A timeline of the birth and attacks on Salugpongan schools

by Kene E. Kagula/Davao Today

DAVAO CITY, Philippines —

2003

The Salugpongan Schools started as a literacy-numeracy school for the Talaingod Manobo children. Volunteer teachers were facilitated by the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP).

2007

Salugpongan Schools were established as a formal learning institution aiming to provide basic education to the Manobo and was accredited by the Department of Education.

Its full name, Salugpongan Ta Tanu Igkanogon Community Learning Center, Inc. (STTICLCI), was derived from its founders, the Salugpongan Ta Tanu Igkanogon (Unity in Defense of Ancestral Land), an organization formed by Talaingod Manobo leaders.

They envisioned to provide the Talaingod Manobo and other IP communities free, quality and culturally relevant education. They said this is the “concrete expression of their collective effort” to defend the Pantaron Mountain Range in their ancestral territory.

2009

Salugpongan school administrators joined in the consultation held by the Department of Education (DepEd) for the creation of the Indigenous Peoples Education (IPED) framework.

The framework has become what is now the DepEd Order No. 62 series of 2011, or “Adopting the National Indigenous People’s Education (IPED) Policy Framework intended to be “an instrument for promoting shared accountability, continuous dialogue, engagement, and partnership among government, IP communities, civil society, and other education stakeholders.”

Salugpungan schools encountered the first red-tagging incident from the 60th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army, as the DepEd presents evidence that Salugpungan was granted a permit.

2012

The STTICLCI received accreditation status as a learning center from the Sangguniang Bayan of Talaingod.

2014

Its very first campus in Sitio Dulyan, Barangay Palma Gil, Talaingod, serving Kinder to Grade 6 learners, was granted Certificate of Recognition by the DepEd.

April — Due to the increasing military deployment and operations in Talaingod that has harassed its residents, the Salugpongan embarked on an evacuation, seeking sanctuary at the United Church of Christ of the Philippines’ (UCCP) Haran compound.

Dialogues went on and off for a month between local officials of Talaingod, Davao del Norte provincial LGU, Davao City LGU, and military officers that resolved the Manobo’s demand to pullout the paramilitary and soldiers.

November — The Davao del Norte DepEd division officer urges the 68th Infantry Battalion to spare the Salugpongan schools from military operations after complaints were raised by school administrators of soldiers “residing near the school and establishing patrol bases”.

2015

March — A fact finding mission in Talaingod in March confirms that military personnel were encamped in 257 households, two schools, a health center and a barangay hall.

July — The DepEd delayed the release of operating permits of the Salugpongan schools, which was released a month later after the Salugpongan community held a camp-in protest in the DepEd Regional office. Salugpongan decided to hold bakwit schools in UCCP Haran because of the attacks of the military and paramilitary.

davaotoday file photo

2016

January — A Salugpongan student, 16 year old Alibando Tingkas, was shot dead by the paramilitary Alamara in Barangay Palma Gil.

Amelia Pond, the Curriculum Development Officer of the Salugpongan Schools, and coordinator of RMP Southern Mindanao, was arrested during an RMP assembly in Cebu. She was arrested on a warrant bearing a different name allegedly of a New People’s Army member and was charged for murder. Pond was detained for 16 months, including a few months in hospital arrest following a spine surgery, before the case was dismissed for “mistaken identity”.

The Talaingod Manobos returned to their communities after President Duterte’s promise to act on their call to pullout troops in their villages. But later they found the military continues to encamp in their communities and schools.

2017

June — A Salugpongan teacher survives a strafing incident from a paramilitary member. The strafing traumatized the Lumad students.

July — Lumad schools camped out in “Panacañang” and at the DepEd regional office to raise public awareness on their continuing displacement, and urged the government to stop the attacks and red-tagging of their schools.

After his 2nd State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Rodrigo Duterte said in a press conference that he would “bomb Lumad schools” over allegations that they are built by the New People’s Army. The pronouncement forced students and communities to stay in sanctuaries while institutions such as UCCP Haran and UP Diliman hosted “bakwit” (evacuation) schools.

September 5 — 19-year old Salugpungan student Obello Bay-ao was murdered by CAFGU and Alamara members in the community of Sitio Dulyan. The suspects remained to be at large.

November 2018

18 Salugpongan teachers, and delegates of a National Solidarity Mission headed by former Bayan Muna Party-list Representative Satur Ocampo and ACT Teachers Party-List Representative France Castro was detained and charged with kidnapping and trafficking. The group was headed to help rescue the students and teachers the Salugpongan campus in Sitio Dulyan who fled after the paramilitary Alamara forcibly closed their schools.

The group, called “Talaingod 18” was granted bail as their case continues.

2019

July 8 — The DepEd Division released a memorandum calling for the suspension of 54 Salugpongan schools. The issuance was based on the recommendation of National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. that accused the school of not following the DepEd curriculum and teaching “ideologies that advocate against the government”.

July 22 — The Salugpongan schools submitted a reply to the DepEd order, firmly denying all the allegations. They also questioned the agency’s issuance of such order “without following due process”.

September 2019

In defiance to DepEd’s order of suspension, the school continue their operations for its students, re-opening “Bakwit schools” in UCCP Haran, and in University of the Philippines-Diliman in Quezon City for this school year.

October 7

DepEd Region 11 issued its final resolution calling for the closure of all Salugpungan schools. It claimed the basis on their fact-finding mission that verified Esperon’s claims and cited other instances that the schools did not comply with DepEd standards and curriculum. # (davaotoday.com)

Lumad leader, mother of seven, killed in Bukidnon

By Davao Today

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — A Lumad woman leader is the 14th victim of extrajudicial killings against indigenous peoples defender in the province of Bukidnon.

The Kalumbay Regional Lumad Organization reported that Bai Leah Tumbalang, 45, a Tigwahanon leader from San Fernando town of Bukidnon, was gunned down last Friday, Aug. 23 in Valencia City by riding in tandem gunmen suspected to be military agents.

According to the report, a witness claimed that two men riding a motorcycle was seen tailing the victim before she was shot in her forehead, causing her immediate death.

Kalumbay identified Tumbalang, mother of seven, as an active member of Kaugalingong Sistema Igpapasindog Tu Lumadnong Ogpaan (KASILO), a local Lumad and peasant organization in Bukidnon. She is also an organizer of Bayan Muna.

Tumbalang was reported to have received a death threats prior to her death.

Since 2011, Tumbalang and other KASILO members have been receiving threats to their lives as they lead the opposition against the deployment of paramilitary groups believed to be backed by mining interest in their communities.

Former KASILO secretary general Jimmy Liguyon was shot to death in that year by suspected paramilitary members after defending the ancestral domain from an expansion of a plantation project.

Kalumbay condemned the death of Tumbalang, whom they said is the 14th victim of summary killings of rights advocates in the province this year alone.

On August 12, Jeffrey Bayot, a KASILO member was also gunned down by motorcycle-riding men.

Four days before Bayot’s death, similar shooting incident also happened on August 9, killing another member of the group, Alex Lacay. #(davaotoday.com)

Cagayanos want blacksand mining ‘disguised as dredging’ stopped

By ACE ALEGRE
www.nordis.net

BAGUIO CITY — Cagayanos asked President Rodrigo Duterte’s help in stopping dredging activities at the mouth of Cagayan River they said is “disguised” magnetite mining.

The Cagayan Province Provincial Board approved last August 7 a resolution asking the president to suspend the dredging operations at the mouth of the Cagayan River in Aparri town.

This came after the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) confirmed that it did not issue any dredging permit to the private firm involved in the dredging.

Pacific Offshore Exploration Inc.  (POEI), a firm owned by a former Isabela town mayor, has been dredging the country’s biggest river system for months.

The company reportedly ships the dredged materials to a reclamation project in Hong Kong and may earn about $50 million monthly if it sells the sand at current local prices, according to the resolution.

A cubic meter of sand in Cagayan is being sold at P160 to P180.

The exportation of black sand to Hong Kong was met with protests from locals.

Provincial Board member and resolution author Mila Lauigan said the deal with the dredgers has to be investigated.

“That is why we are appealing to the President to immediately suspend the dredging operations and inquire whether the company has complied with all the requirements before it proceeds,” Lauigan said.

