Sunday, 10 December 2017

"Seek Truth, Upheld Rights, and Take Back the Nation!"

"Seek Truth, Upheld Rights, and Take Back the Nation!"

(Upholding people's rights amidst terroristic "orderism")

by Kat Ulrike

Admittingly speaking, in spite of initial support for the presidency due to its popular-induced patriotism, it turns out to be using both populism and patriotism to his own advantage. For all after reading posts concerning the administration and its actions, the concerned somehow thinks about its country's direction: is it towards development or towards demise?

With him synonymous with the recent extralegal actions, of retreating to his initial promises in favour of continuing subservience to interests, it is worth condemning knowing that during his admnistration he chose to tolerate what is not meant to, what more that he had to be justified in the pretext of restoring order, imposing swift justice, and the like, with most of its actors doing it as if necessary to have higher ranks or gain rewards no matter how its victims be like mistaken identities.

Worse, knowing that with him self-confessed to be a "fascist", as a "stooge of imperialism", Duterte has intensified attacks against those who stood his way, particularly the growing struggle be it the peasant, the worker, the student, everyone whose desire for peace, land, bread, and justice as its desired call.
What more that he and his apologetics be like conflating organized masses with armed guerillas and tagging the latter and their affiliates as terrorists.

Initially, this post was made urging people to "seek truth from facts" under the present administration; that in supporting his desire for progress it should not hamper also the desire to expose and oppose the excesses of his actions especially those of the recent killings, but, with the advent of his statements far from his supposed "patriotism", of the recent arrests, abductions, and killings- it showed how the administration, no matter how he appears as against the oligarchs or the imperialists, is but an empty rhetoric as the latter two supported him and his extralegal quest to quash down those who stood his way.
And to think that one of the words the administration babbled about is "change" and "revolution", is it really the right word to preach about? A change or revolution to support the interests of the rotten social order like those of the Floirendos, Ayalas, Cojuangcos at the expense of the masses? True that like any other administrator it has to take pride in its infrastructure enough for a façade of progress, but with the laborers be forced to content on insufficient pay and unjust contracts, these are not meant for the people but rather to impress the few who benefited from this trickled-down nonsense. 

Imagine: by scuttling the peace negotiations (that also includes the agreement on socio-economic reforms), of threatening every peacemakers and patriots with arrests and abductions, what more that red scare hath been intensified, and redescribe those who stood his way as terrorists, Duterte's neo-Marcosian "orderism" at the behest of his allies meant consolidating interests such as landlords for their holdings, compradores for their coffers, of course they seriously disagree the idea of addressing the roots of peasant and labor unrest that hath to be resolved by means of genuine agrarian reform and national industrialisation, both of which may pave way to genuine development that benefits not just the disenfranchised sectors, but also their communities and nonetheless the country itself as it redeems from its dependency from multinational interests. 

For all these situations the right word for today is "thermidor" or even "reaction" instead of  "revolution". And to think that with many people end gone killed in this system-sponsored bloodbath, the system who preaches change actually treats it as an aesthetic and in regards to its acts has to be emphasising on collateral damages enough to sow fear first.

This Human Rights day, people from all walks of life should know the fact that the system today, no matter how it preaches words like change will always be the same: focusing on their interests at the expense of the people.

And from there no wonder why the people chose to resist, of seeking truth from facts, of asserting the desire for national and social liberation.

Saturday, 9 December 2017

“Almost Leaving without any trace”

“Almost Leaving without any trace”

As rapid urbanisation continuously takes its position in Philippine society, each and every space hath to be adjusted to the needs of a growing metropolis, particularly with the emergence of various structures enough to cater in an existing district.
However, in most urbanised enclaves, limited land area occurs, and in response, in-fill developments and in most cases, demolition of various existing structures are being made enough to pave way for “modern settings”.

Cannot deny it especially if the system who assumes to be dynamic tries to invoke a sense of urban continuity and modernity in that district, but on the other hand, it also result to the reduction of open spaces, potential loss of cultural heritage leading to urban disorders, that also contributes to degeneration of a national identity.

Ideally, the significance of ones structure, especially due to its timeless character and physical features done by those times, created a lasting identity; it also reflected the socio-economic state of the place as people served it as a place for events, economic matters, anything significant and contributative to a growing society.

