Tag Archives: blogger

HRonlinePH’s Readers’ Pick Awards for most rated post. Vote Now!

HRonlinePH’s Readers’ Pick Awards for most rated post. Vote Now!

As Human Rights Online Philippines officially launches its own domain (HronlinePH.com) on December 1, 2011, allow us to thank our contributors and friends by giving the “Pindoteros Awards” recognition to online bloggers, networks and campaigners who joined us and contributed to the success of our online project.

And as our way to campaign for more HR blogging and online human rights information sharing we invite readers to join us in picking the best posts to receive our HRonlinePH’s Readers Pick Awards.

Vote for your pick from the list of nominees below NOW! Simply click on the link below and rate the article by clicking the rate button to be found at the end of each post.  (Deadline of voting on November 30, 2011)

[Blogger] Voltes V generations, UNITE! Marcos is not a hero!-matangapoy.blogspot.com

[Tula] Lahat ng tao’y may karapatan – matangapoy.blogspot.com

[Petition] Marcos is NO HERO – PAHRA

[People] Human Rights: Networks and Defenders – by Renato Mabunga

[Literary] Debate sa RH BILL –matangapoy.blogspot.com

[Literary/Tula] Himutok ng dalawang inang nawalan ng anak – matangapoy.blogspot.com

[Statement] Stop harassing human rights defenders, stop vilifying people- HRD-Pilipinas

[Statement] Torture and the Protection of Human Rights Defenders – HRD-Pilipinas

[Blogger] City of Lost Parents: The SAD Story – anakngdesaparecido.wordpress.com

[Blogger] PNoy’s 2nd SONA, So what’s new? – Carpe Diem

[Blogger] PALEA’s history – koihernandez.wordpress.com

[Press Release] Pasay judge rules for status quo on PALEA “occupation” – PALEA

[Blogger] (RH BILL)And you just want to get this over with – koihernandez.wordpress.com

[RH BILL] And you just want to get this over with..

by koihernandez.wordpress.com

Apparently, common sense, is not so common.

I’ve just received a news about — probably, one of the most noisiest campaigns for this year and the previous years — Yes, the RH Bill. According to my sources, the government (or is it the church? My source said it was the government but I feel it’s the church) filed some amendments for the RH Bill and they are as follows:

Read more

[Blogger] Hits & Misses: The Real Issues behind the LGBT News – Maximum Exposure

Hits & Misses: The Real Issues behind the LGBT News
by Germaine Trittle Leonen
Posted in Maximum Exposure – Jul 17, ’11

A few days ago, a colleague in the civil society movement congratulated me for all the media exposure the LGBT Community was getting. He said TV and print media not only “picked up” on our LGBT news, but we were able to “sustain” it on air for quite some time. For someone who worked on migrant workers rights, he certainly knows what he’s talking about; because even for them, whose issues should’ve been constant fodder for the news, it is still quite hard to get media coverage sometimes.

Once upon a time, I would have believed the saying too; that whether it’s good or bad publicity, it’s STILL publicity, after all. But as we have learned throughout the years, sometimes media can be so “irresponsible” as to hype up and make so controversial such a small thing. In addition, “traditional” media would not even attempt to be politically correct and even reinforce negative stereotypes about LGBTs because that is “what sells”.

In the past weeks, features on Boy Abunda’s public support for Ladlad, the spate of gay killings now being documented by the Philippine Hate Crime Watch led by Marlon and Reighben, and the Baguio Pride celebration of a mass same-sex wedding got so much media mileage. For my part, with a human interest story on Rated K and the development in New York allowing same-sex marriage, I was also given my 15 minutes of fame for the last weekend of June.

As Vice-Chairperson of Ladlad, I know first-hand about all the difficulties we went through campaigning for Ladlad in the past elections. Tito Boy coming out to support the Filipino LGBT Community through Ladlad LGBT Partylist was probably one of the best things that came out of our “loss”. Besides using his own popularity to give Ladlad the exposure it needs through his own TV shows, he has been providing us the necessary resources to do the groundwork early for 2013, like providing us an office/headquarters and donating the proceeds of one of his endorsements. What more, his coming out in the open and serving as Ladlad’s Senior Adviser, has given us more credibility as a legitimate sector entitled to representation in Congress, and other LGBTs around the country now know about Ladlad and are willing to support us as well.

Once or twice, Tito Boy has spoken about other LGBT issues too, like the gay killings for example. For many years, murders of gays have been reported, but there has never been sufficient attention given to it by authorities. Police were always dismissive of these cases and categorized them as “robberies gone wrong” or engagements with male sex workers (call boys) which led to “misunderstandings about the rate of services.” Families were known to avoid any focus on their kin’s homosexuality because of embarrassment, and this attitude leads to cases not being pursued. Police also discontinue their investigations and leave these murders unresolved. For the LGBT Community, this issue has been the major consideration for a proposed “hate crime” bill similar to what are being passed in the USA.

After the initial forum conducted at the Metropolitan Community Church-Quezon City, where Marlon presented his initial inventory, Rainbow Rights Project and Ladlad sponsored a special human rights violations documentation training at ISIS International as a follow-up activity. QTV 11’s Brigada featured gay killings in one of their episodes, while Philippine Graphic magazine also released a special issue on the subject matter. This even prompted Anti-Discrimination bill sponsor Rep. Teddy Casino to also pass a resolution in Congress to investigate such cases of violence against Filipino LGBTs.

Meanwhile, as part of their annual June Pride celebrations, Baguio Pride Network in cooperation with the different resident pastors of the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) held a mass gay wedding for eight same-sex couples in Baguio City. Obviously, this exercise was meant to bring to light just one other issue of Filipino LGBTs, the societal recognition and acceptance of their partnerships as legitimate and valid couplings entitled to respect and legal protection.

It was a happy surprise that it got front page exposure in a broadsheet, but since Baguio City is notorious for its rather “vocal” clergy, the bishops overreacted again calling it immoral and “kadiri”. But what is more embarrassing for Baguio City besides revealing itself as an Anti-LGBT locality, was the fact that city officials and councillors likewise joined the bandwagon of negativity and started calling it “illegal” and that they will pass a resolution “banning” such activity in the future. There were even threats of censuring all the MCC pastors who officiated the said weddings.

They totally missed the point. While the activity clearly had some very serious reasons behind it, as the original intention of all those who participated in it, this event was also a “gimmick” of sorts. Maybe the local officials had “no sense of humor” about it, or the media was just being “helpful” for exposing it, but the message was sadly lost in all the controversy.

Rev.Ceejay was forced to answer the issues of illegality and immorality in all his interviews as a seeming knee-jerk reaction to the city officials’ and bishops’ homophobic and discriminatory statements. Time and again, he had to tackle the rather “irrelevant at this point” questions about the way LGBTs are and if we can still change and become straights.

As I said during my own interviews, people cannot say they accept us as LGBTs and yet deny us the right to love someone and take him/her as our life partner. It is not enough that they acknowledge us as LGBT individuals because who we actually love, and that is a person of the same sex, is the single important aspect that defines us. So the Catholic Church statement of “love the sinner and hate the sin”, which “accepts” us as LGBT people but prohibits us from “practicing such a lifestyle”, just wouldn’t work. It is our same-sex relationships that comprises our most unique self-expression of gender and sexuality.

With the bishops spouting cries of ”immorality” once again, they seem not to get it through their thick skulls that nobody really cares about them imposing their Catholic self-righteousness on every Filipino, what with sexual harassment and child abuse cases within their ranks. Not every Filipino is Catholic after all, so they cannot claim to be the vanguards of morality for the whole country. Besides, there is also such a principle as “separation of State and Church” in our Constitution which they seem to have a penchant for violating. Talk about violating the laws of the land!

As for the alleged “illegality” of the same-sex wedding, nobody claimed it was “legal” after all. The pastors and the couples present there were all aware the ceremony would have no legal consequences whatsoever and never made representations to the contrary. The Holy Union wouldn’t need to be registered with the local civil registrar or NSO, and no one would get to change their civil status or legal  surnames. But these couples were still willing to do their commitment ceremony publicly for the acknowledgement of their family and friends even if the greater majority of society doesn’t appreciate it. This was the real message that was the meant for the media to make noise about – why same-sex partners want their relationships recognized and respected so badly.

But hope springs eternal. Philippine media can still prove itself a supportive ally of the Filipino LGBT Community.

[Blogger] This is not funny! – koihernandez.wordpress.com

This is not funny!

by Koi Hernandez

It’s in all news. The number of Dengue Cases here in the Philippines is getting more and more alarming again. This deadly disease that has taken lives of our beloved in the Philippines is caused by a mosquito called the Aedes Aegypti.

Aedes aegypti is a vector for transmitting several tropical fevers. Only the female bites for blood which she needs to mature her eggs. Understanding how the mosquito detects its host is a crucial step in the spread of the disease. Aedes aegypti are attracted to chemical compounds that are emitted by mammals. These compounds include ammonia, carbon dioxide, lactic acid, and octenol. Scientists at the Agricultural Research Service have studied the specific chemical structure of octenol in order to better understand why this chemical attracts the mosquito to its host. They found that the mosquito has a preference for “right-handed” (dextrorotatory) octenol molecules.

Read full article @ koihernandez.wordpress.com

[Blogger] Why perpetrators of enforced disapperance should be limited to agents of the state?


