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Pahayag ni former Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista kay yumaong Fidel Agcaoili

Ginanap noong Agosto 8 ang isang birtwal na parangal para kay yumaong NDF Chief Negotiator Fidel Agcaoili. Pumanaw si Ka Fidel noong Hulyo 23 dahil sa sakit. Iba’t ibang personalidad na mga kaibigan at nakasama ni Ka Fidel ang nagpaabot ng pakikidalamhati at nagsalaysay ng kani-kanilang kwento sa kanya.

Isa sa mga nakiramay ay ang dating alkalde ng Quezon City na si Herbert Bautista. Nakasama niya si Ka Fidel sa ilang peace talks na naganap noong mga nakaraang taon.

Ayuda para sa mga drayber, hiniling sa isang pagkilos

Isang maiksing pagkilos ang isinagawa ng mga drayber sa araw mismo ng paggawa sa isang barangay sa Quezon City. Ito ay para manawagan ng ayuda mula sa pamahalaan.

Simula nang ipataw ang lockdown ay hindi pa sila nakakakuha ng tulong kagaya ng Social Amelioration Program. Nagtatanong ang mga drayber na may-ari ng sarili nilang mga sasakyan kung kasali ba sila sa dapat mabigyan ng tulong dahil nawalan din sila ng hanapbuhay dahil sa lockdown. # (Bidyo ni Joseph Cuevas/ Kodao)

Mga mamimili sa Krus na Ligas, nanawagan ng mass testing

Sa unang araw ng ipinangakong community-based mass testing para sa COVID-19, nagbitbit ng plakards ang ilang mamimili sa barangay Krus na Ligas.

Ilan sa mga panawagan ay ang kagyat na pagpapatupad ng mass testing, at tuloy-tuloy na pamamahagi ng ayuda.

Ayon sa Quezon City government, nakatakdang isalang ang 150 katao sa unang araw ng mass testing. Sa kasalukuyan, wala pa ring naitatalang positibong kaso ng COVID-19 ang barangay. # (Bidyo ni Maricon Montajes)

Kadamay chides officials for telling lies about hungry protesters

The Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay) chided government officials for telling lies about the violent dispersal of protesting and hungry residents of Sitio San Roque in Barangay Bagong Pag-Asa in Quezon City Tuesday morning, April 1.

The urban poor group slammed interior and local government undersecretary Jonathan Malaya for alleging that Kadamay instigated the protest action along Epifanio delos Santos Avenue when the protesters were in fact members of a different group called the Sandigan ng Maralitang Nagkakaisa (SaMaNa).

“Saan naman galing ang impormasyon ni Malaya? Napakabilis naman niyang magimbento ng kuwento,” Kadamay chairperson Gloria Arellano said in a statement. (Where did Malaya get his information? He is so quick in inventing stories.)

Kadamay said Malaya accused the group of “fooling the residents to merely dramatize issues and make the government look bad as part of Leftist propaganda.”

But Arellano said Malaya’s allegation is false and is an attempt to misdirect the issue of hunger among urban poor communities during the government’s enhanced community quarantine order due to the corona virus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

“Ang usapin dito, kagutuman at panganib sa kalusugan ng mahihirap habang abusado ang sundalo, pulis at emergency powers ni Duterte, kaya inaresto sila at di tinulungan,” Arellano said. (The issue here is hunger and the danger to people’s health, while the military, police and President Rodrigo Duterte’s emergency powers are abusive. That is why the victims were arrested, instead of being helped.)

Arellano also rebuked Philippine National Police (PNP) deputy chief Guillermo Eleazar who hinted at the possibility that the action was spurred by Kadamay members from Pandi, Bulacan “looking to incite chaos.”

“Paano naman makakarating ng Quezon City ang mga taga Bulacan sa ganitong panahon?” Arellano asked. (How can those from Bulacan reach Quezon City at this time?)

Kadamay said Tuesday’s protest action was a spontaneous act by hungry residents demanding food and social services promised by President Duterte when he ordered the lockdown last March 15.

The urban poor group said that mass arrests and the gross lack of social services has been the defining feature of how the administration has handled the COVID 19 pandemic. 

As of March 30, the PNP has tallied around 17,000 arrests while only 3,000 Filipinos have been tested for the virus. 

