Overseas Filipinos urged to vote

comelec_logo_oav-300x138From April 13, 2019 until May 13, 2019, overseas Filipinos who are registered voters may cast their votes under the overseas absentee voting system.

Data from the Commission on Elections Office for Overseas Voting (COMELEC-OFOV) state that there are 1,822,173 registered Filipino voters worldwide.

Majority of these voters are from the Middle East and African Region, with 887,744 voters, followed by the Asia Pacific Region with 401,390; North and Latin American Region with 345,415 and the European Region with 187,624.

The COMELEC, in Minute Resolution Number 18-1124 dated 14 November 2018, resolved to adopt various methods of voting for Filipinos overseas, they are: 1. Automated voting using the vote counting machines (VCM); 2. Postal voting and 3. Manual voting.

According to the poll body, voters in forty-one (41) Posts abroad will be adopting the automated election system using the VCMs. These Posts are Agana, Calgary, Chicago, Honolulu, Los Angeles, New York, Ottawa, San Francisco, Toronto, Vancouver, Washington, Brunei, Canberra, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Macau, Kaohsiung, Taichung, Taipei, Osaka, Seoul, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, and Wellington.

Also included are Philippine Posts in Athens, London, Madrid, Milan, Rome, Abu Dhabi, Beirut, Doha, Dubai, Jeddah, Kuwait, Manama, Muscat, Al-Khobar, Riyadh, and Tel Aviv.

Meanwhile, postal voting will be adopted at the Philippine Posts in Brasilia, Buenos Aires, Mexico, Santiago, Bangkok, Beijing, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Hanoi, Islamabad, Port Moresby, Yangon, Ankara, Berlin, Berne, Brussels, Budapest, Geneva, Lisbon, Moscow, Oslo, Paris, Prague, The Hague, Vienna, Warsaw, Abuja, Cairo, at Pretoria.

And for Philippine Posts in Dhaka, Dili, Jakarta, Manado, New Delhi, Phnom Penh, Shanghai, Vientiane, Xiamen, Vatican, Amman, Nairobi and Tehran, voters there will be voting manually.

For Filipinos who will be voting by mail, packets containing official ballots with list of candidates will be sent to them at their registered addresses, while those who will be voting using the VCMs and through the manual system will have to personally appear at the polling stations in their respective Philippine Posts to cast their ballots.

Overseas Filipino voters can only vote for national positions, that is for twelve (12) Senators and one (1) Party-list.

The almost two million registered Filipino voters abroad are encouraged to take part in the month-long overseas absentee voting exercise. Harnessed, theirs is a potent force that can vote to power Senators and Party-list representatives that will genuinely work for pro-OFW programs and laws and will push for the advancement of pro-people reforms in government for the benefit of their families and loved ones back home.

For more information on the overseas absentee voting process, voters are encouraged to visit their respective Philippine Embassies, Consulates and Missions or they may visit the COMELEC website http://www.comelec.gov.ph and or follow the COMELEC-OFOV Facebook page: Office for Overseas Voting PH. ###

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MYSTERY SOLVED: Spot where important Phil-Am War Memorial once stood including original parts of it, finally found

The mystery of the missing monument to an important episode in the Philippine –American War is finally solved. The memorial marking the spot where one US infantry officer was killed in action in a fierce fire fight between American and Filipino forces on the morning of November 11, 1899, thought to have been lost forever, was finally found in San Jacinto, Pangasinan.

For years, historians were stumped as to what became of the memorial that was dedicated to the memory of Major John A. Logan Jr. of the Thirty-third US Volunteer Infantry. The Logan Memorial Cannon was erected in 1905 to mark the location where the officer was mortally wounded by a sniper belonging to Filipino forces under the command of General Manuel Tinio. It featured a captured cannon mounted on a concrete base.

Copy of Maj. John H. Logan's death place

Monument marking the spot where Maj. John H. Logan was killed at San Jacinto. This photo was sent to his mother by Maj. Gen. Leonard Wood, then Governor-General of the Philippines  (1921-1927).

The memorial was thought to have been swallowed by the ground and disappeared over time. However, on December 28, 2018 the place where the Logan Memorial Cannon once stood and some parts of it was finally located and discovered.

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The Logan Memorial Cannon up close

Albeit missing the most integral part, which is the cannon; this blogger along with several colleagues* were able to locate what remains of the memorial inside a family yard with piles of firewood stacked above it.

