Group slams awards for AFP officers, vow to block future promotions

We vehemently oppose the handing out of awards to the 2 military officers involved in the illegal arrest of the 43 health workers in Morong, Rizal.

The move is obviously self-serving as it aims to cover up the liability of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in the illegal arrests, illegal detention and torture of the 43. It is a hollow counter-move to the snowballing local and international public opinion in support of the 43.

The citations send the wrong message that human rights abuses committed in the name of counter-insurgency will be rewarded under the Arroyo government. This simply reinforces the climate of impunity that has resulted in numerous abuses in the recent past.

We vow to block any future promotions of the officers involved in the incident, including Maj. Gen. Jorge Segovia under who’s watch torture was committed as well as Col. Aurelio Baladad and Lt. Col. Jaime Abawag who effected the illegal search and arrests.

Complaints before the Commission on Human Rights are also forthcoming within the week against the military. These will be filed through the counsels of the detainees and their families. ###


Diwa han EDSA I padayon nga nabubuhi


February 22, 2010

Makalabay an 24 ka tuig tikang han nahimugso an People Power o kilala liwat komo EDSA I dida han Pebrero 22-25, 1986 nga nakapagpatalsik han diktadurya ni Ferdinand Marcos, buhi la gihapon an diwa han EDSA bisan pa man waray tinuod nga pagbabag-o nga nakita ilarum han upat nga mga presidente katima kan Marcos.

“Duha nga mayor nga leksyon an aton nakuha tikang han People Power han 1986: una, napamatud-an naton nga pinaagi han nagkakaurusa nga kusog ngan paggios han katawhan, kaya naton magdaog ha bisan ano pa man nga pakigbisog, ilabi na an magpatalsik hin presidente; ngan ikaduha, mas napadig-on an aton pagkita nga diri basta-basta masosolbar an krisis ngan kakurian nga nakaugat ha aton nasud pinaagi la han pagliwan hin presidente,” sumala pa kan Bong Signo, Tagapagyakan han Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-Sinirangan Bisayas (BAYAN-SB).

Dugang pa ni Signo tungod nga tiarabot na liwat an eleksyon, diri kita dapat magpadara han mga halanguhang nga mga saad han mga tradisyunal nga pulitiko pareho han mga ginsaad han sumaliwan katima han duha nga madinaugon nga People Power.

“Labaw pa ha eleksyon an aton ginhihingita nga pagbabag-o pareho han tinuod nga reporma ha tuna nga nasudnon nga industriyalisasyon nga diri basta-basta maipapatuman pinaagi la han pagliwan hin president,” pahayag ni Signo.

Nagsiring pa an BAYAN-SB nga pareho han esensya han People Power, angay gamiton han katawhan an iya nagkakaurusa nga kusogpara magpadaog hin mga progresibo nga pwersa nga nakandidato ha nasyunal ngan lokal nga pamunuan nga makakabulig pagduso han tinuod nga pagbabag-o, kadungan han ginduduso han hiluag nga katawhan nga nakikigbisog. ###

Privatized power industry to blame for power shortage

News Release
February 19, 2010

Privatized power industry to blame for power shortage

Instead of mapping out a long-term energy plan and setting up new power plants to meet growing needs, government been pre-occupied with selling off its power assets as part of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA). It is now wonder we are heading for a power crisis, said the umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan).

“What the EPIRA has done is to make the national government pre-occupied with selling its power assets to raise revenues and pay off debts. The government then has been utterly dependent on foreign investors who are expected to build new power plants. But if there are no investors because of the low tariffs in the country, how will government meet the rising power demand?” said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.

“The energy security of the country has been entrusted to private firms, mainly foreign. At this crucial juncture of our history when we will be having automated national elections, government seems to be groping in the dark as far as the power crisis is concerned,” Reyes said.

Bayan warned that emergency contracts with power firms will come at a steep price as was the experience during the power crisis during the Ramos administration. During this time, the Ramos government entered into contracts with independent power producers which resulted in the onerous purchased power agreements (PPA). Consumers reeled from the PPA in succeeding years because this formed more than half of the electricity bill. The group said to expect higher rates in the near future.

“Government has no foresight and no will to address the needs of the country. It has chosen the grossly unreliable tact of attracting foreign investors to address a strategic need. To make the country attractive for power investors, government also has to raise power rates and give onerous guarantees such as the PPA,” Reyes said.

“What happened to the Philippine Energy Plan? Why is the country suddenly left without any back-up power at this crucial period leading up to the elections?” he added.

Bayan said that for all intents and purposes, the EPIRA has failed to bring down rates and ensure energy security for the country, eight years after its approval by the Arroyo regime.