Workers Expect Little from SONA, Vow to Hound GMA with More Protests

Jul. 24, 2006

DAVAO CITY — Workers of Southern Mindanao expect little if nothing of Gloria Arroyos State of the Nation Address on Monday. The militant labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno-Southern Mindanao Region said that workers have other plans than listen to GMA peddle lies about the situation of Filipinos in the country. KMU-SMR, with its local unions, shall take part in one of the biggest mobilizations this year on Monday, July 24, at the Rizal Park.

On Monday, GMA will again mount the podium of the Batasang Pambansa and for an hour or two brag about her non-existent accomplishments in the desperate attempt to convince Filipinos that their situation has improved under her bogus regime, declared Omar Bantayan, secretary general of KMU-SMR. He added, As can be expected, GMA will use more numbers game and statistical distortion to prop up her claim. But we Filipinos know betterbecause we are the ones experiencing the real state of the nation.

We are wondering what agenda Gloria has in stored for workers and the poor this Monday, Bantayan professed. She has made us endure through 5 state of the nation addresses already but nowhere in those five speeches were concrete agenda to provide economic relief to the toiling masses. Workers of Southern Mindanao recently took another blow from the Arroyo government when the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board gave a measly P16 COLA in lieu of the overdue P125 across-the-board, nationwide.

Bantayan scoffed at earlier pronouncements of Arthur Yap, chief of the Presidential Management Staff, who divulged that one of the focus issues of GMAs SONA shall be the development of the countrys planned super regions. Yap described that the four super regionsNorth Luzon, Metro Luzon, Central Philippines and Mindanaoshall be turned into investment and development areas. GMA, Bantayan maintained, needs to convince Filipinos that the only way to achieve her long-term development plans is to accept Charter Change.

Last year, Gloria said nothing significant about development and cluttered her less than one-hour speech with campaigning for the Cha Cha. The Arroyo government is hell-bent in making sure that her pitch for the Charter Change will push through in order to continuously perpetuate herself in power. We are sure to hear more from her ambitious projections that shall boil down to her call for the Congress to railroad the Charter Change.

Bantayan also denounced PNP Police Director Vidal Querols warning against militant organizations that are planning protest actions and mobilizations on Monday. Bantayan said the far-out fabrication that members of the NPA will be joining rallies during the SONA is clearly directed toward stopping Filipinos from marching in the streets.

Clearly, this fake administration and its instruments of fascismthe PNP and the AFPare sowing anti-insurgency disinformation to discourage the broad masses from participating in the intensifying call against Glorias ouster. What right do they have to dissuade Filipinos from redress of grievance? And how myopic are they to think that they can curb the mass movement in Metro Manila when all around the country, organized Filipinos are girding up for the massive protest mobilization on Monday?

We still believe that the best pronouncement GMA can give to the poor during her SONA is her resignation. Because if she doesnt, the Filipino people fed up of her anti-poor policies and programs will definitely do it for her, Bantayan concluded.

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