On working-class hero’s day:
KMU calls for Andres Bonifacio-type heroism
November 30, 2011
Photo by Tolyts Taldo Sosmeña
Photos by Arkibong Bayan, Abby
Valenzuela, Kilusang Mayo Uno,
Tekla dt and Tolyts Taldo Sosmeñaa as indicated by the filenames
30 November 2011
Anakpawis commemorates Bonifacio day in a
What better way to commemorate a revolutionary leader like Andres
Bonifacio than a revolt. This was exactly how Anakpawis Partylist paid
tribute to the “Great Plebian” as the militant partylist joined thousands
of workers and urban poor in the “Araw ni Bonifacio, araw ng Anakpawis”
rally in Mendiola today. They called for substantial wage hike, end to
contractualization, free distribution of Hacienda Luisita land and for
housing and livelihood for the urban poor.
“Today as we pay tribute to a great revolutionary, a great Filipino, an
anakpawis (toiling masses), we relive his revolutionary spirit against
oppression and exploitation. Until now, basic problems and demands of the
masses like genuine land reform, substantial wage increase, regular jobs
and basic human and social rights are still not realized,” said Joel
Maglunsod, Anakpawis Executive Vice President.
“We therefore vow to continue his struggle for change and social justice
against foreign and local big landlords and capitalists oppressors like
the Cojuangco-Aquinos” he added.
Free distribution of Luisita
Anakpawis slammed President Aquino’s demand for “just compensation” for
his family after the Supreme Court ordered the immediate distribution of
the 4,915-hectare Hacienda Luisita to its farmers.
According to Maglunsod, “If the Cojuangco-Aquino’s grabbed the land
without a paying a single centavo to its farmers, why then would farm
workers spend almost P5 billion to reclaim it?”
“President Aquino is making a mockery out of the word land reform by
asking for compensation for his family. That can’t be considered land
reform rather a real estate transaction that the Luisita farm workers
could never in their whole life afford. Only when farmers freely reclaim
the lands they toiled for decades can it be called a just and rightful
land reform” Maglunsod added.
P125 wage increase
Anakpawis also took the occasion as opportunity to stress workers’ demand
for substantial wage increase saying the present minimum wage is as just
as worse as the polo y servicio during the time of Bonifacio where workers
have been forced to work without wages or any form of payment.
“Today’s meager minimum wage is close to getting nothing. As prices of
basic goods and services especially now that power rates again increase,
the value of the P404 NCR minimum wage decreases making our workers
incapable of putting food on their plates, or of sending their children to
school and of getting medical care when they are ill” Maglunsod said.
“The government should stop depriving our workers of their demand for a
substantial wage increase. It is not impossible for capitalists to give a
P125 across-the-board wage hike. In fact it is just a small portion of
their superprofits. P125 could not even be enough to be called a just
wage, still our workers need this to at least ease the effects of soaring
The House Bill 375 filed by Anakpawis Partylist has been sitting in
Congress for almost a decade because of strong opposition from big
businesses and previous and present administrations.
As their present primary campaign, Anakpawis Partylist also called today
for an end to contractualization saying various contractualization schemes
deprives workers of their rights to receive wages and benefits according
to labor standards and their right to unionize and strike.
“Contractualization schemes are very rampant in the country. In fact,
majority of our workers are now contractuals or casuals. These schemes
widespread as they are have destroyed our labor force by dismantling
decent and regular jobs in the country” said Maglunsod.
“Our government’s anti-worker policies such as provisions in the Labor
Code and the DOLE Department Order 18-02 has taken every right our workers
has especially their right to security of tenure by legalizing these
contractualization schemes” he added.
Anakpawis partylist is the main sponsor of the Regular Employment Bill
(House Bill 5110). This bill aims to protect workers’ right to security of
tenure against contractualization by amending provisions in the Labor Code
that permits labor-only-contracting.
“As we commemorate Bonifacio’s heroism and revolutionary spirit, we call
on the Filipino masses, the workers, peasants and the urban poor to revolt
against oppression and exploitation. Fight for genuine land reform,
substantial wage hike and for regular jobs against our oppressors, the
landlords, capitalists and the anti-people government of puppets to US
imperialism” Maglunsod ended. ##
Reference: Joel Maglunsod, Anakpawis Executive Vice President, 985-5382,
30 November 2011
Araw ni Bonifacio, araw ng Anakpawis
Anakpawis Partylist paid tribute to the heroes of the “masang anakpawis”
(toiling masses), Philippine revolution leader Andres Bonifacio and late
Anakpawis representative and labor leader Crispin “Ka Bel” Beltran saying
the two offered their lives for the struggle for the emancipation of the
masses of the Filipino people.
