Poor Filipinos have always been caricatured so badly, with some of the well-off and well-to-do deceiving themselves that the “masang Pilipino” are individually and collectively ignorant, pathetic, gullible, indolent and unproductive. They forever link the “masa” to Joseph Estrada, in an apparent bid to discredit them as no different from their idol who has been found to be a fraud and a plunderer.

Nanay Mameng (photo by John Javellana)

This weekend, several citizens and legislators will file and endorse a flurry of complaints against President Arroyo, seeking to remove her from office through the constitutional process of impeachment. The flurry is caused by the legal hocus-pocus of “legal eagles” and spin doctors belonging to the pro-Arroyo camp who conveniently change their mind about when to properly file and accept such complaints.

At least three identical complaints will be filed, according to news reports. But as of today, the complainants have failed to bring their complaint before the House of Representatives.

To guide you through the complaint, I am publishing below a summary of the new impeachment complaint against President Arroyo, which was prepared by Neri Javier Colmenares, general counsel of Bayan Muna and secretary-general of the National Union of People’s Lawyers:

Sixteen senators — including four presidential and vice presidential aspirants in 2010 — voted last night to ratify the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA).

Bayan and the No Deal! Movement said that the 2010 aspirants who voted for JPEPA were “definitely found lacking in nationalist credentials” and vowed to take block the treaty’s implementation via street protests and by asking the Supreme Court to trash it.

Had the British comedians poked fun instead on President Arroyo, nobody would have cared or — I suspect — Filipinos themselves would have given them ringing applause.

But the “Harry and Paul” show dissed our decent, hardworking domestic helpers. The BBC must apologize to all Filipinos, especially the thousands who the Brits have recruited as domestic helpers and caregivers.

This is a heads up to all journalists, bloggers and pundits.

Much has been said about overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) being “modern-day heroes” but perhaps mostly because of the billions of dollars they remit back home. Meanwhile, a growing number of people have grown desensitized by endless sad stories of OFW being beaten, deprived just wages, condemned to die, or just suddenly falling off buildings. In the immediate aftermath of the US economic meltdown, some of the “bright” economists as the Bangko Sentral said the Philippines will survive the crisis — but neither because of strong economic fundamentals or of unflagging investor confidence in the Philippines but by the billions of dollars in OFW remittances to which the Arroyo government has been addicted to.

These and other issues will take centerstage in October as Manila hosts the Global Forum on Migration and Development on Oct. 27-30, 

Minimum wage earners already work very hard only to get paid lowly pay. But this one just makes anyone angry.

Workers at Bleustar Manufacturing & Marketing Corp., the company making Advan shoes (formerly Rubberworld, which makes Grosbee and Kaypee) also had to contend with a boss who flashes his “thing” or who fondles them, among other despicable acts of sexual harassment.

Good thing, these workers fought back with a strike — and won!

Ian Bell of The Herald declared: Capitalism has proven Karl Marx right again.

With news continuously dominated by stock crashes and US government efforts to rescue AIG, we have yet to hear progressives view the US economic meltdown. Progressives are the leftists, national-democrats, socialists and even communists who have a stridently critical view of the world capitalist system and who aspire to replace it.

Parasitic capital took advantage of advances in information and communications technology not just to facilitate its global production networks but also to fashion complex financial instruments for creating profits outside of any actual productive activity.

Dr. Carol P. Araullo, chair of the progressive multisectoral alliance Bayan, has this to say about the issue of renewed US military presence in the country, an issue which rightly comes out as the world marks the 7th anniversary of 9/11:

It all sounds clean and aboveboard: the US oozes with altruism for a long-time ally and the Philippines is the lucky beneficiary of this no-strings-attached, we’re-just-doing-our-bit-for-world-peace mission of the lone Superpower and Global Policeman. However, in the light of historical and current world events such as the US-instigated wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is much too good to be true.

The League of Filipino Students (LFS), arguably the country’s most well-known activist student organization, marks its 31st year today.

On its anniversary, the LFS’ clarion call to its members can also apply to all Filipino youth. The call may be deemed subversive by some, but perhaps mainly because it disrupts and challenges the passivity, cynicism and apathy that pervade society today. For this and its long history of making the young people realize their progressive roles in and out of campus, we say thank you to the LFS.

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita has announced the dissolution of the government peace panel in peace negotiations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

Again, the militarists have gained the upper hand by successfully putting disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) as the ultimate goal of the peace talks. Never mind the resolution of the root causes of the Moro people’s armed struggle — basta may giyera at may pretext para sa giyera where the corrupt generals may continue to make pasiklab to GMA and get access to military contracts.

Nothing new really with this “new” peace paradigm. It really looks like a deceptively-packaged all-out war.

Below is his full statement:

As expected, the court freed the Tagaytay 5 after finding the rebellion charges without merit and spurious.

I am so very happy for the family of poet and activist Alex Pinpin, one of the five who were abducted, jailed and falsely charged, and also for the others. I mention Alex because I’ve met his sister Cyrine and saw in her eyes the pain of losing her brother to political vendetta. But now, Cyrine is happy and could only express her profound and sincere thanks to everyone who made the freedom of the Tagaytay 5 possible.

Blogging today has become an intellectual outlet for the more articulate Filipino middle class. In my view, this rage is a cumulative product of the following:

(1) the explosion of the worldwide web and the accompanying availability of blogging platforms;
(2) the widespread availability of affordable internet access;
(3) this social stratum’s readiness to study and engage in debate on various issues and concerns;
(4) the “individuality” and “personality” sought by individual members of this social stratum;
(5) the closed nature of the established press and media.

Whether blogging may become a tool for social change requires a leap of faith,

The President’s Office of the Press Secretary today faxed to media outlets copies of letters/statements from Smart, Globe and Sun about the P0.50 text rate announced by the President.

In response, TXTPower issued the following statement:

Today, Malacanang indirectly admitted that President Arroyo deliberately lied to the public in her SONA speech when she announced the alleged new P0.50 price of text messaging.

Malacanang’s press office today released separate statements coming from Smart, Globe and Sun that separately say that the P0.50 price announced by the President is ONLY A PROMO OR A GIMMICK.

Availing of the P0.50 promo price is not instant. One has to register first and pay at least P20 to avail of this supposedly lower price. Why should we be made to pay P20 first? Where is the savings there? The whole set-up defeats the purpose of easing the burden of telecommunication costs.

Mabuhay to all Filipino journalists as we celebrate the 22nd anniversary of the national union.

Check out the announcement/invitation for two commemorative events:

To all our beloved friends,

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines is celebrating its 22nd anniversary on July 30 (Wednesday).

We are taking the opportunity to thank all the people and organizations whose unwavering and generous support have helped the NUJP survive being listed by the military as an “enemy of the state”, grow to 55 chapters nationwide, and earn recognition as an organization that genuinely represents the interests of the working press and our aspirations for press freedom.