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‘Pakana ng gobyerno’

“Ang October plot ay isang pakana ng gobyerno para bigyang katwiran na harangin, i-delay at harasin ang lahat ng makiki-gunita sa araw ng mga magsasaka.”—Pido Gonzales, PAMALAKAYA Southern Tagalog

Teachers commemorate World Teachers’ Day with protests

Teachers from different schools in Metro Manila marched to Mendiola last Friday in Manila to commemorate World Teachers’ Day with a protest rally.

Led by the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) and ACT Teachers Party, they staged a National Day of Action for salary increase and against TRAIN Law of the Duterte Government.

Similar protests and actions were also held in Davao City, Cebu City, Southern Tagalog and Bicol regions.

According to Joselyn Martinez, National Chairperson of ACT, teachers experience the most oppression among government employees despite their leading role in social development.

The Duterte government failed in its promise to increase the salary of public school teachers unlike the military and police which was doubled this year, they said.

Teachers are also overworked due to oppressive policies like the Results-based Performance Management System and Philippine Standards for Teachers, they added.

They were force to attend different seminars and pay from their own pocket while their allowances are often delayed in arriving, Martines added.

According to Rep. France Castro of ACT Teachers Party, the P50 billion budget cut for basic education next year will definitely affect the budget for textbooks, feeding programs and other classroom materials.

The group also condemned recent harassments and intimidations against teachers.

This includes a threat of dismissal of Bacolod teachers if they push through with their planned mass leave. Police tried to prohibit Manila Public School Teachers from distributing leaflets and posters to their colleagues in the activity last October 4.

The teachers also slammed PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde about his warning of contempt to professors who teach ‘rebellious ideas’ to the students, citing that this is an attack following the ‘Red October’ Scare spread by the military and government cover up to the real issues such as inflation rate and TRAIN law.  (Video and report by Joseph Cuevas)

 

Rights groups express alarm over intensified harassment

By Joseph Cuevas

Karapatan and other progressive groups scored the government over recent incidents of harassments and red-tagging of progressive organizations and activists.

Karapatan linked this series of attacks to the alleged ‘Red October’ destabilization plot the military and police said the Communist Party of the Philippines and other groups are about to launch this month.

Karapatan reported that last week, red-tagging incidents by State forces against church leaders and organizations were recorded.

Last September 21, the Karapatan chapter in Cagayan Valley received text messages accusing the organization of being a legal front of the New People’s Army and being “fake humanitarians.”

The group also reported last that last September 29 in Pampanga, a streamer was hung over a bridge in Balibago in Angeles City with a message “Karapatan, terrorist and protector.”

A similar incident happened last September 28 in Zamboanga Del Sur where the perimeter wall of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI) church in Tigbao town were painted with the words “IFI=NPA”.

“UCCP=NPA, IFI=NPA and Bishop Ablon=NPA” were also painted along the highway of Brgy. Lacupayan in Tigbao.

IFI Bishop Antonio Ablon is the chairperson of Karapatan Western Mindanao.

Legal groups red-tagged

Urban poor group Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (KADAMAY) also reported harassments against its chairperson Gloria Arellano and public information officer Michael Beltran.

KADAMAY said two police officers asked for their whereabouts at their office in Quezon City but the two leaders were not around at the time.

The unidentified police officer also queried KADAMAY personnel about Arellano and Beltran’s activities.

Organizers and labor leaders of NutriAsia in Meycauayan in Bulacan also reported harassments by police in civilian clothing were roving around the church where workers were staying.

Incidents of rock throwing also happened after workers ran after fleeing motorcycle-riding men believed to be NutriAsia guards casing the area.

The workers said even Meycauayan Police Supt. Santos Mera was seen around the area looking for the labor leaders.

Mera commanded the violent dispersals of striking Nutriasia workers last June 14 and July 31.

Red October canard

Karapatan said that the Duterte regime is hard-selling the alleged ‘Red October’ plot to further justify its human rights violations.

The group cited the killing of a 43-year old Moro Human Rights Worker in Maguindanao last September 23.

