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UP stashed P1.4B in bank investments from unused funds, rental income CAMILLE LITA

INSTEAD OF USING AMPLE funds to benefit UP’s stakeholders, the university chose to stash its unutilized funds and rental income in various bank accounts of UP Diliman (UPD) and the UP administration, according to a report by the Commission on Audit (COA) (see sidebar 1). In the 2016 Consolidated Annual Audit Report (CAAR) released by COA on July 20, the agency found that UP invested P1.4 billion of unutilized funds from different government agencies and obligated amount from land rental revenue in several Investment Management Agreements (IMAs) with the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) and Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) Trust Banking Groups. UP received P1.47 billion of gross rental income from the lease of UP Science and Technology Park and UP Town Center. However, the UP administration also placed P544 million worth of land lease rental’s obligated amount in the IMA (see sidebar article). Unutilized funds are supposed to be spent for projects that will benefit the UP students and employees, among others, but remained unexpended. IMA is a bank investment service which accumulates money over time, with an interest rate following the prevailing market rate. Placing the unutilized funds in IMAs is not acceptable as unexpended funds from a completed or abandoned project are no longer necessary, according to Section 3.4 of the Department of Finance, Department of Budget and Management (DBM), COA-Permanent Committee Joint Circular No. 4-2012. Such amount could have covered the funding of the university student and local college councils as well as salaries of UP employees, among others, said Student Regent Shari Oliquino. The UP administration should settle the unutilized funds immediately including the interests earned in compliance with Section 4C of Presidential Decree No. 1445. However, “trust funds shall be available and may be spent only for the specific purpose for which the trust was created or the funds received,” according to the agency. The agency also noted that a total of P10 million was invested in current year (CY) 2012 in Retail Treasury Bonds for 25 years, instead of using the funds to modernize UP Manila’s (UPM) facilities. COA also suggests that UPM should comply with the UP System Investment Policy in which investments should be for a maximum of 10 years. The BOR approved the policy in 2015. COA reiterated that the UP administration should stop the practice of investing the project-based trust funds to any investment portfolios unless authorized by its private donors. The Collegian tried to reach UP Vice President for Planning and Finance Joselito Florendo but he has not responded as of press time.



Unutilized DAP Funds In 2012, the UP administration received a total of P1.3 billion worth of Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) funds from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and DBM intended for infrastructure, research and scholarships, from which around P190 million remain unspent to date. DAP was created to fast-track public spending and to cover high-impact budgetary programs and projects which were augmented from the savings of the government from previous years. A total of P321 million were allocated to UPD from the said DAP funds but only P269 million were received by UPD. The administration’s allocation from CHED for projects under DAP amounted to P432 million to implement different infrastructure and development projects (see sidebar 2). Of the four projects funded by the CHED-DAP allocation, the rehabilitation of the Quezon Hall and construction of UP Faculty Housing incurred significant delays in project completion despite the availability of funds as early as CY 2012, according to COA. However, DAP was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court (SC) as it violates the principles of checks and balances and the separation of powers in the 1987 Constitution, and was scrapped in 2013. Instead of returning the balance to the Bureau of Treasury, UP placed the remaining DAP funds to time deposit placement with the LBP which allowed them to earn more interests, which they utilized to pay for the monetary awards of the outstanding graduates of the College of Science for AYs 2014 to 2016 totaling P210,000. After declaring DAP’s unconstitutionality, the SC ordered that “any remaining balance must not be released or disbursed but instead reverted to the unappropriated surplus of the General Fund.” COA recommended that the UP administration should immediately return all the unutilized balance of the DAP funds to the government. Burned asset Meanwhile, UP overstated about P119 million on its property, plant and equipment (PPE) accounts worth P48 billion due to burned, damaged and demolished properties in UPD and UPM. This includes the unrecorded College of Arts and Sciences Alumni Association (CASAA) food center which was razed by fire in June 2015. The CASAA fire incident was reported to the audit agency with underdetermined cost and without any supporting documents. CASAA has been demolished due to the risk it poses to the UP community, according to COA. However, no report of the demolition and the salvaged value of the demolished property was submitted to COA. To protect the interest of the government, COA suggested that UP should take legal actions against the entities or persons liable for the damage of properties.


Commission on Higher Education P 394 M


Technohub (40% of UPSA’s share) P 296 M

UPTC (40% of UP admin share) 17.82%

Disbursement Acceleration Program 30.43%

Disbursement Acceleration P 423 M Program UPTC (40% of UP P 247 M admin’s share)

TechnoHub (UPSA share) 21.31%

United Nations Development P 29 M Program Total P 1.39 B

Commission on Higher Education 28.34%

*United Nations Development Program 2.1%

SIDEBAR 2 WHERE DID UP SYSTEM’S DAP FROM CHED GO? Quezon Hall Structural Assessment Quezon Hall Rehabilitation Phase 1


P 871 K

P 34.9 M

P 34.5 M

Balance remitted back to CHED/BTr: P 129 K Balance: P 390 K

15% mobilization construction on-going. UP Faculty and Housing Project

P 198 M

eUP Component 4: Infrastructure Development P 198 M Amount Received from CHED Total P 432 M

Balance: P 169 M

P 28.9 M

P 180 M Amount Disbursed P 244 M

Balance remitted back to CHED/BTr: P 18.4 M

SIDEBAR 3 ACTUAL COLLECTION OF TECHNOHUB'S RENTAL INCOME FROM CY 2008 TO NOV. 30, 2016 Net Amount: P 8.06 M Hotel Component P 8.44 M Tax Withheld: P 376 K (Microtel) P 144 M P 1.20 B

Office Component (Buildings K-P)

P 123 M

Net Amount: P 117 M Tax Withheld: P 376 K

P 123 M

P 5.51 B

Office Component (Buildings A-J) Gross Revenue of ALI Total P 6.85 B

Net Amount: P 117 M Tax Withheld: P 376 K Actual Amount Collected

SIDEBAR 4 ACTUAL COLLECTION OF UPTC’S RENTAL INCOME FOR CY 2011 TO NOVEMBER 30, 2016 Tax Withheld: P 33.6 M Net Amount Collected: P 639 M

Gross Rent Collected: P 673 M


UP invests P544M from 2016 Ayala rental revenues THE UP ADMINISTRATION’S P544 million worth of shares from rental revenues of real estate giant Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) were stashed in Investment Management Agreement (IMA) portfolios. Rental income from ALI has not yet been earmarked for priority projects that will benefit the university’s stakeholders. Almost 40 percent or P296 million of the UP administration’s income from the UP Science and Technology Park, more commonly known as UP-Ayala Land Technohub, was placed in IMA. A total of P248 million of rental revenues from the UP Town Center (UPTC) also falls under the similar case with Technohub (see sidebar 3). A total of P213 million from the amount collected from Technohub was kept in a time deposit account, according to a 2016 report by COA. Same goes with UPTC, noting a P129 million unpaid rental augmented by P4.2 million in interest due to delayed payments between 2013 and 2014. The establishment also underdeclared its income tax of P24.32 million and P212 million unspent funds. UP entered a 25-year lease contract (LC) with estate giant ALI for Technohub in 2006 and UPTC in 2011. Both LCs will end on 2031 and 2036, respectively, but ALI may renew their contracts soon after they lapse. Technohub was originally pegged as an area for “research and development.” However, the 20-hectare area became a center for business process outsourcing companies upon completion. Construction of the UPTC came at the expense of the old UP Integrated School building which was demolished and transferred to the former location of the Narra Residence Hall. But months after its transfer, students observed the materials used for the building were substandard. A 60-40 Income-Sharing Scheme between UPD and UP administration covering all existing rental collections and future rentals from the project was approved by the UP Board of Regents in 2013. The scheme allows the UP system to support its units for their priority projects and to fund systemwide requirements for capital outlay and maintenance and other operating expenses which include allocation for faculty and staff development. COA also observed that the P798 million rental income collected from the lease of Technohub from 2008 to 2016 is not supported by an audit and certification from any of the identified auditing firms to provide a third-party assurance that rental payments are free from misstatements (see sidebar 3). On the other hand, the accuracy of UPTC’s rental income worth P673 million could not be claimed due to the absence of an audit and certification by any of the identified auditing firm on the payment due and remitted, according to COA (see sidebar 4).

Vendor group decries ‘unfair treatment’



JOSE MARTIN V. SINGH A GROUP OF VENDORS IN UP Diliman continues to send letters of appeal and explanation to the administration over what the group calls “palakasan system.” The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Community Affairs is prioritizing other vendors over members of the Samahan ng Manininda sa UP Campus Inc. (SMUPC or Samahan), said Edna Sinoy, president of Samahan, adding that it is unfair to the members of the group. Despite seeking approval from the dean of the College of Engineering, members of Samahan were not given priority to occupy the kiosk beside the Electronic and Electrical Engineering Institute (EEEI or Triple E) building since someone else was already occupying it, said Sinoy. Together with OVCCA’s “Task Force Monitoring,” Samahan mapped areas where they could put up stalls, Sinoy added. Meanwhile, as of September 20, Vice Chancellor Nestor Castro of the OVCCA has already approved several petitions and letters filed by Samahan. The request regarding the space beside EEEI was to be approved by Engineering Dean Rizalinda de Leon, said Castro. De Leon agreed that she is authorized to give the approval but explained that her office also needs to coordinate with the Business Concessions Office (BCO), an office under the vice chancellor for administration which formerly took charge and provided the current university policy for vendors in 2015. “What Mrs. Sinoy talked to me about was a stall outside the Engineering Building, an area outside the dean’s authority,” she said. Vendor Ramon Manuzon opened his kiosk in the said area on August 8, three months after being expelled from the Samahan. His permit to put up the kiosk was approved by Castro, said Manuzon. “I allowed him to [continue to] sell in UP because we deal with all groups and individuals who apply for a permit to sell in UP,” said Castro. “We did not just assign the location to him. He submitted an application letter to OVCCA requesting to set up a kiosk and he specifically mentioned the Triple E location,” Castro added, saying that the application was valid and

