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‘To freely oppose fascist regime,’ Makabayan bolts House majority

To be able to freely oppose the “fascist Rodrigo Duterte regime,” the Makabayan bloc announced Thursday it is bolting from the majority coalition in the House of Representatives.

The group’s sitting representatives and other leaders said in a press conference said they will henceforth be an independent bloc in Congress.

“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 unravelled as a fascist, pro-imperialist and anti-people regime,” Makabayan said.

Makabayan is composed of Bayan Muna, ACT Teachers, Anakpawis, Kabataan, and Gabriela Women’s parties.

The group said it joined the Majority last year after being encouraged by Duterte’s reformist and populist actions and pronouncements on a range of issues.

Makabayan cited Duterte’s promise to resume the peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), release of political prisoners, ending of neo-colonial ties with the United States of America government, 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 as among the reasons for entering the coalition.

“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 Government of Republic of the Philippines-NDFP peace talks,” the group explained.

Duterte has failed on his promises, Makabayan said.

“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,” the group said.

Earlier, Malacañan said it hoped Makabayan would keep it ties with the Duterte government.

“We hope the Makabayan bloc will stay with the administration and the House majority,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said at a palace briefing last September 8.

Abella said the palace hoped the progressive solons would continue to work with the administration on certain issues, even if they decide dissociate themselves from the Duterte.

“However, if they do decide to go, we wish them well and we hope that they will remain open to working together with others on issues of shared interest,” Abella said.

Makabayan in its announcement today however said the die is cast.

“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,” the group said. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)

 

Teachers slam DepEd’s anti-teacher statements and policies, demand salary increase

Report and photos by Denver Del Rosario of UP-CMC for Kodao Productions

PASIG CITY—Teachers from the National Capital Region (NCR) staged a protest at the Department of Education (DepEd) yesterday to denounce Secretary Leonor Briones for her anti-teacher remarks and policies.

“She reiterated her insensitive statement that teachers are well-compensated and shall not receive local allowances and additional teaching supplies allowances,” Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT)-Philippines Chairperson Benjamin Valbuena said.

Bonifacio Memorial Elementary School teacher Reynaldo Ga also slammed Briones saying the official is lying about teachers’ salaries.

“She is really a liar because deductions from our salaries are enormous. In my case alone, P3,000  is being deducted from my salary,” Ga said.

DepEd said entry level teachers receive a gross salary of P24,399 per month which includes their basic pay, Personal Economic Relief Allowance, and personal benefit contributions such as GSIS, Philhealth and PAGIBIG, among others.

ACT-Philippines, however, said teachers only take home P16,000 after tax and contributions.

The amount is less than half of the Ibon Foundation-announced monthly living wage of P33,570 for a family of six.

Martinez said Briones shot down their proposal to have their chalk allowance increased from P2,500 to P5,000.

Teachers are forced to spend their own monies various school events and requirements, Ga added.

“During summer breaks when we are supposed to be on vacation, DepEd forces us to attend so many seminars that we have to pay for ourselves,” Ga revealed.

“Teachers are really being made to suffer a great injustice as we were only given a measly P500 salary increase these past two years,” ACT Teachers Party’s Joy Martinez said.

According to Martinez, Briones also rejected other suggestions to increase teachers’ salaries.

Briones was among three cabinet secretaries who issued DepEd-DBM-DILG Joint Circular No.1 S. 2017 that prohibits the use of the Special Education Fund for the teachers’ local allowance.

The teachers said Briones has yet to hold a dialogue with the teachers regarding their salaries and benefits.

“We already wrote to her several times, but she refuses to talk to us.  She is close-minded as she only favors private businesses over the public,” Martinez said. #

PODCAST: Jaime Soledad hinggil sa dapat na panawagan ng mamamayan sa gubyernong Duterte

Ang panayam kay Jaime Soledad, Consultant ng National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) ay bahagi ng programa sa radyo sa panahon ng Kampuhan ng mga Lakbayanis ng Visayas. Ginanap ito noong Disyembre 7, 2016 sa Polytechnic University of the Philippines.

Sina Raymund Villanueva ng Kodao Productions at Ronalyn Olea ng Bulatlat.com at Vice President ng International Asspciation of Women in Radio and Television – Philippines ang mga tagapagpadaloy ng programa sa ilalim ng proyektong Radyo Tacloban.

