DOE consults companies on RESHE guidelines

June 10, 2012 in energy by emendator


BAGUIO CITY — The Department of Energy held a consultation with representatives of companies involved in the development and building of renewable energy facilities in the country and other government agencies on its draft Renewable Energy Safety Health and Environment (RESHE) rules and regulations on June 7 here.

Mario C. Marasigan, director of the Renewable Energy Management Bureau (REMB) of the DOE said that the activity aims to put in place a health safety and environment guidelines crafted to suit the particularities of the renewable energy industry. He explained that renewable energy which includes hydro, geothermal and biofuel plants are technology driven industries and requires specific rules and regulations for some specific situations.

Marasigan added that the different kinds of renewable energy plants encounter different hazardous situations that needs to be addressed. He reiterated that hydro plants deal with water while geothermal plants deal with heat and that needs more specific safety measures to fit the needs of each plant.

“The DOE guidelines will be just the minimum requirement for companies. We are giving companies the liberty to craft their own safety health and environment guidelines but these guidelines must be submitted to the DOE for approval,” Marasigan said. He added that the guidelines companies will craft will be the basis for DOE’s monitoring.

Josefino C. Adajar, safety consultant of the Geothermal Energy Management Division of the DOE further explained that the draft guidelines for renewable energy was based on the occupational health and safety standards of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) with additions and adjustments to suit the energy industry. He added that the guidelines will actually help the companies protect their investments and ensure uninterrupted business.

Adajar further encouraged companies to religiously report accidents in their workplaces so that the DOE can investigate and identify the root causes of the accidents.

“Accidents don’t just happen, they are caused by people,” Adajar stressed. He pointed out that only by identifying the root causes can they find ways to avert recurrences of accidents.

Accidents should not be covered up just to get awards. How can we know if there are accidents if you do not report them, he reiterated.

The guidelines will be finalized after the comments and suggestions of the involved companies and government agencies are incorporated. The guidelines will take effect 15 days after publication in at least two newspapers of general circulation. #

DTI to enforce use of standard protective helmets

June 10, 2012 in transport by emendator


BAGUIO CITY — The enforcement of road safety particularly the helmet law will soon be strictly implemented in both national and provincial roads in the country. This will require all motorcycle drivers including their back riders to wear the standard protective helmets while riding.

During the initial meeting of a task force composed of operatives from the Department and Transportation and Communications, Land transportation Office-Baguio, Philippine National Police-Cordillera, Local Government Unit-Baguio and Department of Trade and Industry-CAR in Baguio City, Atty. Samuel Gallardo of DTI-CAR Consumer Welfare Trade Regulation Division informed the members of Republic Act no. 10054, an act mandating all motorcycle riders to wear the standard protective motorcycle helmets while driving.

The DTI through the Bureau of Product Standards, according to Gallardo, is mandated to utilize the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Protocols, the official standards to classify approved motorcycle helmets that will be sold in the country.

Because of this law, only standard protective motorcycle helmets bearing the PS or ICC mark shall be sold in the market and motorcycle riders are likewise advised to check these marks prior to buying and using them. The markings shall likewise be indelible, clearly legible and accessible when inspected. Also, helmets already exposed to violent impacts should be replaced, Gallardo added.

During a test inspection by the task force, about five motorcycle riders were flagged down and practically all helmets used by the riders either lacked the required PS and ICC marks or were not the prescribed helmet meant for motorcycle use. The team later told the riders to acquire helmets that bear a PS or ICC mark with a batch number.

An information drive on RA 10054 or the use of standard protective helmets was likewise agreed in collaboration with the Philippine Information Agency for media dissemination. The Consumer Welfare and Business Regulation Division – Regional Office located at Jesnor Building, Carino St. in Baguio City with telephone numbers 442-7859 can re reached during office hours for more information on the implementation of the helmet law. #

MP’s boxing pride retains world title

June 10, 2012 in Cordillera, people by emendator


BAGUIO CITY — The boxing pride of Mountain Province successfully defended his championship crown for the fifth time.

