Tuesday, November 8, 2011

PinoyMonkeyPride, Yellow Magic and the both sides of the same peso

PinoyMonkeyPride, Yellow Magic and the both sides of the same peso

by Anton Dulce

freely translated by Katleah Ulrike

Here lies started a great fight in YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and the entire Filipino cyberspace.

The former, whose YouTube account is named "PinoyMonkeyPride" made Pro-Marcos propaganda viral, the latter, is a former professor of History in the University of the Philippines, who is also a well known supporter of Akbayan, a partylist of Noynoy Aquino.

Strong and realistic are the actions of the "PNP": the fraud made by the Cojuangco-Aquino family towards the farmers of Hacienda Luisita, the responsibility of former President Cory on the Mendiola Massacre, the worst human rights violations made by the military during Cory's term as Commander-in-Chied, and the responsibility of the Cojuangco-Aquino family over the Hacienda Luisita Massacre.

It is important to unveil those videoes, that the propaganda was fiercely invested upon to create the demi-god like reputation of the Aquinos being used by Noynoy in order to win during the last elections. Many were forgetting the fact that that Cory is the second who had worst human rights violations after Marcos. It was also during last elections that the Public Relations team of Noynoy called the Farmers of Hacienda Luisita as "bad", "Paid", "Communist", etc.

On the other hand, there are positive aspect of the counter-propaganda of the pro-Aquino: that the EDSA 1 is the sporadic revolt of the people against an unpopular individual in the history of the Philippines. That millions of Filipinos started the revolt in EDSA and other parts of the country. More people are even showed support in the means of not defending Marcos on that time.

But since they have good points, they also have lies and misfortunes!

The pro-Aquinos, they insulted the victims of Mendola and Haciena Luisita by insisting the militarist line of the Farmers as initiator of the said tragedies, while those who are pro-Marcos, they insulted the millions of victims of Martial law by saying that there's "Democracy" under the Dictatorship. Worse, they call for Economic liberalization as the answer to the rampan poverty due to the rule of the local elites in the country.

The question on Economic Liberalization should be given emphasis in order to know clearly this fight between pro-Marcos and pro-Aquino. They showed that the economy should be entirely opened to foreign investors in order to end the "reign of the oligarchs" (such as Ayala, Lopez, Sy, etc.). They even separate local capitalists to foreign ones.

And Economic Liberalization? That policy was insituted long in the country. That is why Php144.4 billion

gained from the mining companies last 2010, while Php13.7 million are the taxes being paid.

This is even a hell of a kind foolishnes: Look at MERALCO, we simply know it as an electric company owned by the Lopezes and Danding Cojuangco, but they didn't know that PLDT had its share of it, via Pangilinan, that 52% of it is being owned by a foreign corporation. The local and foreign Capitalist are long partners in exploiting the Filipino people.

And if you remember, even Noynoy himself advocated Economic Liberalization through the means of Charter Change. Surely, he's not agressive like those of pro-Marcos individuals and groups because they are already taking place, and yet they estimate the impact of people's anger and resistance.

So, what are watching in the Internet today? Nothing but a fight between the two different sides of the same peso. The Marcoses and the Aquinos belonged to the same class: they are Landlords, they used their powers to favor their cronies/relatives, they are human rights violators, they are coddlers of U.S. in expoliting the country in exchange for their support.

Their rumble today is part of an unfinished rumble between different factions of the ruling class like a game known as "Trip to Jerusalem: especially today that they know each other's weaknesses. And the showing of videoes of "PNP", Although helpful in exposing the blood and dirt under the name 'Aquino', is in the final analysis only an attempt to beautify the name of Marcos.

So it is important to know clearly, both we and others, that the real progress and democracy is not a multiple-choice exam that is limited to "A.) Aquino" or "B.) Marcos". The real struggle for Demcoracy and Freedom is an essay-type exam. And the People should write its own will different from what the ruling class wanted.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Expecting "Patriotism" and "Life" written by "Harlots" and "Merchants"

Expecting "Patriotism" and "Life"
written by "Harlots" and "Merchants"

Sorry for the name of this post, but this writeup mirrors the reality how today's contemporary culture outweighs patriotism resulting to what everybody else thinks about what the Philippines, both country and people is.

That, basing much on our surroundings, and on what mass media propagates, the culture prevailing nowadays is a culture of the west and east simply being adored by many to the extent of putting some "Filipino" twist to accommodate more and perhaps in pursuit of making it "Filipino" the way an Italian Spaghetti should be sweet and sour to accommodate the Filipino taste.

Due to the overtly influx of foreign goods, including TV programs and movies, people became totally dependent from it; and as from the earlier statement, putting some "Filipino" twist to accommodate more, thus generating profits to those who tried to insist through; no matter what response from the people would say so about it.

That, we sought a massive trend prevailing and making near-carbon copies of it such as drug-sex-brag laced "mainstream" Hip-Hop culture whether it is from the Ghettoes controlled by African-Americans or Chicanos (that some old-school Hip Hop fans as well as Progressive ones would dare to oppose it), Movies and TV programs from the Far East (especially those from Korea) and last but not the least the prevailing culture from the U.S.-a legacy what Filipinos tried to break away entirely ...or not.

And no matter most people dare to put some "Filipino" flavor in it, its appearance would still look a rehash of its very own past (unless some from it making it purely realistic and Filipino in character no matter what foreign genre is): that most Hip-hoppers for example would hear sex-themed music and women wear skimpy clothing and trying to get attention yet Hip Hop originally speaks of emancipation from the Ghetto and of the individual from the repressive social order; that Tupac Shakur dared to challenge the order the way his parents (both members of the Black Panther party) did; but why Soulja Boy? Or in case of the Filipino experience, having BLKD venting social realism (such as Poverty, Tuition Fee Increases) in his words during a Rap battle session but why those from the street would still hear Juan Thugs, Gagong Rapper, and others who usually sings about being unlucky in love, about a narcotic, or everything just to provide escape from realities? (Sorry to the listener for that, I am just making an assessment although I do listen for quite some time)

Of cultural idealists people didn't think upon as artists

On the other hand, there are people whose idealism and looking at realities tried to create something yet people had least to understand it's very own essence. Francis Magalona tried to instill Patriotism in his music and his clothing range of course, but people simply think of it as a mere fad that they wear clothes bearing "Three Stars and a Sun" simply because that came from his, that because it is popular, that is to show being "Filipino", and so forth. Same goes in Noel Cabangon's music-obviously he's once an activist preaching about change, that his song "Tatsulok" speaks about the Filipino society as a majority being ruled by a minority; even "Kanlungan" that speaks about leaving and returning, but then it end up a sell-out than of making people know about what their country is: that most would say that "Kanlungan" was the song from an old McDonald commercial and "Tatsulok" was sung by Bamboo Manalac, memorizing the lyrics without knowing its substance.

If that's the case then does having a fashion, music, movie, TV program using a "Patriotic" statement make a person Patriotic? Or just a fad, a ploy used by the prevailing order in desperately currying popular support and making them contented to it?

The Balkan experience and its near similarities to Filipino contemporary pop music

Well, it all reminds me of a country that shared the similar fate, especially in music: the former Yugoslavia and Romania.

Yugoslav culture was so similar despite religious and territorial differences that, in pursuit of "Brotherhood and Unity" it tried to infuse different cultures-in a manner that Croats, Serbs, Slovenes, Bosnians, having belonged to the Slavic ethnicity be described altogether as "Yugoslavs" same as their homeland was-and their culture.

However, since most people in Yugoslavia were urbanized, its culture was also affected, especially folk music-resulting to a variety of music genres such as Turbo Folk.

Turbo Folk was and is, one of the recognized music the way Novelty songs being played most of the time in the Philippines-they have similarities that, aside from acquiring a massive audience, of having modern-day (like synthesizer and Drum machine) and traditional instruments (especially acoustic guitar) being fused and used, they carry meaningless or quasi-meaningful lyrics with a variety of topics such as "love", "fame", and "struggle" while its people, especially those who escape the crisis sought solace in it.

