Pro-Duterte Kilusang Pagbabago flexes muscles against poverty (updated)

Evasco urges mass movement to claim #BiyayaNgPagbabago

The 50,000-strong pro-Duterte crowd gathered at Davao City’s Freedom Park on December 9, 2017 may be half of the original target turnout of 100,000. I personally went around the whole stretch of the park that was closed off to traffic to look at the crowd.

But that’s not what made the launch of Biyaya Ng Pagbabago — President Rodrigo Duterte’s anti-poverty program under the supervision of Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr. — significant.

Members of Kilusang Pagbabago, mostly coming from poor communities all over the archipelago, heeded the call to come to Davao City using their own resources. KP flexed its political muscles and delivered.

Alvarez, Evasco, Biyaya Ng Pagbabago
House Speaker Pantaleon ‘Bebot’ Alvarez listens to Cabinet Secretary Leoncio ‘Jun’ Evasco as the latter briefs him about the Biyaya Ng Pagbabago program and Kilusang Pagbabago.
Biyaya Ng Pagbabago launch 1
The stage was set up across the Bonifacio monument at the junction of Roxas Avenue, C. Bangoy Street, and Magsaysay Venue. At its height, the crowd stretched along Roxas Avenue to the corner of Daang Maharlika Highway.

Consider the following:

  • I expected more than half of the turnout would come from Davao City. However, some 70-80 percent arrived from other parts of Mindanao as well as Luzon and the Visayas.
  • To spread the word about the program, a Kilusang Pagbabago caravan had left Ifugao, Mountain province on December 1. The caravan traveled to Pampanga, Metro Manila, Batangas, Bicol, Samar, Leyte, and reached Cebu on December 6, 2017.
  • Some 2,000 KP members welcomed the caravan with a signing ceremony at the plaza fronting Cebu City Hall.
  • Cebu City Mayor Tomas R. Osmeña posted a video message expressing support for the Biyaya Ng Pagbabago program.
  • The Luzon group left that Wednesday night and arrived in Cagayan de Oro on Thursday (December 7) for the start of the Mindanao leg.
  • From Cagayan de Oro, the group traveled to Marawi City and proceeded to Cotabato where they were welcomed by hundreds of KP supporters inside the compound of the Autonomous Region for Autonomous Mindanao. The delegation arrived  in Davao City on December 8.
  • Another delegation from the Visayas, meanwhile, arrived in Cagayan de Oro on December 8 and traveled to Davao City via Bukidnon.
  • Most Kilusang Pagbabago chapters are active in poor urban and rural communities. Each Kilusang Pagbabago chapter were asked to observe the principle of self-reliance if they decide to send a delegation to Davao City. Aside from expressions of support, no politician spent money to finance the mobilization.

Map Biyaya ng Pagbabago Caravan

Promise of Change

During a press conference on December 8, CabSec Evasco said the first KP members originally helped in unleashing the mass movement that swept then Davao City Mayor Duterte to the presidency because of the promise of change.

The movement continued after the election victory to help realize the change that the Duterte victory ushered.

“Biyaya is Tagalog for gift or gasa in Bisaya,” explained CabSec Evasco. The anti-poverty program are the gifts brought about by change that the mass movement needs to claim.

The cabinet secretary is relying on projects of 12 agencies placed under his jurisdiction by President Duterte’s first executive order upon assuming office in July 2016. These are:

  1. Cooperative Development Authority (CDA)
  2. Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC)
  3. National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC)
  4. National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP)
  5. National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF)
  6. National Food Authority (NFA)
  7. National Youth Commission (NYC)
  8. Office of the President – Presidential Action Center
  9. Philippine Commission on Women (PCW)
  10. Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA)
  11. Presidential Commission on the Urban Poor (PCUP)
  12. Technical Education Skills Development Authority (TESDA)

Participatory Governance

“Kailangang kumilos ang mamamayan sa isang malawak na Kilusang Pagbabago at aktibong makilahok sa pamamahala. Ating ilunsad ang isang pambansang kampanya para kamtin ang mga biyaya,” said Undersecretary Penpen Libres of the Office for Participatory Governance (OPG).

“Biyaya ng Pagbabago” is aligned with the objectives of the Philippine Development Plan ‎2017-2022 to reduce poverty in the country from 21.6% to 14%.

“We are targeting to alleviate poverty by 7%, or lift the lives of about six million people listed under the poverty level, before President Duterte’s term ends in 2022,” Libres said.

Unlike previous anti-poverty programs that were conceptualized and implemented as patronage projects of  traditional politicians, the Biyaya Ng Pagbabago integrated participatory governance and empowerment of people’s organizations.



Though I considered him a traditional politician because of the massive hakot PDP-Laban did in Cebu in mid-November, House Speaker Bebot Alvarez showed his support for this movement for change to end poverty in the country. and push for federalism.

In addition, the House Speaker spelled out targets for the federalism campaign come early 2018:

  • Passing and approval of the new federal constitution via constituent assembly;
  • Ratification of the new constitution simultaneous with the barangay elections in May 2018;
  • Start implementation of the federal set-up starting May 2019.

Alvarez, who is confident of steering the House super-majority in coordination of the Senate, needs a partner outside the halls of Congress. Kilusang Pagbabago is a nationwide mass movement primed to drum up massive support and votes for the administration’s shift to the federal system.

