Thursday, 31 July 2014

"All is but a repetition of the past"

"All is but a repetition of the past"

(Or all after listening to President Benigno Aquino III's 
State of the Nation Address, featuring his tear jerking statements 
and his half-baked actions that made people expressed ridicule)






In this video, it seems that most people protesting are in a festive mood despite water cannons and near-scuffle.

Based on a first hand account as well as articles related to the protest and at the session hall, this writer had seen an organized defiance that is, different from last year's sudden burst of feelings amongst activists that brought beatings from the side of the filth; still defiant though regardless of the pain given, but last Monday's event as all but joy than blood, raising fists and chanting slogans aside from cutting every razor wire and bringing down the barrier trying to test the so-called "maximum tolerance" of these truncheon-held policemen (only to be fired by water cannons with one of the hoses had it coloured red). Knowing that the system, with all its hollow rhetorics and half-finished programs alongside corruption and intentional ignorance over reality had brought failure in Its path called "righteous" and "just."

Teary-eyed President Aquino during SoNA 2014
(source: GMA News)
Citizen Aquino? NoyNoy Egalite? Don't think so!

As people near Ever Gotesco continued protesting, the halls of Batasang Pambansa remained just like before: congressmen, senators, foreign dignitaries, trying hard bourgeois and nobility had converged as the president opened his speech.

But instead of what this person and others had expected,  what everyone had rather seen is a teary-eyed one whom afford to use the legacy of his parents and the so-called aspirations of the people in his attempt to consolidate his rule. He had even used phrases like "the Filipino is worth fighting for" that mimics those of his father that "the Filipino is worth dying for". Fighting for whom? The system whom raped terms such as Freedom and Democracy? Perhaps, he's trying to assume himself as Citizen Aquino, or NoyNoy Egalite trying to appease the people and its growing mood of discontent like the first few years of his administration.

Reminiscent of Louis Philippe, President Aquino tried and tried to act as "one of the people", a "first amongst equals" whom promised new roads, bridges, low prices and anti-corruption decrees, and at the same time representing the gentries whom benefits on the sweat of the common man such as a farmworker from Hacienda Luisita, a factory worker from an export processing zone in Laguna; working, tilling, forging yet felt being dispossessed despite "being helped" those whom assuming to be paternalistic in its doing.

Sorry to compare him to the late king of the French, but the two did somewhat share similarities like what this writer had stated; that according to Wikipedia, it stated how Louis Philippe had ruled in an unpretentious fashion, avoiding the pomp and lavish spending of his predecessors. And despite this outward appearance of simplicity, his support came from the wealthy bourgeoisie. At first, he was much loved and called the "Citizen King" and the "bourgeois monarch", but his popularity suffered as his government was perceived as increasingly conservative and monarchical, regardless of his decision of having Napoleon's remains returned to France. And under his management, the conditions of the working classes deteriorated, and the income gap widened considerably. 
So is President Aquino: he tried to act simple, he tried to be like one of the common people through his anti-corruption policies, that his cabinet secretaries were once radicals turned opportunists; that he chose to ate a New York hotdog from a nearby stand just to counter Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's spending of government money at Le Cirque restaurant, that he even continued Conditional Cash Transfer programs despite its initial opposition in pursuit of alleviating poverty in the urban areas, but his popularity suffered as his government as all but a rehash of past administrations: neoliberal in its orientation, a stooge of the imperialist and feudal order all despite promises such as a righteous rule and to end all corrupt practises. And in spite of so-called reforms and rising GNP and GDP rates, still the conditions of the working classes rather deteriorated, and the income gap widened as evidenced by rising costs of commodities and services, yet no strong Peso to lean upon. Much more that the budget supposedly allocated to those in need end up rather as 'savings' and to the corrupt practises, programs made to keep the status quo firm like those of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

Speaking of DAP, most government employees rather felt betrayed, fooled by their superiors, especially after their allowances, benefits had been rechanneled to the controversial program. As according to Ferdinand Gaite of the Confederation for the Unity, Recognition, and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE), the large chunk of DAP, which is 98 out of 198 million pesos are mostly out of their benefits and allowances; that 4000 employees of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority had felt dispossessed by their superiors with their 201 billion peso 'promised' benefits, had rather declared as 'savings' and rechanneled to DAP. Isn't it an unwise decision for these authorities to rechannel what is supposed to be directly allocated especially those of benefits and allowances of the government employee? For sure other than the allowances and benefits, projects such as roads and bridges are being discontinued and the money that is supposedly used for these had been declared 'savings' and rechanneled to DAP as well.

That kind of procedure, such as rechanneling funds from really important ones mimics those of the past such as French noblemen had used taxes to satisfy their personal appetites despite taking pride in its projects such as roads and bridges, while the latter, using corvee labour didn't even pay those whom had actually created it with the funds used for building those of importance; the "National Workshops" had end failed in its moves despite alleged government support, hence making the commoner felt disgust over their corrupt practises and blame to the one whom assumed to be paternalistic such as the king.
Even in China, history had stated how government funds used for creating a modern navy were rather being used to build a "marble boat" that adorned a lake near the summer palace that somehow made Chinese people blame corrupt bureaucrats and the empress dowager in having China defeated by the Japanese during the Sino Japanese war! 
So were the Philippines itself during the "New Society" era, that former President Ferdinand Marcos had squandered people's money despite he afford to create massive infrastructure in the name of "National Development" (pork barrel was also involved with another name). Funds, such as those coming from National Sugar Trading Administration (NASUTRA) was used to buy shoes and other luxuries for former First Lady Imelda Marcos like those of Salvatorre Ferragamo (even closed Rustans department store duing Imelda's 'special visits' that also meant buying unnecessary things using government funds), and despite anti-corruption campaigns, illegal practises thrive that also became factor to the downfall of the regime. 

