Archive | July, 2012

Posted on 30 July 2012 by admin

July 25, 2012 Protest action vs GMA Bail

18 Photos

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Bayan statement on the ratification of the PH Australia SOVFA

Posted on 26 July 2012 by admin

Press Statement

July 26, 2012

The Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) condemns the ratification of the Status of Visiting Forces Agreement between Australia and the Philippines. The voting, which took place the day after the State of the Nation Address, was done with haste, thus preventing further public debate on the issue. The Philippines is now on its way to hosting Australian troops apart from the permanent and expanded presence of US troops in the country. This again is a continuing violation of our national sovereignty.

The claims that the Australian SOVFA will boost PH security against China is a patent lie. That is the same lie being peddled to justify permanent US military presence in the country. These so-called military exercises do not result in the modernization of our armed forces. Four decades of US military bases and more than a decade of the RP-US VFA have not contributed significantly to the modernization of the AFP, nor to the setting up of a minimum credible defense posture for the Philippines. Australia is also under no obligation to take the Philippines’ side in the dispute with China so it is untenable why this is even being invoked to justify the SOVFA ratification.

Australia is a junior partner of US imperialism in the region. The military exercises of Australia are in support of the US military rebalancing which aims to increase US troop presence and warships in the Asia-Pacific region. The Philippines will be used as a military hub for various military activities sponsored by the US and with the aid of its treaty partners Australia and even Japan.

We cannot take the revival and ratification of the SOVFA out of the context of US rebalancing and mobilization of its treaty allies in support of the US agenda. The China dispute has simply been the most convenient excuse to justify the violation of sovereignty by other countries. The truth however is that the US and its partners are seeking greater control and influence over the region, a move that it not necessarily consistent with our national interests.

The claims that the Australian SOVFA is an “improved” version of the US VFA, in relation to criminal jurisdiction, does not change fact that the agreement will violate our sovereignty.

We believe that an important step in modernizing our armed forces and developing our external defense is an independent foreign policy, one that is not dependent on imperial powers such as the US and its junior partners like Australia and Japan. Only by eliminating our dependence on these countries, and by realizing that our national interest is not the same as theirs, can we be a truly sovereign nation. ###

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Bayan slams granting of GMA bail petition

Posted on 25 July 2012 by admin

News Release

July 25, 2012

The umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan today slammed the granting of bail for former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in the case of electoral sabotage pending before the Pasay Regional Trial Court.

“We condemn the granting of bail to Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, criminal mastermind of election fraud in 2007, as well as the election prior to that. While we are definitely upset at this development, we are not surprised. This may well have been the result of the rushed case filed in November last year to prevent GMA from leaving the country as the Supreme Court upheld its restraining order on the DOJ travel ban,” said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.

“There is no doubt in our mind that GMAS should indeed be liable for election sabotage in 2007. However, the Aquino government should explain why the rushed case filed before the Pasay RTC was apparently weak, thus enabling GMA to be granted bail,” Reyes said.

The case of election sabotage brought before the Pasay RTC was the result of a joint probe by the Commission on Elections and the Department of Justice which is under the Executive. The case was filed to pre-empt the Supreme Court’s decision upholding its TRO against a travel ban imposed by the DoJ. At the time, with Aquino already 500 days in office, no case against GMA yet had been filed in court to justify a travel ban.

“The granting of bail to GMA underscores the need to file more cases, stronger cases against the former president; ranging from the 2004 election fraud, human rights violations as well as other cases of plunder. That is the only way to make sure she is made truly accountable,” Reyes added.
Cause-oriented groups have so far  filed cases vs. the former president involving the NBN-ZTE scam, the PCSO scam, as well as civil cases for the arrest and torture of the Morong 43. Earlier, Bayan held a protest action at the Pasay RTC to oppose the granting of bail to Arroyo. ###

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On the violent dispersal of protesters at the SONA rally

Posted on 24 July 2012 by admin

Press Statement
July 24, 2012

Bayan condemns the violent dispersal of rallyists who joined the July 23 rally against Aquino’s State of the Nation Address. The incident was sparked by the illegal police blockade that prevented the protesters from reaching their destination. We hold the Aquino government, the City Government and the Philippine National Police as responsible for the violence that occurred yesterday. Bayan and its allied groups have scheduled a protest action on SONA day to highlight issues of poverty, human rights, unemployment, foreign mining and plunder, and US military intervention but were prevented from reaching Batasan Road.

