Below are the top 25 partylist groups according to the latest tally of the Comelec. As many as 45 partylist groups may be proclaimed winners and be given seats to fill up the 58 seats allotted for the PL system. From this list, it is quite apparent that most of the winners come from non-marginalized groups and are in fact already part of the country's economic and political elite.
What was your initial reaction when you went to the Philippines through an “organizer’s perspective”?
Well I actually first got involved into the national democratic movement in 2009 when I went to the Philippines for about half a year and integrated with the Gabriella women’s sector…
The last sentence says proletarian revolutionary. What does that mean to you?
When I think of proletarian revolutionary I think of activists and progressive-minded folks who are proletarian internally and externally in their actions… that we are in this constant state of a remolding-ness, where we understand that if we are going to change our surroundings, we want to see and live the quality of how we think, act, and treat one another.
First off I want to give a shout out to the Anakbayan East Bay Executive Committee that holds it down… and especially the ABEB Exposure team, they just went back this last December, they were joined by several solidarity allies. For me personally I would like to go back with that exposure team and to go back to the Philippines sometime this year again.
Interview conducted by daeniel
If you would like to give just a general reflection on what you thought about the article/can you shed some more light on that?
Yeah I really agree with the article, I had a good time [reading it], in terms of highlighting the political/economic turmoil at the time and how the life was and a lot of education on the ground with the masses and what is going on right now with the current masses… The first quarter storm it seems like the occupy movements–all of the indicate movements–across the world–I think there is a parallel with and relevance to the article that JOMA wrote. I agree with the article (yeah).
Thank you. I see that you mention the Occupy movement; can you add just a little bit more on how the Occupy movement can learn from FQS?
I think what the occupy movement t can learn from FQS is that a lot of the activists have a very clear line of what they are trying to do, so, I thought about KABATAAN MAKABAYAN and how they really organized a comprehensive youth movement that is working with workers, women, students, out of school youth, so they are really building with other sectors in society to really push towards the same goal.
I think a lot of the criticisms towards the occupy movement were that they are all united against the same things but they weren’t looking for the future so they did not have the same goals, so I really think a strong united front is something that the occupy movement can learn from the first quarter storm and I think that is something that we are trying to do with all of the ND groups over here in the states and across the world.
Does anything stick out from the ILPS article that you want to reflect on?
The biggest thing that hit me was just how relevant the article was right now and how crazy it was to see the parallels with what is happening in the article and what is happening right now (especially in the 2000′s).
The last sentence of the fifth paragraph states that the proletarian revolutionaries and core of the MDP stood fast on continuing the protest actions. What does the proletarian revolutionary mean to you?
A proletarian revolutionary is someone who is really with the people that are making our economy and society run. So that’s someone who is of course a worker but it is [also] somebody who is allied with the worker, people like students who are part of the working class, but [also someone] who’s is pushing towards the same goals that have a strong solidarity with them.
If you have any campaigns that you want to shout out to ABUSA radio that ABSV is running or even any general updates from ABSV that you want to shout out?
I guess one current thing that we are still working and it’s actually in conjunction with CHRP (Committee for Human rights in the Philippines) was the stop the minings stop the killings campaign that we have had running last month regarding, in light of the massacre with the Anti Mining Act
and it’s kind of funny actually that we went to Xtrata which is the mining company chapters here in the states in Silicon Valley (San Jose). We are trying to form a response letter because they have actually contacted us back.
So the response from Xtrata was just an email so far but there is a sign of communication which is a good sign so far right?
Yeah except the communication did not acknowledge the company’s role in it and there is this kind of propaganda against our movement.
I spent a l ot of time with AB Chicago actually when i was here and this was my first time meeting them so good luck with the work y’all are doing and to make sure to keep the revolutionary spirit up and a congrats to the graduates of 2013.
Interview conducted by daeniel
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The links between Aquino and Akbayan, even from the time of 2010 elections, show that Akbayan is really Aquino’s favored partylist. And now that Noynoy Aquino is President, questions continue to arise on how Akbayan will be using its position in the Aquino government to gain unfair advantage over the truly marginalized and underrepresented groups.
