Rafael Baylosis, NDFP Consultant

30 04 2011

Rafael Baylosis, NDFP Consultant

by— Ina Alleco @ 4:27 am

Rafael Baylosis

Intro:  Rafael Baylosis was not known to me until I attended the Cordillera Day 2011.  Rafael Baylosis is the consultant for the Comprehensive Agreement for Social and Economic Reform (CASER) during the Cordillera Day.  I dug around the web and found that one of my favorite bloggers already work with Baylosis. Below is a copy entry of her blog.

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I first wrote this blog entry in 2005; and this same piece was published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer in April or May 2006 as part of a series of essays on Fathers’ Day.

I decided to repost this in the light of the upcoming peace negotiations between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Deomocratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). Rafael Baylosis is an NDFP adviser on socio-economic reforms, but there is a major hindrance in his being able to partcipate in the talks because of the completely false and fabricated criminal charges filed against him by the GRP.

Despite the implementation of the Joint Agreement on Security and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) which gives protection and immunity for NDFP consultants and staff — particularly those participating in the peace talks– Ka Raffy’s safety is still in question.

What sort of man is Rafael Baylosis and why is it important that he be able to attend the talks? Why is he being persecuted by the GRP? What does he stand for and believe?

These questions cannot be answered in one sitting; but I wrote this entry in tribute to one of the two people who have helped shape the way I view the world and how life should be lived as a national democrat.

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Sensei

Sunday, August 21st, 2005

When I was in college, I was a member of the UP Karate Association. Our sensei — or teacher — was shihan (synonymous with teacher, or master) Jerome. He was a tall, well-built man who was on the quiet side. He was friendly but firm. He wasn’t a perfectionist, but he demanded that his students — us UPKA members who kicked and punched and leaped and jumped like sweating lizards in white gis within a red dojo)– perform the exercises or kata with a little more than plain dexterity. I think he wanted us to be graceful. Not surprising, what with karate-do a sport of grace, not unlike ballet.

So there I was trying to control my breathing, steadying my legs (which in the beginning hurt like heck from having to bend and squat halfway for 15-20 minutes at a stretch every hour), focusing what physical force I had in my fists and aiming at invisible opponents. I learned how to place well-aimed blows; how to make the proper fist (thumbs tucked under the other fingers to secure them from being broken upon impact with a hard object like, say, someone’s skull); how to make the air whistle with kicks swiftly delivered then retracted; how to pivot, with my center of gravity nearer to the ground and my body below hitting range. I learned to slow-breathe, focus and meditate.

It was exhilarating. Sensei Jerome was a great teacher. He hardly spoke, but he communicated volumes with a nod of his head, a gesture of his steady hands, or by executing an absolutely perfect, graceful yet very powerful movement such as blocking a blow with his arm.

Now, a decade later, I have a different sensei. I’m not studying karate anymore (I wish I was, though. I miss it, my body misses the light and weightlessness of feeling), but I’m studying something more difficult and demanding than karate.

My sensei’s name is Rafael Baylosis. He is alleged to be the secretary general of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) before he was imprisoned by the Marcos dictatorship until he was released in 1995. Now, as a strictly legal, above-ground civilian, he is the vice-chairman of Anakpawis National Political Party and a consultant on socio-economic concerns in the peace negotiations between the National Democratic Front (NDF) and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP).

I’ve had the honor of working with and learning from Ka Raffy since 1998 when I was still in the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) labor center as propaganda officer, and he was the Political affairs secretary. It was from him that I learned to get up at 6am and be ready to begin writing 15 minutes later (he was always my wake-up call. Used to bug the hell out of me).

He taught me how to be consistent with my work habits (and I try to imitate and adopt his own work ethic — constancy, timeliness, economic but determined movements, sharp awareness of developments. I still lack patience and cool-headedness, though. I’m still trying to overcome my tendency to become quite the monster when confronted with upsetting things) and how to recognize, analyze and then resolve political contradictions in concepts and ideas.

He taught me to push the limits of what I used to believe as the limits to my abilities and skills.

But apart from these, I learned and still learn from Ka Raffy how to live with integrity. I know this sounds stilted, but this is the only way I can describe this.

Rafael Baylosis is a great father, a loving husband, a supportive comrade, an intellectual and a dreamer. He has, since he became an activist at 18 in UP Diliman, a friend and comrade of the likes of then 21- year old Jose Ma. Sison and other veterans of the First Quarter Storm and the Diliman Commune, lived plainly and simply; but always his actions and thoughts have been profoundly in service to a cause greater to himself.

