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PLM statement on Philippine President's 100 days in office

by Party of the Laboring Masses (PLM) Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2010 at 7:30 AM

Failure of Leadership Marks P-Noy’s 100 Days in Office President Noynoy Aquino’s first 100 days in office accentuated the problem we will be facing under the six-year term of the new administration: an incompetent leadership that lacks political will to carry through changes in the government and in society at large.

1. Noynoy has failed to act on the jueteng scandal and even continued to defend his friend – DILG undersecretary Rico Puno – despite the latter’s involvement not only in the jueteng payola, but also in the bungling of the hostage crisis on August 23. Even former Pampanga governor “Among Ed” Panlilio criticized Noynoy for keeping quiet on the jueteng scandal, and for lacking the political will to act on the issue.

2. Noynoy has so far failed to act on the hostage-taking fiasco that ended in international embarrassment for the country. He puts the IIRC report, handed over by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima three weeks ago, in the backburner – thereby easing the pressure on his friend Puno and ally Mayor Alfredo Lim who were held accountable by the report to the hostage-taking bloodbath.

3. Noynoy has refused to act even on the Hacienda Luisita issue. Despite the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council’s previous decision of scrapping the dubious stock option deal that has circumvented land reform in the Aquino-Cojuangco hacienda, Noynoy has adopted a “hands-off policy” on the issue. In a family-owned hacienda where seven farm workers were massacred by the military during a strike in 2004, where the issues and the killings were left unresolved to this day, a hands-off policy is tantamount to gross negligence on the part of President Noynoy.

4. Noynoy has so far failed to abide by his promise to “provide adequate housing and uphold every Filipino’s right to a decent home.” His government’s handling of recent demolition of urban poor communities in North Triangle and other areas in Metro Manila showed neglect of the rights and welfare of the residents, and support to the business groups wanting to take over the land. The demolition at North Triangle was stopped temporarily only because the residents fought tooth and nail to keep the community.

5. Noynoy has so far failed to uphold his promise of “investing in quality education” by keeping a hands-off policy on the Congress plan to cut the budget of state universities and colleges by P1.1 billion, and the student and faculty assistance by around P700 million, in 2011.

6. Noynoy has failed to uphold his promise not to impose new taxes. His government has been pushing for the implementation of value-added tax and 250-percent increase in toll fees on the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) which awaits implementation this year. Not to mention the impending increase in MRT and LRT fares toward the end of this year.

7. Noynoy has failed to carry out a clear policy on his government’s “poverty eradication” program. The P21-billion conditional cash transfer program being touted by Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman as a poverty-eradication measure is in fact a high-interest loan from the Asian Development Bank which will burden the future generation. The loan will add to the already high burden of debt repayment which is now ranging at -7 billion annually. Even Noynoy’s flaunting of 4-million grant from the United States government is mere peanuts compared to the yearly debt repayment the country has to chalk up to US multinational lenders. It is in fact designed to bribe Noynoy’s government from pursuing debt moratorium strategy.

There are still many more issues that showcase the failure of leadership of President Noynoy. His style of leadership or non-leadership, i.e., of not taking an active stance and passing on the buck to subalterns, has marked his approach to many pressing political and social issues. The style is aimed at dodging accountability and protecting the interests of his friends, family and allies.

Noynoy’s government is clearly hampered by the type of individuals he keeps in his inner circle. Noynoy has appointed in his cabinet the top brass of big industry (former CEO of big corporations, such as finance secretary Jose Purisima, DPWH secretary Singson, trade secretary Domingo and the likes). In so doing, Noynoy has exposed his government as capitalistic and corporatists, i.e., a government dominated by the economic elites, clans and corporations.

Noynoy’s failure of leadership also showcased the failure of the Edsa system that supposedly supplanted the Marcos dictatorship in 1986. Since then, four presidents have come and gone (Cory, FVR, Erap, Gloria), and we’re now back to another Aquino. But the promises of Edsa have never materialized. It never will. For we’re still trapped in a socio-economic system where a small Philippine elite, political clans, and trapos hold sway over the entire population.

Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM)

Workers Report Card: Zero rating delivered to Pnoys’ first 100 days

Hundreds of militants belonging to Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP - Union of Filipino Workers) and its allied organizations marched down to Mendiola to deliver Pnoy’s zero rating Report Card on labor.

The group assailed various issues that supposedly contained the subjects where Pnoy should have performed on the labor front. Pnoy failed miserably and was given a zero rating by the workers as a fitting symbol to non performance at all.

Issues on the Hacienda Luisita, Philippine Airlines (PAL) workers dispute, employment opportunities, High prices and toll/MRT/LRT fares were some of the subjects with zero rating grade that were prominently displayed in a huge tarpaulin carried by the rallyists to dramatize their disgust with the Pnoy administration.

“The first one hundred days of Pnoy is the payback time for him. He was so consistent with his pronouncements since day one of his office, giving rewards to his benefactor last elections. Concessions were enjoyed by those who contributed much to his campaign kitties. This is a glaring reality that the masses should know very well that Pnoy is deliberately not keen on serving their needs but totally hostage to landlords and capitalists and clearly is engrossed to paying his political debts. This is the very reason why we are rating him a big O in the workers sector.” Ronnie Luna, BMP Executive Vice President asserted in his speech during the program at the rally.

The first 100 days of Pnoy is the unmasking of an administration that is subscribing to the whims and caprices of the greedy landlords and capitalists. No paradigm shift in his policies but enhanced more the clout of big businesses. Public Private Partnerships (PPP) is nothing but a rehashed of an improved privatization where nothing significant changes are being done to benefit the masses but instead favouring the capitalists at its peak.

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