Tag Archives: Gabriela

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. #

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under barangay news, elections, human rights, politics

Comelec told: Castigate AFP on partisan politics

By Mama Mila Liguasan and Akihira Tatchu

Manila, Philippines –

Pamalakaya took a brief respite after having their Feb.14 sortie in Baywalk, Manila Bay

The leaders of the militant fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) urged on Sunday the officials of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to castigate officials and rank-and-file members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) involved in partisan politics.

In a joint press statement, Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap and Vice chairperson Salvador France 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 Pamalakaya leaders said.

Hicap and France who both came from Sorsogon learned that 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. #

1 Comment

Filed under barangay news, elections, politics

Militants thanked Boy Abunda for supporting Liza Maza

By Chocolate Moose Fernandez

Manila, Philippines-Leftwing activists belonging to the fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Saturday thanked TV-host and talent manager Boy Abunda for supporting the senatorial bid of Gabriela Party list Rep. Liza Maza.

In a press statement, Pamalakaya information officer Gerry Albert Corpuz said the endorsement of Abunda will give a big boost to Maza, one of the senatorial candidates which the 100,000-strong fisherfolk alliance will support in the 2010 national elections.

Another senatorial candidate which Pamalakaya will support according to Corpuz is Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo. Both militant lawmakers are now on their third terms as party list representatives.

“Boy Abunda is Boy Abunda. Boy is an influential person. His endorsement of Maza will be cherished by the marginalized fishermen who want the Gabriela representative and Ocampo of Bayan Muna be elected as two of the senators of the Republic in 2010,” said Corpuz.

The Pamalakaya information chief said their group which is spread in over 43 provinces nationwide will campaign actively for Maza and Ocampo when the official campaign trail hits the country by February 2010.

Earlier, Rep. Maza said she was not surprised when Abunda agreed to appear in political ads endorsing her bid for the Senate.

“He (Abunda) shares affinity with women’s rights. He knows that when we get representation in Senate, lesbians and gays will be a step closer to their goal,” said Maza in an interview.

She explained that women share a common cause with lesbians and gays who are seeking a bigger voice in the country’s lawmaking bodies long dominated by males. She said just like women, lesbians and gays face abuse and discrimination in society.

Maza also said Gabriela was the first to condemn the Commission on Elections’ decision rejecting the petition of Ang Ladlad Party to register as a party-list group representing the Filipino lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

“This is a clear violation of human rights, especially from marginalized sectors, to be involved in the political processes. It is reflective of the prevailing culture where homophobia and discrimination prevails,” she said.

After being shunned from having their own voice in Congress, Maza said Abunda offered to make a stronger pitch for her in the campaign for free.#

Leave a comment

Filed under elections

Militants to Loren: Slowdown on relocation of lakeshore residents

By Rey Manangan, Tootsie Roll Arcadia and Lollipop delos Reyes

Manila, Philippines- 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 Sunday said Senator Loren Legarda should slowdown on her proposal to relocate tens of thousands of fisherfolk and residents of lakeshore towns, including alleged illegal settlers at the mouth of the lake.

Pamalakaya and SLMM added this might be exploited by the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) which had programmed the conversion of the lake for private use and profit-driven activities at the expense of lake people and the environment.

Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said his group wanted to get in touch with Legarda, who chairs the Senate oversight committee on climate change, after they learned that she already agreed with LLDA General Manager Edgar Manda on the immediate relocation of residents without conducting first a public consultation with the affected people.

“We are aware of the honest and noble purpose of Sen. Legarda, her concern for the people and the environment, but the good senator should first consult the people, learn and understand their collective interest and current sentiment on the proposed relocation before subscribing to the suggestion of Mr. Manda, who is known in the Laguna Lake community as lapdog of big business, a certified puppet of the Office of the President, and a public official with cruel intentions against the people,” the Pamalakaya leader said in a press statement.

Legarda who ran in the 2004 election for vice-president and 2007 in the senatorial election was endorsed and supported by Pamalakaya for her outstanding advocacy on environment, peace talks and her gallant cause against the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).

“To set the record straight, we have (been) anticipating the senator’s invitation for us to appear in the hearing of the Senate oversight committee on climate change, but up to now, no invitation was sent to our national office. Perhaps in the next hearing, the good senator will invite us to hear and know the real score coming from the lake folk and not from Mr. Manda alone,” Hicap added.

