Tag Archives: Press Release

[Press Release] OECD finds Norwegian mining company guilty ‘No reason for Mindoro Nickel Project to be pursued,’ say Filipino groups

Manila – Intex Resources, a Norwegian mining company with a Nickel project in Mindoro, was found to have violated numerous guidelines for multi-national enterprises established under the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

This was the conclusion of the Norwegian National Contact Point (NCP) in their final statement on the complaint against Intex Resources released in November 30.  After three years of investigation, the NCP found that the Free, Prior, Informed Consent (FPIC) obtained from the indigenous peoples of Mindoro was not sufficiently informed, and that reasons exist to question the procedure as to how this was obtained.

The NCP also emphasized that Intex should ‘consult broader groups of indigenous peoples and be more transparent’ and informant of the environmental impact of their mining project covering 11, 200-hectares of land located between the provinces of Oriental and Occidental Mindoro.

While the NCP final statement gives recommendations to Intex to comply with OECD Guidelines, groups here believe that the company should pull out and withdraw the project.

Jaybee Garganera, Alyansa Tigil Mina national coordinator said, “This is what many organizations in the Philippines have been waiting for—a validation that Intex was in breach of OECD guidelines and rights of communities in Mindoro. We believe this is more than enough reason for Intex to completely pull out from Mindoro, especially since the province has a 25-year moratorium on mining and that should be respected!” Garganera also added that the Philippine government must finally cancel the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) it issued to Intex, and in the process, formally withdraw the mining contract it issued.

In January 2009, Future in Our Hands, a Norwegian organization, in collaboration with Philippine Indigenous Peoples Links (PIPLinks), Middlesex University Department of Law in the UK, and Alyansa Laban sa Mina (ALAMIN), submitted its complaint to the NCP stating that Intex has violated three of the OECD Guidelines. Specifically, the groups alleged the: 1) absence of genuine free prior and informed consent (FPIC); 2) lack of transparency; and 3) not having a substantive environmental impact assessment that is shared and known by the people.

Fr. Edu Gariguez, currently Executive Secretary of CBCP-NASSA and representative of ALAMIN, said in a statement, “The communities in Mindoro had always pointed out the flaws and questionable processes by which Intex Resources pursued the mining project despites peoples opposition, up to the point of violating the rights of indigenous peoples and threatening our fragile ecosystems.”

Meanwhile, Judy Pasimio of Legal Rights and Natural Resources-Kasama sa Kalikasan (LRC-KsK/FOEI) said, “The NCP report has further delegitimized the presence of Intex Resources in Mindoro.  It has affirmed what the Mangyans have been saying all along – that they have not given their consent to Intex, that the FPIC was a bogus one.”

The Mangyans have staged a week-long hunger strike in 2009 in front of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to call for the revocation of the  ECC of Intex, and the cancellation of its mining permit. In response, the ECC was suspended.

“The findings of the NCP should finally convince the DENR that there are sound legal basis for the cancellation of the ECC of Intex. And that this deceitful mining company should not be allowed to operate in the Philippines,” Pasimio added.

“We are thankful that we can recourse to international mechanisms like the OECD Guidelines and after three years of investigation affirm our complaints. We hope that Intex Resources will admit their lack of capacity to pursue this project,” Gariguez added.

The OECD aims ‘to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world.’ The OECD Guidelines adhered to by members countries provide voluntary principles and standards for responsible business conduct.

Andy Whitmore of PIPLinks further added, “We have engaged in this complaint process for nearly three years. It is satisfying to see many of the points raised by the local people and their supporters vindicated. It remains to be seen how much this criticism will affect things on the ground.”

Alyansa Laban sa Mina (ALAMIN) is a network of civil society organizations, Church and local government units in Oriental Mindoro established in 1999 to consolidate peoples opposition to the Mindoro Nickel Project.

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.
(30)

For more information:

Fr Edu Gariguez, ALAMIN, (0919) 800.55.95 <edugariguez@gmail.com>
Judy Pasimio, LRC-KsK/FOEI Executive Director, (0917) 526.83.41 <judy.pasimio@lrcksk.org>
Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator, (0927) 761.76.02 <nc@alyansatigilmina.net>
Farah Sevilla, ATM Policy&Advocacy Officer, (0915) 331.33.61 <policy@alyansatigilmina.net>

[Press Release] KASAPI spearheads sub-national conferences on Indigenous Community Conserved Areas (ICCAS) Aims National Event in early 2012

Philippine ICCA on the move

A series of sub-national conferences on Indigenous Community Conserved Areas (ICCAs) were launched in a single month of November by the Koalisyon ng Katutubo at Samahan Ng Pilipinas (KASAPI).  With backing from the country’s premier State University of the Philippines through the UP Office of the Vice-President for Public Affairs and the National College of Public Administration for Governance (NCPAG), the DENR’s Protected Area and Wildlife Bureau – New Conservation Areas in the Philippines Project (PAWB-NewCAPP), Global Environmental Facility-United Nations Development Program (GEF-UNDP), the Philippine Association for Inter-cultural Development (PAFID) and Anthro-Watch, KASAPI mobilized indigenous leaders nationwide to hold three sub-national events covering first, Luzon, Visayas and Island Groups ( the two were merged for practical and logistical reasons) , second, Eastern Mindanao and third, Western Mindanao. More than ninety (90) Indigenous representatives including youth, women and men, mostly practitioners of customary law, peace and development with known experience on forest conservation and governance from seven (7) ethnographic regions of the country participated. Fifty (50) more from the academe, private non-government organizations and supportive agencies from government joined as observer-participants. The ICCA events were held at the National Capital Region, Davao and Cagayan de Oro.

