Tag Archives: Defense Secretary Gilbert Teordoro

SC chief Justice Puno urged to lead proposed national inquiry on Ondoy and Pepeng

SC chief Justice Puno urged to lead proposed national inquiry on Ondoy and Pepeng

By Billy Javier Reyes and Maria Stella Recuerdo del Carriedo

Manila, Philippines-Leftwing activists identified with the fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Sunday said a independent investigating body should be formed to find out the roots of the humanitarian crisis and all-out disaster caused by tropical storm Ondoy and typhoon Pepeng.

Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said the probe body, which his group proposed should be headed by Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato Puno, and shall be composed of representatives from the Philippine Senate, the House of Representatives, environmental groups and experts, people’s organizations, the church community represented by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)and the protestant National Council of Churches in the Philippines.

“The proposed national indepent inquiry should be deputized by the Senate and the House of Representatives in aid of legislation,” the Pamalakaya leader said. According to Hicap, the results of the national inquiry shall be presented to the Filipino public.

Hicap said the inquiry can focus on the impact of large-scale mining and logging operations and other mega infrastructure activities in Bicol Southern Tagalog, Central Luzon, Cordillera, Cagayan Valley and other parts of Northern Luzon, the operations of major dams and lakes in Luzon island like the San Roque Dam, Angat Dam, Pantabangan Dam, Caliraya Dam, Laguna Lake, as well as Manila Bay to mention a few.

“This national inquiry is necessary move. Malacanang should not prevent or spoil it and let it happen in accordance with national interest and collective will of the Filipino people,” said Hicap.

Pamalakaya criticized moves of Malacanang and the Department of National Defense(DND)requesting the US embassy in Manila to re-deploy US troops in calamity stricken areas in Northern Luzon due to typhoon Pepeng.

Aside from US troops re-deployment Malacanang and Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro had also asked the US embassy to deploy its amphibious dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry to help rescue residents isolated by the heavy flooding in Pangasinan province.

“President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Secretary Teodoro are white elephants and hopeless puppets of the United States. They are hopeless cases. Instead of agitating the Filipino people and relying on their collective strength and political determination, Mrs. Arroyo and her presidential wannabe played their true-to-life puppet card to the hilt. This is a preview of what kind of presidency we have under Teodoro’s command in case he is elected as president,” the group said.

Pamalakaya said the gestures displayed by Mrs. Arroyo and Sec. Teodoro in seeking US help were overwhelmingly irrational and grossly insulting to the collective intelligence and political determination of the Filipino people.

“Instead of rallying the Filipinos to rise above the occasion and ask for their tested collective action, Mrs. Arroyo and Secretary Teodoro begged the US government for help and made our Filipinos appeared like hopeless people and or a nation of people under an across-the-country state of paranoia,” the group said.

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Rural groups slam defense chief 10k rubber plantion project

Rural groups slam Teodoro’s disposal of 10K hectares of land for rubber plantation project

Four of the biggest rural based groups in the country– the activist peasant group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), the left-leaning fisherfolk alliance Pamalakaya, the Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA) and the Amihan peasant women federation on Wednesday questioned the move of Defense Secretary and Lakas-Kampi-CMD presidential bet Gilbert Teodoro to lease 10,000 hectares of prime agricultural lands in Bukidnon province for a rubber plantation project.

The 10,000 hectares set aside for rubber plantation is part of the 42,000 hectare military reservation in the province, The project which will cost P 72-million is in joint partnership with the Department of Agriculture (DA), but the defense and the agriculture departments did not divulge the name of the investor on the rubber plantation project.

Apart from rubber, the cash crops like corn and coffee are also considered to be planted in the 10,000 hectare plantation.

“The project is highly irregular, patently illegal and grossly immoral. The AFP has no right to engage in the selling and disposal of prime agricultural lands. The military reservation should have been distributed to landless farmers and jobless farmworkers, but the AFP is keeping it as their own private property exactly similar to what warlords and big landlords are doing in Mindanao,” the groups said in a joint statement.

KMP secretary general Danilo Ramos reminded Secretary Teodoro that the prime agricultural lands do not belong the military but to the Filipino farmers and the general public, and he has no right to act like big landlord or real estate operator.

Ramos also lambasted the silence of Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary Nasser Pangandaman on the AFP-DA 10,000 hectare rubber plantation deal.

“It seems to us this DND-DA project has the seal of approval of the Office of the President and the office of Mr. Pangandaman. This transaction is treated like a best kept secret among officials of the AFP, the agriculture department and the of course, the office of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and the agrarian reform department,” he said.

For his part, Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap assailed Secretary Teodoro for endorsing the anomalous rubber plantation project, adding that he and and agriculture secretary Arthur Yap acted as brokers of the highly anomalous landgrabbing deal.

“We want honest-to-goodness explanations from Teodoro and Yap. They cannot get away with this latest agrarian crime. They must be held accountable for this anti-farmer deal,” added Hicap.

The Pamalakaya leader said the sell out of 10,000 hectares of prime agricultural lands inside the military reservation in Bukidnon is a preview of what a Teodoro presidency has to offer. “We will continue to lose this country to all time landgrabbers, real estate speculators and foreign and domestic landed monopolies,” Hicap said.

