May 31, 2010 in Featured
May 31, 2010 in Uncategorized
By ALDWIN QUITASOL
BONTOC, Mountain Province — Some 500 marched to the streets of Bontoc with placards denouncing the violations and malpractices done during the campaign period and the day of the 2010 elections.
Mostly supporters of the three losing congressional candidates, members of the Katribu partylist and Makabayan Coalition, the protesters trooped to the Bontoc municipal hall and held a short program where representatives of each group and individuals spoke of their complaints on the massive electoral fraud and irregularities in the province.
Dimaz Daweg of the Makabayan cited the black propaganda allegedly spearheaded by members of the Armed Forces of The Philippines against the progressive partylists under the said coalition.
Daweg said there are AFP sponsored fora, film showings with power-point presentations and community meetings wherein AFP speakers blatantly maligned progressive partylists like Katribu, Bayan Muna, Gabriela, Anakpawis, ACT Teachers and Akap Bata.
Daweg said these AFP personnel outrightly described the said partylists as close allies of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New Peoples Army-National Democratic Front of the Philippines (CPP-NPA-NDFP).
He said there were massive distribution of flyers and posters against progressives. Daweg also noted the presence and the encampment of military in areas where there are Katribu members and there are reports of military abuses and terrorism.
Daweg also cited the conscious campaign of the AFP against the Makabayan senatorial bets and Nacionalista Party guest candidates Satur Ocampo and Lisa Masa.
Cordillera-Mountain Province Secretary General Loreta Batay-an Yocogan condemned the use of government funds against progressive partylists and candidates and for the advancement of political interests of traditional politicians and for massive vote-buying.
“Masapul a mapasardeng a dagus ti panag-usar kadagiti paltog ken paksiyaten ti agrugrugi a warlordismo tapno saan da nga agbalin a kasla Ampatuan ditoy probinsiya tayo” (The use of guns and the emerging warlordism should be stopped immediately so that these politicians will not be like the Ampatuans in the province), Yocogan said.
The protesters also condemned the immediate release of men associated to Governor and Congressman-elect Maximo Dalog who were arrested earlier for violation of the total gun ban during the election period.
According to Thomas “Champag” Killip through a letter to his supporters and friends, several high powered firearms were confiscated from a group of men in Paracelis, one is licensed to the name of Dalog. Killlip said two of those arrested were sons of the governor.
The group also complained of irregularities in the conduct of the automated election system. They said there are long lines of voters who have to wait for over 3 hours to vote. According to them, there are also cases like in barangay Kin-iway in the municipality of Besao where voters have to wait for seven hours in line to vote.
They also said there are Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines that malfunctioned like in Bangaan, Sagada. The two spare machines were not also used as they too malfunctioned.
In Paracelis, the group said, there are PCOS machines that were hammered and burned by some men. There were also cases where there were machines in several barangays in all municipalities of the province that failed to transmit the election results.
Killip stated that a culture of violence because of selfish political reasons and interests should not be allowed to develop in the province.
“Such a development is anti-social, anti-community, and will subvert our high level of democratic norms and practices that we have observed in our societies op here since the birth of our republic,” Killip added.
Killip further stated that the covenant for supposedly a peaceful, clean and honest elections which he and fellow candidates signed on March 10 in the presence of officers form the AFP, Philippine National Police (PNP), Commission on Elections (Comelec) officials and church people was simply for show.
Killip said the governor has much to explain for the alleged use of government funds in the guise of programs to gain political advantage, the massive vote-buying and the introduction of the use of guns into the political arena in the province.
Killip said Dalog and his supporters should not abuse their position and powers because the governor is still a minority by choice and therefore cannot fully claim to represent the true sentiments of the people of Mt. Province.
Along with Killip who went with the protesters are fellow Congressional candidates Franklin Oddsey and Jupiter Dominguez who registered the same complaints.
According to Killip, only 1/3 of the 65,000 voters who cast their votes voted for Dalog. “You can say part of these votes were acquired through means not legitimate. What kind of representation then do we have?” asked Killip.
The protesters said the fight for a real, clean and honest governance is not yet over as they will remain vigilant.#nordis.net
May 31, 2010 in Featured
By OFELIA EMPIAN
BAGUIO CITY — Police Director General, Jesus A. Verzosa gave his assessment of the automated election that transpired in the country during the PNP Transformation 2016 Roadmap held here.
According to him, the situation in some of the known election hot spots in the country has improved and lesser incidents of violence were recorded this year as compared to the past elections. He cited provinces such as Abra, Masbate, and Maguindanao to still have cases of coercion but reported that in Abra, the recent elections were the most peaceful in the province’s history.
“Kailangan nating alisin ang culture of violence sa ating bansa,” (We should remove the culture of violence in the country) he said.
Verzosa said that the PNP Security Assistance Desk which was distributed per precinct assisted the voters during the election period which help eased the election process.
Adding to the security during elections, Verzosa commented that if automation would still be used in the incoming elections, the system should be “ballot-specific” wherein a voter should have a specific ballot intended only for him and that biometrics be applied to identify the person with it.
He further said that during the elections they have “reached out to religious leaders” to assist in the election. He observed that before, COMELEC, PNP, and other agencies were separate in dealing with the election but now they were united.
“In the future elections, we should all be together, sana tulong-tulong tayong lahat,” (we should all help each other) he said.
On the other hand, Verzosa talked about what it takes to become a “transformational leader”. First, he said, is the ability to see what is wrong; another is the ability to accept that it is wrong; third is the ability to come up with solutions to make that wrong right; lastly, is the cooperation of the people around.
“These are all the things that we can develop by ourselves,” he said.
The multi-sectoral transformation forum was attended by the PNP, Soroptomist International of Baguio City, the different barangay officials in the city and other civic groups.
“We have to admit, we cannot do all of these…it goes down to the cooperation of everybody, what we can do,” he said. # nordis.net
May 31, 2010 in Featured
By CLAIRE MAY TUAZON and DESIREE BARTOLO
BAGUIO CITY — The second Cordillera Highland Agricultural Resources Management (CHARM) established its partnership with Non Government Organizations (NGO) in the implementation of its projects in six provinces of CAR’s upland communities.
The CHARMP2-NGO partnership was sealed after the project orientation was conducted at Hotel Supreme Baguio City, on March 20-21, 2010.
