeachment moves in the Batasan Pambansa is the death “democracy” and the constitutional processes.

“Noynoy Aquino, Butch Abad and even Representative Ben Evardone (Eastern Samar) are not only bastardizing the very concept of democracy and fundamental principles of good government but are murdering democracy in front of our very eyes,” said Gie Relova of the BMP

He added that, “The suppression of a constitutionally-warranted impeachment process obscures every single letter of the Constitution; it stifles the fervor of an abused nation to seek justice for the billions of pesos in taxes quenched from their brow of every decent Filipino”

Since the Supreme Court declared part of the DAP unconstitutional, Malacanang has been claiming that they have done nothing wrong. Meanwhile, its allies in Congress led by Evardone have been busy issuing statements that they vow to block any and all efforts to impeach Aquino.

“If they, Aquino and his technocratic bureaucrats such as Abad and Cesar Purisima pledge innocence and uprightness, what do they have to fear in an impeachment court? That is what democracy is all about,” asserted Relova.

The group is seeking accountability and prosecution of all those involved in the blatant violation of the Constitutional provision limiting executive powers whether technocrat or elected official.

The labor leader also noted that the Aquino and his LP partymates are emulating then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s tactics in controlling its “co equal” branch of government, in an effort to block impeachment processes against her in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008.

“Its now a battle between the peoples’ resolve and thirst for justice versus the tyranny of numbers of the Liberal Party, the true enemies of democracy,” Relova surmised.

Relova warned that, “The cumulative pent up anger of the Filipino nation in its search for justice and accountability against corrupt Presidents coupled with low wages, contractualization of labor, high prices and abandonment of social services shall eventually explode like a massive social volcano reaching unprecedented political heights”.

Despite the ruling party’s insistence of committing no wrongdoing, Relova says that, “Justice will not be served in a silver platter and the axe must be wielded firmly by an aggrieved and desolate people, led by the deprived working class”.

“Let the axe fall where it should,” he concluded.

Press Release
04 July 2014
Contact person:
Mr. Gie Relova

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[From the web] Where does Daang matuwid lead our people -AMRSP

Where does Daang matuwid lead our people -AMRSP
Posted June 4, 2013 Source: AMRSP.org



In the past years we have experienced political instability brought about by massive corruption, economic turmoil, escalating social unrest and distrust under the Arroyo regime. Everyday the broadcast and the print media would highlight one of these problems. Until one day hope suddenly glimmered when the people put their trust in a man who embodied righteousness and advocated anti-corruption through his slogan – Matuwid na Daan (Kung Walang Corrupt, Walang Mahirap).

The rise to the presidency of Noynoy Aquino brought so much hope. He made us believe that change is possible, that corruption could be curtailed, and that public service is, indeed, a public trust. In the first months of his reign, he relentlessly pursued those who were perceived to be guilty of corruption, and we were all aware of the drama that unfolded on national television when the former first family was stopped from running away from the wheels of justice. Days, months, three years have passed. We hold him to his promise of change. While it is true that there has been headway in the fight against corruption much more remains to be done. NO big fish has been convicted since 2010 and with the way the tentacles of the corrupt have stymied the judicial process, PNoy’s term might be over and the cases will still languish at the courts.

While we acknowledged the effort of some government institutions in carving out corruption, like the DPWH, DEPED, DOJ and others, we were saddened with the news of continuing corruption and abuse on the use of public funds by some congressmen and Senators (the much controversial MOOE fund distribution). These showed that still much needs to be done. We believe that Governance is not only a fight against corruption; it is the delivery of a better and far more humane life for those who have the least. It is the realization of Hope, it is a dream turned into reality. And yet today we still witness grinding poverty, agrarian unrest, violations of human rights, assaults on the integrity of creation, the trafficking of our women and children. So much needs to be done. Let not our Hope be shattered and our dreams turned into nightmares. We are now in the third year of PNoy’s term and it is time we ask ourselves so many questions: Akin to the question, “Which way Lord?”, we ask those in authority: Where is this government leading us?

Read full article @www.amrsp.org

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[From the web] Ang ating paninindigan laban sa patakaran ni Pnoy sa mga maralitang lungsod -BMP, KPML

Ang ating paninindigan laban sa patakaran ni Pnoy sa mga maralitang lungsod

Pambungad: Nilalayon ng papel na makabuo ng posisyon laban sa pahayag ng gobyerno kaugnay ng deklarasyon nito na pag-demolis sa lahat ng mga kabahayan na nakatirik sa mga danger zones makaraan ang pananalasa ng bagyo at habagat. Nais ring buksan ng dokumento ang diskusyon sa anti-kapitalistang linya at pagsusuri sa puno’t dulo ng usapin ng maralitang lungsod. Ang isyu ng demolisyon, mapaminsalang kalamidad natural man o gawa ng tao, hanapbuhay, serbisyong panglipunan at ang mga polisiya ng gobyerno ay dapat makita sa balangkas ng mapagsamantalang kapitalistang sistema na kinakatawan ni Noynoy Aquino bilang Chairman of the Board at ng uring manggagawa na bumubuo sa hanay ng maralitang mamamayan.

Sa proseso ng mga diskusyon ay inaasahang mapagyayaman pa ang nilalaman ng papel at makabuo ng higit pang talas sa pagdadala natin sa isyu ng maralita hindi bilang sektor kungdi bilang namumuong pwersa ng kilusang manggagawa sa yugto ng pagsusulong ng demokratikong pakikibakang hahawan sa landas patungong sosyalismo.