So with history and actual events involving misuse and abuse if government funds as its basis, is Citizen Aquino, or NoyNoy Egalite did really make things on behalf of the people? Nope, like any other ruler desperate for keeping its own rulership he's using populism to support his class interest by giving crumbs in the form of services. But from rechanneling important funds, merely crumbs for a certain project to other projects (if not rebranded as 'savings') to paying landlords with the government money it had mocked the call of the people, particularly those whom had worked hard for those benefits. He may take pride time and again his achievements, but those achievements are all but a rehash of past ones, not his as the head of state and government; he may shed tears, but those tears aren't as genuine as the tears of the common man still suffering from hunger because of an endless crisis. 


Growth and development still unfelt by many

As the President continues his hodge-podge of personal pride and his so-called 'contributions', people  felt mixed reactions about it with most can't even felt, or ridicule his works (especially those out of DAP funds) while criticizing his corrupt practises and inaction in certain events such as those of calamities. Some just accept altogether his works regardless of its controversial backgrounds, such as those of scholarships from TESDA, not knowing that some, if not most would be ghost scholars or employees 'benefited' from that DAP-funded bullshit.

So is the distribution of relief and rehabilitation in disaster affected areas such as in Easten Visayas and in Zamboanga. Relief was actually done by foreign aid agencies, mutual aid and charitable institutions rather than the national government despite taking pride in its action. The bunkhouses commissioned by the rehabilitation czar isn't as homely as the subdivisions made by real estate companies like those of Manny Villar's; the Department of Social Welfare and Development failed to distribute most of the relief as most were left rotting in the warehouses, including those being donated by other countries like Spain and Algeria; and Old clothes supposedly meant for distribution were end being sold at Divisoria 'for personal profit' rather than having its proceeds be directly allocated for distribution of relief and rehabilitation of affected areas.
Speaking of Zamboanga, there were houses whom promised by the president to the victims of the conflict have-not been built. According to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, there are residents whom expressed criticism and even described Aquino's statement as 'wrong info'. Lilia Fuentebella, a resident of Zamboanga, was promised by the president that they could return to their new housing units only to find instead a pile of hollow blocks, and a hill of sand and gravel in the place her house once stood; "It would be August next year" according to Mrs. Fuentebella, or worse, "Maybe he (the president) was provided with wrong data by the NHA" according to Jimmy Villaflores of Barangay Sta. Catalina in Zamboanga. 

These issues, whether in a form of insufficient distribution for relief, personal profit over social service, as well as providing wrong data alongside half-baked promises, made victims, both from the calamity and of the battlefield expressed disgust no matter what the system did in providing crumbs such as relief and rehabilitation. And the system, through President Aquino rather thinks heavily on trying to curry foreign investment and letting 'development' be at the hands of the few at the expense of every resource to be exploited: especially with Eastern Visayas and Mindanao also bountiful with natural resources and manpower.

Well, from a development perspective, as according to IBON databank, it stated that the President's SONA affirms that the administration is not reformist when it comes to the economy. The SONArather  affirmed its reliance on short-term measures like any other predecessor "to boost growth for the illusion of economic progress" – primarily public infrastructure spending – and its avoidance of addressing the structural bottlenecks that cause underdevelopment. There are mainly three inter-related bottlenecks: low agricultural production and productivity, stunted domestic industry, and record joblessness and wide poverty. Most of the infrastructures being made, again are supported by DAP funds in also a form of corruption.

The president did not even acknowledge the failure of agrarian reform in spite of promising farmers redistributed lands in this post-CARPER episode. Again, according to IBON, Nine out of ten supposed beneficiary farmers still do not own the land they till and three out of four are not even able to make the onerous payments demanded by the government's landlord-biased agrarian reform programs. He even just made excuses for his administration's poor performance in land distribution which is well below the historical program average – at 19,700 hectares per month compared to the 27,600 hectares per month historical average. 

Also, instead of defining a vision for building, Filipino industry, he repeated the bankrupt notion that foreign investors and being open for business to foreigners as the path to domestic development; like any other predecessor whom parrot words like 'development', Aquino disregard Industrialization if not keeping Industrialization limited to consumer goods, assembly line, and handicraft while emphasising massive imports that also cripple domestic produce and manufactures. 


"Not just the protesters, but also the crooks"

Criticism isn't entirely on the side of the protesters converged at Commonwealth Ave., but also on the side of the crooks as well. Basing much of the statements from congressmen and a former president, what they heard whilst watching the entire event is all but a rehash of statements rather than current ones in which the government has to face. But again, these statements given are also those coming from crooks whom benefit in their corrupt practises as bureaucrat capitalists, treating government administration as a business, whom had kept the pork as well as the feudal practises in which people opposed with.

Personally, such statements given by these bureaucrats are "moderate" than those of the protesters, trying to be like those of the late Mirabeau in saving the country by means of facing the realities and in need of attention as government officials, but these statements are, of course, criticisms in which the present administration has to face and not contenting in a rehash of statements, promises in which most are half-realized.

As according to TV5, Buhay partylist Representative Lito Atienza, who had earlier counseled pro-Aquino lawmakers to go slow in attacking the SC over the DAP ruling, said the SONA had some glaring omissions:

"Hindi natin narinig ang tama. Hindi na-report ang tama. Bigas, bilihin, peace and order, brownout ang dapat narinig. Ang tawag ng kabataan dyan ay BOOMPANES." (We didn't hear what is right. He didn't even reported what is right. Food, prices, peace and order, brownouts should be hearing about...)"

Former President Fidel Ramos sounded disappointed by the seeming loose structure of the SONA:

"If this was supposed to be a State of the Nation Address, there must be a vision of the future, and the future we're talking about there is not the two years to go or six years of the president's term, or three years of a time of a governor. No, it's one whole generation. That is what it takes you to stabilize your power system, that is what it takes you to put up your proper infrastructure, farm-to-market roads, seaports, airports."

And Iloilo Representative Jerry Trenas also expressed criticism by calling the President 'lameduck' in spite of his so-called achievements and contributions:

  "The President has exceeded the people's expectations in running the country. We should expect a fruitful leadership in the last two remaining years of the Aquino administration. We do not have a lameduck President."

