Friday, March 28, 2003

By Justice Not War Coalition

(The Pinoy consumer's response to the U.S. war and the suspension by the U.S. and Britain of the Oil for Food Program for the Iraqi people)

Mga kababayan,

On March 20, the United States started its illegal, immoral war on Iraq. So-called smart bombs have hit civilians, houses, hospitals and other non-military targets. The U.S. will use up hundreds of billions of dollars for this war that could have gone to alleviating the poverty and suffering in the world fuelling extremism and terrorist attacks.

To top these, the U.S. and Britain have suspended the Oil for Food program, the only way the Iraqi people are allowed to import food under the terms of a UN embargo. The US and Britain seem oblivious to certain death for the Iraqi people from hunger, if not from bombs and bullets.

In the face of such inhumane acts and this unjust US war vs Iraq, let us take a stand. Let us refuse to buy or conduct business with icons of US commercial interests: McDonalds, Coke, Caltex, Citibank, Starbucks, Marlboro, Nike, Colgate, Kraft, and farm fertilizers made by the Monsanto multinational company .

In the meantime, we urge you to patronize products and services made in the Philippines, especially by Filipino entrepreneurs.

Let this boycott be an expression of our stand for peace and against the illegal, immoral and inhumane U.S. war vs Iraq.

Respectfully yours,

Mrs. Fanny Abaya, Alerto Mamimili! & Power
Mrs. Lolita Donato, Alerto Mamimili!
Prof. Raul Segovia, Citizens Alliance for Consumer Protection
Prof. Cynthia Nograles Lumbera, Concerned Faculty of Ateneo de Manila
Mr. Anthony Ian Cruz, TXTPower
Prof. Bienvenido Lumbera, Justice Not War Coalition & Education for Development
Raymond Palatino, National Union of Students of the Philippines
Ms. Beverly Archangel, League of Filipino Students
Elmer Labog, Anib Manggagawa
Ka Daning Ramos, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas

Saturday, March 22, 2003

Message from the Justice Not War Coalition:

A call for Asia Pacific-wide protest actions on April 9

Disregarding the opinion of various world leaders, the worldwide people’s protests, international law including the UN Charter and even its own constitution, the US government is hell bent on raining war and devastation on Iraq.

On a world scale and in the long term, the US wants to impose PAX AMERICANA .

By using its self-serving doctrines of pre-emptive strike, regime change and unilaterism, the US invaded Afghanistan and has targetted other alleged security threats, namely Iraq and North Korea, and other alleged terrorists worldwide. The US is deploying more forward forces and holding more military trainings and joint exercises purportedly to protect its national interest and to decisively win multiple, simultaneous major theater wars abroad.

The Asia Pacific region in particular, with its vast landmass and sea territory brimming with huge economic and geopolitical value, remains strategically important to the US. Without a strong projection of power in this region via the US-Japan security alliance and other bilateral and multilateral military treaties and agreements with other countries, the US drive for world hegemony and dominance will not prevail.

Throughout Asia, The US has been aggressively forging status of forces agreements, access agreements, landing rights, logistics arrangements and the like, coupled with a never ending stream of joint military trainings and exercises.

Among the US’s military objectives are the containment of China as a potential peer rival power and deterring the growth of other threats to US hegemony, including progressive and revolutionary movements and independent regimes. It is therefore part of US strategy to intervene and initiate “regime change” in Asian countries that resist US militarist, political and economic impositions. .

The US has labeled three Asian countries – Iraq, Iran and North Korea – as the “axis of evil.”

In Southeast Asia, the US has declared the Philippines as the “second front” of its borderless war. Thousands of US troops have been deployed to the Southern Philippines since December 2001, ostensibly to give “anti-terrorist training”, “assistance” and “advise” to Philippine troops. Just like in the Vietnam war, the bogey of terrorism and communism is being used as a pretext for direct US military aggression and power projection in the region.

Once the US establishes the Philippines as its foothold in region, the US will have a jump-off point for its interventionist activities in the Muslim-dominated countries of Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei and elsewhere in Asia.

In South Korea and Japan, the US stubbornly insists on maintaining its military bases despite the strong public clamor to have them removed. Moreover, the US has been fully supportive of a more aggressive and outward-looking Japanese Self Defense Forces, which can readily be transformed into an offensive force to support US military adventures in Asia .

These moves by the US, especially in the light of the impending invasion of Iraq, certainly bodes ill for the peoples of the Asia Pacific region. The US bases and military forces in Asia are slated to play a major role in the impending war on Iraq. Furthermore, what happens in Iraq will most likely set the precedent for increasing US unilaterism and aggression in Asia and the whole world. There is an urgent need to oppose this threat to world peace.

