Sep 29, 2006


Milenyo: The Aftermath

Please find this blog post here.

Sep 23, 2006


Itlog: Esperon deserved it and more

Hermogenes Esperon Jr. deserves the treatment he got from activist UP students. Makapal kasi ang mukha ng duwag na heneral na ito. Sinungaling pa, at saksakan ng sipsip kay Gloria.

Why should any Filipino respect a military chief whose name was mentioned in the unresolved Hello Garci scandal?

Why should we give special treatment to someone who continues to hide the Mayuga report? Is he scared that the Mayuga report will expose his role in Arroyo's massive cheating, and that he got his job not because of merit, but because of patronage?

Also, should someone who covers up the bloody tracks of a mass murderer like Jovito Palparan be respected by the families of victims of extrajudicial executions?

Why should we bow or give an iota of respect to a general who cannot find out who are behind the spate of 750 political killings? (Perhaps, there are no mirrors in his house and the military headquarters.)

As a member of Bayan Muna, I feel frustrated I was not there in UP when the good thing happened. I would have thrown a dozen eggs, if only to drive home the point that we have a military chief clearly unworthy of respect from the people.

I am certain that decent and patriotic soldiers would have also joined in pelting Esperon with eggs, mud and even trash.

As to the stupid claim that he got pelted with eggs and mud because he didn't join or start a coup, ho-hum. Where did that crap come from? The nation do not expect cowardly generals like Esperon to lead this country out of the unglorious quagmire we are in. They are part of the problem. They cheat, kill and lie on behalf of their principal, and they also cheat, lie and steal from billions of funds purportedly for soldiers.

Ang totoong masakit sa nangyari, walang dumepensa kay Esperon. As if the nation was telling him two possible messages:

1) We don't give a damn about you; or 2) You deserve it and more. I hope its more about the second. But it hurts more when anyone is dubbed as irrelevant or KSP.

Esperon's score: Itlog (symbolizing his credibility, and the amount of respect the people have for his obstinacy and immoral assistance to fraudulent and fascist acts)

UP students's score: 1,000,000 pogi and ganda points (sana si GMA ang isunod niyo para magsayawan at mag-fiesta sa buong bayan)

(Photo from

Sep 21, 2006


Satur Ocampo takes fight to cyberspace anew -- this time, with first online press conference

My boss, Satur Ocampo, did not go straight to today's rallies marking the 34th year of martial law. He went online -- chatting with journalists and guests here and abroad in what argues could be considered the first online press conference to be held in the country.

Ka Satur arrived minutes before the 10:00 am appointed time at the headquarters, 38 floors up the Discovery Center building at the Ortigas Center, Pasig City. Some technical glitches aside, the online press conference started with Ka Satur taking his position in front of a notebook computer, raring to plunge but still hesitant. "This is my first time to do this," he averred.

We didn't have to teach him intensely. We just gave him general instructions what to read, what to do when he wants to reply. In a jiffy, he was a changed man. The Ka Satur who is most comfortable with the makinilya is now typing away briskly on the notebook computer.

The questions started on the technology side -- about chatting and the net, about blogs and websites. Which quickly turned to politics and the role technology plays in it.

A true-blue editor, Ka Satur was focused in typing his replies. He quietly drafted his statements and was obviously thinking twice before pressing the "Enter" key. He was alert everytime he was asked questions and just paused for a few seconds before giving his ready answer in the same tone that we know is exclusive Satur's -- definitely progressive but not stereotypically tibak.

Ka Satur also had to contend with the same annoyances all techies face. Twice, we had to refresh the Internet browser he was using. Once, he had to rewrite an entire paragraph that got deleted accidentally and could not be recovered.

Midway through the chat with folks from the Philippines, Hong Kong, Australia and the US, news crews from ABS-CBN and RPN came in to cover the press conference. They had to wait to get Satur's attention. By that time, he was already hooked with his eyesight beamed straight to the computer screen, reading questions, typing his answers, and following the lively conversation. It took Ka Satur a few minutes to realize that the media had already set up their cameras and the reporters were looking at him, waiting to get his attention away from the computer.

Ka Satur said it was "exhilarating" to do a press conference online. Exactly his sentiments when the public embraced the Batasan 6 blog early this year.You could feel it in the accounts and reports of Joey Alarilla and Erwin Oliva of and Bryant from the CMFR.

