AGAW WEN Episode 2: TRAIN to Bankerohan Market

by Kilab Multimedia

Panoorin ang spectacular na pagdiskubre ni Agaw kung bakit mas matamis pa ang asin kaysa asukal.

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Streetwise by Carol Pagaduan Araullo: Clearing the air

On the eve of the September 21 protests against the Duterte regime, it has become necessary to clear the air of certain misconceptions as well as false judgments against the Left that stand in the way of forging a broad unity across the political spectrum.

To those who denigrate the Left, or more specifically, the national democratic movement, for having given Duterte the benefit of the doubt in his claim to being a Leftist and a socialist despite a checkered record as Davao City mayor, allow me to say this.

There was good reason to do so: Duterte’s solemn promise to release all political prisoners through amnesty; the resumption of peace talks; the appointment of four progressive, competent and upright individuals to the Cabinet; his stance on ending contractualization, upping SSS pension for seniors, land to the tiller, prioritizing public spending on education, health care, and other social services; his openness to dialogue with the Left on various issues; and his pronouncements to pursue an independent foreign policy.

On the other hand, there was also Duterte’s mailed-fist policy on crime and drugs; his sexism; the preponderance of crooks, militarists, neoliberals and pro-US imperialists in his Cabinet; more-of-the-same neoliberal economic policy frame, policies and programs; and not least of all, his alliance with the Marcoses and former President Gloria Arroyo.

The Left decided to gamble on Duterte, to give him time to deliver on his promises and to prove his Leftist leanings. But the leeway that the Left gave to Duterte did not preclude sharply criticizing and vigorously opposing his administration’s anti-people, anti-national policies and programs.

The open democratic mass movement was unrelenting in doing so in several venues — the parliament of the streets, the mass media, the courts and even in the Lower House of Congress where the Left has a miniscule number.

Restraint was shown only by distinguishing between Duterte and the ultrareactionaries in his Cabinet especially his economic managers and the triad of Lorenzana- Año-Esperon. For more than a year no effigies of Duterte were burned at demonstrations. Instead the Left met with him on several occasions to bring up the grievances of urban poor, the lumad of Mindanao, striking workers and land reform beneficiaries.

The armed revolutionaries under the CPP-NPA-NDFP continued to wage people’s war – armed struggle, agrarian revolution, and a shadow people’s government operating in the countryside. While initially expressing willingness to contribute to Duterte’s campaign against drug trafficking by interdicting drug lords, the CPP-NPA declared early on that they would not be a party to the kind of brutal war being waged against hapless drug addicts and small-time drug pushers.

In a short period of time, the true character of Duterte begun to reveal itself.

Duterte veered more and more to the Right: EJKs galore combined with impunity for the police and military perpetrators; all-out war against the CPP-NPA with bombardments and displacement of thousands of peasants and indigenous peoples; a militarist response to the Marawi crisis leading to the city’s destruction, civilian casualties, the exodus of the populace; the extension of martial law in Mindanao; political persecution of critics and oppositionists; attempts to neutralize government institutions that can act as a check to his tyrannical rule; the scuttling of peace talks; kowtowing to China and maintaining a modus vivendi with the US; a humongous budget going to the failed “war on drugs”, counterinsurgency, the president’s intelligence fund and building a grassroots spy network while gutting the budget of the Human Rights Commission; looming mind-boggling corrupt infrastructure deals with the “build,build,build” frenzy; coddling of pork barrel-hungry legislators; cover up of billions worth of smuggling of shabu involving his son and son-in-law; and the list goes on.

Things finally came to a head leading to the NPA’s intensification of armed tactical offensives against the military and police upon the declaration of martial law in Mindanao. This year’s State-of-the-Nation protests denounced the US-backed Duterte fascist regime. Duterte’s effigies are being burned without remorse in demonstration after demonstration.

The brazen summary execution by the police of several youths in urban poor communities sparked public outrage. Progressive church organizations and other national democratic mass organizations mounted mass protests, gave succor and sanctuary to victims, their families and witnesses.

The rejection of Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo and Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano by the Commission on Appointments (CA) manifested Duterte’s utter lack of support for them. He just let the CA do the dirty job of kicking them out.

This was the last straw that led to the decision of the Makabayan Coalition of progressive political parties to bolt from the Supermajority of Duterte allies in the House of Representatives. Nonetheless, even before this move, the Makabayan congresspersons had consistently stood their ground on contentious issues such as martial law, the death penalty, lowering the age of criminal accountability of minors, oppressive tax reform measures, and many, many more.

There are those who want to place the onus of a fully evolved corrupt, puppet and fascist Duterte on the Left. In doing so, they wish to put the Left on the defensive. The charge or innuendo that the Left “enabled” the Duterte regime is patently wrong even if it appears to be a backhanded compliment to the capability of the Left to shape a reactionary ruling regime.

