December 2, 2010
Aquino-Lim a dangerous combination
Condemnation statement on the violent dispersal of the “kuliglig” protest in Manila
The Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Transportasyon (PMT) strongly condemns the violent dispersal by Manila policemen of the “kuliglig” driver’s protest action yesterday at the Manila City Hall.
Our brothers and sisters who live on driving motorized pedicabs or “kuligligs” were demanding the scrapping of Executive Orders (EO) 16 and 17 when anti-riot policemen charged at them. Firemen trained water cannons on them while policemen used truncheons and shields to knock heads and smash bodies in complete disregard. Tear gas was also used to subdue protesters. A police truck rammed through pedicab barriers destroying them. Around 20 drivers were hurt and hauled off to prison.
EO 16 and 17, which was passed without consultation, deprives thousands of “kuliglig” drivers in Manila of decent livelihood as the twin orders totally banned motorized pedicabs and limited the use of all three-wheeled vehicles in the streets of Manila. These orders come as harsh and brutal Christmas gifts for three-wheel drivers in Manila which robs them of their already meager earnings.
This incident is reminiscent of the brutal and fatal dispersal of marching farmers in streets leading to Malacanang 23 years ago, now popularly known as the Mendiola Massacre. Farmers were demanding from the newly installed Cory Aquino government to implement genuine land reform when state security forces, led by then Western Police District Chief Alfredo Lim, opened fire. Thirteen perished while hundreds were hurt.
Now, we have her son, Noynoy Aquino, as the newly installed president and Lim as the Mayor of Manila. The Aquino-Lim tandem may again prove to be a dangerous, explosive and repressive combination.
The PMT vows to support the fight for the right to decent work and livelihood of all three-wheel drivers in Manila. We will launch mass actions to call for the scrapping of the oppressive measures of the Manila City government. If the Aquino-Lim government responds to our just demand with force, transport workers will answer with more militant actions. More and more of our brothers and sisters from across the country will join the fight for social justice and transformation.
We call on all workers to unite. Fight Mayor Lim’s fascist ways. Fight for our right to decent work and livelihood.
Junk Manila’s Executive Order 16 and 17!
Fight for our Right to Decent Work and Livelihood!