By Gerry Albert Corpuz, Rey Manangan and Axel Pinpin
Antipolo City, Rizal- Typhoon Ondoy survivors and groups supporting the plight of typhoon victims today staged a 10-jeep motorcade along lake towns devastated by the super typhoon in Rizal and Laguna provinces to campaign for party lists and senatorial bets which they said will support the fight of typhoon victims in and out of Congress.
The modest fisherfolk and typhoon Ondoy victims’ motorcade dubbed Laguna Lake People’s Caravan for Social Justice and Progressive Politics was organized by the militant fishermen alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya), its Southern Luzon chapter Pamalakaya-Timog Katagalugan, Anakpawis party list, the Katipunan ng Samahang Magbubukid ng Timog Katagalugan (Kasama-TK) and the broad Save Laguna Lake Movement (SLLM).
The caravan will start in Jala-Jala, then will pass through Pilila, Tanay, Morong, Baras, Teresa, Cardona, Binangonan, Angono, Antipolo, Cainta and will end up in Lupang Arienda in Taytay, Rizal. On the second day, the Laguna wing caravan composed of two mobile propaganda teams will cover the lake areas of Sta. Cruz, Los Banos, Calamba, San Pedro and Binan on their way to Lupang Arienda, also in Taytay, Rizal.
Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said campaigners will post election materials in populated and designated areas along Laguna Lake in both Rizal and Laguna provinces. The propaganda teams embedded in the mini caravan will distribute materials and posters of progressive party list groups like Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, Gabriela and Kabataan Party, as well as the campaign posters of Makabayan senatorial candidates Satur Ocampo of Bayan Muna and Liza Maza of Gabriela Women’s Party.
The Pamalakaya leader said caravan organizers will endorse the party list bids of Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, Gabriela and Kabataan Party and the senatorial candidacies of Ocampo and Maza in tomorrow’s grand proclamation rally to be attended by not less than 5,000 Ondoy victims and residents of Lupang Arienda in Taytay, Rizal.
“This is politics of change in action. The people will vote base on issues and not on politics of personalities and popularity. This is the ultimate concretization of people’s electoral agenda in the May 2010 elections,” added Hicap.
For her part, Kasama-TK spokesperson Imelda Lacandazo said the modest fisherfolk caravan will also highlight the demand of Ondoy victims to stop the massive privatization and conversion of Laguna lake into an across-the-lake hub for big business and frustrate the government plans to demolish close to 100,000 fisherfolk and urban poor families in Lupang Arienda and other parts of the 90,000 hectare Laguna Lake.
Lacandazo, also one of the conveners of SLLM said nominees of party list groups Bayan Muna, Anakpawis and Gabriela, and Makabayan senatorial candidates Ocampo and Maza were also invited to personally accept the endorsement of Lupang Arienda and Laguna Lake people of their respective bids in the May 2010 elections.
“Lupang Arienda people and the rest of the victims of state sponsored disaster at the height of typhoon Ondoy in Laguna Lake are entrusting their political and electoral votes to the real servants of the poor. The progressive party lists and Reps. Ocampo and Maza will get all the support they could get from the lake people of Laguna for their unyielding commitment to the cause of the marginalized fishermen and poor folks in Laguna Lake,” Lacandazo added.
Kasama-TK said the caravan will also call for the immediate and unconditional release of 43 doctors and medical personnel arrested by state security forces last Saturday during a health seminar inside a resort in Morong, Rizal.
Officials of the 2nd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army insisted that those arrested were members of New People’s Army and were conducting training on bomb making when the 300 government troops raided the venue, arrested the health workers and brought them to Camp Capinpin in Tanay, Rizal over the weekend. With reports from Pepsi La Loma and Sarsi Pimentel