Reject Akbayan labor groups’ politics of collaboration and deceit — KMU

Nov. 05, 2012

Press Statement
01 November 2012

It has become clear to the public that Akbayan is overrepresented in the Aquino government and definitely not a marginalized group.  Having received colossal sums of money from the Cojuangco-Aquinos, oppressors of the farm workers of Hacienda Luisita, Akbayan represents the interests of landed gentry and feudal barons where its benevolent patron, President Noynoy Aquino, hails from.

Allowing Akbayan to run in the partylist elections would constitute a mockery of the principles behind the partylist system and, if allowed to run, Akbayan would enjoy an unfair advantage over other partylist groups.

Akbayan is on the losing course in the arena of public opinion.  Its only hope of running in the 2013 elections lies in the Commission on Elections.  It is therefore desperate to find a legal basis for justifying its participation in the 2013 elections.
It is now resorting to a platitude that even the vilest traditional politicians of the country use: that it represents the marginalized, despite all the damning evidences pointing to the contrary.

In order to project itself as representing the marginalized, Akbayan is mobilizing its labor groups to wage a propaganda campaign in its defense.

The Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL), Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) and Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) desperately skirt the main reasons behind calls for the partylist group’s disqualification.  Instead, they make a lot of noise on issues that are peripheral to the matter at hand.

Acting indignant, APL, PM, and BMP raise hell over the protest held by the progressive pro-worker youth group Anakbayan in Akbayan’s press conference, while curiously keeping quiet on the reason of the protest: Akbayan’s red-baiting.

In light of its miserable failure to debunk solid arguments for its disqualification, Akbayan, led by its first nominee Rep. Walden Bello, has sunk to a new low by resorting to red-baiting — the same despicable tactic employed by the Aquino government and the military in justifying countless instances of human rights violations, including extra-judicial killings, against activists and their supporters.

APL, PM and BMP are trying so hard to project Akbayan as representing workers and the marginalized, despite the fact that Akbayan has mainly pushed for policies advocated by the pro-capitalist Aquino government, the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and other monopoly capitalist institutions.  Akbayan has been dressing up neoliberal and fascist policies with left-sounding rhetoric.

Akbayan, APL, PM and BMP are noticeably absent in the Filipino workers’ fight for a significant wage hike, such as the P125 across-the-board wage hike nationwide campaign.  They filed a Security of Tenure Bill in the House of Representatives, which takes a middle-of-the-road stance on the issue of contractual employment, but did not back it up with a comprehensive campaign.  They did not strongly condemn the Aquino government for promoting contractual employment.

They were responsible for setting up a “dialogue” between Pres. Noynoy Aquino and leaders of various labor groups last Labor Day wherein Aquino humiliated the leaders by rejecting outright the latter’s calls.  Despite claiming to be “leftists,” Akbayan, APL, PM and BMP did not hold any protest to strongly condemn the president’s pro-capitalist and anti-worker stance in that dialogue.

PM and BMP have a long record of collaborating with comprador capitalist Lucio Tan.  Despite their absence from the Filipino workers’ struggle for a significant wage hike, job security and free exercise of trade-union rights, they are very active now in opposing the sin taxes which threaten to reduce Tan’s huge profits.

We are calling on the country’s workers and labor groups and the Filipino people: Do not believe these stooges of the Aquino government and of big capitalists.  Let us reject them and their politics of collaboration and deceit.  They cannot be pro-worker because they are solidly aligned with the rabidly pro-capitalist Aquino government.

Elmer “Bong” Labog
KMU chairperson

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