Saturday, March 31, 2007
Check this out. Interesting thoughts on the Manila hostage drama here
. It's saying that what Jun Ducat did was a form of non-traditional political action/activism. No, really. They even pointed to new social movements
as theory, saying he's a "postmodern cadre
I don't know. But maybe they're taking it too far. Like I said earlier, the "protest action" is filled with irony: it set aside many legit issues from the public eye, Ducat's statement assailed corrupt politicians while giving them free TV airtime (Chavit entering the bus turned the situation into a bunch of bullshit!). Heck, it even gave Arroyo a photo opportunity.
For me, the hostage didn't aim to change social system, it simply played with the politicians. It illustrated the Filipino urban poor's cynical attitude toward elections and politics.
Last 2004 elections, I was in an urban poor community in Quezon City. During the election campaign, dozens of "neighborhood associations" previously unheard of begin their activity, to "represent" their communities and the voters in their group (this particular community comprises of thousands of informal settlers). They offer to campaign for several politicians in return of favors and jobs for their members.
These groups do their own "Ducatist" (haha!) actions: dangling votes and publicity opportunities, in a sense "hostaging" their members and their neighborhood by falsely representing them and including them in organizations, in return they get favors, job opportunities for their members, welfare opportunities, government connections and whatever.
Take note that it doesn't matter if this particular politician is a "good" politician. For them, they're all the same anyways. What matters is the "winnability" of the particular candidate.
Some call this patronage politics, some opportunism, but for them its just the way politics is. The basic principle is to get whatever you can in this political system that everybody knows is rotten.
At the end of the day, it's the corrupt politicians that win. We get what we want, they get what they want; they stay in power, while we stay poor and abused.
We have to challenge this kind of thinking. We have to give direction to the masses' frustrations. We have to organize them and show them that there is another way, a way of social change and struggle.
In the news:
Please explain what kind of logic and guts this woman has: Arroyo lauds troops in Metro communities.
Continue reading this entry >>
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Breaking news today: 32 Daycare Students and 2 Teachers Hostaged in front of Manila City Hall.
Wowowee show was cut to air video footages of a tourist bus with children, being hostaged, with Bonifacio's monument in the background.
As of this writing, one child has been released, the hostage taker, Jun Ducat, has been given time to vent out his frustrations with politicians abusing the poor over DZMM and ANC.
The hostage taker expressed his disappointment in the rotten ruling system in the country, and demanded college education for more than a 100 children under his foundation and a land title.
Meanwhile, we were texting out to members of KABATAAN that the protest action to be led by graduates that was scheduled today at the DOLE to call for jobs and education was to be postponed. We knew that no news outfit would pay attention to our protest, and it would be a better idea to hold our activity some other time.
The hostage drama is expected to last until later in the evening today, maybe even until tomorrow. News of the hostage drama will surely be the main topic in the news for the following days, setting issues of political killings, repression, fraud and violence and even the election campaign aside.
Today, the drama undermined the news of Bayan Muna topping the SWS survey, garnering a whopping 28%, despite government harassment of their leaders, showing mass support for a party bringing forth a new kind of politics and a genuinely alternative platform.
The full report of UN rapporteur Philip Alston on extrajudicial killings is also set to be released at 9pm today, the same time the media expects the hostage takers to end the crisis and release the children.
The hostage taker condemns the corruption being committed by politicians, and calls on poor people not to be fooled by politicians this elections, a popular sentiment of most people. However, the irony starts sinking in once you see Senator Bong Revilla, entering the bus, talking to the hostage taker like it was a script in an action flick, and rescuing a boy being released from the bus, with the cameras on him, bringing back a scene from one of his action movies. Definitely something he could use in his political ad campaign come 2010.
News: Arroyo orders MMDA chairman Bayani Fernando to look into hostage crisis... Maybe he wants a role in Panday part 2? Arroyo will surely capitalize on the crisis to divert the public's attention from issues of human rights violations and tyrannical rule of her government.
After the drama, at the end of the day, the politicians, and the Arroyo government are the ones who gain from this. The hostage taking drama shows how the pulitikos and the corrupt government in power, take advantage of the frustrations and desperate acts of the poor and abused.