Indeed, Kilusang Pagbabago flexed its muscles on a nationwide scale and delivered.


2011 strategic plan renders new P170M traffic study unnecessary

Check out executive summary below

Proponents of a new P170 million traffic study for Metro Cebu insist this is needed so we can implement projects with strategic impact.

Presidential Assistant for Visayas Mike Dino first talked about this study during a recent House public hearing on the proposed emergency powers for President Rody Duterte  in addressing the traffic situation in Metro Manila and Metro Cebu.

The proposal later got the support of Visayas congressmen including the 10 Cebu congressmen.

But why should we spend P170 million for another study and waste time in addressing a pressing situation when there is already an existing study?

Check out the following, guys …

The Development of Public Tran sportation Strategic Plan for Metro Cebu Volume 1: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

“Panatag Shoal” — My latest Sun.Star Cebu column



Cebuanos sing against Bongbong Marcos

#NoMoreMarcos #NeverAgain #NeverForget

The shrill reactions of a handful of loyalists — of course with their dozens of dummy Facebook accounts — exposed something they could barely hide. They wished the concert never happened. But over 2,500 Cebuanos flocked to Plaza Independencia last April 17, 2016 for the “Cebu Against Marcos – The Concert.”

We listened to local alternative bands as we sang along with familiar songs of guest performers from Manila. From time to time, we chanted “No More Marcos. Never Again.” The loyalists, on the other hand, kept insisting only flies and mosquitoes came.

The lie that the Marcos years were the best, repeated a thousand times, still remains a lie. And a concert extolling the truth poses danger to that lie.





Marcos_victims, anti-Bongbong_campaign, Cebu, Philippines
Lighting candles in memory of  victims of the Marcos dictatorship.


A constant pro-Bongbong litany involves rants on the failures and shortcomings of the administration President Noynoy Aquino but with a twist. Bongbong is presented as the alternative.

The pro-Bongbong narrative hits those against his candidacy as pro-Aquino. Loyalists gleefully label anti-Bongbong partisans as “Yellowtards.” But they are simply wrong.

Yes, there are supporters of Cong. Leni Robredo within the Anti-Bongbong Coalition (ABC). But there are also supporters of Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano and Sen. Chiz Escudero.

Karl Ramirez_and_Boogs_Villareal, Cebu_Against_Marcos
Karl Ramirez and Boogs Villareal

Listening to the music of Andres, a local alternative music band, along with Karl Ramirez and Boogs Villareal of ReverbNation, one should get a sense that the anti-Bongbong narrative goes beyond the Aquino-Marcos dynasties.

Thus, Karl and Boogs, two millennials who had not tasted the dictatorship, alludes to a change that is national democratic in “Pagbabago.”

“Laban natin ay tama
Tunay na reporma ng lupa
Makabulohang trabaho
At pagtatayo ng industriya ng bansa”

Noel_Cabangon, Cebu_Against_Marcos
Noel Cabangon

Noel Cabangon, on the other hand, opened his set with the “Tatsulok” that calls for ending the present system ruled by the political dynasties.

“Hindi pulat dilaw tunay na magkalaban
Ang kulay at tatak ay di syang dahilan
Hangga’t marami ang lugmok sa kahirapan
At ang hustisya ay para lang sa mayaman

Habang may tatsulok at sila ang nasa tuktok
Di matatapos itong gulo.”

Jim_Paredes, APO_Hiking_Society

Jim Paredes of the Apo Hiking Society brought me back a lifetime when we began trying to figure out the opposite sex with songs like “Ewan.” But those were the years when we also started exercising our rights as we wakened to bigger realities. Memories streamed as we sang along with “Batang Bata Ka Pa …”

“Alam ko na may karapatan ang bawat nilalang
Kahit bata pa man, kahit bata pa man

Nais ko sana malaman ang mali sa katotohanan
Sariling pagraranas ang pamamagitan
Imulat ang isipan sa mga kulay ng buhay
Maging tunay na malaya
‘Sang katangi-tanging bata”

Clenched_fist, Cebu_Against_Marcos
Clenched fist
Clenched_fists during anti_Marcos_concert
Spotted: Judge Menmen Paredes and Ka Bino Guerrero

Bayang Barrios and Cookie Chua, led the assembly sing the anthem of the anti-dictatorship movement, “Bayan Ko.”

Ibon mang may layang lumipad
Kulungin mo at umiiyak
Bayan pa kayang sakdal-dilag
Ang ‘di magnasang makaalpas

Pilipinas kong minumutya
Pugad ng luha at dalita
Aking adhika
Makita kang sakdal laya

Bayang Barrios_and_Cookie_Chua


Street_Art, Cebu_Against_Marcos
This is work by street artists in Cebu City who joined Cebu Against Marcos — The Concert. This painting was stolen along with the tarpaulin backdrop after the concert.

Attention all anti-Marcos advocates. Feel free to post your comments below. Please share this post to friends and family in your social media channels.

Check out our Facebook page: Anti-Bongbong Campaign.

More photos:

Minnie Osmena, Menmen Paredes, Cebu
Minnie Osmena, daughter of Serging and elder sister of Tomas, talks briefly with Judge Menmen Paredes as Susan Echaves.