akbayan2014"The only protection the Philippines needs is from would-be dictators, who think they can toy with the Constitution," Akbayan Party-List today said, in reaction to reports saying President Duterte is open to suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, if forced.

"All it takes is an accusing finger, and people can start disappearing," warned Akbayan Rep. Tom Vilarin, if the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is suspended. "Even if there is no proof people can be arrested without warrants, and this can only lead to more deaths."

"The President also needs to be reminded of a basic fact: that the privilege can only be suspended in cases of invasion or rebellion. The drug war cannot form a basis for suspending it."

Villarin had earlier urged the Duterte administration to verify the data it uses in its campaign against drugs, saying the stats are bloated to justify and gloss over the thousands of dead bodies that have become everyday occurrences since Duterte became President.

bataan powerplantAkbayan party-list today reiterated its call for the Duterte administration to scrap plans of reviving the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, citing the dangers of opening the mothballed project.

"We are afraid this administration is on a roll in reviving the ghost of Marcos, first by allowing a hero's burial for the dictator and now reviving the dictator's corruption-laden pet project," said Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin.

"But the risks to the safety, health, livelihoods of millions of Filipinos is not worth it," Villarin warned, in reaction to reports saying DOE Sec. Alfonso Cusi has been given the green signal to start plans to rehabilitate the facility.

"Countries with more advanced technologies like Japan and Germany are already shunning nuclear energy," he added. "To buck the trend is to deny the reality that we do not have the capacity to manage this source of energy."

akbayan2014It is not only an outrage, it is the horror of Martial Law inflicted on our country twice over.

The Supreme Court decision allowing for the burial of Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani is a tragic, myopic, disrespectful reading of the spirit of the Constitution.

This decision was never just about two families, or the thousands of victims of human rights violations. This was about each and every citizen from whom Marcos stole.

This was about our country, and the damage that Marcos wrought upon us when he centralized power unto his own hands and lined his pocket with our money -- our taxes, to enrich himself, his family and his cronies.

We are all victims of Marcos. And the Supreme Court has effectively enabled the glossing over of Marcos's crimes. That the Supreme Court would even contemplate Marcos as a hero should send shivers down the spine of any Filipino who loves their freedoms. We re genuinely concerned what other chilling decisions would be in store from the Supreme Court down the road on other decisions with dangerous, far-reaching implications.

Akbayan dares President Duterte as well, to rescind his order which set these events into motion. We demand that he desist from paying a political debt at the expense of our continued pursuit of justice for the atrocities that the Marcos family inflicted on our country.

Akbayan vows to intensify and redouble its efforts at truth-telling on the realities of Marcos and Martial Law,and against those who seek to glorify Marcos to further their own agenda and cover their crimes.

The battle against the sanitation of the dictator's record will now be fought in our conversations with our neighbors, our families, in our schools. It will now be fought with the stories we tell, and with a fortified sense that only in combating the lies surrounding Marcos, can we truly avoid condemning ourselves to becoming Marcos's victims again.

workersIt’s the executive’s job to end “endo.” But it’s Congress’ duty to make sure it won’t come back.

This was the message of Akbayan partylist Rep. Tom Villarin amid several proposals being considered by national government agencies to fulfill President Duterte’s promise of ending the practice of contractualization, more commonly known as “endo.”

“No matter what the agencies do to end contractualization, security of tenure for workers must be institutionalized,” Villarin said.

“Only legislation can make it permanent,” he added.

According to Villarin, one indicator of a country’s economic success is the regularization of its work force. He also stressed that House Bill No. 342 or the Security of Tenure bill will perfectly complement the executive’s efforts in ending contractualization, by ensuring “ironclad protection” of workers’ rights.

no to marcos burial at LNMBA few days before All Souls’ Day, civil society groups from Akbayan party-list and youth groups Student Council Alliance of the Philippines, Bukluran UP System intensified calls for the Supreme Court Justices to remember the lives lost under the Martial Law regime and to decide against the burial of Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani today.

"We pray the justices remember the sacrifice of everyone who died fighting the Marcos dictatorship and decide against the Marcos burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani," said Atty. Barry Gutierrez, lawyer for plaintiffs at the case before the SC.

"Giving the late dictator a hero’s burial is not only a disservice to history but an insult to those whose lives we lost to early under Marcos rule."

Gutierrez also warned against the proposed burial as an affront to the Constitution which the Supreme Court is tasked to uphold.