We pinpointed the exact spot where it was erected over a hundred years ago and was able to find what remains of it in Barangay Macayug along the San Fabian-San Jacinto Road. Only pieces of the Memorial Cannon’s original concrete base survived. Locals say the steel plate containing Major Logan’s information might still be there being kept in a house somewhere in the village.

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We spoke with the Barangay Captain, old folks and locals in the area and learned that the Logan cannon were unceremoniously spirited away by armed men who were reportedly in search of treasures of some sort, one night in the early eighties.

Locals remember playing at the Logan Memorial Cannon during their childhood days, but they have apparently lost memory of what transpired there 119 years ago.

When we narrated to them the events on what happened there on that day, one middle-aged resident exclaimed: “Tama pala ‘yung kwento ng matatanda. May nabaril dito na Amerikanong sundalo. Pero ang sabi, sundalong Hapon ang bumaril!”

I was jolted when the thought struck me. Lost along with the monument is the memory not only that of Major Logan’s, but more so that of the gallant Filipino forces under the Tinio Brigade who fought to their deaths in the defense of our Motherland.

A moment of eerie silence followed after I explained to them that a total of 134 Filipinos were killed there in that rainy morning of November 11, 1899. I told them that these brave kababayans of ours, in the face of the enemy’s Gattling Guns and massive firepower, put up a heroic stand against the formidable American juggernaut.

THE GATLING GUN ON THE BEACH AT SAN FABIAN

An American Gattling Gun on the Beach of San Fabian

Though the Filipinos eventually retreated after a fierce gun battle which raged for more than two hours, the fighting which came to be known in the annals of the Philippine-American War History as the “Battle of San Jacinto,” remains significant to this day. This pivotal encounter signaled the paradigm shift of the Philippine Army from conventional warfare to that of guerrilla warfare. Two days after the battle,  a National Council of War held in Bayambang resolved to disband the Philippine Army and ordered the generals and their men to return to their own provinces and organize the people for general resistance by means of guerrilla warfare.

It was also in this battle that the invading American Forces may have had first taste of General Manuel Tinio, the legendary Tagalog boy-General of the Ilocanos, who took them one and a half years and more than 7,000 men to “civilize.”

Tinio and his forces were in San Jacinto on orders to block and delay the American forces pursuing General Emilio Aguinaldo.

Tinio Brigade drilling at Plaza Salcedo Vigan Ilocos Sur

The Tinio Brigade

The Battle of San Jacinto was dubbed by the American press as “one of the sharpest engagements of the war.” The American forces involved were from the Thirty-third Regiment US Volunteer Infantry under the command of Col. Luther R. Hare and Filipino forces under General Manuel Tinio numbering to 1,200 to 1,600.

On the afternoon of November 7, 1899, more than 2,500 American soldiers aboard six US army cruisers and gun boats descended on the shores of San Fabian in Pangasinan.

The expeditionary force commanded by Brigadier-General Loyd Wheaton was composed of Thirteenth US Infantry; Thirty-third US Infantry Volunteers; Sixth US Artillery; detachment of US Engineers; detachment of US Signal Corps and two Gattling Guns; one hundred thousand rations and a supply of 1.2 million rounds of ammunition.

THE GUNBOATS BOMBARDING SAN FABIAN PREPARATORY TO THE LANDING OF THE TROOPS

US gunboats bombarding San Fabian prior to landing

It left Manila Bay on November 6th and sailed towards the Lingayen Gulf and landed on San Fabian on orders to block and prevent the Northward retreat of Emilio Aguinaldo and his army.

Wheaton’s command was part of the “three-pronged” strategy of the US army to trap Aguinaldo with Major General Henry W. Lawton leading the charge towards the Northeast to prevent the insurgent leader from escaping through the mountains and General Arthur Mac Arthur’s forces who were well on its way advancing along the Manila-Dagupan railroad (from Angeles to Dagupan) in a frantic bid to trap Aguinaldo into the pocket created by Lawton’s and Wheaton’s forces.

At this time, Aguinaldo is in the town of Bayambang in Southern Pangasinan.

In the morning of November 11, Major Logan led the troops in the advance towards San Jacinto. During the intense fire fight which broke out along muddy fields, heavy underbrush and bamboo thickets, he was fatally shot in the head by a sharpshooter positioned atop a coconut tree. Including Logan, seven American soldiers were killed in that encounter.

Col. Hare in his field report after the battle, wrote of Logan’s death: “Volumes might be written, but in the end could add nothing which would more clearly establish the gallantry of this officer.”