“Simula pa lamang ng pandemic, dahas, aksyong military at tila martial law na ang naging tugon ng administrasyong Duterte. Hindi nakakagulat kung bakit biglaang kumikilos ang tao pagkat hindi na nila matiis ang gutom na hindi pinapansin ng mga nasa Malacañang,” Arellano said. (Since the pandemic start, violence, militarism and virtual martial law characterized the Duterte administration’s actions. We are not surprised that spontaneous actions are being held by hungry residents who are being ignored by the Palace.) 

Arellano also stressed that the Duterte government should stop delaying and immediately release the social assistance it promised to low income families who are subjected to risks posed by the virus. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)

33 percent rise in rice allowance for QC teachers

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) expressed elation over the approval of a bigger quarterly rice allowance for Quezon City public school teachers and employees.

“This is a victory for the long campaign of the Quezon City Public School Teachers Association (QCPSTA) and the ACT Teachers Union-National Capital Region,” ACT national president Joselyn Martinez told Kodao.

The local government of Quezon City announced Monday that Mayor Herbert Bautista approved City Ordinance 2754-2018 increasing the rice allowance of the city’s public school personnel from P1,500.00 to P2,000.00 “in recognition of their valuable services to society.”

The new ordinance amended City Ordinance 2312-2014 that granted a P1,500 quarterly rice allowance to teaching and non-teaching personnel of the Division of City Schools of Quezon City.

The increased benefit will be implemented in the first quarter of 2019, the QC government said.

Martinez cited QC Councilors Ally Medalla and Raquel Malangen as authors of the ordinance.

“This is the result of QCPSTA’s alliance work with the city councilors. [It] talked to all members of the City Council as well as Mayor Bautista and Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte,” Martinez said.

Martinez called on the city government to revert to Landbank in dispensing teachers’ local allowances citing delays caused by local government unit’s transfer to BPI Globe Banko. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)

Herbert Bautista willing to help NDFP consultants

Quezon City Mayor Herbert M. Bautista is willing to take cognizance of National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) consultants who may be rearrested after a government official threatened to have their bail bonds cancelled.

In a statement released through the Quezon City Public Information Office, Bautista said he is willing to help in any way possible to advance the peace process, including acting as guarantor for the continued freedom of Leftist peace negotiators.

Bautista is GRP peace adviser on local government units and is a member of the government panel’s reciprocal working committee on social and economic reforms.

“If we would be asked and such assistance would be allowed by the courts, we don’t see why not,” Bautista said.

Solicitor General Jose Calida last July 20 threatened to initiate petitions to have courts cancel the bail bonds of at least 18 Leftist negotiators freed last August 2016 after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the suspension of formal talks.

Church leaders, civil society groups and political leaders in the past have taken cognizance of NDFP consultants and other political detainees for humanitarian reasons or to allow them to participate in peace negotiations with the government.

“I personally hope that our NDFP counterparts shall not be ordered rearrested because I wish that formal negotiations will soon resume,” Bautista’s statement said.

“But should it come to that (bail bond cancellation), I will assist in whatever way I can because achieving peace is everyone’s responsibility,” he added.

The NDFP for its part praised Bautista’s statement, saying it shows the local executive is supportive of the continuation of the formal peace negotiations.

“If true, it is nice.  It is good that someone is standing up for the continuation of the talks,” NDFP Negotiating Panel Chairperson Fidel Agcaoili told Kodao Productions.

“What he said is praiseworthy,” NDFP Chief Political Consultant Jose Maria Sison for his part said.

Earlier, NDFP Legal Adviser Edre Olalia said Calida’s threat to have majority of NDFP Peace Consultants rearrested is premature, adding there is no written formal notice of termination yet of the formal peace process.

“It is premature and precipitate. There is yet no written formal notice of termination properly addressed to the NDFP as mandatorily required by the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG), which is a solemn bilateral agreement that protects negotiators, consultants, staffers, security and other personnel of both Parties involved in the peace negotiations,” Olalia said.

Duterte’s threats to serve notice to the NDFP of the termination of formal peace talks did not push through last week, giving hope it will be revived in the future.

“I hope sobriety shall prevail in order to save the peace process and go back to the reasons why it must be pursued despite periodic challenges along the way,” Olalia said. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)