But in this present time, and with people preferring to “move on” from the past, various structures, no matter how historically or culturally significant, are increasingly threatened as it deteriorates through time. It may sound appealing to some about preservation, conservation, and the like; but reality goes otherwise especially in an order wherein invoking the illusion that progress meant this and the other meant degradation or blight; Let's take Escolta and the entire districts of Sta Cruz-Binondo for an example: most of its ages-old buildings are known for its history like the Regina, Perez-Samanillo, Calvo, and Uy Chaco. However, these edifices, no matter how known it is, are still struggling to maintain with higher costs of maintenance, property taxes, and the changing nature of the district, making others chose to abandon altogether and hence be susceptible to demolition. In the case of El Hogar it was almost Demolished, or in the case of Philbanking near Anda rotunda it was threatened. But luckily there are concerned groups who insisted that there should be tax cuts if not exceptions for those heritage-filled properties, and to encourage others to revitalise districts almost lost to degeneration.

Yet in spite of all these efforts and exhortations by the concerned, still not all are interested in that idea of preserving and making it adapted, with alibis ranging from "overspending" to the subjective view that "no one cares about heritage", what more that "the old ones must go in favour of the new" in the case of some of the buildings of the University of the East Manila campus end burned (either by electrical wiring or insurance?). Most of the structures were made decades-old and been retrofitted as what the University administrators saidth, but with the burning occurred, the administrators hath no choice but to demolish it: be it because of the structure’s weakness, or, plain and simple plan to restructure that part of the campus into a “dynamic" one in par with its neighbours.
For a nostalgic, worrying is its first expression knowing that those structures meant memories of their youth, and for that expect that there are those who wanted to see the campus rebuild whether as it was  (and hence be improved to make it adaptable to the present) while those rather agreed to its administrator’s decision to restructure altogether with new buildings and appearance.
And admittingly speaking, in seeing that area bluntly demolished including the chapel really invokes one’s nostalgic expression-and even wished that why not have the once-radically built Chapel be retained at least? While leaving the rest for that kind of development that is, contradicting as the old, demolished ones were concrete and the planned others are to be in brick.

All in all, it's been usual to see everything almost without any trace of identity. Be it Makati, Quezon City, or Manila, development at its full blasts with demolitions left and right including those with splendid significance. But again, thankfully that there are concerned nostalgics who insist that there is some speck of relevance and hence hath to be saved; but then the vast mass of apathetically indifferent beings chose to let go as if history hath nothing to do with them. Developers would even say messages like "to demolish the old and create new", coupled with statements such as "life goes on" if not "not all things are worth keeping for."
And from those statements one would think that matter how it was designed or the person behind who made that place known, today's "development" under Capitalism has nothing to do with reviving, if not treating heritage as any other aesthetic then letting it go afterwards.

Anyway, why is it this person, like others concerned sees the issue on heritage as serious as most people chose to get over and move on? Is it because of nostalgia? Frankly speaking then YES, but it is more than just nostalgia alone- in this present time, every significant edifice are threatened increasingly. And as urbanisation intensifies, the process of heritage decay is increasingly inevitable due to the post-industrial, commercialised urban constructions thrived over while on the other lies time-dependent nature of most heritage sites.
Otherwise, if to follow those who are as if in a "middle way" between nostalgics and those who are not, then why not move all every structure, every remarkable edifice to Bataan and leave the entire district to their idealised "modernity" Developers desperately wanted? Perhaps the so-called "move on" generation insisted that way as if it "decongests" Metro Manila from its dilapidated pasts and favours a consumeristic future wherein every edifice, ever structure, every square, every way, is aligned by interests.

Friday, 1 December 2017

"Struggle! Whether like it or not!"

"Struggle! Whether like it or not!"

Notes on the recent clamour for Duterte's "Revolutionary Government"
And how there are people still take the road less traveled 
in spite of all the dangers all for the Revolution

The recent calls for "revolutionary government" in Manila's Mendiola street hath been the topic of the day in spite of it's once-promoter's statement withdrawing the intent.

With all the tarpaulins, chants, and speeches coming from its advocates, the call for a "revolutionary government" seems to be a demand to "restore total order",  of the rally organizers, Tony Gonzales, saidth that they all wanted to push for a revolutionary government through a people’s initiative because “Congress does not believe in this.”

