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Treinta

Tula ni Ben Domingo Jr.

Sa mga peryodista
tanda ito ng katapusan,
na kumpleto na ang sinulat
at handa na itong mailimbag.

Kaya kung ang manunulat
ay binawian na ng hininga,
sa pagharap niya sa hukay
tinatatakan din ng ‘treinta’.

Tulad ng batang si Reynaldo
na sa edad na katorse lamang
ay ginawaran ng isang berdugo
ng treintang saksak sa katawan.

Pero hindi lamang si Reynaldo
ang kabataang hinatulan
ng maagang kamatayan;
nauna na ang marami pa,
kabilang sina Carl at Kian.

Ngunit ang treintang ito
na tumapos sa kanilang buhay
ay magbabago ng kahulugan
dahil sa poot ng taumbayan.

Ang treinta ay magiging simula
ng pagkagising, ng pagkapukaw,
ng iniheleng mamamayan,
upang isara na ang maitim na telon
ng teleserye ng pagpaslang.

Hindi ito isang pagbabanta,
kundi isang mariing paalala
at napapanahong aral
na sa diwa ng pagbabago
pati ang mga kahulugan
ay maari ring maiba.

Hindi ito ang dulo,
ito na ang simula.

Treinta.

Para kay Kian Loyd “Pulong” Delos Santos, 17 taong gulang

Paano ba pinapalaki ang isang anak?

Pinapakain, binibihisan, pinag-aaral, pinapangaralan.

“Anak, maging mabait palagi.

Huwag sayangin ang sakripisyo ng iyong ina,

Nagpapakaalipin sa ibang bayan.”

 

Itatakbo sa doktor kapag nagkasakit,

Ipinaghihimay ng ulam sa hapag.

“Anak, kumain kang mabuti para laging malusog.

Mamaya, huwag kang hahara-hara sa daan,

Maraming masasamang-loob diyan sa labasan.”

 

Binibihisan ang bunso, sinusuklayan

Sinisigurong pumapasok sa paaralan at binibilinan.

“Anak, mahirap lang tayo, walang kayamanan.

Pag may nangyari sa iyo, Pulong, wala tayong kakayanan,

Delikado lalo ngayon, baka pati ika’y mapagkamalan.”

 

Tinatangisan ang anak kapag napaslang.

Higit lalo ‘pag biktimang walang kalaban-laban.

“Anak, bakit ka nila pinatay?

Paano na ang iyong pangarap,

Maging pulis at maglingkod sa bayan?”

 

At mula sa kabaong ay sumagot ang anak,

Nananaghoy ng katarungan.

“Itay, sinunod ko lahat ng inyong tinuran.

Sadya lamang, hindi lahat ng Pulong ay binibiyayaan

Hindi kasi Digong ang inyong pangalan.”

 

                                                19 Agosto 2017

                                               12:11 n.h.

                                               Lungsod Quezon

Army detains six farmers in Ilocos Sur

BAGUIO CITY–The Solidarity of Peasants against Exploitation (Stop Exploitation) condemned the police and military following the detention of six farmers in Salcedo town, Ilocos Sur Tuesday.

In a statement, Stop Exploitation secretary general Zaldy Alfiler said the 81st Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army detained Divino Tabucol, Dhanjor Hagacer, Isaias Anganan, Ricardo Foronda, Sr., Ronald Dagui, Nicolas Acutan, Ricardo Foronda, Jr. from nine in the morning but were only turned over to PNP Salcedo around seven in the evening.

The victims were interrogated and were shown a list of 18 names of Barangay Babayading residents they claimed to be New People’s Army supporters, Alfiler said.

A few days earlier, Lt. Col. Osias, commanding officer of the 81st IB, claimed his unit was able to retrieve documents containing names they alleged to be “sympathizers” of the revolutionary movement.

Alfiler added that on July 26, leaders of the group Timpuyog ti Umili ti Karayan Buaya (TUKB) were asked by a certain police officer Battad from Salcedo municipal police for the names of their farmer-members.

The officer reportedly told the farmers the order to check on the farmers came from the military.

“We believe that this is a ploy of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to red-tag, vilify and possibly implicate our members after the reported fire fight that transpired between the government troops and New People’s Army (NPA) in the same municipality,” Alfiler said.

Alfiler added the AFP and PNP wrongfully train their sights on peasant leaders in line with their counter-insurgency operations.

