Tuesday, 15 May 2018

"A premature, 'Pinoy' Thermidor"

"A premature, 'Pinoy' Thermidor"

As the system continues to consolidate its position in today's society, it seems that it unveils the contrary to what people expected from them. With reforms leaning to a particular sector to those of its bloodied campaigns, the so-called revolution (supposedly) being babbled by apologists isn't revolutionary at all- but instead a counterreactionary kind of "Thermidor".

Sounds strange at first, especially in using an word that's archaic, for that word "Thermidor" was used during the French Revolution in referring to the era from Robespierre's ouster and its desire to reverse the effects of the revolution- trying to restore some semblance of normalcy as possible, and one characteristic of that scenario was the fact that the government was formally controlled by the members of the same party. "Part of the Jacobins, or quasi-Jacobins, destroyed the other part, the true Jacobins, by an appeal to open civil war." as what Trotsky said. (sorry)
However, in the Philippine setting it turned out to be "adjusted" if not "different" (despite the fact that it is controlled by the same order). Earlier attempts for a post-EDSA thermidor was confronted by opposition, be it because in the name of democracy and human rights; but pre-EDSA economic policies remain at large, what more of the statutes which were then superseded with new names whose spirit be as same as in the past. 

For the opposition, it seemed pleasing into the ears that word called revolution if not reform- and some if not most of them critically supported his measures especially if that meant 'good' for the country: For Duterte's promises years ago gained the hearts and minds of every people- particularly those of the commoners who wished to uplift from their sordid existence.
But despite all those statements reality shows that not all promises are worth realising. Some are rather meant to shut people up from complaining, if not leaving those at the backburner to prioritise its initial campaigns. Programs like "build build build", the newly-passed "tax reform law" tried much to appease the folk, but this didn't diminish the fact that the present administration is prioritising its bloodied campaigns if not making fuss towards an increasingly critical populace. 

Quite usual isn't it to see Duterte and his clique following the same direction as his predecessors, but of course it has to be adjusted according to his whims such as his "Biyaya ng Pagbabago" which is in fact a reformulated welfare program of past administrations, or the "build build build" which in fact a continuity of the past administration's infrastructure building programs. 
And of course, they will negate its predecessors the more it assumes as theirs those programs-carrying new names but same intentions such as maintaining the status quo while creating an atmosphere called 'development'. 

But one familiar feature what makes the administration as trying to do a "Thermidor" is to negate the opposition of its significance if not its relevance. For as the latter criticises its bloodied programs, the administration sees them as a stumbling block to achieve its goals. Its propaganda machine would of course churn its false reportage if not its personalist slant in maligning groups or individuals criticising their idol and his actions. 
What more that it has also been supported by those who actually disagreed with them. Personages like Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the Marcoses, and other conservatives- tuned-'self-proclaimed reformists' rallied themselves towards Duterte as the latter babbles its angst towards the opposition if not threatening them with legal and extralegal acts; and actions like the recent burial of the late dictator at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, the approval of extending martial rule by the courts, and the recent quo warranto towards Chief Justice Sereno shows how the present Duterte administration as trying to retreat from its radical goals in favour of returning to normalcy supplanted by piecemeal reforms enough to sustain stability.

After all, Duterte's supposed revolutionary goals is replaced by a conservative objectives. Apologists may insist "not" the way they cry for "revolutionary government", but reality shows that their supposed 'revolutionaries' have been replaced by opportunists especially those who joined with him despite its corrupted character like what stated above.

Perhaps the bottomline at the height of those scenarios is that the administration creates an atmosphere enough to rally towards theirs in an eve of discontent. Aside from his "Diehard Duterte Supporters", rabid Marcos loyalists afforded to support Duterte after the latter gave signal to bury their idol at the heroes cemetery, although some of them end disagreeing with that same Duterte for not pushing through the recount of ballots in its quest to unseat Leni Robredo in favour of their bet; The administration's propaganda machine led by Uson, et al. continues to churn their distorted messages and half-truths pointing against the opposition if not having a smattering of legalese trying to justify their bloodied actions if not continuing martial rule in Mindanao; and justices who accused chief justice Sereno, what more of issuing quo warranto, refused to inhibit from judging, what more that they themselves are the accusers whose intent is to oust someone who isn't belong to their circle. Everyone is expected how president Duterte as not satisfied that the Supreme Court has consistently voted in his favor and demands the Chief Justice to be fully compliant. He was even incensed that Sereno had openly spoken against maneuvers to gain absolute power.
And this time, by having forced Sereno’s ouster by these same justices, it hath obviously done a thermidor on behalf of Duterte, the way they hath cleared Arroyo from accusations, given a clear signal to bury the late dictator, declared martial law in Mindanao as just, and others that makes the Duterte administration having a legal basis to tolerate their brand of bloodied nonsense.