PODCAST: Jaime Soledad hinggil sa paghahanda ng NDFP para sa 3rd round of peace negotiations sa 2017

Ang panayam kay Jaime Soledad, Consultant ng National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) ay bahagi ng programa sa radyo sa panahon ng Kampuhan ng mga Lakbayanis ng Visayas. Ginanap ito noong Disyembre 7, 2016 sa Polytechnic University of the Philippines.

Sina Raymund Villanueva ng Kodao Productions at Ronalyn Olea ng Bulatlat.com at Vice President ng International Asspciation of Women in Radio and Television – Philippines ang mga tagapagpadaloy ng programa sa ilalim ng proyektong Radyo Tacloban.

PODCAST: Renato Baleros Sr hinggil sa pakinabang ng mamamayan sa usapang pangkapayapaan at ang hamon kay Pangulong Duterte

Ang panayam kay Renato Baleros Sr., Consultant ng National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) ay bahagi ng programa sa radyo sa panahon ng Kampuhan ng mga Lakbayanis ng Visayas. Ginanap ito noong Disyembre 7, 2016 sa Polytechnic University of the Philippines.

Sina Raymund Villanueva ng Kodao Productions at Ronalyn Olea ng Bulatlat.com at Vice President ng International Asspciation of Women in Radio and Television – Philippines ang mga tagapagpadaloy ng programa sa ilalim ng proyektong Radyo Tacloban.

PODCAST: Renato Baleros Sr on socio-economic reforms, bilateral ceasefire and political prisoners

Ang panayam kay Renato Baleros Sr., Consultant ng National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) ay bahagi ng programa sa radyo sa panahon ng Kampuhan ng mga Lakbayanis ng Visayas. Ginanap ito noong Disyembre 7, 2016 sa Polytechnic University of the Philippines.

Sina Raymund Villanueva ng Kodao Productions at Ronalyn Olea ng Bulatlat.com at Vice President ng International Asspciation of Women in Radio and Television – Philippines ang mga tagapagpadaloy ng programa sa ilalim ng proyektong Radyo Tacloban.

PODCAST: Concha Araneta-Bocala hinggil sa kanyang reaksyon kay Sec. Dureza sa kalagayan ng political prisoners sa bansa

Ang panayam kay Concha Araneta-Bocala, Consultant ng National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) ay bahagi ng programa sa radyo sa panahon ng Kampuhan ng mga Lakbayanis ng Visayas. Ginanap ito noong Disyembre 7, 2016 sa Polytechnic University of the Philippines.

Sina Raymund Villanueva ng Kodao Productions at Ronalyn Olea ng Bulatlat.com at Vice President ng International Asspciation of Women in Radio and Television – Philippines ang mga tagapagpadaloy ng programa sa ilalim ng proyektong Radyo Tacloban.

ACT for just and lasting peace

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), celebrating its 34th anniversary, and joined by the “Thousand Doves” campaign of the Pilgrims for Peace gathered at the Peace Bell in Quezon City on June 26, 2016 in support of the upcoming peace talks between the government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). Children made paper cranes and flew kites for the peace campaign. ACT is an affiliate of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) Philippines chapter.

(Contributed video by ILPS Philippines)

ACT Teachers: K to12, Kinalburo


Naglunsad ng kilos-protesta ang iba’t ibang organisasyon ng mga kabataang estudyante at mga guro sa pangunguna ng ACT Teachers Party List para tutulan ang programa sa edukasyon na K-12 ng pamahalaang Aquino. Sila ay nagdaos ng programa sa harap ng Malakañang para ipahayag ang mariing pagtutol at pagkundena sa wala sa panahong programang K-12 na ayon sa kanila ay “hinog sa pilit”.

Ayon sa grupo dapat lamang na ibasura ang K-12 sapagkat minadali o kinalburo ang pagpapatupad ng naturang programa. Maraming isyu ang anila ay mas dapat tutukan ng pamahalaan gaya ng kakulangan sa silid-aralan, kakulangan sa guro at mismong kasanayan ng mga guro ay hindi pa naitataas ang antas upang umangkop sa K to 12.

Mendiola, Manila
June 1, 2015