Date: Fri, 1 Aug 97 18:09:23 CDT
From: rich@pencil (Rich Winkel)
Subject: Philippines: Leftist Rivalries in Criticizing Ramos Speech

/** reg.philippine: 102.0 **/
** Topic: FWD: PH: Leftist Rivalries in Criticizing Ramos Speech **
** Written 5:56 AM Jul 31, 1997 by fbp in cdp:reg.philippine **
From: (Steven Rood at ARD, Inc.) (by way of "John M. Miller" <>)
Subject: FWD: PH: Leftist Rivalries in Criticizing Ramos Speech

Left Groups Out to Outdo One Another

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer, 28 July 1997, p. 1

Three rival leftist groups will present today their own versions of the "real" state of the nation [opposing President Ramos's version] in what has become a yearly contest on which among them commands the biggest following.

One group comprising Sanlakas, Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino, Kapatiran ng mga Pangulo ng Unyon ng Pilipinas, national Confederation of Labor and Kongreso ng Maralitang Taga-Lungsod will hold simultaneous rallies in five urban centers.

It said 50,000 of its forces would march from the University of the Philippines to the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City.

Another group led by the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) will stage nationwide protest actions "to present the sate of the Filipino people."

Bayan will be joined by the Kilusang Mayo Uno, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, Gabriela, League of Filipino Students and representatives of other sectors.

Bayan said it could muster at least 20,000 people who would march on the Batasang Pambansa where President Ramos was scheduled to deliver his final State of the Nation Address before a joint session of Congress at 4:00 p.m. today.

The third group calls itself the broadest "Moderate Left" in the country, which has formed a new coalition called the "Campaign against Poverty 2000."

CAP 2000 is composed of Siglaya, a faction of Sanlakas, Pandayan, a breakaway group of the KMU, Kristiyano Laban sa Kahirapan, a youth group called the Third Propaganda Movement and organizations representing the urban poor, workers, peasants and students.

In a statement, CAP 2000 said it was targeting a mobilization of 35,000 people near the Tandang Sora Flyover in Quezon City.

The three rival groups, however, are united in their opposition to government policies.

In a statement, Renato Constantino Jr., Sanlakas national chair, said he expected the President to "recite his valedictory address before his cheering sycophants in Congress in yet another predictable State of the Nation Address."

BMP chair Filemon "Popoy" Lagman earlier said that his group could muster more people in a rally today than the KMU. He voted to cut his fingers if KMU could mobilize more workers than BMP.

BMP spokesperson Wilson Fortaleza said CAP 2000 had no mass base to speak of, except employees of its nongovernment organizations.

CAP 2000 spokesperson Etta Rosales kept silent on BMP's mudslinging. She instead debunked the gains claimed by the Ramose administration.

On the President's expected flaunting of the economic recovery, Rosales said it "simply cannot be felt at the ground."

Rosales said the drop in the official poverty incidence from 45 percent in 1992 to 35 percent in 1996 was achieved because of the lowering of the minimum food and non-food per capita requirements than [sic] a real poverty reduction.

Like its two rival groups, Bayan said Mr. Ramos would again "lie to the people" and gloat over the so-called success statistics which, it said, had been shattered by the recent peso devaluation.

They said they would demand that this really be the President's last address, and that he step down in 1998 after a six-year term.

"As can be expected, he (Mr. Ramos) would again be putting on the jester cap and deliver a dazzling monologue, gloating over the so-called success statistics to back him up," said Gabriela secretary general Liza Maza.

"He will quote GNPs, GDPs, export earnings, employment statistics, rise of infrastructure, etc." Maza said.

Bayan and its allies said the poor were getting poorer and plentiful amid mass displacements resulting from the government's development projects, retrenchment and the high cost of basic goods.

Antonio Liongson, Karapatan deputy secretary general, said the Ramos administration has committed human rights violations under the guise of pushing projects, curbing crime, counterinsurgency, and pushing foreign investments in areas affecting local groups such as in the mining industry.

Bayan and its supporters said they would try to hold their Sona [State of the Nation Address] as close to the Batasan as possible.

Steven Rood Cordillera Studies Center
University of the Philippines
Baguio City 2600
(63)(74) 442-5794

Associates in Rural Development
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Makati City 1200
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FAX: (63)(2) 893-9602