Lawmakers from the Makabayan bloc staged a protest immediately after President Benigno Aquino III delivered his State of the Nation Address. Walking from their respective seats, Bayan Muna’s Neri Colmenares and Carlos Zarate, Gabriela Women’s Party’s Emmi de Jesus and Luzviminda Ilagan, ACT Teacher’s Antonio Tinio, Anakpawis Partylist’s Fernando Hicap and Kabataan Partylist’s Terry Ridon, unfurled banners in front of the podium where Aquino was standing.
The banners read pahirap sa mga manggagawa at kawani, pork barrel king, serbisyo palpak, human rights violator, mapang-aping asendero, tuta ng kano and perwisyo pahamak.
In a video posted by the Inquirer, Colmenares said they staged the protest to show Aquino that what he said was not true. Among other things, Aquino talked about a high employment rate and fighting corruption through the “daang matuwid.”
According to Colmenares, the issues of unemployment and corruption were not resolved under Aquino, adding that the pork barrel still exists.
Colmenares also slammed the Presidential Security Group’s move to restrain them. The militant lawmaker said members of the PSG violated the freedom of expression of the members of the House when their supposed task is the security of the President.
Colmenares said it is proof that Aquino does not like hearing opposing views, adding that the president is only good in blaming others, but never taking accountability for his actions.
In an interview with GMA News, Colmenares said that if their colleagues are free to express their support for Aquino, they also have the freedom to tell the people that the so-called economic gains of the Aquino administration is not felt by the poor and hungry.
In a report by Bulatlat, based on the estimate of research think tank IBON, the number of unemployed Filipinos have reached 4.3 million while 7.9 million are underemployed in the year 2014. The SWS survey puts the number of jobless Filipinos at 15.8 million.