Ninotchka Rosca, the award-winning US-based Filipina feminist and writer, threw the last question at Ka Satur. She queried what overseas Filipinos should do to help in the campaign against political persecution, especially the assassinations of hundreds of leftist activists. In sum, Ka Satur thanked Ninotchka for the OFWs' ceaseless propaganda and education campaign that have helped inform their host governments about the situation. As we all know, many governments have since condemned the Arroyo government's slaughter of innocents.

I suppose it was the enjoyable interaction in the internet chat and webcast that gave Ka Satur that different kick later at the Liwasang Bonifacio rally. At the rally, without any prodding and to the delight of the emcee and the crowd, this elder statesman stood up and danced to a rap number. At 67, boyish and youthful charm remains in Ka Satur.

At the rate he's going, Ocampo and Bayan Muna will remain a force to reckon with, with the killings of activists only emboldening the entire party to wage more vibrant and bigger campaigns , pushing the frontiers of where New Politics could be broadcast, and helping Filipinos express themselves under a formal or undeclared martial law.

The question now is this, what's next for Ka Satur?

(Photo from Joey Alarilla's Babelmachine post on CNET Asia)

Sep 16, 2006


Happy 29th birthday, LFS!

Last Monday, the League of Filipino Students marked its 29th anniversary.

The LFS has come a long way. Many students, past and present, salute the LFS for being an outstanding exponent of student activism, for providing students a productive and patriotic outlet for their many talents and immense energies.

Contrary to the tsismis of tsismosos in the military, the LFS is a true-blue student organization since its inception in 1977. It began as an student alliance against tuition fee increases that were encouraged by the Marcos dictatorship. LFS competently, creatively and militantly led students in many schools in protests against tuition fee hikes and later to win back student institutions ordered closed by the dictatorship. No small thanks to the leadership of the LFS which inspired students to stand up and fight for their rights, student councils and student newspapers were reconstituted.

Problems affecting students did not solely emanate inside schools. Moreover, many students have since discovered the nobility and relevance of offering their talents, knowledge and even lives to our people. Besides, the LFS has a noble political heritage. It need only to look back and discover the lessons learned by the mythical Kabataang Makabayan to find out the real place of young people in the cause of attaining genuine freedom and democracy for the country.

No armchair activists from the very start, the LFS immersed itself in the lives and struggles of students and the people. It involved itself in national debates, offering a consistent patriotic viewpoint and championing national democracy as its alternative program. Dark forces hated the LFS for its activism. These forces wanted students to confine themselves to the most parochial issues not so much because of ageism, but more because the LFS posed a subversive position that sought to institute radical changes that threaten these evil forces' stranglehold in schools, in society and the nation.

The LFS has produced so many young heroes since it was founded. One way of looking at it is that the Marcos dictatorship and subsequent regimes snuffed out the lives of countless young intellectuals and potential leaders. Perhaps an entire generation of leaders were wiped out in a fascist spree to silence LFS. The LFS endured, drawing inspiration from its heroes. Meanwhile, the current system get even worse because of its inherent weaknesses and the lack of new and fresh leaders.

Perhaps unknown to many, LFS chapters have also been set up abroad, including very active ones in the very belly of the imperialist beast, the US.

Today, the LFS continues its noble work in many campuses. Unfortunately, pretensions of democracy are being set aside drastically as evidenced by the unceasing assassinations of activists, the ban on and brutal dispersal of rallies, the slapping of trumped up charges against the President's critics, especially those coming from the ranks of national democrats. In recent months, the LFS has sustained two serious attacks: Assassins murdered Cris Hugo and Rei Mon Guran.

Is the LFS scared by this occurrence? LFS will answer this query with more rallies, bigger chapters, more prospective heroes for national democracy.

Many of my activist friends belonged to LFS in their student days and I am mighty proud of most of them, especially those who carried on their activism in other sectoral or multisectoral organizations, or in other arenas of struggle.

That I was not able to be an LFS member is a disappointment for me. Right now, I am content with the thought that the LFS remains strong, militant, dynamic and relevant in our times.

The nation, I am certain, is proud of LFS too.


Ka Bel gets brief furlough to file charges vs. PNP arresting officers

Veteran labor leader-turned-lawmaker Crispin Beltran of Anakpawis, gets a brief furlough on Monday, Sept. 8, after Judge Elmo Alameda granted motion by Atty. Romeo T. Capulong to permit him to go to Sandiganbayan to file appropriate charges against police personnel who illegally arrested him last Feb. 25.