However, in spite of being few in numbers, what made it mobilisable for these red-clad crowds was the free flow of porridge coming from a soup kitchen known for supporting the administration: for as they all fall in lines waiting for that hot gruel enough to fill their stomachs and at the same time listening to the speeches whose desire to restore "order" is in the guise of creating a "revolution", that made the concerned deemed ridiculous be it the intent or how they mobilise people: is it for the cause or for the food?
No matter how the president saidth that his call had been taken out of context, if not insisted through his mouthpieces that that "he does not want a revolutionary government", there were those who missed his predicate that he would declare a revolutionary government only if the country was in trouble, and the situation brought about by the system and its cohorts made it clear that the president wanted to restore order in which people may describe it as "revolutionary" in its "character". 

Meanwhile, on the other side of the fence, masses, especially those who end sidelined by the admninistration in favour of neoliberals and militarists hath marched from Liwasang Bonifacio down to Recto all in pursuit of entering Mendiola.

But instead of an open way leading to their supposed site, they all end blocked by the police along with a fire truck ready to fire, a scuffle almost occurred between the protesters and the policemen, only to be negotiated that the activity end settled in Recto corner Lepanto, with all the effigy burnings, speeches, all about commemorating Andres Bonifacio as well as expressing disgust over Duterte and his still-toyings with that "revolutionary idea", what more that Ferdinand Gaite, one of its speakers, hath urged the policemen to "go to the people" than getting contented in the pittances coming from an interest-seeking admninistrator who still sneering every rank and file with "bigger salaries" yet still depending on actually-existing pittances. The event at Mendiola still continues with its hot gruel, speeches, pray-overs (with a critic described as "would be mistaken for sieg heils"), and some dance numbers enough to entertain those red-clad apologists.

And from these scenarios,  both the president's supporters as well as the opposition marched across Metro Manila and in the provinces on Thursday, the 154th anniversary of the Filipino revolutionary hero Andres Bonifacio, carrying the desire whether to support the "orderism" Duterte desired, or, its opposition due to its fascistic tendencies.

Perhaps ever since Duterte taketh over the Presidency, he has adopted and implemented without letup an all-out war policy against those who chose to resist. Sneakingly in a sense that whilst accommodating the radicals in the pretense of unity, he continued military operations such as the last months of Aquino's "Oplan Bayanihan" followed by his own's "Oplan Kapayapaan." And contrary to its names, the intent is clear that the system, as in the past, chose to intensify its operations, as if there is no ceasefire, they never withdrew into their barracks.

For the apologist, they would say that these are in response to their enemy's continued offensive. They would even say that their enemy does not even respect their own ceasefire, if not justifying their action as a necessary move such as occupy communities and conduct procedures enough to consider as a human rights violation.

And if so, is this the 'revolutionary government" being babbled about? That "revolution", more of a "thermidor" so to speak, is sort of a neo-Arroyoite or even a neo-Marcosian outcome as each and every individual end being killed or abducted due to mistaken identity or because of its belief. It is neo-Arroyo in a sense that it had to accommodate neoliberals like his economic team of Dominguez and Perenia, and at the same time Neo-Marcosian for as it romanticises the "glorious past" such as a militarist one this time led by a trigger happy uniformed thugs.

Perhaps because of all the events surrounding the administration and its shift to the "reaction", what more that it is redescribed as a "revolution" by its apologists, lies its militant, or even a "revolutionary" response that most of which costs lives. As said earlier, there are numerous actions brought about by the system, and the ones killed by the system, be it armed or unarmed, regardless of who they are yet serious in their zeal, are political soldiers who truly devoted to a patriotic and social cause. They called for a fresh ethos within society and for emergence of a generation who willing to take part in the construction, innovation, and liberation of society.

The system, however, in spite of recognising them, chose to be indifferent and at the same time destroying them. They preach the “virtues of individualism” while at the same time babbling about collective unity; the wonders of capitalism is greatly enphasised while invoking terms like social Justice or any other statement enough to divert people from conquering the state.

And these are alongside the idea of destroying them with impunity, what more that they are shown names and be treated like pests as if “they earned their lesson”.

As a writer, like most of the concerned, would say that in those kinds of scenarios shows that from a continuous resistance lies immense sacrifice. Be it mind or in sinew, those who chose to resist contributed much that sometimes affected their lives, and yet they chose to be committed as they put their "love" in it no matter how mainstream media may still insist how worthless their fighting is especially if one of them is killed or captured such as a young faced yet grim and determined being. But in spite of those challenges, these political soldiers seriously devoted its own time and energy to spread the awareness of patriotism and social emancipation to each and every affected class not just by firing every weapon against the attack dogs of the system alone.
Sounds ideal and at the same time impossible especially if the youth takes the goal of struggle. But reality urges them to do so knowing that they, along with affected sectors, sees that in seeing truth from every fact, urges them to do the impossible tasks, including those of admitting the fact that a worthy death leads to a thousand ones willing to take over theirs.

Otherwise, if the present order prevails, no matter how they preach “change”, or even that “revolution” of theirs, it actually invokes “change” for the worse. And obviously, the more people ridicule or oppose the system, shows how it is growing daily more unacceptable, daily more unbearable. And since Chesterton was right that "The modern tyrant is evil because of his elusiveness. He is more nameless than his slave. He is not more of a bully than the tyrants of the past; but he is more of a coward.", then make each and everyone who is aware be prepared.

Confronted on every side by various forms of injustices, disenfranchisements, and exploitations, for sure one would ask: “what can you do?” You can’t just move on for that and ignore the reality, but instead: fight, fight, and fight again! True that modernity brings improvement with all the state of the art things particularly those of gadgetry, but to see still an exploited order particularly those who create these things deemed "modern", then perhaps let that modernity point against those who exploit than remain being spineless and contented. Like the ones who fought and died lies the fact that reality unfurled the banners of truth, freedom, service, sacrifice as more and more be willing to take part in a struggle no matter what the system and its apologists insist how “worthless” it is.

All in all, for all the martyrs and for the living but still fighting for the cause of national and social liberation, here's an inspirational quote:



Thursday, 23 November 2017

Orderism guised as Revolution?

Orderism guised as Revolution?

Notes on Duterte's "revolution" as a euphemism for Orderism
(and how people sees it as such)

It's been months passed and the news is all but the same.

Using every headline as its basis, that the Duterte regime, driven by the zeal to put an end to crime and restoring stability, hath became an object of ridicule and praise, of heckle and cheer to most people, especially after those who read headlines in social media sites.
However, with the desire to restore "order and stability", and perhaps create some semblance of changes, the Duterte regime played a different tune that sounds both orderly and rebellious,  basic political premise includes equating liberalism to instability, corruption, and self-interest, especially after the past administration's inability to resolve issues be it those of Yolanda to Mamasapano.

Perhaps, basing on the views of both the administration as well as those of its supporters, this view may simply be called "orderism" even it tries to appear itself "progressive" if not "revolutionary". Especially that according to Duterte himself, thinking that declaring Martial Rule has its limitations, stated that he would declare a revolutionary government especially if opposition to his policies went out of control and chaos ruled the streets.

"If things go out of control and [the] government is weakened—that is my predicate,” Mr. Duterte said. “If my country is weakened and I see revolutionaries bringing firearms on the streets, well, maybe you shouldn’t have second thoughts, I will declare a revolutionary government,”

“I don’t want martial law [because it has] many restrictions. I will take it to the hilt. So do not do something that will cause or even attempt to topple [the] government, I will not allow that,” he added.

Perhaps, that "revolution" Duterte and his apologists babbled about is becoming a euphemism for "orderism". And "orderism" is contended to be an authoritarian ideology based on the view that liberal democracy, including those of parliamentarism, have failed as it created inequality and chaos instead. It was first referred to the administrative views of Vladimir Putin and his Russia, this kind of "ideology" hath started to challenge western democracy in many parts of the world  with Turkey, Belarus, as well as the Philippines, follows if not leans towards that direction. 
"Orderism" tends to be authoritarian, and on some cases, totalitarian, hidden in the veneer of constitutional democracy. However, in the Philippines, "orderism" may also meant the neo-Marcosian tendency as what happened under Duterte with his desire to impose a "revolutionary government."

A rehash of old views
 wrapped in present-day phrases
True to its root word "order", "orderism" somehow makes one remember those of the past regimes struggling out to maintain stability amidst chaos, prioritises social steadiness at the expense of freedom, though it tries to prefer democracy as the mode of selecting a government. At some cases, it appeared to be "democratic" in spite of its obvious "authoritative" if not "totalitarian" nature. And in case of the Philippines, terms like "Constitutional Authoritarianism", "Revolution from the Center", and statements appeared to be "less dictatorial", as well as Marcos's pre-Batasan assembly known as "Batasang bayan" made Martial Law attained some "democratic" and even "liberal" features.

