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[ 12 Jul 2012 | No Comment ]
12 July 2012
Reference: ACT Teachers Party-List Representative Antonio L. Tinio (09209220817)

Nothing innovative in government scrimping on its employees

ACT Teachers Party-List Representative Antonio L. Tinio slammed the nearly P10 billion set in the 2013 budget for government workers’ Performance Based Bonus (PBB), saying that this is designed to mask the anti-worker stance of the administration.  He urged President Benigno Aquino to rechannel the amount for salary hikes for those in public service.

The progressive lawmaker noted that while Aquino packaged the P9.971 billion-worth item to appear as an “innovative” way to help solve the accountability and performance problems in government, it actually deflects attention away from civil servants’ demands for higher salaries.
Tinio pointed out that performance of agencies and of employees themselves are largely affected by the level of their salaries, and that content employees whose rights to living wage are respected are most likely to deliver efficient public service.

“Overworked yet underpaid public school teachers, who have been rendering service over and above the call of duty, for example, have long been knocking on the doors of Malacañang for their salary upgrading,” Tinio lamented.  Instead, PNoy dangles the minute possibility of a bonus if they ‘perform best, better, or good.’ They deserve a salary increase, not performance incentives.”

Tinio’s House Bill 2142, or the Public School Teachers’ Salary Upgrading Act, has been lying dormant in the House Committee on Appropriations since September 2010.
Tinio also said that PBB discriminates against the majority of the workers in the civil service, as DBM admits that not all employees will be benefitted, and is based on questionable and subjective standards.

No guidelines have yet been issued on how agencies will determine who the “deserving” employees are, but Tinio predicted that the fund will be dispensed by Aquino and DBM very much like the controversial Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund and other discretionary funds. “It could become yet another Presidential pork barrel.”

“Experience teaches us that PNoy and DBM have always been close-fisted and stingy towards workers.”
Tinio vows to move for the rechannelling of the P9.971 billion for salary hikes of civil servants, and to campaign inside Congress for another amendment of the Salary Standardization Law.  ###

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[ 9 Jul 2012 | No Comment ]

Statement of ACT Teachers Party-List Rep. Antonio L. Tinio

The allegation made by certain unnamed “officials,” published in the Manila Standard, that Agnes Mesina was arrested last Wednesday in connection with the killing of Dutch NGO worker Willem Geertman is utterly absurd and without a shred of factual basis.

The warrant for the arrest of Mesina was issued by the Regional Trial Court in Aparri on June 11, 2012 and therefore has no possible connection with the killing of Geertman, which took place on July 3.

By the statement of these officials, the national security establishment betrays its deliberate suppression of the fact that Geertman, executive director of Alay Bayan-Luson, was a victim of extrajudicial killing.  First, they say that his death was result of a robbery.  Now, they float this bizarre idea that Agnes, a member of  Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP) in Region II, is connected to a murder in Region III.   They should stop actively misleading the people.

Mesina is already the victim of persecution through the filing of a preposterous, trumped up charge against her. We vehemently denounce this further malicious and baseless slander against her.

Agnes Mesina is a lay worker of RMP and the Makabayan coordinator for Region 2. She was arrested on a charge of frustrated murder last Wednesday while she was meeting with ACT Teachers Party-List Representative Antonio Tinio in Tuguegarao City. She posted bail at the Aparri RTC yesterday.

ACT Teachers Party is a member of the Makabayan coalition. ###

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[ 5 Jul 2012 | No Comment ]


5 July 2012

Reference: ACT Teachers Party-List Representative Antonio L. Tinio (09209220817)

Killing and harassment of progressives continue

I denounce the arrest of Makabayan Region II coordinator Agnes Mesina yesterday on a trumped up charge of frustrated murder.  The arrest took place as I was meeting with her along with organizers of the local chapter of ACT Teachers Party-List at the Hotel Roma coffee shop in Tuguegarao City.  We had just come from a successful consultation with public school teachers.  The arrest was carried out by elements of the intelligence unit of Philippine National Police Region 2 together with theTuguegarao City PNP under the direction of a certain Superintendent Lito Santos.


The arrest of Mesina bears the hallmarks of the harassment tactics of the national security establishment, which seeks to hinder and repress the activities of activists identified with the Left by charging them with common crimes such as murder, arson, kidnapping, armed robbery, and the like.  Typically, the flimsy charges will not hold up in court, but in the meantime, the activists endure a long period of detention and a costly legal defense.

Together with the recent killing of Dutch NGO worker Willem Geertman, the arrest of Mesina indicates that the Aquino administration is waging a campaign of suppression against the progressive movement that utterly disregards human rights and civil liberties. ###



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[ 4 Jul 2012 | No Comment ]


4 July 2012

Reference: ACT Teachers Party-List Representative Antonio L. Tinio (09209220817)

“ INACCESSIBLE IN REALITY”—While ACT Teachers Party-List Representative Antonio L. Tinio welcomed Chair Sixto Brillantes’s assurance of transparency of records, he remained concerned that the policy is not being implemented down to COMELEC offices.

The progressive lawmaker earlier urged COMELEC to give the public access to Petitions for Registration, Manifestations of Intent, and other documents filed by organizations wishing to participate in the 2013 party-list polls.  Brillantes replied that the records are already open to scrutiny.

Tinio noted that the poll chief’s statement is faithful to the transparency policy in Section 4, Rule 7 of COMELEC Resolution 9366.  “This policy was the very thing relied on by the public when they try to get copies of the important documents,” he revealed, “but they end up frustrated because records are, in reality, inaccessible.”

Tinio cited his group’s experience when it tried to secure documents on behalf of teachers’ organizations.  “We thought that after submitting a request letter, we would be able to photocopy the records.”

Days after the request, the office said that copies cannot be released because ACT Teachers Party-List is “not the concerned party” and that “the documents were already transferred to the ponente.”  The office also said that it will request the en banc or ponente for “permission to release the documents,” citing Minute Resolution 12-041.

His group found this suspicious.  All offices involved in the 2013 party-list polls, including that particular office, were furnished with original copies of the documents, so no transfer of records or permission is necessary.  Resolution 9366 also does not limit access to documents to “concerned parties,” or the petitioning party-list or any group or person who intervened during the hearings.

To check if an en banc permission is indeed required, ACT Teachers looked for Minute Resolution 12-041 on the COMELEC website.  As of press time, it is not yet posted.

In the end, Tinio hopes that Brillantes’s verbal vow of transparency would direct all COMELEC officials to let the public peer into the entire poll process. ###