Tag Archives: Activism

[Tula] ‘Di Terorista si Ama at Ina -ni Rene Boy Abiva

‘Di Terorista si Ama at Ina
ni Rene Boy Abiva

Narinig ni Asyong sa radyo:
tumaas na naman po
ang presyo ng mga sumusunod
at t’yak aaray ang inyong mga bulsa
at kukunot ang inyong mga pawisin
at makikintab na noo.

Tumaas kangina lamang umaga
ang matrikula
ang bigas
ang gasolina
ang tinapay
ang sigarilyo
ang galunggong
ang pamasahe
ang sardinas
ang asukal
ang karne
ang tubig
ang kuryente
ang sabon
ang shampoo
ang pestisidyo
ang abono
ang lahat-lahat sa merkado
‘ika ng gobyerno’y ‘ala ‘tong magagawa
kundi sumunod sa batas ng pandaigdigang pamilihan.

Naisip ni Asyong ang kanilang abang kalagayan,
limang taong kontraktwal sa pagawaan ng tsinelas
ang kanyang Ate at Kuya
kulang ‘sang dekadang labandera ang kanyang Ina
at dalawang taong street sweeper naman ang kanyang Ama.
Mababa ang sahod
maraming kaltas
kayat ang bunga ng paggawa sa ‘sang linggo’y
sapat lang upang bumuhay ng aso.
At buti pa noon ‘ika nila
nang ‘sang gabing magkakaharap sila
sa gegewang-gewang nilang hapag kainan,
“na kung ika’y kakahig noon ng isa
t’yak ika’y may matutuka
eh ngayon, sampung kahig ka na
alanganin pang ika’y may matuka.”

Nag-isip-isip ang kanyang Ama
balak n’yang bumalik at magsaka na lamang
sa kanilang Nayon, sa may Santa Barbara
kaso, nang maka-usap n’ya ang kanyang bunsong kapatid,
abay ‘ala na pala ang kanilang kapiranggot na lupa
inangkin na pala ito ng mga Intsik
pinalayas ang mga gaya nilang magbubukid
at paglao’y tinayuan ng mga dambuhalang Mall
ang bukiring dati’y nagkukulay ginto t’wing anihan.

Nalungkot ang Ama ni Asyong,
at ‘lang gabing ‘di ito nakakatulog
waring mababaliw ito
gayundin ang kanyang Ina
hanggang sa ‘sang araw,
nagiba ang paghahari ng panglaw
nang may ipabatid ang ‘sang grupo ng mga kabataan
na may malaking welgang magaganap
mananawagan daw ang mga maralita, manggagawa
magsasaka at kabataan
na gawing makamasa ang halaga ng mga kalakal
nang araw din na yao’y ‘alang kimi-kimi
dagling napa-‘oo’ ang Ama ni Asyong
waring ‘to na ang matagal n’yang hinihintay na kasagutan
“sasama ako sa gaya kong aba,
‘di lang naman ako ang magpoprotesta eh
sasama din naman sina Kumareng Maria at Belen,
gayundin si Kumpareng Boy at Atong
t’yak iisa ang dahilan namin
iisa ang dahilan namin.”
‘ika nito sa sarili.

Araw na ng welga at nagpaalam s’ya sa kanyang pamilya
iginayak ng kanyang payat at ‘ala ng dibdib na asawa
ang kanyang bag
na may lamang maliit na ‘sang tuwalya, dalawang damit
at maingat na ibinalot sa selopin
ang tirang kaning lamig at ‘sang piraso ng tuyo,
waring sasabak sa ‘sang malayong paglalakbay at digmaan
bago n’ya lisanin ang kanilang barung-barong
ay hinalikan n’ya muna ang kanyang kabiyak
pagkatapos ay humakbang s’ya pasulong
naglakad papalapit sa nagngangalit na bulto
ng anak-pawis.

Kinagabiha’y maaga s’yang naka-uwi
hapung-hapo matapos ang maghapong pagmamartsa
naupo sa harap ng nakatiwangwang na hapag kainan
at dagli naman s’yang tinabihan
ng kanyang kakatapos maglabang asawa
na noo’y basang-basa pa ang daster na suot
“ano ang resulta ng welga?” ‘ika nito,
“abay sa dami namin kangina’y t’yak diringgin ng mga opisyal
ang aming mga kahilingan
sa susunod pala na buwan ay may welgang magaganap na naman
dadalo muli ako doon.”
“ganun ba? Basta mag-iingat ka. ‘Lam mo naming mainit ang gobyero ngayon
laban sa mga Kaliwa,” mahinahong payo nito.

Maya-maya’y kumahol ang aso ng kanilang kapitbahay
galit na galit ‘to’t nais kumawala sa kanyang tanikala
maya-maya’y pumiyok ‘to na waring hinampas ng matigas na bagay
at biglang umaligawngaw ang sunod-sunod na putok ng baril.

Praaaaakkkkkkk!

Nangamoy pulbura ang hangin
habang sa masikip na mga eskinita’y nangagsipagtakbuhan
ang pulutong ng mga tambay
pauwi na noon ang mga magkakapatid
at naging palaisipan sa kanila kung bakit nagmumula sa kanilang barung-barong
ang mga nangagsipagtakbuhan,
dagli silang lumapit at tumambad sa kanilang paningin
ang tahanan nilang tinadtad ng bala,
butas-butas at may mga patak ng dugo
pumasok ang tatlo at nagulat sila sa kanilang nakita
magkayakap ang ‘ala nang buhay nilang Ama at Ina
sa gilid ng lamesa’y may naka-ipit na palara
na markado ng mga salitang:
“mga suporter ng mga teroristang NPA, ubusin!”

Napaluhod ang magkakapatid
ang ‘sang balot ng pansit ay halos sumabog
sa higpit ng pagkakakuyom ng palad ni Asyong
gayundin ang kanyang mga kapatid
hanggang ‘sang araw sila’y naglaho
at ‘di na sila muling nakita pa sa iskwater na yaon
hanggang sa isang araw…
nakita s’yang ‘asa tuktok ng ‘sang dyip
nagsasalita, sumisigaw at nang-uupat
“ang aktibismo ay ‘di terorismo…
patuloy tayong nililinlang at inaapi ng iilan
kaya’t panahon na! panahon na!
upang ang mga gaya nating anakpawis
ay magkusot ng mata
at patibayin higit ang ating hanay.
Imperyalismo, ibagsak!
Burukrata Kapitalismo, Ibagsak!
Pyudalismo, Ibagsak!”

At sa t’wing ‘asa ibabaw s’ya ng dyip
sa katirikan ng araw ay kanyang nakikita
ang imahe ng kanyang
yumaong Ama at Ina na nakahalo
sa naghihimagsik na dagat at bulto ng mga api.

-April 18, 2018

*ang may-akda ay dating bilanggong politikal. Nakulong ng kulang limang taon at nakalaya lamang noong Agosto 1, 2017. Awtor siya ng TULIGSA at iba pang mga tula at National Fellow ng Palihang Rogelio Sicat. Photo from his FB.

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[Blog] The Power of Love: Against All Odds By Jose Mario De Vega

The Power of Love: Against All Odds
By Jose Mario De Vega

I completely understand and I have no illusion whatsoever that the stand I am taking today will be met with paeans of criticism, condemnation, rebuke, mockery and barrage of renunciation by the bastard herds considering the very fact of the seeming abnormality, unconventionality and oddness of the case I am about to discuss and defend, no matter how indefensible it may seem.

Mario De Vega

A couple of days ago, a Filipino rock icon shocked the whole show business and perhaps, the entire nation, too.

The case: He is a sixty year old man who admitted to the whole world that he is in-love and seeing a sixteen year old girl.

Initially, due to my pressing tight schedule (it’s the finals week and I am marking volumes of bloody papers, recording and encoding a lot of grades) and the nature of the case, I’ve decided to stay away with the same, yet after seeing what in my view are strings and series of utterly unfair commentaries, super below the belt reactions and completely malicious and unjust accusations leveled against the said singer and his poor girl, I’ve decided to put away, so to speak my work for a while and come out into the open to take up the cudgel for them!

As a radical philosopher and an activist professor, I cannot keep my silence, especially seeing that a grave injustice and a great slander is being committed repeatedly and on a daily basis against this odd couple.

As already noted, Ka Freddie is one of our world famous artist and one of our Living Legend on the art and craft of music. Needless to state, the guy is so famous and so popular, not only here but also abroad.

Now, it seems now that he at present, perhaps the most detested man in our society and country.
Nonetheless, this writer is not concern here with popularity and personalities, but rather my aim is to somehow harmonize no matter how hard and difficult it is the substantive question of private and public interest.

As an independent observer and in a sense, a judge, I am not swayed by the opportunistic, moralistic and hypocritical bandwagonism of “hooting throng” and “moral drums” that may make us, in fact sadly, a great number of our people, to see things through the prisms of prejudice, ignorance, arrogance and conservatism.

I have no need for that and I completely renounce and denounce that!

As a social scientist, I always bear in mind that when I dissect, study and analyze an issue or an event or a problem for that matter that affects society and our community I must be governed by rationality, humanity and objectivity.

