15 January 2015
Reference: Anthony Barnedo 0920-2876384
Kongreso ng Pagkakaisa ng Maralitang Lungsod
Urban Poor denounce Aquino’s version of Imeldific Image-building
Invites “Ka Kiko” to feast on Tuyo and Instant Noodles
AN ANTI-Poverty group condemned the national government after receiving reports from various urban poor communities in the metro that the national officials together with local officials have put up large tarpaulins and other light materials an effort to shield the eyes of the visiting Pope Francis from viewing what they claim as “unhumane conditions of the metro’s poor”.
The Kongreso ng Pagkakaisa ng Maralitang Lungsod (KPML) claimed that the, “government’s latest exercise against the slum dwellers is not only un-Christian but also in violation of our basic human rights”.
“Like everybody else, the poor, who are mostly Catholics, would also want to have a glimpse of the Pope as he traverses across the metropolis, since it is the only opportunity for us to see him in the flesh. Unlike the hypocritical and corrupt government officials and society’s VIP elite who will be able to take selfies with the Pope, said Anthony Barnedo, general-secretary of KPML in Metro Manila.
Known to be harboring very strong concerns for the poor, Pope Francis whom the informal settlers prefer to call as Ka Kiko has on many occasions openly attacked unfettered capitalism and the tyranny of markets in his social teachings and public addresses.
Barnedo cited cases of billboards and tarpaulins were placed all around the urban poor communities located along the route of the Papal convoy in the cities of Pasay and Manila.
Meanwhile a news report by British news website Daily Mail reported that dozens of street children as young as 5 years old were hauled off and are being detained for the past weeks by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) allegedly to “protect the Pope from being targeted by beggars” has gone viral over social media.
“With thirty-seven thousand security forces and thousands more of volunteers as well as the aide of CIA agents deployed to secure the Pope, this insecure government expects child beggars to target the Pope and shame them on the global stage is hilarious. The government’s Imeldific operation all over the Metro is what is most shameful,” Barnedo declared.
Imeldific was the term coined to describe the efforts by former First Lady Imelda Marcos to hide the “eyesores” of Manila’s streets from visiting heads of state and make false pretenses on the economic conditions of the country under his husband’s martial law.
Visit and Spend time with the Poor
The group called on the Pope to break protocol as he always does and insist on visiting the slum communities of the Metro Manila “to see and breathe for himself the atmosphere of misery and scent of hopeless that has been a consequence of continued implementation of cheap labor policies and unbridled deregulation and privatization of basic social services by the government”.
The KPML spokesperson claimed that, “since taking power in 2010, the Aquino government has not only acted upon the demand to reverse the unpopular deregulation of the oil, energy and education sectors but has consistently defended it. It has also enticed the private sector to invest in state hospitals, ordered the demolition of hundreds of thousands of shanties and has suppressed wages below constitutionally-guaranteed living standards”.
The group invited the Holy Father to visit their organized community along Radial Road-10 and feast on their daily fare of tuyo and instant noodles.
“We are also sure that Pope Francis would want to see with his own eyes the correctness of his teachings and bring our plight to the global stage.” Barnedo concluded.#