Sa pananalasa ng mga kalamidad gaya ng mga nagdaan at paparating pang mga bagyo nakatagpo ang gobyerno ng kumbenyenteng palusot upang walisin lahat ang mga itinuturong dahilan ng pagbabara ng mga lagusan ng tubig na nagdulot ng mga matitinding pagbaha. At dahil dito, buong-yabang na idineklara ni Pnoy ang pwersahang pag-demolis sa mahigit sa 195,000 informal settlers o mga iskwater sa Metro Manila na tatangging aalis sa mga danger zone gaya ng tulay, estero, tabing-ilog at tabing-dagat na daluyan ng tubig. Ipapatupad din ang three (3) meter easement sa mga tabing ilog at creek na madadag-dag pa sa bilang ng mga mawawalan ng tirahan.

Ang problema sa patuloy na pananalasa ng baha ay simplistikong tinitingnan ng gobyerno na dulot ng mga pasaway na mga maralitang naglulungga sa mga daluyan ng tubig. Tayo ang nakababara kaya dapat na tayo ang tanggalin. Ang nakikita ng gobyerno ay mga madudungis at mga baboy na mga iskwater na kung saan-saan nagtatapon ng kanilang mga basura habang pikit-mata ito sa mga naglalakihang gusaling nakahambalang mismo sa mga daanan ng tubig. Mga salaulang pabrika na nagtatapon ng mga mapaminsalang basura, walang-habas na pagmimina, pagka-kalbo ng kagubatan at iba pang mga kababuyan ng mga kapitalista sa paghahangad ng malaking tubo na lalo pang nagpapabilis sa pag-init ng daigdig o global warming.

Ang problema sa gobyerno, tayo lang ang kayang-kayang pagbuntunan ng lahat ng sisi sa mga pagbaha at hindi makita ang mga baradong programang pang-ekonomiya na hindi lumulutas sa patuloy na paglobo ng mga mahihirap na mamamayan na napipilitang manirahan sa kahit sa pinaka-mapanganib na lugar. Kung susuriin marami sa mga naninirahan sa mga danger zones ay mga maralitang galing na sa kung saan-saang relocation sites sa bansa. Marami ang nagsibalikang relocatees dahil sa kawalan ng hanap buhay sa mga pinagdalhan sa kanilang relocation areas. May mga napaalis din bunga ng bantang demolisyon at cancellation of rights dahil sa kawalan ng pera para sa mga bayarin sa mga relocation areas.

Ang dapat makita at dapat aminin ng gobyerno ay ang palpak na ipinatutupad na polisiyang pang-ekonomiyang neo-liberal na patuloy na nakaasa sa dayuhang pamumuhunan habang binabale-wala ang kapakanan ng kanyang mamamayan. Ang dapat makita ng gobyerno ay ang nakatakdang paglobo pa ng bilang ng mga maralitang lungsod na titira sa kahit sa pinakamapanganib na lugar dahil sa kakulangan at kawalan ng hanapbuhay dahil ang programang pang-ekonomiya ay inilaan hindi sa mahihirap na mamamayan kungdi sa mga dayuhan at bilyonaryong iilan.

Read full article @ kpml-org.blogspot.com

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[People] Indigenous Women on SONA 2012 by Judy A. Pasimio

Indigenous Women on SONA 2012

NOTE from Judy A. Pasimio,
LILAK (Purple Action for IP Women’s Rights)

Judy Pasimio. File photo source: allvoices.com

These are words and reactions from the indigenous women who listened and watched Pnoy deliver his SONA. For one and half hours, they waited for Pnoy to say something about his program for the indigenous people, or something that will indicate that they are part of his development plan, his vision, his dreams for the Filipino people.

Once again, President Noynoy Aquino failed the indigenous women. The non-mention of the plight of the IPs – karaniwan na po ito. The glossing over the fact that the government’s anti-poverty program do not reach the real poorest of the poor, which includes the IPs, especially the IP women – karaniwan na po ito. The non-inclusion of the human rights violations happening within the country, which are experienced by the IPs and the rural poor – karaniwan na po ito. The fact that under his administrations there are already 50 killings, including IP leaders struggling against powerful industries, is ignored, as he declared that criminality has gone down – karaniwan na po ito.

And so if the IP women are deeply disappointed, more frustrated, and angrier – Pnoy, ikaw ang gumawa nito.

If the IP women have lost trust in you, and in your government – Pnoy, ikaw ang gumawa nito.

But as they have said, they will continue to strengthen and organize themselves, as they defend their land, and their rights; and we will continue to support them, as the real changes will come from the people. Sila, Kami, ang gagawa nito.


Sabi ni Pnoy “Kung may inaagrabyado’t ninanakawan ng karapatan, siya ang kakampihan ko. Kung may abusado’t mapang-api, siya ang lalabanan ko. Kung may makita akong mali sa sistema, tungkulin kong itama ito.”

