By Kilusang Mayo Uno
We condemn Mr. Rodrigo R. Duterte’s statement branding national labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno, transport group PISTON, and human – rights organization Karapatan as fronts of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
We say to Mr. Duterte: please stick to the issue! His self-indulged blabbing over the national television, refuses to address the real threat to the livelihood of the country’s jeepney drivers being posed by the Jeepney Phaseout Scheme. He refuses to listen to the jeepney drivers and operators’ legitimate demand and logical reasoning to junk this scheme. Thus, proven himself as front of the oligarchs, such as the Ayalas, Pangilinan, and Cojuangco, who will be raking super profits from this scheme. The same oligarchs whom he handed control over MRT/LRT, express ways, telecommunication, power, and water.
The bluster of his accusation cannot hide his ignorance of the issue at hand. The Jeepney Phaseout Scheme is beyond the reduction of carbon dioxide. It reflects rotten mass transportation system that has long been abandoned by the government. Therefore, more important comprehensive measures should be taken to do this.
The jeepney phaseout scheme is about sacrificing the livelihood of small jeepney drivers at the altar of his build-build-build partners/cronies (Ayalas, Pangilinan, and Cojuangco) and big car manufacturers (Toyota, Mitshubishi, and Chrysler) who want to tighten their control over the country’s transportation system. He is so rabid about upholding big capitalist interests, he shed all pretenses to being pro-masses and said “Mahirap kayo? Magtiis kayo sa hirap at gutom.Wala akong pakialam.”
Duterte has the mindset of a dictator! When the poor exercise their right to speak up against threats to their livelihood, he brands their actions as “conspiracy” and “rebellion.”
He tries to hide his brazen anti-poor and pro-oligarch stand in this issue by imputing political motives to organizations leading and supporting the jeepney drivers’ struggle for their livelihood.
Duterte tries to show that he is unfazed by the successful two-day transport strike against the Jeepney Phaseout Scheme, yet he is very, very afraid of rising disillusionment and anger towards his regime. He is indeed, hallucinating things.
Branding legal and legitimate workers and peoples’ organizations as fronts of the underground CPP sets up the former for attacks from the military and the entire repressive apparatus of the state.
In accusing these organizations as fronts of the CPP, Duterte is no different from Noynoy Aquino, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and all his predecessors. He is truly an admirer of Ferdinand Marcos, who outlawed progressive organizations when he declared Martial Law in 1972.