Thus, on April 9, we propose that the peoples of Asia and the Pacific hold simultaneous demonstrations and other forms of protest to send the strongest message across the oceans to George W. Bush that WE OPPOSE THE US WAR ON IRAQ AND US INTERFERENCE AND ARMED INTERVENTION IN ASIA.

We in the Asia-Pacific region continue to be inspired by the huge demonstrations of February 15, where 30 million people rose up in mass protest in more than 600 cities and towns all over the world, including: Sydney, Australia – 250,000; India – 200,000; Tokyo – 25,000; New Zealand – 13,000; Manila – 5, 000; Taipei – 2,000.

Bigger and more frequent demonstrations are being held in Indonesia, the Philippines, Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Australia, Pakistan, India and other Asian countries.

Let us unite these efforts in one coordinated action on April 9.

Let us not be deterred by the US Empire’s bullying and evil machinations. Let us struggle for peace! Oppose the US war on Iraq and US interference and armed intervention in Asia! US troops, out of Asia!

Endorsing individuals/organizations (Please add your name before forwarding. Email us of your intention to participate in the April 9 actions at and

Bagong Alyansang Makabayan
Philippine Peace Center

Monday, March 17, 2003


Press Statement
March 16, 2003

Six things to do when US war erupts
By Sr. Mary Grenough MM
Convenor, Justice Not War Coalition

Today, the eve of the United States unilateral deadline of March 17, thousands of priests, nuns, churchworkers and people will gather in churches in more than 126 countries to light candles for peace, against the US war.

We urge everyone to join in this powerful expression of worldwide unity by going to St. Peter's Church along Commonwealth Avenue and other churches in Metro Manila. See you at 6:00 pm tonight.

Also today, we urge the Filipino people to prepare for what seems to be the very likely start of the war, this week or later this month. We urge everyone to pray and prepare for bolder actions in the few days. We will not rest until we stop this US war that remains without basis, without support and without justification.

On the day or, if the attack occurs at night, a day after the start of a US war, we urge all Filipinos to do the following:

1. Gather and protest

Join the prayer assemblies and protests from 4:00 to 6:00 pm at Ayala Avenue, US Embassy, Plaza Miranda, Monumento, Baclaran Church, Sta. Ana Church and St. Peter's Church.

2. Hang or wear blue ribbons

3. Stage and join a noise barrage at 9:00 pm

4. Pause, stop everything at 11:55 am to 12:00 noon to pray for the victims of war and urge a stop to this madness

5. Call, fax, text and email government officials

6. Gear for a big rally at the Luneta on the first Saturday following the beginning of the US war

Similar actions are also slated in Parliament Square in London, the US Capitol and major city centers worldwide.

If the US is fully prepared for its unjust, dirty and immoral war, the Filipino people and all the world's peoples are prepared for all- out resistance.

Office: 23 Maamo St., Sikatuna Village
Quezon City 1101 Philippines
Tel.: +63 2 4359151
Fax: +63 2 9225211

Sunday, March 16, 2003

Tsubibo ng Kano

Ang tsubibo ay paikut-ikot, kaya't ang nakasakay rito ay pabalik-balik sa kanyang pinanggalingan, at matapos ang ilang sandali'y walang kinahihinatnan kundi ang kanya ring pinanggalingan.

Ganito rin ang digmaang agresyon ng Estados Unidos. Paulit-ulit ito—laging kung anong dakilang layon ang idinadahilan sa pagsasagawa nito, ngunit wala itong kinauuwian kundi ang pagkawala ng mga kalayaan ng mga bayan at pagyurak sa mga dangal ng mga walang salang mamamayan saanman magnasang manalasa ang dambuhalang limbas.

Kaya naman pinamagatang American Tsubibo ang isang palatuntunang inorganisa nitong Marso 5 ng College Editors Guild of the Philippines at Kabataang Artista para sa Tunay na Kalayaan (Karatula) sa pakikipagtulungan ng iba't ibang mga alagad ng musika, panitikan, at pabatirang madla.

Ang naging tema ng palatuntunang ito ay paggunita sa dekada 1970. Sa naturang dekada naganap ang kainitan ng mga pagtutol sa digmaang agresyon ng Estados Unidos laban sa Biyetnam, na noo'y nakikibaka sa mga alagad ng pasistang rehimeng Ngo Dinh Diem.

Ang diwa naman ng naging palatuntunan sa Mayric's España nitong Marso 5 ay paggunita sa Digmaang Biyetnam bilang pagtutol sa nagbabantang digmaan sa Iraq.

