March 01, 2012
Members of the Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA) has declared no break in their campaign for labor justice even as the prosecutors in the ongoing impeachment trial against Chief Justice Renato Corona rested its case and the impeachment court took a week-long recess.
Some 100 PALEA members staged a rally at the Court of Appeals (CA) where its case against the outsourcing scheme of Philippine Airlines (PAL) is pending. PALEA members appealed on CA justices not to do a Corona whose flip-flopping decision on the FASAP case, they believed, was greatly influenced by special privileges PAL extended to him and his wife.
“No ‘Platinum’ decision on PALEA case, please!” cried PALEA members who remain defiant against the airline’s implementation of its outsourcing and contractualization plan. PALEA members still maintain a protest camp ouside PAL’s In-flight Center and Catering Services building along MIA Road since they were locked out by the management in October 1, 2011.
It is recalled that the prosecution’s attempt to present PAL executive Enrique Javier as witness for Article 3 to shed light on the allegation that CJ Corona and his wife received privileges from PAL while the FASAP case remains pending at the SC, was blocked by the impeachment court.
“Since Javier’s testimony and evidences were not presented in the impeachment court due to procedural prohibitions, we believe that the pubilc has the right to know what lies behind PAL’s platinum card and its significance to labor cases pending before the courts
PAL’s platinum card, as stated by the defense lawyer, is being offered to VIPs, including high government officials. But under the Constitution and the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, the Chief Justice and all other government officials are barred from soliciting or receiving such privileges to avoid conflict of interest and maintain probity and integrity in public service.
CJ Corona and his wife Cristina have PAL Platinum Card No. A752 and A753 respectively. As platinum card holders, they enjoy free and unlimited business class travel privileges, both local and international, which the couple eagerly availed in 2010 and 2011.
“We hope and pray that PALEA does not suffer the fate of FASAP whose victory, after 13 long years of struggle for justice, was averted by a ‘Pilato-num’ decision of the Chief Justice,” stated PALEA President Gerry Rivera.
Before the rally at the CA, PALEA members went around the university belt in Manila in a motorcade to drum up support from the students. The union and its supporters in the labor and civil society movement extend their boycott campaign against PAL and Air Philippines among the students in anticipation for the surge of passengers back to the provinces after the end of the semester.