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‘Hindi natin kailangan ng consuelo de bobo’

“Hindi natin kailangan ng consuelo de bobo sa panahong ito ng pandemya at malawak na kagutuman. Ang kailangan ng manggagawa ay ibalik sa kanila ang kanilang trabaho. Ibalik ang ABS-CBN!

The committee knew fully well that denying ABS-CBN’s franchise would lead to thousands of workers unemployed which will further monkey wrench our already dwindling economy. But they did it anyway without a shred of truth – all just to please President Duterte in his wish to bring down the Kapamilya network.”Hon. Ferdinand Gaite, Representative, Bayan Muna Party List

Rep. Carlos Zarate’s summation on the ABS-CBN franchise renewal

09 June 2020, House of Representatives — Speaking in behalf of representatives in favor of the embattled media network’s bid for a fresh franchise, Rep. Zarate called on the rest of the members of the House of Representatives Committee on Legislative Franchises to vote for the people.

Zarate recounted several testimonials from ordinary people on how the mass media, particulary ABS-CBN, have served at the forefront during disasters and calamities, providing vital information for Filipinos in country and abroad.

He added that almost all Filipinos are affected by the ABS-CBN shutdown, as they depend on the network for news, current affairs and other pulic services.

“Bakit natin paparusahan at supilin maging ang karapatan ng pamamahayag at karapatan ng ating mga mamamayan sa malayang daloy ng impormasyon?” Zarate asked. (Video from the HOR page)

Krisis sa COVID-19, lalong tumitindi, ayon sa Makabayan

Ni Joseph Cuevas

Tumindi ang krisis ng pandemyang Covid-19 dahil sa simula pa lamang ay minaliit na ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte ang epekto nito sa bansa na naging militarista naman ang naging pagtugon ng gobyerno noong nanalasa na ito kalaunan.

Ito ang sumada ng mga kinawatan sa blokeng Makabayan sa isang online forum noong Sabado, May 23, na pinamagatang “Hatol Makabayan”

Inihayag ni Makabayan Chairman Atty. Neri Colmenares sa kanyang pambungad na pananalita na tumindi ang krisis ng pandemyang Covid-19 sa Pilipinas dahil sa simula ay minaliit na ito ni Pangulong Duterte at hindi kaagad gumawa ng karampatang aksyon.

Sinabi naman ni Rep. Sarah Elago ng Kabataan Party na hindi solusyong medikal ang unang naging hakbang ni Pangulong Duterte, bagkus ay isang militaristang Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) o lockdown.

Imbes anila na mass testing, isolation, tracing at treatment sa mga posibleng maysakit ay tinapatan ang unang pagdami ng kaso ng coronavirus ay nagpatupad ito ng malupit na lockdown, bagay na ikinabahala ng United Nations Human Rights Council.

Para naman kay ACT-Teachers Rep. France Castro, nakakabahala ang sitwasyon ng mga frontliner dahil sila ang sumusuong sa panganib ng pandemya.

Kulang na kulang ang mga doktor, nars, medical staff pati na din sa mga itinatayong testing centers at kagamitan tulad ng Personal Protective Equipments, dagdag ni Castro.

Kalunos-lunos din ang kalagayan ng mga pampublikong ospital at isolation center para sa mga Overseas Filipino Workers na umuwi sa bansa.

Sa ngayon nasa 13,577 ang kaso ng Covid-19 kung saan mahigit 863 na ang nasawi at mayroong backlog na halos 6,000 na mga pinaghihinalaang kaso ng sakit.

Ang Pilipinas ang may pinakamahigpit at pinakamahabang lockdown sa buong mundo na umabot na sa mahigit 70 araw.

Ang online forum ay pinangunahan ng mga mambabatas mula sa Bayan Muna, ACT-Teachers, Gabriela Women’s Party at Kabataan party.

Pasismo sa pandemya

Ayon kay Gabriela Women’s Party Rep. Arlene Brosas ang militaristang tugon ng gobyerno para labanan ang Covid-19 ay nagdulot ng 177, 540 na pag-arestosa panahon ng lockdown na umaabot ng average na 2,900 kada araw at higit 52,000 na ikinulong.

Ilan sa mga ito ang ginawang pag-aresto at pagkulong sa mga relief worker ng Tulong Anakpawis sa Bulacan noong Abril 26 at Lingap Gabriela sa Marikina at Tulong Kabataan sa Quezon City noong Mayo 1.