These statements somehow quite nice yet still it comes from these people trying to keep firm by using people's aspirations. Atienza said that the state of the nation should based on realities, not just achievements, that the topics should be those of problems that has to be settled upon not just the projects in which DAP funds being allocated to. 
And by the way, since President Aquino said about the Philippines as the "sick man of Asia" and his government as "righteous" with its economy ready for a "take off", former President Ramos did said decades ago that the Philippines is "no longer the sick man of Asia" and even a "Tiger cub" becoming a "Tiger" in the year 2000, while former President Arroyo said about the Philippine economy under her administration was also ready for "take off" with her "Strong Republic"; so again, PNoy's speech is still a repetition of past administrations, its promises, projects anything trying to create an illusion of progress that serves as an icing for preserving the status quo.


***

There are more words to say in this kind of writeup, but no matter how the president tries to be one with the people, still he represents the gentries whom controlled and dictated the economy, culture, politics, and both foreign and domestic affairs. He had promised a path that is righteous, but with all the issues involving himself, or even his allies tainted with corruption and misuse of public funds prevailed, as well as justifying a program that is also heavily tainted with corruption, then he himself failed to make a path that according to him is both righteous in word and in deed. 

What he simply did is Machiavellian: he had the means no matter it is unlawful just to justify the ends. That somehow made people think all as but a repetition of the past. Rallies will continue as long as the status quo remains firm no matter how rotten to the core it is. 


Sunday, 27 July 2014

"Concrete barriers has been prepared, so are those willing to fight back."

"Conrete barriers has been prepared, 
so are those willing to fight back."


It is last Friday when policemen are preparing barriers for the event this coming monday.

Ranging from concrete barriers, barbed wire, to deploying policemen from other regions and even soldiers with their camouflaged uniforms, the system seemed acting 'prepared' knowing that their adversaries, such as the protesters whom are also preparing to march, burn effigies, pelting eggs and willing to fight back as they're trying to cross their lines all towards the place where the head of state makes his scripted speech.

Quite desperate for the system so to speak that on that coming event they'll act abit paranoically as protesters from different sectors mached towards Commonwealth ave near Ever Gotesco mall. 10,000 National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) personnel has been deployed that made Datu's Tribe described them as "Sarsa Battalion" defending the pigs in uniform, Barong Tagalog, and even the black Toga assembling at Batasang Pambansa. Last year's police action involved marching bands, offering flowers, trying hard solidarizing that end up with failed negotiations and intentional truncheon charges, countless beatings, and jail time to those whom are arrested at Camp Karingal while protesters outside clamoring for their freedom to those whom were given "charges". Anyways, Protesters expected this kind of reaction knowing that these men in uniform had their hands itchy to raise their rattan canes and beat all the way.

But come to think of this, why the barriers knowing that these protesters are marching peacefully and their activities as harmless such as burning an effigy? Is it because of traffic? Commonwealth avenue seemed so wide that one can offer a route while a one-day event from morning till early evening has been set upon on the other side of the road; but the local government rather disregarded the request to have that 8-6pm activity unlike before, different from what they did to a religious group months ago in which they afford to close a part of the road for long hours in an evangelical mission.

And to cut this story short: unfair. No offense to those whom likely to bash such as "it adds traffic," "hindrance," or whatsoever coming from their narrow minds in regards to these activists staging a protest on that day while num in regards to the current situation such as corrupt bureaucrats, landlessness, and a prevailing state of crisis. That in spite of all the actions taken by the system to curb and end all these, it is still the same system that satisfies in the repression their ranks had brought against the people.
But to thumbs town the people's request to stage an activity at Commonwealth avenue for one day by the one whom favors a religious activity on the same site seemed to be unfair or unwise decision. Come to think of this, how come a decision from the local government has to supersede the provisions given by the constitution such as the right to assemble and expression in any other place such as a part of Commonwealth avenue? Supposedly, these protesters should been having an activity near Batasang Pambansa itself, only to have their activities be done somewhere else as ordered by the system, such as in a park in Quezon Memorial Circle. Furthermore, permits seemed to be a mockery of freedoms in spite of these people doing nothing wrong except having the right to peaceful assembly, speech, and expression as vested by the constitution. Like what PNoy said in regards to DAP, they acted above the law.

Therefore, as their concrete barriers are prepared, and truncheons being raised, so are the people united is willing to fight back to break their block.

Good luck for tomorrow's event, and expect their harassment.

That's all for now.
Thank you.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Dialect for identity, language for liberation

Dialect for identity, Language for liberation

(Or keeping Filipino in tertiary level
in spite of using English in this writeup)

By Lualhati Madlangawa Guererro



At first, sorry to use English despite being a patriot.

Citing comfortability as its reason, using English in this site somehow made readers around the would afford to read every post related to culture, arts, politics, or any other kind of whining being posted here.

But despite using English as its language of instruction in this site, and at the same time having most topics as patriotically inclined, yours truly didn't forget its roots as a Filipino, and therefore as a patriot has to keep firm in its roots, in its identity as contrary to those whom afford to ridicule those whom afford to write in English and at the same time keeping firm in its patriotism such as being a "Filipino." Yes, this person had speaks Filipino, but patriotism is more than just speaking the tounge or wearing the national dress, or nowadays taking pride in short-term feats, but also forging and building a future that is based on everyone's aspirations, from past, present, and future.

But speaking of the Filipino language, this person still continues to hear dispute over the language especially after attempts to reducing number of units if not scrapping the subject altogether at tertiary level. Some, if not most commentators had afford to join in a bandwagon calling for a dissolution of Filipino as a subject, with a variety of alibis such as globalization up to the most narrowest "waste of time and money" and "being learned year after year"; they favored English evenly citing its prominency as an international language and therefore "comfortable" in using it despite some, if not most resort to using Taglish in asking questions in subjects English being used.