But then, it fell down to imitating western music despite using native language and music as its producers and creators of Turbo-folk, in making the genre popular have copied the aesthetics of American rap or pop clips, filling every shot with scantily clad women and covered everyone with so much jewellery that the combined weight of gold and jewels would undoubtedly number in the kilos or girls imitating Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez and the like yet much seductive like Goca Sekulić, Olja and Jelena Karleuša and Ceca Raznatovic.

As a writer, upon listening to Turbo Folk, as well as Manele (a music genre in Romania), as well as relating it to the present music in the Philippines (especially novelty and rap music), it simply carries the same appeal as it reached the hearts and minds of the lower class regardless of its near-meaningless topics such as "love"-to the extent of calling it as "erotic", as well as "drug-and-gun culture influenced" in its words being sung and its singer-like Ceca Raznatovic, who aside from making Turbo Folk popular, also married a notorious criminal and paramilitary leader named Zeljko Raznatovic, known by his nom de guerre, Arkan (with their marriage being called a matrimony of pornography and patriotism). Same goes in the Philippines (although not related to music, but carried some populist appeal) like Korina Sanchez (a newscaster) who married Mar Roxas (then a Senator, and even proposed marriage earlier in front of the audience of a show hosted by Willie Revilliame), or even much earlier, when Congressman Jules Ledesma married sexy actress Assunta de Rossi, and much much earlier, when Congressman Ferdinand Marcos married "the rose of Tacloban" Imelda Romualdez.

These experiences, whether music or not, yet affected the minds of the people made these a tactic of the ruling class to use the masses, from mind to persona for their own benefit although controversial-as Ceca, known for singing erotic-laced Turbo Folk married to a gun-toting politico-criminal Arkan; or Mar Roxas used Willie Revilliame's show back then in ABS-CBN proposing marriage to Korina Sanchez. Sorry to say so, but it unveils the system raping popular culture, of using the feelings of the masses for their very own benefit-making some people criticize the culture they sought much for celebrating the external symbols of easy acquisition of wealth, being too eroticized, promoting violence, escapism and exaggeration of feelings.

Otherwise, such content we usually see, hear, taste, and experience all the time are merely representatives of the global pop-cultural scene, of wholesale westernization being excessively integrated into the common Filipino culture (like noontime shows, that originally based on both talent and game shows; and soap operas basing much on comics and pocketbook romances). They even point out that an average music video shown on MTV, MYX, or its sound being played on Love Radio or being downloaded online and played in Mp3 Players depicts just as many if not more "women treated as objects", golden chains on muscular bodies, repetition of green jokes, and generally everything that is recognized and condemned as banal, vulgar, sub-intellectual and unsophisticated; even it has "patriotic flavor" in it like treating patriotic symbols as mere logos devoid of meaning, leaving it merely as aesthetic nonsense or if too much, chauvinism and xenophobia like those who rant out of Spratlys.

For sure most people are enough of these experiences and wanting to stop it. Yes, that some are tired of listening, or seeing people becoming vulgar, having almost pornographic kitsch, glorifying crime, and a corrupted moral around the community with its appearances, as what Ivana Kronja said, a manifestation of an "aggressive, sadistic and pornographically eroticised iconography" that justifies the prevalence of Machismo chauvinism and subjugation of women in all spheres in the society.

After all, trying to parallel the current music scene with those of the balkans, it somehow becomes enough connected despite its different ethnic backgrounds: that the novelty music and love songs within contemporary OPM music being blared most of the time in mainstream radio in the Philippines are similar enough to those of Turbo-folk and Pop-folk in former Yugoslavia and Romania; that the love songs of Yugoslavia's Ceca Raznatovic are quite like those of the Philippines' very own Imelda Papin (or Ara Mina for late 90s and 00s sake).


To conclude this writeup, I, as a writer would say that the Philippines tried to "modernize" its culture yet it end up submitting to the wishes of those imposing agreements that seemed unequal to Filipino sovereignty. We may see people wearing "Barong Tagalog", dancing the "Kuratsa Mayor", looking at the Apayew (Rice Terraces) and getting satisfied after eating Lechon or having a Hilot massage yet these are merely reduced to a mere formal significance to say there's a culture prevailing for all tourists to see, same as collective action that end up a mere rhetoric for politicians appeasing the growing tide of masses who themselves bond collectively to counter their rule. Comparing to Malaysia, Japan, China that had still keeping its culture by modernizing it-with the Petronas towers had striking resemblance to traditional architecture using modern methods, and urging people to drive cars such as Proton.

And since these countries had its culture intact, why not start modernize, innovate what comes directly from the root than getting contented on mere exports? Of having lives and love of home be written by serious, hardworking people basing their dreams and aspirations from concrete realities than of those who trying to throw themselves to the dogs or those who make profit from it?

Sorry to say some of the words being vented upon in this writeup, but then this nation needs a overhaul in all sides. And for sure few would likely to understand this while more and more entice to enjoy a gold-foiled shit (sorry for the term) served upon to everyone. God forbid, but like sugar, too much costs loss of knowledge, brawn, and perhaps lives supposed be contributive to social well being. I do recognize people trying enough to instill patriotism like Magalona, but in the eyes of a common man, would think of it as an artist making rap music popular than a patriot trying to instill patriotism using his talent.

Rizal's "Idealism" is the Filipino Everydayman's Realism

Rizal's "Idealism" is the Filipino Everydayman's Realism

"Each one writes history according to his convenience."

These are the words Jose Rizal said to Ferdinand Blumentritt during his sojourn in Europe in 1886.At first we think of it as true since most of us are making our own fate that made us "convenient" especially to those who tend to escape from everything disastrous in pursuit of something that is "peace and quiet." However, These words somehow also made Rizal think how people creates its own fate same as its own society, and it somehow corresponds to a Chinese quote and it said, 'The Masses Are the Makers of History'; yes, for it is the masses who endure repression, not just the ones who initiated are the ones who started the clamor for radical change.

But then, every quote being said so are likely to be reduced into a mere sentiment or an idea being bannered upon to by such individuals and calling it as "idealism" or a "figment of an imagination." If so, then how come every event corresponds to what Rizal hath said in his books?

I may not been against "Idealists" so to speak, but then most of them tend to act like Jose Rizal in order to negate the rising tide of radical change coming from the laboring people. They may've used Noli me Tangere and El Filibusterismo just to justify favoring "Reform" over "Revolution", of Ibarra over Simoun, but then how come there are still Elias and Cabesang Tales around us? Like Cervantes, Rizal may've been taking time focusing on books and artwork; like Don Quixote searching for an "Impossible Dreamand its fans wasting time on his works and emulating his way of self-gratification guised as knowledge, yet the vast majority end up in pain in their back and out of it, willing to take revenge than getting contented to it as possible.

His longing for Leonor Rivera for example, this so-called "obsession", despite Rivera married the British Kipping made him not to seriously gave way to other women whom he met and perhaps loved with, like Boustead, Jacoby or O Sei San; all except for the Irish Josephine Bracken whom he seriously being with as a "permanent substitute", or I should say in a Tagalog parlance a "Panakit butas" in his barren heart. How come Rizal can't move on until he met Bracken? Was Rivera really correspond to the Philippines in the form of Maria Clara? Whose beauty, charm and submission, contentment embodies the psyche of a Filipina? Yet on the other hand praised the Spartan women whom likely to take arms and fight for their and others' lives as what Josephine Bracken did? Which of the two really corresponds to the Filipina then?

Well, back to the main topic (sorry for tackling Rizal's love life) Perhaps his consumption of hashish as an experiment made his mind having "colour" in it. Sorry to say so again in regards to that, but like his, we tend to experiment ourselves out of our realities, of our senses. That also became an infuence in our later works and to others as basis for our "ideals", but then Rizal's experiences aren't really idealism; Americans simply codified it as his "idealism" but in fact products of his very own realities as scenes from Noli me Tangere and El Filibusterismo continues to linger even in an era of Cellphones, Internet and other sorts of wholesale westernization. I may have disagreed Rizal's passivism but then I still acknoledge him as a hero-he may not carried weaponry nor lead directly as what Bonifacio did, for he preferred acting as a scapegoat, a nitrogycerin bomb in Simoun's hand triggering a change that is left unfinished.

