“Casiňo’s platform is exactly what the region needs, genuine land reform, nationalist industrialization, wage increases and low prices of basic commodities and good governance,” Roman Polintan said, Makabayan-CL regional coordinator.
“Everybody knows that Casiňo fought for House Bill 374 or Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill, provisioning free land distribution to poor farmers, the repeal of the Mining Act of 1995, oil deregulation and other anti-people laws and policies of the past and present Aquino government,” he added.
Makabayan said that the region labelled as the “rice granary” of the country is a hotspot for land reform disputes as the Aquino government is pushing its Central Luzon Regional Development Plan (CLRDP), a continuation of the Arroyo administration’s Medium Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP).
“We see productive agricultural lands now being targeted by land use conversion, thus, poor farmers being ejected and their rights to land being violated systematically. We strongly believe Casiňo would push for a genuine land reform program if he gets elected, that would benefit the majority of the region’s population,” Polintan said.
Casiňo is a known supporter of the farmworkers of Hacienda Luisita in their struggle for free land distribution.
Makabayan said that Casiňo, being one of the progressive bloc in Congress, is the head of the Committee for Small Business and Enterprise, promoting the Philippine industry. He is also a staunch opposition of the Mining Act of 1995, where foreign mining corporations continue to plunder the country’s natural resources.
“Mining operations have destroyed the Zambales mountain ranges, the upper part of Bulacan and Pampanga, it is also targeting the province of Aurora. This plunder has only benefitted foreign corporations and left the indigenous peoples, farmers, local residents to suffer the environmental costs. Ayta communities are being wiped out, and their cultural rights continuously violated,” Polintan said.
“Casiňo is also opposing the value-added tax or VAT and privatization of utilities such as power and water. These basic utilities being controlled by private interest is the root cause of the incessant increases on their rates. Privatization continues to put the people into deep poverty, thus, we support his fight against privatization in the senate,” he added.
“The notorious VAT on petroleum products is a serious cause of price hikes of basic goods, we support Casiňo and the fight against it should be brought to the senate,” Polintan said.
“His fight is to fight for our interests, unlike traditional politicians and political dynasty, who plunder the government budget,” Polintan said.
A few of Casiňo’s fundamental legislative work is the P125-wage hike, People’s Mining Bill, repeal of oil deregulation law, increase in education budget, women’s rights, teachers’ rights, anti-torture act, Freedom of Information (FOI) bill, anti-corruption and good governance, Makabayan said.
On morning, Casiňo, joined by Makabayan–CL leaders, visited the Pampang public market and participated the flag ceremony in Angeles city hall. Later the day, he led the Makabayan Central Luzon regional assembly, visited the San Nicolas public market. People from different sectors joined Casiňo, such as the farmers, indigenous peoples, workers, youth-students, drivers, fisherfolk, women, professionals, church people and more.
“We urge the public to support Casiňo as he is the only candidate who seriously pushes for our interests. It is hight time to get rid of traditional politicians and political dynasty and put patriotic and sincere leaders in the senate,” Polintan said. #