In providing the background, KASAPI’s Secretary-General Giovanni Reyes said “This is to honor the country’s least heard yet greatest contributors to FREE ecological services like clean air and clean water”.  He notes that “despite well-documented roles in knowledge management that made possible the current breadth of biodiversity in the Philippines, indigenous peoples hardly have a voice in efforts to manage the environment.” He pointed out that “most discourses in environment management dichotomize between Wildlife Habitat, Protected Areas, National Parks, Biodiversity, Conservation and Sustainable Development from indigenous traditional knowledge – a great divide that shows a marked position of Indigenous Peoples being in the margins – Yet the ideas and processes by which these are managed are of the same stock.”  In organizing the events, he stressed that  “it is most necessary to examine and asses trends in development conservation. There is so much that is happening in indigenous peoples’ villages which are in many ways, the results of the “shrinking” of the world into one integrated global village with industrialization and global forces of commerce as trendsetters.”  Reyes emphasized another reason that compels calls to support ICCAs: “International economic instruments have [even] by-passed national barriers so that direct assimilation of indigenous communities in its many forms has germinated between interior villages and the outside world. What occurs is maldevelopment that destroys indigenous habitats and cultural lifeways”.

University of the Philippines role

Explaining the University of the Philippines’ supports support for ICCA, U.P’s Vice President for Public Affairs and Professor at the UP-NCPAG Dr. Prospero De Vera said that “UP has Public Service Function with aims at developing new governance models”. He said, “UP assists different agencies of government particularly in crafting laws covering broad range of issues as well as providing expertise on specific concerns.”  Dr. de Vera sighted for instance the recent “Fish Kill” at a lake south of Manila where UP sent experts to deal with the crisis and worked with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR)”. In the case of ICCA, Dr. de Vera says that while “ICCA is not really new, in the sense that indigenous peoples’ traditional governing systems to keep their environment has been existing through time, what is new is emerging recognition of ICCAs by sectors of society.” He added that UP is sustaining “breakthroughs in providing necessary assistance for communities in support of governance systems crucial for biodiversity conservation.”

Global and National Overview of ICCA

In providing background about development of ICCAs, Mr. Dave de Vera, PAFID Executive Directors said, “indigenous people’s simple lifestyles and means of living are the mains reasons that the health of forests have been sustained through time” He said, “many parts of ancestral domains including forests, rivers and coastal seas have been taken care by indigenous peoples themselves as a matter of man – nature relations that give sustenance to each other”. He added that “major portions of ancestral territories are considered sacred and should not be exploited or destroyed” stressing that “these have been conserved by traditional indigenous peoples’ governing systems particularly in the utilization of forests.” He said “these systems prevented biodiversity loss”. Mr. De Vera further expounded on laws imposed on indigenous communities as time passed. He explained that  “certain State laws and regulations  have been passed but fail to understand indigenous peoples and resulted in the stripping of their roles in protecting key biodiversity areas within their ancestral territories”. De Vera sighted society’s discrimination of indigenous people as people without “educational background” or as  “non-professionals” which he said just “showed people’s disrespect for indigenous peoples’ skill and knowledge in biodiversity conservation.” He added that the “the important symbiotic relation between indigenous peoples and environment are being severed as large portions of community-conserved areas are encroached and penetrated by large-scale extractive activities, mostly foreign-owned.” He said that “because of this, indigenous people’s knowledge and skills in environmental protection are in grave danger of being extinct”. He provided participants examples of remaining territories currently being protected by indigenous peoples. These include:
1.
A big portion of the Certified Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) of a Buhid Mangyan territory in Bongabong,  Oriental Mindoro which is considered by indigenous Mangyans as sacred such as cemeteries and ceremonial sites located in their forests;
2.      Areas inside the Iglit-Baco ancestral territories of  Tao-Buhid, also among Mangyans;
3.      Mount Kalatungan, held by Manobos as one of the most sacred mountains in Mindanao;
4.      The “Awuyuks”, a series of lakes found in Coron Island, Palawan;
5.      Areas protected by Aeta Abellens of Zambales Mountain Range particularly Maporac, New San Juan, Cabangan;
6.      Muyongs in Ifugao.

ICCA Consortium Sends Support

In a video message addressed to participants via internet, Ms. Grazia Borrini-Feyarabend, International Coordinator of the Geneva-based ICCA Consortium regarded the sub-national ICCA conferences as a reflection of the participant’s “personal dangers for being powerful in defending ancestral territories and community conserved areas”. She said that “many people around the world are taking you as an example, and the Philippines is one of the places in the world where people are advanced in ICCAs”.

The ICCA consortium was formed as a response to mounting interest and concern about ICCAs on the occasion of the 4th ICCA Conservation Congress in which mutually-respected NGOs and organisations representing indigenous communities established it in Barcelona, Spain in 2008. The Consortium sought appropriate recognition of ICCAS at national and international levels and support provided to indigenous peoples and local communities governing ICCAs. The program provides seeding support on ICCAS among a large variety of actors including NGOs concerned with integrated conservation, development and human rights goals and international  agencies such as UNDP, UNEP, WCMC and IFAD.

Five Case Studies

Five cases studies were presented by IP community leaders themselves. They include Mr. Salvador Dimain a.k.a Ka Badong, head of the Maporac Aeta Association, Maproac, Cabangan, Zambales;  Mr. Roy Abella, Vice-Chairman, Tagbanua Tribe of Coron Island Association, Inc., of Coron, Palawan;  Datu Ampuan Sulda of the Upacat Te Maginged Te Keretungan He Ebpengimbetasan – UMKE  of Balmar, Pangantucan, Bukidnon; Datu Johnny Guina of the Portulin Tribal Association, also of Bukidnon; and, Datu Ireneo Rico Makalipay of San Toribio, Esperansa, Agusan del Sur.

The case studies provided participants with the opportunity for sharing of values, practices and experiences on conservation from which they could also draw lessons from. Certain commonalities emerged from the cases:

1.      The strength or health of biodiversity is drawn from people’s deep spiritual reverence towards their environment. The forests are considered home to the Creator and in which the dead are buried;

2.      Management rules and use of resources are rooted in customary laws. Indigenous council of elders who are the repositories of traditional land management are the ‘duty-bearers of supremacy of custom law’ and enforce these rules;

3.      Simple living among community members and sharing of resources according to needs;

4.      Ancestral territories are sources of sustenance and should be preserved for the next generation as did the previous bequeathing these to the present;

5.      Sustaining the protection ICCAs entail support from organized groups, government, strengthening indigenous culture through genuine recognition of indigenous peoples rights.

