jump to navigation

Repost | Bakit Kasama ko ang Anak ko sa Rally August 3, 2014

Posted by pilibustero in Politics & Society.
Tags: , , , , , ,
add a comment

by Vincent Silarde

So according to some random social media rant I read (not for the first time) somewhere, I am one of those irresponsible and misguided parents/adults who go to rallies with children in tow. And now there’s this news that according to cops, I am also a human rights violator for doing so. The current state discourse accuses me of bad parenting for bringing my child to a protest rally which, many are led to believe, are senseless and violent activities harmful to minors. While I admit that I am in fact a lousy parent sometimes, I don’t believe that making a rally buddy out of my daughter amounts to negligence. On the contrary, it is with the best intentions (because good faith already sounds like a dreary cliché) that my wife and I decide to go to a protest rally as a family. Allow me to explain why.

All year round, naysayers try to discredit the legitimacy of mass actions on account of it being violent, senseless, and obsolete. Every time I hear this, I can feel all the cells in my body erupting into a collective “DUH!”. But I don’t actually say “DUH” as I get the impression that most people who profess strong opposition to protest rallies have not actually been in one and their impressions of it are mostly informed by biased and uncritical media reportage and a faint sense of history.  They fail to consider, for instance, that most of the basic human rights we enjoy today were fruits of people’s painstaking struggle.

And because people who diss protest rallies were not in attendance, they are not aware that these events, which the media frequently depicts as some lumpen and counterproductive activity that just causes traffic,  are actually moments filled with art, imagination, good vibes, learning, humanity, and love. In here, we hear the story of exploitation of people who happens to be excluded also from social media where most of us enjoy the privilege of gratuitous ranting and self-promotion. My wife and I believe that it is important for our grade school child to hear all these so that she would be aware that out there in the big world, poverty and injustice are not just activist propaganda but real problems that lead to the suffering of families just like her own.

Protest rallies are also art fairs and music festivals attended by many of our best artists and cultural workers. Last SONA, Pinoy rock luminaries The Jerks and Datu’s Tribe shared the stage with punk bands, rap artists, and street performers on Commonwealth Avenue. Scriptwriter Ricky Lee was also there. On several occasions, I also saw Monique Wilson marching on the streets before giving a moving performance of Do You Hear the People Sing from Les Miserables. This is very important for us because while we do not oppose to our child’s choice of Katy Perry , One Direction, and Miley Cyrus, we find it our responsibility to show her that art and music have forms and uses other than hedonistic pop merchandises.

Lastly, we take our child to protest rallies because we believe she needs to experience this to realize that there is an alternative to the dreams and desires promoted as natural and honorable by the dominant culture. Many of us are too preoccupied with constructing and pursuing individual dreams that tend to consume our humanity and dissuade us from the urgent and logical task of dreaming collectively as a species and society. We are consistently and deviously led to believe that we should work our assess off to acquire penthouses in condominiums with pretentious names; vacation homes in staid resort communities that have more yayas, gardeners, delivery boys, and security guards than homeowners most of the time; big cars which make short, ugly, and pompous jerks feel and look (at least in the eyes of gold digging and equally pretentious chicks) pretty and super; overpriced meals in overrated restaurants; memberships in exclusive golf and country clubs erected on lands that used be home villages of poor farming and fishing communities.

Very little attention and action is paid to our supposedly shared responsibility of ensuring, first and foremost, that no one should go hungry, live under subhuman conditions, be prevented from swimming at the beach on account of non-membership or non-ownership, or die because he could not afford to live.  So some of us end up climbing social mountains and look utterly pathetic. Bootlicking and ass-kissing are ensconced as time-honored traditions and virtues. We forget that instead of striving to be the best and fastest social climbing bastard, we have a choice to destroy or level the mountain to the ground.

And the system has even succeeded in making more money for the already tremendously wealthy out of our insecurities and anxieties. Financial institutions make huge profits from the business of selling mutual funds, car loans, life insurance, education plans, health insurance, etc because we have resigned to the idea that basic social services such as universal health care, public education, social security, mass transit, among others, cannot be institutionalized as a right instead of a privilege.

It is in these protest rallies which oppose the privatization of hospitals and contractualization; call for the increase of workers’ wages, national industrialization, end of human rights violation, job creation, genuine land reform, protection of the environment, among many others, that we are able to, in our humble way, encourage our child to refuse to “live in a world of comforting illusions.” And unless I see for myself that these protest rallies have ceased to become the edifying and inspiring activities I’ve known them to be, I will continue to be there with my family, arms raised, fist clenched, and chanting IPBK Ibagsak!

