Group launches own version of KKK

CALOOCAN CITY–An urban poor leader who recited Andres Bonifacio’s historical essay ‘Ang Dapat Mabatid ng mga Tagalog’ quickly gathered the attention of crowd near the hero’s national monument here in Monumento this morning.

The recital is part of a cultural program staged by urban poor group Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay) a week before the celebration of Bonifacio Day in November 30.

Kadamay is set to stage a week-long protest before the 149th birthday of the great Filipino hero. The group aims to show the sufferings of urban poor as they cited the great need for a revolution similar to the one waged by Bonifacio against Spanish colonization before.

Some 60 urban poor members of Kadamay wearing red scarfs with bolos bearing their calls offered flowers to the hero’s monument shortly after the program.

Thousands of urban poor nationwide under Kadamay are preparing for a big mobilization come November 30, spearheaded by the labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno in different regions nationwide.

Urban poor’s own KKK

The group has launched today its own version of KKK, a campaign called Kampanya Laban sa Kahirapan, Kagutuman at Pambubusabos (KKKP) which aims to mobilize tens of thousands of urban poor in the coming year in calling for a radical change amidst the chronic poverty, widespread hunger and the oppressive state of not less than thirty-two million urban poor in the country, in time for the 150 years of Bonifacio.

According to Kadamay national secretary-general Carlito Badion, “The situation of the poor under the Aquino administration is as miserable as the situation during the Spanish colonization, if not worse, as the government remains hard-headed in implementing anti-poor programs based on policies that are primarily dictates of the world’s number one imperialist, the United States.”

“As a neo-colony of the United States, the Philippines has been subjected to decades of impositions of neo-liberal policies and waves of brutal counter-insurgency plans that have run through different administrations since the Marcos Era,” Badion added.

Massive unemployment

The group said that the absence of real industrialization program, which is independent of foreign intervention and restrictions, is to blame for the massive unemployment which is actually at record-high under the Aquino administration, without relying on government’s made-up data. The Philippine economy has been dependent on the remittance from Filipinos working abroad after the government has intensifies the Labor Export Policy, instead of implementing a national industrialization program that will create jobs for the poor.

Meanwhile, there has been a systematic reengineering of the country’s educational system through the K+12 program ensuring the creation of an army of cheap laborers for the need of foreign-owned industries here and abroad.

“Every day of our lives is a game of survival, and no matter how we drive our strength to its limit, our family has never been better off. The solutions to end our poverty such as a national industrialization program and the distribution of lands to the landless have failed to materialize, and we lose hope that they will ever materialize in this society,” said Badion.

Left with no choice but to fight

“Despite the harassment and the killings of our leaders and members, we are left with no choice but to fight and continue in asserting for our existence,” the urban poor leader added.

Eleven urban poor had been victims of extra-judicial killing under the Aquino administration, all linked to housing-related conflict with authorities. Some 1.4 million families are expected to be homeless upon the implementation of the first 14 of Aquino’s Public-Private Partnership projects. In Metro Manila, a total eradication of the informal settlers has been eyed by the government equivalent to around 580,000 families losing their homes.

“Our families see no bright future under this current system. Only a united effort of the urban poor together with other oppressed sectors could create the radical change necessary to secure a better future for every Filipino,” Badion ended.

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