The whole day set of activities stated in a wreath laying ceremony on Ka
Bel’s bust at Plaza Miranda. Members of Anakpawis partylist and leaders of
various labor and people’s organizations joined the activity to pay
tribute to one of the country’s respected labor leader, cleanest and most
honest Congressman and a loving father and husband.
“Ka Bel is the modern day Bonifacio. He fought alongside the masses of
workers and peasants in their struggle for genuine land reform,
substantial wage increase, regular jobs and basic social and human rights.
Just like Bonifacio, his courage and determination was brought by his love
for our country and the Filipino people. This courage helped him surpass
the most violent forms of repression from the government” Anakpawis
Executive Vice President Joel Maglunsod said as he remembered Ka Bel.
“This is the same courage, determination and love for the masses is what
drives us to pursue the struggle for freedom and democracy in the country.
Our politicians should also follow his example of being a clean and honest
pro-masses Congressman” he added.
Around 10am, the group proceeded to Tutuban Center in Tondo, Manila where
revolutionary leader Andres Bonifacio was born. With the theme “Gat Andres
Bonifacio, lider ng Katipunan, bayani ng bayan, isang Anakpawis”, they
held a wreath laying ceremony to commemorate Bonifacio’s heroism and
Guests in the ceremony were Senator Manny Villar, Bayan Muna
Representative Teddy Casino and Anakpawis Representative Rafael Mariano.
The event featured a short program and a panunumpa where participants
recited the “Kartilya ng Katipunan” as a pledge to continue Bonifacio’s
“What has changed after Bonifacio’s revolt? Farmers are still deprived of
land, not by friars anymore but by a few landlord families like the
Cojuangco-Aquinos. The present minimum wage is just as worse as forced
labor during Bonifacio’s time. There may be no more Spaniards in the
Palacio de Gobernador, but in Malacanang you can see puppets of US
imperialism” said Maglunsod.
“That is why Bonifacio’s struggle must be pursued. May it be in Congress
with Rep. Casino, Rep. Mariano and other progressive and pro-people
congressmen, in Senate with Sen. Villar, and in the streets with the
masses of the Filipino people” he added.
After wreath laying ceremonies, Anakpawis Partylist joined thousands of
workers and urban poor in the “Araw ni Bonifacio, araw ng Anakpawis” rally
in Mendiola to calling for free land distribution in Hacienda Luisita,
substantial wage increase for our workers and an end to contractualization
“There could be no better way to commemorate Bonifacio than a revolt!
Today we relive his revolutionary spirit as we stress our demands for
genuine land reform, substantial wage increase, regular jobs and basic
social and human rights” Maglunsod said.
“If only Bonifacio and Ka Bel were alive today, they would be proud to see
the Filipino masses rising up and fighting oppression and exploitation and
we vow to our heroes and martyrs that we would continue their struggle
until victory is achieved” he ended. ##
Reference: Joel Maglunsod, Anakpawis Executive Vice President, 985-5382,
30 November 2011
On working-class hero’s day
KMU calls for Andres Bonifacio-type heroism
Marking the working-class hero’s 148th birthday with a rally of thousands
to Mendiola, labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno called for an Andres Bonifacio-type
heroism among Filipinos today, saying workers and poor people need to
fight for pro-poor reforms and genuine social change.
Marching from Abad Santos corner Recto Avenues in Manila near the hero’s
monument in Tutuban, KMU called for the immediate, unconditional and free
distribution of Hacienda Luisita lands to farmers and for a significant
wage hike and an end to contractual employment.
Another delegation, led by urban poor group Kalipunan ng Damayang
Mahihirap or Kadamay, assembled at Welcome Rotonda. The two contingents
converged at Morayta cor. Recto Avenues then marched to Mendiola Bridge
where they held a program.
A total of around 10,000 workers and people hold protests in different
areas in Metro Manila while more than six thousand (6,000) have marched to
“Given the crisis, and the pro-US and pro-elite government that we have,
workers and poor people have to fight, and fight hard, to achieve reforms
that are favorable to us. A heroism from the masa and for the masa, that
is what Bonifacio stood for and that is what we are calling for,” said
Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.