Dayer Gabutan, who hails from Ambagiw, Besao, Mountain Province defended his World Boxing Organization Oriental bantamweight crown with ease scoring against Dado Cabintoy in the undercard of the Brian Viloria – Omar Niño Romero at the Ynares Sports Center in Pasig City last week.

Gabutan won by unanimous decision. 

The 23-year-old Mt. Province native earned his 18th career win on top of his eight knock outs with a loss and two draw while Cabintoy suffered his third defeat in 14 fights. 

Gabutan also extended his winning streak to 12 since suffering his first loss against Richard Pumicpic in 2009. 

The fourth ranked bantamweight of Highland Boxing Gym turned pro in 2008 and captured his first professional boxing title when he defeated Jilo Merlin in a unanimous decision in their 12-round minor title in 2010. 

Meanwhile, Reigning WBO flyweight champion Brian Viloria scored a very impressive knockout victory over former WBC light flyweight champion Omar Nino Romero of Mexico. 

In their third fight, Romero came in strong and very impressive in the first two rounds but Viloria made quick adjustments and he dominated the fight until the referee stopped the fight in Round 9 to protect Romero from Viloria’s unrelenting assault. 

After his knockout victory, Viloria, who hails from Ilocos Sur, improved his record to 31-3 with 17 win by way of knock out while Romero drops to 31-5-2 and 13 wins by way of knock out with the loss. 

Another boxer, Rodel Mayol, who also fought in the undercard, scored three knockdowns over Julio Cesar Miranda and ran away with a unanimous decision. Mayol trained in Baguio City together with boxing champion, Congressman Manny Pacquiao, recently. #

Editorial Cartoon

June 10, 2012 in editorials, Featured, opinion by emendator

Editorial: Pangat Makoy

June 10, 2012 in editorials, Featured, opinion by emendator

“Ay Uggayam… Digayamen
Nasibugan iti daram
Ling-et ken adu a lulluam
Nalawa a kabanbantayan ubbog sumaruno
A kapututan
Mangituloy iti dangadang mangbirok iti
Pudno a dalan lawag enggana
Masakbayan… ay Uggayam…”

Verses from Raphael Markus Bangit’s Uggayam he delivered in 2006, two months before he was mercilessly felled by three assassin’s bullets in the presence of his son on June 8 by suspected elements of the state in Echague, Isabela. Father and son were on a bus en route to Baguio as the latter was supposed to enroll in college. Also, killed with him was a school principal, a passenger in the same bus.

Makoy, as his peers called him headed the Elders Desk of the Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA). He was a tribal elder and leader of the Malbong in Kalinga, and was the secretary general of the Binodngan Peoples Organization (BPO) at the time of his death. After six long years, the CPA, his family, clan and tribe still cry out for justice. The police investigation has not provided leads and there appears to be no interest for them to look further into the case. The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) investigation has provided no substantial development on the case.

The absence of justice makes this case and that of other victims of extra-judicial killings a further violation of their rights. A serious act of discrimination against indigenous peoples to whom Makoy in his lifetime provided leadership — to his family, clan, regional indigenous peoples formations, in venues of tribal, national and of international significance.

Kalingas are a known warrior society and for their traditional justice system of meting out swift sentences called bales. Makoy’s people chose to respect today’s law and so they continue to exhaust all means provided by law to seek justice for Makoy, and they continue to hold then president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo accountable for her policy of political killings. Sadly, the policy of political killings is still being upheld by the administration of Benigno “PNoy” Aquino III and is manifested in the militarization of indigenous communities in the Cordillera and in the country.

June 8th, Baguio people lit candles in a short program the speakers in not many words said, they want to let us know they miss and remember Makoy not only on the sixth year anniversary of his death, “…but everyday, as we live out the legacy of his unconditional commitment in serving the Cordillera indigenous peoples, and upholding and asserting their rights whenever, wherever”.

Ay Uggayam… #

Advocate’s Overview: Malampaya gas project: an anomalous deal

June 10, 2012 in columns, Featured, opinion by emendator


The multi-billion dollar Malampaya gas project is a consortium project, which involves the extraction of natural gas from the bottom of the waters in Palawan. It lies 80 kilometers of northwest Palawan island, where an estimated deposit of 2.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas was found in the area. Inaugurated in 2001, the project is vital to the energy needs of the country, particularly Luzon, admitted the government.

