Aquino’s Noynoying on ‘SM Tree Massacre’ shows government’s bias for corporations, corporate greed

by ANAKBAYAN on Apr 13, 2012

Members of the youth group Anakbayan joined other concerned citizens today in a picket in front of the SM North Mall to protest the impending ‘massacre’ of 182 trees in Baguio City at the hands of the SM Baguio management. The group slammed the Aquino administration

“Yet again Aquino is Noynoying despite the massive public outrage against SM’s destructive hunger for more and more profits” said Anakbayan national chairperson Vencer Crisostomo, taking a dig against what has been described as an ‘OA’ (over-acting) reaction to a North Korean satellite launch while keeping quiet on the issue of the 182 trees.

“Henry Sy and the other owners of the SM Group of Companies have a long track record of stepping on both people and the environment in the name of corporate greed. What we cannot understand is why the Aquino government is keeping quiet in this issue” he said.

The SM Baguio controversy is not the first time that SM has been criticized for being ‘anti-people’. Rampant sexual abuse of female employees and inhumane treatment of workers in general was the reason for strikes in SM malls in 1990, 1994, and 1999. Another strike in 2003 was crushed as SM security guards and other hired goons repeatedly beat up and maimed hundreds of striking workers and their sympathizers in a series of violent dispersals.

SM has also come under fire from peasant groups for landgrabbing in Hacienda Looc, Nasugbu, Batangas. Most recently, 40,000 families of the Silverio Compound in Paranaque stand to lose their homes to make way for an SM condominium project.

“If there’s anyone who has the power to moderate their greed, it’s the government. But what are they doing? The DENR and the Baguio LGU are pointing fingers. Yung Pangulo naman, nakagat ata yung dila” (The president now seems to have bitten off his tongue) said the youth leader.

Kung sabagay, hindi na dapat magtaka. Sa dalawang taon ng administrasyong Aquino, kitang-kita kung saan ito pumapanig: sa malaki, mayaman, makapangyarihan, at iilan. Hindi sa mamamayan” (But then again, we shouldn’t be surprised. In the Aquino administration’s two years, it’s clear that they are always taking the side of the few, rich, and powerful. Not the people) said Crisostomo.


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