BIYERNES, SETYEMBRE 12, 2013
UP Cebu expansion to displace community
UP joins series of protest versus budget cuts, pork barrel
PHILIPPINE COLLEGIAN Opisyal na lingguhang pahayagan ng mga mag-aaral ng Unibersidad ng Pilipinas, Diliman
Probing the intentions of US intervention in Syria DANGER LOOMS OVER SYRIA’S DOORSTEP. During the past two weeks, four American destroyers and an aircraft carrier converged along Syria’s coastline, waiting for orders to unleash a barrage of long-range cruise missiles. In response, three Russian warships joined three others east of the Mediterranean Sea while China sent an amphibious landing ship from Egypt’s Suez Canal to observe the situation. Unfazed by this show of force, Syria tries to scare away this possible US missile attack and threatens to use its Russian-supplied anti-ship missiles that can sink any navy vessel in range. With warships and missiles at each other’s necks, Syria finds itself face to face with an unwelcome visitor. Continued on Page 6
BIYERNES, SETYEMBRE 13, 2013
Nickel-and-Dime The workers could almost hear the clink of coins thrown at their feet. Yet Metro Manila labourers should be grateful for even a measly wage hike—or so this government would like us to think. Amid the ongoing P10billion pork barrel scandal and exposés on Benigno Aquino III’s own pork largesse, the Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Board of the National Capital Region announced what has to be the most recent of this administration’s cruel japes on Manila’s workers: a P10-wage hike. Effective November, the nominal increase will bring the NCR minimum wage level from the current P456 to P466—still far below the required family living wage for decent living estimated by independent think-tank IBON at P1,051 as of August 2013. “[We have] determined the need to enable [workers] to cope with the rising cost of living without impairing the viability of business and industry,” read the RTWPB wage order—
PHILIPPINE COLLEGIAN 2013 - 2014 Punong Patnugot Julian Inah Anunciacion Kapatnugot Victor Gregor Limon Patnugot sa Balita Keith Richard Mariano Patnugot sa Grapiks Ysa Calinawan Tagapamahala ng Pinansiya Gloiza Rufina Plamenco Panauhing Patnugot Piya Constantino Margaret Yarcia
hauntingly consistent with Aquino’s official press release template which unmasks this government’s bias for local big business and foreign investors who profit at the expense of the Filipino worker’s cheap labor.
The Philippine Collegian republishes distinguished photographs from its past issues that captured its YEARS tradition of critical and fearless journalism.
In 2009, Rey Reduccion, 42 is one of the 73 workers who were terminated because of the picket-protest they held to fight for wage increase under Arroyo’s administration. Four years hence, under Benigno Aquino III’s presidency, labor groups were still dismayed with the P10 wage hike for the minimum wage earners.
STALLED VICTORY Photo by Chris Imperial February 6, 2009
Such a bias is founded on the perverted logic that bringing salary levels closer to the P125 across-the-board wage hike demand by labor groups will only further drag the labor force into unemployment and that plans to further raise wages are thus better shelved. Never mind that according to the government’s own statistics, rates of labor productivity growth in the NCR has consistently risen throughout the past decade. The cruelty of the joke is even magnified by the fact that the P10 wage hike comes at a time when the national budget is expected—yet again—to suffer drastic cuts in spending for basic social services while devoting large chunks to ineffective programs such as the Conditional Cash Transfer scheme. Yet this blatant disregard for the rights and welfare of ordinary working Filipinos hails from the more farreaching policy of the recently implemented Two-Tiered Wage System in the country. Under this scheme, wages are nailed at current levels, while any so-called “productivity-based” incentives shall be at the discretion of private employers.
Mga Kawani Mary Joy Capistrano Ashley Marie Garcia Kimberly Ann Pauig Jiru Nikko Rada Emmanuel Jerome Tagaro
Further, the dismal labor situation is hardly limited to those who earn a pittance in Pinansya Amelyn Daga exchange for their invaluable contributions to the economy. As of July, official Tagapamahala sa Sirkulasyon Paul John Alix government estimates place the unemployment rate at Sirkulasyon 7.3 percent, higher than the Gary Gabales seven percent rate in July 2010 Amelito Jaena when Aquino first assumed Glenario Ommamalin the presidency. Indeed, Aquino has never Mga Katuwang na Kawani forgotten to remind the public Trinidad Gabales that the economy is on a Gina Villas fast track towards economic development and “inclusive Kasapi growth”—a shameless act UP Systemwide Alliance that repeatedly attempts to of Student Publications and Writers’ fool the public into turning Organizations (Solidaridad) a blind eye to dire economic College Editors Guild of the Philippines conditions: rising prices (CEGP) of basic commodities and utilities, fare hikes, continued Pamuhatan landlessness, homelessness, Silid 401 Bulwagang Vinzons, and the inaccessibility of Unibersidad ng Pilipinas, Diliman, even the most basic of Lungsod Quezon social services. Halfway into Aquino’s term, Telefax it is thus easy to predict the fate 981-8500 lokal 4522 of this regime. For whenever Online there is continued oppression, email@example.com there is dissent. And where www.philippinecollegian.org there is dissent, those who fb.com/philippinecollegian perpetrate the social injustices twitter.com/kule1314 that breed unrest must tremble with fear of the people’s Ukol sa Pabalat historical ability to reveal their Dibuho ni Mar Rios collective strength. ∞
BIYERNES, SETYEMBRE 13, 2013
UP joins series of protests vs budget cuts, pork barrel Kira Chan THE UP COMMUNITY JOINS the nation in the nationwide campaign against “pork and cuts” under the proposed 2014 national budget, which will culminate in a walkout and march towards Mendiola on September 20. The Diliman Student Summit is kicking off the weeks-long protest against cuts in the budget of state universities and colleges (SUCs) and pork barrel allocations at 1PM on September 11 at the UP Film Institute. (see sidebar) “Iisa lang ang unity ng lahat ng events na ito: to register our call to scrap all pork and rechannel [these] funds to basic social services such as education,” said Erra Mae Zabat, Councilor of the UP Diliman University Student Council (UPD USC). Following an expose on a P10billion scam allegedly orchestrated through a non-governmental organization established by Janet Lim-Napoles, calls for the abolition of the pork barrel system have since intensified. From 2011 to 2013, the Aquino administration allocated an average of P24.8 billion in pork barrel funds under the Philippine Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) for lawmakers. In contrast, the Arroyo administration only allotted an average of P9.5-billion pork from 2008 to 2010. Despite calls to scrap the pork barrel system, the Aquino administration has proposed an even higher allocation for PDAF at P25.2 billion for next year. The proposed 2014 national budget also included at least P1.3-trillion funds under the president’s discretion.
On the other hand, the aggregated budget of all SUCs across the country increased by P2.2 billion, from P37.1 billion in 2013 to P39.3 for 2014. Of the 110 SUCs, however, 79 would suffer budget cuts. UP would receive the largest decrease of P1.4 billion, from P9.5 billion in 2013 to P8.1 billion, next year. The UP administration originally proposed a budget of P17.1 billion for 2014. Due to the university’s financial problems, many students have reported difficulties with paying tuition fees and the rental fees of university facilities, according to Charlotte France, UPD USC Student’s Rights and Welfare Committee Head. As of July 30, student loan applications have hit a 24-year high with 2,965 applications, based on data from the Office of Scholarships and Student Services (OSSS). Meanwhile, more than 200 out of 2,426 batch one and two applicants for the university’s Socialized Tuition and Financial Assistance Program appealed for lower brackets as of July 19, according to OSSS. “We find no reason for this government to force citizens to shoulder costs for [social services] which in the first place they should have been providing,” said Eduardo Gabral, national chairperson of the Katipunan ng mga Sangguniang Mag-aaral sa UP. The funds allocated for the pork barrel are more than enough to fund social services, added Gabral. “Hindi maaring nagmamasid lamang ang mga estudyante lalo na na ang UP ay kilala sa pagbuo ng kasaysayan. Hindi natin matutupad ang mandato natin bilang Iskolar ng Bayan kung tutunganga lang tayo,” said Zabat. ∞
Protest-actions against porks and cuts in the 2014 budget
DAANG BALAT-PALOS Photo by Karl Aquino
Nagtatyaga ang kabataan ng Tagumpay Compound, Bacoor, Cavite na tumawid sa mga tulay na gawa lamang sa mga kawayan. Sa kabila ng ipinagmamalaki ng administrasyong Aquino na 7.5% paglago ng ekonomiya, ang pinakamabilis sa Timog Silangang Asya, nananatiling hirap ang mga pamilya sa lugar sa pagtawid ng kanilang pang-araw-araw na pamumuhay.
