Go not gently into the night, rage against the dying of the light!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

D.O. 174: Isa pa sa mga Pakana sa Nagpapatuloy na Tiranikong Atake sa Paggawa

Muling bigo ang mga manggagawa sa inaasam na paglaya sa salot na kontraktwalisasyon. Minsan pa, napatunayang walang maasahan sa nakaluklok sa kapangyarihan.  Tulad ng mga naunang rehimen,  tagapagtaguyod din ang administrasyong Duterte ng neo-liberalismo at ng interes ng mga kapitalista. Sa pamamagitan ng Department Order # 174, ginawang lehitimo ang kalakaran ng kontraktuwal na pag-empleyo ng manggagawa para sa kailangan (necessary) at esensyal (essential) na trabaho.

Ang kontraktuwalisasyon ng paggawa ay isa sa mga mayor na salik sa paglaya ng kapital o pag-aalis ng mga sagabal sa malayang paggalaw at paglago ng kapital na siyang kahulugan ng neoliberalismo. Ang paglaya ng capital, sa gayon, ay nangangahulugan ng pagsupil sa paggawa.
Pangako ni Duterte nuong kumampanya na kanyang wawakasan ang bulok na sistema ng kontraktwalisasyon sa bansa. Matatandaan na buong yabang na isinumpa niya ito na “anti-people”.  Marami sa ating kamanggagawa ang nanalig sa pangakong ito.  Hanggang mabulgar mismo ang kahungkagan ng pangakong ito ni Duterte nang ianunsyo, Abril 15, ang paglabas ng D.O. 174, pamalit sa D.O. 18-A.
Hindi na ikinagulat ng mulat na sekyon ng mga manggagawa ang kinalabasan ng bagong DO.  Sa serye pa lamang ng mga kumperensyang ipinatawag upang dinggin diumano ang tinig ng manggagawa, malinaw na ang posisyon ng Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), wala ito sa panig ng mga manggagawa.
Paglinlang at pagsupil sa manggagawa
ANG D.O. 174 ay halos pag-uulit ng D.O. 18-A. Niligalisa at pinagtibay lamang nito ang kontraktwalisasyon na pumapawi sa mga karapatan ng manggagawa sa permanente at regular na trabaho at mga benepisyo.
Itinaas ng D.O. 174 ang minimum na kapital ng labor agencies mula sa tatlong milyong piso (P 3M) tungong limang milyon (P 5M). Ito diumano ang pinakamababang sukatan para sabihing may kapasidad ang labor agency na mag-opereyt. Ngunit alam naman nating nandiyan lagi ang kutsabahan ng prinsipal at agency at kadalasan, ang prinsipal din ang nasa likod o siyang may-ari ng mga labor agency.
Itinakda rin ng bagong D.O. ang qualifiers na “specific”, “work for a definite and pre-determined period” at “identifiable jobs” para umano maging malinaw at tiyak ang mga trabahong ipapakontrata.
Ngunit ang mga terminong ito ay dati nang gamit ng mga kapitalista para ipatungkol sa “job orders”, “project” at iba pang iskema upang ikutan ang batas at maipakontrata ang mga trabahong “essential and/or desirable to the principal business operation.”  Sa gayon, lalong pinagtibay ng bagong D.O. ang kinasusuklaman nating sistemang kontraktuwal.
Sa bagong D.O. ay malinaw na ire-regular ang manggagawa sa agency, hindi sa principal. Isa itong katayuan na napaka-bulnerable dahil sa oras na habulin nating manggagawa ang karapatan sa pag-u-unyon at iba pang karapatan sa trabaho, tulad ng dagdag na sahod,  ay napakadali tayong tanggalin sa trabaho.
Magkukutsabahan lamang ang principal at agency at kunwang hindi na bibigyan ng bagong kontrata ng una ang huli.  Wala na tayong trabaho.   Nakatali ang ating pamamasukan sa kontratang namamagitan sa prinsipal at ahensya.  Separation pay lamang ang katapat ng ating panunungkulan.
Sa pagsusuma, ang D.O. 174 sa panahon ni Duterte ay pagpipino at pagkikinis lamang ng iskema ng kontraktwalisasyon na institusyunalisado na sa ilalim ng mga naunang rehimeng naluklok sa Malakanyang. Kumpletong pakete ang D.O. 174 ng tiranikong atake ng rehimeng Duterte sa paggawa. Papawiin nito ang natitirang pag-asa para sa regular/permanenteng trabaho, at sapagkat hindi regular o permanente ang pag-empleyo ng manggagawa, wala silang karapatang mag-organisa, mag-unyon at sama-samang makipagtawaran.
Muli mabibigo tayong manggagawa kung iaasa lamang sa iba ang ating paglaya sa pagsasamantala at pang-aapi ng uring kapitalista at sa sistema ng paghaharing nagtataguyod ng kanilang interes. Tuwirang salungat ang interes nating manggagawa sa interes ng uring kapitalista. Ipinakikita sa nakaraang kasaysayan at sa kasalukuyang sitwasyon ang katunayan ng tunggaliang ito.
Hungkag ang pagpapanggap ng Panguluhang Duterte na ito’y maka-manggagawa at maka-kaliwa. Katunayan, bukod sa D.O. 174 ay pinagbabantaan nito ng ibayong karahasan ang mga organisado o unyonisadong manggagawa, laluna sa mga economic zones. Sapagkat wala ngang pangimi sa karahasan at tahasang paglabag sa mga karapatang pantao, ang rehimeng Duterte ay banta ng ibayong pagsupil sa mga manggagawa at mamamayan, sa pangkalahatan.
Pandaigdigang paglaban sa pagsasamantala at pang-aapi   
Pandaigdigan ang pag-iral ng neoliberalismo at sa gayon ng kontraktuwalisasyon. Pinasiyaan ito sa United States of America (USA o US) at sa United Kingdom (UK) o Britain umpisa ng dekada 80 sa sistematikong pag-atake sa karapatan ng manggagawang mag-unyon at magwelga at pag-uumpisa ng patakaran at sistema ng pleksibleng paggawa (flexible labor)—pleksible o hindi pirmi/di-istable ang katayuan sa empleyo at panahon/oras ng trabaho.  Pagsalakay at pagpawi sa mga dating karapatan ng paggawa ang susi sa liberalisasyon o pagpapalaya ng kapital.

