Monday, March 29, 2010

MIKEY’S PARTY-LIST FOUND PLAGIARIZING BAYAN MUNA PRINCIPLES: Word for Word copying of Bayan Muna Constitution decried

Word for Word copying of Bayan Muna Constitution decried

Bayan Muna party-list expressed shock and disgust when it found that Rep. Mikey Arroyo’s Ang Galing Pinoy completely plagiarized the Constitution and principles of Bayan Muna when it applied for accreditation. Bayan Muna Party-list Rep. Neri Javier Colmenares found this out March 26 when he was able to get a copy of Ang Galing Pinoy’s application for registration from the Comelec.

“Rep. Arroyo’s group is so completely detached from the marginalized sectors that it doesn’t even know the issues and condition of the poor they have to copy Bayan Muna’s declaration of principles and even organizational structures and oath. Kung may konting hiya si Rep. Arroyo dapat tanggihan na niya ang nomination if only for this at talagang nakakahiya ang na-diskubre naming ito,” declared Rep. Colmenares. “I guess its about time the Melo Comelec weed out pseudo party-list groups just like in 2001,” said Rep. Colmenares who, as Bayan Muna general counsel argued before the Supreme Court for the disqualification of major political parties and non marginalized groups from the party-list system. The case of Bayan Muna vs Comelec led to the Comelec decision virtually disqualifying more than a hundred fly-by-night party-list groups in 2001.

“Ganun ba ang gustong ipalabas ni Rep. Mikey Arroyo? Na ang ‘Galing ng Pinoy’ ay mangopya ng gawa ng iba? Hindi man lang napansin ng Comelec ang plagiarism na ito?” said Rep. Teddy Casiño of Bayan Muna who is leading the moves to disqualify pseudo party-list organizations being used as a vehicle by hatchet-men of Pres. Gloria Arroyo to enter Congress. “We did not file petitions to disqualify in 2004 and 2007 hoping the Comelec will do its job of screening party-list organizations. It’s about time genuine party-list organizations take the initiative and help the Comelec clean up the system once again,” he added.

Ang Galing Pinoy was found to have plagiarized the following from the Bayan Muna Constitution even copying the exact number of articles and sections:
(i) Bayan Muna’s 10 point program in its Constitution, including its vision of establishing a nationalist and democratic government and the oath of its members.
(ii) A word for word copying of Bayan Muna’s organizational structure and membership principles, even copying Bayan Muna’s provisions on Intermediate Leading Bodies and Barangay chapters.
(iii) Ang Galing Pinoy also copied Bayan Muna’s Special Provisions on the formation of alliances and regional parties and even how to generate funding and resources.

“The proof that Ang Galing Pinoy is faking its supposed advocacy for the poor is overwhelming,” said Atty. Joven Laura, a human rights lawyer from Bicol and Bayan Muna’s third nominee. “Comelec should not only disqualify Mikey Arroyo but cancel the registration of the Ang Galing Pinoy itself”. ###

Bayan Muna submits Comelec Resolution 8807 requirements, readies disqualification charges against 'fake' party-lists

March 29, 2010

Bayan Muna submits Comelec Resolution 8807 requirements,
readies disqualification charges against 'fake' party-lists

Bayan Muna Party-list nominees led by Rep. Teddy Casiño, Rep. Neri Colmenares and Atty. Joven Laura, submitted to Comelec today their legislative accomplishments and other documentary evidences to show their track records as representatives and advocates of the marginalized and underrepresented sectors.

Recently in Congress, Bayan Muna Representatives authored or co-authored pro-people laws, bills and resolutions such as: Rent Control Act of 2009 (R.A. 9653), Public Attorneys Act of 2007 (R.A. 9406), Tax Relief Act of 2009 (R.A. 9504), P125 Across the Board Wage Increase and P3,000 per month Salary Hike, Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill, 50% Hospital Discount for Indigents, Whistleblower Protection and Awards (H.B. 1715), Regulation of the Oil Industry (H.B. 3029 and 3030), Regulation of Tuition and Other School Fees (H.B. 1274), Student Benefits and Entitlements (H.B. 2441), Buy Filipino, Build Filipino Policy, Inquiry into the NBN-ZTE and Cyber Ed programs (H.R. 221), and Inquiry on the Euro Generals Scandal (H.R. 843).

"The Bayan Muna nominees' personal profiles contrast sharply against those of 'bogus' party-lists', said Colmenares.

According to Colmenares, Rep. Casiño served the youth sector as president of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines in the early 1990s before joining the Kilusang Mayo Uno and becoming elected as Secretary General of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN), the country's biggest alliance of organizations of marginalized and underrepresented sectors in Philippine society. He is part of the labor sector because he was a member of KMU in the 1990s.

Human rights lawyer Rep. Colmenares was a student activist and became a political detainee during martial law for his advocacies on student rights and welfare. He provided pro bono legal services to the marginalized sectors such as the workers, urban poor and political prisoners in various cases.

Atty. Laura came from the peasant class, worked his way to finish schooling and was also a member of the League of Filipino Students. He started out as a journalist in Sorsogon before becoming a people's lawyer. He is also a consistent advocate of human rights and of the democratic aspirations of Filipinos.

"On the other hand, the bogus party-lists and their nominees that Bayan Muna intends to disqualify all represent the super-rich and mega-powerful, and are backed by Pres. Arroyo to help her extend her reign in Congress. We are set to file our petitions for their disqualification," Colmenares said. "The Supreme Court has clearly declared that the nominee must be a member of the sector he represents, that the urban poor cannot be represented by industrialists and the youth cannot be represented by the retirees. The pseudo party-list groups represent not only the rich and powerful but also Pres. Arroyo. The public must not allow them to sit in Congress,” he added.

"Bayan Muna, a multi-sectoral party-list organization representing the workers, peasants, women, indigenous peoples, professionals, urban poor, and youth, consistently topped the past three national elections. In spite of numerous obstacles, our party-list served only the people's interests, with three Representatives in the 12th to 14th Congress. We vow to continue spearheading the fight for the marginalized sectors in the 15th Congress," concluded Colmenares. ###

90 days is never a track record – Bayan Muna

This was the reaction of Bayan Muna 3rd nominee and peasant lawyer Joven Laura to a part of the resolution by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) setting the parameters for qualified partylist nominees. “A resolution to address the issue of qualified partylist nominees is just the right thing to do. But ninety days is not enough to set the track record of a particular individual or entity,” expresses Laura. The COMELEC resolution was also aimed at preventing political opportunists from using the partylist system.

“Track record speaks of years of experience and performance, not months,” he quips. “By setting a 90-day period for a passing track record, COMELEC is helping the Arroyos and their allies, who are using the party list system to easily infiltrate Congress, to build an Arroyo stronghold in the lower house, ” Laura expounds.