“The regime is conjuring its own monsters, triggered by insecurities which stem from its inability to solve the country’s problems,” Karapatan said.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Peace Center (PPC) said that the so-called ‘Red October’ ouster plot is a lie.

“It is a fabrication aimed at preventing the various legal groups from closing ranks and undertaking bigger joint protest actions. It is a part of scheme to red-tag, demonize and stigmatize the more militant and progressive groups as ‘terrorist’ and ‘communist’ as a prelude to ‘neutralizing’ them with more repressive measures,” the PPC said. #

‘Kalokohan ‘yang Red October na ‘yan’

“Iyong Red October plot na inilalako ng gubyerno, kalokohan talaga iyon. Mabuti pa, pag-usapan na lang ang panawagan ng magsasaka dahil ang Oktubre ay Peasant Month.”—Evangeline Hernandez, Chaiperson, Hustisya

CPP: ‘Red October’ plot an AFP invention

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) denied repeated claims by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) of a so-called Red October plot to oust President Rodrigo Duterte by October.

The CPP said the AFP conjured the fictional plot only to set the stage for the Duterte government’s draconian measures against the people.

“This so-called Red October plot is nothing but an AFP invention. Like the rest of the AFP’s fakery, it is a poorly concocted story. They came up with this ‘intelligence information’ as early as July,” the CPP in a statement said.

The group challenged Duterte and the AFP to show proof especially after Duterte himself recently claimed he is in possession of a recorded phone conversation between the CPP and other groups.

But the AFP continues to push its story as its spokesperson Col. Edgar Arevalo told DZMM Tuesday that so-called legitimate opposition groups such as Tindig Pilipinas and Magdalo refused participation in the plot.

Arevalo cited the groups’ absence at the Rizal Park rally last September 21 commemorating the 46th anniversary of the declaration of martial law by the Ferdinand Marcos dictatorship.

Arevalo claimed that part of the plot involved engaging in massive workers strikes, adding they learned of the plan from digital files and documents recovered from former communist rebels who surrendered.

‘What are Duterte and AFP planning for October?’

The CPP shot back that the real question is not whether there is such a conspiracy but what Duterte and the AFP are plotting for October.

“Is this a foreshadowing of a declaration of martial law by October? Indeed, ‘Red October’ sounds very similar to 1972 claims of a ‘Maoist rebellion’ which Marcos used as justification for declaring martial law and imposing his fascist dictatorship,” the CPP said.

The group said that in hyping up the alleged conspiracy, the clear aim of the AFP is to justify the implementation of increasingly severe measures in the name of “defeating the plot” to target legitimate protest actions which express the sentiments of a disgruntled people.

The revolutionary party said it is very apparent that Duterte and the AFP are increasingly insecure amid the rising economic and political crisis.

The CPP said Duterte has only himself to blame for his regime’s destabilization.

“By turning a deaf ear to the Filipino people’s most urgent demands for an end to the burdensome TRAIN taxes, solution to incessant price increases, wage increases, jobs and job security, as well as their clamor for an end to state terrorism, rampant violations of human rights, narco-politics and bureaucrat capitalist corruption, Duterte is inciting more and more people to rise up in protest and resist his rule,” the CPP said.

‘His own destabilizer’

In a separate statement, the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) said the so-called Red October plot is an obvious attempt to cover-up legitimate consumer actions and public grievances against frequent price hikes.

“Strong public opinion and actions against high rice prices have heightened during the past months and it really shook up Duterte’s leadership,” KMP secretary general Danilo Ramos said.

“Duterte is his own destabilizer. Any ploy or operation plan is not needed for his ouster,” the peasant leader added.
The farmers’ group however added that AFP’s canard could also lead to witch hunting and political persecution of activists and progressive mass leaders.
“The AFP could use this to justify more illegal arrests and detention of activists,” Ramos said, adding that almost 200 individuals were already arrested and detained since 2016 based on trumped-up criminal charges.  # (Raymund B. Villanueva)