Uring Manggagawa, Hukbong Mapagpalaya!

Sosyalismo ang Lunas! Ibagsak ang mapang-api't masibang kapitalistang sistema! Manggagawa sa Lahat ng Bansa, Magkaisa!

Huwebes, Oktubre 13, 2016

Duterte’s foreign policy remains subservient, not independent

Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino

Duterte’s foreign policy remains subservient, not independent

President Duterte's recent pronouncements regarding the country's relationship with the United States, China, and Russia does not signal an "independent foreign policy."

While the President’s criticism of our unequal relationship with the US is, of course welcome, the President himself has made it clear that he has threatened to break our subservient and mendicant relationship with the US only because the US officials have criticized the President's brutal "war on drugs."

This in itself does not constitute "independence."

Independence does not mean having the freedom to, in the President’s words, "happily slaughter" thousands of drug pushers or dependents. Independence does not mean renouncing our duties and obligations to humanity as responsible members of the international community.

Secondly, despite his repeated threats and bluster, the President has not actually abrogated the Mutual Defense Treaty, the Visiting Forces Agreement, the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, and other onerous deals that constitute the basis of our unequal and mendicant relationship with the US.

Despite his provocative words, he and his alter egos have repeatedly backtracked on his announcements that the Philippines will no longer conduct military exercises or cut our ties with the US altogether.

Clearly, if the President were serious about breaking with the US, he would have set the ball rolling for the repeal of the treaties mentioned earlier and stuck to his word regarding the military exercises.

But the fact that the President has not done so only lends credence to our fears that, first, he is only instrumentalizing legitimate concerns about our unequal relationship with the US in order to obscure and delegitimize criticisms of his violent, anti-poor, and ineffective “war on drugs”; and that, second, he is merely trying to extract even more concessions from the US while appearing to be critical of the US--just like what the former dictator Marcos did in the past.

Finally, we do not believe that the President favors an independent foreign policy because he only seeks to replace the “alliance” with the US with an alliance with other rising powers, namely China and Russia. Indeed, in line with this, he has even announced that the government would not press the Philippines' claim to the disputed Scarborough Shoal.

Instead of signaling an 'independent foreign policy,' this actually signals the beginning of yet another era of subservience--only this time, to a different or to a more varied set of masters.

For not only is China's commitment to human rights and international law questionable at best, China has also adamantly opposed just and peaceful solutions to the disputes in the region.

In this context, Duterte's refusal to even discuss the country's claim to the Scarborough Shoal is tantamount to sending China the message that it can just use its might and throw its weight around to bully everyone else into submission.

This will not only undermine efforts to arrive at a just and peaceful settlement to the dispute, such as proposals for equitably sharing the resources of the disputed area among the region's peoples, it could also effectively lock in the Philippines to a subordinate position vis-a-vis China.

Instead of breaking with the past and inaugurating a new era in our relations with other countries, then, Duterte seems to be paving the way for more of the same: Rather than independence, we see subservience; rather than sovereignty, we discern surrender.

In order to achieve real independence, we demand, among others, the immediate abrogation of the MDT, the VFA and he EDCA. We demand peaceful but just solutions to the disputes in the region. And we demand equal relations with all countries based on the spirit of genuine international brotherhood, economic cooperation, and mutual benefit.

Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino
Contact persons:
Leody de Guzman, BMP President @ 0920-5200672
Atty. Luke Espiritu, BMP Spokesperson @ 0933-0417125

Biyernes, Hulyo 1, 2016

Security of Tenure, Workers’ Rights and Welfare are non-negotiable

July 1, 2016
Leody de Guzman (09205200672)
National President, Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP)

Security of Tenure, Workers’ Rights and Welfare are non-negotiable:
No to a mere cap to ‘endo’
Yes to “Change is Coming”

In reaction to an earlier pronouncement by incoming Labor Secretary for limiting the employment of contractual labor to twenty percent (20%), the Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) would like to remind Silvestro Bello III that the workers’ rights and welfare are non-negotiable. 

