By Gerry Albert Corpuz and Billy Javier Reyes
Taytay, Rizal- Not less than 5,000 victims of typhoon Ondoy are endorsing the senatorial bids of Bayan Muna party list Rep. Satur Ocampo and Gabriela Women’s Party Liza Maza, according to the organizers of “Avance de Arienda”, the mini proclamation rally staged by residents of Lupang Arienda in Taytay, Rizal.
The “miting de avance” of Lupang Arienda fisherfolk and urban poor organized by the activist fishermen alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya), its Southern Luzon chapter Pamalakaya-Timog Katagalugan, the Katipunan ng Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan (Kasama-TK) and Save Laguna Lake Movement (SLLM) also declared their support to party lists Anakpawis, Bayan Muna, Gabriela, Kabataan Party, Act Teachers and the children advocacy group Akap-Bata.
“Victims of government sponsored disaster in Lupang Arienda and in the 90,000 hectare stretched Laguna Lake are 100 percent green and determine to campaign for senatorial bids of Ocampo and Maza and the progressive party lists comprising the Makabayan coalition,” Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said in a press statement.
The Pamalakaya leader said aside from Lupang Arienda, fisherfolk, farmers and urban poor located in different lake towns in Rizal and Laguna provinces organized by Pamalakaya, Kasama-TK, Pamalakaya-TK and SLLM will also campaign for Reps. Ocampo and Maza, Anakpawis party and sister party list groups like Bayan Muna, Gabriela and Kabataan Party.
Hicap said Laguna fisherfolk endorsement of Ocampo and Maza’s senatorial bids stemmed from the two militant solons unbridled advocacy on the issues of fisherfolk and lake people in Laguna Lake. The fisherfolk official recalled Ocampo and Maza’s sponsorship of bills and resolutions as congressmen calling for legislative inquiries regarding the current state of Laguna Lake including but not limited to congressional inquiries demanding for an end to all anti-fisherfolk and anti-people government projects in the lake.
“Reps. Ocampo and Maza and the progressive party lists are the reasons why this electoral exercise, despite being dominated by traditional politics, elite rule and Jurassic politicians is meaningful for people advocating the politics of change for the people in and out of Congress. Without them, the people have nothing in Congress,” the Pamalakaya official said.
SLLM convener and Pamalakaya-TK secretary general Pedro Gonzalez recalled that Ocampo and Maza joined Anakpawis congressmen- the late party list solon Crispin Beltran and incumbents Rafael Mariano and Joel Maglunsod in pursuing investigations on the proliferation of fish pens, across-the-lake reclamation and road dike construction that led to the rapid deterioration of the lake and forcible demolition of fishing villages in Laguna Lake.
“As far as my recollection is concerned, Ocampo and Maza and the party list congressmen of Anakpawis, Bayan Muna, Gabriela and Kabataan pushed for a resolution demanding the national government to stop all anti-people projects in the lake and recognize the basic economic rights of fisherfolk and the lake people. The resolution was further augmented by several resolutions augmenting each resolution,” the 65-year old fisherfolk leader added.
Gonzalez was referring to a number of investigations in aid of legislation sought by Ocampo, Maza and the other militant partly list congressmen on Laguna Lake like the investigations on the proliferation of corporate fish pens, the plans of Maynilad and Manila Water to tap the lake as source of potable waters, the 5,000 reclamation plan in Taguig, the reclamation projects from Muntinlupa to Rizal lake towns and from Muntinlupa to Laguna lake towns reaching as far as Sta. Cruz.
Pamalakaya’s Hicap said at the height of typhoon Ondoy, Ocampo’s Bayan Muna, Maza’s Gabriela and the rest of the progressive party list bloc delivered not less than 10,000 sacks of rice and relief packs to same number of families along the lakeshores of Rizal and Laguna provinces.
The latest relief operations were conducted in Talim Island and Binangonan mainland were 400 sacks of rice and assorted goods were delivered and another 1,200 sacks of rice and relief packs were distributed to 6,000 families in Lupang Arienda. #