In doing so, I must cast all personal feelings aside, to be objective and fair in my social analysis and academic endeavor.

This shocking issue before us must be resolved with total objectivity and impartiality, on the basis not only of the established facts and the applicable law, but also of the higher question of individuality and humanity, and not of some holier than thou mentality, moral cartel, some so-called established convention, time-honored values, long held beliefs, historical traditions and fixed culture.

I admit that on the level of the law, the icon’s act is illegal. I also submit that that on the sphere of socially accepted norms and prevailing morality, his conduct is ‘immoral’ and socially unacceptable.

I say that with a heavy heart, but still I say them nonetheless; yet in admitting that the act that he committed is illegal and immoral; is there a sense in which wherein we can still somehow justify his act of defying the socially accepted norms and established traditions and beliefs?

I know that my contention is controversial, but I will argue that though the icon’s act is illegal and immoral, his act of loving a young woman is justifiable still in a certain extent, because love is blind and love is the most powerful feeling ever known to man.

On that sense, I will defend his act as being ethical! It is ethical in my view by virtue of that fact that he just followed what his heart is telling and/or commanding him and he did not violate anybody’s or anyone’s specific rights!

To love is to be human and to be truly human is to true to one’s self against the whole world!

The Question of Public and Private Sphere of Human Action

Indeed, “the laws of a society ultimately have an ethical purpose: to protect the members of a community from harm, to maintain a system of law and order so that tranquility will prevail, to provide wholesome conditions so that individuals can pursue their diverse purposes, to insure the general welfare, and to maximize the opportunities for happiness.”

All of these are being carried out by the state through its agency the government to protect the general welfare and defend the public interest.

Hence, any action committed or done by a citizen within the public sphere is exactly within the domain of the government.

Nonetheless, a society especially a democratic one is not unlimited in its scope of power and societal control in all the sphere of human activities and individual conduct, by virtue of the fact that not all actions are within the province of the public.

There are areas in human affairs in which the public and the state and the government have no right to intrude or invade. That domain or sphere is the zone or sphere of Individual Human Privacy.

Every time I say that the government has no right to legislate morality, I am specifically referring to private morality in contradistinction with public morality.

To illustrate: the government has no right to tell me how the hell I am going to live my life, but it is the primary business of the government to prohibit me from killing someone or raping someone or burning and/or destroying the property of another individual.

The former is within my right to privacy, while the latter is within morals of the public and the government based on the public interest rule does have the legal power and the political right to command me and all citizens for that matter not to do those nefarious things and criminal acts, because we are all member of the body politic.

What I am against is the herd mentality of the public opinion that “does not respect idiosyncratic styles of living and seeks to regulate or suppress them.”

The Private Domain of Human Act

To quote Professor Paul Krutz:

Society should respect the right of an individual to control his or her personal life. The zones of privacy that society should not intrude upon without good reasons are a person’s body, possessions, beliefs, values, actions, and associations, insofar as these pertain to his or her own private sphere of interest and conduct.”

It is my firm view that society has no right to meddle with the private lives of Ka Freddie and his girl. I do not see any violation of the public interest with regard to their relationship.

Nonetheless, I readily admit that by virtue of the fact that his girlfriend who happens to be a sixteen year old is a minor in the eyes of the law. Hence, the government can enter this issue to tell Ka Freddie that the girl is this a minor and he has to wait for another two years belong they can go on with their relationship.

My problem with these issues is the following:

1. Does the government have the right to tell the young girl what is good for her?

2. If the parents of the said girl gave the blessing of her relationship to that old man, what would be the violations?

3. Does the public interest in general shattered or violated or prejudice because of this case?

On number one: now, because of the spike of the crimes being committed by minors, some legislators wish to lower the age of criminal liability. Following the same line of reasoning, can we also lower the age for any individual when to fall in love?

On number two: does the government have the right to supersede the power or discretion or consent of the parents in the case under consideration?

Can the government say: “Hey, Mama, Papa, we know that you are the biological parents of this girl, but we are the political government and base on the public interest rule, we considered and viewed your consent as unwise and wrong, hence we are overriding your decision?

On number three: what aspect or part or domain or spheres of the public interest were violated by this odd case of these lovers?

The Power of Love

I do not want to be romantic about it, but how many times have we heard the expressions love is blind and love conquers all in our lives?

According to Professor A. C. Grayling:

“The Greeks had different words for love’s different manifestations. They spoke of agape, altruistic love (in Latin caritas, which gives us — but that with a cold ring — our word ‘charity’). They spoke of ludus, the playful affection of children and of casual lovers, and pragma, the understanding that exist between a long established married couple. They spoke of storge, the love that grows between siblings or comrades-in-arms who have been through much together, and of mania, which is obsession. And they have allied the latter with eros or sexual passion. They thought that love in all its forms was divinely inspired, in the case of the last by Aphrodite. But divine inspiration was not always welcome; manic eroticism, they said, was often inflicted as a punishment by the gods, and its unreasoning and distracting character interfered with what they most valued namely intellect and courage. Both Plato and Aristotle, in their different ways, therefore placed friendship at the summit of emotional life, and consigned the love that craves bodily expression to a lower plane…

“In making these distinctions the Greeks showed an alertness to the fact that close relationships subserve a variety of ends. People need emotional satisfaction of many kinds, but chiefly those that stem from giving and receiving companionship, affection, and the affirmations of being liked and approved. People might occasionally enjoy solitude, but never loneliness; they need to feel connected and valued. All of the six loves of the Greeks are connections, and all but mania bring a sense of self-worth.”

I have quoted liberally and at length from the Professor’s work to highlight to the people not only the different kinds of love but also its power and force.

The great French philosopher Blaise Pascal once said that: the heart has a reason which the mind does not understand.

To correlate the truthfulness of that pronouncement, let me quote Russell Crowe who played the role of Professor John Nash in that utterly brilliant and powerful film on love and reason, “A Beautiful Mind”:

“What truly is logic? Who decides reason? My quest has taken me to the physical, the metaphysical, the delusional, and back. I have made the most important discovery of my career – the most important discovery of my life. It is only in the mysterious equations of love that any logic or reasons can be found. I am only here tonight because of you…[looking at and speaking to Alicia]

“You are the only reason I am. You are all my reasons. Thank you.”

Another icon, Gary Granada said in one of his songs the following lines:

“Kailangang umibig, kailangang ibigin; kahit na dusa ang kakambal
Ang hahanapin at hahagilapin ng puso ay pagmamahal…”

To all those who condemn or criticize a person or an individual who is in-love are ignorant and idiots of the worst kind; wait till the day when they themselves fall in love and they will also do the bad and mad things that they previously criticized. History and Life has proven that again and again!

I am not condoning, but neither I am condemning Ka Freddie’s affection and feelings. I completely respect that! Who the hell am I to tell him that what he is feeling is merely a spurt of the moment and it is just lust? I am not him? And he is not me! Hence, no one but him can certainly say what the hell he is truly feeling!

I just hope that whatever he is feeling to his girl, it is not mania or eros!

I am hoping that it is somewhere between agape, ludus and pragma.

As Pink said in the opening line of her famous song, “Just Give Me A Reason”:

“Right from the start
You were a thief
You stole my heart
And I your willing victim
I let you see the parts of me
That weren’t all that pretty
And with every touch you fixed them…”

I am truly hoping that their love no matter how odd and peculiar it may seem may survive and grow against all odds!

As the time-honored saying goes: Love conquers all!

Jose Mario Dolor De Vega

Philosophy lecturer
College of Arts and Letters
Polytechnic University of the Philippines

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[Blog] Dalholkar: A Tribute to anti-superstition activist by Mario De Vega

Dalholkar: A Tribute to anti-superstition activist

Mario De Vega

I refer to the Times of India report, Anti-superstition activist Dabholkar shot dead in Pune; CM, Pawar condemn killing, August 20th.

On behalf of all humanists, enlightened movements and anti-superstition groups, I condemned o the highest possible degree the utterly brutal and undeniably barbaric murder of Narendra Dalholkar in Pune.

As the report clearly narrated:

“In a setback to the progressive movement in Maharashtra, leading anti-superstition activist Narenda
Dabholkar was shot dead by two unidentified assailants while he was out on a morning walk on Tuesday.

“Known for his over two-decade long campaign against outdated and inhuman social practices, Dabholkar was currently engaged in mobilising public opinion and holding discussions with Maharashtra government for passing an ‘anti-superstition and black magic’ law in the state legislature, opposed by certain sections of the society, including the Warkari sect.

“69-year-old Dabholkar, who headed the ‘Andhashraddha Nirluman Samiti’ (anti-superstition movement), was out for a morning walk when two motorcycle-borne unidentified assailants fired two bullets from close range into his head from behind, police said quoting an eyewitness.”

The undeniable gruesome “offence took place on the bridge near Omkareshwar Temple in the city in the vicinity of ‘Sadhana’ magazine, which Dabholkar edited to propagate progressive thought to change social mindset.”

It is my firm view that the attack committed against Dabholkar is not only against his person; it is also an attack against all those principles that he stood and fought for all his life!

It was a devious and evil attack by the legions of darkness and the prophets of madness and ignorance against reason, science and enlightenment!