Yet despite these people had afford to join in a bandwagon, favoring English as they could, are they really comfortable in using English most of the time? And what kind of English are they using? Is it American, British, Australian, or even Philippine English? Sometimes, yours truly had been ridiculing, even its own self as a writer why those whom are patriotic had to use major languages such as English instead of their own tongue in order for its people to understand, perhaps because they want to turn a language used by the oppressor into a language for liberation, alongside the use of their dialect as part of their identity; while those whom are choosing to join in the bandwagon of dissolving their own tongue would someday also willing to dissolve what makes a nation such as its own history, culture, all for the so-called demands of the market. So much for the intentional "openness" reduced what is patriotic, nationalistic into a piece of scrap paper waiting to be thrown away by an investment-crazed state.
After all, how come Southeast Asian patriots like Soetan Sjarhir used Dutch in his Indonesian pamphlet Onze Strijd? He should had used Bahasa Indonesia (and actually there's also Bahasa and English version as well with the latter being given to the parliamentarians at Westminster) instead since he's a patriot, but Onze Strijd tends to show on behalf of the learned Indonesians that Indonesians are capable of standing up for themsleves as a nation, but still he spoke and wrote Bahasa Indonesia for it is the language of his own homeland. Rizal did use Spanish in his novels and writeups as a learned man, trying to speak on behalf of the Filipinos the real situation towards Madre España, but in order to appeal to the common tao he has to speak Tagalog, or any dialect he had learned or understood. People may find it awkward why patriots speaks a foreign tongue rather than their native, it's not just because of comfortability as a learned being nor trying to instill a foreigner why they fight for national liberation or development, but to speak on behalf of the common man the tongue used for education, trade and commerce without sacrificing its own self to the interest of the few. Like what the late Lenin had said, they acted as ropes what capitalists being peddled, therefore it is up to the people whether they will use the rope to hang those who exploit.

And despite trying to have these people understood the importance of a native tongue why most chose to disregard Filipino altogether? Is it because Filipino is Tagalog and it harms other dialects? Is it because the Philippines has to integrate further as part of South East Asian Region? That English is an international language and has to be emphasised further? Filipino isn't Tagalog alone, for there are words coming from dialects north and south had been adapted to the national tongue itself. And in citing ASEAN integration and the dominant ethnicity is Malay then therefore Bahasa should been the language rather than English, and English isn't the sole international language, but also Russian, German, even the hated Chinese of the narrow-minded. Filipino is also the language of the diaspora, and thus it is also an international language becoming with most schools outside the country such as in the United States are also studying Filipino as a language.
Quite awkward so to speak that as the national language had gone international thanks to the diaspora, the ones in the archipelago chose to scrap the language altogether such as not being studied in the tertiary level. Most would dare to say practicality, but being practical at the expense of giving up studying identity and heritage is all but a living corpse no matter the alibi being insisted of. They would say about adding units means adding burden especially in tuition and other payments, but with or without Filipino there will always be tuition and other fee increases due to commercialization of education; there was one time a student from San Beda College had admitted that he failed in Filipino, and he even said that additional units meant additional burden to most students, but Professor David Michael San Juan of "Tanggol Wika" countered his statement by telling that one has to endure hardship in pursuit of a successful society the way those whom hate math hath end appreciating it, that he even cited the example of Indonesia with the works of Noam Chomsky, Karl Marx, or Victor Hugo had been understood by the common people as their works had been translated into Bahasa Indonesia! So what's wrong in studying Filipino in the tertiary level, much more in using Filipino in other subjects in lieu of English? Again, in spite of their appeals to dissolve the subject, some had resorted asking questions in Filipino, specifically Taglish citing difficulty to speak questions in English.

Anyways, yours truly would say that yes, she had used English, but again, she rather chose not to join in the nonsensical joyride of dissolving Filipino in tertiary level, or even disregarding Filipino altogether citing regional ethnocentrism, but instead joining hands with those whom trying to keep it, not because dissolving the subject leads to lay-offs professors and teaching personnel known for studying Filipino, but also harms subjects that also use the same language given. Worse, a total capitulation to the degenerative culture that harms respective societies such as the Philippines itself, for Globalization to some is Degeneration to most.

Agbiag ti Filipinas! Hasta la muerte! El pueblo armado vencera!

Thursday, 24 July 2014

"Still the same as his old bosses."

"Still the same as his old Bosses..."

(Or will President Benigno 'NoyNoy' Aquino III 
justify his Disbursement Acceleration Program like any other predecessor
 in this coming State of the Nation Address)



Seems that everybody's prepared for the coming speech this Monday, as various groups are making statements all concerning the nation's plight in anticipation and response to the head of state's official speech and its supporting statements made by his clique straight from Malacanang and Batasang Pambansa.

Ranging from streamers to speeches, groups seemed to curry favor with the people whether to support or oppose the present administration with the latter being heard upon by mainstream media through a series of protests condemning controversial and unpopular policies. Those whom are in favor had to justify as much as they could the campaigns made by the present administration with its anti-corruption, anti-poverty, up to condemning those who oppose as paid hacks of the opposition without any justification except that they're opposing the administration's policies.

The administration would discuss about projects, growth, citing numbers and even more in which people likely to ridicule. However, the most expected to be discussed about in the session hall and heard by the populace will be the controversial "Disbursement Acceleration Program" (DAP) in which President Noynoy Aquino called as a stimulus package in supporting the economy.


Of failed disbursement packages 
and desperately-made alibis

Basing on his speech last time in Malacañang, he stated that even the World Bank said that the Gross National Product had rose during the last quarter of 2011 due to the program itself, as well as DAP supported various projects being bragged upon such as schools and electrification projects.

Speaking of those projects being bragged upon, he cited that from 18 out of 8000 schools according to the Department of Education, DAP had resolved a backlog of 66,800 classrooms. It is also the same DAP, made last 2012, in which 1.264 billion pesos were made available to electrify a total of 6,163 sitios—out of the 36,000 that need to be electrified.

But did it resolve the crisis? It is estimated that there is a shortage of 66,000 classrooms and 33,000 school teachers. While rotating brownouts continue especially in Mindanao. Crisis continue to prevail in spite of the programs given, with or without DAP or its predecessor PDAF.

