Thursday, March 02, 2006

Labor group calls for continued vigilance until PP 1017 lift

From: KILUSANG MAYO UNO

NEWS RELEASE
March 1, 2006

Labor group calls for continued vigilance until PP 1017 lift

The militant labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) calls on members of the media, lawyers, academic professionals and all progressive organizations and democratic-loving Filipinos to openly and aggressively continue protests for the immediate lifting of Presidential Proclamation 1017 after the Malaca´┐Żang issued a statement on the state of national emergency this morning.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo today said the Palace will decide to lift the state of national emergency after 24 to 72 hours awaiting reports from the Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of National Defense (DND), and Philippine National Police (PNP) regarding the state of destabilization plots, troop control, and general peace and order situation.

KMU National Chairman Elmer Labog said that different sectors should continue defiance of PP1017 on the streets, schools, factories and communities. We must carry on with the fight to defend democracy. It is apparent that Mrs. Arroyo is shaken by the strong protests by the different sectors opposite to her claim that the people accepted her proclamation calmly and peacefully."

The labor leader asked, "How else will the people react calmly as she claimed when the PP 1017 bluntly attacked the democratic, civil and political rights of the people preceding rally bans and crackdown on progressive lawmakers? Arroyo's double talk on PP1017 as a decisive act to preserve democracy is rubbish. Workers are determined to fight Arroyo's brand of autocracy."

Countdown to March 8 protests

Women workers warns of defying rally ban on Int'l Women's Day

A week before the celebration of the international women's day, KMU Women's Department Secretary Nenita Gonzaga said, "Women workers won't be cowed and deterred on March 8 in assembling and expressing our abhorrence and anger to this administration's state of emergency."

"It is a shame that a woman-president should be the one to put democracy to yet another death. Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's proclamation and the preceding events of arresting Anakpawis Rep. and KMU Emeritus Chairperson Crispin Beltran further revealed her true skin as an anti-worker and anti-people president. But we should not be afraid, we should continue to fight," she stressed.

The labor leader said that the preceding rally bans and charging of progressive lawmakers were also the situation under the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. She remembered that political repression was at its height at the same time when workers are being paid inhumane wages amidst spiraling prices of basic commodities and services. While workers conduct strikes to fight this miserable plight, the regime ban strikes and attack picket lines.

Gonzaga is a veteran-woman-labor-leader who also suffered repression during Marcos regime. She was a staff of National Federation of Labor Unions (NAFLU) during the martial law years when Felixberto "Ka Bert" Olalia was a NAFLU Chairman.

Gonzaga was apprehended on Sept. 23. 1972, two days after the declaration of Martial Law on Sept. 21. She said the military took her primarily to frighten and bribe her to turn her and speak against Olalia. But she said that she remained steadfast and loyal to the workers cause.

Meanwhile, KMU International Department Secretary Tess Dioquino said that women workers from other countries are in solidarity in condemning the arrest of Beltran and other progressive lawmakers. National Alliance of Philippine Women in Canada, Grassroots Women, Australian Manufacturing Workers, Filipino Resource Center (FRC), All Pakistan Trade Union Federation, Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) and individuals from Brussels, Belgium, Malaysia and many more expressed support for Beltran.###

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