Ka Bel's detention has caught the ire of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the global association of legislators and parliamentarians which counts the House and Senate as member-legislatures. The IPU argues in several resolutions by the group's Committee on Human Rights of Parliamentarians that Ka Bel's arbitrary detention is an attack not only against him as a person, but more importantly on the House and the partylist he represents. Elsewhere, trade unionists of all ideological stripes have condemned the Arroyo administration's persecution of Ka Bel as an affront to all workers he has long served.


Military chief Hermogenes Esperon Jr., one the generals mentioned in the Hello Garci tapes, is doing a Goebbels. He claims the New People's Army were the real perpetrators of the political killings of activists, lawyers, journalists, churchpeople and other critics of President Arroyo.

He has offered no proof to back his charge. Meanwhile, the military death squads continue to kill activists nationwide. Last week, the death toll has breached the 750 mark.


Bayan Muna Rep. Satur C. Ocampo calls Esperon "sepulturero" after the general came out with accusations that an alleged purge happened in Inopacan, Leyte in 1984 with written and signed orders by Jose Maria Sison, Luis Jalandoni and Ocampo.

The idiot Esperon forgot that the Sison and Ocampo were under tight military detention at that time, being political prisoners of the Marcos dictatorship. Jalandoni meanwhile was already in Europe setting up the underground movement's international office.

Ocampo tells more about himself and his long activist record in an interview with ABS-CBN News.


Protests greeted President Arroyo in her trips to Brussels and London this week. Read here Indymedia Belgium's report on the Brusells protest.

The European activists and friends of Filipinos joined OFWs in denouncing the political murders under Arroyo, and in asking the European Union to hold the President accountable as commander-in-chief of the AFP, whose generals and personnel have been tagged as masterminds and perpetrators by victims's relatives and witnesses.

Kahiya-hiya si Gloria!


At the House of Representatives, the military generals again boycotted the last hearing of the Committee on Human Rights regarding the political killings.

But the AFP saw it fit to send two spies and ordered them to take videos of the proceedings, especially the victims's relatives and witnesses who were there to testify before committee chair Rep. Bienvenido Abante.

Abante was furious over the military's boycott and the unwarranted video coverage by the spies. Abante ordered the two spies arrested and detained. The two were released only after a general apologized to Abante.

No wonder no one believes the sincerity of the Melo Commission and the Arroyo government in resolving the issue of political killings. The AFP is disinterested in investigations, interested only in further harassing victims and witnesses, and spreading black propaganda to cover up its role.

Sep 1, 2006


NDF explains revolutionary taxation policy on big businesses

The National Democratic Front explains revolutionary taxation viz. the many false claims against it:

The revolutionary movement is building a new society to replace the present semi-feudal and semi-colonial society characterized by widespread poverty and economic backwardness. The new society that is being built promotes the interests of the overwhelming majority of the Filipino people comprised of the workers, peasants and the middle-classes. In many areas under the control and influence of the revolutionary movement, the democratic organs of people’s government are being set up and socio-economic programs that benefit the people are being carried out.

Revolutionary taxation is a function of the people’s government. It is implemented to defray the expenses of the organs of the people’s government and to finance the socio-economic programs for the good of the people.

In general, revolutionary taxes are levied on businesses and economic concerns operating in areas under the control and influence of the revolutionary movement. Businesses, however, that cause harm and injury to the people and the country, such as commercial logging for export that causes denudation of the forests are not allowed by the revolutionary movement in areas it controls.

Real extortion consists of the reactionary government’s imposition of a heavy tax burden on the people only for the revenues to be stolen by the high bureaucrats, and then denying the people of basic social services. They collect the most taxes from the people through withholding taxes from employees’ wages and through sales taxes and the VAT. They condone notorious tax evaders like Lucio Tan. Every year, an estimated 20 percent of the budget of the reactionary government is eaten up by corruption. In 2003 alone, this amounted to PhP 180 billion.

My take: Critics of the NDF violently deny the existence of an alternative government. They ride on issues such as "extortion", "purges" and the like to badmouth this alternative government. Those who do not join them in maligning the movement are dubbed communists and communist sympathizers.

Those who reject this alternative government are bound to follow the mindless militarist line of bombing suspected territories of the NDF, killing suspected communists and communist sympathizers, or explaining away that these are all integral to achieving a distorted concept of peace.

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