Saturday, 31 January 2015

"We the bastards..."

"we the Bastards..."


Admittingly speaking, these men are not heroes to be praised but victims of the system to be mourned. Young yet they trained "to serve and protect" the ruling gentries from the very beginning and be inspired by those whom end died "with honour" if not survived and be given citations, praises for surviving the heat and threat around them.

However, in spite of their duty to keep a nation safe for sugar–coated terms like "freedom" and "democracy", these young men are frontliners at first, marching towards their deaths out of their duty, in an operation that was open secret, limited to a few that includes an incompetent head of state and a disgraced officer trying to appear better in the eyes of many. It is quite stupid that these few men can't even help further these frontliners but instead desperate for a million dollar reward money after capturing an international terrorist.

Be it alive or a rotting dead as what they say, they would also seek for fame using that feat, such as their names be published in the newspapers, be vent up in television, radio, or any social media site just to cover up initial criticisms; while those well-armed pawns they had "used", with all their willingness to do their duty surviving the heat of operations are rather left out with few citations and be unheard again except for a few tabloids and gossip about them.

But in spite of having a terrorist killed, what everyone sees of in papers, heard in radio, sought in television and in social media, is deaths of these good men bueng used by the clique all for that goddamn reward money they want to get. It is an open secret, that is basically opening cans of worms called failure, tragedy, double-crossing. Be it that Maguindanao, or the existing ones like Hacienda Luisita, and Mendiola.
These events lies open secrets the so-called president chose not to speak of. And these open secrets involves keeping firm in their vested interests as landlords and compradores, bureaucrats trying to keep firm in their power at the expense of people's trust, rule of law, national honour, and dignity. After all, why on earth the Philippines remained poor amidst its blaring propaganda of a rising economic power? Does the increasing numbers in the stock market, in the business pages telling about "recovery" appeal to the masses seeking well paid jobs, cheap goods, and a higher standard of living? Nope.

While they play in the orchestra of stability and prosperity just like what that president did in visiting a car assembly plant in Laguna, their own Romes are burning with new and still existing tragic events as what this person stated. In regards to today's tragedy, it is natural for commentators in social media sites to blame the Moro people, especially the Moro Islamic Liberation Front for firing back against the men of the Special Action Force with the latter intruding its territory in the middle of a ceasefire and existing agreements, insisting an all out war at the expense of agreements and a semblance of peace, calling them a variety of slurs such as traitors, terrorists, or worse, letting these commentators themselves vent islamophobic sentiments; but no matter what the system tries to speak in defence of themselves, be it in a form of speeches, press releases, and apologetics anonymous in social media sites, the worst responsibility and liable for heckling (rather than criticism) will always fall on the system itself, specifically through these men: Aquino, Ochoa, Purisima, with the first one as its main culprit trying to wash its soiled hands.

Perhaps right is mr. Leslie Bocobo to say that he is a bastard son of Aquino's own nation who chose to go to a car assembly plant than mourn these men in arms being used in an operation he and his peeps talking about, so is this person, and those whom are tired of stupidities made by the system. Be it Moro, Cordilleran, Tagalog or Visayan alike, yet still bastards of that goddamn Aquino's nation.

That's all for now.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

"Treachery?" or a "Scheme?"

"Treachery?" or a "Scheme?"

Notes on the recent events in Maguindanao
And the (possible) stories behind the tragedy


As congress continue to discuss, debate regarding the controversial Bangsamoro Basic Law as well as agreements between the government and the Moro rebels, it seems that a conflict has been brewed again. 

That, 44 members of the Special Action Force (SAF) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) were brutally killed in a fight against suspected members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement (BIFM) in Maguindanao a day ago.  This tragedy was made in the middle of a ceasefire being put into force both by the present government and the MILF with the talks involving BangsaMoro that is ongoing. 

According to the PNP, the objective of the failed mission is to capture terrorists Marwan and Usman, whom were creating bombs according to FBI reports last year. 

However, instead of a successful capture, the mission end up resulting to a killing spree made by suspected "rebels" made in a middle of a ceasefire! Social media sites, such as Facebook, are starting to vent rage against the MILF, calling to renew hostilities a la Estrada, comparing them to Abu Sayyaf, and even describe the said agreement as a scheme to impose Shariah law like any other Islamic state besides separatism. MILF, however, admitted that they acted in self-defence as the SAF entered its territory.

But personally, even prior to that tragedy and amidst the debates about that BangsaMoro agreement same tensions continue to thrive, be it poverty, discrimination, repression. Quite confusing as well that besides MILF, there's the Moro National Liberation Front, or even the armed men of the Sulu Sultanate whom continues to resist in Sabah. If one may ask, which is the legit representative of the BangsaMoro people and its struggle for self determination and social justice? 
Anyways, the fact that there's no problem in arresting Marwan and Usman due to the warrants of arrest given against them, but prior to the said operation, how come it was kept "classified" to some officials especially those trying to vent "peace" or any other claptraps? Isn't it that stupid for President Aquino to bring more Policemen, specifically from the SAF to their deaths due to stupid planning and lack of coordination from the authorities? For twelve hours those officers in Camp Crame were sitting pretty if not looking at the maps, there were no orders given to these men in camouflage and M16s; but instead letting these "well-armed" frontliners be killed by so-called "rebels" with barbarism, and their arms displayed as booty. 

And despite their admissions and at the same time blame games and acting like Pilate, President Aquino, Secretary Ochoa, and the suspended Purisima did the worst mistake of puttting them into their deaths. Aquino didn't even answer the questions regarding that issue amidst admitting that said responsibility while Roxas and the PNP Central Command has nothing to answer about the issue such as no coordination between the central command and the SAF, nor there's no joint action between SAF and the AFP; the latter chose not to get involved "in accordance" to the ceasefire agreement made last year. 
Or worse, these men are stooges of a higher power such as the United States (that according to WikiLeaks, also an 'ally' of the MILF), as well as hungry for a million dollar "reward money" if they capture both Usman or Marwan dead or alive. How come Aquino et al. has enough knowledge about the mission and at the same time feigning ignorance in front of the people, including those of his secretaries (especially Roxas) and the central command of the PNP? 

