Monday, 16 October 2017

The battle for the "King of the Road"

The battle for the "King of the Road"

(Or Will the Philippine Jeep be improved or be removed?)



At first, one would say that the so-called "King of Philippine Roads" as an iconic testaments to Filipino ingenuity, resourcefulness, and artistry. However, as time goes by, and there are those who shun an "outmoded" and inefficient mass transport, the idea to replace it altogether has been long discussed.

Driven by the idea of improving mass transport and road safety, throughts like "modernisation" hath been babbled throughout social media, and most well-earned people are agreeing to that kind of idea, although obviously it is a "correct" term referring to phasing out old, smoke-belching, unroadworthy jeeps and to make way for new versions with safer design and up-to-standard engines that emit less air pollutants.

Obviously, the idea sounds rational and worth laudable. But how come there's a stiff opposition, particularly from a majority of jeepney drivers, operators, assemblers, and even commuters alike?  


Million peso burden for the driver

First, in an economy that fails to generate sufficient means of employment with decent earnings that can support a family, driving a jeepney as well as any other mode of transport (like pedicabs) has become an attractive and viable option, especially for those with some savings such as overseas Filipino workers, as well as retirees who wanted to have additional income other than their pensions. 
And according to them, operating one or two passenger jeepneys is enough for an affordable micro enterprise, all in spite of problems to address like oil price hikes and taxes to pay upon. 

But, with that attempt to phase out jeepneys lies a threat of economic dislocation, knowing that thousands of drivers and operators depend on that "king of the road" for their livelihood. Good to suggest that providing them with a modern jeepney meant improvement and efficiency, but for reality's sake, very few operators will be able to raise that PhP 1.2 to PhP 1.6 million-peso investment on those new units required under the modernization program. With the added requirement of 10 units per new franchise, all the more the cost will be prohibitive for existing small-time operators, many of whom are driver-operators of single units.

For an example, from a Facebook post from Albert Yumol, he stated that the e-jeepney being promoted costs around 1.6 Million. And if the government will buy the vehicle from an average driver like "Mang Danny" for PhP 30000 and provides a subsidy of PhP 80000, the amount payable will be PhP 1.49 Million. 
With the 7-year payment plan of the government, he needs to pay around PhP 583 a day, no holidays, no sick days; while he himself has only PhP 417 to divide for the education of his four kids, for the rent, and food on their table. 

And prior to that protest, "Mang Danny", who drives a jeepney via Cubao-Remedios route, is able to do 4 rounds of the route. There he makes around PhP 2500 in it. And if to subtract the Diesel (P200 per route * 4 = P800) as well as the Boundary Fee (700), then he earns around P1000 a day, which isn't enough to support the needs of his family.

With that phase out meant to happen (and had his vehicle be replaced with another), plus rising costs of goods, will Mang Danny survive the ordeal? 


Sidelining the local (and favouring the importer)

And also to think that most Filipino knows that the Jeepney is locally assembled, with assemblers struggled out to improve their creations particularly on the body and in the engines, the proposed jeepney modernization is rather imported if not locally assembled by , ranging from smaller-scale minubuses or multicabs either powered by electicity or with the same petrol engine as the old ones, repackaged as "improved"; and although authorities are "enticing" local assemblers to participate, its costs may be too much for them, that hence it would mean loss of earnings to local industry. 

In fact, according to Carol Araullo in her Facebook post, that the program was long overdue since it is matched to the government’s "Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy" (CARS) which was started during the last months of the Aquino III administration and currently pursued by Duterte. The program aims to revitalize local car manufacturing by giving PhP 27 billion in tax credits to three selected foreign car manufacturers who will invest in assembly plants in the country. The tax incentives will be indexed on how much of the car components are sourced locally and on the volume of cars to be produced. Two Japanese multinational firms have already been chosen, Toyota and Mitsubishi. The CARS program is expected to roll out 600,000 cars over a six-year period.

Hence, that program appears that the government is actually creating a market in the public transport sector for multinational corporations with its domestic partners currently engaged in the local assembly of foreign-branded cars and the marketing of assorted electronic gadgets; whilst sidelining local assemblers in spite of statements "encouraging" local ones to engage in the manufacture of modern vehicles including jeepneys.


The need for a genuine participation for mass transport modernisation

All in all, attempts to improve and upgrade the jeepney as a mode of transport can not be premised on destroying the livelihood of drivers and operators then leaving them and their families to somehow fend for themselves, as well as assemblers going bankrupt all because of sudden imports. 

