Wednesday, February 8, 2012

PALEA challenges PAL to testify at impeachment trial

Press Release
February 8, 2012

The Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA) held a rally at noon today to support the testimony of Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines (FASAP) president Roberto Anduiza who will undergo cross-examination. PALEA is challenging Philippine Airlines (PAL) management to testify too at the impeachment trial.

“PAL management should face the music. PAL employees and the Filipino people deserve to know the truth behind allegations that Lucio Tan had influenced the Supreme Court through Chief Justice Renato Corona,” said Gerry Rivera, PALEA president.

Some one hundred PALEA members picketed the Senate from 12 noon to 1:00 pm in their third straight day of keeping watch over the impeachment deliberations. Anduiza testified yesterday on Corona’s intervention in the recall of the Supreme Court decision on 1,400 flight attendants after a mere letter from PAL lawyer Estelito Mendoza. In the impeachment proceedings last week, public prosecutors accused Corona and his wife of receiving perks, including free trips abroad, from PAL.

In time for President Benigno Aquino III’s birthday, Rivera quipped that “Aquino has a heart for Grace Lee but none for PAL workers.” PALEA also raised the call “Justice for workers, Reforms beyond Gloria and Corona” as a challenge to the Aquino administration’s so-called campaign for good governance. Members of Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) also joined PALEA in the rally at the Senate.

Renato Magtubo, PM chair, said that “Like the rest of the people, we want to believe that the prosecution of Gloria and her followers is the start of fundamental reforms. But without any signs of real changes then such is mere wishful thinking.”

In the press conference yesterday of the “Ang Tipo Kong Chief Justice Movement,” PALEA and PM joined the League of Cities of the Philippines and other groups in calling for people’s participation in the impeachment trial as stakeholders and not just spectators.

“We appeal to our fellow workers to raise their voices as to what standards should a Chief Justice be held to. We cannot have a Supreme Court that will recall a ruling in favor of thousands of flight attendants due to a letter from respondent’s counsel,” Rivera argued.

Magtubo explained that “As it stands now, the so-called campaign for good governance by PNoy looks no more than a factional fight among the elite. This is because there is no difference between the regimes of Arroyo and Aquino with regards to labor policy, neoliberal economics and social programs. The clash between Corona and PNoy looks more like a case of the kettle calling the teapot black and the teapot accusing the kettle of being ebony.”

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