Rep. Teddy Casiño meanwhile reacting to Presidential son Mikey Arroyo’s statement that he fulfilled the only two requirements governing partylist representation, says that “Mikey Arroyo is dreaming when he said that he is a true advocate of the marginalized sector he is representing. Who would ever believe a multi-millionaire feeling for security guards’ or even tricycle drivers’ plight when all he thought about in the past few years is how to amass more wealth?” He states that Mikey’s 2008 statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) amounted to P99.2 million. The other requirement of partylist representation is that the sector being represented is truly marginalized.

Rep. Neri Colmenares on the other hand challenges the COMELEC saying that, “It should exert its hardest effort to make up for its failure to ensure that the partylist system really serves its purpose while also saving its credibility and integrity.” He furthers that by doing so the COMELEC should be quick and strict in implementing appropriate guidelines especially to prevent the party list system from losing its integrity and eventually robbing the marginalized sectors of their voice in the congress.

Bayan Muna led by the three nominees will file a disqualification case against Mikey Arroyo as a partylist nominee and against all fake and Arroyo-backed partylists. ###

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Casiño leads Bayan Muna nominees, vows to protect integrity of the party-list system

Casiño leads Bayan Muna nominees,
vows to protect integrity of the party-list system

Bayan Muna Party-list nominees, led by Representatives Teddy Casiño, Neri Colmenares and peasant lawyer Joven Laura, trooped to the Comelec today to submit Bayan Muna’s list of nominees, vowing to "protect the party-list system from Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s self-serving agenda in the 15th Congress."

Rep. Colmenares said, “we caution the public that the congressional bid of Pres. Gloria Arroyo, her two in-laws and her two sons run as district and part list representatives, the accreditation of various Malacañang-backed party-lists and many of her ex-Cabinet members’ candidacy for district representatives, are all moves to support the perpetuation of GMA’s rule after her term as president.”

“Arroyo and her allies may have succeeded in exploiting the loopholes in the party-list system at this point but we cannot allow these maneuvers to prosper. We will file a disqualification case against Mikey Arroyo and also against the bogus party-lists backed by Malacañang. Sinusuportahan namin ang petisyong inihapag kahapon nina Reps. Liza Maza at Satur Ocampo at maghahanda rin kami ng mga petisyon upang ipadiskwalipika ang mga pekeng party-list na pakawala ni Arroyo,” Colmenares declared.

Bayan Muna 3rd nominee Atty. Laura lamented that “sinisira at niyuyurakan ng kampo ni Arroyo ang diwa ng sistemang party-list na para lang sana sa mga sektor na api at dehado sa pulitika. Arroyo’s camp has desecrated the party-list system.”

Laura said, “we expect the Comelec to disqualify the fake party-lists and their unworthy nominees as Comelec had issued its guidelines for the qualifications of party-list nominees. According to the Comelec en banc resolution, nominees must belong to the marginalized and underrepresented sector/s, the sectoral party, organization, political party or coalition he seeks to represent. The nominees should also prove their “active participation” in their party-list’s advocacies.”

Rep. Casiño vowed that Bayan Muna will continue protecting the party-list system from Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s agenda in the 15th Congress. “Makakaasa kayo sa Bayan Muna na patuloy naming ipagtatanggol ang sistemang party-list laban sa masasamang balakin ni Arroyo sa ika-15 Kongreso,” concluded Casiño. ###

Bayan Muna Party-list calls on COMELEC to prove its mettle, disqualify Mikey Arroyo and be strict about the party-list law

Bayan Muna Party-list calls on COMELEC to prove its mettle,
disqualify Mikey Arroyo and be strict about the party-list law

Bayan Muna Party-list Rep. Teddy Casiño today said, "Pampanga Rep. Mikey Arroyo should be disqualified as a nominee of Ang Galing Pinoy Party-list (AGP)." "Arroyo's bid as a party-list representative wantonly violates the integrity of the party-list system," said Casiño.

Casiño enumerated obvious reasons why Arroyo should be disqualified. "Rep. Mikey Arroyo is no way a member of, nor does he belong to, any marginalized or underrepresented sector. In fact, he is super-rich and mega-powerful. He is an incumbent congressional district representative, a former vice governor, and a son of the President, the most powerful official in the land. He has four relatives running for Congress: His mother Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, brother Dato Arroyo, uncle Iggy Arroyo and aunt Marilou Arroyo. He is a member of the ruling party coalition Lakas-Kampi-CMD. He could not have been a member of AGP for 90 days as required by law. Mikey is not a security guard, a tricycle driver, nor is he an advocate of such sectors. In fact, he is a multi-millionaire as attested by his 2008 statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth (SALN) totaling P99.2 million," said Casiño.

Atty. Joven Laura, 3rd nominee of Bayan Muna Party-list, emphasized that "the party-list system was introduced in our Constitution as a social justice vehicle by which the marginalized and the underrepresented will have representation in Congress. To allow the President’s son to become a party-list nominee is to blatantly disregard what has been admonished by the Supreme Court “This Court, therefore, cannot allow the party-list system to be sullied and prostituted by those who are neither marginalized nor underrepresented," exclaimed Laura.

Bayan Muna Party-list Rep. Neri Colmenares challenged the Comelec to be strict about the party-list law, not to keep a blind eye, nor fear disfavor from Malacañang. They must disqualify Mikey Arroyo or risk committing impeachable offenses-- that of culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust," warned Colmenares.

Casiño, Laura and Colmenares also called on the Comelec to disqualify bogus party-lists and all undeserving nominees.

The Bayan Muna leaders once again appealed to the public to support party-lists that genuinely represent the interests of the farmers, workers, women, youth and the impoverished. ###

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

“Buy Pinoy, Build Pinoy” legislator supports Panaad Festival and trade highlights

Negros Occidental -- Bayan Muna Party-list Representative Teddy Casiño, leading proponent of the “Buy Pinoy, Build Pinoy” campaign launched in the House of Representatives in 2009, joins the celebrations of the annual Panaad sa Negros Festival. Casiño will be encouraging tourists, patrons and local traders to support the Buy Pinoy campaign.

The Panaad festival features every town and city's best cultural performances and products at the Panaad Park and Stadium. Also in line with the festival's theme “United in One Festival, One Negros Occidental,” Casiño will articulate the “Buy Pinoy, Build Pinoy” advocacy in a forum sponsored by Foundation for Sustainable Society, Inc. (FSSI), together with the Association of Negros Producers (ANP) and the The Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc (PHILEXPORT), to be attended by top enterprise leaders in the region, on March 25, 2010, 8am, at Business Inn Hotel, Bacolod City.

Members of progressive partylists and organizations will accompany Casiño in the sorties to bring the Makabayan Coalition's nationalist platform closer to the public.

Casiño emphasizes that "buying Pinoy-made products and services help local industries survive the global economic crunch."