Legal Pluralism and Biodiversity Conservation

Retired Anthropologist Professor and former Constitutional Commissioner Ponciano Bennagen enlightened participants with a diagram showing various stakeholders. In his diagram, he put indigenous knowledge system, customary law and biodiversity conservation encircled at a center. Lingering around are market forces with a view on the center anchored on “how to profit from it”. Next is the entity called the State whose national level agencies and local level agencies, Prof. Bennagen says,  “suffer immensely from conflict particularly in interpretation of policy”. It is to this sector that market forces obtain connections including permits to gain entry in conservation areas to extract its resources.

Apart from the State and the market are Revolutionary Forces including the New People’s Army (NPA) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). Aside from these forces are Non-Government Organizations who provide technical, financial support including trainings. Professor Bennagen said that experience have shown that “some NGOs are also sources of division among IP groups and challenged these groups to unify their advocacy and help consolidate the position of communities on issues facing them.” He said, these stakeholders, especially the armed groups (NPA,MILF,AFP) are forces that indigenous peoples can’t avoid dealing or negotiating with.  Problems that IPs have had to face involve outsiders who do not recognize indigenous knowledge systems and customary laws, as well as insiders also known as  “tribal dealers”. Prof. Bennagen said that strengthening IP communities are effective only when conflicts are resolved within territories by utilizing all legal rights instruments available  in order to put to bear all destructive forces. He sighted UNDRIP but also urged for its transformation from mere declaration to convention for it to be legally binding. He also urged the ratification of ILO 169. Such policy environment when realized, he said, would support the aims of  “man as both creature and holder of the environment”.

The NewCAPP Initiative

Explaining the New Conservation Areas Philippines Project (NewCAPP) under the Protected Area and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB), NewCAPP Project Manager Ms. Floradema Eleazar shared that the project is not under any Protected Area systems but under indigenous communities. She said this is supported by Section 8 (j) of the Convention on Biodiversity which directs State parties, “to recognize community governing systems in the conservation of the environment”.  Ms. Eleazar also cited key provisions of the United Nations Declaration on Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) namely:
Article 12. The right of indigenous peoples to protect sacred sites
Article 25.  Indigenous Peoples have the right to maintain and strengthen their distinctive spiritual relationship with their traditionally owned or otherwise occupied and used lands, territories, waters and coastal seas and other resources and to uphold their responsibilities to future generations.
Article 29. Indigenous peoples have the right to the conservation and protection of the environment and the productive capacity of their lands or territories and resources.

The conference workshop tackled two major concerns, each having sub-concerns and issues. These are:
1.     1.  Community conserved areas under terms owned by the indigenous peoples focused on places that particular tribes takes special care of and why and when did tribes take special care of these conserved areas, a description of these and their state of health and;
2.      2. Caring for Community Conserved Areas focused on ways defined and described by indigenous communities as regards threats, actions, responses and recommendations.

Each sub-national conference concluded with “solidarity night”  –  festive in format and eco-cultural in content.  Participants were asked to bring tribal attire and instruments for the events least, “wine spirits won’t flow”.

The National ICCA Conference in March 2012 will be hosted by the University of the Philippines.

Reference:

KASAPI RESEARCH AND INFORMATION UNIT
Unit 301, East-side Condominium
#77 Malakas St., Cor. V. Luna St. Baranggay Pinyahan,
Diliman, Quezon City
Telefax: 436-94-55

[Press Release] PALEA puzzled by new DOLE order on contractualization

The Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA) is getting puzzled rather than clarified at how the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) address the contentious problem of labor contractualization in the country.

The labor department came out with an announcement that a new Department Order, DO 18-A series 2011, takes effect beginning December 5, 2011 that would provide clear rules on contracting and subcontracting and that would stop the abuses against non-regular workers.

Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said at least 200,000 contractual workers will now enjoy security of tenure and other benefits that regular workers are receiving.

“If that is so, why did she allow us PAL workers to be downgraded as contractuals if we are going to enjoy the same entitlements that we are receiving now?  What ‘security of tenure’ is she talking about when it was this ‘tenure’ that she removed from us when she approved Lucio Tan’s outsourcing plan in PAL?,” lamented PALEA President Gerry Rivera.

According to the new order, non-regular workers would be entitled to benefits provided under the Labor Code such as 13th month pay and overtime pay as well as retirement benefits.  They will also be entitled to Social Security System, Pag-IBIG, and Philhealth benefits. Their right to self-organize or negotiate a collective bargaining agreement is also specified in the new order.

“It appears here that there seems no difference at all now between regular and contractual workers. But it’s a big NO.  Kung pareho lang sila bakit pa mag-contractual and isang kompanya?  Walang logic,” added Rivera.

The difference, he said, lie in the contract as all the rights mentioned in the new rules are co-terminus with the contract.  So if a worker is hired for just five months as most contractuals are, then it is also a temporary enjoyment of those entitlements, or none at all.  Unfortunately there is also no such thing as a five month CBA, or a five month union membership.

Rivera, who is also the vice president of Partido ng Manggagawa (PM), surmised that by coming out with this new Order, Baldoz was just trying to recover lost credibility from the labor sector, the general public, and the international community after she made an error in forcing the issue of outsourcing on PAL workers.

PAL’s outsourcing plan downgraded 2,600 regular workers into probationary contractuals, their salaries cut into half, their benefits vanished, and their tenure as well as their union demolished.

“Contractualization in PAL clearly destroyed everything that we had.  Hence, while we support the view that contractual workers (in their many categories) deserve the same entitlements being enjoyed by regular workers, we stand firm in our position that regular workers are not entitled to become contractuals and the latter deserve to become regulars,” argued  Rivera.

The group said this new Order is nothing but the government’s propaganda stunt to make the much-hated contractualization scheme more acceptable to the public.

“Lucio Tan must be with Baldoz laughing at the corner after the announcement as they both knew the fact that this new rules on contractualization is more a joke rather than a serious corrective measure that can stop the plague of contractualization,” concluded Rivera.