Source: anakngdesaparecidos.wordpress.com

*This is the position of the Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance on the issue of exclusion of the NON-STATE ACTORS in the recent bill on Anti-Enforced Disappearance Law.

• Enforced disappearance violates the fundamental rights to life and liberty which are enshrined in Article III (The Bill of Rights) of the Constitution in order to be protected.

In his sponsorship speech as Chair of the Committee on the Bill of Rights of the 1986 Constitutional Commission, Fr. Joaquin Bernas said:

“Protection against whom? Protection against the state. The Bill of Rights governs the relationship between the individual and the state. Its concern is not the relation between individuals, between a private individual and other individuals. What the Bill of Rights does is to declare some forbidden zones in the private sphere inaccessible to any power holder.”

• During the interpellation, Fr. Bernas reiterated that “the rights in a Constitution are protection against the government”. When asked if the “rights which protect the citizens against other private citizens” can be considered as a valid second category of constitutional rights, Fr. Bernas categorically answered, “I would not put that under the Constitution. That would be more of a matter for the Civil and Penal Codes”. He further underscored that “a private individual” who “injures another individual… is not covered by the Bill of Rights” but by “civil law and criminal law”. Elucidating, he made it clear that the Bill of Rights lists the rights of individuals vis-à-vis the state. What the Bill of Rights, he said, tries to prevent is the violation of these rights by the state and not by other individuals. As an example, he cited the provision which states that “no person shall be deprived of life”. He explained that this means non-deprivation of life by the state without due process of law; that if a person kills another person, it is a violation of the penal law, but not of the Bill of Rights.

• Fr. Bernas in fact rejected the proposal of Commissioner Natividad to add victims of violent crimes in the provision on compensation to victims of torture because such provision Fr. Bernas said “has reference to acts of public officers” while violent crimes can be committed by anybody. He emphasized the need for an implementing law more particularly with respect to compensation and rehabilitation, which he qualified as “compensation by the state and rehabilitation under state auspices”.

With respect to the inability of a person under investigation to afford himself the services of a lawyer, he stressed that it is the state that has the obligation to provide him with counsel.

• Limiting perpetrators of enforced disappearance to a particular class of persons is not violative of the equal protection clause as it is based on a substantial distinction.

Even the rule on the writ of amparo, a remedy available to “any person (whose right to life, liberty and security is violated or threatened with violation by an unlawful act or commission of a public official or employee, or of a private individual or entity)” makes a distinction between state and non-state respondents with respect to burden of proof and standard of diligence required. Proof of “ordinary diligence” only in the performance of duty is required of a private respondent, whereas a respondent who is a public official or employee must prove that “extraordinary diligence” was observed in the performance of duty. Moreover, the respondent public official or employee is prohibited from invoking the presumption of regularity in the performance of duty to evade responsibility or liability. The Supreme Court in its annotation to Section 17 of the Rule stated that the distinction is made (between a private and a public respondent) since “Public officials or employees are charged with a higher standard of conduct because it is their legal duty to obey the constitution, especially its protecting the right to life, liberty and security. The denial of the presumption that official duty has been regularly performed is in accord with current jurisprudence on custodial interrogation and search warrant cases.”

Moreover, non-state perpetrators operate outside the law and commit illegal acts because they do not recognize much less respect governmental authorities. Acts committed by these non-state actors that violate the basic rights of the people are already punishable under the Revised Penal Code and other existing laws.

• It is the element of the perpetrator’s being an agent of the state/public official or officers that primarily distinguish enforced disappearance from kidnapping and serious illegal detention which under the Revised Penal Code are committed by a “private individual”.

• Proponents of the inclusion of private individuals or non-state actors as perpetrators of enforced disappearance point to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court that, unlike the United Nations Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance and the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (adopted by the U.N. General Assembly on 18 December 1992 and on 20 December 2006, respectively), does not specify or limit perpetrators of enforced disappearance to agents of the state. For purposes of criminalizing enforced disappearance it is the Declaration and the Convention that should prevail since between specific and general, the former must prevail as it evinces the intent more clearly than the general.

• Moreover, it should be noted that the Rome Statute of ICC takes cognizance of enforced disappearance under Article 7 on Crimes Against Humanity and Article 8 War Crimes.

The Statute defines a “crime against humanity” as an act that is “committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack”; and a war crime as a grave breach(es) of the Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949.

• Most cases of enforced disappearance in the Philippines do not fall within the context of the Rome Statute as they are committed outside areas of armed conflict. The fate and whereabouts of the person/s arrested, abducted or detained are concealed to enable the perpetrators to escape culpability.

• Covering non-state entities will render the implementation of the anti-enforced disappearance law impractical more particularly with regard to the preventive mechanisms. For instance, how can the Commission on Human Rights conduct regular, independent, unannounced and unrestricted visits to or inspection of all places of detention and confinement of rebel groups or require them to maintain an updated register of detainees, or issue a written certification that they are holding or not holding a certain person in custody?

[Blogger] Climate Change, Reverse Dutch Disease, and Third World Industrialization – Politics for Breakfast

Climate Change, Reverse Dutch Disease, and Third World Industrialization
by James Miraflor

Climate change is one of the “great pessimisms” of the 21st century, to quote Matt Ridley – author of the “The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves (2010). Indeed, it is the primary threat to humanity’s vision of a bright future of technological prosperity. And for very good reasons. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a global average temperature increase of 1–4°C (relative to 1990–2000) may result to partial de-glaciation of the Greenland ice sheet. Add to this the possible contribution of partial de-glaciation of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, sea level may  rise by 4 to 6 meters (13 to 20 ft) or more, with disastrous consequences to small island states and coastal settlements.

Moreover, weather patterns across the globe will be disturbed, radically changing livelihoods and economic activities. A particular climate-induced economic change we ought to be watching is the transition of some developed countries from having a humid continental or tundra climate to tropical or rain-forest, simultaneous with desertification in agriculturally-rich developing countries. This is already happening now, as climate change render previously agriculturally-viable lands to lands not fit for horticulture.

This gave me an insight. While it is true that this will have debilitating effects on the economies of the South, I can also see an economic opportunity which we developing countries can maximize – at least in the medium-run.

Read full article @ politicsforbreakfast.blogspot.com

[Blogger] Defenders of Human Rights – Life in a Box


People usually ask how they can be of help when they are needed to take a stand. Some are even afraid to participate because this might mean committing themselves to something far beyond what they are willing or able to do. One important factor in a cause being realized is the number of people who are willing to stand up and make their voice known.

Rommel Yamzon Life in a BoxIf a person is interested in fighting for children’s rights or any other advocacy, she or he is an activist waiting to thrive or perhaps already a human rights defender who only need to expand her or his reach.

There is no formal school for one to become a human rights defender. No university degree qualifies the graduate to practice human rights documentation, monitoring and grassroot organizing. On the other hand, they should be able to benefit from the experience of others in defending human rights and to actively participate on trainings on human rights to develop technical skills needed.

Read full article @ rommelyamzon.blogspot.com

[Blogger] The Church, the Polls and Divorce – monparica.wordpress.com

by Mon Parica


Last night I was reading lots of tweets from friends all over the nation watching Harapan in ABS-CBN channel 2 which tackles the issue on House Bill 1799 or the what so called the Divorce Bill. While tweeting i suddenly realize which side am i in am I pro or am I anti? I’ll tell you later.

What is Divorce? According to wikipedia ”Divorce (or the dissolution of marriage) is the final termination of a marital union, canceling the legal duties and responsibilities of marriage and dissolving the bonds of matrimony between the parties. In most countries divorce requires the sanction of a court or other authority in a legal process. The legal process for divorce may also involve issues of spousal support, child custody, child support,distribution of property and division of debt.

Last night Harapan guests are Reps. Luz Ilagan & Neri Colmenares, ex-Rep. Liza Maza, Atty. Lorna Kapunan from Pro side, then Bishop Teodoro Bacani, Reps. Elpidio Barzaga & Bernadette Herrera-Dy, actress Evangeline Pascual the Anti side.

The debate was very interesting and informative in fact i save some of the interesting points.
Among the 92% filing for annulment, 62% are women. Kulang ang kasalukuyang batas.
Bacani: Hindi kailangan ang #divorcebill. Karamihan ng kasong nakasalang ay malulunasan ng legal separation at annulment
Bacani: Ang kasal ay hindi ginawa ng tao kundi binigay sa tao
Maza: Hindi na masasabing totoong inviolable ang kasal. Andyan na ang legal separation at annulment.
Colmenares: Divorce has always been in PH. May civil code na tayo on divorce during Spanish time.
Colmenares says PH recognizes divorce especially in marriage cases between Filipinos & foreigners
Maza: Bakit sila mananatiling nakakulong (in abusive marriages)? Bakit hindi sila bigyan ng karapatang makalaya?

Interesting isn’t it? Napaka timely ng discussion coz as you may know last May 28, 2011 the Philippines is officially the only country that bans divorce. Malta voted in favor of divorce legislation in a referendum held last May 28, 2011. So, are we trying to differ? Or masyado na ba tayong pinag-iwanan ng panahon? Look at us, are we happy with this situation? Makatutulong ba ang divorce sa kalagayan ng kababaihan sa lipunan?

Andaming tanong sa isipan at ito’y matutugunan lamang kung tayo’y makikialam dahil karapatan nating makialam at may malaman.