The Malampaya Gas Project is a consortium project between the government and private oil corporations. Shell controls fourty-five percent stake on the project while the other fourty-five percent is owned by Chevron. Only ten-percent share of the project is controlled by the government through its agency, the Philippine National Oil Corporation.

Though the project has been going on since 2001, irregularities, ranging from its illegality to its being unconstitutional, are being raised. The Tagbanua indigenous peoples of Palawan also raised the issue that the pipelines established in their domain were done without the statutory requirement of their free, prior and informed consent.

In fact, they brought a case to the NCIP regional hearing office which has jurisdiction in their area, with the sole aim to stop the project. An occular inspection is being conducted while this column is being written and I would like to tackle the findings in the next issue.

On June 6 in the House, Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares delivered a privilege speech on the misuse of the Malampaya funds and the illegality and unconstitutionality of the contract on the project. He points out that it is an “horribly disadvantageous agreement between the government and the two oil companies.”

Colmenares explained that while most countries imposed a 30 to 40 percent share in consortium on the exploitation of their resources; underlining that Malaysia is more strict as it imposed its 60 percent equity in any undertaking with oil firms. But in the Malampaya, foreign-owned Shell and Chevron control ninety-percent of the consortium shares while the Philippine governments, through the PNOC controls merely ten percent of the shares. A very interesting querry: Does this not violate the constitution which mandates for a sixty-percent Filipino and fourty-percent equity?

Rep. Colmenares explained that the government went away from what the constitution mandates. But it adopted a scheme to preempt possible constitutional challenge. He said: “In order to preempt possible constitutional challenge and to assuage public outrage that a consortium, 90 % of whose shares belong to foreigners, is in charged of exploiting our natural resources Service Contract 38 provided that 60 % of the proceeds accrues to the Philippine government with Shell and Chevron getting the remaining 40 %.”

But this was branded by Rep. Colmenares as a gimmick. He said that the so called “recovery cost” is immediately deducted from the proceeds. “Worse, the income tax that should have been charged against the income of both Shell and Chevron is paid from the government’s share, practically taking up more than half of the 60 % government share,” pointed out Colmenares.

Colmenares also explained that the project is viable as it earns an income but the government receives less. He said that according to a research by members of the House, the Malampaya project had a total of US $ 8.9 billion gross proceeds from 2002 to 2009. The government share was just US $ 1.939 billion. The rest of the funds were taken by Shell and Chevron to pay their corporate income tax of US $ 1.153 billion, branch profit remittance tax of US $ 326.8 million, direct contractors share of US $ 2.279 billion and cost recovery of US $ 3.22 billion. So these oil companies rake much of the income of the project. And what is worse, its being paid from the income supposedly for the government.

The above unjust sharing is one of the worst anomalies of the contract. A provision states that whatever expense Shell and Chevron incurs or invests should be repaid as a “recovery cost.” Colmenares called this a sovereign guarantee that practically means that a huge amount of public funds are spent on items which Shell and Chevron claim to have been spent as “recovery cost.

Even in this kind of undertaking, huge profits by oil companies are institutionally assured. We thought all the while that it is only in their sale of oil products that they have institutionalized profits through the oil deregulation law. But even in a project so important for our energy needs, they are assured of such profits. And to think of it, it is done through the government agencies. So is that a government of the people?! (Next issue: the indigenous Tagbanua issues on the Malampaya gas project.) #

Labor Watch: More than contractuals

June 10, 2012 in columns, Featured, opinion by emendator


“Teachers are expected to reach unattainable goals with inadequate tools. The miracle is that at times they accomplish this impossible task.” — Dr. Haim Ginott

Teaching is the noblest profession as they say. Teachers help mold the minds of the young and knowledge hungry towards building the future. They work overtime drafting their lesson plans ensuring that the subjects they are to teach will be easily comprehended by their students.