The forces of darkness and creatures of backwardness decided to kill a devoted student of free thought and a being of the light!

This bloody event reminds me of a similar crime committed 2, 500 years ago!

The unjust Athenians condemned Socrates to death for “corrupting the minds of the youth” and for “blasphemy”.

The time and the location are different, but the context and the circumstances are identical.

The stupid Athenians condemned a philosopher to death because they do not want the people to think and some bastard murderer killed an anti-superstition activist, because they do not want the people to know the truth. They do not want the people to think for themselves!

It is my fervent view that both Socrates and Dabholkar are martyrs of free thought and critical inquiry!

I believe that both of them died for Humanity!

I cannot understand the “mindset” or the “mental mechanism” of those idiots in carrying out this barbaric act.

I do not know whether those fanatical freaks and prophets of ignorance are aware that what Dalholkar is doing is simply and clearly following the scientific and humanistic provision of the Constitution.

Article 51 A (h) of the 1949 Indian Constitution expressly provides the following duties of the citizens: “to develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform”!

There is no iota of doubt, on my mind whatsoever that that is exactly what our activist has done for all his life.

I do not know whether those idiots are aware that they may have succeeded in killing Dabholkar, yet I doubt if they could have killed his ideas, thoughts and principles.

Yes, Dabholkar may no longer be with us, but I refuse to believe that in his untimely demise his beliefs and principles had died with him.

I certainly believe that all the causes that he took and devoted more than twenty years of his life is alive and well not only in his village of Pune, but for all of the people of India and the world!

Those beliefs and principles such as to think for ourselves without relying to some supernatural or metaphysical forces!

His ardent belief in humanism and the natural goodness of man!

His stand in firmly renouncing “practices derogatory to the dignity of women”!

His devotion to the scientific method and his declaration of war against barbaric and archaic rituals!

His propagation of rational thought, in the hope that it may lead to critical thinking of the people and the masses as a whole!

In short, his passion and struggle for enlightenment!

I also heavily doubt if they could erase the memory and legacy of the man.

I do not think and I do not believe that his death will stop the march of reason and the eventual victory of science over superstition and ignorance!

He may be dead, but his philosophy will never perish!

I overwhelmingly concur with the Times of India’s description of Dabholkar’s life mission and that is “spreading scientific temper and eradicating superstitions and undesirable rituals in the society was a lifelong mission which he carried with zest and rational thought, notwithstanding resistance from retrograde elements”.

I reiterate my condemnation of those murderers who killed arbitrarily and barbarically our great man. I also would like to include to my criticism and disgust those so-called retrograde elements who hates and dislike our activist’s life work of promoting enlightenment and rational thoughts.

To quote the stirring words of the noted British philosopher, an ardent humanist and a world renounced social critic, Bertrand Russell:

“A good world needs knowledge, kindliness, and courage; it does not need a regretful hankering after the past or a fettering of the free intelligence by the words uttered long ago by ignorant men. It needs a fearless outlook and a free intelligence. It needs hope for the future, not looking back all the time toward a past that is dead which we trust will be far surpassed by the future that our intelligence can create.”

I join the “prominent political leaders and social activists from the state including Union minister and NCP president Sharad Pawar” who condemned the killing of Dabholkar. He describe him as “a dedicated, selfless social activist who was committed to promote progressive thinking”.

Indeed, as Pawar categorically stated:

“The progressive thought for which Dabholkar gave his life, will not die in Maharashtra…”

In the equally beautiful contention of Robert G. Ingersoll:

“Man must learn to rely upon himself.

“Man, should cease to expect aid from on high. By this time he should that heaven has no ear to hear, and no hand to help. The present is the necessary child of all the past. There has been no chance and there can be no interference.

“If abuses are destroyed, man must destroy them. If slaves are freed, man must free them. If new truths are discovered, man must discover them. If the naked are clothed; if the hungry are fed; if justice is done; if labor is rewarded; if superstition is driven from the mind; if the defenseless are protected, and if the right finally triumphs, all must be the work of man. The grand victories of the future must be won by man; and by man alone”.

Long Live, Dabholkar, the anti-superstition activist!!!

Jose Mario Dolor De Vega

Philosophy lecturer
College of Arts and Letters
Polytechnic University of the Philippines

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

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[From the web] Karapatan and Bayan raise alarm on attacks vs activists via series of robberies, surveillance -www.bayan.ph

Karapatan and Bayan raise alarm on attacks vs activists via series of robberies, surveillance
February 22, 2013

bayan1Human rights group Karapatan and umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN), together with members and leaders of several organizations today condemned in strongest terms the series of attacks against people’s organizations and partylist groups, disguised as break-ins and robberies. The groups decried what they described as the “rising and systematic forms of state repression and harassment of government critics”. They said that the recent incidents were made to appear as common crimes but were actually targeted attacks on activists and their organizations.

From March 2012 up until last week, Karapatan and Bayan documented twelve(12) cases of break-ins of houses of activists and peace advocates, and offices of progressive organizations; robberies involving items such as laptops, USB/flash drives, video cameras, and the like; and surveillance of known personalities and members of such organizations.

Read full article @www.bayan.ph

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[From the web] Youth activists of martial law years share tales of courage – Bulatlat

Youth activists of martial law years share tales of courage – Bulatlat.

By ANNE MARXZE D. UMIL, Bulatlat.com
September 26, 2012

‘Nothing has changed… The same problems plague our country and it’s only getting worse.’

MANILA – As Bonifacio Ilagan prepared to attend the University of the Philippines (UP) as freshman in 1969, his neighbors warned him. Coming from a province, he said: “When people in our place leaned that I am headed to UP, they told me to be careful,” Ilagan told Bulatlat.com. UP was known then as a hotbed of student activism. But instead of getting frightened, Ilagan became curious.

“The activists then were only a small group of students gathering at Vinzon’s Hall. I thought the warning was overrated.” At the Vinzon’s hall, students would gather and discuss current issues such as tuition fee increases, oil price hikes, and the government’s suppression of rights.

“And these students really knew what they were talking about. Many students, even those who were not organized, attended forums and rallies. They were very receptive to progressive thoughts. Student organizers then were getting high grades while doing political work at the same time,” Ilagan said.

Educating the youth did not just happen in universities. I communities, the out-of-school youth were also organized.

Jose Tausan was only 15 years old, a third year high school student, when he met student activists from the University of the East sometime in 1970. “They went to our community at V. Mapa, Sta. Mesa to form a chapter of Kabataang Makabayan. I became a member of that chapter,” Tausan said.

Tausan also organized students and youth in the community. “We held rallies outside the campus and teach-ins to educate ourselves about the crisis.”

The students also immersed themselves in trade unions. “We integrated with workers and helped to organize workers and form unions,” Ilagan said.

The student movement during the first quarter of 1970 was described by Ilagan as like “flowing water” – it was later called the First Quarter Storm. “It was as if there was an explosion. Learning much about the country’s situation – about oil price hikes, the economic decline, graft and corruption – also contributed to the outburst,” he said. Thousands joined the protests, even as these were violently dispersed.

Ilagan said the progressive movement was fast developing at the time. In August of 1971, after the Plaza Miranda Bombing, Marcos suspended the writ of habeas corpus in the hope of suppressing the mass movement. “Student and activist leaders were also targeted by the government then and we learned that they had a list of (target) union and youth leaders,” he said.

Read full article @ bulatlat.com

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[From the web] PDI features #rememberML@40

Reposting two articles from Philippine Daily Inquirer featuring #rememberML@40 campaign. Read on…

Editorial
The duty to remember
Philippine Daily Inquirer
July 20th, 2012

The 40TH anniversary of Ferdinand Marcos’ declaration of martial law is fast approaching. There is not much fanfare, which is understandable considering that it was a dark chapter in our history that can be evoked only with anxiety and trepidation. The official neglect of the commemoration is worrisome, however, because it suggests that the state, which was complicit in the dictatorship to which martial law gave rise, has yet to fully consolidate as a restored democracy. Military adventurism, corruption in the military and the police, human rights violations, and the insurgencies and conflicts that martial law helped engender are still with us.

To some extent democracy remains tenuous, and certain sectors of society still look back at the dictatorship with nostalgia. Young Filipinos are being brought up without an appreciation of the dire lessons of history. Indeed, the horrors of martial law are glossed over in our history schoolbooks. Thankfully, there are a number of private-sector attempts to commemorate the grim era that began in September 1972.

Last Saturday, the art exhibit “ReCollection 1081: Clear and Present Danger (Visual Dissent on Martial Rule)” opened at the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Bulwagang Juan Luna and Pasilyo Guillermo Tolentino. Organized by the Liongoren Gallery and the Center for Art, New Ventures and Sustainable Development (Canvas), it is part of “Piglas,” a series of art events at the CCP to mark the 40th anniversary of the declaration of martial law. Among the participating artists are National Artist BenCab, Alfredo Liongoren, Pablo Baens Santos, Edgar Talusan Fernandez, Orlando Castillo, Al Manrique, José Tence Ruiz, Renato Habulan, Brenda Fajardo, Imelda Cajipe Endaya, Antipas Delotavo, Jaime de Guzman, Anna Fer, and Edicio de la Torre.