Representatives of DA and AFP are set to sign a memorandum of agreement in mid-September upon completion of project documents such as project proposal and area development plan. The project is envisioned to provide livelihood to people residing close or within the military reservation.

The project according to AFP will showcase production technology for rubber and other agricultural products. The military said the project will also serve as template for the development of other military reservations such as Tumandok military reservation in Panay Island and the Fort Magsaysay Military Reservation in Laur, Nueva Ecija.

The project will tap the services of engineering brigade of the AFP based in Bukidnon to help building access roads to the plantation and put up facilities such as irrigations systems. Secretary Teodoro is optimistic the project would promote the government’s peace and development programs in Bukidnon and other parts of Mindanao.

Meanwhile, the spokespersons of Amihan peasant women federation and UMA said Congress should investigate this emerging trend in t he agrarian homefront, where the military is dispatching thousands of hectares of lands inside military reservations for business purposes.

Amihan spokesperson Zen Soriano and UMA media officer Jay Calaguing in a joint statement said lawmakers should look into the alleged real estate activities of Secretary Teodoro and other military officials encouraging the disposal of public lands inside military reservations to big agri-business corporations and other big ticket ventures.

“The auctioning of prime agricultural lands inside military reservations for business adventures negate the true essence of genuine agrarian reform and social justice in the country. This practice should be stopped and let farmers acquire these lands inside military reservations under a free land distribution scheme,” they said. #

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Critics say Romulo defection makes GMA a lameduck president

Noynoy over Gibo in 2010
Critics say Romulo’s in-your face defection shows GMA now a lameduck president

Rabid critics of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo identified with the fisherfolk alliance Pamalakaya on Tuesday said the announcement of Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo of his support to the presidential bid of Liberal Party standard bearer Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III is an indication that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is losing her grip on most trusted men in the Cabinet, and that she is now officially a lame duck president.

“That in-your face declaration of Secretary Romulo indicates that not all the president’s men are happy with her decision to pick Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro as the administration bet in the 2010 elections. More and more cabinet secretaries and officials will soon come out in the open to speak on their preferred bets in 2010, and that leaves GMA into a lonely lonesome political animal,” said Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap in a press statement.

Hicap said the resignation of another official- Commissioner Jaime Jacob of the Presidential Anti-Graft Commission (PAGC) is also a strong hint that more officials of the Arroyo administration are waiting for the opportune moment to leave the Arroyo presidency and back specific presidential and senatorial candidates in the 2010 elections.

“The trend of mass defection is expected to fast-track or escalate once we get near the official filing of candidacies in the next two months. President Arroyo saw it’s coming that’s why she immediately crack the party whip on all cabinet members,” the Pamalakaya leader added.

Secretary Romulo was in London and was accompanying the President in her 3-nation trip when he announced his support to the son of the late President Corazon Aquino and the late Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr.

“Imagine that, Secretary Romulo was with the President when he announced that highly irritating annoucement as far as mrs. Arroyo is concerned. This is really annoying on the part of GMA, but we are happy to note that,” said Hicap.

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Fishers group rejects Sec. Teodoro’s offer on Manila Bay clean up

Fishers group rejects Sec. Teodoro’s offer on Manila Bay clean up<

The left-leaning fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Thursday rejected the offer of Defense secretary and Lakas-Kampi-CMD presidential candidate Gilbert Teodoro to involve himself in the government campaign to rehabilitate Manila Bay.

In his press conference held shortly after Lakas-Kampi-CMD ruling party announced him as the administration bet in the 2010 presidential elections, Secretary Teodoro said non-government organizations and local barangay oficials in Manila Bay are inviting him to join the clean up.

“What clean up Secretary Teodoro is talking about? The demolition of fishing villages and destruction of people’s livelihood along Manila Bay? This is the way how Malacanang, concerned government agencies and local government officials carry out clean up,” said Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said in a press statement.

The Pamalakaya leader added: ” The sum of all our fears is that Secretary Teodoro will soon apply the whip of militarization to effectively execute the Manila Bay clean up.”

Hicap said Secretary Teodoro might avail of the “reserve army of labor” provided by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) for the Manila Bay clean up. He said MMDA is tasked to undertake the dismantling of illegal structures and nuisance elements along the bay according to the Supreme Court ruling on Manila Bay clean up.

“As far as Malacanang and MMDA are concerned, illegal structures and nuisance elements refer to bay fisherfolk and urban poor people sourcing their livelihood and dwelling along the bay, and therfore prime targets of Manila Bay clean up,” added Hicap.

Pamalakaya said Malacanang is using the popular Manila Bay clean up as advocacy platform for Secretary Teodoro, because it knew that Manila Bay which enjoins the provinces of Bataan, Pampanga, Bulacan in Central Luzon, Malabon, Navotas, Caloocan, Manila, Pasay, Paranaque, and Las Pinas in National Capital Region, the Pasig River and Laguna Lake systems and Cavite in Southern Tagalog is a vote-rich area which accounts for almost one third or 30 million out of the country’s 90 million population.