Bridging the Gap SUMMATOTAL Franz Christian D. Irorita THE UP SYSTEM IS JUST ONE OF 110 state universities and colleges established by the government to provide quality higher education across the country. The following numbers, however, show how the government has abandoned even the national university and how the burden of funding its operations has been passed on income-generating schemes and on the shoulders of the “iskolar ng bayan.” Average budget the UP System needs to become a full-blown research university, from 2007 to 2013: P15.27 billion Average budget approved by the government, from 2007 to 2013: P6.47 billion Difference between the proposed and approved budget of the university: P8.8 billion Average income generated by UP from 2007 to 2013: P1.49 billion Average income of UP from other sources, including land leases, from 2007 to 2013: P1.24 billion Average income generated from tuition and other fees collected from students: P350 million
Budget proposed by the UP administration for 2014: P17.1 billion Budget approved by the Department of Budget and Management: P8.1 billion Difference between proposed and approved budget: P9 billion Average number of students enrolled across the UP System: 50,000 Tuition a UP Diliman student currently pay under Bracket A, or the “millionaire’s bracket,” of the Socialized Tuition and Financial Assistance Program every semester for an 18-unit credit load: P32,400 Tuition and other fees each student has to pay every semester to meet the university’s budgetary requirement for 2014: P90,000 Annual income of a minimum wage earner in Metro Manila: P112,400 Area determined as “resource generation land” in UP Diliman: 42.51 hectares Area covered by the UP Town Center: 7.4 hectares Projected annual income of UP from the lease of UP Town Center: P356 million Hypothetical land area UP has to lease to bridge its budgetary deficiency for 2014: 187.1 hectares
Number of UP Town Centers the university needs to lease to bridge the budget cut for 2014: 25.3 ∞ Sources : General Appropriations Act, National Expenditure Program, Budget of Expenditures And Sources of Financing by the DBM; Katipunan ng Sangguniang Magaaral sa UP; Office of the University Registrar; 2010 Census and Housing Population by the National Statistics Office; Land Use Policy of 2010 Sidebar:
BIYERNES, SETYEMBRE 13, 2013
UP Cebu expansion to displace community Arra Francia AROUND 1,000 FAMILIES OF Barangay Lahug in Cebu City are in danger of losing their homes of more than 50 years as UP Cebu expands its campus. The UP Cebu administration is planning to build a new P60-million high school building as part of the college’s thrust to elevate its status from an autonomous unit to a constituent university, according to
Jun Marr Denila, UP Cebu’s College Student Council (CSC) Chairperson The UP system currently has seven constituent universities, including UP Diliman and UP Visayas. The administration of UP Cebu has been under UP Visayas until September 2010, when it was declared as an autonomous unit by the Board of Regents. The P60-million budget for the construction of the new building will come from UP Cebu’s college
development fund, said Denila. The project must be executed as soon as possible, or else the budget for the building’s construction will be rechanneled to the funds for the whole UP system, he added. The implementation of the project, however, would also mean the eviction of Barangay Lahug’s 1,000 residents from their present homes. To some of these residents, Lahug has already been their home for 50 to 60 years. According to the Lahug Central
Homeowners Association (LACHOA), UP no longer holds ownership of the land that illegal settlers have occupied after they closed down the Cebu Junior College (CJC). The CJC stood on the 14-hectare disputed lot donated by the provincial government of Cebu on March 11, 1963. However, UP has to revert the property back to the government should UP decide to close down the CJC, according to the deed of donation. The two-storey building that formerly housed the CJC now serves as UP Cebu’s administration building. Yet the local government affirmed UP’s ownership claim while assuring the residents of relocation, said Denila.
Residents must be considered “underprivileged” to qualify for their city’s socialized housing program, said Cebu City Administrator Atty. Jose Marie Poblete in an article published on the local paper Sun Star. However, the government has yet to lay down concrete plans as where the residents would be relocated, according to CSC Vice Chairperson Dyan Gumanao. “Lalo na’t walang genuine consultation sa pagitan ng administration, residents, at [lokal na pamahalaan] na magbibigay ng maayos na relocation site sa mga residente, nararapat lang na hindi matuloy ang demolition na ito,” said Gumanao. ∞
Lady Maroons bigong makapasok sa Final Four
IPINAMALAS NI LADY MAROONS center Antonia Wong ang kaniyang tibay at lakas ng loob ngunit bitin pa rin ang kanyang 13 puntos at 12 rebounds upang akayin ang UP Lady Maroons sa tagumpay. Napasuko ang UP sa De La Salle University Lady Archers, 64-71 sa huling sagupaan para sa ikalawang round ng University Athletics Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Women’s Basketball Season 76, ika-8 ng Setyembre sa Mall of Asia Arena. Maghaharap sana ang Lady Maroons at University of Sto. Tomas Tigresses para sa huling bakante para sa Final Four kung nagwagi ang Maroons kontra sa Lady Archers. Ibinuslo ni Archers guard Marie Scott ang isang makapigil-hiningang tres, isang minuto ang natitira sa sagupaan upang iangat pa lalo ang Archers sa iskor na 65-57 at maiselyo ang panalo. Nag-alab sa unang half ang Maroons guard na si Bea Daez na kumana agad ng 13 puntos kabilang ang tatlong tres ngunit naging
mapagpasya ang kanilang 13 turnovers kumpara sa 4 turnovers ng Archers upang mapag-iwanan sa pagtatapos ng half sa iskor na 29-35. Isinagawa naman ng Maroons ang 10-0 run sa pamamagitan ng kanilang mala-kidlat na fastbreaks upang maipakita nila ang kanilang puso at umangat sa iskor na 39-35, may anim na minuto pa ang natitira sa ikatlong quarter. Kumalabit ng tres si Archers guard Trisha Piatos sa pagwawakas ng ikatlong quarter upang maisakatuparan ang 18-6 run ng Archers sa iskor na 53-45 matapos posasan ang mga kamador ng Maroons lalo na ang nag-aalab na si Wong. Hindi na nakaporma pa ang Maroons sa ikaapat na quarter matapos dominahan ni Archers center Ara Abaca ang frontline ng Maroons tungo sa kanilang ika-siyam na tagumpay. “If we were just able to lessen our turnovers then we could have sustained our four point lead and could have won it,” ani ni Wong. “That was a must win game for us for our final four hopes but it didn’t go our way,” dagdag din niya. Nag-ambag si Daez ng 15 puntos, 3 rebounds at 5 assists, guard Sheerose Luna ng 12 puntos, at center Patricia Tatel ng 8 puntos at 11 rebounds para sa Maroons. Bumagsak ang panalo-talo kartada ng UP sa 5-8 upang magkasya na lamang sa ikalimang pwesto habang umangat naman ang sa La Salle sa 9-4. Susunod na makakasagupa ng Maroons ang University of Sto. Tomas sa Setyembre 14, alas-nuwebe ng umaga sa Mall of Asia Arena. ∞
lugar, ayon sa Samahan ng mga Magkakapitbahay sa Road 10. Isa ang biyuda at ina ng anim na si Venjir Boller sa mga residenteng dinala sa Bocaue, Bulacan na mas piniling bumalik na lang sa Road 10. “Binigyan po kami ng isang relokasyon na hindi naman kami mabubuhay— walang paaralan, hospital, at kabuhayan,” aniya.
Marami na rin umano sa mga kapitbahay niya ang nagkakasakit, habang may ilang binawian na ng buhay na pawang mga kabataan dahil sa tambak ng basura at walang malinis na tubig, ani Boller. “Kung mamamatay po kami sa mga relokasyon mas mabuting dito na lang sa Tondo, [kung saan] mamamatay kaming lumalaban,” ani Serafin. ∞
Hans Christian E. Marin
PIG OUT Photo by Jiru Rada
A noise barrage demanding the abolition of the “presidential pork barrel fund” is held by different sectors outside the House of Representatives on September 9. Aquino’s P1.3 trillion pork barrel comprises 58% of the 2014 national budget and is much larger than the Priority Development Assistance Funds of lawmakers.
Mga residente sa Tondo tuloy ang laban kontra demolisyon Mary Joy T. Capistrano PATULOY ANG BARIKADA NG mga residente sa kahabaan ng Road 10 sa Tondo, Maynila, siyam na araw matapos ang palugit na ibinigay ng Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) upang kusa nilang lisanin at baklasin ang kanilang mga tahanan. Bahagi ang Road 10 ng isasagawang road-widening project ng pamahalaan, ani DPWH Regional Director Reynaldo Tagodando. Tinatayang nasa 2,300 residente ang apektado ng proyekto. Nasa 1,600 residente na ang boluntaryong lumipat sa relocation site sa San Pedro, Laguna at Bocaue, Bulacan kapalit ng isang libong piso, isang sako ng bigas, at ilang piraso ng grocery items. Nakapaloob din sa kasunduan na saka lamang magbabayad ang mga residente ng upang P200 kada buwan pagkalipas ng dalawang taon.
