Tag Archives: Anakpawis Rep. Rafael Mariano

Satur, Maza to lead farmers’ March in Mendiola

By Bombshell Moran

Manila, Philippines- Eight militant party list lawmakers will lead the 7,000 strong farmers’ march to Don Chino Roces Bridge on the occasion of the 23rd year anniversary of Mendiola Massacre.

In a press conference this morning, Makabayan senatorial candidates Rep. Satur Ocampo (Bayan Muna) and Rep. Liza Maza (Gabriela) and Anakpawis party list lawmakers Rafael Mariano and Joel Maglunsod said four of their colleagues—Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Javier Colmenares, Bayan Muna Rep. Teodoro Casino, Gabriela Women’s Party list Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan and Kabataan Party list Rep. Raymond Palatino will also join the 10-kilometer march from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Quezon City to Mendiola Bridge in Manila on Friday.

“According to data provided by Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) majority of private agricultural lands are still in the hands of big landlords. Around 7 million hectares of prime agricultural lands remained untouched and undistributed, and based from that projection, agrarian injustice still reign all over the country,” Maza said.

Anakpawis’ Mariano said around 500 farmers representing peasant groups in Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan, Benguet, Cagayan, Isabela, Tarlac, Zambales, Bataan, Pampanga, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija and Aurora are now marching from Malolos City to Meycauyan City. The Northern and Central Luzon contingent is being led by the Alyansang Magbubukid ng Gitnang Luzon and the Hacienda Luisita based United Luisita Workers Union (ULWU).

“The Northern and Central Luzon leg of Pambansang Lakbayan ng Anakpawis Para sa Lupa at Katarungan encountered minor hassles compared to the South leg which is marred by frequent military and police checkpoints since day one of the 10-day caravan which started in Davao City and Cagayan de Oro City where marchers and their vehicles were subjected to rigorous check and inspection,” Rep. Mariano said.

Maglunsod said the Southern leg of the Lakbayan composed of Mindanao island, Panay and Negros islands, Central Visayas and Eastern Visayas, Bicol and Southern Tagalog had hurdled series of checkpoints and stoppages in Davao City, Butuan City, Cagayan de Oro, Liloan and Tacloban City in Leyte, Catbalogan, Calbayog and Catarman in Samar, Sorsogon City in Sorsogon, Daraga and Legaspi City in Albay.

Last Sunday, Maglunsod recalled that in Gumaca, Quezon province, the caravan was stopped five times and derailed the arrival of farmers in Lucena City in Quezon. “The AFP and the PNP are exploiting the Comelec gun ban to harass the marchers and derail their caravan to Manila. I was in Bicol during the caravan’s leg in the region, and we have to negotiate from time to time to military and police authorities just to be allowed to pass from one town to the next town. This is ridiculous, “the Anakpawis solon said.

The militant labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno and staunch ally Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay) said they will mobilize at least 2,000 of their members in support of the farmers’ march to Mendiola, while Anakpawis, Bayan Muna and Gabriela chapters all over the National Capital Region will also join what they called the historic march and caravan for land and justice.

Meanwhile, critics of the Arroyo government on Tuesday ate apples and oranges at the gate of the Department of Agriculture in Quezon City, while their colleagues who marched from Mindanao and Visayas islands, Bicol and Southern Tagalog regions morphed President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo into a monster backhoe in Calamba City in Laguna to mark the 8th day of the Lakbayan ng Anakpawis Para sa Lupa at Katarungan.

Some 80 fisherfolk and farmer activists belonging to Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya), Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) and Anakpawis party list once blocked the gates of agriculture department with 5 huge ice blocs and put 50 pieces of oranges and 50 pieces of apples on top of these ice blocs for cooling.

Later they ate the apples and oranges in a symbolic protest against the P 455-million ice making machine scam involving agriculture secretary Arthur Yap and 13 other government and private officials, who syndicated the bidding and procurement of 98 ice-making machines, which the groups said was overpriced by P 2.3 million per unit or P 225 million.

