Testament of an Unknown Revolutionary

20 03 2011

After a one year hiatus, I am back with a repost of Testament of an Unknown Revolutionary.  Flames of revolution still continue in the Philippines and around the world despite counter-insurgency tactics led by U.S. Imperialists, their allies, and their reactionary puppets.

Testament of an Unknown Revolutionary

by Robert Whymant

Published in the Guardian on January 21, 1974

Whether Solita Esternon is her real name, her alias in the revolutionary movement, or an arbitrary invention still remains unknown to the interrogators in the military prison at Sorsogon.

What they have established so far is that the woman they are holding is a 24 year old university student and a cadre in the Maoist guerrilla organization, the New People’s Army (NPA) until she was caught in December. They have found too, that she is four months pregnant.

According to her captors, the para-military Philippines Constabulary, she’s a “hard-core” case, she was carrying a loaded .3 calibre pistol when arrested, and is believed to have been entrusted with the delicate task of establishing a base in Sorsogon City.

Her rigid espousal of the necessity for armed struggle, her refusal to compromise by disclosing information about her comrades’ whereabouts will make her a tough subject to re-educate, they say. Read the rest of this entry »





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.





State News around the Philippines

9 03 2010

Passing on the Torch

PHILIPPINE, SAME CORRUPT BOAT

In a survey conducted by Political Economic Risk and Consultancy (PERC), the Philippines ranked the 4th most corrupt nation in the Asia Pacific next to Indonesia, Cambodia and Vietnam.  Out of a total score of 10, zero being the best score, and ten showing the nation to have the most corrupt officials and public servants, the Philippines scored a (8.06).  Gloria Macapagal Arroyo attributed the cause to the “Filipino culture and mudslinging”.

Beyond politicians trading verbal jabs at each other, there is a serious history of graft and corruption in the Philippines.  Just because GMA allocates a certain number of money to fight graft, doesn’t mean graft will be lowered.  In 2005, GMA was caught selling off votes and changing the votes in the presidential election.  The fact that congress wasn’t acting on her illegal action was mostly due to her political allies siding with her at the time, some of them having been bought off.

GMA is right, a new culture needs to be ensure…. one of accountability to the people.  A new system needs to be in place where checks and balances are realized and the peoples needs are addressed and not pushed over for corporate money.

PASSING THE BATON OF TORTURE?

From Jovito Palparan, an officer who rose to the ranks of general with his brutal operations in mindoro to General Victor Ibrado and now Delfin Bangit who will now carry on the structure of a corrupt military.  Palparan has earned the nick name the “Butcher” for the hundreds that were abducted, tortured, and killed.

Many progressive students that have fought against the tuition fee increase, and for a better education free of privatization have connected the student struggles to the workers and peasants.  These students have been called trouble makers by the Armed Forces.  There fear of Palparan is legitimate after the aduction, rape, torture and murder of 2 female student activist, Karen Empeno and Sheryln Cadapan.  At night, when students have to walk alone, they tease each other to be careful otherwise “uncle palpy” will get you.

Someone should warn Bangit that history will not be kind to those who are butchers.

In 2007 alone, more than 133 military violations occurred under the command of then Lt. gen Victor Ibrado.  What will the legacy of Bangit be?  His connections to the GMA has always been close since the Estrada administration and has been incharge of presidential security ever since.

Platoon Neutralized

The Armed Forces of the Philippines had encountered a problem in Mindoro.  The New People’s Army (NPA)had neutralized soldiers that had almost made up the size of one platoon. The armies orders was to carry out Oplan Bantay Laya II (OBL II) to wipe out the communist insurgency around the country by 2010.  The army however, has been indiscriminately targeting teachers, lawyers, journalists, women, students, workers and peasants.  OBL II has seen the rise of civilians and mass activists abducted, tortured, missing, and murdered through frustrated efforts to eliminate the communists and their armed wing, the NPA, in the country.  This tactic however has draw backs to the military.  It doesn’t accomplish the goal that OBL II set out to do but instead turn the peoples wrath against the military.