workers and poor join broad anti-pork protests
Militants bring empty pots
and pans to the streets, calls for freedom for corruption, poverty and
Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino
June 12, 2014
QUEZON CITY – Some 4,000 members of the militant Bukluran ng
Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) – from trade unions and urban poor
associations – took to the streets today to join the broad people's
anti-pork movement. The protest is the biggest anti-corruption rally
since the Million People March in Luneta last August 26.
The BMP converged at along Plaza Salamanca along Taft Avenue and Kalaw
Avenue at around 1:00 p.m. before marching to the Bonifacio Shrine
near the Manila City Hall for the 3:00 joint program.
Other groups had assembly points at Sta. Cruz Church, Liwasang
Bonifacio and Welcome Rotonda.
Banging Empty Pots and Pans: Poverty for the Workers and the Poor,
Luxury for Trapos and Political Dynasties
BMP President Leody de Guzman said, "Workers and the poor have brought
empty pots and pans in today's Independence Day protests to highlight
their worsening poverty amidst the affluence and luxury enjoyed by the
trapos (traditional politicians) and political dynasties".
"Not only are starvation wages further slashed by withholding taxes,
public funds are used to fill the pockets of corrupt politicians and
their crafty cohorts like Janet Napoles and Godofredo Roque. Even the
unemployed millions bear the tax burden when they pay the 12% VAT
while buying their basic necessities. Worse, the national coffers are
systematically plundered by both elected and appointed officials,
whose sanitized SALNs (statement of assets, liabilities and net worth)
blatantly reveal that the entire state bureaucracy is an elitist
millionaires' club!," he clarified.
Freedom to Exploit the Toiling Masses, Freedom to Choose our Elitist
He added, "As the Philippine government commemorates the country's
so-called day of independence, the BMP finds no reason to celebrate
under an elitist democracy that reeks with the stench of continuous
corruption scandals. The kind of freedom that the Filipino people
attained after the much-avowed restoration of democracy after the 1986
EDSA revolution is nothing but the freedom of the oligarchs to exploit
the toiling masses and the freedom of the voting public to choose
Investigate, Prosecute and Jail All, Not Just Pogi, Sexy and Tanda!
Gie Relova, Secretary-General of the BMP National Capital Region-Rizal
chapter, who led the group's contingent from Kalaw to the main
assembly in Bonifacio Shrine, declared, "The workers and the poor are
one with the Filipino people in its broadening protests against
corruption. However, we emphatically emphasize that the present
political controversies must lead to the investigation, prosecution
and incarceration of all crooks and thieves in government, not just
opposition senators Revilla, Estrada and Enrile. We challenge the
Noynoy administration to "jail all" including its allies in
government. If there is any truth to his electoral rhetoric "tuwid na
daan", it must investigate all those implicated in the pork barrel
scam, particularly Cabinet Secretaries Butch Abad and Prospero Alcala
of the DBM and DA, respectively, TESDA chief Joel Villanueva and
Senate President Franklin Drilon".
Privilege speeches by Revilla and Estrada did not gain support nor
sympathy from the underprivileged masses Relova explained, "The BMP
vows to educate the millions of unorganized Filipinos so that they
will not used as cannon-fodders in the squabbling among rivaling elite
factions. The recent privilege speeches by Revilla and Estrada did not
gain an iota of support nor sympathy from the underprivileged masses.
While their defense may expose the brand of selective justice by the
Liberal Party to attack its rivals, it does not prove their innocence.
The beleaguered senators have only justified the long-held public
opinion that trapos, from whatever political party, are generally
corrupt. Hence, the BMP is calling for total cleansing and meaningful
reforms in government, particularly, in people's participation in
governance and in the budgetary process".
"The Filipino people deserve to be part of the body-politic, not only
as voters during elections and as taxpayers when we receive our
salaries or buy our families' needs. We demand not just transparency
in government records, through the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill
but also democratic control in the drafting and implementation of the
budget. After all, the people – especially the workers are the most
tax-compliant sector of Filipino society," he concluded.