Itinulak ang neoliberalismo at kaakibat nitong pleksibleng paggawa upang maiwasan ng pandaigdigang
kapitalismo ang krisis. Kararaos lang ng kapitalismo sa krisis ng makatambal na resesyon at labis na tantos ng implasyon na humambalos, laluna sa US at Britain, nuong ikalawang hati ng dekada 70.

Ngunit ang ibayong pagpapalaya ng kapital ay humantong sa lalong krisis. Muli’t muling pumutok ang krisis ng kapitalismo. Mula nang huling pagsiklab ng pinansyal na krisis nuong 2008 ay hindi pa nakakaalpas ang pandaigdigang kapitalismo sa krisis nito na kinatatampukan ngayon ng malaganap na resesyon; pagkalubog sa utang ng mga gubyerno, pribadong korporasyon at mga pamilya; malaganap na kawalang trabaho; at, mababang sahod at hindi istableng empleyo para sa mga may trabaho.

Isinabatas na ang pagpapahaba ng oras-paggawa, nang walang dagdag sa sahod, sa hindi iilang bayan, kabilang ang mga abantenng kapitalistang bayan tulad ng France. Sa US, pinakamarami sa mga bagong nagkakatrabaho ay pansamantala o temporary (temps). Ang pansamantalang trabaho ay maaaring tatlong buwan o ilang linggo lamang. Ipinapatupad sa buong mundo ang ibayong pagpapababa ng sahod katambal ang pagpapahaba ng oras-paggawa.

Isulong at patalasin ang paglaban ng masang manggagawa, sa unahan ng mamamayan

Malinaw na hindi kontraktuwal na paggawa lamang ang problema. Katunayan, isa lamang ito sa mga anyo ng pagsasasmantala at pang-aapi sa manggagawa. Isa lamang ito sa mga pamamaraan sa tangkang ibayong pagpiga ng tubo o pagpapalago ng kapital sa kabila ng krisis ng kapitalismo. Isa lamang ito sa mga patakaran ng neoliberal na disenyo para sagipin ang kapitalismo sa angkin o likas na krisis nito.

Kailangang kung gayon na lampasan ng mga manggagawa sa bawat bayan ang paglaban lamang sa mga particular na anyo at paraan ng pagsasamantala at pang-aapi. Kailangang itaas at isulong ang paglaban sa kapitalismo, laluna ang pinakasukdulang inabot nito na monopolyo at tiranikong kapitalismo na pangunahing kinakatawan ng imperyalismong US. Ito rin ang principal na manggigera at ngayon ay pinapasaklaw ang pananalakay nito sa iba’t-ibang panig ng daigdig.

Manggagawa ng bawat bayan magkaisa, pangunahan ang mamamayan sa paglaban sa imperyalismong US!



WORKERS FOR PEOPLE’S LIBERATION

1 Mayo 2017

Friday, April 21, 2017

Statement in Support of Venezuelan People Against US Intervention

Statement
April 17,2017             
Reference: Atty. Virgie Suarez, Secretary- General, KILUSAN

We Condemn US Eagerness for Force
 vs. Government of Venezuela

It is not just Luis Almagro of the Organization of American States (OAS) threatening the government of Venezuela.   Now, it is Admiral Kurt W. Tidd, commander of the United States Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) warning that “the crisis in Venezuela could eventually compel a regional response.”

We view such a warning from Admiral Tiddas dangerous and alarming. KILUSAN, an anti-imperialist and a democratic movement in the Philippines, strongly denounces it.