Dagdag pa ni Brosas, dahas din ang naging tugon katulad nang pagpaslang kay Jory Porquia ng Bayan Muna sa Iloilo at pagpatay sa isang dating sundalo na lumabag umano sa quarantine sa Quezon City. Hindi rin nito pinaglagpas ang ilang netizen sa Online Tokhang tulad ng ginawa sa isang guro sa Zambales.

Wala ring tugon ang gobyerno sa planong magpalaya ng mga bilanggo na kumakalat na ang sakit sa mga kulungan. Hanggang ngayon, wala pa ring tugon ang petisyon na inihain ng mga kaanak ng political prisoner sa Korte Suprema sa halip ay tinutulan pa ito ng Office of the Solicitor General, pahayag pa ni Brosas.

Tinalakay naman ni Rep. Eufemia Cullamat ng Bayan Muna na bukod sa pasistang pananalakay sa mamamayan ay walang humpay din ang counter-insurgency na atake ng gobyerno.

Ilan na dito ang naitalang pambobomba at pagkakampo sa ilang komunidad ng mga katutubo sa CARAGA region, pag-aresto sa mga lider ng progresibong grupo at kaso ng red-tagging, maging pekeng pagpapasurender.

Kapos na ayuda at lumolobong badyet

Naging tampok din sa forum ang tugon ng gobyerno sa kabuhayan ng mamamayan. Inilarawan ni Rep. Ferdinand Gaite ng Bayan Muna ang programang Social Amelioration Program o SAP ng gobyerno na makupad dahil sa napakabagal at burukratikong proseso nang pamamahagi nito.

Ayon kay Gaite, nasa apat na milyong Pilipino pa ang hindi nakatanggap ng nasabing ayuda mula sa target nitong 18 milyon. Maging ang tulong para mga manggagawa ay napakabagal din.

Nasa tatlong milyong manggagawa lamang ang ayuda ng DOLE na Covid-19 Adjustment Measures Program o CAMP mula sa tinatayang 10 milyon na apektado sa buong bansa.

Pinuna naman ni Rep. Carlos Zarate ang napakalaking pondo na nakalaan para sa pandemya subalit hindi naramdaman ng taumbayan.

Kabilang na dito ang halos P275 bilyon na pondo ni Pangulong Duterte kahit pa umutang ito nang aabot sa $5 bilyon mula sa iba’t-ibang multi-lateral agency tulad ng World Bank at Asian Development Bank.

Itinutulak pa aniya ang mga bagong panukala sa Kongreso na “stimulus program” tulad ng Enhanced Build Build Build na magpapasidhi ng patakarang neoliberalisasyon sa ekonomiya, ani pa Zarate.

Nagbigay reaksyon naman ang iba’t-ibang grupo kabilang na dito ang mga mungkahi at panukala na:

– ng health care system sa bansa at paglalalan ng malaking pondo rito hindi lamang sa panahon ng Covid-19.

-Re-alignment ng pambansang badyet sa mga ahensya at mga target na pagkukunan kabilang na ang mataas na pagbubuwis sa mga mayayaman at malalaking korporasyon.

-Direktang ayuda sa mga manggagawa na apektado at pagbibigay trabaho sa mga natanggal kabilang na ang mga kontraktwal at job-order.

-Production subsidy at direct cash assistance na P10,000 sa mga magsasaka, mangingisda at maralita sa kanayunan.

-Pagbibigay ng SAP kahit sa panahon ng GCQ o General Community Quarantine at kabuhayan sa mga maralita.

-Paggiit  sa “No Mass Testing, No School Opening” para naman sa mga kabataan at guro sa pagbubukas ng klase sa darating na Agosto at

-Pagpapatigil sa mga dagdag bayarin at pagpapahirap sa mga estudyante tulad ng Online Classes.

Sa huli, binigyang-hatol ng Makabayan at batayang sekor na maraming kapalpakan, kasalanan at kamalian ang gobyerno ni Pangulong Duterte sa pagharap sa Covid-19.

Hinikayat nila ang mamamayan na kumilos at marapat na paigtingin ang panawagan para sa Kalusugan, Kabuhayan at Karapatan. #

‘Itigil ang pangha-harass at interogasyon’

“Mariin kong kinokondena ang patuloy na military operations sa komunidad namin sa Lianga, Surigao del Sur ngayong panahon ng pandemya. Itigil ang pangha-harass at interogasyon sa mga tao sa komunidad ng Han-ayan at Km. 16. Matindi ang nilalabag ng pulisya at militar sa iligal na pagpasok nila sa komunidad.

