Statement on the CDO presidential debate coverage

15 February 2016


The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) shares the concern of our colleagues in Cagayan de Oro over the way limits appear to have been placed on coverage of the first presidential debate on
Feb. 21.
We acknowledge that space limitations inevitably require that admission to the venue of the debate will need to be regulated.

However, we also believe the organizers and hosts of the event should provide a large enough venue where the largest number possible of journalists, both community and Manila-based, may watch and cover the debate through monitors.

We agree with the Cagayan de Oro Press Club (COPC) that the process of choosing who next to lead the country is so important that every opportunity available to journalists to be able to inform the broadest segment of the public must be optimized.

We hope the organizers of the Cagayan de Oro presidential debate and the local media community would be open to more dialogues to iron out the process of selection and accreditation of journalists who will cover the debate.

We do hope it is not too late for the organizers of the Cagayan de Oro presidential debate to address these issues even as we urge the organizers of the subsequent debates to be held in the Visayas and Luzon to ensure early on that such problems are avoided.

Ryan Rosauro
Chairperson, NUJP

COMMENTARY: Duterteconomics doesn’t share labor’s ideology

by Raymund B. Villanueva

DAVAO CITY MAYOR Rodrigo Duterte launched his bid for the presidency last Tuesday in Tondo with a threat against militant labor. Singling Kilusang Mayo Uno out, he said he will kill all those who would organize labor unions in economic enclaves he plans on putting up. There should be no labor unions in these enclaves for 10 years or there would be a decade of carnage, he said.

He was obviously referring to something similar to Davao City’s bloodbath against perceived criminals, mostly petty offenders. Laughter could be heard in the videos when Duterte uttered his threat. There was nothing funny in it at all. It was beyond outrageous; it was ominous.

What gall the mayor has to think he shares militant labor’s ideology when he asks them to stop defending workers’ rights. Labor unions protect workers from low wages, unpaid benefits, unjust working conditions and other forms of exploitation. Only an unthinking and unfeeling person could dismiss unionism’s contributions to humanity by threatening them with bloody death, even jestingly (which the video proves was not).

Capitalism, proletarian ideology’s antithesis, is, above all else, exploitation of workers. Special economic zones were invented to worsen this exploitation.

According to the Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research, the Philippines has 326 special economic zones as of May 2015, 68 of which are manufacturing enclaves. While these numbers look impressive Duterte should know that these only employed 735,000 in 2010, or a mere two percent of the country’s employed labor. Current SEZ employment figures remain essentially unchanged.

At the Subic SEZ, Korean giant Hanjin has more than 20,000 workers building giant ships. All of them are contractual employees engaged through a number of contractors. EILER reports that Filipino workers are verbally and physically abused by their Korean bosses on a daily basis and are often served with stale meals. Many accidents occur in this enclave, often deadly, without making the news. Media and even local government officials are barred from entering the shipyard. Shouldn’t Duterte promise to look into such reports first before foisting the specter of more special economic zones at Filipino laborers?

Duterte may be charming to some, but I seriously doubt his brand of charm would be able to reverse the general decline of direct foreign investments into Philippine manufacturing. There is no need for more SEZs when the government is still desperate to fill up those already existing. What few foreign investments that trickle into the local economy go to the stock market and real estate industry, which are part of the speculative market. The doddering global capitalism rolls this way nowadays. It is absolutely unnecessary to threaten militant labor with mayhem when his SEZs are still figments of his bloody imagination.

Moreover, Duterte is being redundant when he threatens militant labor with bloodshed. Economic zones have an unwritten “no union, no strike” policy. SEZ security forces are especially trained to quell any union activity. There is very little government oversight in these special zones, except when there is labor unrest. In such cases, the government always sides with the capitalists anyway. All too often, labor leaders and union members end up killed. Is this what Duterteconomics wants continued?

KMU was quick to criticize Duterte’s statement, as it should. KMU asked if Duterte was joking. The labor center said Duterte made a big joke of himself and should take back his words. It also asked the candidate to stand with labor unions and not with greedy capitalists. I share KMU’s wonder what kind of “respectful” labor unions Duterte wants.

Duterte must think that KMU will not dare criticize his statement because he helped in some labor disputes in Davao City in the past. He clearly showed his capacity to violate labor and other human rights when he could utter threats just like that. Such statements and his kind must never be tolerated, alliances notwithstanding.

