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No genuine change in Duterte’s 1st year -solons

30 June 2017 No Comment

ACT Teachers Representatives Antonio Tinio and France Castro saw no genuine change in the first year of Duterte as President as more anti-poor policies are introduced and the nationalist and progressive people’s demands still have not been met.

“We have yet to see the realization of the people’s demands for just peace, salary increase, the end of contractualization, independent foreign policy, and genuine land reform, while neoliberal economic policies, the pork barrel system, the reintroduced death penalty, the impending new taxes and expanded VAT in the anti-poor TRAIN, and other policies are implemented by the Duterte administration,” Tinio said. “State fascism is also on the rise with the so-called Oplan Kapayapaan, aerial bombardments of civilian communities, the declaration of Martial law in Mindanao, and the killings of thousands of Filipinos in the drug war.”

The solons noted that President Duterte’s actions are the opposite of his earlier pronouncements against the military agreements with the US such as the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), and appointed 59 ex-military men to key positions in government, causing the militarization of what should be a civilian bureaucracy.

“The President appointed progressives in his cabinet, but Secretaries Judy Taguiwalo of the Department of Social Welfare and Development and Raphael Mariano of the Department of Agrarian Reform have yet to be confirmed by the Commission on Appointments. This is in contrast to the swift confirmation of many pro-US militarists, neoliberals, and other bureaucrat-capitalists,” Castro said.

“We urge President Duterte to act on his promises for just peace and continue the peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) especially now that both panels have already started talking about the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER).” Castro added.

“We call on the Filipino people to continue to fight for their rights as we reap the victories of our campaigns for free tuition in state universities and colleges, the free distribution of idle houses of the National Housing Authority to the urban poor led by KADAMAY, and the increase in the Social Security System pension to our collective actions for genuine change,” Tinio ended.

The solons joined the people’s march today from Welcome Rotonda to Mendiola demanding for genuine change, decent salaries, job security, the lifting of Martial law in Mindanao, an end to the use of aerial bombings, the defense human rights, and the continuation of the peace talks with the NDFP. ###

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