Improvement as it appears to be, but reality shows that it is more of a phase out with a limited space for those who can afford in those "modern vehicles", and Whereas the present administration is trying to be inclusive, why on earth to limit inclusiveness to those who are interest-seeking? Thinking that numerous foreign-sounding names are willing to back that program while sidelining the local ones wanting to participate in the process for improving their existences. 

And contrary to those who are trying to distort the message of those opposing the "modernisation", its not about retaining the old jeep itself but rather the desire for genuine participation of various sectors in resolving problems surrounding mass transportation and its means to improve it. The problem lies in the system who rather impose something with apologists starting to babble their "basis" as if they represent the commoners regardless of its negative effects like bigwigs over smallholders as makers, of rising costs and fares, and various bullshits that affected the driver, the operator, the commuter, the assembler, and the community in general.

If there is an apathetic to justify the need for phaseouts be it jeepneys or even buses and taxis, probably the intent is not to improve mass transporation but to keep the roads for themselves "in the name of freedom". Do you think they will keep mass transport like jeeps, buses, taxis, UV expresses? Western-style individualism has been bannered throughout as a frank response to the transportation issue, while some who assuming to be concerned tries to justify statements from the authorities the way James Deakin did. But in spite of that, their indifference rather prevails than their semblance of concern trying to appear as such. 

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Again, watching "Bar Boys" (and enjoying it)

Again, watching "Bar Boys" (and enjoying it)

(Or how this person watched that movie for the second time after work)


Source: BarBoys Facebook page

Few months after watching that movie somewhere in Cubao, this writer is again watched that 80s-esque movie in a contemporary setting, and this time in UP Film Institute's Cine Adarna at the University of the Philippines in Diliman.

Described by this writer as Bernal-like, Giosiengfiao, or even Brocka-esque from his earlier review, "Bar Boys" showed the life and labours of three men (that supposed to be four if not for one of them who flunked), mainly bonded by computer games, end passed law school and endure 4 years of law school life wherein studying habits, joining in a fraternity for connections, relationship struggles, financial matters, terror professors, and various forms of sacrifices hath been the issues that both hinders and strengthens the friendship of three (or four) men; and still end succeeded in their fields as lawyers (and a model).

Source: Karen Mae Testibia
Still nice as expected, and like any other showing, the movie, in spite of being "indie" hath been increasingly appreciated by many, especially teeners who haven't watched during the "Filipino Film Fiesta", as well as those who did watched before and chose to repeat it (like yours truly).

And as expected, most of them did somehow enjoyed or getting concerned especially in scenes deemed humorous or controversial in nature. Be it the professor's queerness towards Erik (played by Carlo Aquino), or Erik's father (played by Rener Concepcion) who end selling his kidney in order to have his son succeed in law school and become a lawyer. 


Furthermore, they sought how the treatment of its interesting topic that carried some light-heartedness and optimism, enough to inspire each and every young (and young at heart) to pursue something they desired for, be it Law, Medicine, or any other course (and be end as professionals).




And as for yours truly, here's a part from Fred Hawson's movie review made months ago for an advise/suggestion to youngsters (and youngsters at heart):


"If you want to study in law school, you should watch this first before you apply. Will you be ready to photocopy thick tomes for required readings, and actually commit them to memory? Will you be ready to handle spontaneous recitation sessions right on the first day of class? Will you be ready to argue with the answers of your classmates and rate their performance? Will you be ready to sacrifice all your interpersonal relationships at least until you graduate and pass the bar? This film tells you what to expect, and warns you ahead of time."

Or in other words: watch that movie (as well as other "better" shows) than getting contented in some trashy or cringy ones. 


That's all for now.

Monday, 25 September 2017

Is it goodbye to a decades-old ContemporAniquitarian edifice?

Is it goodbye to a decades-old ContemporAniquitarian edifice?

Notes on the attempt to demolish Juan Nakpil's
pre-war Capitol Theatre at Escolta, Manila




In spite of attempts to revive Manila's cultural and heritage treasures, it seems that profit-driven "modernity" thrives as so-called "developers" continue to threaten old but well-known edifices, some end as lots for eventual "high rise" condominiums, others be left out as paid parking lots; and all these are quite lamentable knowing that how come alongside the idea of reviving its cherished heritage why on earth there are still those attempting to demolish all in the name of profit-driven "modernity" in a form of a dull condominium?

As months ago, everyone heard about the international style-built Philippine National Bank main office hath been demolished after it was struck by a fire last January 2015. And in response to widespread concern and criticism over the matter, Estrada justified the demolition as necessary:

“It was burned so how can it be restored? It’s a building endangering the lives of the people passing by the area,” 

And further justified saying that the idea of tearing down the building first came up in 2010 during the time of then Mayor Alfredo Lim. A developer, Romy Lorenzo of Geltd Developers and Managers Group Inc., claimed that the 12-story structure was in danger of collapsing should an earthquake hit the city. "The blaze, however, has weakened its foundation, leaving them no choice but to tear it down," said Robert Bernardo, chief of the city’s engineering office.

