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Kabataang handang kumilos at manindigan

“Sa bawat pagdanak ng dugo ng mga magsasaka sa mga sakahan, sa bawat binubuwag nilang picket line ng mga manggagawa, at sa bawat maralita na tinatanggalan nila ng karapatan sa paninirahan, ay ang pag-usbong ng bagong salinlahi ng mga kabataang rebolusyonaryo na handang kumilos at manindigan, buhay man ay ialay!”—Alex Danday, Anakbayan spokesperson

Image by Jo Maline Mamangun

‘I’ll sue you,’ Colmenares warns people behind trafficking raps over ‘missing’ youth

By Visayas Today

Former Bayan Muna congressman Neri Colmenares said he would sue those responsible for filing kidnapping and child abuse charges against him and several others over allegedly “missing” youth activists after the Department of Justice issued subpoenas for the respondents.

While acknowledging he had yet to read the complaint, filed by the Major Crimes Investigation Unit of the police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, Colmenares said it was a “foregone conclusion” that “I’ll file a criminal case” against those responsible for filing the complaint and “witnesses who commit perjury.”

“We will not take this sitting down,” he said.

The complaint alleges violations of: 
• Republic Act No. 9208 or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003 
• RA 7610 or the Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse, Exploitation, and Discrimination Act
• RA 9851 or the Philippine Act on Crimes against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide, and other Crimes against Humanity

Aside from Colmenares, the named respondents are Kabataan Representative Sarah Elago, Anakbayan president Vencer Crisostomo and secretary general Einstein Recedes; Anakbayan members Charie del Rosario, Bianca Gacos, Jayroven Villafuente Balais, and Alex Danday; and, ironically, former Akbayan congressman Tom Villarin, who belongs to a party list group that is known to have been at odds with the organizations his co-accused belong to.

The complaint also seeks to include “all other officers” of Kabataan and “all other members” of Anakbayan in the complaint as “John and Jane Does.”

The case stems from the complaints of parents who claimed their children left home and went missing after being recruited into activist groups.

Among the complainants in the case is Relissa Lucena, whose daughter, 18-year old senior high school student and Anakbayan member Alicia, belied the claim that she was missing or had been kidnapped.

Alicia, who stressed it was her choice to join the youth group, said she left home in July after her parents refused to let her out and instead took her to Camp Aguinaldo, military headquarters, in hopes of making her “normal.”

Colmenares, who learned of the subpoena on Tuesday, August 20, while visiting Bacolod, dismissed the complaint.

“It is clear I have committed no crime, much less trafficking. This is a trumped up harassment charge,” he said.

(Images provided by the NUPL show pages from the CIDG complaint)

The National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers, which Colmenares chairs, also condemned the “false charge.”

“How in heaven’s name could someone like Neri be even remotely involved, connected or liable for such inane and contrived shotgun charges that have been debunked? Totally absurd,” NUPL president Edre Olalia said in a statement.

Olalia saw a more sinister pattern, linking the complaint to a perceived government crackdown on critics.

“Make no mistake about it: they are lining and rounding up the most voluble and visible people who stand in the way and who fight back against repression and injustice,” he said. #

Itanong Mo Kay Prof: Paglalagay sa Panganib sa Mamamayan Hinggil sa Maling Pananaw sa Aktibismo

Panayam kay Prof. Jose Maria Sison, Chair Emeritus ng International League of People’s Struggle, ni Prof. Sarah Raymundo hinggil sa maling pananaw sa aktibismo at paano ito nakakaapekto sa pagturing rito ng mamamayang Pilipino.

Agosto 16, 2019

‘Ang ibinigay sa atin ay TRAIN’

“Ang mga manggagawa na nananawagan ng pagwawakas ng kontraktwalisasyon para sa nakabubuhay na sahod ay naibigay ba ni Duterte? Ang ibinigay sa atin ay TRAIN. Taas-presyo ng mga bilihin na lalong nagpapahirap at nagpapagutom sa taong bayan.”—Einstein Recedes, Anakbayan secretary general

Freed activist fulfills promise to fellow inmates

Anakbayan secretary general Einstein Recedes were among the 19 NutriAsia workers, supporters and journalists jailed by the Meycauayan police last July 30.

A few hours after their release last Wednesday, Recedes narrated to wellwishers and reporters about a promise he made with hundreds of fellow inmates at the Meycauayan police station. (Video by Joseph Cuevas)

 

Progressives protest, House approves death penalty bill

THE government must focus on ending poverty and its roots instead of killing the poor, progressive groups said at a rally at the House of Representatives yesterday said.

The protesters, led by Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, marched to last March 7 in protest of House Bill 4727 that seeks to re-impose death as punishment for drug-related crimes.

The Lower House nonetheless approved the bill on its third and final reading last night, with 216 congressmen voting in favor, 54 against and one abstaining. Read more

No change under Duterte–workers

MILITANT workers celebrated “true Filipino heroes who follow in the footsteps of Andres Bonifacio” with a protest rally on the occasion of the national hero’s 153rd birth anniversary yesterday.

