Back at the hq – had cake – lit up the cake – sang for Marvin – assessed to date.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
25 July 2012
“Aquino accountable for GMA bail grant”—LFS
The League of Filipino Students (LFS) condemns in the highest possible terms the granting of bail to Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on the electoral sabotage case filed against her earlier today. The LFS would like to call out the Aquino administration’s accountability in its failure to file a strong plunder case against Arroyo, in addition to multiple charges of human rights violations.
The current US-Aquino regime’s has shown no initiative in making Arroyo pay for her crimes against the people. While an arrest warrant is pending the former president at the Sandiganbayan, the long time it took before such a case was filed against her made detaining Arroyo questionable on legal grounds. The probability of Arroyo coming clean from the charges filed against her is a testament to the Aquino administration’s culture of impunity towards their fellow representatives from the ruling class, and no different from what happened with former presidents Marcos and Estrada.
Just days after his third State of the Nation Address (SONA) and already Aquino is swallowing his words. Vaunting that he won’t just “forgive and forget” the people’s oppressors, the turn of events just days after his SONA show otherwise. Indeed, like the rest of his speech, his words remain hollow and his rhetoric exposed as nothing but mere lip service in a desperate attempt to win over the people long frustrated with his rule.
The ruling class can no longer cover up their connivance with each other in an attempt to protect each other’s interests that are the opposite of what the people demands. The LFS vows to continue arousing, organizing, and mobilizing the youth and the rest of the people to expose and oppose these local ruling elites, and make sure that the likes of Arroyo pay for their crimes against the people when the current administration fails to. ###
Gemma Canalis, Chairperson
Warren Gutierrez, Media Liaison
Today (Philippines time), President Noynoy Aquino will deliver his annual State of the Nation Address (SONA) to the Filipino people. But we know he won’t give the true situation of the country and he will continue to deceive the people in order to continue his same failed policies. So we will march with the masses who refuse to believe his lies and will give the TRUE state of the nation.
But you say you’re not in the Philippines or even in the Metro Manila area so you can’t follow all the actions today? No problem! There’s a couple ways you can catch all the exciting events for the day:
2) Live tweeting! Follow our SONA tweeters through the hashtag #SONAngbayan. You’ll get live, as-they-happen updates
Despite the time differences, we hope you get to follow today’s actions!
“But there’s a side to you
That I never knew, never knew.
All the things you’d say
They were never true, never true,
And the games you play
You would always win, always win.
But I set fire to the rain,”
I thought this would be an appropriate song for this entry. As I write, the rain is hitting the roof hard while the night-time lights make the sky look like it’s on fire. Soon, Philippine president Noynoy Aquino will be telling the country and the world what a great job he has done. You don’t need to go far to know how much hot air he’s blowing.
Aquino, the Philippine ruling elite, and their supporters in the U.S. government need to the Filipino people to be blinded and distracted from the root problems of society. They need the overwhelming majority, the 99%, to not realize their power in numbers and ability to make change. They need the people to believe in this exploitative and unequal system so they concentrate on fighting for the scraps of the “America Dream”. This is the only way so few can control so many.
I wonder if I could ever give Noynoy, or any member of the Philippine ruling class for that matter, my full attention in a conversation. I don’t think I can hear them talk about the state of the nation when I’ve seen it for myself. I’ve looked into the eyes of students, out-of-school youth, farmers, workers, urban poor, and many others and heard them speak about how the system isn’t working for them. Noynoy’s fancy words or Henry Sy’s bulldozers or the Ayala’s money cannot silence these stories and revise the truth. You can’t find the truth with the ruling class. You can only find it with the masses.
Noynoy entered his presidency with a lot of promises of change and to be different from his predecessor (sound familiar?), but all the people have seen is the same rotten, corrupt system. He is looking to convince people of prosperity and a growing economy. But what he leaves out is that the growth is only with the billionaires (all eleven of them) and super rich of the country, not the workers or farmers who create that wealth. He refuses to raise the minimum wage because it will “close down the factories”, despite the fact the rich are making super-profits. That’s what I’ll never get about capitalism. This need to always give rich people more money, but give workers and those who physically create wealth less, so as to make more money for people who already have it. Capitalism is like the show “Hoarders” on steroids.