According to the provincial legislator, “the contractor is only extracting black sand and leaves waste (non-mineral sand) material back into the river.”

It is reason why environmentalists and locals are raising heaven and hell [while] Gov. Manuel Mamba had been defending POEI’s operations amidst the environmental mess it has been causing, she said.

Mamba’s camp had been defending the dredging operation they said is meant to prepare for the reopening the Port of Aparri.

Mamba said the port’s reopening would improve economic and trade relations between Cagayan province and China as well as neighboring Asian countries.

Mamba, who entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Pacific Offshore Exploration Inc. (POEI) under the authority of a resolution passed by the Cagayan Provincial Board last January, insists there is only dredging activities in the area and not magnetite (black sand) mining.

The provincial board has yet to be shown a copy of the memorandum of agreement between Mamba and POEI.

Mamba’s camp said there is no economic value to the exportation and the dredging activities help clear the river of heavy silt for free.

Engr. Mario Ancheta of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Mines and Geosciences Bureau agreed with the governor that there is no mining but dredging operations that should be sanctioned by the DPWH.

“There is sand extraction, but it is not mining but dredging,” Ancheta said.

The Cagayan Export Zone Authority (CEZA), meanwhile, had been silent on the controversial dredging and “exporting” of the dredged sand to HK.

Immigration officials and the maritime police in Cagayan are also silent on the presence of foreign workers on the sand barges regularly approaching the shores of Aparri town. # (With additional reports from Raymund B. Villanueva) nordis.net / Photo from Gising Cagayan Facebook Page

International groups express condemnation, concern on journalist shooting

By KYLE EDWARD FRANCISCO
www.nordis.net

BAGUIO CITY — An international media watchdog and environmental protection institution expressed condemnation and concern on the recent attack against Brandon Lee.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), an independent, nonprofit organization that promotes press freedom worldwide, condemned on Friday, August 9, the shooting of Lee, who writes for Northern Dispatch and a paralegal volunteer of the Ifugao Peasant Movement.

CPJ’s senior Southeast Asia representative Shawn Crispin urged the authorities to “leave no stone unturned” in their investigation.

“Until President Rodrigo Duterte shows he is serious about protecting journalists, all the talk of investigations will come to nothing and violent attacks on the press will continue,” he said.

The Police Regional Office Cordillera formed a task force to conduct a thorough investigation of the case. To date, the police have yet to release the progress of their work to identify the perpetrators and motive for the attack.

Meanwhile, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature National Committee of The Netherlands (IUCN NL), expressed shocked over the incident. The institution has been working with local organizations in the country to increase the safety of environmental defenders.

The institution said that Brandon is one of their local partners “who stands up for the rights of people and nature.”

“Violence against environmental defenders in the Philippines is increasing at an alarming rate,” said Antoinette Sprenger, Senior Expert Environmental Justice of IUCN NL.

The Philippines recorded the most number of killings of environmental and land defenders in 2018 according to the recent report released by Global Witness. # 

Tens of thousands brave the rain, threats from gov’t, to protest state of the nation

By ANNE MARXZE D. UMIL
Bulatlat.com

MANILA — This year’s State of the Nation Address protest could be mistaken as a parade of under the sea creatures; only that it carries significant calls like “Atin ang Pinas! China layas!”

The almost 40,000 strong protesters withstood the heavy rain yesterday to echo their grievances against the Duterte administration ranging from its subservience to China to the workers’ call for salary increase and an end to contractualization.

Called as the United People’s SONA, groups vowed to further unite against a “dictator president.”

Benedictine nun Mary John Mananzan of the Movement Against Tyranny (MAT) commended the huge number of people who joined the protest, which, she said, shows the real state of the nation.

“Tuwang tuwa ang lolang aktibista nyo dito. Hindi kayo natakot sa ulan, at lalong lalo na hindi kayo natakot kay Duterte,” said Mananzan during the program. (Your activist grandma is elated. You were not afraid of the rain and most especially you are not afraid of Duterte.)

Photo by Carlo Manalansan/Bulatlat

She said now is the time to unite and show the people’s strength especially that democracy is being threatened as Duterte has made steps to control all branches of government.

Duterte’s subservience to China

Fernando Hicap, Pamalakaya chairperson, lambasted Duterte’s inaction on many issues hounding China and its incursion into the West Philippine Sea.

He said Duterte, like China, continues to neglect the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruling that the Philippines has the exclusive sovereign rights over the West Philippine Sea.

Photo by Carlo Manalansan/Bulatlat

He called Duterte, “bentador” and a traitor against the Filipino people when he admitted that he made a deal with China’s president, Xi Jin Ping, to not assert the right of the Philippines to the West Philippine Sea.

This, he added, is enough to file impeachment complaint against Duterte.

Former Bayan Muna Representative Neri Colmenares asked, “What help did China extend to Duterte during the elections that he immediately changed after he won the presidency?”

Colmenares is referring to Duterte’s brave stance against China during the 2016 presidential elections.

He said there is no truth that China will wage war against the Philippines because the international community will surely oppose it. “Our neighboring countries, smaller than the Philippines at that, is standing against China’s incursion. But Duterte does not,” he added.

Photo by Carlo Manalansan/Bulatlat

3 years of Duterte presidency is misery for the people

The groups lamented that for three years, the administration of Duterte has not brought comfort to the Filipino people.

It has been three years of misery, they said, as life has become more difficult. The government data shows that inflation has gone down from 6.7 percent in the past year to 2.7 percent as of June this year. However, people of the marginalized sector did not feel it.

Former Agrarian Reform Secretary and Chairperson Emeritus of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) Rafael Mariano said that with the enactment of Rice Tariffication Law, farmers experienced further bankruptcy with the influx of imported rice in the market. He said the price of the farmers’ produce are too cheap that they did not earn at all from their harvest. He said a palay now only costs P14 to P16 per kilo.

Photo by Carlo Manalansan/ Bulatlat

“The cost of production is too expensive and yet they only sell it at a low price. This has resulted in the bankruptcy of many farmers,” Mariano said.

Leody De Guzman of Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino, meanwhile, criticized Duterte for not being true to his promise as contractualization has not ended. What’s worse is that there is the Security of Tenure bill, which, he said, only legalizes contractualization.

Elmer Labog, chairperson of Kilusang Mayo Uno chairperson said that under Duterte, workers work to live and not to earn.

“Three years under Duterte, workers’ wages are pegged far below living standards, contractualization remains rampant and legitimized, and unemployment is still one of the worst in Asia. The ITUC’s global index rights index listed Philippines as one of the top ten world’s worst country for workers in terms of trade union and human rights. If Duterte can’t do anything about it, then he must go,” said Labog.

Satire artist Mae Paner’s performance depicted the life of the Filipino people and how China has slowly taken over the Philippines. “Mayaman ang Pilinas, pero ang mga Pilipino naghihirap pa rin!” (The country is rich in resources but the Filipino people are still poor.) She wore a camiso chino with a net and a shark in her back painted with China’s flag.

Mothers from Rise Up for Life and for Rights also lamented how they were deprived of justice just because their loved ones were allegedly “drug users.” They appeal for independent investigation especially now that the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted Iceland’s resolution to conduct comprehensive investigation on extrajudicial killings in the Philippines.

Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay hit the Philippine National Police’s data on the drug-related killings saying that from 6,000 deaths, it is now 5,000.

“Are they like Comelec (Commission on Elections), the number changes in just a blink of an eye?” she asked.

Photo by Carlo Manalansan/Bulatlat

She also slammed the Duterte administration for attacking its critics — from Sen. Leila de Lima, the peace consultants, the farmers fighting for their land, activists and human rights defenders who are being slapped with trumped-up charges.

“To dissent against the government is not a crime. It is not terrorism,” she added.

Unite against dictatorship

Bagong Alyansang Makabayan Secretary General Renato Reyes Jr. said a dictator can be defeated if the Filipino people are united.

Photo by Carlo Manalansan/Bulatlat

“The President is acting like a dictator and there seems to be no end to his evil designs. Where could we derive our strength? We could derive our power from collective action, from our united ranks fighting for sovereignty and democracy. Our unity is the only effective obstacle against a dictatorship,” Reyes said in Filipino.

