Category Archives: Human rights

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.

audience2

Cebu_Against_Marcos

 

Cebu_Against_Marcos

Marcos_victims, anti-Bongbong_campaign, Cebu, Philippines

Lighting candles in memory of  victims of the Marcos dictatorship.

Anti-Aquino

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:

Cebu_Against_Marcos, Cebu

ABC leaders in kapit-bisig with (from left) Karl Ramirez, Boogs Villareal, Jim Paredes, and Noel Cabangon.

Minnie Osmena, Menmen Paredes, Cebu

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

Pursuing peace


peaceThe Aquino administration crowed about its pursuit of peace with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). But is ending the war with our Moro brothers enough to achieve peace? How about the war being waged by the National Democratic Front (NDF) along with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA)?

With a much economically and militarily stronger China going bolder in bullying us, the time has come for President Noynoy Aquino to push harder for internal peace on all fronts so we will be stronger in facing this growing Chinese threat.

The signing of the peace agreement with the MILF leadership last March was a big step for President Aquino. However, the arrest of the Tiamzons and how top officials justified this move led us to question the administration’s sincerity in the peace advocacy.

Top government officials echoed the position that Benito and Wilma Tiamzon are not peace consultants contrary to what the defense lawyers are saying.

Here’s what Alex Padilla, head of the government peace panel, said:

padilla

Padilla went further.

padilla1

Let us add the statement of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima:

De Lima

In my search for the other side, I came across tonyocruz.com and his post titled: “Give peace a chance.” In this post, he published the following:

tiamzon-loa

crising

Yup, the other side of the story goes back to the time of President Fidel V. Ramos. Here’s a copy of …

 

Executive Order 276, by President Ramos, implementing JASIG

With these attachments, Tonyo Cruz pushes giving peace a chance, something that should resonate in President Noynoy Aquino and his advisers who are known as peace advocates for decades.

At this point, I just want to point out that the different sides have opposing views on how to achieve peace with the insurgency.

For the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), peace means military victory in crushing the insurgents.

AFP1

AFP2

However, here’s what communist leaders Jose Maria Sison and Luis Jalandoni are saying:

Sison and Jalandoni

The way I see it, the Aquino administration cannot go on pursuing peace with the Moro rebels but showing the world that it won’t honor agreements made by previous administrations. President Aquino is practically telling future presidents that they could ignore the peace documents he has signed now with the MILF.

The JASIG documents presented above show the rebels are actually telling the truth while de Lima and Padilla are, at the very least, misinformed. Statements from the AFP brass also convey the message that their version of peace is way off the kind of peace supposedly being pushed by peace advocates and negotiators.

What do you think?

 

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P-Noy’s political will against GMA only, not the Ampatuans?


Thanks to the Philippine Daily Inquirer for publishing these mugshots. Thanks to Kevin Ray Chua for alerting me on this. Click on the photo for the PDI's latest on the Arroyo story.

We have seen political will in the handling of President Noynoy Aquino‘s administration against former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo last week.

Consider the following:

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima prevented the former president from escaping abroad despite a temporary restraining order issued by the Supreme Court. The warrant of arrest was issued just hours after the filing of the electoral sabotage case filed by the Commission on Elections (Comelec). The police immediately served the warrant that afternoon.

But why has the Aquino administration failed to show the same political will against the Ampatuans for the Maguindanao massacre?

Tomorrow — November 23, 2011 — we will observe the second anniversary of the worst massacre the country has seen. It has been some two years since armed goons of Maguindanao warlord Andal Ampatuan Sr. gunned down some 58 Filipinos, including 32 journalists.

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), in a statement calling for justice as the second anniversary approached, said:

“As today, only two Ampatuans have been arraigned. Only 93 of the 196 accused have been arrested. Prosecution and defense lawyers have listed 300 and 320 witnesses, respectively, which, according to Senator Joker Arroyo, a veteran human rights lawyer and courtroom litigator, may take 200 years to present.

Meanwhile, the families of the 58 victims continue to suffer from the loss of their loved ones, most of whom were family breadwinners. Some of the children continue to innocently wait in vain for their murdered parents to come home.”

Come to think of it, public outrage against the Ampatuans worked in favor of candidacy of Noynoy Aquino in the May 2010 elections. The Ampatuans were strong political allies of the administration of then president Arroyo. The Ampatuan political machinery was vital to the Arroyo camp’s questionable electoral victories in 2004 and 2007.

Pursuing the cases against both Arroyo and the Ampatuans deserve the same political will from the Aquino administration in the interest of justice.

Why show political will only against the Arroyos today?