The NGO partners are: the Concerned Citizen of Abra for Good Governance (CCAGG) in Abra province, Peoples Organization for Social Transformation (POST) in Apayao, Igorota Foundation (IFI), Benguet; Save Ifugao Terraces Movement (SITMo) in Ifugao; International Association for Transformation (IAT), Kalinga; and the Montanosa Research and Development Center (MRDC) of Mountain Province.
The object of the NGO services is to undertake community mobilization, facilitate participatory planning, monitoring and evaluation of 70 barangays in 37 project municipalities. In addition, its scope is fielding of Provincial NGO Supervisors and Community Mobilization Officers (CMOs), to serve as the team leader in each province and tasked to monitor CMO activities and give back up support to CMOs.
According to Dr. Cameron Odsey, Project Manager of the CHARMP, “the NGOs will facilitate and arrange planning sessions in the barangay, and they will ensure participation of all stakeholders in the community that will form the bases of community-based participatory project approach of Project implementation
Meanwhile, Ferdinand Gonzales from POST organization said, “this is a good opportunity to work with the DA for it highlights the importance of people’s participation in the community planning, at the same time, it enhances our capability on social work and community organizing.”
He also added that CHARMP2 is a modification of models on how to work with community based organizations.
Furthermore, the components of CHARMP2 that were presented during the orientation are Social Mobilization Participatory Investment Plan and Gender, Land Tenure Improvement Program, Community Watershed Conservation Forest Management Agro-forestry and Land Tenure Instruments, Agriculture, Agribusiness and Income Generating Activities, Rural Infrastructure Development, Project Management Coordination and Financial and Administrative Concerns.# nordis.net
May 31, 2010 in Featured
For human rights
BAGUIO CITY — “Napansin kong may bumubuntot sa aking naka-jeep. Di ko mamukhaan. Kung saan-saang kalye ko na ipinasok ang aking motor para makaiwas, pero sumusunod pa rin sila. Nagpasya akong iwanan na lang ang motor ko sa isang kaibigan at sumakay sa pampasaherong dyip para mas ligtas ako.”
This is an excerpt from a sample sworn statement made by a leader of a peasant organization in Cagayan based on actual experience. The sworn statement is the result of a workshop on making reports, sworn statements and affidavit. Around 62 leaders from all over Northern Luzon participated in the training on protective skills and measures for human rights conducted last May 20-21.
The training sponsored by the Katinnulong dagiti Umili iti Amianan, Inc (KADUAMI) aimed to equip leaders from the people’s organizations with skills and measures to ensure their safety and protection from violations especially in these times of repression.
Peoples organizations and non-government organizations nationwide have witnessed the intensification and indiscriminate human rights violations under the Arroyo administration. Leaders of people’s organizations have become victims of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances.
Kaduami adheres to the UN declaration that those who promote and strive for the protection and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms have the right to be protected from violations of these rights. The training supported by a grant under the Defending the Human Rights Defenders Program of the Alternative Law Groups with support from the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands.
The training was facilitated by the Cordillera Human Rights Alliance and the staff of KADUAMI. The participants received inputs on the National and regional human rights situation, Basic Human Rights Orientation, UN Declaration of Defending Human Rights Defenders. Apart from the Philippine Constitution, rights embodied in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other United Nations declarations and protocols were studied. Of special interest are the indigenous peoples rights and the rights of people to genuine development.
The training also had workshops on documentation of human rights cases, what to do in case of violations and standard operating procedures on human rights cases.
In the workshops, the participants who were themselves victims of human rights violations were quick to make the assignments. At some time in the performance of their duties as leaders of the peoples organizations they have been harassed or intimidated. The established community measures eased the impact of repression on peoples organizations but these have to be strengthened and more members informed of their rights.
It was emphasized that a people aware of their rights and how to uphold them are better protected. The training provided the participants more skills to combat human rights violations in their areas. In the closing session, three sub-regional dialogues with support groups among church people and lawyers was planned for this year. # nordis.net
May 31, 2010 in Featured
By ALDWIN QUITASOL
BAGUIO CITY — The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) on its website said the recently concluded automated elections was “as rotten to the core as ever.”
“The return to power of the Aquino-Cojuangco clan and its Kamag-anak Inc., through apparent president-elect Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III; the repositioning of the Marcoses—Imelda, Ferdinand Jr. and Imee; the continuing domination of Congress by the Arroyos, now with Gloria Arroyo herself elected congressman; and many more of the like all point to the indictment of the recent reactionary elections as nothing but a big sham foisted by the reactionary ruling classes upon the masses,” stated the CPP.
The CPP added that such rottenness resulted to the return to power of big warlord-political dynasties in the different parts of the country with the usual “guns, goons and gold” and now with electronic cheating.
The CPP also said that despite all efforts to keep the warlords and political dynasties from winning, few progressives from grassroots partylists groups are expected to be seated in the House of Congress. These progressives, the CPP said they can espouse the patriotic, democratic and other basic interests of the people and help advance the struggles of the people inside the halls of congress.
“However, they will always be outvoted by the overwhelming majority composed of representatives of imperialist, comprador and feudal interests, especially when it comes to fundamental issues concerning national sovereignty, land reform, national industrialization and the welfare of the toiling masses,” said the statement.
The election has resulted only in the continuation of the same semi-colonnial and semi-feudal system. The CPP said that despite the fact that there is a deep and intense contradiction among the rival political factions of the ruling elites, they still remain to be one against the Filipino people especially the toiling masses. The CPP also said they are all puppets of the US and share the same interests.
“They deceive the people with lies and empty promises, and apply the coercive apparatus of the reactionary state to suppress those who oppose and fight,” stated the CPP. The CPP describe the elections being dominated by the elites and make it as a mockery of democracy and the people’s right to suffrage do not actually provide the people with much choice. The only choice of the people according to the CPP is between evil and the apparent lesser evil.
“Most of the time, the apparent lesser evil that gets installed into power soon becomes the primary evil and carries out policies even much worse than before….;The imperialists are abundant with praise for the seeming success of the recent elections. Among the first to congratulate the apparent winner, Aquino, even before his being officially proclaimed, was the newly appointed chief imperialist representative US Ambassador Harry Thomas Jr.,” said the CPP.