To Unseat a Democratically Elected Government
It was a statement made as Admiral Tidd presented a report last April 6 in front of the US Senate wherein he cites shortage in supplies, political uncertainty and economic crisis as conditions meriting a “regional response” from the US.

Such a statement clearly telegraphs US’ eagerness for immediate action, aimed at unseating a democratically elected sovereign government, which has refused to kowtow to its hegemonic dictates and directives.

Though short of pronouncing direct intervention, the warning comes at a time that US President Trump has consistently and repeatedly warned the rest of the world of its keenness to show its “might”, which can be understood to mean military action.

By citing shortage, political uncertainty and crisis, Admiral Tidd conveniently covers up the big role played by his country’s operatives in the current predicament facing the Bolivarian movement in Venezuela and its people.

Winds of War
His report, however, betrayed a more plausible reason for US to send in its military forces to Venezuela. He mentioned the relationships fostered by Russia, China and Iran with Venezuela and the rest of the region. We believe that in this light, the US is raring to get back what were once under his dominion—markets and sources of raw materials and compliant labor especially in the light of its inability to recover from the economic slump since 2008, along with other imperialist nations.

Peoples in Latin America and around the world should be alarmed by this threat from the USSOUTHCOM. 

The failure of the US and its imperialist allies to recover from the crisis further fans the winds of war and conflict across resource-rich and strategic regions.

 Let us not forget that Trump believing his military is “the greatest in the world” has recently used GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast containing 11 tonnes of explosives, a 20,000 pound bomb worth $16 Million and developed for $300 Million christened the “mother of all bombs” in Afghanistan with a blast radius of a mile in each direction[1].

Trump has further relaxed rules for preventing civilian casualties. Already, civilian casualties have jumped from 1,782 in February to 3,471 in March according to Airwars, a group that tracks bombings.

It is provoking a full-blown war with Russia by using 59 Tomahawk missiles aimed against Shayrat Airbase of the Syrian government. It is set for war in Korea. NATO forces and aircraft deploy close to Russia's borders, along with the missile defense shield in Romania, and missiles still aim against China.

Freedom-loving peoples must resist such moves by the US and its allies by others who for their own interests push the rest of the world to a time of never-ending and perpetual war and chaos.

It takes people of free and sovereign nations to protect peace and promote social justice by resisting war and escalation of conflict. We demand respect for Venezuela’s sovereignty and oppose intervention of the US in that country! ###



[1] One mile is equivalent to 1.609344 kilometers or 1,609.344 meters

Thursday, March 9, 2017

A statement by the United Small Vendors and Traders of Cebu City (USVTCC) commending the city government for dutifully demanding the right taxes from the big and moneyed bank like BDO


In the light of the issue between Banco de Oro Magallanes Branch and Cebu City Government regarding the former’s non-payment of correct business taxes to the latter, contrains us vendors of Cebu (United Small Vendors and Traders of Cebu City, USVTCC) to put forward our view and stand on the matter inasmuch as the issue involves not only between the LGU and BDO but covers the City’s constituents and law abiding citizens as well. For, if the assertion of the City is true - that BDO pays six pesos a day in business tax or 2,000 pesos a year, considering that the location of the bank is right at the heart of a commercially busy downtown area where trading is teeming and thus earns much from “other peoples’ money” – it is a must that the city collect the right rates from the bank. 

 For, if we vendors pay P10 day or P3,600 in a year, individually, to the city as a form of business tax, in order to sell our goods and items to people under the heat of the sun and other natural elements; and a city hall janitor pays around 5,000 pesos a year in taxes, there is something terribly wrong here.  It is simply unfair and unjust. Not only does the bank cheat the government, it also deprives the small and poor people like us vendors of the city of the needed basic services that government is supposed to extend to us and other struggling people of cebu. The more money the city can collect in taxes from business establishments, the more the city is enabled to deliver social services to the people.

We commend the city government for dutifully demanding the right taxes from the big and moneyed bank like BDO. It is for us, an eloquent statement that the city can be fair and just if it wants to. Acts of government like this deserve good feedback for we vendors had been victims of harrassments and demolitions/clearings in the past while earnestly striving to survive by vending while paying dues to the government. May more of this kind of move by the city visit the big, moneyed and powerful businesses.  May the city government become really a state of, by and for the people – by being considerate and compassionate to the small and weak of our urban community/citizenry – most of the time.  It is our ardent wish that it is about time that the city begin to be inclusive of the least and weak like us by looking after our welfare not only in the short term but especially on the long term.