Umalingawngaw nang gabing iyon sa Mayric's España ang mga kanta ni Bob Marley, isa sa mga musikerong nakilala sa pakikibaka alang-alang sa kalayaan at karapatang pantao noong dekada 1970. Subalit bukod sa kanyang mga kanta, ang mga orihinal na kantang tumatalunton din naman sa diwa ni Bob Marley ay ipinarinig ng mga musikerong nagsipagtanghal doon.

Sari-saring grupo at banda mula sa iba't ibang pamantasan tulad ng Unibersidad ng Pilipinas, Politeknikong Unibersidad ng Pilipinas, Unibersidad ng Santo Tomas, at iba pa ang nagsitugtog doon. Naroon ang grupong Alay Sining at mga bandang Pula, Bersus, Lady Bedspacers, Kantula, at iba pang kabataang banda. May sarili ring pagtatanghal ang Karatula.

Datapwat di lang mga banda ang naroon.

Nagbigkas din ng tula ang iba't ibang manunulat, kabilang ang bantog na si Richard Gappi, na mula pa sa panahon ng kanyang pag-aaral sa Unibersidad ng Plipinas magpahanggang ngayon ay isang masigasig na aktibista.

Ang Southern Tagalog Exposure, isang kooperatibang nagsusulong ng pagpapalaganap ng alternatibong pabatiran sa Timog Katagalugan, ay nagtanghal ng isang dokumentaryo tungkol sa paulit-ulit na mga kabulastugan ng Estados Unidos mula nang sakupin nito ang Pilipinas, Cuba, at Puerto Rico noong mga huling bahagi ng ika-19 dantaon—pati ang mga kaakibat na iba pang paglabag sa karapatang pantao ng mga ito. Maliwanag na naipakita ng naturang dokumentaryo, Ang Kaaway, na ang mga pananakop ng Estados Unidos sa nakalipas na mahigit sa isang daang taon ay di dala ng diumano'y marubdob na nasang ipagtanggol ang demokrasya kundi dulot ng hangaring pagharian ang kabuhayan ng buong daigdig.

Ang mga artista sa mainstream kadalasa'y hindi magbabahagi ng kanilang mga talento kundi babayaran ng halagang katumbas ng sahod ng isang manggagawa sa sampung buwan ang pagtatanghal sa isang gabi.

Ibahin ninyo ang mga kabataang artistang naging bahagi ng American Tsubibo nitong Marso 5. Alam nilang ang paninindigan alang-alang sa makatarungang kapayapaan ay di dapat ipagbili.

Unang nalathala sa noong Pebrero 16-Marso 15, 2003 sa ilalim ng ngalang sagisag na Aurelio Flores. Napilitan ang may-akdang gumamit ng ngalang sagisag sapagkat saksakan na ng dami ang naipasa niyang akda sa partikular na isyung iyon ng nasabing publikasyon.
Kulturang Konyo

Kangi-kangina lamang ay nabasa ko sa website ng aking kabarkada sa na si Ederic ang tungkol sa kanyang engkuwentro sa dalawang konyo noong isang araw.

Matapos daw na kanyang pagbigyan ang sarili sa pamamagitan ng pagkain sa paborito niyang restawran na Pancake House, umakyat siya sa G4 (noo'y nasa Glorietta siya) upang tingnan ang bagong isyu ng at pati na ang kanyang e-mail.

Pamaya-maya'y tumunog ang cellphone ng isang babae sa may likuran niya. Sinagot nito ang tawag at ito'y nangusap nang malakas. Ilang saglit pa'y lumipat yaong babae at nakipag-usap sa isang lalaki, at malakas pa rin ang usapan nila; walang pakialam ang dalawa kahit na sila'y pinagtitinginan ng mga iba pang nasa computer shop.

Naalaala ko ang aking karanasan sa dalawa ring konyo kamakailan, nang aking masayang pinakikinabangan ang mga serbisyo ng isa sa mga paborito kong bilihan ng libro, ang Popular Bookstore.

Kapapasok pa lamang ng dalawang maputing babae sa bilihan ng libro ay bigla silang nagsatsatan nang napakalakas sa "wikang" Taglish. Kung hindi ako nagkamaling mapatingin sa kanila nang sila'y pumasok (noo'y may hinihintay ako kaya't pasulyap-sulyap ako sa pintuan), aakalain kong dalawang Kris Aquino ang nagsasalita.

Pamaya-maya'y napansin kong may kausap sa cellphone yaong halatang higit na nakatatanda. Higit na malakas ang kanyang bibig sa pagkakataong ito.

Pinilit kong magpatuloy sa pagbabasa. Pinilit kong huwag pansinin ang maiingay sapagkat kung papansinin ko sila'y makakamit nila sa akin ang maliwanag pa sa sikat ng araw na pakay nila sa aming lahat na nasa Popular Bookstore, magmula sa kahera hanggang sa guwardiya--ang magpapansin. Datapwat nanginginig ang kamay ko. Naririndi ako sa kanila, at ang makapal na librong tungkol sa kasaysayan na noo'y binabasa ko ay kaunti ko nang maihampas sa kanilang mga pagmumukha.

Hindi iyon ang kauna-unahan kong engkuwentro sa mga konyo. Sa kalahati ng aking buhay sa haiskul at sa malaki ring bahagi ng buhay ko sa kolehiyo ay kasama ko sa silid-aralan araw-araw ang santambak na akala mo'y kung sinong nangasa mga bituin dahil lamang sa sila'y naka-Swatch o naka-YSL.

Kaylalakas nilang magsalita sa kanilang kontaminadong wika. Kaygagaling nilang ipagpasiklab ang kanilang mamahaling mga damit. Sabik na sabik silang ipakita ang kanilang kaibhan sa "baduy" na masa.

Ang lohika ng kulturang konyo ay ang panlalait sa sinumang hindi makaabot ng mga pribilehiyong sila lamang ang nakabibili. Sa ganitong lohika, ang halaga ng tao ay nasa dami ng kanyang salapi--maano kung ito'y galing sa pambabarat sa sahod ng mga manggagawa o sa pangangamkam sa lupa ng magsasaka, o sa pandarambong sa gobyerno!--at wala sa katinuan o kagaguhan ng kanyang pamumuhay.

Sunday, March 09, 2003

May Dugo ang Kamay na Nagtatakip

Tinatangkang ilihim
ng iyong mga kamay
sa aming paningin
ang dugong dumaranak
ng mga apo ni Urduja.
Ngunit di maitago
ang dugo,
pagkat naliligo rito
ang mga kamay mo!

Saturday, March 08, 2003

Solving Armed Conflicts

It is true that there will always be those who will never be satisfied in any system; after all, you cannot please everybody.

But the fact that discontent has translated to armed struggle over a large part of the country means that a substantial portion of the populace finds things too oppressive for themselves not to take up arms.

It is no different from the way Bonifacio developed. He was originally for reforms; in fact he was one of the leading organizers of La Liga Filipina, but after seeing the reformist organization's leader Rizal arrested and exiled, he came to the conclusion that struggle without arms would come to nothing.

As John F. Kennedy said, "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable."

With regard to the military solution to the insurgency, we have seen it applied many times--even if only in part--and it has amounted to nothing but sweeping violations of the rights of rural and indigenous communities. Yes, the militatry may unleash its full force, but there will always be armed rebels in any society where people are mostly treated like pigs. The military defeated the Huks with the surrender of Luis Taruc in 1954; but neocolonial domination, social injustice, and corruption in government remained. Fifteen years later the New People's Army was born.

In Sweden there are also political oppositionists, but there is no intense armed conflict like what the Philippines has. This is because conditions there are infinitely less oppressive than in the Philippines.

Of course there is always the possibility of solving the conflict through peaceful means.

But chances of it happening under the present administration are almost nil, with the way the government has been conducting itself in the peace talks. Let us look at how it has violated the ceasefire agreement in North Cotabato.

Under more rational leaders, like Guingona and Legarda, the peace talks have more than a fair chance.

Slightly revised version of a comment on Ederic@Cyberspace.

Sunday, March 02, 2003

Sa Islang Umampon kay Mudum

Bilang pagtalima
sa ninanasa
ng bandilang may limampung bituin,
ang kapayapaan
sa islang umampon kay Mudum
sa pamamagitan ng pagpapaatungal
sa mga baril at bomba.

Ang bandidong tinutugis
ng mga kayumangging kawal ni Samuel
ay nakalalaya,
at ang kapayapaan
ay itinatanim
sa mga hukay
sa mga dibdib at utak
na naghahangad ng laya.
Kaya huwag pagtakhan
ang pagwawala ni Marso
sa islang umampon kay Mudum.

Binigkas sa Bukambibig, isang pangkulturang pagtatanghal ng UP Ugnayan ng Manunulat, UP Writers Club, at UP Quill sa pakikipagtulungan ng National Commission for Culture and the Arts na ginanap sa Likha-Diwa noong Pebrero 28, 2003.