Official figures support this. The 2003 report of the Philippine National Police shows that wife battering accounted for 53.6 percent of the total 8,011 cases of violence against women. About three of ten perpetrators were husbands of the victims. Husbands accounted for 28 per cent of the violence against women crimes. The Department of Social Welfare and Development reported that in 2003, of the 15,314 women in especially difficult circumstances that the agency serviced, 25.1 per cent or 5,353 were cases of physical abuse, maltreatment and battering.

My Side

The church as we know it promotes the sanctity of marriage but given the facts that the very foundation of Catholic in Rome allows divorce in their country, who are they to work against the will of the people? If the people wants it then so be it.

Ang pamilya bilang pondasyon ng lipunan ay may karapatan at may responsibilidad na alagaan at pagtibayin ang kanilang pagmamahalan subalit kung ang pagmahahalan ay wala ng tamis at away na lang palagi ang hinahantungan ano ba ang solusyon upang ito’y malunasan. Annulment, separation o ano pa man. Hindi ba’t ang kadalasang ngyayari ay ang bayolenteng kinahahantungan na kung saan marami ang kaso ng asawang inaabuso.

Kung magkataong magmahal ng iba ang isang may asawa subalit ayaw nyang suwayin ang batas ng simbahan at patuloy na nag aaway ang kanyang puso at isipan ano ba ang dapat na sa tingin nya ay makakabuti? Marapat ba syang makisama sa kanyang asawa samatalang ang isipan at puso nya ay malayo naman sa asawa nya. Hindi ba’t unfair naman sa asawa nya na nagsasama lang sila dahil sila ay kasal. Hindi nga kayo nag-aaway o kya nagbabangayan sa loob ng inyong tahanan ngunit kung ang mga kalooban nyo naman ay naghihirap dahil alam nyo sa isa’t isa na may ngyayaring hindi nyo na nagugustuhan. Marapat pa bang kayo’s magsama habang buhay?

Naroon na ko sa punto ng simbahan nung sinabi ni Bishop Bacani na nangangako ba kayo that “Til divorce do us part” natawa ako nung marinig ko ito pero may sense subalit yun nga kung balikan natin ang mga nakaraan at patuloy na ngyayari wala naman talagang permanente sa mundo. Agree ka ba dun?

Kulang ang batas, here’s an interesting point why? (a quote from  Women’s Legal Bureau, Inc., a legal resource NGO for women:

“The present laws relating to separation of couples and termination of marriage are inadequate to respond to the myriad causes of failed marriages. Particularly, the remedies of declaration of nullity and annulment do not cover the problems that occur during the existence of marriage. Legal separation, on the other hand, while covering problems during marriage, does not put an end to marriage.”

“Though both divorce and a declaration of nullity of a marriage allow the spouses to remarry, the two remedies differ in concept and basis. A declaration of nullity presupposes that the marriage is void from the beginning and the court declares its non-existence… Beyond [the] grounds specified [in the law], declaration of nullity is not possible. ”

“In annulment, the marriage of the parties is declared defective from the beginning, albeit it is considered valid until annulled. The defect can be used to nullify the marriage within a specified period but the same may be ignored and the marriage becomes perfectly valid after the lapse of that period, or the defect may be cured through some act. The defect relates to the time of the celebration of the marriage and has nothing to do with circumstances occurring after the marriage is celebrated. In annulment, the marriage is legally cancelled, and the man and woman are restored to their single status. ”

Sa aking opinyon ang layon naman ng Bill na ito ay para sa ikakabuti ng bawat pamilya at mamamayan ng ating lipunan. Kung kayo man ay hindi pabor sa bill na ito, ang inyong reaksyon at opinyon ay mahalaga din kaya’t pagusapan natin.

[Blogger] ‘Till DEATH do us part – olegs87.wordpress.com

by Rapha-el Olegario

Hanggang saan ang hangganan sa pagsisilbi lalo sa mga kapatid na kapus-palad at biktima ng kawalan ng katarungan sa ating lipunan? Hanggan saan? Kamakailan lang, ay nanggaling ako sa isang seminar patungkol sa ”Spirituality of Stewardship and Service”. Sponsored ito ng Socio-Pastoral Institute (SPI) at ng Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines (AMRSP) na kungsaan, layon nila na palaganapin ang kahalagahan ng stewardship sa mga taong gobyerno. Maganda ang hangarin nila na palaganapin ito pagka’t kailangan talagang tulungan ang pamahalaan partikular ang pangulo na mamuno sa ating bansa at sa pamamagitan ng stewardship, pinapakita ang kahalagahan ng kanilang tungkulin bilang mga LINGKOD BAYAN o sa ingles ay public servant. Naalala niyo pa yung una kong blog tungkol sa lingkod bayan? Kung ano ang depinisyon ko sa lingkod bayan sa una kong blog ay siya rin ang gusto naming ipaalala sa kanila.

Siguro nga, merong spirituality sa paglilingkod sa bayan. Lalo sa bayang marami ang naghihikahos. Ang pagsisilbi nga naman talaga ay dapat walang kapalit na malaking halaga. Kaya ang ”totoong” pagsisilbi ay isang spiritual na paglalakbay pagka’t nakikita natin ang sarili natin na kasama at kaisa natin ang mga kapuspalad nating mga kapatid upang maiangat natin ang kanilang dignidad bilang tao at umunlad sa buhay. Tulad ng ginawa ni Hesus! Nagsilbi siya sa mga tao lalo sa mga mahihirap at kahit mga hindi Hudyo! Wala siyang pinipili kung ’di ang mahihirap. Preferential option for the poor kung baga, kaya yung misyon niyang iyon ang naging hudyat ng kanyang kamatayan pagka’t alam niya, na sa pagsisiwalat ng kabulukan ng sistema ng lipunan at pagmumulat ng isipan ng mamayan lamang makakamtan ang “new heaven and new earth”. Kaya ba nating tapatan ang sakripisyo na ginawa niya upang iangat ang buhay at dignidad ng tao?

Kahapon lamang ay nakilala ko ang dalawang Sri Lankan. Clueless ako sa kanilang pakay at nagulat pa ako nung sinama ako nila bosing upang makausap sila. Bilang isang mabuting “steward” siyempre hindi na ako tumaggi. Pinabasa sa akin ang liham at ayon sa sulat nila, isang knowledge sharing ang gusto nila. Gusto nilang malaman kung ano ang ginagawa ng TFD lalo sa sitwasyon ng Pilipinas at ano ang mga paraan upang magkatulungan ang dalawa. Nang makilala namin sila, binigyan nila kami ng “natsit” ng bansa nila. Mas grabe pa sitwasyon ng bansa nila! Parang martial law ni Makoy! Sa pagtatanong, siniwalat din nila na nangangannib ang buhay ng mga human rights advocates at defenders ng bansa nila. Gawa na din ng counter-insurgency campaign ng gobyerno nila laban sa Tamil Tigers at mga supposedly supporters nila, kasama na dito ang mga human rights defenders, particularly sila. Tulad dito, basta basta nalang dinudukot ang mga human rights defenders! Mapalad nalang kung sila ay matatagpuan sa kulungan. Karamihan sa kanila ay hindi na natatagpuan.

Eh alam pala nila na nanganganib ang buhay nila at tukoy na tukoy sila bilang mga human rights defenders, bakit pa sila babalik? Naalala ko na dalawang beses itinanung iyon sa dalawa naming panauhin. Ang sinabi nalang nila, expired na ang tourist visas nila sa ating bansa. Wala na din silang resources dito kaya minarapat nalang nila na bumalik. Ginawa namin ni Egay, isa kong katrabaho ang aming tungkulin. Nagbigay kami ng orientasyon tungkol sa natsit ng ating bansa at ang aming opisina. Nagtanong sila kung sa paanong paraan kami makakatulong at mga humingi sila ng mga ideas kung paano mag-share ng info ng hindi mahuhuli? At ano ang maaaring gawin upang ma-inspire at mawala ang takot ng mga tao upang lumaban? Binahagi namin ang mga naging karanasan namin nung panahon ni PGMA at mga personal na karansan nung panahon na kumikilos pa kami nung kabataan. Nagtanong uli kami, hindi ba kayo natatakot na bumalik kahit alam niyo na magiging mapanganib kung kayo ay babalik? Ang sabi nalang nung isa ay ”We only live once! I am leaving it all to up above” .

Nagkakuwentuhan pa kami at nagpaalam na. Kaunting words of encouragement, at nauna na sila. At habang nagkakuwentuhan kami ni Egay, kinilabutan, namangha at biglang bumuhos ang awa ko sa kanila sa repleksyon ni Egay. Sila ay MAMATAY. Ang pagpunta nila dito sa Pilipinas at pagbalik sa bansa nila ay isang act of sacrifice. Sila ay nagiiwan nalang ng mga “footprints in the sand” na kung saan, kung may mangyari man sa kanila, ay nabahagi nila sa amin nag kanilang pakikibaka at makatulong kami sa kanilang pakikibaka sa kanilang bansa. Halimbawa ay si Ninoy. Alam naman niya na mamamatay siya, pero mas pinili niyang bumalik upang makiisa ang ibang bansa sa pakikibaka ng Pilipinas na makalaya sa diktador na si Makoy.

