Thursday, February 23, 2012

PALEA calls on senators to hear PAL testimony

Press Release
February 23, 2012

The Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA) called on the senators sitting as judges in the impeachement trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona to reconsider and hear the testimony of Philippine Airlines (PAL) management. PALEA also defended its lawyer, Atty. Marlon Manuel, for appearing as a private prosecutor in the trial. “We call on any of the senators who does not have a platinum card in his or her wallet to stand up for truth and move that PAL testify regarding the privileges given to CJ Corona and his wife,” said Gerry Rivera, PALEA president and vice chair of Partido ng Manggagawa.

Meanwhile more than a hundred PALEA members trooped this morning to the Department of Agrarian Reform national office in Quezon City to support scores of peasant leaders who are calling for the resolution of land reform cases, including the distribution of Hacienda Luisita. “It is the alliance of the 99%, the workers and the farmers, which will usher in change in our society that has been made rotten by the corruption and greed of the 1%,” explained Rivera.

He also insisted that the testimony of PAL VP for Sales, Enrique Javier, is relevant in Article 3 of the impeachment complaint since “The platinum card is directly related to the Pilato-num decision of the Supreme Court on the Flight Attendants and Stewards Association (FASAP) case.” Two weeks ago, PALEA had already challenged PAL to appear at the impeachment trial after FASAP president Roberto Anduiza accused CJ Corona of influencing the Supreme Court.

In reply to the House minority’s criticism of Atty. Manuel’s appearance as a private prosecutor, Rivera clarified that PALEA has no “axe to grind” and “vested interest” in ousting CJ Corona since their case against PAL’s outsourcing plan is pending at the Court of Appeals not the Supreme Court. “Rep. Danilo Suarez should get his facts right before he speaks. He might be accused of being one of the government officials given platinum cards, as defense lawyers have declared. Within PAL, it is said that only those who are FOB’s or friends of the boss receive a platinum card as a gift,” Rivera argued.

PALEA has previously staged rallies at the impeachment trial and called for “Reforms beyond Gloria and Corona.” Rivera averrred that Corona and PNoy may be fighting over the fate of Gloria Arroyo and Hacienda Luisita but both are beholden to Lucio Tan. With a mere letter from PAL’s lawyer Estelito Mendoza, Corona’s Supreme Court recalled the ruling in favor of the 1,800 flight attendants of FASAP. But also on the mere say-so from PAL that it is losing money even when the facts deny it, Aquino’s government betrayed the 2,600 ground crew of PALEA.”

He added that “The people want to believe that the prosecution of Gloria and her minions like Corona is the start of fundamental reforms. But without any signs of real changes then such is mere wishful thinking.”

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