NOYNOYING. Busy Doing Nothing March 18, 2012

Posted by pilibustero in Personal.
Tags: , , , ,
add a comment

by Max Santiago

SaNA 2011 by Teddy Casino July 30, 2011

Posted by pilibustero in Politics & Society.
Tags: , , , ,
add a comment

In my dream, the President’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) went this way:

Noon isang taon, sinabi kong walang wang wang. Natupad na po ang pangako kong iyon kayat hindi ko na uulit-ulitin pa, baka sabihin ninyong OA. Nais kong sabihin ngayon na higit sa usping wang wang, marami pang ibang nagawa ang aking administrasyon.

Una, bilang bahagi ng ating pagtahak sa daang matuwid, naipakulong na natin si dating Pangulong Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo at dating First Gentleman Mike Arroyo sa mga salang plunder, graft at malversation of public funds. Nagpapatuloy pa ang kanyang mga kaso kaugnay ng electoral fraud, human rights violations at iba pa.

Nasa kulungan na rin sina Joc-Joc Bolante, Cito Lorenzo at ibang kasangkot sa GMA fertilizer fund scam; sina Ben Abalos, Virgilio Garcillano, Lintang Bedol, Zaldy Ampatuan at iba pang sangkot sa dayaan noong halalan ng 2004; sina Manoling Morato, Rosario Uriarte at mga nagpasasa sa pondo ng PCSO; at sina Efraim Genuino at kanyang mga alipores sa dating management ng PAGCOR.

Patuloy nating tinutugis ang mga may pananagutan sa pandarambong na naganap noong nakaraang administrasyon. Hindi natin sila tatantanan.

Ano naman ang hinaharap ng tuwid na daan?

Pinirmahan ko na bilang batas ang Freedom of Information Act at ang Whistleblowers Protection and Rewards Act. Itong dalawang batas na ito ang magtitiyak na hindi na mauulit ang karumal-dumal na nakawan at pang-aabuso noong mga nagdaang administrasyon. Ito ang magbibigay ng kakayanan sa ordinaryong mamamayan, ang aking mga boss, na bantayan ang sarili nilang gobyerno.

Sinibak ko na rin sa pwesto ang aking mga abusadong kaibigan, kaklase at kabarilan. Mantakin ninyo, gusto lang pala nilang palitan ang supplier ng kape sa PAGCOR na nagkakahalaga ng isang bilyong piso bawat taon. Yung isa nama’y gustong humalili sa Stradcom bilang eksklusibong kontratista ng LTO.

Natanto ko na rin na hindi porke’t walang korap ay wala nang mahirap. Kayat marami rin akong ginawa para baguhin ang sistema ng ekonomiya.

Tinanggal na natin ang VAT sa kuryente at langis. Epektibong naibaba ang presyo ng mga produktong ito at naidagdag sa bulsa ng mamamayan ang pera. Higit pa riyan, bumaba ang cost of production at nakaalwan sa presyo ng iba pang mga bilihin at serbisyo.

Sa kuryente ay binago na natin ang performance-based regulation ng Energy Regulatory Commission para ang konsyumer ay magbabayad ayon lamang sa aktwal na presyo ng kuryenteng ginagamit niya at hindi para mag-ambag ng kapital sa Meralco at iba pang distribution utilities.

Nananawagan ako sa Kongreso na madaliin ang batas para i-regulate ang power generation at ibalik sa kontrol ng pamahalaan ang TRANSCO. Kailangang ibalik sa ating mga kamay ang pagmamay-ari at kontrol sa napakahalagang sektor ng enerhiya. Inatasan ko na ang NAPOCOR na muling magtayo ng mga planta na magbibigay ng murang kuryente para sa lahat.

Tungkol naman sa langis, napabuksan na natin ang mga libro ng oil companies at napatunayang dinadaya nila tayo sa presyo at sa buwis. Dahil dito’y bumaba ng bahagya ang presyo. Napakababa pala ng ibinabayad nila sa income tax kumpara sa bilyun-bilyon nilang kinikita. Naman.

Hindi natin pinansin ang mga credit-rating agencies na wala namang ginawang tama. Kinausap ko isa-isa ang ating mga creditors at ipinaunawa ang pangangailangang ilimita ang pagbabayad ng ating utang batay sa ating kakayanan. Ngayon ay may sapat na tayong pondo para igugol sa pagpapaunlad ng sariling ekonomiya at pagbigay ng sapat at de-kalidad na serbisyo.

