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Workers march to Mendiola, slam Aquino-cartel collusion

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More than 600 workers and urban poor marched to Mendiola today to condemn the Aquino government’s collusion with the Big 3 oil cartel in sucking the people dry through the overpricing of petroleum products.

Led by labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno, the protestors carried a barrel of oil with the logos of Petron, Shell and Caltex and an effigy of Pres. Aquino’s head on top, which they said symbolized the connivance between the oil cartel and the government.

KMU said that the per liter prices of petroleum products are overpriced by P9.00 and that the Aquino government should order the oil companies to immediately implement a P9.00 rollback and punish those who will refuse to comply.

“The Aquino government’s inaction with regard to the Big 3’s overpricing of local oil products is one of the best proof of its connivance with the oil cartel. It should immediately order a P9.00 rollback and punish companies who will refuse to comply,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.

“Pres. Aquino is not only manhid (impervious) with regard to the suffering of the workers and people from overpricing and high oil prices. It is actively colluding with the Big 3 in jacking up their prices beyond increases in the world market,” he added.

“It has also refused to junk the Oil Deregulation Law, which allows oil companies to increase prices at will. It has also acted as spokesperson of the cartel in spreading the lie that oil companies are merely following price movements in the world market,” he said.

Bigger protests ahead

KMU also warned the Aquino government of bigger protests, including a possible transport strike, in the coming weeks.

“It is clear that the Aquino government won’t act out of compassion for the workers and people who are suffering from overpricing and high prices. We will carry out bigger protests in the coming weeks to condemn its collusion with the oil cartel,” Labog said.

“It is simply not true that the Aquino government can do nothing to give immediate relief to the workers and people on the issue of oil products. In the immediate, the Aquino government can order the oil companies to implement a P9.00 rollback, which is equivalent to our computations of local overpricing,” he added. Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU Chairperson

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