PRESS RELEASE
01 December  2011
Contact:  Gerry Rivera
PALEA President   @ 09157755073

[Press Release] PALEA magpoprotesta kasabay ng diumano pagbabalik sa normal ng PAL

Susugod sa Pasay Hall of Justice ang mga miyembro ng Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association (PALEA) mamayang hapon habang dinidinig ang kaso ng Philippine Airlines (PAL) laban sa protest camp ng grupo. Mamayang alas dos ay may hearing ang Pasay Regional Trial Court (RTC) sa hiling ng PAL na tanggalin ang protest camp na tinutulan naman ng PALEA sapagkat bahagi ito ng kanilang protesta laban sa tanggalan at kontraktwalisasyon sa kompanya.

Sumabay din ang protesta sa araw na ito na inanusyo ng PAL na pagbabalik sa normal ng kanilang operasyon. Sagot naman ng PALEA na press release lang ito sapagkat anang grupo, nananatiling abnormal ang operasyon ng PAL. Bilang patunay, binanggit ng PALEA ang 3-day delay sa isang Los Angeles-Manila flight noong Nobyembre 17 and ang seven-hour delay sa Manila-Bangkok flight nitong Linggo.

“Mas marami pang aberya ang nagagap sa operasyon ng PAL dahil sa kabiguan ng outsourcing plan at kapalpakan ng untrained at overworked na mga iskirol na nagtatrabaho kapalit ng PALEA members. Di lang ito nauulat sa media. Mungkahi namin sa media na imbestigahan ang resulta ng kakatapos lang na audit ng US Federal Aviation Authority para malaman ang katotohanan kung balik sa normal na talaga ang PAL,” paliwanag ni Gerry Rivera, pangulo ng PALEA.

Paniwala din ni Rivera na madi-dismiss ang kaso ng PAL sa Pasay RTC. “Sa isang labor dispute, normal na nagtatayo ng picketline o protest camp at kinikilala ito ng batas. Hindi ito iligal. Ang bawal ay ang pwersahan at marahas na pagbubuwag ng protest camp gaya ng sinubukang gawin ng mga upahang goons noong Oktubre 29,” ani Rivera. Pito ang nasugatan sa hanay ng PALEA habang nahuli ang isa mga umatake na umamin sa pulis na binayaran sila ng management sa halagang P200 bawat isa. ###

Press Release
November 24, 2011
PALEA
Contact Alnem Pretencio (PALEA VP) @ 09209543634
Bong Palad (PALEA Secretary) @ 09165740596

[Press Release] Youth groups denounce budget cut, contractualization on international students’ day- SDK

Members of the Samahan ng Demokratikong Kabataan (SDK) and Partido ng Manggagawa-Kabataan (PM-K) held a symbolic dramatization of the plight of young Filipinos at Mendiola as youth and students around the world took part in the simultaneous actions on international students day.
The groups brought with them a scissor symbolizing their demand to stop budget cuts on education and an end to the policy of labor contractualization.

“Cut the corporate greed, not the budget on education.  End the policy of contractualization that denies young people of opportunity to live decent lives,” stated SDK spokesperson Vincent Abanes in a statement.
Abanes said the country’s budget for education is too small to send all our children to basic schooling, much more  our young people to college.  The United Nations had placed the ideal budget ratio to meet universal education at 6% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

This, Abanses said, was the main reason why 1 out of 8 of the country’s youth is out of school, according to the latest survey.

Don Pangan of Partido ng Manggagawa-Kabataan ,  on the other hand said that those who were not able to prepare themselves because of the high cost of education, face the harsh condition of unemployment and contractual employment in the world of work.

According to Pangan, unemployment is highest under the age group of 25 while the rise in contractual employment is prevalent among young workers under age 21-30.  Almost one third of the country’s labor force are considered “non-regular” workers, according the 2003-2004 survey by the Department of Labor and Employment.

Contractualization, Pangan added, is a plague that is killing the hope of the world’s young people to live a better future as more than 80% of the world’s unemployed and underemployed, especially in Asian nations, belong to the youth sector.

SDK and PM-K had been supporting the struggle of the Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA) against outsourcing and contractualization.

The two youth groups believed that the PAL’s outsourcing plan is the country’s most towering symbol of corporate greed and the government’s abandonment of its mandated role of upholding the worker’s right to security of tenure, to have a union, and to collectively bargain.

PRESS RELEASE
17 November 2011
Samahan ng Demokratikong Kabataan
Partido ng Manggagawa-Kabataan

Contact:  Don Pangan
09059704627

[Press Release] Labor group calls on Congress to vote on RH bill now – PM

Poor and working women members of Partido ng Manggagawa joined the delegation of the Reproductive Health Advocacy Network (RHAN) in pushing Congress once more to vote on the RH bill immediately.  PM members trooped to the House of Representatives in Batasan, Quezon City during its plenary session this afternoon.

The brunt of the absence of a comprehensive program on RH has been taking its toll on poor women who have little or no access to RH services and commodities.  “Ten years is more than enough for our legislators to study the issue and make their stand.  Stop the dilly-dallying that is causing further injustice to women.  Botohan na!  At ngayon na!” asserted PM Secretary General Judy Ann Miranda.

Miranda added that House members should have the guts of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.  “Since it seems that all representatives and senators have made their positions, let’s have it.  Worry about the consequences after the fact.  Anyway, it has been a decade.  Last night, Secretary de Lima had only a few minutes to decide on the Arroyos.”

PRESS RELEASE
16 November 2011
Partido ng Manggagawa
Contact Person: Judy Ann Miranda
0917-5570777; 0922-8677522

[Blogger] Hustisya’y Pangmayaman? – Matang Apoy

HUSTISYA’Y PANGMAYAMAN?