But then, despite all these, we sought a distorted picture of Rizal and his fellow heroes and noble countrymen. ‘We are brainwashed to glorify traitors and enemies of the Revolution and the Motherland’ according to Domingo de Guzman, that despite unearthing everything about his and other's lives, we kept on thinking that Rizal was merely an idealist who dissuade people from advancing armed struggle in favor of reforms that deemed impossible; not noticing that Rizal also became an inspiration by those who insist so as well as he himself offered Antonio Luna for the revolution whilst keeping himself aloof in it. Yes, he favored education over revolution but why not he joined in and head the education department of the Katipunan?

Anyway, as Rizal said to Blumentritt:
"We want the happiness of the Philippines, but we want to obtain it through noble and just means. If I have to commit villainy to make her happy, I would refuse to do so, because I am sure that what is built on sand sooner or later would tumble down."Good to read this kind of quote Rizal hath said, especially that he urged Filipinos to traverse the long and winding road to self determination and prosperity by means beneficial to them. But to others, especially those who took his words as detrimental to the tide of popular change it meant reducing things to mere sentiment-like reducing struggles to lobbying and negotiations for example; Rizal perhaps wanted everything "by all means" especially in the latter days as a patriot although he still wanted to give reforms, education a chance over Bonifacio as well as others who chose taking up arms, but still how come Filipinos rally over the one who endures than the one who sees? Especially to those whose reason was land and bread rather than "National independence" alone? Yes, Rizal may have wrote Noli and El Fili, but compare to the one who endure forced labor which is worth fighting for? Anyway, it unveils himself as "the spirit of contradiction; a soul that dreads the revolution, although deep down desires it." according to Unamuno, and it was shown by his actions contradicting his works, or rather say his idealism that contradicts his realities.I personally made this work not to misjudge him, but rather to think that Rizal himself is a realist rather than an idealist as others may've seen of him. Aguinaldo, and later the Americans made him a hero due to his works and ideals, whilst his words and actions are being reduced to mere sentiment as we suspect of it; not noticing how come El Filibusterismo still had an open ending and one by one willing to write an unfinished part or another book to continue in it. Hernandez somehow did it with his Ibong Mandaragit, that involved both education and organization as tools for self determination as we ought to see and take, but then we tend to look at the perspective of those trying to dissuade people from the very meaning of change. Of substituting sheeps for wolves, of tamed slaves than a noble savage.Sorry to say so but that's fit enough to be called "true", we expect people tend to "just" codify his thought and be dubbed thee as "idealism" not noticing that his words aren't just sprout from his mind but rather out of realities he've sought or experienced as an individual-as during his time everything, even morals are tied to the economic structure such as feudalism; that superstition and overtly literal interpretation of Christian faith justified corvée labor and massive accumulation of wealth by the vested gentry; and Rizal wanted these to be "break" down whilst keeping the productive and positivistic ones as he himself wanted a major overhaul in the society in pursuit of the advancing times. That justifying self-desire for total greed is one of the narrowest of all justifications, tell it to the massed ranks of hungry, destitute peoples crying for land, peace, bread, justice and they will respond with direct fists and kicks, aggro over the wretched parasites who steal wealth from those who create in it like what Bonifacio or earlier leaders of spontaneous revolts insisted. And somehow these meant what Filipino ought and how to struggle for self-determination, he may still insist education like Crisostomo Ibarra, but more and more Simouns will be its results. As what one writeup said:"In his first novel "Noli Me Tangere", Rizal did not endorse a bloody revolution, instead, he introduced the possibility of reformation. In his second novel "El FIlibusterismo", Rizal showed how the abuse and maltreatment of the Spanish system would lead the Filipinos to revolt against them."But despite these, the system still clings to the desperate "idealism" just as what America tries to codify Rizal's thought, but instead of Ibarras and Simouns, we'll expect more and more Basio Macunats and Senor Pastas out of it. Or as what Constantino thinks of: Veneration without understanding.

Regarding Qaddafi's death and the (succeeding) consequences of the Libyan situation

Regarding Qaddafi's death
and the (succeeding) consequences of the Libyan situation

"I’m not ashamed to admit I’m writing this with tears in my eyes."

These are the first words said in a writeup regarding Qaddafi by James P. of the American Front. It somehow pleases methat despite the "hatred", of being demonized by the media, there are still people around the world paid respect to a man who, despite his contributions to Libyan society end up lynched and shot by a mob.

Sad isn't it that despite wanting him to put on trial or what they end up putting him killed "for the sake of democracy", while at the same time thinking that despite trying-hard means to put things in order will rather end up contrary to it-as most people would clamor for free electricity, good roads, good education and social services rather than be ruled by a mob, sponsored by vested interests scrambling for oil in a once-proud African country.

And although I oppose some of his moves that seemed "anti-popular", Gaddafi somehow put forward what real self-determination was, and that was to make a "new" Libya willing to take the risk of getting intervened by outside powers such as England, France or the United States and its domestic puppets and turncoats-including taking a vow of sacrifice like himself, and his people end up as corpses blood flowing in Sirte or Misrata. And people would remember him much that they afford free electricity and a good literacy rate all despite the odds given especially as what we've seen lately.

In fact, I remember reading a copy of a his "Green Book" when I was a student; and what I had seen on that book is entirely a critique-assessment on what every society goes on and on-especially in regards to politics and culture. Especially that Qaddafi criticized "Democracy" and "Parliaments" as misrepresenting people and in favor of the elite. Yes, despite having different perspectives I agreed in his stance as I or we obviously sought elitists and not the masses who took decisions in it; worse having the fact that votes can be bought and falsified during elections and choices limited to the wishes of the few whilst letting the people choosing which is which.

And thus,
As we expect these things around us, of having Oligarchs, insufficient distribution of welfare in exchange for labour, is this "Democracy" preached by everyone? Having elections bought, sold, falsified? A "Democracy" ran by an elite and with vested interests whilst disregarding or reducing social justice into a mere sentiment? For sure most of us are greatly concerned or confused about this hell of a kind matter, especially to those who end up having a boycott out of it simply because of having a rotten system maintained with a hodge-podge of promises and pepper spray, of carrot and stick. After all, Qaddafi's writeup somehow showed an idea what Democracy should be and that is the rule of the people.

And with his and his people's deaths during the civil war, of the growing number of wounded casualties, bullets being spent, houses and buildings being bombed, of foreign intervention led by NATO, it all somehow justifies Mao Zedong's quote concerning war and peace, that:

"War is a continuation of politics, and there are at least two types: just (progressive) and unjust wars, which only serve bourgeois interests. While no one likes war, we must remain ready to wage just wars against imperialist agitations."

Weird to say so about it, but the fact is that the battle sponsored by the west was and is an example of an unjust wars only to serve someone else's interests. Iraq's people were killed for an obvious reason of pumping oil in it, and so is Libya's; "The freedom of a human being is lacking if his or her needs are controlled by others, for need may lead to the enslavement of one person by another. Furthermore, exploitation is caused by need. Need is an intrinsic problem and conflict is initiated by the control of one's needs by another." as what Qaddafi said in his book, and for sure entities willing to exploit Libyan oil are for sure realizing this quotation. NATO bombed houses as they need it in ousting Qaddafi, then oil companies go through exploiting oil in it-then selling it expensively for they need profits in it! So what's the essence of their "freedom" if they themselves not noticed that they are indirectly exploited by the west? I personally against atrocities made during Qaddafi's regime same as those being called "rats" but then to sum it all who's benefiting the conflict? Is it the people who kept on waving the flag of Idris? Will it inculcate plans and opportunities better than what Qaddafi did?