complete with supporting documents. “Iba-iba po ang patakaran na ipinapatupad sa bawat isa, kaya ang gulo,” said Sinoy. “Sa tingin namin nakakagulo si Vice Chancellor [Castro] sa Samahan [na] parang gusto niya atang buwagin,” she added, citing other examples. Ice cream vendor Michael Gula was given one-year suspension, starting June 19, for violating certain rules for vendors. However, he continues selling in some areas in UP like in front of the Vinzons tambayan complex. “Humihingi kami ng isa pang pagkakataon. Tutal, nagkamali nang isang beses. Hindi na mauulit,” said Gula’s wife, Rosenda. Gula is not a member of Samahan but Sinoy explained that they like to have him continue selling since he has no other means of livelihood, and a one-year ban from selling is not just. Vendors would only be suspended in the cases of repetition of violations or by committing other violations, said Aleah Galas-Espino, a member of the Community Entrepreneurship Monitoring Team (CEMT), an office under the OVCCA. First, a warning is given to the violator; if repeatedly uncompliant, a week of suspension; and if still uncompliant, a year of suspension, Galas-Espino said. Monthly dues are implemented for permit-holders which are as follows: P200 for roving, P350 for carts and P500 for pre-packed food (in dorms), she added. “[Although we give continuous reminders], hindi naman po kami naghahabol [for payment]. Naiintindihan namin sila. Kapag nagpapasabi naman po ay pinagbibigyan namin,” she said. However, the Gulas said they never received any “warning notice” or a oneweek suspension before. With the issues raised and many others, Samahan is expecting another dialogue with Castro anytime soon. However, Castro said he could only meet the group when he is already available, but the officer-in-charge or any OVCCA official can sit in the dialogue in his place. Sinoy hopes that the guidelines be amended to be able to receive fair treatment from the administration.

0977 413 5213

Brilliant Salas mourns the passing of her boyfriend, UP alumnus and former political prisoner Guiller Cadano, in Valenzuela City, September 27. Cadano, known as Guilly to his close friends, was shot dead in a crossfire in Nueva Ecija last September 20. Salas recalls how Guilly balances life in activism with his academics, graduating Cum Laude in Psychology at UP Diliman Extension Program in Pampanga. As a peasant organizer, Guilly taught farmers to read, write, and defend their rights amidst oppressive rule, even at the cost of his life. On the last night of his wake on September 29, Guilly was given “the highest tribute”—a true servant of the people and iskolar ng bayan.

Lyceum-Manila admin plans to take over student pub CAMILLE LITA

THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU) Manila has been planning to take over its student publication, citing proposals that will “benefit the publication in the future.” But will it still be a student-run paper after all? Student Affairs Office (SAO) Dean Jayson Barlan has been very vocal in reorganizing the LPU’s 32-yearold official student publication The Independent Sentinel (The Sentinel). He plans to start this by amending the publication’s existing constitution, said Jessica Jane Sy, acting editor-inchief of the publication, adding that the demand of the administration to reform The Sentinel is a step to manipulate the student publication to become the administration’s mouthpiece. “Hindi ganoon kadali ma-attain ‘yun since maraming issues [na pwedeng i-discuss sa loob ng LPU] like issues about hazing [at] sexual harassment na siyempre hindi puwedeng itago ng student publication,” she added. Following the proposed reforms, new and existing members of The Sentinel will now be required to take the qualifying exam which will determine if they are still eligible for the publication, a policy that contradicts the existing constitution of the publication. “Incumbent staffers who already took the editorial exam need not retake every school year but must undergo a panel

interview,” Section 1B Article VII of The Sentinel Constitution states. Meanwhile, campus media alliance College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) believes that the move of the LPU administration to reorganize The Sentinel is a prelude to subjugation and censorship of the publication. “The failure of the school administration to hold [a] dialogue with The Sentinel is an outright mockery of democracy and campus press freedom,” according to the statement of the group. The plans of the LPU administration to take over The Sentinel have repeatedly delayed the application of its aspiring members and caused postponement in the transition of the incoming editorial board as well as removal of the publication fee which is essential for the operations of the student publication, according to their statement released last September 14. Pursuant to the Campus Journalism Act of 1991, the school administration has no power to withhold the release of publication funds. “In no instance shall [the] school administration concerned withhold the release of funds sourced from the savings of the appropriations of the respective school and other sources intended for student publication,” Section 5 of the law states. As of now, The Sentinel still operates with 15 remaining members and releases online content for the students. However,

Barlan told The Sentinel members that he will make the qualifying exam for this year. The LPU administration recently announced that it will hold the “student publication” qualifying exam with no mention of The Sentinel’s name. “Hindi pa nga nila naaayos ‘yung issue about it pero ayan, nag-take na naman sila ng step na magpapalabo ng mga bagaybagay,” said Sy. Aside from the LPU, other school publications are also experiencing the same form of control from their administration. For instance, the off icial student publication of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), The Catalyst, was also taken over by the university. PUP President Emmanuel de Guzman revived the Student Publication Office which will process the selection of more “qualified” writers for The Catalyst. De Guzman sees the need to reform The Catalyst, citing the “cliquish” nature of the institution which produced a decline in the number of issues the publication releases. The CEGP condemns the ongoing repression of campus press freedom. “With militancy and stark resolve, we shall defend genuine campus press freedom against those who maliciously desire to subjugate press freedom and manipulate the truth to advance their own selfish interests,” the group said in a statement.


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Thousands of families in QC to be evicted for business




THOUSANDS OF INFORMAL SETTLER families (ISFs) in Quezon City (QC) will face demolition and relocation to distant communities as the city pushes through with its approved Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) for 2011 to 2025, according to urban poor group Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay). The growing population of ISFs in QC only “increases demand for basic services and facilities” and impedes development of private and public lands for other “productive uses,” the CLUP states. Informal settlement accounted for 6.73 percent or 1,112 hectares of QC land area or more than twice the land area of UP Diliman, down from 7.06 percent or 137.77 hectares in 2000. This decrease is attributed to both a corresponding increase in allocation for socialized housing as well as off-site relocation. The CLUP was approved on September 14, 2017 by the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board. Majority of ISFs who will be displaced by the CLUP will be brought to off-city relocation sites where land is considerably cheaper such as Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna and Cavite, says Kadamay information officer Michael Beltran. “Kaso nga lang, dahil sa problema sa kawalang trabaho at serbisyo doon, marami ang nagdedesisyong bumalik at manirahan sa mga gutter ng Maynila para maghanapbuhay,” added Beltran. A total of 23,352 ISFs have relocated to “safer communities” in Bocaue, Pandi and San Jose del Monte, Bulacan, and in Rodriguez,

ng bayarin. Hindi ba't pang-subdivision lang ang mga ganyan? Aabot sa halos P500k ang total na ihuhulog sa Bistekville upang maging tituladong residente. P2,273 ang monthly amortization cost sa Bistekville. Napakahirap para sa isang pamilyang nabubuhay sa mas maliit sa minimum wage,” Beltran added. The CLUP also credited the significant decrease in land area of informal settlements to the TriNoMa Mall of AyalaLand Development Corporation in the North Triangle Business District, a portion of the QC Central Business District (CBD). Covering 250.6 hectares in the city’s North and East Triangles and Veterans Memorial Hospital area, the QC CBD is intended to be a “globally competitive business location.” Most affected by the QC CBD project is Sitio San Roque, where 22 barangays are targeted by demolitions to make way for commercial hubs and residential buildings, according to Beltran. Residents of Sitio San Roque have long been opposing the project. In 2014, a round of demolitions in the area turned violent, injuring at least 11 children. “Posible talagang walisin ang mga komunidad para pumabor sa malalaking proyekto ng mga ka-sosyo din ng mga tagacity hall,” Beltran said, condemning the corporatization of the whole QC. “Kung matupad ang mga planong ito, lilikha ito ng isang syudad kung saan halos excluded o ipagbabawal at parurusahan na ang karalitaan. Karapatan ng mga mahihirap na manirahan, tumanggap ng ayuda at pagsilbihan ng lokal na pamahalaan ng mga syudad.”

Rizal between 2010 and June 2016, according to QC Mayor Herbert Bautista’s State of the City Address in 2016. Bautista assured that the resettled families and their new host local government units (LGUs) continue to receive financial support from QC until they are able to sustain themselves. But Beltran disputed the claim, citing cases where ISFs did not receive any form of financial assistance. “Inconsistent ang LGU sa usaping ito. Pero higit pa, napakaliit din naman ng tulong pinansyal. Nasa P18-30k lang ang natatanggap ng isang pamilya kapag sila'y ni-relocate.” Other policy interventions recommended by the CLUP for the ISFs include “containing” informal settlers within designated socialized housing sites as well as encouraging property owners to develop their vacant lands before informal settlers multiply. Housing Resettlement Areas in QC are mapped out in the CLUP with 14 socialized housing program sites known as “Bistekville” and designated areas for community mortgage programs (CMPs). Bistekville is one of the most significant accomplishments reported by the QC government in 2016 providing “welldeveloped housing units in 22 communities for 5,032 poor families,” according to the latest COA report. However, these socalled socialized homes are inaccessible to a large number of people who need them, said Beltran. “Sa esensya, ito’y negosyong pabahay. Napakataas ng amortisasyon — pampublikong pabahay pero napakamahal



Student group seeks House probe vs organizers










Source: Children’s Rehabilitation Center (CRC)

JUAN GREGORIO LINA THE DUTERTE ADMINISTRATION’S campaign to cleanse the nation of the drug scourge has resulted in a culture of impunity and a staggering death toll that continues to rise by the day. With the apparent license to murder that the War on Drugs has granted, it is no surprise that counted among the bodies of the alleged drug users and traffickers are children, as shown in the numbers.



Fighting Maroon Ibrahim Ouattara zooms past a Far Eastern University Tamaraw at a basketball game during the 80th season of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines, 59-78, at the Araneta Coliseum, October 1. The Fighting Maroons stands at 5th place, 3-3, after losing to the Adamson University Soaring Falcons in their latest game.



