Officials of DA and the spokespersons of the National Agribusiness Corporation (Nabcor) said Pamalakaya and Anakpawis were wrong in comparing the 98 units brought by the winning bidder to the ice-making machines offered by other bidders, saying the groups who filed the plunder case against President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Sec. Yap were comparing apples and oranges, asserting that the machines were double in price because these were state of the art technologies.

“See? Fisherfolk don’t compare oranges and apples. They eat them. However, it would be a chance of lifetime for our small fishers to have oranges and apples in their dining tables,” says Pamalakaya vice chair Salvador France and Anakpawis party list secretary general Cherry Clemente in a joint statement.

Last January 6, Pamalakaya and Anakpawis leaders led by Rep. Rafael Mariano and Joel Maglunsod filed the plunder and other criminal and administrative charges against President Arroyo, Sec. Yap and 13 other public and private officials

In Calamba City, the 1,500 marchers from Mindanao island, Panay Island, Negros Island, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Bicol and Southern Tagalog regions paraded an effigy known as “Gloriang Backhoe” where President Arroyo was morphed into a giant monster like backhoe depicting her administration as a regime massacring livelihood and human rights of the people all over the archipelago.

The 7 feet tall and 5 feet wide Backhoe effigy made of wood and other scrap materials was crafted by the Katipunan ng mga Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan (Kasama-TK) and its cultural arm—the Southern Tagalog Cultural Network showing Arroyo’s face as the backhoe machine being operated by Uncle Sam symbolizing the US control over her administration.

Kasama-TK spokesperson Imelda Lacandazo said the effigy will be paraded as the 1,500 strong marchers from Mindanao, Panay and Negros islands, Central and Eastern Visayas, Bicol and Southern Tagalog regions march from Calamba City to San Pedro in Laguna today.

“This effigy symbolizes the crimes of President Arroyo to the people. It represents the criminal activities of this government including landlessness, human rights violations, all forms of fraud and corruption and puppetry,” she said. With reports from Bb. Joyce Cabral and Chocolate Moose Fernandez

Backhoe Gloria symbolizes the crimes of the Arroyo regime

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Fishers group urges House, Senate to prioritize Laguna Lake probe too

By Billy Javier Reyes and Rey Manangan

Binangonan, Rizal- The lake wide fishers group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) and staunch ally- the multisectoral alliance Save Laguna Lake Movement (SLLM) on Thursday urged leaders of the Philippine Senate and the House of Representatives to also prioritize the legislative inquiry on Laguna Lake which is still under 14.5 meter deep since tropical storm Ondoy hit the country on Sept.26.

“Today is Oct.16 or about 20 days since storm Ondoy turned Laguna Lake into a virtual water world. Do we need 40 days before Congress takes up an inquiry on the ill-fated 90,000 hectare lake? Excuse us, but Laguna Lake, its people and environment are not dead to wait for 40-day ritual,” Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said in a press statement.

Hicap added: “Let me remind our lawmakers that 30 towns and cities of Rizal and Laguna provinces and the National Capital Region were swallowed by Laguna Lake at the height of storm Ondoy affecting 2.2 million out of the 6 million fisherfolk and lake shore population. But the investigation is not moving as if the issue on hand is just a dime-a-dozen concern”.

The Pamalakaya leader noted that only a handful of lawmakers agreed to their proposal for an all-out investigation on the current state of Laguna Lake. They are Senator Jamby Madrigal in the Senate, Muntinlupa Rep. Ruffy Biazon and militant party list lawmakers Satur Ocampo, Teddy Casino and Neri Colmenaras of Bayan Muna, Luzviminda Ilagan and Liza Maza of Gabriela Women’s Party, Raymond Palatino of Kabataan Party and Rafael Mariano and Joel Maglunsod of Anakpawis party list.

“The Senate has 23 senators and the House of Representatives has 255 congressmen. But only a few good men and women managed to rise above the occasion. It is not too late for the leadership of both Houses and their peers to come to their senses and start the ball rolling on Laguna Lake catastrophe,” added Hicap.

