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Monopoly of Power Industry (Media Statement - NDFP)

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While the adverse impact of incessant oil price increases, foreign-owned large-scale destructive mining, and natural calamities continue to batter the people of Mindanao, their sorry plight is further aggravated by a debilitating “power crisis.”

The Aquino government, despite of its intention to resolve the crisis, can and will never have the rightful solution to the “power crisis” in Mindanao, because it cannot defy the dictates of its imperialist master and its big bourgeois comprador accomplices.

There may have been efforts from certain sections within the reactionary government to push for alternative energy sources in answer to the crisis, but foreign monopoly capitalists and the big bourgeois comprador will make certain that any threat to their established dominance in Mindanao’s power market and industry will be thwarted.

Granting that alternative sources of energy, such as wind, solar or hydro power, are tapped, these too will also be subjected to the monopolistic control of big foreign capitalists and their local dogs.

A power industry that is not truly owned and controlled by the people will only serve the interest of giant monopolies to gain profit, and not to deliver genuine social service.

Thanks to Ramos’ Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA), Mindanao’s power industry is now under the control of private companies, such as the Sy, Aboitiz, Alcantara-Dominguez, and Lopez groups – all of which have their imperialist counterparts.

They have control over the generation and distribution of power in the island. The obviously contrived power shortage in the island works in favour of satisfying the insatiable lust of these groups for profit, at the very expense of the people.

Henry Sy, the country’s wealthiest man and owner of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), in particular, is seen to make a killing in his obsession to completely monopolize the entire power industry in the island. Sy, through the NGCP, can dominate power generation, transmission and distribution, and even take over in the retailing of electricity, thereby spelling the eventual nullity of electric cooperatives.

Being a major agenda of the imperialist IMF-World Bank and of the big bourgeois comprador as well, the US-Aquino regime works in connivance with foreign and local monopolists to give them what they crave for -- superprofit.

Power must be state-owned and no longer driven by profit if it has to serve the actual needs of the people and of national industrialization. Therefore, it is anti-people if the production of power is motivated by profit, in anarchy, and benefitting only other destructive industries such as large-scale mining, logging and agri-business plantations.

Because of this, the people of Mindanao will surely be bombarded with power rate increases to no end, alongside ceaseless hikes in petroleum products, basic commodities, and basic social services. Worse, the Aquino government continues to deny workers any substantial increase in wages and peasants of any increase in the farm-gate prices of their products.

Considering the damage wrought by large-scale mining as seen in recent calamities, it is preposterous for the Aquino government to push for the construction and operation of more coal-fired power plants as a major solution to the power shortage in Mindanao.

We know full well that coal-fired power plants are already being rapidly phased-out in the US and Europe, not only because of its outmoded technology but more so of its horrific effects on people’s health and on the environment. Far outweighing its purpose to generate more power, these coal-fired power plants will become harbingers of death to the people of Mindanao; they are nothing but lethal poison that will be directly injected into our veins.

Thus, to the well-meaning participants of the Power Summit in Davao City, we ask: as a stakeholder in the power industry, will you take the side of the people of Mindanao and truly work for their welfare, and not simply fall as an unwitting conspirator to the profit-hungry interests of foreign monopoly capitalists and the big comprador bourgeois? We are most certain that you will take the side of the people and resist becoming party to inducing the slow, but sure, death of Mindanao.

For its part, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines in Mindanao (NDFP-Mindanao) is pushing for the establishment of a pro-people power industry based on genuine agrarian reform and national industrialization, which can only be possible under a truly independent and sovereign people’s democratic government. It aims to fully tap the potentials of other safe and renewable energy sources that will benefit the people, and not the whims of the monopolistic, exploitative and oppressive few.

We enjoin the people of Mindanao to unite and collectively defy this “power crisis” grand deception of the foreign monopoly capitalists, the big bourgeois compradors and the US-Aquino regime. Let us militantly demand for a power industry that will uncompromisingly serve the interest of the people, and not of the imperialists and its big bourgeois comprador cohorts!

(Sgd.) Ka Oris
Spokesperson
NDFP-Mindanao





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