NEGROS ORIENTAL Source: Women and Children Protection Centre, Philippine National Police

Source: CRC




A STUDENT ORGANIZATION IN UP Los Baños (UPLB) is set to appeal for a Congressional investigation regarding the mass gathering in their campus that later turned out to be a scam. The party-alliance Samahan ng Kabataan para sa Bayan (SAKBAYAN) is currently in contact with the office of Kabataan Partylist Representative Sarah Elago, and is positive that they will receive the Congresswoman’s support in conducting the inquiry, said UPLB University Student Council Chairperson Charmane Maranan. Several thousands of people trooped to UPLB last Saturday, September 23, after being promised a portion from the Marcoses’ ill-gotten wealth. To be able to claim their share, each attendee was asked to pay at least P30 for a booklet published by Bullion Buyer Ltd. (BBL), a company which is not registered under the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and which has been tagged in numerous other scams. At the end of the day, none of the attendees were able to get any amount from the organizers of the event, said Maranan. Maranan denounced the event organizers, One Social Family Credit Cooperative (OSFCC), for deceiving thousands of people, some of whom have come from places as far as Marinduque. However, the UPLB Administration must also be held accountable for their negligence in allowing the event to transpire, Maranan added. “Walang ginawang kahit anong move ‘yung ating administration to cut [short]

‘yung program o alamin kung anong nangyayari,” said Maranan. The UPLB administration approved the letter of Jeffrey S. Fortuna, who introduced himself as National Inspectorate and Cooperative Secretariat of the OSFCC, to hold “a general assembly at the lower field managed by the UPLB Department of Human Kinetics,” according to a statement of the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Community Affairs (OVCCA). It is hard to believe that it only took one department’s go signal to approve the event, said Maranan, recalling difficulties in organizing the Lakbayan last August due to complicated bureaucratic procedures. Before the Lakbayan was authorized, Maranan had to get approval from the offices of the Chancellor, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, and Vice Chancellor for Community Affairs, as well as the University Police Force (UPF). Additionally, a complete list of all student and faculty attendees had to be submitted, said Maranan. Meanwhile, it is not fair for the public to blame the thousands who were scammed, said Anakbayan UPLB Chairperson Mackie Valenzuela, who spoke to the attendees and later learned that they are not Marcos supporters but were mere hopefuls for much-needed cash. “[Karamihan] talaga sa kanila ay aware na pwede nga siyang scam, pwedeng hindi siya totoo. Pero [karamihan] sa kanila ay nagbabaka-sakali na baka totoo, parang sumusugal sila,” Valenzuela said.

UP students lose phones, laptops to field trip blaze JUAN GREGORIO LINA STUDENTS OF A PHYSICAL Education 2 (PE 2) class this semester are in need of laptops and cellphones after a fire burned down the dormitory of the resort they were staying in during an Orienteering field trip on September 16. The incident report by class professor and College of Human Kinetics (CHK) Dean Ronualdo Dizer did not determine the total value of the lost belongings but a source from the CHK said the blaze claimed around P1 million worth of cash, phones, laptops and other personal items. No one was injured in the incident. The resort will pay for the students’ lost possessions based on a list of items that was furnished to the fire department and the parents or guardians concerned. The fire reportedly started around 9:30PM and was confined to the girls’ dormitory of the resort.

The local fire department’s initial investigation identified faulty wiring in electric fans in one of the rooms as the cause of the blaze. The findings, however, are still pending further inquiry. The students were preparing for their group presentations at the resort’s activity area when a security guard approached the class and requested for their room keys, said Kisha Beringuela, one of the PE students. The guard noticed on the CCTV that smoke was coming out of one of the rooms, prompting the resort’s staff to attempt to contain the fire, but the blaze had grown too large, Beringuela added. The resort management then relocated students to different sleeping quarters on the resort for the rest of their campout. The remaining activities for the class were cancelled but alternative requirements

will be planned as replacements towards course completion. The class left the resort for Quezon City the following Sunday. On September 19, the UP Diliman University Student Council (USC) appealed for UP students to help by either lending or donating laptops and cellphones to replace those lost to the fire. Meanwhile, the Office of the University Registrar will issue new IDs for those whose IDs were lost to the blaze, said Beringuela. The Alto Rios Resort in Indang, Cavite has been the site of PE 2 orienteering classes for seven years but the fire was the first time such an incident occurred at the venue, according to the report. Orienteering refers to a broad group of sports that involve using a map, a compass and different station points to navigate usually unfamiliar terrain.

RAT SAN JUAN DEMANDING AUTONOMY, STUDENT organizations confronted the UP Diliman (UPD) administration for imposing university rules on recognition and conduct of organizations at the College of Mass Communication (CMC) Faculty-Student Town Hall held on September 28. CMC students had a heated exchange with Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Jerwin Agpaoa and other administration officers and faculty over existing organizational guidelines in the college. Difficulty in accomplishing requirements needed for recognition and loss of access to college facilities were among the concerns raised by student organizations. Two organizations were not recognized in the previous semester. Samaskom did not meet the 15-member minimum requirement which excludes executive officers while Anakbayan Maskom (ABMC)’s missionvision statement was rejected, according to CMC Student Council (CMC SC) Chairperson Mikko Ringia. Under the present Guidelines for CMC-Based Student Organizations, “the organization must emanate from the programs of the College and should have direct link with the mandate of the college. Thus, multi-sectoral organizations and those whose mission/vision are not aligned with the mandate of the college will not be recognized.” It is difficult to advocate for students’ democratic rights when one’s own right to organize is being curtailed, said ABMC Chairperson Victoria Uy. “Sa Town Hall, may pag-call out pa sa Anakbayan. Bakit daw kami nag-occupy dati ng (CMC) basement kahit hindi kami recognized. ‘Yun nga yung point. Ayaw nga kasi kaming i-recognize ng admin kaya napipilitan kaming mag-occupy ng spaces para makapag-organize,” she added. But the UP administration is only keeping the students’ interests and welfare in mind, said Agpaoa in defense of the org recognition process. “Para siguro mas mabigyang pansin ‘yung inyong mga pangangailangan, we reach it on a compromise. Iba rin kasi yung tingin ng administrador mula sa tingin lang ng mga estudyante. Kayo, alam niyo ‘yung mas kailangan ninyo, pero minsan you go overboard at mayroong pagmamalabis siguro doon sa kung ano ‘yung katanggaptanggap na inaasahan natin sa mga student organization,” said Agpaoa.

The University Student Council (USC)’s Org, Fraternities, and Sororities Head Isaac Punzalan contested Agpaoa’s claim, explaining that strict recognition processes are killing student organizations. “Abot 50 [organizations] na po ang namamatay dahil gipit na gipit na sila doon sa org recognition process. Doon pa lamang po sa laksa-laksang requirements, nagiging redundant po siya, nagiging repressive at, ultimately, hindi po mare-recognize ang ating organizations,” Punzalan said. The CMC Faculty-Student Town Hall on Guidelines for Student Organization Recognition and Code of Conduct was the second consultation between the faculty and students. In the previous dialogue held on September 20, CMC organizations and the administration agreed that ideas and feedback from the students will be used in drafting the revised guidelines on recognition in CMC, according to CMC College Secretary Teresa Congjuico. Meanwhile, Ringia led the call to junk the guidelines implemented by the FacultyStudent Relations Committee (FSRC), asserting autonomy and self-regulation instead for the organizations. The FSRC was established to resolve issues in student elections, org recognition, use of college facilities and other academic and nonacademic policies in CMC. In protest against the FSRC’s guidelines, all student orgs in CMC withdrew org recognition documents from the admin on October 2. In the forum, Agpaoa maintained that there is no need to abolish the FSRC’s guidelines which involved years of work and deliberation. “Dynamic kasi tayo at, ngayon, baka magandang pagpupuna. Pero wag ninyong i-abolish at ‘wag ninyong naisin na kayo-kayo lang magseself-regulate ng inyong organisasyon,” he added. “Kapag sabihin natin na sinusuportahan ng admin ang ating mga organisasyon, oo gusto natin ‘yun mangyari. Pero pakinggan din natin yung ating mga organisasyon na matagal nang namamatay dahil dito sa FSRC manual at (2012) Code of Student Conduct,” said Ringia. After the forum, several representatives from CMC-based organizations, college publication Tinig ng Plaridel, the CMC

Student Council and the USC spoke out against the regulation of the administration on student organizational activities. “Normal lang daw na namamatay ang mga organisasyon. Normal lang daw na nagbabayad tayo ng mga (room) rental fees. Normal lang daw na wala tayong tambayan,” said Almira Abril, former CMCSC chairperson and former UP Broadcasters’ Guild president. Abril encouraged CMC students to fight for their right to organize, likening the Town Hall to the crackdown of student organizations in the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP).



CMC students, admin dispute org independence

Fighting Maroon Jeline Lopez Masongsong easily rallies the shuttlecock back to a University Red Warrior opponent during a match in the 80th season of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines at the Rizal Memorial Badminton Hall, September 29. The Lady Shuttlers sits comfortably atop the tournament, headed unscathed straight to the championship with a 5-0 scorecard.


Yakal residents move out, transfer to other dorms JOSE MARTIN V. SINGH

ALMOST HALF OF THE DORMERS from Yakal Residence Hall were prompted to transfer to other dormitories due to creeping defects in the building. Eleven residents of the dormitory were already transferred to Ipil and Sampaguita dormitories as of September 25 because of the imminent danger the cracks in the walls indicate, said Office of the Student Housing (OSH) Officerin-charge Shirley Guevarra. Built in 1962, Yakal is a two-storey dormitory that can only house a total of 278 students, both male and female. But it currently has 330 residents, and 63 males and 37 females are going to be transferred. Cracks in the walls and floors have been discovered in certain areas in the male and female wings, Guevarra said. “The situation is related to the flooding in the past years,” she added. Dormers in Yakal confirm the dangers manifested by wall cracks and flooding in the past years. “May danger zones ‘yung dorm dahil sa crack sa walls kaya priority na ipavacate yung mga nasa affected areas, pero, lately, mas priority na ipa-vacate ‘yung

mga people [from] rooms na binabaha,” said Yakal dormer Dan Salado. He and his roommate were also directly affected by the floodings, he added. A survey conducted by the Yakal House Council helped determine the residents’ willingness to transfer and their preferred dorms, said Guevarra. The dorm choices include Ipil, Molave, Kalayaan, Sampaguita, Kamia, and Centennial but some requested the inclusion of Acacia while most chose to stay in Yakal until the end of the semester. Meanwhile, the management of Yakal dormitory facilitates the transfer of residents to other dormitories. The management will provide the endorsement letter from OSH and dorm requirements to the transferring residents for presentation and submission to their new dorm, said Guevarra. “If requested, transportation will be provided by the Yakal House Council to assist the residents in moving their things,” she added.