ni Gregorio V. Bituin Jr.
18 pantig bawat taludtod

http://matangapoy.blogspot.com

napakaraming katanungan ang umuukilkil sa isipan
kapag may naaagrabyado sa sistema ng katarungan

bakit si Erap na guilty sa plunder ay nakalaya agad
ngunit yaong political prisoners sa piitan pa’y babad

bakit si Gloria’y pwede agad magpagamot sa ibang bansa
ngunit namamatay na di magamot ang mga maralita

bakit sinabi ni Noynoy na ang taumbayan ang kanyang Boss
ngunit kampi kay Lucio Tan, di sa manggagawang inuubos

bakit sa kaso ng taga-FASAP na nanalo na sa Korte
ay nabaligtad pa kahit ito’y “final and executory”

sa simpleng liham lang ng abogadong Estelito Mendoza
ay biglang umikot ang tumbong ng Korte’t dagliang nagpasya

bakit kaybilis ng hustisya sa mga tulad ni Lucio Tan
ngunit kaybagal pag mahirap ang naghanap ng katarungan

bakit si Jalosjos na guilty sa rape ay agad nakalaya
ngunit si Echegaray ay agad nabitay sa Muntinlupa

bakit nauso ang salot na iskemang kontraktwalisasyon
na pumatay sa karapatan ng mga obrerong mag-unyon

bakit pati ang mga vendors na nagtitinda ng marangal
ay hinuhuli’t sinusunog ang kanilang mga kalakal

ngunit ang pribadong sektor na sa masa’y kaytaas maningil
pinayagan kahit buhay nati’y unti-unting kinikitil

bakit ang nahuhuling mag-jumper ay agad ipinipiit
ngunit malaya ang sumisingil ng kuryenteng di ginamit

bakit bahay ng maralita’y winawasak at tinitiris
kaya nambabato ang mga maralitang dinedemolis

a, sadyang napakarami pang bakit ang ating masasabi
lalo’t sa sistema ng hustisya sa bansa’y di mapakali

di ang mayayaman lang ang dapat makadama ng hustisya
kundi dapat lahat, may hustisya dapat lalo na ang masa

“at ang hustisya ay para lang sa mayaman”, ayon sa awit
na Tatsulok na ang mensahe’y sadya ngang nakapagngangalit

masasagot ang mga tanong kung ating pakasusuriin
bakit ganito ang sistema’t kalagayan ng bayan natin

mula doon ay magkaisa tayo tungo sa pagbabago
ng sistema’t itayo na ang isang lipunang makatao

huwag nating payagang magisnan pa ng ating mga anak
ang sistemang tila balaraw sa ating likod nakatarak

tayo nang magsama-sama’t palitan na ang sistemang bulok
at ang uring manggagawa’t aping masa’y iluklok sa tuktok

[Press Release] Blacklisted PALEA member returns from US, rejoins protest

A member of the Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association (PALEA) who was refused boarding by Philippine Airlines (PAL) for allegedly being on a “blacklist” of protesting employees, returned from the United States today and vowed to rejoin the fight against contractualization. Belle Savellano and her family arrived from Taipei on an Eva Airways flight around noon today. Last November 6, PAL denied to fly Savellano and six members of her family despite holding tickets for the Los Angeles-Manila flight.

“It is good to be back home even after the petty persecution I experienced at the hands of PAL. My husband and children who should have been at work and school early this week, and even my 80-year mother suffered from PAL’s harassment of its protesting employees,” stated Savellano.

Meanwhile PALEA welcomed Savellano back to the protest. “Belle will be warmly received by her PALEA colleagues in the protest camp. Unfortunately, further harassment awaits Belle as the threat to disperse the campout continues to this day. A few days ago, PAL filed criminal charges against the PALEA 41 just to bully them into accepting the separation package and applying as contractuals in the service providers,” said Gerry Rivera, PALEA president and vice chair of Partido ng Manggagawa (PM).

Yesterday the PALEA campout was the scene of renewed tension as a firetruck and scores of police accompanied a shuttle bus of PAL that went inside the In-Flight Center (IFC). But no untoward incident happened as PALEA members simply watched the bus arrive and depart from the compound.

PALEA has been questioning PAL’s insistence in operating the IFC since its in-flight catering and airport services have already been closed down. Rivera asserts that “Evidently PAL will allow Sky Logistics and Sky Kitchen use of the IFC which means the service providers are nothing but illegal labor-only contractors.”

Representatives from PM-USA and Filipino-American groups BANTAY Pilipinas-Los Angeles, Alliance Philippines and Echo Park Community Coalition earlier called on the public especially Filipino-Americans to boycott PAL as the groups condemned the harassment tactics of the company against PALEA members.

Savellano, a PALEA member who worked for PAL for more than 28 years, is one of some 2,400 employees locked out after PALEA’s protest last September 27. Savellano and family flew to the US on October 19 to visit their relatives in San Diego using her employee travel benefit that was approved before the lock out. On October 23, PAL issued a memo that renders Savellano’s return ticket useless.

The Fil-Am groups vowed to increase its efforts to campaign for the boycott of PAL until the flag carrier has heeded the demands of PALEA for the return to their regular jobs. They believe that the fight against corporate greed is exemplified in the struggle of PALEA. They jointly declared that “The oppression of PALEA is a reflection of the plight of ordinary workers all over the world. We have to fight back as we are all PALEAns!”

Press Release
November 12, 2011
PALEA
Contact Alnem Pretencio (PALEA VP) @ 09209543634
Bong Palad (PALEA Secretary) @ 09165740596

[Press Release] PALEA says criminal charges against 41 members is just another harassment

The Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association (PALEA) declared that the criminal charges filed by Philippine Airlines (PAL) against 41 of its members are just part of the continuing harassment of its peaceful protest camp. “PAL is using the courts to bully our members in to submission. The filing of charges left and right is meant to coerce PALEA members to avail of separation package and to apply as contractuals in Sky Logistics and Sky Kitchen which are gravely in need of the trained expertise of these workers,” announced Gerry Rivera, PALEA president and vice chair of Partido ng Manggagawa.

PALEA is confident that similar to the dismissal of PAL’s motion for a temporary restraining order against the campout by Pasay Judge Maria Rosario Ragasa, the criminal charges will also be found without merit. “All the incidents at the protest camp arose out of and involve the labor dispute between PAL and PALEA and thus jurisdiction properly resides in the National Labor Relations Commission or the Labor Department,” Rivera explained.

He argued that “The big question is: Why is PAL trying to operate the In-Flight Center (IFC) when its in-flight catering and airport services have already been closed down? Evidently PAL will allow Sky Logistics and Sky Kitchen use of the IFC which means the service providers are nothing but illegal labor-only contractors.”

Rivera also described the incident involving the PAL truck that attempted to leave the PAL In-Flight Center last October 29 as “a diversionary tactic while hired goons attacked the protest camp.” Rivera added that “The PAL truck tried to leave the compound accompanied by a phalanx of security guard in full riot gear. But despite their overwhelming number vis-avis a handful of PALEA members, the PAL guards retreated when the attack on the other end of the protest camp was already proceeding.”