However, that same Duterte has further isolated himself and has generated a potentially fatal political crisis.  His 'revolution' has deprived of its character, and despite all threats issued this doesn't stop the people from asserting what is just. For as Duterte's fanatics redescribing all these "Dutertic moves" as necessary for change, it had to slay judicial independence or subvert laws using their justices or its lawmakers in order to uphold their decisions; it had to threaten people's rights by shutting down Dissent even in its traditional forms in order to maintain their interests using laws and its attack dogs; it made democracy in peril as the order tries to monopolise its power at all levels; These recent events which the administration did provoke disgust if not ridicule as the law been distorted to upheld their interests.

And fanatics, again, justifying that as necessarily to prevent its enemies to return to power if not to quell subversion. Is this the change been babbled about throughout the years in social media sites and in mainstream media? Actually, it has far reaching effects affecting not just the bureaucracy but the affairs of the state. But regardless of its significance for sure these fanatics would rather evade that kind of  question as they emphasise instead the 'good side' such as that goddamn "build build build" to those of "take home pay" for the lowest paid.  

Anyway, this person is ought to say that the more the system is stubbornly trying to subvert power in favour of theirs, then no matter how fanatics and self-proclaimed sobreitists insist the goodness or lawfulness of that goddamn regime, the growing mass of the concerned will continue to assert what is just.

By all means necessary- even at the expense of their lives. 

Saturday, 5 May 2018

"MARX - Still Relevant regardless of all the slander"

-Still Relevant regardless of all the slander"

A message for the 200 birth anniversary of Karl Marx
(and how the specter continues to haunt the existing rotten order)

At first, it is undeniable the fact that Karl Marx has made the world realise that as society progresses so is the struggle of its inhabitants.

With statements such as "All history is consists of class struggles" (from the Communist Manifesto), or the familiar quote from "Theses on Feurbach" telling that "The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it",  it seems that as people noticed that societies divided unjustly, what more of forcing to get used in that unjustness, it became necessary for the have-nots who toiled for hours to realise an inconvenient truth, as well as to stand up and fight for a society they think as "just"- even at the expense of their lives.

Quite chaos-provoking isn't it? But Marx, as any other thinker who hath witnessed the scenarios of those times, sought the inevitability of social change regardless of those who stubbornly maintain the order people detested for its interest-driven unjustness.  And events like the Peasants War in Germany, the French Revolution, up to today's mass actions, the oppressed masses cannot just get content in its sordid existence as the elites been churning off profits from their hardships. 
And from them it is argued that a class is formed when its members achieve class consciousness and solidarity- and this largely happens when the members of a class become aware of their exploitation and the conflict with another class. A class will then realize their shared interest, identity, and destiny. For as struggles around the globe has showed how these folks not just aim to satisfy their needs, but to realise a future that cannot be done simply by an act of kindness.
And from this no wonder why Mao Zedong, in reading the experiences of past struggles, and the drivels that pished the masses to revolt against corrupted orders, afforded to say that:  

"The aim of every revolutionary struggle in the world is the seizure and consolidation of political power."

Sounds usual as well as  annoying to some in seeing direct actions- and usually reduced their sentiments into meaningless noises worth  mockingble. At one time they would mock the poor for rallying in the streets, if not blaming them for the traffic jams and the trash being left after protests; for sure they would insist that let the legislators do their work  if not the usual mantra that "hard work and good character is enough"- but did it stop the crisis? 
Anyway, despite all the scorn pointing against these laboring folks as well as from the view that brought them their will to resist, today's world setting continues to be marred by recurrently worsening crises, social turmoil, and various forms of conflicts- and it cannot be resolved by just conscience-provocation, but rather through an organised and direct social action.
And to think that Capitalists and its apologists insisting Marxism as an "invalid" kind of idea or Marx himself as an unnecessary figure, for the laboring masses, the existing conflicts and corresponding actions has proven the relevance if Marxism and its further advances in history and in the current circumstances- and from there lies the most resolute and militant thinkers and leaders amongst their ranks in various struggling countries- contributing to Marxism and to the Revolution.