Because of that, that issue seemed quite lamenting knowing that after the recent demolition of the Arguelles-designed edifice, threats to demolish the reinforced concrete edifice hath been discussed for so long by so-called developers, who, in the name of "development" had to demolish every identity structure by structure, and replacing it with their own style one would describe as "dull", "plain", or "bereft of identity" compared to other once-stood structures.

"From being a trend to being threatened"
And this time, given the go-signal by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) and National Museum (NM), another iconic and important structure in Manila is set to be demolished to give way to a high-rise residential building: Adding to the list of the city's built heritage-turned-intangible or altogether lost is the prewar art-deco Capitol Theater on Escolta Street designed by National Artist for Architecture Juan Nakpil.
Like any other threatened building which is worthy of being preserved, this person expressed concern regarding the status of one of Escolta's recognisable structures. Whereas people sought the entire strip as a "legacy of what Manila once was", it is fast becoming a duty to preserve, maintain, bring life, and be adapted to the so-called "modern times"; but, with those stubborn wanting to demolish and expand interests badly, one would say that not all have the interest to give support in reviving if not exaggerating it as if it is "relevant" to the structure and to some extent, to the appearance of the reviving strip.

An example of a Filipino-design 
An almost shattered glory (and the pursuit of salvaging)

Inaugurated in 1935, the Nakpil-designed art-deco stucture has double balconies, which were still rare at that time, it was also air conditioned, and can also accommodate around 800 people. However, what sets the theater apart from other well-known ones are the artworks adorning the space: Monti’s bas-relief sculpture of two Filipinas, and a mural, entitled "Rising Philippines" made by modernist painters Victorio C. Edades, Carlos "Botong" V. Francisco, and Galo B. Ocampo.
But in spite of its grandeur, the iconic theater was heavily damaged during the Second World War, only to be rebuilt and returned as one of Manila's well-known theatres during the post-war period. However, in spite of its recognition, in the ’70s and ’80s, the number of theatergoers declined due to the rise of commercial theaters, making the theater itself like most others, dilapidated.
Recently, the Capitol's interior has been abandoned, leaving only its façade. Several small business establishments and a restaurant used to operate inside. Many years ago, there was an attempt for a Chinese restaurant inside the old theater requiring its thorough renovation, only to be abandoned due to unpaid debts.
Aside from Capitol Theater, other notable buildings designed by Nakpil include the Quezon Institute in Quezon City; Philippine Trust Building in Manila; and the reconstructed Rizal House in Calamba, Laguna. Other well-known structures like the Avenue Hotel and Theater, and the Manila Jockey Club, were end demolished with the latter being replaced by one of Henry Sy's shopping malls.

However, in spite of its approval to demolish the original structure and be replaced with a "modern" residential building, the property’s developer Ascott Resources and Development Corporation insist that will preserve theater’s façade  according to an article from the Philippine Daily Inquirer, it saidth:

"NCCA Heritage Section head Charles Salazar told the Inquirer the property’s developer, Ascott Resources and Development Corp. (ARDC), had made a presentation to the three national cultural agencies “for the in situ methodology for the preservation of the tower and façade.”"

The article also stated that based from the recommendations by the NCCA, NHCP, and NM, much of the building will be torn down and the developer was instructed to do a “perfect” replica of the façade, as well as directed to “prepare complete documentation of the entire existing building including as-built plans, prepare casts of the relief sculptures of the tower for turnover to the National Museum, and install appropriate hoarding/enclosure featuring the original façade” during demolition and the construction of the new structure.

If that's the case, then the old pre-war Theater is going to be the latest heritage building in Manila repurposed using “façadism,” an approach in which the façade of a historic structure being retained in the construction of a newer building. Similar approach was also applied in heritage buildings such as the restored Luneta Hotel in Ermita; Laperal Apartments in Sampaloc; and the old Coca-Cola building in Paco.


"A memory left in postcards"
Today, many standalone theaters in downtown Manila no longer feature blockbuster films from both local and foreign producers, but rather operate underground where softcore pornographic films are shown, if not desperately showing reruns coming from malls; or in the case of surviving oldest ones, left dilapidated and likely to be demolished regardless of its prominence. It is worth nostalgic knowing that all these known structures end as memories left either in postcards, photos, books, or sayings of the old telling about the grandeur of what "The pearl of the Orient" was. And because of that fervor, there are attempts to restore the pre-war theater (as well as other old but gold structures) to its old glory, but with the recent demolition of known structures like the former Arguelles-designed structure threatens others whose decades-old appearance "worth reviving" be end threatened by demolitions "all in the end of modernity" in a form of a high-rise condominium. Even the recent frustrated "heritage-like" structure of the Admiral hotel hath mocked the original well-known pre-war structure which was eventually demolished.