(Original transcript is in the vernacular translated and proof-read by the moderator of this blog site)

----
USVTCC is an aggrupation of small sidewalk and ambulant vendors along N. Bacalso St., Leon Kilat St and was formed after the anti-poor policies and clearing operations of then mayor Mike Rama under the city's "beautification drive" paving way for more foreign investors in the city, inconsiderate and non-inclusive of the poor people's plight.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Ang Pagpanaug-daug, Babagan! Militarismo, Pakigbisugan! Gyera, Tapuson, Karon Na!

caricature by: Matthew Karaan (YND)

Sa Pagsaulog sa International Women's Day


Karong adlawa, Marso 8, 2016, gisaulog ang adlaw sa mga Kababaenhan kun ang International Women’s Day.   Usa ka gatos ug 2 ka tuig (102) nang kasumaran sa pag-ila sa katungod sa kababaenhan nga makabot’o ug ang pag-ila sa kamahinungdanun nga papel sa katilingban sa mga kababenhan. 

Sulod sa usa ka gatos ka tuig na kining gisaulog, kumusta ang mga kababaenhan sa kalibutan? 

Ang kalibutan karon gilibutan sa mga hulga sa krisis ug gyera.  Wala pa lum-i ang katawhan sa kalibutan apil ang mga kababaenhan sa lapdos sa krisis sa kawad-on bunga sa duwa’ sa salapi ug hinubrang katigayunan nga nalikom sa kamot sa mga pipila.  Nagpadayon ang pinakaulahing bunal sa krisis nga nibuto’ sa tuig 2008 ug nagkagrabe kini  nga nagsugod sa US ug nikatag sa tibuok kalibutan ug naapektuhan ang tanan, apil na ang mga nagpabiling lig-on nga ekonomiya susama sa Tsina. 

Ang US, mga nasud sa European Union, Japan, China—ang mga nag-unang mga ekonomiya sa kalibutan, nalukop sa utang.  Gikan sa pagkalubog sa utang sa mga bangko niining mga nasura, latas na ang pagkalubog sa utang sa mga katawhan niini ug ang pinakagrabe, ang gubyerno mismo niining mga nasura ang lubog sa utang karon.  Ang US, $19.3 trillion ang pagkakautang niini, 102.98% kung ikumpara sa iyang GDP.  Halos kini nangutang para makasugakud sa iyang mga pagagastusan.  Ang EU, 87.8% sa suma-total sa tanang mga nasud niini kumpara sa GDP.  Sa Japan 247.82% ang pagkakautang  sa GDP.  Samtang ang Tsina, adunay $28 trillion nga pagkakautang, 230% kung ikumpara sa GDP.  Buot ipasabot lang niini, wala na sa matarong nga barug ang dagkong ekonomiya sa kalibutan nga maoy nagdala sa ekomiya sa kinatibuk-an.

Ang epekto niini sa katawhan nagkadaiya, ang pinakamahinungdanon nga mga epekto mao ang pagkapiot sa nakuha nga serbisyo sa gubyerno sigon sa Austerity measure (pagdaginot sa Gubyerno) ug nawad-an sa trabaho bunga sa pagpanaktak.  Sayod kita nga kung kini ang maapektuhan, atong panginabuhi ug kalidad sa kinabuhi ang mukunhod pa sa pinakubos nga ang-ang.

Apan ang pangutana, ingon usab ba ang nahitabo sa mga adunahan?  Karong tuig 2016, samtang igĂ» sa grabeng krisis ang kalibutan ug mas nagkaubos ang kalidad sa kinabuhi sa mga katawhan, 62 ka mga indibidwal sa kalibutan ang giila karong sobra-sobrang adunahan (richest).  Adunay naitala nga $1.76 trillion nga katigayunan! Katumbas ang 3.6 billion ka pinaka-kabus nga tawo kung ipunon ang mga katigayunan niini.  Halos katunga sa kalibutan ang katumbas nga pagpanag-iya sa 62 ka mga pinaka-adunahan nga mga indibidawal, samtang ang 3.6 billion ka mga pinakakabus nga katawhan gisaw-an ang ubos sa katunga nga katigayunan sa kalibutan.  Kadakong katingalahan!  70% sa pinaka-kabus sa kalibutan, mga kababenhan!

Kini nahitabo gumikan sa wala nay undang nga pagkahakug ug paghinangol ning sistema sa salapi ug ginansya kapuli ang dignidad ug kinabuhi sa katawhan.  Dungan pa sa kini nga kapait ang epekto sa gyera sa nagkalain-laing parte sa kalibutan.

Sobra na sa 3 ka tuig ang gyera sa Syria, nisunod kini nga gyera human sa Ukraine (2013).  Sa Ukraine, 9, 167 na ang namatay (suma-total sa mga civilian, sundalo ug mga rebelde).  215,000 sa 1.6 million sa mga napalayas nunot sa gyera ang dili na makabalik sa ilang kanhing gipuy-an tungod sa grabeng pagkaguba.  1.7 million ka mga bata sa Ukraine ang nakasinati ug grabeng epekto sa gyera hangtod karon ilabi na sa panahon sa ting-tugnaw (winter).   Hangtod karon, wala pay resolusyon para sa kalinaw sa maong nasud.