Binigyang-diin naman ng nalalabing mga residente na sa 30 dekada nilang paninirahan sa Tondo, marapat lamang ipagkaloob na sa kanila nang libre ang mga bahay sa nasabing relocation site. “Hindi po kami papayag na paalisin kami sa lugar kung saan mula pagkabata hanggang sa mag-asawa [ay naging tirahan] na namin,” ani Amy Serafin, presidente ng Gabriela sa Brgy. 39. Rekisito ng kwalipikasyon May 239 pamilya lamang ang kwalipikadong tatanggap ng libreng pabahay, ayon sa isinagawang sensus ng Local Inter-agency Committee sa pangunguna ng DPWH, Manila Department of Social Welfare, Urban Settlement Office, City Engineering Office at National Housing Authority. Samantala, hindi naman napabilang ang karamihan sa 639 residente sapagkat hindi nila
nagawang makapagpasa ng mga rekisito katulad ng Social Security System number, National Bureau of Investigation clearance, at birth certificate o marriage contract. Gayunman, binatikos ng mga residente ang nasabing proseso na hindi umano isinaalang-alang ang kakayahan ng mga residenteng tustusan ang gastusin sa pagkuha ng nasabing mga papeles. “Walang sapat na hanapbuhay ang mga residente dito na pawang mga manggagawa sa pier, kaya hindi sila nakapagpasa [ng mga kailangang papeles],” ani Mary Anne Florendo, pangulo ng Samahan ng mga Magkakapitbahay sa Road 10. ‘Murang-pabahay’ Samantala, marami sa mga naunang pumayag sa relokasyon ang bumalik na rin sa Tondo dala ng matinding kahirapan, at kawalan ng kuryente at tubig sa kanilang
BIYERNES, SETYEMBRE 13, 2013
Davao tribal leader gunned down by alleged army men Jul Mar Esteban ALLEGED MILITARY AGENTS killed a B’laan tribal leader and his son at their house in Kiblawan, Davao del Sur—the ninth casualty among members of the indigenous community opposed to the mining claims of Anglo-Swiss-owned X-Strata Sagitarius Mines Incorporated (SMI). Anting Freay is the tribal chieftain of B’laans in Bong Mal, one of the areas covered by X-Strata’s Tampakan Gold-Copper project. Covering areas in Davao de Sur, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, and Sarangani, the mining project will displace 30,000 Bl’aans,
according to environmentalist group Kalikasan. The project is expected to yield 375,000 tonnes of copper and 360,000 ounces of gold every year. On August 23, soldiers opened fire at Anting Freay’s house, instantly killing the tribal leader, said one of Anting’s wives, Kiit Freay, in a statement released to human rights group Karapatan. Kiit, who was with Anting during the incident, escaped with her two children while his son, Victor, who lived further downhill, went to investigate and was also gunned down. Kiit identified the gunmen as members of Task Force Kitaco, a
PEACE TALK The peace process and the Aquino regime
Franz Christian D. Irorita IN 2001, THEN PRESIDENT Gloria Arroyo declared September as the National Peace Consciousness Month to supposedly promote a culture of peace and increase understanding on the comprehensive peace process. This year, the commemoration revolves around the theme “Lahat ay peace-sible!”—a reminder that lasting peace is possible, according to the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP). The OPAPP cites the crafting of the Comprehensive Agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front as one of the milestones achieved in the peace process, even as negotiations with the Communist Party of the Philippines have been stalled for more than two years now. What has the government accomplished so far in pursuit of a comprehensive peace process? “Is [peace] the mere absence of armed conflict? What we want is just and lasting peace which can only be achieved by addressing the roots of the armed conflict—social injustice. There is no culture of just and lasting peace under the Arroyo and Aquino as the peace [both administrations] want to pursue is the peace of the cemetery. Like [Arroyo], Aquino uses counterinsurgency measures to attempt to end the armed conflict instead of solving the root problems of the civil war. The government should address the roots of the armed conflict [through]
the resumption of the peace talks and upholding the comprehensive agreements formed by the negotiating bodies.” -Krista Iris Melgarejo, UP Student Regent “[Human rights violations] are still existent and continuously happening. This is not how a peaceful country looks like. A peaceful country is where its citizens are free to express everything they want without any harm of getting killed, abducted or imprisoned because of their political beliefs, where all its citizens are given their [fundamental rights and] where justice is served equally to everyone. Achieving a culture of peace in a country can be answered by giving solutions to the core problem of poverty in the society.” -Allyna-Haneefa Macapado, councilor, UPD University Student Council “In both the Arroyo and Aquino administrations, we’ve seen the efforts to make peace deals on Mindanao. Especially with Aquino, we’ve seen that the GPH and MNLF have made significant progress with the current pace of the peace process. However, the government might not be pursuing a lasting solution on the Mindanao problem but rather uses the “peace deal” merely as a counterinsurgency tool, hence, not solving the real causes of the problem. A genuine culture of peace could be achieved if the government takes the Mindanao issue seriously and provides an inclusive solution [to] the root causes of the problem.” -Al-Habbyel Baliola Yusoph, president, UP Muslim Students’ Association “The [administration’s] effort to negotiate a peace agreement is an important part of the peace process and the promotion of a culture of peace. However, a culture of peace is more than the peace negotiations. The OPAPP should make the peace Continued on page 11
group under the Army’s 1002nd Infantry Brigade overseeing Kidlawan, Tampakan, and Columbio, which are areas under X-Strata’s project. The Freay-Capion clan has been opposed to the mining project and have been targets of various killings, with Freay’s son and son-in-law ambushed by military men. Alleged members of Kitaco also killed Freay’s sister-in-law Juvy Capion, Capion’s two sons, and her brother-in-law. The B’laan tribe has been waging a seven-year tribal war against X-Strata, in opposition to what they deem as enroachments on their ancestral domains. Certain members of the B’laan have taken armed resistance against the company, including tribal leader Daguil Capion, Freay’s brotherin-law. SMI similarly faces opposition from the local government, who has implemented an open-pit mining ban in the area. The open-pit mining method, which X-Strata plans to use, will have a massive impact to the local environment, according to environmentalist group Center for Environmental Concerns (CEC). Damage to the tailings dam, reservoir of mining waste, will also affect agriculture in the region, CEC explains. “The killing of Freays is a horrible development in the arduous struggle of the B’laan to protect their lands. There is no peace resulting in the development agenda of the government, but a string of human rights violations committed against the indigenous peoples,” said Piya Macliing Malayao, spokesperson of Kalipunan ng mga Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas. ∞
TOPPLED Photo by Kimberly Pauig
UP’s Andrew Harris attempts to outmuscle UST’s Karim Abdul in the paint in the second round match at the Mall of Asia Arena on September 7. The Maroons set record low in a blowout loss against the Tigers, 63-39, converting only 18.5% field goals in the game and scoring six points in the last canto to remain winless in 12 outings.
Groups decry military attack on Sagada ‘peace zone’ Jul Mar Esteban HUMAN RIGHTS GROUPS AND indigenous people’s organizations have denounced the operations of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Sagada, Mt. Province, a “peace zone” since 1988. With airstrike support from the Philippine Air Force, the PNP launched a seven-hour operation against the Leonardo Pabsi Command of the New People’s Army (NPA) on August 30, said PNP-Cordillera Administrative Region spokesperson Davy Limong. The NPA group in the Cordilleras was allegedly behind an ambush in Tadian, Mountain Province, which killed a PNP trainee, thus prompting the airstrikes. Aside from the two policemen who have been injured, the operations had no “collateral damage,” said Limong.
