On Holy Week: Anakpawis solon urges church communities to “visitar a los pobres”

On Holy Week
Anakpawis solon urges church communities to “visitar a los pobres”

Butuan City – On Palm Sunday, Anakpawis Party-list Representative Ariel “Ka Ayik” Casilao appealed to the faithful to “visitar a los pobres” or “visit the poor” to complement on their “visita iglesia” endeavors. He urged emulation of Jesus Christ’ sacrifice by supporting the poor’s struggle for their rights to “land, wages, jobs, shelter and basic rights.”

“We sincerely appeal to the religious community to visit the poor as solidarity, especially to those who are facing distress caused by man-made greed, exploitation and oppression,” the lawmaker urged.

He urged solidarity visits at some of the poor sectors’ location facing various issues:

  • workers’ camp-out of Sumifru workers at the compound of Commission on Human Rights office in Quezon City, demanding the execution of the court decision to regularize workers;
  • lumad students staying at the University of the Philippines – Diliman campus in Quezon City;
  • urban poor communities in San Roque, Brgy. Pag-asa in Quezon City facing displacement by the Vertis North project and in Pandi relocation site in Bulacan, facing eviction by the National Housing Authority;
  • picketline of workers of SLORD in Navotas City, makers of UniPak sardines demanding the implementation of the DOLE order to regularize workers;
  • picketline of workers of Middleby, Monde Nissin and other factories in Cabuyao, Laguna, against dismissals and contractualization;
  • community of NutriAsia workers in Marilao, Bulacan, makers of various condiments, pushing for regularization of workers;
  • camp-out of coconut farmers in Lucena City, Quezon, demanding the return of the multi-billion peso coconut levy fund, and immediate relief;
  • camp-out of farmers of Lupang Ramos in DasmariƱas City, resisting land grabbing by Ayala Land;
  • fisherfolk communities in Bacoor City, Cavite facing displacement due to reclamation projects in Manila Bay;
  • bayside fisherfolk and urban poor communities along Laguna Lake from Muntinlupa to Pasig, being threatened by the dike expressway project; and
  • the lumad evacuation site at the UCCP Haran compound in Davao City.

The lawmaker said that they are actually victims of what Pope Francis has condemned on his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium or the “Joy of the Gospel.” Pope Francis has called “No to an economy of exclusion,” “No to the new idolatry of money,” “No to a financial system which rules rather than serves,” and “No to the inequality which spawns violence.”

The policies and programs of the Duterte government are exactly for an economy of exclusion, such as the “endo” or contractualization of labor, to maximize profits of capitalists, land grabbing, displacements and evictions for profit-oriented projects such as real estate, mining and agro-plantations. Even the preferential treatment of the government to China, to tap funding for the “Build, Build, Build” program is triggering oppression and exploitation of poor sectors.

“We strongly adhere to the Lord’s teachings for social justice, emancipation from exploitation and oppression, people’s freedom from subjugation, thus, we appeal concretization by supporting Filipino poor sectors,” the lawmaker ended. ###

Anakpawis Rep. Ka Ayik Casilao with the workers in Cabuyao, Laguna. (File Photos)

Anakpawis Rep. Ka Ayik Casilao with the workers in Navotas City. (File Photos)

Anakpawis Rep. Ka Ayik Casilao with the peasants in DasmariƱas, Cavite. (File Photos)

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