People someday will know that they will laugh at themselves and regret their actions. EDSA Revolution for instance, whose product is rampant poverty worse than the latter days of the Marcos regime and a system worsened by vested interests also made some people lay low and nearly regret what they've did to it;

But on the other hand more are willing to advance an idea greater than the man from Sirte did; and whether we like it or not, it will involve blood and iron as what Bismark said.

Condolences for the fallen, but Libya will never be the same, especially when people had:

free electricity,
free great medical care,
interest free loans,
govt. paid 50% for purchase of a car,
govt gave newly married couples $50,000 to buy a house...

Everything to say that "Qaddafi was worth remembering."

We will continue the fight, which is also our Fight.
To Victory or Death. Yours for the Resistance,

Paul S.

Friday, September 23, 2011

SUCs Strike against budget cuts, Malacanang issues budget "insufficient" accdg. to SUCs

SUCs Strike against budget cuts,
Malacanang issued budget "insufficient" accdg. to SUCs

About 8.000 students from different State Colleges and Universities marched hand in hand to Mendiola last Friday fighting for greater state subsidy as well as against budget cuts.

Known as "The March for Education", the University of the Philippines, as well as member schools of the Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges marched from Diliman, Sta. Mesa, and others directly to Mendiola all against the policies laid by the government especially those of cutting its budget on education.

The protest even featured a mass planking of students in Mendola, that according to the organizers, a "record" as protesters converged and planked altogether as a form of protest. That, according to Raymond Palatino of the Kabataan Partylist, 20,000 students, teachers, and SUC officials took part in mass planking, walkouts and marches in nationwide protests.

"The nationwide strike embodies the outrage of our SUCs against the inaction of the Aquino administration to reverse the cuts and provide sufficient funding for our public universities," he said in a press statement Friday.

However, according to Malacanang, it has proposed a P5.54-billion budget for UP in 2012, higher than this year’s P1.39 billion but not enough as it goes far from the estimate P18 billion UP needed for its campuses according to student groups. The budget cut even likely to justify increase in tuition and other fees in SUCs same goes in Private schools who oppose yearly increases. The policy Malacanang made rather realizes its side effect as President Aquino in his budget statement last year stated that there were indeed cuts in SUC spending:

“We allocated P23.4 billion to 112 State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) in 2011. This is 1.7 percent lower than the P23.8 billion budget for 2010. We are gradually reducing the subsidy to SUCs to push them toward becoming self-sufficient and financially independent..”

Student groups meanwhile also said the budget “contains an overall cut of P569.8 million” for some 50 state schools. Some 220 SUCs will share the budget as enrollment increases in public tertiary schools amid rising tuition in private schools. Self sufficiency had limits, as it negates the essence of being a State-supported institution such as a university, that even other State supported entities such as hospitals also faced problems such as lack of medicine and supplies like those of Fabella Hospital in Sta.Cruz Manila according to Einstein Recedes in his speech.

Students who joined this week’s protest came from the University of the Philippines-Diliman, UP Manila, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Eulogio Amang Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology, Rizal Technological University, Bulacan State University, Philippine Normal University as well as Private schools such as University of the East and University of Sto. Tomas.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Driver's strike paralyzed over Metro Manila in response to the growing oil prices

Driver's strike paralyzed Metro Manila, provinces
in response to the growing oil prices

Last 7:00 AM, drivers around the Philippines staged a nationwide strike especially in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

The protests are made in response to the Overpricing on oil, Value Added Tax, Oil Deregulation Law, and other Government policies that resulted to mass discontent of drivers trying to earn a living. And according to Elmer Labog of the Kilusang Mayo Uno, a beginning of much bigger protests to be wage upcoming month.

Originally a joint protest with the Alliance of Concerned Transport Operators (Acto), Pasang Masda, and the Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines (Fejodap), the three backed out of the planned protest following the meeting with President Noynoy Aquino, leaving PISTON and other smaller transport groups go on with the strike.

According to PISTON Secretary-General George San Mateo, “We did not get any guarantee from the President that he will do something about high fuel prices,” justifying the militant organization's stance to push through the driver's strike.

The protests continued still all despite Government interference to quell the actions. In Philcoa, Quezon City, protesters were forcibly driven away by the policemen in Commonwealth Avenue as part of the strike, while the former even done Planking in the road as part of the protest; while in Valencia, Bukidnon, where protesters are being harassed by the police.

There is even a commotion between DOTC Secretary Manuel Rozas III and Bayan Muna Representative Teddy Casino in Cubao, after Roxas told to Casino and Bayan Muna not to get involve with the protests - justifying Casino's anger telling him that the people are greatly affected by the increase in oil prices made by oil companies and an "inutile Government". After the commotion, security guards as well as policemen tried to disperse the protesters.

Meanwhile, the government, especially the Armed Forces issued free rides for commuters in the main thoroughfares over Metro Manila. And issued a threat as the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) warned operators and drivers against joining the transport strike, although LTFRB board member Manuel Iway said the agency would impose penalties only if transport routes are paralyzed. Some 5,000 uniformed policemen are deployed today in Metro Manila to ensure peace and order during the jeepney strike by militant transport groups.

But the protests remained dominant all despite threats as according to the reports, nearly 60 up to 100% of jeepney routes all over Metro Manila are paralyzed, including Camanava reaching 85%. In Monumento, Caloocan city, almost 100 jeepney drivers stopped driving and joined the protests, while members of Anakpawis, Gabriela, Anakbayan, Kilusang Mayo uno and Confederation of Unity, Recognition, and Advancement of Government Employees also joined the protests in support for the drivers against Oil Deregulation and Overpricing of oil products. In Laguna, 85% of all public transport routes are paralyzed especially in San Pablo City and Calamba same as in Mindanao, where Davao City reached 92% with ten schools including Ateneo de Davao having their classes suspended, Cagayan de Oro with 80%, and Iligan City with 90%.

In assessment, the protests, as what KMU's Elmer Labog said, would create another round of strikes as the government fails to seriously heed the call of the masses in midst of the prevailing socio-economic crisis.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hamas pledges Gaza ceasefire to end five days of bloodshed Group hopes temporary truce will stop escalating violence spiralling out of control

Hamas pledges Gaza ceasefire to end five days of bloodshed
Group hopes temporary truce will stop escalating violence spiralling out of control*

By Donald Macintyre in Gaza

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Hamas has told Egypt it will enforce a ceasefire by militant factions in Gaza aimed at halting bloodshed which started with the killing of eight Israelis by gunmen last week.

The truce was finalised yesterday in Gaza after the Popular Resistance Committees, the faction blamed by Israel for last Thursday's lethal attack near the Red Sea resort of Eilat, finally agreed to what it called a "temporary" ceasefire.

Although Hamas was thought, along with Israel, to be anxious not to let the cycle of Israeli air strikes and Palestinian rocket attacks to spiral out of control, the agreement in Gaza appeared to be a success for Egyptian diplomacy, backed by the UN.

Around 15 rockets and mortars were fired by Gaza militants overnight, causing no injuries. Israel responded with an air strike which targeted a rocket launcher.

At least 15 Palestinians have been killed in the air strikes, mainly militants, but also including a doctor, and three children under the age of 14.

A 38-year old Israeli man was killed in a rocket attack on Beersheeva on Saturday night. The PRC claimed responsibility for the attack.

Israel has made clear that it has not made an agreement with the Palestinian factions but that it will respond in kind provided the rocket attacks stop. Israel's President Shimon Peres said while on a tour of the southern Israeli communities that are most affected by rocket attacks: "If they will cease fire, there will be a cease-fire."

However, an Israeli official warned that the military would reserve the right to attack those attempting to fire rockets, whether before or after the rockets had actually been fired, and to fire on those Palestinians who approach too close to the border fence with Israel.

The official declined to confirm that Israel had helped to pave the way for the factions' agreement to a ceasefire by making clear in advance to the Egyptians that it would respond positively if one was called. But an Israeli delegation was in Cairo on Sunday while its terms were being drawn up.

Israel has been anxious to maximise co-operation with the post-Mubarak authorities after a diplomatic row blew up at the weekend.

