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Heavy Rains Fail To Extinguish Labor Day Fervor

May One Committee-Bicol Region

Reference: Mr. Hernan Cereza (0909.9555344); Mr. Policarpio Baraquel (0926.9304795)

What is a typhoon when we have already braved far worse deluges of poverty and state violence?

Notwithstanding heavy Labor Day downpour, over 22,000 Bicolanos streamed along streets as well as indoor venues to resonate the people’s call for just wages, employment, and freedom from the economic plunder of US imperialism and its local lapdogs. The widespread mobilizations were spearheaded by the nationalist alliance BAN BALIKATAN, Promotion of Church Peoples Response, in coordination with the provincial chapters of the Partylist groups Anakpawis, Gabriela, Bayan Muna, Kabataan, and Bayan-Bikol.

It was recorded that 10,000 people participated in the province of Masbate; 3,000 in Camarines Sur; 5,000 in Albay; 4,500 in Sorsogon, 150 in Camarines Norte and another 150 in Catanduanes.

Bicolanos from various marginalized sectors today defied the rains which have for days loomed to douse the significant May 1 commemoration. On the contrary, despite periodic rains for the past days, members of militant people’s organizations have gone through regular tasks of educating fellow Bicolanos and consolidating advocacies. In fact, even at the onset of the week, streamers, posters and other educational materials have already been prepared, and others distributed. Resolve has been gathered to fight for P125 wage increase for workers, P3000 salary increase for government employees, and employment security for the Bicolanos.

Also, the militant organizations summed up the recent triumphant campaign against Balikatan and its deceptive “humanitarian” missions, while registering the people’s continued fight against armed imperialist intervention and state repression.

“The need to gather resistance against the onslaught weighed down on the people by the greedy capitalists and this collaborating Macapagal-Arroyo regime is far more weighty than the torrent of rains. The constant economic crisis and the subsequent repression and violence of the state have forged the people to become the determined lot that they are even on this stormy day.” Thus is the insight of Mr. Hernan Cereza, May One Committee’s Regional Spokesperson.

Though dampened, the resilient Bicolanos are instead overwhelmed with resoluteness to persist in the struggle for the people’s democratic rights and against imperialist plunder.

On a lighter note, May One rally organizers have deemed to append a vitalizing ingredient to today’s mobilizations. While leaflets containing the organizations’ standpoint on the day’s issues are distributed to the public, rallyists on the other hand are taken to be recipients of their doses of ascorbic acid to reinforce their already spirited forms. #

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Workers Woes

Workers Layoff

Kilusang Mayo Uno members held a picket infront of the DOLE Regional Office in Legazpi City last April 27 to express their sentiments.

http://banbalikatan.deviantart.com/art/Crisis-Primer-120970782

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CONDOR mass action center in Albay

Transport Strike in Bicol

Transport Strike in Bicol

Public Transportation, 85% Paralized

Reference: Joel Ascutia – President, CONDOR-PISTON (0915.3199469)

EIGHTY-FIVE PERCENT of the transport sector in the Bicol Region participated in the regional transport strike spearheaded by CONDOR-PISTON. Public transportation was paralized in the provinces of of Albay, Sorsogon, Camarines Norte and in the Rinconada area(Iriga, Nabua, Baao, Bula, Bato, Buhi) in Camarines Sur.

Bikolano drivers and small transport operators complain on the additional fees and penalty cost implemented by DOTC and LTO which claim to ideally “discipline” the transport sector. Such fees on drivers’ licence and penalties on traffic violations include an increase of 200-1200% basing from the 1992 LTO rates.

CONDOR-PISTON has filed a petition to abolish the following:

· Revised Schedule of Fees & Charges on Driver’s License and Conductor’s (DOTC Department Order #2008-38)

· Revised Schedule of LTO Fines and Penalties for Traffic Violations (DOTC Department Order #2008-39)

According to CONDOR-PISTON Regional President Joel Ascutia, the small amount of income that each transport worker takes home to feed his family is legally stolen, where only corrupt officials benefit from.

What aggreviates more the burden carried by the transport sector are the constant series of oil price hike, high cost of imported spareparts, and other maintaince expenses, which is also made worse by the Value-Added Tax(VAT) on petroleum products and other taxes, according to Ascutia.#

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CA decision acquitting Smith,a very bad precedent!