Before an incoming education student enrolls in college as I remember a few years ago, I was asked by the supervising department teacher why I was enrolling into the education course. I heard some of enrollees ahead of me said it was their passion to teach the young, some said it was their calling. I then proudly said I want to be a part of helping the young ones become productive citizens some day. It is unfortunate though I did not end up to be a teacher.

Listening to the stories of my batch mates who successfully pursued their teaching career made me feel proud of them. Not only because they sounded dedicated to the teaching career but also because they survived the life of being a teacher here in a country where authorities seem to prioritize the opportunity for kickbacks instead of working to improve the sorry state of Philippine education.

For those who have just graduated as teachers are now seeking employment. Some of them are standing by waiting for available slots in the department of education or private schools, and some of them simply take contractual positions or be substitute teachers. As substitute teachers they can wait a long time before they are given an item or a permanent teaching job especially in the public schools.

In Abra recently, the volunteer teachers of the Department of Education’s K+12 program who willingly accepted the offer of the government to receive an honorarium of P3,000.00 a month for only ten months of a school year complained of not being paid in full.

From June last year to March of this year, they were only given a mere P8,200 instead of P30,000. Volunteer teachers in other parts of the country suffer from the same fate. They are like the laborers in a road construction who were left unpaid by their contractor bosses who ran away.

Here in Baguio, English teachers of a Korean Academy at the Yangco Building, 2nd Road Quezon Hill are being paid by their foreign boss a weekly P500 – P750 only. Even if it is stated in their contract that they will be paid some P8,000 or more. Some of these schools even indicate in the contract that they are being hired for only three months and are subjected to re-application.

Many teachers in the country who studied for four years or more, and some even graduated with flying colors are trapped in such a degrading situation. In order to live, they have set their pride aside and take to peddling any kind of products from underwear to ice candies to earn an added or the only P30.00 a day. As some people say, “at least adda”, or “better to get a small amount than to get nothing at all”.

Many teachers are even forced to make their ATM cards as collateral to borrow money mostly from loan sharks. Some take the risk to seek employment in other countries as domestic helpers vulnerable to abuse by their employers and risk coming home in body bags and missing body organs.

Teaching is the noblest profession. But teaching in a country that is busy looking for the so-called straight path can sometimes be embarrassing and it can also be a deadly occupation. Can’t the department of education be a little more supportive? After all it is the future of the nation at stake here. #

Statements: Kalinga lider, innem a tawen a panangipaidam iti hustisya

June 10, 2012 in Featured, opinion, statements by emendator


“Until our right to self determination is not recognized, the struggle will not end. Even if it means the sacrifice of our lives to achieve freedom, so be it. — Rafael “Markus” Bangit.

Daytoy a balikas ni kabsat a Rafael “Markus” Bangit ket naikitikit kadagiti kaunegan ti panunot ken puso dagiti kakabsat, kakailyan ken katrabahoan na sakbay a pinatay da isuna dagiti masuspetsa a kameng ti death squad ti Militar idi June 8, 2006 iti maysa a bus stop iti munisipyo ti Echague Isabela a nairamanan ti maysa a Principal iti pagadalan iti Quezon Isabela.

Ni Rafael “Markus” Bangit ket maysa a peace pact holder iti nagbaetan ti tribu a Malbong iti Tabuk ken tribu ti Dangtalan iti munisipyo ti Pasil. Isuna ket Secretary General iti Bayan Muna Kalinga Chapter. Isuna ket adda iti elders desk iti Cordillera People’s Alliance a mangtamtammeng kadagiti risirisan dagiti tribu iti intar ti Kordilyera. Mabigbig isuna iti kinagaget na nga agtrabaho para iti panangrisut kadagiti tribal conflict ken tribal wars iti nagbaetan dagiti tribu ken ili. Maysa isuna a nalaing nga agsakusak.

Ni Rafael Markus Bangit maysa nga ama nga addaan simple nga ambisyon kadagiti annak na, mapaadal na isuda ken maaddaan iti nasayaat a trabaho para iti narimat a masakbayan. Amin dagitoy nga arapaap ket bigla a naawanan namnama gapu iti panangpapatay da kanyana iti mismo a sangwanan ti anak na a ni Ralph Banna Bangit iti pasado alas sais iti malem iti petsa otso iti bulan ti Hunyo tawen 2006.

