My take on the Makati mutiny

The military adventurism that has unfolded yesterday in the financial district of Makati were “crushed” not because the masses of the Filipino people didn’t respond to the rebel leader turned Senator Antonio Trillanes’ and Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim’s call to rally around them and demand the immediate removal of Gloria Arroyo from the Presidency, but because of the putschist method they employed and the fact that it was ill-timed.

Yesterday, Trillanes, Lim and some of their Magdalo comrades walked-out of the courtroom that was hearing the rebellion charges lodged against them for leading the botched Oakwood Mutiny in 2003. They marched towards the posh Ayala Avenue and then barged inside the Manila Peninsula, occupying the hotel for seven hours and waited for the one crucial ingredient necessary for a coup de etat to become successful – mass support.

For all intents and purposes, Trillanes and Lim was right when they declared that it was time to put an end to the illegitimate Arroyo regime. “The die was cast” said Lim, and issued a call for all the people and governments around the world to “give the constitutional rescue initiated by our patriotic brothers in the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police a chance to work.”

Lim invoked the military’s constitutional mandate to serve and protect the Filipino people and explained that their action was just in keeping with the soldiery’s “moral obligation” to “end the sufferings and miseries inflicted upon us by the illegitimate Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo Government and start a new life and a new Philippines.”

And he was right. The Filipino people evidently are fed up with the ruling Arroyo regime because of its litany of crimes against the people. Since day one, it has been the bane of our poor nation’s existence. Lim and Trillanes essentially voiced out what the people really want – to boot out Arroyo from the Presidency the soonest possible time.  

But what happened? Borrowing a quote from an American journalist when he described the Philippines during Martial Law – Have we become a nation composed of one tyrant and 80 million cowards?

Has apathy crept into the nation’s psyche, betraying the militant and revolutionary tradition of the country?

For me, the answer is a resounding no. Filipinos are primed and prepared to go out to the streets and stage another people power revolt to topple another corrupt, fascist and puppet regime. We’ve done it before with Marcos in 1986 and with Estrada in 2001. We definitely can do it again with Gloria.

But, however righteous their cause is, the public simply isn’t ready to embrace the means employed by the Magdalos during their adventures in Oakwood in 2003 and in the Manila Penn yesterday.

Their actions only betray their ultra-right ways and their peti-bourgeois attitude of refusing to undertake painstaking organizing among their ranks and join forces with the multitudes of the masses calling for Arroyo’s ouster.

This is not surprising considering the personalities that surround Trillanes and Lim during the foiled ‘mutiny’ yesterday. Huddled beside them were Lawyers JV Bautista and Argee Guevarra who’s known for espousing insurrectionist ideals of the late Popoy Lagman.

Had they patiently waited for the right moment, and I tell you it will surely come, they won’t be teargassed and dragged out of the Manila Penn in handcuffs. They will be among the people rejoicing in the streets because the scourge in Malacanang has finally vacated her post.

But then again, the Magdalo junior officers came from the same mercenary mold of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. However patriotic they are, they should at the very least repudiate the mercenary tradition and the right opportunist ways ingrained into them inside the military establishment.

Nevertheless their standing up in defiance of the military chain of command is a good start. That is the reason why 11 million people voted for Trillanes in the Senate.

The masses of the Filipino people have had enough of Gloria Arroyo and they are itching to stage a mutiny much larger than what transpired in Oakwood and Manila Penn. Even Gloria knows her time will come and it’s just around the corner…

Advertisements

Pagsabog sa Batasan, dinig sa ibayong dagat

Dumagundong maging sa ibayong dagat ang mapamaslang na pagsabog sa gusali ng Batasang Pambansa noong gabi ng Nubyembre 13, 2007.

Sa nasabing pagsabog, apat ang kaagad na namatay kabilang ang Kongresista ng Basilan na si Rep. Wahab Akbar. Kasama sa mga nasawi sina Junaskiri Hayudini, staff ni Rep. Akbar, Marcial Taldo at Maan Gale Bustalino.

Si Taldo ay ang driver ni Gabriela Partylist Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan, na kasama sa mga sugatan sa pagsabog. Si Bustalino naman samantala, ay isa sa mga staff ng sugatan ring Kongresistang si Pryde Henry Teves ng Negros Oriental.