– Masarap pakinggan, pero arang may mali, dahil karamihan sa aming mga katutubo ay matagal nang inaagrabyado at niyuyurakan ang aming mga karapatan – Karapatan na mamuhay na mapayapa at matiwasay sa loob ng aming lupaing ninuno; na uminom at maligo sa malinis na tubig; na makalanghap ng malinis na hangin at ipagpatuloy ang aming cultural belief and practices. Lahat ng mga karapatang ito ay nilabag, tinapakan at ninakaw na sa amin ng mga mining companies. Nasaan ka mahal na Pangulong Pinoy bakit hindi mo kami kinampihan at hindi mo nilabanan ang mga minero na siyang sumisira sa mga buhay naming katutubo?

Sabi ni Pnoy, di nya kaya ang “Forgive and forget”. Kami din – Forgive and forget na lang ba para sa aming mga katutubo ang grabeng human rights violations na nangyari dahil sa pagmimina, na hanggang ngayon ay hindi pa nabibigyan ng hustisya? Di rin pwede sa amin ang Forgive and forget ang mga ninakaw at sinira ng mga mining companies na aming kaisa-isang source ng aming pang araw-araw na pangkabuhayan at siyang puso ng aming spiritual belief.

Sabi ni Pnoy, “Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap.” Sabi namin, Kung walang mining sa loob ng aming lupaing ninuno, walang mga katutubo na lalong naghihirap.

Pnoy said, “Where a citizen is oppressed, he will find me as an ally; where there is an oppressor, I will be there to fight; where I find something wrong in the system, I will consider it my duty to right it. Something seems to be wrong, because majority of us Indigenous Peoples have been disadvantaged and our rights have been trampled upon – our right to live peacefully within our ancestral domain; to drink and bathe in clean waters; to breathe clean air; to continue practicing our cultural beliefs. All of these rights have been violated, trampled upon by the mining companies. Where is our dear president, why are you not on our side, and why are you not fighting against the mining companies who ruin the lives of indigenous peoples?

Pnoy said that to Forgive and forget is unacceptable. And so it is with us – it will not be forgive and forget for us IPs the grave human rights violations committed against us because of mining, to which until now justice has not been served. It cannot be just forgive and forget for the mining companies who have taken from us and destroyed our source of livelihood and the heart of our spiritual belief.

Pnoy said “If there is no corruption, there is no poverty.” We say – if there is no mining within our ancestral domain, there is no indigenous community who is made poorer. – Wilma Tenoro, Subanen, Midsalip, Zamboanga

“Bakit kaya ang hirap hirap banggitin ang mga salitang Indigenous Peoples pagdating sa SONA? Hindi ba kami tinuturing na kasama sa mga Juan at Juana dela Cruz na kinakausap nya? Kawawa naman kami. Lagi na lang absent sa kanyang mga plano at pangarap sa bansa. Kailangang palakasin pa ang sigaw, at ang aming pwersa. Maski NCIP, hindi naming maasahan na ilagay kami sa isipan ng Pangulo.”

Why is it difficult to utter the words ‘indigenous peoples’ during SONA? Are we not considered part of the Juan and Juana dela Cruz that Pnoy talks to? We are pitiful. We are always absent in his plans and vision for the country. We really need to make our voices louder, and our force stronger. We cannot even depend on NCIP to place us in the consciousness of the President.” – Judith Menares, Ibaloi, Baguio City

“Ayon kay PNOY, Nasabat ng barko natin at nasabad sa kanilang mga barko ang endangered species. Buti pa ang endangered species, nabanggit. Kaming mga indigenous peoples, na maari nang maging endangered, ay di man lang nabanggit. . . Ang hina naman ng NCIP, at hindi man lang kami nasama sa SONA.”

Pnoy reported – Our patrol boats intercepted some of their ships, which contain endangered species. The endangered species are in a better position than us, as the President made special mention of them, while us, indigenous peoples, who are soon to be endangered, have not been mentioned at all. . . NCIP proved to be weak, as it was not able to register the IP issues in the SONA.”- Bae Rose Undag, Higaonon, Misamis Oriental

“Pnoy pahirap sa mga katutubo. Ang totoong boss nya ay ang mga mayayaman na bansa, Lopez, Tan, Cojuangco, Sy at mga multinational companies. Talamak ang di pagkilala sa karapatan ng mga katutubo sa aming lupaing ninuno. Lalong malupit dahil sa EO79 na talagang ibibigay sa MMCs ang mga lupain. Dahil dito lalong lumala ang HRVs sa mga komunidad. Massive displacement. Pinapatupad ang oplan bayanihan sa kanayunan at pagkakahati sa mga IPs.

Sinabi nyang naahon sa hirap ang mga mamamayan. May milyong-milyong piso para sa 4Ps subalit hindi angkop sa totoong kalagayan ng mga katutubo. Ang solusyon ay pagkakaisa ng mga katutubo sa buong bansa pag iralin ang pagtaguyod tungo sa sariling pagpapasya. At i-expose ang programa ni pinoy na kontra mamamayang katutubo.”

PNOY – burden to the indigenous peoples. His real bosses are rich countries, Lopez, Tan, Cojuangco, Sy and multinational companies. Human rights violations against indigenous peoples are still rampant. EO79 is worse, blatantly giving away our lands to multinational mining companies. And this is why HRVs are worsened in our communities. Massive displacement. Oplan Bayanihan is implemented in our communities and this has caused division among us.