Initial reports indicate that 95 were injured, with 21 being brought to the East Avenue Medical Center. Among those injured were students, priests and church workers, and community workers and organizers.

As explained by our counsel in the National Union of People’s Lawyers, Bayan had the legal basis to march beyond EVER Gotesco and on to Batasan Road because Bayan applied for a permit before the Quezon City Government as early as July 10 and that the application for permit was not acted on the by the City Government within the required two days.

Because of this, the application is deemed granted under the provisions of Batas Pambansa 880. The application itself shall serve as the permit. The police therefore was violating the law when it blocked the protesters with anti-riot cops, steel railings, concrete barriers, dump trucks and container vans. The police were lying when the ground commander said that they had not received any permit because they knew full well that Bayan complied with the legal requirements.

Throughout the day, the protesters maintained that the blockade was illegal and sought to assert their right to march towards Batasan Road. This was true for the contingent of urban poor groups who marched via Litex Road and Batasan Road and almost reached the North Wing of Congress before being dispersed by the police.

The protesters from the EVER Commonwealth side also asserted their right to march to Batasan. For too long, the PNP, City Government and National Government have gotten away with violating the law and the Constitutional rights of the protesters by imposing their illegal blockades and totally disregarding legal processes. The protesters sought to challenge the illegal actions of the police.

Protesters acted in self-defense when they stopped the rampaging dump truck that threatened to run over the students. The dump truck belongs to a private contractor and has no business being involved in crowd dispersals because it’s not even part of the police. Halos masagasaan na ang mga nagpo-protesta habang nakatingin lang ang mga pulis. The police actions and inaction that day further added to the frustration and anger of the protesters.

Bayan is documenting the cases of the injured protesters. As of 11 PM last night, all those who were brought to East Avenue Medical Center have been discharged. It is still looking into other particular incidents during the confrontation. ###


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Labanan at ilantad ang papet, pahirap, pasista’t mapanlinlang na rehimeng US-Aquino!

Posted on 23 July 2012 by admin

Talumpati ni Dr. Carol Pagaduan-Araullo, Pambansang Tagapangulo, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, Sona ng mamamayan, Hulyo 23, 2012

Pilipinas, lupang sinira ng pandarambong. Bayang binusabos ng pang-aapi’t pagsasamantala.

Sambayanang pilit inihehele sa buladas ng “daang matuwid”.

Sa Sona ni Noynoy, ipinamumukha natin sa rehimen, matagal nang walang talab ang kanyang panlilinlang sa masang Pilipino!

Bistado na ng sambayanan na ang gobyernong ito, tulad ng kanyang pinalitan, ay para lamang sa iilan. Inclusive growth daw, pero sabay-sabay lumalala ang kawalan ng trabaho, kahirapan at gutom. Inclusive growth kuno, pero mga kroni’t kamag-anak lang ang nakikinabang, kasabwat ang mga dayuhang monopolyo kapitalista.

Sa public-private partnership, dinidemolish ang tahanan ng mga maralita, inaagawan ng lupa ang mga magsasaka. Sa PPP, ginagawang negosyo ang serbisyo. Pinahihirapan nang husto ang mamamayan ng napakamahal na bayarin. Presyo ng tubig, kuryente, toll, pamasahe, ospital, matrikula waling patid ang pagtaas. Habang trilyung-trilyong piso ang inilalaki ng yaman ng mga dambuhalang negosyo nina Sy, Cojuangco, Pangilinan, Ayala, Lopez, Aboitiz, Consunji, at iba pa sampu ng kanilang mga kasosyong multinational corporations.

Hindi pa sila kuntento rito. Sa ilalim ng mga patakaran ng gubyerno, pinagtutubuan nang husto ang yamang likas ng bansa tulad ng pagmimina at enerhiya. Kasama ang mga dayuhang negosyo, winawasak ang kalikasan at kabuhayan ng mamamayan. Lalong ibinabaon sa pagka-atrasado’t mahina ang ekonomya ng bayan.

Umuunlad na raw tayo. Katunayan, nakapagpapautang na sa IMF ng isang bilyong dolyar. Ang di inaamin, lubog pa rin sa trilyong-trilyong pisong utang ang gobyerno. Ang di sinasabi, napupunta sa pambayad-utang ang dapat ginagastos sa pagpapasigla ng ekonomya at serbisyong panlipunan.