With this kind of campaign contribution, Akbayan is utterly beholden to Aquino and they will continue to be, even if Aquino’s policies run counter to the interests of the marginalized.It’s possible that part of the contribution from the Aquino siblings went to the television ads of Akbayan which were actually TV ads of Aquino.
San Francisco – Today, the 40th Anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law in the Philippines, the League of Filipino Students-San Francisco State University (LFS-SFSU), the only overseas chapter of the League of Filipino Students (LFS), calls upon Filipino youth all over the world to link up with the broad masses in the homeland and to struggle for national democracy!
Marcos’ fascist dictatorship was marked by rampant human rights violations, with victims of extrajudicial killings, incarceration, and torture reaching over a hundred thousand. The Marcos administration, spurred by the dictates of US imperialism, also implemented a host of neoliberal economic policies, like the increasing commercialization of education, and the systematic export of cheap labor to foreign countries.
As part of the youth and student sector of the national democratic movement, LFS was a major force in arousing, organizing, and mobilizing the widest ranks of Filipino people who took to the streets, and, in a show of people power, toppled the US-backed Marcos dictatorship. As successors of this militant and revolutionary legacy, we remember and honor the brave men and women who were imprisoned, tortured, disappeared, and killed for the crime of speaking out and struggling against an aggressively anti-people, pro-US, pro-capitalist regime.
However, we must not think of Martial Law as a mere memory of a darker time in Philippine history. Because even with the Marcos dictatorship gone, the remnants of Martial Law still live on. It continued with every single president after the Marcos regime, who chose to serve their US imperialist masters at the expense of the Filipino people suffering. And now, the essence of Martial Law is being perpetuated, ironically, by the son of Ninoy Aquino, a key figure who opposed the Marcos dictatorship, and was assassinated. In the first two years alone of Noynoy Aquino’s presidency, there have been 101 political killings and 11 enforced disappearances, and hundreds of political prisoners remain wrongfully detained. Meanwhile, perpetrators of human rights violations like Jovito Palparan, Jr. and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo remain free, and the people still yearn for justice. Thus, the EDSA “Revolution” remains incomplete, and the struggle for a just and equal society still continues.
While the head of the Aquino administration’s Commission on Human Rights would prefer that the youth simply stay inside the library and “study the lessons from Martial Law”, we know that we have a much bigger responsibility to our homeland, one that cannot be fulfilled within the four walls of a classroom. Because we are products of a labor export policy that began with the Marcos regime, we must realize that the problems we face as displaced citizens of the Filipino nation are still rooted in the same basic problems plaguing the Philippines: imperialism, feudalism, and bureaucrat capitalism. Clearly, the struggle of the Filipino masses in the homeland and the struggle of Filipinos abroad are one. Therefore, as Filipino youth and students in the belly of the US imperialist beast, we must reclaim and carry on our people’s rich revolutionary history by coming together and actively advancing the struggle for true liberation and national democracy in the Philippines. It is the only way to truly honor those who fought for our freedom during Martial Law, and to ensure that it never happens again. ###
Bernardo Josue, Chairperson, LFS-SFSU
What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.
We arrive again at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines and have lunch. We visit a new section. Inside looks like a church. The forum begins. These are notes that I have taken in a dimly lit auditorium, curious to what we would be talking about. It turned out that many speakers from the youth sector were preparing for the height of their youth/student campaign in December. This aimed to energize that campaign.
1. Apparently 6.4 billion people amount in the Philippines. So, we must allow the ND movement to strengthen in order to allocate at least half of the budget to education. This is a long term investment. SONA was a short term reactionary settlement to the advancement of the movement.
2. July 24′s GMA bailout of GMA is a victory for the bourgeoisie and those that dictate this republic.
The discussion is shifting to Cha-Cha. This is a parliamentary struggle towards governmental land and societal change. To call a constitutional convention, and to reform policies on corporations, actually dismisses the workers at places like HLI and their conditions. They carry the most potential for revolution from within.