The CPP said US has long been interested in seeing the apparent success of the elections with the hope of pacifying the people and achieving temporary compromise among the rival factions of the local ruling classes. The CPP added that it has thus been pushing for the automation of the elections with the hope that its swiftness, apparent efficiency and difficulty in proving fraud would at least make for some credibility. “The ultimate objective of the US in this is the stability and preservation of the puppet ruling system for its own interest,” said the communist organization.
The CPP said that as the different rival factions of the reactionary ruling classes continue to jostle against one another in the final counting of election results, the Filipino people are again being provided a valuable lesson revealing the real nature and rottenness of Philippine politics.
“For the people to enjoy real democracy, they must make revolution to overthrow the oppressive puppet state of the reactionary ruling classes. They must replace it with one that is built directly from their strength, especially from the mass of the workers and peasants, on the basis of their national and democratic aspirations. Only under a people’s democratic government can national sovereignty be thoroughly upheld, genuine agrarian reform achieved, national industries built and the other basic interests of the people given guarantee and priority,” stated the CPP.
The CPP statement concluded that as the elections once gain revel the hopeless nature of the entire ruling system, more and more are turning to the revolutionary path with the aspiration of building a liberated, democratic, bright and prosperous future for the country and its people. #nordis.net
May 31, 2010 in Featured
By ALDWIN QUITASOL
BAGUIO CITY — The independent think tank Ibon Data Foundation on its website said the 7.3% reported growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the first quarter this year is not really good news.
It does not have a meaningful impact on the unemployment and poor quality of work in the country. This is in response to the claim of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA). NEDA said the 7.3% growth is the highest in 3 decades.
According to Ibon, the outgoing government of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has the dubious distinction of presiding over both the fastest economic growth and the worst unemployment since the administration of Ferdinand Marcos. Ibon added that the first quarter 2010 growth performance consolidates the Arroyo administration’s relatively rapid economic growth which had already averaged 4.5% over the period 2001-2009 or higher than during the previous administrations of Estrada which was 2.4% from 1998-2000, Ramos which was 3.8% from 1992-1997, and Aquino which was 3.9% from 1986-1991.
In the Ibon statistics, among those that recorded growths are the sector of manufacturing of oil products, electrical machinery and chemicals that are owned and operated by foreign companies. Meanwhile, Ibon said, the local manufacturing of textile and footwear that is supposedly in the position to create jobs for Filipinos is continuously dropping.
“Yet this apparently favorable growth performance has puzzlingly failed to meaningfully impact on unemployment. The Arroyo administration also has the worst record of joblessness with unemployment averaging some 11.2% annually over the period 2001-2009 compared to 10.4% under Estrada, 9.3% under Ramos, and 10.1% under Aquino,” said the Ibon.
The think tank said the so-called GDP growth is the fastest since the first quarter of 2000 but according to the survey of the National Statistics Office (NSO) on the labor force, there are at least 4 million jobless Filipinos. Ibon added that the economic growth failed to create jobs as the most dynamic sectors are mostly export-oriented that are not integrated into the local economy.
“For instance, among the fastest growing manufacturing subsectors that have driven growth are the petroleum products, electrical machinery, and chemicals which are moreover even heavily foreign-dominated. In contrast the subsectors which the underdeveloped economy is potentially in a better position to maximize such as footwear and textiles have continued to collapse. This lack of domestically-grounded industries is among the underlying factors causing record joblessness and driving millions of Filipinos abroad for work,” stated the Ibon.
Ibon said the incoming administration of President-elect Benigno “Noynoy’ Aquino III needs to know the fact that it is inheriting a poor economy where the Filipino people suffer most. “Sound socioeconomic reforms and a nationalist development agenda creating strong domestic industry and agriculture are needed. This also creates a stronger base for the country to face the inevitable next global economic shock,” Ibon concluded.# nordis.net
May 31, 2010 in Featured
By CLAIRE MAY TUAZON
BAGUIO CITY — In line with the City Agricultural and Fishery Council (CAFC) monthly meeting, the Department of Agriculture- Cordillera Integrated Research Center (DA-CIARC) gave an orientation on vermiculture at the DA conference hall, Guisad Baguio City on May 26.
The objective of the said orientation is to inform CAFC about the principles of vermiculture, and to help them for future composting plans and programs in the city. According to Juliet Laron, CAFC Coordinator, they want to advocate the use of organic composting through vermicompost with less cost but with high quality composting hence they sought the assistance of DA-CIARC.
Responding to such concerns, Aida Pagtan, the lecturer from CIARC highlighted the advantages of vermiculture in relation with organic farming, practical living and saving the environment.
Pagtan added that vermicomposting is one of the ways how DA, as an agricultural sector brings awareness on how to manage the city waste through vermicomposting by atleast using farm waste and household wastes/materials to produce high quality fertilizer for both container and field gardening.
Moreover, she added that it could also lessen hauling fee for the city garbage.
Participating organizations during the above orientation included Hangar Vendors Association, Happy Hallow, ABC Office, Special Services Division under the City Mayors Office (SSD-CMO), Bureau of Soils and Water Management Office (BSWM), Lucnab for Progressive Life (LFPLI) and from the different barangays in the city. # nordis.net
May 31, 2010 in Featured
By QUISHELLE GAHID
BAGUIO CITY — Directors of Technical Education Skills and Development Authority (Tesda) assured for the continuous financial support from the local government units (LGUs) and other different agencies in their provinces this 2010.
Director Emmanuel Dabalos, Tesda- Apayao, said that last 2009, Apayao is far lower in terms of program implementation than other provinces due to lack of technical schools. However, Dabalos said that the local government worked with other agencies to provide programs particularly the technical courses. He said that their plans are prepared for the next administration and that the incoming president to have better educational programs.
Apayao has graduated 689 trainees and some of them are self employed while others are working here and abroad, Dabalos said.
Morever, Tesda- Ifugao Provincial Director Genaro Ronald C. Ibay said that the incoming administration has pledged to continue to support them in terms of financial matters this 2010.
“We can’t do it alone that is why we are seeking support from the local government,” Ibay said.