While this should highlight the people's frustration and expressions of protest against the rotten government and the ruling regime, this is also shows us that more people have to be politicized and taught how to turn their frustrations and anti-government sentiments into effective political actions. The people are counting on the organized political groups to lead them into the path of effective and genuine social change.
In other news:
Garcillano to run as Congressman in Bukidnon
KABATAAN Partylist: Gradweyt na sa Lumang Pulitika
Continue reading this entry >>
Friday, March 23, 2007
First up, Oreta says sorry
for being EDSA 2's dancing queen. Well, if you ask me, the news didn't make me consider, not even for a bit, voting for her. It just brings back to my mind happy thoughts of EDSA 2, with the UP and Ateneo students chanting as one: "Ooooh... lala... Oreta-p*ta-ka!"
Here is my what-I-would-have-blogged-about-if-only-I-wasn't-too-busy-last-month list:
> Politicians' lame TV ads. Wrongbee here has a nice list.
> GMA ordering the lifting of tuition cap. NUSP explains here. Hindi pa man nagbobotohan, talo na tayo. In exchange probably of election support, GMA suddenly ordered the CHEd to lift the inflation rate limit on tuition hikes. Another reason not to vote for Team GMA.
> Walden Bello and AKBAYAN's opportunism. Teo Marasigan says Bello and his party is in crisis.
> The (anti-)terror law. For dummies: step 1, read this position paper. Step 2, see it to believe it. Step 3, have a look at your bill of rights and find out how many of these rights are violated.
Yes my dear, welcome to the dark ages. And yes, everybody thinks the law is full of shit.
> Militarization in campus and barangays in the Metro. Everyone knows they're there because of the elections, just take a look at this video. This is also a preparation for the full implementation of the anti-terror law come July.
Haayyyy. We're up for a very very bumpy ride this elections.
> Everyone's raving over the KABATAAN Partylist video featuring Angel Locsin and Dennis Trillo.
> Meanwhile, my online free time's been eaten up by my being KABATAAN Partylist Website designer, trying very hard to understand html, CSS, php, and devoting time to read the Wordpress codex. It's really tedious work, but rewarding. (I'm just hoping I get everything in the site done already.)
Yipeee. Feels good to have blogged again after a while. Feel superb after watching this unbelievable video . Do a transcript, and if you have a little sister get her to memorize it. Hehe.Continue reading this entry >>
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Here is the LFS statement on the recent NCAE results showing low aptitude for college education
We express our disappointment not only on the results of the recent National Career Assessment Exam (NCAE), but also on the attitude the Department of Education towards the result.
It is an irony for us that the Department of Education seems happy and satisfied of the results, instead of showing dismay and regret in its recent statements. It even applauds the results and pats its shoulder for doing a job well done in creating voc-tech skilled students with low scholastic capability.
We find the Department of Education’s effort to discourage students to go to teriary education odd if not deplorable. Instead of vowing to improve the quality of basic and secondary education to make sure that the students become prepared for whatever path they would want to take in life, the DepEd imposes upon the students to ‘appreciate alternatives to the college diploma’ and take the voc-tech path.
It is not the government and the DepEd’s job to dictate to us what jobs or career paths to take based on a simple exam result. Rather, the DepEd should provide our students, through basic and secondary education, the basic knowledge and skills to prepare them for whatever life choices they would like to take.
The Department may even be considered violating important provisions of Batas Pambansa 232, stating that no one should dare mess with students’ rights to choose their college specification preferences.
It is clear that this step is in blind adherence to recommendations of IMF-WB and ADB, that our role in the global market is to provide “cheap semi-skilled laborers.” Given the record of this government in its puppetry and blind worship of foreign, pro-globalization dictates, we will not be surprised if the exam results were twisted and/or tampered to support these recommendations.
The students, with the support of our teachers, school administration, and parents, will strongly oppose the proposal to make the NCAE mandatory. We are confident that the sentiments of most parents, teachers and high school students nationwide are with us.
There is indeed a “job mismatch,” when a government department which is supposed to provide us with quality education, chooses to play the role of Madam Auring and predicts for us that it is for us to quit college studies for we might miserably fail.
We ask the DepEd, when we allot very little budget for education, when we allow textbooks to be riddled with errors, when we allow oversized classrooms and underpaid teachers to be a norm in our education system, whose fault is it in the first place?
Continue reading this entry >>
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