We likewise oppose the blackmail line of “contractual employment or hunger by joblessness” that are issued by employers’ groups on the issue of contractualization. 

Our position is based on the following premises:

1) Placing a cap on contractual labor is not in the Labor Code, which clearly states that “usually and necessary labor” in the operations of a business should be performed by a regular employee (Article 280). It defines usually and necessary as the type of work performed for at least a year, whether continuous or broken. 

2) Bello’s proposal is likewise contrary and violative to the Constitution. While seemingly enabling the Constitutional right to security of tenure to a sizeable majority (80%) of the workforce, it institutionalizes its denial to two out of ten workers (20%). Where is the so-called “equal protection of law” in this patently anti-labor scheme?

3) The proposed cap on contractual labor is contrary to the “change is coming” mandate of the incoming Duterte administration. We want change. We want a labor market where workers’ rights and welfare are not threatened by contractualization. We expect it from a government that would side with the labor against capital, with the oppressed against the oppressors. Fence-sitting would not lead to change, it is business-as-usual for the unjust status quo. Bello must be reminded that the Duterte presidency rode on the crest of the people’s clamor for change by launching an all-out tirade against social ills, especially the lackluster and bungling elitist administration of Noynoy Aquino.

4) Putting an end to contractualization is not just a legal question on the Constitutional right to job security but a life-and-death issue for workers are forced to become cheap and docile due to the threat of unemployment, and in order for capital to gain higher profit margins. It is nothing but shameless and callous profiteering

Meanwhile, we condemn employers’ groups that justify contractualization by saying that it contributes to job generation. Your condescending excuses mock the dignity of labor. You are not in the business of providing us jobs to feed our families. Accumulation and competition are your masters. In their service, you have installed this regime of precarious and contractual work, that imposed starvation wages on hardworking Filipinos.

Mr. Sergio Ortiz of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) has correctly observed that combatting contractualization would be hard due to the high levels of unemployment. Of course, cut-throat competition among workers to sell their labor-power persists as long as the unemployed masses lines up at the factory gates. But it is precisely the reason why the Philippine state – abiding by its Constitutional mandate to provide full protection to labor – should uphold the interests of the workers lest they fall prey to the blackmail line of “low wages or hunger” by exploitative employers. 

Hence, we appeal to the incoming Duterte administration to be true to its mandate by implementing the harshness of the law on abusive capitalists in the same way that it now threatens the crime lords of the illegal drug trade. For an Executive Order against contractualization! Prohibit the contracting out of “usually necessary and desirable work”! Amend Articles 106 to 109 of the Labor Code! #

Seguridad sa Trabaho, Karapatan at Kagalingan ng Manggagawa ay Hindi Naaareglo:

Hindi sa simpleng panakip lang sa ‘endo’
OO sa “Pagdating ng Pagbabago” 

Bilang tugon sa maagang pahayag ng papasok na Kalihim ng Paggawa sa paglilimita ng pagtatrabaho ng kontraktwal na paggawa sa dalawampung bahagdan (20%), nais ipaalala ng Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) kay Silvestre Bello III na hindi naaareglo ang karapatan at kagalingan ng manggagawa.

Gayundin naman, tinututulan namin ang linyang panggigipit na “trabahong kontraktwal o kagutuman sa kawalan ng trabaho” na ipinahayag ng mga pangkat ng kapitalista hinggil sa isyu ng kontratwalisasyon.

Ang aming tindig ay batay sa sumusunod na mga kadahilanan:

1) Ang paglalagay ng panakip sa kontraktwal na paggawa ay wala sa Kodigo ng Paggawa, kung saan malinaw na nakasulat ang “karaniwan at kinakailangang paggawa” sa pagpapatakbo ng isang negosyo ay dapat gampanan ng isang regular na empleyado (Artikulo 280). Ipinaliliwanag nito ang karaniwan at kinakailangan bilang tipo ng paggawang ginagampanan sa loob man lang ng isang taon, ito man ay tuluyan o patlang-patlang.