Today, an investigation has been undertaken, that even the MILF, trying to act serious in negotiations amidst criticism, has been conducting an investigation in that said matter according to their statement. Besides that, calls for another wave of conflict in BangsaMoro has been fanned further in social media sites, that also possibly includes Islamophobic sentiment. 

But, if this writer as well as few amongst the concerned may ask, may think of hypothetically, that there's a hidden scheme behind these; such as that tragedy as made by the system itself using these "rebels", given the fact that wars are also a lucrative moneymaking scheme for those seeking funds in the corrupt Police and the Armed Forces. 

For these officials, war is also business that is lucrative. One would even remember how some corrupt generals profited in selling guns to their enemies if not creating enemies and provoke fear so as to generate income for themselves. Abu Sayyaf is one example of that scheme, that made Moro struggle be darkened further by its terrorism and the use of Islam as its pretext for unjust violence. Thus, besides those from UmbraKato and his men continuing their resistance, as well as suspected MILF rebels, or even remnants of the Abu Sayyaf, then how about corrupt men in camouflage, if not warlords doing dirty job such as Ampatuan? Do they classified as rebels? Terrorists? Brigands? Bandits whom did this hell of a kind work? 

As expected, officials are washing their hands, denying, doing blame games time and again while benefiting from that conflict with kickbacks (especially those of "reward money"). No wonder why the system is corrupted and degenerating because of these bureaucrats in barong, coat and tie, and in uniform.

Anyways, Islam has nothing to do with this, much more if there is a Mujahidin who basically obeys the law of war. Condolences to those whom trying to did their duty, but hoping that the issue does not create a wave of havoc, but a call for justice for the victims of conflict and self determination for the repressed people. 



Tuesday, 27 January 2015

"Limited Sovereignty?" Or "Unlimited Hypocrisy?"

"Limited Sovereignty?" Or "Unlimited Hypocrisy?"

Notes on the first world-dictated socio-political
and economic policies towards developing
and underdeveloped countries

by Kirit Thanarat




It's been decades past since the Philippines and other once colonized nations of the world regained its "struggled" independence. 

Mostly given by their once coloniser rather than really struggled for by the colonised, independence in most third world countries seemed to be almost an hollow phrase to be spoken, to take pride of, rather than a deed to be fulfilled with its full potential; especially that:

1.) Those who promised progress, peace, development yet on the other hand, intimidate and terrorize people by means of nuclear tests, and unscrupulous just to launch their tested weapons in the name of "peace through strength."

2.) Amidst calls for self-sufficiency and Global competitiveness, limiting self-reliance and favoring dependency on developed countries from imports and investments, in spite of having resources enough to develop and assert independence further as a sovereign state. It insist unequal treaties amidst parroting phrases like cooperation and brotherhood amongst nations.

3.) Using "cooperation" and "unity", the creation of "regions" that obviously "districts", "tributaries" for once-colonisers, with policies patterned after the latter particularly those on the economy, defence, foreign relations, and culture. 

4.) Those whom speak "freedom of the press", "speech", "expression", even "Democratic Processes" and "Transparency" yet limiting to those of "development" insisted by modern-day imperialists and its domestic puppets. 

And others that somehow summarises into terms such as "limited sovereignty." "Limited" in a sense that despite being sovereign, the will of the self-determined communities has been curbed by domineering "developed" countries in the name of cooperation, globalisation, and of stability in international relations.

Originally used in referring Brezhnev's controversial doctrine of "socialist unity" in the eastern bloc, limited sovereignty lives in countries, or rather say regions that are deemed puppets of today's imperialists (particularly those of the United States); be it the European Union, Association of South East Asian Nations, organizations like the World Trade Organization, or inter-regional partnerships such as Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation.
These organizations, behind its veneer of cooperation and stability lies a policy that limits popular sovereignty, self-determination, particularly on those once-colonies becoming semi-colonial in character and intensifies the Atlanticist destinies of the United States.

How come it underestimates sovereignty, national patrimony in the name of so-called "international cooperation" and "stability?" In every field, be it political, defence, economic, and even cultural, international interests is attempting to present as relations of "equal collaboration" between developed and developing countries and "aid for development", are in fact relations of economic, political, cultural subjugation of other countries to modern-day imperialists. That, organisations such as ASEAN (for example)'s education programme that includes imposing an academic calendar that actually directly patterns to those of the United States and redescribed as coordination between Southeast Asian nations; there's the WTO, a free trade network that means crippling domestic markets through imports, as well as agreements that obviously benefits the oligarchs benefiting from that said "cooperation".


If men like Brezhnev savagely attack the principle of self-reliance in revolution and in socialist construction, redescribing as a "manifestation of nationalism", which was allegedly in conflict with "proletarian internationalism", neoliberals shared the same thought of  making countries dependent on investment, of radically shifting from production to international finance capital, as well as encouraging to involve in non-productive ones such as tourism. The so-called “aid” which these people claim to give to other countries, is actually given with political strings attached which impair the national independence and sovereignty of the countries receiving it and aims to place them under economic domination, be it the United States, China, Japan, or the European Union.
Worse, the United States, is really trying to maintain power through its tributaries such as stated from above. Integration in a particular region, such as those of ASEAN, is actually a front act to justify the imperialist design of making regions, districts with the United States as its primary customer of their "export material" and "cheap labor" while its tributaries a market for their "imports", "aid", "investment".
With its "complex programme of economic integration”, it stresses strengthening of its control over the economic development of its regions under its "sphere". An obvious continuation of a cherished "manifest destiny", a commitment to neocolonial domination over supposed "independent" countries.

As according to Enver Hoxha, in his address delivered at the 6th congress of the Albanian Worker's Party, said:

“...is the theory of great power chauvinism and expansionism, the theory through which the new Soviet imperialists try to suppress any sovereignty of other peoples and to create for themselves the "sovereign right”, to interfere wherever and whenever they like. By denying others their sovereignty, they are trying to deny to nations and states that which they cherish most – freedom and independence, to deny their national individuality, the indisputable right to self-determination and independent development, the right to equality in international life and to active participation in world relations.

By "limited sovereignty”, they seek to legalize the right of the more powerful to strangle the weak, of the greater to gobble up the small. It is the theory of the justification of imperialist aggression”. 