However, the attack affected hunting grounds, forest areas, farms and watersheds, disrupted the livelihood of the residents, and left communities shaken with fear, said Cordillera Human Rights Alliance Secretary-General Jude Baggo. “The destruction of agricultural areas poses serious economic impact to our indigenous communities, with the contamination of water sources and threat to food security,” said Cordillera Peoples Alliance secretarygeneral Abigail Anongos. These military operations could also lead to a decrease in the number of tourists in the area and subsequently cost tourist guides as high as P4,000 daily. This does not include drivers, vendors, restaurants and inns dependent on the tourist industry, added Anongos. The August 30 attack has been the second bombing incident in the
Cordilleras this year, while peace talks between the Philippine government and the CCP-NPA remain at a standstill. On May 31, the 503rd Brigade of the Armed Forces of the Philippines dropped bombs near residential areas and rice fields in Malibcong, Abra in pursuit of the NPA. Two minors were nearly hurt with the attack, adding to the increasing number of human rights violations (HRV) under Benigno Aquino III’s presidency. The first year of Aquino in office marked a peak in the number of encounters with the NPA within the decade, according to independent think tank IBON Foundation. These encounters have resulted in 30, 678 cases of forced evacuations, 7,012 cases of indiscriminate firing and 27,029 cases of military uses of civilian infrastructure as of April. “[T]o think that it is the people’s money systematically corrupted and spent on senseless doings. These are the very resources used to kill people, destroy ancestral communities, forests and watersheds. Is this the ‘tuwid na daan’ so hyped up by [Aquino]?” said Anongos. ∞
6 Ronn Joshua Bautista Crisis alert For two years now, Syria has plunged into a civil war that has claimed the lives of 100, 000 Syrians and made refugees of some two million more, according to United Nations (UN). Conflict in Syria is basically divided between its eight ethnoreligious groups and a smaller sect in power, the Sunni Alawites. Over time, antagonisms between them brewed. Alawite officials began filling the military mostly of their sect while withholding some rights to other groups like disenfranchising some Syrian Kurds of their citizenships in 2011. But for five decades, unrest was curtailed. Since the Assad family seized power through a coup in 1963, Syria has since been under a state of emergency that gave Assad totalitarian powers. Syrians would only break their silence when the waves of antidictatorship protests, popularly known as the Arab Spring, swept the country in 2011. Tens of thousands Syrians poured out into the streets on a daily basis, but were met with the Assad regime’s brutal force. The government also initiated a crackdown on activists and sanctioned the opening of fire on large people’s assemblies, which radical groups retorted with bigger demonstrations and a civil war. By the end of 2011, the Syrian opposition, composed of at least 10 political parties and people’s organizations, and defected soldiers formed the Syrian National Coalition and the Free Syrian Army to topple the Assad regime. Their war drags on until today. Intervention Syria’s civil war is primarily an internal struggle for power between the government and the rebels. But a new party seeks involvement, proclaiming itself as a ‘peacekeeper.’ Citing journalists, doctors, and non-government organizations, the US claimed sarin gas, a chemical weapon banned under the 1925 Geneva Convention, was used in the fighting.“[T]he Syrian government carried out the chemical weapons attack against opposition elements in the Damascus suburbs on August 21 [where] 1,429 people were killed including at least 426 children,” the White House announced. US media networks drummed up attention to the chemical attack by releasing the White House’s 13 videos of Syrians experiencing symptoms of inhaling sarin gas like foaming mouths and epileptic seizures as proof of the August 21 attack. The Geneva Convention outlines, among other things, several methods of warfare inherently dangerous for non-combatants, including chemical and biological weapons, and signatory countries are required to ban their use. As such, US President Barack Obama called on the international community to punish Assad by launching calculated airstrikes and missiles on government infrastructures.
FEATURES “Failing to respond to this outrageous attack would increase the risk that chemical weapons could be used again and it would send a horrible signal to other nations that there would be no consequences for their use of these weapons,” Obama said. But Russia and China, holding veto powers in the UN Security Council (UNSC), are unconvinced. The UN has initiated a fact-finding mission on the alleged August 21 attack but has yet to release its findings. Thus, no authorization has been given to any military intervention in Syria’s civil war. Hesitant crowd The UN Charter outlines only two instances when a country may legitimately use force: in self-defense or with UN authorization backed by the UNSC. The international community was hesitant to support any military attack on Syria that will possibly affect the tides of the civil war, says UP Political Science Prof. Nelson Cainghog, who specializes in international relations. Last week, the British Parliament voted against its Prime Minister’s proposal to join Obama’s military action against Syria. Except for France, the rest of the 28-member countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization that supported the US in its previous wars of aggression, have refused any military intervention. Still, the US is hard-pressed to gatecrash into Syria. The US Navy even strengthened its Mediterranean Sea fleet, and with a tight 10-7 vote, the US Senate Foreign Relations committee has passed Obama’s proposal, the first of several hurdles for congressional approval. Judge, jury, executioner This is not the first time the US has taken things remote without the UN. In 2001, the US barged into Afghanistan to fight the terrorist group Al Qaeda. Two years after, Iraq was eventually invaded on suspicions that Iraqi President possessed “weapons of mass destruction.” Moreover, former President George Bush’s launched drone attacks against Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia to further decimate Al-Qaeda infrastructures. In the end, these wars left hundreds of thousands of civilians dead. Indeed, the US asserts its global position as the judge, jury, and executioner of countries as if it was UN. In fact, Obama already reinforces these roles in his second inaugural address: “America will remain the anchor of strong alliances in every corner of the globe. And we will renew those institutions that extend our capacity to manage crisis abroad, for no one has a greater stake in a peaceful world than its most powerful nation.” The aftermath of the US’ wars in Iraq and Afghanistan presents grim prospects for Syria, especially as the resulting political and economic reforms in these two countries expose the plunder of their home beneath all the American rhetoric.
BIYERNES, SETYEMBRE 13, 2013
Probing the intentions of US intervention in Syria
Gatecrasher As its track record of military aggressions clearly illustrates, US wars have always led the US to immense profit. Under the guise of its war on terrorism and self-determined role as world police, the US historically forces itself in countries that “need its help.” For instance, Bush justified his government’s attacks against Iraq and Afghanistan were necessary “to secure the freedom of more than 50 million people who lived under two of the cruelest dictatorships [and to institute] democratic and free countries who are allies in the war on terror.’’ However, after toppling the Taliban regimes and installing handpicked Iraqis and Afghans, the number of oil concessions to American companies could not be more telling of the US gains for their ‘liberation’ operations: Iraq is now one of its biggest oil exporters, producing 2.3 million barrels per day (bpd), while Afghanistan is bound to economic and military partnership because of its proximity to oil-rich countries. Oil-rich Syria now also finds itself in a similar situation, with US warships on its shores and bomb attacks threatening to ravage its cities for alleged violation of an international convention. “Sa mga kilos pa lang ng US, oportunista siya para makakuha pa ng mga paborableng concessions ng langis,” argues Sonny Africa, executive director of independent think-tank IBON Foundation. In 2011, the US consumed 18.83 million bpd according to the US Energy Information Association, while its Department of Defense used up 350,000 bpd. Such comes at a time when the US military is spread in more than 150 countries worldwide and is moving 60 percent of its high-maintenance navy to the Asia-Pacific region. “The US war in Syria…is borne out of the desperate need to overcome an ever-deepening economic crisis. The US wants to control more regions and more resources and is prepared to go to war [to] advance this agenda,” quips Renato Reyes, secretary-general of multisectoral alliance Bayan. As the international community hesitates from potentially changing the tides of war in Syria, it comes as no surprise that the US is all too aggressive in pressing for military intervention. Troubled countries will continue finding the US knocking on their door with the promise of peace and democracy, only to be ransacked and used. Now, the US is at Syria’s bloody doorstep. In a war only Syrians can resolve, both factions – rebel and government – must first drive away this unwelcome visitor. For the US is not their friendly neighborhood patrol, but their greatest common adversary to sovereignty yet. ∞
Illustration : Marianne Rios Page Design : Kel Almazan
BIYERNES, SETYEMBRE 13, 2013
Hating kapatid Sipat sa kalagayan ng Special Education sa bansa Rufina Gloiza Plamenco “Ate, kailan ka uuwi?” Pasigaw at paulit-ulit na tanong ng aking nakababatang kapatid na si Yodney nang mag-usap kami sa telepono nitong nakaraan lang. Higit isang buwan rin ang lumipas bago kami muling nakapag-usap, kaya bilang paglalambing, ilang beses ko rin siyang sinasagot. Nang nagsawa, ibinalik niya ang telepono sa Nanay ko nang hindi nagpapaalam sa akin. Tuwang-tuwa ang buong pamilya noong ipinanganak si Yodney. Kaiba sa kayumangging kulay namin ni Kuya, namana niya ang maputi at makinis na balat ng Nanay. Sa aming magkakapatid, siya lang ang may malalim na biloy sa magkabilang pisngi. Ngunit sa aming lahat, siya lang ang nahirapang lumaking katulad ng mga ordinaryong bata. Tatlong taong gulang siya nang magsimulang lumitaw ang mga sintomas: minsa’y bigla na lang siyang nag-aalburoto nang walang dahilan, hindi nakakapagsalita nang maayos, at tila hindi rin nakakaintindi sa mga sinasabi ng nakapaligid sa kanya. Kinalaunan, nalaman naming autistic si Yodney—isang special child ang kapatid ko. Gayunman, kailanma’y hindi ko naisip na naging pabigat siya sa buhay ko. Totoong malikot pa rin siya sa tuwing may mga bisita sa bahay, ngunit madalas nakababad lang siya sa computer at nanonood ng YouTube videos. Minsan pa nga, mabibigla na lang ako na siya na ang nagliligpit at naghuhugas ng aming kinainan. Kakalabing-walong taon lang ni Yodney nitong nakaraang Linggo. Sa bawat ngiti niya, napupukaw ang pag-asa ng aming pamilyang maranasan niya rin ang pinagdaraanan ng mga karaniwang tao — ang makapag-aral sa isang paaralan, magkaroon ng mga kaibigan, at makaharap ang lungkot at saya ng buhay.