Pnoy said that Filipino people have been lifted from poverty. But this is misleading. Millions of pesos have been allocated for the 4Ps but this program is not applicable to the real situation of the indigenous peoples. The solution is the unity of all indigenous peoples within our country and assert our right to self-determination, and expose the programs of Pnoy as anti-indigenous peoples. – Norma Capuyan, Manobo, Apo Sandawa Lumadnong Panaghiusa sa Cotabato (ASLPC)

“Malaki ang pag-asa ko habang nanonood ako ng SONA ni pnoy na baka ngyaon mabanggit man lang kaming mga katutubo subalit hanggang sa matapos ang SONA di man lang kami nabanggit kaya nanlumo ako at nalungkot. Talagang wala kaming puwang na mga katutubo kay pnoy samantalang isa kami sa mga naglukluk sa kanya sa pwesto. Kailangan na uli magwangwang kaming mga katutubo upang sa susunod na sona ay mapasali man lang. mga d armas ang kanyang mga pinangangaralangan kaming mga nanahiimik at payapang namumuhay di man lang naisali sa sona.”

I was really hoping while watching SONA of Pnoy that this time, we will be mentioned, but until the very end, no mention of the indigenous peoples. We really do not have a space in Pnoy, even if we were part of those who put him in his position now. We really need to use wang-wang again, so that in the next SONA, we will be part of it. He honored the men in arms, but did not even mention us who try to live in peace in our communities. – Conchita Bigong, Alangan-Mangyan, Mindoro Oriental

“Frustration. Wala kaming naramdaman na impact ng mga anti-poverty reduction program sa nai-report nya dito sa aming barangay o munisipyo. At kahit sa programa nya na LPRAP (Local Poverty Reduction Action Plan) na dapat daw bida ang basic sectors, kung saan isa sa mga basic sectors ang IP. At baka hindi alam ni Pnoy na may ng exist na IP kaya hindi kasama sa mga usapin, at hindi mabanggit.

Frustration. We do not feel the impact of his report on anti-poverty reduction program here at the barangay or municipal level. Even the LPRAP (Local Poverty Reduction Action Plan) which should benefit the basic sectors, which includes the indigenous peoples. Maybe Pnoy is not aware that indigenous peoples exist, and that is why we are not involved, and have not been mentioned. – Zenaida P. Mansiliohan, Talaandig, KALALAGAN, Brgy. Dona Flavia, San Luis, Agusan del Sur

Pakiramdam ko nabale wala na naman nya ang katutubo. Pakiramdam ko nagalit talaga ako sa nangyayari, parang hindi kami Pilipino, hindi tao para kay pinoy. Sa lahat ng kanyang sinabi sa mining hindi yan. Hindi ang klase ng mining, tulad ng sa SMI (Xstrata), ang makakatulong sa mga tao, at lalong hindi sa aming mga katutubo. At sa 4Ps ng gobyerno, sabi nya ang mga pinakamahirap ay naabot nito. Isa kami sa mga pinakamahirap, pero di naman kami nakaka-avail ng programa – kapitan lang at tribal chieftain. Kaming mga pinaka wala, di naman maka-avail.

Noon pa bale wala na ang katutubo sa gobyerno. Kaya’t nasa amin talaga na mga katutubo na labanan ang mina sa aming komunidad, at kami na rin talaga ang mag aahon sa amin sa kahirapan.

I felt that indigenous peoples were again ignored. I really felt mad with what’s happening, it’s as if we are not Filipinos, not even people, for Pnoy. Everything that he said about mining is not true. It is not the kind of mining, especially that of SMI (Xstrata), that will help people, especially us indigenous people. As for the 4Ps program of the government, he said that it has reached the poorest of the poor. We are the poorest of the poor but we have not been able to avail of this – except for our barangay captain, and our tribal chieftain. For us who have nothing, could not avail.

For the longest time, the government has not paid any attention to us indigenous peoples. It is really up to us, indigenous peoples, who should work hard to fight mining in our communities, and to uplift ourselves from poverty. – Robina Poblador, B’laan, Saranggani Province

judy.pasimio@gmail.com / 09175268341

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[Statement] 7-11: Remembering the missing and the search for Justice -FIND

July 11, 2012


For the Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance (FIND), July 11 is a significant date.

Eleven individuals were forcibly taken and disappeared by suspected state agents on this date as documented by FIND. Of the 11 missing, one was surfaced and located.

Prominent among the eleven was Redemptorist priest, Fr. Rosaleo “Rudy” Romano who was last seen on July 11, 1985 in Tisa, Labangon, Cebu City, never to be found up to this day –27 years past. FIND remembers Fr. Rudy as among those who firmly stood for justice and courageously fought for the well being of the poor even during the repressive years of martial rule.

It was largely in Fr. Rudy’s honor that FIND and the Redemptorist community here and abroad constructed the Flame of Courage Monument that stands on a portion of the Redemptorist Church grounds in Bacalaran, Parañaque City.

The monument symbolizes the hope of the families’ untiring search and quest for justice. It is a tribute to those whose commitment for freedom, truth and justice expressed through working with the underprivileged in defending and asserting their human rights had been the reason they were abducted to silence and never to be found.

Since then; 27 years after Fr. Romano was taken against his will, 18 years since the unveiling of the Flame of Courage Memorial, enforced or involuntary disappearances persist in the Philippines. Not even President Noynoy Aquino’s rallying call for Filipinos to take the “matuwid na landas” (straight or righteous path) could deter perpetrators in committing the atrocious human rights violation of enforced disappearance.