2) Gayunman, ang panukala ni Bello ay salungat at labag sa Saligang Batas. Habang nakikitang nagagampanan ang Konstitusyonal na karapatan sa seguridad sa trabaho sa malawak na mayorya (80 bahagdan) ng pwersa ng mga nagtatrabaho, itinatatag nito ang pagkakaila sa dalawa sa sampung manggagawa (20%). Nasaan ang tinatawag na “pantay na karapatan sa batas” sa ganitong malinaw na pakanang laban sa paggawa?

3) Ang panukalang panakip sa kontraktwal na paggawa ay salungat sa mandatong “parating na ang pagbabado ng parating na administrasyong Duterte. Nais namin ay pagbabago. Nais namin ang isang merkado ng paggawa kung saan ang karapatan at kagalingan ng manggagawa ay hindi pinagbabantaan ng kontraktwalisasyon. Ang inaasahan namin sa isang pamahalaan ay ang pagpanig nito sa paggawa laban sa puhunan, sa panig ng inaapi laban sa mga mang-aapi. Ang pangingitlog sa bangko ay hindi tutungo sa pagbabago, ito’y karaniwang-pagnenegosyo-lang para sa mga di-makatarungang naghaharing kairalan. Dapat paalalahanan si Bello na ang panguluhang Duterte ay nakatungtong sa gulugod ng panawagang pagbabago ng sambayanan sa pamamagitan ng paglulunsad ng panlahatang panunuligsa laban sa mga sakit ng lipunan, lalo na ang  walang kinang at padaskul-daskol na elitistang administrasyon ng Noynoy Aquino.

4) Ang pagwawakas sa kontraktwalisasyon ay hindi lamang isang legal na usapin ng Konstitusyonal na karapatan sa seguridad sa trabaho subalit isang usaping buhay-at-kamatayan para sa mga manggagawang natutulak na maging mura at masunurin dahil sa banta ng kawalan ng trabaho, at upang makakuha ng mas mataas na tubo ang puhunan. Wala ito kundi kawalanghiyaan at kawalang-habag na pagkakamal ng tubo.

Samantala, kinukundena namin ang mga grupo ng kapitalistang binibigyang matuwid ang kontraktwalisasyon sa pamamagitan ng pagsasabing nakapag-aambag ito sa pagkakaroon ng trabaho. Ang pagpapakumbabang pagdadahilan ninyo ay mapangutya sa dignidad ng paggawa. Wala kayo sa katwirang bigyan kami ng trabaho upang mapakain ang aming pamilya. Ang pangangamkam at kumpetisyon ang inyong mga amo. Sa pagsisilbi sa kanila, inilagay ninyo ang rehimeng ito ng trabahong mabuway at kontraktwal, na iginigiit ang sahod na nakagugutom sa mga matitiyagang Pilipino.

Wastong naobserbahan ni Ginoong Sergio Ortiz ng Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) na ang pagbaka sa kontraktwalisasyon ay mahirap dahil sa taas ng antas ng kawalan ng trabaho. Siyempre, ang mga mapanakal na kumpetisyon sa mismong mga manggagawa upang ibenta ang kanilang lakas-paggawa ay nagpapatuloy habang parami ng parami ang mga walang trabahong manggagawa sa tarangkahan ng mga pabrika. Ngunit ito ang tiyak na rason kung bakit ang estado ng Pilipinas – na sumusunod sa mandatong Konstitusyonal nito na bigyan ng buong proteksyon ang paggawa – ay nararapat panindigan ang interes ng mga manggagawa kung hindi’y mabibiktima sila ng palyadong linyang “mababang sahod o gutom” ng mga mapagsamantalang kapitalista.