Brig. Gen. Wheaton also extolled Logan, saying that his conduct “was most gallant and worthy of his name,” and that “his death comes as a personal bereavement to the many in this command who knew him well.”

US President McKinley also paid tribute to the fallen soldier. In his telegram to Major Logan’s widow, he wrote: “his splendid qualities as a soldier and high courage on the fighting line have given him place among the heroic men of the war and it will be some consolation to know that he died for his country on the field of honor.”

On May 3, 1902, Major John A. Logan Jr. was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor “for most distinguished gallantry in leading his battalion upon the entrenchments of the enemy, on which ocassion he fell mortally wounded.”

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Major. John A. Logan Jr.

Logan was the son of Senator and Civil War Hero Major General John Alexander “Black Jack” Logan. Apart from his illustrious military career and distinguished service as a statesman, the elder Logan came to be known as the Father of Memorial Day in America. It was his idea to decorate with flowers the graves of American soldiers who died for their country. The US Congress formalized this observance as Memorial Day in 1871.

The General would surely turn in his grave if he knew that his own son’s memorial went missing!

 

 

 

The Phil-Am War Memorial Cannons

Major Logan’s Memorial Cannon in San Jacinto was among the only four (4) known Memorial Cannons erected in the country to memorialize US army officers who were killed in action at the height of the Philippine-American War.

The Memorial Cannons include that of Major General Henry W. Lawton’s, erected at San Mateo on the spot where the American General was killed by Filipino marksmen under legendary General Licerio Geronimo’s Tiradores de la Muerte on December 19, 1899. The monument was dedicated on January 24, 1903 and had a captured cannon mounted downward on a five-foot concrete base surrounded at the corners by artillery shells. The monument stands to this day at the Barangay Hall of Barangay Bagong Silangan in Quezon City, then part of San Mateo.

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Lawton Memorial Cannon

Another is that of Col. John Stotsenburg’s. He was the Commander of the 1st Nebraska Volunteer Infantry killed in action on April 23, 1899 at the Battle of Quingua, present day Plaridel in Bulacan. General Gregorio del Pilar commanded the Filipino forces in that historic battle that is being commemorated annually as a holiday in Plaridel. It also had an inverted cannon mounted on a concrete base, surrounded by four iron cannon balls placed at the corners. It still exists to this day, and in 1999, a huge mural was commissioned by the local government of Plaridel framed around the Stotsenburg memorial as a lasting tribute to the unsung Filipino fighters who were killed in that battle.

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Col. Stotsenburg Memorial Cannon

The third memorial cannon was erected by the American colonial government in Malinta to honor Col. Harry Clay Egbert of the 22nd US Army “who was mortally wounded on this spot while leading his regiment, the 22nd US Infantry in an encounter in Manila on March 26, 1899.”

The Egbert Memorial Cannon was located originally inside a one hectare tract of land proclaimed in January 12, 1906 as the Egbert Momument Reserve by then Acting US Governor General Henry C. Ide. It featured a massive cannon mounted in the center, and flanked by large caliber artillery shells, all set on a concrete base.

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Egbert Cannon

Photos from the date of the dedication showed the original monument containing a sculptured bust of Col. Egbert. It is still not certain if the bust was part of the original monument or if it was only added for photographic or ceremonial purposes. If indeed it was, then it must have disappeared over time.

The Egbert Cannon was only found six years ago partly buried in the middle of a dirt basketball court inside a slum area on Flaviano street at the boundary of Barangays Karuhatan and Malinta.

News reports said the monument fell into neglect through the years. And in the 1990s, the cannon ended up being “swallowed” by the earth after treasure hunters dug a tunnel beneath it.

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In 2013, the local government of Valenzuela and the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) had the massive cannon unearthed and restored and unveiled it at the New Valenzuela City Government Complex for people to see and appreciate.

The local government of Valenzuela also passed an ordinance in 2011 recognizing March 26 of every year as Battle of Malinta Day, which it said was “a notable point in the history of Valenzuela City and a celebration of the heroism of its people.”

We must not forget 

With the recent discovery of what remains of the Logan Memorial, the local government of San Jacinto in Pangasinan and the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) must undertake steps to rebuild and restore this very important monument in our history not only for the memory of Major Logan but more importantly, to the memory of 134 Filipinos who were killed in San Jacinto on November 11, 1899.

