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Labor leader hopes Duterte discusses agrarian reform, Lumad issues in SONA

A labor union is hoping that President Rodrigo Duterte would discuss issues on agrarian reform and Lumad rights on his fourth State of the National Address (SONA) today.

Carlo Olalo, secretary-general of Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) in Southern Mindnao, said the call of the progressive groups for the rights of the poor farmers and indigenous people has been on-going ever since the early years of Duterte in his presidency.

“It has been a continuous call from us even from Duterte’s first SONA to address the root cause of property. He should distribute agricultural lands to poor, small-scale farmers and establish and respect the rights of the Lumads in their communities,” Olalo said.

Olalo also urged the Duterte administration to provide more support to poor farmers in order for them to survive.

“We never ceased in giving suggestions and recommendations on what the President should prioritize for its people. We need independent foreign policy, agricultural support, and support to other major industries to help the citizens of this country survive,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Bagong Alyangsang Makabayan (BAYAN-SMR), in a press statement, called Duterte’s three year presidency as the biggest scam pulled-off against the mass.
“Duterte’s promise of decent living within 3-6 months is nothing but an empty promise. In fact, the country is confronted by severe crises brought about by economic policies such as TRAIN Law, Build Build Build, Rice Liberalization Law, and the continuing persistence of agency-based hiring and contractualization, the masses are left in impoverished state,” it said.

Olalo added that Duterte should emphasize the situation on independent foreign policy.

“We are also expecting that he would mention that the Build, Build, Build program has become a sort of a barter to China so that it can easily enter and dominate us,” Olalo said.
In a previous report, Olalo mentioned that they are giving the President a failing grade in his midterm because of failing to help the poor be in a better place.
“We have abundant resources and this can feed the populace of the country that is more than a hundred million already but many have remained to be hungry because the government failed in its promise to provide food for the needy,” he said.

Full alert

The Police Regional Office 11 is in full alert status fro the SONA.

“I have already mobilize a Large Civil Disturbance Management (CDM) contingent,” Davao City Police Office Director Col Alexander Tagum said.

PRO 11 spokesperson Major Jason Baria said they have already security preparation for possible rally.

He said police personnel from the regional headquarters and Civil Disturbance Management (CDM) in the provincial and city offices are already on stand by. (with Rhoda Grace Saron)


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