Opposing jeepney abolition

“I declare my solidarity with the jeepney drivers. Ownership of their vehicles gives them dignity and selfworth. I also think that the jeepney is a part of our culture. So let us oppose its abolition!”—Mo. Mary John Mananzan, OSB (nun, educator, activist)

Image by Jo Maois Mamangun

A guiding light

“When I leave here, I will become a guiding light for you all. Don’t give up, but continue the struggle,” were reportedly among Bai Bibyaon Ligkayan Bigkay’s last words to her loved ones before she died last November 20.

The first and only woman warrior chieftain of the Lumad led her people in resisting the plunder of their ancestral domain by corporations and their mercenaries all her life.

Photo by Kilab Multimedia/Image by Jo Maois Mamangun.

[LOOK] Supreme Court staff wear keffiyeh

The staff of Senior Associate Justice Marvic M.V.F. Leonen wear keffiyeh scarves as their office leads the flag raising ceremony of the Supreme Court on December 4, 2023. The gesture is often seen as a show of support to the Palestinian people and their struggle against Israeli occupation.

Last Monday, the Supreme Court kicked off its celebration of Human Rights Week from December 4 to 12, 2023, coinciding with the International Human Rights Day which is commemorated on December 10 of every year. Justice Leonen heads the SC’s Committee on Human Rights. In his address, the magistrate said, “Human rights ensure our freedoms.”

(Courtesy of the Supreme Court Public Information Office)

‘The NTF-ELCAC should be disbanded’

“It is evident that the NTF-ELCAC (National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict is using its powers to protect key economic interests in the country. This has nothing to do with anti-terrorism or anti-communism. The military’s gross overreaction to people trying to defend their right to a safe, clean health and sustainable environment is totally unacceptable. The NTF-ELCAC should be disbanded.”—United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in the Context of Climate Change Ian Fry

(Image by Jo Maois D. Mamangun)

‘The need to change the order of things’

Today is the 85th birth anniversary of stage and film actor and director Benjamín Roberto “Behn” Holcombe Cervantes, founder of the University of the Philippines Repertory Company. He was also a founding member of the Concerned Artists of the Philippines, the Philippines Education Theater Association and the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino.

Thrice imprisoned for his activism and opposition to the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Cervantes became one of the most recognized freedom of expression campaigners of the Philippines until his death in 2013.

During his second incarceration at the Bicutan Jail in Taguig in January 1978, Cervantes wrote to his family: “The history of the case is of course my consistent position as opposition to martial law and my work in the university as a teacher and a director. During these past few years, I have become known as one of the most vocal dissenters. My movie, Sakada, and my plays, especially the last one, Pagsambang Bayan, show the exploitative nature of this system, the evils the ruling class commit on the many, the need to change the order of things.”

(Jo Maois Mamangun/Kodao)

On journalists and objectivity

Today is the 91st birth anniversary of Antonio Zumel II, a pioneer of unionism among media workers. A former national president of the National Press Club, he was proclaimed a hero of the Philippines in 2016 at his name’s inclusion at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani.

Acknowledged by his peers as an impeccable writer, including former House of Representatives Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Zumel worked as reporter at The Philippine Herald and editor at the Manila Bulletin. He went underground on the night Ferdinand Marcos Sr. declared martial law on September 22, 1972. He went on to edit the underground newsletter Ang Bayan of the Communist Party of the Philippines, Liberation and its news service Balita ng Malayang Pilipino of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and regional newsletter Dangadang.

After Marcos was deposed in 1986, Zumel served as member of the NDFP Negotiating Panel in its peace negotiations with the Corazon Aquino government. In 1990, he was elected chairperson of the NDFP while seeking political asylum in The Netherlands. He died of kidney failure and diabetes in Europe in 2001.

Veteran activist on ‘idiot red-taggers’

Dr. Carol P. Araullo, chairperson emirata of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, filed a ₱2.15 million damage suit against known red-taggers Lorraine Badoy and Jeffrey Celiz earlier this week.

“I do not want to play to their red-tagging schemes. I am not going to let idiots dictate what I am going to do,” Araullo said.

Araullo added she hopes to send a clear message that baseless allegations and attempts to silence voices of dissent will not be tolerated. #

(Jo Maois D. Mamangun / Kodao)

Dr. Jojo M Carabeo

“Ang maglingkod para sa bayan ay kadakilaang hindi malilimutan.”

Kodao mourns the passing of one of our Ngayon Na, Bayan! co-hosts, people’s doctor Jojo M. Carabeo.

‘Happiness is in the revolution’

Reportedly captured, tortured and killed on August 21, 2022 with wife Wilma Austria and eight others:

“Happiness is in the revolution. I could not think of any other life. There is no other way. The revolution is not a burden, an obligation I perform with a heavy heart. It comes out naturally.”—BENITO TIAMZON, Communist Party of the Philippines Executive Committee Chairperson

No justice for lots of victims

Abduction and enforced disappearance survivor to the United Nations:

“I believe that this will still be a tough struggle, especially with the worsening case of impunity, [There is] no justice to a lot of human rights violations victims. But we are still hopeful a lot of people in the Philippines are still taking the risk, who are still standing up and fighting for justice.”–April Dyan Gumanao, Alliance of Concerned Teachers Region 7 coordinator

(Image by Jo Maois D. Mamangun)