Nagbigay-pahayag si Rep. France Castro ng Makabayan Bloc kaugnay ng nilulutong ‘revolutionary government’ ng mga taga-suporta ni Pangulong Duterte nitong nakalipas na linggo.
The Senate conducted a hearing on the ABS-CBN issue last Monday, February 24, obviously in reaction to the series of mass actions calling for the network’s franchise renewal. The Senate Committee on Public Services, chaired by Senator Grace Poe, again showed the Upper House’s more independent character than the House of Representatives that still refuses to schedule hearing on the 11 bills pending before its Committee on Legislative Franchises. And while Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano called the Senate hearing “a meaningless and brown-nosing spectacle,” even his fellow administration allies were compelled to attend and expressed support for ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal at the end of the hearing. Resource persons from the Bureau of Internal Revenue, Securities and Exchange Commission, National Telecommunications Commission and the Department of Justice also clarified that ABS-CBN did not violate laws that warrant its closure.
The giant media network may now heave a sigh of relief, its position and future clearer than when the issue blew up middle of January.
Here is a timeline of how organizations have been helping the network weather its worst storm since it was sequestered during Ferdinand Marcos’ martial law:
December 3, 2019
– President Rodrigo Duterte threatend he will “see to it that you’re (ABS CBN) out.”
December 30, 2019
– Duterte tells ABS-CBN management in a speech to just sell the company.
January 16, 2020
-The Manila Times reports that Solicitor General Jose Calida plans to file a quo warranto petition before the Supreme Court questioning ABS CBN’s franchise.
January 17, 2020
-The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) holds a Black Friday protest at the Boy Scout Monument in Quezon City to denounce the threat. They People’s Alternative Media Network (Altermidya), Defend Jobs Philippines, College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP), members of the ABS CBN Rank and File Employees Union (RFEU), the Photojournalists Center of the Philippines (PEP), Concerned Artists of the Philippines (CAP), International Association of Women in Radio and Television-Philippine Chapter, Rappler, and progressive organizations under Bagong Alyansang Makabayan join the action. The entire Makabayan bloc at the House of Representatives attend. Several ABS CBN reporters participate.
January 18, 2020
-The NUJP launches its one million signature campaign on the online petition platform change.org. Within 24 hours, 100 thousand signatures were gathered as several ABS CBN artists ask their fans for support.
January 24, 2020
-The NUJP and the ABS CBN-RFEU hold a “silent protest” at the network’s Sgt. Esguerra gate. Several network reporters join. Participants light candles and distribute petition forms. Defend Jobs Philippines, Altermidya and CEGP attend.
January 31, 2020
-The NUJP, PCP members, Altermidya and several ABS CBN fans gather at the Boy Scout Monument and later proceed to one of the network’s Mother Ignacia Avenue gates to conduct its third Black Friday protest. CEGP, CAP and Defend Jobs Philippines join.
February 7, 2020
-The NUJP holds its fourth Black Friday protest at the employee’s Mother Ignacia gate and gather hundreds of signatures from employees. Meanwhile, the NUJP and other employees gather petitions inside the network since January 18. Altermidya and the ABS CBN-RFEU attend the rainy fourth Black Friday.
February 10, 2020
-Calida files quo warranto petition at the Supreme Court. NUJP and Altermidya denounce the solicitor general’s action, as well as his harassment of ABS CBN reporter Mark Navallo. NUJP calls for a quick reaction protest action at the Boy Scout Monument. Altermidya, ABS CBN RFEU, CEGP, PCP, Rappler, Kadamay, Defend Jobs Philippines and other progressive organizations under Bayan attend.
February 11-14, 2020
-Media groups, schools and other organizations issue statements issue statements supporting ABS CBN and denouncing threats against the network. Several newspapers publish editorials supportive of the embattled company. ABS CBN report interviews of fans loyal to the network. ABS CBN management issues statement. Several NUJP chapters hold their own protest actions but complain of surveillance by unidentified men who take their pictures even after their activities.
February 12, 2020
-Committee on Legislative Franchises vice chairperson Isabela 1st District Representative Antonio Albano admits pressure from both the Duterte administration and ABS CBN supporters.