Guevarra explained that certain measures are now being taken to ensure the safety of the residents in the affected areas. Studies including a topographic survey has also been conducted by a team of experts from the different units in UP Diliman to determine the best mitigating measures for the dormitory and to ensure that the management is properly guided in handling the situation, she said. Experts assured OSH regarding the structural integrity of the building so dormers do not have to worry, Guevarra added. Yet, the safety of the dormers is still crucial, said University Student Council (USC) Councilor Kisha Beringuela. “Kailangan ma-ensure [ang] safety ng bawat residente at ayaw natin i-risk na panatilihin [ang] mga dormers sa lugar na maaaring maging sanhi ng isang delikadong sitwasyon,” said Beringuela. The USC has also offered assistance to the OSH and residents by helping the dormers transition and adjust to the changes, she added.


















Long run The road we now traverse reintroduces the concept of public good in higher education discourse—a concept that has faded in the language of competition. Yet, the free tuition law has its weaknesses, mainly that it approaches the matter of universal tertiary education only from the demand side, Africa said. “It only considers the point of view of students and their ability to pay tuition and other expenses, but what is crucial is the supply side, or the need to expand the public university system.” But to be able to expand, we must first sustain. The free tuition law is resource intensive, given the increasing cost of higher education with inflation and the expected increase in enrolment rate in SUCs. This can be met with the right political decisions, says Kabataan Partylist Rep. Sarah Elago. The Priority Development Assistance Fund, which amounts P300 million for each senator and P80 million for each congressman, can be utilized to sustain SUCs’ operations. The government can also revise the tax system to be more progressive, redistributing wealth from those at the top to the sectors in need like basic education. At this point, it is only treacherous to

revert to a socialized tuition policy with its inherent and irreconcilable c ont r a d ic t ion s — t h at while the budget of SUCs consistently fall way below proposed budget, they continue to rely on the pockets of students when there are clear alternatives. “The student movement still has a lot of battles to wage,” Elago said. And we still have a lot to win. The subsequent steps entail political will and public pressure. The challenge for the government is to take the high road. But the long run fate depends on the students, the primary stakeholders who drive in the road towards free education.


Destination There is no contention that a nation benefits from having a more highly educated population. The views vary, however, on how we get there. For most economists, a universal free tuition is not the right policy to reach that goal. Aside from the “leaky bucket” argument, another contention is that “there is no such thing as a free lunch,” that taxpayers will ultimately pay for the cost. Another is that subsidies must not be given to schools but to students who can “shop” or choose their colleges, and competition in turn will push colleges to strive for quality and efficiency. This line of arguments falls under the premise of neoliberal economics—a view that looks at social services as products and people as consumers. But in opposition to this lens, the United Nations Research Institute

for Social Development (UNRISD) says that neoliberal approaches to social protection fail to deliver on several counts. “Systems that are fragmented – with multiple providers, programmes and financing mechanisms aimed at different population groups – have limited potential for redistribution, and generally result in high costs, poor quality and limited access for the poor,” the UNRISD stated in its document titled Combating Poverty and Inequality. Drawing on evidence principally from health and education sectors, the document prescribes integrated systems of social service provision grounded in universal principles. “[It] can be redistributive, act as powerful drivers of solidarity and social inclusions, and improve the capabilities of the poor,” UNRISD stated. This, however, requires more than just a law. Arriving at the destination of universal free education requires a strong commitment to the principle that education is a right.


Dead end The long history of UP’s socialized tuition policy has been a dangerous road— fraught with decreasing turnout from UP College Admission Test passers, long lines of students applying for tuition loans, tons of appeals for lower STS bracket, and decreasing number of students enjoying free tuition. Such mechanism reached a lethal point when UP Manila student Kristel Tejada took her life after being forced to file a leave of absence for failing to pay her tuition. Far from the promise of democratizing access to UP education, socialized tuition policies only brought Kristel to a dead end. Within three decades that such mechanism was in place, not a year passed without walkouts and protests from the UP community. Now comes a policy that espouses free education for SUCs, which albeit

imperfect, is still an initial victory for the student movement. An educated population after all is the strongest foundation of any democracy. “Education is a right which gives people an important basis for greater participation in the nation’s economic and political life. It should be available for all, even up to the highest levels possible,” says thinktank IBON Foundation Executive Director Jose Enrique Africa. However, a blanket policy like RA 10931 can do more harm than good and can be considered anti-poor, according to government thinktank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS). It is a “leaky bucket” as more SUC students from wealthy families get to enjoy free tuition, says UP School of Economics Professor Emmanuel de Dios. But Africa contends that the policy should not be about someone deserving free tuition or not. “This is not even mainly about personal advancement—the higher knowledge and skills students get is potentially a great contribution to building our economy and society,” he said.


IF UP WERE HOGWARTS, THE Sorting Hat would be the Socialized Tuition System (STS). Yes, you qualified for entry to this legendary wizarding school. Yes, you have dreams. Unfortunately, unlike Hogwarts, UP is not fully subsidized by the government. So you would sit on a stool, and the Sorting Hat would be placed upon your head. The Hat would ponder for a while, and then announce the bracket that will decide how much money you should pay for tuition. No wonder #BracketAKaNa became a trending topic worldwide in 2014. UP just rolled out the STS, replacing the 23year old Socialized Tuition and Financial Assistance Program (STFAP). UP students just had enough, sharing stories of unfair and faulty bracket assignments. This year, the trending topic is #FreeEducNow for state universities and colleges (SUCs), as Republic Act 10931 (RA 10931) or the “Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act” was signed into law. The law takes a sharp turn from the self-sufficiency path that the Roadmap for Public Higher Education Reform has laid out for SUCs, marked by declining subsidy and skyrocketing tuition and other fees. The clamor for #FreeEducNow, however, does not stop from this legislation, as it entails subsequent decisive actions.










SABI NILA, ANG KARANASAN ang pinakamahusay na guro. Kung gayon, ang mga nasa laylayan ay dalubhasa na sa iba’t ibang uri ng karahasang ipinapataw ng estado. Langit ang mistulang bubong sa tuwing nag-aaral ng agrikultura. Bulubundukin ang tanaw sa mga bintana ng silid-aralan. Ngunit kakambal ng mapayapang imaheng ito ang anino ng karahasan. Noong Hulyo 6, 2017, binagabag ang tahimik na ulap ng mga eroplanong may kargang bomba. Kasabay ng rumaragasang agos ng ilog ang nagmamadaling mga talampakan upang isalba ang kanilang buhay. Mahigit dalawang taon na ang nakalipas nang patayin ng mga miyembro ng grupong paramilitar na Magahat Bagani ang tatlong pinunong Lumad sa harap mismo ng mga residente. Bahagi lamang umano ito ng operasyon upang puksain ang rebeldeng grupong Maute. Subalit hindi na papayag pa ang mga katutubo na muling dumanak ang dugo sa lupang ninuno. Kaya naman nagtungo sila sa kalunsuran upang igiit sa pamahalaan ang kanilang mga karapatan. Kasabay ng Lakbayan, ipinagpatuloy ng mga kabataang Lumad ang pag-aaral sa pagtatayo ng Paaralang Bakwit sa UP International Center. Gaya ng panandaliang eskwelahang ito, ang mga mga karahasang nararanasan ng mga katutubo ang siyang nagtulak sa kanilang magtayo ng mga alternatibong paaralan sa kanayunan. Sa mahabang kasaysayan ng pagtapak sa kanilang mga karapatan, edukasyon ang sandatang kanilang tangan. Araling Panlipunan Saksi ang kasaysayan na panunupil ng estado ang naging tuntungan sa pagsibol ng mga alternatibong paaralan. Halos kakaluklok pa lamang ni dating Pangulong Corazon Aquino nang ipatupad niya ang Oplan Lambat Bitag, isang “total war policy” laban sa mga rebelde. Pinaigting nito ang militarisasyon partikular na sa Lianga Bay at Benguet na pinag-aagawan ng malalaking kumpanya ng pagtotroso at pagmimina. Napadali ang pandarahas at pagpapalayas sa mga katutubo habang lumawak ng husto ang mga dayuhang proyekto. Sa panahon kung kailan umigting ang karahasan, nagsimula ring umusbong ang organisadong paglaban ng mga katutubo. Binuo ng mga bakwit ng Surigao del Sur ang Malahutayong Pakigbisog alang sa Sumusunod (MAPASU) na nangangahulugang “walang humpay na pakikibaka para sa susunod na

