Author Archives: ciups

Aquino no longer deserves any support from workers and trade unions #endcorporategreed


THE workers and the trade unions throughout the world mark today the International Labor Day – 125th anniversary globally and 112th celebration here in the Philippines. This historic and revered day has been an enduring and stirring symbol for the working class despite serious setbacks caused by multipronged and systematic neoliberal attacks against the workers, the masses and their organizations, which have seriously threatened to dilute if not totally wipe out the hard-fought sociopolitical gains achieved by the labor movement in the past hundred years or so.

Our observance of May Day this year coincides with the Aquino government’s remaining one year in office highlighted by its legacies of an illusion of prosperity; selective anti-corruption drive; lackluster support if not outright rejection of many progressive proposals like the FOI (freedom of information) bill, deprivatization of public utilities, fast-tracking agrarian reform program, refusing neoliberal economic programs being imposed by multilateral institutions, among others; consenting to US interference in the country’s internal security policy; and rebuffing the trade unions and the civil society.

Mass poverty is deteriorating despite the overhyped economic “growths” or successive GDP (gross domestic product) increases since Benigno Aquino III assumed the presidency in 2010. Ironically, the only thing constant in wealth issue here is that the majority poor are becoming poorer while the few rich are getting richer – the top 20-percent richest Filipinos own and control almost 50% percent (and counting) of the country’s wealth. What Aquino has attained is clearly not an inclusive growth as the GDP hikes are primarily translated into bigger profits for the country’s top corporations and increased assets for a handful of wealthy families every year.

FURTHER demonstrating this sham growth, the national economy has been unable to create sufficient, secure and decent jobs. Much of the employments claimed by the government in 2014 only are of poor quality. Hence, about 90 percent or 918,000 of the 1.02 million additional jobs last year were merely part-time work or those who worked for less than 40 hours. Still included here are self-employed workers (407,000) and those who worked without pay or unpaid family workers (292,000). No wonder millions of Filipinos seek better jobs and pays abroad despite the risks; thus, there would be many other Mary Jane Velosos to emerge.

The acclaims for Aquino’s so-called “tuwid na daan” anticorruption campaign and “reform agenda” will come to naught because of his stubborn loyalty to and tolerance of corrupt and incompetent subordinates. His efforts will be reduced to nothing but a “grand double standard show.”

What Aquino is saying is increasingly becoming contradictory to what he is actually doing. For instance, while declaring “war” against corruption and other anomalies, he miserably failed to actively back the passage of the FOI bill – it could have greatly assisted in prosecuting or even preventing graft and corruption – which has been languishing for years in Congress. Likewise, he kept on parroting the worn out “free market” mantra in rejecting government intervention in inept public utility firms run by private companies (MRT-LRT, for example), which, for their bungling services, wanted the consumers to pay more! As expected, he has been abiding by the key neoliberal economic programs dictated by the likes of the World Trade Organization (WTO). And remember the land distribution under the agrarian reform program? Decades after it was launched by his mother in the late ’80s and a little one year left in his term, tens of thousands of hectares of lands are yet to be given to beneficiaries.

The Mamasapano incident has exposed the very obvious direct role of and cover-up attempts by Aquino in this tragedy, which resulted to the tragic and needless deaths of dozens of police troopers, Moro fighters and innocent civilians. It also utterly disregarded all the ceasefire mechanisms with the MILF and thus gravely jeopardizing the hard earned peace process. In fact, it enabled rightwing hawks and demagogues to fan the flames of Islamophobia and knee-jerk call to arms, and to demand the scrapping of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL). Finally, it confirmed – although still downplayed – the undue influence or even unconstitutional engagements of the US on our foreign policy and internal security policy.

MOREOVER, SENTRO and its allied organizations in the labor movement, especially the NAGKAISA labor coalition, have through the years been dismayed by Aquino’s penchant to easily rebuff, if not show contempt for, our key labor, trade union and social demands.

From the very outset, Aquino practically ridiculed the SOT (security of tenure) bill in Congress, which could have significantly arrested the worsening contractualization that in turn perpetrates precarious work, cheap wages, measly benefits, and rampant violations of a long list of labor and trade union rights. He even claimed – and copied the wild theory devoid of empirical data – that 10 million workers would lose their jobs if the SOT bill is enacted into law! As a result, the predominantly pro-capitalist and pro-Aquino legislators have sat on the bill and thus it remains pending.

