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Akbayan solon calls for immediate installation of farmers in Cuenca land February 28, 2007

Posted by s511 in agrarian reform, Press Releases.
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Akbayan Rep. Etta Rosales today called on the Department of Agrarian Reform Sec. Nasser Pangandaman to facilitate the immediate installation of farmer beneficiaries in Negros lands belonging to Roberto Cuenca.

The Malaga farmers, who have set up camp in front of the DAR premises have been granted certificates of land ownership awards and the DAR itself has admitted on national television that no more impediments should block the awarding of the lands to the farmers.

“It is sad that farmers are being pitted against farmers to delay the installation of the beneficiaries because the land that they are claiming is separate from the one claimed by another group,” said Rosales.

“The secretary’s pronouncements that the farmer beneficiaries are fake holds no water since the list has already been cleansed, going through an inclusion and exclusion process,” added Rosales.  “The only impediment is the landlord himself who is unwilling to part with prime lands that under the law, should not belong to him.”

“There is no more process to be undertaken, nothing else that needs to be done except install the farmers,” explained Rosales.  “The DAR should instead support the farmers and give them appropriate support services to help uplift their lives.”

“The Arroyo government has the recovered Marcos wealth at its disposal, and out of P35 billion, about P20 billion should go into land acquisitiona nd distribution and P7 billion should go to support services,” Rosales pointed out.  “Lack of money cannt be used as an excuse either.”

“Farmers in the area have already been killed, harassed and initimidated by Blue Guards supposedly under the employ of the landlord and this should also be investigated,” added Rosales.  “No ifs and buts just because Cuenca is a balae of Iggy Arroyo.”

“Government should understand that landlessness and the resulting poverty is the root cause of armed resistance in the countryside and instead of an unnecessary anti-terror bill it is this social injustice that must be addressed once and for all.”


Solons call for internet posting of voters list February 20, 2007

Posted by s511 in electoral reforms.

At least 25 solons today pushed for the immediate publication, preferably through the internet of the certified finalized list of registered voters for the 2007 elections.

“The availability and accessibility of this list is crucial in ensuring that its integrity is assured,” said Akbayan Rep. Etta Rosales. “If the public could access it easily, flying voters, erroneous registrations and such will be addressed and eliminated.”


Posted by s511 in electoral reforms, Human Rights, party-list system and elections, Position Papers, Press Statements.
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One of the basic ills of our flawed electoral process we had inherited from the Marcos regime and which continues as a major problem to the present is the bloated and questionable voters’ list.


When the late Mr. Ferdinand Marcos called for presidential snap elections on 7 February 1986, he succeeded in disenfranchising an estimated one million two hundred thousand voters by collapsing precincts and transferring the list of voters from one precinct to another in opposition bailiwick areas.  This bad habit from the Marcos years continues to haunt us with oftentimes the sheer incompetence or inefficiency of some COMELEC personnel.  On the other hand, it has been known to all and sundry that certain unscrupulous elements considered experts in the field of elections have done more harm than good to the ordinary voting populace by using their skills in the manipulation of votes known to all as dagdag-bawas.  The charges against Mr. Garcillano in the Garci case filed before the joint committee hearings of Information, Suffrage, National Defense and Communications Technology has magnified this in perspective in the last 2004 elections, yet up to now nothing definitive has been done to guard against possible  election fraud in the coming 2007 polls.  The implementation of the Automated Electoral Systems Act cannot be enforced, according to Comelec for time constraints.


Akbayan holds mass for Marcos victims and passage of compensation bill February 19, 2007

Posted by s511 in Human Rights, Legislation, Marcos Wealth.

Akbayan party-list today held a mass at the South Wing lobby of the House of Representatives to commemorate the victims of the Marcos regime in line with the pending approval of the compensation bill into law.



Posted by s511 in Human Rights, Marcos Wealth, Press Statements.
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The Palace Proclamation 1235 asserts that a number of very important bills that have failed ratification this 13th Congress can no longer afford to wait for the 14th Congress. Going through the legislative grind could take another three tedious years which becomes such a waste of time.

We could not agree more. It becomes a crime to the people when bills that had been drafted with their active and steadfast participation and lobby in the past nine years should once again be shoved and shelved without rhyme or reason.


Small Arms and Light Weapons February 7, 2007

Posted by s511 in Speeches.
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Closing Remarks delivered during the Parliamentarians for Global Action Asian regional workshop on Small Arms and the Arms Trade Treaty, February 7, 2007, House of Representatives

I would like to thank all of you for taking the time to attend this very relevant gathering.

The issue of illicit trade in small arms and light weapons could not come at a more opportune time.  It has been reported that 638 million small arms around the world, and that by 2020 the number of deaths caused by these weapons will outnumber of deaths caused by malaria, for example.  In the Philippines, the small scale gun manufacturing business is booming fueled in part by the longstanding conflicts in Mindanao and the communist insurgency.  There are about 415,000 small arms in the country today, their manufacture and use fuelling further internal conflict and threatening our pursuit of peace based on justice.