And in spite babbling words such as development and rising GDP rates, it rather end stunted national growth by discontinuing proposed plans citing politics (like northrail), further cuts in budgets (especially in education and social services), commercializing state assets like health care and education (like UP and PCMC), and other kinds of bullshit to be justified trying to sneer people all through the ears (like DAP and its superficial 'effects'). The path that is righteous has become a road to nowhere, and with all the controversies given, the head of state has to create a series of justifications that actually made everyone think of it as washing dirty linen in front of the rest (alongside denials); they had even afford to use World Bank's statement that DAP had brought growth in its Gross Domestic Product in the last quarter of 2011, only to be respond by IBON foundation stating that Malacañang is lying in its very own statement; it said that the World Bank report actually stated about a small percentage of DAP being spent (further lowered last 2010), while Sonny Africa, also from IBON, stated that "the economic growth babbled by president Aquino didn't even create sufficient jobs, income, and increase living standards of the majority", while DAP "didn't even stimulate the economy" and Aquino's statement citing progress "isn't even felt by the people".


Still the same as his old bosses

Well, to cut this long story short, the speech will always stays the same: that President Noynoy Aquino is as same as his old bosses: neoliberal, reactionary, corrupt trying to present as reformist, righteous and progressive. He would appeal to the people as much as he can with new terms and recycled statements the way he justified DAP regardless of the intrigue surrounding the program as a "pork replacement" and used to pay legislators supporting impeachment against ex-Chief Justice Corona. He would afford to brag the projects made using that DAP like those of PAGASA's Project NOAH, but it is also the same DAP that used to pay landlords such as the contested Hacienda Luisita.

Furthermore, there are questions in which the present system has to answer (and likely not be replied): Where's the so-called progress brought by that DAP since there's no job creation nor making education and social services affordable to the common man with state colleges and universities gone commercialized and hospitals gone privatized through Public-Private Partnerships? Did that DAP also supported PhilHealth, PAGIBIG, SSS and GSIS alongside voluntary contributions? Is DAP also being used for the Conditional Cash Transfer program?

Remember, most private hospitals nowadays didn't accept PhilHealth cards regardless of the contrinutions, while UP continues its controversial Socialized Tuition Scheme that increases tuition and other fees, the CCT that was once abhorred by Aquino in his presidential campaign as a source of corruption under Arroyo is eventually being tolerated instead of being scrapped as a social welfare program.  And DAP? DAP is nothing but an extension of Pork; and like CARP, it tries to present itself as "reformed" to look more appealing to the populace no matter how illegal it is, much more that it had allowed Malacanang to juggle savings, unprogrammed funds and allocations for slow-moving projects to priority projects.

The Supreme Court, in declaring DAP as unconstitutional, also ruled that the Palace usurped the power of Congress in implementing the program. While Congressman Neri Colmenares of Bayan Muna had criticized the administration's use of the 1987 Administration Code to justify DAP as means to allocate funds:

“His use of Section 39 of the 1987 Administration Code is not even right because the section pertains to savings. The Supreme Court said that DAP was not savings, therefore Section 39 does not apply. Also, a mere administration code cannot trump the Constitution,” 

Anyways, this coming State of the Nation Address, people should know that the system is all but doing the same procedure. Alibis and justifications, paper reforms and actual reactions, rherotics primarily made merely to appease the people followed by a truncheon to justify its so-called "goals."

And its up to the people how to respond to their reactionary procedures.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Post-July 4 ramblings

Post-July 4 ramblings

(or how this Philippines has to rethink clearly after what its 'best friend' did for years)




It was July 4 when the people of the United States had celebrated its day of Independence. This person, like all others, had seen reports mostly about the celebration if not protests against the present system and its cycle of exploitation against its people. But nonetheless, the celebration goes on in the nation self-proclaiming as a world police. 

Ranging from speeches, marches, to a series of messages from allies and neighbouring countries, the people of the United States takes pride in its showcase of power and greatness, as well as trying to describe itself as beacon of freedom and democracy around the world. News reports had shown the Statue of Liberty, the Capitol, White House, and the Washington Monument all with pride so as the stars and stripes with reporters saying "happy birthday America" to the audience.

And that includes Filipinos as well. In fact to some, if not most Filipinos, that same day also meant independence aside from June 12. Given by its once occupiers after the second world war, most Filipinos felt grateful to its occupier that other than providing modernity such as cars and electricity, it had "trained the nation" with its profound ideas such as life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness that end people wasted and upon and justify its hedonistic inclinations, to the extent that anything American is good and the rest should been treated skeptically.

Quite awkward, actually that despite having a Filipino diaspora all over the world, the typical mindset remains the same that anything American means progress, modernity, even equating the nation itself as freedom and democracy regardless of its atrocity. Or even citing biblical passages in justifying wars like what Pat Robertson did in his 700 club.

However, despite giving anything beneficial doesn't mean not to remember the days when its forces nearly deciminated the entire population and justifying its benevolent assimilation a showcase of pride from an Anglo-Saxon towards an Asian whom at first mistaken for an African. That from the battle of Manila up to the massacre at Bud Dahu in Mindanao, the stubborn resistance of the Filipino people acted as an evidence how a nation is willing to die for the sake of its cause the way trying to show its capability of standing up on its own. That even General Douglas MacArthur and Britain's Winston Churchill had admired the valour of the Filipino as a fighter just like the Ghurkas and the Sikh warriors of Nepal and India.

But despite the admiration coming those of Imperialists, most Filipinos care less about the staunch resistance of its own countrymen, sometimes describing it as hopeless while favoring the white man and its civilizing mission with emphasis on anything that is modern regardless of what Europe, particularly those of Spain had been given to; for had provide American-style education, culture, anything that made Filipinos mimic most of the time, and eventually favoring English over Filipino and Spanish, Apples and Oranges over Atis, Basketball over Football and Sepak Takraw, and riding on the right on roads that was once used to be left. They would even disregard independence through struggle (such as those of Sakay and Malvar) altogether, preferring "peaceful" means (like those of Pacificados, Quezon or Osmeña) that as if that can make people's aspirations realize by scraps of paper with signatures of prominent personalities signed in it.