Some of the works on exhibit were made during martial law. De la Torre, a former priest, was one of those who went underground during the Marcos regime, and two of his works in the exhibit were done inside his prison cell in Camp Bago Bantay. BenCab’s contribution to the exhibit is an original piece done during martial law but set against a reworked digital drawing of the same work.

The show is an attempt to provide diverse perspectives on that dark chapter, conveying these to audiences through various media and genre styles, which overall should allow those who lived during that time to reminisce and those who live vicariously through them to sift through the raw material and heed the lessons therein. “It should not stop at this,” said Norma Liongoren of the Liongoren Gallery, who was herself an anti-Marcos activist. “This is only the beginning. This is why museums are important. I believe that we should have permanent visual exhibitions that would impart knowledge on significant events in Philippine history accurately.”

Meanwhile, the book “Tibak Rising: Activism in the Days of Martial Law” will be launched today at 4 p.m. at the University of the Philippines in Diliman. Put out by Anvil Publishing and the UP National College of Public Administration, the anthology consists of personal memoirs by political activists.

And then there’s #rememberML@40, which young Filipinos themselves have organized. Organizations in a number of colleges and universities have banded together to launch the information campaign for the benefit of the youth who are generally ignorant of the painful chapter in our past that has yet to see closure and just resolution. The organizers weren’t yet around during the Marcos dictatorship, so they struggle vicariously to remember and learn. “It is hard to fight for something that you did not experience firsthand, so we want the youth to remember and never forget,” said Nolivee Barrido, a student leader from the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, A good corrective to that, he said, would be to gun for 40,000 “likes” or approving clicks on a Facebook page dedicated to the dark era’s victims and unsung heroes, as well as related information.

It is gratifying that tech-savvy young Filipinos are making use of the social media to raise awareness about martial law and Philippine history as a guard against the treacheries of a short memory. The nation as a whole should learn from them. Out of the mouths of babes comes the reminder that it’s watchful remembering that will make possible our survival as a democracy and as a nation.

http://opinion.inquirer.net/33035/the-duty-to-remember

—————————————————————————————–
Never too young to remember: Youths ‘like’ martial law heroes
By Julie M. Aurelio
Philippine Daily Inquirer
July 17th, 2012

To refresh the memory of younger Filipinos about the country’s experience under martial law during the Marcos regime, several youth groups are gunning for 40,000 “likes” or approving clicks on a Facebook page dedicated to the dark era’s unsung heroes.

In a press conference Tuesday, organizations from different colleges and universities launched an information campaign dubbed “#rememberML@40.”

They aim to get 40,000 likes on their #rememberML@40 Facebook which will feature stories about martial law victims, fact sheets and other related information which younger Filipinos may no longer be familiar with.

Nolivee Barrido, a student leader from Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM), pointed out the importance of having the younger generation remember what happened during martial law.
He noted that students like him were not yet even born during that period, when the thousands of political activists and opposition leaders were jailed, tortured or killed, press freedom was suppressed and democratic institutions were made subservient to the iron-fisted rule of then President Ferdinand Marcos.

“It is hard to fight for something that you did not experience firsthand, so we want the youth to remember and never forget,” Barrido said.

“The 40,000 ‘likes’ stand for the 40th anniversary of martial law on Sept. 21. Kids today barely know anything about it, and yet they should because it’s an episode in our past which must never happen again,” said Egay Cabalitaan of Task Force Detainees of the Philippines.

The information campaign, he said, would also feature show biz personalities who have committed to making sure that martial law will be remembered four decades later. These include recording artists Jim Paredes, Sharon Cuneta, Noel Cabangon, TV personality Lourd de Veyra and comedian Tado Jimenez, among others.

They will be featured making the so-called “pinky pledges,” with a red ribbon tied to their pinkies. “It will be like the pinky swear of friends who promise to stand by each other. We also promise to inform and inspire others with the sacrifices of martial law’s unsung heroes,” Cabalitaan added.

The youth network will also conduct campus tours featuring photo exhibits, forums that serve as “storytelling sessions,” and related activities leading to Sept. 21, the day then President Ferdinand Marcos placed the country under martial rule in 1972.

Representing the campus groups were student leaders Barrido of PLM, Shaina Santiago, UP Diliman student council chair Heart Dino and vice chair Alex Castro, and Alvin Quintas of the Center for Youth Advancement Network.

The campaign network is made up of at least 31 student and youth groups from UP, PLM, De La Salle University, University of Makati, and local communities in Quezon City, Manila and nearby provinces.

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/230492/never-too-young-to-remember-youths-%E2%80%98like%E2%80%99-martial-law-heroes

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[In the news] Activist group: Slow progress since Earth Summit 20 years ago -GMA News

Activist group: Slow progress since Earth Summit 20 years ago

GMA News
May 26, 2012

PARIS — Twenty years after the Earth Summit in Rio pledged to save the environment for future generations, observers and policy makers agree swifter action is required to avert climate catastrophe.

But even as new warnings were issued this week of impending disaster — more severe droughts, disease spread and land-effacing sea level rises — climate negotiators gathered in Bonn continued to bicker over procedure.

“Let’s consider climate change like you are in a car trying to stop before reaching a ledge. We are applying the brakes but we are still far away from decelerating enough not to fall from the ledge,” Wael Hmaidan, director of activist group Climate Action Network, told AFP on the sidelines of the talks which ended Friday.

Read full article @ www.gmanetwork.com

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Statement] We demand climate justice now!

We demand climate justice now!

The international climate negotiation is not the only arena of our struggles for climate justice. But it is a critical one which now more than ever requires much stronger concerted efforts  — to counter moves by powerful governments, international institutions and global corporations that will bring more harm to people and planet, and to fight for global measures that will stave off catastrophic climate change and enable people to deal with present and future impacts.

To pave the way for more powerful collective campaigning – several organizations worked together on a call for a  “Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice” that is directed at all governments and the international climate talks and effectively combines “inside” and “outside” actions.

The call serves as an appeal and invitation to work together in advancing the demands outlined. These demands are expressed only in general terms in the Call but certainly should be expanded and substantiated based on unities already reached by clim ate justice movements and updated to address current developments. We urge you to join the Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice and sign on to the call as an expression of your commitment!  Please contact: DemandClimateJustice@gmail.com

We are movements and organizations engaged in many struggles for a new world – a world in which the needs, interests, rights and aspirations of peoples everywhere have priority over the profit of corporations and the excess of elites. In the years ahead, our solidarity and collective action is extremely crucial.  Climate change is already having devastating impacts globally and is accelerating. The window for preventing the breach of tipping points and stopping climate catastrophe is rapidly closing.

Climate change is more than multiplying the sufferings of people already burdened by the global injustices of hunger, dispossession and violation of human rights. It is a crisis that also threatens to wipe out vast populations and profoundly change life on Earth. We must act with clarity, cohesion and courage if we are to stabilize the Earth’s climate system and secure a just and sustainable world.

Like other global crises, climate change arises principally from historically unequal economic and social structures, from practices and policies promoted by rich, industrialized countries, and from systems of production and consumption that sacrifice the needs of the many to the interests of a few. The affected peoples of the world bear little responsibility for the climate crisis yet suffer its worst effects and are deprived of the means to respond.

Addressing these challenges requires profound social transformation in all countries and at all levels – local, national and global.  It requires a rapid shift to systems and methods of production and consumption that are compatible with the limits of the planet and are aimed at meeting the needs of peoples rather than the relentless pursuit of profit.

Part of the process of profound social transformation is fighting for and achieving immediate concrete results in terms of drastic reductions of greenhouse gas emissions and enabling people to deal with the impacts of the climate crisis.
It is in this light that we are engaged in the fight for an international climate architecture that is rooted in science, equity and justice.

Rather than honoring their historical responsibilities and legal commitments, governments of rich industrialized countries have been trying to reverse Climate Convention principles and dismantle existing agreements. This effort started with the so-called Copenhagen Accord, was advanced by the Cancun outcomes, and was further served by the adoption of the Durban Platform.  Among other things, they are seeking to impose a domestic “pledge and review” system, deregulate multilateral climate rules and promote false solutions such as the expansion of carbon markets. Their efforts must be met with intensified resistance.

As part of a broader struggle to achieve climate justice, reparations for climate debt and a profound global transformation – we demand from all governments that if international negotiations are to mean anything, they must deliver outcomes that will:

Prevent catastrophic climate change and ensure just and fair sharing of drastic emissions reductions. Limit temperature rise to well below 1.5º C and bring it down to 1º C as fast as possible; Rich industrialized countries to fulfil their existing legally binding commitments and undertake drastic emissions cuts without offsets in line with their fair share of the global carbon budget that takes into account historical per capita emissions; Offsets and other loopholes must be removed; The US must commit to comparable targets, based on its historical responsibility;

Stop false solutions. Stop the implementation and pursuit of false solutions such as carbon trading, market-based approaches to forests, soil and water, large-scale geo-engineering and techno-fixes, nuclear energy, mega hydro dams, agro-fuels, and clean coal;

Ensure adequate and appropriate finance on the basis of countries’  responsibility for climate debt and obligation to make reparations to all affected peoples. Rich, industrialized countries to cover the full costs of enabling peoples of developing countries and other affected communities to deal with the impacts of climate change (including past, present and future losses) as well as the costs of enabling developing countries to shift to equitable, post carbon sustainable systems; Climate finance must not be in the form of debt-creating instruments and should be channelled through a democratic and accountable global fund that is independent of other international financial institutions and upholds the principles of direct access and country-determined, participatory decisions on the use of funds.

