pressed to intervene in Malaysia
A Party-list House
representative appealed Jan. 28 to Congress to urge President Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo to exert all diplomatic efforts to press the Malaysian
government in extending its Jan. 31 deadline for the deportation of
alleged illegal migrants including some 170,000 Filipinos.
masses) Rep. Crispin Beltran also denounced Foreign Affairs Secretary
Alberto Romulo for his inaction on the imminent deportation of Filipino
Aside from the
deportation threat, the Malaysian government has said it will prosecute
all arrested undocumented migrants on pain of imprisonment and caning.
In 2001, hundreds of
Filipinos were herded like cattle into ships and repatriated to the
Philippines. At least six Filipino children were among those who died.
* * *
Hacienda Looc bombing
a prelude to Luisita-like carnage?
The secretary general
of Anakpawis party-list has accused government authorities of using
military force to harass farmers of Hacienda Looc in Nasugbu, Batangas who
are opposed to the Harbor
Town project of the Manila South Coast
Development Corporation (MSDC).
The incident, said
secretary general Cherry Clemente in a Jan. 24 statement, “smacks of the
same brazen violence and illegality shown in the tragic massacre of the
Hacienda Luisita strikers last November.
Osmundo Bautista, a
leader of the farmers group Ugnayan ng Mamamayan Laban sa Pagwasak sa
Kalupaan sa Hacienda Looc (Umalpas-Ka), and several others were injured
when MSDC, the LRTK Construction, and the 310 Construction reportedly used
dynamites to level the land owned by the Hacienda Looc's farmers.
after the MSDC's incursions into the 8,650-hectare Hacienda Looc, south of
Metro Manila, which had been marked for land redistribution to its
resident-farmers. The MSDC is going ahead with its controversial
eco-tourism project which is expected to displace thousands of farmer
families. The case is pending at the Supreme Court.
* * *
8 of 10 Filipinos thumb down water rate
Eight out of 10
Filipinos think that the rate hike implemented starting this month by
Maynilad Water Services Inc. and Manila Water Company Inc. is
unreasonable, according to the latest survey by Ibon Foundation.
Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS-RO) allowed private concessionaires
Maynilad and Manila Water to increase tariffs by 52 percent and 16
percent, respectively. From P19.92 per cubic meter in 2004, the average
tariff of Maynilad is now P30.19, while Manila Water raised its average
tariff from last year's P13.99 to P16.17.
Asked if the water
rate increase of Maynilad and Manila Water is reasonable, 83.47 percent of
the 1,313 respondents said no. Only 3.2 percent said yes while 13.33
percent said they don't know.
* * *
Soldiers, cops real threat to Luisita
strike - KMP
The militant peasant
organization Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) demanded Jan. 28 the
withdrawl of all policemen deployed in the strike-bound Hacienda Luisita
sugar estate. The pullout, KMP secretary general Danilo Ramos said, would
create the conducive atmosphere for resuming negotiations between the
Cojuangco-Aquinos and the strikers.
In a dialogue with
Philippine National Police Chief Director General Edgardo Aglipay in Camp
Ramos said that labeling the strike being maintained by thousands of
unionized farm workers and milling laborers at Hacienda Luisita as a
national security matter "a pretext to justify their increasing presence
in the estate."
The real threat, the
peasant leader said, is the military and the police. "Wasn’t they who
massacred seven strikers last Nov. 16?," he said.
* * *
The Alyansa ng mga
Mamamayang Nagkakaisa sa Hilagang Quezon (ALMANA-HQ), an alliance of
organizations of the typhoon victims in Real, Infanta and General Nakar in
Quezon province, denounced Environment Secretary Mike Defensor Jan. 26 for
breaking his own directive allowing typhoon victims to use logs that were
swept down by landslides in rebuilding their homes and rehabilitating
their province from the devastation caused by late last year's typhoons.
Many of the logs and
trees uprooted during the typhoons have disappeared and no lumber has been
given to the thousands of victims, ALMANA leaders said.
spokesperson Meling Rotaquio said only a few moneyed individuals with
power saws were able to take advantage of the Defensor’s order. Most of
the logs have been taken over by the DENR-authorized sawmills and storage
sites in Real, Mauban and Atimonan, he added.
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