Wag na raw magreklamo ang masang anakpawis. May conditional cash transfer naman. Pilit tinatakpan ng band-aid ang nagnanaknak na sugat dulot ng pambubusabos at pang-aapi. Pero di nito mapapatay ang nagbabagang diskontento’t paglaban ng mamamayan.

Ang hindi madaan sa panlilinlang, dinadaan sa dahas ng estado. Hindi humuhupa ang extrajudicial killing, pagdukot, iligal na pag-aresto’t pagkulong at iba pang paglabag sa karapatang pantao. Pinagmumukhang maamo ang Oplan Bayanihan. Pero sa likod nito, ang Di nagbabagong pasismo ng estado.

Patung patong na ang kasalanan sa bayan ng rehimeng US-Aquino.

Sinakyan lamang ang sentimyentong kontra-Gloria Arroyo para patalsikin si Supreme Court CJ Corona sa pwesto. Para raw sa pagbabago. Para raw managot si Arroyo.

Pero di maitatago ang pangangati nitong kontrolin ang Korte Suprema, kasama ang Kongreso, kasama ang militar. Para nga naman mas madulas ipatupad ang mga programang para sa mga panginoong maylupa, burgesya kumprador at imperyalista. Para nga naman mapiga pa ng kanyang angkan ang Hacienda Luisita. Para nga naman mas madaling supilin ang mga lumalaban at nagpuprotesta.

Ang maliwanag, lampas dalawang taon na, di pa rin napapanagot si Gloria. Di pa rin nakukulong si Palparan at ang marami pang ibang kasapakat ng nagdaang rehimen na katakut-takot ang kasalanan sa bayan.

At para lalong mapalakas ang hawak sa kapangyarihan, walang kahihiyan nagpapakatuta nang husto itong si Noynoy kay Uncle Sam. Lalong ipinagkanulo sa imperyalismong US ang pambansang soberanya.

Nagpapanggap na laban sa China. Pero ang totoo’y ginagamit itong palusot para papasuking lalo ang libu-libong tropang Kano. Para dagdagan ang mga lihim na base militar ng US sa bansa. Para muling buksan sa mga sasakyang pandigma ng US ang Subic, Clark at buong Pilipinas. Para higit pang makialam sa armadong tunggalian sa bansa.

Isinusubo tayo ng rehimeng US-Aquino sa panganib ng armas nukleyar at ibayong kaguluhan, kundi man digmaan, sa Asya Pasipiko.

At habang humihigpit ang kontrol ni Aquino sa estado poder, lalo itong nagiging mabangis sa mamamayan. Lalo itong walang interes sa usapang pangkapayapaan upang maresolba ang armadong labanan sa bansa. Sa halip, idadaan sa ibayong gera’t militarisasyon, kasabay ng panlilinlang, ang pagsupil sa pakikibaka ng mamamayan.

Parang di na ito natutuo sa kasaysayan.

Mabibigo ito hangga’t may pang-aapi’t pagsasamantala. Hangga’t walang tunay na reporma sa lupa’t pambansang industriyalisasyon, magpapatuloy ang digmaan sa kanayunan.

Mga kasama, mga kababayan, ito po ang tunay na kalagayan ng bayan mula sa pagtanaw ng karaniwang mamamayan.

Ito ang pilit pagtatakpan ng kung anu-anong kasinungalingan sa Sona ng asenderong Pangulo.

Kaya’t malinaw ang hamon sa ating lahat:

Labanan at ilantad ang mapanlinlang, pahirap, papet, pasistang rehimeng US-Aquino!

Mabuhay ang sambayanang lumalaban!

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Nationwide SONA protests today: “The people won’t be fooled” – BAYAN

Posted on 22 July 2012 by admin

News Release
July 23, 2012

Despite threats of rain, thousands of protesters are expected to turn out today for the State of the Nation Address of Philippine president Benigno Aquino III. They will come mainly from the ranks of workers, farmers, urban poor, youth and students, government employees and women. The umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan will spearhead the nationwide protest actions as well as international solidarity actions abroad.