Ensure appropriate technology transfers without intellectual property barriers. Developed countries must ensure free sharing of safe, appropriate and ecologically and socially sound technologies; Advance the transformation to equitable, democratic, post-carbon systems.

Take decisive steps towards the profound transformation of the system based on equity, science and the rights of peoples to live well in harmony with and respect for Mother Earth. Transform social and economic structures and technologies and re-orient policies to move away from profit-driven, growth oriented, high-carbon, elite-dominated exploitative systems and instead ensure a just transition to people- driven, equitable, and democratic post carbon sustainable development.

We call on governments to end years of delay and meet their moral, historical and legal obligations.

We urge all movements, peoples’ organizations, civil society groups and all concerned citizens to come together in a Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice!

Signatories as of December 2011

INTERNATIONAL & REGIONAL NETWORKS & ORGANIZATIONS
ActionAid
Africa Trade Network
African Water Network (AWN)
Alternatives Asia
Asia/Pacific Network on Food Sovereignty (APNFS) Asia/Pacific Forum on Women Law and Development Asian Reigonal Exchanges for New Alernatives (ARENA) Focus on the Global South
Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives
Ibon Foundation, Inc.
International Campaign on Climate Refugees’ Rights International Forum on Globalization (IFG) International Lawyers.org
Jubilee South – Asia/Pacific Movement on Debt and Development
(JSAPMDD)
LDC Watch International
Migrant Forum Asia (MFA)
Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) Social Watch International
South Asia Alliance for Poverty Eradication (SAAPE) South Asian Dialogues on Ecological Democracy Third World Network (TWN)
World Council of Churches

NORTH AMERICA & EUROPE
Jubilee Australia AUSTRALIA Council of Canadians, CANADA Polaris Institute CANADA
FERN Belgium
11.11.11 Belgium
Campagna per la Riforma della Banca Mondiale ITALY
Fair Watch ITALY Legambiente Onlus, ITALY
Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland (EWNI) Ecologistas En Accion, SPAIN
Solidarity Sweden Latin America, Sweden
Global Justice Now, Swedish Solidarity Network, Sweden
World Development Movement, UK Jubilee Debt Campaign, UK
Jubilee Scotland, UK
Nord-Sud XXI
Friends of the Earth USA
Global Justice Ecology Project Media Program, USA Jubilee USA Network
Sustainable Energy and Economic Network – IPS, USA Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), USA Center for Earth Jurisprudence,  Orlando, Florida, USA Biofuelwatch, USA
AFRICA Benin
Groupe de Recherche et d’Action pour la Promotion de
l’Agriculture et de Développement (GRAPAD)
Burundi
ADISCO Burundi
Chad
Association Pour le Marketing Social au Tchad
Democratic Republic of Congo
Ligue Pour Le Droit De La Congolaise (LDFC)

Djibouti
Organisation de Bienfaisance et de Développement
Ethiopia
Enda-Ethopia

Eritrea
Eritrean Movement for Democracy and Human Rights

Gambia
Worldview – The Gambia

Ghana
GrassRootsAfrica

Guinea
Centre du Commerce international pour le Developpement
(CECIDE)

Guinea Bissau
AFARD Guinea Bissau

Ivory Coast
FNDP of Cóte d’Ivoire

Mali
CAD Mali CMDE/ASIAP GIP BIO

Mauritania
Association Bien Etre Familial & Developpment Durble (ABEFDD)

Morocco
Association Marocaine pour l’Environnement et la Santé (AMES) Forum Civil Démocratique Marocain
Association Marocaine pour les Nouvelles Technologies de
l’Information et de la Communication (AMTIC)
Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches en Sciences Sociales (CERSS)

Niger
Association Nigerienne des Scouts de l Environnement
GOULBI NGO Niger

Nigeria
Centre for 21st century issues (C21st)) Nigeria

Republic of Central Africa
Groupe d’Action de Paix et de Formation pour la Transformation
(GAPAFOT)

Senegal
Union pour la Solidarité et l’Entraide (USE)

Sierra Leone
Friends of the Earth Sierra Leone

Somalia
Somali Organisation for Community Development Activities

South Africa
Alternative Information and Development Centre (AIDC) Amandla Magazine
Center for Civil Society, University of Kawazulu Natal, Durban
CJN! Kwazulu Natal, South Africa
Democratic Left Front South Africa
Economic Justice Network of the fellowship of Christian Councils
ECOPEACE Party
Trust for Community Outreach and Education (TCOE) South Africa
Masizakhe Youth Development Club, Gugulethu, Cape Town
Zwartkops Conservancy, Port Elizabeth

Togo
GARED
APED-TOGO
LATIN AMERICA and the CARIBBEAN

Brazil
FASE Solidarity and Education – Brazil
Bolivia
Plataforma Boliviana Frente al Cambio Climático
Solon Foundation – Bolivia

ASIA and the Pacific
Afghanistan
Sanayee Development Organization
Bangladesh
Aid Accountability Group
Bangladesh Krishok Federation
Coastal Livelihood, Ecology and Adaptation Network
Equity and Justice Working Group
HumanityWatch Jatiyo Sramik Jote Nabodhara
Online Knowledge Society
Resource Integration Centre Right to Food Movement Solidarity Workshop
SUPRO
Unnayan Onneshan
VOICE
China
Green Zhejiang
India
Bharat Jan Vigyan Jatha Beyond Copenhagen Coalition Himalaya Niti Abhiyan – HNA
Indian Social Action Forum – iNSAF
National Forum of Forest People and Forest Workers
Indonesia
Binkai Indonesia
GEMA ALAM Nusa Tenggara Barat
Insitute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) Indonesia
Konsorsium pendukung Sitem Hutan Kerakyatan
KRuHA Water Coalition Indonesia
Peduli Nanggroe Atjeh
Sawit Watch
Solidaritas Perempuam (SP) Indonesia
WALHI (Friends of the Earth) Indonesia
Korea
Energy and Climate Policy Institute (ECPI) Korea
Lao PDR
United in Volunteering Association
Malaysia
Consumers Association of Penang
Friends of the Earth Malaysia
Monitoring Sustainability of Globalization
Maldives
Maldives NGO Federation (MNF)
Nepal
All Nepal Peasant Federation (ANPFA) All Nepal Women Association (ANWA) Campaign for Climate Justice Network Nepal Jagaran Nepal
NGO Federation of Nepal
Right to Food Network Nepal

El Salvador
Friends of the Earth El Salvador
Haiti
Plate-forme haïtienne de Plaidoyer pour un Développement
Alternatif

Rural Reconstruction Nepal (RRN)

Pakistan
Anjaman Mozareen Punjab
Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum
Pakistan Kissan Rabita Committee

Sri Lanka
Movement for Land and Agricultural Reform
National Fisheries Solidarity Movement of Sri Lanka

Philippines
Action for Nurturing Children and Environment
Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL) Aniban ng Manggagawa sa Agrikultura Assalam Bangsamoro People’s Association BITS Policy Center
Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) Cebu Alliance for Safe Environment Ecological Society of the Philippines EcoWaste Coalition
Faith-based Congress Against Immoral Debts
Farmers Forum – South Cotabato
Freedom from Debt Coalition and its chapters in Socsargen, Iloilo,
Negros, Cebu and Southern Mindanao
Gitib Inc.
Integrated Rural Development Foundation
Kalayaan Philippines
Kalimudan Culture & Arts – Mindanao
Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya (KPD) Koalisyon Pabahay ng Pilipinas (KPP)
Kongreso ng Pagkakaisa ng mga Maralita ng Lunsod (KPML) – National and NCR
Miriam PEACE
Pagkakaisa ng Kababaihan para sa Kalayaan (KAISA KA)
Partido Lakas ng Masa Partido ng Manggagawa Partnership for Clean Air
Peoples Movement on Climate Change
Philippine Network of Rural Development Institutes
Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement
SANLAKAS
Sarilaya
Sagip Sierra Madre
Tambuyog Development Center Task Force Food Sovereignty WomanHealth Philippines

Yemen
Al-Jawf Women Organization for Development Dar Al-Salam Organization (Peace House) Human Rights Information and Training Center
Japan
ATTAC-Japan
New Zealand
Climate Justice Aotearoa, New Zealand

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[In the news] #Noynoying provokes clash of activists -RAPPLER.com

#Noynoying provokes clash of activists.

BY PATERNO ESMAQUEL II
March 24, 2012

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino activists of different political leanings clashed Saturday, March 24, after a Rappler Thought Leaders piece sparked a Twitter conversation on the viral term “Noynoying,” which refers to President Benigno Aquino III’s supposed laziness.

In his Rappler piece, National Anti-Poverty Commission head Joel Rocamora called “Noynoying,” a term that has grabbed the attention of no less than the Wall Street Journal, “a good enough gimmick that (has) gotten some media mileage.”