February 14, 2020
-NUJP and ABS CBN employees jointly organize the fifth protest action named “Red Friday Protest” as the day fell on Valentine’s Day. Hundreds of network officials and workers participate. Reporters prepare food for the increasing number of supporters. PCP conduct interactive activities during protest. CAP, LODI (Let’s Organize for Democracy and Integrity) Kilusang Mayo Uno, Gabriela, Makabayan, and other labor federations attend.
February 19, 2020
-NUJP officers submit to the House of Representatives copies of 200 thousand signatures to the authors of the 11 bills for ABS CBN franchise renewal as well as to the Committee of Legislative Franchises secretariat and chairperson Palawan 1st District Rep. Franz Alvarez. Bayan Muna Rep. Karlos Ysagani Zarate receives the copies in behalf of his fellow authors.
February 21, 2020
-Thousands of ABS CBN employees light candles and form a human chain around the network compound in an unprecedented mass action in defense of a media organization. Thousands more supporters from other organizations join earlier supporters in a two-hour program in front of the network’s broadcasting center. NUJP, CAP and ABS CBN employees jointly conduct program. Film and television stars attend this sixth protest action. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)
[Disclosure: The author is NUJP deputy secretary general.]
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) submitted to the House of Representatives (HOR) about 200 thousand signatures urging Congress to act on the 11 bills for the renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise last Wednesday, 19 February.
In a press conference at the HOR’s media center, the media group submitted to Bayan Muna Representative Karlos Ysagani Zarate about eight thousand signatures as well as a flash drive containing nearly 200 thousand signatures it gathered since it launched the petition signing campaign in January when plans by the Office of the Solicitor General to file a quo warranto petition were reported last January.
“The NUJP is undertaking this petition signing to show support to the authors of the 11 franchise bills and urge the [HOR} Committee on Legislative Franchises to schedule their discussion,” the group said.
Prior to the press conference, NUJP officers submitted the same lists to Committee of Legislative Franchises chairperson Rep. Franz Alvarez, as well as Representatives Edcel Lagman, Vilma Santos-Recto and the committee secretariat.
“We need not remind Congress that the network’s franchise expires on March 30 and that the First Regular Session [of the 18th Congress] only has a little more than a dozen session days [to act on the bills],” the NUJP said.
In urging Congress to pass ABS-CBN’s franchise, the media group said it has the welfare of 11 thousand network workers who are fear for their jobs.
NUJP urged Congress to be independent on the issue and give the embattled network due process.
NUJP said the petition signing aims to gather one million signatures and are still ongoing.
It revealed that the signatures are being gathered during their regular Friday night activities near ABS-CBN as well as in schools and communities.
They are assisted by other media groups such as Altermidya, College Editors Guild of the Philippines, Photojournalists Center of the Philippines, Defend Jobs Philippines, ABS-CBN Rank and File Employees Union, among other groups.
The group is set to submit the same lists to Senator Grace Poe, chairperson of both the Senate committees on public information and public services, on Thursday, February 20.
Zarate thanked NUJP “for the show of support” urging Alvarez and Speaker Allan Peter Cayetano to listen to the petitioners.
Zarate and fellow Makabayan bloc members are among the authors of the bills. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)
(Disclosure: The author, currently NUJP deputy secretary general, was among the media group officers who turned over the list of petitioners.)
The Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives (HOR) got off to its usual running start and filed 67 bills and resolutions on the opening day of the 18th Congress Monday.
While their colleagues, including other party list representatives, are busy with infighting for the speakership of the HOR, the Leftist lawmakers submitted both new and their old legislative measures and made sure they are among the first to file them.
Makabayan legislative staffmembers were among the first to line up at the HORS’s Bills and Index Service office very early yesterday morning to increase their chance of an early first reading of their measures and referral by the Speaker to their appropriate committees.
Bayan Muna filed 30 bills and resolutions ranging from agrarian refom, human rights, social pension, lowering of prices of basic commodities, wage increases, social services to political reforms.
ACT Teachers Party filed 17 bills and resolutions ranging from salary increases, social services, government services reforms to freedom of information.