To date, under the present Aquino administration, 17 cases have already been reported with 12 victims documented by FIND. The numbers could very well increase for as long as there is no definite national agenda on human rights and until legislative as well as a international treaty protecting the people from enforced disappearance are codified and acceded.

There is no better way to discourage the commission of such inhuman act than for the government and the Filipino people to unite and affirm its adherence to the universal standards of human rights.

Undoubtedly, expediting a bicameral conference to iron out and finalize the Anti-Enforced Disappearance Act of 2011 earlier approved by both Chambers and the signing and accession to the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance is one righteous path the government could take.

We challenge President Noynoy Aquino to lead and substantiate his pronouncements.

Hulyo 11, 2012


Para sa mga pamilya ng mga biktima ng sapilitang pagwawala (FIND), ang Hulyo 11 ay isang napakahalagang araw.

Sa mismong buwan at petsa na ito, may labing-isa ka tao ang dinukot at iwinala ng mga pinaghinalaang ahente ng estado ayon sa dokumento ng FIND. Sa 11 na iwinala, isa ang natagpuan at inilutang.

Kasama sa mga ito ay ang redemtoristang pari na si Fr. Rosaleo “Rudy” Romano na dinukot at huling nakita noong Hulyo 11, 1985 sa Tisa, Labangon, Cebu City na magpahanggang ngayon ay hindi pa rin natatagpuan —27 taon na ang nakalipas. Itinuturing ng FIND si Fr. Rudy bilang isa sa mga matibay na nanindigan sa ngalan ng hustisya at walang takot na nakikiisa at lumaban para sa kapakanan ng mga maralita maging sa panahon ng mapanupil na martial law.

Sa alaala ni Fr. Romano, kaya itinayo ng FIND kasama ang komunidad ng mga Redemptorista sa bansa maging sa ibayong dagat ang monumento ng Flame of Courage na matatagpuan sa loob ng simbahan ng Baclaran sa lunsod ng Parañaque.

Ang nasabing monumento ay simbolo ng katatagan at pag-asa ng mga kaanak sa kanilang walang pagod na paghahanap at pagkamit ng katarungan. Ito ay alay para sa lahat na naninindigan para sa kalayaan, katotohanan at hustisya, mga prinsipyo na kanilang binigyang anyo sa pamamagitan ng pakikibaka kasama ang mga pinagkaitan sa lipunan nang sa gayo’y karapatang pantao ay kilalanin at maisakatuparan na naging sanhi upang sila’y dukutin, patahimikin at di na muling matagpuan.

Mula noon, 27 taon mula nang si Fr. Romano’y tinangay laban sa kanyang kagustuhan at 18 taon mula nang buksan ang Flame of Courage Monument, ang sapilitang pagwala ay nagpapatuloy sa Pilipinas. Maging ang panawagan ni Pangulong Noynoy Aquino para sa lahat ng mamamayan na tahakin ang “matuwid na landas,” ay hindi nakatulong upang mapigilan ang mga insidente ng ganitong uri ng paglabag ng karapatang pantao.

Sa kasalukuyan, sa ilalim ng pamunuang Aquino, mayroon nang 17 kaso ang naiulat na may kasamang 12 biktima ang naitala. Ang mga bilang na ito ay maaari pa ring tumaas hangga’t ang pamahalaan ay walang malinaw na pambansang direksyon sa usaping karapatang pantao at walang mga nasyunal o internasyunal na pamantayan at kasunduan na naglalayong pangalagaan ang karapatan ng mamamayan na isinasabatas, sinasangayunan at nilalagdaan ng ating gobyerno.

Wala nang kasing-husay na pamamaraan upang pigilan ang mga nagnanais gumawa ng enforced disappearance maliban sa isang sama-samang pagkilos ng pamahalaan at ng sambayanang Pilipino at magkaisa sa pagkilala at pagpapatupad ng pandaigdigang pamantayan ng karapatang pantao.

Walang duda, ang pagpapabilis ng isang bicameral conference ng kongreso upang pag-isahin at pagtibayin ang Anti-Enforced Disappearance Act of 2011 na nauna ng inaprubahan ng dalawang kapulungan at ang paglagda at pagsang-ayon sa International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance ay tunay na hakbangin tungo sa isang matuwid na daan na dapat ay ginagawa na ng gubyerno.

Ito ang aming hamon kay Pangulong Noynoy Aquino, na ang mga pahayag na kanyang binitawan ay pangunahan at patotohanan niya.

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[Statement] Kinokondena ng KPML-NCRR ang nangyaring karahasan at pagpaslang sa naganap na demolisyon sa Silverio! -KPML

Kinokondena ng kpml-ncrr ang nangyaring karahasan at pagpaslang sa naganap na demolisyon sa Silverio!

Mahigpit naming kinokondena ang marahas na demolisyon sa aming mga kapatid na maralita sa Silverio Compound, sa Sucat, Parañaque na ikinamatay ng isang katao at ikinasugat ng humigit-kumulang apatnapung (40) katao. Sadyang kalunus-lunos ang nangyaring ito. Kaya kami sa Kongreso ng Pagkakaisa ng mga Maralita ng Lungsod (KPML-NCRR) ay taas-kamaong nagpupugay sa ginawang depensa ng mga kapatid naming maralita sa kanilang pakikibaka para sa kanilang karapatan sa pabahay at kinabukasan. Kinokondena namin ang marahas at brutal na demolisyon na naging sanhi ng pagkamatay ng isang maralitang 21 taong gulang at pagkasugat ng marami para depensahan ang kanilang tahanan, kabuhayan, kinabukasan, dangal at pagkatao.