Joshua Mata of Kalipunan said now more than ever the people should unite against Duterte. “We have experienced dictatorship before, will we let it happen again now?” he asked to which the people answered with a resounding no.

The program ended with a performance by rapper Calix with his song, Giyera ng Bulag, a single from Kolateral album that tackles Duterte’s so-called war on drugs. “Di mo ba nakita, Duterte, mga tao din kami!” (Can’t you see Duterte, we are humans.) was Calix’s last line that received applause from the audience. #

Atin ang Pinas

Mga Tanong-Sagot sa Paglabag ng China sa Teritoryo at Yamang dagat ng Pilipinas sa Ilalim ng Rehimeng Duterte.

by PW Staff

Mula nang maging pangulo si Rodrigo Duterte noong Hunyo 2016, naging mas madalas at tampok na usapin ang paglabag ng China sa teritoryo at yamang dagat ng Pilipinas. Umani ng malawak na pansin at galit ng mga mamamayan ang mga paglabag na ito. Lalo pang nakadagdag sa pansin at galit ang mga pahayag ng rehimeng Duterte, na tahasang nagtatanggol sa China at tumatalikod sa pagtatanggol sa ating teritoryo at yamang-dagat.

Paglilinaw sa mga salitang ginagamit: tinutukoy ng “teritoryo” ang mga isla at kalupaan na kapwa inaangkin ng Pilipinas at China. Mula sa ating punto-de-bista, sa Pilipinas ang mga ito, saklaw ng soberanya ng bansa. Tinutukoy naman ng “yamang-dagat” ang mga bahagi ng karagatan na saklaw ng Exclusive Economic Zone EEZ ng Pilipinas. Sa mga ito, may eksklusibong karapatan ang Pilipinas na makinabang sa yamang-dagat, bagamat hindi ito makakapagpataw ng mga patakaran sa paglalakbay o iba pang aktibidad dito. Saklaw naman ito ng hurisdiksiyon ng ating bansa.

May pangangailangang tipunin at talakayin ang mga impormasyon hinggil sa mga paglabag na ito ng China, isiwalat ang mga sanhi nila, at linawin ang marapat na tindig at panawagan ng mga mamamayang Pilipino.

(1) Ano ang pinakahuling tampok na insidente ng paglabag ng China sa teritoryo at yamang-dagat ng Pilipinas?

Nitong Hunyo 9, 2019, sa West Philippine Sea, partikular sa bahaging kung tawagin ay Recto Bank, binangga ng Yuemaobinyu 42212, isang trawler (pleasure boat o barkong panlibangan) ng China ang F/B Gemvir 1, isang malaking bangkang pangisda, na naglalaman ng 22 mangingisdang Pilipino na residente ng Occidental Mindoro.

Dahil sa pagbangga, nasira at lumubog ang bangka. Habang lumulubog, binalikan ito ng barko, tila tiniyak na palubog, at iniwan. Muntikan nang malunod at mamatay ang mga mangingisda. Mabuti na lang at may mga mangingisdang Vietnamese na nasa lugar at nagligtas sa kanila. Bantog na ngayon ang sinabi ng mga mangingisdang Vietnamese, na hindi marunong mag-Ingles o mag-Filipino: “Philippines. Vietnam. Friends.”

Ang Recto Bank ay matatagpuan sa hilagang silangan ng Spratly Islands at malapit sa probinsiya ng Palawan. Bahagi ito ng West Philippine Sea na ang kalakha’y inaangkin ng China na bahagi ng teritoryo nito. Malinaw naman sa Pilipinas na saklaw ito ng territorial waters o teritoryong katubigan ng bansa at sa gayon ay nasa ilalim ng ating hurisdiksiyon.

Sa hatol ng Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) sa The Hague, The Netherlandsnoong Hulyo 12, 2016, bahagi ang Recto Bank ng EEZ ng bansa. EEZ ang buong katubigan sa loob ng 200 nautical miles mula sa pampang ng teritoryo ng bansa. Kapag sinabing EEZ, may espesyal na karapatan ang isang bansa na alamin, linangin at gamitin ang mga yamang marino, kasama na ang enerhiya mula sa tubig at hangin dito.

Noong 2013, nagsampa ng kaso ang gobyerno ng Pilipinas sa PCA laban sa kaliwa’t kanang paglabag ng China sa teritoryo at yamang dagat ng bansa. Ang batayan ng China, ang tinatawag nitong “nine-dash line” na batay sa isang mapa noong 1947 at sumasaklaw sa halos 85 porsiyento ng West Philippine Sea. Ayon sa PCA, walang batayang legal o historikal ang pag-angkin dito ng China. Absurdo ang “nine-dash line”: ang Scarborough Shoal ay 120 nautical miles ang layo sa Zambales habang 500 nautical miles ang layo sa China. Kung gagamitin ang lohika nito, puwedeng angkinin umano ng bansang Italya ang buong kontinente ng Europa.

Sang-ayon ang konsepto ng EEZ sa United Nations Convention of the Laws of the Sea (UNCLOS) na pinirmahan noong 1994 ng 120 bansa kasama ang China. Pero simula’t sapul, hindi kinilala ng China ang PCA.

Ayon sa Konstitusyong 1987, partikular sa Artikulo XII, Seksiyon 2: “Poprotektahan ng Estado ang yamang dagat ng bansa sa mga katubigan ng arkipelago, katubigang teritoryal, at exclusive economic zone, at irereserba ang paggamit at pakinabang nito eksklusibo para sa mga mamamayang Pilipino.”

Sa kabila ng sinapit ng mga mangingisda, ng malinaw na isinasaad ng batas pandaigdig at Konstitusyon, at ng malawak na pagkondena at protesta, minaliit ng rehimeng Duterte ang nangyari, at tinawag itong “simpleng aksidenteng pandagat” – tulad ng sinabi ng gobyerno ng China bago nagsalita si Duterte. Bago nito, kinukuwestiyon ng mga tagapagsalita ng rehimen ang katotohanan ng kuwento ng mismong mga mangingisdang Pilipino.

Hindi nagtagal, sinuhulan at tinakot ng rehimen ang mga mangingisda para patahimikin tungkol sa nangyari. Hindi nga lang pagpapatahimik ang ginawa, itinulak pa silang humingi ng paumanhin kay Duterte para sa pagkukuwento ng nangyari.

Pinapalutang ng rehimen na dalawa lang ang pagpipilian ng Pilipinas – ang giyerahin ang China o maging sunudsunuran dito. Pinagtakpan nito ang posibilidad ng mapayapang paggigiit ng ating teritoryo at yamang dagat sa China. Sa dulo, sinabi nitong puwedeng mangisda ang China sa katubigan ng Pilipinas dahil “kaibigan” ang naturang bansa.

Sa panig ng China, noong una, sinabi nitong inaatake ang bangkang pangisda nito ng walong barkong pangisda ng Pilipinas. Pero pinasinungalingan ito ng mga larawang kuha ng satellite sa lugar sa panahong iyon.

Pagkatapos, nagpahayag ito ng pakikiramay sa mga mangingisdang nasiraan ng bangka at muntik malunod at nagpanukala ng magkasamang imbestigasyon ng Pilipinas at China sa insidente. Agad naman itong sinang-ayunan ng rehimeng Duterte. Tinutulan ito ng mga kritiko dahil malinaw na naganap ang insidente sa loob ng teritoryo ng Pilipinas. Ang gayong imbestigasyon, anila, ay isa na namang pagsuko sa kontrol ng Pilipinas sa sariling teritoryo at yamang dagat.

(2) Anu-ano ang paglabag ng China sa teritoryo at yamang dagat ng Pilipinas sa ilalim ng rehimeng Duterte?

Pinakahuli lang ang nangyari sa Recto Bank sa maraming insidente ng arogante at agresibong pagangkin ng China sa halos buong West Philippine Sea – kasama ang Spratly Islands, Scarborough Shoal, at Paracel Islands na teritoryo ng Pilipinas, gayundin ang saklaw na yamang-dagat ng bansa. Matagal nang ginagawa ng China ang iba’t ibang hakbangin para angkinin ang mga teritoryo at yamang dagat ng Pilipinas sa lugar.