Bilang isang kristiyanong naglilingkod sa mga mahihirap at inaapi, sadyang ang pagsunod sa yapak ni Hesukristo ay hindi biro. Kailangang mangingibabaw ang pagmamahal lalo sa sinumpaang tungkulin. Ayon nga sa 1 John 3:16 “… we know love by this, that he laid down his life for us – and we ought to lay down our lives for one another”. Tulad ng dalawang Sri Lankan na nakilala ko at mga kapatid nating nagbuwis ng buhay sa ngalan ng hustisiya, karapatang pantao at pambansang kalayaan, mas pinili nilang ialay ang kanilang buhay para sa ibang tao, tulad ng ginawa ni Hesus.

Babalik tayo sa tanong kanina. Hanggang saan ang hangganan sa pagsisilbi lalo sa mga kapatid na kapus-palad at biktima ng kawalan ng katarungan sa ating lipunan? Hanggan saan? Ayon sa karanasan ng mga human rights defenders na nauna na… HANGGANG KAMATAYAN.

[Blogger] Politics for Breakfast: Anti-Cory Propaganda Youtube Video

Politics for Breakfast: Anti-Cory Propaganda Youtube Video.

by James Mathew Miraflor
Politics for Breakfast

Someone forwarded me this YouTube video. Judging by the sophistication of this video (graphics, technology used, and all), either it was made by a very political multimedia professional, or someone out to demolish the Noynoy administration hired an expensive multimedia professional to do this. Let us watch the video with a critical mind, and an appreciative eye for cool animation. Enjoy!

This video represents a long-running line of argumentation blaming the EDSA system for the economic and social quagmires we are in, while positioning the Marcosian authoritarian government of the 70s  as the one that put Philippines on the global map of competitiveness. This argumentation has many flaws, as both Marcos and Aquino had their share in pushing the Philippines towards the path of maldevelopment.

In any case, one cannot simply dismiss the criticisms of the pro-Marcos camp, especially with Bongbong’s assertion that we could have been a Singapore had EDSA I never happened (with Aquino III answering that we could have been a Libya otherwise) having appeal on those who witnessed the economic wrath and misery of the neoliberal era.

[Blogger] Politics for Breakfast: Setting Fair Oil Prices for the Filipino People (by Rep. Walden Bello)

Politics for Breakfast: Setting Fair Oil Prices for the Filipino People (by Rep. Walden Bello).

by James Miraflor
Politics for Breakfast

Just this Monday, Rep. Walden Bello, a progressive Filipino solon, world-renowned economist and the originator of the “deglobalization” movement, recently spoke in halls of Congress on the need to set fair oil prices and increase income in a time of inflation. A series of urgent demands for relief, Bello’s proposals perfectly complements Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Transport’s (PMT) strategic and medium-term “Proposals to End the Recurring Oil Crisis”

This is a must-read for policy-makers who are considering a lasting but feasible urgent solution on the oil inflation problem. Enjoy!


Setting Fair Oil Prices for the Filipino People
Privilege Speech of Rep. Walden Bello, May 16, 2011

Rep. Walden Bello. Politics for Breakfast

Rep. Walden Bello. Politics for Breakfast

A year after its election, the administration can point to the high economic growth rate, particularly in agriculture, as one of its achievements.

However, perhaps more than economic growth, people prize economic stability, and the way things are going right now, there is a sense of things slipping out of control. The main challenge citizens want the administration to meet is, far and away, the economy.  And among the economic issues, inflation receives the highest priority as a problem that must be addressed by the government in a recent Pulse Asia survey, with some 53 per cent of respondents citing it.

A key factor that contributed to the unpopularity of the previous administration was the duet of uncontrolled rise in fuel prices and food prices in 2007-2008. The same scenario of unrestrained ascent of food and fuel prices threatens to repeat itself in 2011.

What is unraveling things is the rapid rise in the price of oil, which induces an inflationary effect on all other goods, including food, the price of which is greatly determined by oil-intensive transportation, refrigeration, fertilizers, and pesticides. In the last four months, the oil majors have raised prices six times, increasing the price of gas by P10.25/liter since January. Gasoline prices now range from P53.95/liter to P60.22/liter with a common price of P56.95/liter.  True, there have been slight rollbacks during the last two weeks, but this is a case of one step backward and two steps forward on the part of the oil majors, who are wary of rising public resentment.

There is one attitude that the administration cannot afford to project in this crisis, and that is the sense that it cannot do much about the rise in prices. A non-interventionist strategy is political suicide, as the previous administration learned in 2007-2008.  An attitude of we can’t do anything because that’s what the market says or because the oil companies will only shut off their supply if we try to tamper with their profits will not fly with the public, whatever the ill-conceived Oil Deregulation Law says.  People want to have a sense that their government is doing something pro-active, that it is in control of events.  After all, that is why they elected the administration to power in the first place: to effectively manage things in the public welfare.

Yet this sense of fatalism is what has been projected by recent statements by Energy Secretary Rene Almendras who said that addressing the rising price of oil must take a backseat to assuring oil supply because “What can we do when the oil companies tell us they want to back out?”  The same sense of helplessness has been transmitted by Senate Energy Committee Chairman Sergio Osmena III, who recently stated, “There is no law dictating prices (of oil products), that is why there is no overpricing to talk about. If they (oil firms) want a huge profit, we cannot stop them.”

President Aquino must reject such fatalism from his subordinates.

Causes and Dynamics of the Oil Price Rise

The price of crude has risen from some $33 a barrel two years ago to $116 a barrel currently.   The long-term rise in the price of crude has been traced to the combination of a limited supply of oil owing to few new discoveries of significant oil fields and a growing market owing to the emergence of dynamic new markets like India and China.  In the short term, however, the skyrocketing of oil prices has been sparked by heated speculation on oil futures, that is, by speculators betting on the price of oil rising, and this act itself contributes to the price rise.  While the political developments in the Middle East may have contributed to some disruption in supplies, this is very minor and certainly does not explain the massive rise of over 400 per cent in the crude price.

Now, while transnational oil giants may not be the main instigators of this process, they are benefiting from it.  In the last week of April, the world’s six largest publicly traded oil companies (among which are the mother companies of two of the oil operators in the Philippines) reported a combined $38.1 billion in first-quarter profits owing to the rapid rise in the price of crude.

Breaking the Price Spiral

But while oil TNCs may not be the prime movers behind the oil price rise, they can stop it.  The same thing can be said about the oil producers, that is, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). How?  By simply acting in concert to stop the rise in the pump prices and the crude price.  This will break the price spiral and serve as a signal to the speculators that the party is over, drive them from playing in oil futures, and rapidly bring down the price of oil.

Herd behavior is behind the speculative rise in oil price, and what is needed is a firm signal that would drive the horde of speculators in the other direction.  One of the key factors that drove the herd in the other direction in 2008-2009, when oil prices crashed from $148 a barrel to $33 in slightly over six months was global recession, of which the oil price rise had been a major cause.  If there is anything that can be learned from that crisis, it is that we cannot wait for recession, with all its painful consequences, to serve as the command for the speculative herd to retreat.

Allowing the prices to continue to rise threatens not only consumers but business.  While people may think businesses can simply pass on the rising costs to consumers, it is not that simple.  During the 2007-2008 oil price rise, Philippine Air Lines passed on price increases to passengers.  But its effort to assure its oil supplies to maintain its profits led to it making futures contracts at inflated prices that led to massive losses when the oil price collapsed.  Even the oil giants suffer the consequences of unregulated price rises: like PAL, Petron lost four billion pesos from forward hedging deals when oil crashed in 2008.  Nobody’s interest except that of the speculators is served by uncontrolled inflation.

Need for a Comprehensive Strategy

What is needed is a comprehensive strategy not only to blunt the impact on both the consumer and business of the rise in the price of oil but one that would frontally tackle the root cause of the crisis itself.  So far, proposed solutions, while useful, have been advanced in a largely piecemeal fashion, and these have been defensive and of limited impact.  Allow me first address the measures that the administration has taken so far.

Wage Increases

Raising the basic wage is critical to helping workers and their families contain the rapid erosion of their living standards.   In this regard the increase in the Emergency Cost of Living Allowance (ECOLA) (by 22 pesos in the National Capital Region) by the Regional Wage Boards will have minimal impact in terms of reversing negative trends. The National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) must accompany the ECOLA with a minimum increase of not less than P100 in the basic wage.

Targeted Subsidies

Like wage increases, “targeted subsidies” are a good idea.  However, the current scheme mandated by Executive Order 32 appears to be, as Business World puts it, “hardly more than political gimmickry.”  The present initiative, which gives a 1050 peso subsidy for jeepneys and 300 pesos for tricycles, has two problems.  The first is that it mainly benefits the owners of jeepneys and tricycles because it awards the cards only to owners who can produce the franchise, original registration certificate, and route designation.  The owner would merely calculate the 1050/300 peso into his “boundary,” and this would amount of two days worth of owner’s income in one month.  The second is that the amount is too small, now being a one-time 1050/300 peso subsidy.

A more effective approach would be for the administration to 1) set up an ID system that would allow jeepney and tricycle driver to claim and calculate the 1500/300 pesos into their boundary; and 2) commit to renewing the subsidy every three months should oil prices continue to rise.

Suspending or Eliminating the VAT on Oil Products

Eliminating or temporarily suspending the Value Added Tax (VAT) on oil products was recently mentioned as a possibility by Secretary of Finance Cesar Purisima.   This is a positive suggestion that could result in significantly lower prices and thus benefit the consumer.  A balanced must be achieved, however, between the benefit to the consumer and the loss of tax revenue, as some have suggested.  Also, there must be an effective method to ensure that the suspension of VAT is being reflected in the pump price.

