Monthly Archives: March 2010

Presidentiables told: Be ready for people power vs. GMA hold over presidency

By Gerry Albert Corpuz, Bb. Joyce Cabral and Billy Javier Reyes

MANILA, Philippines-The militant fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) urged on Saturday all presidential candidates to sign a covenant calling for the staging of another People Power in case the Macapagal-Arroyo administration declares failure of elections or installs a hold over presidency through a coup instigated by pro-Arroyo faction in the military.

In a press statement, Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap asked Nacionalista Party (NP) standard bearer Manny Villar, Liberal Party presidential candidate Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III,Lakas-Kampi merger party Gilbert Teodoro, Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino bet former President Joseph Bagumbayan candidate Sen. Richard Gordon, Bangon Pilipinas’s Bro. Eddie Villanueva and independent candidates Sen. Jamby Madrigal, JC de los Reyes of Ang Kapatiran Party and Nicanor Perlas to declare their readiness for another people power and commit to mobilize their political forces and members to frustrtate Arroyo’s hold over presidency in whatever form.

“Are they willing to join the people for another People Power? According to the latest survey of the Social Weather Station, 48 percent of the 92 million Filipinos are likely to join any call for popular uprising that will frustrate President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s sinister plot to perpetuate herself to power,” the fisherfolk leader said.

Likewise the same challenged was posed by Hicap to vice-presidential candidates Sen. Mar Roxas of the Liberal Party, Sen. Loren Legarda of Nacionalista Party, Bayani Fernando of Bagumbayan, Edu Manzano of Lakas-Kampi merger party, Jejomar Binay of Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino and Perfecto Yasay of Bangon Pilipinas.

The Pamalakaya leader asserted the possibility of another People Power revolution in the Philippines is not a remote scenario according to political experts closely following the turn of political events unfolding two months before the May 2010 elections that include the Supreme Court decision allowing Mrs. Arroyo to appoint the next Chief Justice two months before the elections and the designation of Gen. Delfin Bangit as the new chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

“If that is the case, then the 92 million Filipinos have no options but to take the streets for the third time around and stage another popular people uprising to frustrate President Arroyo’s attempt to perpetuate herself to power as a hold over president or chief of an installed civilian-military junta dominated by military generals loyal or associated with the party of Arroyo,” said Hicap.

Pamalakaya said the outrage expressed by political activists, lawyers, professionals and politicians opposed to the Supreme Court decision granting President Arroyo the power to appoint the next Chief Justice despite the constitutional prohibition and their opposition against the appointment of Bangit as new AFP chief is an indication that Filipinos are ready to go to the main capital for another People Power to effectively stop the ruling gangland in Malacanang from extending their terms beyond June 30, 2010.

Pamalakaya described the SC ruling as a major legal disaster and the appointment of Bangit and other rabid pro-Arroyo officials in various positions in the government highly revolting.

Pamalakaya advised President Arroyo to refrain from complicating things and instead do the most lawful, sensible and objective action that suits to the national interest and collective will of the people. It said the trouble with President Arroyo is her super obsession to stay in power beyond June 30, 2010 and the President is hell bent in appointing a Chief Justice that will follow the doctrine of Malacanang.#

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Militant group warns impeachment vs. Comelec commissioners over party list row

By Billy Javier Reyes and Cherry de Belen

MANILA, Philippines-The left-leaning fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Wednesday warned Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Jose Melo and other commissioners that they could be sent to impeachment trial if they continue to tolerate the proliferation of bogus and fly –by-night party lists seeking congressional representations in the May 10, 2010 elections.

In a press statement, Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said Chairman Melo, the rest of Comelec commissioners might face impeachment under the next presidency for allowing party list syndicates operated by Malacanang and powerful politicians and interest groups to bastardize the party list system, deny genuine party lists and defraud the marginalized people from electing their real representatives to Congress.

The Pamalakaya leader agreed with Kabataan Party that 38 out of the 187 party lists running in the May 10,2010 elections are either supported by Malacanang or influential people who want to join Congress and avail the yearly pork barrel through the party list system.

“The Comelec has been consistently informed about the grandiose plan of the Macapagal-Arroyo government to saturate the party list election with bogus party lists to prevent genuine party lists from representing the voice of the marginalized citizenry in the House of Representatives,” said Hicap.

The Pamalakaya leader said the call to delist fake party lists had been advocated since 2001 by the activist party list group Bayan Muna and was reiterated by the same party list group and allied party lists like Anakpawis, Gabriela and Kabataan party from 2002 up to the present, but Comelec officials did not give premium to legitimate, politically correct and lawful demands urging the poll body to drop bogus party lists from the roll and refrain from accepting dubious party lists allied with President Arroyo.

“Commissioner Jose Melo and the rest of the poll commissioners are not doing their assignment. The commissioners are afraid to rise above the occasion and come face-to-face with the appointing authority and political benefactors in Malacanang. If they will not correct this political prostitution of the party list system, Melo and company will continue to violate the 1987 Constitution and therefore should be sent to impeachment trial by the next administration,” added Hicap.