Egypt threatened to withdraw its ambassador from Tel Aviv over complaints that three of its security personnel had been killed by Israeli troops firing on gunmen as they retreated across the border after Thursday's attack along Route 12, which is 20km from Eilat.

In a rare statement issued during the Sabbath, Defence Minister Ehud Barak expressed Israel's "regret" for the deaths of the three security men and promised a joint investigation to be carried out by both the Israeli and Egyptian military authorities.

The air strikes on Gaza started within hours of Thursday's attack.

One of the strikes – believed to be by a drone – killed five prominent PRC members in the yard of a house in the southern town of Rafah. But the strike also killed the two-year-old son of one of the PRC members.

Meanwhile, the Israel Defence Force has not yet released any names of the seven gunmen that it says it hit. But it says that it killed at least four gunmen in the fierce exchanges of gunfire which followed on from Thursday's well-executed attack.

Israeli officials say they knew that the attack was the work of the PRC because of prior intelligence that the organisation planned an attack in the area – intelligence some Israeli critics have argued should have enabled security forces to prevent the attack. While the information was detailed this did not extend to the timing of the attack, an unexpectedly bold raid conducted in daylight.

Meanwhile a senior Israeli military officer, Colonel Zvika Haimovitch, acknowledged yesterday that the new "Iron Dome" rocket defence system did not offer full protection against all the salvos that had been fired from Gaza over the last few days.

It shot down four out of five Grad rockets fired by the PRC at Beersheeva, for example, but the fifth rocket killed an Israeli civilian. The man had left his car as the attack was underway.


Gaddafi defeat 'a matter of time'

Gaddafi defeat 'a matter of time'*

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Libyan ruler Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's forces are cornered and his defeat is "only a matter of time", Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said today.

After chairing a meeting of the National Security Council, Mr Clegg insisted the reappearance in Tripoli of the dictator's son Saif Al-Islam was "not the sign of some great comeback for the Gaddafi regime".

But he acknowledged there would be "frustrations and setbacks" before the regime fell.

Mr Clegg said: "Our assessment is that Free Libya forces now control much, but not all, of Tripoli.

"Yes, there will be frustrations and setbacks but the remaining remnants of the Gaddafi regime are now cornered. It's only a matter of time before they are finally defeated and Libya is completely free."

Mr Clegg played down the significance of Gaddafi's son Saif turning up at Tripoli's Hotel Rixos, where a number of foreign journalists are staying.

"He is not roaming freely through Tripoli. He and the remaining pro-Gaddafi forces are now cornered, they are making their last stand, and it's only a matter of time before they are finally defeated. About that we are very confident indeed."

Colonel Gaddafi's whereabouts is still unknown, while Saif's elder brother Mohammed is also missing after reportedly breaking free from house arrest last night.

Mr Clegg's comments came as television images showed a jubilant and free Saif, regarded as his father's immediate successor, meeting supporters outside the loyalist-held Hotel Rixos before claiming that forces loyal to his father had "broken the backbone" of the rebel offensive.

He also indicated that Gaddafi remained in the violence-torn capital, stating that the weakening regime remained in control.

International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell blamed confusion over Saif's apparent arrest on the "fog of warfare" but acknowledged there would be a "bumpy ride" over the coming days.

"There was a lot of confusion, there are quite long lines of communication involved," he told the BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"It's inevitable in this situation, with the warfare going on as it is, that there will be some confusion."

On BBC1's Breakfast he added: "This will be a bumpy ride, as the Prime Minister made clear in his statement yesterday.

"But if you look at the events over the past week or so it is clear that the Free Libya forces are doing well and now occupy very large parts of Libya."

Prime Minister David Cameron, who resumed his family holiday in Cornwall today, and US President Barack Obama discussed the rapidly unfolding situation during a telephone conversation last night in which they called on Gaddafi to "relinquish power once and for all" and discussed plans for a "peaceful transition to democracy".

Forces loyal to Gaddafi continue to fight fierce battles with rebels surging into Tripoli from all sides and taking control of large areas of the city.

There were significant casualties after clashes around the dictator's heavily fortified compound.

The head of the Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC), Mustafa Abdel Jalil, warned that victory was not yet complete.

But he added: "The youth of Libya have written an epic heroic battle."

Nato spokesman Colonel Roland Lavoie told Today the alliance was not in "direct contact" with the rebels and had no plans to send in ground troops.

But he said the no-fly zone authorised by United Nations Security Resolution 1973 would continue to be enforced by Nato jets.

"We have enough to be busy with the current situation," said Col Lavoie. "This mission is not finished yet."


* Url:http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/gaddafi-defeat-a-matter-of-time-2342368.html

Libya: secret role played by Britain creating path to the fall of Tripoli

Libya: secret role played by Britain creating path to the fall of Tripoli*

Gordon Rayner, Thomas Harding and Duncan Gardham,
The Telegraph,
London, 22 August 2011

The key role played by Britain in equipping and advising Libya’s rebel fighters for their final push on Tripoli was becoming clear last night as Col Muammar Gaddafi’s remaining forces staged a last stand around his bunker.

For weeks, military and intelligence officers have been helping the rebels plan their co-ordinated attack on the capital, and Whitehall sources have disclosed that the RAF stepped up raids on Tripoli on Saturday morning in a pre-arranged plan to pave the way for the rebel advance.

MI6 officers based in the rebel stronghold of Benghazi had honed battle plans drawn up by Libya’s Transitional National Council (TNC) which were agreed 10 weeks ago.

The constantly-updated tactical advice provided by British experts to the rebel leaders centred on the need to spark a fresh uprising within Tripoli that could be used as the cue for fighters to advance on the city.

But when it finally came, the speed with which it achieved its goal took everyone, including the rebels, by surprise.

The Daily Telegraph has learnt that although the uprising in Tripoli began on Saturday night, the first phase of the battle for the capital had begun hours earlier, when RAF Tornado GR4 aircraft attacked a key communications facility in south-west Tripoli as part of the agreed battle plan.

On Saturday morning five precision-guided Paveway IV bombs were dropped on the Baroni Centre, a secret intelligence base headed by Gaddafi’s brother-in-law Abdullah Senussi.

The aircraft then struck at least one main battle tank belonging to Gaddafi’s troops, and in the afternoon another RAF patrol destroyed an artillery piece on the western edge of Tripoli and a nearby command and control facility.

On the ground, the rebels had spent weeks smuggling weapons, communications equipment and battle-hardened fighters into Tripoli, setting up secret arms dumps around the capital and waiting for a pre-arranged signal to trigger the uprising.

Mahmoud Shammam, a spokesman for the TNC, told the Daily Telegraph that the agreed signal was a televised speech by the TNC chairman, Mustafa Abd-al-Jalil, which was broadcast via the Qatar-based Libya TV on Saturday evening.

Mr Jalil told the citizens of Tripoli “you have to rise to the event”, and as dusk fell at around 8pm local time a group of rebels seized their chance and took control of the Ben Nabi Mosque close to the city centre.

Using loudspeakers which normally call people to prayer, they began anti-Gaddafi chants to confirm the start of what rebel leaders called Operation Mermaid Dawn – the battle for Tripoli, which is nicknamed Mermaid in Arabic.

Mr Shammam said: “The start of the uprising was pre-arranged. We used our TV station for Mr Jalil to give a speech calling for the uprising and soon most of the people of Tripoli were on the streets.”

The timing of the uprising caught Gaddafi completely by surprise; the rebels had spent that day flushing out that last of his forces from Zawiyah, 30 miles west of Tripoli, and the Brother Leader had clearly expected them to regroup, reorganise and re-arm - as they had done in the past after each major battle - before making an attempt on Tripoli.

Instead, the rebels who had been fighting in Zawiyah were making a dash for the capital, and in the skies overhead RAF Tornados and Typhoons were launching further surgical strikes on pre-planned targets.

The RAF and its alliance partners carried out 46 sorties on Sunday alone, relying heavily on the RAF’s Brimstone ground attack missile system that can pick out targets close to civilian areas with incredible accuracy, minimising the risk of civilian casualties.