After presiding over important campaign or consultation meetings, he washes the dishes after meal times in the Anakpawis headquarters and cleans the conference room.He always ask after the health of Kasamas, or how they’re doing in their respective line of work. He makes silly and corny jokes that people often laugh at, not so much because the jokes themselves are funny, but because they are amused at Ka Raffy’s boyishness.

He is a calm and confident leader in rallies and demonstrations, a fiery public speaker, a well-read ideologue, a lover of music, and a great cook (well, they say he is — I’m too finicky an eater to actually try his more complicated Ilocano dishes made up of, well, various vegetables. I’m not crazy for vegetables).

Ka Raffy is capable of compelling such fierce loyalty, because to put it plainly, he is such a good person and worthy of the highest respect. Approachable and light-hearted, young activists like myself can always rely on Ka Raffy to give comforting but well-grounded advice. While an understanding and tolerant person, he is strict when it comes to the core activist principles and their application to work and living.

I am no end humbled and awed at how such an evolved human being, a well-known and highly-respected individual in the Kilusan sees it fit to trust me with his confidence and guide me through my political work and growth as an activist.

Though right now (and often in the last seven years) I give him headaches because of my stubborn nature, it is one of my life’s highest ambitions to make Ka Raffy proud of me, because I am so proud and honored to say that what I am today and what I am capable of doing and achieving for the Kilusan is largely because of his influence. He is my Jedi master, and I hope never to be like Anakin Skywalker but to be as Obiwan Kenobi. He trains and teaches by example, and this, I think, is the best way to teach. He, along with Crispin ‘Ka Bel’ Beltran are the biggest political and personal influences in my life. From them I learn not only how to be activist, but to be, hopefully, a good person.

Often, to be worthy of one’s teachers, to be a good person are the highest and best things one should hope to be.





153902003 registered voters?

12 05 2010

SMARTMATIC's glitch

With all the problems with this year’s election, can we really celebrate the success of it?  PCOS Machine failures, failures to transmit, Vote buying, Long queues… The COMELEC was warned of these issues but continue to push for the May 10th Automated Elections despite the warnings.  They did little to nothing to bring Clean and Fair Elections.

Change?  The people went to the polls to vote for change.  We came out with  Marcos, Aquinos, and Arroyos still in power. The guy that helped author the much despised Value Added Tax (VAT), Ralph Recto, will he’s still in power too.  In fact, most incumbents who were in power are still in power.  The media did little to promote candidates platforms.

Even Partylists systems were a failure this year.  Partylists nominees are suppose to come from the marginalize sectors.  However, several of the former President’s administration reps enter the Partylist system as a backdoor entrance to congress.

So much for clean and fair  2010 automated elections!  That doesn’t mean we should wait til next election and HOPE for change.  The people should still demand change and hold the “elected” body responsible.





Confronting Black Prop and Other Musings

3 05 2010

Well, Its that time again – saying goodbye is always hard and who’s to say how long I’ll actually be away this time.  This journey to the Philippines is coming to an end.  I just wish I could have stayed to see the outcome of the elections, the outcomes of the senator nominees Liza Maza and Satur Ocampo as well as the progressive Indigenous Partylist Katribu and the other MAKABAYAN Partylists.

MAKABAYAN COALITION

During the time I spent to campaign for MAKABAYAN, I got mad at a Trike driver who tried to overcharge the usual fare .  To make the short story shorter, I gave him the amount he had asked.  Actually, as much as that pissed me off, the cab driver has been exploited harder than I’ve been.  Actually living in this country, you can experience for yourself the deep and widespread corruption.  Graft doesn’t just happen on the national scale but also on the local scale.  Stealing is not just something kids and juveniles engage in, its an act that has been encouraged in politics and an act encouraged with entrepreneurs and the business world.  The more you exploit, cheat, and steal, the more you gain and profit.

Kabataan Youth poster the town while distributing fliers and voters education materials

I must say, one of my personal favorite moments here was campaigning with the Kabataan Partylists volunteers.  Their youthful energy is something that should be emulated in all campaigns for the people.  Their volunteerism is invoked by their duty to the country.  I remember even when most staff would call it a night by 5 or 6pm, the youth would continue until 8 or 9pm.