Sa Syria, 50.5% ang kababaenhan ug 49.5% ang kalalakin-an. Sisyenta isingko (75%) sa mga Syrian refugees, mga kababaenhan ug mga bata, ug 716,492 ang hingkog na ang pangidarun nga kababenhan.  Naitala na ang halos 3 Million ka Syrian refugees ang nahimutang sa mga silingang nasud paglikay sa gyera, nga nahimutang sa Lebanon, Jordan, ug Turkey.  Apan 4.6 million nga Syrians ang refugees, ug 6.6 million ang napalayas na sulod mismo sa Syria; katunga niini mga bata.  SILANG TANAN, NAKATAGAMTAM SA SOBRA-SOBRANG KAGUTOM, KATUGNAW, WALA’Y TUBIG, KAGUOL UG KALISANG!

Likod niini nga mga reyalidad, asa man kita paingon? Dili na nato angayan nga huwaton ang gyera nga mubuto sa mismong atong tugkaran gumikan sa wala pa nahupay ang kaguliyang sa South China Sea.  Ato nang ipaduso sa atong Gubyerno ang pagpakgang sa laing gyera nga mahitabo.  Mahimo kini nato sa pagsiguro sa pagpili sa sunod nga administrasyon nga dili muduot sa Gyera ug mubabag sa EDCA (kasabutan nga magpahimutang sa mga sundalong Amerikano sa atong nasud, pangandam sa gyera tali sa Tsina).  Ituboy nato ang Gubyerno nga nagbaton ug kasayuran sa pagpanalipod sa katawhang Pilipino gikan sa lapdos sa ekonomikanhong krisis, ilabi na sa mga kaigsuonan natong mga OFW.  Usa ka Gubyerno nga mudapig sa katawhan para sa matarong ug kaangayan.

Kung sa lantaw nato, wala kita’y kapilian sa han-ay  sa mga dumadagan karon, panahon na nga kita ang mugunit sa tinuod nga gahum.  Ipakita nato ang esenya sa tiunay nga demokrasya, ang pakigbisug sa kaugmaon nga matarong para sa atong mga anak.

Hinunua nga kini ang esensya ilabi na natong mga kababaenhan nganong adunay giingong International Women’s Day.  Dili kita mahadlok nga mobarug tungod ug alang sa kagawasan ug kaluwasan sa atong nasud!!  Makig bisug ug magtinabangay kitang mga kabus aron atong malumpag ang sistemang walay balatian.  Bangon! Barug! Makigbisug! ###

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

THE MEANING OF RAMA’S AND LABELLA’S VETOES OF MORATORIUM ON EVICTIONS


In November 2015, Councilor Alvin Dizon filed a proposed resolution to approve an ordinance imposing a moratorium on evictions or demolitions of dwelling in public lands to be undertaken by the Cebu City Government for a period of one year from effectivity of this ordinance within the City of Cebu. The City Council gave due course to the proposal and after having met the required processes and procedures, the proposed ordinance was subjected to a vote. The resolution was passed by a majority of the council.  When it was submitted to Mayor Rama, the latter vetoed it citing as basis the proposed ordinance negates a National Law, the R.A 7279 or the Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992.  The Council attempted to override the Rama veto but failed to get the required numbers because the Councilors who belong to the opposite party but voted in favor of the ordinance either absented or reversed their stand on the issue.  Meanwhile, Rama was suspended for sixty days due to a pending Administrative case. Encouraged by Vice Mayor Labella’s pro vote on the measure in the first filing, Councilor Dizon re-filed the ordinance confident that Labella as Acting Mayor will not veto it.  The re-filed bill again unanimously won the voting but Labella vetoed it on the same basis cited earlier by Rama.

What puzzles and infuriates many about the vetoes is the fact that the proposed ordinance invokes R.A. 7279 or UDHA as impetus, support and enhancement of the latter.  A thorough and cautious reading of the resolution reveals nothing that contravenes UDHA. It is provided in Section 4.4 of the proposed ordinance: Notwitstanding the moratorium, the Cebu City Government may implement eviction or demolition in the areas covered in the following instances:
A.     There is an urgent necessity to immediately relocate families to prevent loss of lives and property.  Provided, that the city may provide temporary relocation but it shall immediately identify those qualified for permanent relocation;
B.      The new structures constructed by informal settlers in the areas covered after the effectivity of this ordinance as certified by the barangay local government unit concerned;
C.      In both instances, the Division for the Welfare of the Urban Poor shall conduct adequate consultation and notice. Provided, that the Prevention, Restoration, Order, Beautification and Enhancement (Probe) team shall implement humane demolition.

Thus, the above provisions indicate that in letter and spirit, the proposal is in furtherance of the UDHA.  What the vetoes simply show is that Rama and Labella lacked due diligence and conscientious study of the ordinance for them to have missed the whole point of the measure.  Their actions betray either utter absence of regard for the welfare of the poor and marginalized of Cebu.  Or worse, it is a product of unprincipled partisan electoral patronage politics rearing its ugly head – at the expense of the very people Rama and Labella shamelessly vowed to serve.