Ibay mentioned that last 2009, the previous administration has invested Php400,000- Php 600,000 to Tesda. With 536 graduates this 2010, Ibay reported that there are 21 who were employed but others are self employed. Ibay preferred giving free starter’s kit rather than providing free food during the training. He reasoned out that the starter’s kit is of great help because after the training, they can apply what they have learned and earn as well.
On the other hand, Glenda G. Marquez, Tesda Specialist II- Baguio- Benguet, said that Tesda is accomplishing much that is why the previous government supported them with their programs.
However, due to the May 2010 election, the scholarship fund went lesser than that of last 2009. Susana Carbonell, TESDA Specialist, said that the the previous administration gave a fund of 91M specifically for the scholarship programs in the Cordillera Administrative Region. However, this 2010, they have proposed a 5M of scholarship fund that covers 620 trainees specifically on automotive, slaughtering, and welding courses.
Furthermore, Tesda is hoping to surpass their accomplishments as 2010 ends with the help of their partners and to help more people in gaining additional skills that may lead them to having jobs here and abroad and to self- employment as well.# nordis.net
May 31, 2010 in Featured
Parents with school-age children are again wracking their brains how to send their children to school especially those entering tertiary level. But even those with children entering lower levels are faced with similar problems of increasing cost of education together with other basic commodities. This at a time when the earning capacity of many parents have been drastically reduced due to the impact of the world-wide financial and economic crisis.
According to one report, eight of ten high school graduates in the country today won’t be able to pursue higher education because of financial reasons. For many parents whose hope of getting out poverty is through a college degree for their children, this practically shuts the door to any future hope of economic amelioration and social mobility.
But even those who manage to finish a college degree, the prospects of employment remains bleak in the country because the economy remains underdeveloped and thus cannot accommodate the tens of thousands of graduates that the Philippine school system produces every year.
Those who are lucky to land a job do not earn enough to sustain themselves much less a family. Thus, there is strong pressure for them to seek employment abroad which in turn deprives the country of their talents and skills which could have helped in developing the country.
It becomes a vicious cycle from which there seems to be no escape for our struggling countrymen trying their very best to carve out a humane existence in this part of the planet. This crisis in the Philippine educational system actually reflects the deeper crisis affecting Philippine society.
This crisis is largely due to the underdevelopment or, maldevelopment if you wish, of the Philippine economy which consigns millions of our countrymen to deepening poverty so much so that their hope of escaping poverty remains beyond their reach because college education has become an expensive commodity which many parents cannot afford to provide for their children. And, even those who manage to get a college education ends up disillusioned by the meager pay they receive or the absence of security in their work.
This crisis is hitting hard Filipino families during enrollment period every year. If there is one issue the incoming administration must quickly address to the strongest resolve and clearest direction is the problem of education and the hope of employment that is created among our graduates and their parents.
And to be able to do that, the new administration will have to take a deep look at how the economy has been faring poorly compared to our neighbors in Southeast Asia where corruption is as rampant as they are in this country. # nordis.net
May 31, 2010 in Uncategorized
By ALDWIN QUITASOL
Do not waste your time on Social Questions. What is the matter with the poor is Poverty;
what is the matter with the rich is Uselessness. — George Bernard Shaw
If only we were in a better society, mothers and fathers should not worry as their children will surely go to school. They should not worry about the fees in the school as going to school will be accessible to every citizen. They should not worry as they are no longer poor.
If only we were in a really democratic society, parents should not worry about the education their children will get. As the educational system of the country will be giving courses that really uplift the lives of not only the future of the students but the society as well. It will be a scientific, a real mass oriented and a nationalist one.
If only we were in higher form of society, children who are going to school need not worry about their future jobs as they will always apply their selected course into practice. As the democratic government of the people will always absorb them to serve the citizenry. They will receive livable salaries and incentives, of course, compliments of the people’s state.
If only we were in a real society with a government serving all of the people, then we need not fear joblessness, unsecured jobs, commercialized and colonnial education and the increasing number of unemployment that causes hopelessness. As the new order promises not just hopes but real benefits for its people.
Enrollment for this school year already started and the panicking of parents especially the poor started as early as months ago. Many are worried as they have to look for money to buy things their children’s need for going to school. And the hardest part is where to find money to pay the rising tuition and miscellaneous fees.
As expected, many parents will cry as the expenses in school shoot up amid the rising prices of basic commodities and social services. Worse, many parents have no job as many of them lost their jobs recently because of the lay-offs due to the world-wide financial crisis.
Many children are forced not to enroll at all because their parents have no money and whether they like it, they have to work just to augment their parents’ income. As a result, many children will be exposed to hard labor and most likely, to anti-social activities just to be able to eat.
This school year, children especially from the poor will be welcomed again by the rotten commercialized and colonnial Philippine educational system. As many Filipinos graduated from it adding to the number of the unemployed, more and more parents will have to endure how many years of paying the education hoping that their children will have bright future someday. Many Filipino workers here and abroad will have to make their bodies endure the suffering of the poor to be able to send their children to school.
As one of my relatives working abroad sighed, “Mano manen a dul-ok ti ikastak tunggal agdalusak ti kasilyas ti makin kasilyas ken aglaba ti badon ti makinbado tapno laeng makabirukak kuwarta nga mausar para iti pang-iskuwela dagiti ubbing ken panggatang da ti lamuten da (How many times again should I throw-up whenever I will clean the lavatories of others and wash the clothes of other people just to have money for the education and food of the children)”.# nordis.net
May 31, 2010 in Featured
By REV. LUNA L. DINGAYAN
The LORD has firmly established me on the throne of my father David; he has kept his promise
and given his kingdom to me and my descendants. I swear by the living LORD
that Adonijah will die this very day! — I Kings 2:24
Moral and Political Crisis
Elections 2010 are over, leaving at least 18 people dead. Yet, government authorities described the elections to be relatively peaceful and orderly. This shows the level of moral standards government authorities have. Election-related violence for them seems to be just normal.
Perhaps, the use of the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines in these first automated elections in our country have made the counting of ballots faster, but apparently it could not put a stop to cheating, vote-buying, and election-related violence. Indeed, honest, orderly, and peaceful elections do not depend on machines; they depend primarily on the moral and political maturity of a people.
Election-related violence shows that we have a serious moral and political crisis as a people. Unless, this is dealt with seriously, no amount of computerization could make our elections better; it would only make election-cheating computerized.