In the short span I was also pushed hard by an elderly man who kept saying that Satur and Liza are against the government.  I had to instantly calm him down by placing one of my hands on his back and telling him its okay, I’m not telling you how to vote.  If you dont’ want to vote for Satur, that’s your right, your democratic freedom to do so.

But its also my democratic freedom to campaign for Satur and Liza

Almost anyone who had listen to what I had said about Satur and Liza believed in their platform and believes in their fight for a better Philippines.  Especially for those thousands leaving the Philippines a year, Satur authored the Overseas absentee voting to allow for MORE democratic freedom. Liza championed women’s issues consistently that no one can dispute her on the issue.  Both Satur and Liza are championing the MAKABAYAN platform of nationalizing the industries so that the youth and students can have opportunities here to rebuild this great country instead of going abroad to do so.  They are both encouraging the wage hike of 150 pesos instead of the meager wage hike that Aquino is asked for.  Both Maza and Ocampo are fierce leaders that have fought on the ground and in the legislative sessions to help the basic people.

In early April, some local government officials in the province of Ifugao started receiving negative propaganda letters against the MAKABAYAN coalition (BAYAN MUNA, ANAKPAWIS, GABRIELA, KABATAAN, KATRIBU, ACT, AND AKAP BATA Partylists as well as Satur Ocampo and Liza Maza whoa re senatorial candidates.

The letters are not an isolated incident sent by the supposed “Patriots of the Philippine Democracy.”  Many local, Municipal, and provincial candidates around the Philippines have been sent similar letters to tarnish the reputation of the MAKABAYAN coalition.

Contrary to what the name of the senders denote, it is unpatriotic to intimidate people with severe threats and false accusations, which are all part of the Oplan Bantay Laya campaign systematically aimed at isolating genuine people’s organizations, progressive people’s Partylists, allies and supporters from the broad public in order to conduct un-democratic arresting, intimidation, threats, kidnapping, torture and extrajudicial killings.

Clean and Fair elections? Posters such as this one has been Vandalized while other Makabayan posters have been pulled down

Earlier this year, the Makabayan Coalition filed a complaint with the regional office of the COMELECT against the proliferation of black propaganda against the group.  Large streamers linking KATRIBU and other progressive Partylists with the underground movement have dolled highways and road systems in Norther Luzon since last year, 2009.

The complaint also stress that ‘the black propaganda materials which you have also received creates a climate of fear for our leaders and members thus preventing us from effectively conducting our campaign.

The progressive Partylists along with Satur Ocampo and Liza Maza have been recognized as legitimate and accredited by the COMELEC.  We will will exhaust all legal means available to counter their accusations, defend ourselves and defeat Oplan Bantay Laya while championing progressive peoples’ agenda and programs.

Satur’s reputation as challenging the government should be appraised not admonished.  He bravely fought against corruption during the Marcos Martial Law era, was punished for his truthful journalism that expose the corruption, and tortured for fighting for freedom.  He has since been accused and charged of rebellion but each time he’s been charged, the courts release him due to unsubstantial evidence.  This has been the same ploy and tactics used by the corrupt ruling elite and military scums alike.

Its very clear there is a hatchet job conducted on the Makabayan coalition, EVEN if there is any significant impact to the people, it won’t be for long.  Traditional Politics dictates the same traditions-the same old cheating status quo to make the rich richer and the poor, well… content enough that they don’t rock the boat too hard.  In short, the people are not stupid-you can pitch the same lies about how MAKABAYAN is the partylists of the NPA but it won’t work for long.





U.S. Military Aggression breeds American Hatred:100,000 protests the U.S. Okinawan Base in Japan

29 04 2010

April 25th 2010, Japan: 100,000 protests the U.S. military base in Okinawa.  The protesters want the current Prime Minister to keep his promise to voters that he force the U.S. military off Japan and the base off Okinawa.  The Japanese have longed been hostile toward the stationing of American soldiers and the massive base on Japanese soil.  The U.S. Base in Okinawa hosts over 47,000 American Troops.

Protesters participate in a mass rally against a US base in Ginowan on Okinawa

U.S. troops have been accused of raping a Filipina in Okinawa back in 2008.  Near the same time, there was another Japanese 14 year old girl who was raped by a U.S. soldier which brought back the same horrible memories of the 12 year old girls raped in 1995 by U.S. soldiers.