He recounted that “At around 5:45 am, some 40 hired goons attacked the PALEA protest camp while women and children were still sleeping. Armed with long sticks and stones, the goons destroyed tents in half of the campout and injured seven PALEA members in the violent daybreak. One of the goons was apprehended and confessed in a sworn testimony to the police that they were paid by management. In a new outsourcing scheme, PAL had employed the services of a goons-provider to undertake the dispersal attempt.”

PALEA is asking the public to “Look at the complete picture. Be a critical judge.”

Press Release
November 10, 2011
PALEA
Contact Alnem Pretencio (PALEA VP) @ 09209543634
Bong Palad (PALEA Secretary) @ 09165740596

HRonlinePH’s Readers’ Pick Awards for most rated post. Vote Now!

HRonlinePH’s Readers’ Pick Awards for most rated post. Vote Now!

As Human Rights Online Philippines officially launches its own domain (HronlinePH.com) on December 1, 2011, allow us to thank our contributors and friends by giving the “Pindoteros Awards” recognition to online bloggers, networks and campaigners who joined us and contributed to the success of our online project.

And as our way to campaign for more HR blogging and online human rights information sharing we invite readers to join us in picking the best posts to receive our HRonlinePH’s Readers Pick Awards.

Vote for your pick from the list of nominees below NOW! Simply click on the link below and rate the article by clicking the rate button to be found at the end of each post.  (Deadline of voting on November 30, 2011)

[Blogger] Voltes V generations, UNITE! Marcos is not a hero!-matangapoy.blogspot.com

[Tula] Lahat ng tao’y may karapatan – matangapoy.blogspot.com

[Petition] Marcos is NO HERO – PAHRA

[People] Human Rights: Networks and Defenders – by Renato Mabunga

[Literary] Debate sa RH BILL –matangapoy.blogspot.com

[Literary/Tula] Himutok ng dalawang inang nawalan ng anak – matangapoy.blogspot.com

[Statement] Stop harassing human rights defenders, stop vilifying people- HRD-Pilipinas

[Statement] Torture and the Protection of Human Rights Defenders – HRD-Pilipinas

[Blogger] City of Lost Parents: The SAD Story – anakngdesaparecido.wordpress.com

[Blogger] PNoy’s 2nd SONA, So what’s new? – Carpe Diem

[Blogger] PALEA’s history – koihernandez.wordpress.com

[Press Release] Pasay judge rules for status quo on PALEA “occupation” – PALEA

HRonlinePH’s Readers’ Pick Awards for top network’s post. Vote Now!

As Human Rights  Online Philippines  officially launches its own domain (HronlinePH.com) on December 1, 2011, allow us to thank our contributors and friends by giving the “Pindoteros Awards” recognition to online  bloggers, networks and campaigners who joined us and contributed to the success of our online project.

And as our way to campaign for more HR blogging and online human rights information sharing we invite readers to join us in picking the best posts to receive our HRonlinePH’s Readers Pick Awards.

Vote for your pick from the list of nominees below NOW! (Deadline of voting on November 30, 2011)

Note: Nominees are chosen based from the hits generated and recorded in the “all time statistics” of HRonlinePH.

For your reference please see below links.

https://hronlineph.wordpress.com/2011/03/31/rights-groups-slam-palace-decision-on-pal-spin-off-support-workers/

https://hronlineph.wordpress.com/2011/08/08/statement-statement-on-the-proposed-amendments-to-republic-act-9344-clan/

https://hronlineph.wordpress.com/2011/04/02/urban-poor-ask-supreme-court-to-order-compliance-of-ra-7279-in-manila-bay-clean-up/

https://hronlineph.wordpress.com/2011/03/27/chr-statement-on-afp-torture-caught-on-video-and-posted-on-youtube-commission-on-human-rights/

https://hronlineph.wordpress.com/2011/03/21/cagayan-residents-rally-against-black-sand-mining-mining-company-issued-a-permit-without-public-hearing/

https://hronlineph.wordpress.com/2011/04/08/press-release-romblon-agriculture-gets-a-boost-from-secretary-alcala/

https://hronlineph.wordpress.com/2011/09/12/statement-is-the-philippines-violating-the-un-declaration-on-the-rights-of-indigenous-peoples-undrip/

https://hronlineph.wordpress.com/2011/06/09/press-release-longest-temporary-environmental-restraining-order-tepo-against-marcventures-mining-development-corp-first-in-philippine-mining-history/

https://hronlineph.wordpress.com/2011/03/29/congress-urged-to-swiftly-pass-anti-enforced-disappearance-bill/

https://hronlineph.wordpress.com/2011/03/29/labor-groups-condemn-p-noy%E2%80%99s-decision-on-pal-will-support-palea%E2%80%99s-planned-strike-for-job-security-and-cba/

HRonlinePH’s Readers’ Pick Awards for top blogger’s post. Vote Now!

As Human Rights Online Philippines officially launches its own domain (HronlinePH.com) on December 1, 2011, allow us to thank our contributors and friends by giving the “Pindoteros Awards” recognition to online bloggers, networks and campaigners who joined us and contributed to the success of our online project.

And as our way to campaign for more HR blogging and online human rights information sharing we invite readers to join us in picking the best posts to receive our HRonlinePH’s Readers Pick Awards.

Vote for your pick from the list of nominees below NOW! (Deadline of voting on November 30, 2011)

Note: Nominees are chosen based from the hits generated and recorded in the “all time statistics” of HRonlinePH.

For your reference please see below links.

[Blogger] Beyond Contraception or Abortion, Passing RH Bill 4424 – Dekonztruktschon

[Blogger] PNoy’s 2nd SONA, So what’s new? – Carpe Diem

[Blogger] K-12 Challenge to Philippine Tertiary Education – Dekonztruktschon

[Isyung HR] ang mga SANA sa SONA ni PNoy – Mokong Perspectives

[Isyung HR] Isyung RH ay isyung HR – Mokong Perspectives

[Tula] Lahat ng tao’y may karapatan – Matang apoy

[Blogger] ‘I invoke my right against self-incrimination!’ – My life is my message

[Blogger] Voltes V generations, UNITE! Marcos is not a hero! – Matang apoy

[Photo blog] Jesus Christ was a torture victim – CAT Alert!

