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‘We will never forget the atrocities! We will continue our fight for justice!’

Reaction to Senator Robin Padilla’s statement re Martial [email protected]

By Amirah Lidasan

Assalamo Alaikum, brother Robin.

Your Bangsamoro brothers and sisters cannot accept your talk asking us to forget the dark years of Martial Law, and “move on” so that we can “grow.”

To forget the decade-long dictatorship is to perpetuate impunity and injustice for the victims of human rights abuses during Martial Law.

As survivors and families of victims of Martial Law, we can never forget the brutal military operations launched to force the Bangsamoro people out of our communities in Mindanao and to subdue the Bangsamoro resistance that defended our communities and fought for our right to self-determination.

The author (left) during the protest actions marking the 50th anniversary of the declaration of martial law by former president Ferdinand Marcos Sr.

How can we forget the killings or “salvaging,” the massacres, the mass arrests and detention, the torture, the burning and destruction of our communities?

Many Bangsamoro children were not only orphaned but became victims themselves as the military, police, and vigilantes committed the worst forms of human rights violations against our people.

On September 24, we will be reminded again of the Palembang Massacre, the death of more than 1,500 Bangsamoro people in the town of Sultan Kudarat in 1972.

To this day, the perpetrators are still not held accountable for these crimes. Worse, they returned to power with the help of a systematized campaign of historical distortion, massive disinformation, electoral fraud, and six-year years of former President Duterte’s fascist rule.

Most of the Bangsamoro victims were not recognized and some were left out of the compensation program. We were again subjected to the same atrocities as former President Duterte unleashed a five-month campaign of military airstrikes and ground operations in Marawi City.

It is disappointing and downright insulting to ask us to forget. We had hoped that your place in the Senate would help amplify our voice for justice, rather than be part of the apologists of the worst human rights violators. #

(The author is an officer of Bayan Muna Party and the Moro-Christian Peoples’ Alliance)

NUJP agrees with Robin vs contractualization but vows to defend ABS-CBN jobs

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) said it agrees with actor Robin Padilla in deploring contractualization and reiterated its call to end the practice in all its forms.

Reacting to Padilla’s comment on media giant ABS-CBN’s franchise problems, the NUJP said it is one with the million of irregular works who are still waiting for the practice to be totally eliminated.

“That is why we also challenge government to make contractualization and all its iterations absolutely illegal as the President repeatedly promised in the past. The millons of contractual workers and the NUJP are still waiting,” the media group said in a statement Friday, February 14.

Padilla said ABS-CBN franchise renewal advocates must take the opportunity to compel the entertainment industry to change its working state.

“Gusto niyo pala itama ang mali, aba’y umpisahan natin sa una. Pag-usapan muna natin ang tamang sweldo, benepisyo at tamang oras ng trabaho ng mga kasama natin sa taping at shooting. Bago niyo ipaglaban ang karapatan ng kumpanya, unahin niyo ‘yung tao ng kumpanya na kasama niyo sa bawat araw sa location at ‘wag niyo proteksyunan lang ang regular employees. Paano ‘yung hindi regular?” the Philippine Star quoted Padilla to have said.

(If you want to correct a wrong, let us start from the beginning. Let us talk first about our co-workers’ just salaries, benefits, and the length of time our co-workers during tapings and shoots. Before you defend the company, you look first at your co-workers at locations. Do not just protect the regular workers. How about the irregular ones?)

Padilla said he is against ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal but called on fellow artists defending the media company to “be real.”

“Magpagamit muna kayo sa mahihirap, sa mga taong nagdala sa inyo sa kasikatan bago sa mga mayayaman,” Padilla, a known supporter of President Rodrigo Duterte, added.

(Be in solidarity with the poor first, those who helped you become famous, before the rich ones.)

Duterte has repeatedly threatened to block ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal.

Duterte’s solicitor general filed petitions before the Supreme Court questioning how ABS-CBN implemented two of its franchises, a move the NUJP is politically motivated.

In agreeing with Padilla on the contractualization issue, the NUJP however asked if the actor issued his statement in defense of current moves to close the company down.

“Doing so may be likened to sinking an entire ship, bringing the entire crew and passengers down along with it, rather than compeling its owners and captain to do right by everyone,” the NUJP said.

The group said they fear for the massive loss of livelihood if ABS-CBN would be shutdown as well as the closure of a media company it adds is an attack to press freedom.

NUJP has repeatedly called for an end to labor-only contracting by the entire media industry in the Philippines. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)