Also in S. Korea, where 14,000 U.S. soldiers are stationed, a 19 year old Korean girl was raped while in 2007, 6 U.S. soldiers were arrested for beating down a girl and another soldier arrested for raping a 67 year old Korean girl.

It seems ridiculous right?  How many cases are still unreported because the victims are scared.  This is exactly what traditional military presence breeds-women are victims to superpower nations like the United States.  While women from many countries where the United States stations itself are likely victims due to wars of aggression, military dumping, rape and threats and physical violence, U.S. soldiers justify their presence as protecting American citizens.  Many see the U.S. as policing the world from global terrorists.

The U.S. people need to wake up and look in the mirror.  They won’t like what they see, who they’ve become.

In the Philippines, the people kicked the U.S. military base in 1995 but then President Estrada signed the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) which allows U.S. personal to train Armed forces of the Philippines under a suppose “mutual” agreement.

However, with U.S. troops now engaged in armed military operations, the people of the Philippines are once again threatened. Victims like Nicole who was raped by Smith of the U.S. military who was tried and convicted for 40 years was acquitted by buying off Nicole’s testimony and a free ride to the United States.  It is not Nicole who we should be mad at but the perpetrators of the same crimes.  The people seek justice for these crimes and seek a real leader willing to go after all corrupt officials and uphold national sovereignty.

The Balikatan Exercises which is a joint military exercise operation between the U.S. military and the Armed Forces of the Philippines has expanded from the Bicol Visayas region to the Ilocos region in Northern Philippines.  Some of these operations have seen the harassment, hamletting, and violence toward rural communities.  In fact, because the people have nothing to gain, there is no mutual aspect to the contract except between the American capitalists securing their resources and the corrupt officials who stand to benefit from the reaping of profits.

It is time that we recognize the impact of military forces who do not protect the interest of the people.  It is time we demand the removal os U.S. troops and bases as the Japanese and Filipinos have done already.  For Americans, we need to make sure that we educate each other about how military aggressions breeds more resistance to the American hatred.  If we are to foster into a peaceful future, we need to start now.

Roll back the U.S. military budget, bring the troops back home and fund Education and Health Care!





Taiwan Indigenous Peoples: 2nd Class Citizens

29 04 2010

During my first exposure trip to the Philippines in the summer of 2007, I met some Taiwanese exposurists with the Cordillera Peoples Alliance in Tabuk, Kalinga.  Through our short conversations and laughter we learned so much about each others culture, the differences and similarities.

We would find ourselves over the years in the same rooms or activities having those same conversations.  In Hong Kong 2009 during the International League of Peoples Struggle (ILPS) Assembly, they allowed me to dance and sing their Indigenous customs.  We reconnected the following year in 2009 before the decentralized Cordi Days.  They had cooked delicious meal for all the staff in the Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) office.  In 2010, the Taiwanese came back with 25 other delegates from different Tribes in Taiwan to learn about how CPA spearheaded the disaster relief and prevention programs in far flung Indigenous Communities with the Cordillera Admistraion Region.

The Taiwanese delegates shared how similar their struggles are to all IPs around the world:  the colonists came and ruled over them.  Today, the government of Taiwan uses the calamities from the Typhoon Disasters as reasons to displace the IPs and “integrate” them into Taiwan modern society.

Only 2% of the population is Indigenous while the majority 98% are Han Chinese.

Indigenous People of Taiwan

During Cordi Day 2010, I had the chance to understand the issues of the many tribes from Taiwan.  Their struggle today is to promote the preservation of not just their culture about their tribe.  They are no longer confronting the government alone-they are seeking each other out, finding other tribes people who are willing to stand for the Indigenous People.  They are learning from the rich history of the Cordillera Indigenous People’s struggle against land-grabbing, large scale mining, forced displacement, discrimination, and much more.

Climate Change is a real issue affecting Indigenous People around the world.  Many tribes in Taiwan and the Cordillera face the cruel reality forced upon by the advancing of capitalist nations emitting the greenhouse gases that destroy the O-Zone layer, allowing the sun able to penetrate causing the warming of the planet and in some cases, more natural disasters including floods, typhoons, and droughts.

Their will to educate and fight for a better future for all IPs should be emulated by governments all over the world who genuinely care about Indigenous People.  We should emulate the delegates in striving to go beyond our day to day lives to learn about the issues and fight for what is just and what is right.





