Here is a piece of news that the US embassy and the presidential palace would surely welcome: Rape victim “Nicole” has recanted her testimony, fired her lawyer and has gone to the US as early as last week.

Also today, groups, public officials and public figures relaunched the Junk VFA Movement. It appears they are surprised but unperturbed by the recent acts of “Nicole”and whether these would affect the crusade to have the VFA nullified.

Photo by Pat Roque of AP via

We can only speculate what has happened between now and the day the Supreme Court issued its recent ruling — perhaps

As the world searches for solutions to the global economic crisis, Prof. Jose Ma. Sison publishes his views on politics and the economy, on democracy and socialism and on the problem that is imperialist globalization. This is another step forward for Prof. Sison and the national democratic movement as they offer help to the country and the world towards understanding and addressing our situation.

Invitation to the launch of Prof. Jose Ma. Sison’s new books 

More than 200 leaders of faith-based groups, unions and labor rights advocates, Filipino-American organizations and academics have written the US Congress to protest human rights abuses in the Philippines and the misuse of US foreign military assistance.

Among the signatories to the letter, which was sent to every member of the US Congress, were:

The Computer Professionals Union is calling on technology experts who wish to lend their skills and talent towards the deployment of a simple monitoring application for an NGO whose expertise is disaster response.

According to the CPU, the monitoring app will serve as “a grassroots monitoring tool for natural and man-made disasters in the country. We hope to create an alternative data source based on community reports of affected areas”.

While various state governments, led by the ones that championed and proselytized about laissez faire capitalism just before the terrible economic events last year, are so busy crafting stimulus packages and bailouts, many people in their respective countries worry that their leaders are salvaging only the big businesses and doing nothing about poor and the middle class.

Painting by Antipas Delotavo

[UPDATE: Digital PADEPA has moved to a new address]

National democratic activists have brought their school to the worldwide web.

PADEPA, short for Pambansa Demokratikong Paaralan (National Democratic School) has gone online with Digital PADEPA, making its courses available to activists and activist organizations who have long wanted to have obtain reference and teaching materials for political and ideological study online.

From Stuff

Updates (as of January 16, 2009):

  • The Department of Education regional office has stopped the suspension of the four students.
  • As of Friday (Jan. 16), the principal has sent feelers to the parent of one of the four students that the charges will be dropped provided the student apologizes and would promise never to blog again about the issue.
  • The students’ blogs, which are the supposed subject of the suspension, have not been publicly published online. They are for private viewing. The link in the entry below has been erroneously attributed to them.
  • The students will be going to school on Monday (Jan. 19)
  • The students and their parents will be speaking in a press conference on Tuesday (Jan. 20).

An irate principal suspended four students of the Quezon City Science High School for 10 days over a blog that criticized her new policies in a move that is angering students, alumni and advocates of free speech.

If the students or parents don’t file an appeal, the ten-day suspension starts Monday.

The students were meted the 10-day suspension due to personal blogs critical of the QCSHS principal Dr. Zenaida Panti Sadsad. (N.B. This entry erroneously referred to this link but one of the four students has denied any role in it and said that this blog is not the subject of the suspension meted by Dr. Sadsad.)

Looking at the monthly averages of Dubai crude, foreign exchange (forex) and their combined impact on domestic pump prices, the multisectoral umbrella Bayan today said that petroleum prices should be lowered further than what the oil firms have done so far.

Bayan spokesman Arnold Padilla said that the group’s study justifies a rollback of P60.81 in the price of an 11-kg  tank liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

Padilla also said that diesel prices should be cut by P9.56 per liter; kerosene by P12.60; and unleaded gasoline by P3.57.

With killer floods hitting Cagayan de Oro and the sights and sounds of powerful typhoons that wrought havoc on Luzon still fresh in our memories, here’s something that should enrich our knowledge and compel us to take action:

The Philippine Climate Watch Alliance (PCWA) invites the media and the public to a forum on the Climate Change talks in Poznan.

Titled “Probing the United Nations Climate Change Negotiations in Poznan: Prospects for Philippine Communities and Civil Society Organizations”, the forum will be held on January 20, 2009, 9:00 am to 12:00 noon at Balay Kalinaw’s Seminar Room C, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City.

As TXTPower president, I am issuing the following statement regarding the suspension of “unlimited” promos during the holidays:

Network abuse!

The National Telecommunications Commission has chosen to side with Smart and Globe in the pathetic attempt to justify the suspension of “unlimited” texting and calling during the holidays. In so doing, the NTC is ensuring that only the telcos are merry this Christmas and happy this New Year.

For consumers, this is a classic case of network abuse – abuse by the network themselves – and abetted by what should have been the government regulator.

What is clear is that the NTC and the telcos denied the public last Christmas and will again deny this New Year’s Day the opportunity to avail of the cheapest call and text rates especially during the most joyful holiday dates. Lest we forget, this is the first time that “unlimited” services were suspended during the holidays.

On the other hand, the telcos cash in on the exchange of holiday greetings that are paid for using the regular and more expensive rates.

Everyone’s invited to tomorrow’s rally versus the Charter Change Redux of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo!

Here is the invitation from organizers:

Dear Friends and Concerned Citizens,

Greetings of peace in these turbulent and uncertain times!

Recent moves in the House of Representatives by no less than Speaker Prospero Nograles and other administration allies to railroad their discredited bid to change the Philippine Charter (Chacha) by convening Congress into a Constituent Assembly (Con‐Ass) has raised the alarm among many concerned sectors of our society.

The fourth impeachment complaint has been killed by President Arroyo’s hordes in the House of Representatives and they delighted in doing it. They even went so far as to invent something perverse in the process of protecting their principal, according to lawyer’s group NUPL.

With the impeachment complaint buried, pro-Arroyo diehards appear to be preparing for a dance extravaganza that will trample harder on our rights and liberties. The dance, as we all know it by now, is called Chacha or charter change.

Thus, the Christmas season will be marked with Holiday protests on Dec. 12. Whether this signals something big happening by the first quarter, we can only hope, nay, work for it ourselves.

Last Saturday, the online newsmagazine Pinoy Weekly and several other groups convened the Pinoy Citizen Journalism Seminar at the University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City.

Here is the presentation I shared with the participants: