Give the peace talks a chance

A former Catholic priest and a scion of a rich family, Luis Jalandoni joined the underground movement. He is the soft-spoken chief negotiator of the NDFP. (Photo from ndfp.net)

A former Catholic priest and a scion of a landed family, Luis Jalandoni joined the underground movement to fight martial law. He is the soft-spoken chief negotiator of the NDFP. (Photo from ndfp.net)

If you care about peace, and would like to see the peace talks between the government and the communist rebels to resume, this post is for you — as well as my column today at the Manila Bulletin.

The formal peace negotiations between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GPH) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) started anew under President Fidel V. Ramos in the mid-1990s.

In 1994, while the GPH and NDFP were both busy propelling the talks, the GPH forces captured the NDFP’s Wilma Austria. Then-President Fidel V. Ramos visited her in detention and ordered her release, along with several other political prisoners. Continue reading →

#iBlog10: Bloggers as activists

On April 4, I joined my friend Kiko Acero at a panel discussion on “blogging and activism” at the 10th Philippine Blogging Summit at the University of the Philippines’ Malcolm Hall.

Bloggers should continue to use their popularity and influence for activism. Continue reading →

#20PHNet: Thoughts on PH internet’s 20th anniversary

Social media and selfie capital: Philippine internet users, the Pinoy netizens. (Photo from CNN/Asahi Shimbun/Getty Images)

Social media and selfie capital: Philippine internet users, the Pinoy netizens. (Photo from CNN/Asahi Shimbun/Getty Images)

Today, March 29, 2014, the Philippines celebrates the 20th anniversary of our first internet connection.

One way to mark it is to list down important dates from March 29, 1994 as well as the big innovations, big celebrities, big launches, big victories, and big milestones we all won online and offline, thanks to having access to the internet. Of course, we must also try to know the history of PH internet, starting with the efforts spanning many years and involving so many people until we for our first link to the internet.

For me, though, the most lasting and most profound impact of the internet is that we rediscovered we each and all have a voice. Continue reading →

To the Senate: Roll out the red carpet for internet freedom

Here is a copy of the remarks I made at the hearing today, March 3, called by the Senate science and technology committee, regarding bills seeking to amend the Cybercrime Law.

This hearing coincides with the Oscars. Netizens are busy watching the world’s biggest celebrities parade on the red carpet.

Dear senators, please roll out the red carpet for Internet freedom. Roll back, repeal the Cybercrime Law’s worst provisions.

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Continue reading →

“Unfinished revolution?” #EDSA28

An iconic photo of the EDSA Revolution in the Philippines in February 1986 showing hundreds of thousands of people filling up Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (EDSA). The view is looking northbound towards the Boni Serrano Avenue-EDSA intersection. (Photo by Joey de Vera, taken from Wikimedia)

An iconic photo of the EDSA Revolution in the Philippines in February 1986 showing hundreds of thousands of people filling up Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (EDSA). The view is looking northbound towards the Boni Serrano Avenue-EDSA intersection. (Photo by Joey de Vera, taken from Wikimedia)

I keep on seeing “unfinished revolution” in media reports about the 28th anniversary of the EDSA People Power Uprising. I find it annoying and offensive for promoting, unwittingly or wittingly, the idea or premise that everyone gave up and no one has bothered to carry the revolution forward.

It sounds as ritualistic and as empty as the EDSA anniversaries sponsored by government, which focus entirely on the date and the form, while conveniently and opportunistically glossing over the substance of the uprising.

Take this year’s EDSA anniversary No. 28. Continue reading →