9 YR REPORT CARD: Landlessness still Persists

22 04 2010

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo of the Philippines Toots her own horn in her 9 years in Office

Manila. April 22nd, 2010 – One month ago, The president for the past 9 years declared her administration’s accomplishments boasting that economic growth is making positive impact on the lives of real people.  Based on her economic policies, her administration declared the peso strength was gaining on the weak dollar.  The President whose term ends after the middle of this year had been marred with scandal after scandal.  However, that has not stopped the President from tooting her own horns.  She repeated the Agriculture departments claim of generating millions of jobs by establishing security in governmental targeted economic development regions such as Mindinao.

It seemed like only yesterday, when my friend Jack Stephen, who runs and operates The Musturd Seed, went to the Philippines to understand the plight of Filipinos especially in the Labor sector.  There he found out from conducting his own research that the labor struggle is very much indeed connected to the Peasant landless struggle.  Furthermore, instead of just blogging about his experience he decided to take a proactive stance in educating those around him while firmly denouncing the military for their harassment and lack of interest in the protection of the people’s interest.

We will examine her claims and report on the various sectors (Peasants, Labor, Women, Youth and Students, and Indigenous people).  We will also look into her economic policies and her human rights rapport to determine her overall Report Card.

2009 Laklayan was mostly ignored by government officials when they passed into law an extention of CARP with Reforms. Peasants still remain landless and Landlords continue to profit of the current laws: CARP

On PEASANT –  The majority of land tillers still do not own any land.  Most peasants stay poor borrowing year after year to pay for farm tools, seeds, supplement food, and sometimes medicine if there is any money left over.  The majority of peasants are not satisfied.  According to a survey, 8 out of 10 in the country considers themselves poor.  75% of the country are Peasants.  Based on the popular majorities needs, local to national leaders need to address their main problem:  Land distribution. I n order to lift poverty, they will need to address the backwards farm tools by industrializing the economy nationally.

Here is a look at what President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo:  In 2008, she  extended CARP for a third time since the late Cory Aquino first introduced in in 1988 and Ramos extended in 1999.  Each time CARP was supposedly extended was because it fell short of its goal. The president signed into law CARPeR (Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program with Reforms).  Did landlords including the President and her husband go against their own interest to redistribute land from landlords to peasants?  More importantly, did CARPeR finally resolve the centuries old problems of landlessness affecting the peasantry? Read the rest of this entry »





China, 2nd to U.S. in Billionaires

17 04 2010

China, April 17th – Communist Capitalist China now has a total of 64 Billionaires in Mainland China, more than any other country besides the United States according to Forbes Magazine.

Since Deng Xiao Peng hijacked the helm in China’s Dictatorship of the Proletariat, he has mapped out a full plan to restore capitalism while paying socialism lip service- undoing the programs and campaigns of Mao Zedong’s cultural revolution as well the Great Leap Forward.

China - July 2009, Tonghua Steel Workers StrikerThe Cultural Revolution that allowed China to promote a popular culture of collectivity over individualism was decimated through time.  China would lose worker’s and peasant’s rights through the years and use the iconic people’s army to guard private industries against its own people.  As worker’s and peasant’s rights were plowed over for capital gains that has created a new threat to China’s people, strikes would blaze through the country such as last year’s Tongua Iron Steel Plant Strike where a manager fired its worker only to be beaten to death.  The boss who sent the manager was the 10th richest man in China.

Slogans like “Serve the People” meant to get intellectuals and Professionals to fully integrate their work to help the people are rarely practiced.  China is the new rising capitalist country ready to vie for power and resources against the current dominant United States.

As countries like China and United States duke it out to secure resources, costly wars will be averted with industrialize nations, however, nations such as Iraq, Palestine, India, and the Philippines will be used as battle grounds to absorb as much resource and profits as possible.

When countries like the United States go in deep recessions, all satellite colonies will be affected.  The only way to afford these costly wars of aggression, is to maintain the class struggle

China’s current rhetoric to make “our society fairer and more harmonious” is playing to deaf ears.  Since the fall of both the Great Leap Forward (Industrializing the Nation for social welfare) and the Cultural Revolution (promoting scientific mass orientated culture over individualism and profit) there has been no gains to democratic socialism in China and instead modern revisionism which has lead China to abandon socialism and follow the path of capitalism.

Strikes will continue to blaze through China, and the rich will continue to get rich while the poor suffer.  We have to remember there is always hope.