Sa panahong 2011-2015, narito ang mga paglabag ng China sa teritoryo at yamang dagat ng Pilipinas:

  • pagtataboy sa mga mangingisdang Pilipino (sa pamamagitan ng pagpapaputok ng baril at water cannon),
  • pagtatayo ng mga istrukturang militar,
  • pagpasok ng mga bangka at barkong pangisda,
  • pagkuha ng endangered species,
  • pagharang sa mga sasakyang Pilipino na makapasok sa Scarborough Shoal,
  • pagpapalayas sa mga barkong Pilipino,
  • pagharang sa mga barko ng gobyerno na maghahatid ng rekurso sa puwestong militar ng Pilipinas,
  • pagbabantang banggain ang isang barko ng Pilipinas,
  • pagpapataw ng patakaran tungkol sa fishing permit,
  • pagtatayo ng paliparan sa Johnson Reef,
  • pagtatayo ng 3,125 metrong paliparan sa Fiery Cross (Kagitingan) Reef,
  • pagtatayo ng daungan ng mga submarine sa Mischief (Panganiban) Reef, at
  • paglulunsad ng taunang war drills.

Isa sa pinakatampok na insidente noon ang standoff o girian sa pagitan ng navy ng Pilipinas at China simula noong Abril 11, 2012 at tumagal nang tatlong buwan. Matapos makakita ng mga sasakyang pangisda ng China sa Scarborough Shoal, idineploy ng Philippine Navy ang BRP Gregorio del Pilar, ang pinakamalaking barkong pandigma ng bansa. Nagpadala naman ang China ng mga barkong paniktik para balaan ang Philippine Navy na umalis sa lugar.

Ang nangyari, namagitan ang US at nagtulak ng kasunduan na aalis pareho ang Pilipinas at China sa lugar. Umalis ang Pilipinas, pero hindi ang China. Mas malala, nagdala ito ng mga barkong pandigma. Nobyembre 2012, naglabas ang China ng bagong e-passport na naglalaman ng larawan ng “nine-dash line,” patunay ng paggigiit nito.

Simula naman 2016, partikular nang maging pangulo si Duterte, narito ang mga paglabag ng China sa teritoryo at yamang-dagat ng Pilipinas: pangha-harass ng coast guard ng China sa mga mangingisdang Pilipino sa Scarborough Shoal, pagharang sa bukana ng Scarborough Shoal para hadlangan ang pagpasok dito, pagpapatrolya ng coast guard ng China sa naturang shoal, pagtugis-pagpapalayas sa mga mangingisdang Pilipino sa Union Banks matapos magpaputok ng baril sa ere, paglalagay ng mga eroplanong pambomba sa Woody Island na parte ng Paracel Islands (pinakamalaking base ng China sa West Philippine Sea at saklaw ng target ang buong Pilipinas), pag-agaw sa huling isda ng mga mangingisdang Pilipino, paghadlang sa midya ng Pilipinas na kumuha ng footage sa Panatag Shoal, at paglalagak ng mga barkong pandigma.

Noong Enero 2018, nagsimula ang epektibidad ng permit na ibinigay ng rehimeng Duterte sa China para magsaliksik sa kanlurang dalampasigan ng bansa, kasama ang Benham Rise. Umabante pa ang China sa pagbibigay ng pangalang Tsino sa mga bahagi ng Benham Rise. Noong Pebrero 2018, nalathala ang mga larawan na nagpapakitang nagsasagawa ng reklamasyon ang China sa West Philippine Sea. Nagtayo ito ng artipisyal na mga isla sa ibabaw ng mga bahura sa Spratly Islands kung saan may mga nakalagak nang base ng mga sasakyang panghimpapawid, mga pasilidad pandagat, at mga kagamitang pangkomunikasyon. Nangyari ito sa kabila ng pangako ng China na hindi ito magsasagawa ng reklamasyon sa naturang lugar. Paglaon, napabalitang mayroon na ring missiles ng China sa naturang lugar.

Noong Abril 2018, nagpanukala si Duterte ng hatiang 60-40 sa mga makukuhang rekurso mula sa pinagsamang eksplorasyon ng West Philippine Sea. Ayon sa mga kritiko, pagsuko ito sa tagumpay na nakamit ng Pilipinas sa PCA noong 2016. Hulyo 2018, dumaong sa Davao City ang barkong pansaliksik na Yuan Wang 3, ginagamit para subaybayan at suportahan ang mga satellite at intercontinental ballistic missiles ng China.

Nitong Enero 2019, may nakitang 657 sasakyang Tsino, pinaghihinalaang kabilang sa People’s Liberation Army Maritime Militia Forces, ang nakita ng militar ng Pilipinas.

Sinasabi namang 275 sasakyan na may makabagong electronic communication at posibleng armado ang pumalibot sa Pag-asa Island, parte ng Spratlys.

Kaiba sa mga bansang naggigiit ng kontrol sa mga teritoryong pinag-aagawan – tulad ng Pilipinas, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia at Brunei – hindi naghapag ng petisyon ang China sa International Tribunal for the Laws of the Sea Itlos. Para sa pagangkin nito, ginagamit nito ang armadong lakas nito, ang People’s Liberation Army Navy.

Ayon sa mga eksperto, maliban noong Mayo 1988, kung kailan inagaw ng China ang anim na isla sa Spratlys at pumatay ng 72 mandaragat ng Vietnam, gumagamit ang China ng mga taktikang hindi hayagan para igiit ang pag-angkin nito sa mga teritoryo: mapanindak na mga maniobra sa ere at dagat, kiskisan, at pagkuyog ng mga sasakyang pandagat para harangan ang mga dadaan sa teritoryong inaangkin.

Noong Hunyo 2012, itinayo ng China ang Sansha, isang lungsod na sumasaklaw sa Spratly Islands, Paracel Islands, at Macclesfield Bank, na kinabibilangan ng Scarborough Shoal. Ang tawag nito sa naturang mga lugar ay Nansha, Xisha at Zhongsha.

Nitong mga nakaraang taon, pinalaki ng China ang puwersang milisya at paramilitar nito na lumilibot sa mga pinagtatalunang bahagi ng dagat. Ang naturang puwersang milisya ay nakakatanggap ng subsidyo sa gasolina at batayang pagsasanay-militar mula sa gobyerno. Nangako rin sa kanila ang gobyerno ng China ng suporta kapag humarap sa komprontasyon sa mga sasakyang pandagat ng ibang bansa. Ayon sa gobyerno ng China, “ekstensiyon” sila ng PLA Navy.

Gumagamit din ng panlalansi ang China sa mga layunin nito. Noong 2015, nangako si Xi Jinping, presidente ng China, kay Barack Obama, presidente ng US, na hindi magmimilitarisa sa South China Sea. Pero noong Hunyo 2018, nang makapagtayo na ito ng mga base-militar sa lugar, pinanindigan na nito ang hakbangin.

Pahayag ni Xi noong 2016: “Ang mga isla at bahura sa South China Sea ay mga teritoryo ng China simula pa sinaunang panahon… Ipinamana sa China ng aming mga ninuno. Hindi papayagan ng sambayanang Tsino ang sinuman na makialam sa soberanya at kaugnay na karapatan at interes ng China sa South China Sea.”

Babala ng mga eksperto, plano ng China na magtayo ng “exclusion zone” sa naturang bahagi ng karagatan: may hadlang sa kalayaan sa paglalayag (freedom of navigation) at maging sa paglipad sa ere ng mga ito.

(3) Ano ang naging tugon ng rehimeng Duterte sa naturang mga paglabag?

Makikita sa naging tugon sa insidente sa Recto Bank ang laging tugon ng rehimeng Duterte: pangmamaliit sa insidente, pagtatanggol sa China, pagkontra’t pagpapatahimik sa mga tumutuligsa. Anu’t anuman, hindi ito gumagawa ng paraan para mapayapang igiit ang ating teritoryo at yamang dagat.