“It is a sub-plot to a more prolonged campaign against the government by its political enemies. Because these people are having a hard time attacking government policies, they resort to ad hominem attacks on PNoy, stooping so low as to question is mental condition,” Rocamora said.

He previously served as president of activist group Akbayan.

With the surge of feedback on Rocamora’s piece, Rappler held a Twitter conversation on “Noynoying” that attracted responses from activists and other netizens. The conversatin ran on the hashtag #Noynoying.

“So ‘Noynoying’ is a conspiracy, a ‘subplot’ of a campaign to dominate (the) planet. Good lord. Arrest everyone #Noynoying!” said Kabataan secretary-general Vencer Crisostomo (@vencie) in response to Rocamora’s piece.

Crisostomo, who accuses Aquino of “Noynoying,” said the President should address oil overpricing, scrap the value-added tax on oil, regulate tuition hikes, distribute Hacienda Luisia, and pass the Freedom of Information Bill, among other things.

“‘Noynoying’ (is) rejected by PNoy supporters in (the) same way loyalists rejected ‘Marcosian,’ ‘Imeldific’ terms,” added Kabataan party-list Rep Raymond Palatino (@mongster). “Let (the) public decide, ignore, or embrace (the) term.”

Read full article @ http://www.rappler.com/nation/2967-noynoying-provokes-clash-of-activists

[Job announcement] Coalition of Services of the Elderly, Inc. (COSE) is in need of Program Coordinator

The Coalition of Services of the Elderly, Inc. (COSE) is a Non-Government Organization working with and for the older people is urgently in need of Program Coordinator who is willing to be assigned in Legazpi City and Cebu/Bohol.

The person we are looking for should possess the following qualifications:
1. A college graduate of any course has experience in community organizing
2. Has passion for older person and being immersed of their issues
3. Able to work with minimal supervision
4. Could be trusted and could deliver outputs based on the job requirements
5. Able to work with different stakeholders (government, church, NGOs, POs, communities, etc.)
6. Is computer literate
7. Candidates Resides in above project areas are preferred.

Functions of Program Coordinator

• Build/develop OPOs in the assigned areas.
• Facilitate the development of programs in the OPOs
Coordinates with other groups (POs, NGOs, LGUs) who are willing to be organized/start OP program.
• Provides technical assistance to the groups who are willing to be organized/start a program with older persons.
• Implement the program/project/plan of the organization in assigned areas in coordination with partners
• Monitor the actual implementation of plan in accordance with agreements, policy, organizational code of ethics and principles
• Provide documents/reports on the status of program implementation in the assigned area
Evaluate and assess the program implementation
• Integrate him/her self in the assigned community
• Build/ maintain partners to facilitate program of Older Persons
• Initiate and promote policy development for Older Persons

Interested applicant may submit your resume on or before February 29, 2012 at Mezzanine Floor, Mariwasa Bldg., 717 Aurora Blvd., Quezon City or email at cose@cosephil.org.

[Petition] Signature drive urging House lawmakers to vote on RH bill

Signature drive urging House lawmakers to vote on RH bill

Dear Friends,

PNGOC just launched a campaign urging House lawmakers to vote on the RH bill. We are seeking your time by signing the online petition and sharing it also to your partners.

The link of the online campaign is: http://www.change.org/petitions/president-of-the-philippines-legislators-a-call-for-a-vote-for-the-rh-bill

For more information on the signature campaign:

http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/248081/news/nation/group-launches-signature-drive-urging-house-lawmakers-to-vote-on-rh-bill

Thank you and we are looking forward in your support in this endeavor.

[Press Release] Activism not a crime – Greenpeace

Activism not a crime
Naga MTC upholds activists’ rights in coal-ash protest case

 Greenpeace today welcomed the decision of the Naga Municipal Trial Court (MTC) to acquit activists charged with trespass during a December 2009 action to document toxic coal ash from the Naga coal-fired power plant that had been dumped in a public area in Barangay Tinaan. Greenpeace carried out the peaceful protest to call attention to the threats posed by coal ash to the health of residents and the environment.

“Activism is not a crime. And we are very glad that the judiciary recognizes this. But we repeat our call to the provincial government to get its act together. Coal ash – a toxic by-product of the coal-firing process from the power plant – was dumped in an area posing a threat to the health and livelihoods of the Barangay Tinaan community. The risks have also increased as more coal ash continues to be produced by the coal plant and threatens other areas in Cebu, and there are still no clear plans for proper disposal.” said Mark Dia, Country Representative of Greenpeace Southeast Asia.
Results of tests conducted by Greenpeace in 2005 from ash samples taken from the Naga and Toledo coal-fired power plants in Cebu revealed the insidious presence of mercury, which is a deadly neurotoxin; arsenic, which is a known carcinogen; as well as other hazardous substances such as lead and chromium.[1]

“The provincial authorities wasted time and taxpayers’ money for over two years by trying to criminalize activists who simply exercised freedom of expression, taking action that they themselves should have taken to protect the community” added Amalie Obusan, one of the activists charged in the case.

Greenpeace campaigns for the only long-term solution to this problem – to phase out the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal, one of the most polluting energy sources – and to rapidly develop the Philippines’ abundant renewable energy sources. Developing and using renewable energy is the smart choice for the economy and for the climate. Fossil fuel prices are rising and will rise much more steeply once all the social and environmental costs are factored in.

“Coal, as well as other fossil fuels will run out and it is recognised gllobally that we cannot keep pumping greenhouse gases into our atmosphere at the current rate for much longer without suffering ever more dangerous climate impacts. Renewable energy never runs out and is clean and sustainable,” added Dia.

Coal-fired power plants have also been identified as the single biggest source of carbon emissions, largely responsible for climate change. The loss of thousands of lives and economic ruin brought about by recent extreme weather events, such as Sendong, Ondoy and Pepeng, are either aggravated by or can arguably be traced to climate change and the havoc it wreaks on the planet. Greenpeace is thus advocating an “Energy Revolution” (ER) – a transformation in the way energy is used, produced and distributed – as a key solution to mitigate climate change. This entails a massive shift to renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. Greenpeace has identified a target of 50% RE in the Philippines’ energy mix by 2020 as not only achievable but imperative for avoiding dangerous climate change, for energy security and for sustainable economic growth.

——————-

Press release – January 27, 2012

Note to Editors:

[1] Greenpeace Southeast Asia. Bringing Calamities to Communities. 2005

Contacts:

Mark Dia, Country Representative +63 917 843 0549, +63 2 3321807 loc 111, mark.dia@greenpeace.org

JP Agcaoili, Media Campaigner, +63 917 631 2750, +63 2 3321807 loc 108, jp.agcaoili@greenpeace.org

[Resources] Tips for digital activists (Series 2)

 This is the second part of our sharing of information about tips for digital activists.

Like what we had already mentioned in our first post on Tactic no 1, these useful information are shared from the advocacy group Tactical Technology Collective’s project which they call as “10 Tactics for turning information into action.”

“10 tactics” explores how rights advocates around the world have used information and digital technologies to create positive social change. It also came out in DVD form that includes films and set of cards in pdf format, filled with tools, tips and advice to help other advocates plan their own info-activism.

We are now sharing their Tactic No 2 entitled “Witness and record”

http://www.tacticaltech.org/act/project/10-tactics

PLAN YOUR ACTION (Excerpts from 10 tactics card no 2)

● In Burma, bloggers and rights advocates faced significant risks in coming forward with their testimonies and evidence. How will you protect yourself and others involved in and supporting your campaign? Consider the digital trail you may leave: your IP address, email accounts, passwords, lists of friends you have on social network sites, the names that your mobile phones and SIM cards were purchased under, and the names and organisations that websites’ domain names have been registered to.

● Develop criteria for verifying the witness reports you collect and publish. Some citizen reporting platforms have been abused to accuse innocent people and expose dissidents’ identities.

● One way that WITNESS has protected the identities of people in video testimony is to not record their faces. By backlighting a person, you can record a silhouette of his or her face without showing revealing details. In this way, even if your tapes were seized, there would be no visual record of the people in them.

● Talk people through the “worst case scenario” if they told their story and their identity was compromised or revealed. This discussion allows you to get informed consent from people and can help you plan how to minimise risk.

To read more and download the 10 tactics cards visit http://www.informationactivism.org/en/tactic2video

[Event] KAMAYAN FORUM Oct.21 Climate Change – What is to be Done?

KAMAYAN FORUM Oct.21 Climate Change – What is to be Done?

Throughout the world, the Philippines ranks third in the list of countries most vulnerable to climate change, a study by a United Nations agency and a German organization has warned, in a report published last week by Philippine Daily Inquirer.

It also estimated their susceptibility to damage based on the state of their economy and infrastructure, and the countries’ ability to respond to these disasters through preparedness measures and early warning systems. It also studied their ability to adapt to future disasters due to climate change. Filipino scientists said the Philippines would get more rains in the coming years due to climate change.