[Isyung HR] and the winner is… Madam Pick-up lines! – Mokong Perspectives

[From the web] Sanlakas Youth’s Call for a Revolution within the Fraternity System

Sanlakas Youth’s Call for a Revolution within the Fraternity System
by Sanlakas Youth UP Diliman
Source: http://www.facebook.com/#!/SanlakasYouthUPDiliman

It is but dreadful to understand that UP’s history of honor and excellence, of nationalism and social relevance is stained with unending series of events of fraternity-related violence. That one’s definition of true manhood is identified by the angst, range, anger, pain and hurt they inflict, they endure and return back to those who challenge them. That for the longest time, Greek (and Latin) societies acknowledge violence mutual to their existence, that violence allows them to be recognized, identified rising above others.

Fraternity violence claimed the life of our comrade and former chairperson, Alexander Miguel Icasiano, as it has claimed the lives or ruined the futures of others. We continue to advocate for justice for them, but we recognize that there can be no justice without peace.

Sanlakas Youth UP Diliman unites with the entire UP community in undertaking a road free of violence, in putting an end to the vicious cycle of the culture of violence in the university.

As SY-UPD continues to rally its advocacy against frat-related violence, we hope more fraternities would stand out in proving to have higher understanding of moving forward and learning from their past. That while it is easier to simply retaliate brawl with brawl, we hope more of them would choose the path towards peace.

WE CONTINUALLY CALL FOR A REVOLUTION WITHIN THE FRATERNITY SYSTEM. We challenge all enlightened and progressive fratmen to take power in their respective fraternities and reorient them. Work together across organizational lines, dismantle this corrupt, violent system and replace it with a peaceful, principled alternative.

Along the first steps of the revolution, we also call for cooperation and unity among the UP community to destroy the spirit of indifference and superficial judgment. No action or step is too small or too irrelevant, especially when that step is towards achieving peace. Ultimately achieving unity within the university shall serve as the guiding force of these brotherhoods in claiming this goal.

Together let us join hands in completely abandoning the culture of violence that is hunting and tearing us down for generations. Together let us all have a vision of a violence-free university and unite in working towards it.

[Press Release] Teachers ask DEPED to declare semestral break for teachers

The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) has formally asked the Department Of Education (DepEd) to clarify a certain content of a DepEd Order on the calendar of school activities for school year 2011-2012, particularly the dates provided for the semestral break in schools.

In a letter dated October 21, Benjo Basas, the group’s chairperson said, “We would like to commend the order for specifically providing the number of school days- actual learning and the buffer days to be used in school activities- for this school year. It further institutionalizes the extra-curricular activities which are important elements of the learner’s holistic development.”

DepEd Order No. 28, s. 2011 enjoined the public elementary and secondary schools to strictly observe the 180 non-negotiable teaching and learning days. It further gives a total of 22 buffer days that may be spent for examinations, contests, activities, national and regional holidays and even class suspensions due to natural calamities and disasters.

“However,” Basas furthered “it did not particularly mention the holding of the school-based in-service training (INSET) that traditionally held during the semestral break. In our understanding, the semestral break which falls from October 26 to 31 means also a week-long vacation for us teachers.”

According to Basas, their office has been receiving information that teachers in many areas are required to report for duty during the semestral break while others will be having their INSET.

“We appeal to the Secretary and the field officials of the DepEd to grant us this vacation which actually will be used to accomplish our periodic tasks for second quarter like test results and students’ grades.” Basas ended.

The TDC further argued that there is no need to report to school because students are all in vacation beginning October 26 up to November 2. #

For details:
Benjo Basas, TDC Chairperson 0920-5740241/385-3437

[Press Release] Teachers commend DEPED transparency, chide education budget – TDC

The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) commends the DepEd for informing the public ‘where their taxes go,’ however, the group also criticized the department for spending too much for some unworthy programs while allocating very little for the necessities.

Benjo Basas, a Caloocan City teacher and the group’s national chairperson said they expect more budget for the improvement of schools and less for programs with no clear impact on education output.

Basas specifically pointed out the expenses for Government Assistance for Students and Teachers in Private Education (GASTPE) which according to DepEd statement, “provides alternative opportunities to deserving students whose families can afford to spend extra for private school tuition, and are selected from the graduating elementary students and are supported until they finish 4th year high school while complying with the minimum academic requirements of the program.”

“The government is set to allocate 6.3 billion for this program, a very huge amount compared to other more important budget items in the DepEd. Thus, it needs to be reviewed, the DepEd should evaluate the implementation and impact of this program.” Basas explained. “Clearly, the funds are needed to finance more meaningful and tangible investments like construction of classrooms and other facilities and hiring of teachers.” Basas continued.

The group also chided the government for ignoring the fiscal requirements to implement the K-12 program, the flagship program of the Aquino government in education which plans to institutionalize free and universal kindergarten and include it in the expanded basic education of at least 13 years.

“In the DepEd’s transparency report, there is no specific mention of P-Noy’s flagship program. How much money would be spent to hire regular kinder teachers with a dignified compensation? How many classrooms will be built to house kinder students? Will there be instructional materials for teachers and learning materials for pre-school kids?” Basas asked.

Basas said that until now the ‘volunteer teachers’ and regular DepEd teachers who served in the kindergarten program from June of this year are yet to be paid of their P3000 monthly honorarium.

“The improvement in education system depends largely on the fiscal policy of the government and if this trend continues, we could never expect for a better output.” Basas ended.

For details:
Benjo Basas, TDC Chairperson   0920-5740241/385-3437

[Press Release] PALEA condemns police dispersal of protest camp

Photo by Yuen Abana

The Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association (PALEA) condemned the Philippine National Police (PNP) for the attempt to disperse its protest camp despite the status quo order of Pasay Regional Trial Court Judge Ma. Rosario Ragaza.