Halimbawa, nang minsang mapabalita ang pagkuha ng Chinese Coast Guard sa mga huling isda ng mga Pilipinong mangingisda, pilit ang sabi mismo ni Duterte: barter raw ito sa pagitan ng dalawang panig. Sabi naman minsan ni Salvador Panelo, tagapagsalita ng pangulo kaugnay ng isa na namang napabalitang paglabag: “Ang tanong ko naman sa ‘yo, may magagawa ba tayo eh sila ang may control as of now ‘di ba? Mayroon silang puwersa doon.” At marami pang iba.

Pana-panahon lang ito napupuwersang magpahayag ng pabalat-bungang pagkondena kapag malakas ang pagtutol at protesta. Nagsasalita rin ito kontra sa China kapag napapabalita ang panghaharas ng mga puwersang pandagat ng China sa mismong mga puwersang pandagat ng Pilipinas – kung saan tuluy-tuloy na nagpapalakas si Duterte. Kapansin-pansin ding naganap ang mga pahayag na ito bago ang eleksiyong 2019, sa pangamba ng rehimen na maging isyung pang-eleksiyon ang pagkapapet nito sa China at ikatalo ng mga kandidato nito.

Pilit pinapalabas ng rehimen na ang tanging magagawa ng Pilipinas ay ang pumili sa pagitan ng paglulunsad ng giyera o pananahimik. Sa dahilang hindi kaya ang una, ang gusto nito ay tanggapin na lang natin ang paglabag ng China sa ating teritoryo at karagatan.

Hindi rin iginigiit ni Duterte sa kahit saang larangan ang mahalagang desisyon ng PCA noong 2016. Sa halip, tuluy-tuloy niya itong minamaliit at tinatangkang ikutan sa pamamagitan ng iba’t ibang panukalang kasunduan at hakbangin kasama ang China.

Katunayan, kahit sa antas ng Association of Southeast Asian Nations Asean, tutol si Duterte sa paggawa ng kolektibong tindig laban sa militarisasyon ng China sa South China Sea.

Matatandaang sumikat si Duterte dahil sa pangako niya noong eleksiyong 2016 sa isang debate sa telebisyon: sasakay siya ng jet ski, itatarak ang watawat ng Pilipinas sa mga teritoryong inaangkin ng China, at handang mamatay para rito. Noong Marso 2018, nang hamunin siyang isakatuparan ang pangako, sinabi niyang isa na naman ito sa kanyang mga biro.

Kung matatandaan, noong eleksiyong iyon din, nagbanta siya sa mga unyonista. Aniya, hahayaan niya ang China na magtayo ng mga lungsod sa mga isla ng bansa. Banta niya, kapag nag-unyon dito ang mga manggagawa – at pinangalanan niya ang Kilusang Mayo Uno – ay papatayin niya sila.

Nang maging pangulo, nagdeklara si Duterte ng “independiyenteng patakarang panlabas,” na ang kahulugan lang ay pagiging sunud-sunuran din sa China bukod sa US. Hindi kataka-takang kasabay ito ng deklarasyon niya ng “Pivot to China” ng Pilipinas.

Mula rito, sunud-sunod nang pahayag ang ginawa niya para papurihan ang China at palabasing sunud-sunuran dito ang Pilipinas. Pebrero 2018: “Kung gusto ninyo, gawin na lang ninyo kaming probinsiya.” Abril 2018: “Kailangan ko ang China.” Mayo 2018: “Nakakahikayat ang mga pangako ni Xi Jinping… ‘Hindi kami papayag na matanggal ka sa puwesto, at hindi kami papayag na magkagulo sa Pilipinas’.” At marami pang iba.

(4) Bakit nilalabag ng China ang teritoryo at yamang-dagat ng Pilipinas?

Sa kagyat, iisiping dahil iginigiit nito ang pag-angkin sa teritoryo at yamang dagat na itinuturing nitong saklaw nito. Pero ang totoo, dahil isa na itong kapangyarihang imperyalista sa daigdig, na nangangailangan ng kontrol sa paparaming likas na yaman at bagong saklaw na teritoryo.

Maraming yamang natural ang matatagpuan sa West Philippine Sea: 11- Bg bariles ng langis, 190 trilyong talampakan ng natural gas, at 10 porsiyento ng yamang pampangisdaan ng daigdig. Partikular sa Recto Bank, halimbawa, kapag hindi nalinang ang enerhiya mula rito sa loob ng 8-10 taon, mapuputol ang suplay ng enerhiya sa Luzon, at magkakaroon ng mga brownout tulad noong dekada 1990.

Gusto rin nitong magpakita ng lakas sa mga rehiyong malapit sa kanya – lalo na sa itinuturing na mahalagang lugar gaya ng Timog Silangang Asya. Bukod sa mahalagang ruta ng kalakalan at transportasyon ang West Philippine Sea at ang China Sea, lugar din ito para igiit ang lumalakas na kapangyarihan laban sa nangungunang imperyalistang kapangyarihan sa daigdig, ang USSangkatlo (1/3) ng pandaigdigang kalakalan ang dumadaan sa West Philippine Sea, nagkakahalaga ng tinatayang $5 Trilyon. Umaabot sa 2.2-Bg konsiyumer ang nakikinabang sa kalakalang dumadaan dito, malaking bahagi kung ikukumpara sa 7.6-Bg populasyon ng daigdig noong 2017. Sinasabing kapag naangkin ng China ang mga teritoryong inaangkin din ng Pilipinas, magkakaroon ito ng batayan na mang-angkin pa ng karugtong na mga lugar. At kapag nagawa ng China ang pagkontrol sa lugar, sinasabing lalong mapapahina nito ang kontrol ng US sa tinatawag na Pacific Rim.

Sa maraming bansa sa mundo, ginagamit ng China ang pagpapautang para makontrol ang mga yamang-likas, teritoryo at ekonomiya ng iba’t ibang bansa. Sa balangkas ito ng higanteng proyektong pangimprastruktura nito na Belt and Road Initiative. Ang problema, maraming bansa ang hindi makabayad sa pautang, at bilang kolateral, kinukuha ng China ang kanilang mga likas na yaman at mahahalagang ari-arian.

Ito ang tinatawag ngayong “debt trap diplomacy.” Binigyan ng Sri Lanka ang China ng 99-taong lease sa estratehikong Hambatota Port matapos nitong mabigong magbayad ng utang. Ganito rin ang panganib na mangyari sa Mombasa, sikat na lungsod sa tabing-dagat sa Kenya, kung saan gumawa ang China ng US $3.8-Bilyong riles ng tren. Pumayag naman ang Djibouti ang paggawa ng unang base militar ng China sa labas ng bansa dahil sa napakalaking utang nito sa China. Sa pamamagitan ng ganitong hakbangin, napapalawak ng China ang kontrol nito sa daigdig, at napapasunod ang gobyerno ng maraming bansa – patunay at halimbawa ng neokolonyalismo. Sa Pilipinas sa ilalim ng rehimeng Duterte, sinasabing kapalit ng pautang ang teritoryo at yamang dagat ng bansa – kahit pa marami pang teritoryo at likas na yaman ang puwedeng makuha ng China kapag hindi nakabayad ang bansa sa mga pautang nito.

Kung matatandaan, isang bansang sosyalista ang China simula 1949, nang magtagumpay ang rebolusyon ng sambayanang Tsino. Sa panahong ito, naglabas ang China ng mapa ng teritoryo nito na gumagalang sa pagangkin ng iba’t ibang bansa sa mga teritoryong inaangkin din ng China. Malinaw sa panahong ito ang pagrespeto ng China sa pambansang kalayaan at soberanya ng iba’t ibang bansa.

Nang mamatay si Mao Zedong, sosyalistang lider ng China, noong 1976, gayunman, nanumbalik sa kapangyarihan ang bagong burgesya na nagpapanggap na sosyalista – ang mga modernong rebisyunista – sa pamumuno ni Deng Xiaoping. Sa panahong ito, binaligtad ang mga patakarang sosyalista ni Mao at pinapasok ang mga hakbanging kapitalista sa China – na lalo pang bumilis simula dekada 1990.

Sa kabila nito, tinanganan ng China ang soberanya nito: pinapasok ang dayuhang pamumuhunan at kapital pero pinalakas ang sariling ekonomiya. Panandang-bato ang taong 2005 sa paglakas ng China, kung kailan sinimulan nitong imanupaktura ang mga produktong dati nitong inaangkat.

Sa ilalim ng kasalukuyang lider nitong si Xi Jinping, na naging pangunahing lider noong 2012 at nagtulak ng Belt and Road Initiative at Maritime Silk Road noong 2013,tumatanaw ang China ng mas malaking papel sa ekonomiya at pulitika ng daigdig. Patuloy na lumalalim ang ugnayan nito sa mga bansa sa Asya, Aprika at Latina Amerika.

Sa Timog Silangang Asya, pinapalakas nito ang kapangyarihan laban sa pagtutol ng Vietnam at Malaysia. Mayroon ito ngayong maingay na alyado sa rehimeng Duterte ng Pilipinas. Kung hindi lalabanan, magpapatuloy ang China sa kasalukuyang direksiyon nito ng pag-angkin sa teritoryo at yamang-dagat ng bansa.

(5) Bakit tiklop ang rehimeng Duterte sa mga paglabag ng China sa teritoryo at yamang dagat ng Pilipinas?

Sinasabing nasa isang “ginintuang panahon” ngayon ang ugnayang Pilipinas-China dahil sa rehimeng Duterte – kahit pa nananatiling tuta rin ito ng US.

Dahil sunud-sunuran ito sa China, kasabwat sa mga hakbangin nito sa pulitika at ekonomiya ng bansa, at tumatanggap ng premyong kurakot at suhol.

Ekonomiya. Noong 2016, nag-uwi si Duterte ng US $24- B na pautang at pangakong pamumuhunan mula sa China para sa mga proyektong pangimprastruktura. Sa 75 proyekto sa programang “Build, Build, Build” ni Duterte, kalahati ang nakalaan sa pautang, tulong at puhunang Tsino.

Sa unang bahagi ng 2017, sumirit agad ang angkat ng Pilipinas mula sa China nang 26 porsiyento, lampas-lampas sa paglago ng angkat ng China mula Pilipinas na lumago lang nang 9.8 porsiyento. Habang lumago nang husto ang pamumuhunan ng China sa parehong panahon: US $181-Milyon sa unang walong buwan ng 2018, kumpara sa US $28.8-M sa buong 2017. Kaakibat ng mga hakbanging ito ang paglakas ng kontrol at paglaki ng pakinabang ng China sa ekonomiya ng bansa.

Pinapalabas ng rehimen na makakatulong sa Pilipinas ang mga pautang ng China, pero may interes ito na dalawa hanggang tatlong (2- 3) porsiyento, habang ang sa Japan ay 0.25 hanggang 0.75 porsiyento lang. Ibig sabihin, mahal na pautang. Ang sagot ng rehimen, mas madaling maglabas ng pera ang China – bukas samakatwid sa suhulankatiwalian at sabwatan. Ang masama pa, rekisito ng mga pautang ang paglahok ng mga Tsinong kontraktor sa mga proyekto.

Ang naunang pangulo na pumasok sa mga kontrata sa China ay si Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo – na siya ring itinuturing na arkitekto ng relasyong China-Pilipinas sa ilalim ng rehimeng Duterte. Sa panahon niya lumabas ang katiwalian sa proyektong NBN-ZTE, na nagkakahalaga ng US $329-M. Sa panahon din niya naganap ang proyektong Northrail na kung hindi naayos ang obligasyon ng bansa ay magbabayad ang Pilipinas ng US $100-M pataas. Sa ngayon, may tatlong proyektong priyoridad sa pagpopondo ng China: Chico River Pump Irrigation Project (US $60-M), New Centennial Water Source-Kaliwa Dam Project, at ang North-South Railway Project-South Line. Lahat nang ito, magpapalayas ng mga nakatirang katutubo at maralita, at sisira sa kalikasan ng bansa.

Kaalinsabay nito, pinayagan ni Duterte ang maramihang pagpasok ng mga ilegal na manggagawang Chinese sa Pilipinas, gayundin ng online gambling casino at online gaming. Papasok din ang isang kompanyang Chinese sa sektor ng telekomunikasyonsa bansa. Pulitika. Suportado ng China ang madugong “giyera kontra-droga” ng rehimeng Duterte. Nanawagan pa ito sa ibang bansa na suportahan din ang naturang kampanya. Nagpondo ito ng mga drug rehabilitation center, pampabango sa esensya ng kampanya na patayin ang mga pinaghihinalaang adik at tulak ng bawal na droga.

Kahit ang giyera ni Duterte sa Marawi, suportado ng China. Nagbigay ito ng libulibong armas na nagkakahalaga ng US $7.35-M para umano labanan ang mga terorista. Nagsusuportahan din si Duterte at ang China sa paggigiit sa prinsipyo ng “non-interference” o hindi pakikialam ng mga Kanluraning kapangyarihan sa mga isyu sa Asya – halimbawa sa United Nation Human Rights Council. Makikinabang ang China rito dahil gusto nitong maigiit sa pamamagitan ng lakas ang kontrol nito sa maraming bahagi ng Asya. Makikinabang si Duterte rito dahil gusto niyang makaligtas sa imbestigasyon at pagpaparusa sa kanyang madugong rekord sa karapatang pantao.

Premyo sa porma ng suhol at kurakot. Pakinabang ng pamilya Duterte at mga kroni sa komisyon mula sa mga pautang ng China na mataas ang interes at mga proyektong pang-imprastruktura na overpriced. Nakikinabang din sila sa malawakang smuggling at distribusyon ng ilegal na droga ng mga sindikatong kriminal na Chinese. Kapansin-pansing libu-libong maralita na ang pinatay sa “giyera kontra-droga” pero wala pang malaking druglord ang napapanagot.

(6) Ano ang tugon ng US sa harap ng lahat ng ito? Makakasandig ba tayo rito para tulungan tayo sa ginagawa ng China?

Makikita ang tugon ng US sa mga paglabag ng China sa teritoryo at yamang-dagat ng Pilipinas sa naging tugon nito sa insidente sa Recto Bank.

Nag-ingay ang US at nagbanta ng interbensiyong militar. Ayon mismo kay US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, ang insidente’y puwedeng magtulak ng paggamit sa Mutual Defense Treaty ng 1951. Inanunsiyo rin nito ang pagpapalaot ng USS Stratton, isang US Coast Guard cutter, para umano protektahan ang teritoryo ng Pilipinas. Sabi naman ni Sung Kim, embahador ng US sa Pilipinas, na ang pag-atake ng mga milisyang dagat ng China ay puwedeng maghudyat ng interbensiyong militar ng US.

Sa madaling salita, sinasamanatala ng US ang mga paglabag ng China para palakihin ang presensiyang militar nito sa Pilipinas at sa West Philippine Sea. Katunayan, naganap nito lang ang mga pinakamalaking pagsasanay-militar sa pagitan ng US at Pilipinas.

Sa kabilang banda, taliwas sa sinasabi at pag-asa ng mga maka-US sa bansa, hindi naman makapagsabi ang US na ipaglalaban at poprotektahan nito ang interes ng Pilipinas sa West Philippine Sea. Dahil ang totoo, bagamat umiigting ang girian ng US at China, hindi pa hinog ang kalagayan para magdigmaan ang mga ito – lalo na para sa interes ng isang bansang mahirap katulad ng Pilipinas.

Ni hindi rin mabangga nang direkta ng US ang mga hakbanging maka-China ni Duterte. Ang ginagawa nito, pinagsasalita ang mga opisyal-militar at pamunuan ng Department of National Defense na mas matapat dito kaysa sa China laban sa mga hakbangin ng China at mga hakbangin ni Duterte na maka-China.

Katunayan, nakikipagmabutihan ang gobyerno ni Donald Trump sa rehimeng Duterte. Makikita ito sa pagpuri mismo ni Trump sa madugong “giyera kontra droga” ni Duterte.

Sa panig naman ni Duterte, pinapanatili niya ang mga kasunduan at patakarang pabor sa imperyalismong US sa Pilipinas. Para ito mapanatiling masaya ang kanyang among US, at para mapanatili ang suporta ng pamunuan ng militar na malinaw na maka-US. Kilala si Duterte sa pagligaw sa militar para mapanatili ang suporta sa kanyang paghahari.