Kaya, nananawagan kami sa parating na administrasyong Duterte na maging totoo sa mandato nitong ipatupad ng malupit ang batas hinggil sa mga abusadong kapitalista sa parehong paraan na sa ngayon ay pinagbabantaan ng mga panginoon ng krimen ng mga ilegal na kalakalan ng droga. Para sa isang Batas Ehekutibo laban sa kontraktwalisasyon! Ipagbawal ang pangongontrata ng “paggawang karaniwang kinakailangan at kalugod-lugod”! Amyendahan ang mga Artikulong 106-109 ng Kodigo ng Paggawa! #

Sabado, Abril 2, 2016

Police brutality in Kidapawan condemned, Declare El Nino areas in a state of calamity

Press Statement
01 April 2016

Police brutality in Kidapawan condemned, 
Declare El Nino areas in a state of calamity

SANLAKAS condemns in the strongest terms the barbaric acts inflicted by the police forces as a response to the legitimate and just demands of the Mindanaoan farmers. We hold the Aquino government accountable for unleashing his dogs of war against the hapless peasants.

We demand that entire police unit/s involved in the dispersal relieved, investigated and charged at the soonest possible time.

We also hold accountable the city officials of Kidapawan and the provincial government under Governor Lala Mendoza as well as the national agencies that should have been on top of the situation knowing that the impacts of the El Nino would affect hundreds of thousands if not millions ofpeople.

Firing at unarmed protestors is not only appalling and but also shows how inutile and insensitive our government is to the conditions our farmers who are suffering from water scarcity on a daily basis. While the government is fully aware that the El Nino phenomenon has intensely struck hundreds of thousands of acres of farmlands in Mindanao it did not only prepare for it but it also failed in relieving the farmers of the widespread hunger the climate crisis has caused on thousands of peasant and agricultural workers’ families.

As we share the grief of the victims of police brutality and extend our solidarity with the farmers in Mindanao, SANLAKAS demands from the Aquino government to provide economic relief and declare all EL Nino affected provinces including those in Visayas and Luzon in a state of calamity in order to freeze prices of the most basic commodities and so that the local government may access emergency funds.

We also demand that the climate adaptation efforts of the government expedited in order for the food and water supply crisis checked.

Contact details: 
Atty. Aaron Pedrosa 0927-5924830 
Sanlakas, Secretary General and nominee

Lunes, Marso 21, 2016

Ako'y Manggagawa: Butil ng Buhangin - Dalawang Tula ni Amado V. Hernandez

ni Gregorio V. Bituin Jr.

Dalawang tula ni Ka Amado V. Hernandez, pambansang alagad ng sining sa panitikan, ang inumpisahan niya sa taludtod na ito: "Ako'y manggagawa: butil ng buhangin". Ito'y matatagpuan sa kanyang tulang Bayani na kinatha noong Mayo 1, 1928, at ang Isang Tula sa manggagawa, na nalathala sa pahayagang Pawis noong Hunyo 5, 1946. Dahil sinimulan sa taludtod na iyon, ang kabuuan ng dalawang tula ay lalabindalawahing pantig. 

Ang tulang Bayani, na binubuo ng sampung saknong at bawat saknong ay may anim na taludtod, ay nasa aklat na Isang Dipang Langit, mp. 22-24. Ang tula naman niyang Isang Tula sa Manggagawa, na may walong saknong, ay nasa aklat na Tudla at Tudling, mp. 304-305. Ang unang dalawang saknong ay binubuo ng limang taludtod, habang ang ikatlo hanggang ikawalong saknong ay tig-aanim na taludtod.

Ayon sa talababa ng tulang Bayani: Ang tulang Bayani ay nagwagi sa 30 kalaban sa timpalak-panitik sa Malolos, Bulacan, sa pagdiriwang sa Unang Araw ng Mayo noong 1928. Inampalan: Lope K. Santos, Julian Cruz Balmaceda at IƱigo Ed. Regalado. Ayon kay Senador Recto, ito ang "pinakamahusay na tulang Tagalog sa paksang paggawa."