Agad umani ng pagkundena ang malagim na pagsabog di lamang dito sa Pilipinas, kundi maging sa labas ng bansa. Umalingawngaw ang mga pagdududa at agam-agam na ang pambobomba sa Batasan ay isa lamang pakana ng gubyerno para pagtakpan ang matinding krisis pampulitika na bumabalot ngayon sa administrasyong Arroyo. Hindi maiwasan ng Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) na paghinalaan ang tayming ng pagsabog. Anila, ang insidente ay naganap ilang oras bago ang pagdinig sa Senado hinggil sa alegasyon ng pamumudmod ng pera ng Malacanang sa mga lokal na upisyal at sa pagdinig sa Kongreso sa kasong impeachment laban sa Pangulo. Nanawagan ang BAYAN ng patas at malalimang imbestigasyon sa pagsabog kasabay ng babala na huwag sanang maulit ang moro-morong imbestigasyong ala-Glorieta.

Binalaan naman ng grupong Migrante International, ang pinakamalaking alyansa ng mga samahan ng mga Pilipinong nasa ibayong dagat, ang pamahalaang Arroyo na huwag isangkalan ang pagsabog para bigyang matuwid ang pagpapataw ng mas malulupit pang mga patakaran, lalung lalo na ang Batas Militar. Nanawagan rin ang grupo para sa hustisya sa lahat ng mga inosenteng buhay na nadamay.

Hindi binili ng Migrante ang inilalakong teorya ng Kapulisan na ang target ng pagsabog ay walang iba kungdi si Rep. Akbar. Sabi Connie Bragas Regalado, Tagapangulo ng Migrante, ‘premature’ ang konklusyon na ito gayong atubili pa rin ang Pulisya na tingnan ang iba pang mga anggulo. Idinagdag pa niyang marahil ay isa lamang itong ‘diversionary tactic’ para ilihis ang opinyong publiko sa tunay na mga salarin.

Samantala, tinuran naman ng grupong pang-kababaihang National Alliance of Philippine Women in Canada (NAPWC) na ang pagsabog ay nagpapatotoo lamang sa kronikong krisis pampulitika sa bansa na pinalalala pa ng kasalukuyang administrasyon.

“We stand side-by-side with Gabriela Women’s Party and the movement in the Philippines, and will not allow actions such as this, to intimidate nor deter us in the struggle for Filipino women’s liberation and the liberation of the Filipino people!” sabi ng NAPWC sa isang pahayag.

Nagsagawa naman ng sabay-sabay na candlelight vigils ang mga kababayan natin sa apat na siyudad sa kalakhan ng Estados Unidos para kundenahin ang pambobomba sa Batasan. Sa pangunguna ng BAYAN-USA, ang aksyon ay pangunahing nanawagan para sa independyenteng imbestigasyon sa nasabing pagsabog.

“The recent Batasan bombing is the latest chapter in Malacanang’s larger scheme to justify full-implementation of Martial Law. US-based Filipinos played a big role in condemning Marcos during the dictatorship. Filipino-Americans of today will show the same conviction against GMA’s administration,” wika ni Bernadette Ellorin, Secretary General ng BAYAN USA.

Sa Estados Unidos pa rin, kinastigo ng National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) ang anila’y tila sinasadyang paglikha ng gubyernong Arroyo ng kundisyon para ligaligin ang bansa.

Ayon kay Rico Foz ng NAFCON, ang pagsabog sa Batasan ay isa lamang sa serye ng mga pambobomba at pagpatay na naganap kamakailan sa National Capital Region. Tinuntun niya ang mga pangyayaring pagsabog rin sa Glorietta Mall sa Ayala na kumitil ng 11 katao, ang pag-ambus kay COMELEC Legal Chief Atty. Alioden Dalaig, ang misteryosong vehicular accident ng lider ng oposisyon na si Rene Saguisag na ikinamatay ng asawa niyang si Dulce, ang misteryosong car accident rin ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran, at ang mga death threats sa ilang miyembro ng oposisyon sa Senado at Kamara, kasama na si Speaker Jose de Venecia.

