Protesters march to oil depot in DavaoBy Germelina Lacorte
DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Over a hundred protesters belonging to the transport group Piston, the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), Kilusang Mayo Uno, Gabriela and youth groups marched toward the Caltex and Shell depot here to protest the increasing fuel prices.
At the count of three, they threw red paint at an effigy of President Benigno Aquino III, which was installed near the depot gate while the guards watched.
The protesters described the oil price increases as a plague causing untold suffering to the Filipino people as prevailing workers’ wages remain the same.
Sheena Duazo, Bayan spokesperson, said only the three oil companies, partly foreign owned, profited from the oil deregulation while majority of the poor people bore the brunt of the fuel price increases and the increasing cost of commodities.
Some of the demonstrators, mostly women belonging to Gabriela, did the “planking,” as the rest of the group sounded a noise barrage calling for a stop to oil price increases.
Edil Gonzaga, chairman of Piston, said the government was acting as a spokesperson for the petroleum companies to justify the price increases by Petron and Shell.
“Is that because the owner of Petron is Danding Cojuangco, the uncle of President Noynoy Aquino?” he asked.
He said the group was launching a much bigger and much higher form of protest and would not stop until the deregulation law was stopped.