And like the powers of old Europe according to the Communist Manifesto, today's upholders of capitalism are still "struggling" to exorcise this spectre by preaching their brand of 'democracy' and 'freedom' when in fact it meant upholding their interests. At one time the United States hath spread the notion that capitalism as a continuing economic line as it pushed further both its neoliberal economic policy and its neoconservative policy of aggressive wars, wasting trillions of dollars on unnecessary conflicts; while China, whom supposed to be the examplar if not the forebearer of Socialist revolution, treated Marxism-Leninism-Maoism like a doormat as they emphasise capitalist agendas throughout due to their revisionism. In fairness, Xi Jinping called Marx a "teacher of revolution for the proletariat and workers all over the world" and "the greatest thinker of modern times" while his continuity of Dengism and its actually-existing unjustness (such as those of suicides in processing zones) makes Mao Zedong's warning likely:

"If our children’s generation go in for revisionism and move towards their opposite, so that although they still nominally have socialism it is in fact capitalism, then our grandsons will certainly rise up in revolt and overthrow their fathers, because the masses will not be satisfied."

Anyway, bluntly speaking, like the powers of old Europe according to the Communist Manifesto, today's upholders of capitalism are still "struggling" to exorcise this spectre by preaching their brand of  'democracy' and 'freedom' when in fact it meant upholding their interests- and Karl Marx has been 'declared' as their bogeyman that forces capitalists to make some piecemeal changes if not equating him to tyranny and oppression.
From this, makes one would think that in blaming a single person to a tragedy committed in his name is as erroneous as to blame the Philosophers of the Enlightenment for fomenting chaos against well-rooted orders such as monarchies, if not Jesus Christ for using his teachings for colonialist ventures. There are also groups whose reactionary leanings insist that radical thoughts, including those of Social Justice, was bluntly based on nothing more than envy on the part of the masses for the privileged position and economic advantages of the elites- if not telling that the "natural order of things" (which is unjust and unfair according to their view) hath been disrupted by the philosophies leading skepticism towards established views, that all inequality as an injustice, authority as danger, and freedom as supreme good.

And if people detested views which are against the system thinking that it created chaos and instability, that change-provoking views aren't limited to Marx himself; for actually, there are those who expressed radically before him- Robespierre, Gracchus Babeuf, or even Thomas Paine. They insisted Justice and Freedom in its radical form- enough to "stir flames" on those willing to resist against orders whom perceived as oppressive and tyrannical. In fact, Babeuf, who was described by many as the "first Revolutionary Communist", expressed that:

"Ancient habits, antique fears, would again like to pose an obstacle to the establishment of the Republic of Equals. The organisation of real equality, the only one that responds to all needs, without causing any victims, without costing any sacrifice, will not at first please everyone. The selfish, the ambitious, will tremble with rage. Those who possess unjustly will cry out about injustice. The loss of the enjoyments of the few, of solitary pleasures, of personal ease will cause lively regret to those heedless of the pain of others. The lovers of absolute power, the henchmen of arbitrary authority, will with difficulty bow their superb heads before the level of real equality. Their shortsightedness will penetrate with difficulty the imminent future of common happiness; but what can a few thousand malcontents do against a mass of happy men, surprised to have sought so long a happiness that they had right at hand."

So was Marx himself, in his letter to J. Weydemeyer in New York, affirmed that long before him (like Babeuf) there were those who recognise the unjustness of a stratified society based on wealth and power, its antagonisms between the haves and the have-nots, and the drivel of the oppressed class to overturn the ruling and to set the foundations of the new order:

"...And now as to myself, no credit is due to me for discovering the existence of classes in modern society or the struggle between them. Long before me bourgeois historians had described the historical development of this class struggle and bourgeois economists, the economic anatomy of classes. What I did that was new was to prove:

(1) that the existence of classes is only bound up with the particular, historical phases in the development of production,
(2) that the class struggle necessarily leads to the dictatorship of the proletariat,
(3) that this dictatorship itself only constitutes the transition to the abolition of all classes and to a classless society.

Ignorant louts like Heinzen, who deny not merely the class struggle but even the existence of classes, only prove that, despite all their blood-curdling yelps and the humanitarian airs they give themselves, they regard the social conditions under which the bourgeoisie rules as the final product, the non plus ultra [highest point attainable] of history, and that they are only the servants of the bourgeoisie. And the less these louts realize the greatness and transient necessity of the bourgeois regime itself the more disgusting is their servitude."

From this, no wonder why Marx, Engels, and his successors desired that ideal- and from their works lies the most compelling framework for analyzing how the conflicting tendencies in today's society contain the seeds of a just, humane future.

Friday, 4 May 2018

"Still, it doesn't end the issue."

"Still,  it doesn't end the issue."

It is undeniable that the working class condemn the regime for mocking their plight.

For as the labouring maases converged in Mendiola in Manila as well as on other protest centers around the country, the desire for just, dignified labour and employment has been its main call- especially in a time a government whose leader promises to put an end only to end seeing him reluctant.

