23 July 2017
Militant groups vowed to to make protests synonymous with President Rodrigo Duterte’s second State of the Nation’s Address (SONA) by staging multiple demonstrations to assert that the president’s promise of change has not been realized.
Contingents of Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP), Sanlakas and Partido ng Lakas ng Masa (PLM) members will commence their day by holding symbolic simultaneous actions at the Bureau of Internal Revenue to denounce the proposed Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion program, and at the National Housing Authority to push for decent, affordable and safe public housing. The groups will also send a contingent to the nearby head office of the Department of Natural Resource to call for the termination of all coal-related projects.
“The simultaneous actions at various state agencies is proof that change has not come. Despite Duterte’s rosy pronouncements while still campaigning and even up to his first SONA, Duterte’s regime remains to be a major let down for those who voted for him”. said Leody de Guzman, president of BMP.
He added that, “we are even baffled with what he plans to brag as achievements in tomorrow’s SONA. After an entire year of threatening employers who abuse contractual workers, no finger was lifted and despite our protestations, contractual employment remains to be the dominant mode of employment in the country”.
The groups are also critical of the regime’s tax reform program which they branded as regressive and anti-poor. It’s much vaunted tax exemption will only benefit a minute number of the country’s twenty-two million wage-earners as capitalists will not only save up on the proposed bracketing but will also enjoy lowered corporate and estate taxes.
They announced that their contingents shall merge in front of the the Iglesia ni Cristo church in Litex along Commonwealth Avenue and will march towards the North gate, where they will hold their program.
It was earlier announced that other political blocs shall hold their program at the South gate.
Similar protests would also be held in Bacolod, Tacloban, Cebu and Davao.#