But in spite of attempts to destroy the ContemporAntiquitarian image of Downtown Manila such as Escolta, there are initiatives done to preserve the once financial hub. And groups like the Escolta Commercial Association, which is composed owners of business establishments along the strip is also in cooperation with groups like the Heritage Conservation Society, 98B Collaboratory, and other concerned organisations.


Still, there's time to save

On the other side, critics, especially some conservationists and nostalgics alike have denounced the approach, saying that façadism, in spite of its intents, also affects, compromises  the integrity, authenticity, and historical fabric of a structure, or in the case of another Monti bas-relief sculpture, “The Furties,” on the façade of the old Meralco Building on San Marcelino Street, Ermita, everything was destroyed.

As according to heritage coservationist and former Tourism Secretary Gemma Cruz-Araneta:

“That remains to be seen, I hope it is true that the developer will keep the façade,” 

Cruz-Araneta also warned that the demolition of the old structure and construction of a new one (even a "replica") would affect the integrity of other heritage structures.

“However, as they dig and drive piles into the  ground for the foundation of a new structure, the heritage buildings beside Capitol will be adversely affected. Their foundations will be compromised. I think you should ask the owners of those heritage buildings if this is happening,” she said.

“It would be tragic to lose all that,” she added.

Besides Cruz-Araneta, groups like Advocates for Heritage Preservation insist that the lobby must also be preserved along with the tower and the façade. Others, in the case of two architecture students from the Technological Institute of the Philippines, used the Capitol Theatre as an example for an adaptive reuse as a mixed commercial/residential/financial hub. There are numerous plans likely to unfold, and it is quite interesting to hear those various forms of alternatives although most may likely to fell on deaf ears as the local government, who supposed to be at the forefront of reviving a community's almost lost identity favour getting sneered by the smell of cash and its increasing amounts.

That made this concerned writer thinks why on earth let this happen? Did the system intentionally letting its people be apathetic to heritage if not equating what is old to ugliness? The trend that is bereft of identity actually made the concerned thinks that to be ContemporAntiquitarian and to "Revolt Against the Modern World" as necessary. Anyway, here's a quote from Dominic Galicia:

 "Let me just say something about condemning. It is the easiest thing in the world to do. Gossips do it all the time. But as in the case of a patient being advised to amputate his leg, it is always best to get a second opinion and a third. Science and technology today – as well as the more forward-thinking architecture – are able to stabilize the most endangered of structures."

That's all for now.


Thursday, 21 September 2017

"Will never cowered, will never forget."

"Will never cowered, will never forget."

Notes after the September 21 actions from Diliman to Luneta





Contrary to those who desired to move on from the past, all victims of both past and present regimes are bound to unites in their common desire for justice and freedom this September 21.

As various sectors, be it the indigenous folks, students, labourers, employees, and churchpeople gathered together to mark the 45th year of the declaration of Martial Law, and to recall both the crimes under the Marcos Dictatorship and of the present bloodied regime under Duterte.


It appears to be fiestive and peaceful amidst threats by the administration to use the police and the armed forces to break up on the pretext of "rebels taking into the streets", and to think that the administration did tried to counter the demonstrations with their counter-rallies, every media service showed that the rally in commemorating that "day of hatred" swelled to many.

And because of that, apologetics insist that the activity itself as den of yellows if not paid hacks, but no amount of their bravado, politico-legal manouvers, and relentless propaganda will hinder such actions knowing that the people are aware of the truth that is, bloodied.

Remember: in just over a year, the regime did failed in realising the aspirations of the people, it had sidelined progressives in the cabinet, given a lowest budget in the Commission on Human Rights, what more of having mounted three wars and has victimised nearly a million people. Apologists may insist that his actions as just if not trying to counter it with ad hominems or diverting news to some various debt-funded engineering feats;


But, like the past regime the present administration idolised, that systemic conditions which has plunged the country into deeper and deeper crisis remain the same - that peasants remain landless, workers remain tied to slave wages, exploitative contracts and sweatshop-like work conditions, government continues to be run by corrupt politicians from powerful clans, the country still adheres to unequal foreign agreements which has robbed us of any real chance at development, and the majority of Filipinos still live in poverty. Throughout regimes, change has come in profits and increasing revenues for the rich, and greater misery and burden for the rest of the Filipino people.

No wonder why the people has admitted that the regime be trying to be "Marcosian" if not creating a "neo-Marcosian" setting by creating a scenario of fear, what more of having its apologetics insist how just an unjust, what more of a bloodied operation is.


And like past regimes not also wonder why their effigies end like charred wood and ashes. Obviously, people cannot move on for this continuing past, that no infrastructure or any feat the present order can cover a bloodied truth such as today.

Monday, 18 September 2017

"Notes after Sitio Sandugo"

"Notes after Sitio Sandugo"




From late morning till night, everyone from all walks of life has made an almost swampy corner livelier as the indigenous folks around the archipelago converged for a week long celebration of resistance and struggle in a place named "Sitio Sandugo."


Initially named "Kampuhan", the site, Named after an organisation consists of Cordilleran, Moro, Lumad, and other various indigenous folks victimised by militarisation and development aggression, these folks marched towards Metro Manila not just to express their grievances that failed to be heeded by the government itself, if not still left vulnerable by "developmental" aggressors in its various forms.


Carrying their cherished tradition and at the same time adapted to modern ways, these indigenous folks showed their culture to the lowlander and at the same time having the desire to have education, that in case of the Lumads, having alternative schools for their kin to learn the rudiments of today's education and at the same time to preserve their ways of life in spite of countless repressions. Actually it may sound "left" that these indigenous folks also asserted the same desires as the lowlanders for their right for land and social justice; and as an observer this writer agrees knowing that these folks lived in lands arable, and these arable lands are meant to be preserved, cherished, and given justice so-called "developers" and the system failed to provide so.

Worse, these indigenous folks are targets of these latter entities in all its various names and forms of aggression simply because of their belief if not their will to resist. Come to think of the deaths of Macliing Dulag, Emerito Samarca, Dionel Campos, Juvello Sinzo, or a foreign priest Pops Tentorio, these personages recognises the struggle for land, respect for nature, and social justice.



Anyway, as the music plays on, followed by speeches, and forms of cultural resistance, these indigenous folks, like its lowlander supporters played a role not just to dismantle an antiquated yet indignified social order but to create a society meant to be just, free, and prosperous.

"Still, the revolt of the poor continues."

"Still, the revolt of the poor continues."

Regarding the present Duterte's neo-Marcosian authoritarianism 
the aggravation of its existing problem,
and the people's clamour for national liberation and social justice



The Philippines's failure to achieve a progressive state as a fulfillment of a revolutionary aspiration has as much to do with the structural constraints inherent in the system such as its interest-driven order, its culture, and personality of the head of government. This writeup also examines Filipino Authoritarianism, which is currently espoused by the present Duterte administration, and its means through which each chose to implement that particular version of utopia.

For the fact that by discarding democracy for a local brand authoritarianism was (and is) for the Philippines more than just a reaction to continuous crisis and its myriad of threats from the common people. At times, it tries to be as "leftist as the left" in spite of its obviously rightist nature, and to think that Philippine nationalism was increasingly leaning in the former, it was (and is) all based from a structural problem that made the commoner insist that the revolution since 1896 hath been left "unfinished."

And in spite of its obviously neoliberal-globalist agenda, the regime tries to make it appear as inclusive to other sectors such as trying to make itself "as leftist as the left" by promising an extensive agrarian reform program, an efficient distribution of social services, and in order to realise as such the administration had to appoint some leftists in the cabinet, who seriously adheres to its commitments.


However, in spite of its facade of inclusiveness, the regime's authoritarian nature is a knock-off of its predecessors. Specifically from its idolised figure who declared Martial Law in 1972, the current administration bared its fangs to every sector, especially the poor with its anti-drug campaigns, the indigenous folks with threats to flattening their communities with aerial bombings and various forms of state-sponsored brigandage, and others with controversial measures like the "National ID System" and the like. From these scenarios, if aggravated, may lead to another version of Martial Rule, in which its apologists be redescribe as a "revolution" even it is obviously isn't.


From the views of the apologetics

In the eyes of the apologetics, the regime means change. From its campaign slogan last 2016, its mass appeal, straightforwardness and image of a man of action hath swept him to the presidency. With various infrastructures being taken place, newly-enacted laws the free college education bill, and reports about the Marcos family as willing to turn over to the government part of their ill-gotten wealth, the regime, regardless of more than 7,000 have been killed in the illegal drug war, and threats that affected every sector of the society, apologists, insist that the so-called "change" hath take place.

It may sound contradicting knowing that the recent controversial events hath appeared to be hindering the regime's developmentalist moves, but, apologists also see to it that with those controversial moves be reinterpreted as a cathartic in nature, coupled with fabricated reports meant to rally the people towards the regime against the opposition. And these apologists also see that the regime, specifically its administrator's moves, stances, views, no matter how controversial it is, as "natural", and they would even justify it using a familiar Spanish saying: “El vicio natural no puede quitar" (The natural defect cannot be removed).
Also to think that with the country's endeavour to build a society free from various forms of anxieties over basic necessities, and able to enjoy a semblance of an improved living standards, the regime has to present something that appears to be in response to the people's demands, anything that appears to carry a perspective that is progressive and forward-looking, although in fact lies its contrary- that in case of agrarian reform it consolidates the landlords, and in indigenous people's rights, the 'development' aggressors.

And to paraphrase Fred R. von der Mehden's work, that no purely leadership in the Philippines has made such great efforts in the ideological field, but rather purely 'personal'. This can partially be explained by the ideological context of some of the rebellions which have faced for years, the backgrounds of a number of the more influential personages, and finally, by the tendency of the country to present problems. Once, Ferdinand Marcos, through a group of intellectuals including former Communist Party member Nilo Tayag created an 'ideology' which was called "Filipinism" in mid 1970s, which was meant to create an ideological foundation for his martial rule, or in his views a "liberal" response to a "jacobin" problem. Other succeeding regimes followed suit, ranging from "Christian-Demcoratic", "Liberal", and even "Populist" views that actually meant to cover the actual order that is, "Semifeudal" and "Semicolonial."

Actually, the application of such "ideologies" was and is somewhat more confused than the system would care to admit. The Marcos regime (as well as its successors) tried much to create a hodge-podge of thoughts, which was meant to counter the growing leftist clamour in the 1960s. Actually, the application of such "ideologies" was and is somewhat more confused than the system would care to admit. The Marcos regime tried much to create a hodge-podge of thoughts, which was meant to counter the growing leftist clamour in the 1960s. However, differences of opinion were apparent on the major questions regarding foreign relations, in which the Philippines, being a staunch Atlanticist, started to gain relations with the Soviet bloc and especially Red China; as well as the issue of Agrarian Reform in which actually faced opposition from the landed gentries. Its successors continue to overhear such issues, especially with the latter amidst passage of several laws concerning that "agrarian question."


And still, its failure to end basic socioeconomic problems

But nevertheless, in spite of populist agendas, the structures of oligarchic power were not modified in their socio-economic aspects. Apologists may still continue to parrot about the administration's "feats", but none of these are successful to mitigate the issues on poverty and social injustice. There are confrontations began with the aggravations of police operations "Tokhang" and "Double Barrel", the increasing militarism in the countryside under "Oplan Kapayapaan", and the system's clinging to neoliberal-globalist agenda. There was class struggle within the administration. The oligarchs participated in that populist agenda but not with really serious issues like agrarian reform, industrialisation, and a socially progressive policy. The bourgeoisie wanted to increase its own profits even more, negotiating with imperialism, and the bureaucrats did nothing but stall the process.

Before them the masses, especially those who once voted for Duterte, tended to radicalize social policy. The increase in political consciousness demanded the deepening of the revolutionary national slogans and policies as well as the participation of the workers in the decisions of the leadership.

But in spite of that, what the administration did is actually more of consolidation of interests. As said earlier, there are contradictions within but the goal of the administration remains similar to its predecessors. Statements like "fighting the oligarchs" is used merely as any other rhetoric than a call for action, while "pushing through agrarian reform" without Mariano meant consolidating interests of the landed few; and whereas Marcos opened relations with the Soviet Bloc and Red China, Duterte followed the same intent, even carrying the message of "independent foreign policy"; but these does not mean they afforded to break existing unjust agreements especially with the United States like the "Mutual Defence Treaty", the "Visiting Forces Agreement", and the "Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement."
And to think that most agreements are deemed unequal if not hindering the need for a genuine national development, coupled with aggravated existing issues of poverty, social injustice, and state terrorism, Duterte's neo-Marcosian authoriarianism intensifies rather than averts situations resulting to what being called as the "Revolt of the Poor"; Jacobin is its basic description, but ironically, in spite of Duterte and his apologists assailing the Liberals for its misfitry, Marcos present his own "revolution" as a, "Liberal."


So is its bloodied truths

As time goes by, the regime, particularly its crime prevention strategy hath been synonymous with its dispensation of "justice", that is bloodied and unjust in character; and in it becomes a major and serious problem rather than a solution to a bigger one be it drugs, criminality, anything the administration literally taking it through the barrel of the gun.