The Battle of San Jacinto and the 134 nameless, unsung Filipinos who perished in that fateful encounter must not be forgotten. We owe it to them. We owe it our children. We owe it to our country.

Sources:

  1. Report of an Expedition to San Fabian, San Jacinto and Vicinity, November 5 to November 30, 1899 by Brig. Gen. Loyd Wheaton, USV, Commanding
  2. http://www.filipinoamericanwar.com
  3. Philippine-American War facebook group
  4. http://1-22infantry.org/
  5. https://www.army.mil/article/47711/battle_of_san_jacinto

* The Search Party included myself, Mac Ramirez; Gel Gerardino; Rodel Realubin and Edward Macasu. Atty. Reddy Balarbar, a native of San Fabian a town near San Jacinto, was not able to join us that day, but he was able to provide in advance a significant lead towards locating it.

A skirmish in “Rombong”

Very little is known or documented about the history of resistance in the Island of Romblon during the Revolutionary Period and during the Philippine-American War. From what we can gather in the internet and in some history books, we know that in 1898, General Emilio Aguinaldo dispatched his generals to the Visayas to expand the authority of his revolutionary government to the Central and Southern Philippines. And on 25 July 1898, Katipunan General Mariano Riego de Dios captured Romblon. Four days later, the Spanish politico-military governor Don Carlos Mendoza formally surrendered control of the Island to the Revolutionary Forces.

Romblon formally became a province on 16 March 1901 after the Americans established a civilian government in the Island.

My wife being a native of Romblon and having been mesmerized by the island’s unspoilt and natural beauty and by its warm and friendly people, I have taken keen interest in studying the culture and history of Romblon.

And so, after stumbling upon an article published in the newspaper THE MANILA FREEDOM, dated 23 December 1899, I knew I stumbled upon a gem – a veritable proof of the Romblomanon’s gallantry in battle and brave resistance against the invaders. I thought, this could very well be the first clash on record between the American forces and the Filipino resistance in Romblon during the Philippine-American War.

In the article, it was reported that the American gunboat Concord returned to Iloilo on 19 December 1899. Onboard was the corpse of a Private Folley of C Company, Eighteenth Infantry, and a wounded Marine from the Concord’s crew. This, according to the article was “the result of an attack against the insurectos on a small island to the North of Panay, called Rombong [Romblon].”

It was reported that the American forces under the command of General Carpenter, “consisting of the First Batallion of the Eighteenth Infantry, seconded by the Mosquito fleet,” easily captured Concepcion and Capiz.

“Concepcion, the supposed point of strongest resistance in the province, and Capiz, the objective point of the advancing column, each fell into Carpenter’s hands with very little opposition, only a few shots being fired at either place. The intermediate small towns of course hoisted white flags at the first approach of the Americans.”

Following his easy-pickings in Concepcion and Capiz, General Carpenter then proceeded to the Island of Rombong (Romblon), “upon hearing of an organized force at the abovementioned island, determined to carry off all the laurels to be found at the North, and if need be, take his men far up towards Luzon.”

General Carpenter dispatched companies C and D of the Eighteenth Infantry and gave orders to the Concord and its Mosquito fleet to capture Romblon.

“In due time the place was reached and the truth of the reports concerning the insurecto force was verified.”

The Concord’s men tell the following story of the attack on Romblon:

“After some maneuvering to find the best point for attack, the Concord began to make her shrapnel sing genuine American songs and her rapid-fire guns talk pure English, seconded by the doughty little whistlers from the Mosquito fleet. The enemy, well entrenched as they were, stood it well for a short time, then, choosing the safest of two or three evils, began to survey the general trend of the hills in the rear. This movement was not joined in by all, however, as the subsequent firing showed very conclusively. When the shelling seemed to have demoralized them sufficiently, a landing of the men was begun.”

“No sooner had the boats come within easy range, then a rapid fire was opened upon them from the ditches and precipitous hill, to which many of them had retreated. At first fire, Private Folley yielded his life, having been shot dead while yet in the boat. Then fell the lad from the Concord, wounded in the knee.”

“But a landing was made, despite the bullets of the enemy, and a charge, shared equally by soldier and sailor, soon [did] the common tale of victory for American arms and the utter route of the enemy.”

Although the battle ended in the defeat of the Filipino forces, owing to the rapid-fire guns of the Americans, the valiant effort of these fighting Romblomanons to defend their island is highly commendable. This little chapter in Romblon’s history of defiance and resistance during the Philippine-American War must be recognized and told.