"Patronizing local goods will help save local industries and preserve jobs. We can help the economy while being proud of our locally-made products, particularly the native items with colorful ethnic designs, at the same time develop among younger generations a sense of patriotism," he says. "By encouraging Filipino consumers to love Pinoy-made products, we may even build the foundations for the growth of local industries," Casiño adds.

"We intend to impart to manufacturers, traders, local government officials and the general public our win-win message: “Buy Pinoy, Build Pinoy” for the good of every stakeholder," concludes Casiño.

Satur is greenest senatorial candidate according to youth environmental group

Makabayan senatorial bet and Nacionalista Party guest candidate Satur Ocampo is the most environmental-friendly candidate, according to a recent survey conducted by the group League of Youth for the Environment (LYFE).

Ocampo topped the list of green senatoriables alongside the other Makabayan candidate Liza Maza.

A similar ranking for the senatoriables had Satur Ocampo, Liza Maza, Risa Hontiveros and Rizalito David in the green, while Kit Tatad, Ompong Plaza, Ralph Recto and Juan Ponce Enrile were in the mean list.

The LYFE survey questionnaire was sent by e-mail, fax and via social networking sites to the senate candidates. Background checks were also done on all candidates with available on-line records for their positions on 10 major national environmental issues.

The survey questions ranged from the re-commissioning of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, commercial logging, the Mining Act of 1995, coal-fired power plants, the Visiting Forces Agreement, toxic wastes, aerial spraying of pesticides on plantations, among others.

For every environmental friendly answer or record, the candidate was given one green bean point.

One mean bean (black) was also awarded for every environmentally destructive answer/record that they gave. The bean counts were added for the final tally to rank the candidates.

"I am grateful to LYFE for recognizing my work to protect the environment, national patrimony, but it should be said that it's not an option to not support issues affecting the environment. Twisted economic policies and corrupt politics impact very negatively on the environment and have highly destructive effects upon implementation," Ocampo said.

"We must counter these same policies at every turn knowing full well that the repercussions of letting them continue unopposed are devastating. Killing the environment is no different from killing ourselves and future generations of Filipinos. All efforts must be made to defend the environment and expose those who seek to profit at its expense. We will continue and strengthen this advocacy in the senate," he said.

In the meantime, Ocampo said that his environmental advocacy is also tightly connected to his human rights activism.

"As we fight for the environment, we must also defend those who work hard to protect it. Many have sacrificed their lives in the struggle against environmental destruction – against mining, against commercial dams and illegal logging. It is the memory of these activists we must also keep alive in our campaigns and remember that they gave their lives for the environment and for the people," he said. Among the environment activists killed under the Macapagal-Arroyo regime is Eliezer "Boy" Billanes who was killed on March 9, 2009. Billanes is the 19th anti-mining activist killed under Arroyo.

Satur asks presidentiables: unite and mobilize supporters against SC midnight appointments

A day after joining fellow NP senatorial candidates in appealing the recent Supreme Court ruling allowing the President to appoint the next chief justice, Satur Ocampo is calling on all presidential candidates to lead mass protests against what he said was Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's "shameless abuse of power."

"It is time for all the presidential candidates to set aside their personal differences and political rivalries to unite against President Arroyo's latest ploy to consolidate her hold on the judiciary," said Ocampo.

"Let us cross party-lines and unite in a massive show of force against Macapagal-Arroyo's penchant for midnight appointments which are in blatant violation of the spirit and letter of the Constitution. Our presidential candidates and their parties can and should oppose this midnight appointment and prove that they will not tolerate this desecration of the Constitution," Ocampo said.

He said that presidential candidates should take the lead in denouncing the midnight appointment and present a united front in a symbolic protest. "All the presidentiables marching side by side with their supporters along Ayala Ave. will send the strongest signal that this nation will not allow such blatant abuses of power."

He said he will personally bring up the proposal to NP standard bearer Manny Villar when they meet in Isabela for a sortie on Thursday.

Ocampo said that at this juncture, it doesn’t matter who is appointed as long as it’s the new president who will appoint the next chief justice. "Pres. Arroyo is nearing the end of her term which many still maintain to be illegitimate, but she persists on abusing her authority. The Supreme Court is supposed to be the bastion of justice, but it's evident that nothing is sacrosanct to Macapagal-Arroyo and even the judiciary is not exempt to her self-serving, manipulative ploys," he said.

Ocampo, Bayan Muna representatives Teodoro Casiño and Neri Colmenares have already filed House Bill 7109 against midnight appointments.

Monday, March 22, 2010


Media Release
23 March 2010

Challenges Pres. Arroyo to call for special session of Congress for that purpose alone

Bayan Muna partylist called on Congress today to convene before the start of the local campaign on March 26 to prevent an Arroyo hold-over government and the resulting upheaval if there will be failure of election. Bayan Muna challenges Pres. Gloria Arroyo to call for a special session of Congress for the purpose of electing a new Senate President and passing the important law on succession. Congress failed to pass the ‘failure of election’ bills filed by Bayan Muna (House Bill No. 6786: “An Act Providing for an Interim Succession in the Presidency in Case of Vacancy During the Beginning of the Term of the Said Office”) and Rep. Edno Joson (HB 6945 and HB 7108) due to lack of quorum. Bayan Muna’s bill proposes that the Chief Justice acts as acting president should there be failure of election to prevent Pres. Arroyo from extending her term.

“Congress has the time and the duty to pass these important measures. Twelve senators are not running, and local campaign has not yet started. It is illogical for Speaker Nograles to declare that there will be no quorum since congressmen are already campaigning. This is an illegal act as Congressmen are not supposed to campaign now,” said Bayan Muna partylist representative Neri Javier Colmenares. “Sen. Enrile who presided over martial law in 1972 cannot be trusted to turn over the senate presidency smoothly especially if the ‘perceived’ presidential winner is not his ally. It must be noted that he is running under the slate of a presidential candidate. The need to elect a new Senate President is obvious," Colmenares said.

"Pres. Arroyo has clearly displayed her intention to control the AFP, the Supreme Court and Congress. She is transporting her entire cabinet to Congress by ordering them to run for district congressional seats and the partylist," Colmenares revealed.

“We cannot trust Arroyo's word. Years ago, she said she will not run for president, yet she did and reigned for nine years; recently she said she had no plans of running again, but now she is running for Congress; and now Malacanang is saying there will be no failure of election. The failure of election is not idle talk. Congress must act now or suffer being closed just like what transpired during martial law, Rep. Colmenares warned. ###

Satur: firm "No" to military take over in case of poll failure

Media Release

Satur: firm "No" to military take over in case of poll failure

Makabayan senatorial bet and Nacionalista Party guest candidate Satur Ocampo today said that Malacanang has itself to blame if no one believes its assertions that there will be no hitches or delays in Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo' s exit from the presidency in June.