Sa simula pa lang pagdating ng mga militar sa komunidad noong Agosto 2019, ginulo na ang maayos at mapayapang pamumuhay ng mga kapatid kong lumad. Nilabag din nila ang mga polisiya sa ilalim ng GCQ–walang naka-face mask at walang social distancing.”

Rep. Eufemia Cullamat
Bayan Muna Party
Manobo

Jo Maline Mamangun

JORY’S JOYS

By Karlos Ysagani Zarate

The fascists, four of them, did not respect
the cool morning breeze of Arevalo;
Nay, they’re even afraid to show their face
to the morning light that breaks through
the expanse of Iloilo strait!
That morning, they have decided
to be your accusers, the prosecutors,
the jury and your executioners!
Your crimes: serving and feeding the poor
during this reign of a crowned virus!

As the grating voice of the venomous god
echoes in their ears, promising faux redemption,
it muted the symphony of the chasing, splashing
waves and the humming cool summer wind,
they have prayed and decided over your fate:
You who is relentless, diligent, firm,
hardworking, principled and exemplary!
They cannot just injure, wound, maim,
Or, torture your kind Jory!
They’ll wipe out for good your infectious smile!

“Murder”, that was a strong indictment,
the palace jester said on a talking box;
But how, indeed, you call a traitorous act
of ending the life of a peaceful, defenseless man
by four armed masked men who pumped
eight bullets to his fragile being, one bullet
nearly blown the head off, as if to insure his death?
Yes, it was murder most foul by coward sicarius
Of a false god that spews virus and microbes of death!
It was, in fact, murder ex cathedra!

Yet, they were mistaken, gravely so, as it was then!
The bullets that pierced Jory’s being did not kill him,
nor, shatter his dreams that there is that day
certain to come when the mamumugon will reap
the just shares of their labors; when the mangunguma
will become masters of the land they till
and feed well the masa, the true jury of history;
And, in his beachside coffeehouse flows free
the brew that will continuously invigorate the banwa,
in defending the gains of the revolution – Jory’s real joys!

caritaz. 14 May 2020

= = = = =

The poet is Deputy Minority Leader and third-term member of the House of Representatives, representing Bayan Muna Party.

Jory Porquia was Bayan Muna coordinator in Iloilo City. He was assassinated by four gunmen, believed to be state agents, in his home in Aravelo, Iloilo City last April 30. He has been a repeated victim of red-tagging by the military, the latest was connected to his urban-poor feeding program under the coronavirus lockdown imposed by the Rodrigo Duterte government.

They murdered a jolly activist today

They killed him in the midst of a dangerous pandemic, one that shut down his beloved city and rendered its poor communities nearly helpless.

The person brutally murdered by four burly men in early this morning was one of Iloilo City’s most visible personalities during times of disaster and calamities, often seen organizing and coordinating relief missions. And giving relief to those most affected by the coronavirus lockdown was one of the last public things he did before assassins brutally snuffed out his life.

Jory Porquia was at ease with the poor, both urban and rural. He had a smooth rapport with the people he chose to serve since his student-activist days. He bantered easily with the poor and marginalized, his voice and laughter carrying the Ilonggo’s sing-song and tender accent far, be it in Iloilo City’s poor communities or in the far-flung communities of the Tumanduk, the indigenous people of his beloved Panay Island.

Jory was coordinator of the alternative political party Bayan Muna in his home city of Iloilo, touted to be the “City of Love.” How he lived this love was unconscionable to the enemies social justice Porquia struggled to abide by all his life. The assassins barged into his rented house and pumped nine bullets into him, killing him on the spot.

Bayan Muna immediately condemned the assassination, calling it traitorous. The group suspects Porquia’s murderers could only be of the government. “Prior to this killing, Jory was hounded by elements of Iloilo City PNP (Philippine National Police) for leading relief operations and education campaign on COVID 19 among hungry residents of poor communities in Iloilo City,” Bayan Muna said. “This is part of the impunity in political killings aimed at terrorizing activists critical of Duterte’s administration,” it added.

 Bayan Muna revealed that even though Iloilo City mayor Mayor Jerry Treñas welcomed the relief and feeding activities Bayan Muna and Jory initiated, this did not sit well with the government. ”The police did not only prevent activists like Porquia from doing volunteer work against the pandemic, it even spread the blatant lie that the food served by activists to quarantined residents are contaminated with the COVID 19 virus,” Bayan Muna fumed. “Apparently, the PNP gets instructions from their generals ignoring the policies of local chief executives,” the group added.

The lies and harassments did not stop Jory. But the assassins’ bullets did.

