Home » Archive

Activities

Activities, Headline »

[ 18 Aug 2017 | Comments Off on Solons condemn tokhang slay of Grade 11 student ]

PRESS RELEASE
18 August 2017ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio and France Castro hit the killing of a 17-year old public school student by Caloocan police during the “One-Time, Big-Time” operation or Oplan Galugad of the PCP-7 Drug Enforcement Unit Thursday night.

“We condemn this most deplorable killing of a child on the incredible pretext that he was a drug suspect and ‘nanlaban’—the modus operandi of elements of the PNP in the Duterte administration’s war on drugs,” said Tinio.
“This is yet another proof that Tokhang is a fascist, anti-poor tool in the guise of an anti-drug campaign. Kian Loyd was a child whom police tagged then killed as a drug suspect, a student from an OFW family who sold candy in front of his school just to have baon,” said Castro.

“This so-called war on drugs is actually a war against the people, mostly the poor, who are being killed on mere suspicion and say-so of police.”
The CCTV footage of the scene showed police dragging the victim to a dark place where he was shot. He was wearing sleeping clothes and closing their store at the time of the killing.  Witnesses also said that the men dragging De los Santos were forcing him to hold a gun and shabu, later on found on his body.
The solons fear that the drug testing directed by DepEd and CHEd will claim more lives and give greater license to police to conduct tokhang-like operations involving students, teachers, and personnel and in schools.

 

“Children are already being made victims of tokhang even without the drug testing.  What more if it is fully implemented in our schools, against our students and teachers?  They say it’s for rehabilitation and prevention but in an anti-drug campaign such as this, no rehabilitation and prevention at all will happen.” ###

Activities »

[ 17 Aug 2017 | Comments Off on AFP using people’s money to atack Lumad schools -solon ]

PRESS RELEASE

AFP using people’s money to attack Lumad schools -solon

 

ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro slammed the military for its attacks against Lumad schools, at the deliberations on Monday on the 2018 budget of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

 

“Matagal nang nakararanas ng matitinding atake ang Lumad schools mula sa military and paramilitary ranging from threat, harassment, and intimidation of teachers, students, and community leaders, to encampment by soldiers of schools and destruction of school property and premises, up to extrajudicial killings,” said Castro. “Worse is the bomb threat issued by President Duterte against Lumad schools and his malicious accusation that they are ‘illegal’ and being used by the NPA.”

 

She noted that military attacks against schools and civilians violates Philippine laws as well as international humanitarian and human rights laws. “May permit man o wala, may tao man o wala, these are civilian structures so it is a crime–even a war crime–for the military to attack them.”

 

The solon added that attacks against the Lumad intensified with the President’s statement and martial law, with soldiers and paramilitaries taking full advantage of “inspections” and checkpoints to harass and vilify civilians. The AFP also did several aerial bombings in Marawi and other places like North Cotabato and Bukidnon.

 

“This is how the AFP uses its budget. It targets disadvantaged sectors like Lumad peasants who are only struggling for their rights to education and self-determination. It unleashes indiscriminate terror against civilians through aerial bombings and shelling of communities,” lamented Castro.

 

“This is the peoples’ money used against them. Already, the AFP has spent P3 billion for indiscriminate warfare in Mindanao. A single bomb used in an airstrike costs P323,000, and the military has so far used about 2,000. As one Lumad student said, ‘It’s not the NPA or the Maute group that’s getting bombed, it’s civilians.’ Just a single bomb could have gone a long way to provide for the education of Lumad children, but instead government uses it to destroy their lives and future. Anybody can see this is madness.”

