Wednesday, May 20, 2009

PR - 20th Death Anniversary of Ka Eddie Guazon

PRESS STATEMENT
MAY 19, 2009

On the 20th Death Anniversary of KPML’s First President
KA EDDIE GUAZON
(August 13, 1925 - May 19,1989)

"Ang kasiguruhan sa paninirahan ay karapatan ng bawat mamamayan maging siya man ay maralita. (Security to have home to dwell on is a right of every citizen even if he or she is poor)"

This is the firm belief of Ka Eddie Guazon, the first president of the urban poor group Kongreso ng Pagkakaisa ng mga Maralita ng Lunsod (KPML). He died twenty years ago fighting for this belief. He died after he suffered a heart attack during the Senate Committee hearing on housing and demolition, when he denied a police testimony on cruel demolitions inflicted to the poor. He was rushed to the nearby Philippine General Hospital (PGH) but declared dead on arrival. Even in the last minutes of his life, Tatay Eddie, as everyone in the urban poor circle called him, fights for the rights and welfare of the urban poor.

Tatay Eddie Guazon was born in Placer, Surigao del Norte. He became an orphan in the very young age. In 1947, he went to Manila, and worked by selling newspapers and cigarettes in Quiapo. Until he worked as laborer in DPWH, while studying at University of Manila at night, but did not finish schooling because of poverty. He was a clerk when he married Felicitas “Nanay Feling” Griar, his provincemate. In 1963, they lived at Barrio Magsaysay in Tondo, where he started his work as a community leader.

He became the leader of Kapisanang Maginoo in his area, then president of Samahang Kristiyanong Komunidad. From then on, he fight for the urban poors’ rights and welfare. During the early years of the Marcos regime, he lead Barrio Magsaysay folks in demanding to President Marcos lands for the urban poor families. During the martial law, he twice arrested without warrant. He was jailed in Fort Bonifacio in 1974 and in Bicutan in 1978. Because of this, he was forced to retire from work, and then concentrate in organizing the urban poor. In the campaign against Marcos, Tatay Eddie lead the Coalition of Urban Poor Against Poverty (CUPAP) in the struggle against anti-poor laws, policies and programs of the government.

In 1986, the Aquino government held the national consultation- workshop, where it organized the National Congress of Urban Poor Organizations (NACUPO). And one of Tatay Eddie’s demand here is to have an agency for the urban poor that will represent the poor in planning and implementation of programs and policies of the government. After the said workshop, the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP) was born.

When the PCUP was conceived, it recommended demolitions in many areas such as Talayan in Quezon City and in Sta. Mesa, Manila. Because of these, Tatay Eddie gave harsh criticism of the PCUP and the Aquino government in the rallies and talk shows.

On December 18, 1986, three urban poor groups – the Coalition of Urban Poor Against Poverty (CUPAP), the Pagkakaisa ng Mamamayan ng Navotas (PAMANA) and Zone One Tondo Organization (ZOTO) – joined together to form the Kongreso ng Pagkakaisa ng mga Maralita ng Lungsod (KPML), and Tatay Eddie was elected as its first president.

He died May 19, 1989. Today, Ka Eddie’ legacy remains in the heart and mind of the leaders and members of KPML, ZOTO, and other allied organizations. They still continue to fight for the people’s right to housing.

Friday, May 1, 2009

PR - Mayo Uno 2009

PRESS RELEASE
May 1, 2009



Panawagan ng mga Batang Manggagawa at Maralita sa Mayo Uno:

STOP CHILD LABOR, NOW!

TRABAHO PARA SA AMING MGA MAGULANG!


Bilang paggunita sa dakilang Araw ng Paggawa ngayong Mayo Uno, nanawagan ang mga batang manggagawa sa pamahalaan na dapat nang matigil ang pagsasamantala sa mga batang manggagawa, sa pamamagitan ng panawagang “Stop Child Labor, Now!” Hiniling din nila sa pamahalaan na dapat bigyan ng trabaho ang kanilang mga magulang, magkaroon ng libreng edukasyon, trabaho sa mga magulang, libreng pangkalusugan, at proteksyon sa kanilang mga bata. Sa ngayon, umaabot sa 4M ang mga child workers sa Pilipinas.

Ang nasabing mga batang manggagawa ay nakapaloob sa Child Rights Program (CRP) ng Kongreso ng Pagkakaisa ng mga Maralita ng Lunsod (KPML). Karamihan sa mga batang ito na nasa edad 17 pababa ay magbabasura, nagpapedicab, magbabakaw, mangingisda, industrial workers (cyber sex), domestic helper, at manininda sa lansangan.

Ayon kay Frances Ann Yap, presidente ng Pagkakaisa ng mga Kabataang Manggagawa para sa Karapatan (PKMK), “Nais namin sa paaralan. Ayaw namin sa basurahan. Dapat nang itigil ang child labor sa ating bansa upang kaming mga bata ay makapag-aral, makapaglaro at mabuhay bilang malayang bata. Dapat din pong bigyan ng sapat na trabahong makabubuhay ng pamilya ang aming mga magulang. Dapat nang itigil ang pananakit sa mga bata, child trafficking, at ang patuloy na pagdami ng mga batang manggagawa.”

Kasabay nito, nagpasan ng malaking bato ang mga maralitang lider ng KPML na sumisimbolo sa mga pahirap, pasakit na dumadagan sa maralita sa araw-araw, tulad ng demolisyon, kakulangan sa serbisyo para sa maralita, kahirapan, pagtaas ng presyo ng batayang mga pangangailangan, salot na globalisasyon, at krisis panlipunan. Sinisimbolo ng bato ang kawalang kakayahan ng gobyernong Arroyo na tugunan ang mga problemang ito.

Sinabi ni Ka Pedring Fadrigon, pambansang tagapangulo ng KPML, “Patuloy na naghihirap ang mamamayan sa ilalim ng sistemang kapitalismo. Ang mga serbisyong para sa tao ay ginagawa nang negosyo, kaya imbes na mapakinabangan ng mamamayan, ito’y pinagtutubuan ng iilan. Ang kamahalan ng presyo ng edukasyon na taun-taon ay tumataas, at ang presyo ng medical ay talagang hindi kayang maabot ng mga maralita. Kailangan nang palitan ang sistemang itong yumuyurak sa karapatan natin bilang tao. Dapat nang wakasan ang sistemang kapitalismo!”