Kabataan Party for its part filed 10 bills, mostly on youth and student rights.
Gabriela Women’s Party for its part filed 10 bills and resolutions that the group said seek to uplift women from economic woes and abuse.
Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas said their party prioritizes the repeal of the Rice Tariffication Law due to its disastrous impact on farmers and poor households, as well as measures that seek to end violence against women and children.
“Rice tariffication law sets forth the sharp drop in the farmgate prices of palay which threatens the livelihood of our farmers, as well as the phaseout of the cheaper NFA rice which poor Filipino families rely on. That’s why we want to immediately repeal the law to provide relief to millions of Filipino families,” she said.
“As an alternative, we have filed the Rice Industry Development Act previously filed by Anakpawis Partylist to ensure sufficient support for Filipino farmers and to mandate the identification of rice zones across the country to boost local rice production,” she added.
ACT Teachers Party Rep. France Castro for her part revealed that their 17 bills are bannered by their teachers salary increase bill she said is long overdue.
“We strongly urge the incoming House Leadership to immediately hear and pass the bill increasing the salaries of teachers and other government employees. Similarly, we call on our fellow legislators in both houses of Congress to champion this cause,” Castro said.
This morning, Bayan Muna filed its 31st measure, a resolution calling for an investigation on the violations of labor rights by detergent manufacturer Peerless Products Manufacturing Corporation, following the series of bloody attacks company guards inflicted on its striking workers.
List of bills
1. Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill
2. Human Rights Defenders Bill
3. 2nd Tranche of SSS pension increase
4. Increasing Social Pension
5. Genuine Partylist Group and Nominee Act
6. Repeal TRAIN Law
7. Renationalization of Petron
8. Investigation of the Recto Bank Incident
9. Unbundling of Oil Prices
10. ₱750 National Minimum Wage
11. ₱16,000 Minimum Wage for Government Employees
12. Anti-Privatization of Health Services
13. Free Hemodialysis
14. Anti-Political Dynasty
15. Investigation on Water Privatization
16. Investigation on the Killings in Bicol
17. Investigation on Electoral-Related Harassments
18. Security of Tenure and Substitute Civil Service Eligibility
19. No VAT in Electricity
20. No Vat in Systems Loss
21. People’s Mining Bill
22. Genuine Small Coco Farmer’s Fund
23. Investigation on impacts of agribusiness to agrarian reform beneficiaries
24. No VAT in Water
25. Manila Bay as Reclamation-Free Zone
26. No Mining Zones
27. SOGIE (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression) Bill
28. Investigation on HRVs related to Memo 32
29. Investigation on Kaliwa Dam Project
30. Moratorium on Coal-Fired Power Plants
ACT Teachers Party-List:
- HB 219 – salary increase for public school teachers and other government employees
- HB 220 – The Teacher Protection Act of 2019
- HB 221 – lowering the optional retirement age of government employees
- HB 222 – The Teaching Supplies Allowance Act of 2019
- HB 223 – mandatori na mga yunit ng Filipino at Panitikan sa kolehiyo
- HB 224 – Act Mandating Free Health Services for the People
- HB 225 – exempting from taxation all amounts granted to persons rendering election service for national and local elections
- HB 226 – The Freedom of Information Act
- HB 227 – The Public School Class Size Law
- HB 228 – The Revised GSIS Act of 2019
- HB 508 – shorter probationary period of teaching and non-teaching personnel in private schools
- HB 509 – guidance counselors in public schools
- HB 510 – repealing the anti-professional CPD Act of 2016
- HB 511 – The COMELEC Reorganization Act
- HB 512 – expanded paternity leave
- HB 513 – National Education Support Personnel Day
- HR 20 – inquiry in aid of legislation into the status of implementation of the K to 12 Program
- Students Rights
- Campus Press Freedom
- University Services
- Human Rights Education
- Anti-No Permit No Exam
- FQS Day and FQS@50
- National Youth Day
- Mandatory Bonifacio Subject
- National Filipino Youth Museum
- Philippine Cinema Appreciation
Gabriela Women’s Party:
- Repeal of the Rice Tariffication Law
- Rice Industry Development
- Magna Carta for Daycare Workers
- Amendments to the Solo Parents Welfare Act
- Repeal of VAT on oil and other products
- Resolution seeking to review the concession agreement of the MWSS
- Amendments to the Anti-Rape Law
- Electronic Violence Against Women and Children (EVAWC)
- Repeal of the Human Security Act (HSA)
- Divorce bill
The progressive parties said the 67 bills are just their initial submissions. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)
The Makabayan bloc may still get as many as six seats in the House of Representatives as the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC) is set to proclaim the winners of the party list race tonight.