 

The solon reiterated calls for the military and its paramilitaries to stop their attacks on Lumad schools and end aerial bombings in Mindanao. She also called for the lifting of martial law. ###

Activities »

[ 17 Aug 2017 | Comments Off on On the trillion-peso Build, Build, Build Program vis a vis the lack of funds for housing in the 2018 budget and Human Rights ]

ACT Teachers Party-List Antonio Tinio

Press conference, 17 August 2017

(Transcript)

 

On the trillion-peso Build, Build, Build Program vis a vis the lack of funds for housing in the 2018 budget:

 

Yung budget ng DPWH, and of course ang isang pinagmamalaking highlight ng budget na ito—itong first full budget ng Duterte administration ay yung infrastructure component, yung BBB, Build Build Build.  Ang tawag nga ni Secretary Villar ay “golden age of infrastructure”. Mahigit one-third ng P3.6 Trillion National Budget ay infrastructure. Of course, ang sinasabi nila para daw umunlad ang ekonomiya, para daw maka-akit ng foreign investors, ang hinahanap daw ng foreign investors ay yung magandang imprastraktura.
Ngayon, ang tanong naman natin, paano yung taumbayan, lalo na yung maralita? So, kung may mahigit isang P1 Trillion para sa export-oriented, foreign investment-oriented na infrastructure, nasaan ang infrastructure para sa bahay? Yan ang matagal na nating tinatanong. Kung titingnan natin ang budget ng NHA, P2.2 Billion ito, P1.6 Billion nito para sa PNP hpusing, tapos yung matitirang more or less P600 Million pesos, yun lang ang pondo para sa resettlement ng maralita.
Malaking bahagi or yung unang step sa mga bagong proyekto, sa big ticket infrastructure projects ng Duterte administration, ang unang hakbang ay ang pag-secure ng right of way. Ibig  sabihin kailangan malinaw yung lupa na dadaanan nung mga malalaking proyekto na ito. Kaya nga malaki yung pondo ng right of way ng DPWH, P58 Billion siya compared to around P18 Billion noong nakaraang taon. So yung right of way mainly pambayad sa mga private property owners para ma-secure  yung right of way sa project.

Inevitably, ang ibig sabihin ng right of way ay kailangang mag-demolish. So, inaalam natin sa DPWH kung gaano karaming mga pamilya, mga maralita ang apektado or will be affected by all these big ticket infrastructure at wala silang masagot. Basically, wala silang mabigay na figure.
Labag nga ito sa bagong Right of Way Law. Sa batas at sa bagong Implementing Rules nito, sinasabi na bago simulan ang proyekto, kailangan ipaalam na ng implememting agency, in this case DPWH yung bilang ng mga maapektuhang pamilya at kailangang mag-coordinate na sa HUDC para ma-budgetan para sa resettlement.

Ngunit malinaw na walang pondo dito. Actually, nanggaling kay Secretary Diokno nung una silang humarap dito sa Congress ang DBCC, ang sabi lang niya na yung pondo para sa right of way na yan, a portion of that ay pera para daw ibigay sa mga maralita para “tumabi na sila para matuloy ang proyekto.”  Those were his exact words. So mukhang hanggang dun lang, “patatabihin” o “lilinisin”—again, that was the word used by Sec. Diokno—“lilinisin” raw yung mga lugar para matuloy yung proyekto.  Tapos, wala namang proyekto para bigyan ng aktwal na pabahay yung mga maralitang maapektuhan dito.

So, yun yung isang tinututulan natin sa BBB, sa Build Build Build, sa golden age of infrastructure.  Infrastructure para kanino ito? At paano yun libu-libong pamilyang maralita na made-demolish, wala namang ibibigay ang gobyernong ito in terms of housing.

 

 

On human rights:

 