The late Albanian leader referred his speech about Brezhnev and his "limited sovereignty" over the eastern bloc, that also somehow related to the current situation under globalization and neoliberalism around the world. Globalisation, also a by-product of America's "Manifest destiny" and "Atlanticism" tends to control nations by means of regions, and these regions are acting like districts reminiscent of Suzanne Collins' "Hunger Games" with the developed countries, imperialists per se, as its "Capitol."

There the countries of the so-called "free world", behind its enforced satisfaction over "imports" coming from "developed countries" do not enjoy the right to determine their foreign, as well as domestic policy freely and in a sovereign way, but are compelled to obtain the approval of the neo-colonialists in everything in a form of agreements, treaties, and policies favoring the neo-coloniser (whether it is in a form of cheap labour policies or keeping the subjected agricultural and commercial). In maximum, it lies the transformation of both foreign, as well as domestic policies of these subjected countries into an obedient appendage of the circumstances and zigzags of American, or any other first-world centred foreign policy reminiscent of the Cold War era. It shows an unlimited hypocrisy, for these so-called developed countries, bourgeoisie nations tried to appear benevolent, yet underneath it carries an exploitative nature as the Bourgeois itself as a class.


They would still claim that the subjected country as "independent" but in name. And if developing countries can't assert independence and instead contented in being dictated by its once colonisers, then it is no different from a direct colony simply because that coloniser provides roads, technology, anything that is modern that a supposed independent nation be capable of making its own! Yes, that some favoured an academic calendar that is partially patterned on those from the United States or any other developed country, with alibis such as regional integration or any other similar call, but if one may ask, why not tell them that it also meets the demands for semiskilled workers in so-called developed countries in exchange for "developments"? Being a neocolony, or a semicolony is an independent by name, and its sovereignty limited. Be it under "auspices" of the United States, Socio-Imperialist China, European Union, or Japan. It is not even considered as Internationalism, for it does not cultivate solidarity of peoples regardless of their sugar-coated "message." Of what is solidarity these people on high peddled yet in fact it is more of exploitation and subjugation? It is also a nature of the exploiter to use such "friendly", "neutral" terms to hid its obvious motives.  

***

After all, today's foreign relations deemphasised ideology and instead trying to appear as non partisan yet on the other hand trying to keep firm in its interests (especially economic). As people nowadays sought China's expansionism as a threat, it is rather more of economic interest using historical claims just like the United States and its so-called "Manifest destiny" and its "Atlanticism."

Yet since so-called "developed countries" insist their Globalisation and the creation of regions over the developing and underdeveloped, may likely to pave way in becoming districts with the developed regions, centered on the United States as its "cities" and the underdeveloped/developing regions as the "countryside." Sorry to use Lin Biao's and Suzzane Colins' if that's the case.

But as for China's threat, it has no relation, or rather say nothing to do with the domestic left and its revolution. But people, with its cold war-esque mindsets may still find it difficult to understand disassociating the domestic left with America's unlikely ally. Remember, it was the United States that made China "modern" thanks to Ronald Regan and Deng Xiaoping.


Monday, 26 January 2015

The parable of the Good Montonero

The Parable of the Good Montonero


I

It was long ago when a poor, faraway Village named San Clemente was ravaged by a typhoon. There, many houses were destroyed, most lives were killed, and its survivors left suffering, desperately trying to recover from the tragedy made by the wind, rain, and storm.

 They even have to visit the village's higher official, known as the Cabeza, pleading for aid as much a possible that made the latter promised to curry favor with the higher officials of the land:
"I promise to myself that I have to go out and seek favor with higher officials just to gain funds and buy whatever means to sustain ourselves and recover this tragedy-stricken village. We have less funds, less supplies, but I am trying my best to help you as I could. I hope god will provide us guidance."

And before he left, an old lady apprached him, gave a benediction, and said:
"May god be with you."
The Cabeza then ordered the old lady to act as an acting Cabeza and to provide needs coming from the remaining supplies stored in the Cabeza's bodega. And left, leaving his suffering people with a promise. 

After a long journey from the village, the Cabeza went to a town. There bustling with carriages, people roaming at the markets and as if nothing tragic happened, the village chieftain, with a promise to keep, then visit the house where the Gobernadorcillo both worked and lived. 

Inside the Gobernadorcillo's house was full of fine paintings and sculpture, for a lowly chieftain he do have paintings hanging, an attendant then approached him, and said:
"Whom are you seeking for Señor?"
And the Cabeza announced himself:
"I am the Cabeza from the village of San Clemente. And I am looking for the Gobernadorcillo."
"He's at the office." The attendant said.


II

At the office, the Cabeza met the Gobernadorcillo. He seemed to be richer, being the head of a bustling town, and having a bustling town means more taxes to collect. The Cabesa even thinks that he, as an higher official would likely to provide them aid with all the needs a rich and religious man can provide basing much on the picture of the blessed virgin adorned with flowers and lit with candles, and he tried to ask for aid:
 "Señor Gobernadorcillo, we need your aid in rebuilding the village of San Clemente, it was ravaged by the typhoon few days ago. Many people still homeless, hungry, sick, suffering. And we need at least enough funds in order the residents provide relief as well as materials for their homes." 

However, the Gobernadorcillo, disturbed from his work rather than concerned from what the lowly chieftain said, simply replied with arrogance: 
"Why not accept your fate that your town is where typhoons used to pass by? We heard the news about your San Clemente days ago! You should be lucky that most of you are alive, but I'm sorry to provide you just a bag of gold, forthat's what all I have to give for you!"

The Cabeza did get a bag, yet inside was just a half-full of gold coins not enough for his village's relief nor to rebuild houses; and the Gobernadorcillo said: 
"If you want aid, then why not ask the Alcalde Mayor, or the Friars, or why not let your people do the job of building themselves the way they build roads for us?" 


III

The Cabeza, embittered by the higher official's reaction, simply left the house carrying the bag of coins the Gobernadorcillo had given. He then went to a much distant yet bigger town, where the Alcalde Mayor administers as its higher official. 

However, despite approving his permission to enter his office, he sought the Alcalde Mayor busy in his papaerworks with a facial expression telling not to be disturbed. The Cabeza did asked for a permission just to curry favor as what he said earlier, but the Alcalde Mayor, happened to be supportive of the Cabeza's rival, arrogantly replied: 
"You are just a lowly Cabeza and I am supported by the Governor General, it is your problem not I to ensure the needs of the people!"
 "But..." The Cabeza said.
"Shhhh!" The Alcalde Mayor said. "take this bag of silver and go away, for I'm busy doing my work!"

