‘Mahal sa Philippines’ pero binabarat ang sahod ng manggagawa. This is the reaction of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan after the announcement that minimum wage will be raised by 40 pesos in Metro Manila as Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr marks his first year in office.

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Marcos remains indifferent and oblivious to the plight of ordinary Filipinos since he and his family indulged in lavish parties and foreign trips in the past year. He toured the world and sold out our patrimony and sovereignty as he allowed the expansion of US military presence and intervention in the country. His idea of local development is to pool government resources and gamble it away in speculative financial activities through the Maharlika Investment Fund.

The new tourism slogan “love the Philippines” should be read as ‘Mahal sa Philippines’ as it reflects the cost-of-living crisis that Marcos failed to address, the continued inaction to provide substantial wage increase to workers, privatization of public utilities, and the government’s complicity in the smuggling and hoarding of agricultural goods. Marcos also recently approved the proposed LRT fare hikes.

Marcos whitewashes the notorious legacy of his dictator father by reviving failed programs like Kadiwa and Masagana99. He relied on the Marcosian method of brutally suppressing dissent by militarizing communities, jailing critics, and abducting activists. He continues to close the door for the resumption of peace talks after the conviction of NDF peace consultant Fr Frank Fernandez based on trumped up charges.

Meanwhile, the Marcos government is imploding as disunity threatens the fragile coalition of greedy politicians and their cronies. It is infuriating that politicians are already maneuvering for power ahead of the 2028 elections when majority of our people are suffering from poverty, insecure jobs, hunger, and rampant human rights violations.

There is no reason to celebrate Marcos’ first year in power as the nation sinks deeper into crisis. We enjoin fellow Filipinos to “love the Philippines” by calling out the anti-poor and anti-Filipinos policies of the Marcos government and to assert the people’s clamor for genuine freedom, democracy, and development.

Reference: Mong Palatino, secretary general of Bayan

Categories: Statements


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