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Sa likod ng mga buwaya — Tula ni Raymund B. Villanueva

IMGA0500

Mabuhay, mabuhay, mabuhay! Maligayang pagdating, Papa
Nakahilera na sa Villamor ang mga buwaya. Ayun, kuntodo postura
Ang mga katolikong pang-kapitirya, nangagsiligo na
Sila na, sila lamang, ang may karapatan
Maging abala sa iyong pagdalaw.

Huwag kang magugulat, Kiko, kung walang trapik sa kalsada
Pistang opisyal ang iyong pagbisita, ayon sa Presidente
Hindi na baleng walang kita ang arawang manggagawa
Ganyan kaming tumanggap ng kapita-pitaganang bisita.

(Samantala sa radyo, nagpayo si Noli de Castro
Maghunos-dili naman daw ang mga pasaway.
“Eto na,” sambit ni Dr Love, OP, habang ipinapasok ng may uyam
Ang ulat tungkol sa mahihirap na naghatid ng liham
At petisyon sa iyo sa iyong tutuluyan.)

Sino nga ba kaming nagpupumilit na mabahaginan
Ng iyong sulyap at basbas:

Kaming biktima ng mga sakunang nakatira pa rin sa tolda
Kaming magsasakang binoldoser ang mga bukirin
Kaming aliping trabahanteng walang trabahong permanente
Kaming bakla’t tomboy na ayaw mong husgahan
Kaming batang kalye ikinulong, mala-hayop
Kaming katutubong hahayo mula sa kinalbong bundok
Kaming maralitang lungsod na itinago sa likod ng kinulayang pader
Kaming mag-aaral ng eskwelahang may nagkampong militar
Kaming rebeldeng tigil-putukan ang aming handog
Kaming dukhang parokyanong hindi makapag-abuloy sa misa
Kaming pulubing ipinahakot at itinatago ng alkalde
Kaming detenidong politikal na nag-aayuno habang ika’y narito
Kaming di-kasal at aming mga anak na ayaw binyagan
Kaming GRO na paborito ng mga politiko
Kaming may-sakit ngunit sa PCSO nakapila
At iba pa.

Kami’y may pakiusap na bahagyang kakaiba–
Pakilakasan ang pagpukol ng iyong bendita
Baka sakaling sa likod ng mga pulis at buwaya
Matilamsikan kaming mga aba.

–5:55 n.h.
15 Enero 2015
Barangay Central, Lungsod Quezon

LARAWAN: Progressive groups welcome Pope Francis to the Philippines

Progressive groups welcome Pope Francis to the Philippines
Liwasang Bonifacio, Manila
January 15, 2015

ITANONG MO KAY PROF: Podcast on Charlie Hebdo massacre


SAGOT SA MGA TANONG NG KODAO UKOL SA CHARLIE HEBDO
Prof. Jose Maria Sison
January 9, 2015

Tanong 1: Ano ang inyong pagtingin sa pagkakapaslang sa mga staff/journalist/cartoonist ng Charlie Hebdo?

JMS: Kinokondena ko ang pagpaslang sa mga editor, cartoonist at staff ng Charlie Hebdo. May karapatan silang mabuhay at magpahayag. May karapatan sila sa due process. Hindi lang basta kung sino na lang ang pumaslang sa kung sino pa. Hindi sapat na dahilan ang mga sinulat at drawing nila para patayin sila.

Nakikidalamhati ako sa kamag-anakan, mga kolega at mga kaibigan ng mga pinaslang. Malalim ang simpatya ko sa kanila. Pero may kalipikasyon at hantungan ng aking simpatya. Hindi ko iproproklama ang sarili ko bilang Charlie Hebdo. Hindi ako sang-ayon sa anti-Islam at racial prejudices ng Charlie Hebdo at ang ginawang pang-iinsulto, panunuya at panghahamon sa mga Muslim at mga taong hindi puti.

May karapatan ang Charlie Hebdo na mamahayag, magpuna at magmungkahi. Pero may responsabilidad na igalang ang karapatan ng iba, mga indibidwal man, organisayon o komunidad. Lahat ay may mga karapatan at may responsabilidad na igalang ang karapatan ng iba. Maglalaro ka sa apoy kung saktan mo ang niloloob ng maraming tao, tutuyain mo at hahamunin mo pa dahil lamang sa relihyon nila o kulay ng balat nila.