So why do I, as an American citizen, criticize a president who isn’t technically mine? It’s because of him and people like him who forces over 4,500 Filipinos EVERYDAY to leave the Philippines in search of work that should be at home. That’s why we’ll continue to have Filipinos in the U.S. deal with identity, racism, and our other problems. We are sending millions of U.S. tax dollars to the Philippines in the form of military aid when that could be spent at home to hire more teachers, build classrooms, and support other vital social services. We are stationing untold amounts of U.S. troops warships in the Philippines and have even started using drones in the country, all in violation of the Philippine constitution. As a U.S. citizen, if I don’t stand up and speak out against these horrendous policies and conditions, then I’m being complacent to the continuing suffer of the Filipino people. How could I ever claim to be a “proud Filipino” if I stay silent?
Tomorrow will mark the twelfth day of our exposure trip. We’ll be less than half way finished with our program with much for us left to experience. But SONA is more than a halftime show. It’s something that we can only dream of in the U.S. Tens of thousands of Filipinos in the streets, marching and chanting in unity for a common cause. We can get there someday, but it will take a lot of work. Until then, I will witness the rage of the Filipino people when they confront the representative of the ruling system and the many lies he will tell the world. I will watch them set fire to the rain and burn down the symbol of what stands in their way of a truly democratic and free society.
Sorry Two-Face, we’re not an impressionable group of Filipino Americans who will be your representatives to the American people. We will not parrot your lies. We stand with the people and what is rightfully theirs.
p.s.: watch the #SONAngbayan livestream on BAYAN’s website, http://www.bayan.ph or LFS’ website, lfs.ph! and follow the #SONAngbayan hashtag for live updates!
It was the crack of dawn and I haven’t been able to write about my experience in Payatas. First off, I just wanted to explain what we were doing in Payatas was that we were joining Kabataan Partylist in their Medical Mission. I was informed the night before that were going to join them and I was notified to wake up at 6am. I’ve been waking up first in the group for the past week and it is just out of the eagerness of myself to be able to take in every moment and every second I breathe here in the Philippines and with the National Democratic Movement. So I initially thought that we were leaving at 7am to head to Payatas with the Medicine.
Troy from KPL (Kabtaan Partylist) told me the latest we’ll be leaving would be around 9 am. We got in our collective and decided to pick what tasks we wanted to take part in during the Medical Mission. The tasks laid out were the Medical Mission, Telling stories to the kids in the neighborhood, and the final task was to help outreach for KPL.
Payatas is an urban poor community located in Quezon city where the entire community is living next to and in the dump site. I won’t lie, for I held thoughts about what the smell would do to my health and the ever increasing list of Kasamas feeling ill. We all boarded a Jeepeny filled with Medicine and the ulam (Lunch) we would be having, along the way we picked up 3 Doctors from Sacred Heart who would be providing the Medical Check-Ups for the community. We had to stop by the Barangay Hall first before we headed to the Phase 2 (A Basketball Court). As we arrived on site, Waki our guide reminded us that we would have to speak Tagalog as our Primary language. I’ve been able to speak Tagalog more than ever during this trip and I must say it has helped me create dialogue and share stories here in the Phils. I came in thinking that I was going to be part of the Medical Mission and help check blood pressure and give out medicine as a Pharmacy tech.
I hear Faye shout my name and along with Roger of KPL I joined the outreach team that would help notify the Community about the free medical mission and be able to recruit for Kabataan Partylist and hand out an LFS Brochure as well. I was surprised on how my role changed, but I felt open minded and my attitude towards it was far from negative at all. We began to walk around the community in Payatas A and Rodger held a speaker and wireless mic as me and Faye would directly speak to the members of the community. I found it challenging that I was going to speak to random strangers, but this trip for me has been rewarding at the most when I’ve completely opened myself to the integration with the masses. I’ve never seen such outreach in my organizing life, I was at awe at how Roger was doing his outreach and even tho he held a speaker and mic, for every person he walked by he talked to them personally. Right when we got to the entrance of the dump, Roger told me that there were communities in Smokey Mountain and even tho the trash has been a little less than before, it still was filled with trash. We continued our outreach and then I met these two little kids, brother and sister. Her name was Angelique and I got to high five them and we continued on.