Thousands of Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) unionists and their supporters marched from Welcome Rotunda in Quezon City to Mendiola Bridge in Manila to demand that President Rodrigo Duterte implement changes he promised workers during the election period earlier this year. Read more

UP students slam ‘repressive’ enrollment policies

YOUTH activist groups protested at the University of the Philippines (UP) yesterday to condemn its administration for imposing “repressive” policies that force students to undergo “very difficult” enrollment procedures.

Students of the national university slammed what they call an enrollment fiasco brought by the “failure” of the new online registration systems launched by UP’s Alfredo Pascual administeation.

Glitches marred the supposedly “easier” registration, forcing hundreds of students to camp out last Saturday night, July 30, at UP’s Los Baños campus to enlist in subjects.

UP’s “No Late Payment” policy, the failure of the eUP and the Student Academic Information System (SAIS) projects, and the Socialized Tuition System are brought by the increasing commercialization of education in the university, UP Student Regent Raoul Manuel said.

“Nakikita natin na itong pagpapabaya ng UP admin, ang kanilang pag-prioritize sa kita ay nag-ta-translate sa maraming problema para sa mga estudyante,” Manuel said.

SAIS is part of the P752-million eUP project, the flagship program of the university administration.

In partnership with the US-made database computer software Oracle, the Pascual administration said the project aims to integrate all the information and communication systems across all UP constituent units.

SAIS has been rolled out in the Los Baños, Manila and Baguio campuses, while its implementation in other units is still pending.

Manuel questioned the “dubious” cost of implementing such systems that may give rise to budget misappropriations.

“Paraan ito ng pag-privatize ng mga basic student services at isang paraan ng korapsyon sa administrasyon,” Manuel said.

“Parang wala nang pinagkaiba ang UP na dating nanawagan laban sa pork barrel ng national government dahil sa ganito ka-grande na proyekto na hindi naman para sa interes ng mga estudyante at mga sektor ng UP community,” he said.

No late payment

Enrolment in UP Diliman also saw long lines and frayed nerves as hallways near enrollment centers are choked with long lines of students clutching forms, hoping for slots in classes.

“Dalawang araw palang ang enrollment, pero ang dami nang problema ng mga estudyante,” USC Councilor and Basic Student Services Head Donn Bernal said.

Bernal said the revived “No Late Payment” policy imposed an August 5 deadline, the last day of registration, for students to pay matriculation fees.

Students who cannot pay are forced to avail of the university’s student loan program instead.

UP suspended the policy in 2013 following the death of UP Manila student Kristel Tejada who committed suicide after her failure to pay enrollment fees.

Bernal urged the administration to resolve the lack of class slots that forces students to camp out as early as 6 PM of the preceding night for class slots.

On August 2, a dialogue between UP Diliman Chancellor Michael Tan and representatives from the UP Diliman USC discussed the possibility of junking the policy.

The dialogue resolved that students may pay beyond the deadline as long as they submit a letter to the Chancellor signed by their respective college secretaries.

“STS: Socialized Tuition Scam”

UPD USC Chairperson Bryle Leaño reiterated their demand to junk the Socialized Tuition System (STS) being implemented in UP and various state universities.

“Nailatag na natin sa matagal na panahon na itong STS ay pagkamal ng kita mula sa mga iskolar ng bayan,” Leaño said.

He explained that the P400 million profit from the “Socialized Tuition Scam” is kept as part of UP’s so-called revolving fund instead of being used for better student services.

Josiah Hiponia, Chairperson of the Student Alliance for the Advancement of Democratic Rights in UP (STAND UP), said that the revolving fund is also used to fund more commercialization schemes of the university administration.

“Ang kinukuha nilang kita sa atin ay pinapagpagawa ng mga pasilidad na mas humu-huthot pa ng kita sa mga estudyante,” he said.

Hiponia cited the newly-built Acacia Dormitory that was constructed from the revolving fund.

Instead of providing inexpensive and sufficient student housing, UP charges P3,000 per month to students exclusive of electricity and other charges, she said.

Bigger picture

Anakbayan, for its part, said that the education commercialization and deregulation policies are reflections of the rampant commercialization of basic social services in the country.

“May dalawang layunin ang pag-privatize ng basic social services sa bansa. Una, ay abandunahin ang serbisyo para sa mamamayan gaya ng edukasyon ng mga kabataan at, pangalawa, ay ang pagkamal ng kita para sa mga sariling kapakinabangan,” Kenji Muramatsu of Anakbayan UPD said.

Leaño urged students to “stay strong” and join the upcoming series of protests.

“Huwag nating sukuan ang Unibersidad ng Pilipinas. Huwag nating sukuan ang Unibersidad ng Bayan. This is UP, this is our university, kaya naman sama-sama tayong kikilos at sama-sama tayong magtatagumpay,” Leaño said. (Report and photo by Mikhaela Dimpas of UP CMC for Kodao Productions)

Human rights raps in the Philippines

Human Rights Day 2015 in the Philippines with street protests on violations under a neocolonial regime. Speakers include torture victim Fr. Ben Alforque and KARAPATAN secretary-general Tinay Palabay. The International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) also demanded the release of Palestinian leader Khalida Jarrar and all political prisoners.