But did the United States seriously adhere to the wishes of the people? Perhaps what they did was and is to cultivate just materialism and tell the world that their colonization was humane, disregarding altogether the water cure, concentration camps, and massacres to justify their anglo-saxon victory over the half-breed. They had used Rizal's life and works, yet they fail to cultivate further what Rizal had said besides education as key for the future.
May as well it is also the same United States that prioritizes Europe during the Scond World War, leaving its own Philippines treated as a buffer zone for the Japanese invader. Manuel Quezon attests the fact how a so-called "friend" chose to defend its own interest while giving its colony minimal support:

"after nine weeks of fighting not even a small amount of aid has reached us from the United States. Help and assistance have been sent to other belligerent nations,... but seemingly no attempt has been made to transport anything here.... [T]he United States has practically doomed the Philippines to almost total extinction to secure a breathing space."

So was this, after listening to Roosevelt's statement supporting Europe while failing to support its own in the Pacific:

"come, listen to this scoundrel! Que demonio! How typical of America to writhe in anguish at the fate of a distant cousin, Europe, while a daughter, the Philippines, is being raped in the back room!"

The ruins left by the invaders and the so-called liberators  had left just loans long years to be paid in pursuit of reconstruction, that they had ruined Manila not just because of uprooting the Japanese but to force people to have loans as a new republic. Most of the infrastructure made during the Spanish period as well as "peace time" were perished, and thus eventually forgotten save memories of the old,  and the old moralities that became a part of Filipino identity had been forgotten as well, as the materialism of the west had been emphasised afterwards.

Sorry if to revisit history as most chose to disregard altogether and "move on", but to "move on" is a two-way road. It may lead to progress or to misery, it may also lead to deficiency if not wellness. The Philippines had bannered patriotism most of the time, but they fail to justify struggle as a nation thinking that anything the United States of America had given as enough to pave way for Independence therefore no bloodshed to set upon. They had forgotten the tortures given by the WASPs against patriots like water cure, the concentration camps that resulted to starvation, of branding patriots as thieves and murderers, the attempts to industrialize itself during the commonwealth and the young republic, while seeing the illusions of progress that tries to hid the obvipus reality such as a feudal state with all its modern trappings yet seeing farmers carrying scythes if not machetes in Hacienda Luisita; land reform haven't been realized all despite papers and pseudo-grants made for publicity purposes, while industrialization as all but disregarding those from the factory and focusing in the service sector and redescribed as 'industry'.
Come to think of this, the Americans had glorified battles like Lexington, Concord; and individuals like Paul Revere, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, and George Washington, they had shed blood and idea in order to achieve independence from the British colonialists, but how about Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio, Macario Sakay, and the men whom in the end being tried as bandits than as revolutionaries? Perhaps the people had been gone "castrated" through time regardless of its valour being shown, a eunuch that chose to assist the white-skinned cacique whom they think as benevolent and paternalistic. They chose to "rejoice" the passive actions like two-faced lobbying and negotiations, as if can guarantee independence and "abhor" the resistance such as protest actions, armed struggles that resulted to deaths, such as what this writeup being stated. For sure they would abhor the battlefield as they favor the negotiating table and the assembly that represents the ruling classes than the people itself.

No offense to most readers, but despite the United States recognize your independence in 1946 after a series of negotiations, limited "self-rule", and valour at the battlefield and ruins, did guarantee the nation's really right to self-determination? Of really standing up on its own? The earlier agreements proved otherwise including those of limiting the desire to industrialize itself and taking an independent foreign course. The United States, in its past, present, and future ventures had benefited greatly in its tributaries actually, citing raw materials and cheap labor to justify their actions, they would even justify exploitation as development, of reaction as renovation, of repression as justice. Those whom are diehard Americanists would even cry China and its imperialism especially after Spratlys and Scarborough, not knowing that those whom waving the stars and stripes can't guarantee protection, nor immunity from bullets and missiles of the fading "red flag" of the far east.
So are those whom likely to oppose this kind of writeup such as this, as they would even tell that the tablet, computer, cellphone, even electricity are products of the United States, and if so then damn these people without self-consciousness! For it is man, first and foremost who has the will to use those tools rather than the tool that is being used. They should even remember that in every spare part that assembled from the United States or any other first world country comes from the nations being exploited, that the soap being used in their laundry comes from the coconut trees from Bicol and processed in the factories situated near Pasig river, yet owned by foreigners (especially American, if not Anglo-Dutch) instead of those whom had tilled, processed, and distribute every product to its customers. So were the microchips being processed in the economic zones, cars being assembled in factories near south superhighway. Much more that those people whom afford to criticize are ignorant about those whom selling ropes are the ones whom are willing to hang those who sell.

And if gained consciousness about social realities and patriotism like the ones whom leaned so much, would ask: "why the contentment? Why not at least try to stand up and look after ourselves?" The United States, in its few years of being independent has to justify standing up on its own by focusing on its own produce, so should be the Philippines that actually end failed to realize the innermost aspirations of the people. Alexander Hamilton provide foundations, while the Philippines, with its rotten system chose to be dictated by neoliberal interests while at the same time keeping feudal "traditions" alive the way it flies its own flag and promoting celebrities and tourist spots.

This writeup may had been made very late, but this person knows that both Americans and Filipinos share the same expression of being against an exploitative order and willing to do a Lexington, Concord, Balintawak and Balangiga.

That's all for now.

Thank you.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

"Rockets and Injustices cannot stop Intifada"

"Rockets and Injustices cannot stop Intifada"

by Kat Ulrike




It seems that people are now aware that despite protests towards Israel the bombings against Palestinian Civilians at Gaza Strip continue. It is both a sense of deep sorrow over the Palestinian people and avenge against Zionists with the tragedy given to them by the Zionist-led Israel. Coupled with the serious lack of humanitarian aid, the so-called collective punishment made by the Zionists is all but a manifestation of barbarism made by an occupier.