henerasyon.” Mula rito, umusbong ang Tribal Filipino Program of Surigao del Sur, Inc. (TRIFPSS) at Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development, Inc. (ALCADEV), mga paaralang Lumad. Ang kasaysayan ng mga alternatibong paaralan ay hindi hiwalay sa kasaysayan ng pagprotekta sa lupang ninuno. Tinangan bilang sandata ang mga libro, tisa, at pisara sa kanilang paglaban para sa mga karapatan. “Yung mismong edukasyon [at] eskwelahan, ekspresyon siya ng kagustuhang makapag-aral, na makatakas sa kamangmangan, na makalayo doon sa panloloko, at malaman yung karapatan ng mga Lumad—karapatan sa lupa, sa sariling pagpapasya [at] sa edukasyon,” ani Kenneth Cadiang, guro sa ALCADEV na nagtapos sa UP Diliman. Agham at Kultura Sa alternatibong paaralan, nakaugat ang bawat leksyon sa katutubong kultura at kasaysayan ng pagdepensa sa lupang ninuno. Alinsunod dito, ang uri ng edukasyong nakakamit sa mga paaralang ito ay makamasa, makabayan, at siyentipiko. Bagamat halos magkapareho ang mga asignaturang itinuturo sa regular na eskwelahan, lapat sa katutubong kultura ang bawat leksyon sa alternatibong paaralan. Kaya naman ang agrikultura ay mahalagang bahagi ng kanilang kurikulum. Tinuturuan sila kung paano magtanim at mag-alaga ng hayop. Higit pa rito, ang bawat asignatura ay hindi hiwalay sa komunidad. “A is for agohoy (mais) imbis na apple,” ani Ramil Miguel, guro sa Salugpungan Ta ‘Tanu Igkanogon Community Learning Center Inc. (STTICLC). Bahagi rin ng kanilang edukasyon ang katutubong kaugalian. Sa pagbibigay ng grado, iniiwasan ng ALCADEV ang lamangan kaya’t walang konsepto ng paglalahad kung sino ang sampung pinakamagagaling sa klase. Bagaman may class card, ito ay para lamang makita kung saan ang kalakasan at kahinaan ng mag-aaral. Ayon kay Cadiang, lapat ito sa paniniwalang pantay-pantay ang pagmamay-ari ng lahat sa lupa. Kaakibat din nito ang mandatong protektahan at paunlarin ang lupang ninuno na makakamit lamang sa kolektibong pagkilos. Sa kasamaang palad, ang prinsipyong ito ang siyang pinupuksa ng mga dayuhang nagnanais kamkamin ang lupain. Katuwang ang estado, sistematiko nilang dinadahas ang katutubo upang likumin ang yaman ng kalikasan sa palad ng iilan.


Matematika at Taktika Dahil ang pagkamulat ang simula ng paglaban, sistematikong dinudurog ng estado ang mga naitayong alternatibong paaralan. Sa kasalukuyang administrasyon, 39 na mga paaralan na ang pwersadong isinara dahil sa pagkakampo ng militar (See sidebar). Ayon kay John Timothy Romero, guro sa Center for Lumad and Advocacy Services Skul di Banwe (CLANS), sistematiko ang pandarahas sa mga paaralan kung saan tinatakot ang mga guro maging ng lokal na pamahalaan. Sa Sultan Kudarat, nagbanta si Mayor Ronan Garcia na gagamitin niya ang Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) para hulihin ang mga gurong sumusuporta sa CLANS. Gayundin ang karanasan ng ALCADEV kung saan sinampahan ng mga gawa-gawang kaso gaya ng child abuse ang mga guro. Pinararatangan ding tagasuporta ng rebeldeng grupo ang mga komunidad. “Ginagamit nila yung salitang ‘NPA’ [at] terorista kasi hindi naman pwedeng sabihin nila, ‘umalis kayo diyan kasi magmining kami,” ani Miguel. Malinaw sa mga guro ng mga alternatibong paaralan na ang mga atakeng nagaganap ay hindi hiwalay sa kanilang laban sa karapatan sa lupang ninuno. “Ayaw nila na andun ang mga paaralan kasi doon namin tinuturuan ang mga bata kung paano manindigan sa kanilang mga karapatan, kung paano nila paninindigan yung lupang ninuno nila,” ani Evelyn Cabangan, guro sa Mindanao Interfaith Services Foundation, Inc. Academy (MISFI).











Alternatibong balangkas Patunay ang mga alternatibong paaralan na sa umiigting na pandarahas, makatwirang sisibol ang paglaban para sa karapatan. Mga araling magdedepensa ng kanilang kultura at lupang ninuno ang siyang nilalaman ng kanilang mga kwaderno. Nagsisilbing inspirasyon ang mga alternatibong paaralan sa kanilang makamasa, makabayan, at siyentipikong edukasyon. Pagbalikwas sa kasalukuyang makadayuhang sistema ng pagkatuto ang tunay na kinakailangan ng sektor ng edukasyon sa bansa. Higit sa inspirasyon, isa itong hamon na ipagpatuloy ang kanilang sinimulan. Hindi estado ang naglatag ng pundasyon ng mga alternatibong paaralan. Bagkus, sama-sama nilang itinayo ang mga ito. Sirain at sunugin man, lilikumin ang natirira at pupunan ito ng mas matibay at mas malawak na pakikipaglaban ng mamamayan. DIBUHO NI JOHN KENNETH ZAPATA DISENYO NG PAHINA NI KENNETH GUTLAY





PANGATLONG BESES KO NA SA kampuhan. Nandoon din ako noong pumunta ang mga Lakbayani (Mindanao pa lang noon) sa may College of Human Kinetics noong 2015. Sa paglipas ng mga taon, lalong dumarami ang lumalahok—mayroon na mula hilaga hanggang katimugan. Mas nagiging “real” sa kamalayan ko ang lawak at tindi ng mga palisiya ng pamahalaang hindi makataong tinatrato ang mga pambansang minorya. Halos magkakapareho ang kuwento— gusto lang ng pamahalaan at mga dambuhalang kompanya ay pagsamantalahan ang mga pinagkakainteresan nilang mga lupain at likas na yaman doon. Maging ang balangkas ng militarisasyon at pagbabanta sa mga paaralan ng mga lumad ay nakabatay sa pagpapanatili ng interes ng mga naghahari’t abusadong uri. At sa bawat pag-integrate sa iba’t ibang grupo, mas nakikita ko ang bisa ng pagkukuwento. Dumidiskurso ang mga naratibo ng pambansang minorya; mula sa pag-integrate hanggang sa mga exhibit at cultural nights. Napakalahaga ang pagkukuwento sa danas ng mga Lakbayani. May mga batang nadidismaya nga kapag may estudyanteng hindi nakikinig o gumagamit ng phone, dahil napakahalaga ng espasyo’t panahon na iyon para magbahagi ng danas. Hindi naman kasi (at hindi rin talaga) binabalita ang kanilang sitwasyon, lalo na sa mga sentrong tulad ng Maynila. Kung kaya sila na ang nag-atubiling pumunta rito para ikuwento sa lahat ang kanilang danas. Sa bawat kuwento ng pang-araw-araw na danas, ay may nakapaloob na diskursong hindi binibigyang

boses sa iba’t ibang midyang dinadaluyan ng pagnanaratibo sa ating realidad. Ito rin ay sa kabila ng mga naratibo o akusasyon, partikular ng mga pro-mining groups (na marami rin sa UP), na hindi “santo” (sino bang nagsabing santo sila?) ang pambansang minorya lalo na sa pagmimina. Sa totoo lang, sa kuwento pa lang ng mga taga-Cordillera, na dumadaloy ang tailings sa mga ilog at pampatubig ng mga taga-roon (na nakasisira sa kanilang pananim at kabuhayan), na laging may militar na nagbabantay sa mga (ironically) pribadong kumpanya tulad ng minahan (na may kaso ng paninira ng relasyon ng mga tagaroon at sa mas malalang antas, panggagahasa), mas ilusyonado ang pagsasapraktika doon ng “responsible mining.” [Disclaimer: Hindi ako anti-mining, dahil maraming pakinabang ito, at napakayaman ng Pilipinas para sa minahan. Hindi ako pabor sa mga polisiya, at oryentasyon ng pagmimina rito na tungo sa interes ng mga dayuhan at iilang Pilipinong nakikinabang sa pag-konchaban ng tiwaling gobyerno at dayuhang nageextract ng cheap labor at cheap goods sa bansa.] Sa mas personal na lapit, dito ko naunawaan muli ang bisa ng pagsusulat o pagkukuwentong may paglubog sa batayang masa. Bagamat wala akong mala-mesiah na ilusyong “isusulat ko ang masa.” Bagkus, ang panulat ko’y nagtatangkang matamo ang sinasabing uri ng panulat ni Mao Zedong sa Yen’an; isang panulat na popular, masining, at linyado ang politikang nakalubog sa kondisyon ng masa.

Ang mga nailathala sa pahinang ito ay unang isinumite sa klase ng Panitikang Pilipino 190: Panitikan at Lipunan sa ilalim ni Prop. Pauline Mari Hernando.



UNIBERSAL ANG PAGNGITI, unibersal ang pagiging masaya. Nakatingin ako sa mukha ng mga taong hindi ko kilala ngunit alam ko ang pinagdaraanan, ipinaglalaban. Hindi naman kasi ito ang unang pagkakataon na dumayo sila sa lupa ng iba. Nakangiti sila habang batid sa kanilang mga mata ang alab ng kanilang minimithi. Mula sila sa iba’t ibang rehiyon ng bansa, pumunta sila ng Maynila upang ipanawagan, kalampagin ang kasalukuyang administrasyon upang ipaalam ang kanilang sitwasyon. Mahaba ang kanilang inilakbay upang makarating sa sentro ng kapangyarihan, mananatili sila ng ilang buwan sa iba’t ibang unibersidad sa Maynila upang ipaalam sa kabataan ang kanilang panawagan. Dahil mas bukas nga naman ang isip ng kabataan kaysa sa mga matatandang nalunod na sa sistema’t kasalukuyan. Bumalik sa gunita ko ang salubungan noong isang taon, hindi man ako nakapunta sa mismong kaganapa’y marami akong nakitang litratong lumabas sa social media. Nagsanib ang emosyon ng sumasalubong at

sasalubungin, nagkaisa ang kanilang mga emosyon, kahit na halo-halong emosyon ang mga iyon. Ngayong Lakbayan 2017, mas lalo kong nakita ang mas matibay na pagkakapit ng mga bumisita sa binibisita. Kahit na masalimuot ang kanilang mga ikinukuwento: ang pagpasok ng malalaking kompanya sa kanilang lugar upang pagkakitaan sila, ang pagpapagawa ng mga dam na makakasira sa kanilang lupain, ang pagpapalayas sa kanila sa lupang ninuno, ang panloloko na ginagawa sa kanila ng kanilang lokal na gobyerno. Iba’t iba ang kanilang pinanggalingan, iba’t iba ang kanilang danas sa ilalim ng mapaniil na sistema, iba’t iba ang mga naganap sa kanilang pagkukuwento ngunit iisa ang balangkas na sinusundan ng kanilang mga naratibo at ito ay ang pagpasok ng modernisasyon sa kanilang lugar. Batay na rin sa mga nasaliksik ko na, malaking suliranin ng ibang bansa ang pagbabanggaan ng moderno at tradisyon, ng teknolohiya’t nakasanayan.






In its 95th year, the Collegian opens its spaces to readers who wish to share their own viewpoints. Articles should not exceed 500 words. Send in your contributions to phkule@gmail.com.

Habi ng pakikibaka MARVIN JOSEPH E. ANG

PINATITINGKAD ANG MGA Vprotesta ng kulay pula mula sa mga kasuotan ng pambansang minorya para sa taunang Lakbayan. Bitbit ang gong at iba pang instrumento, isinisigaw ng bawat pagtambol ang kanilang mga hinaing sa estado—pagpapalayas sa mga militar sa kanayunan, paglaban para sa sariling pagpapasya. Kasamang nakiisa ngayong taon ang kaigorotan, na nananawagan laban sa pagmimina sa kanilang lupain. Ngunit imbis na suportahan ang kanilang paglaban, binatikos pa ang mga Igorot dahil sa paggamit ng kanilang kasuotan at sayaw sa rally. Para sa Facebook page na YouLike Cordillera PH, isang community page na nagtataguyod ng turismo sa rehiyon, hindi kinakatawan ng mga militanteng Igorot ang “Igorot Nation.” Isa diumanong anyo ng “pagkitil” sa mayamang kultura at tradisyon ng mga taga-Cordillera ang pagsusuot ng kasuotang Igorot, na sinang-ayunan naman ng ilan. Maiuugat ang paratang na ito sa mga nauna nang paratang na kinakasangkapan ang mga katutubo ng mga militante at progresibong grupo para sa sarili nitong adyenda. Pero kung tutuusin, lehitimo ang panawagan ng pambansang minorya para sa sariling pagpapasya at sa paglaban sa malawakang militarisasyon sa kanikanilang lupang ninuno. At binubura ng paratang na ito ang malalim na kasaysayan ng paglaban ng mga Igorot sa tuwing may nangangahas na kamkamin o pagkakitaan ang kanilang lupain. Panahon pa man ng Espanyol, ilang beses nang tinangkang sakupin at minahin ang mga bundok ng Cordillera dahil sa taglay nitong yaman sa iba’t ibang mineral, ayon sa historyador na si William Henry Scott. Gamit ang mga bato, sibat, at mga patibong na nakatago sa mga matataas na talahib, matagumpay na nadepensahan ng mga tagaCordillera ang kanilang lupain mula sa mananakop. Nagsimula naman ang malawakang pagpasok at pananamantala

sa kalupaan ng Cordillera ng dumating ang Amerikano. Lalong umigting ang kanilang paglaban noong panahon naman ng Batas Militar. Suot ang bahag at tangan ang sibat at kalasag, hindi nagpatinag at pinangunahan ni Macli-ing Dulag ang bodong o peace pact ng iba’t ibang komunidad sa Cordillera upang tutulan ang 1,000-megawatt hydroelectric power plant na itatayo sa kahabaan ng Chico River. Bagaman pinatay ng mga sundalo ng gobyerno si Dulag, hindi rin natuloy ang proyektong ito. Sa bawat yugto ng paglaban ng mga Igorot, bitbit nila ang kanilang kultura bilang armas. Sang-ayon dito ang sinabi ni Raymond Williams, isang kritikong Briton, na ang mga kultural na produktong may halagang pang-estetika, katulad ng sining-biswal, sayaw, musika, panitikan, atbp., ay hindi lamang nalilimitahan sa isang partikular na grupo ng tao sa isang partikular na lugar. Umuugat ang kultura sa mas malaking lipunang kinabibilangan nito. Para kay Windel Bolinget, tagapangulo ng progresibong grupong Cordillera Peoples’ Alliance, ang tradisyunal na kasuotan ng Kaigorotan ay bahagi ng kultura at identidad ng mga Igorot. Hindi umano maihihiwalay sa kanila ang kanilang bahag dahil ito ang kanilang kasuotan, pang-araw araw man o may okasyon. Matibay na pinananatili ng mga taga-Cordillera ang kanilang tradisyon na nakaugat sa kanilang malalim na pag-unawa sa mabuti at masama. Ang kanilang oral na panitikan, halimbawa, ay nakaugat sa kanilang paraan ng pamumuhay, tulad ng mga epiko at awiting bayang inaawit sa pagtatanim at sa pag-aani. At ito ang kulturang pinananatili nila hindi pa man dumarating ang mga mananakop sa Pilipinas hanggang sa kasalukuyan. Gayunman, kahit na mahigpit ang pagsunod sa kanilang tradisyon, makikita ring umaangkop ang kanilang kultura sa kanilang paglaban. Isang halimbawa


nito ay ang Salidummay, na kung dati’y inaawit lang sa pag-akyat sa ligaw, kasal at iba pang okasyon, mayroon nang mas progresibong bersyong tumatalakay sa kawalang-katarungan. Sa mga linyang, “Nakikinig ka ba sa utos nila/Ba’t di mo imulat ang iyong mga mata/Lumaban ka huwag paapi,” makikita na kasabay na nagbabago ang kanilang kultura sa kamalayan ng taong lumilikha nito, at kung paano nila hinaharap ang mga suliranin sa loob at labas ng kanilang komunidad. Sa panahon ng ligalig, katutubo ang unang magtatanggol sa kanilang kultura. At ang tanging paraan upang mapreserba ang kanilang kultura ay kung sasamahan natin sila sa kanilang laban. Ito ang puntong nakaligtaan ng YouLike – na ang totoong banta sa pagkamatay ng kultura ng mga Igorot ay ang mga nangangamkam at nananamantala ng kanilang lupain. Kaya’t hindi masasabing pagkitil ang mga kultural na pagtatanghal ng mga Igorot sa mga protesta. Para kay Bolinget, ang tunay na kumikitil sa mayamang kultura ng mga Igorot ay ang malawakang pandarambong sa lupang ninuno. “Kapag sinira ang lupain namin, hindi na namin maisasagawa ang aming kultura dahil ang aming kultura ay nakasandig sa aming lupain.”

Biyaheng langit MARVIN JOSEPH E. ANG ISA LANG NAMAN ANG PAKAY NI Mika sa kaniyang paglalayas mula sa kanilang tahanan – ang kunin siya ng alien at makasamang muli ang kaniyang namayapang ina. Sa kaniyang paglalakbay papunta sa Mt. Milagros, makikilala niya si Caloy na, katulad niya, tumakas rin sa kanilang tahanan upang pumunta at makipag-ayos sa kaniyang ama bago siya bawian sa sakit na leukemia. Pagtakas ang pangunahing tema ng ‘Love You to the Stars and Back,’ pelikulang sinulat at dinirehe ni Antoinette Jadaone. Pangunahing mga tauhan sina Julia Barretto at Joshua Garcia na minsan na ring bumida sa pelikulang ‘Vince Kath & James’ noong 2016 Metro Manila Film Festival. Katulad ng naunang pelikula ni Jadaone na ‘That Thing Called Tadhana’ (2014), sumentro ang kuwento ng pelikula sa dalawang estranghero na aksidenteng nagkakilala—nang masagasaan ni Mika ang paa ni Caloy matapos niyang akalaing sinisilipan siya nito habang umiihi. Katulad ng That Thing, hitik ang palitan ng dayalogo nina Mika at Caloy ng mga hugot lines, sipi mula sa mga kilalang pilosopo patungkol sa pag-ibig. Sa mga hiritan ng dalawa tungkol sa global warming, alien, at kalabaw hanggang sa buhay, pamilya at pag-ibig na karaniwang nauuwi sa pag-uusap tungkol sa isa’t isa, napatatampok ang kultura ng kabataan ngayon na karaniwang nahuhumaling sa mga banat na may pinaghuhugutan. Hindi kaiba ang pelikulang Love You to the Stars and Back sa mga karaniwang rom-com movies na naipalabas na ng Star Cinema. Tipikal ang pormula nito – mayamang babaeng galit sa kaniyang pangalawang ina kaya’t lalayas siya sa kanilang tahanan, at sa kaniyang paglalayas, makikilala niya ang estrangherong lalaking mahirap na sa isang iglap ay babago sa kaniyang buhay. Kung minsan, lumalabis na ito’t para bang silang dalawa na lamang ang tao sa mundo.

Isa sa sakit ng pelikulang Love You to the Stars and Back, katulad ng That Thing, ay ang kawalan ng koneksyon sa materyal na mundong kinagagalawan nito. Kabalintunaang “road trip” ang tema nito, samantalang nagsilbing backdrop lamang at mistulang walang buhay ang ibang mga tao at lugar sa kuwento para sa higit isang oras na kuwentuhan at kiligan ng dalawang tauhan. Bagaman sinubukang ipasok sa pelikula ang kuwento ng isang mamang nagdadala ng manok bilang kontribusyon sa kasal ng anak nito, tila naging palamuti lamang ito at walang kontribusyon sa kuwento. Mas napayaman sana ang pelikula kung naipakita kung paano nakaapekto ang karakter ng matanda kina Mika at Caloy – kung ano ang natutuhan nila sa maikling pagkikitang iyon. Kung iisipin, sa kabila ng paulit-ulit na pormula at hugot lines, bakit malawak pa rin ang hatak ng pelikula sa mga manonood nito? Bakit tumabo pa rin ito ng mahigit 102 milyon sa takilya? Dahil pag-ibig ang tanging lunas na inihahain ng pelikula at industriya sa publiko. At sa panahong laganap ang karahasan at kahirapan, pribilehiyo nga naman ang makuha ng alien, ayon sa ina ni Mika, na ginampanan ni Carmina Villaroel. Mas madaling tumakas at bumuo ng isa pang mundong lunod lang sa romansa at kilig. At sa tinagal-tagal, ito ang sinususugan ng mga rom-com movies, partikular sa mga pelikula ni Jadaone. Sa bandang huli, itinuturo ng pelikula na ang buhay at pag-ibig ay wala sa mga “alien” o sa mga bituin sa langit, kundi nandito sa lupa. Ngunit kailangang malaman nina Mika at Caloy na may mas malaking daigdig sa labas ng nilikha nilang espasyo. At kung pipiliing lumabas nina Mika at Caloy sa realidad, malalaman nilang hindi lang sa kanilang dalawa umiikot ang mundo.