Reference: Prof. Jocelyn Bisuña, spokesperson, BAN BALIKATAN (09086198971)


Decision tantamount to license for US troops to rape Filipinas

The Bikolano Alliance for Nationalism against Balikatan (BAN BALIKATAN) condemned the recent Court of Appeals (CA) decision acquitting convicted rapist Lance Corporal Daniel Smith.

According to Prof. Jocelyn Bisuña, spokesperson of BAN BALIKATAN, “this is a complete sell out of Philippine sovereignty and serves as a very bad precedent for the protection of the rights of women. The CA has turned a landmark decision to assert our country’s sovereignty into a farce and almost gave US troops license to rape Filipinas and get away with it,”

“This is very alarming especially now that thousands of US soldiers are in the country. Here in Albay, Bicol the top hotels say that most of their rooms if not all of them are occupied by US troops which number around 400 and at least 2 batches of 8-10 prostituted women are brought to these hotels every night to cater to the carnal desire of the US troops. This situation is very dangerous which is aggravated by the CA decision, US troops may rape even prostituted women with impunity,” said the patriotic professor.

“We believe that extreme pressure was exerted by the US and Philippine governments on the CA to set Smith free and eliminate the thorn on the two countries relation. This is a highly condemnable act because they sacrificed justice and our sovereignty just to preserve the unequal relation of the US and the Philippines. The only way to solve this is to immediately junk the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and cancel the Balikatan exercises, as well as to ensure that no similar agreements or treaties will be implemented again,” ended Bisuña.

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Abrogate VFA and Condemn Acquittal of Daniel Smith

Reference: Ivy Rivero, Gabriela Youth- Bicol, Spokesperson (09052613930)

There is still hope amidst hopelessness.

With Court of Appeals reversing the Makati RTC ruling and acquitting Lance Corporal Daniel Smith last 23 April for lack of evidence manifesting the indication of force, threat and intimidation on Nicole, several groups expressed their adamant condemnation on the latter by conducting a protest action in front of the compound of the appellate court this morning and another at the US embassy this afternoon.

Such demonstration is a clear manifestation of the people’s grave disappointment and disapproval on the verdict of the justice system of the Philippine government on the issue and the upshots of the lopsided orders posed by the VFA. Likewise, the acquittal depicts that the Philippines-US ties will always supersede over national sovereignty and public interest. These flawed acts and defective methods are a big letdown to the national patrimony and integrity. They are strictly unforgivable and intolerable.

As long as the US-RP VFA is still on the run, legitimate justice and fairness is out of reach. Furthermore, the American troops will always have diversionary tactics to flee from their criminal liabilities.

There is an apparent and imminent need to reiterate and reaffirm the country’s principles regarding the resumption of the people’s sovereignty and dignity that we are fundamentally endowed with. To tolerate these continued unequal treatments and malicious schemes will further put the lives of the Filipino women at stake and incessantly undermine the value of justice and fairness. In due course, if these unrelenting semblances of injustice and disregard of women’s rights will not be dealt with accordingly, the country will take its toll and succumb in the hands of US.

We call upon the people to support this drive in firmly denouncing the VFA and Philippine Justice System. We also call upon the people to drive the US troops now and condemn the ongoing Balikataan Exercises in the Bikol region.

If we want to achieve justice and equality, we need to seriously act on these intricate matters. We do NOT need VFA and more importantly, we do NOT need US intervention. We have the people and one another to sustain and alleviate the nation from this mess that we are in. Amidst adversities and these legal and constitutional battles, there is still hope for the Philippines if we will unite and grasp firmly the lessons of the past by upholding the national sovereignty and the national interest together, resolutely and steadfastly.

Denounce Smith’s Acquittal!

Junk VFA, MDT!

Drive US troops out now!

No to Balikatan Exercises!

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imperyalismo-kaaway-ng-mamamayan

Bakit laging tumataas ang presyo ng langis?

Ang pana-panahong akyat-baba ng presyo ay bahagya at bunga ng ispekulasyon. Tumataas ang presyo ng langis sa pandaigdigang pamilihan dahil sa tumitinding desperasyon ng kapitalista upang palakihin ang tubo sa pamamagitan ng ispekulasyon.