“On this day, ordinary people will gather in the streets to speak out on the true state of the nation and to tell the Aquino administration that the people will not be fooled by empty rhetoric. The people have borne the brunt of the crisis the past two years, as the regime continues its assault on people’s livelihood, human rights and national sovereignty. The rains outside we can handle. It’s the downpour of lies and half-truths during the SONA which is the problem,” said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.

“As with the previous Arroyo regime, the people are once again pushed as far away from Batasan Pambansa as possible. This is a continuing reminder that the Aquino regime is not truly for the people. The regime thinks highly of itself but fears the people. It fears the truth. It simply wants to ignore and suppress the people’s legitimate demands for social justice,” he added.

Bayan and its counsels from the National Union of Peoples Lawyers have argued that the police blockade along Commonwealth Avenue violates the constitutional rights of the people as well as Batas Pambansa 880 which sets the guidelines for the application of rally permits.

“This government boasts of a ‘daang matuwid’ but it can’t even follow the Constitution and its own Public Assembly Act,” the group said.

Bayan said that people will not be duped by Aquino’s flashy visuals and speeches because at the end of the day, “the basic issues of land, jobs, health, human rights and sovereignty are not addressed.”

Due to the accumulated impact of privatization, deregulation and other anti-poor policies, hunger has averaged 20% of families (an estimated 4 million families) during Aquino’s two years; while poverty has averaged more than 50% (an estimated 10 million families), based on data from the Social Weather Stations (SWS) regular surveys according to Bayan.

“Aquino has succeeded in blocking any meaningful wage increase; selling out PH patrimony to big mining firms; preventing genuine land reform; and privatizing basic social services. It has succeeded in catering to the interests of big business, foreign and local. The increase in the number of Conditional Cash Transfer beneficiaries only underscores the worsening situation of the poor, as they more and more have to makes use of government dole-outs,” Reyes said.

“Many of the so-called achievements of this government, such as the S&P credit upgrade, the rise in the stock market index, record gross international reserves, and the loan extended to the IMF, are all quite meaningless to the ordinary Filipino facing high prices, landlessness and low wages,” he added.

Bayan also said that the Aquino regime has succeeded in allowing more US troops to enter the country as part of the rebalancing strategy of the US military. The group warned that the Aquino government will single-handedly reverse the gains from the eviction of US military bases in 1991, by allowing the permanent presence of US troops in the guise of “helping the Philippines against China”. ###

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Expose and oppose the deception of the US-Aquino regime

Posted on 22 July 2012 by admin

Press statement
Sona, July 23, 2012
Reference: Renato Reyes, Jr- Secretary General, Bayan

Two years into the Aquino presidency and what we have witnessed so far is the continued mass deception of the so-called “daang matuwid” and the false claims of inclusive growth in the economy. We expect Aquino to once again harp on these themes in his SONA today. But such trickery has long been exposed by the continuing worsening of unemployment, poverty and hunger among our people, along with Aquino’s failure to decisively prosecute Mrs. Gloria Arroyo and her cohorts for their many crimes, including plunder, poll sabotage and human rights violations.

Instead of the hype of good governance and economic growth, what we have seen in the first two years of the Aquino presidency is the perpetuation of anti-poor and anti-development programs like the public-private partnership (PPP). This is simply the same privatization program long imposed on the country by imperialist institutions led by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank and Asian Development Bank (ADB). Through the PPP, Aquino’s relatives like Danding Cojuangco and the richest oligarchs such as Sy, Razon, Tan, Ang, Ayala and Pangilinan and others have become ever more aggressive in expanding their business empires, taking over not only infrastructures and utilities but even basic social services like education, health and housing. These are the same families that collude with foreign firms in wantonly plundering our natural resources for exports, including minerals and energy resources. By bagging PPP contracts and deals in the extractive industries, among others, these super-rich families and their foreign partners are accumulating unimaginable wealth, at the great expense of the people, industrialization and the environment.

Indeed, Aquino’s supposed campaign against bureaucratic corruption is actually more about instituting reforms to make a better environment for big private foreign and local businesses operating in the country. It is less about going after big-time plunderers like Arroyo. although Aquino and his Liberal Party (LP) have expediently used Arroyo as scapegoat for the regime’s failures, including its failure to address the people’s needs. We expect Aquino to make a big deal of his drive for accountability via the Corona impeachment, despite the obvious fact that his government has not gone all-out in making accountable Arroyo and the rights violators of her regime.