I know my recent entries have been pretty serious. So here’s a funny story to hold you over until my next serious entry.
In the Philippines, there’s flying cockroaches or ipis. If you’re the type to get scared easily by bugs, they will freak you out. Fortunately I’m not that type…normally.
We were about to fall asleep in the boy’s room/ conference room of the Kabataan Partylist office. The lights were off and I was still on my computer trying to finish up some stuff before I went to sleep. I start to feel the drowsiness overcome my eye lids and I turn on my back to see if it was going to turn into a night of slumber. All of a sudden, I see a reflection pass my computer screen from the corner of my eye. It must have been only a couple inches from my left cheek. My quick analysis had me believe it was an ipis, but by the time I could turn for a better look, it hid in the dark of the night.
Now, I didn’t want to made a big scene because some people were already asleep and I didn’t want to wake them up. As calmly as I could, I grab my iPhone and search for my flashlight app. When I find it, I shine it towards the last location of the ipis and all possible locations it could have ran off to. Then I spot it, about to climb Mt. Bernardo’s backpack and into his unsuspecting lap. I look at Bernardo and say “uh dude, there’s an ipis next to you”. All the half-asleep eyes in the room turn towards us.
We get Marvin to turn on the lights and it becomes a three person hunting party for one small ipis. The ipis dodges every flick of the shoe towards its direction and for some reason, keeps running towards my stuff. My hope at the time was that it won’t go into my backpack. But i suppose I could have just dropped my backpack on top of it.
We chase it and corner it behind the TV. As we clear the surrounding area so there’s no escape route, we slide the TV away and prepare for the final confrontation. We see it make one last desperate crawl up the wall. With our loud encouragement, Bernardo takes one big swing of his shoe towards the wall. The ipis falls onto its back. I yell “DOUBLE TAP!” and Bernardo takes the final kill shot. With that last swing, our battle with this particular ipis is over. But unfortunately for everyone involved, that won’t be our last interaction.
So the lesson here: don’t freak out and gathering a large army behind, even when you’re perfectly capable of killing it yourself.
These komrades are the reason why we join the movement. After all of the assessments as an undergrad nothing beats ‘getting to know’ social movements, being able to actually participate in the masses, and looking up to the passion that the komrades have instilled into a pro-people’s national democracy. We are reminding ourselves to eliminate the bad liberal elements as individuals.
The little details may be overlooked when it comes to the daily activities: brave ones riding at the end of jeepney rails, cutting across taxi lines, and the epic clouds in the sky. The komrades see this everyday, and for the past week we have been seeing it as well.
The biggest challenge for many of us is often the family struggles, but I want them to know that our motive/reason is driven for them, to know why we had to move in the first place.
The positive attitudes are contagious and stories cut deep. I am beginning to discover even more reasons as to why we are here. As my first real exposure to the Philippines–minus all of the demolitions which cost countless lives–I don’t regret any of the struggles that have surpassed leading up to this day. After all of the meetings, one of which is a retreat in SF that mocked a scenario in the PI, we adapt to the food portions and sleeping conditions to now. I remember by reflection the agitation and excitement that has led to this day. After moving back to Orange County, I almost feel detached from organizing strategies that I have learned from the komrades, but of course technology allows us to remain to build. I don’t feel settled as we feed off each other’s energy all throughout the EDs, quick responses, and beyond.
The youth motivate me to keep studying because once you think you’ve taken an education discussion, their new perspective allows us to learn differently which advances our own movement. When we learn it in Tagalog, the phonetics are mysterious enough for us to dissect, and when we do we obtain a higher learning. I feel challenged in my own homeland where our language has been a constant barrier. But once we break it, I feel closer to our own history and practice.