“In fact, leaders of STOP Exploitation have been persecuted and detained for trumped-up charges before,” Alfiler said.

Alfiler said that in 2000, several Stop Exploitation leaders were arrested, detained, tortured and charged with trumped up charges for the death of Conrado Balweg. All the cases were later dismissed.

Trumped-up charges were again filed against four Stop Exploitation leaders for the NPA raid of the Sta. Lucia Police Station in 2003. For lack of evidence, all the cases were again dismissed.

Members of the 7th CMO unit of the AFP based in Narvacan, Ilocos Sur likewise accused members of Stop Exploitation in Brgy. Bugnay, Candon City of recruiting for the NPA.

The PNP and AFP have continuously harassed members of TUKB during the height of the campaign against military encampment in communities and public places in Sta. Lucia, Salcedo and Sta. Cruz from 2012 to 2016, the group said.

Elements from PNP Sta. Lucia and the military also maligned its members from Paoc Norte and Conconig East after its general assembly in October 2015.

“Without a doubt, the frequency and intensity of attacks against peasant communities and organizations will increase after the vile and hateful pronouncements made by President Rodrigo Duterte against the people’s movement in his press conference after addressing the protesters outside the Batasang Pambansa Monday,” Alfiler said. # (Kimberlie Ngabit-Quitasol)

Victims of violent dispersal at US embassy demand justice

PROGRESSIVE organizations demanded justice for the victims of the brutal police dispersal of protesting indigenous peoples in front of the United States Embassy in Manila Wednesday morning (October 19).

In a press conference held last October 20 at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, the groups called on President Rodrigo Duterte and Philippine National Police chief Ronald dela Rosa to take action and punish Manila Police District officers for their violence against the victims.

According to Makabayan vice chairperson Neri Colmenares, Senior Superintendent Marcelino Pedrozo and PO3 Franklin Kho as well as other MPD personnel are guilty of violating Batas Pambansa (BP) 880 and of attempted murder.

“BP880 is about illegal assembly.  But there is nothing in it that allows the use of brutal methods. Does a group not having a permit make it alright to violently disperse them?” Colmenares asked.

“That kind of behavior is illegal, especially with the way they manhandled medics, minors and (members of the) media. The Manila police are clearly guilty of violating the same law they are trying to use against the rallyists,” Colmenares said.

Colmenares added, “BP880 states that you cannot file a case against a participant of a rally. You can do so against a leader, but not a simple participant like how they tried with this protest.”

“The fact that there was premeditation, superior strength and even treachery in play also means we can also charge them with attempted murder – at the very least,” Colmenares said.

The Makabayan bloc has filed a resolution to investigate the incident and condemning the police force for the violence. Progressive groups also call for accountability and firing of the policemen involved.

Police brutality

The protest was about to conclude when Pedrozo ordered the dispersal of the rally and the arrest of its participants, in violation of the agreement between the police and the ralyists before his arrival.

The police then fired teargas and began clubbing the demonstrators.

A police mobile unit, driven by Kho, ran over rallyists several times.

Police officers then proceeded to violently pursue, harass and arrest demonstrators, medics, media personnel and even bystanders filming the events.

At least 50 were injured, 18 of whom needed hospitalization.  At least 20 were arrested, including five medics, two minors and one media practitioner.

The arrested were released after at least three hours at MPD Precinct 5 along United Nations Avenue.

PNP’s lies

The PNP claimed that the violence was unintended, the protesters did not have a permit and who incited the violence.

PO3 Kho, for his part, said he did not intentionally run over the protesters whom he accused of trying to steal the police vehicle.

Their victims, however, presented video footage from various media outfits which they said showed Kho’s criminal intent to maim or kill as well as of Pedrozo ordering the dispersal and arrests for the MPD to save face with the US embassy.

According to Bayan secretary-general Renato Reyes, there was no provocation from their side.

“We were down to our final speaker, but Pedrozo showed up and said that the police had shamed the US embassy, that the rally must be dispersed and that there must be arrests,” Reyes said.

“There were even policemen who hesitated to act because they understood that violence was senseless as the protest was peaceful and ending anyway. They were not provoked. They attacked first under Pedrozo’s orders,” Reyes said.

Reyes said they believe there was no need for a permit to protest.

“President Duterte has been fine with it all this time. Besides, we had been protesting for over an hour by the time they began their assault,” he said.

