Saturday, November 30, 2013
Sa ika-150 taon ng kapanganakan ni Gat Andres Bonifacio:
Laban sa Inutil na Pangulo at Palpak na Elitistang Gobyerno
MAYPAG-ASA. Ito ang alyas o koda noon ni Andres Bonifacio, supremo ng Katipunan at lider-manggagawang namuno sa laban ng bayan sa kolonyalismong Espanyol.
Isa’t kalahating siglo na mula nang isilang si “Maypag-asa” – ang dapat tanghaling unang pangulo ng republika ng Pilipinas. Ngunit napapanahon pa ring tanungin ng bawat Pilipino: “May pag-asa pa ba ang ating Inang Bayan”?
Makabuluhan ang tanong na ito laluna sa panahong tayo ay humaharap sa kaliwa’t kanang mga pagsubok bunga ng kalamidad at mga kontrobersyang pampulitika. Laluna sa yugtong ito na tila nalulukuban ang buong bansa ng kawalang pag-asa.
Tahasan nating idinedeklara: “May pag-asa pa!” Subalit hindi ito grasyang magmumula “sa itaas”. Hindi ito manggagaling sa mga elitistang may-kontrol sa ating ekonomiya’t pulitika. Hindi magsisimula sa matataas na mga opisyal ng gobyerno na sinasamantala ang mismong kahirapan at pagdarahop ng masang Pilipino.
Bakit? Dahil sa sumusunod na kadahilanan:
Ang gobyernong ito ay para sa mababang pasahod. Tuwi-tuwinang sagot ng rehimeng Aquino sa ating kahilingan para sa dagdag na sahod ay ang pagsasara ng mga pabrika at pagbabawas ng mga trabahador. Imbes na sundin ang Konstitusyunal na probisyon ukol sa living wage (o sahod na makabubuhay ng pamilya), ang gobyerno mismo ang tumatayong tagapagsalita ng blakmeyl ng mga kapitlalista para manatili ang mababang pasahod. Sa Enero 2014, itataas pa nito ang kaltas para sa Social Security System at Philhealth. Liliit lalo ang take-home pay ng mga manggagawa! Ang Wage Order 18 ang pinakamaliit na kautusan sa buong kasaysayan ng NCR wage board.
Ang gobyernong Aquino ay para sa kontraktwalisasyon. Sa kaso ng kontraktwalisasyon sa Philippine Airlines nang tangkain ni Lucio Tan (dating may-ari ng PAL) na alisin ang mga regular at palitan sila ng mga kontraktwal na empleyado sa pamamagitan ng outsourcing ng ilang departamento ng kompanya, kumampi ang Malakanyang sa katuwiran ni Tan. Gumawa ito ng bagong kategoryang “core” at “non-core” na hindi nakasaad sa Labor Code.
Ang gobyernong Aquino ay para sa demolisyon ng komunidad ng mga maralita. Walang habas ang demolisyon sa mga “informal settlers” sa mga punong lungsod. Diumano, ito ay para daw iligtas sila sa mga “danger zone”. Subalit mas masahol naman ang kanilang nililipatan sa mga relokasyon sapagkat bukod sa wala o kulang sa batayang mga serbisyo ay malayo pa sa kanilang mga trabaho. Ang mas hinahabol ng gobyerno ay pagwawalis sa mga maralita upang tumaas ang land value sa lungsod para sa mga real estate developer gaya nina Henry Sy, Zobel de Ayala, mga Gokongwei, Lucio Tan at Andrew Tan.
Ang gobyernong Aquino ay para sa mataas na presyo ng langis. Nang uminit ang protesta laban sa oil deregulation kasabay ng pagsirit ng presyo ng krudo sa $100 kada bariles noong 2012, nagpatawag ng rebyu ang Department of Energy. Pero imbes na aralin kung paano manunumbalik sa “regulated oil industry”, tutuklasin pa raw ang epekto ng deregulasyon sa presyo ng langis. Bagamat maliwanag pa sa sikat ng araw na ang kawalang kontrol sa presyo ang siyang dahilan ng walang tigil na pagtaas sa presyo ng produktong petrolyo! Ang totoo, mas pinapaboran ng gobyerno ang mahal na presyo ng langis sapagkat mas tumataas din ang kanilang nakokolektang VAT bunga ng pagtaas nito!