Only to find him and his clique affording to create an "Executive Order" that according to theirs "can end" that unjust practise- when in fact it made fools out of those who yearn.

For no matter how it tries to appear just in the eyes of the labourers, the newly-signed "Executive Order" no.51 ignores the just demands, as well as misleads as it assumes that "it will end " schemes like "Endo" and "Contractualization" when in fact further entrenches those anti-worker practices.

Firstly, the directive shows lack of genuine commitment to end contractualisation, but instead, it further legalises the practise. For it merely reiterates anti-labour provisions in the labour code, it shows that it tolerates schemes regardless of its populist appeal.

Second, it worsens the existing loopholes in labor law such as the Labour Department's Order 174. Prior to the issuance of the directive, "D.O. 174" sets out policies as to which forms are illegal, but does not ban contractualization altogether. And with the Directive currently in force, it further establishes labor contracting through agencies as the standard of employment in the country; as well as making way for massive retrenchments, re-alignment, and re-hiring of regular workers as contractuals under third party contracting agencies.

And third, the directive's implementation, particularly those of regularisation orders now lie on the president's hand. True that there are orders brought by the Labour Department calling for regularising contractuals in various companies and institutions, some of which are even shown in papers and in social media; but amidst all these show-offs, not all orders for regularisation are been taken seriously as the majority of those remain unimplemented. Worse, those order from DOLE regional offices, especially those involving big multinational companies, were even reversed by Labour Secretary Silvestre Bello III himself.

It even removes the provision which sets out a budget for the order's implementation! Isn't it that clear how the regime showing lack of commitment in enacting? Or is the regime, despite babbling messages of change, is obviously supporting the interests of the few and not of the have-not?

All in all, that directive is a total rejection of Filipino workers’ demand for regular, just, and dignified jobs. To cite Lenin, It hath made the working class draws into revolutionary action the masses of the working and exploited people, who are deprived of basic rights and driven to despair. No matter how the president and his clique insist that signed piece as making way for major changes, Duterte, who still kowtows to the oligarchs, has again killed the hopes of millions of contractuals of being regularised. Thus, that E.O. 51 is nonetheless anti-worker, pro-contractualization, and pro-big business- and therefore should be junked alongside its earlier unjust decrees affecting Labour. 
Furthermore,that directive, no matter how its makers insist, has no power of legislation (therefore cannot be considered as 'law' and thus cannot compel businesses to follow its mandate), making its nature be restricted to the executive branch and can be reversed by the Judiciary, the Legislature, or its succeeding presidents.

From this, in order to really make a difference in ending that scheme, then it requires an enabling act- and it has to go through the legislature in order to become a law (Republic Act); on the first place, the order is far from a presidential decree which everyone accustomed to, and as for the 1987 constitution- the president has no power to issue laws, let alone proclamations and orders which has to be supplanted by an enabling act which again, done by the legislature.

But that's not all. Contractualisation and "Endo" aren't just the main topics workers currently facing. Existing issues like lower wages, high prices of commodities, layoffs, and silencing union leaders and its supporters shows that the regime truly adheres to preserve the status quo while assuming that they are making various changes. And no matter how Duterte and his gang afforded to create an executive order enough to mellow down growing protests, instead it didn't stop the commotion between the present order and its labouring subjects.

This is what everyone sees in this goddamn Philippines: A political crisis is maturing before everyone's eyes- to Cite Lenin: "The bourgeoisie has done everything in its power to back counter-revolution and ensure “peaceful development” on this counter-revolutionary basis."- and these are in a form of military and police operations against the concerned mass, alongside those of paper "reforms" that benefits the haves, with bouts of publicities making the regime appear as "revolutionary."

Source: http://kilusangmayouno.org/signed-eo-51-legalizes-not-ends-contractualization/#.Wuw7F--FOUk

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Workers, Enough of illusions! Struggle for a just society!

Workers, Enough of illusions! Struggle for a just society!

A message for International Workers Day 

1. 5. 2018

At first, this post salutes all struggling workers in this occasion. Known for commemorating their labours and harvesting their fruits of their hardships, International Workers Day was and is itself a day recognising these forgers and tillers of the society as a driving force for change, despite the fact that they are still bounded by the chains led by those who exploit in the name of interest.

