06 February 2012
The Partido ng Manggagawa (Labor Party-Philippines) made the commemoration of the 11th death anniversary of its founding hero, Filemon “Ka Popoy” Lagman, an occasion to revive labor’s campaign for reforms beyond the impeachment of the country’s high officials.
“If we want no repeat of the failed Edsa II, campaign for reforms must extend beyond the removal of high officals. With the whole system corrupted in this country, a total cleansing is therefore necessary not only in the judiciary but in all branches of government. In addition is the pressing necessity to reverse the country’s anti-labor and anti-poor economic policies such as cheap labor and contractualization schemes,” said Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) chair Renato Magtubo.
It can be recalled that it was Ka Popoy Lagman who led the campaign for the total cleansing of government by putting forward the call “resign all” during the height of the impeachment trial of then President Joseph Estrada in 2000. He was assinated inside the University of the Philippines campus on February 6, 2001, a week after Gloria Arroyo assumed office.
The late Lagman argued then that simply replacing Erap with Gloria without first emabarking on major political and economic reforms would render the whole process an empty political exercise. Expectedly Erap was removed but the country suffered another nine years of plunder under Arroyo.
Today, PM and the Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA) kick off their “Reporma lagpas kay Gloria at Corona” (reforms beyond Arroyo and Corona) campaign in a picket held at the Senate where Corona’s flip-flopping on the PAL issue is expected to be raised.
“Now we are in front of another impeachment trial, the Coronavela that has the single objective of removing the Chief Justice. While it is a must to remove Corona for being unfit and corrupt, the truth remains that corruption occupies not only the streets of Padre Faura but all the branches of government, thus the need to extend the reform agenda beyond this process,” explained Magtubo.
“Habang api ang manggagawa sa PAL, alam din ng marami na hindi lang si CJ Corona ang opisyal ng gubyerno na binubusog ng mga negosyanteng gaya ni Lucio Tan,” added Magtubo.
The labor leader said that on the issue of corruption, labor will also extend its campaign on labor justice by calling for reforms and cleansing in the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) as well as the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) where ‘decisions for sale’ is also common knowledge.
Apart from that, labor groups will also intensify its call for an end to contractualization policy which they claim is more fundamental than waiting for another piece of evidence of Corona’s ill-gotten wealth presented and hotly debated in the Senate.