On the first issue, benefiting the really needy while moderating revenue loss can be achieved by having the VAT exemption limited to tricyles, jeepneys, commuter FXs and taxis.  On the second concern, to ensure that oil companies will not pick up the slack in prices from the vat exemption, one can have the tax exemption reflected in the receipt, which will give consumers a clear way to differentiate and monitor changes in oil prices and the application of the VAT exemption.

The Need for Flexible Price Management

Intervening in some way to contain the rise in the price of oil cannot be avoided in any viable solution, and this course of action will necessitate more than the Department of Energy examining the books of the oil giants, as suggested by Reps. Rufus and Maximo Rodriguez.  But before forceful intervention on prices can take place, one must convince people like Energy Secretary Almendras and Senator Osmena that their fears of the oil majors withdrawing from the Philippines are groundless.

These two gentlemen simply unwittingly repeat the threat of the oil majors when they perceive the threat of price controls.  First of all, being now a majority-Filipino-owned company, Petron has, for all intents and purposes, nowhere else to go but the Philippines.  As for Chevron Caltex, it has been uttering the threat of withdrawal for some time now, yet it stays.  The reason leaving the Philippines is an empty threat is that no one withdraws from a very profitable market owing to temporary dips in profitability.  Should one of the oil majors withdraw, that would translate into the two others taking over its market share, with increased profits from increased sales volume.  Should the three, in a display of collective solidarity withdraw, there are many smaller, independent companies that would come in to fill the demand.  In a competitive world where participants see every normally profitable market as vital to long-term profitability, no one would think of voluntarily yielding market share.

Is there empirical evidence for this claim?  In late 2009, when there was a temporary freeze on the price of oil owing to Typhoon Ondoy, none of the oil majors withdrew, though they complained loudly.  Why?  Because the market was so profitable that they, the majors, still recorded significant profits. According to Petron Corporation, the company posted a net income of P4.3 billion in 2009.

Pushing the oil majors to moderate prices is one key part of the solution.  Convincing the oil producers, that is, the Organization of Petroleum Countries, is another.

To motivate the oil majors and OPEC to take steps to break the speculative spiral will require government action at both the national and international level.  At the international level, one course of action is, as suggested by the UN, to have oil-consuming countries negotiate a benchmark “fair” cost of oil with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and limit price movements within a band.  At the national level, the government can impose price controls on the pump price of gas and diesel.

Before we go any further, let me say here that I agree with Rep. Antonino of Nueva Ecija’s assertion in his privilege speech last week that there is no strategic solution to the energy crisis except to promote renewable energy.  I think we should start now to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels by seriously implementing the Renewable Energy Act.  We have, however, to deal with the short-term, because, as the economist John Maynard Keynes said, unless we do so, “we are all dead.”  And the short run is the reality of the oil price rise that is crippling our people.

Elements of a Flexible Oil Price Management Program

The following proposal proposes the establishment of a flexible price-setting mechanism and complementary measures to ensure its effective operation.

1. Fair Oil Price Setting Mechanism

Government must establish an oil price setting mechanism that will keep oil prices within a range or band that is fair and affordable to consumers, while allowing oil companies a reasonable level of profits. The range of the price band should be computed based on three main factors, namely: the purchasing capacity of consumers (e.g. based on a predetermined maximum allowable percentage share of oil based expenditures to total household expenditure) an approximation of a fair and reasonable level of profit for oil companies, and the prevailing prices of oil in the international market.   The price band must be reviewed and reset on a monthly basis.

President Aquino must create a committee that will set and review the price band.  The committee should be headed by the Department of Energy, and should be composed of representatives from oil companies, consumers’ groups, and three independent experts.

Should the monthly balance sheet of the oil corporations reflect a loss, the government will not be held accountable for reimbursing this loss.  Should the balance sheet reflect a more than moderate rise in profits—say 10 per cent or above—this sum should be subjected to a windfall profits tax.

2. Setting up a Strategic Oil Reserve

To protect itself from price and supply volatilities of oil in the international market, government must seriously consider building oil reserves as a strategic objective, a proposal that has also been suggested by Secretary Almendras. Establishing a strategic oil reserve will help provide government the capability to cushion oil consumers from the vagaries inherent in the oil market, and also provide it with the necessary stocks to influence prices .

President Aquino must direct the Department of Energy to create a blueprint for the establishment and management of such reserves, including identifying sources of funding for building the country’s oil stocks. The DOE can look at tax revenues from oil companies as possible sources of funding for the creation of the said reserves.

Establishing an oil reserve might require legislation, but it would be best if the initiative can be put in motion immediately by invoking the charter of the Philippine National Oil Corporation (PNOC).

3. Strategic plan to regain control of Petron

President Aquino must begin developing a medium-term plan to regain control of Petron, as a strategy to increase government’s capability to intervene in the market and break the oligopolistic tendencies of oil companies. Petron’s share in the domestic oil market is at 38.6%, giving it the clout to effectively lead and influence oil prices.

Regaining control of Petron can be achieved by government buying back at least 51% of Petron shares, or by a combined action of acquiring a substantive share of Petron and maximizing government participation in the SMC Board, which now controls the oil company.

The President must direct the Department of Finance, the Department of Budget and Management and the Department of Energy to lead this planning process, in consultation with relevant members of the Cabinet.

While this process is in motion, the administration must exercise “moral suasion” on Petron, which is now majority Filipino-owned, to serve as a price-setter.  Industry insiders still see as a model of effective moral suasion the pressure exercised by former President Joseph Estrada’s Energy Secretary Mario Tiaoqui in keeping down prices.  These tactics included the threat of imposing negative sanctions.

Separate but related to these considerations is the issue of who controls Petron at present.  If the persistent news that Petron has fallen under the control of a predatory family is indeed true, then it is all the more important for the government to put in motion a process of regaining control of the firm.

4. Support UN Advocacy for International Oil Price Controls

The Philippines must support the United Nation’s call for an international negotiation to determine a fair cost of oil, and to limit international oil price movements within a certain band.  However, this should not be a conference limited to OPEC and the G 20 but a UN-sponsored meeting bringing together all oil-consuming and oil-producing nations.

The President must call on the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Energy to look at how the Philippines can relay and actualize it support to UN. The DFA can also look at the possibility of the Philippines bringing this as an agenda in the next ASEAN Summit in September this year.

Legal Considerations

Before we move ahead with this program of flexible oil management, we must address the objection posed by the representatives of the oil companies.  Is not the government powerless to act owing to the Oil Deregulation Law (Republic Act No. 8479)? The answer is no.  The president can invoke Section 14 e of the law as the former administration did, under popular pressure, with EO 839 on Oct 23, 2009, to protect consumers against predatory pricing by oil companies in the aftermath of Typhoon Ondoy.  Section 5 e reads: “In times of national emergency, when the public interest so requires, the Department of Energy (DOE) may, during the emergency and under reasonable terms prescribed by it, temporarily take over or direct the operation of any person or entity engaged in the industry.”

By any definition, a situation of unregulated, sharp price increases at the pump brought about by a more than 400 per cent rise in the price of crude in two years, which sparks inflation and brings an economy to the edge of recession at the same time, qualifies as an national emergency.

However, to enhance the effectiveness of temporary government intervention, it will be necessary to amend the Oil Deregulation Law. In other words, Congress must review and amend RA 8479 with the goal of introducing provisions that will (1) instititutionalize flexible intervention in the market to protect the interest of retail oil consumers (2) integrate the purchasing capacity of consumers as an important factor in considering the operation of the Automatic Oil Pricing Mechanism, (3) formally define a condition of national hardship brought about by extreme oil price volatility as an emergency, and (4) better monitor and ensure the compliance of oil companies in providing reports on, among other things, oil price and supply as well as revenues to the Department of Energy.


The foregoing program, which combines subsidies and tax reductions with mechanisms to moderate the rise in the price of oil, if implemented with sensitivity cum determination, will achieve two things: 1) it will significantly slow down the erosion of people’s living standards by lowering inflation; and 2) it will eliminate the chaos induced by oil prices that rise arbitrarily and thus allow households and firms to more rationally plan their production and consumption.

That there is no smooth road to containing the drastic rise in the price of oil brought about by uncontrolled speculative activities is a stark reality. There might even be threats of supply price disruptions on the part of the oil majors.  Such threats must, however, be expected from them.  Carrying them out is another thing, for this will cross the line to illegality, and the oil majors will find it difficult to take this course on pain of courting both popular condemnation and legal action from the government that would significantly affect the future profitability of their operations in the Philippines.

The flexible price-setting mechanism and its associated components outlined above are reasonable. They will not harm the oil majors’ interests; they will simply encourage them to be satisfied with moderate profits, while pushing them to take action to break the speculative price spiral that harms both their interest and the interest of consumers and business.

But while reasonable, these measures will provoke much lightning and thunder from the oil majors and their propagandists.  On this issue, political will will be demanded from the president.  He has shown this in addressing other challenges.  I am confident he will show it in this instance as well.

[Blogger] ASEAN CSO Mtg on LGBT Rights – Maximum Exposure

ASEAN CSO Mtg on LGBT Rights.

by Germaine Trittle Leonin [Maximum Exposure]

From May 2 to May 5, 2011 over forty lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgenders, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) activists representing 8 out of ten Southeast Asian countries[1] came together in a historic assembly for the ASEAN People’s Forum to tell their governments that the status quo is not acceptable and that the recognition, promotion, and protection of LGBTIQ rights is long overdue.