Pamalakaya said the nomination of Pampanga Rep. Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo as first nominee, and Dennis Pineda, outgoing mayor of Lubao, Pampanga as second nominee of Ang Galing Pinoy party list should have compelled Comelec to immediately disqualify the party list. The group said upon learning the nominations of Arroyo and Pineda, the poll body should have declared the Arroyo-Pineda party list as fake and have both charged for violating the 1987 charter and the law on party list system.

“This is the politically correct way of weeding out the party list system of fake party lists. But Comelec did not address it that way. On the contrary, the poll body has become a witting partner in crime of syndicated party list groups like Ang Galing Pinoy and other Malacanang created party lists,” the militant group lamented.

Pamalakaya said aside Ang Galing Pinoy, other Palace backed party list groups that should be exposed, opposed and disqualified to run in the party list elections under the May 2010 elections include 1-UTAK transport group headed by outgoing energy secretary Angelo Reyes, Ang Kasangga party list headed by Maria Lourdes Arroyo, sister of First Gentleman Atty. Mike Arroyo, Bantay party list of Rep. Jovito Palparan, Agbiag Timpuyo Ilokano, Ahon Pinoy, Akbay Pinoy-OFW, Aangat Ating Kabuhayan-Filipinas (Anak), Babae Ka, Bigkis, Byaheng Pinoy Labor Association, Kalahi and League of Youth for Peace and Advancement (Lypad).

Pamalakaya said these groups are pseudo party lists which are backed or influenced by Malacanang and other political interests identified with President Arroyo. The militant group said there are other party lists which are believed to be funded or backed by the Office of the President which needed by to be exposed to Filipino voters.

The group said another list of bogus party lists rumored to have the backings of Malacanang and military officials and politicians allied with President Arroyo will be soon revealed to the public.

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Militant group blames Comelec over proliferation of bogus party lists

By Queen Shawn Doc and Lollipop delos Reyes

MANILA, Philippines-The left-leaning fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) blamed on Tuesday the Commission on Election (Comelec) over the proliferation of bogus and fly –by-night party lists seeking congressional representations in the May 10, 2010 elections.

In a press statement, Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said the poll body allowed the all-out bastardization of the party list system by political syndicates allied with Malacanang, and Comelec, including commissioners and high ranking officials are largely to blame for subscribing to the game plan of a political mafia allied with the group of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

“The Comelec has been consistently informed about the grandiose plan of the Macapagal-Arroyo government to saturate the party list election with bogus party lists to prevent genuine party lists from representing the voice of the marginalized citizenry in the House of Representatives,” said Hicap.

The Pamalakaya leader said the call to delist fake party lists had been advocated since 2001 by the activist party list group Bayan Muna and was reiterated by the same party list group and allied party lists like Anakpawis, Gabriela and Kabataan party from 2002 up to the present, but Comelec officials did not give premium to legitimate, politically correct and lawful demands urging the poll body to drop bogus party lists from the roll and refrain from accepting dubious party lists allied with President Arroyo.

“Commissioner Jose Melo and the rest of the poll commissioners are not doing their assignment. The commissioners are afraid to rise above the occasion and come face-to-face with the appointing authority and political benefactors in Malacanang. If they will not correct this political prostitution of the party list system, Melo and company will continue to violate the 1987 Constitution and therefore should be sent to impeachment trial by the next administration,” added Hicap.

Pamalakaya said the nomination of Pampanga Rep. Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo as first nominee, and Dennis Pineda, outgoing mayor of Lubao, Pampanga as second nominee of Ang Galing Pinoy party list should have compelled Comelec to immediately disqualify the party list. The group said upon learning the nominations of Arroyo and Pineda, the poll body should have declared the Arroyo-Pineda party list as fake and have both charged for violating the 1987 charter and the law on party list system.

“This is the politically correct way of weeding out the party list system of fake party lists. But Comelec did not address it that way. On the contrary, the poll body has become a witting partner in crime of syndicated party list groups like Ang Galing Pinoy and other Malacanang created party lists,” the militant group lamented.

Pamalakaya said aside Ang Galing Pinoy, other Palace backed party list groups that should be exposed, opposed and disqualified to run in the party list elections under the May 2010 elections include 1-UTAK transport group headed by outgoing energy secretary Angelo Reyes, Ang Kasangga party list headed by Maria Lourdes Arroyo, sister of First Gentleman Atty. Mike Arroyo, Bantay party list of Rep. Jovito Palparan, Agbiag Timpuyo Ilokano, Ahon Pinoy, Akbay Pinoy-OFW, Aangat Ating Kabuhayan-Filipinas (Anak), Babae Ka, Bigkis, Byaheng Pinoy Labor Association, Kalahi and League of Youth for Peace and Advancement (Lypad).

Pamalakaya said these groups are pseudo party lists which are backed or influenced by Malacanang and other political interests identified with President Arroyo. The militant group said there are other party lists which are believed to be funded or backed by the Office of the President which needed by to be exposed to Filipino voters.

The group said another list of bogus party lists rumored to have the backings of Malacanang and military officials and politicians allied with President Arroyo will be soon revealed to the public.