Tanong 2: Ano po kaya ang maaaring impak sa buong daigdig ng massacre sa Paris, sa bansang maunlad gaya nito na sinasabing may kalayaan naman daw sa pagsasalita at pamamahayag ang mga tao.

JMS: Sa Pransiya mismo at sa ibang bansang imperyalista, may mga pwersang reaksyonaryo na gustong gamitin ang insidenteng Charlie Hebdo sa ngalan ng pagtataguyod ng press freedom para palitawin na terorista ang mga Muslim at mga taong hindi puti ang balat at para gawing lalong maigting ang represyon o terorismo ng estado at para bigyan din ng katwiran ang mga digma ng agresyon ng mga bansang imperyalista sa Middle East at North Africa.

Malamang na ang pumaslang sa tauhan ng Charlie Hebdo ay kumilos dahil sa labis na galit sa pambabastos kay propetang Mohamad at mga Muslim. Pero pinapalaki ng mga imperyalista ang insidente at tinataguriang terorismo para ilihis ang pansin ng mga mamamayan sa krisis sa ekonomiya at sa mega-terorismo o malakihang terorismo ng mga imperyalistang estado sa loob at labas ng bansa nila.

Sabi ng ilang ulat na ang dalawang magkapatid na suspetsado ay mga miembro ng Al Qaida o Islamic state ng Syria at Iraq (ISIS) na sumasalanta ngayon sa Syria at Iraq. Kung kailan lang, ang ISIS o ISIL ay pinondohan, inorganisa, inarmasan at sinanay ng mga imperyalistang ahente ng US, Inglaterra at Pransiya tulad ng dating ginawa sa mga tinaguriang Islamista na nagpabagsak sa gobyerno ni Qadaffi sa Lybia. May teorya ng ilan na mga ahente mismo ng gobyernong Pranses ang nagpakana sa Charlie Hebdo incident para gawing sangkalan ng terorismo ng estado ng mga imperyalista at mga papet nila.

Ang mga tunay at malaking o dambuhalang terorista ay mga imperyalistang kapangyarihan na pinamumunuan ng Estados Unidos. Kasama riyan ang Pransiya. Sa mga gera ng agresyon nila, milyun-milyong tao ang pinapatay at pinalilisan at winawasak ang kabuhayan at social infrastructure nila. Dahil sa paglubha ng krisis, ibayong lumilitaw ang rasismo, represyon at pasismo sa mismong mga imperyalistang bansa na nagyayabang na mga sentro sila ng demokrasya at kalayaan.

Welcoming the Pope of the poor to a country of the poor

More than a year ago when Pope Francis had barely warmed the papal office in Rome, his words and style of leadership signaled something new and welcome to an estimated more than one billion Catholics the world over, many of whom had become estranged from the institutional church over the decades. He made known his bias for the poor, the downtrodden and the powerless: those teeming masses struggling to exist in the fringes of mainstream elite-dominated societies — exploited, oppressed and almost forgotten.

He chose the papal name “Francis”, the first ever to do so, in honor of St. Francis of Assisi because he was especially concerned for the well-being of the poor. St. Francis, he said, has “changed history…as he brought to Christianity an idea of poverty against the luxury, pride, vanity of the civil and ecclesiastical powers of the time.”

Pope Francis is thus also making history by giving new life and meaning to the spirit and message of St. Francis about being an instrument of peace – (beyond or deeper than the well-known “Prayer of Peace” erroneously attributed to him) – which is to be an instrument of peace with justice.

He did not mince words when he denounced the “cult of money” under capitalism or what some recognize as the destructive, overweening role of finance capital in the global economy to the point of further widening the divide between developed and underdeveloped/backward economies and between the rich and the poor within countries.

He weighed in against the impending armed intervention of the US and other western powers together with their Arab allies in conflict-ridden Syria by presiding over a high-profile prayer for peace in Rome that was the signal fire for worldwide appeals against the bombardment of Syria. Pope Francis thus helped avert the initiation of another US-led “humanitarian intervention” in a sovereign country and a likely repeat of what had happened in Libya.

Pope Francis has been shaking up the Roman curia as well as the Catholic Church hierarchies around the world about prioritizing the poor, a simple style of living and working, eschewing corruption and unsavory activities and being more pastoral than doctrinal in relating to those who have been alienated from the Catholic Church or are not part of the flock to begin with.