King Solomon’s Violent Take Over
Violence related to leadership take over is not new. It also happened in the early stages of Israel’s monarchy (I Kings 1-2). When King David was already old and sickly Adonijah, his eldest son with his wife Haggith, declared his own self as successor to the throne and started celebrating with his supporters and followers. Unfortunately, King David already promised the throne to Solomon, his other son with his favorite wife, Bathsheba.
According to the Scriptures, King David fulfilled his promise and passed on the crown to Solomon and ordered the arrest of Adonijah and his supporters and followers. As soon as Solomon was crowned king, he ordered the execution of all those opposed to his throne. King Solomon was known to be the wealthiest and wisest king of Israel, but unknown to many he was also the most authoritarian king of Israel. He would not allow any opposition to his throne or to his policies, like high taxes and forced labor. He would order the death of anyone opposed to him, like Jeroboam. And yet he claimed that God was with him. He said, “The LORD has firmly established me on the throne of my father David; he has kept his promise and given his kingdom to me and my descendants. I swear by the living LORD that Adonijah will die this very day!” (I Kings 2:24).
The problem with authoritarian rulers is that the moment they stop listening to the people, they would also stop listening to God. This was what happened to King Solomon. He worshiped other gods. Kings of Israel were supposed to be servants of God and of the people, and not absolute rulers (cf. Dt. 17:14-20). But King Solomon somehow lost sight of this concept of kingship. Consequently, the ten tribes of Israel staged a rebellion after King Solomon’s death, and the kingdom was divided (I Kings 12).
We can learn from Israel’s experience. To lead is to serve. To serve God is to serve the people. This Biblical concept of leadership is not unknown to our modern-day politicians. As a matter of fact, we could hear them saying this in their well-crafted speeches during the campaign period.
But “know them by their fruits,” says Jesus Christ our Lord. Election-related violence raises questions on the real motive of those seeking elective positions in government. Certainly, the real motive of those elected using guns, goons, and gold is not really to serve the people, but rather to serve their own selves. This is sheer greed.
Unless there is genuine change in the lives of politicians and in the kind of politics they play, no amount of computerization could ever put a stop to cheating, vote-buying, and killing during election time. # nordis.net
May 31, 2010 in Featured
By DEIRDRE GRISWOLD/WWW.WORKERSWORLD.ORG
It was a full-court press, concocted by the U.S. government and the rightist regime in South Korea and eagerly magnified by the corporate media.
Back on March 26 a South Korean Navy warship, the Cheonan, sank near the maritime border with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Of the 104 crew members aboard, 46 perished.
Almost immediately, the government of Lee Myung-bak in the south accused the DPRK of having torpedoed the vessel.
An “international” investigation team was set up. Basically, it was a team composed of the U.S., which occupies South Korea with nearly 30,000 troops, and the Lee regime. Britain and Australia, tight U.S. allies, were added to give it a little more cover. This group came up with the foregone conclusion that yes, the ship had been sunk by a submarine from the DPRK. Skeptical voices were raised in South Korea, but they were quickly shouted down by the media.
China later expressed skepticism that a DPRK submarine had sunk the South Korean ship, but their skepticism got little publicity here.
The DPRK denied any involvement and counter-charged that the Lee regime was trying to torpedo agreements made some years ago between the north and the south that had improved relations between the two. It also announced that it would send a team from its National Defense Council to examine the “evidence” the south claimed to have.
As an important meeting between China and the U.S. on security and economic issues drew near, the Western news media began focusing on how Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was rounding up support for U.N. sanctions on the DPRK, and would raise it vigorously in Beijing.
On May 24, the same day that the U.S.-China meeting was starting, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, himself a former South Korean foreign minister, came out in support of sanctions on the DPRK and said the results of the “international” investigation were not in dispute.
The diplomatic maneuvers were accompanied by military threats against the DPRK. The same day as Ban Ki-moon’s statement, South Korea’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Yu Myung-hwan, Minister of National Defense Kim Tae-young and Minister of Unification Hyun In-taek held a joint press conference in Seoul. They announced that the South Korean government would prohibit all DPRK vessels from entering their territorial waters. They also said that they and the U.S. Navy would proceed with a massive joint “anti-submarine” exercise in the area.
Clearly, U.S. submarines that prowl the seas around Korea would not be the targets of this military move.
The Lee regime said it would also ban trade with the north and further limit travel there. It would also resume blasting anti-DPRK propaganda from high-decibel speakers near the demilitarized zone that divides Korea.
The South Korean regime also turned down the request by the DPRK’s National Defense Council to let a team of investigators from the north examine the so-called evidence that supposedly justifies this dangerous escalation of tensions on the Korean peninsula.
Legacy of Korea’s division
The danger of military confrontation on the Korean peninsula has existed ever since Korea was divided after World War II. The U.S. set up a puppet dictatorship in the south that was fiercely hostile to communist-led forces in the north that, fighting alongside Soviet troops, had defeated Japan’s occupying force at the end of the war.
Kim Il Sung, the leader of the liberation army, was a revolutionary. He represented a social movement that encouraged the people to overthrow the landlords, merchants and petty officials who had collaborated with Japan during its period of harsh colonial rule over Korea, which lasted from 1910 to 1945.
It was different in the south, which was occupied by U.S. troops at the end of the war. There, the U.S. actually re-armed Japanese troops under its command in order to keep the revolution from spreading. It set up a government headed by Koreans willing to collaborate with foreign exploiters — be they U.S. or Japanese imperialists. The Syngman Rhee dictatorship carried out massacres of those who sympathized with the revolutionary movement to liberate all of Korea.
As the north developed toward a socialist society, the south was brought into the world capitalist economy as a U.S. vassal. Soviet troops left the north after three years, but the U.S. has never ended its occupation of the south.
From 1950 to 1953, when the U.S. waged a full-scale war against socialist Korea, a million Chinese volunteers came to the aid of their neighbors. Having just won their own long struggle for liberation, they fought to prevent the return of the bad old days of foreign imperialist domination.
China and Korea
Perhaps the U.S. foreign policy establishment thought this history was forgotten in China when it sent Hillary Clinton and her entourage to try to intimidate or inveigle the Chinese leaders into going along with the Washington-Seoul campaign against the DPRK. But a report in the May 25 New York Times indicates otherwise.