Unlike Aquino’s absurd theory on SOT, there is a study – ironically by the IMF or the International Monetary Fund no less – with empirical data to boot, which links rising inequality to the declining trade union membership. Falling number of union members is one of the principal effects of the absence of security of tenure since only regular workers (not contractuals) are allowed to join unions. The research’s (“Power from the People,” Finance and Development, March 2015, Vol. 52, No. 1) apparently simple but highly logical explanation is that with less union members, less workers are covered by CBAs (collective bargaining agreements). With less CBA coverage, fewer workers enjoy the benefits of supposed economic growth resulting to greater inequality. Likewise, fewer workers benefiting from this growth means fewer workers are effectively participating in the economy, which ultimately means a weaker economy.

THEREFORE, by persistently repudiating the SOT bill – as well as other pro-worker and pro-union policies – Aquino has actually exacerbated the inequality in the country!

Aquino has also openly reneged on his promise – during the elections and upon occupying Malacañang – that he would regularly sit down with labor representatives to prove that his “tuwid na daan” governance truly addresses the issues and concerns of the workers. In particular, Aquino vowed that there would be at least one labor-government meeting every quarter of each year. As it turned out, Aquino’s “dialogue” with labor leaders in April 2014 (preceded by a May 2012 meeting) was only their third and last meeting – with just a little over a year left in his term!

This could have likely prompted the eventual failure of labor’s key legislative and social demands to be certified as urgent measures by Malacañang and Congress: the SOT and FOI bills (as already cited); reasonable not almost worthless wage increases; substantial tax breaks for minimum wage earners; lowering the costs of electricity, transportation fares and other basic services and commodities; firm resolve to end the rising extrajudicial killings (EJKs), especially of trade union and social activists, journalists, etc.

ON THIS HALLOWED DAY for all workers and the organized labor, SENTRO, together with the NAGKAISA, will reassert our final break with the government of Aquino for his dismal record on promoting and protecting labor and trade union rights, and for turning his back on us by breaking his promises to us during his presidential campaign and early into his term when he needed us most. The workers and other basic sectors of society and their organizations hereby end any cooperation to his administration.

Let us take control again of the streets of Manila, Lipa, Cebu, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, General Santos, Cotabato and elsewhere to project working class unity and reaffirm our commitment to the historic mission of the working class to build a better world.

Mabuhay ang SENTRO!
Mabuhay ang NAGKAISA!
Mabuhay ang pagdiriwang ng Mayo Uno, ang Pandaigdigang Araw ng Paggawa!
Mabuhay ang kilusang paggawa sa Pilipinas at sa buong mundo!
Mabuhay ang uring manggagawa!
Uring manggagawa, hukbong mapagpalaya!



The Confederation of independent Unions in the Public Sector (CIU) strongly condemns in the strongest possible terms the brutal slaying of innocent civilians, journalists and political in the so called Maguindanao Massacre last Monday, November 23, 2009.

Victims of this savage act are employees of the Tacurong City local government in Sultan Kudarat province and are members of the Tacurong City Employees Association (TACEA-CIU) who is an affiliate of the CIU. Those unwary and unsuspecting innocent people were on its way to the Cotabato Regional Hospital for medical check up only when the incident happened. They just happen to be at the tail end of the convoy of the Mangudadatus when the group’s convoy was allegedly stopped by the group of the Ampatuans. The convoy was immediately cordoned and sealed off including the Vios.

Reports from Tom Robles, TACEA-CIU president said that there were five (5) fatalities and that the government vehicle they were riding in was buried. Last Tuesday, November 24, 2009 the bodies of Wilhelm Palabrica, the vehicle’s driver and Mercy Palabrica, one of Tacurong City’s licensing staff were found and had showed signs of torture and multiple gunshot wounds. Wednesday was when the bodies of spouses Eduardo, the city’s licensing section head and Cecil Lechonsito were found buried beneath the Vios which was also dugged up totally wrecked from the mass grave of humans and cars.

As of yesterday November 26, 2009 the body of Daryll delos Reyes, also a licensing staff of the City of Tacurong has yet to be found.

CIU calls justice for the victims of this dastardly act of savagery to helpless and innocent unsuspecting civilians caught in the middle by greedy group of influential people who wields enormous powers and enjoy the blessings of their political patrons from the administration and flex their might in their fiefdom without regard to basic human rights and norms of a humane society.

Government should now exercise its political will with dispatch to punish the perpetrators to the full extent of the law without fear or favor and show its sincerity and by example that no one is above the law even if they are the ones instrumental in installing government leaders to their position by delivering the votes during elections.

