The militant regional labor center PAMANTIK-KMU trooped today to support the residents of a seaside community facing imminent demolition of their settlements.
In Sitio Balacbacan, Brgy. Laiya Aplaya, San Juan, Batangas, thousands of families thriving in fishing and other seaside activities have been threatened to be thrown out of their communities for almost two years now. A 10,000-strong crew of fully-armed policemen and jailers hired as demolition crews stormed the community last July 4, 2014, displacing the community still mounting its defense.
The events of July 4, 2014 sparked a series of demolition attempts from the private developer Federico Campos,, who plans to follow the trend of development projects in the shoreline of Batangas. The residents were reportedly shooed out of their communities for the building of beach resorts in the area.
Residents of the community has since condemned government inaction over the demolition, and also the said impunity cherished by Campos, as he “tramples over their right to settlement and living”.
PAMANTIK-KMU called on different labor organizations, unions and alliances to set up quick reaction teams to augment the community’s defense efforts, in cooperation with other progressive organizations.
“Upholding people’s rights requires a great community effort from various sectors of society. Such solidarity develops strong relations among the workers and the people, which face different yet unifying struggles for their livelihood and basic rights,” said Bagas.
Allan Bagas, secretary-general of PAMANTIK-KMU, pointed the demolition as part of President Aquino’s “anti-worker, anti-people” development plan, guised in the promising words of Daang Matuwid (Straight Path) – further marginalizing the people.
“A year after the bloody encounter in Mamasapano, the BS Aquino regime continues to spread injustice and hardships to the people – it is, apparently, what inclusive growth has meant for him,” said Bagas.
“With over five years of widespread underdevelopment and intensifying troubles for the people, we want BS Aquino behind bars. His Daang Matuwid is nothing but yet a worse string of demolitions, poverty, killings and trifles for us workers and the rest of the Filipino people,” he added.
Staying on guard for the following days, the labor group continued to call for support from different organizations in defending Sitio Balacbacan, and in denouncing of BS Aquino over continued implementation of Project Calabarzon and other anti-people development projects in the Southern Tagalog region. # # #