Ang gobyernong Aquino ay para sa mataas na singil sa serbisyo publiko. Hindi pinipigilan ang pribatisasyon ng mga dating sineserbisyo ng gobyerno gaya ng kalusugan, edukasyon, pabahay, pangmasang transportasyon gaya ng tren, atbp. Pinalitan lamang ng pangalan – tinaguriang private-public partnership (PPP) – ngunit iisa ang resulta: pagtutubuan ng mga kapitalista ang serbisyong panlipunan. Ilang halimbawa ng epekto nito ay ang napipintong pagtaas sa pasahe ng LRT at MRT, pagtataas sa toll fee sa NLEX, SLEX at iba pang tollway, at pagsasapribado ng mga pampublikong ospital.
Ang gobyernong Aquino ay para sa malalaking kapitalista. Sa nakaraang SONA, ipinagmalaki ni Noynoy ang “inclusive growth”. Aniya ang nais raw ng rehimen ay pag-unlad na para sa lahat ng Pilipino. Subalit sino lamang ang nakinabang sa ipinagmamalaking GNP/GDP growth? Ang pinakamayamang 40 pamilya na lumago ang yaman ng 37.9% noong 2011.
Ang gobyernong Aquino ay para sa political dynasty. Ang mismong pangulo ay nagmula sa pampulitikang angkan. Ito ang mga pamilyang nagpapasasa sa kaban ng bayan at hindi inuuna ang kapakanan ng nakararami at ang totoong pambansang pag-unlad. Hanggang ngayon, hindi pa rin naisasabatas ang enabling law sa Konstitusyonal na probisyon laban sa mga political dynasty.
Ang gobyernong Aquino ay para sa pork barrel. Naluklok sa poder si Noynoy at partido Liberal sa islogang “kung walang korap, walang mahirap” at “daang matuwid”. Pero hindi niya tinanggal (bagkus ay dinoble pa nga!) ang PDAF ng mambabatas na matagal nang pinupuna bilang isa sa mga mekanismo ng korapsyon sa bansa. Bukod sa PDAF, mayroong P1.3 Trilyon na presidential pork na ginagamit – hindi sa lahatang-panig na pag-unlad – kundi sa pagpapanatili ng “utang na loob” ng mga lokal na opisyal at kanilang mga botante.
AT HIGIT SA LAHAT, ang gobyernong Aquino ay palpak sa pagtulong sa mga nasalanta ng kalamidad. Ang sunod-sunod na kalamidad sa Visayas – mula sa lindol hanggang sa kamakailan lang na bagyong Yolanda – ang nagbulgar sa kapalpakan ng elitistang paghahari. Lumipas muna ang isang linggo bago opisyal na nasimulan ang pag-ayuda ng gobyerno sa Leyte’t Samar, partikular sa Tacloban. Ito ang INUTIL na administrasyong mas inuuna ang imahe bago ang pagtulong sa taumbayan. Hanggang ngayon, maraming lugar pa rin ang hindi nakakatanggap ng tulong mula sa gobyerno.
Kung wala sa inutil na pangulo at elitistang gobyerno, nasaan matatagpuan ang pag-asa ng bayan? Nasa taumbayan mismo. Nasa ating sama-samang pagkilos. Nasa ating kapatiran at pagdadamayan. Nasa ating pagkakaisa’t paglaban. Makikita ito sa pagtulong ng milyon-milyong ordinaryong mamamayang hindi na naghintay sa anumang anunsyo ng gobyerno ngunit agad na tumulong sa mga nasalanta ng nakaraang mga sakuna.
Mas pa, sapagkat ang sama-samang pagkilos “mula sa ibaba” ay nagkamit, kamakailan lang, ng sumusunod na mga tagumpay:
Una, ang pagdeklara ng Korte Suprema na labag sa Konstitusyon ang PDAF ng mga mambabatas at iligal ang lump-sum appropriation sa pondo ng gobyerno at absolutong kontrol ng Malakanyang sa paggamit nito ng Malampaya fund (na dapat ay inilalaan sa paglikha ng enerhiya at elektripikasyon ng bansa). Hindi pa nagtatapos ang laban. Tinanggal lamang ang “pork barrel” ng mga mambabatas ngunit nananatili ng presidential pork. Hindi pa rin nailalagay ang partisipasyon ng taumbayan sa pagbabadyet ng gobyerno. Ganunpaman, makasaysayan ang naging hatol ng Korte. Maari na itong gawing batayan sa lahat ng susunod na kaso tungkol sa kabuuang “pork barrel”. Ito ang bunga ng tuloy-tuloy na pagkilos ng taumbayan na nasimulan sa Million People March sa Luneta noong Agosto 26.