Reminiscent of the actions at Warsaw Ghetto by the Nazis during World War 2, the Israeli Defence Forces is no different from its Nazi counterpart. These rising tensions and Zionist treachery have been followed by sustained barrages of rocket fire from Gaza into Israel. Between 14 June and 7 July 270 rockets were fired by militants into Israel, which Israel responded to with air strikes. Rockets are fired indiscriminately against the civilian population, including against major Israeli cities.

But the worst scenario had been unleashed as Israel then launched Operation Protective Edge on 7th of July 2014, that Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) have struck over 1470 targets in Gaza while over 970 more rockets have been fired towards Israel by the militants. 240 Israelis have been injured; but in heavily bombarded Gaza, at least 173 Palestinians have been killed, and 1,230 injured. The UN estimates that 80% of those killed have been civilians, of whom a third are children. The figures continue to increase as the Zionists continue its barbaric action redescribed as "collective punishment" over attacks made by Hamas fighters over Israeli settlements.
And other than rocket and artillery attacks, the Zionists had cut off water and electricity supplies, as well as continuing its block against aid over Palestine, both of which is also a violation of international laws concerning a country victimized by repression.

But despite increasing number of deaths does not mean that with the barbaric actions made by the Zionist-led IDF is able to stop the decades-old Palestinian struggle against Israeli occupation, as Palestinians have the right to secure independence and cherished rights including those of Jews. "We are not against the Jews because they are Jews. Our problem is with those occupying the land of Palestine," as the quotation goes. Furthermore, there are Jews whom also opposed Israeli's barbaric action that resulted to imprisonment if not slander from their fellow Jews whom had took pride in its so-called feat as a Jewish state, or for accuracy's sake a State for Jews.

Anyways, regardless of the repression, Palestine lives and still struggling with its Intifada, people around the world expressed both sorrow to the casualty and anger to those whom carried the genocidial action at Gaza. And what the IDF did in its actions is as similar to those made by the Wehrmacht and the Waffen SS in Warsaw ghetto if not the revolts of the concentration camps in eastern Europe. Bloody and Merciless both the armed and the unarmed. 

No missile, tank, and member of the IDF can ever stop the Intifada. Palestinians will survive amidst chaos and destruction. Free Palestine from the River to the Sea! 


Sunday, 13 July 2014

"CARPER: ANOTHER FAILURE LIKE THE OTHERS?"

O"CARPER: ANOTHER FAILURE LIKE THE OTHERS?"

(Or expecting new protests and alibis this post-CARPER episode 
of agrarian struggle in the Philippines)



The peasant issue remains controversial despite reforms which are mostly made to silence rather than cultivate social justice in a predominantly-agricultural country such as the Philippines. Protest marches such as Lakbayan had attested how farmers from every province had marched towards Metro Manila, stopping at the Department of Agrarian Reform and eventually towards Mendiola, burning effigies and chanting slogans against the regime whom had failed to realize the aspirations of the toiling masses, especially those of a centuries-old tension involving arable land and its right to till by by the still disenfranchised.

The government had time and again afford to provide papers and decrees "concerning" land reform and rural empowerment. Ranging from earlier documents such as the Land Reform Code, PD 27, CARP, up to its "extended and reformed" version, the creation of cooperatives like "Samahang Nayon", and Banks that supposedly supporting agrarian reform and rural development such as Landbank. But the peasant issue, regardless of those papers and institutions stated, remains bloody, messy, and one sided in favor of the landed gentry, supported by international moneylenders seeking properties especially in contested agricultural estates.

The present-day CARPER, in its expiration weeks ago, remains unfulfilled in its objective in distributing land to the landless, but instead intensifies peasant hatred towards the system that rather benefits the ruling gentries, turning arable land into residential and commercial complexes, disregarding productivity in favor of just importing rice from Vietnam, Thailand, and possibly, China.

Speaking of productivity, the late president Corazon Cojuangco-Aquino had cited that term "Productivity" as its cause to accept pleas for land reform, but instead of seriously heeding to the pleas of the peasants and farmworkers marching towards the gates of the presidential palace comes bloody actions at Mendiola.
That action taken last 1987, ironically speaking, was also done before the passage of that "reform" bill that aggravates age-old tensions whilst parroting progressive rhetoric. The succeding action, which was taken against the same class at Hacienda Luisita last 2009 by the same Cojuangco-Aquino clique, as well supported by former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was made also prior to the passage of the bill that was "extended and reformed", and this time, expired yet left unfulfilled in its objectives like land redistribition and social justice.

But, other than the contested Hacienda Luisita, other estates such as Looc, Hacienda Dolores, as well as lands being grabbed for development like in Aurora under APECO, and government properties like Camp Gregg and Fort Magsaysay, landlords and bureaucrats had used CARPER as its clause, even excempting them from land reform as they're being turned into agro-tourism, residential, and commercial complexes that threatens communities in those contested lands. The said procedure reminds of earlier decrees limiting land reform to those of rice and corn, while sugarcane, banana, cassava, and other cash crops are left under control of the profit-driven, land-grabbing, landed gentry.

Well, despite series of rhetorics and propaganda given, are the awards, certificates, patents carried by the tilling peasants in the name of CARP or its earlier land reform decrees all but worthless as landlords and its armed thugs started to grab those lands? Circumventing laws as necessary using development as its clause? Just like the stocks offered by Hacienda Luisita to its 9.50 paid farmworkers and peasants, the actions taken by the landlord-dominated system through its "land reform" is all but "reaction", a "band aid" solution to a growing hatred still brewing. They would attempt to extend it through HB 2946, but those efforts rather aggravate tensions citing the fact that landlords benefited on that 'populist' attempt.
Lately, the system, via its Agriculture Department has complained about rising costs of garlic, rice, and other foodstuffs; yet they had allegedly even burn smuggled garlic rather than directly distributing to the people in a reasonable price, but did they seriously impose agrarian reform through its extended and reformed CARP to resolve crisis and increase productivity of foodstuffs needed like garlic in order to keep prices affordable? Nope. But instead, they chose to offer contested land to international profiteers 100%, and time and again calling exploitation of the tillers as development, and intensified further by bloody reprisals brought by armed thugs by using civilian-military operations like Oplan Bayanihan, targeting those whom opposed vested interests.