Agingga kadagitoy a maika-innem a tawen iti pananglagip iti panangpapatay da kenni Rafael Markus Bangit ket naipaidam ti HUSTISYA! Innem a tawen nga agpukpukkaw ti HUSTISYA ti pamilya , kailyan , dagiti gagayyem ken am-ammo ken dagiti katrabahoan na, kaano nga adda ti HUSTISYA? Maysa kadi a krimen ti agserbi iti pada a tao? Krimen kadi iti panangilaban kadagiti karbengan dagiti nainsigudan nga umili para iti bukod a pangngeddeng (self-determination)? Krimen kadi iti panangsalaknib iti daga a nagtaudan kontra kadagiti dadakkel ken makadadael a kompanya ti Minas, Dams ken dagiti dadduma a proyekto a mangperdi iti urnos ken pangkabiagan dagiti umili? Gapu kadagitoy a naaramidan ni kabsat a Rafael Markus Bangit ket rumbeng kadi a saan a maipaayan ti HUSTISYA?

Dawaten mi kadakayo amin a managayat iti kapya ken talna nga agkaykaysa tayo kuma a mangbirok iti HUSTISYA para kenni Rafael Markus Bangit ken kadagiti dadduma pay a biktima iti political killings kas kenni Mrs. Alice Omengan Claver ken dadduma pay a biktima idi panawen ni Gloria Macapagal Arroyo babaen iti panangiyablat na iti Oplan Bantay Laya I & II.

Hustisya para kenni Rafael “Markus” Bangit!
Hustisya para kenni Alice Omengan Claver!
Hustisya para kadagiti amin a biktima ti kinaranggas ti estado! #

Statements: Comelec’s flawed logic on PWD special voters registration

June 10, 2012 in Featured, opinion, statements by emendator


Bayan Muna—Ilocos strongly disagrees with the flawed logic and statement of Comelec Commissioner Rene Sarmiento equating the low turn-out of persons with disabilities (PWD) registrant during the special voter’s registration with the supposedly “good health” the people of the Ilocos region is enjoying which he expressed during his recent visit in Ilocos Norte.

Com. Sarmiento’s statement leaves 3 important gaps and issues:

First, it fails to take into account the manner (such as the accessibility of the registration area, the efforts to reach out to far-flung areas, etc.) by which Comelec conducted the special voter’s registration that may have also contributed to the low turn-out of registrant, citing solely the health factor.

Second, it is an irresponsible blanket statement on the health situation of the people of Ilocos from a government official considering that the number of PWDs do not actually reflect the actual health condition of the population. Health statistics shows that Ilocos health situation is quite dismal considering that pneumonia and tuberculosis both treatable diseases are still in the Top 10 leading causes of death in the region and with a hospital bed and population ratio of 1:1168.

Lastly, it is quite unfair and discriminatory for PWDs to utilize their number as a gauge for the population’s health. This would give an impression that their conditions are considered “unhealthy”.

While the damage has been done, it is not too late for COMELEC to make amends for the careless comment of Com. Sarmiento. COMELEC should strongly push for the passage of House Bill No. 4808 principally authored by Rep. Teodoro Casiño which seeks to institutionalize special polling places for PWDs, senior citizens and pregnant mothers and ensure the provision of this place in the coming 2013 elections. #

Statements: Barangay officials should have social security, benefits

June 10, 2012 in Featured, opinion, statements by emendator


Bayan Muna—Ilocos welcomes the approval and implementation of death benefits and assistance for barangay officials by the Provincial Government of Ilocos Sur. The said benefit which took effect last May 22 was made possible through a resolution passed by the Liga ng mga Barangay of the province headed by Hon. Mario Subagan and approved by Gov. Luis Singson.

Barangay officials have always been in the forefront of public service, being the immediate link between the people and the higher levels of other government units. They are vital both in the delivery of basic concerns of the people as well as the programs of the government. That is why Bayan Muna believes that this benefit is a fitting recognition of their service.

We commend both the proponents and the provincial government for this recent development. However, such benefits have long been overdue from the national level. While the Local Government Code provides for the provision of honoraria for barangay officials, their benefits are quite limited.

That is why Bayan Muna Representatives Teodoro Casiño and Neri Javier Colmenares have filed House Bill No. 5637 which seeks to integrate the barangay officials to the Government Security and Insurance System (GSIS) and provide pension benefits for barangay officials – the Barangay Captains down to the Treasurer. This bill has a counterpart in the Senate – Senate Bill No. 1251 authored by Senators Manuel Villar and Francis Escudero.

With the welfare of our barangay officials in mind, Bayan Muna is looking forward to work with the Liga ng mga Barangay for the passage of this bill. #

Weekly Reflections: Fulfilling our prophetic task (4/6)

June 10, 2012 in columns, Featured, opinion by emendator


“Then the Lord said, ‘I have seen the afflictions of my people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and Jebusites. And now, behold, the cry of the people of Israel has come to me, and I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring forth my people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt’. But Moses said to God, ‘Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?’ He said, ‘But I will be with you; and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought forth the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God upon this mountain.’ ” — Exodus 3:7-12

Fourth of six parts
Click here to read the third
Click here to read the second
Click here to read the first part


Furthermore, to fulfill our prophetic task is to come down and to be with our people in their sufferings and struggles.

The LORD said to Moses, “I have come down.” The God we believe in is not only a God who sees the affliction of our people and listens to their cry, but also a God who comes down and be with the people in their sufferings and struggles. It is one thing to see the affliction of people and to hear their cry, but it is also another thing to really come down and to be with them in their struggles.

The God of Exodus is not a neutral God, but rather a God who identifies with the suffering people. It is not because these people are obedient and righteous. As a matter of fact, they are a rebellious people, always murmuring against God and against the servant of God (cf. Ex.16). The only reason for such divine sympathy is that God is gracious, indeed, to those who suffer, and that God truly understands their suffering.

The God of Exodus is a God of incarnation. This is the kind of God who has incarnated in Christ Jesus our Lord, who “always had the nature of God, but did not think that by force he should try to become equal with God. Instead of this, of his own free will he gave up all he had, and took the nature of a servant. He became like a man and appeared in human likeness. He was humble and walked the path of obedience all the way to death – his death on the cross “(Phil. 2: 6-8).

In the Parable of the Final Judgment, the Son of Man would say to those before His throne, “What you have done to the least of my brothers (and sisters), you have done it unto me”(Mt. 25:40).

It is significant to note that God in Christ identifies with the “least” of God’s people, and that such identification would be the measure by which we would be measured. In the story of Apostle Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus, he heard a voice saying, “Saul, Saul, Why do you persecute me?” Then, Saul asked, “Who are you, Lord?”And then, the voice answered, “I am Jesus, whom you persecute” (cf. Acts 9). It is important to realize that God in Christ Jesus identifies not only with the …·gleast…”, but also with those who are “persecuted”.

And so, a church that affirms the God of Exodus, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ must also come down and be with the people in their sufferings and struggles. Like our God, we cannot do effectively our prophetic task in the ministry by staying on a pedestal, by being detached from people’s realities. As a matter of fact, we cannot truly hear people’s cry and know their sufferings if we do not come down.

To come down is to do away with our own messianic and triumphant attitudes towards people, our self-righteous and even condescending attitude towards people in their sufferings. Even our God must have to come down in Christ Jesus our Lord in order to become effective savior of the world. As prophets, we cannot do less than what God in Christ Jesus has done.

To come down would also mean to stop looking at the realities of this world from our own perspective, and like our God, start looking at the realities of this world from the perspective of our suffering and struggling people. There was a time in the history of the church when the church thought of itself as the only “mother and teacher” (mater et magistra) of the world. According to this view, the church has the monopoly of truth, and therefore the church should “teach”the world.

However, the church has painfully realized that it has also its own limitations, that the church in itself is not really perfect though it is trying very hard to be perfect, following Christ’s injunctions (cf.Mt.5:48). Hence, we have to come down and humbly acknowledge that we have such limitations, and that we need to learn from our people like what our God has done in listening to people’s cry.