There are those who honestly disagreed with giving Duterte the benefit of the doubt that he could or would go in a progressive direction. Yet they acknowledge the reasons for the Left doing so; recognize the Left’s sustained, principled position on issues; and their never giving up the fight for genuine change. They are not making puerile demands that the Left apologize for having been duped by Duterte and they welcome the Left’s earnest efforts to build a strong and broad opposition against the Duterte regime’s EJKS and rising tyranny.

To the former, we say good luck to your demolition job. To the latter, see you in Luneta on September 21, 4pm. Please wear black, bring an umbrella and your own scathing placards. #

(Streetwise is Dr Carol P Araullo’s regular column at Business World.)

Progressives slam Duterte for ‘historical revisionism’ on 100th birth anniversary of Marcos

Activist groups commemorated the 100th birth anniversary of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos last September 11 at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

In fiery speeches, they accused President Rodrigo Duterte’s “historical revisionism” for his efforts to picture Marcos as a good president and worthy of a place at the so-called Cemetery of Heroes.

Members of the Philippine National Police blocked the protesters at the cemetery gate.


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.


Martial law survivors hold ‘Black Friday’ protest

Martial law survivors led a protest action in Mendiola to protest President Rodirgo Duterte’s military rule declaration in Mindanao last May 26.

The recalled the horrors the Filipino people suffered under Ferdinand Marcos’ 14-year old martial law and warned more such human rights violations are bound to happen under the current government.

The protesters urged the Duterte government to lift martial law. (Videography by Ivan Dexter Tolentino and Esther Anne Cabrillas / Editing by Jo Maline D. Mamangun)

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GRP ‘preconditions’ and ‘creeping nationwide martial rule’ set back talks–CPP

NOORDWIJK AAN ZEE, The Netherlands—The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) blamed the Rodrigo Duterte government for the cancellation of the fifth round of formal negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), saying the setback is Manila government’s sole responsibility.

The Government of the Republic of the Philippines’ (GRP) decision not to participate in the fifth round of talks was brought about by its all-out war and martial law, the CPP in a statement said.

The group said the GRP demanded that the NPA silence its guns while “AFP’s (Armed Forces of the Philippines) cannons, bombs and heavy gunfire thunder against the people.”

The CPP said the GRP Negotiating Panel “imposed unnecessary, last-minute and unacceptable preconditions for talks to proceed.”

It added the GRP’s decision has effectively derailed and set back negotiations on a Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-Economic Reforms (CASER).

The CPP said the GRP insisted that the NDFP sign a bilateral ceasefire agreement prior to the negotiations on any other substantive agreement and the CPP recall its declaration to the NPA to carry out more military offensives in the face of its own all-out war and imposition of martial law in Mindanao.

Such demands have become increasingly counterproductive, the underground organization said.

Creeping nationwide martial rule

The group explained its order for more tactical offensives against GRP forces was merely a response to defense secretary Delfin Lorenzana’s statement the NPA may be a target of the GRP’s martial law imposition.

The CPP said it heard the retraction by Defense Secretary Lorenzana that martial law in Mindanao is not directed against the NPA but said it was “empty and self-contradicted by his consequent order for the military to go against the NPA for its ‘illegal activities’.”

The group said that even as Duterte’s martial law declaration covers only Mindanao, all GRP military units and police forces have gone on red or full alert in North Luzon, Central Luzon, the National Capital Region, Bicol Region, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Negros and Panay.

“They have imposed their threatening armed presence in public places, parked tanks in government offices and roadsides. Checkpoints have been set up as well in Tacloban City on the utterly ridiculous reason of ‘solidarity with martial law in Mindanao,’” the CPP said.

“The Party joins the people in denouncing the creeping nationwide martial rule,” it added.

Norwegian government still supportive of the peace process

Meanwhile, Elisabeth Slattum, Royal Norwegian Government Special Envoy to the Philippine Peace Process said her government remains committed to their support of the peace negotiations.

“It is very unfortunate that this round of formal talks could not take place as scheduled. But it is important to remember that all peace processes go through difficult times,” Slattum told reporters after the cancellation announcements.

“What defines a successful peace process is not the absence of crises but the ability of the parties to overcome them and push through,” she said, adding she witnessed how the negotiating panels showed “great dedication and commitment to these peace negotiations.”

“It is important to specify that although this fifth round of formal talks will not take place, the peace talks have not been cancelled and the peace process remains intact. Norway is very hopeful that the parties will be able to return to the negotiating table very soon,” Slattum said.# (Raymund B. Villanueva/Featured photo by Viory Schellekens)


Groups to hold rally vs EJKs on June 12

Human rights, church and activist groups announced a massive rally against extrajudicial killings under the Rodrigo Duterte government on June 12.

In a press conference last May 19, the groups belied the Duterte government’s assertions before the United Nations Universal Period Review on the human rights situation in Geneva, Switzerland earlier this month the killings are not state-sponsored.