Despite relentless harassment and vilification by the military and police throughout the campaign period up to election day last May 13, the progressive parties amassed a total of 2,236,155 votes that may give the bloc up to six seats in the 18th Congress, just one less than its current number of representatives.
Bayan Muna is set to have three seats after garnering 1,117,403 votes representing 4.01% of all party list votes cast.
It placed second behind high-spending ACT-CIS Party, the only other party to win three seats.
Gabriela Women’s Party placed 12th in the race, garnering 449,440 votes representing 1.61% of all party list votes cast and winning one seat.
ACT Teachers Party came close behind at 15th place, with 395,327 votes representing 1.42% of all party list votes cast and winning one seat.
Gabriela Womens’ and ACT Teachers’ each have two sitting representatives in the current 17th Congress.
Both groups are the only parties in their respective sectors elected to any legislature in the entire world.
At 51st place and the last group to win a seat is Kabataan Party, garnering 196,385 votes representing 0.70% of all party list votes cast.
Anakpawis, however, failed to win a seat, placing at 62nd place with 146,511 votes representing 0.53% of all party list votes cast.
The NBOC is set to proclaim all 51 winning parties at seven o’clock tonight at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City.
Gabriela Womens’ Party has two seats, ACT Teachers Party has two more while Bayan Muna, Kabataan and Anakpawis have one each in the current 17th Congress.
The bloc lost one seat in May 13’s elections.
Earlier, the Makabayan Bloc complained of threats and harassments of its campaigners, members and supporters by the military and police.
A massive “zero vote” was also launched in Mindanao prior to the elections while Davao City mayor Sara Duterte openly called on her constituents not to vote for Makabayan parties.
Makabayan members also suffered two massacres in Negros Island and arrests of supporters in Bulacan and Bohol whiles its supporters were prevented from voting in several regions across the country.
On election day last May 13, Philippine National Police officers distributed newsletters tagging Makabayan parties as communist fronts.
“Despite many reports of fraud, the Rodrigo Duterte regime cannot defeat the people’s will,” Bayan Muna second nominee Ferdinand Gaite earlier told Kodao. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)
Makabayan senatorial bet Neri Colmenares said he will not concede defeat in the face of massive fraud in Monday’s national polls.
Citing “brazen” illegal partisan activities by the police and military against Makabayan’s national and local bets, Colmenares said he remains undefeated by the elections that are “not normal.”
“How can I concede to a rotten electoral exercise that has basically deceived, bribed, intimidated and manipulated our people into electing the worst kinds of leaders imaginable? I cannot,” he said.
“It would have been easy to concede had I lost in a fair and honest elections. But this year’s elections were hardly fair or honest. Besides, this is no longer about me but about giving our people a fair chance to exercise their constitutional right to suffrage,” Colmenares explained.
The former Bayan Muna representative, who has remained at the 24th spot since the start of the canvassing, accused Rodrigo Duterte government of unleashing intensified, tokhang-style police and military operations in Bicol, Eastern and Western Visayas that are known progressive bailiwicks meant to prevent Makabayan supporters from voting.
Northern Dispatch also reported that Makabayan supporters received death threats to dissuade them from campaigning and voting in Cagayan Valley.
In addition to Mindanao still languishing under Martial Law, the massive human rights abuses also resulted in at least two massacres and a state of terror in communities during the campaing period, Colmenares said.
The activist candidate also said the Philippine National Police were caught red-handed distributing black propaganda materials against Makabayan in various polling centers in Metro Manila on election day.