Like what the Gobernadorcillo did to him, the Cabeza felt embittered by the Alcalde Mayor's arrogant reaction.


IV

 The Cabeza then took another long journey, he passed the woods, trying to evade the highwaymen, and eventually came to the palace-monastery where he plead to enter but almost not by the guards due to his shabby appearance; he then sought and called a Friar inside for help: 
"Father! Father! I am the Cabeza from the village of San Clemente and I seek help!"
The Friar sought him, and ordered the guards to let him pass by. The Friar did apologise for the matter, and asked:
"What brings you here in the palace-monastery?"
"I am seeking for help, but at first, I am hungry." The Cabeza said.

At the kitchen he was fed, one of the rooms there he was rested, given clothes, and advised that he be presented to the Governor General who was at his office with the friars waiting for him. 

At the Governor-General's office, the Governor General at first apologised to the Cabeza for almost not letting go inside the palace-monastery:
 "They thought you're like an ordinary peasant entering the monastery, sorry for almost expelling you by the guards."
 Then a friar approached him, pat his shoulder, and asked:
"What brings you here?"
"I came from the village of San Clemente." The Cabeza said. "I came here in your good office seeking your assistance in rebuilding the typhoon-ravaged village. I did curry favours yet not enough to ensure the needs of those whom are affected by the sudden wind and rain; many had died, most end sick and homeless, we need your assistance in the spirit of your mercy and compassion."
"Hm...sounds reasonable." The Governor General said. "Besides me, whom did you visit for your cause?"
"The Gobernadorcillo and the Alcalde Mayor." The Cabeza said. "But the Gobernadorcillo suggested me to bring this issue here, they give me financial aid, but not enough."

After a long talk, the Friar gave him a rosary and advised to pray not for another rain to come:
 "here, take the rosary, pray a dozen "our fathers" and "hail Mary's" so that you  and your village will be saved from the typhoon." 
And the Governor General? Other than giving him a bag of gold coins, still half-full like the others, even chided him: 
"Again, sorry for almost expelling you by the guards least you had been fed and rested in one of my rooms; and as for the typhoon that swept the village few days ago? At least that most of you didn't die right? Pardon my words Cabeza, but I prayed that the aid given to you is enough for your needs."

But Instead of getting his burden lightened, the Cabeza's expression was all but stressful, for the support given to him by the officials and the friars was not enough to call it relief, aid, welfare to uplift the needy villagers in a still typhoon-swept community. 


V

And as the Cabeza reached his village after his days-long journey, people awaited to see him, others were trying to rebuild their homes with wood scavenged from the forests, and some burying their dead in the open pits. The same old woman whom gave him a benediction then approached him in the Cabeza's house, and asked: 
"are the officals come to help us?"
 "No," the Cabeza said. "But they provide us few bags of coins, but I am sorry of it is not enough to call it a relief the way our bodega's stocks not enough to sustain our needs. Perhaps, we have to work on ourselves instead, and I'll tell my men to use the funds to buy anything for our relief, as well as for materials as long as it fits."
The Old woman simply nod on what the Cabeza said to her, and said:
"At least you have tried Señor Cabeza, as much as possible those funds must be use to buy our food, as well as materials to build our homes." 

Few days after, as people still trying to rebuild their lives piece by piece from the funds given from the higher officials, a band of Montoneros, carrying guns, goods, and on horseback, came to see the entire place still ravaged. 


VI

At first, people felt so scared at them since these Montoneros are rebels fighting against the ruling order, oftentimes being called as forest or mountain bandits attacking the roads looting what comes from the journeying rich; the guards couldn't even raise their guns as these rebels quite many. The Cabeza then came to meet them in the road, and said:
"We terribly sorry, we can't give you anything because of the typhoon that ravaged this community. Our crops being destroyed by the sudden wind and rain, so are the houses. Most lives were killed, all of us here are suffering; kill us if you want, but we can't give you what you insist."
Then the leader of the Montoneros replied: 
"We're here to help better than those who had afforded to make fools out of you. We may've been called bandits by the order, but to those whom are in need we can give what we have. Pardon our mistake of carrying our guns, but we came here to provide food and assistance to those whom are in need including help to rebuild your homes, make food, tending the sick, and bury the dead." 

And he ordered the rest to help the people in rebuilding their homes, giving them food, tending the sick, and bury the dead; the Cabeza, as well as the people, and even the guards felt surprised, even delighted on what the rebels did, and said:
"I don't know how to say señor besides thank you."
"No need to say thanks Cabeza," the Montonero said, "This place is usually passed by the strong wind, rain, and storm, but this place should not be left behind. Isn't it supposed to be a priority of the government to help the victims? How come there are no people, besides you directly helping?"
"They gave us funds," the Cabeza said. "But not enough to sustain our needs. Some of them even mocked us and vent their arrogance, why on earth these people whom supposed to help one another are not really helping?" 
"The fields are meant to be for your people, for their happiness," the Montonero said as he looked at the ravaged farms and houses. "You should even know being the Cabeza that these people are making fools and leaving you behind. Your people till, reap every wheat yet they can't even feed themselves full as most of these are being used as tribute, tithe, or tax that benefits the officials and the oligarchs in this forsaken country."
"I don't know señor," the Cabeza said, "I'm just an official in this community, and I just tried to curry favor to those whom likely to give something for us. But instead, a few bags, promises, even foolish remarks."
"Forget them," the Montonero said, "what is important is to see your village back in its own feet. If they can't provide you much then it is better to roll up your sleeve and work together. They provide you few bags of gold and silver coins, yet this town is rich with resources to sustain your needs. We the Montoneros are here to serve the people, and if the Governor General and his officials fail to provide what is needed, we are here to help and struggle with you."
The Cabeza simply nod on what the Montonero said to him, and said:
"Thank you, but how can we repay your deed of helping us?"
"You need not to repay señor, but instead their actions create a shining path for the coming revolution." the Montonero said as he opened a pack of cigarettes. He also offered some to the Cabeza, and said:
"Here, take some cigarette, it would stop from making you worried."