Colmenares added that the videos showed that the police violence was premeditated.

“In the videos, Pedrozo clearly ordered to disperse the rally, with or without provocation, because they would apparently shame themselves with the US embassy by allowing the rally to go for so long,” he said.

“Is Pedrozo ashamed, then, of President Duterte for condemning the US, telling Obama to go to hell, pursuing a strong foreign independent foreign policy?” Colmenares asked.

Why protest?

Majority of the protesters were indigenous peoples and Moro participants of the ongoing Lakbayan ng Pambansang Minorya 2016 who travelled to Manila to demand for respect of their right to self-determination over their ancestral domains and culture.

They were joined by progressive organizations led by Bayan as they also called for the immediate pullout of US military forces and corporate interests from their lands, as well as to express support for president Rodrigo Duterte’s call for an independent foreign policy.

“We have experienced the imperialism of the US, the massacres of our people and those who fight for us. This is why we were at the US embassy yesterday,” said Piya Macliing Malayao, spokesperson for the newly-formed indigenous peoples alliance Sandugo, said.

“We have been dishonored and brought to poverty by the control and meddling of the US in our areas,” Malayao, who was among those run over by Kho, added.

“We already face brutality and violence in our communities. Why must we be confronted with violence in the city as well, when we were only asserting our rights?” she lamented. # (Abril Layad B. Ayroso)

Peoples’ lawyers to file attempted murder charges vs MPD

National Union of People’s Lawyer chairperson Neri Colmenares explains why they intend to file attempted murder charges against Manila Police District officers who violently dispersed protesting indigenous peoples in front of the United States embassy in Manila last October 19.

In a press conference at the University of the Philippines a day after the incident, Colmenares explained there the police actions were unwarranted and with criminal intent. Read more

OFWs in Italy condemn ‘inhumane’ dispersal of IPs in Manila

ROME, ITALY- Members of Umangat-Migrante, ICHRP-Rome and the Comitato di Amicizia Italo-Filippino (Italy-Philippine Friendship Association) held a candle light protest in front of the Philippine Embassy last night to condemn the recent dispersals of mass actions in the Philippines.

Calling the dispersals “violent and inhumane,” Luciano Seller of the Comitato di Amicizia Italo-Filippino urged the Philippine government to look into the incident.

“Indigenous people in the Philippines have suffered enough with military occupation in their communities, only to meet more ruthlessness and violence from the Manila police when they are holding a peaceful protest,” Seller said.

Alex Reyes, Secretary General of Umangat-Migrante expressed anger at how the police continue to act as “lapdogs of the US’ while President Duterte himself is calling for an independent foreign policy.

“It is time that the Philippine police learn to protect and serve the Filipino people instead of protecting US interests,” Reyes said. # (Pom Cahilog-Villanueva)

50 injured as police vehicle rams IP protesters

By Abril Layad B. Ayroso / Photos by Reggie Mamangun

AT LEAST 50 were injured when a Manila Police District vehicle rammed indigenous peoples protesters in a violent dispersal at the United States Embassy in Manila this morning.

After being surrounded by protesters, a police vehicle with license plate SAA 5553 and National Capital Region Police Office markings backed up at high speed, apparently intent on hitting the victims.

After several meters, the vehicle accelerated forward and ran over protesters before backing up again, scattering activists trying to escape its rampage.

According to rights group Karapatan, 31 were also arrested, including two Lumad minors, after Superintendent Marcelino DL Pedrozo of the MPD ordered the dispersal.

Organizers of the Pambansang Lakbayan ng Pambansang Minorya 2016 said Pedrozo showed up at the rally already enraged and immediately ordered the arrest of the protesters.

Under Pedrozo’s orders, the police began pushing back the protesters that immediately became violent as the police fired tear gas at the retreating activists.

Some protesters who tried escaping through and around Plaza Salamanca across the embassy were violently apprehended, with the police even chasing and clubbing the fleeing protesters’ vehicles.

The violent dispersal is the second in two days after the group was also violently blasted with water cannons at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City yesterday.

Immediate condemnation

The violent dispersal immediately received condemnations from various human rights and indigenous peoples groups.

“We condemn the Manila Police District, and call on President Rodrigo Duterte himself to address this enraging incident, which has even surpassed the water cannon incident yesterday at Camp Aguinaldo,” Jerome Succor Aba, Suara Bangsamoro national spokesperson said.