Taong 2000 nang ipinayo ng doktor na pag-aralin si Yodney sa mga pribadong paaralan sa Maynila na nag-aalok ng Special Education (SPED), upang mas mapabuti ang kalagayan niya. Kaya’t noong apat na taong gulang na siya, inilipat siya ng aming mga magulang mula Samar tungong Maynila. Nahahati ang SPED sa dalawang klase ng mag-aaral: mga mentally gifted; at mga batang may kapansanan kagaya ng mga bulag, pipi, bingi, at may developmental disorder kagaya ng aking kapatid, ayon kay Ma’am Mirla Olores, SPED Division Chief ng Kagawaran ng Edukasyon (DepEd). Hindi ganoon kadaling makahanap ng paaralang may murang matrikula at maayos na mga pasilidad para sa mga special children sa Pilipinas. Sa katunayan, sa mahigit limang milyong special children sa bansa, mahigit 230,000 lamang ang nakakapag-aral ng SPED, ayon sa tala ng DepEd.
Kwento ng Nanay, nangapa sila sa paghahanap ng mga paaralang malapit sa aming tinitirhan. Sa huli, pumasok si Yodney sa isang pribadong paaralan sa Ortigas na umaabot hanggang P60,000 ang matrikula bawat taon. Hindi kinaya ng pamilya ang mahal na matrikula, kaya’t inilipat si Yodney sa isa pang paaralan sa Mandaluyong. Hindi man singmahal ng nauna, mabigat pa rin sa bulsa ang gastusin. Noong 2005, kinailangan nang umuwi ng kapatid ko sa Samar.
Sa limang taong pag-aaral ni Yodney sa pribadong paaralan, natuto siyang banggitin ang kanyang pangalan, bumasa, sumulat, humawak ng kutsara't tinidor, at kinalaunan, bumuo ng mga simpleng pangungusap. Noong 2010, ipinasok namin siya sa isang pampublikong SPED center sa Samar ng ilang buwan. Nang minsan akong nagbantay kay Yodney, naisip ko ang kalagayan ng ibang mga batang hindi nakapag-aral sa mas maayos na paaralan. Napagtutuunan ba ng pansin ang bawat isa? Halimbawa, hinahayaan na lang si Yodney ng ilan sa kanyang guro na biglang lumabas ng silid-aralan upang maglaro. Matalino raw ang kapatid ko, tamang nakakasagot kapag tinatanong. Walang matrikulang binabayaran sa 381 pampublikong SPED centers sa buong bansa, ngunit hindi maikukubli ang kakulangan ng mga ito sa mga gurong tututok at maging kagamitan. Hindi lahat ng SPED center sa bansa ay may mga kagamitan para sa bawat uri ng kapansanan, ani Olores. Gustuhin mang mapahusay ng SPED Division ng DepEd ang kanilang serbisyo, hirap pa rin sila bunsod ng mga perenyal na suliraning hindi natutugunan ng pamahalaan. Ayon kay Olores, bagaman itinaas ng pamahalaan ang badyet ng SPED ngayong taon sa P180 bilyon mula P115 bilyon nitong 2012, nananatili itong kulang upang mapaayos ang bawat pampublikong SPED centers sa buong bansa o kaya makabili ng mga mahahalagang kagamitan tulad ng Braille writer para sa mga bulag. Sa karanasan, hindi hamak na mas maayos ang pasilidad sa mga pribadong paaralan na may sapat ring mga guro—wari bang tanging mga may salapi lamang ang may pagkakataong mapagaan ang pag-aaral ng mga “espesyal” na mahal sa buhay.
Bukod sa maliit na badyet at kakulangan ng mga guro at propesyunal, nariyan din ang isyu ng nararapat na pagtutok sa mga special children. Kailangan ang masinsinang pagsasanay sa mga guro ukol sa tamang pagtuturo at pakikitungo sa iba’t ibang kaso ng mga special children, dagdag ni UP Educ SPED Department Head Dr. Edilberto Dizon.
“[Isa sa mga nag-udyok] sa akin na magaral ng SPED ay dahil special child ang anak ko…karamihan sa amin ay nag-aaral dahil sa mga mahal namin sa buhay,” ani Kristina*, isang doctoral student ng SPED sa UP College of Education (UP Educ). Ngunit ani Prof. Myra Tantengco ng Educ, ninanais pa rin ng karamihang makapagtrabaho sa ibang bansa kung saan mas malaki ang sahod. Mula 2005 hanggang 2010, may 2,768 Pilipinong guro ang lumipad patungong Estados Unidos, kung saan in-demand ang mga guro ng SPED, ayon sa National Statistics Coordination Board. Dagdag ni Olores, mabibilang sa mga daliri ang mga therapists ng mga special children na nagtatrabaho para sa public SPED centers sa buong bansa. Kumpara sa P130,000 kada buwang sahod ng mga guro sa US, kakarampot ang sweldong natatanggap ng mga guro sa bansang nasa mahigit-kumulang P18,000. “Pero hinihimok namin ang aming mga magaaral na maglingkod sa mga special children dito sa bansa,” ani Tantengco. Samantala, planong ilatag ng SPED Department ng UP Educ sa administrasyon ng UP ang pagkakaroon ng edukasyong “inclusive” para sa mga espesyal na magaaral sa pamantasan. “Naniniwala kami na mas mapapagyaman ang pag-aaral ng mga special children sa UP [kung isasama sila] sa mga regular na iskolar ng bayan,” ani Dizon. Matindi ang magiging preparasyon at malaking rekurso ang gugugulin para rito, ani Dizon, ngunit kung pagtutuunan ng pansin ng UP at pamahalaan, isa itong hakbang na mas magbubukas ng edukasyon sa pamantasan para sa lahat. Bilang pamantasan ng bayan, magsisilbing mabuting ehemplo ang inisyatibang ito ng UP kung maayos na maipatupad na maaaring sundan at tularan ng iba pang mga institusyong pang-edukasyon. Subalit mauuwi lamang sa pagkabigo ang anumang hangaring mapabuti ang SPED sa bansa kung nananatiling kalunos-lunos ang pangkabuuang kalagayan ng sistemang pang-edukasyon. Sa patuloy at sistematikong pagpapabaya ng pamahalaan sa sektor ng edukasyon, hindi maiiwasang maapektuhan maging ang SPED na madalas isinasandig na lamang sa mga pribadong paaralan. Kung tutuusin, munting regalo lang sa kaarawan ng kapatid ko ang magsaliksik at sumulat ng artikulo hinggil sa kanyang kalagayan. Hanggang ngayon, umaasa pa rin kaming darating ang araw na mararanasan ni Yodney ang mamuhay ng normal, at mag-aral sa isang mura ngunit dekalidad na paaralan, kung saan maaari niyang makilala ang mga katulad at di niya katulad na kasabay niyang matututo at tutuklas sa mga hiwaga ng buhay. *hindi totoong pangalan
Illustration : Karl Aquino Page design : Jerome Tagaro
BIYERNES, SETYEMBRE 13, 2013
Julian Inah Anunciacion
THE PITCH-BLACK BACKDROP further highlighted her beauty: silky smooth skin exposed by the thin sleeves of her red laced dress, alluring lips traced by blood red lipstick, and elegant curls falling by the side of her slender neck. Her chiselled cheeks and defined brows emphasize the solemn beauty of her eyes—one of which is brutally bruised. Profiles of similar women with this semblance of elegance fill the next pages of Bulgarian fashion magazine, 12, for its beauty spread “Victims of Beauty” released in 2012. Models featured with cut lips, bruised noses, and acidthrown faces aimed to depict— in a literal sense—how fashion victimizes women. Using the theme of violence against women in the fashion industry has been a trend to achieve higher sales or for the purpose of publicity. Capital dictates the pursuit of profit at whatever cost.
Run(a)way beauty Online criticisms against the appalling beauty spread photographed by Vasil Germanov—aimed at showcasing Max Factor products and the skill of the makeup artist—did not prompt apology from the magazine’s editor. Instead, the editorial board denied the spread as a portrayal of domestic violence and issued an explanation of it representing woman power amid scars. These images however were not the first atrocious media representation on women as objects of violence, making women the inferior sex. Numerous advertisements including those from high fashion lines Dolce and Gabbana and Calvin Klein—both of which featured gang rape— utilized this tactic to gain publicity and profit. Other fashion lines such as Esprit, Jimmy Choo, and Louis Vuitton used such advertisements with women, if not in lewd poses, in an act of brutal surrender to a dominant male figure. This method reifies women, turning them into objects of profit. This perverted culture of violence against women is evidenced in contemporary
cultures. Women experience what has been touted as “double oppression” due to the hegemonic systems of patriarchy and capitalism. In Middle Eastern cultures, for example, men are allowed— even encouraged—by the existing norms to control their women through violence such as throwing acid on their faces. In a patriarchal society wherein women are confined within the corners of the home and dominated by the male species and ideology, oppression against women prevails. Under a capitalist system, women are not only subjugated to capital, but to her sexuality seen by many as inferior. Having lesser demands in work, women are forced to sell their bodies, labor and services at a cheaper price in order to survive, such as the prostitution industry. They cannot avail the wide range of jobs available to their male counterparts. Abuse on women penetrates societies and traverses social classes. Capitalist dominated societies, through and through, use woman image in profit-making. This is further aggravated by the use of “violence on women” as theme or motif in selling products.