It says that after the U.S.-China talks concluded, the U.S. had “made little progress on winning China’s backing for international measures against North Korea over the sinking of a South Korean warship” and that “there was no immediate prospect of a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning the attack.” China, as one of the five permanent members of the Security Council, would have veto power over such a resolution.
The report also admitted that the Chinese government had “expressed skepticism” about the DPRK responsibility for the sinking.
This was the first time that the U.S. media had even allowed for the possibility that the story might not be true.
This does not mean, however, that Washington and Seoul are ready to abandon either their diplomatic or military efforts against the DPRK. Their joint exercises are scheduled to go on.
In response, the DPRK has announced it is severing all ties with the south and is banning their ships and planes from the north’s air and sea space. It also accused the south of “provocative acts,” including the intrusion of dozens of warships into its territorial waters from May 14 to 24.
Workers in the U.S. need to resist the barrage of propaganda against the DPRK that is a prelude to aggressive acts against that country. They should remember how Washington orchestrated a similar scenario in preparation for the invasion of Iraq. Today those concocted stories of “weapons of mass destruction” have no weight, but the war happened anyway, with all its horrible consequences. It must not happen again.
(Articles copyright 1995-2010 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
May 31, 2010 in Featured
By PAGBABAGO – BAGUIO-BENGUET
The PAGBABAGO People’s Movement for Change – Baguio-Benguet joins the people’s clamor that the credibility of the recently-held and first-ever Automated Electoral System in the country is anomalous and questionable.
Particularly in Baguio-Benguet, among the many irregularities and problems monitored and documented include:
> A significant number of Voters were disenfranchised for various reasons. Here in Baguio, there were 46,462 or 30% of the total registered voters who did not vote. It was noted that there were irregularities in the voter’s list. Dead persons were still included while old-time voters and first time voters in particular precints were not included. We are unaware of official numbers on rejected ballots which are also included as disenfranchised votes;
The Comelec was ill prepared for the new clustering of precints.The voting process was too slow. There was difficulty in finding one’s name.In all precints, long lines were common and it took 4-6 hours to wait for the voter to cast their ballot;
Massive vote buying through different methods; Lack of secrecy in the voting process;
Malfunctioning PCOS machines at various polling precincts;
Cases of rejected ballots due to unnecessary markings and cases of casted ballots despite markings; Inefficient back up system of transmission of official results;
Harassment and intimidation;
Discrepancies between the printed ERs and the electronically transmitted ERs; Anomalous and questionable turn out of votes;
> Widespread lapse of the BEIs not to use UV lamps to ensure the authenticity of the ballots.
Before the election day, PAGBABAGO Baguio-Benguet noted the major technical issues of the Automated Electoral System from the studies and researches conducted by other monitoring and anti-fraud groups like the Center for People Empowerment in Governance (CenPEG) and from the actual results of the final testing of PCOS machines and other paraphernalias. These major technical issues include:
> Voter’s choice verifiability. The Cast and Return Buttons that were supposed to verify if the PCOS machine interprets correctly or not the votes casted were disabled;
>Program verification and integrity. The public review on the source code which contains the software or program that will command the PCOS and CCS to work was belatedly done by SysTest Lab, a US IT firm and reported varying degrees of vulnerabilities of the Source Code. No remedial measure was made by COMELEC and SMARTMATIC to address these observations;
>Disabling the digital signature component of the PCOS that compromises the authenticity of the transmitted results;
Malfunctioning PCOS machines and wrongly programmed and incorrectly configured Compact Flash Cards;
The negligence and the utter lack of preparation of COMELEC and its partner, private foreign firm SMARTMATIC-TIM;
> Disabling of the UV scanners of the PCOS that put into question the authenticity of the ballots cast and additional financial burden for the taxpayers to foot the bill on procuring UV lamps as remedy which was not used eventually during the elections.
These mounting irregularities and problems put the COMELEC’s declaration of successful and credible 2010 elections under question.
The PAGBABAGO Baguio-Benguet pushes that the factual data monitored and documented before and during the electoral exercise be taken into cognizance and investigated. The people were never assured that their votes have been counted and counted properly. How transparent was COMELEC and SMARTMATIC in configuring the new CF cards and its back-up? And how did the replacement reconfigured CF cards end up being distributed to polling centers? And why did several PCOS machines still malfunction despite the hastily done pre-poll testing procedures?
Education on the AES which is the responsibility of the COMELEC was not widely and sufficiently conducted. The preparation for this new technological electoral system was haphazardly done, and in a span of limited time, questions arising on the progress of the preparation was simplistically parried by the COMELEC and SMARTMATIC with the idea that the technology was full proof and tamper free.
With the disorderly conditions and anomalous conduct of the electoral exercise last May 10th, PAGBABAGO Baguio-Benguet believes that the GMA Administration and COMELEC and its partner SMARTMATIC-TIM must be held accountable.
Further, PAGBABAGO Baguio-Benguet is debunking the notion that the Automated Electoral System has solved the age-old nature of Philippine electoral system that employs “guns, goons and gold”, fraud-ridden, and favoring the rich and powerful. The questionable credibility of the results have subverted the will of the electorate and maligned the true reflection of our votes. The PAGBABAGO Baguio-Benguet believes the salient right of the people to suffrage was violated.
Therefore, every citizen is challenged to militantly act and be firmly vigilant to fight for electoral reforms and good governance.# nordis.net
May 31, 2010 in Featured
Ni BRENDA SUBIDO-DACPANO
Naipakat ti rama ti kasinsin ni lakay tallo a bulan sakbay iti panagburak idi napan a Domingo. Tallo a reppet a remmeng ti naipakat iti pagat-barukong a kaadalem ti karayan iti dayaen ti rangtang ti Aringay.
Kayatko a kamakamen ti panagburak ti rama ngem nangaton ti init idi makadanon kami iti igid ti karayan. Adu pay met gamin a dakiwas iti balay, adu pay a dinagas iti tiendaan sakbay a nakadanon iti pagpiknikan.
