Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Senator Angara must apologize for red-baiting ― anti-Apeco groups

MANILA, August 25, 2011―The Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) demanded an apology from Senator Edgardo Angara after he said that those organizations vehemently opposing the creation of the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Free Ports Authority are fronts of the Maoist Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
The alleged red-baiting against opposers of the Apeco happened during the senator's speech in commemoration of the 402nd founding anniversary of the Baler town, the Aurora's provincial capital.
Pamalakaya national chairperson Fernando Hicap said that Angara is morally, politically and legally obliged to issue a public apology as his Red bashing "escapade" might result to something else.
“Mr. Angara should be largely blamed if the military and other state security forces [should] engage in another brutal campaign against anti-Apeco groups and individuals," Pamalakaya said.
During former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's term, there was a large number of activists who have been slain or abducted and disappeared due to red-tagging.
"Instead of resorting to dirty propaganda and red branding, Senator Angara, his son Rep. Sonny Angara and sister ― Aurora Gov. Bella Angara-Castillo should face all issues surrounding Apeco fair and square," the Pamalakaya chair said.
Last August 22, members of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), Pamalakaya, Alyansa ng Magbubukid ng Gitnang Luzon (AMGL), Panlalawigang Alyansa ng mga Magbubukid sa Aurora (Pamana), Anakpawis party list, Government Employees for Genuine Land Reform, Katribu Party list, Kalipunan ng mga Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas (KAMP) and Promotion of Church People’s Response (PCPR) picketed before Congress to appeal the junking of the P332.5 million (US$7,840,960.55 or Euros 5,445,680.78) proposed Apeco funds, as the release of the said funding would give the green light for the alleged creation of the "Angara empire" in the entire Aurora province.
“The P332.5 million worth of taxpayers’ money will be used against the people of Casiguran through massive landgrabbing and water-use conversions. Worse, the people’s money will be used to further strengthen the political dynasty and economic power of the Angaras in Aurora through this PPP project carried out by the office of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III,” said movement convenor and Pamana vice chairperson Elmer Dayson.
Dayson also said that Speaker [Feliciano] Belmonte and [Cavite] Rep. (Joseph Emilio) Abaya should bear in mind about the massive displacement Apeco would bring to 5,430 people in five barangays of Casiguran, Aurora if the Angaras succeed in getting the fund for Apeco project next year.
The groups rallying against Apeco also said that the project would also be detrimental to the environment, particularly to the waters of Aurora. (Noel Sales Barcelona/CBCPNews)

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