And the Cabeza took one stick of cigarette from the Montonero, lit, and puffed as his village being rebuild with the help of  those the system called "bandits".



Wednesday, 21 January 2015

"All after the visit..."

"All after the visit..."


"After five days of Francis and his sermons, back to your Marcelo and his quotes.
After five days of words like poor and justice, back to your whinings about your lovelife.
After five days trying to sympathize with the poor, back to your usual apathies.
After five days of being under detention, children end wandering in the streets.
After five days of acting faithful, most end acting as hypocrites.

Who are these people to judge anyway?
Anyways, admit that most of your people unintentionally loves to judge."

These are the words this writer said prior to making this hell of a kind post. Hell of a kind in a sense that people revert to their normal, sinful behaviour after five days trying hard to appear as holy as the heavens above, given the Philippines as a Christian nation to take pride of. 

However, also given most Filipinos' penchance for being judgemental towards others, it seems that respect, tolerance, solidarity, and other terms related, including the virtues of faith, hope, and love, to that five day event was all but words to remember and less of a practise; and if the Pope had afforded to forgive bashers, perhaps in the name of fanaticism, rather than faith they rather bash, blame, make shit just to defend their belief during that occasion.
Furthermore, these same people eventually wither away their own godliness, save for the pictures and other visual memorabilia about the said visit, be it from the Nunciature, Taft Avenue, Malacañang, Luneta, University of Santo Tómas, or at Tacloban; and proceed with their usual posting of quotes such as from Marcelo Santos, of whinings about their lovelife, of missing their gimmicks and other shit during that long weekend. While self-gratifying Politicians and oligarchs would revert to their dirty work after days of appearing "clean"; and if they do "dirty work", then it also appears "as clean as white" too! Thanks to a series of press releases and "welfare" gimmicks "in spirit of 'Mercy' and 'Compassion'".  

Quite worrying indeed so to speak in this post-Papal extravaganza. Especially in treating the Pope's statements as all but words to remember and less of a commitment. Will the so-called religious stand with the needy? This writer don't think so as they focus much on their interests and be apathetic in regards to the much important calls of today, unless they follow the experience of then Jorge Bergoglio from being an ultraconservative who favors not to stand with the poor to those of a revolutionary clergyman visiting the depressed areas and dealing with the dispossessed; he's not even an adherent of Liberation Theology, but come to think of this: how come his statements are Liberative and looking at realities rather than mere ideas? 

With all the fatalisms being invoked to and by the people particularly those whom are laden by heavy rituals yet less in understanding, then Pope Francis would have also think that the system, regardless of its so-called commitment for the "common good" remains unable to provide humane living condition, worse, letting people themselves citing that they put all their trust "only to the lord", as taught by Filipino priests and by so-called established traditions. One example was that the Pope insist that parents should be responsible and not breed like rabbits, as well as the corrupt be tied to a rock and thrown into the sea!

Will the clergy as well as the laity accept what the pope said particularly those of the latter? The concerned would say "don't think so" about those statements, knowing that those statements be end diluted by those trying to stand firm in their interests. In a way terms such as "Be Fruitful and Multiply" had became "Go fourth and Multiply"; while "service to the people", and even "Solidarity" be reduced to those of mere "charity" particularly those of almsgiving.

Besides that, the event may likely to lose its value, for there are those whom are presenting to be religious are also at the same time loudmouths venting foul statements one after another; and there are those whom presenting as helpful to some yet apathetic to most. All and all, they appeared as religious, Christian-like but they are obviously irreligious, Unchristian-like due to their emphasis on their interest. 

So again, will the clergy as well as the laity truly reiterate the statement undiluted, or rather say put the words into practise? Perhaps the event that started last Thursday of this month should not be treated as a mere in review being featured on the last day of December. 

No wonder why people are rich in rituals yet poor in faith, 
No wonder why people are good in statements yet poor in value,
No wonder why people are trying to be reasonable yet obviously sentimental,
No wonder why people are great in words yet poor in deeds,
No wonder why people are appearing strong yet actually weak.

That's all for now.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Saenz de Tejada: an assessment

Sáenz de Tejada: an Assessment


As most Spaniards drew more into the works of the classical Goya, the experimental Dali, and the rebellious Picasso, some would rather look at the works of one of Spain's familiar painters such as during Franco's Period, and one of them was those of Carlos Sáenz de Tejada.

Known for being a staunch Francoist during the Spanish Civil War, Sáenz de Tejada was a known painter, poster designer, costume designer, decorator and illustrator. His style was eclectic, ranging from mannerism, epic naturalism, to those fascist aestheticism he was identified with, and occasionally involved in avant-garde experiments such as those of neocubism.

That somehow this writer had find it interesting to see some of his works regardless of his political sympathies. This page had once featured Franco's Cultural policy as obviously rural, reactionary, and at the same time trying to appear modern just to appease its neighbours; like Sáenz de Tejada would say that it was eclectic just to show the Spanish spirit in regards to its culture and the arts.


His Early life and Works

Being a son of the diplomat Carlos Sáenz de Tejada y Groizard and María de Lezama González del Campillo, his family comes from the old aristocracy that was strongly rooted in Rioja Alavesa; however, since the crisis of the Old Regime in the late nineteenth century had lost the preeminence of their social status as aristocrats, his father was forced to take up foreign service as his profession, and his family stayed in various countries until eventually found themselves in Madrid after a series of diplomatic travails.
Carlos began his art training early under Daniel Cortes in 1908 in Oran, Morroco, and then José María López Mezquita in 1911 (later directed by Fernando Alvarez de Sotomayor), and in 1916 joining the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando–under Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida. Soon Tejada was producing tons of illustrations for many famous publications, including La Libertad, Neuvo Mundo, Robe, Revista de Occidente, Alfar, and Aspas. He was also selected for the Salon d'Automne of 1924 (which also featured José Gutiérrez Solana and Pablo Picasso) and for the Iberian Artists Exhibition 1925 at Parque del Retiro in Madrid.



