TEDDY TALKS: Tales from the Northern Philippines – bombings, mining and dams

By Teddy A. Casiño

Bakit binobomba ng Armed Forces of the Philippines ang iba’t-ibang bahagi ng Kalinga, Cagayan at iba pang lugar sa North Luzon? Simplent operasyon lang ba ito kontra New People’s Army o may mas malalim na dahilan?

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1.9M Filipinos to be affected by ‘Ompong’

Nearly two million Filipinos are expected to be severely affected by the oncoming “superthyphoon” Ompong (Mangkhut) when it hits Northern Luzon on Saturday, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) said.

As many as 1.9 million residents live within the 200 kilometer radius of Typhoon Ompong’s projected track near Batanes, Cagayan, Ilocos Norte and Apayao on September 15, UN OCHA said.

The agency added that 429,012 houses are also expected to be battered by the typhoon.

Currently packing 200kph strong winds and gusts of up to 245kph, Ompong is expected to cause damage within its 200 kilometers radius with at least 100kph winds.

Basco, Batanes to the north and Tuguegarao City to the south of the storm’s path are expected to be severely affected.

In an information graphic released Wednesday night, the agency revealed that the eye of the storm is not expected to hit land but would barrel through between the Batanes Islands and Cagayan Province on Saturday.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) in its severe weather bulletin of September 13, however, said Ompong is expected to make landfall near Sta. Ana, Cagayan early morning of Saturday.

Ompong is expected to be the strongest weather system to hit the country this year.

Supertyphoon Lawin (Haima) also hit Cagayan Province in 2016 with 250kph winds, causing 19 deaths and an estimated Php60 billion in damages to livelihood and properties. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)



By Jason Montana


Open your eyes to the power of the people and the

arms they bear

Of sacrament and gun and a story living in their


How different is the violence of the ruling classes and

their foreign masters

In their social system of exploitation and oppression!

The people’s war is violence of symbol and war:

Of seed sprouting from crushing rock and earth;

Of sun pushing out a sky full of dead stars;

Of mother and child struggling against the darkness of


It is of Yahweh confirming the nothingness of evil and


When he stunned the precision and finality of his


And his mighty wind raised the Son of Man from the


Rehearsals of revolution are these deeds of sun and seed

and human birth,

And of Jesus glorious from the tomb, above all.

A great story is told, of driving force, and the people



The poet wrote this piece as a member of the New People’s Army. Prior to joining the NPA, Fr. Paco Albano was a Benedictine priest who co-founded the underground Christians for National Liberation (CNL) that organized church peoples against Ferdinand Marcos’s tyrannical Martial Law and to wage the National Democratic Revolution. After many years in the underground, he resumed his priestly duties and died a priest of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ilagan (Isabela Province) until his death earlier this month.

 “EASTER HOMILY” is part of the poet’s book “Clearing: Poems of People’s Struggles in Northern Luzon” published by the Artista at Manunulat ng Sambayanan, CNL, and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines in 1987.