Gaddafi’s bunker at Bab al-Aziziya was pounded throughout the night, and the Tornados’ advanced electronics also enabled aircraft already in the sky to hit Gaddafi targets as they were identified, using a system known as dynamic targeting.

Gaddafi’s command and control centres, set up in industrial buildings or even empty schools, were also attacked, crippling the Libyan despot’s ability to direct his troops.

On the ground, meanwhile, the rebels sent out mass text messages to regime opponents waiting in Tripoli for a signal to rise up, and as Gaddafi’s forces tried in vain to suppress the revolt it spread out across 13 suburbs.

By Sunday afternoon the rebels who had been fighting in Zawiyah were just miles away from the outskirts of Tripoli.

William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, confirmed yesterday that Britain had equipped the fighters with a range of “non-lethal” kit including advanced telecommunications equipment and 1,000 sets of body armour.

They had also been given night vision goggles, which proved crucial in picking out snipers who had been sent by Gaddafi to impede their progress towards the capital.

The battle plan also included a sea-borne assault on Tripoli launched from the port of Misrata to the east, which landed at dawn on Sunday.

Gaddafi took to the airwaves to make a series of increasingly desperate appeals for Libyans to defend Tripoli from the rebels as “a matter of life and death” but the crackling recordings of his voice – and a lack of any video footage – led to speculation that he had either fled the country or had gone into hiding in a 2,000-mile network of tunnels built in the 1980s.

His soldiers, sensing the battle was lost, had begun dumping their uniforms wherever they stood, and by midnight on Sunday the rebels had reached Green Square, the symbolic heart of Tripoli, with little resistance.

The speed of the rebel advance was such that Gaddafi’s intended heir, his son Saif al-Islam, had no time to reach his father’s compound, and was captured by rebels on Saturday night.

His brother, Mohammed, was giving a telephone interview to a broadcaster when a gunfight broke out inside his home. The line went dead and seconds later he too was captured.

Mr Shammam said: “The plan was very successful. Our assumption was that it would take a few days but the results were clear in a few hours.

“We were expecting more resistance from Gaddafi’s troops. We thought they were determined to fight to the last moment but it seems like they got tired or lost the cause.”

David Cameron, who was on a family holiday in Cornwall, also seemed to have been caught out by the rapid turn of events.

Although he had been kept up to date with the rebels’ plans, no-one had expected Tripoli to fall so quickly, and the Prime Minister scrambled to get back to Downing Street to chair a meeting of the National Security Council yesterday.

Speaking outside Number 10, he paid tribute to the “incredible bravery, professionalism and dedication” of the RAF pilots, adding: “This has not been our revolution, but we can be proud that we have played our part.”

As the fighting continued in Tripoli last night, the rebels had gained control of around 90 per cent of the city, with the bloodiest battle raging around Gaddafi’s compound at Bab al-Aziziya.

Another of Gaddafi’s sons, Khamis, was reported to have led his eponymous Khamis Brigade into battle from the compound, killing what one official described as “a big number” of rebels.

Tanks rolled out of the compound to begin shelling the city, and snipers fired from rooftops to prevent rebels joining the battle at Bab al-Aziziya.

Loyalist tanks were also deployed at the port, but the rebels continued to press on, and scored further victories.

By mid-afternoon yesterday they had reportedly captured a third son of Gaddafi, Saadi, and at 4pm Libya’s state broadcaster went off the air, removing one of the despot’s final and most important tools in his ability to maintain any form of resistance.

Across Tripoli, its citizens tore down every green flag of the Gaddafi regime they could find, chanting “freedom” in English. By last night, Green Square had been renamed Martyrs’ Square as 42 years of tyranny finally came to an end.

“We came out today to feel a bit of freedom,” said Ashraf Halaby, 30, as he joined the celebrations in the square. “We still don't believe that this is happening.”

* Url:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/libya/8716758/Libya-secret-role-played-by-Britain-creating-path-to-the-fall-of-Tripoli.html

Gadaffi son rallies loyalists

Gadaffi son rallies loyalists*

Tuesday, 23rd August, 2011

Free: Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam raises his hands to supporters in Tripoli. Reuters

A son of Muammar Gadaffi who rebels said they had captured made a surprise appearance with jubilant supporters in Tripoli overnight and issued a rallying cry to loyalists to fight off opponents who say they control most of the Libyan capital.

Saif al-Islam, who has been seen as his father's heir apparent, visited the Tripoli hotel where foreign journalists are staying to declare that the government was winning the battle against the rebels.

He took journalists to his father's Bab al-Aziziyah stronghold. Television footage showed Saif smiling, waving and shaking hands with supporters, as well as holding his arms aloft and making the V for victory sign.

"We broke the back of the rebels. It was a trap. We gave them a hard time, so we are winning," Saif said.

"Take up arms today, take up arms today," Saif told loyalists waiting to be given weapons. "Inshallah (God willing) we will attack the rats today," he said to cheers.

Saif's arrest had been reported both by rebels and the International Criminal Court in The Hague and his appearance before the foreign media raised questions as to the rebels' credibility.

He said Tripoli was under government control and that he did not care about the arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court seeking him and his father for crimes against humanity.

Gadaffi himself has not been seen in public for several weeks before the rebels arrived in the capital at the weekend. But when asked if his father was safe and well in Tripoli, Saif told journalists: "Of course."

World leaders urged Gadaffi, 69, to surrender to prevent more bloodshed and appealed for an orderly transition of power, as the six-month-old battle for control of the oil-producing North African nation appeared to enter its final stages.

* Url:http://www.newvision.co.ug/D/8/12/763360

CIA Asset: We Have Just Handed Libya Back to Islamic Radicals

CIA Asset: We Have Just Handed Libya Back to Islamic Radicals

NATO SLAUGHTER IN TRIPOLI: "Operation Mermaid Dawn" Signals Assault by Rebels' Al Qaeda Death Squads


"Operation Mermaid Dawn" Signals Assault by Rebels' Al Qaeda Death Squads*

By Thierry Meyssan

Voltaire Network

Monday, Aug 22, 2011

Tripoli, Libya, Aug. 22, 2011, – On Saturday evening, at 8pm, when the hour of Iftar marked the breaking of the Ramadan fast, the NATO command launched its “Operation Mermaid Dawn” against Libya.

The Sirens were the loudspeakers of the mosques, which were used to launch Al Qaeda’s call to revolt against the Qaddafi government. Immediately the sleeper cells of the Benghazi rebels went into action. These were small groups with great mobility, which carried out multiple attacks. The overnight fighting caused 350 deaths and 3,000 wounded.

The situation calmed somewhat on Sunday during the course of the day.

Then, a NATO warship sailed up and anchored just off the shore at Tripoli, delivering heavy weapons and debarking Al Qaeda jihadi forces, which were led by NATO officers.

Fighting stared again during the night. There were intense firefights. NATO drones and aircraft kept bombing in all directions. NATO helicopters strafed civilians in the streets with machine guns to open the way for the jihadis.

In the evening, a motorcade of official cars carrying top government figures came under attack. The convoy fled to the Hotel Rixos, where the foreign press is based. NATO did not dare to bomb the hotel because they wanted to avoid killing the journalists. Nevertheless the hotel, which is where I am staying, is now under heavy fire.

At 11:30pm, the Health Minister had to announce that the hospitals were full to overflowing. On Sunday evening, there had been 1300 additional dead and 5,000 wounded.

NATO had been charged by the UN Security Council with protecting civilians in Libya. In reality, France and Great Britain have just re-started their colonial massacres.

At 1am, Khamis Qaddafi came to the Rixos Hotel personally to deliver weapons for the defense of the hotel. He then left. There is now heavy fighting all around the hotel.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Obligations Under Signed Agreements Must Be Complied With -NDF

Obligations Under Signed Agreements Must Be Complied With*

Fidel V. Agcaoili
NDFP Negotiating Panel
22 August 2011

Atty. Alexander Padilla, Chairperson of the Negotiating Panel of the Government of the Philippines (GPH), is foolish in hurling false and vicious accusations against the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

The Joint Statements signed in January and February 2011 in Oslo, Norway, between the GPH and the NDFP, clearly stipulate that the GPH shall release most or all of the 17 NDFP personnel protected under the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG), before the second round of formal talks in June 2011. It is now August 2011 and there are still 13 JASIG-protected individuals in prison.

The GPH is under obligation to comply with signed agreements, if it expects the NDFP to enter into an agreement on social and economic reforms. The GPH must have palabra de honor and release most or all of the JASIG-protected individuals before the rescheduled second round of talks in September which it has itself proposed to the Royal Norwegian Government (RNG) in a letter dated 15 July 2011. There is a Tagalog saying that concretely applies to the present situation: ang balasubas ay kailanma'y di mapagkakatiwalaan (one who reneges on agreements can never be trusted).

In shooting down the NDFP offer of truce and alliance, Atty. Padilla has also foolishly misinterpreted the offer given that is based on the Concise Agreement for an Immediate Just Peace. It is obvious that Atty. Padilla is hellbent on scuttling the peace negotiations, both its regular and special tracks.

For the information of Atty. Padilla, the regional authorities of the revolutionary movement have the right to hold Lingig Mayor Henry Dano for investigation for actively participating in military operations against the people. Mayor Dano shall be dealt with in accordance with the laws of the people's democratic government.

Atty. Padilla should stop accusing the NDFP of what the GPH is precisely doing – holding hostage the JASIG-protected individuals to extract concessions from the NDFP or set preconditions for the second round of talks. He should instead recognize the clear obligations of the GPH under signed agreements. But thanks to his foolish talk, the NDFP is now duly forewarned of the malicious intention of the GPH in the peace negotiations.

* Url:http://theprwcblogs.blogspot.com/2011/08/obligations-under-signed-agreements.html

GPH is accountable for putting to risk the safety of NPA captives by launching full-scale military offensives -NDF

GPH is accountable for putting to risk the safety of NPA captives
by launching full-scale military offensives*

Rubi del Mundo
NDFP-Southern Mindanao
21 August 2011

Not only is Alex Padilla lost in a daydream, he also wants to obfuscate the revolutionary movement’s record of handling prisoners of war and those accused and held under its own legal and judicial system. In the process, he is endangering the lives of the GPH members because of military offensives in the region.

This was the contention of Rubi del Mundo, spokesperson for the National Democratic Front-Southern Mindanao, in reaction to the recent pronouncement of the GPH peace panel chief who called it a “blackmail” and “bad precedence” to negotiate for the release of the four PNP/BJMP personnel prisoners of war and arrested GPH Mayor Henry Dano and two military intelligence escorts.

“The GPH is engaged in treachery, where on one hand, it is on a murderous rampage, with its AFP scouring the countryside in various acts of reprisal and offensive military operations, using as dubious pretext the so-called rescue operation for the NPA captives, while on the other hand, it is foisting the issue as blackmail in the non-resumption of the peace negotiations with the NDFP,” del Mundo said.

The 75th, 28th, 67th, 66th Infantry Battalions and the 2nd Scout Ranger Battalion of the Philippine Army and PNP contingents are using “rescue operations” for GPH Mayor Dano and two escorts to cover up its fascist offensives against the peasant communities in the towns of Lingig, Boston, Monkayo, Cateel, Bagangga, Trento and Mangagoy. In the towns of Kitaotao, Kibawe, Arakan, Magpet and Makilala, the 8th, 57th and 61st Infantry Battalions are also engaged in offensive actions in search of the PNP/BJMP POWs.

Del Mundo scoffed at the AFP and the US-Aquino regime “for mercilessly endangering the lives of the prisoners of war and the three arrested while maliciously demanding for the unconditional release of the latter.”

“The GPH is accountable for putting to risk the safety and security of the NPA captives by ordering the full-scale military offensives, by refusing to acknowledge the Geneva Conventions-mandated protective status of the four PNP/BJMP personnel, and by ignoring the status of GPH Mayor Dano who enjoys his rights while under custodial investigation.”

The revolutionary movement has a long history of dealing with prisoners of war and those accused who were arrested for various crimes, a track record which “Mr. Padilla wants to gloss over in a veiled attempt to belittle the achievements of the people’s democratic government in upholding international humanitarian law and its own legal and judicial process,” del Mundo said.

Contrary to a news report stating otherwise, GPH Mayor Dano was able to call his wife on the evening of August 15. In respecting his legal rights as an accused, the NPA custodial force facilitated the communication between the couple, since GPH Mayor Dano was concerned that his wife -- who has a heart ailment -- would be unduly worried over his situation.

* Url:http://theprwcblogs.blogspot.com/2011/08/gph-is-accountable-for-putting-to-risk.html

NPA hits PA-AFP troops on combat-cum-rescue mission in North Cot; army sergeant, 3 others killed

NPA hits PA-AFP troops on combat-cum-rescue mission in North Cot;
army sergeant, 3 others killed*

Ricardo Fermiza
Magtanggol Roque Command,
Guerilla Front 51 Operations Command,
NPA-Southern Mindanao
20 August 2011

The NPA's Magtanggol Roque Command-Guerilla Front 51 Operations Command in Southern Mindanao ambushed a platoon of enemy troops under the 57th Infantry Battalion-Philippine Army-AFP, killing four of the troops including an Army sergeant last August 16, 11:00 AM in Sitio Malumpine, Barangay Old Balatukan in Makilala town, North Cotabato. No casualties were reported on the side of the Red fighters.

The enemy troops were conducting combat operations related to the four BJMP/PNP prisoners of war when hit by the Red fighters. These operations went full-scale since the taking of the four POWs last July 21 at the Davao-Bukidnon national highway. Despite the assurance of the NPA custodial unit, the Herminio Alfonso Command-Guerilla Front 53 Operations Command, that the rights of the four prisoners of war (POWs) were fully respected; and their safety and welfare fully ensured, the AFP continues to endanger their lives with these combat operations in the boundaries of Davao, Bukidnon and North Cotabato.

Again, the GPH-AFP must understand that military and police offensive operations in the guerilla areas will only put the lives of the POWs in peril and will be met with tactical offensives by the NPA.

* Url:http://theprwcblogs.blogspot.com/2011/08/npa-hits-pa-afp-troops-on-combat-cum.html

GPH negotiating panel chairperson Padilla gives notice of no formal talks next month -NDF

GPH negotiating panel chairperson Padilla gives notice
of no formal talks next month*

Fidel Agcaoili
NDFP Negotiating Panel
20 August 2011

As spokesperson of the Negotiating Panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), I am obliged to answer the press statements of Alex Padilla of the Negotiating Panel of the Government of the Philippines(GDP) which reveal publicly the contents of his letter to the NDFP Negotiating Panel Chairperson Luis Jalandoni dated 19 August 2011. In due time, the latter shall send his reply.

In said letter, Padilla gives notice to Jalandoni that there will be no formal talks of the panels in Oslo next month and indefinitely until the reciprocal working committees on CASER shall have completed the common tentative agreement on social and economic reforms. He also declares that before then, there shall be no formal talks between the panels about issues involving the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG), including the reconstruction of the list of DI holders under JASIG.

He insists that the GPH has no obligation under JASIG or under the Oslo Joint Statements of 2011 to release most or all of the JASIG-protected persons before what should have been the second round of formal talks last June or next September and no NDFP personnel shall enjoy the protection of JASIG until formal talks are made possible by the completion of the common tentative agreement on social and economic forms.

The GPH position expressed in writing by Padilla brazenly violates the JASIG and the entire peace process and alerts the NDFP that the GPH is already scuttling the peace negotiations. We also take notice that Padilla has scorned the NDFP offer of alliance and truce and is shooting it down in a press statement today.

Now, we fully understand why Padilla has been issuing press releases every day like an extremely irresponsible and provocative psywar agent of the reactionary armed forces and not as a negotiator with some amount of dignity and political sense.