Ang dalawang tula, bagamat pareho ang unang taludtod ay halos nagkaroon ng bahagyang pagkakaiba sa mga pananalita, bagamat iisa ang nilalaman, ang tungkol sa buhay at kahalagahan ng manggagawa sa ating daigdig. Katunayan, napakaganda ng huling taludtod ng kanyang tulang Bayani: "Taong walang saysay ang di Manggagawa!"

Halina't tunghayan natin ang dalawang tulang ito at namnamin ang masarap na lasa nitong tila pukyutan sa tamis dahil inaalay sa mayorya sa lipunan, ang manggagawa.

ni Amado V. Hernandez

Ako'y manggagawa: butil ng buhangin
sa daa'y panambak, sa templo'y gamit din;
buhay ko'y sa Diyos utang nga marahil,
ngunit ang palad ko'y utang din sa akin.
Alam ko ang batas: "Tao, manggagaling
sa sariling pawis ang iyong kakanin."

Hubad ang daigdig nang ako'y sumilang
at pikit ang mata ng sangkatauhan:
dahilan sa aki'y kaharia't bayan
ang nangapatayo sa bundok at ilang,
aking pinasikat sa gabi ang araw
at tinanlawan ko ang diwa't ang buhay.

Ako ang nagbangon ng Gresya at Roma,
ako ang nagbagsak sa palalong Troya;
ang mga kamay ko'y martilyo't sandata –
pambuo't panggiba ng anumang pita!
Kung may kayamanan ngayong nakikita,
paggawa ko'y siyang pinuhunan muna!

Ako'y isang haring walang trono't putong,
panginoong laging namamanginoon,
daming pinagpalang binigyan ng milyon
ay ako't ako ring itong pataygutom;
sila ay sa aking balikat tumuntong,
naging Mamo't Nabod ang dati kong ampon!

Sambundok na ginto ang aking dinungkal,
kahi't na kaputol, di binahagihan!
ang aking inani'y sambukiring palay,
nguni't wala akong isaing man lamang!
ang buhay ng iba'y binibigyang-buhay
habang nasa bingit ako ng libingan!

Ang luha ko't dugo'y ibinubong pawa
sa lupang sarili, nguni't nang lumaya,
ako'y wala kahi't sandakot na lupa!
Kung may tao't bayang nangaging dakila,
karaniwang hagda'y akong Manggagawa,
nasa putik ako't sila'y sa dambana!

Kung kaya sumulong ang ating daigdig,
sa gulong ng aking mga pagsasakit;
nilagyan ang tao ng pakpak at bagwis,
madaling nag-akyat-manaog sa langit;
saliksik ang bundok, ang bangin at yungib,
ang kailaliman ng dagat, saliksik!

Ang mga gusali, daan at sasakyan,
ay niyaring lahat ng bakal kong kamay;
sa tuklas kong lakas – langis, uling, bakal,
naghimala itong industria't kalakal;
nguni't lumawak din naman ang pagitan
ng buhay at ari... nasupil ang buhay!

Ang mundo'y malupit: ngayo't ako'y ako,
nakamihasnan nang dustain ng mundo
gayon pa ma'y habang ang tao ay tao,
gawa ang urian kung ano't kung sino;
batong walang ganda'y sangkap ng palasyo,
sanggol sa sabsaba'y naging isang Kristo.

Tuwi na'y wal'in man ako ng halaga,
iyan ay pakanang mapagsamantala;
ang ginto, saan man, ay gintong talaga,
ang bango, takpan man, ay di nagbabawa;
itakwil man ako ng mga nanggaga,
walang magagawang hadlang sa istorya!

Kung di nga sa aki'y alin kayang bagay
ang magkakasigla at magkakabuhay?
Puhunan? Likha ko lamang ang Puhunan!
Bayan? At hindi ba ako rin ang Bayan?
Walang mangyayari pag ako ang ayaw,
mangyayaring lahat, ibigin ko lamang!

Sa wakas, dapat nang ngayo'y mabandila
ang karapatan kong laong iniluha,
ang aking katwiran ay bigyan ng laya
at kung ayaw ninyo'y ako ang bahala
sa aking panata sa pagkadakila...
Taong walang saysay ang di Manggagawa!