The moratorium enjoys broad support from different sectors: the affected “squatters”-urban poor of the city; various cause-oriented NGOs and peoples’ organizations; the academe, professionals and even from the religious nuns, brothers, clerics, as well as pastors and ministers of churches. And yet despite this, Rama and Labella ignored them – opting to be insensitive and callous to the clamor of the people.  Even the just concluded International Eucharistic Congress did not make a dent on the sensibilities and sensitivities of the two officials notwithstanding the clarion calls of the Catholic Church to care and serve the poor and excluded in our society. After all, their attendance and presence at the Congress activities, if anything, were just plain posturing.

Another meaning-gleaning of the veto is the question whose welfare and interests are Rama and Labella really protecting?  Are they abandoning the poor to defend moneyed, powerful, corporate and foreign interests? For whom is development and   general welfare - if it sacrifices the many poor deprived and oppressed in the process. It cannot be anything but sheer misplaced priorities and moral bankruptcy.

We call on the councilors who voted against the measure to rethink and reconsider their position on the matter.  Heed the cries of the disadvantaged and neglected of your constituents. We call on the councilors who voted in favor of the measure: remain steadfast and continue your principled stewardship of the poor and excluded.

We call on the people to assert your rights.  Discern well who to vote for in the coming elections. Resist government assault on the weak, small and poor. Expose and oppose abusive and anti-people practices, policies, programs and projects. Reject massive violation of peoples’ rights.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

NAGPAKABANANG MGA KAHUGPUNGAN SA KATAWHAN SA SYUDAD SA SUGBO
C/o KILUSAN office at 690-C D. Jakosalem St., Brgy. Kamagayan, Cebu City
Tel. No.: (032) 253-9682


Sulat para sa mga Konsehal sa Syudad sa Sugbo nga Mabination sa mga Kabus nga taga-Dakbayan
(Para sa pagpapasar sa Moratorium on Demolisyon Ordinance)

Ang katawhang kabus nga taga Dakbayan sa Sugbo masulub-on sa karong panahon human sa balita nga gibabagan ni Mayor Mike Rama ang pagpapasar sa Ordinansa nga nagdumili sa pagdemolish sa mga pampublikong kayutaan subay sa hurisdiksyon sa Syudad sa Sugbo sulod sa usa ka tuig (Moratorium Against Demolition Ordinance).  Nagdag-om ang kalangitan subay sa pagkadismaya sa katawhang kabus ning maong balita.  Ang desisyon inanay sagpa ug  pangandoy sa mga kabus nipanaw.  Unta nga ang tinguha wala’y lain kung dili patas nga katungod dili gahum sa Gubyernong nitalikod sa konsituenteng gipanumpaan nga pagasilbihan.

Ang pangandoy alang sa desinte ug makatawhanong pagpuyo angay lang ipaduso hangtod maangkon kini.  Tungod ug gumikan nga batakang panginahanglan ug nilagdaan sa Balaod nga usa ka tawhanong katungod.  Apan wala kini ilha sa Gubyernong buta’ ug hakug sa gahum, ingon balaod gigamit pabor para sa mga adunahan ug mga dagkong tigpapatigayon.

Sa kahimtang namong mga kabus –walay yuta, walay balay, walay trabaho- gigamit ang among kaugalingong kusug aron makahatag ug serbisyo ngadto sa ubang kabus sama namo, imbis mahimong pabug-at sa katilingban, kini mismo kay dalaygon. Nakasugakod kami sa among pagpuyo pinaagi sa matinud-anon, kakugi, taas nga trabaho, bisan paman dili igo ang kita, dili sama sa mga opisyal sa gobyerno nga naglungkab sa kwarta sa publiko.

Kay miserabli ang among kinabuhi, ug ang among pagtumaw sa kayutaan sa Syudad kay hugaw sa panan-aw sa mga adunahan ug gamhanan, kini dili among tinuyuan. Ang katilingban mao ang nagpaubos sa ing-ani nga kahimtang; ug ang katilingban ang angayang magbuhat ug maayong opurtunidad alang kanamo aron mapalambo kini. Ang kamaut ug kakabus sa among pagpuyo dili matabunan sa mga pangpagwapa lang nga kausaban, sama sa gustong buhaton sa gobyerno ni Rama. Hinuon, ang lihok ni Mayor Rama sa pagpagwapa/panindot naghatag ug mas grabing kadaut sa kinabuhi sa mga kabus.

Sama sa uban, nagbayad usab kami ug buhis. Tungod walay makaikyas sa VAT. Naa kami’y susamang katungod ni bisan kinsang nagbayad ug buhis nga maserbisyohan sa gobyerno.   Kami mga Pilipino, kinsa anaay patrimonyang katungod niining Pilipinas ug labaw sa tanan sa ni bisan kinsang langyaw. Sama sa ubang Pilipino, naghandom kami ug paglambo. Simpli lang namong gipangayo nga sa unsa man o tanang kalambuan kinahanglan maapil, dili kay walay labot, ang kabag-ang  kabus, ilabi na ang apektado/nagpakabanang sektor.