“Despite the Supreme Court’s ruling, the country’s workers, farmers and
poor people still have to fight for a pro-farmer resolution to the land
dispute in Hacienda Luisita. Despite the intensifying hunger and poverty,
we still have to fight for a significant wage hike and the junking of
contractualization,” he added.
“We are calling on our fellow workers and poor people: Let us educate
ourselves on the real state of the country and the root causes of our
poverty. Let us join and form unions and organizations that will advance
our rights,” he said.
Upon reaching Mendiola Bridge, the rallyists, wearing masks of the hero’s
face, burned a flag of the US to symbolize the country’s continuing
struggle for genuine national independence.
“The government of Pres. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III promised ‘change’ but
the country at present won’t please Bonifacio. The working-class hero
stood for genuine change – for genuine freedom for the country and the
upliftment of the poor through land reform and other policies,” Labog
“Our country today is still dominated by big foreign corporations and
banks, especially those from the US. It is still an elite few who lord
over the country – the big capitalists and landlords. Had he been alive
today, Bonifacio would still be launching a revolution for genuine
change,” he added.
November 29, 2011
Rep. Raymond ‘Mong’ Palatino, Kabataan Party-list, 0908-5927099
Bugsy Nolasco, media liaison officer, 0922-8240740
‘Andres Bonifacio’ bill pushed in Congress
In time for the 148th anniversary of the birth of our national hero Andres
Bonifacio, Kabataan Rep. Raymond “Mong” Palatino today urged Congress to
pass a bill which seeks to include in the college curricula a course on
the life, works and ideals of Andres Bonifacio.
House Bill no. 4353 or the “Andres Bonifacio Act of 2011” is a novel
measure that aims to “strengthen the values of nationalism and patriotism
among the youth” through the teaching of subjects on Bonifacio.
“Including a course on the life, works and ideals of Andres Bonifacio in
college will help strengthen the values of nationalism and patriotism
among the youth. Bonifacio is a luminary whose challenges and lessons in
nation-building remain very relevant up to this day,” Palatino said.
Andres Bonifacio was one of the founders and later the supreme leader of
Kataastaasang Kagalanggalangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan or
Katipunan, a movement which sought Philippine independence from Spanish
Palatino explained that “Bonifacio, like many of the youths today, is from
a poor working class family and had to work at an early age to support his
siblings. Yet the circumstance did not hinder him from recognizing his
historical part in the fight for social change. We are, in many respects,
contemporaries of Bonifacio.”
“Lessons on national independence, collective action, civic consciousness
and patriotism will be inculcated among our students if a course on the
life of our heroes should be included in the collegiate curricula. These
lessons will shape the character needed for personal, community and
national development," Palatino added.
Palatino, together with Rep. Antonio Tinio of ACT Teachers, also filed
House Resolution no. 1149 which seeks to conduct an inquiry on the quality
of teaching Philippine history in elementary and secondary schools,
including an assessment of curricula, textbooks, programs and activities
related to history. ###
Laban ni Bonifacio para sa ‘tunay na pagbabago,’ ipinagpapatuloy ng mga
by Pinoy Weekly Staff
Kabayanihan ni Andres Bonifacio ang hangad ng militanteng mga manggagawa
na tularan nila at ng sambayanang Pilipino, sa ika-148 kaarawan ng
dakilang rebolusyonaryong lider ng rebolusyong 1896.
Pinangunahan ng Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) at Anakpawis Party-list ang
martsa-protesta sa Mendiola, Manila ng aabot sa 3,000 na mga manggagawa at
iba pang sektor para gunitain ang araw ni Bonifacio.
Bitbit ang mga “tabak” at suot ang mga maskara ni Bonifacio at sumbrerong
may mga titik na “KKK”, hiniling nila sa publiko na tularan ang
rebolusyonaryong lider na lumaban para sa kapakanan ng mahihirap at para
sa tunay na pagbabago sa lipunan.
“Dahil sa krisis, at dahil sa maka-US at maka-elite na gobyernong mayroon
tayo, kailangang lumaban tayong mga manggagawa at mahihirap, at puspusang
lumaban, para makamit ang mga repormang paborable sa atin,” paliwanag ni
Elmer “Bong” Labog, tagapangulo ng KMU.
Kabilang sa kagyat na mga ipinaglalaban nila: pagpupuspos ng laban ng mga
manggagawang bukid ng Hacienda Luisita para mapasakanila ang lupa ng
asyenda; makabuluhang dagdag-sahod sa mga manggagawa sa pribado at
pampublikong sektor; pagtigil sa kontraktuwalisasyon sa paggawa at iba
pang kontra-manggagawang mga polisiya at gawain.