The march towards Mendiola has been finished but it leaves an open ended conclusion especially after CARPER's expiration. The courts may insist distributing contested land to the people, but the present system will still continues to treat the issue as "just resolved" through rhetorics and paper reforms in its post-CARPER episode. 
But despite their so-called actions, sorry to say, that the peasants from Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Aurora, and other provinces had enough of their sugarcoated statements and bloody actions taken by those armed thugs. They are willing to sacrifice their lives as well, knowing that the present system and its thugs is willing to load up their guns and pointing directly towards them, just like what happened at Mendiola and Hacienda Luisita.

For Land Reform from the landlords is all but sham and mockery of what peasants, social justice advocates, and revolutionaries in the countryside phad been clamored for. The bills being stated above, from the late President Macapagal to the present Aquino regime attests the fact that these had end failed.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Another would-be substance-less autonomy?

Another would-be substance-less 'autonomy'?

(or How BangsaMoro possibly just like its predecessor 
as long as vested interests remain in their positions)




Over the last few months, the present regime has again repeating as what happened in 1989. As the legislative arm has been holding sessions in order to come up with an act that would replace the existing organic law of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao.

At first, this writeup is partially based from a 1989 writeup made by Amir Ablang about BangsaMoro. Entitled "an autonomy devoid of substance", the writeup tackles about issues that continue to prevail in spite of marathon sessions made by legislators trying to come up with an organic act for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. However, in spite of its realization in mid 1990s, old issues remained still as Moros wallow in poverty, facing repression, as well as discrimination. The struggle made by the MILF, and subsequently the BIFF and a faction from the MNLF would say that the BangsaMoro struggle would still remain in spite of unobserved agreements and reforms still left in paper and unenacted.

The proposed act is brought out of agreements made by the present government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) last year, and just like what happened in mid 1990s wherein the government had arranged agreements with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) that resulted to the creation of ARMM, the sessions would likely to be an emasculated form of autonomy anchored on national oppression regardless of its intention to realize aspirations set forth by the BangsaMoro people such as rights and welfare, citing the fact that the present ARMM had its supposed aspirations left unrealized and instead being parroted by the order. It is an autonomy that does not cater to the basic and historical issues of injustice, poverty, discrimination, that still facing BangsaMoro and its inhabitants, may it be the Moros, Christians, and the ethnic hill tribes affected by war. With legislators parroting autonomy yet actually failing to lessen tensions and brought pro-people development, this brand of autonomy is as same as its predecessor, and that will again only to institutionalize further the exploitation of the BangsaMoro people, a process that has been going on for hundreds of years. Radical Moro Islamic groups, like the BangsaMoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) had rather chose to wage war against the establishment especially after MILF chose to proceed with the negotiations that includes the creation of BangsaMoro to replace ARMM.


Injustice. The bitter experiences of the BangsaMoro masses from succeeding regimes are as same those of Marcos. Warlordism, Rido, and suppression campaigns made by the military against the people are being repeated. So much so that mistrust and hatred of the present Aquino regime is widespread among the people.
In Maguindanao, there are towns that remained under the warlords especially from the Ampatuan family, all despite the imprisonment of its notorious caudillos Zaldy and Andal due to the genocide that happened in 2009. The conditions brought by warlordism, especially those of Rido (clan wars) has been intensified by the armed forces itself regardless of its objective in disbanding private armies and restore order, especially those whom providing warlords with high powered weapons, as well as its legality to carry firearms in the guise of supporting the military in suppressing armed insurgents as CAFGUs, that actually maintaining repressive control amongst the populace.
The horrors that happened last 2009 showed the extrajudicial actions taken by these armed men against journalists and supports of a rival, citing that the Ampatuans had controlled Maguindanao and ARMM itself, but despite the imprisonment of perpetrators and confiscation of firearms, warlordism remains an issue so is another round of harassment and terrorism inflicted over BangsaMoro.


Poverty. Perhaps, regardless of all the reforms taken, it is still the majority whom, amid a bounty of natural resources still wallow in poverty. Still a poverty striken people, crisis and exploitation had been further pushed into hunger. Most of them had to seek livelihood in Metro Manila especially in Quiapo district wherein some, if not most had to settle on selling pirated DVDs as their source of income. Engaging in an underground economy such as those of pirated DVDs comes risk especially due to police intervention with the help of government agencies trying to disband such markets.
In BangsaMoro itself, few rich families continue to control agriculture, and in it gaining profits while its tenants had to content in just meager share as sharecroppers, while Foreign conglomerates such as those in mining and agricultural interests had to evict farmers, communities in pursuit of their businesses. Food crisis will still remain in spite of paper reforms, and legislators are obviously represent landlords, warlords, and multinational companies, parroting autonomy yet actually benefit themselves from the exploitation of Moro resources and people.


Discrimination, Marginalization. All despite attempts of the present to integrate Moros into mainstream Filipino society, failure to observe Moro norms and traditions has resulted to centuries-old discrimination and marginalization. Moros are depicted as murderers, terrorists, if not peddlers of pirated copies that somehow made people think most of them as such and hence be discriminated and marginalized. In some factories around BangsaMoro would say that there are owners whom had to brought in workers from other areas even neighbouring regions, hence, Moros and even Lumads find themselves isolated in terms of job opportunity. So is in trying to be a part of the workforce due to lack of technical know-how. The latter, actually is a result of lack of formal education, and some, if not most Moro areas are still suffering in illiteracy in the country.

As these facts make clear, the BangsaMoro people will remain skeptical on how legislators had handled the issue regarding the proposed act that would replace ARMM. Much more that it may also bound to fail as these legislators, mostly interest seeking, does not address the historical problem of the BangsaMoro people. But instead, would intensify their struggle all for genuine self-determination.