So is Duterte, whose idea for a "revolutionary government" is presented like a panacea to resolve problems particularly those of narcopolitics, corruption, poverty, and crime. It may appear to be as similar to Marcos, but unlike the former who tries to appear his authoritative rule as liberal, "Digong", as well as his supporters', appeared to be having disdain for liberal democracy and insist an order that is rooted in rural values. economic security, and the role of a "leader" acting as a father figure.
However, also from these supporters, in spite of its perchance for these, particularly for order and stability, unveiled its internal contradictions particularly those of federalism and the need for a strong leader. The former, mainly from the south, insisted regional developments to counter what they called as "imperial Manila"; while the latter, consists of those who positively remember the past administrations like Marcos, requires a centralised strongman rule that appears to be "above all politics", embodies "national unity", and an upholder of order. Duterte tends to cross in these two rivers as he himself both advocated federalism and strongman rule such as his.

Yet in terms of economics, economic policy under Duterte's "orderism" may still remain as it was: a neoliberal-inclined form benefiting the compradores. They do babble "economic security" the way Putin, Xi, and Trump did, even insisting about industrialisation to create jobs and utilise natural resources, but, these are empty rhetorics knowing that neoliberals insist that industrialisation is impossible in an era where international capital prevailed. Just let alone tourism, dependency on the diaspora’s remittances, infrastructure building, and foreign direct investments besides agriculture and some limited industry from a small to medium-scale. 

But all in all, Duterte's form of "orderism", no matter how it tries to appear as "revolutionary", is a hodgepodge of liberal economics, romanticised ruralism, and the idea of an order that is at the expense of human rights. To cite Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn:

"A democracy can be highly illiberal, while on the other hand an absolute ruler could be a thorough liberal—without being for this reason the least bit democratic. Even a dictator, theoretically, could be a liberal. [...] A purely military dictatorship based on the bayonets and sabres of a handful of professional soldiers has greater liberal potentialities."

Obviously, that word sounds itself new for most Filipinos, but history made them experienced that kind of view especially if that emphasises the need for "greatness" and "stability" even at the expense of the people. The neoliberal trend requires it as such knowing that people, in facing the threats brought about by neoliberal-globalist trend resorted themselves to action be it the yearly protests in Batasan during "State of the Nation Address", Human Rights Day in Mendiola, or Campouts against demolitions in urban poor communities and assertions for land reforms in contested estates like Hacienda Luisita. With these, the state hath no choice but to "put things in order" even by force and at the expense of innocents. For sure Duterte once admitted that some children ended up being “collateral damage” of his anti-drug campaign, others are being killed because of mistaken identities, as well as crackdowns on dissent.

With these, this brand of "orderism", no matter how it is hidden beneath the veneer of "revolution", made this person think that it may be increasingly reminiscent of  leaders from the past, rather than from the present. 
That other than his idol Marcos if not those of Hitler's, the "orderism" (or the "revolution") Duterte and his supporters wanted is somewhat like Austria's own Dollfuß, whose prewar authoritarian rule was based on a mix of conservative Catholic and Italian Fascist influences. The way the former Austrian dictator did appoint capitalists like Mises and has the backing of nobles, reactionary-minded clergymen, and militarists, Duterte himself did appoint neoliberals, and supported compradores in the pretense of "economic development" as well as militarists in the pretense of restoring order; otherwise, he may also followed the same idea as Mexico's Porfirio Diaz, whose administrative motto was "less politics and more administration", and from it had to be applied to its subjects either through "Pan y Palo"- by bread or by beating.
And operations like "Tokhang", "Double Barrel", threats of Martial Rule, the crackdown on opposition, all alongside building of numerous infrastructures enough to curry outside investment, is an example of than "Pan y Palo" kind of approach. Supporters may continue to justify that kind of idea and even insist others to support that kind of "revolution" in the spirit of "pakikisama" or togetherness, but reality made that term goes something like forcing people to conform on the policies particularly those of its controversial nature.

All in all, this "orderism", in a frankiest sense, appears that in the struggle against the growing mass of discontent, authoritarian rule might well be required; then blaming on the folly of those who oppose, be it the liberals who disapproved his populist tendencies, or the radicals who insisted radical changes altogether.
What more that its apologists, its supports, has the hand to make it appear as revolutionary the way their idol hath been presented as a personification of change.

Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn (1952). Liberty and Equality: The Challenge of Our Time, Caldwell, Idaho: Caxton Printers, pp. 87-88

Monday, 13 November 2017

Same old agendas, Subserviences guised as partnerships, (And the struggle for real co-prosperity for the region)

Same old agendas, 
Subserviences guised as partnerships,
(And the struggle for real co-prosperity for the region)

Notes on the 31st summit of the Association of South East Asian Nations, 
Of agreements full of promises retaining the status quo,
and how US, China, are using Southeast Asia for its rivalry

As the summit of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) continues in Manila, the baggage left by past agreements, including those of its earlier summit at Vietnam continues to be carried upon and still discussed throughout; and from it it is pretty much obvious that the agenda is as same as in the past, particularly the idea of intensifying neoliberalism and globalisation at the behest of countries especially China and the United States.

However, as they push through their idea to each and every southeast Asiatic, a growing collusion between two countries been overheard: each hath its proposal enough to please both the underdeveloped as well as the developing countries in every region, including those of the Philippines:

That in the United States, through its “protectionist” America First policy, the Trump regime seeks to further break down economic barriers in its vassals so as to favor US monopoly capitalists. Trying to assume itself as “protectionist”, it hath turned its back on the Trans-Pacific Partnership and similar multilateral agreements of its predecessors in favor of bilateral arrangements with individual countries. 
But in spite of promising jobs to Americans and revive industry, that “protectionist” agenda is not really securing the welfare of the Americans but rather to consolidate the order, as Trump aims to push around its economic weight (buttressed by its military presence) to force countries to break down trade and investment barriers to favor US monopoly capitalist companies.

Meanwhile, China, while assuming to be “socialist”, continues to pursue its neoliberal agenda as it pursues for “economic integration” of both ASEAN and APEC member-countries under its “Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership” (RCEP). Like its western counterpart, and probably reminiscent of the defunct “Council for Mutual Economic Assistance“ of the former Soviet Union, China aims to push for an all-out liberalization under its “one belt, one road” project to tighten the integration of these countries into its Factory Asia “global value chain” as well as to take advantage of cheapest available labor.

Both economic agendas offered by the United States and China appeared to be beneficial to the developing regions like Southeast Asia, however, it hath nothing to do with development other than retaining its control in this modern-day cold war, for amidst the protracted crisis of the global capitalist system, rivalry and intense contradictions between the leading capitalist powers occured. For the cold war fanatic this again would still be a war between capitalism and communism, but the rivalry between the United States and China hath nothing to do with ideology, the way its policies hath nothing to do with defending freedom and democracy for the Americans nor achieving conditions for the revolution from the Chinese (since the ruling party still assumes itself to be “communist”); but instead, both countries showed a blatant pushing for all-out liberalization as concerned.
Also to think that these entities are plutocratic by nature (thanks to capitalism), these economic superpowers are obviously united in its desire to break down trade and investment barriers, be it tariffs, quotas, and regulations all in order to allow unrestricted plunder of every resource especially in its vassals; and with that course stunts rather than speeds the supposed developments and affects every sector who supposed to benefit from it. For Neoliberalism, Globalisation, and Deregulation, reduced the desire for domestic-based development into a mere pipe dream.

Besides economic issues, saber rattlings hath been part of the summit as Donald Trump discussed the issues on the disputed isles in the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea), as well as in North Korea. He even wanted to be the arbiter on the discussion concerning the dispute although it is obvious that there is a saber rattling being made even on that event. 

But in spite of seeing the United States remain as the biggest military power, China, on the other hand, continues to strengthen its armed capability and is fast developing its capability to project power overseas. The artificial isles in the disputed sea tends to bolster its defences using both naval and air defence forces.

And as for the Philippines, that instead of taking the summit as an opportunity for pushing for the demilitarization of the South China Sea and reducing the possibility of the country taking part in a possible conflict, the Duterte regime is further stoking the tensions by turning a blind eye on China’s occupation of Philippine claims in exchange for promises of Chinese loans and capital infusion in various projects (including the Northrail project), on the one hand; while on the other, allowing the US military to continue using Philippine territorial seas for its power projection operations, Philippine ports for docking, refuelling and provisioning of US warships, and cooperation with the local defence with its joint military excerises, all these through its existing agreements particularly the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and the Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement (EDCA). 

All in all, the situation shows that the regime did not act seriously in pursuing an independent foreign policy or rather the desire of a country free from the dictates of its neighbours in all spheres; to think that Trump’s visit to the Philippines in line with the ASEAN Summit will further cement the master-puppet relationship with the Duterte regime like its predecessors. Xi et al. did too benefited, but again, the subservience of the regime to the superpowers, the reaffirmation of unequal agreements, removing economic barriers till laissez faire, and anything that is agreed upon made its earlier promises proven to be an empty brag.