Mayo 1, 1928

ni Amado V. Hernandez

Ako'y manggagawa: butil ng buhangin
Sa dagat ng buhay ay masuliranin,
Nguni't ang palad ko'y utang din sa akin!
Sa sariling pawis pinapanggaling
Ang dinadamit ko't aking kinakain.

Hubad ang daigdig nang ako'y sumilang
At pikit ang mata ng sangkatauhan,
Dahilan sa aki'y kahariharian
Ang nangapatayo sa bundok at ilang,
Pinapagningning ko ang dating karimlan.

At ang kabihasnan ng buong daigdig
Ay bunga ng aking mga pagsasakit
Ang Kapwa ko tao'y binigyan ng bagwis
Upang makalipad hanggang himpapawid!
Utang din sa aking paggawa kung bakit,
Ang pusod ng dagat ay nasasaliksik!

Ang mga gusali, dagat at sasakyan
Ay nalikhang lahat ng bakal kong kamay,
Ang ginto at pilak, ang uling at bakal,
Ay dahil sa akin kung kaya't nabungkal,
Ako'y manggagawa ng maraming bagay
Pangalawang Diyos sa lupang ibabaw.

Gayon ma'y malimit dustain ako,
Ang munti'y talagang dustain sa mundo
Subali't ang bakal, hamak ma'y alam kong
Nagagawang baril, gulok, punglo, maso...
Ang buhangi'y sangkap sa isang palasyo't
Ang bato ang siyang haligi ng templo!

Madalas man akong pawalang halaga
Ang uri ko'y hindi mababawasan pa:
Ang ginto saan ma'y napagkikilala,
Ang bango takpan ma'y hindi nagbabawa!
Ako ay bayaning bisig ang sandata,
Ang pawis ko'y lakas, buhay at pag-asa!

Anak pawis akong dukha at maliit,
Ang tahana'y dampa na pawid ang atip,
Nguni't ang dambanang pinakamarikit
Ay utang sa aking matipunong bisig
At ang boong yaman sa silong ng langit
Ay mula sa aking kasipaga't pawis!

Pagmalasin ninyo! Tila isang anghel
Ng pagkakaisang sa langit nanggaling,
Larawan ng Bayang maganda't mahinhin
Na wala nang gapos ng pagkaalipin,
Liwayway ng layang darating, darating,
At mamamanaag paglipas ng dilim!

Pawis, Hunyo 5, 1946

Ang dalawang tulang ito'y patunay ng maalab na pagmamahal ni Ka Amado V. Hernandez sa mga manggagawang kanyang pinaglingkuran. Bilang isang batikan at iginagalang na lider-manggagawa, matatandaang si Ka Amado ay naging haligi ng Congress of Labor Organizations (CLO), na isang samahan ng manggagawang nagtataguyod ng pagbabagong panlipunan. Noong Mayo 5, 1947, pinangunahan niya ang pinakamalaking welgang bayan noon. Nang maging pangulo siya ng CLO ay pinangunahan niya ang paglulunsad ng malaking pagkilos ng manggagawa noong Mayo 1, 1948.

Mabuhay ang alaala ni Ka Amado V. Hernandez at ang kanyang mga tula para sa kilusang paggawa!

Biyernes, Enero 22, 2016

Militant workers to Congress: Develop a heart and a spine; override the presidential veto on the SSS Pension Hike

Contact person: Leody de Guzman 09205200672
January 22, 2016

Militant workers to Congress:
Develop a heart and a spine;
override the presidential veto on the SSS Pension Hike

Members of the militant labor group Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) held a picket at the Batasan gates today to call on lawmakers to override the presidential veto against a P2,000 increase in the monthly pensioners of the Social Security System.

Leody de Guzman, BMP president said, “We call on our legislators to alleviate the hardship of 1.9 million Filipinos who have to barely survive on a measly pension of P1,200 per month at the twilight of their lives.

