Explanation of NO vote to House Bill No. 6125 or the Proposed 2018 National Budget

26 September 2017

Maraming Salamat Mr. Speaker. Una po, nais kong irehistro ang pagtutol sa nagging proseso ng pagboto on third reading sa house bills 6215. Hindi man lamang po pinaalam ng mayorya sa kapulungan ang mga amyenda na ginawa ng small committee at ipinaloob sa third reading version na ating pinagbotohan. Kaya wala pa po, bukod sa mga iilang kasama natin dito ang nakakaalam kung ano ang mga pagbabagong ginawa mula sa version ng 2nd reading hanggang sa version na pinagbotohan natin ngayon. So nais ko pong irehistro iyan for the record.

Ngayon, bakit po ako bumoto ng no. Una, tanong na para kanino ba ang house bill 6215 na nagpapanukala ng 3.7 trillion na badyet ng pambansang gubyerno para sa 2018? Ito ay badyet na pangunahing makikinabangan ng mga malalaking negosyante at asyendero at kanilang mga kasosyong dayuhan. Hindi ito lulutas sa laganap na kahirapan bagkus, patutuloy ang lalaking agwat sa pagitan ng mayaman at nakararami sa mahigit na 90% ng mahihirap. At lalala ang kawalan ng pagkakapantay pantay sa ating lipunan.

Kung susumahin, ang badyet na ito ay badyet para sa patuloy na pagkita o pagtubo ng iilan at dayuhan. Badyet para sa social safety net. Para sa nakararaming nalalaglag. At badyet para sa panunupil sa mga tututol at lalaban sa ganitong kaayusan.

Tanging ang pagpapaunlad ng agrikultura sa pamamagitan ng tunay na repormang agraryo at ang pambansang industriyalisasyon ang lilikha ng disenteng trabaho, lulutas sa kahirapan at magdadala sa ating lipunan sa higit na pagkakapantay-pantay. Ngunit hindi ito ang popondohan ng HB 6215. Kapos ang pondo sa agrikultura at sa repormang agraryo samantalang barya lamang ang nakalaan para sa lokal na industriya at maliit na negosyo. Pananatiliin ng administrasyong Duterte ang 2 tier wage system, sa pribadong sektor mapapanatiling mababa ang sweldo, sa sahod, mananatiling kapos ang sweldo sa pampublikong sektor habang babawasan ang mga benepisyo ng mga government employees ay maglalaan ng pondo para sa pagdoble ng sweldo ng pulis at militar. Mananatiling malaganap ang kontraktwalisasyon sa pribado at pampublikong sektor.

Sa halip na pondohan at suportahan ang direktang produksyon at ang mga lokal na producer alinsunod sa ideyang neoliberal, pagbubuhusan nila ng badyet na ito ang imprastraktura dahil ito daw ang hinahanap ng mga foreign investors kaya mahigit isang trilyon sa badyet na ito ay para sa Build! Build! Build! Program ng Duterte administration na magpopondo sa mga engrandeng proyekto na hinahanap umano ng mga foreign investors. Mga highway, riles, daungan, airport at iba pang mga pangangailangan ng export manufacturing ng service sector kabilang na yung mga BPO, mga mall, real estate development, turismo at iba pa para sa pag eexport ng mga hilaw na materyales mula sa pagmimina at agrikultura. Samantala, wala, kapos o binawasan ang pondo para sa disente at murang pabahay, sementadong kalsada ng hanggang antas barangay, malinis na tubig at sanitasyon para sa lahat, murang kuryente at telekomunikasyon, kasama ang internet para sa lahat.

Bagaman wala ng PDAF, pinananatili ng badyet na ito ang congressional pork barrel at ang presidential prok barrel. Kung sa usapin ng serbisyong panlipunan, popondohan upang makapag palitaw ng skilled labor force para sa export oriented economy. Para sa labor export policy natin, para sa export manufacturing para sa BPO at Turismo. Ito ang konteksto ng patuloy na pagpopondo sa K to 12 at sa free higher education. Alinsunod sa dogma ng neoliberalismo, ang mga serbisyong panlipunan ay patatakbuhin ayon sa prinsipyo ng pribatisasyon at komersyalisasyon. Kaya babawasan o pinananatiling kapos ang pondo para sa operasyon ng edukasyokn, ng kalusugan at ng iba pa. at ang pinakamalaking social safety net ay nananatiling ang badyet para sa 4Ps ng DSWD.

Pondo rin ito para sa mga tututol. Popondohan po nito ang tatlong giyera ng Duterte Administration, ang giyera kontra droga, sa mamamayang moro na kasalukuyang naka tuon sa pagwasak sa Marawi at nagpataw ng Martial law sa buong Mindanao. Giyera kontra droga na nagdulot ng libo-libong EJK sa hanay ng maralita sa kalunsuran habang pinalulusot ang mga producer at smuggler ng droga. Giyera kontra sa mahihirap na magsasaka, katutubong lumad sa kanayunan. Kasama rin dito ang initial na pagbawas sa pondo ng CHR na ibinalik ngunit hindi buo ang pagbalik.

Lahat ng ito ay popondohan ng isang regressive tax regime na lalong palalain ng tax reform program o TRAIN. Pakikinabangan ng malalaking negosyante, mayaman at may kaya, habang ipapasa ang tax burden sa maralita na pipigain para sa dagdag na revenue ng gobyerno. Dahil sa lahat po ng mga ito ay bumoto po ako ng NO.###

ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio hinggil sa pagpiyansa ni Sen. Jinggoy Estrada sa kasong kaugnay ng pork barrel scam

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.#

ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio on possible declaration of martial law nationwide:

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. #

Makabayan Bloc bolts the House Majority

 

September 14, 2017

Today, we, seven party list representatives of the Makabayan Bloc, declare our separation from the Majority Coalition in the House of Representatives to intensify our opposition to the Duterte administration that has now fully unraveled as a fascist, pro-imperialist and anti-people regime.

At the opening of the 17th Congress last year, we joined the Majority consistent with our stand to support the promise of change of Pres. Duterte. Back then, we were encouraged by his reformist and populist actions and pronouncements on a range of issues, including: resuming the peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), releasing political prisoners, ending neocolonial ties with the US and pursuing an independent foreign policy, addressing the roots of the Moro rebellion, ending labor contractualization, increasing government support to farmers, putting a stop to destructive mining practices, reducing income taxes of rank and file employees, and increasing social pensions, and prioritizing basic social services over infrastructure.

His unprecedented decision to appoint leftists and activists to crucial cabinet posts – Judy Taguiwalo at the DSWD, Gina Lopez at the DENR, Liza Maza at the NAPC, and Rafael Mariano at the DAR – provided openings for pursuing such reforms.

Nevertheless, our decision to join the Majority was premised on the condition that we would oppose and challenge, as we have done, the Administration on issues where we fundamentally disagreed with Pres. Duterte – his neoliberal economic policies, his disdain for human rights especially in his war on drugs, anti-crime and counterinsurgency campaigns, his rehabilitation of the former dictator Marcos, and his propensity for strongman rule.

Thus, from the very start, we consistently opposed the Administration’s anti-people bills and policies to the point that we were stripped of our committee chairmanships due to our stand against the death penalty bill. Despite one disappointment after another, we persisted in the Majority in the hope that some socioeconomic and political reforms could be achieved, if not through Congress, then through the GRP-NDFP peace talks.

The peace negotiations with the NDFP have been practically terminated due to Duterte’s insistence of a bilateral ceasefire agreement prior to any talks. With Marawi being bombed to the ground and its resulting humanitarian crisis, the Moro peace process is spiraling downward. Under these circumstances, martial law threatens to turn Mindanao into an even more violent land of strife and lost promises.

Pres. Duterte has turned back on his promise to “separate” from the US, even as he has allowed China to continue occupying the West Philippine Sea. His “independent foreign policy” has turned out to be a farce. He is now as dependent as ever on the US for national security and has practically abandoned our valid and internationally-recognized claims of sovereignty and territory in the West Philippine Sea in exchange for China’s promises of aid and investments.

Pres. Duterte’s little concessions to farmers, workers, and the urban poor have been reduced to populist posturing in the face of his overwhelmingly neoliberal economic policies that favor the oligarchs and foreign powers he claims to disdain.

Worst of all, his “war on drugs” has turned into a campaign of mass murder of the poor, for which he shows no signs of turning back.

As representatives of the poor and marginalized sectors in Congress and as nationalist and progressive legislators, it would be a violation of our duties and principles to remain with a Majority that enables and defends the fascist, pro-imperialist and anti-people policies of the Duterte regime.

Since its formation, Makabayan has consistently fought for the people’s interests as the progressive bloc in Congress. In the 17th Congress, we consistently opposed the Duterte administration’s pro-business and pro-war budget; its efforts to rehabilitate the Marcoses; the reimposition of the death penalty; its use of extrajudicial killings against poor, suspected criminals and rebels; defunding of the Commission on Human Rights; its anti-poor tax reform package; its modified public-private partnership scheme; the national ID system; the privatization of health services; redefinition of public utilities to allow foreign ownership; and other anti-people policies and measures.

Now that Pres. Duterte and his allies are embarking on efforts to undermine the very institutions that serve as a check on his Executive powers, now that he is pushing for an insidious revision of the Constitution, now that he has revived his threat to declare martial law nationwide and impose a revolutionary government, we resolve to intensify efforts to defeat the emergence of a new dictatorship.

As an independent bloc in Congress, we will continue to pursue meaningful reforms and oppose measures that harm our nation and people. We shall build alliances based on issues that truly matter to our people and their demand for change. We shall fight the fascist US-Duterte regime and hold it accountable for its gross violations of human rights and the further oppression and impoverishment of our people.

 

Rep. Antonio Tinio
ACT Teachers
Rep. France Castro

ACT Teachers

 

Rep. Emmi de Jesus
Gabriela Women’s Party

 

Rep. Arlene Brosas

Gabriela Women’s Party

 

Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate

Bayan Muna

 

Rep. Ariel Casilao
Anakpawis

 

Rep. Sarah Elago

Kabataan

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