‘Duterte as first violator’
Colmenares said it was President Duterte who led in the violation of various election laws.
“We saw how the President, using his presidential platform, led the vilification of the opposition and progressive candidates, dishing out insults and lies at every opportunity. This year, honesty as a qualification for public office was openly thrown out the window. And vote buying was justified by the highest official of the land,” Colmenares said.
He added that Duterte and his allies threatened and intimidated local politicians into supporting their candidates and denying the opposition and progressive candidates the opportunity to campaign at the grassroots.
“I have never seen so fearful a set of local politicians than now,” he revealed.
Colmenares also cited how the Duterte administration used government resources, funds and facilities to promote pro-Administration candidates, especially those favored by the President.
Widespread violations by administration candidates
Colmenares said pro-administration parties and candidates openly broke election rules that should not have been allowed by the Commission on Elections (Comelec)
“We saw how the rules – from postering and other campaign activities to widespread vote buying – were being flouted with impunity up to election day, and the Comelec blind or helpless about it,” Colmenares said.
He said he saw how candidates were already campaigning, spending hundreds of millions on TV and radio advertisments prior to campaign period.
“But that was nothing compared to the deluge of ads during the campaign period, skirting whatever limits we’re supposed to have on campaign spending and advertising,” Colmenares said.
There were unprecedented failures in the vote counting machines and SD cards used to run those machines on election day itself, Colmenares said.
He also cited the withholding of transmitted results from the public for seven hours Monday evening on “some flimsy technical glitch that had never happened in the past three automated elections.”
“Many of us slept and woke up to the TV screen showing 12 winning senators, not knowing what happened,” he revealed.
He also recalled that he filed resolutions to investigate election fraud in the automated election in his three terms in Congress as Bayan Muna representative.# (Raymund B. Villanueva)
Nagtungo sa Commission on Elections o COMELEC ang iba’t-ibang grupo para magprotesta kaugnay sa naganap na dayaan sa nakaraang eleksyon noong Mayo 13.
Ayon sa Bayan Muna, dapat ipaliwanag ng COMELEC kung bakit madaming pumalya at nagka-aberya na precint count optical scan o PCOS machine sa ibat-ibang presinto. Marami ring reklamo ng vote buying, pananakot at paninira laban sa mga progresibong partylist at kandidato.
Nais nila na managot ang COMELEC dahil sa kapalpakan nito sa pangangasiwa ng eleksyon. Hinayaan din umano nito na makapamayagpag ang administrasyon at magbuhos ng rekurso ng taumbayan para manalo lalo na sa Senado.
Nauna namang nagprotesta ang mga kabataan sa Philippine International Convention Center o PICC noong Mayo 13 dahil sa napaulat na paninira ng PNP sa mga progresibong partylist. Iniulat na namamahagi ng babasahin ang ilang pulis sa mga botante na laban sa mga nasabing partylist. (Bidyo ni: Joseph Cuevas/ Kodao)
Nagpamigay ng newsletter ang mga kagawad ng Manila Police District ng official newsletter ng Philippine National Police na Pulis Serbis Balita na naglalaman ng paninira sa mga partidong kasapi ng Makabayan bloc sa mismong araw ng halalan.
Pinuntahan ng Kodao Productions ang mga mga polling center kung saan ipinakalat ng mga pulis ang kanilang diyaryo.
Noong tinanong, itinuro na lamang ng mga pulis ang Kampo Crame upang sagutin ang maaring kaso ng partisan election activity na kanilang isinagawa laban sa grupo ng Makabayan.
(Ulat nina Jola Diones-Mamangun at Marya Salamat; camera ni Ipe Soco; editing ni Jo Maline D. Mamangun. Libreng background music mula sa https://www.fesliyanstudios.com)
Police and Philippine Army reservists did not let up on its campaign against progressive parties seeking re-election in today’s polls.
The Facebook page of the Iloilo City Police Office and multiple Facebook accounts of Army reservists in Mindanao shared May 12 a post that falsely reported that the Commission on Elections has disqualified six partylist groups under the Makabayan bloc— Bayan Muna, Anakbayan, Anakpawis, ACT-Teachers, Gabriela and Anakbayan, poll fact checker Tsek.ph reported early Monday morning.