“Nananawagan tayo sa mga kapwa manggagawa at mahihirap: Mag-aral tayo sa
tunay na lagay ng bansa at sa ugat ng ating kahirapan. Umanib at magtatag
tayo ng mga unyon at organisasyon na magtataguyod ng ating mga karapatan,”
paliwanag pa ni Labog.
Sa paanan ng Mendiola, habang nakasuot ng mga maskara ni Bonifacio ay
sinunog nila ang watawat ng Estados Unidos (US) na sumisimbolo umano sa
“patuloy na paglaban ng mga bansa para sa tunay na pambansang kalayaan.”
“Ipinangako ni Pang. Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino III ang ‘pagbabago’ pero
hindi matutuwa si Bonifacio sa lagay ng bansa ngayon. Lumaban ang bayaning
lider-obrero para sa tunay na pagbabago – para sa tunay na kalayaan sa
bansa at pag-angat sa mahihirap sa pamamagitan ng reporma sa lupa at iba
pang polisiya,” sabi pa ni Labog.
Samantala, patuloy pa rin umanong dominado ang bansa ng malalaking
dayuhang korporasyon at bangko, laluna iyung mula sa US. May elite pa ring
namumuno sa bansa – ang malalaking mga kapitalista at panginoong maylupa,
sabi pa niya.
Pagtatapos ni Labog: Kung nabubuhay siguro ngayon si Bonifacio,
maglulunsad siya ng rebolusyon para sa tunay na pagbabago. (Teksto ni KR
29 November 2011
Brgy. Central demolition
Gov’t knows no Christmas season when it comes to demolition – KMU
Labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno condemned today the demolition of urban
poor residences in BIR Road, East Triangle, Quezon City yesterday, saying
the Aquino government does not respect the Christmas season when it comes
KMU recalled that Pres. Benigno Noynoy “Aquino” III has already made his
Christmas wish – for Filipinos to be more positive in outlook and caring
to one another.
“May we remind the president that the urban poor, too, looks forward to
the Christmas season. It’s not only for presidents wishing to receive less
criticisms and cover up his government’s lack of care for the poor,” said
Roger Soluta, KMU secretary-general.
“The president should at least be declaring a moratorium on demolitions
around this time of the year, but it seems that there’s no ceasefire in
his all-out war against the urban poor,” he added.
The labor leader also condemned the overkill use of violence by the
police, as guns were fired, stones were thrown at the residents, and an
arrest was made in the demolition operation.
“The escalation of this government’s arrogance and violence against the
urban poor is disturbing. Are we in for a replay of the Hacienda Luisita
massacre, with the urban poor residents as targets this time around?”
“The Aquino government was very cautious and polite in dealing with Mrs.
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, despite her crimes against the people. We are
appaled that the Aquino government is harsher on the urban poor than on a
known plunderer and human-rights violator,” he said.
Soluta also called for the junking of the Quezon City Central Business
District project which is responsible for the demolition of urban poor
residences in the city.
“This project has made Quezon City the demolition capital of the
Philippines. It is clearly for the benefit of the big foreign and local
capitalists who will invest in the QCCBD and to the detriment of the urban
poor,” Soluta said.
“We are calling for the junking of this most anti-poor of so-called
development projects. We should envision a kind of economic development
where people’s houses are demolished by the government,” he added.
Reference: Roger Soluta, KMU secretary-general, 0928-7215313
28 November 2011
Workers to march for Luisita distribution,
higher wages on Bonifacio Day
Labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno announced today that workers, urban poor
and other sectors will march to Mendiola on Andres Bonifacio Day to call
for the immediate, unconditional and free distribution of Hacienda Luisita
lands to farmers and for a significant wage hike and the junking of
It said the most fitting commemoration of the working-class hero’s 149th
birthday, who led a revolution against Spanish colonialism 115 years ago,
is to fight for the demands of the country’s poorest and for genuine
“The dreams that Bonifacio had for the Filipino workers, farmers and
people remain unrealized to this day. Farmers are still fighting for land,
workers are still fighting for a significant wage hike and the junking of
contractualization, and the Filipino people is still fighting for radical
social change,” said Roger Soluta, KMU secretary-general.