Ikalawa, ang pagbabalik sa mga tinanggal bilang regular ng mga empleyado ng Philippine Airlines, sa pamumuno ng PALEA. Palagiang kinampihan ng gobyerno – mula sa Malakanyang hanggang sa Court of Appeals – ang outsourcing ni Lucio Tan para mapalitan ng mga kaswal ang mga regular at durugin ang unyong PALEA. Sa loob ng dalawang taon, lumaban ang unyon – sa tulong at suporta ng kilusang mamamayan at kilusang paggawa. Nang ibenta ang PAL sa San Miguel group, unang pumostura laban sa reinstatement ang bagong management. Subalit hindi natinag ang unyon bagamat umabot na ng dalawang taon mula nang i-lockout ni Lucio Tan ang PAL. Noong Nobyembre 16, dahil sa pangangailangan din ng PAL ng mga manggagawang mas may kasanayan sa trabaho, pumayag ang bagong may-ari na bumalik bilang regular ang mga kasapi ng PALEA.
Mga kababayan! May pag-asa pa. Ang ating katubusan ay nasa ating mga kamay. Sa sama-samang pagkilos, naging iligal ang PDAF at nakabalik ang PALEA. Sa pagkakaisa’t pakikibaka, may lakas at tagumpay ang mamamayang Pilipino.
Mga kamanggagawa! Si Gat Andres ay manggagawa. Gaya rin nating sahurang alipin. Subalit pinangibabawan niya ang kahirapan. Nagkusang mag-aral at magtiyaga. Inisip ang kapakanan ng buong bayan, hindi lang ng sarili o sariling pamilya. Hanggang sa naging lider ng bayan. Sa okasyong ito ng ika-150 taon ng kapanganakan ni Bonifacio, tanggapin natin ang tungkuling pangunahan ang laban ng bayan sa elitista’t trapong paghahari. Higit sa anumang sektor sa lipunan, ang nagkakaisang pagkilos ng manggagawa, ng milyon-milyong walang pag-aari kundi ang kanilang lakas, talino at oras – ang siyang tunay na pag-asa ng bayan. Palpak na gobyerno, inutil na pangulo, itakwil!
Nobyembre 30, 2013
Posted by sosyalista at 7:34 AM
Sunday, November 10, 2013
PLM Statement on the Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda Crisis
Let Our People Live!
Save Lives, Redistribute Food, Stop the Economic and Environment Plunder!
Climate Justice Now!
The people are still reeling from the impact of possibly the biggest typhoon to strike the country. Death toll numbers are rising rapidly. There is massive devastation. Many are still trying to contact their relatives, friends and comrades, but communication systems are down, in the hardest hit areas. How should we, as activists and socialists, respond to the crisis?
Firstly, we have to support and take whatever measures are necessary to protect the people. This means all measures that bring the people immediate relief. In the hardest hit city of Tacloban, in south eastern Visayas, the people are already taking what food and relief supplies that they need from the malls. The media reports this as looting and the break-down of law and order.
But we say: let our people live. This is not "looting". People are taking food, where they can get it, in order to survive. If there is no timely and organized support system from government, people just have to do it themselves and they should organize themselves to do it more effectively. Even some grocery owners understand the need for this. According to one report of a man who broke into a grocery store, "The owner said we can take the food, but not the dried goods. Our situation is so dismal. We have deaths in our family. We need to save our lives. Even money has no use here now”. Where possible, PLM will assist them to organize to take over food supplies and necessary relief goods.
Then there’s the issue of the government response. Our experience has been that it has always been too slow and inadequate. Any efforts are undermined by corruption. The exposure of the organized plunder by the political elite and sections of government, of development funds or “pork barrel” funds meant for the people, is a testimony to this. This outraged the country and brought almost half-a-million people out in to the streets in a massive show of protest on August 26 this year. While one plunderer has been arrested, the President has not responded decisively to clean up the system.
The public funds plundered by the elite should have been used for preventative measures to support the people weather these disasters: for infrastructure, including better sea walls and communication infrastructure; for early warning systems; for well-constructed and therefore safe public housing, to replace huts and shacks built out of dried leaves and cardboard; for health and education; for equipment and personnel for rapid emergency response, and the list is endless. But no, this was not the case, it was eaten up by the greed of the elite classes.