It may sound opposing in that description, particularly those who positively acknowledge the form of justice the administration hath given; but, reality goes something that not all that is described as for public safety is worthy of that phrase. Operations like "Tokhang" and "Double Barrel" and its hordes of scalawags turned a respectable entity into a monstrous one. Names like Kian, Kulot, Carl hath been overheard than those of "Build, Build, Build"; threats like those of "flattening the hills" hath been the widely-heard statement than those of resolving the peasant and of the Indigenous Peoples; and multinationals, foreign overlords exploit madly that shattered the idea of self-reliance or independence in both exonomic and foreign policy;
Of what is justice if more innocents been harassed, unjustly accused, or even killed? Of what is freedom when numerous unjust agreements from the past remained "respected"? Such bloodied truths surpassed their envisions of "building a better country" what more of seeing moneylenders shoving people the bill they ought to pay millions, billions, or even trillions "for all the infrastructures done"; worse, it did nothing to generate development other than to impress others that the country as "fast growing", even its "fruits" as actually trickled less in the hands of the greatly efforted yet badly needed.

There are numerous truths to uncover, enough to shatter the illusion of change the administration hath invoked since day one. The neo-Arroyo, or even a neo-Marcosian nonsense hath throroughly emphasised especially in its vulgar form; But again, knowing the system and its fanatical apologists, invoking fear and irrationality, pointing its outmost angst against those who stood its way through its variety of false accounts, didn't create a just answer to a just problem; what more of justifying a bullshit vulgarly as their standard bearer.
Ironically, like all its predecessors, they desired for unity but they failed to create a program in which serves as a basis to rally each and every sector towards unity; did they offer an alternative? Again, theirs is a recycle of statements and "plans" using new terminologies and paraphrased statements. Whereas Marcos made, no matter how controversial yet useful, was also respected by Aquino and its successors, abit in a different term enough to differentiate from the other; and the fact that Duterte's political party smacks of social democracy or democratic socialism, how come it end parroting neoliberalism, globalisation, or even state terrorism in again, using populist phraseology like development and order?

Again, the bloodied truth brought about by a wretched order dehumanised the community of man. The standard bearer's idol did babble some revolutionary rhetoric including those of human rights but it failed to address the issue of torture, killings, forced disappearances, and displacement from communities. Such bullshits brought about by a wretched order hath made that man as willing to subvert the order that dehumanises him and almost bereft of hope.


Still, a Patriotic and Bolshevist outcome
to a Semifeudal and Semicolonial mess

A government that parrots statements like "we hate oligarchs" yet actually consolidates the rotten status quo makes the concerned sees that the system itself is desperately 'in a state of survival'. Obviously, it has to curry the favour of the people especially to those who are disenheartened by its very own policy, an in it it has to moderate its standing if not trying to accommodate the disenheartened in the "spirit" of terms like "national solidarity" alongside piecemeal changes; but in spite of these reality goes something like having a rotten order struggling to consolidate by hook or by crook, carrot and stick, cooked beans and smoking barrels.

And to think that the system's alibi is nationalism or any of its related nature, then sorry but theirs has nothing to do with nationalism at all, for nationalism has taken over by those who labor yet gained nothing for the system itself took it from the deserved. We've heard enough about optimism that is isn't; and to think that every infrastructure, edifice, anything that creates a façade of development, all these are built by the blood, sweat, mind, and sinew of every tired and exhausted worker who still end having pittances if not disagreed contracts.

No sooner had the Filipino destroyed the formations of the continuing past than the realisation of its ideal, emerging from the aspirations of its forefathers, had begun. Its patriotism, its existing nationalism hath enriched with ideological inheritance of Marxism that hath added class awareness, realism, honesty, trust, and comprehension of their mission to these instincts, all in their destructive struggle against this continuing past social order; sounds incorrect to most since they are attached to the idea of reforming even it is unlikely to accommodate such reforms, but reality hath made the concerned adopted Marxism the way its forefathers in struggle hath adopted Jacobinism.

This writeup may sound opposing to some knowing that they abhor Marxism, but as the country hath gone proletarianised thanks to that semifeudal-semicolonial mess, of having massed ranks of once-peasants gone becoming proletarians in the urban enclaves, that once foreign thought used in the Philippine perspective hath gone indigenised and hence enriches its existing patriotic appeal that was and is, mass oriented. Whereas Bonifacio and Jacinto did adopted the Robespierran Jacobin means of struggle to an existing messianic form, so was Isabelo de los Reyes and Crisanto Evangelista with its own indigenised brand of Marxism to transform a national struggle into a "Bolshevik" one.

