July 28, 2014
Workers led by the militant Partido ng Manggagawa (PM), the fighting union Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA) and the labor coalition Nagkaisa joined the counter-SONA rally this afternoon. The workers contingent merged with the mobilization of groups Freedom from Debt Coalition and Kontra Pork that marched along
Ave. from Tandang Sora at 1:00 p.m. to the
Batasang Pambansa. PM chapters in Cebu, Bacolod,
Davao and held similar actions
today. General Santos
PM slammed government policies that exacerbated social inequality amidst economic growth. “PNoy’s inclusive growth is rhetoric without results, just like ‘daang matuwid’ that has been exposed as a myth by the persistence of pork barrel and the controversial DAP,” asserted Wilson Fortaleza, PM spokesperson.
As proof of growing inequality, Wilson Fortaleza pointed to the undiminished number of jobless Filipinos in contrast to the inflation in wealth of the rich under the five years of the Aquino administration. “In January 2010, unemployment and underemployment rates were 7.3% and 19.7% respectively and they basically remained unchanged at 7.5% and 19.5% in January of this year. Meanwhile the wealth of Henry Sy, the richest Filipino, ballooned from USD5 billion in 2010, when Aquino came in, to USD11.4 billion this year according to Forbes,” he elaborated.
“How can there be inclusive growth when PNoy allows contractualization to run rampant and the prices of basic commodities and services like rice and electricity to rise unregulated?,” Fortaleza argued.
PM also called for a citizen’s audit of the DAP to investigate any anomalies and patronage in the disbursement of the billions in people’s money and workers taxes.
PM members brought makeshift cutouts of the number “5” to symbolize inaction on worker demands for the last five years. The raised by the group rallyists include: “Ika 5 taong SONA ni PNoy: Busabos pa rin ang Boss!” and “Sa 5 SONA ni PNoy: Walang naituwid na patakaran, Walang naitawid mula sa kahirapan!”