On Saturday, Sen. Legarda and Manda conducted an ocular inspection of the lake whose water level at the height of tropical storm Ondoy reached 14.5 meters from its normal level of 12.5 meters. She and the LLDA chief reached the poor community after inspecting flooded areas along Pasig River from Guadalupe in Makati City to Pasig.

Legarda said the LLDA had repeatedly warned the Lupang Arenda, a community of shanties built along the banks of the lake in Taytay, Rizal, was permanently at risk of flooding at every abnormal rise of the water level. She said the residents and the government should agree on permanent relocation site.

As many as 100,000 households in Lupang Arenda, Cainta and Pasig have been displaced by the abnormal rise in lake’s water level but Lupang Arenda residents have resisted relocation, telling LLDA that they had been paying fees to the National Housing Authority for a permit to stay in the reclaimed area.

Yesterday, Pamalakaya attended a meeting of calamity victims in Muntinlupa where tens of thousands of lakeshore residents and fishermen are still submerged in deep waters. The consultation among fisherfolk and residents was called by Bayan-NCR and the Muntinlupa chapters of party list groups—Bayan Muna, Gabriela, Kabataan Party and Akap-Bata.

During the consultation, Pamalakaya information officer Gerry Albert Corpuz explained that the immediate cause of continuous flooding was the permanent closure of Napindan Hydraulic Control Structure (NCHS), a flood support structure, the prevented excess waters of Laguna Lake to flow into Pasig River on its way to Manila Bay.

“The people there are open for relocation provided that the following requirements will be addressed by the national and local governments—on city relocation that will provide decent mass housing for calamity victims, provisions for comprehensive rehabilitation projects and social services and the immediate yet productive creation of jobs for thousands of displaced residents,” he said.

According to Corpuz, Bayan-NCR and local chapters of progressive party list groups and urban poor organizations today will conduct a fluvial parade in Muntinlupa, that will include distribution of relief goods to several calamity stricken villages and clean up.

“Bayan-NCR and the people in the lakeshore side of Muntinlupa are doing their very best to address the immediate needs and demands under Kilusang Bayanihan movement. Sen. Legarda should involve them in the current hearing of her committee on climate change. They can speak on the matter more than Mr. Manda,” the Pamalakaya information chief added.

Earlier, Pamalakaya and Save Laguna Lake Movement 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.18 or about 22 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 entities waiting for 40-day ritual,” the groups said.

Pamalakaya 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 groups 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 Senators Jamby Madrigal and Legarda 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 Pamalakaya.

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,” Pamalakaya 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.

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 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. #

Leave a comment

Filed under disaster, environment, Laguna Lake, personal

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. #

Leave a comment

Filed under disaster, environment

Asian Women’s Quilt on Climate Change: Climate Talks for People’s Needs, Not Corporate Greed!

Threading together the calls for climate justice of Asian women and
grassroots organizations

Asian Women’s Quilt on Climate Change: Climate Talks for People’s Needs, Not Corporate Greed!

We, women, environmental, and indigenous people’s organizations from the Philippines, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan—today unite by unfurling a giant collaborative quilt on the impacts of global warming on Asian communities and the people’s responses to these problems, in front of the United Nations ESCAP building for the ongoing United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change intersessional meeting.

Quilts are cultural symbols of unity, creativity, and diversity. This
collective work threads through testimonies and sews together stories of how global warming is negatively affecting the lives of the most
marginalized sectors within Asia’s poorest countries. It is a work of
solidarity by the sectors who feel the various ecological and economic
effects of climate change firsthand and who stand for climate justice,
accountability, and the people’s needs.

Asian grassroots communities are now calling for action on climate change and its impacts. The colorful images and symbols in the quilt aim to articulate the following points:

– Climate change and global warming will impact more gravely and harshly on the lives of the marginalized and poor sectors. Millions of poor Asian farmers, fisherfolk, indigenous peoples, women and children, and all those who are directly dependent on our environment and natural resources for their livelihood are the most vulnerable to the impacts of extreme weather events, climate-related natural disasters, rising sea levels, rise of climate-sensitive diseases, and the like. These sectors should be foremost supported in terms of capacity-building, technological support, climate change awareness, and access to basic social services such as education and health.