The group said social media monitoring tool Crowdtangle identified six other Facebook accounts that posted the false claim as the 8th Infantry “Dependable” Battalion, Philippine Army; Ask Jay Lee; Joint Reserve Task Force “Metro Davao”; CMO 11rcdg; 1st Metro Davao Ready Reserve Infantry Battalion Philippine Army; and 1105th Ready Reserve Infantry Battalion Peace Keepers.
“Diego Pagbabago’s status states that six partylist groups were disqualified but its headline reads, ‘Comelec disqualifies five partylist, days before election,’” it added.
The full text of the post:
Disqualified. Yan ang hatol ng Comelec sa Partylist na tatakbo sana ngayong halalan 2019. Ang kadahilanan ng Comelec sa pagsuspendi sa limang Partylist ay dahil sa aktibo nitong pakikilahok upang pabagsakin ang gobyerno. Ang pagdisqualify ay ugat sa isang petisyon na inihain ni Angel Aguilar sa Comelec upang kanselahin ang rehistro ng anim na Partylist Bayan Muna, Anak Bayan, Anakpawis, Act-Teachers, Gabriela and Anakbayan Partylist (Disqualified. That is the decision of Comelec on Partylist running in the 2019 election. The reason Comelec suspended the five Partylist is they are involved in overthrowing the government. The disqualification stems from a petition by Angel Aguilar before the Comelec to cancel the registration of the six Partylist Bayan Muna, Anak Bayan, Anak Pawis, Act-Teachers, Gabriela and Anakbayan Partylist).
The Comelec has not decided the petition filed against the six groups on April 26 by one Angela O. Aguilar, Tsek.ph said.
Siegfred Deduro, vice chairman of Makabayan in the Visayas, said in a statement to the Iloilo media that the disqualification claim is not true.
“Our partylist groups remain (to be) legitimate candidates under the partylist elections and (they) maintain their high honor and prestige as gamechangers in the House of Representatives,” Deduro, former Bayan Muna Representative, told Tsek.ph.
Bayan Muna is among the top partylist groups in Pulse Asia’s latest pre-election survey.
The post is no longer accessible at Diego Pagbabago and the other accounts.
Tsek.ph is fact-checking project for the Philippines’ 2019 elections that counts the University of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila University, and De La Salle University as its academic partners as well as media outfits. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)
Idinaos ng Makabayang Koalisyon ng Mamamayan o Makabayan ang kanilang Miting De Avance noong Mayo 7 sa Plaza Miranda sa Quiapo sa Maynila.
Dumalo ang mga tagasuporta, organisasyon at kasaping mga partylist sa ilalim ng Makabayan. Kabilang na dito ang Bayan Muna, ACT Teachers, Gabriela Women’s Party, Anakpawis at Kabataan.
Inihapag ng mga partylist ang kanilang plataporma para sa susunod na kongreso kabilang na dito ang tuluyang paglaban sa TRAIN Law, tunay na reporma sa lupa, ganap na libreng edukasyon, pag-giit sa mataas na sahod at pagbasura sa kontraktwalisasyon.
Ayon sa Makabayan, sa kabila nang matinding atake ng administrasyon, kawalan ng pondo at paninira mula sa mga kalabang partido, naitaas nila ang laban sa elektoral na pakikibaka sa nakalipas na mga buwan.
Muling ipinakilala at hiniling ng Makabayan na suportahan ang 11 kandidato nito sa eleksyon sa Mayo 13. Ito ay sina Atty. Neri Colmenares, Atty. Chel Diokno, Atty. Florin Hilbay, Erin Tañada, Leody de Guzman, Atty. Sony Matula, Senador Grace Poe, Senador Nancy Binay, Senador Bam Aquino, Samira Gutoc at Serge Osmeña.
Ayon sa Makabayan ito ang magiging “Independent Senate” na siyang tunay na magsusulong ng interes at kagalingan ng taumbayan. (Bidyo nila Maricon Montajes, Carlo Francisco at Joseph Cuevas/ Kodao)