July 27, 2009
The militant labor group Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) in its counter-SONA protest today depicted Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as an H1N1 virus that is fatal to the workers and the people. “The survey by the Social Weather Station on hunger reflects the real state of the people more than GMA’s SONA that will just be full of lies. That one in five Filipinos have experienced hunger in the last three months reveal that economic growth under GMA is a fairy tale that has not been felt by the masses,” argued Renato Magtubo, PM chairperson.
Members of PM together with groups such as Alyansa ng Maralitang Pilipino, Zone One Tondo Organization, United Cavite Workers Association and Samahan ng Mamamayan ng Calabarzon gathered in front of the Commission on Human Rights along Commonwealth Ave. just before noon. Later in the afternoon hundreds of union members of the Fortune Tobacco Labor Union joined the PM contingent.
The colorful protest by PM featured an effigy of GMA as an H1N1 virus that is a scourge on the country and Congress representatives as swine that the group alleged should all be quarantined to save the people from fatal infection. The group also depicted GMA as a CD scandal queen in memory of the Hello Garci controversy. PM members dressed as witches and fairies also cast spells on GMA ala Harry Potter style.
“We call on congress to focus on economic recession instead of charter revision. Workers and the poor are suffering from layoffs, contractualization, low wages and hunger while GMA and her allies in Congress plot to convene the constituent assembly and extend her term. GMA’s attention is on how to remain in power instead of how to solve the problem of unemployment and poverty,” added Magtubo.
PM vowed to physically block through protests any attempt to convene the constituent assembly. Magtubo warned that “The SONA protests are just a dress rehearsal for the mass actions that will erupt if GMA maneuvers to hold on to power by con-ass, martial law, state of emergency or some other means.”