"Pres. Arroyo has lied before – back in 2002 she said that she would not run for the presidency but she reneged on her word. The more denials Malacanang issues regarding the matter of Arroyo's exit, the more people become skeptical. In any case, the Filipino people will remain watchful against any and all attempts to keep Arroyo in office beyond June 30, 2010," Ocampo said.

Ocampo also said he is against proposals that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) take over in the event of a failure of elections. He said that allowing the military to assume power should not even be considered. "A military take-over is not even an option. We cannot risk handing over the reigns of government to a military junta given the AFP's record in abusing civil, political and human rights," he said.

Ocampo said that should there be a failure of elections, a civilian body comprised of church leaders, grassroots people's organizations, political parties and credible government officials can stand in and fill the vacuum. "Civilian authority must never be ceded to the military. We have learned our lessons from the dark years of martial law. This body can temporarily perform administrative functions as more comprehensive remedies are put in place to solve the problem of the vacuum in office," he said.

"But why are we even discussing such a possibility such as a military take-over? Does Malacanang know something the rest of us don't about the upcoming elections? We have the sneaking suspicion that Malacanang should actually be behind all this talk of failure of elections as a means to condition the public into accepting such a fatal possibility and so Filipinos will end up lowering their guard," Ocampo said.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

"Punish violators among the military!" – Bayan Muna Partylist

Media Release
20 March 2010

"Punish violators among the military!" – Bayan Muna Partylist

“Human rights violations and the smear campaign against progressive candidates and partylists will never stop unless those who violated the law get punished.” This is the stern warning of Atty. Joven Laura, 3rd nominee of Bayan Muna Partylist, to the new Army Chief Lt. Gen. Delfin Bangit with regards to the military’s obligation during the elections.

According to Laura, reminding the Armed Forces of the Philippines of their duty is not enough; “If Bangit is really serious in enforcing the military’s obligation in the elections, he should immediately order to investigate cases of violations by military elements,” he adds.

Meanwhile, Bayan Muna Partylist Rep. Teddy Casiño states that, “Partisan activity is not only campaigning for a candidate but also against a candidate.” Casiño cites the actual cases of harassment and intimidation by elements of the military on progressive candidates and partylists as a clear violation of the military’s obligation not to engage in partisan politics. Such cases involve the different forms of harassment and intimidation by elements of the military like what a certain Maj. Arnaldo Manjares did to inflict harm and intimidate volunteers of Makabayan in Sorsogon City, and units of soldiers in full battle gear doing house-to-house campaigns in different parts of Metro Manila, Southern Tagalog and Mindanao against Satur Ocampo, Liza Maza and progressive partylists such as Bayan Muna.

The latest incident of harassment occurred in the municipality of Lezo, Aklan, wherein two men riding a motorcycle threw two vintage apple-type hand grenades at the house of Councilor Fernando Baldomero. Baldomero is the the provincial chair for Bayan Muna Partylist in Aklan and also the provincial coordinator for the Makabayan Coalition. Of the two grenades that were thrown at the residence of Baldomero, only one exploded. Fortunately, no one was injured in the incident. Baldomero was the host of Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares’ sortie during his visit in Aklan.

“We condemn the continuous harassment and threats to the lives of the supporters and volunteers of progressive groups. Gen. Bangit should ensure the safety of Bayan Muna members and its congressmen, and ensure any soldiers involved in partisan political activities are punished,” Rep. Neri Colmenares said.

According to Casiño, Colmenares and Laura, Bayan Muna will not have second thoughts in filing cases against military and police elements who participate in electoral partisan activities and human rights violations.###

Friday, March 19, 2010

Military Partisan Activities More Blatant in the South

Media Release
March 20, 2010

Military Partisan Activities More Blatant in the South

Bayan Muna partylist 3rd nominee Atty. Joven Laura is calling the attention of Army Chief Maj. Gen. Reynaldo Mapagu to “look into these cases of harassment and intimidation by his men on local leaders of Bayan Muna and other progressive partylists in Mindanao.”

In South Cotabato, the military is a step more blatant in their partisan activities. The 27th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army speakers have been airing their smear campaign against the progressive groups over radio accusing the latter of being legal fronts of the CPP/NDF/NPA. In the barrios, they have been conducting meetings to tell the people not to vote for the progressive partylists such as Bayan Muna and also against Satur Ocampo and Liza Maza.

Since January, the 27th IB- PA has been conducting surveys to gather information especially from active members of Bayan Muna, Gabriela, Anakpawis, and Kabataan including supporters of Ocampo and Maza. They also gathered people in a barangay plaza to show a video documentary portraying the progressive partylists, Ocampo and Maza as members and supporters of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New Peoples Army.

A number of local leaders in Barangays San Isidro and Sto. Niño in Koronadal City were subjected to different forms of harassment and intimidation by elements of the 27th IB-PA in February this year. The local leaders have already filed a complaint with the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) against the 27th IB-PA and its Commanding Officer, Lt. Col. Joshua Santiago.

Santiago is also involved in the harassment and intimidation of local leaders of peoples organization in Koronadal Cty in 2009.

Laura adds that, “Mapagu should immediately take action about these harassment cases and put a stop to all the violations against members and supporters of Bayan Muna and other progressive partylists and organizations.”

“If something happens to any of our members and supporters, there will be no one else to blame,” Laura warns Mapagu. ###


Militar, mas Garapal ang kampanya Laban sa Bayan Muna sa Mindanao

Nananawagn si Bayan Muna 3rd nominee Atty. Joven Laura kay Army Chief Maj. Gen. Reynaldo Mapagu upang “imbestigahan ang mga kaso ng panliligalig at pananakot ng kanyang mga tauhan sa mga lider ng Bayan Muna at iba pang progresibong partylist sa Mindanao.”

Sa South Cotabato, mas garapal ang ginagawang partisan activities ng militar. Ang mga tagapagsalita ng 27th Infantry Battalion ng Philippine Army ay nagsasalita na sa radyo laban sa mga progresibong grupo at inaakusahan ang mga progresibo na mga “front” lang daw ng CPP/NDF/NPA. Sa mga baryo, naglulunsad sila ng mga pulong-pulong upang sabihin sa mga tao na huwag iboto ang mga progresibong partylist tulad ng Bayan Muna at gayundin sina Satur Ocampo at Lia Maza.

Magmula pa Enero ngayong taon, nagsasagawa na ang 27th IB-PA ng sarbey upang mangalap ng impormasyon lalo na mula sa mga aktibong miyembro ng Bayan Muna, Gabriela, Anakpawis at Kabataan, kasama na rin ang mga tagasuporta nina Satur Ocmpo at Liza Maza. Iniipon din nila ang mga taumbaryo sa plasa upang magpalabas ng bidyo kung saan inilalarawan ang mga progresibong partylist at sina Ocampo at Maza bilang mga kasapi at tagasuporta ng Communist Party of the Philippines at New Peoples Army.