ASEAN is the cradle of the Yogyakarta Principles[2], a landmark articulation of internationally recognized human rights instruments in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI), and yet LGBTIQs in ASEAN countries consistently face criminalization, persecution, discrimination and abuse because of who they are.

In Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, and Burma, authorities arrest, detain and persecute individuals because of colonial laws that criminalize their sexual orientation or gender identity. In other ASEAN countries, certain laws are abused with impunity to harass or persecute individuals whose sexuality or gender is deemed unacceptable, immoral, or unnatural: anti-prostitution, anti-trafficking, or anti-pornography laws in Indonesia and the Philippines are applied to conduct illegal raids in gay establishments or to nab transgenders, oftentimes subjecting them to humiliation and extortion. The anti-kidnapping law in the Philippines is likewise used to forcibly break apart lesbian couples living under consensual and legitimate relationships.

We are part of the people of ASEAN, and yet across the region we are treated as criminals  and as second class citizens.

Instead of representing the interests of all citizens, many governments and state institutions become instruments of religious and sectarian prejudice. In Surabaya, Indonesia, the police was complicit in an attack by an intolerant religious group against the participants of an international LGBTIQ conference.

A climate of stigma and discrimination prevails in most, if not all, ASEAN countries. From Vietnam to Brunei Darussalam, social stigma persists. Sexual orientations and gender identities outside heterosexuality and patriarchal gender norms are considered as a sickness that can be corrected through rape, reparative camps like in Besut, Malaysia, only one of several camps in the country, and other damaging psycho-social measures.

Access to basic services, from health to education, is denied on the basis of one’s presumed or actual sexual orientation or gender identity. Stigma has contributed to the steep rise in HIV infection among at-risk populations like men who have sex with men and transgenders, making it difficult for preventive interventions to reach them.

But our movements are growing. In various parts of the region, pride is unraveling and we will not take exclusion sitting down. LGBTIQ activists and organizations continue to actively engage government institutions, mass media, and civil society for equal rights and basic fairness. It is in this spirit of pride and dignity that we are reclaiming our rightful space in our respective countries and demand our governments to:

  • Immediately repeal laws that directly and indirectly criminalize SOGI, recognize LGBTIQ rights as human rights, and harmonize national laws, policies and practices with the Yogyakarta Principles.
  • Establish national level mechanisms and review existing regional human rights instruments (e.g. AICHR, ACWC) to include the promotion and protection of the equal rights of all people regardless of SOGI with the active engagement of the LGBTIQ community.
  • Depathologize SOGI and promote psychosocial well-being of people of diverse SOGI in accordance with the World Health Organization (WHO) standards, and ensure equal access to health and social services.

We will not be silenced by prejudice. For a people-centered ASEAN, LGBTIQ rights now!

[Blogger] Mahirap ba tayo kasi maraming tao? – anthonygaupo.wordpress.com

by Anthony Gaupo
My Life is my Message

Matagal nang isyu sa Pilipinas itong Reproductive Health Bill o RH Bill pero hanggang ngayon walang kasiguraduhan kung maisasabatas nga ba ito. A lot of people supports it but a lot too are against to it. Different views mula sa iba’t ibang tao ang naririnig kaya kung anu-anong isyu ang naglalabasan. Minsan kahit ako nalilito na kung sino sa kanila ang paniniwalaan ko, but still I try to hollistically understand what this RH Bill really is and what it can bring primarily to myself. Kaya whenever there is opportunity para mas malaman ko pa ang tungkol dito, kinukuha ko na. Like the recent HARAPAN: RH Bill, ipasa o ibasura? ng ANC and ABS-CBN.


The debate was very informative. Kahit papano may mga natutunan akong bago about this issue. But during the arguments, one of the speaker raised this question; mahirap ba ang Pilipinas kasi maraming tao? Bigla lang akong naguluhan kasi as far as I know, this RH Bill is to primarily help poor Filipinos for responsible parenthood hindi para sagutin ang kanilang kahirapan which during the debate e hindi naman pinabulaan ng pro-RH. In fact, a city representative who is pro-RH brought her calculator in the debate and on-air computed the expected annual spending of the government to one single classroom na umabot sa 8B pesos. Because of it, I assumed iniisip nga nilang maaaring sagot sa kahirapan itong pagpigil sa populasyon ng Pilipinas. Hindi pa kasama dian yung ilang mga basic na gastusin ng isang typical Filipino family. Naisip ko tuloy, hindi kayang maling pananaw ito?

Alam kong gumagastos ang gobyerno para matulungan ang mga mahihirap pero hindi naman ibig sabihin nun e kelangan na nilang sagutin ang halos lahat na gastusin ng isang pamilya. The government has a lot to consider in allocating its money kaya hindi valid na i-reason out na kaya may mga mahihirap ay dahil kulang yung budget na naaallocate sa sangkatutak na tao. Hindi lang naman kahirapan ang problema ng gobyerno at yung kahirapan na yun ay hindi lang dahil sa sobrang dami ng tao.

Maraming mahihirap kasi maraming nananamantala. Maraming mahirap kasi maraming kurakot. Maraming mahirap kasi maraming makasarili. Maraming mahirap kasi nagkakaisa ang mga mayayaman. Maraming mahirap kasi maraming nagpapayaman. Maraming mahirap kasi maraming tamad. Maraming mahirap kasi kulang ang trabaho. Maraming mahirap kasi maraming umaasa sa tulong ng iba. Maraming mahirap kasi maraming nawawalan ng pag-asa. At maraming mahirap kasi maraming taong mabababa ang tingin sa sarili nila. Pero maraming mahirap hindi dahil maraming tao. At naniniwala akong kaunti man ang tao sa Pilipinas, kung iilan lang ang nakikinabang sa pera ng bayan, 10 years from now, ganito pa rin ang sitwasyon ng Pilipinas.

I am pro-RH kasi naniniwala akong ang responsible parenthood ay responsibilidad ng bawat tao. But I am not agreeing to their premise that it WOULD be the solution to poverty, na kung mas kaunti ang tao mas uunlad ang bansa. Labor force is an asset. Kung marunong lang tayong gamitin ito ng maayos at naayon sa kagustuhan ng marami, one day people will realize that population has never been a problem. Ginagawa lang problema kasi walang magandang sistemang aayon dito.

I am hoping that one day, the issue of population and poverty will go on separate way. Wala sa dami ng tao ang problema, nasa tao mismo. Kaya kung nasa tao ang problema, nasa kanya rin ang sagot kasi siya mismo ang sagot sa problemang akala niya e matatapos dahil sa sinumang superhero na sasagip sa kanya.

Read more of Anthony’s blogs @ My Life is my Message

[Blogger] Teroristang walang kamalaymalay – KAMPAY!

Personal photo. olegs87.wordpress.com

Personal photo. olegs87.wordpress.com

by Rapha-el “Olegs” Olegario
URL: http://olegs87.wordpress.com/

Ako ay isang bininyagang kristiyano-katoliko at hindi ko ikinahihiya iyon. Naniniwala ako na ang simbahang katoliko ay nakapagbigay ng pinakamahusay na dahilan ng existensya ng isang “supreme being” o “God” na tinatawag, salamat kay Sto. Tomas Aquino at ang likha niyang Summa Theologica. At dahil din dito, sa pamamagitan ng mga Encyclicals na inilabas ng simbahang ito, mas binigyang linaw nito ang kaniyang tindig lalo sa isyu ng kahirapan at pangaapi na ito ay dapat sugpuin salamat sa Vatican II at iba’t ibang liberation theologians mula Latin America atbp.

Ngayon sa panahon na ito, pinagdedebatihan ang isyu ng RH Bill. Matagal na itong tinutulak sa kongreso pagka’t ayon na rin sa talaan, maraming ina ang namamatay dahil sa komplikasyon sa panganganak at upang magkaroon ang pamahalaan ng batayan upang sugpuin ito, ay sa pamamagitan ng batas. At ang tingin ng mga mambabatas dito na ang RH Bill ang solusyon dito. Tumutol ang simbahang katolika dito pagka’t, sa pagkakaunawa ko, mas iigting daw ang pagbebenta o pamimigay ng mga ”condom” at mga gamot na pampalaglag pagka’t kinikitil nito ang buhay na magbunga at/o kumikitil ng buhay sa sinapupunan. Nauunawaan ko ang simbahan, bagkus tama rin naman pagka’t buhay din ang nakasalalay, ’di nga lang buong buo sa pisikal na aspeto. Bilang isang ordinaryong mamamayan at naniniwala sa pananampalatayang katolisismo, ginagalang ko yan.

Hindi ako pupunta sa argumento ng Pro- o Anti- at hindi ako eksperto dun. Ngunit hanggang saan ang linya na kung saan ipaglalaban ng simabahan ang kanyang paninindigan? Kamakailan lang naglabas ng isang napaka-irisponsableng kataga ang VP ng CBCP na si Arch. Palma na tawaging “TERORISTA” ang mga nagtutulak ng RH Bill sa kadahilangang pumapayag tayong mamatay ang mga ‘di pa pinapanganak. TERORISTA? Ang pagkakaalam ko, ang terorista ay yung mga nangha-hijack ng eroplano at ibabangga sa building! O yung mga nangingidnap at namumugot ng ulo para sa pera sa harap ng kamera! O yung mga nagpapasabog ng bomba o yung naglalabas ng poison gas sa pampublikong lugar. O yung walang habas na pamamaril sa gitna ng mataong lugar! Yan ang alam kong gawain ng TERORISTA.

