Monday, October 17, 2011

PALEA, North Triangle residents occupy Roxas Blvd. as PNoy speaks at NAPC

Press Release
October 17, 2011

Members of the Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association (PALEA) and residents of North Triangle joined forces in a symbolic occupation of
Roxas Boulevard
as President Benigno Aquino III spoke at a national assembly of the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) at the PICC. “The workers and the poor are the 99% of Filipino but why is PNoy siding with Lucio Tan and the Ayalas who represent the 1%,” said Gerry Rivera, PALEA president and vice chair of Partido ng Manggagawa.

Renato Magtubo, PM chair and a delegate to the NAPC assembly, boycotted President Aquino’s keynote speech and instead joined the protest. He said that “I choose to be with the 99% rather than listen to the lies of the president of the 1%. PNoy has betrayed the Filipino workers and the poor as revealed by his government’s decision on the Philippine Airlines (PAL) dispute and on the North Triangle issue.”

Earlier this morning, Rivera and Magtubo jogged together with running priest Fr. Robert Reyes and members of the Freedom from Debt Coalition in a “Justice Run for PAL Workers” which started at the Supreme Court, proceeded to the Courts of Appeals and then finished at
Roxas Boulevard
for the protest with PALEA and North Triangle residents.

Magtubo was referring to the ruling of the Office of the President allowing the outsourcing at PAL and the forcible eviction by police of protesting PALEA members at the Terminal 2. In North Triangle, Malacanang rejected the demand of the North Triangle residents for on-site socialized housing despite the approval by a Technical Working Group of a detailed and comprehensive plan. Ayala Land will develop the North Triangle area and is pushing for the demolition of the urban poor residents.

As part of the symbolic occupation of
Roxas Boulevard
, members of PALEA and the San Roque Community Council-North Triangle Alliance (SRCC-NTA)-Kilos Maralita formed a human chain in front of the Cultural Center of the Philippines. By noon, they partook of a “tanghaliang tuyo” to coincide with President Aquino’s “boodle lunch” with representatives of the NAPC delegates.

Last Saturday, in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street Global Day of Action, PALEA declared their protest camp at PAL’s In-Flight Center as part of the international movement against corporate greed and corruption.

“Similar to
Occupy Wall Street
which has fought eviction by the New York City government and police, we will not surrender our occupation of the airport area despite continuing threats of demolition,”
said Rivera insisted. PAL has reportedly asked the airport police to demolish the campout and PALEA suspects that private security guards are planning to harass the protesters who number more than 1,000 everyday in shifts.

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