February 28, 2012
Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino
Workers challenge Congress not to be "kontrabidas"
by disclosing all bank records
Some 150 militant workers from the Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) staged a picket at the Batasan gates of the House of Representatives to demand the "full disclosure of all bank records - not just the SALNs (statement of assets, liabilities and net worth) - of all Congress representatives".
The protest is a reaction to a proposed bill by Pampanga representative Dong Gonzales, which seeks to ban the portrayal of lawmakers as crooks in movies and television.
Art Imitating Life
"The image problem of our lawmakers stems not from the bad publicity it gets from their kontabida roles in films and TV shows. This just a case of art imitating life, though projected to its extremes," BMP president Leody de Guzman said.
He added, "How can they not be perceived as criminal masterminds when most of them come from political clans that seem to rule over their legislative districts like feudal lords? We cannot blame the public for thinking that politicos enrich themselves by illegal means especially since the wealth accumulation happens while the majority of the poor are getting poorer".
Height of Hypocrisy
"If Rep. Gonzales wants to rescue the sorry image of Batasan, he should, instead, demand the full disclosure of all bank records - including dollar accounts - of all congress representatives. It is the height of hypocrisy for Congress – through the House prosecution panel in the impeachment court – to use bank records for Corona's conviction when they themselves do not disclose their financial records to the public," de Guzman argued.
DISCLOSE ALL not Censorship
The BMP calls on Congress to junk the said proposal by Rep. Gonzales, calling it a "censorship" that infringes the right to freedom of expression. "Censorship and infringement to the right to freedom of expression would only add blemish to the already tainted image of Congress. DISCLOSE ALL kung ayaw nilang maging kontrabida sa mata ng publiko! Kung walang ninakaw, walang itatago!" de Guzman concluded. #