The groups said the June 12 rally shall call on the government to stop the killings that some reports say have reached 12,000 cases and to demand justice for the victims. (Videography by Ivan Dexter Tolentino and Esther Anne Cabrillas / Editing by Jo Maline D. Mamangun) Read more

STATEMENT: Only tyrants shut down the news media

President Rodrigo Duterte would be well advised to step back across the line he crossed on Wednesday, April 27, 2017 when he threatened to personally block the renewal by Congress of broadcast network ABS-CBN’s franchise, and to go after the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

While Mr. Duterte has publicly cursed these two and other outfits for reportage he has found objectionable, this is the first time he has openly threatened to shut down a media organization by using alleged offenses that have nothing to do with journalism.

By issuing such threats, Mr. Duterte is blatantly dangling the powers of the presidency and of the state, signaling his willingness to use these to stifle freedom of the press and of expression.

And no, lest his mouthpieces attempt to excuse him by invoking hyperbole or his peculiar sense of humor, he was clearly not joking. Just as he was not joking when he declared human rights and due process anathema to his brand of governance and now, it seems, so are a free and critical media.

What we do know is the last time a president actually shut down the press, it did not end well for him, like it almost always never ends well for tyrants.

If there is a time for the Philippine media community to set aside our differences and unite to oppose any and all attempts to silence us, it is now. Not to do so is to seal our doom and to betray our role as the Fourth Estate, the people’s watchdogs against bad and abusive governance.



National Union of Journalists of the Philippines

April 28, 2017

Altermidya News: Mga kaganapan sa usapang pangkapayapaan

Mula sa Rome, Italy — Balita ng Kodao sa mga kaganapan sa 3rd round ng peace talks sa pagitan ng NDFP at GRP.

Panoorin ang ulat ng Altermidya.

Focus on the substantive issues, activists tell Duterte

by Abril Layad B. Ayroso

MANILA, Philippines–President Rodrigo Duterte should realize that peace talks between his government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) are more than just about ceasefires, activists at a rally said.  last January 18, eve.

On the eve of the opening of the third round of peace talks in Rome, Italy, activists marched to Mendiola to demand the release of political prisoners whom Duterte described as his “trump cards.”

“Instead of confronting more substantive issues in the peace process such as social and economic reforms, the government dwelled on the issue of political prisoners and kept them hostage to secure a bilateral ceasefire agreement,” College Editors Guild of the Philippines national secretary-general Ronilo Mesa said.

“Duterte’s negotiating panel should be reminded that prolonging the release of the political detainees is a wilful violation of previously-signed agreements,” Mesa added, citing the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) and the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG).

Bayan secretary-general Renato Reyes added that several high-ranking military officials and advisors had reportedly travelled to Rome for the peace talks to press for a bilateral ceasefire as soon as possible.

“There is a mindset among the government that the peace talks are only good for achieving a ceasefire, even though the roots of the armed conflict have not yet been addressed,” Reyes said.

“Duterte should not just focus on the cessation of hostilities. He must be open to the legitimate concerns of the people,” League of Filipino Students national spokesperson JP Rosos added.

Socio-economic reforms

Former Bayan Muna representative Teddy Casiño said that the government must focus on socio-economic reforms, instead of just dwelling on a bilateral ceasefire agreement.

“Land reform, employment, economy, environment, culture, even free internet – these are all part of the socio-economic reforms to be discussed during the second round,” Casino said.

Casino added that addressing these issues would eventually lead to a cessation of hostilities as these are some of the causes of armed conflict.

“These reforms to be discussed in the peace talks are closer to the heart and stomach of the Filipino people. How could we possibly ignore these reforms to rush the ceasefire?” Casino said.

Violence and harassment

The rallyists also condemned the continuing militarization in rural areas, despite the interim unilateral ceasefires held by both the government and the NDFP.

“During the self-imposed ceasefire, troops under the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) remain in communities and are reported to be continuously intimidating, harassing and threatening residents,” Karapatan deputy secretary-general Roneo Clamor said.

The progressives also spoke against the Duterte administration’s new counterinsurgency program, Oplan Kapayapaan, which they say allows state forces to continue their military operations against activists.

“The Duterte government must end Oplan Kapayapaan to recognize the legitimate struggle of the Filipino people and to uphold its unilateral ceasefire declaration,” Mesa said.


Despite this, the progressives continue to hope something positive comes out of the talks.

“We remain optimistic. Yet we will not stop demanding to the Duterte to release all political prisoners, not only to urge him to fulfill his promise, but to remind him that it is right and just, and is a significant move towards achieving a just and lasting peace,” Hustisya deputy secretary-general Gloria Almonte said in a statement.

“This third round of the peace talks is important, not only because it takes on socio-economic reforms, but also because it is when we find out whether the Duterte government is serious about keeping its promises and if our cooperation with them is to continue,” Reyes added.

“The government’s continued violations of human rights can and will affect even the unilateral ceasefires – but that is no reason to stop the peace talks, as they are about more than just the end of hostilities. We must not be swayed by Duterte’s threats,” Reyes said. #