And when the destruction finishes its task, lies its construction and restoration all in accordance to the national needs, of creating a government which embodies a just social order everyone desires, and like its Jacobin predecessor, though Marxism would've preferred to do away with governments as with old clutter.

It doesn't matter how outrageously the Marxist ideals contradict what the existing order described as "impulses of national self-preservation", but that Marxism hath provoked the people's awakening, mobilization, and the rise of a once-struggling homeland. All these are driven by its pursuit to survival, but due to neglect by the system makes their class-oriented appeal into a national one. Thus, makes the national becoming proletarian and the proletarian as folkish.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

"A Feat turned Nightmare"

"A Feat turned Nightmare"




At first, one would say that most Filipinos find it easier to describe that President Duterte is a rock star. That when he created a dirty joke or creating a threat to his enemies and rivals, his audience got laughed or agreed no matter how controversial the matter is; if he invoked his provincialism then his audience appreciated knowing that most of his voters are as province-bred as his; and when he promised to end the issue on narcotics be it three to six months or few years with death threats, they hollered.
These statements commonly end repeated all over, that sometimes became an object of mockery by his critics in social media. But no matter how controversial the action is, his fanatics rather chose to defend it, otherwise, ignoring or even trolling those who are deeply concerned about the matter.

That, as if like Trump's fanatics trying to punctuate the meaning of “take back our country,” every article in social media devolved into a confrontation between "Dutertards" and "Yellows", with the latter, including those who aren't even "Liberal" but rather "concerned" about the recent events, are being maligned, trolled, all for being aware of the situation if not opposing Duterte himself.
Obviously, it is increasingly concerning regarding the administration and its actions. That in spite fanatics insisting that their idol's actions as necessary and just, names of those who had been killed hath been shown over than the plans the administration hath trying to undertake such as debt-driven infrastructure projects. For Duterte and his followers, Drugs is the main issue, that Prisoners are unlikely to be rehabilitated, otherwise, why on earth to make an issue instead of focusing on the good news such as a flyover project?


After all, like any other predecessor, Duterte still represents the old order, and people acknowledge that the old order as synonymous to corruption and injustice; and although he afforded to appoint some concerned individuals in the government such as Lopez, Taguiwalo, and Mariano, they end sidelined be it because of a particular political belief, or interests in which the president's closest supporters insist to kick them away from the cabinet. Will they agree on Lopez's radical environmentalism? Of Taguiwalo's efficient distribution on social services and Mariano's serious adherence to agrarian reform? Nope: for again, it is because of a particular political belief or interests the administration hath to upheld. That as if putting a Jose Maria Sison-like person in a circle of Hortensia Starke-minded individuals.
And as far as this person and some likely-minded others concerned, that in seeing a reality that is far from the system is trying to show, that a bloodied truth prevailed than those of a "future" that is, debt-driven; and although true that even the patriotic left has amazed in the president's promise of a non-aligned, self-reliant country, of a nation realising a promising society whose peace is rooted on justice, reality proves otherwise that he sworn to defend a defective status quo: marred by killings, unjust policies, debt, and other issues that made the country far from its supposed development.


Fanatics may still insist the administration's iron-fisted justice that hath benefited the status quo, knowing that at the same time trying to take pride in an another "golden age of infrastructure" that hath been taketh over, of currying other countries for outside investment, and assuming that the country is on it's independent course in foreign relations; but, with the removal of concerned ones like Mariano and Taguiwalo makes it more starkly clear to the Filipino people that Duterte’s pretensions and promises of change are nothing but empty bluster. They performed their duties outstandingly and with full adherence to the interests of the downtrodden, by having land to each and every tiller and to ensure the efficient access to welfare espeically in poverty-and-disaster stricken zones. But, by having them removed due to political and interest-driven causes, the administration has displayed complete devotion to the interests of big landlords, big bourgeois compradors, and bureaucrat capitalists.
And yet fanatics chose to remain silent, trying to be deaf, if not justifying their removal as being leftist themselves. Its so-called news sources continue to churn false reports the way they continue praising their dear leader, if not frankly telling that the administration has its "no lives matter" approach in handling crime or insurgency, showing its remorseless stance in seeing "collateral damage" against the innocent.


But in spite of all the justifications, they aren't knowing that the Filipino people’s outrage is rapidly accumulating against their cherished administration and its ringleader over the blood being spilled under his repressive tyrannical rule.
For these people, including those who are once voted for him, are fed up with Duterte’s repetitious, scornful and self-conceited speeches; and his pretensions, spectacles, and false images, are rapidly losing efficacy in the face of actual measures, policies, and programs, which rather harm the interests of the people and oppress the downtrodden.