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Mar Roxas a major disappointment, says climate change group

By Cherry de Belen and Bb. Joyce Cabral

MANILA, Philippines-The left-wing fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya)on Tuesday said they were shocked and disappointed with Liberal Party (LP) vice presidential candidate Sen. Mar Roxas for questioning his closest rival- Nacionalista Party (NP) Vice presidential candidate Sen. Loren Legarda for prioritizing environmental issues such as climate change and El Nino as election campaign.

“Senator Mar Roxas is a major disappointment. He failed millions of farmers and fisherfolk with his avant-garde display of mediocrity, wholesale ignorance and political arrogance on environmental issues like El Nino and climate change,” Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said in a press statement.

“For the information of Senator Roxas, climate change , El Nino and the scores of environmental issues besetting the country today are issues that are matters of life and death to millions of food producing people across-the-archipelago. Why is he is taking for granted issues pertaining to climate change, El Nino and the environment? This is mind-boggling and totally outrageous,” he added.

Yesterday, Sen. Legarda told reporters that she is willing to educate Sen. Roxas on climate change, after the LP vice-presidential bet apparently belittled her environmental advocacy during the ABS-CBN “Harapan” vice presidential debate.

At last Sunday’s debate held at La Consolacion College in Manila, the LP vice-presidential candidate questioned Legarda’s priorities in making the environment her campaign advocacy, noting that the Philippines accounted for less than 1 percent of the Carbon dioxide (CO2) emission that is chiefly blamed for global warming.

But Legarda argued that climate change was a gut issue, as the Philippines was one of 10 countries considered most vulnerable to disasters related to climate change.

Pamalakaya’s Hicap said Roxas’ “earth shaking statement” dismissing the people’s issues and advocacy on climate change and El Nino will mean voluminous reduction of electoral support for the LP Vice-Presidential candidate.

“Sen.Roxas has wittingly or unwittingly attacked environmental and climate change advocacy in this country and this would compel the green advocates and the grassroots voters to think over a thousand times to think if he deserves their votes come May 10, 2010 elections. On the part of the 100,000 strong Pamalakaya, he is no longer in contention in the VP race courtesy of his blasphemous anti-environment and anti-fisherfolk view. Rejection becomes Mr Roxas,” Hicap said.

Pamalakaya expressed doubt Sen. Roxas will accept the offer of Sen.Legarda to get a crash course on climate change and El Nino.

“Mr. Palengke’s humble crusade and humility are only good for election ad and for image building. The LP vice-presidential wannabe is the candidate of big business groups and Roxas’ business clients hate genuine advocacy against climate change, global warming, environmental disaster and El Nino,” the group said. #

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“There’s money for Italian planes, but no funds for fishers’ subsidy”- Group

By Gerry Albert Corpuz and Kremlin Montenegro

MANILA, Philippines-The left-leaning fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) assailed on Monday the $ 13 million contract the Department of National Defense (DND) inked with an Italian aircraft manufacturer, while it continues to ignore the demand of El Nino stricken fisherfolk for a four-month production and economic subsidies to mitigate the impact of the prolonged drought in the country.

“Malacanang and the defense department allocated 13 million in green bucks or roughly P 598 M of taxpayers’ money for the purchase of 18 SF-260 planes from the Italy while ignoring the fact that thousands of El Nino affected fishermen are in dire need of support funds to resume production and mitigate the economic impact of extreme heat besetting the country,” said Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said in a press statement.

The contract between the Italian manufacturer Alenia Aermacchi S.p.A was approved in 2008, but the firm started assembling SF-260 planes only late last year due to undisclosed complications. According to Teresa Parian, chief operating officer of Aerotech Industries Philippines Inc. (AIPI), the Italian manufacturer’s local partner, said the DND agreed to reconstitute the project and to obtain fresh mandate from government in late 2009.

“Can we use the training planes to fish for livelihood? Can it perform miraculous cloud seedings that would soon produce heavy rainfalls of economic subsidies and hunger mitigation measures? The people’s hard earned taxes are spent on white elephant projects like the 13 million dollar Italian training planes,” Hicap lamented.

The procurement of 18 SF-260 planes from Italy is part of the long-delayed modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). According to the executive summary of the AFP modernization plan, in order for the Philippine Air Force (PAF) to have respectable air defense system, the PAF has to acquire a minimum of two squadrons of multi-role fighter aircraft. The SF-260 will cost the government $ 700,000 each P 32 million each.

“This Republic of war freak officials like President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and defense Secretary Norberto Gonzalez is engaged in avant-garde wastage of people’s money in the name of bureaucratic corruption and in the service of their militarist agenda and obsession for bloody war. This 13 million dollar plane deal is grossly inimical to national interest, people’s welfare and strong cry for social justice,” said Pamalakaya.

Pamalakaya last month submitted to the Department of Agriculture (DA0 and the Laguna Lake Development their demand for a P 10,000 per month economic and production subsidy to fishing families affected by the El Nino phenomenon.