Ibig sabihin, hindi makakaasa ang sambayanang Pilipino sa imperyalismong US na ipagtanggol ang Pilipinas laban sa China. Parehong ang gusto ng US at China ay palakihin ang kanilang presensiyang militar sa Pilipinas at West Philippine Sea – sa kapinsalaan ng teritoryo, yamang-dagat at soberanya ng Pilipinas.

Sa pampang ng West Philippine Sea, protesta ng mga manggagawa ng Kilusang Mayo Uno. Kontribusyon

(7) Ano ang dapat tindig nating mga Pilipino sa paglabag ng China sa ating teritoryo at yamang-dagat?

(a) Ang tindig ng sambayanang Pilipino, ay para sa tunay na pambansang kalayaan, soberanya sa ating mga teritoryo, at hudikatura sa ating mga yamang-dagat. Ipaglalaban ito sa sinumang lumalabag dito, China man o US. Ipaglalaban ito sa rehimeng Duterte na sunudsunuran sa naturang mga dayuhang kapangyarihan.

(b) Tutol tayo sa paglabag ng China sa ating teritoryo at yamang-dagat.Napakaraming puwede at dapat nating gawin para maipahayag ang ating pagtutol, hindi kailangan ang giyera. Pabor tayo sa paggamit ng lahat ng mapayapang paraan para ipaglaban ang ating teritoryo at yamang dagat.

(c) Partikular sa nangyari sa Recto Bank, dapat malakas na magpahayag ang gobyerno ng pagkondena, at maggiit ng kompensasyon at kaparusahan para sa mga nagpalubog sa bangkang Pilipino. Ganito rin ang dapat na mga hakbangin nito sa mga katulad na insidente na tiyak na magaganap sa hinaharap. Sa pagtanggi nito sa mga hakbanging ito, lalo nitong inilalantad ang sarili na tuta ng China.

(d) Dapat itigil ng China ang militarisasyon sa West Philippine Sea. Dapat itong umalis sa mga nilikha nitong artipisyal na isla. Dapat din itong magbigay ng kompensasyon kapalit ng pagkasira at pagkawasak ng kapaligirang pandagat.

(e) Kinokondena ng mga mamamayan ang pampulitikang pagsuporta ng China sa kontra-mamamayang mga patakaran ng rehimeng Duterte, tampok ang giyera kontra-droga at iba pang giyera.

(f) Dapat matamang suriin ang mga pang-ekonomiyang hakbangin ng China sa Pilipinas. Hindi puwedeng ituring na kapalit ng paglabag sa teritoryo at yamang-dagat ang mga pang-ekonomiya at pampulitikang hakbangin ng China. Hindi rin dapat na tumatapak ang mga hakbanging ito sa karapatang pantao, kalikasan at tunay na kaunlaran ng bansa. Hindi dapat malubog sa pagkakautang ang Pilipinas sa China.

(g) Tutol din ang mga mamamayan sa mga paglabag ng US sa teritoryo at yamang-dagat ng Pilipinas. Dapat ibasura ang Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement ng 2014, Visiting Forces Agreement ng 1999 at Mutual Defense Treaty ng 1951 sa pagitan ng Pilipinas at US. Dapat lumayas ang mga tropa at kagamitang Amerikano sa teritoryo at yamang-dagat ng Pilipinas.

(h) Tutol ang mga mamamayan sa pag-igting ng alitan ng US at China sa Pilipinas.Tutol tayo sa pagsasamantala nila sa mga usapin sa West Philippine Sea para palawakin ang kanilang presensiyang militar at pandagat sa anumang usapin. Hindi kapakanan ng Pilipinas ang pakay nila, kundi ang sariling imperyalistang interes.

(i) Kaalinsabay, dapat na inililinaw na ang katunggali ng bansa ay ang gobyerno ng China, hindi ang mga mamamayang Tsino. Gaya rin ng hindi ang mga mamamayang Amerikano ang kalaban, kundi ang imperyalismong US.

(j) Dapat kondenahin at labanan ang pagpapakatuta ni Duterte kapwa sa US (na pangunahing among imperyalista ng rehimen) at China (umuusbong na imperyalista na lumalakas ang kapangyarihan sa bansa). Dapat tutulan ang mga panlilinlang at kasinungalingan nito, tampok ang pagpapalabas na giyera ang kahulugan ng paggigiit ng teritoryo at yamang dagat ng bansa.

(k) Sinisingil at pinapanagot ng mga mamamayan si Duterte sa pagpapakatuta sa China at sa US. Tampok na bahagi ito ng napakarami na niyang krimen sa sambayanang Pilipino. Ang hindi niya paglaban para sa teritoryo at yamang-dagat ng bansa ay pagtataksil sa sambayanang Pilipino at patunay na hindi na siya dapat pang maging pangulo. #


Lumad leader, farmer-activist killed in their homes

By KEN E. CAGULA / Davao Today

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — A Lumad leader and a farmer-activist were gunned down in separate incidents in the province of Bukidnon.

On July 8, Datu Mario Agsab was shot dead in his home at Sitio Mainaga, Brgy. Iba, Cabanglasan, Bukidnon at around 7am by suspected members of paramilitary group Alamara and CAFGU members under the 8th Infantry Batallion.

According to Karapatan-Bukidnon, Agsab was an active leader of PIGYAYUNGA-AN, a local chapter of Kalumbay Regional Lumad Organization in Cabanglasan, Bukidnon.

Two days earlier, the group also reported a similar shooting incident which targeted a member of KASAMA-Bukidnon, an affiliate of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP).

Karapatan said that farmer Joel Anino was shot in his home in San Fernando town, Bukidnon by unidentified gunmen around 6:30am last July 6. He later died at the Malaybalay General Hospital.

Anino is the second member of KASAMA-Bukidnon killed this year.

Last June 16, 57-year-old farmer Liovigildo “Nonoy” Palma, also a member of KASAMA-Bukidnon, was killed by three suspects riding a single motorcycle just right outside his house at Barangay Halapitan, Sitio Malambago, San Fernando.

Datu Wilson Anglao Jr., secretary general of Karapatan-Bukidnon, condemned the growing number of killings in the province.

The group has already documented nine incidents of extrajudicial killings in Bukidnon in the middle of 2019.

Anglao attributed these killings to the implementation of Martial Law in Mindanao, which is expected to last until the end of this year.

“The [State] wants to silence anyone – especially the farmers here in Bukidnon – who is strongly calling for genuine agrarian reform in the country,” Anglao said.

Anglao said that they will bring these cases to the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Region 10 to urge them to look into the human rights situation in the province. #

The UP ‘Rebel Kule’ case: Flatlining free expression

Altermidya Network, the broad alliance of alternative media and community journalists groups in the Philippines, denounces the patently unreasonable manner in which the University of the Philippines Diliman’s Executive Committee (EC) ordered the suspension of the editorial board of the “Rebel Kule.”

The EC on June 21 overturned the earlier decision of the UP Diliman Student Disciplinary Council (SDC) to dismiss the charges of stealing, fraud, and disobedience filed by Philippine Collegian outgoing editor-in-chief Jayson Edward San Juan against the editors of Rebel Kule. The charges were based on allegations of misconduct in relation to the use of the Facebook and Twitter accounts that San Juan claimed were among the Collegian’s digital assets.

The EC – composed of the university’s deans and directors, the chancellor, vice chancellor, the university registrar, and other officials – released a two-page decision suspending the members of the Rebel Kule editorial board for one semester and five weeks, without even explaining why it has overturned the SDC’s earlier ruling, which said that San Juan’s accusations had “no sufficient basis.”

Among those to be suspended is incoming Philippine Collegian EIC Beatrice Puente, making her assumption of the position problematic. Also suspended are three graduating editors who were excluded from the graduation list this semester.

Rebel Kule has pointedly emphasized how due process was grossly set aside – both by the EC and the SDC – by not informing the respondents that San Juan appealed the SDC’s decision. Neither was the respondents given a copy of the appeal. Worse, the highest academic body in UP’s flagship campus made its decision with neither enough justification nor reason.