Have a Heart as People’s Representatives

“If you are truly representatives of the people, you must, at the very least,have a heart to those who dutifully contributed to the social welfare fundin the hope of living decently upon retirement. The current minimum pension of P1,200 is not even half the cost of living of P5,333 per individual,” the labor leader furthered.

Develop a Spine as a Co-Equal Branch of Government

De Guzman clarified, “We appeal to our legislators to develop a spine by collectively standing up as a co-equal branch to the executive department.  Override the presidential veto by garnerning the required two-thirds vote to defend your just and reasonable proposal for a pension hike, lest the people conclude that members of the august halls of Congress are more concerned with their electoral kitty than the welfare of our aging countrymen”.

Reforms to ensure the viability of the P2,000 SSS Pension Hike

The labor leader, who is also the first nominee of the SANLAKAS party-list in the upcoming May elections, asserted that the SSS has sufficient funds to provide for a P2,000 increase in monthly pensions. He added, “especially if it would increase the collection rate from the present 35-38% and by reducing the administrative and operating costs of the social welfare fund. It is the height of injustice that the SSS executives are receiving millions in bonuses despite their obvious inefficiency and lack of regard for the welfare of the millions of its now destitute member-contributors”.

SSS Execu-thieves, Kapalmuks!

At the protest, the BMP, SANLAKAS and Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) brought a huge streamer that listed the millions in bonuses given to members of the SSS board, who they described as “execu-thieves”,“walang hiya” (shameless) and “kapalmuks” (thick-skinned, insensitive). #

Miyerkules, Disyembre 16, 2015

We must hold our own government, not just the developed country-governments, responsible for ecocidal Paris climate deal

We must hold our own government, not just the developed country-governments, responsible for ecocidal Paris climate deal

As expected, the world’s elite-dominated governments just passed a strong international agreement that condemns millions of us Filipinos and other peoples, as well as other living beings, to suffer from climate chaos.

Instead of passing a strict, legally binding agreement that compels governments—especially those most responsible—to drastically reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and compensate those least responsible by providing finance and technology, they passed a strong, voluntary agreement that basically leaves it to each government to decide whether and how much it wants to reduce its emissions and whether and how much it wants to compensate others.

Instead of passing an agreement that compels all to bring down the level of global warming to below 1.5 degrees Celsius, they passed an agreement that has countries pledging to increase warming by at least 3 degrees Celcius—a level of warming that will cause untold suffering in the planet.

Instead of passing an agreement that forces all of the world’s dominant classes from all countries—they who own the oil corporations, the coal power plants, the agro-chemical companies, the airlines, and all the other corporations responsible for emitting much of the greenhouse gases that cause climate change—to keep the oil in the ground, the coal in the hole, and the gas under the grass, they passed another agreement that allows—and even encourages—these classes to continue burning oil, coal and gas that will fry the planet for decades to come.

Instead of approving an agreement that forces all of the world’s dominant classes from all countries—they who have profited massively from exploiting working peoples and nature—to return the wealth they have plundered from us working peoples, ourselves part of nature, so as to enable us to cope with the impacts of climate chaos or restore and regenerate ourselves, they have passed another agreement that allows these groups to continue to profit from our labor and from the planet’s riches.

Instead of passing an agreement that really changes the system that is at the root of the climate crisis, they passed one that essentially keeps it unchanged.

Their agreement is not a “weak” agreement that merely fails to “do enough” to solve the problem; it is a very strong agreement that does too much to defend the interests of a powerful global elite at the expense of the majority.

Much of the condemnation here should definitely be reserved for the developed-country governments, especially the United States and the European Union, which again resorted to vicious, Machiavellian tactics to bully and bribe developing-country governments so as to defeat even just the limited reforms and concessions that they are pushing.

But this does not mean we should spare elite-dominated developing-country governments like the Philippines’ from blame because, while constrained by unequal international relations, they are not exactly just helpless victims here. 