Sounds centuries old this so-called exploitation by the profiteers and struggle from the workers; and despite the fact that there are times profiteers obliged or compelled to observe and enact the concessions meant to uplift the have-nots, this doesn't stop the desire for the working class to assert for freedom and  social justice- some if not most are even paid by blood because of this desire to fight for.
And if to look at the experiences such as the Paris Commune of 1871, the Russian Revolution of 1917, or the victory of the Chinese people in 1949, these shows that even blood at its price, the struggle to break the bonds of exploitation and injustice, to reap the fruits of hard work from the interest-driven profiteers, and to forge for a just society, all these will remain fresh in the hearts and minds of every labourer no matter how others will insist that "radical change" is nonsense as they favour mere piecemeal "reforms".

And in the case of the Philippines, laws like TRAIN tries to appear "for the people", with promoses of take home pay for the lowest paid and the taxes collected be allocated to government projects and forms of welfare, but, with the increasing prices of commodities and people still enduring low wages,  will that law truly benefit the labourer? So is contractualisation which profiteers agrees to it because it "saves money" as they increase profits at the expense of the labouring class's hardships followed by disposing afterwards; the government may have disagreed from it, they even created an "executive order", but will it truly stop that goddamn contractualisation or just trying to stop labourers from asserting a call? 

Anyway, as the struggle rages with protests and statements, expect modern-day versions of Samuel Grompers trying to negate the social aspect of this occasion and insist limiting workers' desires to just economic issues, or how the system, playing "for the people" creating proclamations and orders enough to please; but as long as wages remain low and prices high, that unjust contracts remain even substituted with "correct terminologies", and people be silenced because of their beliefs for a just society, then perhaps it is just to say "Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum"- if one desires peace, prepare for war. 

That's all for now. Workers will continue to struggle for their rights and to contribute for the redemption of their society from its sordid existence. Time will come that in a society that is free and just, so is the worker.

Monday, 30 April 2018

Will the two Koreas truly unite afterwards?

Will Korea truly unite afterwards?

(Or "How rivals suddenly chose
to amicably settle differences in Panmunjom")

Source: Firstpost.com

Starting with a several steps from the Demilitarised zone in Panmunjom, Kim Jong Un, filled with courage, personally crossed a territory once called "hostile", breaking away from decades of hostility and distrust since 1953.

From that historic event, it marked a new beginning: After 65 years in a technical state of war that has periodically descended into real conflict, news from all over the world sought how North Korea's leader shaking hands with his counterpart, promising an era of peace and eventual reunification.

It may appear strange, knowing that Kim Jong Un be at first appeared as following his father's and grandfather's footsteps of preserving Socialism, he chose to promote a new kind of development that uplifts the well-being of each and every North Koreans, and this time, promoting peace instead of the usual saber-rattlings that affect not just South Korea but also its neighbours.

For as according to Rodong Sinmun, it declared: “Historic summit opens new history of national reconciliation, peace and prosperity."

Source: VoA News

Joint agreements as a basis for peaceful reunification

True to its desire for reunification through peaceful means, an agreement was brought by the leaders of both North and South Korea wanted to "reconnect blood relations" and "bring forward the future of co-prosperity and unification" through:

1.) Full implementation of all existing joint-agreements and declarations;

2.) Agreeing to hold dialogue and negotiations in various fields including at high level, and to take active measures for the implementation of the agreements reached at the Summit;

3.) To establish a joint liaison office with resident representatives of both sides in the Gaeseong region in order to facilitate close consultation between the authorities as well as smooth exchanges and cooperation between the peoples;

4.) Encourage more active cooperation, exchanges, visits and contacts at all levels in order to rejuvenate the sense of national reconciliation and unity;

5.) Swiftly resolve the humanitarian issues that resulted from the division of the nation;

6.) Actively implement the projects previously agreed in the 2007 October 4 Declaration, in order to promote balanced economic growth and co-prosperity of the nation. 

Besides that, another portion of the agreement focuses on "joint efforts" in order to "alleviate the acute military tension" and "practically eliminate the danger of war" on the Korean Peninsula via:

1.) Agreeing both sides to to completely cease all hostile acts against each other in every domain, including land, air and sea, that are the source of military tension and conflict. In this vein, the two sides agreed to transform the demilitarized zone into a peace zone.

2.) Agreeing both sides to devise a practical scheme to turn the areas around the Northern Limit Line in the West Sea into a maritime peace zone in order to prevent accidental military clashes and guarantee safe fishing activities.

3.) Both sides taking various military measures to ensure active mutual cooperation, exchanges, visits and contacts.

And lastly, both North and South Koreans will actively cooperate to establish a permanent and solid peace regime on the Peninsula by:

1.) reaffirming the Non-Aggression Agreement that precludes the use of force in any form against each other, and agreed to strictly adhere to this Agreement.