Not only is this move a dangerous precedent for campus publications throughout the country, it also undermines the University of the Philippines’ reputation as a bastion of free speech and expression by  imposing unwarranted penalties on students who dared continue the Philippine Collegian’s progressive tradition.

We have witnessed how, in times of turmoil, Rebel Kule persisted in reporting relevant issues that students and the UP community needed to know.

Is this how UP works now: haphazardly releasing decisions without the benefit of either logic or reason? Has the malady of oppression and repression besieging the nation now also adversely affected what was once a bastion of dissent?

The entire nation is besieged by the killing of journalists, the warrantless arrests against regime critics, and the harassments — and it seems that the country’s premier university has become just one more government institution similarly engaged in repression.

Just as we must hold accountable the UP Diliman administration and call for it to correct what we deem as a grave mistake, we must all unite in combating the darkness enveloping the nation. We cannot allow our civil liberties to flatline, and with it the country’s hopes for a true democracy. #

Kontra Daya urges Comelec to probe PNP on poll violations

“Red baiting is a different level of negative campaigning. It poses risks to those who are red-tagged and might result in extrajudicial killings.”

By RONALYN V. OLEA

Election watchdog Kontra Daya called on the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to investigate reports of partisan activities of elements of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

Kontra Daya received reports of death threats, harassment and red tagging of Makabayan party list groups and their supporters from all over the country. 

“The reports are very alarming,” Arao told Bulatlat. “They’re [PNP] supposed to be non-partisan. Comelec should investigate these complaints,” he added.

The PNP’s Police Community Relations Group (PCRG), in its Twitter account, denied that the newsletter being distributed constitute black propaganda.

The PCRG even posted a link of the publication.

Arao, also a journalism professor at the University of the Philippines (UP), noted that a report in the PNP’s newsletter claims that subversive documents and high-powered rifles were seized along with campaign materials of Bayan and Kabataan Partylist.

This, Arao said, is red baiting.

“Red baiting is a different level of negative campaigning. It poses risks to those who are red tagged and might result in extrajudicial killings,” Arao said.

Jose Mari Callueng, Karapatan paralegal and Kontra Daya volunteer, pointed out that the police violated the Omnibus Election Code and Civil Service Commission’s resolutions.

Section 261 (i) of the Omnibus Election Code (Intervention of Public Officers and Employees), states, “Any office or employee in the civil service, except those holding political offices; any officer, employee, or member of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, or any police force, special forces, home defense forces, barangay self-defense units and all other para-military units  that now exist or which may hereafter be organized who, directly or indirectly, intervenes in any election campaign or engages in any partisan political activity, except to vote or to preserve public order, if one is a peace officer, shall be guilty of an election offense.”

The Omnibus Election Code prohibits unlawful electioneering it defines as soliciting votes or undertaking any propaganda on the day of registration before the board of election inspectors and on the day of election, for or against any candidate or any political party within the polling place and with a radius of thirty meters.

Meanwhile, CSC Memorandum Circular (M.C.) No. 30, s. 2009 cited publishing or distributing campaign literature or materials designed to support or oppose the election of any candidate; directly or indirectly soliciting votes, pledges, or support for or against a candidate, among others, as partisan political activities.

CSC Memorandum Circular No. 9, series of 1992 also prohibits posting and distributing of campaign materials, leaflets, banners and stickers designed to support or oppose the election of any candidate; utilizing properties, supplies, materials, and equipment of the government for political purposes, among others.

Callueng said negative campaigning can be considered a partisan political act. 

The Karapatan paralegal said Comelec has jurisdiction over these cases.

“Comelec should investigate and penalize the violators,” Callueng said.

Administrative cases may also be filed with the Ombudsman against police officers violating the election code.

Government employees found guilty of engaging directly or indirectly in partisan political activities may face a penalty of one month and one day to six (6) months suspension for the first offense; and dismissal from the service for the second offense, according to the 2017 Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service. #

State security forces resort to death threats, red tagging against Makabayan party-list groups, supporters

Members and supporters of senatorial candidate Neri Colmenares and Makabayan partylist groups received death threats, harassed and labeled as communists and supporters of New People’s Army (NPA). The Makabayan bloc has been critical of the Duterte administration.

By RONALYN V. OLEA
Bulatlat.com

Election watchdog Kontra Daya received reports of death threats, harassment and red tagging of Makabayan party list groups and their supporters from all over the country.

Makabayan bloc is composed of partylist groups Bayan Muna, Gabriela Women’s Party, Kabataan Partylist, ACT Teachers Partylist and Anakpawis.

In Caloocan City, Makabayan volunteer Manuel Ferrer received death threats and was tagged as a supporter of the New People’s Amy (NPA).

In Baybay, Leyte, voters were told that the vote receipts can reveal those who voted for the progressive partylist groups. Supporters were threatened they could be tailed to their homes and become targets of the Synchronized Enhanced Management Police Operations (SEMPO), which was responsible for the death of 14 people in Negros last month.

In Quirino, Isabela and Cagayan Valley provinces, Makabayan coordinators received death threats from four cellphone numbers: 0975-9366202, 0945-2934843, 0933-1836156 and 0997-5497428, according to a report by Northern Dispatch.

Agnes Mesina, regional coordinator and national council member of Makabayan, said their leaders and members received messages threatening them not to vote or something bad would happen to them and their family.

Rowena Hidalgo, Makabayan coordinator in Quirino, received this message from 09350682166, “Sika met Rowena ti ammum mailasat mu dagita aramid mu nga maka-NPA? Agbaliw kan habang nasapa pay ta litagen daka man inya man nga banda dita quirino.” (You Rowena, are you thinking that you can survive your pro-NPA activities? You should change while you have time because we can kill you anywhere in Quirino.)

The municipal coordinator of Neri Colemenares and Anakpawis party-list in Lallo, Cagayan received a letter warning him of his support for the group along with a live bullet.

Three days before the elections, Ted Lazaro, deputy campaign officer of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-Quezon City and Makabayan coordinator, received in his home a funeral flower arrangement. On the same evening, May 10, plastic containing blood was thrown at his house in barangay Sta Lucia, District 5, Quezon City.

At the Bambang East Elementary School in Nueva Vizcaya, suspected intelligence officers were reportedly taking photos of precincts as voters cast their votes.

Red-tagging, disinformation

Elements of the Philippine National Police (PNP) were seen distributing copies of their newsletter, tagging Makabayan party-list groups as communist fronts at Geronimo Elementary School in Sampaloc, Manila.

Similar incidents of distribution of materials red-tagging progressive partylists were documented in Siquijor, Palawan and Cebu, according to Kontra Daya.

Leaflets urging voters not to vote for Makabayan party-list groups were also distributed in Tamauini and the cities of Ilagan and Santiago in Isabela, Tuguegarao City in Cagayan, and the towns of Solano and Bagabag, Nueva Vizcaya, according to a report by Northern Dispatch.

In Baguio City, police station 5 shared a false information on its Facebook account about the supposed disqualification of Makabayan party-lists. Baguio Pulisya Singko posted an image masquerading as a news that said the Commission on Elections disqualified Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, Gabriela, Act Teachers and Kabataan party-lists for the 2019 elections for allegedly destabilizing the government, Northern Dispatch reported.


Image uploaded by Philippine National Police Station 5 based in Baguio City (Photo courtesy of Northern Dispatch)

Also in Baguio City, people’s organization Tontongan Ti Umili reported that non-commissioned military police are spotted roving the vicinity of Fort Del Pilar Elementary School before noon. The group said that although the school is inside the Philippine Military Academy, police and military forces are expected to be 50 meters away from the polling center.

Tongtongan ti Umili:
“Campaign paraphernalia of senator-wannabe Bong Go was seen being used by a voter at Camp 7 Elementary School, 11:56 AM. We would like to remind voters that any campaign paraphernalia is not allowed within the polling centers. “

Anakpawis Regional Coordinator Isabelo Adviento said that elements of the 17th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army openly campaigned against Neri Colmenares and party-list members of Makabayan.

Poll watchers of senatorial aspirant Neri Colmenares and Anakpawis Partylist were barred from entering the precinct in Brgy. Centro Norte, Sto. Nino, Cagayan Valley. (With reports from Sherwin de Vera of Northern Dispatch)