Femme Fatale A striking advertisement campaign by Save the Children India to stop violence against women unravelled the oftensilenced contrast in a goddessworshipping India. The advertisement featured elegantly dressed Indian goddesses Lakshmi, Durga and Saraswati bearing the evidence of domestic abuse with bruises and wounds on their faces. American writer Riane Eisler described in her feminist book The Chalice and the Blade a bygone goddess-ruled society wherein equal responsibility
was assigned to both male and female. This was the time of the chalice— when violence was subjugated by the existing feminine ideology and values. In the Filipino context, the place of women in society was esteemed long before the entrance of gender and class divide. In her nude glory, multiplebreasted Filipina goddess Mebuyan was the ultimate symbol of fertility and feminine power. These early seeds of feminist thought in pre-colonial religious traditions deemed women’s role to be essential, not only in the domestic but also in the productive and reproductive aspects of the society. Women assumed the roles of healers, warriors, and leaders of tribes and religions. The advent of violence through pursuit of power was the turning point of the time of the chalice into the time of the blade, dominated by male values. The partnership society was replaced with the new male-dominated society wherein work is no longer assigned equally to both sexes. The Spanish colonizers, with their blades, cross and a patriarchal religion, debunked the idea of a nude multiple-breasted goddess and replaced Mebuyan with the shrouded Virgin Mary. According to Eisler, women are the bearers of peaceful virtues, and only when men succumb to these feminine virtues can the bygone partnership society be restored. Fashioning ‘Woman’ From a partnership society replaced with a patriarchal society, capitalism birthed a culture of use and abuse of women.
In the current scenario of Philippine economy highly controlled by imperialist countries, women become more challenged as capital utilize women for production. T e l e v i s i o n advertisements place sexualized women in skimpy clothing adjacent leisure products such as cigarettes, liquors, and cars that are present even in billboards and more public spaces. In 2004 when there was no advertising regulation in billboards, a Disteleria Limtuaco liquor advertisement sparked controversy after using the catchphrase “Nakatikim ka na ba ng kinse anyos?”After Gabriela countered the advertisement, the billboards were talken down and the news was published in newspapers. To overthrow the current system of using women—either in a sexualized or violent way—to sell products, women participation is highly essential. Gabriela, the frontrunner of women’s rights advocacy in the country countered these abusive advertisements with campaigns condemning violence against women most notable of which is the Jayme Syfu wherein women used their lipstick and makeup to hide the evidence of violence inflicted upon then. With daily exploitation of women—from a casual commercial of Marlboro with sexualized women to shocking news of gang rape or acid attack in India—women participation is not only an essential, but a vital part to counter this existing culture of submission and overthrow it with a culture of resistance. Illustration : Ysa Calinawan Page design : Jan Andrei Cobey
CLAD IN WHITE AND SMILING, an old man squeezes himself with three teenagers inside the frame of a smartphone’s camera, a click and a flash sending the photograph into the world of social media. Seconds later, cyberspace was abuzz with talk of the first ever “papal selfie.” For the old man in the immaculate robes was no other than Christ’s vicar, the leader of millions of Catholics across the globe— Pope Francis I. Construction Before he became known as Francis I, Jose Mario Bergoglio was a chemical technician until he decided to enter the Jesuit order. As a priest, he became known for his simple lifestyle—a humble cleric who lived in a modest apartment and cooked his own meals. In the weeks leading to his election as Pope, the media emphasized his concern for the poor and the disenfranchised. As Pope, Francis I broke traditions and sympathized with homosexuals and atheists. Pope Francis I holds a certain appeal. The media calls it revolutionary. In his Mythologies, Roland Barthes discussed how hegemonic institutions such as the Church create myths that conceive an image of their present ideologies. For instance, in the time of Pope John Paul II, globalization began to permeate the world’s consciousness. Therefore, a pope that travels was imperative as it was important for the Church to make its presence felt. Because of the perceived decline of the youth’s religious participation, the Vatican also made the pope a role model for the youth by initiating World Youth Day, making him write poetry, and having films about him made. Together, the church and the media created a pop cult youth icon, reigniting the world’s interest in the papacy. Getting closer to home, Pedro Calungsod is another example. To create a politico-religious icon—to subsume people under the logic of colonialism and Catholicism—it was necessary for the Church to raise into sainthood even those who are from the ranks of the masses. Calungsod was unknown in his diocese until his endorsement for beatification. The Church used the martyr formula to make Calungsod the quintessential saint. His sainthood was seen to spark holiness and faith revival in the country. The Church used a similar formula for Bergoglio. The Holy See recognizes a decline of faithful for the past decades. In 2008 alone, the Week reported that almost 400,000 people left the Church. Even in the Philippines, Catholic groups like C4RH (Catholics for Reproductive Health) continue to support laws that the Church is strongly against.
BIYERNES, SETYEMBRE , 13, 2013
Pontifex Viva! Julian Bato
To revitalize membership, the Church needed Pope Francis to invite and keep the masses in the fold. It is no wonder then that the pope breaks into pop culture by taking “selfies,” phoning ordinary people, and being seen while doing activities his flock go through everyday. The media is always quick to brand these actions as fresh, new, and revolutionary. Contradictions Eyebrows were raised when the Vatican recently readmitted liberation theology, a movement which aims to apply the teachings of Christ in the struggle against the world’s social injustices. Under his guidance, the Pope’s desire to reform the Catholic Church as a “poor church for the poor” becomes concrete. Though he does not label himself as a liberation theologian, he believes in the uplift of the poor and the oppressed. However, while the Supreme Pontiff showed sympathy to the LGBT community, saying they should not be judged or marginalized, the Pope maintained that homosexuals
should not act upon their sexuality because it is a sin. He also opposed gay marriage, shutting down any chance for the gay faithful to pursue a family life. Moreover, while the pope recognizes the significance of women in the Catholic community by referencing the Virgin Mary as even more important than the apostles, he kept the doors closed on women who aspire to preach the word of God. To add to the contradictions, Bergoglio was the leader of the inquisition of progressive revolutionaries during the Argentine Dirty War. Even with the Church condemning worldwide violence such as in Syria, the papacy clearly has to go beyond washing feet, kowtowing to royalties, and sending letters to political figures to effect social change. Deconstruction Religion and politics have never been two distinct things for the Church. As a monolithic institution, the Church needed to
preserve its power and influence. And in the realm of religious power play, every player must exhaust its meand to do so. The papacy then needs to be reinvented to stall the Church’s perceived decline. Like it had done to almost every pontiff, the church yet again has to create a myth out of Pope Francis. To reinforce the status quo, he must integrate pop culture with religious stimulus as a form of motivation. Commonplace cultural images like committing fashion faux pas and riding public transportation are married to political agendas. The facade would appear normal, modern, and revolutionary and it is imperative to look like so. The pope’s attempts to usher the papacy beyond the usual boundaries and limitations of the Church, however, must not be dismissed as insincere. But to do so, Pope Francis I faces the challenge of being brave enough to continue opposing even the traditions of the church, for it takes persistence to bolster social change in an institution that has always been conservative. For now, the Pope is forced to limit his efforts to the shallow joys of selfies and symbolic acts. The pope surely is commendable in his efforts to usher in a new era of Catholicism. But to truly achieve this goal, the Pope must go beyond words and symbolic acts and push for progressive actions which will birth a new social order. ∞