In this context, the 21-year old Kamayan para sa Kalikasan monthly environmental forum will discuss the progress and obstacles of climate change education in its 260th session on Third Friday, October 21, 2011, with the head of the Philippine Climate Change Commission, Sec. Lucille Sering, as main resource person. Commissioner Heherson T. Alvarez is also expected to come. Other invited speakers will be coming from among leaders of the nationwide and local environmental conservation organizations. All concerned citizens, whether or not members of such groups are invited to join the forum. ….

Kamayan para sa Kalikasan has been convened on the third Friday of every month (10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.) through free lunch since March 1990. It has never missed a scheduled session since it was started then by the Clear Communicators for the Environment (CLEAR).

In 2002, CLEAR was joined as co-convenor by the SanibLakas ng mga Aktibong Lingkod ng Inang Kalikasan (SALIKA), headed by Marie Reyes-Marciano, founding president, who has been the forum’s lead moderator since that year. It has been fully sponsored all these 21 years by the Kamayan-Saisaki-Dads Restaurant along EDSA, near the SEC/Ortigas area, in Mandaluyong City, which has also been its regular venue.

CLEAR Vice President Ed Aurelio Reyes, the forum’s lead organizer, said CLEAR and SALIKA are hoping that the people who come to the forum would bring out with them and radiate among all the people within their respective spheres of influence the spirit of understanding, unity and passionate environmental advocacy that pervades the forum’s sessions.

[Blogger] Climate Change and the Indigenous People: Communicating Adaptation, Impact and Mitigation for Sustainable Sectoral Development

Climate Change and the Indigenous People: Communicating Adaptation, Impact and Mitigation for Sustainable Sectoral Development*

by Rodrigo Rivera

* A reflective discourse originally presented by the blogger to Dr. R. Guioguio for the requirement in a post-graduate course on Philippine Communication Environment, University of the Philippines-Diliman, 2010. Permission for reprinting is granted as long as proper citation is observed, according to the principle of creative commons’ sharing of online resources.

Climate change is a major environmental problem that represents social and economic threats to everyone in the globe. Risks have become higher as the potential danger of natural disasters looms to almost unmanageable extent – longer periods of rain, harsher storms, prolonged dry spells, extreme heat and cold temperatures, more frequent hot days and nights, flash floods, forest fires, rising sea level, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and the warming global temperature are among the many signs that “mother earth” is now ringing a sick call to all her children.

The peril resulting from climate change is no way particular to creed, wealth, faith, age, gender, race or color. It spares no one. The ecology of all things in the world suggests that every creature will experience the impact of climate change.

Climate change is a global concern, but it has impact which is specific to communities and sectoral groups. The problem is too broad to manage for a sector, yet there are enormous possibilities for a sector to contribute to its resolution; at least for their own adaptation, to mitigate climate change impact and to sustain community-base development. The indigenous are communities of people who contributed the least to the problem of climate change, but they are not spared from its impact. Economically and socially marginalized, the indigenous far greatly suffer from the impact of climate change and to international mitigation measures.

What is the potential impact of climate change to the indigenous people? What are  the existing and needed adaptation means to climate change specific to sustain survival and livelihood of the indigenous? How important is a communication framework in climate change impact mitigation for the indigenous people? These questions call for some reflective thinking.

Read full article @ rodrigo75.wordpress.com

[Press Release] Stop NAPOCOR’s greed! The public first over profits for a few!- SANLAKAS

The Left coalition SANLAKAS conducted a protest rally this morning in front of the main office of the National Power Corporation (NAPOCOR) in Quezon City. Around one hundred (100) mass activists of SANLAKAS picketed the NAPOCOR to angrily express the general public’s rising opposition to the constant overpricing of power rates by the country’s largest electricity provider and generator.

During their protest action, a team of militant activists surprised the posted security guards when they hurled several used-up light-bulbs at the NAPOCOR seal emblazoned on the front wall of the NAPOCOR office.  The smashing of the light-bulbs by SANLAKAS, which momentarily roused the guards at the front gate, was done as a symbolically dramatic act to show the still-growing anger of the basic masses against the state power corporation’s anti-poor corporate practices.

This militant mass action, which was led by Rasti Delizo, the SANLAKAS Spokesperson, is in support of the Freedom from Debt Coalition’s (FDC) ongoing national mass campaign against power-rate(s) hikes and to repeal the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA). This campaign, which began early this month, will culminate in a ‘National Day of Protest’ on October 11, 2011 through simultaneous coordinated ‘Power-off’ actions (a temporary shutdown of electricity in pre-selected areas and communities) nationwide from 7:30-8p.m. on this date.

According to Delizo, “SANLAKAS totally opposes the highly-selfish profiteering schemes of NAPOCOR aimed at making quick greedy profits by passing on its very high power rates and past debts (incurred since the Marcos dictatorship) to the innocent consuming public.  This power sector-based arrangement is legally protected by the privatization-oriented EPIRA and has long ago been a neoliberal weapon of mass devastation to permanently ensure the economic-social destruction of the majority of our poor masses who depend on a daily power supply to live decent and humane lives.”

The SANLAKAS Spokesperson further said, “With a national economic dilemma looming upon our country’s horizon due to the worsening global capitalist crisis, our country’s poor majority cannot afford to just stand idly by. We must urgently unite against the Philippine State’s pro-neoliberal laws, such as the EPIRA, which privatize the essential utilities in favor of a few elite families. This fundamentally and dangerously sacrifices the common good by ensuring private profits over the people’s general welfare. We must now fight NAPOCOR’s constant greed and militantly resist NAPOCOR’s anti-poor and elitist economic agenda. And we can do this together by junking the EPIRA and replacing it with a new power sector framework that should basically ensure that our country’s power setup will eventually be placed under the control of the electricity-consuming public.”

The SANLAKAS protest rally was highlighted by a brief program with speakers representing various local mass organizations, including the Metro Manila Vendors’ Alliance (MMVA). The activist group peacefully ended its rally by self-dispersing after the media covered the light-bulb smashing action.

SANLAKAS PRESS RELEASE
30 September 2011
Mr. RASTI DELIZO (SANLAKAS Spokesperson)
Cellphone No.:  0999-8092461

[Event] Blog Action Day for Climate Justice – FCAID

In solidarity with the victims of typhoons Ondoy (“Ketsana”), Pepeng, Frank and all other extreme weather events and disasters of the past here in Manila and all over the Philippines, the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ) and the Freelance Writers of the Philippines (FWP) call on writers/bloggers/media workers to write their literary pieces, essays, tweets and slogans on “climate justice”. All these are to be submitted on September 26, 2011. See related FWP FB doc (Writers Unite) for details.

For those with blogs, you can upload your article in your own blogs and at the same time submit it on the day itself (platform or link to this site will be posted on Thursday). For those without blogs, you can submit your articles and pieces via climatejustice@groups.facebook.com. Also do follow us in twitter (@clim8justicePH) and flood it with your tweets on climate justice.

We see that writers can play a big role in this effort to best articulate the issue especially with political, manipulative moves by the rich, industrialized and overly-consuming countries (Annex 1), which don’t want to be accountable from their past actions on too much greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) brought about by unfettered industrialization and accumulation of profit. This hampers genuine actions to mitigate the impacts of climate crisis to the most vulnerable communities especially the indigenous people. We believe that writers can share the passion in spreading the message. Actions must be taken before the situation becomes even worst.

For the Philippine-setting, writers/bloggers can use the destruction of Sierra Madre Mountain Range in Central Luzon (forest and climate) and typhoon Ondoy as concrete examples where you can apply the concept of climate justice. There are many news articles, which you can use as source for these two cases. Aside from the 2nd year since Ondoy hit Manila, it’s also the Save Sierra Madre Day as proclaimed by Malacañang.

The following sources can be used to understand climate justice: Jubileesouth Asia Pacific Movement on Debt & Dev’t (JSAPMDD), Climate Justice Now! (CJN) , Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), World Bank Out of Climate Finance!, Third World Network (TWN) and Friends of the Earth International (FoE UK).

This is an awareness-raising initiative to push people to take action against climate change by claiming climate justice.

In return for those who will contribute, all submissions are bylined, with back-links for the promotion of their blogs. As contributions come in on that day, names of contributors will be mentioned in the tweets of clim8justicePH. If the writer/blogger is affiliated with FWP, we request him/her to mention that he/she is a member of FWP.

PMCJ is a movement composed of the affected sectors and communities, CSOs and POs that stand united in demanding for what we call climate justice. It is a concept that dwells on the anthropogenic or human causes of climate change, demanding the rich, industrialized, overly-consuming countries (Annex 1) to be held accountable for their abuse of the atmospheric space due to their too much emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs). Although globally all countries must do their share in solving the climate crisis, PMCJ believes that those countries, which caused the most damage must do more and make a significant contribution in resolving the crisis.

PMCJ also brings forward the demands and amplify the voices of the most affected and vulnerable communities, which is a step towards claiming climate justice.

This initiative is also in partnership with the Faith-based Congress of the Philippines (FCAID) and the Freelance Writers of the Philippines (FWP).

[Press Release] SANLAKAS padlocks MERALCO gate to protest increase in power rates

Stop meralco’s greed!
Prioritize public needs first
before profits for a few!