Ilan pa ang dapat mamatay para magkaroon ng kasiguraduhan sa pabahay? Ilan pang demolisyon ang magaganap upang igalang ang karapatan ng bawat tao sa paninirahan? Ilan pang bato ang pauulanin ng maralita upang depensahan ang kanilang mga karapatang mabuhay?

Mahalaga ang negosasyon, bagamat sa negosasyon ay dehado lagi ang maralita kumpara sa mga may perang kayang bilhin kahit ang husgado at gobyerno. At ang gobyernong ito ni Noynoy Aquino ang pangunahing kakampi ng mga kapitalista para sa kanilang public and private partnership, na pag-unlad ng mga negosyo habang pinalalayas na parang mga daga ang mga maralita’t itinataboy sa malalayong lugar ang mga dukhang nakapupuwing sa mata ng negosyo’t ni Aquino. Walang awa sa mga mahihirap ang mga kapitalista’t gobyerno. Patunay ang maraming naganap na demolisyon kung saan nakikipagbatuhan ang mga maralita upang depensahan ang kanilang karapatan sa paninirahan, dangal, pagkatao, buhay at kinabukasan.

Sa maraming mga naganap na demolisyon, sa Laperal sa Makati, sa Mariana at sa North Triangle sa Quezon City, sa 9 de Pebrero sa Mandaluyong, sa Corazon de Jesus sa San Juan, R10 sa Navotas, at ngayon sa Silverio sa Parañaque, nakipagbatuhan at nakibaka ang mga maralita upang depensahan ang kanilang karapatan sa paninirahan. Sinuman ang tanggalan ng tirahan ay tiyak na lalaban. Tanggalan kaya ng maralita ng bahay si Pangulong Aquino? Idemolis kaya nating maralita ang bahay ng mga nagdedemolis? Tiyak na maghahalo ang balat sa tinalupan! Dahil mahalaga sa atin ang bahay, ang ating tinitirhan, ang pahingahan ng pagal nating katawan, ang tahanan ng ating mga anak! Kung bato ang ating pandepensa para ipagtanggol ang ating karapatan sa paninirahan, bakit hindi natin ito hahawakan at ibabato sa mga yumuyurak sa ating pagkatao!

Dapat magkaisa ang lahat ng maralita para labanan ang mga demolisyong patakaran ng kapitalista’t gobyerno. Hindi mga hayop tayong mga maralita, tayo’y mga taong may dignidad. Taong may karapatang mabuhay, taong may karapatang magkaroon ng magandang kinabukasan, taong masisipag bagamat naghihirap, taong nagsisikap para sa kinabukasan ng ating mga anak.

Dapat pag-aralan din ng maralita ang lipunang ating ginagalawan. Bakit nga ba kapitalismo ang sistema? At bakit sa ilalim ng kapitalismo, patuloy na naghihirap ang sambayanan? Simpleng kurapsyon lang ba ang problema na tulad ng elitistang pangulo? Bakit dapat mag-alsa ang mga maralita laban sa bulok na sistema ng lipunan? Bakit sa ilalim ng kapitalismo’y binabayaran ang bawat karapatan, tulad ng karapatan sa pabahay at karapatan sa kalusugan? May maaasahan ba tayong maralita sa mga tulad ng polisiya ni Aquino laban sa maralita, polisiyang kiling sa mga kapitalista kaysa mahihirap, patakarang para sa negosyo kaysa karapatang pantao?

Maralita, tapusin na natin ang panahon ng pananahimik at pagsasawalang-kibo. Panahon na upang magpasya tayo, di lang para sa ating sarili, kundi para sa kinabukasan ng mga susunod na henerasyon.

Mga kapatid na maralita, magkaisa laban sa karahasan sa ating hanay! Katarungan sa mga nasugatan at namatay sa demolisyon! Ipaglaban ang karapatan sa paninirahan!

Read more of KPML @ kilusangmasa.blogspot.com

Press Statement
Ka Allan Dela Cruz
Pangulo, KPML-NCRR
Abril 24, 2012

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.

[In the news] President Noynoy Aquino accused of breaking promise to environmental groups | Sun.Star

President Noynoy Aquino accused of breaking promise to environmental groups | Sun.Star.

April 22, 2012

MANILA — Weak enforcement of environmental laws and endorsement of polluting fossil fuels as additional energy source mark the first two years of President Benigno Aquino III, an environmental group said on Sunday.

Greenpeace, which released the statement in time for the Earth Day celebration, said Aquino’s poor performance only showed how he has reneged on previous commitments to advance green goals.

To recall, then Senator Aquino stated that the country must shift to clean energy and technologies in response to the Green Electoral Initiative survey of Greenpeace and toxic watchdog Eco-Waste Coalition.

But for Von Hernandez, executive director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia, the President’s commitments have either remained in the realm of rhetoric, or have been undermined by contradicting policies or actions of the National Government.

Read full article @ www.sunstar.com.ph

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[In the news] President Noynoy Aquino gives P14 million to Pampanga farmers | Sun.Star

President Noynoy Aquino gives P14 million to Pampanga farmers | Sun.Star.