Part of Aquino’s deceptive tactics is the provision of the conditional cash transfer (CCT) for selected poorest households. Since taking over, Aquino has massively scaled up the scope and budget of the foreign debt-funded CCT program, which Arroyo first introduced. But the beneficial impact of the program is easily disputed by the worsening condition of the poor, the continued lack of access to social services, rising prices and unemployment. Thus, despite all the deception, social unrest persists.

Despite the absence of a true opposition from traditional political parties, the legitimacy of the Aquino administration continues to be challenged by the people, by those who are being impoverished and excluded by government and its policies. But Aquino answers them with repression, very much like the fascist Arroyo administration. Aquino’s Oplan Bayanihan– which claims to uphold development and human rights– has given rise extrajudicial killings, abductions, illegal arrests and detention, militarization and other forms of state-sponsored human rights abuses remain.

Finally, still in the name of further strengthening and consolidating its control over political power, Aquino has displayed unabashed puppetry to US imperialism. Consistent with its deceptive nature, Aquino has used the tension with China to justify the ever increasing military presence and intervention of the US in the Philippines. In the process, the US-Aquino regime is not only undermining the country’s national sovereignty but is also exposing the people to the dangers of US military presence, including human rights violations, prostitution and the violation of the Constitutional ban on nuclear weapons.

Aquino should realize really soon that his gross deception will not last forever. The people are beginning to see clearly what this regime really stands for. The people will have to place their hopes for change in their own collective struggle.###

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Statement on PNoy’s “SONA” Lies by BAYAN Canada

Posted on 22 July 2012 by admin

July 2012

I know and feel the problems of ordinary citizens. We all know what it is like to have a government that plays deaf and dumb. We know what it is like to be denied justice, to be ignored by those in whom we placed our trust and tasked to become our advocates.

Have you ever been ignored by the very government you helped put in power?

Have you had to endure being rudely shoved aside by the siren-blaring escorts of those who love to display their position and power over you?

Have you experienced exasperation and anger at a government that instead of serving you, needs to be endured by you?

These are the very own words of President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III at his inauguration address in 2010.

These are also the very own words of someone who clearly doesn’t understand what those words mean.

Today is the 23rd of July 2012 in the Philippines.  Today he will deliver his State of the Nation Address (SONA).  And today he will again spout words from mouth without any clear link to reality.

The Philippine government today speaks proudly of the ‘record breaking performances’ of its stock market and GDP growth rate.  It is here that we should pause.  Because it doesn’t require any fancy economics degrees to realize that the true economy, the economy of the everyday, the economy that reflects the true ability of everyday people to eat well, have access to healthcare and education, to decent and fulfilling work, and most of all, to a good quality of life—well that economy very clearly is getting worse, much worse.

What is the state of the economy?

Unemployment has peaked.  One report puts unemployment at 13.8 million in the 1st quarter of 2012.

The minimum wage remains unable to meet the cost of living needs of working families (P446/day to P1017/day for a family of six).

And all the while the 40 richest Filipinos net worth increased from $23B to $47B during his term.

The everyday Filipino suffers.  This suffering is what drives the exodus of over 4500 to leave the country everyday to become OFWs. And it is this export of people through the Labour Export Policy that is the true backbone of the Philippine economy.  Even CNN reports that remittances are “the key fuel behind [its economy].  To the Philippine government people are a commodity to be exploited for economic gain.

Here in Canada, Filipinos have become the number one source of migrants (mostly in the temporary foreign worker and live-in caregiver class).

And for those that remain in the Philippines President Noynoy (PNoy) will speak of justice and human rights.  We ask, justice for whom, and to which humans do these rights refer?

Over 90 extrajudicial killings have taken place under his watch – approximately 1300 since 2001.

Of the 385 political prisoners still incarcerated for their belief that the Philippine government should serve the Philippine people, 107 were arrested under PNoy.

His Oplan Bayanihan, the sequel to President Arroyo’s Oplan Bantay Laya, merely dresses up the same strategy of targeted human rights violations to human rights defenders in the clothes of ‘community partnership’ and so-called ‘development.’

Instead of helping people with a national industrialization strategy, decent education, and healthcare he intimidates, jails, “disappears,” or even kills those who speak the truth.  All the while, giving benefit to capitalist expropriation of Philippine national wealth.