Jory Porquia (Supplied photo)

Successful activist career

Jory survived Ferdinand Marcos’ Martial Law as a leading Kabataan para sa Demokrasya at Nasyonalismo (KADENA) and League of Filipino Students leader. After Marcos was ousted he was appointed by Corazon Aquino to the National Youth Commission. He left his government post when it became clear the so-called People Power government is not one to bring genuine social change.

As a young family man, he had to work as a migrant worker in Saudi Arabia, Singapore and China. In those countries, it was as if Jory was still the Iloilo activist of old as he became active in organizing fellow migrant workers and advocating for Filipino migrants’ rights.

Upon his return, Jory briefly engaged in the construction business and worked as Migrante organizer in Panay. To this day, Migrante calls him its own, expressing grief and anger at his murder. “With pain and sorrow, we grieve with Jory Porquia’s loved ones, friends and his fellow Bayan Muna members for his demise,” Migrante International said.

Jory was an well-rounded activist. Aside from his organizing tasks in various organizations, he was also an active environmentalist. He was among the activists of the Madia-as Ecological Movement, which was instrumental in the banning of destructive commercial mining in Panay.

When Bayan Muna Party was founded in 2000, Jory was among its founding members. As party coordinator in Iloilo City, he actively engaged in developing good relations with local political leaders in Panay. He even was goaded into trying his luck at an elected position in the 2010 local elections, but lacking funds, it was a long shot.

But in 2016, Jory again found himself in government service. In barely a year, he assumed the coordination of the National Anti-poverty Commission and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in Panay Island. As he left government in 1987, so he did in 2017.

“Jory is a great loss to the progressive movement for social transformation, but will inspire Bayan Muna members and all activists to persist in advancing New Politics against the tyrannical rule of the current administration. We will always remember you, Kaupod (Comrade) Jory, as we turn our grief into liberating courage,” former Bayan Muna Representative and current vice president for the Visayas Siegfred Deduro said in his tribute.

Jory Porquia (Supplied photo)

Loving father

Even in his very busy schedule as a social activist however, Jory was a loving father to his two children.

In announcing the death of his father this morning, Jory’s son Lean remembered when his father immediately flew to Manila when he needed someone to talk to. He said his dad always supported his decisions but always reminded him to ask himself, “Who is he doing it for?” Lean and his sister grew up sharing their father’s patriotism.

Lean raged at his father’s killing. “They killed my tatay (father) when all he wanted was to help the poor. They killed my tatay in the middle of a crisis when all he did was to give relief to those who need it. They killed my tatay, mercilessly. Nine gunshots to kill him, NINE! He was alone. He was defenseless,” he wrote on his Facebook wall.

But like his father’s friends and colleagues, Lean could not help but remember his father’s jolly nature and easy-going ways with the ordinary folk even when he was facing grave danger and great injustices. “You survived Martial Law. You went in and out of prison because you fought for other people’s rights. Despite that, you gave a smile on the faces of people you helped, people that I don’t know, people that I’m surprised to welcome you in their homes and share their meal, even if it’s just one small can of sardines. You brushed shoulders with bureaucrats, but only to remain grounded in advancing the welfare of the poor people in Iloilo,” he recalled.

At the time of his assassination, Lean revealed Jory was brewing a personal project that was close to his heart. “We were just talking last night about your plans of opening up a small restaurant. You even showed me all the papers are ready. You even took a picture of your own masterpiece dish and I told you to reserve some when I have the chance to go home,” he wrote.

“How can I go home and grieve? How can we cry for justice when justice is elusive for people who fight for justice? I can only place my rage in words that mean nothing to those who killed you,” Lean added. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)

BM: Kasiyahan sa likod ng paglilingkod

Dumating kahapon, Abril 20, ang ika-limang batch ng mga gulay mula sa Benguet. Mabilis itong nirepack ng mga volunteers ng Bayang Matulungin sa kanilang opisina sa Quezon City.

Ayon kay Tatay Louie, isa sa mga volunteers, masaya at nakakawala ng pagod ang pagbabalot ng mga gulay sapagkat marami ang matutulungan nito. Dagdag pa niya, hindi raw kayang tumbasan ng anumang salapi ang kanilang kasiyahang nadarama.

Ipinamagi ang mga ito sa mga barangay sa Quezon City kasama rin ang Caloocan at Maynila. Kabilang sa mga napamahigaan ay ang Brgy. 181, Caloocan City, Maisan, Sampaloc, Manila, at Brgy. Old Balara, Brgy. Payatas, Brgy. Tatalon, at Brgy. Pansol sa Quezon City.