Illustration : Karl Aquino Page design : Ashley Garcia
Sa likod ng mga nangungusap na mata Majoi Tila may kaugnayan ang lahat ng pangyayari sa isang araw. Paglabas ko ng dorm, dumiretso ako sa sakayan papuntang Katipunan. Kinailangan ko kasing balikan ang binisita naming barangay sa Tondo noong isang araw para sa isusulat kong artikel ngayong linggo. Isang kalabit ng bata ang gumising sa naglalakay kong diwa. “Ate, naaalala niyo pa ba ako?” tanong ng isang pamilyar na mukha. Ngumiti ako sabay sabi ng “oo naman” kahit na pinipilipit kong alalahanin ang pangalan niya. “Ate, mahaba na ulit yung buhok niyo, bili na ulit kayo sa akin ng ponytail,” panghihikayat niya. Natawa ako nang maalala kong bago nga pala akong gupit ng buhok noong huli akong bumili sa kanya. Katulad ng dati, hindi na naman ako nalugi sa sampung pisong ipit dahil inaliw niya ulit ako ng mga kwento niya habang naglalakad kami papuntang sakayan. Masaya niyang ikinuwento na magaling na ang lolo niya at marunong na rin daw siyang lumaban sa mga kaedad niyang lagi siyang inaaway at inaasar na bading. Nang tinanong
ko kung paano, sabi niya hinahamon daw niya ng suntukan. Naputol ang pagkukwento niya dahil kinailangan ko nang sumakay ng dyip. “Ate, kapag nakita kita sa SC ililibre niyo po ba ulit ako ng ice cream?” Hindi ko na nagawang sumagot, kaya kumaway na lamang ako at ngumiti sa batang hindi ko pa rin matandaan ang pangalan pero sigurado akong nagsisimula sa “K”. Pagdating ko sa Tondo, pawang mga kwento tungkol sa mga bata ang narinig ko mula kay Ate Venjie, isa sa mga residente ng Road 10 na nagboluntaryong pumunta sa Bocaue, Bulacan ngunit bumalik din dahil kamatayan daw umano ang naghihintay sa kanila doon. Halos wala na raw makain ang anim niyang anak bukod sa mga gulay, na para sa iba’y damo na kung ituring. Kaya naman hindi na umano siya nagtaka nang minsan nagtanong ang kanyang anak na “’Nay, hayop po ba ako? Bakit laging damo ang kinakain namin?” Narinig kong tumawa si Ate Venjie — isang mapait na tawa. Maya-maya pa’y naalala niya ring ikwento ang anak ng kapitbahay nila na natagpuang
Baon ang samu’t saring kwento ng mga residente, hindi ko maiwasang umalis na may mabigat na damdamin
patay sa ilalim ng putikan. Nadulas daw ang bata sa sapa kung saan pilit niyang inabot ang prutas na sana’y pantawid-gutom sa kumakalam niyang sikmura. Hindi man pansin sa mukha ni Ate Venjie na laging nakangiti habang nagkwekwento, hindi pa rin nakaligtas sa akin ang panaka-naka niyang pagtingin sa kawalan sa tuwing mababalot ng katahimikan ang usapan. Magdadapit-hapon na nang nagpaalam ako kay Ate Venjie at sa iba pa niyang kasamahan. Baon ang samu’t saring kwento ng mga residente, hindi ko maiwasang umalis na may mabigat na damdamin lalo na sa aking mga narinig. Akala ko tapos na ang araw ko, pero nakita ko naman sa sinakyan kong bus pa-Philcoa ang larawan ng mga batang namatay dahil sa kemikal na ginamit sa Syria. Hindi ko alam kung nagkataon lang ba na puro mga kwento tungkol sa mga munting anghel na pangunahing mga biktima ng karahasan ng estado ang narinig ko ngayong araw—mga kwentong may kurot at tunay na pupukaw sa damdamin. ∞
Love story # 199 Aletha Garcia
Dati ko pang pinangarap na makasama ka, kahit abutin man ako ng isang taon kahihintay sa iyo. Ngayon, magda-dalawang taon na tayong magkasama. Nagkaroon ako ng ilang personal na problema bago pa man tayo nagkakilala, kaya hindi nila ako pinayagang mapalapit sa iyo. Lubos akong nagluksa noong mga araw na iyon. Sinabi ko na lang sa sarili ko na darating din ang araw na magkakasama tayo, at gagawin ko ang lahat para sabay tayong magtagumpay. Kung tutuusin, madali lang naman magbitiw ng mga salita. Tinahi ko sa isipan ko na hindi ako malulungkot at manghihinayang sa nasayang na oras. “Everything happens for a reason,” sabi nga ng cliché na kasabihan. Ito na lang siguro ang pampalubag loob ko. Malay ko, sa isa ko pang taon na paghihintay, baka manalo ako sa isang malaking contest o ‘di kaya’y makahanap ng bagong pag-ibig. Pero hindi. Ikaw pa rin talaga ang kailangan ko. Isang taon ng pighati ang lumipas. Napariwara ako noong mga panahong iyon kaya’t muntik na namang mawala sa aking mga kamay ang pagkakataon upang
Ngayon lang naging mali ang mangarap kung hindi naman ako kikilos para sa iyo — para sa ating dalawa
makasama ka. Sinikap kong tapusin ang lahat ng dapat tapusin. Pinutol ko ang ilang relasyon sa iba na hadlang sa ating pagsasama, dahil ikaw ang kailangan ko —ang kailangan ko para lumaya. Sa huli kong taon sa unibersidad, ikaw lang ang gusto kong makasama. Ipinagdasal ko na sana’y magkaroon ako ng sapat na kakayahan upang mapagtibay ang ating pagsasama. Dumating ang araw na nagkaharap na tayo. Kaiba sa inasahan ko dati, medyo nagkagulo yata tayo. Hindi ko maintindihan kung bakit tayo nagkakaganito. Marahil ay kasalanan ko rin ang lahat. Bakit ako nagkakaganito sa iyo kung ako mismo ang humabol sa iyo noong una pa lamang? Ikaw nga lang ang sentro ng mundo ko ngayon pero nawawala pa rin ako sa sarili. Kailangan ko bang ipaalala sa sarili ko kung bakit tinahak ko ang daang ito? Araw-araw kang nasa isip ko. Puro plano para sa hinaharap ang iniisip ko, pero ngayon lang naging mali ang mangarap kung hindi naman ako kikilos para sa iyo — para sa ating dalawa. Kailanma’y wala kang sinabi. Hinihintay mo lang ako. Sa tuwing naiisip kita, bigla na lang akong nalulungkot at nagagalit
sa aking sarili. Wala akong ginagawa para tumibay ang ating relasyon. Selosa ka rin kasi, e. Tulad ng ibang lalaking nakarelasyon ko, humihina ang ating relasyon sa tuwing tumitingin ako sa iba. Inaamin ko, minsan sinasadya kong iwasan ka. At dahil naging regular ang ganitong gawain, nauwi na ako sa punto kung saan hindi na kita naiintindihan. Hindi tayo magkasundo sa mga bagay na gusto nating gawin. Natakot ako sa ideya na wala tayong patutunguhan. Pero kailangan ko pa ring subukan at ipagpatuloy ang laban. Nakakahiya rin kasi sa mga magulang ko kung bigla akong titigil ngayon, kung kailan magkasama na tayo. Alam kong kakayanin natin ito hanggang sa huli. Bilang mag-aaral sa pamantasan, sanay na ako sa ganitong klaseng pagkabigo. Hindi ko maiwasang magalit sa sarili ko dahil ako ang nagpa-pasya para sa atin, at alam kong hindi tama ang mga desisyong iyon. Alam kong nakikita mo ang mga nangyayari ngayon, ngunit hindi ko inaasahang may gawin ka. Pero sana lang may sabihin ka. Baka sakaling malaman ko kung ano ang kailangan mo, dahil pagod na akong manghula. ∞
BIYERNES, SETYEMBRE 13, 2013
Kung ikaw si Janet Napoles, kanino mo isusuko ang sarili mo at bakit? Sa Monterey coz look at my pig face naman diba. Its a no brainer. The slaughter house is my home. 20**21871 kbV Kung susuko ako, kay Juan Ponce Enrile kasi sabi niya, ‘’GUSTO KO HAPPY KA.’’ 2011-22597 kay wally bayola para may libreng creampie 201335683 Ano ang mensahe mo para sa UP Pep Squad sa nalalapit na Cheerdance Competition? Wag masyado mapressure. Have faith in Him and for sure miracle will happen. Yakang-yaka niyo yan! The best kayo eh! Party party lang sa Linggo! :) 201*7*06j IanThoughts Dear UP Pep Squad, Wag nyo masyado galingan para kabahan mga supporters. Mehehehe. 201011*62 russell
PEACE TALK Continued from page 5
process more inclusive, i.e. to build a peace constituency. The Supreme Court decision on the [Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain] reiterates that the negotiators should conduct consultations. The peace constituency should also include [not just] members of the civil society, international donor agencies, think tanks and the academe. It should also include young people, indigenous groups, community leaders and the ordinary Juan Dela Cruz. An inclusive peace process will contribute to a more sustainable peace and a culture of peace.” ∞ -Dennis F. Quilala, professor, UPD Department of Political Science Next week’s questions 1. Ano ang masasabi mo sa mga MRT fans ni Kris Aquino? 2. Ano sa tingin mo ang dapat na tugon ng gobyerno sa mga nagaganap na demolisyon? Key in KULE <space> MESSAGE <space> STUDENT NUMBER <required> NAME and COURSE (optional) and send to