“The island is a small one, comparatively…” it said so in the article in the MANILA FREEDOM. But these brave Filipinos in this small island of “Rombong” did put up a hell of a fight! They proved to be a very worthy opponent to the Americans, so much so that they said: “A force sufficiently strong will no doubt be landed immediately. With all their cunning tricks in slipping out of tight places, they may well thank their stars if they escape from there.”

#Romblon #PhilippineAmericanWar

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The gunboat Concord

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Election looms inside COMELEC

comeleclogo_largeThere’s an election coming up, and the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) is not the one conducting it, but the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Relations (BLR).

Last January 26, 2015, the BLR issued an order that a Certification Election be conducted among the rank and file employees of the COMELEC under the supervision of the Bureau. The BLR order came after the COMELEC Employees’ Union (COMELEC-EU) filed a Petition for Certification Election before the Bureau for the purpose of finally determining the sole and exclusive negotiating agent of all COMELEC rank and file employees.

The COMELEC-EU filed the petition in its bid to represent in collective negotiations more than 4,500 employees of the COMELEC nationwide. It averred that despite the existence of three (3) employees’ associations in the COMELEC, no collective negotiation agreement (CNA) has been forged for the benefit of its employees.

Thus, since 2012, the COMELEC-EU has been organizing all over the country to gather the support of rank and file employees with the end in view of coming up with a draft CNA Proposal for the Management.

Executive Order 180, which outlines the rules governing the right to organize of public sector employees, states that an accredited public sector union or association may enter into collective negotiation with Management for terms and conditions of employment or improvements thereto.

A plethora of economic and non-economic benefits may be negotiated except increases in salary, allowances and travel expenses that are specifically provided for by law. But because there is no accredited employees’ organization in the COMELEC, its rank and file employees has never reaped the benefits they are entitled to in collective negotiations.

In its order, the BLR said 4,538 rank and file permanent and casual (plantilla) employees with salary grades 1-24 may participate in the Certification Election. They will be voting for the following organizations, the COMELEC-EU and the Alliance of COMELEC Employees in Service (ACES) to represent them in collective negotiations. Employees also have the option, NO UNION, should they choose not to be represented by any employee organization. An Election Officer was also designated by the BLR to facilitate the pre-election conference and conduct the election.

The winner in the Certification Election shall be granted automatic accreditation by the Civil Service Commission, thus entitling it to enter into collective negotiation with Management.

This is the first time workers of the COMELEC nationwide will be trooping to the polls to elect the employee organization of their choice. But in this election, COMELEC employees will no longer be at the helm. It now belongs to the DOLE-BLR.

All rank and file employees of the COMELEC are therefore enjoined to participate in the upcoming Certification Election. It is high time that we unite all employees into one organization in order to fully realize the lawful benefits that we haven’t been enjoying for the longest time.

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COM_TriShout outs to the newly formed association, COMELEC TRISKELION. They had a successful gathering last January 30, 2015 at Bahay na Tisa in Malolos City, Bulacan. In the said meeting, the election of COMELEC Region III Director Atty. Temie Lambino as Chairman of the COMELEC TRISKELION was upheld. Meanwhile, COMELEC Region V Director Atty. Romeo Fortes was unanimously elected by the members gathered as Chairman Emeritus. Dir. Fortes was a Founding Father of the Tau Gamma Phi Triskelions’ Grand Fraternity.

A Grand Salute to all my fraternal brothers! Mabuhay!

COMELEC to the peripheries

“The Church in the Philippines is called to acknowledge and combat the causes of the deeply rooted inequality and injustice which mar the face of Filipino society, plainly contradicting the teaching of Christ” – Pope Francis, Homily for the Manila Cathedral Mass, January 16 2015

Photo from ABS-CBNnews.com

Photo from ABS-CBNnews.com

A whole nation was in awe and in a state of euphoria when His Holiness Pope Francis, dubbed as the People’s Pope, visited the country last week. Despite the scorching heat and pouring rains, millions turned-out to catch even a glimpse of the ‘rockstar’ Pope in his activities and even along the designated Papal route. Fathers were seen carrying their children over their shoulders for a chance that His Holiness might stop and kiss them. Mothers bore Santo Niño images to have them blessed. Millions more were glued to their TV sets to watch the Pope.