2.) Agreeing to carry out disarmament in a phased manner, as military tension is alleviated and substantial progress is made in military confidence-building.

3.) Pursuing a trilateral negotiation involving the two Koreas and the United States; or quadrilateral meetings involving the two Koreas, the United States and China, with a view to declaring an end to the War, turning the armistice into a peace treaty, and establishing a permanent and solid peace regime.

4.) Both North and South Koreans confiming the common goal of realizing, through complete denuclearization, a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.

With this agreement, what more of its meeting, somehow reminds of the late leaders Kim Jong Il and Kim Dae Jung met, followed by agreements which involves resolving nuclear tensions and an active promotion of inter-Korean cooperation especially those of economic projects. 

Source: Russia Today

How about the Conservatives?

On the other hand, that historic moment has its opposition.

Especially in the south wherein conservatives, driven by Cold War nostalgia, chose to protest that event citing the past agreements as going nowhere if not assailing the "doves" as subservient to the interest of the North.

For according to groups such as "Liberty Korea Party" and other "hardliners", they criticised the agreement for being "too vague", if not describing the entire negotiation as a "show of fake peace" led by a "tyrant".
Furthermore, these groups favoured to retain the controversial "National Security Act" that made communism illegal, and that includes recognition of North Korea as a political entity, and a potential restriction on freedom of speech as the law not only regulates activities that directly threaten the safety of the State, but also punishes those who praise or incite an anti-state group.

Worse, it favours the interest of the Americans, whose military bases continue to remain despite opposition. The existence of US military bases served as deterrent against possible North Korean as well as Chinese attack, making the United States remains a major regional actor and a force for peace and stability in the far east.

However, not all conservatives aren't as hardline as those who stubbornly protest, some would would even favour some semblance of "peaceful coexistence" alongside the usual birksmanship, but that "coexistence" requires reciprocity that includes denuclearisation and market liberalisation, that according to critics it rather favours the south despite latter's promise of economic assistance to its northern neighbour. Others, such as then-president Park Gyun-Hye, first attempted to balance coercion and engagement in her “Trustpolitik” policy, which emphasized trust-building between Seoul and Pyongyang.

Still, there's hope

Amidst criticism and possible threats endangering the unity of North and South Koreans, it is worth admissible that reunification will still happen.

For after 65 years of armistice, saber-rattlings, and stalled negotiations, the recent meeting between Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae In shows that there are chances of reconciliation, dialogue, and agreement that may benefit each and every Korean. Critics, especially the hardliners, may still insist that the negotiations will go nowhere due to its past ones if not still clinging to their hawkish tendencies as self-proclaimed "fighters for freedom" when in fact they stood on the side of interests.

Perhaps, in looking back at the late Kim Il Sung's "10-Point Programme of the Great Unity of the Whole Nation for the Reunification of the Country" made a decade ago, Kim Jong Un would had looked this as a basis in his desire for a peaceful reunification with its southern neighbour as it follows:

1.) A unified state, independent, peaceful and neutral, should be founded through the great unity of the whole nation.

2.) Unity should be based on patriotism and the spirit of national independence.

3.) Unity should be achieved on the principle of promoting co-existence, co-prosperity and common interests and subordinating everything to the cause of national reunification.

4.) All political disputes that foment division and confrontation between fellow countrymen should be ended and unity should be achieved.

5.) The fear of invasion from both south and north. and the ideas of prevailing over communism and communization should be dispelled, and north and south should believe in each other and unite.

6.) The north and south should value democracy and join hands on the road to national reunification, without rejecting each other because of differences in ideals and principles.

7.) The north and south should protect the material and spiritual wealth of individuals and organizations and encourage their use for the promotion of great national unity.

8.) Understanding, trust and unity should be built up across the nation through contact, exchange visits and dialogue.

9.) The whole nation, north, south and overseas, should strengthen its solidarity for the sake of national reunification.

10.) Those who have contributed to the great unity of the nation and to the cause of national reunification should be honoured.

Because of these and possible succeeding agreements to come, may everyone pray and struggle to upheld peace, unity, and freedom over that "land of morning calm."

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Again, supporting the Nun from Down Under (amidst all threats)

Again, supporting the Nun from Down Under
(amidst all threats)

By Lualhati Madlangawa Guererro

t is truly indeed that with devotion to the faith and to the people sometimes include facing the repercussions such as those from the state. For days after the arrest and questioning by the authorities, the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation hath issued an order cancelling Sister Patricia Fox's missionary visa followed by deportation after thirty days.

Quite surprising at first, for the authorities intentionally without even delivering a copy to her lawyers and instead releasing the decision to media, that order ignored the fact that her legal team had yet to even respond to the original arrest order- which most people think of it as politically motivated no matter how it is well-hidden using the law.