The group had said the government should mobilize the P 1.7 billion El Nino budget allotted last year and the calamity funds of provincial and local government units to provide relief to red tide and fish kill stricken areas all over the country. The Pamalakaya fisherfolk alliance had also urged senators and congressmen to donate their remaining salaries from March 1 to June 30, including unspent portions of their pork barrel to fisherfolk and farmer victims of El Nino.

The group said the public could generate P 40,425 each from each district congressman. If there are 220 district congressmen, the fund which could be raised would be P 8,893,500 per month or P 35.57 million for four months. There are 23 senators at present, and each senator also receives
P 40,425 per month or P 929,775 for all senators. If they senators decide to donate their salaries to El Nino victims, the amount that can be generated from senators’ salaries for next four months would be
P 3,719,100.

“If there are 243 congressmen and senators who will donate at least P 20 million of their remaining pork barrel for the year, that would amount to P 4.86 billion, excluding their salaries. All in all, the combined salaries and donated pork barrel would amount to over P 5-billion which could be of big help to affected farmers and fishermen,” Pamalakaya said.

Long marchers assailed landlessness and the war policy of GMA

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Fishers fear Ombudsman’s junking of plunder case filed vs. GMA, Yap

By Sarsi Pimentel, Lollipop delos Reyes and Pepsi La Loma

MANILA, Philippines-Fisherfolk leaders who filed a plunder complaint against President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Agriculture secretary Arthur Yap and other public and private officials in connection with the P 455 million overpriced ice-making machine on January 6, 2010 fear possible dismissal by the Ombudsman of their case against GMA, Yap and other agriculture officials and private individuals before the anti-graft body.

“We have this strong gut feel, our plunder case and other criminal and administrative complaints filed against the GMA-Yap tandem will be either junked or archived by the Office of the Ombudsman under an Arroyo protégé in the person of Ombudswoman Atty. Merceditas Gutierrez,” said Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap and Pamalakaya Vice-Chair Salvador France.

“The Office of the Ombudsman has been prostituted, cannibalized and rendered inutile by the Arroyo administration over the last 9 years since GMA assumed the presidency in 2001. The Ombudsman has been effectively used by the corrupt government of Mrs. Arroyo to cover up the triple platinum crimes of corruption committed by the Arroyo mafia,” the Pamalakaya leaders said.

They added: “The rule and dictum of the ruling gangland might be applied to our case to save Arroyo and company. If the Ombudsman dismissed our plunder complaint, we have no option but to seek motion for reconsideration or re-file the same case in the next administration.”

Pamalakaya challenged Ombudswoman Gutierrez to come true to form in the name of national interest and the people’s collective quest for truth, justice and accountability. The group reminded Atty. Gutierrez that President Arroyo is a lame duck President, and such situation provides her an opportunity to make up for her past blunders and allow the wheels of justice to take its normal course.

“This is an opportunity for Ombudswoman Gutierrez and she should grab it since opportunity only knocks once. This is the time to redeem herself and prove to the people that she is no puppet of the Arroyos,” the group said.

On January 6, Pamalakaya and Anakpawis leaders led by party list Reps. Rafael Mariano and Joel Maglunsod and Anakpawis secretary general Cherry Clemente charged President Arroyo, Sec. Yap and 13 others with plunder and criminal and administrative suits before the Office of the Ombudsman.

In their 16-page plunder complaint filed before the Office of the Ombudsman, complainants said President Arroyo, Sec. Yap and officials of National Agribusiness Council (NABCOR), members of Awards and Bids Committee and owners and operators of Integrated Refrigeration Service System (IRRS) violated Republic Act 7080 or the Anti-Violation Plunder Law, Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, Republic Act 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act for grave misconduct.

The complainants said the agriculture department through NABCOR awarded the government contract to a lone bidder—the Integrated Refrigeration System and Services (IRSS) on September 2, 2009, which will provide the ice-making unit at P 4,650,000 per unit, or about P 2.3 million higher compared to prevailing industry price for the ice-making machine.

Pamalakaya and Anakpawis party list asserted that the P 455- million ice making machine scam is chiefly authored by President Arroyo and members of the syndicate operating in and out of Malacanang and in and out of the agriculture department and that Secretary Yap performed his role to the hilt as the lead actor in this newest high crime of corruption orchestrated by the ruling Mafia in the Palace.

As agreed by parties to contract, the government will pay IRSS the sum of P 455,700,000 for 98 units of ice-making machines with liquid freeze capability which will be supplied to selected municipal fish ports nationwide. But the complainants said the government can obtain 98 units of ice-making machines for P 225 million to P 230 million, or half of the quoted and agreed price with IRSS.

According to information gathered by Pamalakaya and Anakpawis party list, NABCOR conducted a preliminary bidding last August 26, and IRSS which won the bidding, was only incorporated on August 25, a day before the preliminary bidding was conducted.

The groups said under Republic Act 9184 (Procuring Law), Section 37.1, the bidder must submit a copy of its single largest completed contract over the past 3 years, and such condition is impossible for IRSS, which was only incorporated on August 25, this year, a day before the preliminary bidding. The contract was finally awarded last Sept.2.