– Deep and drastic cuts by the largest greenhouse gas emitters are needed now. Accountability to pay for past emissions and reduce future ones must be demanded from Annex I countries, and especially the United States, the single largest country emitter of greenhouse gases. Their time of procrastination, profit-taking at the expense of the environment and the people, and evasion of global responsibilities to cut emissions is coming to an end. Action to ensure clean and clear cuts must be pursued now.

– The people’s needs, not corporate greed, should be the focus of the
ongoing UN climate talks: We urge the UN negotiators and government
delegations to heed the Asian grassroots calls for climate justice and
people’s welfare above elite corporate interests in the ongoing climate
negotiations. Focus should be redirected away from corporate greenwashing and false solutions and steered towards protecting the people’s needs and welfare, reducing existing vulnerabilities from the local to the regional levels, and reviewing and repealing policies, frameworks and programs which contribute to the cumulative effect of reducing people’s capacity to adapt to climate change impacts.

*About the Project*

The Asian Women’s Quilt on Climate Change project is a giant collaborative quilt on the calls of Asian grassroots communities affected by climate change, aiming to visually present the stories and symbols of the people most affected by the serious impacts of climate change – the grassroots sectors in Asia.

The quilt hopes to contribute to the global efforts to craft strategies
for the people’s engagement in the issue using traditional and new media: the handmade quilt is to be made globally accessible through a web-based gallery.

The quilt project was spearheaded by the Center for Environmental
Concerns-Philippines (CEC-Phils), Sustainable Development Foundation (SDF) of Thailand, Philippine Climate Watch Alliance (PCWA) and the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD).

It is among the activities comprising the People’s Action on Climate
Change (PACC), a week-long series of events by Asian grassroots
organizations calling for accountability, climate justice, and people’s
needs over imperialist and corporate greed. #

Reference:

Meggie Nolasco, spokesperson, PCWA
Tomoko Kashiwazaki, Programme Officer APWLD

Meggie Nolasco
Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment
No.26 Matulungin St. Bgy. Central, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines 1100
Tel. No. +63-2-9248756
Fax No. +63-2-9209099
Email: kalikasan.pne@gmail.com
Website: http://www.kalikasan.org

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Militants feel de facto Martial Law

Militants feel de facto Martial Law

Despite the assurance of Malacanang that Martial Law will not be imposed and the next democratic elections will take place in 2010 as scheduled, critics of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo asserted a creeping de facto Martial Law is happening all over the country.

“Malacanang does not need to declare Martial Law. It is happening in its de facto form with the rapid militarization not only of rural areas, but also of the National Capital Region and other key cities and centers all over the country,” said Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap.

The Pamalakaya leader also said the policy of extrajudicial killing, enforced disappearance and all-out legal offensive against known leaders of underground and aboveground organizations are also proof of an onogoing de facto Martial Law in the country.

“In fact, the grounds for full-blown Martial Law are being laid down by the national security regime to stop the 2010 elections in favor of a military-civilian junta that will still be led by Arroyo and her political gangmates in Malacanang and in the military, particularly her loyal generals inside the PMA Class of 1978,” Hicap added.

The Pamalakaya agreed with observations raised by other political quarters that the Arroyo government is presenting scenarios that will frustrate the bid of the Filipino people to replace Mrs. Arroyo in 2010 through the 2010 electoral exercise, and one of them is to declare failure of elections, instead of declaring Martial Law.

Another option he said is for the government to instigate a friendly coup where the PMA class of 1978 will lead the dramatic pro-Arroyo military movement, with Mrs. Arroyo graphically sharing powers with the generals of the PMA batch.

Pamalakaya said another proof showing the existence of de facto Martial Law is the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) aggressive campaign involving covert and overt operations that aim to sabotage the electoral bid of militant party list groups in the 2010 elections.

The group was referring to an AFP report that Pamalakaya 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. It is meant to justify the continuing brutal operations and campaign of terror against militants and progressives,” said Pamalakaya.

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 Pamalakaya.

“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 group said.

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,” the group 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,” Pamalakaya added.

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under elections, politics