“If these are the means by which the survival of the Arroyo presidency could be secured, then there is all the more reason for the Filipino-American community in the United States to once again be united and act as one in resisting attempts to sow a reign of terror in the Philippines leading to the declaration of another martial law. As we have done so against the Marcos dictatorship of the 1970s-1980s, we cannot be cowed into submitting to another authoritarian rule” deklarasyon ni Foz.

Ayon sa Migrante International, pinatutunayan lamang ng mga pagkilos na ito ng ating mga kababayan na hindi napuputol ang kanilang pagmamahal at pag-aalala sa bayang pinagmulan, sa kanilang paglisan para kumayod sa ibayong dagat. “Nananatili silang mapagbantay sa anumang banta sa demokratiko at mapayapang pamumuhay ng kanilang mga kaanak at mga mahal sa buhay dito sa Pilipinas” sabi ni Maita Santiago, Secretary General ng Migrante.

Pagtatapos pa niya: “Dinig na dinig nila ang dagundong ng pagsabog sa Batasan. Hindi sila bingi o nagbibingi-bingihan, kasama natin sila sa laban para sa katotohanan at katarungan.”

From Saudi with Love?

 

Plus one in the ever growing statistic of Filipinas losing their lives under mysterious circumstances in foreign lands…

 

 

“our country’s greatest export, and we must pay homage to, are our OFWs” – Gloria Arroyo, the woman inside the heavily fortified walls of the Malacanan palace, who aggressively exports more than a million Filipinos to uncertain shores each year (thats 3000 a day!).

 

So much for her Super Maids Program!

 

Kapatiran sa Gitnang Silangan (KGS)

Press Statement

7 November 2007

For reference: Richard Bautista, Spokesman

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

KGS belies respect report, calls for independent probe on mysterious death of Filipina inside police station

Whoever said that Filipina domestic helpers get respect in Saudi Arabia due to a mandatory US$400 monthly salary unilaterally imposed by the Arroyo regime should think again if not resign from his post as chief labor exporter of the Philippines.

The Kapatiran sa Gitnang Silangan could only wish that statement is true but the Riyadh-based Filipino workers organization that aims to assist distressed migrants stress that to gain respect from others, one has to be truthful and KGS want the true state of Filipino workers in Saudi Arabia spelled correctly by Filipino government officials even how painful or bitter it is.

Filipino labor officials in the Kingdom should know better. The increasing number of Filipino workers seeking assistance in their offices all over the Kingdom should mobilize them to gather exact data from jobsites to know the correct labor situation. Reporting to Manila that Filipino domestic helpers are eliciting a higher level of respect from Saudi employers when in fact the recently rape of Filipina domestic helper as videotaped by his employers son is only the tip of the iceberg.

The mysterious death of Anita Carvajal Morales inside the toilet of a Saudi police station as well as the rape of two Filipina nurses by a taxi driver is the latest of this unrespectable debacle.

We know that there is a rising unfair migrant labor cases occurring in Saudi Arabia. Respect for Filipina women who are victims of physical and sexual abuse from their cruel employers is our greatest wish and demand for justice for the abused is the loudest cry that the Kapatiran sa Gitnang Silangan wants to echo all over the world.

Enough is enough!

Labor Secretary Arturo Brion should resign from his Manila office after his statement of respect for OFWs fell into deaf ears while murder, rape, unpaid wages of Filipino workers and physical abuse by Saudi employers continue unabated here in Riyadh.

Not a few of KGS members were surprised to know that the Philippine embassy in Riyadh was not informed of the Filipina death until relatives of the 41-year mother of two sought the assistance of Filipino officials to immediately repatriate the remains of their love one.

Few days before the death of Anita spread in the Saudi capital, the rape of two Filipina nurses working at the Riyadh Military Hospital was the talk of the town.

While rumors spread that two Filipinas were left by their hospital bus, the two fresh nurses took a cab that reportedly brought them out of the city center where they were raped.

We urge the Philippine embassy to investigate these two incidents.

For the alleged murder of Anita, the Philippine embassy should ask for an independent investigation on how Anita died inside a police station especially when the stealing charges leveled against her was already withdrawn and that his employer already expressed intention to deport her.

To be able to gain respect from all Filipina domestic helpers and other Filipino people, the Philippine embassy officials should be bale to prove how a tarha attached to a door knob of a toilet could kill somebody when one is supposed be euphoric that her charges against her was withdrawn and that she is about to go home.