By Herbert P. Mapiles
March 11, 2012

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO — President Benigno Aquino III, through the Department of Agriculture (DA), has given more than P14 million worth of farm machineries to farmers in Pampanga.

The Provincial Government has also allocated at least P2.4 million to further increase farm production for the next harvest season.

Governor Lilia Pineda, who met with DA officials on Saturday in Barangay San Pablo, Lubao town, said the agricultural support is part of the National Government’s Philippine Mechanization (PhilMech) program, which benefits some 53 organized farmers’ groups.

Pineda enjoined the beneficiaries to properly handle and maintain the machineries entrusted to them.

Read full article @ www.sunstar.com.ph

[Press Release] Romblonanons unveil the country’s 1st anti mining monument – ATM

Romblonanons unveil the country’s 1st anti mining monument
Commemorates the province biggest protest against mining

Tablas, Romblon—Today advocates joined the unveiling of Romblon’s Anti-Mining Memorial to commemorate the biggest protest against mining fought by the Church, Local Government Leaders and its people.

The first of its kind in the country, the anti mining memorial will remind the people of their effort to strongly face and counter the entry of large scale mining firms in Romblon.

Gov. Eduardo C. Firmalo said, “Today we commemorate the unity of our people to uphold the dignity of life and environment. As a person and public servant, I continue to adhere to the principles of genuine sustainable development, which will not sacrifice the capacity of future Romblonanons to survive. We maintain that local government units have the autonomy to defend the general welfare; at the end it is our people who will be left and will suffer. Metallic mining has no room in the province, and to follow the priority industries of President Noynoy Aquino: we should focus on agriculture, tourism and infrastructure.”

Romblon’s struggle started in 2006 when 8,000 people gathered to protest against mining in Sibuyan where anti-mining activist Armin Marin was killed the following year by an employee of Sibuyan Nickel Properties Development Corporation. In 2011, more than 12,000 people gathered in Tablas Island to protest against another big mining company Ivanhoe Philippines Inc (wholly owned by Ivanhoe Canada) which applied for a permit to explore approximately 14,000 hectares of land in Tablas Island but decided to withdraw in September 30 that same year due to people’s and local government’s opposition.

“We hope that the proposed mining policy reform order of President Aquino will uphold the decision of my constituents, recognize and further respect the mandate of the local government officials to defend the health, security and future of the general welfare.” Firmalo continued.

Msgr. Nonato Ernie V. Fetalino, administrator of the Diocese of Romblon and adviser of Romblon Ecumenical Forum Against Mining (REFAM) explained: “For nine months we have united all our voices and efforts but it is a lifetime commitment to defend the integrity of creation. We look at our environment as significant source of life and we are called to maintain the balance of ecosystem, we are stewards and we are not called to abuse it. It is our spiritual duty to defend the dignity of life.”

Ivanhoe’s main reason for pulling out from Tablas Island was the lack of support from local officials and unresponsive communities, it said in its letter to the Mines and Geosciences Bureau.

Meanwhile, Cong. Eleandro Jesus F. Madrona is currently pushing for House Bill 4815 that will declare Romblon as a mining no-go zone.

“This is the voice of our people not to allow mining in the province. This biggest legacy we can leave for the province—to make our province a better place to live in with a balance and healthful ecology. We hope the House Bill 4815 will soon be passed as a law,” added Madrona.

Today, as the people remember their struggles against mining in Romblon, they also reaffirm their position against the destruction of the Philippine environment and the policies that allow mining to be one of the country’s priority industries.

“We shall continue to stand up for God and our country’s patrimony. The Mining Act of 1995 has been the root-cause of division among communities and continuously degrading the environment. We cannot permit this to happen in the province. We call for the scrapping of the Mining Act of 1995 and urgent enactment of the consolidated alternative mining bills pending in the House of Representatives,” Bishop Ronelio Fabriquer, Bishop of Iglesia Filipina Independiente and Chairman of REFAM concluded.

Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) is an alliance of mining-affected communities and their support groups of NGOs/POs and other civil society organizations who are opposing the aggressive promotion of large-scale mining in the Philippines. The alliance is currently pushing for a moratorium on mining, revocation of Executive Order 270-A, repeal of the Mining Act of 1995 and the passage of the Philippine Mineral Resources Act a.k.a. Alternative Minerals Management Bill.

For more information:
Gov. Eduardo Firmalo, romblongov@gmail.com
Cong. Eleandro Jesus Madrona, doymadrona@yahoo.com, doymadrona@congress.gov.ph
Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator, (0927) 761.76.02, ?nc@alyansatigilmina.net
Rodne Galicha, ATM Sites of Struggle Officer, sos@alyansatigilmina.net
Farah Sevilla, ATM Policy & Advocacy Officer, (0915) 331.33.61 policy@alyansatigilmina.net

[In the news] President Noynoy Aquino names Zamboanga mayor peace council chairman | Sun.Star

President Noynoy Aquino names Zamboanga mayor peace council chairman | Sun.Star.

January 29, 2012

 MAYOR Celso Lobregat was named by President Benigno Aquino III as chairman of the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) in Zamboanga Peninsula.

The RPOC is the body that ensures a more comprehensive and effective coordination of government efforts and the active participation of citizenry in the campaign against criminality and insurgency.