Dagiti remmeng a maipakat iti karayan ti agbalin a balay dagiti lames, pasayan, kappi ken dadduma pay a biag iti karayan. Maaladan ti aglawlaw dagiti naipakat a remmeng tapno saan a makuti. Kalpasan ti sumagmamano a bulan mabalinen a sangaten dagiti rama. Iti panagsangat, agusar ti iket tapno saan a makabulos dagiti lames.
Nasangpetanmi dagiti ubbing a nakalugan iti raket (bamboo raft) iti tengnga ti karayan. Naragsakda nga aggagantil bayat a dagiti nagannakda ti mangidurduron iti raket.
Iti kalapaw, madama ti panagimuri ti pokpoklo ken ar-arosep. Agiw-iwa met ti kamatis ti maysa a kaanakan ni lakay.
Ti pardas ni lakay a nangisimpa ti pagtunuan. Naladaw kami a simmangpet ket dakami pay ti naitulag a mangitugot ti pagtunuan ken uging. Napan kami pay dimmagas ti karne ti baboy idiay tiendaan napia la maituno a nayon ti nasangatan. Gimmatang met ni ipagko ti ituno a tarong ken dadakkel a bulilit.
Pasayan, kappi, bagsang, tilapia ken bunog wenno bukto. Dagitoy ti nasangatan iti karayan.
Naikirog dagiti pasayan. Ti dadduma ket naaramid a kilawen a naalseman ti kinuskos a naata a mangga. Apo unayen…makapakatay ti langa na! Saanko a nateppelan ti bagik nga insida a nangpidot iti pangramanan. Dagiti bunog, bagsang ken tilapia ket nailuto iti naata a mangga. Naiyap-ap iti pariok dagiti nailgat a mangga santo naiparabaw ditoy dagiti lames. Natimplaan laeng iti asin, naimas ta kimmagat ti alsemna. Dagiti kappi a nakirog ket nagpula, naimas nga isawsaw iti suka nga adda silina.
Simple laeng dagitoy a taraon ken nalabit a kadawyan a maraman dagiti adda iti aw-away ngem kas kadakami nga agnanaeden iti syudad kailiwmi unay dagitoy.
Idi nalpas ti kaan, timmabsaw manen iti karayan dagiti ubbing. Naglulubbunan-da ti raket.# nordis.net
May 31, 2010 in Featured
By NATALIE GONCHAROV, NYC FIST
In 1960, the United States imposed a financial blockade against Cuba – barring U.S. businesses from selling goods to or buying them from Cuba. The U.S. also discouraged other countries from trading with Cuba through threats and intimidation. This diminished the amount of imports Cuba was able to receive. Later, the defeat of the Soviet Union which led to the collapse of the COMECON (The Economic Organization of Communist States) brought the import of goods to Cuba close to an absolute halt. These historic events had immediate detrimental health effects on Cuban society, forcing the small island nation to become self-sufficient in providing basic needs such as food almost overnight. Productivity in agricultural exports became far more expensive. Unsustainable agricultural practices were wiped out from the island out of necessity. Cubans had to quickly resolve the question of how to feed their own people.
The system of Participatory Plant Breeding, where agricultural scientists work with farmers to determine better methods of growing and breeding various varieties of fruits and vegetables, allowed the Cuba to recreate its agricultural systems and rid of its historical dependency on foreign imports. In fact, Cuba’s new system of plant breeding, necessitated by a lack of modern agricultural products such as chemical fertilizers and gasoline, has led to a substantial increase in organic farming. Also, Cuba has seen these new methods lead to higher yields and more varieties of agricultural products than were grown with agrochemicals.
Although the door was closed for Cuba to participate in the international economic system, a new door was opened for the creation of a sustainable and reliable local economy. Hard work and sacrifice allowed the Cuban people to set an example for the world on sustainable living practices. With the support of the government, sustainable ecology education increased in schools and in the newly erected small farms and urban gardens. Local innovation replaced imported goods as a key factor in running Cuba’s agricultural system. The majority of the knowledge acquired was derived from farming practices before the 1900s. By looking to their ancestors and incorporating pre-industrial techniques with local innovation, Cubans were able to increase the productivity of farming.
Sustainable agricultural practices increased bio-diversity while eliminating hazardous imported chemicals. Biodiversity decreased the possibility of a threat to local food supplies through agricultural crises. The inability to import agricultural chemicals forced farmers to create natural forms of pesticides. Natural pesticides created less crop vulnerability and provided higher yields of production.
Many local small farms and urban gardens were created to replace some of the old machinery and fertilizer-dependant large farms. In the urban environment, lots were turned into farms and rooftops were turned into gardens. The government helped in this process by re-distributing land to farms and cooperatives. Manual labor took over conventional machinery that people were used to. The labor-intensive work made it hard to compete economically with other Caribbean countries. However, local food supplies were used to serve local needs only – making the process very efficient. Local farming generated sufficient funds for farm workers and made farming a desirable job. Lack of oil for agricultural machinery and cars forced people to make healthier lifestyle decisions such as biking and farming. The food produced started being grown organically.
The question to be asked is whether we, in the Unites States, are ready for such a transition. Would the agricultural industry in this country be capable of transforming as thoroughly and efficiently as Cuba’s farming did should it face a similar loss of resources, such as fossil fuels? The Cuban farming system is an example to the whole world of what can happen when all of society comes together, from farmers and scientists to students and the government, to solve a basic social problem without any profit interests involved. The people of the U.S. would have to be prepared to turn back the dangerous tide of agribusiness in the United States, which has had an extensively dangerous health and environmental effect on this country. It is a profit-driven industry with little regard to human needs, and it functions under the assumption that there is an unlimited supply of fossil fuels.
In the midst of the global climate change, the elimination of cheap oil globally is creating the beginning of agricultural practices similar to those that Cuba has been long forced to implement. Cuba’s agricultural practice makes it one of the most energy-efficient countries in the world. Implementing these techniques on a national level would help slow down the trend of global climate change. It will take years of research and a huge challenge to create the kind of sustainable agricultural practices that Cuba developed. It would be almost impossible to mimic here in the United States without a fundamental change in the profit-driven system of food production here. For too long, U.S. farmers have been dependant on oil and chemicals to produce crops. Even in small local farms and community gardens across the country, farmers are addicted to these resources. The people of the U.S. are also, in some ways, dependant on the cheap produce that they are able to purchase from large farms, mostly because the U.S. agricultural industry has dominated the industry in such a way that consumers have very little choice in where there food comes from and how it is produced.