In the light of the recent Supreme Court decision ordering the
distribution of Hacienda Luisita lands to farmers, KMU is calling for the
immediate, unconditional and free distribution of lands.
It is also calling for a significant wage hike and the junking of
contractualization to provide immediate relief to workers who are
suffering from the soaring prices of basic goods and services.
“The people remain in a state of unfreedom, with the US, big local
capitalists and landlords dominating the country. We still need to fight
for genuine freedom for our country and genuine equality among our
people,” Soluta said.
Workers will gather at Tutuban in Manila at 1:00 in the afternoon while
urban poor and other sectors will gather at Welcome Rotonda at 12:00 in
the afternoon. The two contingents will then merge at Morayta before going
The rallyists will wear masks of the working-class hero as they march to
Mendiola and burn a flag of the US upon reaching Mendiola to symbolize
their opposition to continuing US domination of the country.
“It is the US, with the help of the country’s elites, which has prevented
genuine land reform from being implemented in the country. It wants the
country to remain backward and agricultural so it will remain a source of
agricultural products and raw materials, as well as a market for goods and
a place for its excess capital,” Soluta said.
“It is also the US which has dictated that the government press down wages
and implement contractualization in the guise of attracting foreign
investors. The truth is it just wants to further exploit the cheap and
repressed labor force in the country,” he added.
Reference: Roger Soluta, KMU secretary-general, 0928-7215313
27 Nobyembre 2011
Obrero kay Aquino: Paano naman ang “just
compensation” sa amin?
Kinondena ng Kilusang Mayo Uno si Pang. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III sa
sinabi nitong kailangang makatanggap ang mga panginoong maylupa ng “just
compensation” o makatarungang bayad para sa mga lupaing ipapailalim sa
reporma sa lupa. Anila, kahit kailan, hindi naisip ng pangulo na bigyan ng
makatarungang kompensasyon ang mga manggagawa.
“Makatarungang bayad sa mga panginoong maylupa na hindi naman nagbungkal
at walang nalikhang halaga? Silang kumita nang malaki habang magarbong
nagbubuhay-binata? Paano naman ang makatarungang bayad sa mga manggagawang
nagbabanat ng buto pero nag-uuwi ng paliit nang paliit na kita?” tanong ni
Roger Soluta, pangkalahatang kalihim ng KMU.
“Kahit aprubahan ang makabuluhang dagdag-sahod tulad ng P125 umentong
across-the-board na matagal na naming panawagan, hindi pa rin makatarungan
ang sahod. Kagyat na ginhawa lang ito sa napakataas na presyo ng mga
batayang produkto at serbisyo– pero inaayawan pa rin ng pangulong ito,”
Binanggit ng KMU ang pag-aaral na inilabas ng Ibon Foundation,
independyenteng institusyon ng pananaliksik, noong Abril na nagsasabing
ang P404 minimum wage sa Metro Maynila ay 2/5 lang ng P988 na siyang
Family Living Wage (FLW) ngayon. Noong 2001, ang minimum wage ay kalahati
pa ng FLW, patunay ng paglala ng lagay ng mga manggagawa.
Sabi ng KMU, si Pang. Aquino ay tumitindig hindi para sa katarungang
panlipunan, kundi para sa “katarungang maka-elitista” sa paggigiit nito ng
“makatarungang kompensasyon” para sa mga panginoong maylupa at sa
pagbalewala sa panawagan ng mga manggagawa para sa makabuluhang
“Nakakagalit na iginigiit ng pangulo ang maka-elitistang katarungan sa
usapin ng reporma sa lupa at sahod ng mga manggagawa. Ang dapat gumabay sa
gobyerno, hustisyang panlipunan – pagkakapantay-pantay, pagtutulungan,
karapatang pantao at pamamahagi ng yaman – at hindi ang pagkampi sa mga
nakakaangat,” ani Soluta.