For example, in October of last year PNoy allowed mining companies (including Canadian companies) to create and operate private militias putting human rights defenders in even greater risk.  This also disproportionately affects indigenous peoples, a sector of society already suffering, as most mining companies operate on their ancestral domains.  And his new mining policy (EO79) does nothing to stop the imperialist ravaging of Philippine national patrimony.

And to add insult to injury he has welcomed the return of the American military and has all but opened the door to the return of official American bases on Philippine soil.  By 2020 60% of the US military will be stationed in the Asia-Pacific region.

PNoy asked if the people had ever felt ignored by their own government we remind him today that this has always been the case, and continues to be the case as long as the government does not truly have the interests of the people in mind.

As a member of the political and economic elite (who are one and the same) what interest does he really have in our well being?  When justice means justice for him and his friends, when the economy means how well the pockets of the rich are stuffed—both clearly demonstrated by his own families’ continued abuse of the peasant farmers of their own Hacienda Luisita, despite a Supreme Court order to redistribute lands—what can we expect for everyday people?

BAYAN-Canada denounces today’s SONA.  The true State of the Nation is that we remain a nation for the benefit of local elites and their foreign masters.  This is a State that we cannot stand with.  This is a Nation without the people’s interest heart.  And as it is a nation whose claims to an independent and sovereign people are not, and have never been true.

We demand a Philippines for Filipinos.  We demand an end to imperialist rule.  And we demand that PNoy stop playing rhetorical games with the truth.

Stop the Killings!

Release All Political Prisoners!

End Foreign Exploitation!

National Industrialization Now!

Uphold Genuine Philippine Independence!

Reference: Alex Felipe, Bayan Canada National Organizing Committee, 

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SONA protest to focus on failed promises, attacks on the people

Posted on 22 July 2012 by admin

News Release
July 21, 2012

As far as tomorrow’s protesters are concerned, the last two years of the Aquino government have been about failed promises of change and increased attacks on the people’s rights and livelihood. Umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan is expected to lead thousands in marches in Manila and all over the Philippines to protest the third State of the Nation Address of Philippine president Benigno Aquino III.

“Like previous SONA’s, Aquino’s speech this year would be filled with soaring rhetoric but would come up empty on real, meaningful change. For close to an hour, Aquino will try to enthral his allies in Congress with reports on so-called achievements that have little impact on the lives of the people. This includes the supposed 6.4% economic growth, the Corona impeachment and the usual anti-corruption anecdotes,” said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.

“He will deliberately omit the glaring realities of worsening human rights violations, poverty, unemployment, depressed wages, absence of genuine land reform, demolition of houses, destructive large-scale mining, privatization of social services and the US violations of our sovereignty,” Reyes added.

“Congressional allies will heap praises on Aquino, while Aquino will thank Congress for supporting the Corona impeachment. Without any political opposition, the gathering in Congress on Monday might end up as some huge mutual admiration society. Expect big business, including the big mining firms, to hail Aquino’s SONA. But the people on the streets; the workers, peasants and urban poor; will flatly reject Aquino’s deceptive pronouncements ,” Reyes said.

Over the weeks, the prices and rates of oil, electricity and water services have almost simultaneously gone up. After a series of rollbacks, oil prices have increased for two straight weeks, raising the pump price of gasoline by a huge ₱2.55 per liter and diesel by ₱2.40. Power rates charged by Meralco, meanwhile, will go up by ₱0.32 per kilowatt-hour this month. Water rates in Metro Manila and nearby areas will also rise by ₱0.39 per cubic meter to ₱0.89 starting in the third quarter.

Bayan asserts that these price increases were the result of the policies of privatization and deregulation of energy and water, which the current regime has continued to implement. It said that the so-called Conditional Cash Transfer program cannot solve poverty brought about by these policies.

Bayan believes that with the accumulated impact of privatization, deregulation and other anti-poor policies under Aquino, hunger has averaged 20% of families (an estimated 4 million families) during Aquino’s two years; while poverty has averaged more than 50% (an estimated 10 million families), citing data from the Social Weather Stations (SWS) surveys.

Marches, effigy

For this year’s march, artist collective UgatLahi has constructed 14-foot tall effigy which will be set aflame during the Monday rally. The effigy depicts Aquino as a two-faced villain, or “doble-kara”. The Aquino effigy will sit atop a bulldozer, to highlight the issues of demolitions in urban poor communities and destructive mining projects in the countryside.