We thank him for unwittingly justifying the determination of the armed revolutionary movement to defend the people against worsening exploitation and oppression and the escalating campaigns of military suppression, which are propagandized by the US-directed Aquino regime as peace and development operations.

* Url:http://theprwcblogs.blogspot.com/2011/08/gph-negotiating-panel-chairperson.html

Punish the perpetrators of the Plaza Miranda Bombing of 1971 and other fascist crimes -CPP (NDF)

Punish the perpetrators of the Plaza Miranda Bombing of 1971
and other fascist crimes*

Communist Party of the Philippines
August 20, 2011

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) joins the Filipino people in commemorating the Plaza Miranda Bombing of August 21, 1971. The dastardly bombing of the Liberal Party miting de avance was carried out by criminal henchmen of the US-Marcos dictatorship. Blaming the political opposition and the armed revolutionary movement for the bombing, Marcos ordered the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus and declared martial law a year later.

For fifteen years after the Plaza Miranda Bombing, Marcos propped himself up as a military dictator, whipped up anti-communist hysteria, suppressed the people's mass movement, imprisoned mass activists as well as the political opposition and unleashed counterrevolutionary violence in the countryside in order to monopolize political power and enrich himself and his cronies. For fifteen years, Marcos was supported by the US imperialists by encouraging American investments, extending loans, supplying arms to the fascist military and providing counterinsurgency training and advise.

During the entire period of martial law, Marcos and his military henchmen surpassed the Plaza Miranda bombing with one fascist crime after another. Under martial law, tens of thousands of people were illegally arrested, tortured, summarily killed, abducted and forcibly disappeared. These fascist crimes were carried out by the AFP with utter impunity.

Forty years after the bombing of Plaza Miranda, none of the criminal perpetrators has been charged and punished. None of the past reactionary regimes after Marcos succeeded in having him face criminal responsibility for the Plaza Miranda bombing or any of the fascist crimes perpetrated during his rule. The failure of the past regimes to punish the perpetrators of the Plaza Miranda bombing and other fascist crimes reflects the state of justice of the ruling political system.

The ruling classes are lenient to their own kind. Like Marcos, past presidents and key officials charged with high crimes have never been put to justice, resulting in the perpetuation of the rotten and fascist ruling system. In particular, not a single officer of the AFP has been put to justice for the innumerable crimes perpetrated under martial law and under the past US-designed campaigns of suppression carried out since 1986. As a result, the military and other armed agents of the state continue to trample on human rights and carry out fascist crimes against the people without letup.

Forty years after the Plaza Miranda Bombing, the CPP joins the Filipino people in declaring: We will not forget! As long as the fascist criminals and plunderers continue to prevail, the aspiration for justice will continue to fire the Filipino people and drive them to wage revolution.

* Url:http://theprwcblogs.blogspot.com/2011/08/punish-perpetrators-of-plaza-miranda.html

The GPH is responsible for prolonging the peace negotiations through long interruptions and violations of agreements

The GPH is responsible for prolonging the peace negotiations through long interruptions and violations of agreements*

Fidel V. Agcaoili
NDFP Negotiating Panel
19 August 2011

Atty. Alexander Padilla, Chairperson of the Negotiating Panel of the Government of the Philippines (GPH, formerly designated as the GRP), has the penchant for blaming the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) of among others prolonging the GPH-NDFP peace negotiations supposedly for 25 years since 1986.

What are the facts as reflected in the time line study of the GPH-NDFP peace negotiations?

There were no peace negotiations during the Cory Aquino regime. There were merely ceasefire negotiations which resulted in a short-lived Ceasefire Agreement. The negotiating panels of both sides were still trying to hammer out an agenda for peace negotiations when the massacre of peasants calling for genuine land reform occurred on 22 January 1987 and the ceasefire broke down. The massacre was followed by the “unsheathing of the sword of war” by Mrs. Aquino in March 1987.

It took more than five (5) years and six (6) months after March 1987 before The Hague Joint Declaration (THJD) was signed on 1 September 1992. This should have led to further preparations for the opening of the GPH-NDFP peace negotiations but Ramos in self-contradiction created the National Unification Commission to prevent such preparations.

It was only in 1994 when the GPH formed its negotiating panel to engage its NDFP counterpart in further preliminary talks and forge, among others, the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) and the Joint Agreement on the Formation, Sequence and Operationalization of the Reciprocal Working Committees (RWCs).

These agreements, together with The Hague Joint Declaration, paved the way for the opening of the formal peace negotiations on 26 June 1995 in Brussels, Belgium upon the facilitation of the Belgian Government. Strictly speaking, the GPH-NDFP peace negotiations started sixteen years ago, not 25 years ago.

From 1 September 1992 (signing of THJD) to 15 February 2011 (opening of the formal talks under the Benigno Aquino III regime), there were only 34 interface meetings in formal and informal talks between the GPH and NDFP negotiating panels which involved a total of 128 days. There were also the normal recesses in between rounds of formal talks which totaled around eleven months.

On the other hand, there have been 12 interruptions, all of which were at the instance of the GPH except for one by the NDFP. This was in August 2004 when the NDFP postponed the formal talks scheduled on that month to give time for the GPH to comply with its obligations under THJD, the JASIG, the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) and the 2004 First and Second Oslo Joint Statements.

Among the major interruptions initiated by the GPH from 1992 to 2011 were:

1. The nearly two (2) years of interruption (1 September 1992 till June 1994) imposed by the Ramos regime after the formation of the National Unification Commission (NUC) on 16 September 1992.

2. After the appointment of Howard Dee as the GPH negotiating panel chairperson, he caused further interruptions by unilaterally making declarations of suspension, indefinite recess and collapse which totaled almost two (2) years, including a one year suspension (June 1995 to June 1996) because Gen. Renato de Villa refused to release Sotero Llamas, a Document of Identification (DI) holder under the JASIG.

3. The more than two (2) years of interruption instigated by the Joseph Estrada regime when it suspended the peace negotiations on 24 February 1999 and officially terminated these on 31 May 1999 and declared all-out-war against the revolutionary movement (the termination ended in March 2001).

4. A total of more than eight (8) years of suspension (from September 2001 to September 2003 and from December 2004 to December 2010) by the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo regime when it tried to defeat and/or render irrelevant the revolutionary movement by carrying out military suppression campaigns in the countryside and urban areas, accompanied by widespread and systematic violations of human rights against residents of communities and members of legal democratic organizations, through Oplan Bantay Laya I and II.

These four major interruptions come to a total of 14 years (excluding the five years and six months during the Cory Aquino regime). Together with other GPH interruptions, more than 21 years were wasted by the GPH since 1987 in attempting to resolve the armed conflict in the country militarily and to impose its will on the NDFP across the negotiating table.

The GPH should comply with all signed agreements in the GPH-NDFP peace negotiations instead of raising irrelevant issues to avoid obligations under, or worse, negate these agreements. Only for the second time in June 2011 did the NDFP call for the postponement of formal talks between the negotiating panels because the GPH failed to fulfill its obligation to release all or most of the 17 JASIG-protected individuals before said month. The recurrent problem is that the GPH does not fulfill its obligation and comply with agreements.

The NDFP has no interest in prolonging the peace negotiations. It recognizes the military superiority of the GPH in terms of personnel and resources and the harm that such power has been wreaking on the people in the countryside and urban areas. But the Filipino people must continue to defend themselves against the violence of the reactionary state, hold their destiny in their own hands, and fight for an independent, democratic, just, progressive and prosperous Philippines.

The GPH must exercise strong political will in addressing the roots of the armed conflict. It must agree to carry out basic social, economic and political reforms in the country. The GPH must exhibit patriotism, if it has any, and must respect the national and democratic rights and interests of the Filipino people, especially in these times of grave crisis which goads the people to resist. It should formally reply to the proposal of the NDFP for a round of formal talks in Oslo in September 2011 and to the offer of truce and alliance on the basis of the ten-point Concise Agreement for an Immediate Just Peace.

* Url:http://theprwcblogs.blogspot.com/2011/08/gph-is-responsible-for-prolonging-peace.html