Kahapon kasama sa speech ni Pangulo yung atake na naman sa human rights tsaka sa mga nagtatanggol ng human rights. Paulit-ulit na ginagawang argumento ni Pang. Duterto yun.  Actually ang latest statement niya diba, “Kung mga human rights defenders or activists, barilin niyo na rin.”  Parang ganun.  Sa tingin natin ay kailangan hamunin at hindi palampasin paulit-ulit na [pahayag niya] kontra human rights.
Sinasabi na bakit pag may biktima ng krimen, pinatay, ni-rape, ay tahimik kayo pero kapag involved ang pulis o sundalo, diyan kayo magaling, diyan kayo lumalabas.  Pero ganun naman talaga ang set-up ng batas sa ilalim ng ating Konstitusyon, sa lipunan natin at kahit sa ibang mga bansa.  Kung sa mga krimen, nariyan ang batas, ang buong sistema ng gobyerno ay andiyan, so mayroon kang criminal law, mayroon kang law enforcers, mayroon kang mga korte.  Mayroon kang kulungan at ang buong sistema na yan na pinopondohan ng mga taxlayers ay andiyan para protektahan ang mga mamamayang biktima ng krimen.
Ngayon, yung human rights, yung sistema ng pagprotekta sa human rights, yung mga advocate ng human rights, andyan para bantayan yung mga dapat na nagpapatupad ng batas.  Lalo na yung mga armado, mga pulis at military. Kailangang andiyan yan para maprotektahana naman ang mamamayan na hindi sila mang-aabuso sa mamamayan. Dahil malaking problema kung yung mga inatasan at binigyan ng kapangyarihan ng lipunan at inarmasan ay mang-aabuso at mambibiktima na rin ng taong bayan.  Kaya andiyan ang sistema ng human rights para bantayan yung mga dapat na magtanggol sa karapatan ng mamamayan.  Paano kung sila na ngayon ang umaabuso sa karapatan ng mamamayan?  Unfortunately, hindi ba ganyan ang ang nangyayari ngayon? Kung may impunity, kung lahat palaging “nanlaban”?  Eh, di talagang delikado para sa lahat ng mamamayan ‘yan.
On the progressive cabinet members:

 

Nakita rin naman natin in the case of Gina Lopez—in the end ay pinabayaan siya ni Pangulong Duterte na basically ay pag-piyestahan ng mga pro-mining sa Kongreso mismo.  Ganun din sa kaso ni Sec. Judy, malinaw ang signal, lalo na dito sa House na pwede na, free for all.  Sa totoo lang, walang mabanggit na dahilan.  Alam naman natin ang totoong dahilan ay ang anti-pork stance ni Judy.  Siyempre hindi nila mabanggit ‘yun dahil unconstitutional.

Sa simula’t sapul pa lang, tutol na ang mga pro-landlord at mga aktwal na landlord dito sa House and I think malinaw naman ang desisyon ni Pang. Duterte dito na pinapaubaya na niya sa House yung mga left-leaning members ng kanyang gabinete.  In fact may mga naka-line up na para pumalit.

Activities »

[ 17 Aug 2017 | Comments Off on Duterte budget slashes funds for school building ]

PRESS RELEASE
17 August 2017

Duterte budget slashes funds for school building

ACT Teachers Party-List Rep. France Castro revealed that the 2018 budget proposed by the Duterte administration slashed by P3.245 billion the school building programs of the Department of Public Works and Highways and the Department of Education.

The 2018 proposal sets P352 million for Construction/Repair/Rehabilitation/Improvement of School Buildings under the DPWH and P112.379 billion for the Basic Education Facilities Program under DepEd (P106.079 billion for construction, replacement, and completion of schools and classrooms and P6.3 billion for rehabilitation, renovation, and repair), or a total of only P112.731 billion.

These programs will suffer cuts of 71.6% for DPWH and 2.4% for DepEd from their current amounts. Under the 2017 General Appropriations Act, the DPWH has P1.239 billion while the DepEd has P114.737 billion (P109.313 billion for construction and P4.994 billion for rehabilitation, with additional P43 million for annual payments of school buildings constructed by the National Housing Authority). Total for the two agencies is P115.976 billion.

“Teachers and students in the field will profoundly feel the loss of this P3.245 billion worth of schools and classrooms. It will mean more congested rooms, more students pushed to hold classes in makeshift spaces even under trees,” lamented Castro. “We have said all along that government has failed, and continues to fail, to sufficiently provide for the requirements of K to 12 including schools and classrooms, especially for Grades 11 and 12.”

“The proposed budget sets P1.097 trillion for the Build, Build, Build program for roads and other infrastructure for BPOs, ecozones, tourist spots, and airports but there’s this fund slash for school and classroom building. President Duterte is drumbeating his ‘golden age of infrastructure’ but with this budget cut, it appears that school building figures very little in his grand plans and that education is taking a backseat,” ended Castro. “May golden age nga para sa mga dayuhan at lokal na kapitalistang mamumuhunan sa infrastructure pero mangangalawang naman ang sektor ng edukasyon.” ###