But perhaps what has most endeared him to ordinary believers and drawn the attention of even non-believers are his official as well as informal pronouncements about social issues such as homosexual relations, marriage and children out of wedlock, the future of the youth, care of the sick and elderly, human trafficking, and so on. His words and demeanor convinced many that this pope is really inclusive and non-judgmental, open to other views and not doctrinaire, and that he does not insulate himself from the dirty, rough-and-tumble world out there but is reaching out to the world’s peoples. That Pope Francis speaks in a straightforward manner rather than in obscure terms is a definite plus factor giving him a deft communicator’s touch that has been adjudged as “instinctive” and “spontaneous.”

The Pope’s visit to a country like the Philippines is significant not only because most Filipinos are born and raised Catholic. But, for this pope, because the vast majority of the nation’s hundred million plus people (the 10 million diaspora of overseas Filipino workers included) are poor and oppressed — Pope Francis’ focus and primary concern.

They are neglected survivors of calamities such as Yolanda. They are landless peasants and seasonal farm workers. They are the underpaid contractual workers. They are the army of the unemployed and underemployed; the oddjobbers in major towns and cities like itinerant vendors, tricycle drivers and others existing hand-to-mouth. Even the social stratum of fixed income earners, loosely called the “middle class”, are fast slipping into penury. They are the underclass in the vast countryside, in the ubiquitous pockets of urban decay and in the sprawling slum areas derisively called “squatter colonies”.

The government is preoccupied with ensuring that security will be tight for the visiting head of the Roman Catholic Church as well as the head of the Vatican state. The Aquino administration is readying a list of convicted prisoners who will be pardoned in the spirit of “mercy and compassion” that is the theme of this year’s papal visit. (Some pundits say this is to curry favor with the international media, if not the Pontiff.) Philippine media is all agog about Pope Francis, particularly his simpatico public persona that has captured the hearts of many.

While security concerns are valid, these cannot override the main objective of the Pope’s visit to the Philippines and that is to reach out and touch the minds and hearts of the poor and oppressed by listening to their cries and giving them succor and hope.

Organizations of calamity survivors such as People Surge in the Eastern Visayas are eagerly preparing for the Pope’s brief visit to Tacloban and Palo in Leyte in order to breach the cordon sanitaire that is a given for such a V.I.P. They and other members of people’s organizations hope that the coming of the Pope will be an occasion to bring attention to long-standing grievances and demands. They hope to find a sympathetic ear in Pope Francis, and perhaps an inspiring message of solidarity and support.

But it is clear to them that they must struggle themselves to resist anti-people and anti-poor government policies and programs and in turn advance their rights and welfare.

One plea that the umbrella group People’s Committee to Welcome the Pope (People’s Welcome) will highlight is the call for the government (GPH) to release political prisoners (people imprisoned for their political beliefs) and to resume the formal peace negotiations with the revolutionary National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) in order to resolve the decades-old armed conflict and achieve a just and lasting peace.

It is not farfetched that Pope Francis may realize in his visit that there is a golden opportunity for him to use the immense influence and moral suasion of his office to help break the current impasse in the GPH-NDFP peace negotiations the way he broke a half-century impasse in diplomatic relations between the United States of America and Cuba. #

Published in Business World
12 January 2015

Pope Francis, Stand with us for justice and peace

“Aside from these letters and other efforts, we are also putting the whole of ourselves in our plea for return of our freedom, application of justice and respect for human rights that have been and continue to be deprived from us,” thus said the political prisoners in a statement, explaining the reason for their hunger strike. The 32 political prisoners at Camp Bagong Diwa’s male and female dorm signed the declaration of hunger strike. Among them are Andrea Rosal, and consultants to the peace talks of the Philippine government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) such as Alan Jazmines, Tirso Alcantara, Loida Magpatoc, Emeterio Antalan, and Leopoldo Caloza.

Groups press demand on fare rollback

Train Riders Network (TREN), an alliance of workers, young professionals and other train riders today reiterated their call for the Supreme Court to pass a temporary restraining order (TRO) on the implemented MRT-LRT fare hikes. They held a picket protest in front of the Department of Transportation and Communications after holding an information dissemination activity at the North Avenue MRT Station in Quezon City earlier.

January 12, 2015

ITANONG MO KAY PROF: Podcast on Peace Talks Preparations (Part 3)

  1. Ano na po ang ginagawang paghahanda ng NDFP kung sakaling matuloy ang paghaharap ng dalawang panig? Wala rin po bang nabago sa inyong hanay bilang mga negosyador sa usapang pangkapayapaan?