“Kung hustisyang panlipunan ang masusunod, kailangang bitawan ng pamilyang
Cojuangco-Aquino ang Hacienda Luisita at ipamahagi ito nang kagyat, walang
kondisyon at libre sa mga magbubukid. Kailangan ding isulong ng pangulo
ang pagsasabatas ng P125 Wage Hike Bill na nasa Kongreso,” dagdag ni
Isinusulong ng KMU ang pagsasabatas ng House Bill 375, o ang P125 Wage
Hike Bill, na panukala ni Rep. Rafael V. Mariano ng Anakpawis Partylist,
na naglalayong ipatupad ang P125 across-the-board na dagdag-sahod sa buong
Reference: Roger Soluta, KMU secretary general, 0928-7215313
KMU slams new Labor dep’t order on
Labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno condemned today a new order from the Labor
department imposing new regulations on the contractualization of workers,
saying the order is simply a fine-tuning of existing regulations on the
employment scheme and what is needed is contractualization’s actual
KMU made the statement in reaction to the Department of Labor and
Employment’s Order No. 18-A series of 2011, also known as “Rules
Implementing Articles 106 to 109 of the Labor Code, as Amended,” which was
signed by Sec. Rosalinda Baldoz last week according to the department’s
The new DO seeks to differentiate “legitimate” from “non-legitimate”
contractors and subcontractors and lays down requirements for legitimate
“The new Labor DO is like laws in American history that merely regulate
the owning and selling of Black slaves, not the abolition of slavery.
Under contractualization, workers are like slaves and what is needed is
the actual junking of this oppressive employment scheme, not its mere
regulation,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.
“As long as contractualization is rendered legal by Labor DO’s as
authorized by the Labor Code, capitalists are sure to find ways to boost
profits by exploiting contractuals. They have managed to go around the
many regulations on contractualization. We haven’t seen anybody imprisoned
for contractualization,” he said.
“From the perpective of workers, all contractors and subcontractors are
illegitimate. They are agents of the extreme exploitation of workers. They
should all be outlawed and abolished,” he added.
Among the requirements to be a “legitimate” contractor and subcontractor
are: owning a distinct and independent business; readiness to take full
responsibility for performing a job, work or service; substantial capital
or investment; commitment to comply with labor laws; and registration with
DOLE regional offices.
“The DOLE is just trying to prettify its image amidst the deaths of
contractuals – ten in Eton Towers and six in Keppel Subic Shipyard this
year – where contractors and subcontractors were exposed to be
unregistered. With this DO, the DOLE is just laying down an agreement
among thiefs, between the government and capitalists, as to how to
implement contractualization without the government being put into a bad
light,” Labog said.
KMU lambasted Sec. Baldoz’s claim that the new DO will “promote employment
and encourage full compliance with minimum wages and general labor
standards, including safe and healthful conditions of work, security of
tenure, and self-organization and collective bargaining.”
“That is just DOLE’s public relations personnel speaking. It is not as if
the country lacks laws on workers’ rights and interests, but even the
pro-capitalist laws are not implemented and no one has yet been imprisoned
for their violations, especially with regard to contractualization,” Labog
“The mere fact that the DOLE speaks about ‘encouraging’ and not punishing
capitalists to uphold the most basic rights of workers shows that it is
powerless before, and in connivance with, capitalists who are implementing
contractualization,” he added.
Bonifacio, Bayani ng Obrero
Sa ika-30 ng Nobyembre ang ika-148 kaarawan ng bayaning si Gat Andres
Bonifacio. Tiyak, pupurihin siya ng gobyerno. Pero sigurado, hindi nito
papalaganapin ang tunay na kabuluhan ng buhay at pakikibaka niya.
Pero para sa mga manggagawa at mamamayan, mahalagang gunitain ang
kabayanihan at diwang makabayan ni Gat Andres Bonifacio. Hindi matatawaran
ang napakalaking ambag niya at ng Katipunan na pinamunuan niya sa
pakikibaka para sa kalayaan laban sa mahigit 300 taong pananakop at pyudal
na paghahari ng Espanya.
Isang manggagawa si Bonifacio. Nagtrabaho siya bilang bodeguero o clerk sa
isang dayuhang kumpanya. Dito, nakita niya ang pang-aapi at pambubusabos
sa mga manggagawa. Lumaki siya sa hirap at nakita ang paghihirap ng mga
kapwa-Pilipino. Sa katunayan, sa Tondo, komunidad ng mga manggagawa at
anakpawis, itinatag ang Katipunan.
Pambansa ang paglaban na pinamunuan niya kontra sa kolonyalismong Espanyol.
Bago siya, kalat-kalat sa bansa at hiwa-hiwalay ang paglaban sa mananakop.
Halimbawa ang pag-aalsa nina Diego at Gabriela Silang sa Ilocos at ni
Dagohoy sa Bohol. Pinamunuan ni Bonifacio ang Katipunan, isang kilusang
pambansa ang latag at nagkakaisa sa isang pamumuno sa paglaban.