‘Di ko akalaing hahantong sa ganito! Dati kasama pa nga ang simbahan dahil ang mga Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) ay tinaguriang terorista ng estado at tinuring ding defenders ng HRD’s ang simbahan . Umabot sa puntong naglabas ng Human Security Act na kung saan halos lahat ng pag-exercise ng civil rights natin ay tinaguriang ”terorist” acts eh, at ang simbahan ay kaisan natin upang labanan ito. Ngayon, ang mga human rights defenders ay tinutulak ang RH Bill na maisabatas. Ang simbahan, tinaguriang terorista ang mga nagsusulong nito. Ang lungkot! Ang salalayan ng aking moralidad at pananampalataya ay tinatawag akong terorista pagka’t ako’y isang human rights defender at kinikilala ko ang reproductive rights.

Father forgive me for I have sinned. I confess of being a TERRORIST for advocating HUMAN RIGHTS.

[Blogger] Ngunit bakit tila walang natira! – My Life is My Message

This is an article posted by Anthony Gaupo last March 15, 2011  in his blog My Life is My Message . Anthony Gaupo is one of our “Fellow” bloggers.  “Fellow” is a list of bloggers whose blogs/site are not necessarily focused on human rights issues but are willing to join our community of HR bloggers. We invite you to join us and be a “Fellow” like Anthony, exchange links with usHRonlinePH   

by Anthony Gaupo –
My Life is My Message

As part of the second anniversary of ‘My Life is My Message’ blog, here is something special I write for my fellow Filipinos.

Image from anthonygaupo.wordpress.com

I have heard this song for several times since it started to play on the radio. If not in radio, I usually here my 5-year-old and 3-year-old nephews singing this song. And honestly they knew this song first before I do. And I just get interested with it when I got the chance to scrutinize what the lyrics is all about because my nephews are kept on singing the last two words which repeatedly occur in the entire lyrics for how many times, ‘walang natira!’

Naalala ko, sabi ng teacher ko when I was second year highschool, mayaman daw ang Pilipinas noon sa likas na yaman. But when spaniards came to occupy us, everything were wasted. At ngayon, we can still experience the effect of how we were devasted by that reality kaya hindi na lang likas na yaman ang nawawala, even its people are losing kasi karamihan ng mahihirap o kahit ng mga mayayaman, nangingibang bansa para kumita ng kabuhayan.

Sino ba naman kasing ayaw yumaman? Sino bang hindi kelangan ng pera? Kahit ako, gugustuhin kong kumita ng maraming pera. GUsto kong maabot mga pangarap ko at alam kong magagawa ko lang yun kapag may pera ako. Sabi nga ng professor ko sa Economics, ang pera daw ay isang maduming bagay pero pinag-aagawan ng kahit na sino. In this earthly world, the most important of all is money. And the easiest possible legal job to get money, if you are a Filipino, is to become an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW).

For me, there is nothing wrong from being an OFW. I understand why most of the Filipinos are leaving their family just to sustain the needs of their love ones. Kahit si mama  dumating sa stage na naisip niyang maging Domestic Helper (DH) sa ibang bansa kasi wala na kaming mapagkukunan ng pera. At isa pa, palaging tumataas ang mga bilihin, wala ring maraming available jobs tapos sasabayan pa ng magastos na pag-aaral sa college. Ganyan ang typical na buhay ng isang mahirap na Pilipino. Kaya I personally emphatize the real situation of the less privilege sector of society.

OO walang masama kung mangingibang-bansa tayo pero I beleive there is something wrong kung mamamatay na lang tayong OFW. Maraming teacher, engineer at nurse dito sa Pilipinas pero karamihan sa kanila mas gugustuhing magtrabaho sa mga hindi nila kalahi para kumita lang ng pera. I am not judging anyone but I know that you know that there is truth when I say the previous statement ‘cos even I is planning to go abroad to earn much and therefore buy the things I want.

But more than getting what I want, working abroad could probably be a source of investment. Instead of splurging during pay day, why not save money? It isn’t enough to have money on hand. The most important thing to know is how to spend wisely the money on hand. And how to make your money work for you!

Sticking on that idea, hindi na natin kelangan pang bumalik sa ibang bansa para iwan ulit ang mga pamilya natin. Kung alam lang ng bawat Pilipino ang importance ng financial intelligence at entrepreneurship, alam kong dadating yung panahon na wala nang Pilipino ang mangingibang-bansa. I am so hopeful to see Philippines, 50 or 100 years from now, just like China, US or Japan. If everyone will just know the importance of their small contribution to the Philippines, that small idea could probably ensue to a better greater society. And one day, you will be thankful na natulungan mo ang bansa mo kahit sa maliit na paraan para maging maunlad.

Kung iniisip mong imposible itong mga sinasabi ko, sasabihin ko sayo ngayon pa lang, nagkakamali ka! Una, walang imposible sa taong nag-iisip ng positibo. Pangalawa kung nagawa ng South Korea na maging maunlad, bakit tayo hindi? From nothing, look at them now. We were once more progressive than them, but through their hope and positive outlook, and unity and sense of nationhood they have reached where they are right now. (Read:   Korean Concerns Filipinos)

Anuman ang trabaho mo, naniniwala akong meron kang magagawa other than leaving the country to earn money. Katulad ng sasakyan, hindi ito gagalaw kung walang magpapaandar. It is our initiative that waits over-all progress. Kaya kung hindi tayo magsisimula, wala tayong matatapos. At kung hahayaan na lang nating iwanan ang bawat isa at ang Pilipinas, ano at sino na lang ang matitira sa atin?


I wanna thank Gloc 9 and Sheng Belmonte for making this song. I was very inspired by this song to write this blog. The moment I received the message of the song, I became so worried of what will happen to us if this reality persists. At my age, I am starting to set my mind up for this reality so that I could do something about it. Ayaw kong mamatay nang walang nagagawang maganda sa bansa ko. At any simple little thing, alam kong meron akong magagawa. Dahil sa kantang ‘to, alam kong marami ring mga taong naghahangad ng katulad ng inisiip ko.

‘Walang Natira’ is such a heart-felt and eye-opener country song for every Filipinos! For the lyrics, click here.

[Blogger] Pasko ng pagkabuhay… Alay sa mga nag-alay ng buhay – KAMPAY

by Rapha-el Olegario (KAMPAY)


Kadalasan tuwing semana santa, sinasariwa natin ang buhay, kamatayan at muling pagkabuhay ni Hesukristo. Tinuring natin siyang napaka-“selfless” pagka’t inialay niya ang kanyang buhay para iangat ang buhay at dignidad lalo ng mahihirap at iligtas tayo mula sa “apoy ng impyerno” o “perdition”. Ano ba yung “apoy ng impiyerno” at “perdition” na tinatawag? Kung ihahalintulad natin iyon sa panahon ngayon, maaari ring sabihin na ang mga ito ay ang laganap na kahirapan at pangaapi na nararanasan lalo ng mga kapatid nating mardyinalisa. At ang buhay at kamatayan ni Hesukristo ay simbolo ng mga simpleng mamamayan at/o mga “Human Rights Defenders” na tinatawag na inapi ng estado at nagalay ng buhay sa pagsisilbi sa mga inaapi. Si Hesukristo nung panahon niya ay isang halimbawa ng isang HRD. Mas pinili niya na makiisa (hindi lang makisama) sa mga taong kinalimutan at inaabuso ng mga nasa kapangyarihan. Nag-organisa, nangaral siya at isiniwalat niya ang kabulukan ng sistema ng kanilang gobyerno at pati ng kanilang “simbahan”. At dahil dun, tinuring siyang kaaway! Siya ay tinugis, pinagtaksilan, pinahirapan at pinatay.

Patuloy siyang nabubuhay sa puso ng marami at marami din ang sumasabuhay sa kaniya na patuloy na nagsisilbi sa mamamayan lalo sa mga kapus-palad. Kahit na patuloy na nakakaranas ng panggapi, pangungutya, pagpapahirap at pagpatay ang mga HRD’s natin, sa kabila ng lahat, pinakita sa atin na kaya nating pagtagumpayan ang lahat ng iyan! Ayon kay Prof. Gerry Lanuza “Ipinakita sa atin ni Hesus na ang kamatayan, pang-aapi, at kahirapan ay kaya nating lagpasan at pagtagumpayan! Binigyan nya (Hesukristo) tayo ng panibagong bukas upang sa mas lalong matinding pakikibaka at pagsisilbi sa bayan na puspos ng pag-asa at pagmamahal!”

Nawa’y sa Pasko ng Pagkabuhay ay ipagpaptuloy natin, at bagkus, mas umigting pa ang pagsisilbi natin sa ating mga kapatid hanggang makamit natin ang lipunang walang nangaapi at isang kinabukasan na siksik, liglig at umaapaw ang grasya.

[Photo blog] Jesus Christ was a torture victim – cannotallowtorture.blogspot.com

Jesus Christ was a torture victim.

by CAT Alert! cannotallowtorture.blogspot.com

In observance of the Lenten Season we are posting again a portion of the statement released by Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) during the launching of the CAT Alert campaign three years ago. Here it goes… 

Photo from The Passion of Christ

Since time immemorial, torture has been humanity’s option for clinging to power and in suppressing truth. This happened to St. Stephen, the first martyr of the Church, during his stoning to death.