JMS Sagot: Nananatili ang komposisyon ng NDFP negotiating panel. Pareho ang chairman at mga miembro. Estable at tuluy-tuloy ang karanasan at kaalaman. At tungkol sa usapang pangkapayapaan, desidido na ipatupad ang kanyang bahagi sa peace negotiations tungo sa makatarungan at matibay na kapayapaan.

Marami ang ginagawa ng NDFP negotiating panel para paghandaan ang pormal na pag-uusap sa kabilang panel kung matutuloy ito. Aktibo sa mga consultations ng mga special representatives ng dalawang panig para ihanda ang agenda, saklaw at direksyon ng pag-uusap. Nagpupulong ang NDFP panel, mga working team at mga consultants para patibayin nila ang prinsipyadong posisyon ng NDFP at inaaral din nila ang pleksibilidad para maisagawa ang mga comprehensive agreement, tulad ng nangyari sa pagsasagawa ng Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law.

Inaaral din nila kung paano pangingibabawan ang obsesyon o kagustuhan ng kabila na hanggang surrender ng mga rebolusyonaryo at tigil-putukan o pasipikasyon lang ang mangyayari. Para sa interes at kapakanan ng sambayanang Pilipino, gusto ng NDFP na magkaroon ng tunay na pambansang kalayaan, demokrasya, reporma sa lupa, industryalisasyong nasyonal at hustisya sosyal sa ating bayan.

ITANONG MO KAY PROF: Podcast on Peace Talks Preparations (Part 2)

Panayam kay Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chief Political Consultant ng NDFP Negotiating Panel
Enero 12, 2015

2. Maraming naguguluhan sa pagpapatakbo ni Aquino sa peace negototations sa NDFP. Si Aquino ba mismo ang dahilan ng gulo o si Deles? Ang balitang nasagap namin ay lusaw na ang GPH negotiating dahil sa pagresign ni Alex Padilla bilang chairman at may pag-aatubili pa si Aquino tungkol sa appointment ni General Bautista bilang Chairman o member na lang ng panel? Sa kabila ng kaguluhan sa panig ni Aquino, makakaasa kaya ang mga political prisoner na ma-release kaugnay ng bisita ng Papa at mga panawagan ng mga religious at human rights organizations?

JMS: Sa tingin ko, parehong magulo si Aquino at Deles. Pero mas magulo si Deles. Nakita na ng NDFP ang panggugulo ni Deles magmula pa noong 2004 sa panahon ni Arroyo. Ika nga ng ilang observer, magulo ang utak ni Aquino pero si Deles sadyang nanggugulo. Ang balita ng NDFP hindi nabubuo agad ang GPH negotiating panel dahil gusto ni Deles na isaksak sa panel ang mga katulad niyang rabid anti-communist at mga uto-uto niya.

Kabado rin siya kay General Bautista dahil baka hindi niya kayang utus-utusan kahit magkahawig sila sa pagiging pusakal na anti-komunista. Tungkol naman sa pagrelease ng mga political prisoners, may mga umaasa na baka magrelease ang marami si Aquino dahil sa posibleng paggalang niya sa Papa at sa mga religious at human rights organizations na nanawagan ng pag release sa mga political prisoner.

Pero sa karanasan ng NDFP, matigas, walang puso at walang awa si Aquino sa mga political prisoner. Wala siyang respeto sa JASIG na nagbabawal sa pagkulong at pagpatay sa mga NDFP consultants. Wala rin siyang respeto sa CARHRIHL na nagbabawal sa pagkulong sa mga political prisoner dahil sa mga sabay-sabay na charges of rebellion at common crimes o kaya common crimes sa halip na rebellion.

ITANONG MO KAY PROF: Podcast on Peace Talks Preparations (Part 1)

Panayam kay Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chief Political Consultant ng NDFP Negotiating Panel
Enero 12, 2015

1. Quoted kayo dati na okay lang si former AFP chief of staff Emmanuel Bautista na maging bagong chairman ng GPH negotiating panel dahil sa retired military officer na siya. Pero marami naman ang nagsasabi na kung siya ang i-appoint ni Aquino sa ganoong posisyon bale binabastos niya ang NDFP at buong kilusang rebolusyonaryo dahil nagmamalaki siya na siya ang utak o designer ng Oplan Bayanihan. Sa tingin niyo ba ay wala nang ibang mapipili ni Aquino na maging chairman ng kanyang panel. Siya na ba ang pinakamagaling o pinakaangkop kahit na mastermind siya ng Oplan Bayanihan?

