29
Apr 15

#MaryJaneLives: Setting the record straight — and 10 action points

Activists holding candles and portraits of Filipina Mary Jane Veloso. Picture: AFP

Activists holding candles and portraits of Filipina Mary Jane Veloso. Picture: AFP

The execution was stopped and Mary Jane Veloso is alive today. This is the happy outcome after countless people in the Philippines, in Indonesia, and across the world never gave up and fought up to the last hour. These efforts paid off, with President Joko Widodo making the decision at the 11th hour to spare the life of Mary Jane.

Ordinary people, relatives of OFWs, former OFWs, public interest lawyers, migrant advocates, activists, professionals, students, and Filipinos and friends across the world all contributed to make this movement and campaign a success: It convinced the Indonesian president to do the right thing and helped make sure the Philippine government would act to defend the life of a Filipino citizen.  Continue reading →


21
Mar 15

BS Aquino’s platform vs reality: ‘Weighed but found wanting’

Then-presidential candidate wowed supporters in 2010 with his platform titled "A Social Contract with the Filipino People". Photo from Google Images.

Then-presidential candidate Noynoy Aquino wowed supporters in 2010 with his platform titled “A Social Contract with the Filipino People”. Photo from Google Images.

Prologue: President BS Aquino’s 2010 platform of government, titled “A Social Contract with the Filipino People”, badly needs updating to keep up with the times and with reality.

Thus:

Our national leadership needs “transformational change.”

  • Its ability to govern is under question.
  • It punishes the wrongdoing only of its perceived foes.
  • It invents new forms of corruption like DAP and defends it despite Supreme Court rulings declaring them unconstitutional.
  • It weakens the democratic institutions by refusing to be held accountable.
  • It clings to power by confusing the people with half-truths, outright lies, and empty boasts.
  • It demonizes those who expose the truth about its incompetence and corruption.
  • It hinders our local governments from delivering basic services, as in Tacloban and other areas led by perceived foes.
  • It offers no lasting solutions for the many problems of the country.
  • It has no vision of governance beyond political survival.

Continue reading →


18
Mar 15

‘Binola nya ako’ and the discourse of trolls

President BS Aquino at an APEC event. Photo by Ryan Lim/Malacanang Photo Bureau.

President BS Aquino at an APEC event. Photo by Ryan Lim/Malacanang Photo Bureau.

If we want to know where the Internet trolls get pointers on how to make the most unintelligent, most rotten and black as pozo negro commentary, look no further than the nation’s leaders and their apologists and how they “explain” themselves to citizens.

Here’s one outstanding example: “Binola nya ako”, the latest attempt of President BS Aquino to explain the bloody mess that was the Mamasapano incident. Continue reading →


07
Mar 15

A future without BS

President BS Aquino. Photo from Manila Bulletin.

President BS Aquino. Photo from Manila Bulletin.

Come to think of it, the single, most compelling argument in favor of President BS Aquino’s resignation is this: We will get rid of the biggest stumbling block and most gigantic hindrance to attaining justice and accountability. And as a big bonus, we could embark on a period of vital reforms we need as a nation but deprived by this administration.

The Yellow Army remnants and the most opportunist traditional politicians lusting for 2016 won’t admit it, but if BS Aquino remains in office, there is no realistic prospect that he would tell the truth or be made accountable for the US-directed Mamasapano operation. Continue reading →


22
Feb 15

Feb. 25 unity statement: We demand truth and accountability

President BS Aquino addresses mourning relatives of Special Action Force commandos. Photo from Manila Bulletin.

President BS Aquino addresses mourning relatives of Special Action Force commandos. Photo from Manila Bulletin.

Here is the unity statement signed by individuals and organizations inviting everyone to an interfaith prayer and symbolic human chain on Feb. 25, 3-6 pm, starting from Camp Crame EDSA Gate up to the EDSA Shrine. Feb. 25 is exactly one month after the Mamasapano incident and the 29th anniversary of the EDSA People Power uprising.

We demand truth and accountability in the Mamasapano incident

imageForty-four members of the PNP Special Action Force (SAF), 18 Moro rebels and six civilians are dead. The Mindanao peace process is teetering on the brink with a possible escalation of the armed conflict. Our nation mourns while outrage spreads, as the highest government officials try to cover up events leading to the carnage.

Continue reading →