Prior to the filing of the plunder complaint, businessman Allan V. Ragasa, a complainant had filed charges against Sec. Yap and officials of NABCOR and officers of IRSS headed by its chairman Alexander Leung before the Office of the Ombudsman in relation to the questionable awarding of contract to IRSS. The complaint in violations of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and RA 9184 was filed on Nov.18, 2009. #

The people's electoral choice

Fisherfolk activists see a staunch and formidable ally in Liza Maza

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New AFP chief asked: Who’s behind smear campaign against Left candidates?

By Viva Regala-Alonzo and Billy Javier Reyes

MANILA, Philippines-The militant fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) asked on Thursday newly installed Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Delfin Bangit the reason why despite his order for government troops not to obey unlawful orders from their most senior officers, officers and members of the armed forces are still engage in partisan politics and electioneering against militant party list groups and progressive candidates running in the May 2010 elections.

“If the nationwide hate and vilification campaign against militant party list groups and progressive candidates was not ordered by the AFP chief, then someone that is higher and powerful than The Emperor could be behind this electoral foul play orchestrated by the military”, Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said in a press statement.

Hicap’s group is supporting the party list of Anakpawis party list and the senatorial bids of Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo and Gabriela Women’s Party Rep. Liza Maza. The Pamalakaya leader had earlier asked members of the international community observing the conduct of the May 2010 polls to monitor the involvement of the AFP in partisan politics and electioneering which are directed against activist party list groups and militant candidates.

“We strongly ask Gen. Bangit to set the record straight. Who is behind the smear campaign against progressive party lists and candidates? It is not only unlawful but grossly unconstitutional for AFP officers and state security forces to campaign against progressive party lists and candidates,” Hicap added.

In a speech to a group of marines at Camp Teodulo Bautista in Jolo, Sulu on Wednesday, the newly appointed AFP chief said the soldiers are not bound to obey unlawful orders, stressing that the military are not politicians and therefore should stay out of politics and follow only lawful orders from their superiors.

Leaders and members of Pamalakaya in Sorsogon said the military in the province are conducting house-to-house campaign in the province calling on all voters not to vote for militant party lists like Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, Gabriela, Kabataan Party and Act Teachers party list. The party lists formed Makabayan coalition party that includes Katribu party list, a new party list representing indigenous people and national minority groups in the country.

On Feb.23, Army Major Arnal Manjares hurt one of the campaigners of Makabayan during a house-to-house sortie, while conducting house-to-house campaign for progressive party lists and senatorial candidates Ocampo and Maza.

Based on the report reaching the headquarters of Bayan Muna in Quezon City, Manjares slapped the face of the volunteer and threatened the victim and his companions that they would be killed and harmed if they come back again and campaign for leftwing party lists and candidates in the area.

Pamalakaya said in the last May 2007 elections, cases of partisan politics specifically against Bayan Muna, Anakpawis and Gabriela party lists were also documented Castilla Sorsogon, San Luis, Isabela, Nasugbu, Tanauan and Taysan in Batangas, Dasmarinas, Cavite, Cordon, and Cauayan, and San Luis Roxas, Isabela, Tuburan, Iloilo, Tubod, Lanao Del Norte, Palimbang Sultan Kudarat, Baggao, Cagayan, Burgos, Ilocos Norte, Kolambugan and Tubod Lanao del Norte, Roxas, Mindoro Oriental, Masbate, Guimba, Nueva Ecija, New Bataan, Compostela Valley.

There were also documented cases of military partisan politics against progressive party lists in Gumaca, Lucena, Sariaya, Candelaria, Lucena, Pagbilao, Gen. Luna and Macalelon, all in Quezon province, Alangalang and Tacloban in Leyte, North Cotabato, Marikina City, Makati City, any parts of Camarines Norte, Sa. Rosa, Laguna, Lavenzares, North Samar, Abuyog, Cagayan Valley, Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Marawi City, many polling places in Lanao del Sur and many canvassing areas in Isabela.

Pamalakaya said the forms of military and police involvement include abductions and salvaging of progressive party list leaders and poll watchers, Illegal presence inside canvass areas or roaming around polling places and canvass areas, harassment of voters and forcing them not to vote militant party lists and instead vote for Palace backed party lists like Bantay of Rep. Jovito Palparan, transporting of ballot boxes in canvass areas, banning militant party list poll watchers inside the canvass areas and selecting only those they want to allow to enter, acting as bodyguards of candidates.

Other incidence cited by the militant group to prove military involvement in the 2007 polls included the presence of APC and 6×6 trucks near polling places and canvass areas, police counting the votes in precinct, the shooting and wounding of a Bayan Muna leader, the burning of school rooms, the Illegal arrest of poll watchers and the threatening Comelec official.

Pamalakaya had appealed to members of the National Democratic Institute (NDI) to also monitor and entertain reports and cases against AFP officials and rank-and-file personnel accused of engaging in partisan politics and electioneering.

The group had asked Jamie Metzl of NDI, Thomas Barry, deputy regional director of NDI for Asia, Sam Gejdenson, former member of US Congress, Nora Owen, former justice minister of Ireland and Sue Wood, former president of the New Zealand National Party to put premium on documented reports that the military are campaigning for pro-administration bets and on the other hand are campaigning against certain candidates and party lists highly critical of the Arroyo administration.