Meanwhile, in Manila’s streets, protests prevailed and even increasing. With the burning of the effigy as its centrepiece and its calls to “dump Trump” and the agreements reminiscent of the unequal treaties, the wave of anger pointing against these neoliberals been intensified no matter how the policemen trying to control be it through the truncheon or through its newly-brought sound cannon; there were numerous casualties though, and critics assailed the action as subversion if not mere empty noise as they accepted the “benefits” of that summit with wide arms. 

But in spite of these bullshits, the message is clear that neoliberalism, globalisation, and the militarism been babbled throughout that summit in Manila has to be opposed so is its ringleaders be it Trump, Xi, and others who scramble for the developing countries especially Southeast Asia and specifically the Philippines. 

Or rather say this: that neither those from Beijing, Washington, Moscow, or Tokyo, should ever dictate assuming that they will save Southeast Asia and the entire developing countries; and to assert a just socioeconomic alternative that truly and mutually benefits each and every community.

For a real co-prosperity in southeast Asia and in the third world!

Saturday, 11 November 2017

“More than just remembering an old jingle.”

“More than just remembering an old jingle.”

(Or notes regarding the need for industrialisation
as one of keys for national development)

It’s been decades past to remember that jingle once played in both television and in the radio. So happened that the uncle of this person worked in that company; that sadly end defunct.

“The nation is growing
with P.B.M. steel!
Constructing, expanding...
with P.B.M. steel!
Buildings rise, future grows...
with good quality
Builders trust this name... P.B.M.”

Sounds nostalgic but the jingle was more than just promoting but also invoking an appeal to progress from an era almost forgotten. For during those times Nationalist sentiment meant the need for domestic-based developement, and one of which was (and even is) the need for Nationalist industrialisation.

Critics may insist that industrialisation means benefiting oligarchs, since these oligarchs, both compradore and landlord, are able to control economic affairs, they even able to dickride the idea of “development” including those of industrialisation: that the Ayalas, Sorianos, Razons, or Lucio Tan and Gokongwei did so with entities like San Miguel, Atlas Fertilizer, or Phelps Dodge.
Or frankly speaking, they are rather insisting that development should focus on commerce, trade, and extraction of materials as any other underdeveloped country; while developments should be based on infrastructure building, investments on “relevant sectors”, and limiting industrialisation to consumer goods and assembly line.

But in spite of that criticism, the demand for domestic-based development remains at-large. Knowing that the Philippines did enjoy 21st century technology as any other country, it is not enough also knowing that basic problems remain especially the need to utilise its own natural resources and labour power. Oligarchs and moneylenders, in connivance with an incompetent government continue to upheld an unjust status quo that somehow profited from it. And if they babble about industrialisation, it is the same entity that killed that aspiration. And entities like PBM, Radiowealth, National Steel, were greatly affected through it: be it because of corruption, or connivance with neoliberalists to stop pursuing the nationalist economic agenda.

And also because of that, Industrialistion will always be a major topic. Given that the country has sufficient resources, an interest-seeking order continues to impose policies that rather stunt national development, and industries continued to be small to medium scale, even the steel industry remained a maker of bars and construction needs than going heavier like those of its neighbours.

Also as far as the concerned remembers the jingle, there were few entities that specialised in the manufacturing of steel, and seriously adheres to the nationalist economic agenda; but politics and economic policies that favoured imported steel (and in extension capital goods) stunted their developments and some even abandoned altogether. Only few would try its best to remain but only to found that they are contented in making needs for construction rather than following its neighbours in supporting the needs of their country’s heavy industry.

With these facts somehow made one think and admit that the country depends in imported steel the way motor companies in the Philippines hath to depend on imported parts; and jokingly speaking would say that the Philippines does no even manufacture nails for construction or carpentry needs.
But in spite all these there lies hope. But that hope requires much assertion to pressure the ruling order to meet the demands of the people, particularly the need for industrialising the country. The need for technology transfers, the cultivation encouragement of students to engage in the sciences, the revisit of nationalist economic policies, and the just and fair utilisation of natural resources, may somehow benefited the country that seriously needed development despite this age of modernity and innovation.