Unfortunately, we have no reason to believe that the government and the system will deliver and meet the needs of the people, this time round either. The self-interest of the elite, and their control of the government and the system that is designed to perpetuate their interests, through the plunder of the people’s assets and resources, renders the entire set-up inutile in the face of a disaster on this scale.
Then there are our international ‘allies’, such as the United States government, who have sent us their best wishes. But these so-called ‘allies’ are also responsible for the situation faced by our people. These typhoons are part of the climate crisis phenomenon faced by the world today. Super Typhoon Haiyan (referred to as Yolanda in the Philippines) was one of the most intense tropical cyclones at landfall on record when it struck the Philippines on Nov. 7. Its maximum sustained winds at landfall were pegged at 195 mph with gusts above 220 mph. Some meteorologists even proclaimed it to be the strongest tropical cyclone at landfall in recorded history. Haiyan’s strength and the duration of its Category 5 intensity — the storm remained at peak Category 5 intensity for an incredible 48 straight hours.
The still-increasing greenhouse gas emissions responsible for the climate crisis are disproportionately emitted by the rich and developed countries, from the US, Europe to Australia. For centuries, these rich, developed countries have polluted and plundered our societies, emitting too much greenhouse gases to satisfy their greed for profit. They have built countless destructive projects all over the world like polluting factories, coal-fired power plants, nuclear power plants and mega dams. They have also pushed for policies allowing extractive industries to practice wasteful and irresponsible extraction of the Earth’s minerals. They continue to wage environmentally destructive wars and equip war industries, for corporate profits. All of this has fast-tracked the devastation of the Earth’s ecological system and brought about unprecedented changes in the planet’s climate.
But these are the same rich countries whose political elite are ignoring climate change and the climate crisis. Australia has recently elected a government that denies the very existence of climate change and has refused to send even a junior Minister to the climate conference in Warsaw, Poland. The question of climate justice – for the rich countries to bear the burden of taking the necessary measures for stopping it and to pay reparations and compensate those in poorer countries who are suffering the consequences of it – is not entertained even in a token way.
The way the rich countries demand debt payments from us, we now demand the payment of their “climate debts”, for climate justice and for them to take every necessary measure to cut back their greenhouse gas emission in the shortest time possible.
These rich ‘friends’ and so-called ‘allies’ have preached to us about our courage and resilience. But as many here have pointed out, resilience is not just taking all the blows with a smiling face. Resilience is fighting back. To be truly resilient we need to organize, to fight back and to take matters in to our own hands, from the relief efforts on the ground to national government and to challenging and putting an end to the capitalist system. This is the only way to ensure that we are truly resilient.
Makibaka, huwag matakot! Fight for our lives, don’t be afraid!
November 10, 2013.
Posted by sosyalista at 2:04 PM
Friday, September 20, 2013
Gov't tried to end MNLF peace deal review
Philippine government’s attempt to terminate the peace review process with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) has triggered the war situation in Zamboanga City, according to the militant group Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM).
PLM chairman Sonny Melencio said his group has proof that the government, through Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, “attempted to end the peace agreement with the MNLF by requesting the termination of the ‘Tripartite Review Process’ in a letter to his Indonesian counterpart Dr. R.M. Marty Natalegawa.”
Melencio said a letter by Del Rosario to Natalegawa dated March 21, 2013, “stated that the government 'reiterate again' its request for Indonesia, as chair of the OIC-PCPS [OIC-Peace Committee for Southern Philippines], 'to put the closure of the Tripartite Review Process as the agenda for the next Tripartite Meeting. … All the issues attending the tripartite review process have already been resolved, and that it is now the right time to put an end to the review process.'”
The Del Rosario letter, which Melencio said was part of several documents shown to him by a senior MNLF official, was also a reiteration of a similar letter sent on January 30, 2013 to the Indonesian foreign minister.
The Tripartite Review Process involves the government of the Philippines, the MNLF and the OIC. The review process began in 2007 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to deal with the MNLF concerns about the lack of full implementation of the 1996 Final Peace Agreement between the government and the MNLF.
“The current fighting between the MNLF forces loyal to founding chairman Nur Misuari and the Armed Forces of the Philippines – which has resulted in Zamboanga City being turned into a war zone – clearly demonstrates that the outstanding issues have by no means been resolved,” Melencio said. “It also raises serious questions about government claims that it has not attempted to close down the negotiations with the MNLF and exclude them from the peace process. The correspondence between Del Rosario and the Indonesian government indicates that the opposite was in fact the case.”