“The pro-GMA clique in the AFP is in command of all these dirty electoral campaign against progressive candidates and party lists. It is blatantly and brazenly violating provisions of the 1987 Constitution that illegalize any kind or form of military partisan politics and electioneering. We appeal to the members of the international community to give proper attention to this militarist agenda of the pro-Arroyo faction in the AFP,” the group said.

Pamalakaya also asked members of the Western electoral watchdog to remain until June 30 to complete their observation and make an objective preliminary assessment of the May 2010 elections. The militant group said the March 12 to March 17 schedule of NDI electoral observers was short and will not give them even a comprehensive overview on how the Arroyo government and Comelec commence the 2010 elections under its stewardship.

The militant group had pressed Comelec chairman Jose Melo to invoke the constitutional provision banning all military officials and government troops from exercising partisan politics in lieu of reports that that some members of the AFP are engaged in campaigning against Makabayan senatorial candidates—Bayan Muna party list Rep. Satur Ocampo and Gabriela Rep. Liza Maza and activist party lists Bayan Muna, Gabriela and Anakpawis.

‘The commissioners of Comelec headed by Chairman Melo should impose an iron hand policy against officials and members of the AFP engaged in partisan politics. The military is violating the 1987 Constitution pertaining to partisan politics and this political-military adventure sanctioned by the ruling party in Malacanang must be put to an end,” the group said. #

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Mikey urged to work as security guard before running as party list nominee

By Lollipop de los Reyes and Queen Shawn Dok

MANILA, Philippines-The militant fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Monday gave presidential son and Pampanga Rep. Juan Miguel “ Mikey” Arroyo to work as security guard for at least 2 years before seeking running as party list nominee of Ang Galing Pinoy, a sectoral party list organization representing the “marginalized” interests of security guards all over the country.

“If Rep. Arroyo wants to become the voice of the poor and the oppressed he should undergo a major political overhaul, atone for his grave sins against the people and prove his worth as the real representative of the marginalized group he wants to represent. If he wants to acquire continuing political power and impunity by cannibalizing and bastardizing the party list system, then better forget his sinister plan and consider an early retirement from politics,” Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said in a press statement.

Arroyo gave up his chance to represent the second district of Pampanga in favor of his mother- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. He is rumored to be running as the first nominee of Ang Galing Pinoy party list, which Pamalakaya and allied party list groups opposed because it is a party list backed by Malacanang and perceived to be one of the party list machineries to ensure seats that would catapult Mrs. Arroyo to the speakership of the 15th Congress.

“Why not work first as a security guard at least for two to three years. Mikey can work as one of the security guards guarding the Arroyo owned LTA Corp. building in Makati City in various shifts so he could directly experience the ordeals of blue guards and internalize their issues and concerns in the process. Will he accept this challenge?” Hicap asked.

The Pamalakaya leader also said the same applies to Department of Energy (DoE) Secretary Angelo Reyes who is rumored to be running as the party list nominee of the transport party list group 1-UTAK, another Malacanang hatched party list.

“We also advise Secretary Reyes to leave his post and pursue a driving career as a jeepney driver in the next two to three years before joining the party list system as no.1 nominee of that highly questionable transport party list group,” added Hicap.
Pamalakaya argued that Secretary Reyes does not represent the voice of the hardworking transport worker, asserting further that the controversial energy chief is the ultimate and first rate puppet of oil cartel and transnational mining companies over the last five years.

The militant group doubted that Rep. Arroyo and Sec. Reyes would accept their challenge, saying people with cruel intentions and sinister interests will not subscribe to their proposal for political reforms and meaningful change.

“Rep. Arroyo and Sec. Reyes and the party lists they represent are part of the entire ruling syndicate in Malacanang. Their penchant for extreme greed for power and super crimes of corruption are undeniable,” said Pamalakaya.

The militant group said since it is next to impossible for Rep. Arroyo and Sec. Reyes to live up to their challenge, they would join party list groups Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, Gabriela and Kabataan Party in the signature campaign to disqualify alleged party list groups identified and supported by Malacanang.

Pamalakaya said the party list groups that should be exposed, opposed and disqualified to run in the party list elections in the coming May 2010 elections aside from Ang Galing Pinoy and 1-UTAK are Ang Kasangga headed by Maria Lourdes Arroyo, sister of First Gentleman Atty. Jose Miguel “ Mike” Arroyo, Bantay party list of Rep. Jovito Palparan, Agbiag Timpuyo Ilokano, Ahon Pinoy, Akbay Pinoy-OFW, Aangat Ating Kabuhayan-Filipinas (Anak), Babae Ka, Bigkis, Byaheng Pinoy Labor Association, Kalahi and League of Youth for Peace and Advancement (Lypad).