Ug labaw sa tanan, mga tawo kami, kabahin sa katawhan. Naghuna-huna, mubati, nag-ugmad nga mga tawo nga naningkamot nga magamit among tawhanong kapasidad aron mabuhat among bahin sa kini nga katilingban.  Apan sa among kapasikaran nanginahanglan sa inyong tabang, tabang para kami mulambo ug makatagamtam man lang sa gamay’ng kahupayan ug alibyo gikan sa demolisyon.  Minghangyo nga unta kamo bumati kanamo.

Nga ang Administrasyon ni Rama mihikaw kanamo sa among pulos isip tawo ug ang among dignidad isip tawo- aron ang langyaw nga mamuhunan moginansya ug ang mga turista malingaw.

Unta dili kamo susama ni Mayor Mike Rama nga mitalikod na kanamo.  Hangyo namo nga unta inyong ipapasar ang Ordinansa nga muhatag kanamo ug kahigayunan nga makig-alayon sa Gubyerno aron kami makiangayon nga mapahimutang ug dili yanong sikad-sikaran.  Inyong boto sa ummabot Miyerkules, Nobyembre 25, 2015 among bantayan.  Itratar isip inyong timaan sa inyong gipanumpaan.  Hangyo kami kaninyo, saksi ang langit, dungga ang tingug sa katawhang kabus kaninyo nangaliyupo.  IPAPASAR ANG ORDINANSA!


Nagkahiusa sa ngalan sa katawhang nagpakabana,




Emalyn M. Aliviano
Spokesperson
Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya-Cebu (KILUSAN-Cebu)



Elizabeth Dicdican
President
Pagkakaisa ng mga Kababaihan para sa Kalayaan (KAISA KA-Mambaling)


Soledad Cordova
Representative-Council of Leaders
United Small Vendors of Cebu City (USVCC)


Roldan Dicdican
Acting President
Sitio Naba Neighborhood Association (SNNA)


Floro Enricoso
President
Alliance of People’s Organization Working for Empowerment and Resettlement (ALLPOWER)


Ronald Lamberte
President
Warwick Barracks Relocated Vendors’ Urban Poor Association (WBRVUPA)


Virginia Canoy
President
Sitio Tangke Home Owners’ Association (STHOA)


Marifel Candia
President
Sitio Tangke Panaghiusa Residents’ Association



Saturday, November 14, 2015

Crisis and War Clouds over APEC 2015 Summit


The administration of President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino (PNoy) is hosting the 23rd Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Summit on November 18-19. This is the second time the Philippines is venue for the gathering of 21 heads of “economies” that all belong to world’s top 50. 

The neo-liberal globalization jargon “economy”, instead of state or government, is used not just to accommodate Hong Kong and Taiwan. The word “economy” creates a false sense the summit is not a global political event. This is despite the fact that the world’s leading economic and military powers, the US, China, Russia and Japan, are members of APEC.  Any major move by any of them, especially by the US, influence and can change the world situation 

Crisis and war clouds overshadow APEC 2015

Several earth-shaking developments have happened since 1996, the first time APEC Leaders’ Summit was held in the Philippines. That was 5 years to 9/11 and start of “US War against Terror”. There were then no US wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and no US-backed wars in East Ukraine and Yemen. There was no Islamic State (IS) yet at that time, though the al Qaeda and Taliban were already known.

That was 19 years to the start of Russia-led “War against Islamic State (IS)”. It was 18 years before the simmering conflict in South China reached boiling point. It was 19 years before the US pointed at China and Russia as the challengers to the global order it has been shaping since the end of World War 2. That was 12 years to the 2008 outbreak of the global crisis that persists until now.

APEC 2015 is overshadowed by crisis and war clouds. The 7-year crisis has further worsened. Since the outbreak of the crisis, every succeeding annual APEC Summit was tense. In the 2014 summit in China, US President Obama held sideline meetings with heads of countries that were approved for membership in the China-less Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).  

Intense finance and trade rivalry between US and China

APEC 2015 comes at the heels of the signing of the draft agreement on TPP by 12 countries last October 5. TPP is a US scheme to remain the dominant economy dictating the terms of global investment and trade. President Obama confirmed this to media, “Because if we (US) don’t, China would”.

The TPP countries are APEC members: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, USA and Vietnam. TPP would be open to new members after the draft agreement is ratified by the 12 founding members.

The TPP is worse than critics expected. It would thoroughly liberalize and deregulate national economies for the greater freedom of movement and profit-making of leading American and Japanese private monopolists especially in automobile, agriculture and pharmaceutical industries. TPP would make labor more flexible and deregulated, especially on wages and job security.  It opens wider the gates for trade in services, which is mainly the traffic of skilled labor and professionals, whereby foreign investors can bring workers from their home bases and low-wage countries.