“I felt annihilated (wiped out),” was how Pope Francis described the moments that moved him most during his brief stay in the country. “To see all of God’s people standing still, praying, after this catastrophe, thinking of my sins and those people, it was moving, a very moving moment. In the moment of the mass (in Tacloban), I felt as though I was annihilated, I almost couldn’t speak. I felt very little. I don’t know what happened to me, maybe it was the emotion, I don’t know. But I didn’t feel another thing, it was quite something. And then the gestures were moving. Every gesture,” his Holiness Francis told journalists in a press conference on his flight back to Rome from Manila. Such sincerity and humility!

Indeed, that fleeting moment when the leader of the world’s more than a billion Catholics visited our country will forever be etched in our collective memory. But more than our #FeelingBlessed Twitter, Facebook and Instagram posts that, as expected flooded social media the past days; we as nation, should live up to the teachings and message of Pope Francis – that of genuine concern and service to the poor and the needy.

Pope Francis minced no words in asking all of us to respect the dignity of the poor. “Above all, I ask that the poor throughout this country be treated fairly – that their dignity be respected, that political and economic policies be just and inclusive, that opportunities for employment and education be developed, and that obstacles to the delivery of social services be removed. Our treatment of the poor is the criterion on which each of us will be judged. I ask all of you, and all responsible for the good of society, to renew your commitment to social justice and the betterment of the poor, both here and in the Philippines as a whole,” he said.

The COMELEC, as the sole government agency tasked to ensure the right to suffrage of every Filipino, should be inspired by his Holiness’ message and be moved to uphold its duty to reach out to the most vulnerable sectors in our society and make every effort to guarantee that their voices, through their votes, are counted, and counted accurately.

COMELEC Commissioner Luie Tito Guia hit the nail right in the head when he said that “the Pope’s message is for us (COMELEC) to empower the poor, the marginalized, those from the vulnerable sectors, by working for the implementation of the principle of ‘one person, one vote’ and free choice. We can then help reduce, if not totally eradicate, what the Pope calls as “the scandalous inequality” in our society.”

Indeed, the COMELEC, as Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle put it, must go with Pope Francis not in Rome but “to the peripheries,” to the sectors often neglected every elections – the indigenous peoples’ (IPs), the senior citizens, the persons with disabilities (PWDs), the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and persons deprived of liberty. These sectors’ participation in elections are often hampered because of accessibility and discrimination. Thus it is imperative that the COMELEC must go directly to them so that they are not disenfranchised of their right to vote.

It is the COMELEC’s duty to ensure a more inclusive electoral exercise. By going to the ‘peripheries’, the COMELEC is fulfilling Pope Francis’ message against injustice and oppression that give rise to “glaring and indeed, scandalous, social inequalities.”

Now more than ever, as it gears up for the May 2016 National and Local Elections, let the COMELEC be guided by the Pope’s call for everyone to take part in “reforming the social structures which perpetuate poverty and the exclusion of the poor.”

Let no one be left behind when it comes to our right to elect political leaders that are, according to Pope Francis, “outstanding for honesty, integrity and commitment to the common good.”

Summa Cum Laude

You lived and died with honor, Jennifer
Never mind those that think otherwise;
Those that had nothing but disgust on how you saw yourself
and how you lived your beautiful life…

Pay no heed to those that consider you far less important
than the lopsided ‘friendship’ that ultimately killed you,
that star spangled delusion that drives many
to even mock and disparage you, each time
the television flashes images of your once beautiful body,
now lying lifeless with your face shoved down the toilet.

Oh how they put you in disdain! You had it coming,
you were a transgender, a prostitute; so you, they had the gall to say,
deserved your gruesome end…

But you lived and died with honor,Jennifer
Dispense with those imbecilic insinuations,
ignore those bootlicking officials that is killing you many times over
every time they dismiss your murder as a humdrum occurrence,
inconsequential in the sphere of our nation’s ‘strong and enduring friendship’
to the land of your killer.

You’ll be passing on with highest honors Jennifer
You never died in vain
For you are now showing the world
that there’s no honor in blind servility,
in dogged subservience to a master,
that tramples, rapes, and massacres our collective dignity.

You deserve no less than justice.

jennifer_laude

Cubao.Ex

Meet me tonight,
so I can spill my guts
at the table, full of beer bottles,
empty, just like myself;

So I can explain the long and short
of the story, muddled,
like the various versions of me
you’ve heard a countless times;

Meet me tonight,
so that I may recount
what I had to endure
to deserve whatever feelings
you hold for me;

So that I could tell you that
I may have looked the other way,
I still am drawn towards you…

Or am I too late?

cubao