Pamalakaya said these groups are pseudo party lists which are backed or influenced by Malacanang and other political interests identified with President Arroyo. The militant group said there are other party lists which are believed to be funded or backed by the Office of the President which needed by to be exposed and opposed to the Filipino public. #

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Noynoy told: You can’t really sell Hacienda Luisita, it is not yours

By Gerry Albert Corpuz and Billy Javier Reyes

MANILA, Philippines-One of the groups supporting the fight of Hacienda Luisita workers expressed outrage on Tuesday over a controversial statement of Liberal Party (LP) standard-bearer Senator Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III that the family could have gained P 3.B in net profits from selling the large sugar plantation if his family did not care about the farmers and only care for their interests.

In a press statement, the leftwing fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) said the Cojuangco-Aquino family has no right to claim ownership over the 6,453 hectare sugar plantation, and therefore has no right to dispose it to high bidders ad preferred clients of the Cojuangcos interested in acquiring the disputed land.

Aquino said the 4,500-hectare plantation could have been sold at P4.5 billion, with the real estate price of P100 per square meter. He said if his family decided to sell Hacienda Luisita, seventy percent of the proceeds will go the Cojuangco family or roughly P 3.15 billion, after payment of the company’s debts, adding at there would still be a big enough amount left in the family bank accounts.

“Noynoy and the landed aristocrats and oligarchs of the Cojuangco-Aquino landed mafia have no right to claim ownership over Hacienda Luisita. They should stop representing themselves as owners and benign proprietors of the 6,453-hectare sugar plantation. Hacienda Luisita belongs to generations of hardworking farm workers who were deprived of their rights to land by the passed on landed matriarchs and patriarchs of the exploiting Cojuangco clan,” Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said.

Hicap accused Sen. Aquino of misleading the Filipino public by trying to picture them as enlightened landlords in the countryside. “This presidential wannabe is a certified liar and a first-rate harbinger of lies and illusions. The farmers all over the country should reject this traditional politician and sugar-coated warlord in Central Luzon,” he said. According to Hicap, the Cojuangco-Aquino family acquired Hacienda Luisita through an endless campaign of coercion and deception on farm workers.

The Pamalakaya official said Noynoy should face the issues surrounding Hacienda Luisita fair and square and refrain from issuing statements that misrepresent or distort the real score in the 6,453-hectare sugar plantation that covers towns of Tarlac province.

Hicap stressed Hacienda Luisita should had been distributed to farmer beneficiaries in 1967 as part of the agreement between the Philippine government and the Cojuangco family in exchange for the P 7 million loan the family of former President Corazon Cojuangco-Aquino obtained from the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), aside from the 10-year loan acquired by the Cojuangcos from Manufacturer’s Trust Company in New York which was permitted by the Central Bank of the Philippines.

The loan obtained from New York and the GSIS loan were used by the Cojuangcos to buy the Hacienda Luisita from its former Spanish owners on the condition that the sugar estate will be awarded to farm workers in 1967 in pursuit of agrarian reform and social justice.

“Where is Noynoy’s sense of history and justice? He and his family are distorting everything to keep their unlawful and immoral control of Hacienda Luisita. Please do not vote for this political shenanigan in 2010. He poses extreme danger to the people,” added Hicap.

The Pamalakaya leader said Senator Aquino and other members of the Cojuangco-Aquino family should be declared illegal occupants and bogus owners of Hacienda Luisita. “In fact Aquino and Cojuangco clan should be charged of grave fraud and exploitation for transforming Hacienda Luisita farmworkers into long-time and long-running serfs over the last four decades. That is undeniably crime against humanity,” said Hicap.

Pamalakaya said the free distribution of 6,453 hectare Hacienda Luisita to 10,000 farm workers faces zero possibility in case Aquino wins the presidency in 2010. “Aquino and the Cojuangco clan will not relinquish their illegal and immoral control of Luisita. Noynoy will even use the presidency just like what his mother did to stop the farm workers from acquiring Luisita. It is all in the feudal mindset of the Cojuangcos and the rate things are going, even Noynoy sisters will cooperate to ensure gross denials of peasant land rights for another four to five decades or even a century more,” the group added.

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International observers told: Watch AFP on partisan politics

By Pepsi La Loma and Billy Javier Reyes

MANILA, Philippines- The leaders of the militant fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) urged on Sunday asked members of the international community observing the conduct of the May 2010 elections to monitor the possible involvement of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) identified with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in partisan politics.

In a press statement, Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap and Pamalakaya-Vice chairperson Salvador France noted the Western election observers have focused their attention on the preparations of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and have missed one vital electoral issue, which is the partisan politics and electioneering conducted by pro-Arroyo officials in the AFP against candidates critical of the Arroyo administration that includes two progressive senatorial candidates and left-leaning party lists.

The Pamalakaya officials appealed to the US-based National Democratic Institute (NDI) to also monitor and entertain reports and cases against AFP officials and rank-and-file personnel accused of engaging in partisan politics and electioneering.

Hicap and France asked Jamie Metzl of NDI, Thomas Barry, deputy regional director of NDI for Asia, Sam Gejdenson, former member of US Congress, Nora Owen, former justice minister of Ireland and Sue Wood, former president of the New Zealand National Party to put premium on documented reports that the military are campaigning for pro-administration bets and on the other hand are campaigning against certain candidates and party lists highly critical of the Arroyo administration.

“The pro-GMA clique in the AFP is in command of all these dirty electoral campaign against progressive candidates and party lists. It is blatantly and brazenly violating provisions of the 1987 Constitution that illegalize any kind or form of military partisan politics and electioneering. We appeal to the members of the international community to give proper attention to this militarist agenda of the pro-Arroyo faction in the AFP,” the Pamalakaya leaders said.

Pamalakaya also asked members of the Western electoral watchdog to remain until June 30 to complete their observation and make an objective preliminary assessment of the May 2010 elections. The militant group said the March 12 to March 17 schedule of NDI electoral observers was short and will not give them even a comprehensive overview on how the Arroyo government and Comelec commence the 2010 elections under its stewardship.

The militant group had pressed Comelec chairman Jose Melo to invoke the constitutional provision banning all military officials and government troops from exercising partisan politics in lieu of reports that that some members of the AFP are engaged in campaigning against Makabayan senatorial candidates—Bayan Muna party list Rep. Satur Ocampo and Gabriela Rep. Liza Maza and activist party lists Bayan Muna, Gabriela and Anakpawis.

‘The commissioners of Comelec headed by Chairman Melo should impose an iron hand policy against officials and members of the AFP engaged in partisan politics. The military is violating the 1987 Constitution pertaining to partisan politics and this political-military adventure sanctioned by the ruling party in Malacanang must be put to an end,” the group said.

Leaders and members of Pamalakaya in Sorsogon said the military in the province are conducting house-to-house campaign in the province calling on all voters not to vote for militant party lists like Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, Gabriela, Kabataan Party and Act Teachers party list. The party lists formed Makabayan coalition party that includes Katribu party list, a new party list representing indigenous people and national minority groups in the country.

On Feb.23, Army Major Arnal Manjares hurt one of the campaigners of Makabayan during a house-to-house sortie, while conducting house-to-house campaign for progressive party lists and senatorial candidates Ocampo and Maza.

Based on the report reaching the headquarters of Bayan Muna in Quezon City, Manjares slapped the face of the volunteer and threatened the victim and his companions that they would be killed and harmed if they come back again and campaign for leftwing party lists and candidates in the area.

Pamalakaya said in the last May 2007 elections, cases of partisan politics specifically against Bayan Muna, Anakpawis and Gabriela party lists were also documented Castilla Sorsogon, San Luis, Isabela, Nasugbu, Tanauan and Taysan in Batangas, Dasmarinas, Cavite, Cordon, and Cauayan, and San Luis Roxas, Isabela, Tuburan, Iloilo, Tubod, Lanao Del Norte, Palimbang Sultan Kudarat, Baggao, Cagayan, Burgos, Ilocos Norte, Kolambugan and Tubod Lanao del Norte, Roxas, Mindoro Oriental, Masbate, Guimba, Nueva Ecija, New Bataan, Compostela Valley.

There were also documented cases of military partisan politics against progressive party lists in Gumaca, Lucena, Sariaya, Candelaria, Lucena, Pagbilao, Gen. Luna and Macalelon, all in Quezon province, Alangalang and Tacloban in Leyte, North Cotabato, Marikina City, Makati City, any parts of Camarines Norte, Sa. Rosa, Laguna, Lavenzares, North Samar, Abuyog, Cagayan Valley, Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Marawi City, many polling places in Lanao del Sur and many canvassing areas in Isabela.

Pamalakaya said the forms of military and police involvement include abductions and salvaging of progressive party list leaders and poll watchers, Illegal presence inside canvass areas or roaming around polling places and canvass areas, harassment of voters and forcing them not to vote militant party lists and instead vote for Palace backed party lists like Bantay of Rep. Jovito Palparan, transporting of ballot boxes in canvass areas, banning militant party list poll watchers inside the canvass areas and selecting only those they want to allow to enter, acting as bodyguards of candidates, presence of APC and 6×6 trucks near polling places and canvass areas, police counting the votes in precinct, the shooting and wounding of a Bayan Muna leader, the burning of school rooms, the Illegal arrest of poll watchers and the threatening Comelec official.

Pamalakaya also reiterated its call for Comelec to recall its previous decision allowing CAGGUs and other paramilitary units to carry fire arms during the election season. The militant group asserted that the long experience and track record of CAFGUs in partisan politics, acting as paid goons and private armies of powerful politicians, the poll body should have recalled its resolution and pursued the across-the-nation disbandment of special civilian armed forces.
Under Comelec resolution 8742 made effective last January 11, amending Resolution 8714, the CAFGU was exempted from gun ban along with members of the Presidential Security Group, Bureau of Fire Protection, Optical Media Board, the treasurers and deputy treasurers and members of the Internal Security Division of the Bureau of Treasury.
Prior to Comelec promulgation of Resolution 8714, Rear Admiral Alexander Pama, commander of the Naval Forces Western Mindanao opposed the disarming of CAAs because these paramilitary groups are tapped by fishing companies to secure their venture in the South. For his part, Lt. Gen. Ben Dolorfino, chief of Western Command said as far as the military is concerned, the CAFGUs are part of the military organization and not all CAFGUs are utilized by private companies operating in far flung areas. #

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