Aquino using flood control as smokescreen to push mega-demolitions of poor communities--CPP

Information Bureau
Communist Party of the Philippines
August 16, 2012

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today blasted the Aquino regime for using the recent calamities and the widespread clamor for flood control infrastructure as smokescreens to justify its plan to carry out the widespread demolition of urban poor communities and serve the objectives of its kickback-laden Public-Private Partnership projects.

Aquino has long been pushing for these PPP projects to benefit his big business friends and their big foreign big capitalist partners but has been opposed by workers and poor people because these entail the demolition and displacement of large urban poor communities.

"The Aquino regime is baring its deep-seated contempt for the toiling masses who it accuses as the principal reason for the massive flooding which inundated large parts of Metro Manila and nearby provinces last week," said the CPP.

Over the past few days, Aquino ordered his public works officials to "forcibly relocate" around 125,000 families living near creeks and other waterways as well as 70,000 families around the Laguna Lake. The Aquino regime is targeting the demolition of around 20,000 urban poor housing units by the end of the year.

Citing instructions from Aquino, DPWH Sec. Rogelio Singson declared that "if push comes to shove, we will have to blast these houses if the residents do not leave within a certain period."

"Singson and MalacaƱang PR officials eventually retracted the statement in the face of the ensuing public uproar over such utter disrespect of basic human rights," pointed out the CPP. "The Aquino regime has once again bared its cacique mindset."

"While pointing an accusing finger against the people," the CPP added, "Aquino turns a blind eye to its gargantuan failure to provide the toiling people with employment and affordable housing and the necessary urban infrastructure for flood control and waste management, hydro-electric dam protocols for water release, and the environmental rehabilitation necessary to prevent and control flooding."

Amidst the floods, the Aquino regime also failed to mobilize resources to bring people out of danger zones. This has brought to the fore the budget cuts in disaster preparedness effected by the Aquino regime since 2010.

"The CPP enjoins the millions of urban poor residents of Metro Manila to rise up and oppose the Aquino regime's mega-demolition plan. They must oppose the Aquino regime's attempts to cover up its gross failure to address the problem of flooding and accusing the flood victims as the cause of the floods."

The CPP joins the workers and the urban poor in their demand for "domestic employment, industrialization, rural land reform, wage increases, in-city housing projects, increased spending for public waste disposal, massive cleanup and desiltation of waterways in consultation and cooperation with residents and the general upgrading of the urban infrastructure."