The lake-based groups said Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and House Speaker Prospero Nograles should discourage members of the Senate and the House from going into vacation or abroad and instead call for special sessions that will look into the impacts of storm Ondoy and typhoon Pepeng and root the causes of the twin catastrophe that plagued the almost entire island of Luzon. Both houses are set to have their recess on Oct.15.

“No more foreign trips please, and the lawmakers should continue their legislative work by pursuing these investigations in aid of legislation and by going back to their respective districts and find out the needs of their devastated constituents,” Hicap added.

Prior to typhoon Ondoy, Pamalakaya and SLLM asserted that towns and cities surrounding the lake were already flooded. The groups attributed the flooding to the closure of the NCHS that prevented excess waters of Laguna Lake from passing through Pasig River on its way to Manila Bay. Both groups said at the height of typhoon Ondoy, the Napindan channel was still closed impounding more waters to the lake and later spilled to 30 towns in Rizal, Laguna and Metro Manila.

Last week, the Social Action Center of San Pablo City in Laguna said the mass flooding affected 20 towns of Laguna, excluding several towns in Rizal province and had displaced around 750,248 people mostly fisherfolk, farmers and urban poor.

The most affected towns are the towns of Binan where 45,125 families or 198,700 people were displaced, followed by San Pedro (25,606 families or 153,636 people affected), Sta.Cruz (20, 498 families or 102,590 people displaced) Sta. Rosa (14,951 families or 77,052 people displaced), Cabuyao (7,670 families or 46,001 persons affected), Calamba (8,024 families or 33, 819 people affected) and Los Banos (5,496 families or 29,730 people displaced.

Pamalakaya and SLLM suggested the following names and offices to be invited or subpoenaed for the congressional inquiry, whether separate or joint congressional inquiry.

Their list includes environment Secretary Joselito Atienza, Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) General Manager Edgar Manda, the governors of Rizal and Laguna provinces, mayors and local government officials of affected 30 towns and cities surrounding the lake, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), the officials of Board of Investment (BOI), the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) and the Office of Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita to represent President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. #

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AFP’s campaign to sabotage Left’s 2010 bid is on, says Pamalakaya

AFP’s campaign to sabotage Left electoral bid is on, says Pamalakaya

The left-leaning fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Saturday said the Armed Forces of the Philippines has just started its campaign to sabotage the electoral bid of militant party list groups in the 2010 elections.

According to Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap one proof that the military is spreading malicious disinformation to deceive the Filipino public is the AFP report that his group will join the party list election next year, and that its campaign will be funded from the $ 210 million raised by the New People’ss Army from collected revolutionary taxes from big business operating in guerilla zones controlled or influenced by the communist guerillas.

“The report is a product of sloppy intellgence work and not so intelligent escapades of the military. But just the same they did it on purpose, which is to sabotage the participation of progressive personalities and party lists in tne 2010 elections,” said Hicap.

The Pamalakaya leader denied the previous report of the Armed Forces of the Philippines that is running in the party list election in 2010 with the financial backing of the New People’s Army, the political armed of the Communist Party of the Philippines.

According to document seized by the military from communist rebels during an encounter, the CPP and its front organizations will be active in the 2010 elections and they have raised $ 210 million from revolutionary taxes the communist guerillas imposed on big businesses to support its party lists and the senatorial candidates under the newly formed group Makabayan.

The same document said Pamalakaya, a party list of farmers and fishermen will participate in the 2010 elections under the party list system and will have Rafael Mariano as its no.1 nominee.

“First, please allow us to correct this misinformation being peddled by the AFP. Pamalakaya is not a party list group and definitely will not run in the 2010 elections under the party list system. To set the record straight, Pamalakaya will suppport the party list bid of Anakpawis and the three senatorial candidates of Makabayan – Satur Ocampo and Teddy Casino of Bayan Muna and Liza Maza of Gabriela in the 2010 elections,” said Hicap.