To be able to gain respect from other people, the Philippine embassy should push itself to press for investigation in the alleged rape of Filipina nurses who are still remains in trauma inside a hospital in Riyadh.

To be able to gain respect, Filipino officials should know that a self imposed salary increase is not a benchmark for respect. An employer voluntarily giving workers a double pay for what the employer believes that the worker deserve is.

For sure, murder of workers or committing suicide, sexual and physical abuse and unpaid salary wages do not manifest respect.

From a bigger Philippine picture, KGS calls on the Philippine government to elicit respect from the international community of nations by calling the Arroyo regime resigning from its post due to its failure to protect Filipino migrant workers and by failing to curb graft and corruption back home.

For our global allies, sympathizers & friends we call on them to join us in our call for genuine respect and justice for all migrant workers of the world, and to push the Philippines to investigate the death of Anita Carvajal Morales and to protect all migrants that are victims of abuse. #

What Press Freedom?

Here’s a statement from the Neo-Angono Artists Collective whose mural on Press Freedom was ‘bastardized’ by the very institution who’s supposed to uphold it – the National Press Club.

Ka Antonio Zumel (who was NPC President when Martial Law was declared and escaped arrest by swimming the Pasig River) must be rolling around his grave if he ever hear of this downright desecration of the freedom of expression and of the press.

 

_______________________________________________________________________

Please pass this statement


Around three months ago, the National Press Club commissioned us to do an 8×32 foot-mural on the history of press freedom in the Philippines. A lot of problems were encountered during the production phase mainly because of the delays in the schedule of payment on their part, as stipulated in the contract we signed. Still, through the commitment and dedication shown by the members of our group, the mural was completed in time for the unveiling scheduled on October 26. Finally, we would be able to sleep a lot more easily.


Or so we thought.


We were shocked to be informed by one of their board of directors that changes were made in the mural without our knowledge.


We, the Neo-Angono Artists Collective, would like to express our outrage, revulsion and protest against the total lack of respect of the NPC for the integrity of the commissioned artwork, as shown by the slipshod alterations they caused in several parts of the said mural, to wit:


€    The erasure of a big portion of the newspaper held by the central figure, containing the statement of the International Federation of Journalists regarding the perceived effects of the anti-terror law on press freedom, and replaced by a hideous bird-monster in a cage;

€    The alteration of the headline of the newspaper Jose Rizal is holding from “Press Freedom Fighter’s Son Abducted” to “Press Freedom Fight Is On” and the defacement of Jonas and Edith Burgos’s pictures as well as the erasure of Jonas’s name;

€    The change of the tattoo on Andres Bonifacio’s left arm from the alibata “K” to a sappy red heart pierced by an arrow;

€    The erasure of the name of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines from the banners of the rallyists;

€    The lengthening of the hair and beard of the figure identified as academician- columnist Prof. Randy David beside columnist Conrad de Quiros;

€    The addition of beard and mustache and the change of hair color from white to black of the pugo and balut vendor identified as columnist and Martial Law detainee Juan Mercado.

1.    We believe that the above-mentioned alterations were made by some unidentified artist/s with the authorization and consent of the NPC leadership (even with their disavowal of responsibility, considering that the mural was within their premises). We rail against these modifications not only because of the slipshod work and poor artistry but more so because of the censorship that is clearly at work here.


Isn’t it ironic that an institution such as the NPC would cause the censorship of a work that they themselves commissioned purportedly to promote press freedom? Isn’t the freedom of expression of the artist bound up with the very press freedom that they supposedly uphold? Aren’t these alterations a clear violation of the rights of authors/artists protected by the Intellectual Property Code of the
Philippines?


We call on our fellow artists, journalists, writers, and citizens to support us in this move to defend not only our artistic, but also our civic rights. We will highly appreciate it if you could send a short statement of support for our cause.
Please send it to info@neo-angono. com

To view the mural in its original state, please visit www.neo-angono. com . You may also visit the actual bastardized mural at the Headline Restaurant at the 4th floor of the NPC building.


Uphold press freedom and artistic expression!

– The Neo-Angono Artists Collective, October 31, 2007