He said the explanatory note attached to the letter claims that the issues raised by Nur Misuari “were already addressed.” It, however, adds a contradictory statement that the Framework Agreement signed with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) on October 15, 2012, “will actually address the ‘unresolved issues’ that Misuari is insisting on.”
“While the government is at pains to blame the recent fighting on the 'Misuari faction' of the MNLF, we don’t think such crude 'divide and rule' tactics will help achieve lasting peace in Mindanao. The MILF, for example, has now called on the government to accommodate the demands of Nur Misuari in the Framework Agreement and for a review of all previous agreements,” Melencio said.
He added that the government has bungled an opportunity for achieving a historic peace in Mindanao and is now having to mop up the disaster from an armed conflict, which has resulted in hundreds of casualties, destruction of homes and livelihoods and over 100,000 evacuees in the last few days. #
Contact person: Sonny Melencio, Chairperson Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM), 09285080287
Posted by sosyalista at 1:49 AM
Sunday, March 17, 2013
Justice for Kristel Tejada!
Justice for the Filipino youth!
In a genuine democracy, the state must ensure full support to education. If a student’s life is perished because of the State’s negligence to provide her free and accessible education, then that’s murder.
We in the Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) mourn the passing of University of the Philippines-Manila (UPM) student Kristel Tejada, who reportedly committed suicide because the UPM administration denied her right to study because of her failure to pay the P10,000 tuition required for admission in the country’s state university.
We view her death not as a suicide, and it’s criminally vulgar to blame her and her family for her financial woes. We view her demise as State murder, for the State failed in its mandate to provide free education to its young constituents, and worse, it even denies the masses admission to its educational institutions because of the lack of capacity to pay the soaring tuition fees in state universities.
The death of Kristel Tejada is the most tragic thing that happened to our education system in recent memory—a system that measures the youth on their capacity to pay the cost of schooling, and the capacity to serve the dictates of the market upon graduation. This is unlike the alternative education system we have been long proposing—education that is accessible and free to everyone and will ultimately serve for the full development of society and humanity.
How can a minimum-wage, non-regular cab driver, like Kristel’s father, afford a supposedly State-subsidized college education worth (at a discounted rate) P10,000? How can a common market vendor afford the voluminous papers and readings needed to cope up with school? How can a factory worker pay for the laboratory and miscellaneous fees for his son?
And UP, as supposedly the premier state university of the land, could not consider these real-life predicaments of the masa student who only yearns for quality education to bail herself, her family, and her class from the strangling claws of poverty! Nay, it blatantly turns a deaf ear to this noble yearning!
What’s worse, Malacanang even admitted that it is “helpless” in preventing the rise of tuition while the Commission on Higher Education gave the convenient excuse of “studying” the incident and to wait for the result of police investigation.
What can we expect from a government blind to the basic necessities and rights of the poor? Can we expect a hacendero to lead the government to be responsive to the masa? Can we expect capitalists and technocrats to lead a state university in pushing the government to fulfill its constitutional obligation in providing free and accessible education at ALL LEVELS, when their measure of poverty is based on abstract figures and concept?
We must hold President Noynoy Aquino, the Commission on Higher Education, Congress and Senate, and the UP Administration accountable for murder on the death of Kristel Tejada. Their continued insensitivity to the issue just adds insult to injury.
Let us bring justice to Kristel Tejada by starting a strong and consolidated movement that will push for free education to all, in all levels! If this is realized in poor countries such as Cuba and Venezuela because of their people’s united action, then we must do it in the Philippines.
EDUCATION IS A RIGHT! IT MUST BE PROVIDED BY THE STATE FOR FREE! JUSTICE FOR KRISTEL TEJADA!
March 17, 2013
Contact person: Merck Maguddayao 09267101392
Posted by sosyalista at 6:29 AM
Thursday, March 7, 2013
Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) condemns the assault on Lahad Datu by the combined forces of Malaysian armed forces, commandos and Marines that led to the death of 12 members of the Sulu sultan's security forces and the death of two Malaysian policemen. Our Filipino Moro brothers camped out in Lahad Datu onlu to dramatize the claims on Sabah.
We hold the Philippine government equally responsible for neglecting to give them protection during the 'standoff period' with the Malaysian military that lasted for almost a month. Instead of protecting the lives of our Moro brothers, President Aquino added insult to injury by ignoring the sultanate's claim (despite it being the basis of the Philippine government's claim to Sabah) and even threatening to do them harm if they would not leave the encampment.
