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[ 17 Sep 2017 | No Comment ]
PRESS STATEMENT
17 September 2017
ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio hinggil sa pagpiyansa ni Sen. Jinggoy Estrada sa kasong kaugnay ng pork barrel scam:
Nilantad nito na isa na namang hungkag na pangako ni Pang. Duterte ang paglaban sa katiwalian sa gubyerno. Pinalalabas ngayon na mahina ang kaso laban sa isa sa mga pinakamalaking isda na sangkot sa pork barrel scam. Napipinto na ang pagbigay ng immunity kay Janet Lim Napoles upang magamit ang kanyang testimonya sa pagdiin sa mga kaaway sa pulitika ni Duterte. Ibig sabihin, walang mananagot sa mga pangunahing responsable at nakinabang sa pandarambong ng pondong PDAF. Walang pinag-iba sa pagpuslit ng P6.4B shabu. May krimen pero walang kriminal na pananagutin.
Ihanay pa ito sa pagpapalaya kay Gloria Arroyo at pagtulak ni Pres. Duterte mismo na bigyan ng immunity sa issue ng ill-gotten wealth ang mga Marcos, at makikita natin kung gaano kasaklaw ng pagbaligtad ni Duterte sa mga tagumpay ng mamamayan kontra sa pandarambong at katiwalian.#

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[ 15 Sep 2017 | No Comment ]

PRESS RELEASE
15 September 2017

 

Over the past few days, Pres. Duterte has been hinting that he may declare nationwide martial law if the protest actions planned by various groups on September 21 become violent.

Similar statements were echoed by Defense Secretary Lorenzana in a press conference today.

On one level, the pronouncements are intended to counter the growing opposition to Pres. Duterte’s increasingly tyrannical rule, cow citizens outraged by the rising death toll due to tokhang and martial law in Mindanao, and dissuade them from participating in rallies.

Beyond that, Pres. Duterte’s recent pronouncements are clearly laying the rhetorical groundwork for the declaration of nationwide martial law. He is insidiously conditioning the public to accept that “massive protests” and “fighting in the streets” are sufficient justification for declaring martial law, conveniently ignoring that the Constitution allows for martial law only in cases of invasion or rebellion.

Massive protests critical of government or government policies, such as the Million People March against Pork Barrel during the previous administration, are not new. Without exception, they have taken place peacefully. The planned protests next week are calling for an end to extrajudicial killings. By no stretch of the imagination can they be construed as acts of rebellion. Even in the highly unlikely event that there would be “fighting in the streets,” such would fall under what the Constitution calls “lawless violence,” not rebellion, and would not warrant martial law.

For the President to claim that such would justify martial law would lower the bar to ridiculous new lows and undermine the Constitutional safeguard against the abuse of the martial law power by a would-be dictator.

However, Pres. Duterte’s pronouncements pertaining to security matters tend to become self-fulfilling prophecies We warn against any. provocateurs, including state agents, who would initiate acts of violence that could be used as a pretext for declaring martial law.

Let us raise our voices against extrajudicial killings and rising tyranny on September 21. Let us do so with utmost vigilance. #

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[ 6 Sep 2017 | No Comment ]

PRESS RELEASE
06 September 2017

 

ACT Teachers Representatives Antonio Tinio and France Castro condemn in the strongest possible terms the killing of Obillo Bay-ao, a grade six pupil of Salogpongan Ta Tanu Igkanogon Community Learning Center (STTICLC) by a member of the Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) and the paramilitary Alamara identified with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) yesterday at Sitio Dulyan, Talaingod, Davao Del Norte.

 

“We are enraged that another Lumad student like Obillo fell victim to the Duterte regime’s martial law and deceptively named Development Support and Security Plan (DSSP) Kapayapaan,” said Tinio. “Obillo was a Grade 6 student, a 19-year-old whom state forces murdered while he was helping his family harvest their crops. He is the 47th Lumad killed in the Southern Mindanao Region and there is no let-up in such killings especially since it is the President himself who maliciously tagged the Lumad and their schools as rebels and therefore military targets.”