Tanging ganda lamang ng mga bituin ang pinipiling tingnan ng iilan habang isinasantabi ang katotohanan kung gaano ito kapanglaw

KAPAG ‘DI AKO NAKAKAUWI sa aming bahay sa probinsya, tumitingin ako sa langit. Ito raw ang nag-uugnay sa lahat bilang iisa lang naman ang bubong ng buong mundo. Siguro sawang-sawa na ang sansinukob sa milyun-milyong tala at kwento ng mga hindi nakakauwi. Umuwi na ang mga Lakbayani nang nakaraang linggo. Napakarami nang napagtagumpayan ng mga pambansang minorya ngunit hindi pa rin natatapos ang karahasan sa kanilang komunidad. Siguro naguguluhan ang sansinukob. Nang nilikha ang teorya ng paglikha, pinangakuan kasi ito ng kaayusan. At malinaw na hindi ito totoo. Hindi lahat nakauwi dahil gaya ko, mayroong mga naiwan sa UP. At ‘di ko katulad, wala na kasi silang mababalikang bahay. Madalas nang lumuha ang langit. Ang bawat pagsabog, gaya sa teoryang Big Bang, ay nagdulot ng paglikha ng mga planeta. At ‘di nito katulad, ang bawat pagsabog sa Marawi ay nagdulot ng paglipol sa kabuhayan at mismong buhay ng mga nakatira rito. Kapag di ako nakakauwi, tumitingin ako sa langit. Anu-ano pa kayang kwento mula sa mga tala ang hindi nakakauwi? Minsang nagawi sa aking news feed sa Facebook ang mga balita tungkol sa mga Rohingya, mga minorya na inalisan ng pagkakakilanlan sa anumang estado. Mula sila sa Myanmar at taglay

nila ang mahabang kasaysayan ng diskriminasyon at persekyusyon. At malinaw na hindi sila nakakauwi. At karamihan sa kanila, hindi na makakauwi pa. Hindi lahat ng kwento ng mga Rohingya ay nakakauwi sa atin. Halimbawa na nito ang umano’y “misinterpretation of reality” ni Sen. Alan Cayetano sa krisis ng mga Rohingya, ayon kay Anifah Aman mula sa Malaysia. Nakasaad kasi sa pahayag ni Sen. Cayetano ang pang-ekonomiyang pag-unlad ng Hilagang Rakhine kung saan nagmula ang mga Rohingya at kung saan 77 ang muling namatay ilang araw bago ilabas ang pahayag. Bilang tagapangulo ng ASEAN, na may pangunahing layon na mapagbuklod ang mga bansa sa Timog Silangang Asya, sinasalamin ng pahayag at hakbangin ni Sen. Cayetano ang turing ng asosasyon sa mga minorya, gaya ng mga Rohingya. Bilang mambabatas sa Pilipinas, ang pangunahing layon na maitaguyod ang kaayusan sa bansa ay sumasalamin sa mga pahayag at hakbangin ni Sen. Cayetano sa iba’t ibang isyu, panloob man ito o panlabas. Makikita ang repleksyon at pagkakatulad sa turing ng mga opisyales ng pamahalaan sa turing sa mga Rohingya at mismong ating pambansang minorya. Makikita ang repleksyon ng mundong ibabaw sa kalangitan tuwing gabi. Tanging

ganda lamang ng mga bituin ang pinipiling tingnan ng iilan habang isinasantabi ang katotohanan kung gaano ito kapanglaw. Kapag hindi ako nakakauwi, tumitingin ako sa langit. Ilan pa kayang kwento ng panggigipit sa mga minorya ang hindi nakakauwi? Siguro sawang-sawa na ang sansinukob, siguro rin hindi. Hindi pa rin kasi nagbabago, hindi rin umaalis. Kapag hindi kayo nakauwi, subukan nyong tingnan ang langit. Kapag hindi pa kayo nakakauwi, subukan niyong bisitahin ang natitira pang mga Lakbayani. Kapag hindi na tayo makakauwi, subukan nating isipin kung saan magpapaabot ng umaga ang mga Rohingya. Subukan nating isipin kung saan sila muling pupunta upang tumakas sa iba’t ibang uri ng karahasan. Subukan nating umuwi sa katotohanan, at piliin ang langit na titingnan.

















AFTER FOUR YEARS IN ART school, I have studied how aesthetics can influence people’s minds and choices. We were taught to design products that would catch customers’ attention and entice more buyers to earn more profit. In such a rule of business and aesthetics, I believe, Xander is no exemption. Make him more “appealing” to the masses, change his name, and package him as someone who looks foreign and Western. The notion kills me, especially, Marlou changed his name to “Xander” just because it sounds “very pogi,” and “Ford” sounds “classy,” according to Vince Abasolo, the general manager of Star Image Artist Management. Xander rings familiar to me as I recall our lessons in product design and branding to fool consumers. However, Xander is no product; he is just your usual Filipino dreamer, making his way out of poverty. Xander was once Marlou who would sell cigarettes to earn money for school tuition, that image I can’t help to recall. I’m affected on how he opted to stop schooling because the family can no longer shoulder the cost. Instead, he focused on working to support his family. I was in third year when I chanced upon the story of Marlou, when the Collegian wrote a story about him and his previous “Have A Successful Honor and Talent (Hasht) 5” boy band group in our lampoon issue “National Jolographic.” It was the days when



his group’s popularity is at its peak, but also at worst with bashers calling them addicts, jejemon, snatchers, and monsters. And yet, these did not hinder Marlou to pursue his dream. The origin of Xander lies in the dreams of Hasht5 from General Trias, Cavite. The faces of Hasht5 were Vincent, Jhimwel, Erick, Cheejay, and Marlou. The group has average looks yet managed to gain popularity. Their dream is to become popular artists. Unfortunately, the groups popularity dwindled and lasted only for months. In the entertainment industry, beauty reigns supreme, under the support of the superficial zealot viewers patronizing the faces that please their eyes. For that reason, actors and actresses are expected to have sexy figures and solid muscles, abs, fair skin, and angelic faces. And to note, it is not only Xander who had resorted to plastic surgery. Many artists had done the same thing: adjusting their nose, whitening their skin, or augmenting their buttocks. However, Xander’s case became more popular as he comes from a social class with not enough money for such surgeries—a luxury only the elite can easily afford. Artists’ pursuit of beauty is of utmost importance, for it is their capital. The beauty of artists dictates the shows which the viewers will watch. It is an asset that television networks build upon. The demand for beauty from the viewers, and the mainstream media’s


desire to please them, is the system that pushes Marlou to change his identity, to change who he is, just like many other artists. However, artists are just pawns in the industry. Companies value their popularity, not necessarily their identity. Such is the case of Marlou, a man whose character, face, and name have changed altogether. What we have now is Xander, a product of the ICON clinic and Star Image Artist Management, whose face will soon rise to the billboards along the streets, wearing bench clothes, SM shoes, or Penshoppe jackets. He will be sold and rented for hours, for marketing campaigns, for TV show ratings, for commercials, advertising products, and working for the company’s profit. Beauty is a sort of capital, but it is superficial. After all, it is the consumer’s demand that dictates what the market supplies. And the birth of Xander Ford and his popularity speak volumes about who we are, much more than who Xander is.












However, artists are just pawns in the industry. Companies value their popularity, not necessarily their identity

ONLINE phkule@gmail.com www.philippinecollegian.org fb.com/philippinecollegian twitter.com/phkule instagram.com/phkule issuu.com/philippinecollegian pinterest.com/phkule

      




Hundreds of civilians affected as AFP military ops in Batangas continue



KUNG HINDI AKO NAPIPIRMI SA MELCHOR, makikita mo akong nakatambay sa ilalim ng malalaking puno sa Sunken Garden, nagpapalipas ng oras. At dahil wala akong org, nagpapalipat-lipat ako ng tambayan—isang puno bawat araw. Hindi lang dahil sa nakaka-senti ang malawak na damuhan at lilim na hatid ng mga puno sa UP, kundi dahil wala ring makikialam sa trip ko maliban sa mga batang nanghihingi ng barya, o ‘yung mga grupong lalapit para paalalahanan akong mahal ako ng Dios. Kung lunod na ako sa acads o kung napakagulo na ng daigdig para sakin, gugustuhin ko na lang humilata sa Sunken Garden at pagmasdan ang mga ulap hanggang sa gapangan ako ng higad. Lahat tayo ay naghahanap ng tambayan, kung saan tayo maaaring lumagay sa “lowest possible energy state,” ang natural na lagay ng uniberso ayon sa Physics. Kaya nga noong nag-apply ako sa tatlong org (na hindi ko rin naman itinuloy), tambayan ang unang hinanap ko. Maling pamantayan, kung tutuusin, lalo’t dalawa sa mga org ay wala naman talagang matinong tambayan. Sa katunayan, maraming org sa UP ang walang maayos na tambayan. Bagaman gawain kong tumambay, ito rin ang dahilan kung bakit umurong ako sa lahat ng org na tinangka kong salihan, maliban sa mahirap pa sa application process. Rekisito ang pagtambay ng ilang oras, at kailangang maramdaman ng mga miyembro ang mala-multo kong presensya. Sadyang mas gusto ko lang magpamuni-muni tuwing bakanteng oras. Pero sapat na marahil na dahilan ang samahan, kung hindi man tambayan, para sumali sa mga org kahit pa highest possible energy state ang inaasahan mula sa bawat aplikante. Bagaman hindi naman talaga kailangan ang org para maging ganap ang karanasan sa UP, mahalagang bahagi ito ng buhay ng maraming Iskolar ng Bayan. Nagiging bahagi sila ng mas maliit na komunidad sa UP, kung saan sila maaaring maging sila, habang binibigyang-diin ang mas malaking tungkulin ng bawat organisasyon sa lipunan. Pero sa Maskom, may dalawang org na hindi kinilala ng kanilang kolehiyo dahil sa manwal ng unibersidad na pinaiiral nito sa mga organisasyon. Dahil dito, nanganganib na mapaalis sila sa kanilang mga tambayan. Bilang protesta, binawi ng mga organisasyong pangmag-aaral sa Maskom ang kanilang dokumento ng pagkilala mula sa administrasyon ng kolehiyo. Ngunit sa halip na pakinggan ang mga mag-aaral, ang sagot ng kolehiyo ay pagtataas ng renta ng mga pasilidad na dati’y libre para sa mg mag-aaral ng kolehiyo. Ganito rin ang naranasan ng mga organisasyon sa Engineering noong nakaraang taon. Siyam na org ang pinagbawalan gamitin ang kanilang tambayan sa loob ng isang linggo. Ngunit dahil sa paggigiit ng mga mag-aaral, nabawi nila ang suspensyon. Ngayon, sama-sama ring kumikilos ang mga mag-aaral ng Maskom. Nagbibigay ang org ng makulay na kultura sa UP. Palagay ko, marami ang dapat baguhin sa kanila, pero hindi ito nangangahulugang dapat ipagkait sa kanila ang kanilang mga karapatan. Higit pa sa tambayan, ang kailangan nila ay pagkilala.

