PRESIDENT AQUINO belittled Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño’s survey ratings while defending the human rights record of his administration in a Radio New Zealand interview.
Migrante Sectoral Party (MSP)-New Zealand calls on the President to face the issues and do more to hold human rights violators accountable.
It’s sad to hear that the President has more sympathy for demolition agents than for people desperately defending their homes. He complains that state agents are pelted with human waste while enforcing eviction notices. We wonder if he cares about the plight of his “bosses,” the urban poor violently evicted and killed—including 14-year-old John Cali Lagrimas who was killed when 200 demolition team members, 20 Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) elements and a hundred members of the Philippine National Police from Camp Macabulos in Tarlac City and Camp Olivas in Pampanga attacked the community in Block 7, Barangay San Roque. Arnel Leonor, 19, was killed during the violent and bloody demolition of homes in Silverio Compound in Parañaque City.
President Aquino boasted of having a warrant of arrest for former Army major general Jovito Palparan. But Palparan is still on the loose. Why isn’t the President doing enough to compel the law enforcement authorities to actually arrest Palparan?
We can understand why Mr. Aquino is not a big fan of Casiño and the leftist activists: the President despises them for being at the forefront of the campaign for genuine land reform and social justice versus land monopoly and political dynasties. Casiño is a thorn in the neck of the country’s powerful clans such as the Aquino-Cojuangcos who refuse to fairly redistribute vast hectares of land to poor Filipinos.
Casiño is a voice of the masses, including overseas Filipinos who long for social justice and good governance so they won’t have to be forced to work away from home. The country needs truly propoor lawmakers like Casiño who would stand up against the landed elite and big business that deprive the poor of land, decent jobs and shelter, and other fundamental human rights.
MSP-New Zealand also challenges President Aquino to step up the nation’s battle against political dynasties and set an example by asking members of his clan, his cousin Benigno “Bam” Aquino and aunt Margarita “Tingting” Cojuangco, to withdraw from the 2013 senatorial race and to abide by the constitutional prohibition on succession of rulers from the same family.
—FRANCISCO MANGULABNAN, coordinator, Migrante Sectoral Party-New Zealand