Lastly, Duterte’s supporters should know it was the dictator Marcos who first put up SEZs in this country via the Bataan Special Economic Zone in 1969. Ominous, isn’t it? #

ITANONG MO KAY PROF: Tungkol sa Eleksyong Presidensyal sa 2016 (PART 2/2)

Panayam kay Prof. Jose Maria Sison
ni Prof. Sarah Raymundo ng CONTEND-UP

PART 2/2
September 4, 2015

4. Ano ang mga paninindigang ikinasisiya ninyo o ng PKP at maaaring itaguyod sa plataporma ng isang partido o kandidato sa pagkapresidente?

JMS: Tanyag ang programa para sa demokratikong rebolusyon ng bayan ng PKP at mababasa ang paninindigan nito sa mga kasalukuyang isyu sa Ang Bayan. Kasiyasiya sa akin ang kandidato o partido na paborableng tumutugon sa mga sumusunod na kagustuhan ng sambayanan.

Una, Itaguyod ang pambansang soberaniya at teritoryal na integridad.

Ikalawa, Igalang ang mga karapatang-tao at pairaling lubos ang demokrasya.

Ikatlo, Muling igiit ang soberanya sa ekonomya at pangalagaan ang pambansang patrimonya.

Ikaapat, Isagawa ang pambansang industriyalisasyon bilang pangunahing sangkap sa pagpapaunlad ng ekonomya at bilang susi sa paglutas sa kawalang trabaho, karukhaan at kawalang pag-unlad.

Ikalima, Isakatuparan ang reporma sa lupa bilang demokratkong karapatan at katarungang panlipunan, at bilang paraan sa paglaya ng mga walang lupang magbubukid, pagpapadaloy ng kapital, pagsusulong sa pag-unlad ng kanayunan at paglikha at pagpapaunlad ng lokal na pamilihan.

Ikaanim, Pagbutihin ang mga kondisyon sa pasahod at pamumuhay ng mga manggagawa, pangalagaan at paunlarin ang lahat ng maaring hanapbuhay, at itaas ang pamantayan sa pamumuhay ng sambayanan

Ikapito, Palawakin ang mga serbisyong panlipunan, lalo na sa edukasyon, kalusugan at pabahay, at paunlarin ang mga pampublikong kagamitan tulad ng transport, tubig at elektrisidad.

Ikawalo, Itigil ang korupsyon at lahat ng anyo ng katiwalian at parusahan ang mga may kagagawan; itigil ang sistemang pork barrel at padaluyin ang mga pondo ng publiko sa binalak na pagpapaunlad ng ekonomya, pagtatayo ng mga imprastruktura at pagpapalawak ng mga serbisyong panlipunan.

Ikasiyam, Bawasan ang gastos militar at padaluyin ang natipid sa pagpapaunlad ng ekonomya at mga serbisyong panlipunan.

Ikasampu, Itaguyod ang makabayan, demokratiko, siyentipiko at progresibong sistema ng edukasyon at kultura.

Ikalabing-isa, Ipanindigan ang pagkakapantay-pantay ng kasarian sa lahat ng larangan ng aktibidad na panlipunan at labanan ang diskriminasyon batay sa sari.

Ikalabing-dalawa, Tiyakin ang matalinong paggamit ng likas na yaman at pangangalaga sa kapaligiran.

Ikalabingtatlo, Igalang ang mga karapatan ng mga pambansang minorya sa sariling pagpapasya at pag-unlad.

Ikalabing-apat, Ipagpatuloy ng gobyernong Manila ang usapang pangkapayapaan sa NDFP at kumpletuhin ang sa MILF.

Ikalabing-lima, Sundin ang indepenyenteng patakarang panlabas at likhain ang pinakamahigpit na pakikipagtulungan sa lahat ng mga kalapit na bansa para sa layunin ng internasyunal na pagkakaisa, kapayapaan at pag-unlad.

5. Ano ang magagawa ng PKP o ninyo bilang tagapangulong tagpagtatag ng PKP para ipakita na nasisiyahan o hindi sa posisyon ng isang partido o kandidato sa pagkapresidente tungkol sa mga isyu?

JMS: Maari kong puriin sa publiko ang pagtaguyod o pagtanggap ng alinmang partido o kandidato sa alinman sa 15 kagustuhan ng sambayanan na aking binanggit. At maaari kong punahin ang pagtanggi sa alinman sa mga kagustuhang iyon. Maaari kong paghambingin sa isa´t isa ang mga partido at mga kandidato tungkol sa pagtanggap o pagtanggi ng mga kagustuhang ito. Hindi ako makakapagsalita para sa PKP sa panayam na ito, subalit masusundan ninyo ang mga palagay at paninindigan nito sa eleksyon kung pupuntahan ninyo ang website: ###