0916 7392 684 Non-UP students must indicate any school, organization or sectoral
BIYERNES, SETYEMBRE 13, 2013
The Baklakid Edishun! Haler mga vaklushee at vekizz there! Mag-ingay sabay tambling!!! Baklakid is in the balur! Kung sa fliptop may BLKD, ako naman si BKLD ang makatang matalim ang ano…ang dilaaaa!!! Hmmm akala mo kung ano na, ‘no?! Ikaw haaa! Antipatiko! Wag na tayiz magpatumpik-tumpik pa at simulan na ang mga mala-impaktitang lyrics na may halong kwentong nakakalerky! Geym, simulan na ang paglalagay ng ritmo sa bawat pangungusap! Let’s gaw! Round 1! May Iskong nato-tomguts at umistop-over sa cantunan. ‘Di na siya makatiis dahil ang bituka niya’y nagrarambulan. Si Koya ay umorder ng pancan with kwek-kwek, pagkakuha ng order may pulubing nanghingi ng barya, sagot ni Koya sa bata, ”nek-nek”. napagtanto ni koya na American citizen yung beggar sinabihan niya ng nek-nek, si Koya natuwa! Pag nasagot ng pulubi ang tanong niya, bibigyan niya ito ng kwek-kwek! Tinanong ni Koya kung ano ang tagalog ng wings ang sagot ng amerikanong beggar, “pek-pek”. Tumpak! Winner ni American beggar! Bigyan natin siya ng kiss with cheddar! Charrr! Round 2! Sinetch itong bracket E to the second power na vaklusheeng Isko na gustong-gusto sumama sa fieldtrip sa Kas1. Kelangan niya ng pirma ng kanyang guardian at ‘di niya alam kung sinetch ang the right one. He blossomed kasi in his life na walang parents, nakapag-aral siya sa university kaka-join ng kabaklaan beauty pageants! So he needs pirma nga with his waiver chorvalu, waley na siyang choice so he goes to somewhere eklavoo — sa underpass ng Philcoa! May matandang beggar na nakita si Isko at binigyan niya ng imahe ng Birheng Maria. Pulubi’y natulala, sabay biglang lumundag sa tuwa! Na-foundalushi ng pulubi ang kanyang ina, dahil ang pulubi ay si Hesu- Kristo na nag-anyong kaluluwa! Amen to that! Na-windang ang Iskong vaklurr at na-starstruck on the spot! Nagpapirma siya ng waiver kay Hesu-Kristo with kiss paaa!!! Ang taray ng baklitang ito at nakipag-selfie pa! (na-snatch yung phone niya after. Shunga, 1 billion likes sana). Sa kabila ng trahedya, nakakuha siya ng pirma, ang Prof ay nagulantang sa pirmang nakita at sinambit kay isko na “makakapag-fieldtrip ka!!!” sabay tumambling. Ayun, mali ang bagsak, sa heaven lumanding. Round 3! Ito nakaka-adik. Kasi ‘yung iskong ito sa sobrang tindi ng kwento akala mo nakasaksi ka ng magic. Totoo, kaso ito’y medyo tragic. Ito kasing si adik, ang hilig uminom ng Gatorade, Cobra, at Listerine. Araw-araw panlaban sa antok kasi lagi nagpupuyat, kaya ang itsura ay payat. Palagi niyang kasama ang tatlong droga niya, umaga hanggang gabi. Ang pagkaadik ay lumala, lalong tumindi. Incidentally, natae bigla ang lolo mur, nag-sweatcorn siya na ang kulay ay lavender. Pag-ebak niya, bumulwak ang limang cobra na may mapuputing ngipin, kase na-overdose sa Listerine. At infairness, walang amoy yung jerbaks. Bet mo ba baks?! At yun lamang mga vaklooosshh!!! Abangan niyo yung paghaharap namin ni BLKD sa FlipFlop’s Tumbang Preso Battle! At lastly, good luck sa darating na hell week! Keribumbum niyo ‘yan mga Te! Gowlalu! Muamuabelles mga bakla! :* ∞
Congratulations! CONTACT US! Write to us via snail mail or submit a soft copy to Rm. 401, Vinzons Hall, UP Diliman, Quezon City. Email us firstname.lastname@example.org. Save Word attachments in Rich Text Format, with INBOX, NEWSCAN or CONTRIB in the subject. Always include your full name, address and contact details.
Micholo Medrana Julian Bato Kultura Writers Miriam Miciano Andrea Joyce Lucas Features Writers Johnwyn Ace Fornal New News Writer
NES was recognized as the best organizational event for 2013, according to the Junior Philippine Economics Society. We are two days away from the biggest economic convention of the nation! The UP Economics Society and SGV & Co. In partnership with Maybank, The Body Shop, Wacoal, and Coca Cola FEMSA Philippines present
TRUMPS OUT: A Contract Bridge Tournament
THE NATIONAL ECONOMICS SUMMIT 2013 Connecting the Brightest Economic Minds of the Nation
We highly encourage that you register with a partner. Solo registrants will be randomly assigned a partner before the tournament starts. You may also visit the UPMMC Tambayan at MBAn 109 for advance registration and inquiries. See you!
September 13 - 15, 2013 Bayanihan Center, Pasig City Our Endorsers Commission on Higher Education, UP School of Economics, Philippine Economics Society, National Youth Commission, Junior Philippines Economics Society, and UP School of Economics Alumni Association Our Media Sponsors 99.5 RT, Rappler, When in Manila, Business World, DZUP 1602 GET YOUR GAME ON. Pay and play at the CBA 4th floor back lobby (12PM-5PM)! September 10-13: Dance Central, Wii Fit, Super Smash, Bros Brawl, and Mario Kart DULAANG UP MOUNTS JOHN WEBSTER’S MASTERPIECE THE DUCHESS OF MALFI/ ANG DUKESA NG MALFI Dulaang UP’s The Duchess of Malfi / Ang Dukesa ng Malfi runs from September 11 - September 29 at the Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theater, Palma Hall, UP Diliman. Get your tickets now! Please contact the Dulaang UP Office at 926-1349, 981-8500 local 2449 or 433-7840 and look for Ms. Camille Guevarra or Ms. Samanta Clarin. OH, WOW! BRIDGE! MASAYA ‘TO!! Do you think you have the skills to take all the tricks? Then join,
brought to you by UPMMC and the Philippine Tournament Bridge Association! Get a chance to win up to 2000 pesos! Those interested may register through this link: https://docs.google.com/forms/ d/1vqsrCxQIBJFOQ53HNFuDI0s_ e9f6rB0qNfqnD6AuPGo/viewform
HUWAW THIS IS FUN! The University of the Philippines Mathematics Majors’ Circle invites you to join Mix and Maths 6.0, a university-wide game show which consists of Tangrams, Scrabble, Price is Right and Minute to Win It Games! Form a group consisting of 3 members and sign up now! You may register online through this link: https://docs.google.com/ forms/d/1fu-62Ycke87ZHt8nuY S9isVLwpKChtABG7srD8IaU00/ viewform You may also visit our registration booth along MB Walk or the UPMMC tambayan at MBAn 109 for inquiries. See you! This year’s Inter-Freshman Machine Design Competition entitled Shoot M.E. Down is all about accuracy and precision. Do you have what it takes to hit the bulls-eye? Just form a team of 3, design a launcher, and get a chance to win 2,000 Php! No registration fee. There will be a registration booth on September 11 from 8am until 11:30am only, in front of the CAL library. On September 12 and 13, you may find our booth at the Math walk from 8am-5pm. Further details about the competition will be available in our booth. See you there!
Alan P. Tuazon
On the Job* I have been prey to an endless stream of disappointments since the start of the semester as professors called out “Tuazon, Alan!” from a pool of names in the attendance list. People just had higher expectations of me— being a columnist for a venerated student publication, and tagged as the privileged Chinese guy at the Kule backpage. I often wonder what contribution my column even offers humanity, what addition to the growing mass of nothingness my weekly rants bring. There are other Kule writers more able than myself, more politically-charged to fill this weekly column. I have been an object of criticism for my so-called bourgeois leanings. I can only talk of cinema and books, they say. Some even label me a hypocrite for joining rallies after seeing me frequent tea shops in Katipunan. Writing for the Collegian has never been a piece of cake. The weekly dose of presswork has formed in us an abnormal sleeping pattern and dependence on nicotine, caffeine, and cheesy videoke-worthy songs in the wee hours of morning crunch time. We liberate ourselves with stolen trips to the rooftop where confessions—of intoxication from Kule work, of academic woes, of unrequited love—most likely happen. After the strenuous legwork, we send our drafts to our editors only to be told that they are “not Kule enough,” and continue in a seemingly endless drafting process until the right blend of sharp arguments and smooth phrasing is achieved. Of the many issues instantly relayed on everyone’s newsfeeds, publishing a newspaper becomes more challenging. Kule does not exist to gain the popular sympathy; we write on realities we deem relevant and pressing. One news writer almost flipped the table upon reading the numerous articles on Kris Aquino riding an MRT while demolitions happen everywhere, unprioritized by mainstream media. Alternative media such as Kule is not the Cinderella of journalism. Kule does write fairytales anyway. *not a review of the Erik Matti film
Illustration : Rosette Abogado