And because of that kind of move it makes a concerned rather ridicule the system for as far as everyone knows that her actions are in accordance to the social teachings of the church particularly those of social justice. If defending and asserting human rights isn't also a Christian vocation, then how come in the Bible it stated how Christ defended Mary Magdalene from being stoned by the populace? And if supporting the interests of the poor isn't also a Christian vocation, then how come it is virtuous to feed and clothe the needy? "Sr. Pat", as everyone fondly called her, just like her martyred colleagues Frs. Favali and Tenorio, is indeed politicised because of her surroundings and from the people she dealt with; and since her fundamental beliefs and practices is itself Christian, then people should embrace her, enough to be a called as a precious asset to the Filipino, especially at her age.

With all these, alongside the growing support towards her social action, and despite the unjust order issued from the authorities, the lawyer-nun from Australia vowed to continue helping the oppressed. "I will continue my missionary work wherever I am as it is who I am" as what she said in a text message to Philippine Star. So is her legal team, whom, in spite of the limited weeks given to them, chose not to stop but instead continues to challenge the order- and even insisted that the Bureau has no right to cancel her visa without giving her the opportunity to contest the report of the Intelligence Division and to be heard on her defence. Statements from groups like the "Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines" also expressed sympathy on her cause, as it said:

"We demand that the rights of Sr. Pat be respected, and so the rights of our mission partners, foreigner or Filipino, who truly work for justice in our country. Let the government agencies, especially the BID, not hamper the prophetic work of our foreign missionaries to alleviate the lives of the poor and powerless.

Moreover, Sr. Pat is a missionary for Life, Human Rights and Justice. She can only be considered undesirable alien to those who seek to muzzle the truth and foist tyranny upon us."

Or the bluntly-stated message from Gerardo Lanuza, as he saidth from his Facebook:

"Sister Patricia Fox will be deported within 30 days. And you are asking, why the hell is she actively engaged with the farmers and the poor? The Synod of Bishops in 1971 released the statement, Justice in the World: 

“Action on behalf of justice and participation in the transformation of the world fully appear to us as a constitutive dimension of the preaching of the Gospel.” 

By "constitutive" the Bishops meant: YOU CANNOT BE A CHRISTIAN WITHOUT STRUGGLING FOR JUSTICE. So if you are wondering why Sis. Pat will be deported, you might as well look at the mirror before praying: 

"As a christian, WHY AM I NOT BEING DEPORTED?" 

Have you really lived your Christianity? I smell Marx's opium."

With all the sympathies and support, it shows how these concerned find it just to defend her right to stay in the country and to continue her calling. For sure fake reports and distorters continue to churn 'reports' against the nun as well as her supporters, as part of their rally in support of that goddamn despot Duterte.
Only an insecure would believe in that 'report', and perhaps willing to distort the law enough to justify an act.

Anyway, no matter what the system may "redescribe" it as a precautionary measure such as to cut Sr. Fox's Missionary visa and hence to deport her after thirty days according to its order, it clearly shows how the Duterte Administration chose to hid the facts from each and every concerned, such as those from a foreigner. Apologists may insist that concerned foreigners shouldn't interfere at all if not keeping their mouths shut and enjoy the summer as if nothing happened; but, knowing that Duterte and his clique, being upholders of the rotten system, hath showed to the world its bloodied actions outweighing those of its developmental projects, isn't it that concerning?

Perhaps, regardless of all the threats, it is indeniable that the lawyer-nun is much Filipino out of a genuine concern to a country she adopted as her own home than the so-called "filipinos" who chose to kowtow to vested interests.

And obviously, it cannot be denied!

Saturday, 21 April 2018

"An Austalian nun's adherence to faith and social concern amidst threat and imputation"

"An Australian nun's adherence to faith and social concern 
amidst threat and imputation"

(Or how Sr. Patricia Fox's radical concern for the Filipino folk
earned an ire and threat from Duterte)

By Lualhati Madlangawa Guererro

"Foreigners, with due respect, should not involve themselves in the politics of the countries they are visiting such as the Philippines like joining political rallies." These are the words a commentator said in a post related to the arrest and deportation threat issued against an Australian nun known for supporting peasants and human rights issues.

To the system and its apologists, Fox's action meant interference in internal affairs, especially those of controversial nature such as human rights and the like; for theirs it meant disrespect to a country's sovereignty.