Our God is far greater and bigger than the church. Our God is the God of the whole universe, the Maker of heaven and earth (cf. Gen. 1-2). The reality of our God permeates the whole of God’s creation (cf. Isa.40). The Spirit of God moves upon the face of the earth (cf. Gen. 1:2).

To come down, therefore, is to humbly acknowledge that we are not the only instruments of God’s mission in the world. In the writings of Prophet Isaiah, the LORD said to Cyrus the Great, the King of Persia, “I appoint you to help my servant Israel, the people that I have chosen. I have given you great honor even though you do not know me. I am the Lord, there is no other god. I willl give you the strength you need, although you do not know me. I do this so that everyone from one end of the world to the other may know that I am the LORD and that there is no other god” (Isa. 45:4-6).

God works in wondrous ways, sometimes in ways we could not fully understand. God’s ways are not like our ways; God’s thoughts are not like our thoughts (cf. Isa.55:8). God, indeed, is absolutely free to do His own mission in the world. God could choose even a pagan ruler like Cyrus the Great of Persia in order that God’s suffering people would experience genuine freedom.

This is something that many of us would find it quite difficult to accept. But this is precisely the reason why we have not been able to develop a truly Filipino church, a church that would take seriously our Filipino culture and way of life. For we have thought that the Biblical God could not be found in the culture of the Filipino.

To come down is to do our prophetic task in the ministry with a sense of humility and servant-hood. “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served; he came to serve and to give his life to redeem many people “(Mk. 10:35). #

Click here for the fifth part

Women’s Front: Justice delayed, justice denied

June 10, 2012 in columns, Featured, human rights, opinion, social concerns, women by emendator


In a recent news article on a local newspaper, Atty. Lyndon Morales of the Commission of Human Rights-Cordillera was quoted saying the CHR-Cordillera will have a hard time getting pieces of evidence against Capt. Danilo Lalin. He also said it is unlikely that the military will help solve the rape case involving one of their men. He then concluded that impunity in government still exists.

IMPUNITY —— is this the dead end of all human rights violations? Impunity is defined as the impossibility of bringing the perpetrators of violations to account- whether in criminal, civil, administrative or disciplinary proceedings – since they are not subject to any inquiry that might lead to their being accused, arrested, tried and, if found guilty, sentenced to appropriate penalties, and to making reparations to their victims.

By not punishing those responsible they feel free to continue their abuses, and can intimidate people who would have the courage to speak out, so that they keep their mouth shut. Thus impunity is instrumental in a cycle of continuing human rights violations.

This cycle is proven true in the Philippine set up. Under the Arroyo administration, Karapatan has documented 1,206 victims of extrajudicial killings and 206 victims of enforced disappearances, while there were 2,059 victims of illegal arrests and 1,099 victims of torture. 

Karapatan has also documented 76 victims of extrajudicial killings, 9 victims of enforced disappearances, 62 cases of torture, 3 rape victims, and 417 victims of illegal arrests under Aquino’s watch (as of March 2012). Of this report, seven victims of EJK are women.

The state perpetrated human rights violations against women worsens with impunity. The “changes” that Noynoy Aquino promised when he first sat as the new president remains to be illusive. Hundreds of human rights violations on women remain unresolved.

Justice for these women victims continue to be trampled on with impunity. The cases of Alyce Omengan-Claver, Eden Marcellana, Benjaline Hernandez, Baby Mendiola, victims of EJK; Karen Empeno and Sherilyn Padacan, victims of enforced disappearance under the Arroyo rule are still unresolved.

The ruling of the Commission on Human Rights on the abduction of Melissa Roxas involving the military, despite her testimony is evident of the government’s absence of determination or will to pursue justice.

Impunity will also likely impede the case of “Isabel”. The rape of this minor by a commanding officer of the Armed Forced of the Philippines will remain unresolved because the government and the military would not provide enough time, effort and men to investigate the case for a speedy trial. Alas, the AFP does not even want to give a weighed sanction on Capt. Lalin. The AFP has instead been trying to mask the crimes of their men with the carelessness to stand accountable for the crimes. Their inaction eventually leads to the dying down of these cases. While the family, the community and the rest of progressive organizations continue to expose and oppose the inaction of concerned government institutions to act on the HRVs becomes a way to pacify the people’s clamor for justice.