“Actually we are not shocked nor surprised by this intelligence report, since the military is used to feed the public with tall tales, false reports and false alarms to justify their evil plans and at the same time enjoy the unbridled corruption of public funds,” the Pamalakaya leader added.

According to the military intelligence report based on documents seized by the military from the NPA guerillas during an encounter, the fisherfolk group Pamalakaya will run in the 2010 elections and that Anakpawis party list Rep. Rafael Mariano would be its no.1 nominee.

“Pamalakaya’s existence and advocacy are an open book to the Filipino public and even to the military establishment since it is a legal organization. The information fed by the military informer to the AFP about our plans in the 2010 elections is wrong,” Pamalakaya’s Hicap said.

“For the information of the AFP and their not-so-intelligent persons, Pamalakaya, like in 2004 and 2007 elections, will continue to support the electoral bid of Anakpawis, which Rep. Mariano serves as president,” Hicap said.

Pamalakaya said the military are again into mass production of grand stories against the left-leaning groups and party lists and their personalities to justify present and future moves that could imperil if not derail the active participation of legal organizations like Bayan Muna, Anakpawis and Gabriela party lists in the 2010 elections.

AFP intelligence personnel also said the Commnunist Party of the Philippines (CPP), its armed wing the New People’s Army and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP)have raised the equivalent of
$ 200 million as campaign funds for the candidates who will be supported by the communists in the 2010 elections.

The sources said the $200 million raised so far allegedly came from “revolutionary taxes” imposed by the CPP-NPA on politicians, businessmen as well as transportation and telecommunication firms operating throughout the country.

The captured documents also indicated that the CPP-NPA is optimistic that more funds would be raised with the 2010 elections less than a year away, the sources said.

In particular, a large chunk of such funds would come from “fees” to be collected from the politicians who want to campaign in the “rebel-held or controlled areas” in the country’s far-flung areas, the military sources said.

“It is common knowledge, and this is not denied by the CPP-NPA, that the rebels succeed in collecting fees from national and local politicians to enable them to enter and campaign in areas where the rebels are most active,” one of the AFP sources pointed out.

About 45 million qualified voters are expected to troop to the polling precincts in the country’s first-ever fully automated polls in May 2010 to elect the successors of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Vice President Noli de Castro.

Also at stake in the coming polls are 12 senators who are to be elected nationally as well as provincial and local positions like congressmen, governors, town and city mayors and councilors.#

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Philippine extended land reform law will spur reversals not reforms

Editorial: The Pamalakaya Times
Philippine extended land reform law will spur reversals not reforms

Last week, Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed the recently passed law that extends the life of the twenty year old Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program or the Carper law, which she hyped as a landmark piece of legislation.

The signing of the extended land reform law was witnessed by a crowd of farmer beneficiaries, agrarian reform officials and employees mobilized by the local agrarian reform agencies and local government officials and key leaders of the legislative branch headed by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, House Speaker Prospero Nograles and bill author Senator Gregorio Honasan.

President Arroyo said reforms are well placed in the extended land reform law to ensure farmer beneficiaries will be able to get parcels of land that they have been waiting over the last two decades and that enough provisions for support services were incorporated to help them raise productivity and increase dwarfed incomes by hundreds of percent to alleviate poverty in the rural areas.

RA 9700 according to Arroyo aims to distribute 1.2 million hectares of still undistributed private lands to more than 700,000 farmer beneficiaries in the next five years from 2009 to 2014, which her government regarded as a fitting tribute to former President Corazon Aquino, whose term the CARP was conceived.

But a study session on the possible impact of Carper law to Filipino farmers revealed the new land reform law has nothing to offer but wholesale denial of peasant land rights, across-the-country land reform reversals and the land reform law will usher a heighten era of political repression in the countryside rather that completes the cycles of social justice.

Anakpawis party list Rep. Rafael Mariano, the farmer activist turned lawmaker opined that the Carper law is so far the worst and most reactionary and anti-Filipino farmer law that was ever crafted by Philippine legislation since 1946 or 63 years since the first agrarian reform program was introduced by the Manila government in the post World War II era.