President Aquino should have used the occasion from day one to undertake negotiations between the Malaysian government, the Sultan's family and followers, and the Philippine government. The spokesman of Sultan Kiram has stated that there was no effort on the part of the Philippine government to intervene by leading a negotiation.
We assert that the Philippine claim to Sabah has its merits and should not be abandoned by the government. More so, the government should not have abandoned the security and lives of our Filipino Moro brothers during this period.
However, we believe that the claim should be pursued in a peaceful manner through firm diplomacy of the Philippine government.
And the final solution to the Sabah claim should also consider the demands and interests of its inhabitants, be it Malaysians, indigenous people or Filipinos who have lived there for a long time -- even the disadvantaged groups that have been historically displaced and exiled to other places because of the conflict.
We believe that this democratic process is the only way to prevent a useless war and carnage between Malaysia and the Philippines.
Posted by sosyalista at 5:25 AM
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
The beacon has passed away. But the light within us will guide us.
We shall continue the journey.
Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) joins PhilVenSol (Philippines-Venezuela Solidarity Network) in remembering and honoring the life and struggle of Commandante Hugo Chavez. He inspired us, and millions of poor people around the world, to dare to struggle and dare to win the fight for socialism in today’s world, in this 21st century.
President Chavez has proven to everyone that there is an alternative to the rotten neoliberal order that capitalism offers today. His achievements mute the trumpets of the capitalist world; capitalism represents old order that dehumanizes people and jeopardizes the existence of our very own planet. Chavez’ accomplishments have been a great boon to the lives and livelihood not only of the Venezuelan people, but of the people of Latin America as well.
Chavez represents a new type of socialist leader, whose vision and action inspire and mobilize people to take matters on their own hands. With this style of leadership, we are confident that the Bolivarian Revolution that Chavez has led will continue because he has trained big number of leaders of his caliber who will lead and can continue the fight for socialism in Venezuela, in Latin America and in all parts of the world.
Mabuhay, Komandante Chavez!
Tuloy ang Laban para sa Sosyalismo!
March 6, 2013
Posted by sosyalista at 5:34 PM
Monday, January 21, 2013
PLM statement on the misuse of MOOE fund
Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) is spearheading a campaign to eradicate corruption, patronage politics and shamelessness among government officials. The picket today at the Senate is only the first of the PLM campaign to pursue transparency in government.
On the recent scandal over Senate President Johnny Enrile’s distribution of P30 million savings in the maintenance and other operating expenses fund (MOOE) to the senators last December, we call on all senators to return the so-called “gifts” or “bonus” right away. Such appalling act of dispensing people’s money for personal discretions by the senators disgraces and dishonors whatever virtue the people sees in this Senate.
While we welcome Senator Miriam Santiago’s move to immediately return the money, we call on each senator not to give back the money to Senate President Enrile. The fund should be returned to the government coffers as savings in the Senate fund last year. As savings, we welcome the government’s allocation of the fund to urgent social welfare projects, or specifically as additional fund to assist the victims of typhoon Pablo in Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental.
We also condemn Senator Enrile’s attempt to use the money to factionalize the Senate by giving P1.6 million each to the 18 senators whom he is allied with, and P250,000 each to four senators he obviously hates. This type of patronage politics should be expunged from the Senate and any institutions of government.
We also deplore the Commission on Audit’s pathetic response to Enrile’s misuse of government fund. The COA has stated that Enrile’s action is aboveboard and is allowed under the General Appropriations Act. Firstly, the fund is intended for the maintenance and other operating expenses of the members of Senate. Using it for other purposes – in this case, Christmas bonus – is the height of brazenness (kapalmuks or kapal-mukha in the dialect). Secondly, while the disbursement of “savings” of Senate funds by the Senate President can be considered legal, it is downright unethical and callous given the state of poverty and deprivation experienced by millions of Filipinos today.
We also demand that the Senate fund and each senator’s funds be subject to scrutiny and audit by the government. We should stop the practice of exempting the Senate from auditing of funds and from submitting receipts or liquidation of their budgets – a practice which has been started during the time of Senate President Marcelo Fernan in the 1990s. If there was a law exempting the Senate from doing this, we require that such law be impugned and repealed outright by the Senate itself.
Lastly, we call for the immediate passage of the Freedom of Information Bill which will guarantee the people's right to know where and how the people’s money is used by the Senate and other officials of the government.
Chairperson, Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM)
Posted by sosyalista at 9:36 PM