But the militant group said Teodoro’s bogus crusade for the equally bogus Manila Bay clean up will soon be exposed to the fisherfolk and residents of Manila Bay area, because the real targets of the clean up as far as the govenment and its agencies and local government units are concerned are the poor coastal people along Manila Bay and not the toxic emitting, pollution spawning transnational interests in Manila Bay.

“At the end of the day, Teodoro definitely will clinch the limelight for leading the MMDA and defense army in uprooting people and their livelihood. That’s another political black eye for the Lakas-Kampi-CMD presidential wannabe,” said Pamalakaya.

Last week, the Department of Budgement and Management announced that Malacanang is alloting P 1.6 billion Malacañang for the clean up, which Pamalakaya described as state capital to puruse the baywide demolition of fisherfolk and urban poor communities.

Pamalakaya said the P 1.6 billion Palace allocations will target 13 million out of the 30 million population of Manila Bay for demolition including urban poor families along Pasig River and the 27,000 fisherfolk families in Laguna Lake.

“Secretary Teodoro as the crusader of the Malacanang’s clean up escade will play a big role in this across-the-bay killing of peoples livelihood, housing rights and environment,” it said.

To prove that the fund was meant for “demolition jobs”, the Pamalakaya recalled that sometime last year, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) granted the request of the Cavite provincial government for assistance in demolishing fishepens and mussel growing structures in Bacoor Bay.

“If our memory serves us right, last year, DENR secretary gave Cavite Gov. Ayong Maliksi not less than P 800,000 for the demolition of fishpens and other structures in Cavite in the name of the bogus Manila Bay clean up,” added Pamalakaya.

Pamalakaya said the planned demolition of 4,000 Cavite fisherfolk and residents starting tomorrow will be funded by the P 1.6 billion Palace allocations for Manila Bay through the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the DENR and the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) who will help the the Cavite provincial government in carrying out the demolitions from Bacoor to Cavite City.

The militant group said in Cavite alone, more than 26,000 fisherfolk and urban poor residents in 10 barangays of Bacoor will be displaced once the Manila Bay clean up programs go full blast.

Pamalakaya said the government is exploiting and abusing the Supreme Court ruling on Manila Bay clean up to effectively carry out the demolitions of communities to pave way for the entry of foreign funded government projects like road expansion and establishment of high rise buildings and condominiums, including casinos and high end rest and recreation centers.

The group said the reclamation of shallow waters in Manila Bay to allow the construction of R-1 Expressway Extension Project and the conversion of Sangley Naval Point into an international seaport further led to the deterioration of Manila Bay. Pamalakaya said the government since last year had already reclaimed some 12,000 hectares of coastal waters in Bacoor Bay.#

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Defense chief told: 45 million people, not 49 governors will decide the next president in 2010 

Defense chief told: 45 million people, not 49 governors will decide the next president in 2010

The fisherfolk activist group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Sunday told Defense Secretary and Palace potential presidential bet Gilbert Teodoro that the 45 million voters and not the 49 governors allied with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will decide the outcome of the hotly contested presidential race next year.

“There is a big difference between 45 million voters and 49 governors, mathematically and politically speaking. The 40 governors who endorsed Teodoro’s candidacy for president in 2010 cannot overturn the kiss of death of Mrs. Arroyo. The president’s anointed one will suffer at the electoral box-office that’s why no one wants to be associated with her,” said Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap.

Hicap issued the statement in response to Palace press release that President Arroyo was elated by the news that 49 governors have endorsed the presidential bid of Secretary Teodoro.

The move of 49 governors, as seen by political analyst, shows that members of the administration coalition Lakas-CMD and the Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino (Kampi) are getting impatient for the ruling coalition to choose the presidential standard bearer for 2010, according the Mandaluyong City Mayor Benhur Abalos.

Abalos said despite the poor ratings of potential Palace presidentiables, the official candidate of the ruling party will still be the man to beat in the 2010 presidential elections.

“The endorsement of 49 governors has no huge impact or political weight to the ambitious and career-oriented Teodoro. The same applies to Palace senatorial bets. At the end of the day, the Filipino voters will still see Teodoro as Arroyo’s presidential bet, and therefore rejection becomes him,” the Pamalakaya leader said.

Hicap said despite Palace hype on the presidential bid of Defense Secretary Teodoro, independent surveys still show that the defense chief remains at the tail end of these surveys.
“His poor showings in the survey mere confirmed the people’s across-the-nation detestation and isolation of the ruling syndicate in Malacañang,” he added.

Pamalakaya said the endorsement of 49 governors on the presidential bid of Teodoro was made to create a “bogus bandwagon effect” and to make an illusion that Malacañang is still capable of making a political figure that could overcome the factor of “kiss of death” associated with President Arroyo and the entire ruling coalition.

Secretary Gabriel Claudio, who is also the secretary general of Lakas-CMD described the governors’ action as a very compelling endorsement and should be given a significant weight by the ruling party to decide who among potential presidential bets Lakas-CMD and Kampi should endorse and support in the 2010 elections

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