But come to think of this, is heeding the plight of the poor is subversion? Actually, her detention comes in the wake of her participation in a fact-finding mission held in Mindanao organised by the "Kilusang Mambubukid ng Pilipinas" (Peasant Movement of the Philippines). 
And despite harassments, the fact-finding mission successfully uncovered testimonies from communities affected by state repression: mostly consists of constant police harassment and lethal military actions, all on behalf of landgrabbers and exploiters. 

But still, the government sees it as hindering their efforts to curb opposition. For sure one would remember how Thomas Van Beerzum end caught then deported because of his participation in the protest, or the recent one involving a parliamentarian whom opposed Duterte's bloodied escapade. They even cited an "Immigration Operation order No. SBM-2015-025" which was signed by signed by  former Justice secretary Leila De Lima last July 2015, and it said:

"Foreign tourists are prohibited from engaging in any political activity as defined by law and jurisprudence, such as but not limited to, joining, supporting, contributing or involving themselves in whatever manner in any rally, assembly, gathering, whether for or against the government.”

“Foreign tourist who violate the provision..SHALL BE SUBJECT TO DEPORTATION..”

Sounds justifiable, so is the 1987 Administrative Code of the Philippines, which also includes the President having the power over foreign aliens residing in the country- as according to chapter 3, Title 1, Book 3 of the Code which said:

"SECTION 8. Power to Deport.—The President shall have the power to deport aliens subject to the requirements of due process.

SECTION 9. Power to Change Non-Immigrant Status of Aliens.—The President, subject to the provisions of law, shall have the power to change the status of non-immigrants by allowing them to acquire permanent residence status without necessity of visa.

SECTION 10. Power to Countermand Decisions of the Board of Commissioners of the Bureau of Immigration.—The decision of the Board of Commissioners which has jurisdiction over all deportation cases shall become final and executory after thirty (30) days from promulgation, unless within such period the President shall order the contrary.

SECTION 11. Power over Aliens under the General Principles of International Law.—The President shall exercise with respect to aliens in the Philippines such powers as are recognized by the generally accepted principles of international law." 

Again, sounds justifiable knowing that for the safety and security of the country the government has to regulate its subjects inclduing those of foreigners and that includes punishing them for supporting a cause Filipinos desired for. Actually they did it at Thomas Van Beerzum after the latter, also a concerned foreigner, participated in a demonstration. The system obviously finds it interfering in internal affairs as people, be it Fox, Beerzum, or any other concerned foreigner sought the status of a country far from the usual presentation the system offers to them.

But despite all the legalisms (which mostly politically driven), people should realise that the action taken by the system against a concerned nun is driven by the idea of silencing dissent be it the Filipino or the Foreign. Duterte hath even admitted in his speech that the order for Sr. Fox's investigation was accordance to his will. All in all, as what Gerardo Lanuza said:

"Religious people, friars and nuns, can choose to live peacefully and silently in their convents. But some of them choose to live and walk in solidarity with the workers, urban poor, and farmers. The harassment and deportation threat against Sister Patricia Fox, NDS, a volunter for Unyon ng Manggagawa sa Agrikultura, reminds us of Latin America and Marcos Martial Law in the seventies when thousands of religious were liquidated by death squads of Latin American dictators. State fascism cannot silence the prophets of our society!"

And if foreigners are meant not to interfere in so-called "national interests", then wasn't Duterte's ruling PDP-Laban's engagements with the Chinese Communist Party in Manila some two months ago with Party Vice Minister Guo Yezhou present was in itself a "political activity"? If not hearing Duterte's statement claiming himself to be a nationalist, but he seemed willing to sell the country out to foreign plunderers.

Or as what Sama-samang Artista para sa Kilusang Agraryo (Artists’ Alliance for the Movement for Genuine Agrarian Reform) or SAKA, said in its statement:

"He has welcomed those who seek ownership and control of the Philippines. He continues to militarize the countryside with US assistance to maintain the export-oriented hacienda system. He peddles our natural resources to China through lopsided loans and dubious public-private partnerships. Alongside these, his regime facilitates the complete foreign ownership of domestic territory—including agricultural and ancestral land—through charter change. Duterte even literally sang a love song for Trump—a domestic fascist entertaining a foreign fascist."

Anyway, if supporting the poor in its radical form is subversion, what Sr. Fox did is as same as Fr. Favali, or any other missionary or religious whose calling, coupled by concern for their surrounding, became a drivel in their participation such as a "politicised" activity. And as a concerned citizen, this person is ought to say that the system has to invest on legality enough to justify their means to arrest and deport, otherwise will end as same as Favali, Tentorio, or any concerned foreigner who, out of their desire to help the people, made themselves in cahoota with the order whom supposed to adhere in human rights and social justice.