JMS: Prerogative ni Aquino na piliin ang kahit sinumang sibilyan na maging chairman ng GPH negotiating panel. Technically, si General Bautista ay civilian dahil retired na. Pero totoo rin na marami ang nagsasabi na insulto sa NDFP at buong kilusang rebolusyonaryo kung siya ang gagawin ni Aquino na panel chairman niya sa punto na self-proclaimed na utak siya ng Oplan Bayanihan. Hindi baleng retired military officer siya kung katulad siya ni former General Fidel Ramos na marunong sa peace negotiations.

Pero umaabot din sa NDFP ang mga ulat na garapal na militar ang mentalidad niya at wala siyang gusto kundi ipataw daw niya ang pagsurender ng NPA dahil sa natatalo na raw ito at kung hindi payag ang NPA tuloy pa rin ang balasik ng kanyang Oplan Bayanihan. Palpak naman itong Oplan Bayanihan, lalong lumakas ang NPA. Sa tingin ko, kung seryoso si Aquino sa peace negotiations, makakapili siya ng mas angkop at mas magaling na chairman ng kanyang panel. Baka naman hindi interesado si Aquino sa pag-usad ng peace negotiations.

ON THE MURDER OF THE CHARLIE HEBDO EDITORS, CARTOONISTS, STAFF AND SECURITY OFFICERS

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison

Chairperson

International League of Peoples’ Struggle

January 9, 2015

 

We, the International League of Peoples’ Struggle, condemn the murder of the twelve Charlie Hebdo editors, cartoonists, staff and security offices in Paris and we express condolences to their families, colleagues and friends. The victims deserve the sympathy and indignation of the people. No one ever deserves to be murdered.

 

The Charlie Hebdo personnel had the status of journalists and were entitled to the freedom of the press as well as the right of everyone to the right of free expression, subject to respect to the inviolability of the just rights of others, be they individuals, groups or communities. Whether the Charlie Hebdo personnel performed their calling responsibly or not, their murder is unjustifiable because they carried on their trade with pen and ink and were entitled to the fundamental right to life and of due process.

 

But we cannot go so far as to proclaim ourselves as Charlie Hebdo because we know that this publication has sought to earn money by trading on extreme religious and racial biases, insults and taunts to entire communities and to the Islamic world of more than 1.6 billion people. It is necessary to qualify our sympathy, which is focused on the aspect of murder, in order to prevent the use of the murderous incident to further inflame religious and racial hatred against the people of color, favor the rise of repression and fascism and approve the big scale terrorism of French imperialism abroad.

 

We object to and oppose the competition among political factions of French imperialists (like those parties headed by Hollande, Sarkozy and Le Pen) to use the murderous Charlie Hebdo incident to whip up state terrorism and make a wide boulevard or express way for fascism. Islamophobic attacks have begun to break out in several French cities. We must understand that the various political factions of the French big bourgeoisie created the domestic crisis situation and pushed the aggressions abroad which have led to the Charlie Hebdo incident.

 

We must recall that one after the other the Sarkozy and Hollande regimes have taken a major role in US-NATO aggressions against countries in North Africa and Middle East or West Asia, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, Libya and Syria. They have participated in mega-terrorism involving the massacre and displacement of millions of people and the massive destruction of states, economies and social infrastructure.

 

Aside from using economic sanctions and weapons of mass destruction, the US and other Western imperialist powers (including UK and France) have shown a knack for creating their own Islamist terrorist groups in order to push imperialist objectives. They promoted Islamic fundamentalism for anti-communist purposes and this eventually led to the formation of Al Qaida of Osama bin Laden. They also financed, organized, armed and trained the Al Qaida types of terrorist groups to cause the downfall of Qaddafi in Libya and to carry out the current depredations in Syria and Iraq.###

 

The two major suspects in the Charlie Hebdo incident are supposed to be French citizens of Middle East origin who have been trained as operatives of Daash or the Islamic state (ISIS or ISIL) and who have just come from combat duty in Syria or thereabouts. The theories about them is that either on their own they were driven by the anti-Islamic satire of Charlie Hebdo to commit the murders or they are merely fictive agents or actual puppets in a 9-11 type of false flag operation carried out by French intelligence to divert attention from the worsening economic and social situation and justify the escalation of state terrorism in France as well as the aggressive actions of France abroad.###