They could have chosen to send only the more principled negotiators who were unstinting in standing up to rich countries, such as Yeb Sano, Bernarditas Muller, and others; instead, they bowed to the bullying and bribery of the powerful countries (and their local allies inside our governments) who hated these people’s guts and replaced them with Filipino negotiators who advocate appeasing the powerful.

They could have chosen to use weapons of the weak—to collectively threaten economic and political sanctions on the US and the European Union, to limit the access of US and European corporations to our market, withhold our country’s political support for them on other international issues, or to explore and use other means of leverage available to the disadvantaged--unless they concede to our demands, but they chose not to do so because while these options could advance the real, national interests of our people, they also threaten our elites’ own narrow and vested interests.

They could have chosen to go beyond just pushing for mere reforms and concessions towards addressing the ultimate causes of the problem: the system of capitalist private property relations that forces corporations and governments everywhere to prioritize profitmaking over the wellbeing of peoples and the planet. Instead, they chose to hold back from antagonizing their fellow elites from the US and the EU to perpetuate this eco-cidal system.

In short: they could have chosen to side with us, the people they claim to represent on the world stage, but they chose in the end to side with their fellow oppressors from other countries.

They too are therefore ultimately as much to blame as the developed-country governments for burning the planet and condemning the people. They too are shackled by the system—and they too have refused to remove those shackles. 

This is why, today, the only way by which we can save ourselves and those we love from all those who are sentencing us to death is not by counting on these so-called leaders from developing countries and back them in their fight against the developed countries or the so-called ‘principal enemies.’ 

For they too are no less dangerous enemies, unwilling to really fight for our interests against the rich of other countries, constantly selling us down the river and looking only after themselves in the face of disaster. 

And we can only make them do the right thing not by lobbying them to “take action, please” or by counting on the power of our arguments to make them change their minds.

We will not be able to move them by lobbying harder or shouting our slogans louder.

We can only make them do the right thing by organizing ourselves and uniting with others, by bringing together otherwise dispersed and isolated peoples into a global movement really capable of depriving our enemies of what they ultimately need to keep ruling: our labor, our consent.

This is not an unrealistic dream: Our friends and comrades in Paris have shown us the way by actively defying the state of emergency imposed by the French government. Despite the threat of state violence, they marched and danced on the streets, engaged in inspiring acts of civil disobedience against the genocidal climate change agreement that governments—including the Philippines—just passed, and resolved to continue the fight for real system-change in so many localities and so many countries across the world in the coming years.

We join them and all those who are with them in saying again: Don’t mourn, organize!

Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (Solidarity of Filipino Workers)
15 December 2015

Lunes, Oktubre 19, 2015

Welga sa Victoria


Mula sa mahabang talaan ng paglabag ng mga kapitalista sa batayang karapatan ng mga manggagawa, kaninang madaling araw (Oktubre 19, 2015) ay ipinutok na ng mga manggagawa ng Victoria Manufacturing Corp. ang kanilang welga. 

Ayon sa mga manggagawa ng VMCEU (Victoria Manufacturing Corp. Employees Union), ang isyu ay: shutdown to retrenchment, union busting, harassment, refusal to bargain, discrimination, violation ng CBA provision regarding LIPO (last in, first out). Nasa 80 manggagawang regular ang apektado. Tila may balak pa raw ang management (dahil nadulas umano ang dila ng isa rito) na kumuha ng maraming kontraktwal na manggagawa kapalit ng regular.

Ang kanilang welga ay naitayo na nila sa pabrika ng Victoria sa Ortigas Avenue, Pasig, malapit sa Ever. Kailangan nila ng suporta, mga kasama, sa kanilang laban. Maaari nyo silang puntahan sa kanilang welga. Maraming salamat po.

(Ulat ni Greg Bituin Jr.)

Itigil ang Tanggalan!

Itigil ang Tanggalan!
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Slam Evil, Slam Apec

Slam Evil, Slam Apec
November 1996