Gemma speaks. Topics include: U.S. intervention, PPP, charter change, mining act of 1999 (Executive Order), Military Exercises, SONA, TPP
Issa speaks. Topic includes: neo-liberal education and deregulation of schools. What she means by this is the government having a “hands-off” approach to conducting the budgets for schools. What this leads to is higher privatization, and also the strengthening of the bureaucracies that run the university. In return, highly privatized schools makes it less affordable for those in Philippine society, because of the deregulation. Question: does deregulation mean lower taxes for the institution?
To us, this might have felt like just another ordinary day on campus (meeting more students). What most of us will not witness, is what will happen during the projection of this campaign in December, where an Occupy Mendiola will take place. I feel glad to have visited this auditorium. This is a tool that we can bring to our campuses here in America.
One does not need the highly prepared tech to attend an auditorium, but as long as one believes in the protracted struggle towards genuine change, he or she must feel naturally inclined to any discussion. The students casually walked in, strolling in and out, and though that in and of itself can be an assessment, the point was made that the methods for campaigning amongst youth is something we can all learn from.
This September, the League of Filipino Students-San Francisco State University (LFS-SFSU), with the support of Pilipino American Collegiate Endeavor (PACE), Alpha Kappa Omicron (AKO), Chi Rho Omicron (XPO), and Kappa Psi Epsilon (KΨE/Kappa), will conduct fundraising activities for Tulong Kabataan, a flood relief operation headed by progressive youth organizations in the Philippines, and BALSA (Bayanihan Alay Para sa Sambayanan), a similar program led by BAYAN, a national multi-sectoral alliance of Filipino progressive organizations.
In early August, a southwest monsoon brought torrential rains exceeding that of the notorious 2009 Typhoon Ondoy, causing massive flooding in Manila, Central Luzon, and the Southern Tagalog region. The rising floodwaters forced hundreds of thousands of Filipino families from their homes, destroyed crops and infrastructure, and claimed the lives of at least 61 people. Exposurists who were part of LFS-SFSU’s annual Baliksambayanan (Return to the Homeland) summer program personally witnessed the devastation caused by massive flooding. They also directly participated in the Tulong Kabataan relief efforts–conducting on-the-ground fundraising, distributing goods, and assisting with feeding programs and medical missions.
This disaster was not merely an act of nature. LFS-SFSU condemns the US-Aquino regime’s enabling of foreign mining and logging corporations to destroy the Philippines’ natural resources, which act as buffers against flooding. We condemn the land-grabbing elite who forced millions of landless Filipinos from the provinces to move to the city in search of livelihood, causing congestion. We condemn the Aquino administration’s anti-poor, anti-people measures of forcibly relocating hundreds of thousands of families from their homes in high-risk areas in the guise of “disaster risk reduction”, without offering viable housing alternatives for displaced citizens.
While Aquino and his senatorial bets made a great show out of a so-called relief operation for the suffering Filipino people by parading around the flooded city in an army vehicle, this publicity stunt belies the fact that the current administration Aquino actually blocked the addition of more money for disaster preparedness to the 2011 Calamity Fund. And of the Php 7.5B 2012 Calamity Fund, Php 5.9B was allocated to respond to the August monsoon, leaving only Php 1.3B for the rest of this year, further proof that the Aquino administration disaster relief measures are severely lacking.
Only through collective action can the needs of the people truly be met. While LFS-SFSU acknowledges that relief operations will not solve the root causes of devastation from natural disasters, we also recognize the immediate need for assistance. Filipino-American youth and students are heeding the call to rise up and unite to serve the Filipino people in the homeland.
Cash donations for Tulong Kabataan will be accepted at LFS-SFSU’s’ table at Malcolm X Plaza for the first few weeks of instruction at SFSU. Flip da Skript, LFS-SFSU’s free Open Mic event will be held on September 13, 7-10PM at Rigoberta Menchu Hall, San Francisco State University, where we will also be accepting donations and raising awareness for our larger fundraising event in late September. Additionally, as part of this campaign, LFS-SFSU will conduct educational work on the root causes of devastation from calamities in the Philippines, and long-term solutions for these problems.
The League of Filipino Students-SFSU invites interested individuals and organizations to participate in the fundraising activities. For additional information on how to get involved, please contact Eirish Sison, Vice Chairperson of LFS-SFSU, at (415)-349-0528 or firstname.lastname@example.org.