“The Carper law is not a social justice piece of legislation. It is a shotgun piece of lawmaking that seeks to perpetuate social injustice and landlessness in the country. It is more deadly than the previous land reform law. How can you expect land reform in the new agrarian reform law if its’ running objective is to distribute lands to landlords, real estate agents, land speculators and foreign investors?” the 49 year old farmer legislator said during the study forum on Carper law.

Mariano asserted that “the so-called industrialization” in the Carp extension with reforms (Carper) was a “gross distortion.” The peasant lawmaker, who is a veteran of farmer led street protests since the 1908s asserted that “the industrialization in Carper is not based on the free distribution of lands to empower farmers but on the anticipated influx of foreign agribusinesses and massive land-use conversion.

The peasant legislator further reduced the Carper law into a legal monster that would fortify feudal exploitation in the rural areas all over the Philippines. Citing the newly signed law’s Section 1 “Declaration of Principles and Policies,” Mariano said, “the sell-out of vast tracts of agricultural lands to local and foreign agribusinesses and land-use conversion are now elevated as state policies.”

“The State shall promote industrialization and full employment based on sound agricultural development and agrarian reform, through industries that make full and efficient use of human and natural resources, and which are competitive in both domestic and foreign markets: Provided, that the conversion of agricultural lands into industrial, commercial, or residential lands shall take into account tillers’ rights and national food security.” the law stated.

The same section of the law also states that “the State recognizes that there is not enough agricultural land to be divided and distributed to each farmer and regular farm worker so that each one can own his/her economic-size family farm.”

“Aside from conditioning farmers that there is not enough land for distribution, Carper hardened non-land transfer schemes like stock distribution option, land lease deals, and joint ventures, that further opened our agricultural lands to global land-grabbers,” Mariano said.

Four of the biggest rural based organizations in the country—the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, the fisherfolk alliance Pamalakaya, the agricultural labor group Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura and the peasant women federation Amihan agreed with Mariano’s critical views and analysis demolishing the myths of the extended land reform law.

In a joint statement sent to Manila based reporters, the four groups said the signing of Carper law by President Arroyo is an across-the-nation tragedy, further dismissing the extended agrarian reform law as collective death certificate to millions of landless farmers in the Philippines. The groups said, the Carper law by design, by nature and by purpose merely strengthens the feudal power of the landlords in the countryside.

Opponents of the extended land reform law have sounds arguments in rejecting the Carper law. The compulsory acquisition in Carper is just a myth. Under the extended agrarian reform law, the Filipino landlords and their foreign clients, including multinational corporations currently leasing agricultural lands for export production enjoy vast powers and privileges to protect their landholdings and even expand it through landgrabbing and other means of deception.

After acquiring the seal of approval from the landlords, the farmer beneficiaries should go to the city or municipal judge to swear under oath that he or she will perform his or her obligation and duties to pay for the monthly amortization and she or he will make the lands productive.

“What if the landlords reject them as farmer beneficiaries? What will happen to the farmer beneficiaries? The Carper is a throwback to the old medieval feudal Europe where farmers are working as slaves and obliged to treat landlords as if they are heaven sent or agents of God. This is extremely revolting,” the groups echoed.

Critics of the extended land reform law further likened the Carper law into a huge “no trespassing billboard” preventing farmers and other agrarian reform beneficiaries to till the land and enjoy the fruit of their hard work. They said the extended land reform law has no substantial reforms to speak and was merely cloaked on sweetened phrases just to make it appear acceptable to farmers.

The Carper law will intensify denial of farmers land rights and will usher a heightened era of political repression in the countryside. This law will subject the struggling farmers to an endless cycle of landlessness and state violence in partnership with the landlords courtesy of provisions criminalizing the peasant fight for genuine agrarian reform.

Given this development in the Philippine agrarian landscape, we expect the Filipino peasantry to rise above the occasion and wage a more determined and more raging battle in and out of Congre

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