 

The solons lamented that while indigenous peoples like the Lumad in Mindanao fight against the plunder of natural resources and in defense of their ancestral lands, DSSP Kapayapaan is used as a fascist tool to suppress these struggles. With martial law in place, soldiers are even more emboldened to instill fear and terror among the Lumad, even innocent youth like Obillo.

 

“Clearly, the youth and national minorities are victims of President Duterte’s martial law in Mindanao,” stressed Castro, saying that military operations forced Obillo, his family and community to evacuate and stay in UCCP Haran in July. They only went back to their home in time for harvest this August. “Their school and community in Talaingod had been consistently targeted by military operations since 2008 and a year under President Duterte did not change this for good,” Castro pointed out.

 

“We demand that the President order the pull-out of AFP troops from communities to put an end to this spate of killings and human rights violations against the Lumad. We demand that he scrap the anti-people DSSP Kapayapaan, lift martial law, and disband paramilitary groups in the countryside. We hold his administration’s fascist policies responsible for the killings and ongoing human rights violations against the Lumad. President Duterte should retract his past statements that facilitated the perpetuation of attacks against indigenous schools and communities,” the solons ended. ###

 

Justice for Obillo Bay-ao!
#AFPStopLumadKillings
#SaveOurSchools

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[ 5 Sep 2017 | No Comment ]

PRESS RELEASE

05 September 2017

ACT Teachers Party-List Rep. Antonio Tinio scored the decrease in the funding for Performance-Based Bonuses (PBB) given to government employees at the plenary debates Monday for the 2018 budget of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM). From P16 Billion in the 2017 General Appropriations Act, funding for PBB will go down to P11 Billion under the 2018 General Appropriations Bill.

The decrease is due to the issuance of DBM Memorandum Circular No. 2017-1, or the “Guidelines for the Grant of Performance-Based Bonus (PBB) for Fiscal Year 2017 under Executive Order No. 80, s. 2012 and Executive Order No. 201, s. 2016.” The guidelines reduced the PBB starting 2017 to a range of 50% of the employee’s salary up to 65%. The benefit was a range of 1 month salary up to 2 months salary of the employee per Executive Orders 80 and 201.

“Can a mere Memorandum Circular of the DBM supersede an Executive Order issued by the President? We say that it cannot. This drastic reduction of the PBB therefore has a very questionable legal basis,” stressed Tinio. “Second, I raise this issue because this results to a diminution of a benefit already given to and relied upon by many government employees.”

The solon cited as example a government employee receiving Salary Grade 1, the minimum pay grade in government. “Ano ang maasahan ng ay pinakamababang sweldo sa gubyerno, yung mga nasa Salary Grade 1 o around P10,000 kada buwan? Magkano na ngayon ang maasahan nila? E dapat sana from P10,000 to P20,000 na PBB. Dahil sa memorandum, P5,000 na lang to P6,500.”

The solon stressed that they actually are against a system of performance-based incentives including the PBB for being divisive and discriminatory and because it is not given to all employees, among other reasons. However, government should not take away the benefits of government employees especially those receiving meager salaries.

Rep. Karlo Nograles, House appropriations chair and sponsor of the budget bill, said that DBM is currently evaluating whether or not the PBB is effective and should be discontinued or enhanced.

“Kung ang layunin ng DBM ay i-abolish na ang PBB dahil hindi lahat ay nakikinabang dito at para magbigay-daan sa isang sistema ng benepisyo na tunay na pakikinabangan ng lahat, siyempre susuportahan po natin yan,” Tinio answered. “However, tutol po tayo sa malaking pagbawas ng benepisyo ng PBB para sa kasalukuyang taon, 2017 at para sa susunod na taon. Ibig sabihin nito, sa halip na mas marami ang makinabang sa susunod na taon ay lalo pang mababawasan ang benepisyong ito.”

The solon ended by urging the DBM to follow what is provided by EOs 80 and 201 and not drastically reduce the PBB. He also called upon the Committee on Appropriations and Congress to listen to the demands of government employees for salary increase and a better incentive system that will cater every government employee without being divisive and discriminatory. ###