If people really took the time to learn where our food comes from and how it is produced, it would be a lot harder to accept and ignore the environmental damage our current system is producing. For too long U.S. agribusiness has concentrated on producing as much yield for as little cost with minimal regard to long term health effects and environmental damage. The Cuban example shows the world that, with planning that is focused on the long-term needs of society and not the quickest profit, we can build a highly efficient, healthy and sustainable agricultural system. We must come to our senses and learn a thing or two from the Cuban people.# nordis.net
May 31, 2010 in Featured
By JOSE MARIA SISON
The Unholy Allied Mountains by Rudy D. Liporada has a highly significant content. It is truly a novel of and about the New People’s Army. It tells the story of an entire people, mass activists and revolutionary cadres whom I have known. It celebrates their heroism and inspires us all now and in the future to serve the people and carry the revolution forward.
It focuses on the concrete circumstances and experience of the leading character, his revolutionary commitment since university days, his active role in the struggle of the people of Cordillera, torture in the hands of the fascist dictatorship, the pain of being steadfastly committed in theory but separated from the revolutionary mass movement for decades, the ever insistent need for return to and vindication in the Cordillera and the attainment of vindication through a successful tactical offensive of the people’s army. The personal narrative is at the same time a collective one, unfolding the revolutionary struggle of the people of the Cordillera, the perseverance and growth of the revolutionary forces on a regional and national scale and the vibrant fact of international solidarity.
The novel is well-written. The author is an excellent story teller. He succeeds in building up the theme of personal and collective vindication or redemption, one by the revolutionary himself and by the revolutionary movement. He presents well the tensions and contradictions and brings them to a fulfilling resolution. He is served well by his personal experience and by his skills as a feature writer. He is good at building up his scenes with graphic images and the actions of his characters. He is economical with dialogue and prefers the terse expressions of people in real life. The novel reads like a movie script and can be easily turned into one.
I urge comrades and friends in the movement for national liberation and democracy in the Philippines and abroad to read the novel. It is a significant contribution to creative writing on the Philippine revolution. On the pages of this novel, the revolutionary struggle of the people of the Cordillera and the Philippines comes to life though believable characters and realistic situations and struggles. The novel is inspiring. It lays bare the oppression and exploitation of the people, underscores the justness of their revolutionary struggle and points to the bright future of the people because of their struggle for national and social liberation. # nordis.net
May 31, 2010 in Featured
Ni ED BRITOS
Ti subalitna…ay kastoy
agparadada a, makipinpinnayapay, umisem ken
kampay idi dida napudotan ken natuduan
uray nagintatayag da latta.nasam-it latta met ti isemda
ngem awanen dagiti unnoy ken waragawag ti pakaasida
aglagto da pay koman iti uneg ti trak
ket iyikkisda ti dir-i… kukuami, kukuami…
Ti subalitna,,,ay piman met kadi a
nakadungsa a rikna ken agtedtedted dagiti lua
ti ling-et ken banang-es, ti say-a, ti wingiwing
agkuskusilap dagiti tsinelas, bado, ken gamigam
nga inkaskasabada ngem
nagkamtud aya ti bulsa
ket ti subalitna
ti arapaapda… kukuayon… kukuayon….
ti kalleppas a balubal, awan kalub,
awan kam pay idi nasugpet nga isem
ti pakasaritaan.# nordis.net
May 25, 2010 in Featured
By ALDWIN QUITASOL
BAGUIO CITY — The labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno (May First Movement or KMU) warned presidential race victor Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III against putting known anti-people government officials from the administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo into his Cabinet.
Posted in its website, KMU said “Wag itong walo (not the 8): Keep off the worst Arroyo bureaucrats from cabinet.” KMU said this is a challenge to Aquino’s promise of leading the nation to his so-called “Daang Matuwid”. The labor group said that Aquino’s promise will be just another election hoolabaloo if he will assign the said Arroyo bureaucrats to key government seats.
KMU enumerated those who should be blacklisted from Aquino’s government posts. They cited Former Defense chief Gilbert “Gibo” Tedoro, who actively implemented the Arroyo regime’s bloody campaign against workers and activists; Former Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, who played a key role in the political killing of workers and activists and defended the Arroyo regime’s gross human rights violations; Labor department secretary Marianito Roque, who facilitated massive layoffs and issued numerous Assumption of Jurisdiction (AJ) orders which spelled violence in work places across the country; Former labor secretary Patricia Sto. Tomas, who issued the AJ order for the strikes in Hacienda Luisita and Nestle Cabuyao – both of which were marred by police and military brutality; Gabriel Claudio – Arroyo’s adviser for political affairs, who engineered Arroyo’s various maneuvers to remain in power despite massive protests from the people; Norberto Gonzales – one of the brains and chief implementors of human rights violations committed under the Arroyo regime; DILG Sec. Ronaldo Puno – alleged by many to be Gloria’s dirty tricks department head, also responsible for various human rights violations in the country; Former Energy secretary Angelo Reyes, who actively defended the overpricing scheme of the Big Three oil companies.
KMU national chairperson Elmer Labog said they urge Aquino to remove anti-worker and anti-people Arroyo officials from his list of prospective Cabinet members. He said that once he will assign these people, the Filipinos for sure will continue to suffer from the same anti-people policies which Arroyo implemented through these men and women.
“What Sen. Aquino should do is blacklist these architects of poverty and political repression,” Labog added. The labor group also urged Aquino to push through with the legislated P125 wage hike which the workers have been longing. This they said is a step in removing the destructive policies of Arroyo.
Labog said that the workers had no significant wage increase for more than nine years. “Arroyo implemented the wage freeze policy that ensured that the workers will only receive crumbs while the foreigners gain millions to billions.”
The labor leader said that Noynoy should not only go after Arroyo because of her crimes but should quash also the anti-worker and anti-people economic policies of Arroyo. “Hindi lang pinayaman ni Gloria ang sarili niya, pinaghirap din niya ang malawak na mayorya ng mga mamamayan. Dapat baguhin ito ni Noynoy (Gloria not only enriched herself but impoverished the majority of the people. Noynoy should change this),” ended Labog. #nordis.net