March 15, 2012
Urban poor group Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay) with residents of North Triangle are calling on motorists and commuters today to support their five-minute blockade of the North-bound lane of EDSA today to protest against the unhampered oil price hikes. The group says today’s protest is only the start of bigger mobilizations of the urban poor sector in the coming days against Aquino’s anti-poor policies.
Kadamay is planning later this afternoon to temporarily block the flow of traffic in the super highway in the North Triangle area, where the residents are popular for their barricade against demolition of homes. The group expected hundreds of urban poor residents to join the barricade, as well as thousands of motorists and commuters whose trip will be temporarily delayed by the action.
“We only ask for five minutes of the time of the public commuters and drivers to register the Filipino people’s strongest opposition to the seeming collusion between Malacanang and the oil cartel,” said Gloria Arellano, Kadamay national secretary-general to EDSA commuters and motorists.
“The inaction of Aquino on the oil price increase and overpricing scheme of the oil cartel is very unforgivable. It would need the people’s united effort to bring the Aquino administration to its knees for its subservience to the imperialist oil cartel,” Arellano added.
Price increase in transport fare and basic commodities
The militant group blamed the unhampered oil price hikes as behind the increase in transport fare and of basic commodities primarily food.
“Every centavo counts to the urban poor. While the government cannot act on unhampered oil price hikes, the urban poor are helpless as the prices of basic commodities increase as well,” Kadamay statement said.
“While the government continues to protect the oil cartel and does nothing against its profiteering scheme, Aquino has no right to absolve himself of the soaring number of Filipinos who go hungry or consider themselves poor,” Arellano added.
According to Kadamay, “Filipinos should look at the Nigerians as model in forcing the government to act on the oil price increases in the country. Nigerians have launched massive protests in January after the Nigerian government removed its subsidies on fuel prices.”
Kadamay with other militant organizations under Koalisyon ng Progresibong Manggagawa at Mamamayan (KPMM) and Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) on Thursday will stage a nationwide coordinated protest against the oil price hikes. The militants call on the Aquino governement to scrap the 12% Expanded VAT on petroleum products, and to junk Oil Deregulation Law.
“While Aquino nails the measly wage of workers and as the unemployment rate is record-high, the Aquino government easily unveils itself as an anti-people and pro-capitalist leadership, no different from the previous regimes,” Arellano said.
According to the group, the situation of the urban poor sector is harder under Aquino than ever. Kadamay blamed Aquino for the record-high povety and hunger rate in the country, while many urban poor famillies faced different threats of demolition of their homes.
“As the price of basic commodities continues to soar, and more cases of demolition in urban center are to be expected as the school year ends by March, the urban poor has no choice but to stand and pour into the street,” Arellano said.
Kadamay said it is planning for a bigger urban poor march to Mendiola by next week, as the Aquino administration continues to defy the calls of its people. They will invite those who they have mobilized in today’s localized actions against OPH. “Aquino’s inaction against oil price hikes, and implementation of anti-poor policies will certainly spur an upsurge in the urban center that will be unbearable,” Arellano ended.
Reference: Gloria Arellano, Kadamay national secretary-general
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