The Left coalition SANLAKAS conducted a protest rally this morning in front of a Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) office in Quezon City. Around eighty (80) mass activists of SANLAKAS picketed MERALCO’s Kamuning branch to partly express the general public’s opposition to the constant overpricing of power rates by the country’s largest power distributor.

During their protest action, the militant group attempted to symbolically ‘padlock and chain’ the main entrance door of the MERALCO office with a giant padlock-chain held by the activists. This dramatic action, which was led by Rasti Delizo, the SANLAKAS Spokesperson, and Flora Santos, who heads the activist organization’s National Organizing Department, was a symbolism of the growing anger of the basic masses. As they did this, the rest of the group’s activists conducted a ‘mass-die-in’ (a group lie-down) as they chanted slogans against MERALCO’s greedy profiteering methods.

According to Delizo, “SANLAKAS totally opposes the never-ending schemes of MERALCO to always make quick greedy profits through constant overpricing in collusion with its puppet government agency, the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).  This joint ‘Profits-first Corporatocratic Alliance’ is certainly a national weapon of mass destruction to permanently ensure the economic-social hardship of the majority of our poor masses who depend on a daily power supply in order to live decent and humane lives.”

The SANLAKAS Spokesperson further said, “With a looming national economic predicament reinforced by the current global capitalist crisis, our country’s poor masses cannot afford to remain passive. We must urgently unite to fight the Philippine State’s pro-neoliberal laws, such as the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 (EPIRA) which privatizes the entire power industry. This fundamentally sacrifices the common good by ensuring private profits over the people’s general welfare. We must immediately put a stop to this by exposing MERALCO’s greed, apply national mass pressure to end MERALCO’s anti-poor elitist economic agenda, and to replace the EPIRA with a new power sector legal framework that basically ensures electricity-consumers’ control of our country’s power setup.”

Before self-dispersing, SANLAKAS called on the general public to support the Freedom from Debt Coalition’s (FDC)-initiated ‘National Day of Protest’ against increasing power-rates and to repeal the EPIRA law. This national campaign will culminate on October 11, 2011 through simultaneous coordinated ‘Power-off’ actions (a temporary shutdown of electricity in pre-selected areas and communities) nationwide from 7:30-8p.m. on that date. -30-

*For more information, please contact Mr. RASTI DELIZO
(SANLAKAS Spokesperson) @ cellphone#:  0999-8092461

[From the web] Senate passes People’s Survival Fund vs climate change – www.senate.gov.ph

The Senate has passed on second reading the People’s Survival Fund bill authored by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.

Enrile said the fund is allocated specifically for climate change adaptation efforts.
“The PSF is for local government units and communities that today stand at the frontline of the climate crisis. It is a fund that intends to provide incentives for early adaptation actions by dedicating finances for local resilience-building needs.”

The Senate President observed that vulnerable Filipino communities, particularly women from farming communities, “stand in the frontline of the greatest crisis our world has ever faced.”

The veteran senator said that “development planning must no longer be conducted in vertical silos, where issues like climate change are treated as sectors rather than as drivers of the entire development process. Doing so will create more momentum in the reform of risk governance and coherence in policy making.”

Enrile added that the urgent need is to “arrest the governance chaos prevailing currently over the administration of climate finance, so that monies can flow to national priorities and to those who need funding support the most.”

According to Enrile, “It is not enough to name the problem. We need to make the right investments now–in effort as well as in the redirection of public finance.” The Senate President observed: “Change has to begin with changes in our thinking. It is time for us to distinguish disasters that are episodic in character from slow onset impacts induced by climate change, which may impose even greater, more enduring calamities on our people.”

Enrile pointed out that government intervention on climate change and disaster risk reduction should be “more targeted” to reflect prevailing conditions in the country.

He noted that the rains of June and July which inundated towns and cities in the Visayas and in Mindanao again caused the loss of lives and the destruction of properties and sources of livelihood in those parts of the archipelago. “Adaptation finance should always be seen as an investment, and not a cost,” Enrile said.

“We need to scale up innovative local initiatives and the first step is for national government to establish a fund dedicated to local governments and communities,” Enrile said.
The PSF bill will be deliberated upon by the Senate on third and final reading before it is sent to the Lower House for approval.

source: http://www.senate.gov.ph/press_release/2011/0811_enrile1.asp

[Event] Pursuing transformative programs for social change – KAMP

PURSUING TRANSFORMATIVE PROGRAMS FOR SOCIAL CHANGE

Pagbati! Isang paanyaya para sa isang pakikipagtalakayan natin dito sa bansa sa ilang lider ng social movements sa Europa, Arab at South countries.

May tanghaliang nakahanda mula 12 hanggang 12.45ng hapon. Magsisimula ang programa sa ganap na 1pm.
Para sa kumpirmasyon ng inyong pagdalo o mga katanungan tungkol sa talakayan, maari po ninyo akong kontakin sa 9280082 (landline), 09228832335 (cellphone), o sa email.
Maraming salamat!

– Maris
AEPF Secretariat for Asia
Institute for Popular Democracy
28 Mapagkawanggawa corner Magiting Sts, Teachers Vill., QC
http://www.aepf.info

——-

“Reclaim People’s Dignity Campaign”- Kampanya para sa Makataong Pamumuhay (KAMP)
Akbayan*Alab Katipunan*Katarungan*Kilos Maralita*Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya*Institute for Popular Democracy*Partido ng Manggagawa*RCPD*Sanlakas*WomanHealth
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Pursuing transformative programs for social change amidst the crisis
A Roundtable Discussion with Francois Houtart and Mamdouh Habashi
4 July 2011, Monday (12nn – 5pm)
Phaltra Building , 139 Matahimik Street , Teachers’ Village, Diliman, Quezon City

Capitalism has plunged the world into a multiple, interlocking web of crises – financial, economic, social, and ecological. Millions are driven out of their jobs and homes, further deepening poverty, precariousness, and erosion of living standards for the vast majority. But the situation has become more urgent as climactic crisis threatens the very survival of the planet and humanity.

Meanwhile, the US, EU and members of the G8 are addressing the crises with a new neo-liberal offensive through austerity measures that are detrimental to the interest of the majority of the people. Waves of resistance are mounting against the lowering of wages, drastic reduction of social and public budgets, and privatisation of essential services. In the Arab world, the explosive combination of political issues and the failure of neo-liberal economic policies e.g. liberalisation, deregulation, and privatisation to address worsening poverty and inequality have brought about upheavals that have overthrown authoritarian regimes.

In the Philippines, even before the crises, the prevailing elite-dominated, neo-liberal economy has already put the country at the edge of a social catastrophe, pushing about 70 per cent of the labour force to the insecure informal sector. Every day, unjust political and economic structures force half of the 92 million Filipinos to live in sub-human conditions.

Nonetheless, the crisis presents an opportunity for progressive forces to rally people around and push for transformative and doable projects that address their immediate and urgent needs, as well as offer the possibility of eliminating the structures of inequality and injustice.

For that reason, this roundtable discussion has invited key resource persons from Europe and the Arab world who have been involved in transformative projects that could widen further progressive spaces towards repudiating neo-liberalism and changing the structure of current power relations. The speakers offer something precious: people-centred alternative solutions to current problems with meaningful, transformative impact on the world.

DR. FRANCISCO NEMENZO, Professor Emeritus of the University of the Philippines and Chair of Laban ng Masa – an alliance of democratic left groups, will present introductory thoughts about the crisis and need for a thorough-going social change through transformative alternatives.

Afterwards, two resource persons will speak on the crisis and transformative programs they are pushing for – some already implemented, some being implemented. These speakers have long been active in the struggle for social justice:

FRANCOIS HOUTART, well-known theologian, philosopher, and one of the founders of liberation theology. He is a prime mover, with key international NGOs, for a new United Nations Charter entitled the “Declaration for the Common Good of Humanity” which shall seek to de-commodify and de-privatise common goods which are common heritage such as water, seeds, information, electricity, education, health services, etc. He pushes for worldwide provision of quality public services fundamental to life and a life of dignity. Such advocacy complements and pursues further the global advocacy of the UN and International Labour Organisation (ILO) for a global social protection floor that has proven affordable and feasible in developing countries. In 2009, he was awarded the Madanjeet Singh Prize by UNESCO for his “life-long commitment to world peace, intercultural dialogue, human rights and the promotion of tolerance, and in recognition of his outstanding eff orts to advance the cause of social justice in the world. He is ardent promoter of North-South cooperation and the founder of the Tri-Continental Centre (CETRI), a non-governmental organization renowned for its work on development issues and in the International Council of the World Social Forum.”

MAMDOUH HABASHI, vice-president of the Third World Network on Alternatives, co-founder of the Egyptian Socialist Party, and convenor of the South-South Peoples’ Solidarity Network. Most of what the Egyptian revolution has achieved in terms of democratic changes can only be attributed to massive popular pressure and courageous mobilisations. The present organising efforts by progressive groups provide the basis for much bigger rounds of struggle that will push for people-centred alternatives to replace the projects of the old regime and the Islamic fundamentalists. Mamdouh will talk about a people’s agenda expressed through a democratisation roadmap that plans for the gradual realisation of major political as well as economic, social, and cultural rights in Egypt.

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