Ilang mga lokal na lider sa mga barangay ng San Isidro at Sto. Niño sa Koronadal City ay sumailalim sa iba’t ibang porma ng panghaharas at pananakot ng mga elemento ng 27th IB PA noong Pebrero ngayong taon. Nagsampa na ng reklamo ang mga nasabing lider sa Commission on Elections (COMELEC) laban sa 27th IB-PA at sa Commander nitong si Lt. Col. Joshua Santiago.

Sangkot na rin si Santiago at ang kanyang yunit sa harassment at pananakot sa mga lokal na lider ng peoples organization sa Koronadal City noong 2009.

Sinabi ni Laura na, “Dapat agad gumawa ng aksyon si Mapagu tungkol sa mga kaso ng harassment na ito at ihinto ang lahat ng paglabag sa karapatan ng mga kasapi at tagasuporta ng Bayan Muna at ng iba pang progresibong partyli st at organisasyon.”

“Kung may mangyaring masama sa alinman sa aming mga kasapi at tagasuporta, wala nang iba pang mapagbibintangan,” ang babala ni Laura kay Mapagu. ###

Bayan Muna - PUP Chapter's Solidarity Message

BAYAN MUNA PARTYLIST (PUP Chapter) is one with the students of PUP and our friends in the fight to stop tuition fee increase. The students' walk-out today and continuing protests against the PUP administration's proposals to implement a more than 1,500% tuition hike from P12 to almost P300 per unit only show the students' resolve to stop any fee hike for the sake of future students of the university.

We are vehemently opposed to the administration's proposals to increase tuition in PUP precisely because any fee increase will make education a costlier commodity, and thus will deprive more youth of the chance to get quality education in the tertiary level. At present, education has become a privilege only for those who can afford it.

Majority of Filipino youth can no longer afford a college education. The PUP remains as one of the very few universities left in the country that offer relatively affordable tuition per unit, after the University of the Philippines System earlier increased tuition, its other fees and rebracketted its STFAP.

The administration's proposals to increase tuition in PUP, beginning with incoming freshmen, are clearly shameless, insensitive, unjustifiable and unacceptable, however which way we look at the issue. If they have no other proposal favorable to students, it would be for the best that they resign their posts so that new administrators may be able to take charge and offer alternative remedies.

We strongly stand and believe that education is a right and can be made accessible to all, regardless of socio-economic status. Quality education need not be costly for students, especially in state colleges and universities, if only the national government allocates sufficient budget for education.

BAYAN MUNA PARTYLIST has consistently fought for the youth and students' rights and welfare. To stop tuition hikes, our representatives in Congress filed resolutions and bills that respond to the youth and students' needs, such as House Bill 2440: An Act Imposing A Three Year Moratorium On Tuition And Other Fee Increases On All Educational Institutions.

We have called on the president, fellow legislators, and proper government agencies such as the CHEd and DepEd, to do what it takes to prevent tuition hikes and to make quality education accessible to more youth. And we have eventually reached a certain degree of success. Our House Bills have been deliberated in Congress yet some representatives kept stalling the bills' approval until the 14th Congress adjourned. Therefore we will continue the legislative actions for the youth when the next Congress opens after the polls, now with Representatives Satur Ocampo and Liza Maza to represent us in the Senate in the future.

Representative Teddy Casino said before in the Plenary, "... It is not enough to have a moratorium on fee increases in our SUCs. As important will be a substantial increase in their budgets. I expect that in the next budget hearings, the Executive will present a budget that increases the SUCs share by 30-50% of their existing budgets."

He also challenged Congress to "immediately act on pending measures that seek to regulate tertiary education and ensure its affordability in order to guarantee the youth's right to an accessible, if not free and quality education. The President should also certify these as urgent..."

We have every reason to continue the fight for our right to education here in PUP, in the streets and in the halls of Congress and the Senate.

Bayan Muna Partylist (PUP Chapter)

PUP Community Unite!
Stop Tuition and Other Fee Increases (TOFI)!
Moratorium on all TOFI Now!

PGMA to pack SC and Congress with loyalists to protect self and set stage for comeback via Cha-cha --- Satur

Makabayan senatorial bet and Nacionalista Party guest candidate Satur Ocampo today joined various sectors in condemning the Supreme Court decision allowing Pres. Arroyo to appoint justices of the Court despite the Constitutional ban on presidential appointments, saying it was part of plans to protect her from suit and allow a comeback via Charter change.

"Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's immediate plans are becoming more and more transparent as the days pass. With the SC decision, she will be able to hand-pick the next Supreme Court chief justice and another justice thereby making the Supreme Court a purely Arroyo-appointed and subservient Court," Ocampo said.

"The prerogative to appoint the next chief justice and another member of the Court is in line with Mrs. Arroyo's over-all self-protection strategy when her term is over. Arroyo wants to pack the Court with her appointees and Congress with her loyalists in case an opposition president is elected so that she will be safe from charges filed in court and from Congressional investigations. It also paves the way for a return to power as prime minister via cha-cha which an Arroyo-controlled Court will most likely uphold," Ocampo stressed.

"In her desperation, she has not spared the party-list system and is maneuvering to have her allies stand as standard bearers of bogus party-lists," Ocampo added.

Ocampo said that Mrs. Arroyo is determined to weasel through the numerous criminal charges that are certain to be thrown her away the moment she is out of office. "She is pegging her hopes that by appointing the next chief justice, she will be able to escape criminal prosecution for all the scandals that her administration has been involved in the last nine years," he said.

"Macapagal-Arroyo is hell-bent on covering all bases before she steps down from the presidency, and all her efforts are aimed at two objectives: 1) escaping criminal liability; and 2) perpetuating herself in power by becoming prime minister. This is precisely why she is running for Congress, and why her allies are infiltrating the party-list system. The shocking greed for power and shamelessness is galling," Ocampo said.

"Macapagal-Arroyo will not escape the Filipino people's judgment and the verdict of history. We cannot and should not rest until she had been made to account for all of her crimes and to stop her from committing more," he said.

no to gloria's supreme court

Thursday, March 18, 2010


18 March 2010

Reference: Rep. Neri Colmenares

BAYAN MUNA Party List Representative

SC DECISION ON CJ ISSUE WILL AFFECT ANTI-IMPUNITY CAMPAIGN AFTER 2010: New President may face formidable challenge

BAYAN MUNA PARTY-LIST expresses serious concern over the Supreme Court decision allowing Pres. Gloria Arroyo to appoint the next chief justice as it may affect the campaign against impunity that Bayan Muna plans to conduct after Pres. Arroyo steps down from office. “There will definitely be a host of criminal cases against Pres. Arroyo and many of her subordinates for graft and corruption, electoral fraud and human rights violations,” declared Bayan Muna Party List representative Neri Javier Colmenares. “Many of these cases will definitely reach the Supreme Court for adjudication”, he added.