Rights group Karapatan will be marching while wearing 99 masks, to represent the victims of extrajudicial killings under the Aquino regime. Bayan Southern Tagalog will feature an Aquino effigy on top of a US aircraft carrier to depict the increased US military presence in the Philippines.

The People’s SONA mobilization will be joined by contingents from BAYAN’s regional chapters, including BAYAN-Southern Tagalog and BAYAN-Central Luzon. They will be camped out near the Commonwealth Avenue as early as Sunday.

On Monday, protesters will be marching from different points in Quezon City, leading up to Commonwealth Avenue. Bayan asserts that it has gained the legal, political and moral right to march to Batasan Road to hold its protest program. According to Bayan’s counsels in the National Union of People’s Lawyers, the failure of the Quezon City government to act on Bayan’s application for a rally permit within the required period means that the application is deemed approved. NUPL will deploy lawyers for Monday’s rally.

Protesters also promise to have a strong social media presence. Rally participants are encouraged to contribute live updates for SONA mass actions here and abroad using the hashtag #SONAngbayan . These updates will be carried with Twitter and Facebook. The march rally will also be streamed live on the internet. ###

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Countdown to SONA: Rain or shine, protests set

Posted on 21 July 2012 by admin

News Release

July 21, 2012

Not even heavy rains will stop protesters from turning out on Monday for the State of the Nation Address of President Benigno Aquino III. Umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan has called for nationwide protests to coincide with the SONA. Protesters will carry the slogan “Singilin! Itakwil!”, to express their opposition to Aquino’s first two years in office, under which the economic conditions of the Filipino people have dramatically worsened.

At the Bayan office in Quezon City, artist group UgatLahi and students volunteers are busy finishing the 14-foot tall effigy which will be set aflame during the Monday rally. The effigy depicts Aquino as a two-faced villain, doble-kara, symbolizing the negative effects of his false promises of prosperity. The Aquino effigy will sit atop a bulldozer, to highlight the issues of demolitions in urban poor communities and destructive mining projects in the countryside.

BAYAN also conducted several public fora at the surrounding Commonwealth Avenue, where the protest actions will take place, hoping to involve local communities.

“We’ll be marching, rain or shine. The issues of human rights, economic degradation, sovereignty and accountability need to be heard. The true State of the Nation needs to be exposed. The workers, farmers, urban poor, women and youth will make sure of that,” said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.

The People’s SONA mobilization will be joined by contingents from BAYAN’s regional chapters, including BAYAN-Southern Tagalog and BAYAN-Central Luzon. Beginning Saturday, their members will be travelling towards Quezon City. They will hold a vigil on Sunday, July 22.

On Monday, protesters will be marching from different points in Quezon City, leading up to Commonwealth Avenue. Bayan asserts that it has gained the legal, political and moral right to march to Batasan Road to hold its protest program. According to Bayan’s counsels in the National Union of People’s Lawyers, the failure of the Quezon City government to act on Bayan’s application for a rally permit within the required period means that the application is deemed approved. NUPL will deploy lawyers for Monday’s rally.

“As of Friday, we have received no word, no official communication whatsoever, from the Quezon City government,” Reyes said.

Overseas chapters of BAYAN are also preparing for their respective mobilizations. As early as Sunday, July 22, Migrante and Bayan in Hong Kong will be holding an advanced protest action. Various actions will take place in the United States, including New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Chicago. BAYAN chapters in Canada and Europe will also participating, highlighting human rights issues under the Aquino government.

Protesters also promise to have a strong social media presence. Rally participants are encouraged to contribute live updates for SONA mass actions here and abroad using the hashtag #SONAngbayan . These updates will be carried with Twitter and Facebook. The march rally will also be streamed live on the internet.

“ In the Philippines and abroad, BAYAN will bring light to the realities that the Philippine government wishes to cover up. In contrast to the growth and progress Aquino is expected to report in his SONA, the people are reeling from poverty, displacement, unemployment, human rights violations and plunder of resources. Ironically, Congress itself is literally surrounded by an ocean of poverty, of urban poor communities that do not feel the supposed inclusive growth being touted by the regime,” Reyes said. ###

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