|DIE HARD III|
|Herman Tiu Laurel|
The final insult to our Mindanaoan brothers and sisters who have politely raised their appeal the past few months to the national political authorities for action on the Mindanao power crisis came via the cancellation of the April 19, 2012 meet by the Joint Congressional Power Commission (JCPC), the body tasked to oversee the implementation of the power privatization law known as the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (Epira).
The cancellation, according to its chairman, Sen. Serge Osmeña, was due to the absence of his co-chairman, Rep. Henedina Abad, as well as those of other members who could not confirm their attendance. Given these characters’ track record, the past 10 years of sitting on urgent issues in their respective energy committees, “postponement” is likely a deliberate delay in furtherance of their covert pressure tactics.
While Osmeña takes his easy time, the JCPC is keeping roughly 30 million Mindanaoans waiting in darkness. This is clearly the reason for some Mindanaoans to now take matters into their own hands.
Early Wednesday morning we got an urgent call from veteran political warrior Homobono Adaza. In the midst of handling countless legal cases, from the power plunder and the Corona impeachment to several political-legal-economic issues in tandem with lawyer Alan Paguia, Adaza has decided to spring into action in response to the blatant imperialism of Manila’s elite politicians against the people of Mindanao.
The power summit in Davao where approximately a thousand people from all over Mindanao attended, hoping to have a dialog with BS Aquino III, instead became a forum where they were treated to an imperial dressing down and ordered to “pay up or face blackouts,” and told further to accept the privatization of Mindanao’s “crown jewel,” the Agus-Pulangi hydroelectric system.
Then, as if to rub salt on an open wound, Mindanaoans were made to expect some dialog later in the JCPC, only to be so rudely cancelled until the next whim of the man who calls them “spoiled” brats.
Apparently, the evening before, Adaza was already in consultation with numerous Mindanao citizens and political leaders where a consensus was reached that Mindanao should organize again — as it did during the long Marcos period — a political party of its own to redress the grievous shortchanging it has been getting from Manila’s “elite imperialists.” Adaza certainly has had experience on this as he was one of the major organizers of the victorious Mindanao Alliance in the 1970s that catapulted him, Reuben Canoy, and Nene Pimentel to national prominence.
Adaza’s brief on Mindanao’s current predicament reads like an oft-repeated wish list: First, Mindanao has not had sufficient representation in the seat of national political policy, the Senate; second, the Epira issue needs strong Mindanao representation that will not only “appeal” but take decisive political action to repair the damage that has been done; third, as a counter-measure, Mindanao should win a fair share of the Senate seats, at least four of 12, up for grabs in 2013.
The call of Adaza for the “Mindanao Action Party” (MAP) will ring loud and clear to all Mindanaoans; thus, Luzon and the Visayas must support this for their own sake.
We have seen the fighting spirit of our Mindanao brothers, unspoiled by Manila’s politics and pampering which the regional and provincial politicians in the political center have fallen for. Though we don’t know yet if Adaza himself will be a MAP candidate, we hope that more like him from Mindanao will pick up the mantle of being the people’s champion in the coming senatorial elections to show these corrupted national leaders what it means to fight for the people’s cause.
The fundamental strategy I surmise is to consolidate Mindanao’s votes which would be around 11 million today, enough to put MAP’s candidates into the last four slots of the Senate. In 2010, the 12th, and tail-ender TG Guingona, who now sits as a Lopez backstop next to Osmeña, got 9.6 million votes. Mindanao’s fight now is a national fight, which Mindanao has actually carried on where Luzon and the Visayas found themselves exhausted after 10 years of protesting the Epira. Mindanao is also the final frontier for the foreign and local power oligarchs to subdue, just as it was when the Spaniards and Americans tried to pacify the whole country for their colonial domination but were stopped in Mindanao.
The power oligarchs, through the mouth of Serge Osmeña, are saying they want to raise the power rates in Mindanao to the level of Cagayan de Oro of P7.50 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) at this time, which is $0.18 per kWh and higher than even Hong Kong’s $0.14 per kWh. Even if that rate were lower than Manila’s or the national average of $0.23 per kWh today, the aim of the oligarchs is to eventually even all this out to the Manila and national average. These have all been stated in so many words by Energy Secretary Rene Almendras and Serge Osmeña; and with the lopsided Performance Based Regulation (PBR) scheme, rates will definitely go up every three years.
The Mindanao and national struggle to restore truthful, just, and fair electricity rates in generation, transmission, and distribution, as well as the sector’s ownership structure and laws, epitomize everything that has gone wrong with the country under the present “plutonomy,” an economy controlled by plutocrats who also control the present crop of political players ushered in by Edsa I and II’s Yellow mobs. It’s time for a national political “jihad,” a holy war of the people, against these plutocrats and corrupt politicians.
(Tune in to 1098AM, dwAD, Sulo ng Pilipino/Radyo OpinYon, Monday to Friday, 5 to 6 p.m.; watch Destiny Cable GNN’s HTL edition of Talk News TV, Saturdays, 8:15 to 9 p.m., with replay at 11:15 p.m., on “Electricity and fuel price crisis: Solutions” with consumer advocate Dr. Amanda Cruz and Wilson Fortaleza of FDC; visit http://newkatipunero.blogspot.com for our articles plus TV and radio archives)
(Reprinted with permission from Mr. Herman Tiu-Laurel)
Source: The Daily Tribune