June 29, 2012
The umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan led protesters in a march inside Manila’s communities before reaching Mendiola bridge to mark the second year of the Aquino administration. The protesters carried placards denouncing the absence of “genuine change” under the current regime.
The group also announced that it is now preparing to mount a nationwide day of action in time for Aquino’s third State of the Nation Address on July 23.
“It’s been two years of the so-called ‘daang matuwid’ was announced. Gloria Arroyo is under hospital arrest. Gen. Palparan has eluded arrest. And the government has failed to arrest rising unemployment, poverty and hunger. With the situation not getting any better, people are starting to see what this government is really about,” said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.
“Under this regime, the mega-rich have gotten richer and the plunderers and human rights violators of the past have largely gone unpunished. This government thinks it can get by on the basis of PR (public relations) gimmicks. It’s a government that uses ‘weapons of mass deception’ such as the Conditional Cash Transfer scheme, Public-Private Partnership programs and empty anti-corruption rhetoric,” he added.
Bayan said that Aquino will likely highlight two things in his upcoming SONA; the Corona impeachment and the supposed economic growth this year. The president is likely to hail the supposed 6.4% first quarter GDP growth as an achievement. He is also expected to sing praises to the PH stock market. The militant group however is not impressed. Recent surveys have shown that more than half of Filipinos consider themselves poor. Hunger also reached a historic high under Aquino with 4.8 million experiencing hunger according to SWS.
“Aquino will make a big deal about the Corona impeachment and the alleged economic growth the country is said to be experiencing. The reality is that despite Corona’s impeachment, there is no headway in efforts to make GMA truly accountable for plunder, human rights violations, and even the 2004 election fraud,” Reyes said.
“As for the economy, Aquino promised inclusive growth but the opposite is happening. Despite claims of GDP growth; joblessness, hunger and poverty are on the rise if we are to go by recent SWS surveys. While there are now 15 billionaires in the country, there are between 10-11 million families, more than 50% of the total, who consider themselves poor. Most of the poor are in the countryside where land reform remains a major problem. Whatever supposed economic growth registered this year is more in favor of big multinational corporations and their local partners. The mega-rich will have a field day with Aquino’s PPP programs where services and government functions will be privatized,” he added.
Poverty incidence when Aquino took office in 2010 stood at 43%. Even the recent SWS survey on poverty shows that more than 50% of Filipinos consider themselves poor.
Bayan also said that sovereignty, human rights, and accountability have taken setbacks under the Aquino regime.
“Aquino’s so-called daang-matuwid has taken us off the cliff and plunged us deeper in crisis. People are justified in protesting this regime’s policies,” Reyes said. ###