AKBAYAN Rep. Mayong Aguja

HOR News Release: Akbayan asks inquiry on misuse of UN Support Fund for Peacekeeping

Posted by tin on August 23, 2006

Congress to probe alleged misuse of UN Support Fund for Peacekeeping

23 August 2006 09:06:51 AM
Writer: Vicki Palomar, PRID

Akbayan representatives are calling for a congressional inquiry into the Armed Forces of the Philippines’s (AFP) decision to cut by forty percent the allowance a Filipino soldier receives for joining a UN peacekeeping mission.

Reps. Ana Theresia Hontiveros-Baraquel, Loretta Ann Rosales and Mario Joyo Aguja filed House Resolution 1313 directing the House Committees on National Defense and Security, Foreign Affairs and Good Government to conduct an inquiry into the Philippines’ participation in UN Peacekeeping Operations and alleged irregularities in the use and management by the AFP of the United Nation Support Fund for Peacekeeping.

The solons said that this year, the AFP has reduced the allowance that a Filipino soldier receives even though the AFP gets full allowance for the soldiers or the so-called Troop Cost Allowance (TCA) from the UN.

The AFP, Aguja said, implemented a scheme where the base pay of soldiers in peacekeeping missions with ranks ranging from corporal to master sergeant is tripled while those from captains to colonels get 150% more than their salary, such that a soldier who receives a monthly salary of P10,000.00 will only get P30,000.00 instead of the P50,000.00 additional allowance from the peacekeeping operations.

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Akbayan Rep slams government’s slow response to evacuate Filipinos in Lebanon

Posted by tin on July 21, 2006

“This is not the kind of treatment our OFWs deserve!”, said Akbayan Rep. Mayong Aguja on the slow response of the Philippine government to offer direct assistance to Filipinos in Lebanon.

 “While GMA has been actively peddling Filipino workers abroad, it took her this long to release funds for the protection and evacuation of at least 30,000 Filipinos in Lebanon”, added Aguja.

 “In the past nine days since the military offensives in Lebanon, the Philippine government could not even guarantee protection for the Filipinos, resorting only to pleas for foreign assistance to allow Filipinos to board their evacuation vessels out of Lebanon”, said Aguja. “While foreign aid would be very much welcome, these countries have their own citizens to evacuate”, the legislator added.

 “The lack of a clear evacuation plan agonizes our overseas workers and their families here in the Philippines”, said Aguja. “I have met distressed families in General Santos City who have not yet been able to contact their loved-ones in Lebanon”, said the Mindanaoan legislator. Without certainty of protection from the Philippine government, reports say that some workers have chosen to stay with their employers as they flee for safety.

 “We hail our overseas workers for saving our economy and sending remittances which last year soared to 10.3 billion dollars. But we cannot assure them protection when they are in danger. Is this how we should be treating our Filipinos abroad?”, said Aguja. 

 “This manifests the Philippine government’s lack of sincerity to protect the growing number of citizens working abroad.” said Aguja. “The government sends its workers overseas for failing to produce local employment but does not immediately respond to  protect the workers it sends away.” added Aguja.

 “The government should take a more pro-active stance and provide a clear evacuation plan for our workers in Lebanon.”, challenged Aguja.  “We cannot afford to just wait for foreign aid”, he added.

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Akbayan Rep urges Sec Romulo to visit Suu Kyi, engage military junta

Posted by tin on July 17, 2006

Akbayan solon Mayong Aguja today urged Foreign Affairs Secretary Romulo to push thru with his plans to visit Burmese leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi the soonest possible time. “Sec Romulo should seize the opportunity to visit Suu Kyi in Myanmar and discuss with the junta the issues confronting Burma including the release of Suu Kyi.”, said the legislator. Sec Romulo was scheduled to visit Burma earlier this month. However, the visit was indefinitely postponed. 

 
“To say that Myanmar needs intervention is an understatement, “said Aguja.

 
The ethnic minorities are being attacked by their own government. The political opposition, particularly the National League for Democracy continues to be harassed—NLD leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner Daw Aung San Suu Kyi still remains under house arrest. The number of political prisoners has rapidly increased with a number of them being subjected to torture. There are more child soldiers in Myanmar more than in any country in the world. Widespread drug trafficking, unabated spread of AIDS/HIV, and substantial outflow of refuges pose threat to surrounding neighbors.

 
Last month, Akbayan Representatives Mayong Aguja, Etta Rosales and Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel joined 500 parliamentarians across 34 nations send an appeal for the United Nations Security Council to call for a binding resolution to address the deteriorating condition of Burma. “A similar call has been adopted by the Philippine House of Representatives as manifested in House Resolution 996”, said Aguja, who authored the resolution together with fellow Akbayan Representatives. The partylist representatives are members of the Asian Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus (AIPMC).

 
“Our solidarity with Burma is not difficult to grasp since the Philippines also confronts human rights abuses and violations committed by its government”, said Aguja. “As a people who have once toppled a military regime, we should also be in the forefront in fighting for the people of Burma”, added the legislator. 

 

“As the Philippines chairs the ASEAN, we would be in the best position to engage with the junta to promote democratic reforms in Myanmar”, said Aguja.  The Philippines will be hosting the ASEAN leaders’ summit in Cebu this year. “We remain hopeful that upon the pressure of the ASEAN community, the military junta will re-think its hard-line stance and pave the way for the transition to democracy in Burma”, added Aguja.

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AKBAYAN solons endorse impeachment complaint

Posted by tin on June 28, 2006


Akbayan Representatives led by Rep. Etta Rosales today endorsed the impeachment complaint filed by Prof. Randy David and Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez. Joining also as additional complainants to the impeachment are Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL), PAKISAMA, MAKALAYA, and individual members of AKBAYAN and Kilusang Makabansang Ekonomiya (KME). AKBAYAN earlier joined the filing of the first complaint on Monday June 26, 2006.

Clike here to download full text of impeachment complaint

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AKBAYAN: SC final decision on 1017, GMA guilty!!

Posted by tin on June 8, 2006

“President GMA should dare not do another 1017!”, warned AKBAYAN solons today as they supported the decision of the Supreme Court today to affirm its earlier judgment declaring parts of the infamous Presidential Proclamation 1017 as illegal and unconstitutional. 

“More than being a warning to GMA not to issue a similar proclamation, the Supreme Court’s decision establishes the President’s culpability with regard to her illegal actions during the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the 1986 People Power”, said Akbayan Rep . Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel.

“We call for justice for the illegal arrests of UP Prof. Randy David and Akbayan President Ronald Llamas, violent dispersal of rallies, imposition of standards on media, and the warrantless search of Tribune offices.”, said Hontiveros-Baraquel. The solon named President GMA, Presidential Chief of Staff Mike Defensor, AFP General Generoso Senga, Exec Sec Ed Ermita, and PNP Chief Arturo Lomibao on the list of those who should be made accountable for their actions. 

“The Arroyo administration not only violated the rights of individuals and groups who have filed this case, but ultimately the right of the Filipino people to celebrate the democratic and peaceful victories of EDSA”, fellow AKBAYAN Rep Mayong Aguja said.

 “Her removal from office is the only way to provide justice to the Filipino people whose rights and freedom have been curbed by the President.”  demanded the solon.

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