From a press statement of the May One Committee – Bicol Region
Heavy Rains Fail To Extinguish Labor Day Fervor
Notwithstanding heavy Labor Day downpour, over 22,000 Bicolanos streamed along streets as well as indoor venues to resonate the people’s call for just wages, employment, and freedom from the economic plunder of US imperialism and its local lapdogs. The widespread mobilizations were spearheaded by the nationalist alliance BAN BALIKATAN, Promotion of Church Peoples Response, in coordination with the provincial chapters of the Partylist groups Anakpawis, Gabriela, Bayan Muna, Kabataan, and Bayan-Bikol.
It was recorded that 10,000 people participated in the province of Masbate; 3,000 in Camarines Sur; 5,000 in Albay; 4,500 in Sorsogon, 150 in Camarines Norte and another 150 in Catanduanes.
Bicolanos from various marginalized sectors today defied the rains which have for days loomed to douse the significant May 1 commemoration. On the contrary, despite periodic rains for the past days, members of militant people’s organizations have gone through regular tasks of educating fellow Bicolanos and consolidating advocacies. In fact, even at the onset of the week, streamers, posters and other educational materials have already been prepared, and others distributed. Resolve has been gathered to fight for P125 wage increase for workers, P3000 salary increase for government employees, and employment security for the Bicolanos.
Also, the militant organizations summed up the recent triumphant campaign against Balikatan and its deceptive “humanitarian” missions, while registering the people’s continued fight against armed imperialist intervention and state repression.
“The need to gather resistance against the onslaught weighed down on the people by the greedy capitalists and this collaborating Macapagal-Arroyo regime is far more weighty than the torrent of rains. The constant economic crisis and the subsequent repression and violence of the state have forged the people to become the determined lot that they are even on this stormy day.” Thus is the insight of Mr. Hernan Cereza, May One Committee’s Regional Spokesperson.
Though dampened, the resilient Bicolanos are instead overwhelmed with resoluteness to persist in the struggle for the people’s democratic rights and against imperialist plunder.
On a lighter note, May One rally organizers have deemed to append a vitalizing ingredient to today’s mobilizations. While leaflets containing the organizations’ standpoint on the day’s issues are distributed to the public, rallyists on the other hand are taken to be recipients of their doses of ascorbic acid to reinforce their already spirited forms.