Lobregat’s appointment, dated November 28, 2011, was signed by Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Jesse Robredo by virtue of his authority as the chair of the National Peace and Order Council.

Read full article @ www.sunstar.com.ph

[In the news] Mendiola Massacre: Survivor recounts horror 25 years later – GMA News

Mendiola Massacre: Survivor recounts horror 25 years later
January 19, 2012

 Shot between the eyes and declared brain dead, Bong Manlulu was not expected to come out alive from the Mendiola Massacre on January 22, 1987.

Then only 18 years old, Bong was among some 20,000 marchers who headed to Malacañang Palace, demanding distribution of lands to farmers and zero retention of estates by landowners. They were stopped at Mendiola Bridge.

The one sitting in Malacañang at that time was the late President Corazon “Cory” Aquino, mother of the incumbent President Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III.

Bong, now 43, said he was a student of the University of the Philippines in Los Baños (UPLB) when he joined Southern Luzon activists in going to Mendiola, where rallyists from different parts of the country were calling for “genuine land reform.”

Upon reaching Mendiola Bridge, however, the shocking happened. Government forces suddenly fired without warning at the marchers. Panic ensued and the marchers fled, scrambling to escape the bridge, a bloody sea of tattered streamers.

Bong, then an officer of the activist group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) recalled, “We hadn’t even stepped on the bridge when there was a first round of gunfire that was directed at the rallyists.”

“Everybody ducked and the command was to stay down, and the idea was for our national leaders in Bayan, the likes of Jimmy Tadeo, to negotiate and allow us to move forward to Malacañang Palace,” he said.

Bong said there was confusion everywhere. “It was true, like in the cartoons, that you would see bullets flying above your head and hitting people randomly,” he said.

Suddenly, there was another round of gunfire and although he was quick to duck, he saw his classmate standing.

Read full article @ www.gmanetwork.com

[Statement] P125 Minimum Wage Increase Now! www.masa.ph

by Partido Lakas ng Masa

The Workers Create the Wealth of the Society!
We Deserve Better!

The Regional Wage Board’s decision of giving NCR workers a 22 pesos non-wage benefit is unacceptable and considered an insult to all non-agricultural workers. The additional Php 22 was too little to make any economic impact for the workers because it was given way too late when prices of basic commodities and transportation fares were already increased.  We can say that the adjustment is really not an adjustment to help but a mere pampalubag loob (consolation).  President Noynoy Aquino (Pnoy) made an announcement before May 1, International Labor Day, that he has good news for the workers.  But instead of making good of his promise to help alleviate a little the economic condition of the workers, he failed the expectations of the Filipino working class for the nth time.  This decision and the inability of Pnoy to act in favor of the majority, made it clear that Pnoy’s bosses are not the ordinary people but the elites.

The Php 22 is not a wage increase which the workers are asking.  It is way below the Php 125 or the Php 75 that the workers are asking, and is too little for a Living Wage needed by a worker to live a decent life.  The Php 22 that will be added to the Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) will not be subject to over time and night differential and 13th month pay computations, making the Board’s decision more favorable to employers than the workers who badly need a salary increase.

This decision is a manifestation that the ruling elite of this country is highly favored by this government.  The Private Partnership Program (PPP) of Pnoy is in full motion to the detriment of the working class.  All those who will benefit from this shenanigan are the capitalists who are cashing in on the government’s inability to protect the interest of the working class who produces the wealth of the society.

The Partido Lakas ng Masa (Party of the Laboring Masses) calls on Pnoy to do something for a change, to do something to benefit the ordinary Filipino, especially the Working Class.  What he needs is a political will to put forward policies that will benefit the poor majority of the society.  What the workers are asking is a Php 125 salary increase, the scrapping of the Oil Deregulation Law, and the cancellation of EVAT for basic commodities!  And we will not settle for anything less!

11 May 2011

Statement of Edita T. Burgos, Mother of missing activist Jonas Burgos on the CHR report/Recommendation-freejonasburgosmovement.blogspot.com

source: http://freejonasburgosmovement.blogspot.com/
Posted last March 19, 2011

After almost four years of waiting we see a glimmer of hope. The report of the Commission of Human Rights is now in the hands of the Supreme Court. Our theory has been right all along. The evidence gathered by the CHR confirms our family’s theory that the Philippine Army is involved in the abduction of my son and elements of the police and military are covering up to hide the identity of the abductors and those involved. We believe, however, that 1st Lt. Harry Baliaga will not act without orders from higher authorities.

We laud the brave investigators of the Commission led by Commissioner Jose Manuel Mamauag for their exhaustive investigation.

While we seem to have won this battle, the real measure of success is the recovery of my son. We shall continue the fight until Jonas is returned to us, alive and well and justice is served.

We pray that there will be more witnesses who will surface. We appeal to those who had a hand in the abduction and the continued detention of Jonas, to come clean and face the consequences of their actions. It is better to make right a wrong that has been done while one still has the capacity to do it.

We appeal to President Noynoy Aquino. You have always pronounced that the rule of law must prevail.- As Commander-in-Chief, it is time to show the military that you will never condone any wrongdoing. Mr. President, the military must be the first to follow the “tuwid na daan”. The military should be ordered to release the documents on the abduction of Jonas.

Please Mr. President, allow my son to return to his family.

March 20, 2011
Posted by PinoyXPress at 9:50 PM