Hindi mga artipisyal na pagbabago sa suplay at demand ang nagbubunsod sa pagbabago ng presyo ng langis —- ang mga ito ay nililikha lamang ng mas mapagpasyang kapangyarihan sa industriya ng langis, ang imperyalistang US.

Ang US ang pangunahing imperyalistang bansa na kumukontrol sa pandaigdigang industriya ng langis

Ang nagdidikta ng saligang presyo ng krudong langis sa pandaigdigang pamilihan ay ang kartel ng mga dambuhalang transnasyunal na mga korporasyon. Habang kontrolado nito ang eksplorasyon, repinerya at distribusyon ng produktong petrolyo, tiyak na hindi mahihinto ang pagtaas ng presyo nito.

Bakit tinututulan ng CONDOR-PISTON ang US-RP Balikatan military exercises?

Ang US-RP Balikatan military exercises ang instrumento ng imperyalistang US upang mapanatili ang geopolitical na mga interes nito sa Asia-Pacific region. Sa taunang Balikatan exercises sa bansa, patuloy na nakakapagmantini dito ng presensya ng tropang US kahit wala nang base militar.

Nakasaad sa 1995 East Asia Strategy Report ng US Department of Defense: ang presensya ng pwersang militar ng US sa Asya ay mahigpit na nakaugnay sa pang-ekonomya at iba pang interes ng US sa bahagi ito ng daigdig, ang forward deployment ng tropang US ay absolutong rekisito upang maprotektahan ang mga kontrolado nitong “market” at mga interes nito.

Ang Balikatan military exercises ay instrumento ng imperyalismo upang higit pang dambungin ang yaman ng mga bansa, kabilang na ang Pilipinas. Ito ang nagtitiyak na tuluy-tuloy na nasa kontrol ng US ang global market.

Ang Balikatan military exercises ay panlulupig sa soberanya ng bansa. Ang malakihang pagpasok ng tropang Kano sa bansa ay panghihimasok sa kasarinlan at integridad ng Pilipinas.

Imperyalismong US, Kaaway ng Mamamayan

Pandarambong sa Ekonomya, Tutulan

Panlulupig sa Soberanya ng Bansa, Labanan

US Troops Out Now!

CONDOR-PISTON (Concerned Drivers and Operators for Reforms, Inc.) -Bikol

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Youth, students condemn state violence

Kabataang Pinoy – Bikol to file charges

Reference: Joseph Adrian V. Concepcion, CEGP-Bikol Spokesperson (0919.2232447)

Outraged over the incident last Monday when a couple of student activists were harassed and illegally detained by the local police, progressive youth organizations protested in front of the Philippine National Police Naga City Headquarters at noon today.

Members from the regional formations of Kabataang Pinoy, Youth and Students Opposing Balikatan (Youth STOP Balikatan) and College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) as well as sectoral alliances Gabriela Youth, Tindog Atenista and Irayana Cultural Group marched to the said station after a press conference at Residencia, Barlin Street. Each held streamers proclaiming indignation to the ill treatment experienced by CEGP Spokesperson Joseph Adrian Concepcion and Kabataang Pinoy member Angelo de los Reyes.

Kabataang Pinoy – Bikol Regional Coordinator James Gabriel Hernandez slammed the police as perpetrators of state fascism. He added that the incident was a first in their experience of spearheading protest demonstrations.

“The brutal repression of our rights and aggression from the police did not just coincide with Ms. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s arrival. This just proves the violence that the Arroyo administration unflinchingly answers to the valid woes of the youth,” asserted Hernandez.

He furthered that they will file charges against the concerned police officers.

Camarines Sur Coordinator of the same partylist Chow Asis expressed the same sentiment .

“To serve and to protect? As the youth, we belong to the people whom the police has sworn to serve and protect! Ironically, by harassment, they are violating their duties and betraying the public trust,” he declared.

Meanwhile, Gabriela Youth Spokesperson Ivy Rivero pointed out that the police have been relentless, not even sparing women and student protesters from harrassment.

The said groups joined other sectoral organizations last Monday in a demonstration protesting the arrival of Pres. Arroyo for the 2009 PRISAA Nationals. They reiterated that Pres. Arroyo should rather focus her attention to issues regarding the ongoing Balikatan Exercises in the region, incessant oil price hikes, escalating poverty and unemployment rates, and the dismal plight of the Filipino people under the worsening economic crisis. #

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