February 14, 2018
On Hearts Day: Workers lament continued Endo
DAVAO CITY – Workers call the administration’s failure to end labor contractualization as ‘heartless’ as people world over celebrate Valentine’s Day.
“More than being heartbroken due to Duterte’s unfulfilled promise, we are appalled by the fact that contractualization is like a tragedy that continues to ruin lives of millions of workers all over the country,” said Carl Olalo, KMU Southern Mindanao Secretary-General.
The group said President Rodrigo Roa Duterte promised to ban the “end of contract” or endo scheme during his campaign but did not even promulgate an Executive Order to make good on his promise.
In a dialogue with the labor sector on February 7, President Duterte again asked labor leaders for more time and consideration in fulfilling his campaign promise of ending contractualization.
“For two years in office, we are still where we left off. During Duterte’s campaign, he wooed the workers by promising to end contractualization if he will be elected but we have been left out in favor of business oligarchs ,” Olalo added.
Olalo said that there have been too many broken promises from the President, not only with respect to contractualization but also on the implementation of genuine land reform, an independent foreign policy and weeding out corruption.
The labor leader also lambasted Duterte’s complete turnabout in his self-characterization as a “socialist”, saying he was untruthful considering that he has become the epitome of fascism, attempting to consolidate his power through a proposed Charter Change that can pave way for a dictatorship and allow the total sell-out of our national patrimony.
Olalo said that Duterte has turned his back on the peace process, undermined our sovereignty by being complicit to China’s militarization of Philippine territory, and declared all-out war not only against revolutionary groups but also against the Moro people with his extended Martial Law.
Duterte also promised never to end the Drug War which has already claimed the lives of more than 10,000 civilians and despite the impending scrutiny by the International Criminal Court. He has furthermore orchestrated a crackdown on dissent, targeting mainly progressive leaders and organizations of the Left.
“It is indeed heartbreaking to see President Duterte reverse his positions on issues affecting the poor and powerless. When he was still Mayor, he was consistent in helping the lumad and the peasants but now, he is killing the lumad and forcing them to relocate from their ancestral lands to pave way for corporations and mining companies to plunder their natural resources. The poor banked their hopes on Duterte to pull them from poverty but instead he unleashed the TRAIN which has run them over,” added Olalo.
“In his unabashed fascism, he has unraveled the extent of his misogyny and salaciousness with his order to the mercenary Armed Forces of the Philippines to shoot female revolutionary in the NPA in the vagina. He has shown his utter disrespect for women,” the labor leader explained.
“Gender violence is a reality in the lives of many women, including women workers. The President’s behavior and blatant sexism can no longer be tolerated by the workers. In the unions and in workplaces, we are trying to make spaces for women because we view them as equal partners in progress and development. We will continue doing so, and call out the President for his discrimination of women,” expressed Olalo.
“We rise with the rest of the women in the world today to call for an end to all gender violence. We no longer spare the President the benefit of the doubt that he will make good on his promises to create a pro-people and pro-worker government. It has been made very clear by the President himself who he really favors: it is the oligarchs and foreign monopoly capitalists. Enough is enough. Like any romantic relationship characterized by verbal or emotional abuse, the workers are rejecting Duterte on Valentine’s Day.There is no other recourse for the workers but to call for his immediate ouster,” the labor leader concluded.###