The Board for Advanced Studies sent him to Paris to study mural painting. There he worked intermittently in the period 1926-1935, illustrating for foreign magazines Robe, Femina, Jardin des Modes, Harper's Bazaar and Vogue; besides designing posters like the dance show "La Argentinita" as well as decorating mounts for the scenes such as "Carmen" and "Bolero". He worked at several publishers like The Pleiades, Chiffrin, or Draegger, and collaborated with publications in London, Berlin and New York. His figurines and fashion drawings spread the own stylized and sports feminine image of modernity in the thirties; similar to those of Rafael de Penagos.

In 1935 he returned to Madrid, where he illustrates for ABC, Blanco y Negro, and designed a poster for the Círculo de Bellas Artes; and spent summer holidays at his family home in Laguardia (Álava), where he had been appointed as "adopted" son in 1938 (some biographies give as born there).


Sympathizing with the "Right" as its Artist
(And revisiting views on Spanish visual "Propaganda" during Franco's period)

Initially sympathised with the Carlists prior and during the Spanish Civil War in 1936, Sáenz de Tejada became one of the artists whom supporting the dictator Franco. For the "Nationalists", he achieved great artistic prominence (as the Republicans admire works of Pablo Picasso) from the time General Jordana found drawings featuring war for the English magazine Sphere, as well as sent drawings for the French magazine L'Illustration. Incorporated into service of Press and Propaganda of the Army in Salamanca, as well as in graphic arts publications illustrating the Delegations of Press and Propaganda (Vertice Revista de San Sebastián, 1937-1943), his work became an iconographic reference of the Franquists; and were used to illustrate books of prime importance: the Poem of the beast and the angel of José María Pemán (1938) and History of the Spanish Crusade by Joaquín Arrarás (1940-1944).

Besides illustrating for magazines and making paintings, he restores artworks for the Provincial Council of Álava, and develops an extensive program of murals in various public buildings in Vitoria, in the Valley of the Fallen and the Agricultural Research Institute of the Complutense University of Madrid. Between 1939 and 1950, he illustrates for the calendar of the Central Bank. He worked as artistic director of La Moda in Spain (1943-1947), and the Editorial Fournier in 1948.

Most of his artworks bear obvious propaganda similar to those of Hitler's Germany, Leon Degrelle's Wallonia, and other Fascist art that was given emphasis on rural living and of the past particularly those of war. Given the cultural policy of Franco as emphasised on classicism and romanticism, Saenz de Tejada expressed it as such. One example was "Cara al Sol" which was based from the Anthem sung by the Francoists.



Besides that, he features the Carlists as a defender of faith and tradition, like the Falange, the Carlists were allies of the Franco regime amidst its ideological differences. Again, it features the folksy setting, the rugged, peasant-like appearance trying to keep firm Spain's cherished tradition and order. Falange under Franco became like any other reactionary entity like the Carlists and the Legitimists, hence far from its supposed futurist, republican, syndicalist roots.




Yet the other hand, he also showed fairness and balance on some paintings featuring those of his enemies during the civil war, featuring the Republican banner and of the Red Flag. Again, same style as those of the paintings supported by the state. How come the setting was more of rejoice despite sympathizing with the Carlists prior to the civil war? The title of the painting speaks for itself: Republica.



Quite strange for a member of the nobility to create artworks that were deemed "radical" in its message yet carries a classical if not a romanticised twist. 

Spaniards during Franco's period would say that his works was all but a continuation of a "glorious past" not just a propaganda material. Artists like Teodoro and Álvaro Delgado, José Caballero, Juan Acha, Jesus Olasagasti, as well as Sáenz de Tejada himself exalt tradition, rural life, anything that was folksy as contrary to the modern works of the Republican's Pablo Picasso. Salvador Dali was an exception since he's also stayed in Spain during Franco and at the same time creating the same artwork he familiarised with.

But come to think of this, since Sáenz de Tejada was known in art circles as an illustrator for both Spanish and Foreign papers, how come during Franco's period people around the world looked at the works of Picasso and Dali?

***


Admittingly speaking, his artwork is rarely seen as an example of Spanish art. Given the popularity of Goya, Picasso, and fellow Francoist Dali, Sáenz de Tejada's work was limited to certain sites online related to Spanish art and culture, sorry to say if only Francoists, Falangists, or Fascists in general had seen his works, even praising him and heckle those of Picasso and even Dali; but for fairness' sake, his work tries to be both classical and modernist given the era that was made, but being associated with Franco would mean countless scrutiny the way German, Italian, or even Soviet, Chinese, or Korean artists being sought.

Ironically, as early as 1968, Franco had expressed an interest in having Picasso's Guernica be returned to Spain. The latter turned down his offer, and expressed that it will be returned if the Spanish people again enjoyed a republic. He later added other conditions, such as the restoration of "public liberties and democratic institutions" once enjoyed prior to the war. Perhaps, for Franco he sought it as a part of Spanish culture the way he preserved the ruins of a Spanish town ravaged by the conflict he had led; again, it shows eclecticism, or even contrary to his policy that mimics those of the rulers he himself look as his inspiration. Prior to the Torre de Madrid, the architecture of his period mimics those of Escorial and the Alcazar, so were the artworks, trying to continue what El Greco or Goya did only to found out Dali's and the subversive Picasso's were much known in his time. 

Anyways, be it Heroic Realism, Futurism, Folk-inspired, or Agitprop. This writer sought and understand both the beauty of its work, and the painter as a propagandist.


Saturday, 17 January 2015

Stand with the unjust'ed!

"Stand with the Unjust'ed!"


At first, it may be surprising that the Pope, instead of speaking about the usual peace and friendship tackles much about justice, freedom, and solidarity with the poor. 

In a speech at Malacanang, Pope Francis bids the people to break the bonds of injustice and oppression which give rise to glaring, and scandalous social inequalities. And in order to reform social structures requires a conversion of both mind and heart.

This would sound easy for the ruling gentries, of bureaucrats and oligarchs, simply by trying to appear popular no matter how corrupt they are; that by "heeding" the "call of the poor" and just given Panem et Circenses it is enough for them just to "shut themselves up." If not mistaken, this reminds this person on how a once congressman said to his constituent that he provides entertainment yet these people needs empowerment. Another official from a distant province had even used the people, providing goods and stuff, calling it charity, yet actually just to claim their votes for the coming elections. Is this what they call providing needs? Breaking the bonds of inequality and steering social development? And lately, the President is crying wolf in front of the Pope, apeshit as what another page said, criticising the clergy for not supporting his regime and at the same time self-proclaiming that his righteous path continues that actually ridden by corpses and filth! "He could have spoken about the various ills of the Philippine society, yet he chose to be self-patronizing at a time when the Philippines is at the global spotlight. It brings not only shame but utter disgust, and leaves all Filipinos, Catholic or not, with a bitter taste in the mouth." As what Vencer Crisostomo said. 