Bidyo nina Jo Maline Mamangun, Jola Diones-Mamangun, at Reggie Mamangun

Bayan Muna, namamahagi ng tulong sa mga apektado ng lockdown

Naglunsad ang Bayan Muna Partylist ng programang “Bayang Matulungin” upang magpamahagi ng tulong sa mga pangunahing apektado ng Enhanced Community Quarantine.

Ayon kay Sam Bautista ng Bayan Muna Partylist, halos lahat ng lungsod sa Metro Manila ay napamahaginan na nila ng relief goods, maging ang mga malalayo at karatig na lalawigan, gaya ng Mindoro, Laguna, Rizal at Nueva Ecija.

Nananawagan ang progresibong partido na pabilisin pa ng pamahalaan ang pamamahagi ng ayuda sa mga mahihirap lalo na sa panahon ng kasalukuyang krisis.

Bidyo nina Jek Alcaraz, Joseph Cuevas, at Jola Diones-Mamangun

Background Music: “Awake” Energetic Cinematic Background Music for Videos – Best Background Music

Groups hold noise barrage calling for mass virus testing

by Sanafe Marcelo

Various organizations held noise barrages in several communities around Metro Manila Thursday, March 26, demanding free mass testing for health workers and patients with corona virus disease (COVID-19) symptoms.

Ilang residente ng Brgy. Holy Spirit, Quezon City

In Barangay Holy Spirit in Quezon City, Gabriela Women’s Party member Tess Arboleda said their noise barrage inside their homes and through social media are in support of calls for mass testing of so-called frontliners in the fight against the pandemic.

The activity also demanded food and financial assistance to poor families and workers who could no longer work because of the government-imposed lockdown.

Arboleda added that the poor are already worried because their resources and savings are fast running out two weeks into the island-wide lockdown.

Alliance of Concerned Teachers Philippines also participated in the noise barrage and in the “Tiktok” online dance challenge to call for more government support.

The teachers also called for “emergency assistance, not emergency power.”

Congress has passed bills granting President Rodrigo Duterte so-called emergency powers to realign funds to address the pandemic, among other special powers.

Members of Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE), Bayan Muna, and Sama-samang Artista para sa Kilusang Agraryo (SAKA) also participated in the noise barrage. #

NUJP submits list of petitioners for ABS-CBN franchise renewal to Congress

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) submitted to the House of Representatives (HOR) about 200 thousand signatures urging Congress to act on the 11 bills for the renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise last Wednesday, 19 February.

In a press conference at the HOR’s media center, the media group submitted to Bayan Muna Representative Karlos Ysagani Zarate about eight thousand signatures as well as a flash drive containing nearly 200 thousand signatures it gathered since it launched the petition signing campaign in January when plans by the Office of the Solicitor General to file a quo warranto petition were reported last January.

“The NUJP is undertaking this petition signing to show support to the authors of the 11 franchise bills and urge the [HOR} Committee on Legislative Franchises to schedule their discussion,” the group said.

Prior to the press conference, NUJP officers submitted the same lists to Committee of Legislative Franchises chairperson Rep. Franz Alvarez, as well as Representatives Edcel Lagman, Vilma Santos-Recto and the committee secretariat.

“We need not remind Congress that the network’s franchise expires on March 30 and that the First Regular Session [of the 18th Congress] only has a little more than a dozen session days [to act on the bills],” the NUJP said.

In urging Congress to pass ABS-CBN’s franchise, the media group said it has the welfare of 11 thousand network workers who are fear for their jobs.

NUJP urged Congress to be independent on the issue and give the embattled network due process.

NUJP officers submit list of petitioners to Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman who authored one of the bills for the renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise.

NUJP said the petition signing aims to gather one million signatures and are still ongoing.

It revealed that the signatures are being gathered during their regular Friday night activities near ABS-CBN as well as in schools and communities.

They are assisted by other media groups such as Altermidya, College Editors Guild of the Philippines, Photojournalists Center of the Philippines, Defend Jobs Philippines, ABS-CBN Rank and File Employees Union, among other groups.

The group is set to submit the same lists to Senator Grace Poe, chairperson of both the Senate committees on public information and public services, on Thursday, February 20.

Zarate thanked NUJP “for the show of support” urging Alvarez and Speaker Allan Peter Cayetano to listen to the petitioners.

Zarate and fellow Makabayan bloc members are among the authors of the bills. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)

(Disclosure: The author, currently NUJP deputy secretary general, was among the media group officers who turned over the list of petitioners.)