Apr 25, 2006


Ang kapal ng mukha!

This could perhaps be the most popular phrase being used nowadays in reaction to the consecutive statements coming from a certain Mrs. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and an entity that describes itself as the Arroyo government.

Faced with an oil crisis that could further raise oil prices to levels unseen in our entire history, Mrs Arroyo said: It is "inescapable".

The people chorused: Kapal ng mukha! Rightly so, because Mrs. Arroyo has repeatedly opposed buying back Petron, setting up a national oil exchange, procuring oil from the cheapest sources, investigating and stopping oil price gouging by the Big Three and other concrete steps towards a national oil industry protective of our interests as a people.

She said: Why not temporarily remove the RVAT on oil products?

The people chorused: Kapal ng mukha! Rightly so, because RVAT is among the reason why we have expensive oil prices. RVAT is a landmark law for Mrs. Arroyo, which, for the people, is like a big and heavy tombstone tied to our necks. Mrs. Arroyo should repeal the RVAT and mobilize her minions in Congress to speedily do so.

After the Supreme Court struck down Executive Order 464 for curtailing the inquiry powers of Congress and the people's right to know, the Arroyo government said: We will continue to use presidential powers to stop investigations.

The people chorused: Kapal ng mukha! For why have a Supreme Court at all and why should the Executive argue its case before the tribunal when the Palace won't abide by its decision? The people will always remember the Arroyo government's acts of cover-up, the whitewashing, the refusal to uphold accountability and transparency.

Stopped by graduating student Maria Theresa Pangilinan with shouts of "Patalsikin si Gloria!" and "No to chacha!", Mrs. Arroyo did not flinch and has her boytoy Mike Defensor pounding on the graduate student for being "bastos" to the President.

The people said: Kapal ng mukha! The people have a right to free expression. Besides, who was really disrespectful: a graduating student saying the truth, or someone usurping the presidency and hitting the heads of people calling attention to that anomaly?

Indeed, kapal ng mukha is today's best description to Mrs. Arroyo and her fake government.

Apr 21, 2006


Long live the Nepali people! Gyanendra-like usurpers and tyrants beware!

Kathmandu and the whole of Nepal are up in a national revolt against King Gyanendra who abolished the parliamentary government and proclaimed himself a supreme ruler. The Nepalis have had enough of his lies, including his claims that he is saving the nation from Maoism. For the Nepalis, he is a usurper who stole the leadership of the government and destroyed civil liberties and democratic rights.

Sometime today, the Nepali King have reportedly declared the return to "multiparty democracy" and offered the seven-party alliance the post of Prime Minister. This announcement is a far cry from the violent and brutal assault on a general strike called by the opposition that demanded he end his rule both as head of state and head of government. The King saw with his own eyes how the courageous Nepali people braved the bullets, truncheons, shields, and tanks that he ordered unleashed on the protesters. He ordered a curfew but few obeyed. More people disobeyed his orders and continued protesting in the streets.

Many have since died, with innocent blood running across the streets of Kathmandu and else in Nepal, a proof that even a people poor in means can still find a sense of decency and self-respect against a ruthless and despotic King who have deprived them of democracy and their rights.

For suffering the brunt of fascist attacks yet persisting in valiantly leading the national strike, the Communist Party of Nepal is cherished and valued highly by the Nepali people. The CPN looks bound to lead the new Nepali government.

Democrats from all nations celebrate the heroism of the Nepali people. We look forward to the removal of the King and the transformation of Nepal into a truly democratic and prosperous country. We congratulate them and take inspiration from how they stood up against a ruler who is a usurper, a tyrant and a fascist. Similar creatures -- including pint-sized ones with moles on their cheek and a terribly big sense of self-importance -- should beware because a similar fate

Apr 15, 2006


Introducing the Batasan 6 as bloggers

The Batasan 6 -- the six partylist Members of Congress being subjected to political repression by the Arroyo government for their activism and consistent criticism of President Arroyo's acts of stealing, cheating, lying and suppressing the people -- have set up a team blog.

In a public announcement, the activist solons said that they will blog away at Arroyo, and expose her depraved acts of state terrorism against them and the people.

Satur Ocampo, the acknowledged leader of Batasan 6 and a respected pre-martial law journalist, has written two pieces: about his mother who he misses most this Lent and remembrances about Good Friday. Liza Maza's virginal blog entry shares her insights in being a mother to two sons who love music. Meanwhile, Voltes 5 fan Teddy CasiƱo thanks Raul "Zuhl" Gonzalez for comparing the Batasan 5 with the superheroes.

This is a positive development, as it gives national democrats and the progressive mass movement a clear voice in the expanding Philippine blogosphere.

Incidentally, the blog has quickly attracted all sorts of anti-Left and anti-communist creatures who are having a heyday calling for the blood of Batasan 6. They make McCarthy turn in his grave in shame. They are doing a good job highlighting the undemocratic and anti-freedom character of those who seek to silence them.

The die is cast. The Batasan 6 are unstoppable in Congress, the streets and on blogosphere.

Apr 7, 2006


The people reclaim Mendiola

In a daring move that stunned Manila's rabidly pro-Arroyo anti-riot policemen, marchers belonging to the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) and the People's Movement Against Arroyo's Charter Change (People's March) marched to Mendiola Bridge, effectively breaking the long ban on the staging of protest actions in that hallowed ground.

I say "hallowed" because Mendiola had long been consecrated as a sacred place for people's expression of protest against the government whose head is based at the other side of the bridge. The bridge simply symbolizes the yawning gap between the President and the people since many years ago. In fact, many lives of our finest youths and the most principled peasants right there on that bridge -- a testimony on what the President could countenance just to protect his/her skin.

I myself have been to many Mendiola rallies. As a media officer for Bayan and later for Bayan Muna, it is quite usual to hold the culminating activity of protest actions on Mendiola, if only to highlight the accountability of the sitting President in the many problems the people face. Most of the rallies held on Mendiola have been peaceful and orderly.

For someone who first tasted the presidency by virtue of "people power", Mrs. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is showing extreme hubris for banning mass actions especially in Mendiola. Armed with Proclamation 1017 and/or Batas Pambansa 880, she has seen it fit to ban rallies and slander protests as mere part of a still-unproven "conspiracy" to institute a military junta via a coup.

The April 6 march to Mendiola, albeit foiled by a brutal police dispersal, is a sign of things to come. The 15-minute stint of the Bayan-People's March on that historic bridge is a prelude to more protest actions as Mrs. Arroyo agitates the public even more with more of her lies, especially now that she and her minions are attempting to run over all of us with the self-serving Charter Change. Nobody is buying the "people's initiative" line, if only Ignacio Bunye and Ronnie Puno would really care.

The more Arroyo restricts the people from going to Mendiola or anywhere else to stage protest actions, the more she is agitating the populace into exploding in yet another uprising so loud and so strong it will drown out all her lies and remove her from the presidency she has usurped since 2004.

Photo courtesy of Arkibong Bayan. In photo: ACT Chair Tonchi Tinio, Gabriela Spokesperson Lana Linaban, Anakpawis Secretary-General Cherry Clemente, Kadamay Chair Carmen "Nanay Mameng" Deunida, Agham Founding Member Engr. Ramon Ramirez and KMU Chair Bong Labog.

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