Pinahahalagahan ko ang pagtaguyod ng industriyang Pilipino. Sa ngayon, 90% na ng mga gamit na binibili ng gobyerno ay gawa sa Pilipinas, resulta ng ating bagong Filipino-first procurement policy. Dahil dito at sa iba pang programa ay lumalago ang pagmamanupaktura at napapahusay ang kalidad ng kanilang mga produkto.

May mga nagsasabing pinepersonal ko raw ang pag-angat ng kabuhayan ng ating mga magsasaka. Totoo po: Personal talaga sa akin ito. Kayat napakiusapan ko ang aking pamilya na ipamigay na ang Hacienda Luisita sa mga magsasaka, tutal ilang dekada na kaming nakinabang doon. Ngayon, maunlad at masaya na ang ating mga magsasaka.

Sa aking mga boss, kung may gusto pa kayong ipagawa, sabihin n’yo lang. Gusto ko, happy ka.#

FULL ARTICLE HERE

The In-Glorious 2004 & 2007 Elections: The Militants Were Right July 29, 2011

Posted by pilibustero in Politics & Society.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
1 comment so far

Seven years after the controversial and fraud-ridden 2004 Presidential Elections, the skeletons are again coming out of the closet– a purported deluge of truths and facts preserved in the heads of suspended ARMM governor Zaldy Ampatuan and former Maguindanao Election Supervisor Lentang Bedol, among others. They alleged and corroborated the events and the conspiracy leading to the 2004 and 2007 elections and ensuring that Gloria Arroyo and Miguel Zubiri in 2007 win the race.

Just the other day, several police officers floated and affirmed the truth behind the massive fraud claiming that they were directly involved in the switching of ballots inside the Batasan Complex where the Presidential Board of Canvassers convened and proclaimed Arroyo, et. al.

Without the benefit of judicial trial, public opinion again was refreshed by the idea that indeed there was fraud in 2004 and media commentaries fall on this hype. But seven years, hence, Arroyo is still in power and sits as representative of Pampanga, and still free of any charges initiated by government.

With these new exposes, our honorable senators and congressmen, with the exception of a few, right away pushed for investigations left and right for the sake of truth. But if you look closely, they are the same faces who in one way or another out-rightly defended Arroyo or played it safe, abstained, or preserved their asses from political complications then and decided to stay out of the picture, including the Liberal Party.

While in the streets, the militants and progressive groups led by Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) are consistently calling for GMA’s ouster as against resignation calls by the late Cory Aquino and some social democrats. But some quarters suggested to just let Arroyo finish her term. While other people dismissed them. Despite public clout for her ouster, the trapos, the reactionary police and armed forces, including the CBCP were silent and in fact were made instruments of fraud and apathy.

And so seven year, hence, the Aquino regime is overwhelmed by the magnitude of corruption and shenanigans left by the previous regime. Those Filipinos who fall victim to complacency and apathy at the height of the call for Arroyo’s ouster couldn’t blame anything or anyone but themselves, for deliberately tolerating Arroyo’s abuses in power. For staying at home and just be updated of the news and posting updates in their Friendster and Facebook pages. They let history come to pass. For now, the reality is that the Filipinos was robbed of a genuine president, a senator and billions of pesos in corruption.

Move on. It’s easier said than done, when everyday people die in hunger or succumbed to treatable illnesses and children couldn’t go to school because of mis-allocation of budget and of course, corruption, you can’t just move on, and forgive and forget.

For the militants and progressive, social justice means accountability and prosecution. On the first day of PNoy’s term, BAYAN and other groups filed plunder cases against Arroyo, while other private individual and groups followed suit. One year after PNoy in office, no cases were pursued against the honorable representative of Pampanga. I don’t know what is timing for Ombudsman or DOJ, or maybe they are still hoping for a new kind of Truth Commission. But with the resources at his disposal, PNoy should once and for all, prioritize the prosecution and ensure conviction of Arroyo and her cohorts.

But until then, one thing is certain that seven years after the 2004 elections, the militants and progressive groups were right.

Verbatim: Hacienda Luisita row July 14, 2011

Posted by pilibustero in Politics & Society.
Tags: , , , , , , ,
add a comment

Our action here today is not simply about Hacienda Luisita or a particular stock distribution plan. Our recognition of the right under the Constitution of those who till the land to steward it is the Court’s marching order to dismantle the feudal tenurial relations that for centuries have shackled them to the soil in exchange for a pitiful share in the fruits, and install them as the direct or collective masters of the domain of their labor. It is not legal, nor moral, to replace their shackles with mere stock certificates or any other superficial alternative.

Chief Justice Renato Corona, in his dissenting opinion in Hda. Lusita, Inc. vs PARC/DAR/AMBALA