Martyrdom of St. Stephen

This was humanity’s betrayal of Christ which ended up in the nailing on the cross. Indeed, He was a torture victim.

Photo from The Passion of Christ

Being sold for thirty pieces of silver; tried in public to denounce the supremacy of God over Ceasar; scourged at the pillar to test the vulnerability of the Son of God; crowned with thorns to disgrace the very sanctity of His Father.

Photo from The Passion of Christ

Torture was a method perpetrated with presumed regularity within the very procedures in the implementation of the law of man. Today, this is still happening.

Lenin Salas, torture victim. Photo by AHRC

This is happening to any Juan, Pedro, and Maria in their quest to protect integrity and dignity as individuals or communities in the Philippines.

PICOP 6, abducted, tortured, killed, disappeared. Photo by FIND

Jhon Paul Nerio. Photo by http://www.humanrights.asia

See more photos @ cannotallowtorture.blogspot.com

HRonlinePH featured blog of the week:DEKONZTRUKTSCHON

URL: http://rodrigo75.wordpress.com/
Author: Rod Rivera
Description: This blog attempts to contribute to human understanding of their life realities by examining things in their social world with a different lense – deconstruction for reconstruction of knowledge.

[Featured Blog] Man is by nature a political animal.-Aristotle – www.politicsforbreakfast.net

“Politics for breakfast”: speak for itself.

It is a blog that offers several views ranging from illegitimate debts, corruption, economic issues and social realities to share with others while eating breakfast.

James Matthew Miraflor, the author and the first blogger who responded to our call for submission of blogs is not your typical blogger.

He has been blogging for four years or more. So rather than writing about his life, James is taking  his own free time to give us a broader perspective on and understanding about his areas of knowledge- economic issues. The point to take from all this: James knows what he is talking about, and he is not afraid to share his thoughts.

Read on…

* http://politicsforbreakfast.blogspot.com
* http://rantingsinfreeverse.blogspot.com
* http://destabilizer.multiply.com
* facebook.com/james.miraflor

Watch-out for our next featured blog of the week.

[Blogger] Voltes V generations, UNITE! Marcos is not a hero!



ni Gregorio V. Bituin Jr.

Mayorya ng Kongreso, pati na si P-Noy, nais kilalaning bayani si dating Pangulong Marcos. Hindi tayo dapat pumayag. Maraming nakulong, namatay, naulila, sa panahon ng kanyang diktadura. Nagalit ang taumbayan na nagresulta ng people power 1 at pinatalsik si Marcos. Insulto ito sa henerasyon namin – mga kabataang namulat sa pulitika nang tinanggal ni Marcos ang Voltes V na kinagiliwan namin noon, isang kwento ng kabayanihan, isang kwento ng kolektibong pagtutulungan ng magkakasama para gapiin ang kaaway, isang kwentong tinanggal ni Marcos dahil daw tinuturuan ang mga kabataang magrebelde laban sa kanyang diktadura.

Gayunman, simula lang ang Voltes V sa pagkamulat namin. Sa pagdaan ng panahon, nakita naming higit pa kay Voltes V ang naranasan ng masang Pilipino sa ilalim ng diktadura. Maraming kabataan ang nagbuwis ng buhay, maraming dinukot at pinaslang, ang iba’y di na makita ang kanilang katawan. At ngayon, binubuhay muli ang isang multong dapat nang ibaon sa limot. Bayani nga ba si Marcos? Bayani nga ba ang nagtanggal kay Voltes V? Bayani nga ba ang diktador na nagbaba ng martial law at nanupil sa sarili niyang mamamayan? Bayani nga ba ang isang pangulo kung ang iniwan nitong bakas ng pamumuno ay duguan, maraming napaslang, at maraming desaparecidos na hindi pa nakikita hanggang ngayon? Hindi ba’t maraming pinaslang na aktibista sa panahon niya? Hindi ba’t maraming dyornalista ang pinatay sa ilalim ng kanyang diktadura?

Hindi ba’t mas dapat ilibing sa Libingan ng mga Bayani ang mga martir ng martial law, ang mga nagtanggol sa bayan laban sa diktadura, ang mga pinaslang na aktibistang ang tanging kasalanan ay nangarap ng magandang lipunang hindi sumusupil ng karapatan?

Nais ng mga kongresistang baguhin ang kasaysayan. Yaong nararapat na mailibing sa Libingan ng mga Bayani, tulad ng mga aktibistang nagsakripisyo para ipagtanggol ang karapatang pantao, ay hindi doon inililibing. At ang nais pang ilibing doon ay yaong diktador na dahilan ng kamatayan ng marami.

Mga kasama, niyuyurakan nila ang dangal at pagkatao natin. Hindi tayo dapat pumayag. Hindi bayani ang diktador na si Marcos!





ni Gregorio V. Bituin Jr.

Isang aktibista ako ngayon. Aktibistang manunulat. Aktibistang makata. Nagsusulat sa mga publikasyon ng manggagawa’t maralita. Ngunit paano ba ako namulat bilang aktibista? Dahil ba ako’y nayaya, o dahil may mga pangyayari sa buhay ko na nagmulat sa akin?

Isa sa mga nagmulat sa akin nuong aking kabataan upang maging aktibista sa kasalukuyan ay ang ginawang pagtanggal ng palabas na cartoons na Mazinger Z at Voltes V sa telebisyon. Ang dalawang ito ang pinakapopular na palabas para sa mga kabataan nuong aking kapanahunan. Panahon iyon ni Marcos. At isa ako sa mga nagalit sa pagtanggal niya ng mga palabas na iyon.

Tuwang tuwa kaming mga bata sa kalyeng iyon sa Balic-Balic sa lugar ng Sampaloc sa Maynila, at nagkakakwentuhan lagi kung paano ba dinurog nina Mazinger Z at Voltes V ang kani-kanilang kalaban. Uso pa nga noon ang text (di yung text ngayon sa cellphone) na pulos cards na nakadrowing sina Voltes V at Mazinger Z.

Basta’t tuwing Miyerkules ng hapon, inaabangan na namin ang Mazinger Z, habang tuwing Biyernes naman ang Voltes V. Kahit ang awitin ng Voltes V ay kabisado namin noon, bagamat di naman patok ang theme song ng Mazinger Z. Parehong robot na bakal ang bidang sina Mazinger Z at Voltes V. Ang layunin nila’y depensahan ang sangkatauhan laban sa mga pwersa ng mga masasamang nilalang.

Ang nagpapagalaw sa Mazinger Z ay si Koji Kabuto. Ang Voltes V naman naman na pinamumunuan ni Steve Armstrong, ay pinagdugtong-dugtong na sasakyang panghimpapawid ng limang katao, na pag nag-volt-in ay magiging malaking robot, si Voltes V. Ang lima ay sina Steve Armstrong, Big Bert, Little John, Mark at ang nag-iisang babae ay si Jamie.

Ang panlaban ni Mazinger Z ay ang mata nitong pantunaw ng kalaban (o laser beam), at ang rocket punch nito, na natatanggal ang kamay bilang rocket, at ang dibdib nito’y ginagawang laser sa kalaban (melting rays). Kasama ni Mazinger Z si Aphrodite A sa ilang yugto ng palabas.

Ang panlaban naman ni Voltes V ay Bazooka, mga shuriken, at ang pantapos niya ng kalaban ay ang laser sword, na hinihiwa ang katawan ng mga kalabang robot o halimaw sa pormang V. Ang pangunahin nilang kalaban ay si Prince Zardos.

Ilang linggo na ang nakalilipas nang biglang ito’y mawala sa ere at di na namin napanood. Ang sabi sa balita, tinanggal daw ito ni Marcos na ang idinadahilan ay tinuturuan daw ang mga tao, lalo na ang mga kabataan, upang magrebelde. Bata pa ako noon, at nagtataka ako kung bakit ganito ang dahilan nila. Gayong para sa amin, magaganda silang panoorin. Syempre, cartoons eh. At tagapangtanggol pa ng mga inaapi.

May galit na namuo sa akin nung panahong iyon. Tinanggal ang kinagigiliwan naming cartoons. Mula noon, galit na ako sa namumunong nagtanggal ng palabas na iyon – kay Marcos. Di lang ako, kundi marami pang kabataan ang may ganitong pakiramdam, nagalit sa pamahalaan, at naging aktibista. Marami kaming kabataan ang namulat sa kalagayan ng bayan dahil sa pagkakatanggal ng mga palabas na iyon. Isa nga ako doon.

Bahagi na ng aking kabataan at pagkamulat bilang tibak sina Mazinger Z at Voltes V. Huli nang ipinalabas sina Daimos (at ang pag-ibig niya kay Erica), Mekanda Robot, Voltron, atbp.

Anim o pitong taon makalipas, nakasama ako ng aking ama, kasama ang kanyang grupong Holy Name Society, sa pamimigay ng pagkain sa mga taong nagtipon sa Edsa. Ilang araw lamang, lumayas na si Marcos sa Pilipinas.

Ilang taon na rin akong kumikilos bilang aktibista. Halos magdadalawang dekada na. At natutuwa akong gunitain na hindi pa dahil sa martial law, kundi dahil tinanggal ni Marcos ang mga paborito naming cartoons, kaya namulat ako sa kalagayan ng bansa.