Bayan Muna Party List has made a strong assertion that Pres. Arroyo wants to appoint the next chief justice in her attempt to ensure favorable ruling in issues affecting her plan to perpetuate herself in power and protect her from criminal liability for the various crimes committed during her term. “Pres. Arroyo can now make two appointments—appoint the chief justice and appoint another justice to fill up the 15th slot vacated by CJ Reynato Puno” Rep. Colmenares explained. “It is surprising that even if there is no urgency to resolve the issue since Pres. Arroyo has not yet appointed a chief justice, the Supreme Court has promulgated a decision. At the very least it should have held oral arguments since there is a lot of time to thresh out issues raised by many parties and intervenors”, he added.

Bayan Muna Party List has charged Pres. Arroyo of trying to control congress by ordering her subordinates to run for congressional seats through the district or party list elections. “She hopes that with her control of Congress and the Supreme Court, she will be able to hold hostage the next president of the Philippines. The plan to perpetuate herself in power continues”, Rep. Colmenares warned.

Bayan Muna Party List supports moves to file motion for reconsideration and urges that the Court conduct Oral Arguments on the matter especially since the basis of the Court’s decision is highly controversial. The Supreme Court ruled that the provision banning the president from appointing public officials two months before an election only pertains to the executive branch because it is found in Article VII which discusses the powers of the president. “Of course it will be found under the executive provisions and not those pertaining to the judiciary because it is a limitation to the power of the President and not to any other official. It will be absurd if the prohibition is repeatedly and redundantly placed in provisions pertaining to the judiciary, and other government branches and bodies” clarified Rep. Colmenares.

Bayan Muna Party List asks the Supreme Court to the decide the issue on the basis of its constitutional intent—to proscribe the evils of arbitrary midnight appointments and the unwanted situation where a president loads the judicial dice in her favor. “Pres. Arroyo has practically destroyed the constitutional mechanism of impeachment. Now, she is trying to further compromise accountability mechanisms with her insistence to appoint members of the judiciary barely a month before her term ends.” Rep. Colmenares said. “This country will survive without a chief justice for 90 days. We may not survive a constitutional upheaval, however, if she insists on appointing one despite public outrage over the same”. ###

Monday, March 15, 2010

Bayan Muna Voters Education Video

Please view this Bayan Muna Voters Education Video posted in YouTube and for nationwide VCD release. Thank you!

Bayan Muna Challenges New Chiefs to Carry Out Election Duty

Bayan Muna 3rd Nominee Atty. Joven Laura challenged both the new military chief Lt. Gen. Delfin Bangit and the new army chief Maj. Gen. Reynaldo Mapagu to put into effect the military’s duty during the elections.

“It’s high time that the Army reminds itself of its sworn obligation and through its new Chiefs,” Laura said. Bangit earlier said that he will serve the interest of the nation and the people and will not allow anybody to use him for partisan politics while Magapu promised to ensure that his troops will remain non-partisan especially with the upcoming elections, will punish military elements engaging in partisan politics, and that violators will face sanctions.

“But we have yet to see Bangit and Mapagu prove their adherence to the Constitution and put a stop to the military's campaign against Makabayan, Bayan Muna and other progressive partylists,” Laura said.

Recently, various reports of military harassing volunteers of Makabayan and progressive partylists have become rampant particularly when the campaign period started. In Sorsogon, a certain Major Manjares slapped and threatened Makabayan volunteers with his service pistol; in Calamba, the midnight feeding program in a barangay was meant to harass local and Bayan Muna leaders; while in Cagayan de Oro, Bukidnon and Iligan, alleged military men dismantled only the progressives’ posters and took pictures of volunteers putting up campaign materials. The most active campaign against the progressives was felt in Sorsogon where military men in full battle gear have been going from one house to another in the barrios to campaign against Makabayan Senatoriables Satur Ocampo and Liza Maza, Bayan Muna and other progressive partylists since February. Other cases of the military’s partisan politics are still unreported and are still in the process of documentation and consolidation.

Laura also challenged Bangit and Mapagu to “look into these cases and carry out their promise to uphold the Constitution and sanction those who violate the law among their ranks.” ###

Thursday, March 11, 2010


March 11, 2010

Reference: Rep. Neri Colmenares


Bayan Muna Party List Representative Neri Javier Colmenares lamented the failure of Congress to pass bills aimed at providing for orderly succession should there be failure of election. “With the appointment of the Lt. Gen. Delfin Bangit, a fierce Arroyo loyalist as AFP Chief of Staff, the widespread brownouts, and Comelec’s admission that it may not finish printing the ballots in time for the 2010 elections, the threat of failure of election is now a very distinct possibility” Rep. Colmenares declared. “The scenario painted by Sen. Enrile about a military takeover once the election fails is a serious cause for concern that should have been addressed by Congress” he added. Bayan Muna has filed a bill designating the Chief Justice as acting president in case no president, vice president, senators and congressmen are elected due to the breakdown of the automated election.

“The failure of Speaker Nograles to lead the House of Representatives into passing a succession law and preempt a national catastrophe only favors Pres. Gloria Arroyo who may hold over as president if the 2010 election fails” said the Bayan Muna representative. “His justification that members of the majority cannot muster quorum should a special session be called because they are campaigning is certainly shocking. Speaker Nograles has practically admitted that majority congressmen from Lakas-Kampi, NPC and the Liberal Party are conducting the illegal act of campaigning even before the start of the campaign period on March 26” he added.

Comelec’s contingency plan of resorting to manual elections should the PCOS machines fail due to brownouts and other problem will not save the country from a failure of election but will, on the contrary, only make things worse”, Bayan Muna warned. “It is easy to cheat in a manual election using the automated ballots. Ballots containing votes for opposition candidates may be surreptitiously shaded by “Garcis” in the Comelec in order to void it for overvoting. Ballot switching in the precincts will also be very easy to do under this mixed system” he added.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Bayan Muna to Bangit -- Stop illegal AFP campaigns against us

March 10, 2010

Reference: Rep. Teddy Casiño

Bayan Muna to Bangit -- Stop illegal AFP campaigns against us

Bayan Muna Partylist Representative Teddy Casiño challenged new Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff Lt. Gen. Delfin Bangit to stop all illegal campaigns done by the AFP against Bayan Muna, progressive candidates and activist organizations.

"We are calling on Gen. Bangit to immediately stop all illegal campaigns committed by the AFP against partylists Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, Gabriela, Kabataan, Alliance of Concerned Teachers, Akap-Bata, and Katribu, and progressive senatorial candidates Satur Ocampo and Liza Maza. We have received reports of what appears to be a nationwide smear campaign against us, including physical threats on our volunteers," Casiño said.

Uniformed military personnel have been reportedly conducting house-to-house campaigns against Bayan Muna in different municipalities in Sorsogon. Posters vilifying Reps. Ocampo and Maza and progressive partylists, allegedly put up by organizations supported by the military, have sprouted along the streets of Manila, Quezon City, Taguig, Cagayan de Oro, Bukidnon, Iligan, Sorsogon, Davao and elsewhere. On February 23, a certain Maj. Arnal Manjares inflicted harm and threatened to shoot a MAKABAYAN volunteer.

