Visualizing what’s at stake

by Nina Sanchez

Here is a visualization of the Common Credo, thanks to a nifty online tool called Wordle. The Common Credo is the spirit behind Noynoy Aquino and Mar Roxas’ platform. (By the way, has anyone seen the other candidates’ published platforms?)

These words instantly jump out at me: People. Restored. Principles. Public. Unity. Integrity. Genuine. Freedoms. Democracy. Share. Lead. Commit. Filipino. MUST BELIEVE.

In so many words, this is what Noynoy Aquino and Mar Roxas represent. The transformation of a country that so desperately needs it. Read the rest of this entry »

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Jun Mercado, OMI: No link between Cory and Ampatuans

DISCLAIMER: This text is redacted from Jun Mercado’s blog on GMA News. Read the full text here.

“These were the actual arrangements in the political chess board when the Massacre occurred in the Province of Maguindanao that fateful morning of the 23rd of November 2009.”

Background: What is warlordism?

The Maguindanao massacre brought to the fore the issue of ‘warlodism’ in Muslim Mindanao. 

Warlordism in the Philippines, especially in Muslim Mindanao, is primarily based on a feudal system that continues to characterize the power relations not only between clans and families but also between the central power (Manila) and the periphery.

Warlordism is often associated with two major issues. The first issue involves the control over the machineries of the state that includes the security sectors (PNP and the AFP).

The second issue is about lawlessness with impunity. 

The ‘warlords’ are sort of ‘sui generis’ – ‘the rule of law’ is understood as the execution of their whims and caprices.

In modern times, the power basis of the warlords is no longer measured by the blood ancestry but by the actual ‘connection’ of the warlords to the all powerful Presidency of the Republic. 

People cite the infamous three “Gs” – guns, goons, and gold – in the making of the warlords. 

But the sad tragedy is that these three “Gs” are government’s ‘properties’.

Under the present dispensation, particularly in the ARMM, people speak in whisper of yet another ‘G’. 

That fourth ‘G’ refers to Gloria or President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Read the rest of this entry »

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Martial Law: a culmination of GMA’s long grasp on power

by Carlos Garchitorena

Ring the bells. Martial law has once again sounded throughout the land.

In unprecedented violence, disregard for human dignity, and the peace of mind that only comes with impunity, the unearthing of the Maguindanao Massacre is the latest open secret of this administration.

Fifty-seven bodies and the tangled steel of their cars were lifted from the ground—televised evidence that, in this land, brute force still prevails. Might is right. Power begets power.

Unsurprisingly, Mrs Arroyo has replied in similar fashion; brute force; the iron fist; extraordinary means to contain an extraordinary embarrassment. The Maguindanao Massacre and the resulting Proclamation 1959 is the clearest indictment of Mrs Arroyo and her fictitious Matatag na Republika.

The illusion of a nation-state accountable for its citizens has been undermined for the last time. It has been undermined by toothless laws and propagandist decrees; by the intellectual dishonesty of some, and the brazen ignorance of others, and the political impotence of the rest. The nation-state has been weakened by the constant coddling of criminals inside and outside the moth-eaten blanket of presidential authority.

Nobody is held accountable for our country’s ineffectiveness anymore. Senate and congressional inquiries are snubbed and suppressed; motions for impeachment are designed specifically to fail; and everyone who plays along gets a goody bag at the end of the day. Read the rest of this entry »

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Explainer: Why Noynoy Aquino won’t be on Nov 29 “Isang Tanong Isang Sagot”

This is a response to the mounting questions as to why Senator Noynoy Aquino did not participate on the second half of “Isang Tanong, Isang Sagot,” which will air on November 29.

Senators Aquino and Roxas will be filing their certificates of candidacy on November 28, and the decision to do so was made as early as the first week of November.

According to the Omnibus Election Code, and in light of the recent Supreme Court decision in the case of Penera vs. Commission of Elections, after the certificate of candidacy has been filed (Nov 28 in the case of Senators Aquino and Roxas), candidates may not participate in election-related events until February 9, 2010, for those vying for national positions Read the rest of this entry »

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An Inconvenient Truth, Part 2

Think that today’s students are clueless about national and social issues? They are far more active and inquisitive about them. But how do our schools communicate that to them? Rick Olivares visits several institutions and talked to administrators, teachers, and students about how corruption and other issues are discussed in our classrooms.

“Bakit pa nila kailangan mangurakot?”

It is a question asked by many students to their teachers (and parents) across the country. It isn’t as simple a question during class. Today’s students feel the impact of social issues on their lives.

Ruth Katalbas, a teacher at the Community of Learners, a private elementary and secondary school located in New Manila, Quezon City, says that she and her fellow faculty members are asked that all the time from students. Read the rest of this entry »

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On Hunger

by Anne Olaño

The hunger issue has persistently been on the list of problems to address by each administration. Being an agricultural country, it is a wonder why despite the vast number of farmlands and fisheries, the incidence of those who consider themselves as food-poor continues to escalate. In a survey dated September 2009, 53% of the families in the country are experiencing poverty, and the nutritional needs of 35% of this population are not sufficiently met. Read the rest of this entry »

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Corruption: An Inconvenient Truth

Tired of the never-ending exposés on graft and corruption? Changing the leadership or the system isn’t as easy as it may sound. Fortunately, you can affect your own corner of the world. But that change has to start first from within.

by Rick Olivares

Public display of corruption
The man behind the clerk’s counter took a long puff from a cigarette then exhaled. If the menthol in the stick soothed his nerves, first his actions, then words, betrayed his true emotions. “Mga aktibista,” he spat. “Hindi pa nila naintindihan ang takbo ng mundo.”

This monologue happened recently at the Land Transportation Office in Cubao, Quezon City, where a couple of college students had put up a few posters with a stinging message in big bold and black letters: WAG MAGLALAGAY PARA SA MAPAYAPANG PILIPINAS.

A cabbie of perhaps 40-plus summers was renewing his license when he overheard the clerk’s muttered disdain. He laughed and chimed in, “Mga bata pa…”

It was as if the man had pronounced the students with all finality, that once they’ve graduated from college to the real world, they will understand its machinations and the convenience of skirting the proper way.

Apparently, the driver had some problems with his license due to a vehicular accident, and for his license to clear, he greased the palms of the man behind the counter. Only when the pesos were counted did the clerk allow a mirthless smile. “Sige, okay na. Pwede mo na kunin.” Read the rest of this entry »

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