Pardon this person's incorrectness, but for the so-called "wretcheds of the earth", the hunger driven slaves of today, and ailienated from true selves, the socio-politically oppressed and repressed for generations, economically exploited and disenfranchised, in the face of malicious statements, of half baked projects, the pope's message means an arduous task that is sound, real, and just. 

This task would have been suceeded if not for those who chose to keep firm in a rotting status quo and be justified further by its apologetics. Within his Visit, prisoners continue to clamor in asserting their rights, of their innocence, as well as their freedom in expressing their beliefs. Exposés involving imprisoned children had been greatly tackled in circles, much more that same old scandals involving higher officials still tackled in social media sites. "What is done is done and cannot be undone" as what William Shakespeare obviously said, and a massive, costly, and damaging mistake has been done and now cannot be undone regardless of their statements and half baked actions the system had "offered".

No matter what they say, the Pope's message is clear, and that is a swift, distributive, and social justice. The system may tried its best to dilute the message of the Pope, whether it is from Malacañang, Luneta, University of Sto. Tomas, Manila Metropolitan Cathedral, or at Tacloban. But for sure there are those whom also trying to spread the man's undiluted message amidst all risks such as asserting Solidarity with the people rather than mere Charity. One should remember that prior to liberation theology that was both praised and abhorred by Catholics and Protestants, people like Thomas Aquinas, Thomas Müntzer, The Working Priest movement, Living Church, and other like-minded groups and individuals, did have a greater share in making the church an entity that supports the call of the people to the extent of justifying rebellion as necessary to counter established repression, as well as to assert distributive, liberating justice by those whom are truly in need. 

So with this background picture of the festivities in mind, and the problems and aims of the nation people faced, what people can say that the masses, the poor as what the Pope said is that: must strive and struggle, learn and serve, for the day when these oppressed are in position to determine their life, to the totality of their life. A position in which will not only provide them appropriate needs, opportunities in choosing their own destinies, but also the authority of maintaining true, sound peace and order, a just society in which the rule of law and a regime of truth, justice, freedom, love, equality be truly maintained. Of what are these if it is not for the masses anyway? And who, what is more faithful in asserting such commitment? 

Stand with the Unjust'ed as what this person say, and solidarity, rather than the usual charity is its requirement in asserting and realising the call for justice. 

Again, Viva il Papa! Suportar los descamisados! 

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Mercy and Compassion? Justice!

Mercy and Compassion? Justice!

by Kat Ulrike





With the Pope's visit just days away, it seems that everybody's trying to prepare their "best" in anticipation of the Pontiff's coming.

Ranging from streamers being placed in the roadsides, plannings regarding security measures, selling of tshirts and dolls, to a theme song being played in national radio and television, the event is more than a diplomatic one but a festive occasion, given the fact that the Pope, the so-called "Pontifex Maximus" is the representative of Christ on earth, yes, and being a dominant Christian country in Asia means making things well done for a man of god to see, trying hard to be good for a few days, then return to normal as he leaves.

However, given the fact that the Pope is an outspoken opponent of Capitalism and preferring simplicity over lavishness of his predecessors, seems that the event is contradictory to his principles. That he wants to see the reality, to be closer to the people, and perhaps willing to chastisize the bullshit out of those whom spend millions, of not billions of pesos just to make a "fool" out of him. 
That, as according to Jhoanna Paola Ballaran, it is quite ironic that while they heed the Pontiff's denounciation of consumerism and calls it "poison", they took advantage of the occasion just to rake profits. Be it in a form of tshirts, caps, dolls, and even rumors of "tickets" allegedly made for the coming mass.

It is also ironic, that as compradores, bureaucrats, oligarchs, trying to appear as "clean as white", the stench of their corruption continues to release no matter they are trying to control it. Expect that these people, with all their foolishness, is trying to act charitable, giving some few chunks and tell the world that they are making communities better; yet in actual they are trying to save themselves from criticism especially after how they exploit anything for their self-benefit. They would appear themselves as merciful and compassionate, and yet they are crooked, rotting, corrupt beings trying to cling on to their so-called prestige at the expense of people's hardship. Remember LRT/MRT fare hikes? Hacienda Lusita? Manobos in Davao, Aetas of Central Luzon, Mangyans of Mindoro, Cordillerans, and the Bangsamoro people still crying for justice and self determination? The ill fated "efforts" after typhoons Ondoy, Pepeng, Pablo, Yolanda? These are the actions of the system far from its self-proclaimed depiction as merciful, compassionate. 

Actually, basing much on what everyone observes, from the roads free of commoners to the removing of posters calling for the Pope to join hands with the masses, the system is really acting stubborn in making a festive occasion to the extent of having a paranoia against its people. Sorry for the readers, but the Pope is yearning to see reality that is poverty depicted by shantytowns and not a façade of progress as those of Makati's high rise buildings.
And the system? with its millions of pesos spent is hastingly trying to appear the Philippines the way it is shown to tourists: an amicable populace, festive like any other brouhaha, trying to look orderly as possible, Imeldific in the eyes of the nouveau riche; yet no matter they are trying to invoke "the true, good and beautiful", still the Pontifex Maximus, Vicarius Christi, the head of the Vatican City-State is somehow wise enough to know about the inconvenient truth about the country he is visiting, be it corrupted, poor, repressed, miserable.


That, besides those from the urban poor in the cities seeking sound housing and empowerment, farmers in the countryside continues to clamor for their own land to till, workers for their additional living wages, students for affordable education, artists and writers for their right to speech and expression, a nation that is yearning for national and social liberation that is not being given by those on high yet afford to make the said event possible. Hence, basing on these yearnings, Mercy and Compassion is not enough, and basing on the speeches people had heard from him, he demands a real implementation of Social Justice, the way his country did, under the efforts of Juan and Evita Peron! 