Lumang tipo ng rebolusyon para sa pambansang paglaya at demokrasya ang
pinamunuan ni Bonifacio. Layunin nitong palayain ang sambayanan sa
kolonyalismong Espanyol at bawiin at ipamahagi ang mga lupang kinamkam ng
mga prayle at lokal na alipores ng mananakop. Layunin din nitong isulong
ang mga karapatang sibil ng mga Pilipino at pawiin ang paghahari ng mga
Armado ang rebolusyong inilunsad ng Katipunan. Alam ni Bonifacio na hindi
sapat ang pagsusumamo o paggigiit ng reporma sa isang lipunang likas na
mapagsamantala, mapang-api at mapanupil. Hindi siya nagpasapat sa gusto ng
mga nakapag-aral na Pilipino na maging probinsya ng Espanya ang Pilipinas.
Pistola, hindi bolo, ang paborito niyang sandata.
Inagaw ng mga haciendero, sa katauhan ni Emilio Aguinaldo, ang pamunuan ng
Katipunan. Nang hindi ito kinilala ni Bonifacio, ipinapatay siya.
Pagkatapos, nakipagkompromiso si Aguinaldo sa mga mananakop. Patunay ang
pagkamatay ni Bonifacio na hindi masasandigan ang mga naghaharing uri para
isulong ang kapakanan ng mga manggagawa at sambayanan.
Halos 150 taon matapos ipanganak si Bonifacio, hindi pa rin natin
natatamasa ang kanyang mga ipinaglaban. Ang mga mananakop, napalitan lang
ng imperyalismong US. Ang mga karapatang sibil, patuloy na sinusupil. Ang
mga lupain, nakakonsentra pa rin sa mga panginoong maylupa. Mga uring
mapagsamantala, na panatiko sa kanilang mga prinsipyo at patakarang
kontra-mamamayan, ang naghahari.
Nabuhay at nakibaka si Bonifacio sa panahong sumisibol pa lang ang
imperyalismong US. Ngayon, isang taon bago ang ika-150 kaarawan niya,
humaharap ang imperyalismo sa isa sa pinakamatinding krisis nito. Ang mga
manggagawa at mamamayan ng mga bansang sakop nito, tulad ng Pilipinas, ay
dumaranas ng papatinding gutom, kahirapan, pagsasamantala at panunupil.
Kaya naman hamon sa mga manggagawa at mamamayan na maging mga bagong
Bonifacio at ipagpatuloy ang kanyang nasimulan! Bayani ng mga obrero si
Bonifacio hindi lang dahil lumaban siya para sa kalayaan ng ating bayan.
Bayani ng mga obrero si Bonifacio dahil ehemplo siya sa nagpapatuloy na
pakikibaka para sa pambansang paglaya at demokrasya.
Aquino asked: What about just compensation for
Labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno condemned today Pres. Benigno “Noynoy”
Aquino III for saying that landlords should receive “just compensation”
for their lands if these will be subjected to land reform, saying the
president never showed any concern for such a compensation for workers.
“Just compensation for landlords who do not till the land and produce no
value? Landlords who have made a killing while playing rich bachelors’
games? What about just compensation for workers who actually work hard but
are bringing home less and less income?” asked Roger Soluta, KMU
“A significant wage hike, such as the P125 across-the-board wage hike that
we have been clamoring for, still will not make workers’ compensation
just. It is just an immediate relief from the rising prices of basic goods
and services – yet the president has refused to heed our call,” he added.
KMU cited an April 2011 research released by independent think-tank Ibon
Foundation saying that the P404 minimum wage in the National Capital
Region is just 2/5 of the Family Living Wage which now stands at P988.
Back in 2001, the proportion was 1/2, proof that workers’ living
conditions have worsened.
KMU said Pres. Aquino is not standing up for social justice but “elite
justice” in invoking “just compensation” for landlords whose lands are
subjected to land reform and in ignoring workers’ calls for a significant
“It is disgusting to see and hear Pres. Aquino invoke elite justice in
handling land reform and workers’ issues. It is social justice which
should guide the government’s stands on these with its principles of
equality, solidarity, human rights and wealth redistribution,” Soluta
“Social justice dictates that Pres. Aquino’s family surrender the Hacienda
Luisita lands to farmers for an immediate, free and unconditional
distribution. Social justice dictates that the president push for the
passage of the P125 Wage Hike Bill currently pending in Congress,” he
KMU is pushing for the passage of House Bill 375, also known as the P125
Wage Hike Bill, filed by Anakpawis Partylist Rep. Rafael V. Mariano
seeking to legislate a P125 across-the-board wage hike nationwide.