The stalled negotiations for TPP were activated and pushed by the US after 50 of 57 founding member-countries of China-initiated Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) confirmed their membership in the signing ceremony in Beijing last June 29.  Other than China, signatories include Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Switzerland, Netherlands, Norway, Iran, Israel, Brazil, Russia, India, South Korea, Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam and others.  The 7 other founding members- Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, Denmark, Poland and Kuwait, are yet to confirm membership and each one’s amount of share in the bank. Twenty (20) more countries applied for membership in the AIIB. 

China-led AIIB is not in the purview of APEC though it certainly would matter in the coming summit. The US and Japan are not joining AIIB. It would surely compete with the World Bank and Asian Development Bank that the two countries dominate.

Wars and escalating war provocations

Millions of refugees from wars in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen and elsewhere poured into Europe, welcomed by Europeans, but barred by their governments. The endless wars that US wages and supports have displaced over 60M people worldwide, the largest number of refugees since World War 2.  Annual US war and military spending is nearly 50% of world’s total defense and military expenditures! But the fund of the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) is not even 1% of US’s annual military and war budget! 

Despite the refugee crisis, the frequency of beatings of war drums intensified. US-Russia and US-China wars are now close to reality. Russia-US war is hairline to reality since the former engaged directly in bombing the IS and other terrorist groups in Syria. The world knows that the IS, Al Nusra and al Qaeda are “allies” of and aided by the US in the already four years “civil war” to overthrow the Assad regime in Syria.  The war that has raged from 2011 has already caused the death of more than 250,000 Syrian civilians.

The US is not serious about Russia’s proposal for a political solution to the war in Syria. For the US, it’s ”the head of Assad or war”. After its training of “moderate rebels” failed miserably, the US is ready to deploy 50 soldiers from its Special Forces to assist the “Free Syrian Army” even as it continues to arm the IS. Lately the US is considering the deployment of F-15 jet fighter planes to Syria. F-15 is designed mainly for aerial battles with US’s enemy’s warplanes.    

In the APEC side of the world, the US, a non-party to the dispute, has taken over and has raised the territorial row in the South China Sea among China, Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan,  to direct confrontation with China. The adamant assertion by China of “territorial sovereignty” over reefs and shoals altered into “islands” with structures for defense purposes and its outright disregard of the rights of other claimants, give reasons for the US to raise its war banner with “freedom of navigation” slogan.

The US has stepped-up its challenge to China’s assertion. US Navy destroyer, USS Lassen deliberately sailed within the 12 nautical mile territorial limit of China-claimed Subi Reef last October 27. This elicited sharp, “We are not afraid of war”, reaction from China. Just days before the 2015 APEC Summit, the US, the declining but still the mightiest nation-state on earth, jacked-up war provocations on China. Two US B-52 bombers conducted “routine flight” over the “artificial islands” of China.

This is despite the case filed by the Philippines against China before the International Tribunal on Law of the Seas (ITLOS). Other claimants have done the same before, but China just ignored them. Now, in the eve of APEC 2015, China is passing on to the Philippines the burden of undoing the “troubles” arising from filing the case. 

Japan is also adding to the rising tension.  The Abe government of Japan, in contravention of its constitution, passed militarist laws redefining Japan’s self defense posture into “collective self-defense” and its pacifist policy into “proactive pacifism”.  This move was condemned by China and South Korea and earned negative remarks from Australia. Only the US and Philippine presidents praised Abe for the passage of the laws despite strong opposition by the Japanese people.

APEC: Dysfunctional mechanism for economic co-operation and peaceful co-existence    

Twenty heads of “economies” are coming to Manila. The leading figures are US President Obama, China’s President Xi Jin ping, Japan’s PM Shinzo Abe, Russia’s PM Dmitry Medvedev and, South Korea’s President Park Geun-ye.

The theme of the APEC 2015 Leaders’ Summit, “Building inclusive economies; Building a better world”, is ironic.  The China-less TPP that favors big private monopoly capitalists is top in the agenda of the summit. The agenda includes climate change and disaster preparedness. But the US and the other big powers are pursuing wars and preparing for bigger wars that would certainly aggravate the humanitarian crisis resulting from present wars.
APEC security was beefed-up starting today following the series of shootings and bombings by alleged IS elements that left more than 120 people dead in Paris, France. The vicinity of Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City has been transformed into veritable war zone, complete with anti-aircraft weapons.

The 2015 APEC Leaders’ Summit is a monument to a more dysfunctional multi-lateral mechanism for global progress and peace. The Filipino people have to bear the burden of hosting the summit, which is an arena for big power rivalry, at the cost of P10B of public funds and the curtailment of their freedom of movement and right to protest along with peoples of other nationalities.

Genuine international progress and peace rely on the solidarity and struggle of the world’s peoples against the moribund, decadent and predatory – crisis and war prone- global capitalism.

Dismantle APEC!

Advance international solidarity and struggle against imperialism, crisis and war!