Pardon this person's language, but the Filipino people is really yearning for that so-called "Justice and Freedom" besides "Mercy and Compassion" being said from streamers to advertisements. The Pope's undiluted language of justice and freedom speaks for itself, and even the clergy is accepting the fact that he wanted radical change yet they are trying to lessen its inconvenient reality he vented. "I prefer a church which is bruised, hurting, and dirty" as what the Pope said, is some of the clergy whom is contented at their comforts seriously adhere to his statement? Remember, even the lord Jesus Christ said this according to Matthew 10:34 of the Douay-Rheims bible:

"Do not think that I came to send peace upon earth: I came not to send peace, but the sword."

So is the Pope, in an article from the Telegraph made 2 years ago, said:

"Pope Francis has delivered a fiery sermon against corruption, quoting a passage from the Bible in which Jesus said some sinners deserve to be tied to a rock and thrown into the sea.

In one of his strongest-worded homilies since he was elected in March, the Argentinian pontiff said Christians who lead “a double life” by giving money to the Church while stealing from the state are sinners who deserve to be punished.

Quoting from the Gospel of St Luke in the New Testament, he said “Jesus says: It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck and he be thrown into the sea.”"


Remember, the Church is not a building with a belltower and a cross, altar and chandeliers, but a body of believers, including the dispossessed masses seeking justice not just mercy.

Personally, if given a chance, the Pope would rather go incognito or with a few men for a "bodyguard", seeing him ride in a jeep, trike, or walking by foot, having sermon in a simple chapel at the slums of Tondo, Quiapo church, Payatas dumpsite, and going to Tacloban dressed as a missionary priest, drinking Tuba or a 3-in-1 coffee, and speaking Waray and Tagalog with the people whom he wanted to meet and understand their situations particularly those of land, bread, freedom, justice.

And be called as "subversive" by the system not knowing that he, the reverend holy father Jorge "ka Kiko" Bergoglio is the Pope himself, wearing simple soutane or a polo barong, and stays at a lowly Parokya of Fr. Benjamin Alforque; his statements is more of a radical than those of a conservative people used to. You even wonder why he speaks more of poverty, corruption, misery, greater than those of his predecessors, the way he wanted to cleanse the church from its filth being tolerated for years, if not generations.

Yes, He is the people's Pope, the beloved Pontiff, and he wants to open the windows greater as the church needs air and support from its people; if Juan Peron had afforded to call Che and Fidel as "Justicialistas" then so is he.


Anyways, Bienvenido Papa Francisco, Bienvenido representaje del Cristo! Avancemos a luchar! Venceremos!

Por paz, tierra, pan, y justicia.


Friday, 9 January 2015

"Mismanaged Development"

"Mismanaged Development"

(Or all after the latest fare increase 
and the still mismanaged mass transport system 
thanks to diversionists and saboteurs)


Few days ago, the increase in LRT and MRT fares is being enacted in full force. Imposed last year, the said increase in fares was met with both approval and criticism, with the latter that is mostly expressed by commuters seeking affordability. 

From 15 to additional five peso increase going from Legarda to Cubao as an example, most people may likely not to accept the said increase, no matter it tries to appear "affordable" as insisted by the government and its apologetics, much more that they are repeating the mantra of development that is actually mismanaged by both bureaucrat and compradore whom afforded to gain money from both subsidies and kickbacks, while letting improvements in the mass transport system be half-developed, hence resulting to glitches, if not accidents.

And since the system arrogantly saidth about its chunk of the increase goes to the transit's income rather than the supposed improvements, of what is increasing fares then to the commuters seeking affordable transport alternative? Where are the subsidies that actually diverted by corrupt bureaucrats and compadores gaining kickbacks from anomalous contracts resulting to mismanaged development? Anyways, apologetics are starting to create a new series of alibis to justify the increase besides repeating the mantra of "development" that is mismanaged by these compradores.

No offense, but increasing fares does not guarantee improvement of things but instead a two way road. Most likely, it regularly goes to income as public transport can also serves as an investment by those whom had really pooled money in that enterprise. The state, whom tries to make a real share as a "benefactor of the people," provides subsidies to support evenly the maintenance and improvement of facilities, trains, as well as its affordability for its customers. But, it is also the same government whom insist unjust "laissez faire" such as deregulation, privatisation, and commercialisation of public assets that also meant less subsidies and possibly yearly fares. MRT, unlike the LRT, is a joint state-private enterprise that is meant to be take over fully by the former after a span of few years; yet with the policies being stated in this post, particularly those of privatisation would meant a full takeover by the profit-driven compradore sector is possible.

Some would dare to refute this statement and babble the usual mantra of development, but the majority of the users, no matter how they are trying to continue using the said transit amidst the fare increase likely not to consider what the system had approved on behalf of profit. A few would be contented on that kind of outcome, for most cannot just content especially after an insufficient minimum wage and higher prices rising. Perhaps one would say that there are alternatives to the recently fare increased LRT or MRT; such as jeepneys, buses, and taxis. That if the Metro Rail Transit Corporation (MRTC), Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA), or perhaps private owners (like Ayala, Cojuangco or any other foreign sounding names) taking over any of these mass transit systems, and charged their daily passengers P60, P80, or even higher per trip, then consumers have the right to choose among MRT/LRT, jeepney, bus, or taxi; furthermore, car owners whom usually using mass transport opted to use their own vehicles instead amidst rising oil prices. Another would even dare to ask But how about other sectors like the jeepney, bus, and taxi operators and their drivers as well as their families if people insist not to increase fares evenly, and create competition within mass transport. 

But the conclusion is this: aggravated traffic jams due to the growing number of buses, jeeps, and taxis; and worse, what if fares in most transport increase altogether, especially when oil is deregulated and encouraged by the profit driven few? No wonder why those who insist fare increases are actually those who favor letting mass transport be at the hands of the profit-driven few who loves increases trying to siphon off those from the cash-strapped commoners. Competition? Deregulation? Much likely trying to create an artificial crisis. And if one afford to say that the government has been subsidizing all mass transit systems because of the "evil belief" that the government must also provide basic needs then the compradores will make it worse using yearly increases starting with the present one people chose to be against. 

Anyways, who's controlling the government? Isn't it that the compradores? No wonder why there are commuters has to raise their middle fingers no matter they able to ride in that vehicle.