 Ralph Abainza @AbainzaRalph

The fact that the millennials lead the protests today is already a big source of hope for the Philippines. #NeverAgain #DayofProtest

1:16 PM - SEP 21 2017

the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the New People’s Army. At 10am today, fact-finding team reported 2 choppers circling around Mt. Banoi. “Use of excessive force such as aerial bombings seem to be the norm for AFP troops whenever there are conf licts. Thus, civilians are not spared,” said Pastor Edwin Egar of KARAPATAN-Southern Tagalog. Youth Advocates for Peace with Justice – UPLB headed the protest action at the University of the Philippines Los Banos while KARAPATAN – Southern Tagalog trooped to Department of National Defense to decry military operations and

YOUTH ADVOCATES FOR PEACE with Justice (YAPJUST-UPLB) and KARAPATAN – Southern Tagalog along with different progressive organizations condemn the continuous aerial bombings and ground operations in Batangas City-Lobo area since Sunday. Based from initial reports of the fact-finding mission led by KARAPATAN – Southern Tagalog, a combined 137 families from Brgy. Cumba and Talahib Pandayan were forced to evacuate. Classes were also suspended in at least 15 schools in the said barangays and nearby areas. This came after the alleged encounter between



the clear violation of Comprehensive Agreement on Respect on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHIHL). At 1pm, KARAPATAN – Southern Tagalog and other sectoral, provincial organizations went to Commission on Human Rights to file a formal complaint against the state forces. Currently, AFP and PNP operatives continue to prevent and harass fact-finding teams. The said fact-finding teams aim to assist civilians and further investigate the situation.


WHAT IS THE RELEVANCE OF FRATERNITIES AND SORORITIES IN OUR TIME? I think the reason why students join [is] because of the mere prestige of the fraternity/sorority... Also, with the advent of orgs in UP, the essence of fraternities/sororities which is brotherhood/sisterhood is dying or at least not the same as it used to [be] because orgs can provide that sense of belonging which was then exclusive to fraternities and sororities. EDRIC RAGUINDIN


“Di [kasi] napapansin ng mga tao ‘yung mga binibigay ng fraternities sa mga communities and sa university. Like nung 100th [founding anniversary] ng UP, malaking part din ng expenses ay ini-sponsor ng iba’t ibang fraternities. Marami ring mga gamit, rooms, and buildings ang dinodonate, scholarships na binibigay, [and] outreach programs like medical and dental missions, blood drives, libreng bakuna. Mahirap kasi matanggal ‘yung stigma na ‘pag fratman puro gulo lang. Service—malaki ang naibibigay ng Frat and Soro na service. ANONYMOUS


JULY 27, 2017

 Raymond Rodis /raymond.rodis.3

 Shari Nina Oliquino @ShariOliquino

For sure there are stains in your legacy whether it be the Mamasapano Massacre, Kidapawan Massacre, the Luneta Hostage Taking, the DAP, the unexcusable retention of Secretary Abaya and the like but all in all, I think the good outweigh the bad.

The best of the Iskolar ng Bayan is revealed and tested in times of crisis, when the call to serve and struggle for the people is strongest,

10:05 PM - SEP 26 2017

10:42 PM - SEP 20 2017








Hindi pa man sabihin ng pangulo, nasa direksyon na ni Lorenzana at ng Armed Forces of the Philippines ang mga pangyayari, animo’y mga tutang sabik sa US na kanilang tunay na amo.

si Rodrigo Duterte, tila nagkaroon ng tapang ang Malacañang na pulaan ang Estados Unidos (US). Sa una at pambihirang pagkakataon, iginiit ng pangulo ang isang nagsasariling patakarang panlabas—silahis ng pagasang makakalaya na ang bayan mula sa dantaong pamamanginoon sa Amerika. Subalit isang taon makalipas, bahag na ang buntot ng pangulo. Nalusaw na ang pangil ng kanyang mga talumpati, at gumuho na ang kaniyang pamumustura. Isang taon makalipas, muling tumitindig ang sambayanan bitbit ang isang panawagan: biguin ang “rehimeng US-Duterte.” Pamilyar ang panawagan dahil hindi ito ang unang beses na inilantad ang relasyon ng US at ng administrasyon. Bagaman nakikipag-alyansa si Duterte sa Tsina at Rusya, na parehong banta sa gahum ng US sa Asya-Pasipiko, hindi nito matutumbasan ang isang siglong kasaysayan ng pagkontrol ng US sa neo-kolonya nitong Pilipinas. Tuta nito ang bawat nagdaang administrasyon. Idinikta ng US ang umiiral na “demokrasya” upang maghalal ang sambayanan ng sariling mga pinuno, na silang lilikha ng mga batas at patakarang pabor sa paghahari ng Amerika. Ngunit hindi lang basta hawak ng US ang pangulo sa kaniyang leeg—may pakinabang para sa dalawang panig ang kanilang pakikipagmabutihan. Habang pinalalakas ni Duterte ang kaniyang militar, puwersa at armas mula US para sa itinatayong diktadura, pagkakataon ng US na supilin ang paglaban


EDITORYAL ng mamamayan sa malawakang pandarambong ng malalaking kumpanyang Amerikano sa likas na yaman ng bansa. Kung kaya hindi nakagugulat ang papel ng US sa nagpapatuloy na Batas Militar sa Mindanao. Naging tuntungan ang terorismo sa Marawi upang gawing lehitimo ang pagkalap ng impormasyon ng puwersang US sa lungsod at sa buong rehiyon. Bahagi ito ng ‘War on Terror’ na matagal nang ikinakasa ng US sa mga “terorista” na nasa “order of battle” nito—kabilang ang mga indibidwal at grupong tumututol sa pagpasok ng mga dambuhalang dayuhang kumpanya ng pagmimina, lalo sa Mindanao. Tulad ng giyera kontra droga, isa itong digmaang ang totoong target ay ang mamamayan, at tila wala itong katapusan. Sa paghuhugas-kamay ni Duterte, sinabi niyang ipinaubaya niya kay Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana ang ginawang pagpapahintulot sa puwersang US sa Marawi. At ano pa nga ba ang aasahan sa opisyal na ayon mismo sa pangulo ay isang ahente ng Amerika? Hindi pa man sabihin ng pangulo, nasa direksyon na ni Lorenzana at ng Armed Forces of the Philippines ang mga pangyayari, animo’y mga tutang sabik sa US na kanilang tunay na amo. Anupa’t 258 military exercise ang nakatakdang isagawa ng US at Pilipinas ngayong taon, sa ilalim ng Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA). Wala rin ni isang kasunduan sa pagitan ng Pilipinas at US ang napawalang-bisa o tinangka man lang rebisahin sa unang taon ng rehimeng Duterte.

Pinananatili ng tagibang na mga kasunduan tulad ng EDCA at Mutual Defense Treaty ang patuloy na pagsasamantala ng US sa kahinaan ng Pilipinas, mapa-militar o ekonomiya. Pagkakataon sana ang nadiskaril na usapang pangkapayapaan upang isulong ang tunay na pagsasarili ng bansa lalo sa pagpapaunlad ng depensa at industriya nito. Ngunit sa impluwensya ng US, kinitil ni Duterte ang pag-asang ito. Pamilyar ang panawagan laban sa rehimeng US-Duterte dahil hindi kailanman natigil ang paglaban. Hindi natinag ang protesta ng mga katutubo laban sa EDCA sa kabila ng marahas na dispersal sa kanila noong nagdaang taon. Tuloy-tuloy din ang pagkilos laban sa mga ugnayang kontrolado ng US, tulad ng ASEAN Meet na gaganapin sa bansa sa Nobyembre, at dadaluhan mismo ni Pangulong Donald Trump. Pamilyar ang panawagan, dahil patuloy ring nararanasan ang hagupit ng imperyalismong US sa iba pang bahagi ng mundo. At sa nakaambang digmaan sa pagitan ng Amerika at North Korea, may posibilidad na madamay ang maliliit na bansang tulad ng Pilipinas sa bisa ng mga kasunduan at pakikipagalyansa sa US. Pandaigdigan ang karahasan at pagsasamantala ng US, kaya pandaigdigan din ang paglaban dito. At hanggang hindi napuputol ang pagkakatali natin sa imperyong US, walang ibang panawagang maririnig sa lansangan kundi ang pamilyar na panawagang pabagsakin ang imperyalismo at ang tuta nito sa Malacañang.

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Philippine Collegian Tomo 95 Issue 03  

Philippine Collegian Tomo 95 Issue 03 Issue 03 | Huwebes, 5 Oktubre 2017 | 12 pages

Philippine Collegian Tomo 95 Issue 03  

Philippine Collegian Tomo 95 Issue 03 Issue 03 | Huwebes, 5 Oktubre 2017 | 12 pages