CIU will be watching the government on what are the steps it will take to address this grossly inappropriate act of senseless killings perpetrated with impunity by politicians that were mandated by its constituents and had sworn to protect them from this kind situation together with the security forces that should also protecting from the bad elements. But in this particular case, it’s the other way around. We do believe that this is just an isolated case and that it can be resolved at the earliest possible time for as long as no one will suppress the truth and that press freedom and liberty will still prevail.

Meanwhile, we will continue to mourn the passing of our dead and pray that justice will be served as swiftly as their lives were taken. Our deepest sympathy and condolences to their bereaved families.

Innocent motorists among massacre victims in Ampatuan


Eduardo Lechonsito, a government employee in Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat, was bound for a hospital in Cotabato City after suffering a mild stroke early Monday morning.

Lechonsito, 53, went with his wife Cecille, his co-workers Mercy Palabrica and Daryll delos Reyes, and driver Wilhelm Palabrica.

Unsuspecting of the fate that awaited them, Lechonsito’s group passed along the national highway in Ampatuan town in Maguindanao en route to the Cotabato Regional Medical Center in Cotabato City. They were behind the convoy that turned out to be the target of about a hundred militiamen believed to be private army members of the Ampatuan clan.

According to Tom Robles, head of the Tacurong City Employees Union, Lechonsito and his companions were abducted and killed on mere suspicion that they were part of the convoy led by Genalyn Mangudadatu, wife of gubernatorial aspirant Buluan town Vice Mayor Ismael “Toto” Mangudadatu.

“Doon sa highway, napasama lang sila sa na-hold na convoy,” Robles told GMANews.TV.


News of the mass killing shocked the nation Monday afternoon. Authorities said the fatalities included women and several journalists. As of Wednesday noon, the total number of bodies recovered in the massacre site in Ampatuan town had reached 52.

Also on Wednesday, police operatives excavated a red Toyota Vios at the killing fields. Chief Superintendent Felicisimo Khu, head of the Task Force Alpha in Maguindanao, confirmed that the vehicle was the one used by Lechonsito’s party.

“Kay Mr. Lechonsito nga iyong kotse,” Khu told GMANews.TV.

He added that the bodies of three passengers have been recovered. The bodies of Mercy Palabrica and Wilhelm Palabrica were recovered Tuesday, while that of Cecille Lechonsito was recovered Wednesday noon.

“Hinahanap pa namin yung kay Mr. Lechonsito at dun sa isa (referring to Daryll delos Reyes),” Khu added.

Robles said the recovered vehicle had the seal of the Tacurong City government, confirming suspicions that Lechonsito’s group was among the victims of the massacre. “Yung nahukay na kotse, may seal kasi ng Tacurong government. So alam namin na kay Mr. Lechonsito iyon,” Robles said.

Robles said the Tacurong City Employees Union are denouncing the attack and would prod the government to deliver justice to the victims.

“Kinukundina namin ang nangyari. Magbibigay kami ng position paper. Sa Sunday, magsusuot kami ng black at maglalabas kami ng mga tarpaulin na nagsasabing kinukundina namin ang pangyayari,” he said. – RSJ, GMANews.TV


MAYO UNO: Ika–106 taong pandaigdigang pagdiriwang ng kilusang-paggawa! Subalit ang araw na ito sa Pilipinas ay naglalarawan ng patuloy at palalang sitwasyon at paghihirap ng mga manggagawang Pilipino na nagsusumikap mabuhay nang maayos sa kabila ng patuloy na pagtaas ng mga batayang bilihin, malawakang kawalan ng trabaho, at kakarampot at di-makatarungang pasahod.

Sa kasaluyang dinaranas natin sa kadahilanan ng Pandaigdigang Krisis na Pinansiyal na lalong nagpalala ng ating sitwasyon, muli nating ginigiit ang ating mga karapatan at karaingan.


Sa pamamagitan ng sinasabing Rationalization Program (EO 366) sa burukrasya na ipinapatupad ng kasalukuyang administrasyon upang paliitin ang bilang ng mga manggagawa, patuloy naman ang pagtatatag ng bagong ahensiya upang mailuklok sa puwesto ang kanilang mga ka-alyado at mga kamag-anakan. Hindi ba ito isang maliwanag na panlilinlang sa ating mga manggagawa at sa buong mamamayang Pilipino? Ito ay matinding dagok sa ating mga manggagawa na matagal nang naghihintay ng dagdag na sahod at benepisyo, sa halip, ngayon ay napipintong mawalan pa ng trabaho dahil sa implementasyon na rin ng nasabing “Ir-Rationalization” at iba pang KONTRA manggagawang programa ng pamahalaan.



