Saturday, February 21, 2009

Revolt against plunder

I don’t know what’s keeping the middle class and the masa from staging mass revolts against the system today. The plunder is so obvious that it just keeps piling up. The Legacy affair is clearly a massive syndicated plot to plunder taxpayers’ money from the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC); the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is pushing for more revenue measures here at this time when the rest of the world is finding ways to reduce taxes to revive their economies; the local, privatized grain-handling Asian Terminals, Inc. and container operator ICTSI, already charging some of the highest rates in the world, are raising rates in the midst of this global depression; the North Harbor is then privatized to FVR boy Reghis Romero’s R-II Builders with scant capital; while Ayala and Consunji’s water companies are raising their rates too!

The hackles of some citizens are getting raised very high, like this text from a businessman: “We are calling all Filipino(s): Legacy’s Celso de los Angeles is scamming d banking system with d connivance of PDIC’s Nograles. IT IS NEXT TO IMPOSSIBLE FOR small rural bank to get 400k depositors with 14 billion deposit. It means legacy is much bigger than other big banks. Majority of d claimants r FAKE. PDIC NOGRALES IS already releasing d FUNDS. PLS PAS.”

Despite the telegraphed language, it sums up the truth about Legacy pretty well: The elaborate scheme is aimed at defrauding the nation’s taxpayers of billions of pesos, using a conspiracy of government and finance officials colluding with Mr. Celso de los Angeles . The irony is de los Angeles may still actually get away with murder by using squid tactics with the same connivance of those strategically placed in power.

Another huge scam on the horizon is the IMF call for more tax revenues, particularly on tobacco and alcohol, allegedly to “help offset the expected drop in taxes due to a decline in consumer spending, but should also help (RP) keep its budget deficit with the Fund’s ‘prudent’ recommendation of 2 percent of GDP for around P150 billion.”

What IMF representative Mr. Denis Botman won’t say is that they want to ensure the Philippines keeps up with its foreign debt amortization and roll-overs of about P1.2 trillion, and if more blood from the people is needed for this payment to be sustained, then so be it. Our people’s response to Mr. Botman should be a tax revolt and a repudiation of the $60-billion debt chained around out necks.

In the US , TrendResearch chief Mr. Gerald Celente predicts: “We’re going to start seeing a tax revolt in the United States . People are one job away from losing everything. We’re seeing more and more closures, people are being laid off. People are stretched to the limits. And what do they do in New York State ? Some 130 new taxes are being proposed, they’re raising sales taxes. There’s going to be a tax revolt in this country from property taxes first and school taxes second. That’s what we’re going to see start to happen.” This was said in the context of his prediction that the present crisis is “The Greatest Depression” and social chaos characteristic of Third World countries will start hitting America soon. I think the same thing is in the minds of peoples in Iceland , Ireland , and Eastern European countries now being hit by the plunder of bankers and taxing authorities.

Back here, the water and port-handling rate increases, like grand thefts in the night, especially in these times of economic crisis, are really unjustifiable and despicable. It is a mystery why the nation is still not up in arms in the face of these series of blatant abuses. Gloria’s government briefly tried to put up a façade of opposition to the water rate increases but abruptly turned around and gave in. It is good to be reminded that there once was a national leader who stood up to halt such barefaced oppressiveness and exploitation. President Estrada said “No” to power and water rate increases in 2000, which was when the corporatocracy conspired to bring him down.

The North Harbor privatization would have escaped our attention had it not been for the May Pag-asa radio series, where former QC Mayor Jun Simon, who’s on the radio slot every Wednesday and Thursday, reported on the North Harbor privatization debacle. R-II Builders, the winning bidder, had promised billions of pesos in investments in case it won, but after it was awarded the facility, its funds are nowhere to be found, making its employees and operations suffer from a deficit of cash. Salaries are left unpaid, supplies are not being delivered, and operations are disrupted. This is not the first time that privatization has took a turn for the worst, but in the everyday confusion of Philippine government amid the economic crisis, nobody seems to be taking note of the crisis in North Harbor.

The Philippines is just one big plunder story now, and the future will be even worse. The oligarchs are gearing up for a new Gloria to take her place and to front for them and the greatest oligarch of them all, who’s spreading his tentacles to power, telecoms, and water, aside from the good old consumer goods and financial empire foisted from the “Tree of Life.” I hope the nation will be more discerning today than in 2001, when a number of its citizens fell for the sales pitch of corporate spinmasters. I hope we are now moving toward a “Revolt Against Plunder” of all forms, and be it by election or other means, that “revolution” must happen soon or in 2010. Let’s vote for freedom from the oligarchs and freedom from plunder!

(Tune in to 1098AM: Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. / Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. / Saturday, 10 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Destiny Cable, Channel 3, Tuesday, 8:45 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., with Venezuelan Chargé d’Affaires Hon. Manuel Iturbe on “Chavez’ Victory at the Referendum;” also visit