Workers from a steel
manufacturing company who ride bicycles going to work and then going home
daily to save on transportation fare rode together today from Philcoa to
Congress to call for a significant wage hike.
The workers, led by labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno, are calling for the
immediate passage of House Bill 375, also known as the P125 Wage Hike
Bill, filed by Anakpawis Partylist Rep. Rafael Mariano seeking to
legislate a P125 across-the-board wage hike nationwide.
The workers, who had flaglets in their bikes and signs at the back and
front of their shirts bearing their call, held a short program upon
reaching the House of Representatives.
“Even if workers are finding ways to cope with meager wages, they know
that what is really needed is a significant wage hike. What they are able
to save by coping are still being taken away,” said Roger Soluta, KMU
secretary-general, who also rode a bike.
“To avoid paying transportation fares, many have resorted to using
bicycles, despite the well-known dangers it entails. But oil prices
continue to rise, thereby increasing the prices of basic goods and
services,” he added.
KMU cited an April 2011 research released by Ibon Foundation showing that
the Metro Manila minimum wage of P404 is only 2/5 of the Family Living
Wage, which currently stands at P988, saying this is a deterioration from
the 1/2 in 2001.
The Family Living Wage was arrived at by adding up the most basic
necessities of a family of five.
“The amount actually saved by riding a bicycle to work may be small, but
that shows you to what extent the real value of workers’ wages have been
pressed down. Many are even reducing the amount and quality of food, why
not reduce cost on transportation?” Soluta said.
The labor leader said the protest action is a preparation for a big
mobilization tomorrow, Nov. 30, Andres Bonifacio Day, where workers and
other sectors will call for a significant wage hike and the junking of
“We are exploring various forms of protest to voice out our calls. We know
that we cannot rely on a government headed by a president who buys
expensive cars to immediately grant a significant wage hike, like the P125
across-the-board hike that we have been calling for,” he said.
Reference: Roger Soluta, KMU secretary-general, 0928-7215313
KMU slams ECOP call to decriminalize wage violations
Labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno condemned today the call made by the
Employers’ Confederation of the Philippines to decriminalize employers’
violations of minimum wage laws, saying this is clearly callous and
In an interview with BusinessMirror last week, ECOP president Edgardo
Lacson opposed bills in the House of Representatives seeking to legislate
a longer prison term for employers who violate the country’s wage laws,
saying the government should do the opposite and decriminalize such
He was reacting to House Bills 942, 1817, 1889, and 2884 authored by Reps.
Reynaldo Umali, Emmeline Aglipay, Ben Evardone and Joseph Victor Ejercito,
respectively, which seek to extend the penalty of two-year imprisonment to
four years for such crimes.
“It seems that the country’s capitalists have become too insensitive to
the plight of Filipino workers and too arrogant in asserting their demands
to the government. They do not know how workers and their families strive
to cope with such a meager minimum wage,” said Roger Soluta, KMU
“Decriminalizing violations of minimum wage laws is tantamount to giving
capitalists the green light to press down wages to the lowest possible
levels and further impoverish workers. The current minimum wage, meager as
it is, is being denied by many capitalists to workers,” he added.
KMU cited an April 2011 research by independent think-tank Ibon Foundation
showing that the Metro Manila minimum wage of P404 is only 2/5 of the
amount needed daily by Filipino families to live decently, which currently
stands at P988. The said proportion in 2001 was 1/2.
Target electric rates, not wages
KMU also said that ECOP should stop threatening the government that such
bills, when passed, will push employers to the informal sector, thereby
decreasing tax revenues for the government.
“Instead of overreacting to moves to increase penalties on violations of
wage laws, as well as to calls for a significant wage hike, ECOP should
campaign for the reduction of electricity rates in the country, currently
the highest in Asia. Even ECOP members tell us that it is not wages that
burden employers right now, but high power rates,” Soluta said.
“Capitalists should stand up to the government and big capitalists in the
power sector and stop reducing the wages that workers receive. Because we
are faced with intensifying hunger and poverty, we are fighting for a
significant wage hike,” he added.
KMU has been calling for the passage of HB 375, filed by Anakpawis
Partylist Rep. Rafael V. Mariano, seeking to legislate a P125
across-the-board wage increase nationwide.