Matagal nang dumaranas ng matinding kahirapan ang mamamayang Pilipino dahil sa patuloy na pagtaas ng presyo ng mga pangunahing serbisyo at bilihin samantalang di makasapat ang maliit na kita ng mga manggagawa na ang malaking bahagi nito ay napupunta sa buwis at iba pang kinakaltas bago pa man matanggap ng manggagawa ang sahod.

Kaugnay sa pag rereporma ng ating gobyerno partikular sa bagong pasahod sa publiko sector ay ang panukalang Salary Standardization Law (SSL3) bagong iskema daw na planong ipatupad sa darating na Hulyo ng taong ito, subalit ano ang magiging epekto nito sa maliliit ang sinasahod kumpara sa mas malalaki ang suweldo? Muli, palalawakin nito ang “gap” sa pagitan ng mga matataas ang sahod sa mabababa ang tinatanggap. Sapat na dahilan ito upang mas lalong igiit natin na magkaroon ng partisipasyon ang mga manggagawa sa lahat ng proseso ng pagtatalakay sa mga polisiya na kung saan direktang apektado tayong mga manggagawa.

DECENT LIVING WAGE ang ipagkaloob, di lang MINIMUM WAGE!!!!


At sino ang hindi makaka-alala sa kagyat at arbitraryong pagpapatigil ng pag-proseso ng mga loans at pensions na nagdulot ng mahabang aberya at pasakit sa mayorya ng 1.4 milyong aktibong GSIS members? Diumano ito’y ginawa upang bigyan daan ang GSIS computerization program na nagkakahalaga ng P 700 million kahit na ito’y kayang isakatuparan sa mas maliit na halaga na P 40 million lamang.

Sinabi noon ni G. Garcia na mapapabilis nito ang mga transaksyon ng GSIS. Ngunit sa halip na bumilis ang proseso, kabaligtaran ang nangyari. Umabot ng di kukulangin sa 6 na buwan bago pa man naipagpatuloy ng GSIS ang pag-proseso ng mga nabinbing loans pati na pensions.

At ngayon, sa panahon ng krisis pampinansiyal, imbes na magbigay ng maayos at “transparent” na pamamahala si G. Garcia ay kabaligtaran pa rin ang nangyayari. Sa ilalim ng kanyang termino, hindi malinaw at walang pagpapaliwanag kung ano na ang nangyayari sa P26.54 bilyon Global Investment Program (GIP) Portfolio ng GSIS! Sa gitna ng papatinding krisis, nais natin malaman kung saan ito naka-invest, anong uri ng investment at kung ano na ang katayuan ng mga pondo na ating pagmamay-ari. Nakakatakot isipin na ang pondong ating inaasahan sa panahon ng pangangailangan at pagreretiro ay malulusaw na lamang kasabay ng pagbagsak ng mga banko sa ibang bansa na ang epekto ay higit na tumatama sa mga maliliit na bansa gaya ng Pilipinas.

Sobra na ang kahirapang ating nararanasan. Panahon na upang parusahan ang tunay na maysala sa lahat ng katiwaliang ito. Panahon na upang sagipin at repormahin ang GSIS sa kamay ni G. Garcia.



Ang corruption sa ilalim ng Arroyo Administration ay napakalala. Sa ngayon parang mga virus na nag-uumalma at sumisingaw sa Pandora’s box ang corrupt practices.

Maraming malalakas ang loob ang nagbubunyag ng mga nagaganap na anomalya sa ating pamahalaan, ngunit ang justice system natin ay kakaiba, bukod sa napakabagal, may kinikilingan pa kadalasan at ang nababalikan ay yung gumawa ng paglalantad ng katiwalian.

Ngunit di tayo dapat manghina at matakot, ipagpatuloy ang laban ng manggagawa, dahil mananaig parin ang kabutihan sa kasamaan.

Kayat muli ang pag-giit ng Confederation of Independent Unions in the Public Sector (CIU) ang panawagang bigyan-pansin ang mga usaping ito upang maiangat ang kalagayan, moralidad at dignidad ng mga manggagawa sa publiko sector at ng sambayanang Pilipino.