"Huwag sana siyang magpagamit sa kampo ni PGMA para makapandaya sila sa eleksiyon gamit ang militar, tulad noong 2004 nang naganap ang 'Hello Garci and Generals' (We hope he will not allow himself to be used by PGMA's camp for election fraud involving the military, like what happened in 2004 when the 'Hello Garci and Generals' transactions transpired," Casiño said.

"It is clearly part of his mandate and duties as a top officer in the AFP to ensure no election fraud takes place and that the people's rights are respected at all times. We are also challenging him to make sure that the military allows PGMA critics in the partylists to campaign without threat or harassment from his men," Casiño concluded.###

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Military Elements Strike Again

March 6, 2010

Reference: Atty. Joven Laura
3rd Nominee, Bayan Muna Partylist

Military Elements Strike Again

CEBU CITY – Military elements take another form of harassment here against supporters of Satur Ocampo, Liza Maza, Bayan Muna and other progressive partylists.

A barangay captain in Mandaue City received a letter dated January 21 implying that he is a supporter of the CPP-NPA-NDF because he supports Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, Gabriela, Kabataan, Satur Ocampo and Liza Maza who, according to the letter “milunsad sa armado ug legal nga pakigbisog aron lumpagon ang demokrtikong gubyerno” (launching armed and legal struggle to destablize the democratic government).

The letter “strongly requests” Damaso Tumulak, Brgy. Capt. of Barangay Labogon to stop supporting the “communist” groups and personlities.

The letter came from the National Movement for the Preservation of Democracy, whose logo resembles that of the Alliance for Nationalism and Democracy Partylist (ANAD) and whose representative is a certain Pastor Jun Alcover.

According to Tumulak he has been receiving different forms of harassment from the military ever since he led the implementation of Bayan Muna Projects in their barangay in the year 2000. In 2007, a band of musicians serenaded him on his birthday in front of their house. He said the band players were all from the AFP Central Command based in Lapu-Lapu, Capas, Lahog, Cebu.

The letter also uses a fictitious name “Alfonso Pangilinan” using the names of Atty. Alfonso Cinco, Human Rights Lawyer and Jaime Paglinawan of Bayan and MAKABAYAN, both of whom are working in the Central Visayas.

In the meantime, Bayan Muna-Cebu strongly believes that the military is behind the dismantling of posters of the progressive partylists and senators and also the harassment done on their volunteers who are photographed while posting campaign materials. ###

March 6, 2010

Harasment ng Militar sa mga Progresibo sa Visayas, Patuloy Pa Rin

CEBU CITY – Ibang porma ng harasment ang isinasagawa ng mga elemento ng militar dito laban sa mga tagasuporta nina Satur Ocampo, Liza Maza, Bayan Muna at iba pang progresibong partylists.

Isang kapitan ng barangay sa Mandaue City and nakatanggap ng sulat na may petsang January 21 na nagpapahiwatig na siya ay sumusuporta sa CPP-NPA-NDF dahil siya ay sumusuporta sa Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, Gabriela, Kabataan, at kina Satur Ocampo at Liza Maza. Batay sa sulat ang mga nabanggit na organisasyon at mga personalidad ay “milunsad sa armado ug legal nga pakigbisog aron lumpagon ang demokratikong gubyerno” (naglulunsad ng armado at ligal na pakikibaka upang pabagsakin ang demokratikong gubyerno).

“Mariin ang kahilingan” sa sulat na tigilan na ni Damaso Tumulak, Brgy. Captain ng Barangay Labogon, ang pagsuporta sa “komunistang” grupo at mga personalidad.

Ang sulat ay nagmula sa National Movement for the Preservation of Democracy, na ang logo ay kahawig ng logo ng Alliance for Nationalism and Democracy Partylist (ANAD) na kinakatawan ng isang Pastor Jun Alcover.

Ayon kay Tumulak matagal na siyang nakakatanggap ng iba-ibang porma ng harassment mula sa militar mula pa noong 2000 kung kailan sila nagsimulang magpatupad ng Bayan Muna Project sa kanilang barangay. Noong 2007, isang banda ang humarana sa kanya sa kanyang kaarawan sa tapat ng kanilang bahay. Nakilala niyang lahat nag tumutugtog na mula sa AFP Central Command na nakabase sa Lapu-Lapu, Capas, Lahog, Cebu.

Gumamit din ang sulat ng gawa-gawang pangalang “Alfonso Pangilinan”. Naniniwala ang Bayan Muna-Cebu na ginamit ang mga pangalan nina Atty. Alfonso Cinco, isang Human Rights Lawyer at Jaime Paglinawan ng Bayan at MAKABAYAN upang lituhin si Tumulak at iba pang mga tagasuporta ng mga progresibo. Ang naturang mga personalidad na ginamit ang pangalan ay parehong nakabase sa Central Visayas.

Samantala, pinaniniwalaan din ng mga myembro at tagasuporta ng Bayan Muna-Cebu na mula rin sa hanay ng militar ang mga sibilyang kumukuha ng litrato sa mga volunteers na nagkakabit ng mga posters at iba pang campaign materials ng mga nabanggit na progresibo. Gayundin ang mga bumabaklas ng mga posters ng Bayan Muna at iba pang progresibong partylist.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Water District Employees Protest Policies to Prevent Water Price Hike

March 2, 2010

Reference: Atty. Joven Laura
3rd Nominee, Bayan Muna Partylist

Water District Employees Protest Policies to Prevent Water Price Hike

CEBU CITY -- Employees of the Cagayan de Oro Water District have put up a demonstration not for their own wages and benefits but for the benefit of the consumers in the City. The First Labor Organization of the Cagayan de Oro Water District (FLOW) are protesting against irregularities committed by their Board of Directors that would result in the price increase of water services in the City. Since February 15, they have been spending their lunch breaks holding a peaceful demonstration in front of the water district.

FLOW officers explained in a roundtable discussion on February 25 in Cagayan de Oro City with Bayan Muna and sectoral organizations and partylists, that a certain Rio Verde Water Consortium, Inc. was able to get the contract on the Bulk Water Supply Project because it is being favored by the Board of Directors of COWD. It was only after the contract was signed that they discovered revisions to the Model Agreement that spell added burden to the consumers more particularly the "Parametric Formula " being used. FLOW has called the Board’s attention regarding the discrepancy but the latter did not show interest to address the matter but insisted to push for contract amendments which are still very onerous. The Board also awarded the contract to RVWCI despite the recommendations of the BAC Committee to be "non-responsive" and later the Commission on Audit’s findings that the BWSP contract to RVWCI is invalid because the latter is not yet qualified to engage in bidding. RVWCI is owned by Jose Pepito Alvarez who is running for governor in Palawan.

