An employee of the Supreme Court wears a black ribbon on his chest during Monday's flag ceremony. Photo: ABS-CBN News
MANILA - Donning red and black colors, judiciary employees nationwide staged their 'Black and Red Monday' protest amid Malacanang's perceived defiance of the Supreme Court (SC) ruling striking down as unconstitutional the Aquino administration's Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).
The Judiciary Employees Association (Judea) said the action is in defense of judicial independence and the Constitution amid President Aquino's tirades against the high court amid the unanimous DAP decision, in a televised speech.
Aside from wearing black and red, several court employees also pinned red and black reports, with several wearing 'Labanan ang Diktador' shirts with a yellow ribbon taking the place of the letter "o."
The protest action is also aimed at expressing the court employees' dismay towards Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Memorandum No. 23-2014, dated June 20, 2014, which taxes their benefits by 32%.
In an open letter to all judiciary officials and employees, Judea said Monday's protest is but the "first wave of actions."
"The Aquino presidency is taxing as much from salaried workers and employees while allowing tax holidays to big business and worst impounding our taxes to form part of the unconstitutional DAP.
"We all know that these benefits form part of our take-home pay since our earned salaries are not enough to support a decent life for our families, more importantly of the rank and file employees," the letter read.
Judea also thanked the Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (Courage), which joined judiciary employees in their 'Red and Black Monday' protest.
"The Judea and Courage as the lead organization of this campaign are calling all officials and employees of the judiciary to join [the cause] by doing the following: be part or support the continuous struggle of the judiciary employees; any form of mass action which may include 12-12:300 noontime pickets; wearing of red or black colored shirts, arm bands, ribbons; hanging of streamers, banners, and others with the following slogans: HUWAG BUWISAN ANG BENEPISYO!, HUWAG BAWASAN ANG BENEPISYO!, HUWAG TANGGALIN ANG BENEPISYO!, SAHOD ITAAS! BENEPISYO HUWAG BUWISAN!, DAGDAG NA P6,000 SA MINIMUM PAY!, I-ACCOUNT ANG BUONG DAP!; and delegation and mass actions to show our discontentment in the present regime," the letter read.