“We denounce in strongest terms the police for their demolition attempt. The police will have to face responsibility for their illegal act today. The power and money of Lucio Tan has influenced the Labor Department, the Office of the President, the Supreme Court and now as clear as day the PNP,” stated Gerry Rivera, PALEA president and vice chair of Partido ng Manggagawa.
Read more

[Event] Save Sierra Madre Network general meeting

File Photo by Rommel Yamzon

Mga Ka-Sierra Madre;

Isang Pagbati ng Kapayapaan para kay Inang Kalikasan!

Ang lahat po ng mga kasapi at kaalyado ng Save Sierra Madre Network ay inaanyayahang magsama-sama muli upang magbahagi at magnilay-nilay kung ano na ang narating at nagawa na natin bilang tagapangalaga ng ating Inang Kalikasan.

Ito po ay gaganapin sa darating na OCTOBER 26, 2011-Araw ng Miyerkules mula ika-9 ng umaga hanggang ika-5 ng hapon. Mag-uumpisa pong magpatala (registration) ng 8:00 ng umaga.

Isa rin po itong pagkakataong magka-kilanlan ang mga bagong miyembro.

Ito po ang ilan sa mga Agenda ng ating General Assembly:
(a) Assessment ng sa loob ng isa’t kalahating taon
(b) Pagpaplano ng mga gawain para sa susunod na taon
(c) Eleksiyon ng Panibagong Board of Directors

Hinihingi po namin ang inyong kumpirmasyon sa inyong pagdalo.

Maraming Salamat po!

Ms. Shirley Mansanal
SSMNA Secretariat

Office Tel # 3732973
Email Add: savesierram@yahoo.com

Smart-09475924775
Globe-09065796478/ 09165519348
Sun-09222711311

[Event] Wives and families of victims of extra-judicial killings to jog for justice

File photo source: womenwise3.wordpress.com

The Women Workers in Struggle for Employment, Empowerment and Emancipation (Women WISE3), a network of families of victims of human rights victims, will lead a jogging activity around the Quezon City Memorial Shrine tomorrow, October 15, from 9:30 to 10 in the morning as part of the continuing campaign for justice for the victims of extra-judicial killings, enforced disappearance and other human rights violations in the workplace.

Women Wise3 spokesperson, Luzviminda Fortuna, widow of slain Nestlé union leader Diosdado Fortuna said that the activity is an effort to remind the Aquino administration of his promise to bring closure to human rights killings, “Political killings among other human rights violations persisted even under Aquino while previous cases like that of my husband who was killed in 2005 remain unsolved. This activity is a way of engaging not the public to persevere in the campaign towards ending violations impunity and pressure the Malacañang to take concrete steps so justice can be served the soonest possible time.”

The Center for Trade Union and uHuH Human Rights (CTUHR) and other trade union members whose members have been victims of human rights violations will also be joining the activity. Around one hundred joggers wearing shirts with printed calls for justice are expected to come.#

Media Coverage and Photo ops are requested.
What: Women WISE3 Jog for Justice
Where: Quezon City Memorial Shrine (Tracking field)

When: 15 October 2011, 9:30 to 10 am

Reference: Norman Tubera, Women WISE3 Coordinator, 0915.238.1663, 02.290.5632, <womenwise.ctuhr@gmail.com>

[Press Release] PALEA members won’t take separation package

The Philippine Airlines’ (PAL) separation benefit and gratuity pay for retrenched workers are out for the taking.  But defiant members of Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA) said they cannot be lured over by a price tag that holds back their right to live a life of dignity.

“Regular job is our bottom line. We rejected the outsourcing plan because we value our dignity as regular workers.  We lose it and we lose everything,” said PALEA president Gerry Rivera.

Rivera, who is also the vice president of Partido ng Manggagawa (PM), said,  the separation package “was bereft of any good intention since the offer was in exchange for a grand surrender of everything a regular employee have had in his/her 20 or 30 years of service in PAL.”

Inspired by the growing local and international support, PALEA remains optimistic they can win back their regular jobs either through the courts or through the streets.  Yesterday, labor groups under the Koalisyon Kontra Kontraktwalisasyon (Kontra) trooped to Malacanang to demand the scrapping of Lucio Tan’s outsourcing plan which they believe would create a generation of “endos” or a generation of workers who jump from one contractual job to another.

Joining the protest yesterday was Bishop Broderick Pabillo, head of the Catholic Bishop Conference of the Philippines–National Secretariat for Social Action (CBCP-NASSA) and co-chair of the Church-Labor Conference (CLC).  The Church has been very supportive of PALEA’s struggle against contractualization.  Last October 8, during the 3rd Anniversary of CLC, Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales assured PALEA and all the suffering workers of the Church’s unequivocal support.

Meanwhile, civil society groups led by the Freedom from Debt Coalition, have launched a boycott PAL campaign on-line, while trade union groups from the United States, Europe, Australia, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, and many more, have already expressed their solidarity to PALEA and are planning to hold protest actions at the Philippine consulate offices in their respective countries.

More protests including simultaneous city and municipal actions nationwide are being lined up for next week as local unions and associations join the fight against contractualization. ###

[From the web] Philippines Must Take Immediate Action to Stop Violence Against Indigenous Peoples – A Call for Endorsements – AIPP

Philippines Must Take Immediate Action to Stop Violence Against Indigenous Peoples – A Call for Endorsements

11 October 2011

The Philippine government has an obligation to take swift action in investigating the murders and human rights violations of Indigenous Peoples (IP) by paramilitary groups and resolutely disband them.  These groups have robbed IP communities of their right to protest destructive economic development on their ancestral lands, without facing harassment, brutal force and death by companies wishing to silence them.

Recent examples of the cascading series of human rights violations:

On 30, June, 2011, two members of Higaonon IP organisation Linundigan were killed by members of the paramilitary group Salakawan, after a claim was made for their ancestral land by one of Salakawan’s members, Laging Binsalan. Datu Lapugotan and Solte San-ogan were fatally shot when Lapugotan’s home was attacked while the family, including his wife, four children aged one to 14 years old, and nephew San-ogan, were sleeping.  In September 2009, Lapugotan’s brother Dat Mampaagi was also murdered by paramilitary groups, when he opposed the entry of mining companies in their ancestral domains.

Read full article @ www.aippnet.org

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