Another issue being raised by the union is the anomalous proposal of the construction of a reservoir in Brgy. Indahag. The said barangay is not yet covered by COWD services and it is where the City Mayor resides. According to the position paper of FLOW, the said proposal states that COWD will be obliged to purchase 10,000 cu.m. per day which is worth P3M a month from Rio Verde. FLOW asserts in their position paper that COWD cannot generate enough funds for the said purchase aside from the fact that 10,000 cu. m. per day will be too much for the 300-500 families consuming only 500 cu. m. per day. The paper also states that the said barangay will be among the serviceable areas included in its Eastern Lateral Improvement Project scheduled for implementation by 2011.

FLOW also raised the issue of the questionable assigning of an Interim General Manager from Local Water Utilities Administration to replace the Acting General Manager. The basis for such request were not meritorious enough and violated LWUA's very own guidelines for intervention. It clearly shows that the board wants somebody that would give in to their request... like consummating the " questionable proposed amendments" and pursuing the Indahag MOA (Memorandum of Agreement).” In the Board resolution requesting the Local Water Utilities Administration to assign an Interim GM, the main reason the Board is requesting another GM is because of the Acting GM’s “difficulty in complying orders from the Board.”

Atty. Joven Laura of Bayan Muna says “FLOW is facing two major fights. First against water price hike that will immediately affect the consumers and second, the possible privatization of COWD that will directly hit the employees... So in the process that FLOW would like to protect the consumers and prevent price hikes, it is also preventing the creeping privatization of COWD.”

“That is why this is not a struggle only by the COWD employees but should be by all the consumers of Cagayan de Oro,” Laura says. He adds that the people of Cagayan de Oro should support FLOW’s struggle. Bayan Muna, together with other progressive partylist groups expressed support to the struggle of the employees of the COWD against irregularities in insitutions for public service. ###

March 2, 2010

Mga Empleyado ng Water District, Nagprotesta para Hindi Tumaas ang Presyo ng Tubig

Ang mga empleyado ng Cagayan de Oro Water District ay naglunsad ng protesta hindi para sa kanilang sariling benepisyo kundi para sa kapakanan ng mga konsumidores sa lunsod. Ang First Labor Organization of the Cagayan de Oro Water District (FLOW) ay nagpoprotesta laban sa mga iregularidad sa loob ng kanilang Board of Directors na magreresulta sa pagtaas ng presyo ng serbisyo sa tubig sa lunsod. Mula pa February 15, ginagamit na nila ang kanilang breyk ng tanghali para magsagawa ng mapayapang demonstrasyon sa harap ng water district.

Ipinaliwanag ng mga opisyal ng FLOW sa isang talakayan noong February 25 sa Cagayan de Oro City kasama ang Bayan Muna at mga sektoral na organisasyon at partylist, na isang Rio Verde Water Consortium, Inc. ay nakakuha ng kontrata sa Bulk Water Supply Project dahil pinapaboran ng Board of Directors ng COWD. Matapos lamang mapirmahan ang kontrata ay saka lamang nadiskubre ang mga rebisyon sa Model Agreement na nagbabadya ng karagdagang pasakit sa mga konsumidor partikular sa tinatawag na "Parametric Formula," na ginamit o ang paraan ng pag-kompyut sa presyo ng tubig. Tinawag na ng FLOW ang atensyon ng Board hinggil sa nabanggit na pagkakaiba pero hindi ito nagpakita ng interes na tumugon sa usapin ang Board, sa halip ay nagpilit na magdagdag na lang sa kontrata na makakabigat pa nga. Ibinigay rin ng Board ang kontrata sa RVWCI sa kabila ng rekomendasyon ng Bids and Awards Committee na "non-responsive" ito. Kasunod nito ay ang nakita rin ng Commission on Audit na ang kontrata sa BWSP ng RVWCI ay walang bisa dahil hindi pa maaaring magsubasta ang huli. Ang RVWCI ay pag-aari ni Jose Pepito Alvarez na tumatakbo sa pagka-gobernador sa Palawan.

Ang isa pang pinoproblema ng unyon ay ang maanomalyang plano para sa konstruksyon ng imbakan ng tubig sa Brgy. Indahag. Ang barangay ay hindi pa saklaw ng serbisyo ng COWD. Dito rin nakatira ang Mayor ng syudad. Batay sa position paper ng FLOW, sa nasabing plano mapipilitan ang COWD na bumili ng 10,000 cu.m. ng tubig bawat araw sa Rio Verde na nagkakahalaga ng P3M isang buwan. Iginigiit ng FLOW na hindi kakayanin ng COWD na magpalitaw ng sapat na pondo para sa nasabing pagbili. Bukod pa ito sa magiging sobra-sobra ang 10,000 cu. m. bawat araw para sa konsumo ng 300-500 pamilyang kumokonsumo lamang ng 500 cu. m. bawat araw. Nakasaad din sa position paper ng ang nasabing barangay ay makakatanggap din naman ng serbisyo dahil kasama naman ito sa plano para sa Eastern Lateral Improvement Project na nakatakdang magawa sa 2011.

Kinukwestyon din ng FLOW ang pagkakatukoy ng isang Interim General Manager mula sa Local Water Utilities Administration upang palitan ang Acting General Manager. Ang dahilan sa kahilingan ay hindi naman sapat at karapat-dapat at nilalabag ang patakaran mismo ng LWUA. Malinaw na ang nais ng Board ay isang GM na madaling bumigay sa kanilang kapritso katulad ng patupad sa kwestyonableng kontrata at gayundin ang pagpursige sa Indahag Memorandum of Agreement. Sa resolusyon ng Board na humihiling sa LWUA na magtukoy ng Interim GM, ang pinakadahilan ay ang “kahirapan sa pagsunod sa kautusan ng Board” ng Acting GM.

Ayon kay Atty. Joven Laura ng Bayan Muna “ang FLOW ay nahaharap sa dalawang mayor na laban. Una ay laban sa pagtaas ng presyo ng serbisyo ng tubig na kagyat na aapekto sa mga konsumidores at ang pangalawa, ay ang posibleng pribatisasyon ng COWD na direkta namang aapekto sa mga empleyado... Kaya sa proseso ng pagprotekta ng FLOW sa mga konsumidores ay pinipigilan din nito ang unti-unting pribatisasyon ng COWD.”

“Kaya nga hindi lang ito laban ng mga empleyado ng COWD kundi ng lahat ng konsumidores n Cagayan de Oro,” sabi ni Laura. Ipinapanawagan niya na dapat suportahan ng mamamayan ng Cagayan de Oro ang laban ng FLOW. Ang Bayan Muna, kasama ang iba pang progresibong partylist ay sumusuporta sa mga empleyado ng COWD laban sa mga iregularidad sa mga institusyong pang-serbisyo publiko. ###