Sounds postwar but that postwar appeal turns out to be still relevant rather than passe. It so happened that the system chose to skip the need for a heavy industry if not limiting industry to those of services and small to medium scale manufactures as well as trade and commerce; ironically, even the ones in the government admitted that fact knowing that the country seriously needed to industrialise further in order to to steer development in its fullest sense and to keep in par with its developed neighbours, or probably thinking why Japan, Peoples China, and the two Koreas did that kind of path, therefore why not in this still-developing Philippines? Well, it boils down to being dictated to the whims of the moneylenders that development as meant to be limited to some public works, small and medium scale enterprises, the rest goes to the multinationals who profited from every domestic material they exploit. Sounds Lichaucoite or Henaresist isn’t it?

Perhaps, as time goes by, people would think that the façades of glass and steel isn’t enough for developement, what more that there are those also just got carried by the jingle of PBM Steel, and  still wanting to realise the goal of building what more of steering a still developing country into its chartered course.

“As the Lords and its Vassals converged Manila”

“As the Lords and its Vassals converged Manila”

(Notes on the Summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Manila,
and the people who chose to be critical towards its policies)

All after the conference in Vietnam, and still eager to consolidate interests in the Southeast Asian region and to reaffirm the domination of dominating countries, neoliberals guised as “populists” ruling in their respective countries are convening, along with its overlords in the host country: the Philippines.

Led by its host leader president Duterte and saidth to be attended by its lords like Donald Trump, the Association of South-East Asian Nations continues its drumbeat of both illusion and discontent as each and every southeast Asiatic knows that their respective homelands are stubbornly controlled by each oppressive orders, whose primary oath is to retain the status quo, with minimal changes that rather benefits them than its needy subjects.

Sounds incorrect to most people who optimistically thinking that change will truly sweep and benefits each and every southeast Asiatic, but with the fact that unfair trade, unjust labour conditions, and oppressive policies been prevailing thanks to those unequal agreements, it forced the masses of people into nothingness and maldevelopment, while cultivating in them the taste for foreign goods and forcing themselves to diminish their desire for a genuine development in their communities.

And to think that with unjust policies prevailed with all its effects aggravating, then of whoat is the reality the summit is trying to show? Is it to reaffirm the desire for a caring and sharing community? Or the commitment to be the vassal of interests? Prior to that coming meeting was a series of bloodied exploits: be it in Marawi to those of Rohingya, of American-engineered attempts to subvert those who trying remove their shackles of vassalage, and the usual rising costs of goods and services, Southeast Asia, as in any other region around the world, is itself a battlefield between the labouring people and the privileged haves whose ages-old dominance diminishes democracy, freedom, and justice.

And like the past summits that hath met with protests outside their convention halls, each and every Southeast Asiatic knows that the real intent of the summit and its agreements was to consolidate interest, if not trying to reaffirm vassalage towards the “plutocratic countries” like the United States, China, and the European Union; actually, that issue on reaffirming vassalage is no more a question since the domestic compradores and oligarchs continuously “grows” its ties to these “plutocratic countries”. Of course, they have to bow down towards them while at the same time preaching to every southeast Asiatic that the agreement isn’t unjust or unequal.

But all in all, that phenomenon really concerns each policy especially internal ones affecting the economy, culture, and social affairs. If they seriously desire to address issues on human rights, an end to terrorism, the need for development, and to resolve tensions with neighbouring countries, whilst the reality that the nature of their societies be like semifedual, semicolonial in character, then of what are these topics really for? In the case of the Philippines, the war on drugs continues to aggravate with oplan “Tokhang” continues its bloodied course (and justified badly by its apologists), while Marawi remains desolated and its its inhabitants dislocated whilst the attack dogs of the state carrying off its loot, the costs of goods and services continue to rise, and others that made all these nonsense truly diminishes the regime’s sworn oath to pursue progressive changes when in fact progressively shifted its interests from the people to those of the ruling class. Xi Jingping’s regional economic policies does not translate to revolution in spite of its “socialistic nature”, Putin’s aid does not even translate to support for the developing, what more of Trump’s stances does not equate to reviving the greatness of each and every American, what more of its vassals.

As an observer and one of the concerned, the struggle for national and social liberation will always be one of the major topics no matter what others trying to malign, ridicule, or assail. As hundreds, if not thousands of masses protest against that neoliberal-globalist entity, one would think that ever since these multinational summits tried to create a caring and sharing community, while at the same time reaffirming unjust policies, do they really care for each and every community?

Anyway, there will be more demonstrations as long as the problems aggravate. Let the system and its apologists whine as the concerned increasingly questions the policies the order greatly benefits and put interests unto it.