“Is this how the government treats its national minorities? Is this the answer to our plea to stand up for national sovereignty and protect the interests of national minorities from the claws of Washington?” Aba asked.

Dulping Ogan, secretary-general of Kalumaran, blamed the US for the violent dispersal.

“The US can even order our police to attack our own people just to protect its embassy. This is a clear display of power, and highlights the urgency of our call to pull out US forces from the Philippines, especially in our ancestral lands,” Ogan said.

“Here in Manila, our calls are met with water cannons, and now teargas and brute force. In our ancestral communities, the attacks are far worse: we all know of the repeated cases of murders against our kin. Everywhere we turn, we Lumads and other national minorities are brutalized. Yet we will remain defiant. No amount of police brutality can dent the indefatigable and united spirit of the national minorities,” Ogan said.

The protesters proceeded to the Manila Police District headquarters to demand for the release of the arrested activists and condemn the police for the violent dispersal.

They are also demanding accountability from Pedrozo for using excessive force during the dispersal.

The national minorities travelled to Metro Manila to assert their rights to ancestral domain and self-determination as well as to demand the removal of US military and corporate presence from indigenous lands.

The struggle of the national minorities

During their rally, leaders of national minority groups spoke of abuses by the military who they accuse of acting as mercenaries of the US government and foreign corporations.

They said the militarization to their communities goes along with the destruction of the environment and their ancestral domains.

“Every single time the Americans show up, we can’t sleep, hunt or even eat in peace when they are so close to our communities,” Sonny Serrano of the Central Luzon Aeta Association said.

“The US Embassy and the military allow US soldiers to get away with crimes against indigenous people. Why must we tolerate such a system that puts Americans over indigenous peoples?” Serrano added.

Aba, for his part, added that the US not only promotes the destruction of the environment but also the discrimination on national minorities.

The Moro people of Mindanao fought the Americans to defend their ancestral domains that led to the Bud Dajo and Bud Bagsak massacres where hundreds were massacred by US troops.

“They keep calling us Muslims terrorists, but who is the real terrorist here? Who has committed so many crimes against the people of the Philippines?” Aba added.

The US military is currently present in Mindanao, who President Duterte said must leave as soon as possible. # (With reports by Raymund B. Villanueva and Divine C. Miranda)

Police vehicle rams through indigenous peoples protesters in front of the US Embassy.

Police vehicle rams through and runs over indigenous peoples protesters in front of the US Embassy.

Katribu leader and Sandugo convenor Pia Macliing Malayao lies on the ground after being hit by the police vehicle.

Katribu leader and Sandugo convenor Pia Macliing Malayao lies on the ground during violent dispersal.

A protester bleeds after being clubbed by the police.

A protester bleeds after being clubbed by the police.

Injured and bleeding protesters being accosted by the police.

Injured and bleeding protesters being accosted by the police.

 

 

Workers successfully hold rally at US Consulate on Labor Day

Thousands of workers and their supporters overpowered phalanxes of Philippine National Police personnel to reach Roxas Boulevard in front of the United States Consulate on May 1.

Wanting to close their Labor Day activities by holding a rally in front of the consulate to denounce increased US military presence in the Philippines, the protesters used their superior number in overpowering hastily organized police lines.

Kilusang Mayo Uno, organizer of the biggest Labor Day event in the capital, said that neo-liberal policies dictated by the US on the Benigno Aquino government is to be blamed for the low wages and labor-only contracting policies they suffer.

EDITORIAL CARTOON: Government response

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By AMEL SABANGAN.

It has been a constant refrain by the Aquino government, that many of those who oppose its policies are branded as communist rebels. It does not matter if they are human rights defenders, indigenous peoples’ educators, or starved farmers. They often end up in jail, hospitals or, worst, dead in the government’s effort to assert itself against suffering citizens.

UP professor reveals harassment of farmers in Kidapawan

University of the Philippines Professor Gerardo Lanuza reveals in a press conference the continuing harassment victims of the April 1 Kidapawan shooting suffer.

Lanuza participated in a fact-finding mission to Kidapawan a few days after the incident. He was assigned to interview four injured farmers, but was prevented by the presence of four soldiers armed with assault rifles inside a local hospital.

In this video, Lanuza enumerates the various ways in which the police and the Philippine Army make injured farmer Christopher Lumandang suffer even further.

(Featured image of Christopher Lumandang by Kilab Multimedia)