On June 8, we will remember the death of Markus Bangit. It’s been six years since Oplan Bantay Laya took his life due to his advocacies in the defense of land, life and the rights of the indigenous people of Cordillera as an elder’s desk coordinator of the Cordillera People’s Alliance. Six years, yet no justice has been granted. The case has not moved forward since. This is impunity.

Impunity or the impossibility of bringing the perpetrators of human rights violations accountable for their crimes will continue to breed violence against women. While the perpetrators see that they can commit crimes and go unpunished due to government neglect, human rights violations will persist. We must stay vigilant and fight against impunity. Let us not let them pacify or mask our demand for justice. #

Youthspeak: 6.4% extraordinary econ growth benefits on the rich

June 10, 2012 in columns, Featured, opinion by emendator


Anakbayan, the organization of young workers and professionals, peasants, out-of-school and community youth and students, slammed the recent rise in the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), dubbed by Malacañang as ‘extraordinary’, saying that its benefits have accrued only to a few while millions live in deep poverty.

The youth group dismissed as “delusional” Budget Secretary Florencio Abad’s statement that “these positive figures reaffirm exactly” Aquino’s much-vaunted “kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap”.

“Secretary Abad and Malacañang perceive and portray reality differently from ordinary Filipinos. The growth recorded merely reflects increased economic activity but it does not actually translate to poverty reduction or better quality of life for the people.”

Contrary to their belief that the benefits of “the recent successes” of Aquino’s anti-corruption and anti-poverty campaign are already being felt, poverty, hunger and unemployment continue to rise even as the economy has “grown”.

According to the independent think-tank IBON Foundation, out of the 92 million Filipinos in 2010, 65 million or 70% are considered poor, living on P 104 or less per day. In February, Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showed that hunger incidence rose from 4.1 million families to 4.5 million.

As proof of the widening gap between the rich and poor, IBON’s findings indicates the net worth of 25 richest Filipinos in 2009, US $ 21.4 billion, is equivalent to the combined income in a year of the poorest 11.1 million families.

While the growth translated to 1.1 million in additional jobs according to the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), it is far-flung from the record-high 11.6 million unemployed and underemployed. The mandated minimum wage, on the other hand, falls far short of providing for a decent living and what business-owners can afford. 

Moreover, the national government’s spending on basic social services such as education, health and housing, among others, as a share of gross domestic product has continued to drop.

If not reducing poverty by not counting the poor (government downplays poverty data by changing methodologies), the Aquino government resorts to a rehash of lies and exaggerations that his flagship Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program has reduced poverty.

In fact the CCT, cited as part of ‘increased government spending’—a major player in the GDP growth—will result in a heavier debt burden for Filipinos, an estimated US $ 508.5 million in 25 years.

Anakbayan also slammed the Aquino government for “not doing enough to prepare for the looming global economic downturn worst than the 2008 crisis” and for continuously implementing failed and inequitable neoliberal policies of globalization such as elimination of tariffs, deregulation of important industries and privatization of social services and government agencies.

To date, the Philippine economy relies heavily on export of cheap raw materials or semi-processed goods, OFW remittances, tourism and foreign-dictated programs—the CCT and Public Private Partnership (PPP) Projects—that have caused damage to people’s dwellings and livelihood, and foreign loans from ADB and IMF-World Bank which have greatly contributed to the worsening quality of life of millions of people in the world.

Centers of capitalism, the country’s major export markets, are in a deep crisis. We have every reason to doubt the sustainability of the economic growth in the coming months.

There is no substitute for strengthening the domestic economy through strategic agricultural development and creation of national industries with genuine agrarian reform as base. For a start, we challenge the landlord-comprador president to have a change of heart in redistributing wealth: implement the 125 across-the-board wage increase.

While it may not bring a decent standard of living to poor Filipino workers, a substantial wage increase will give immediate relief to their families. Stop being greedy. Workers should share the fruits of the economic growth instead of just benefiting a few. #

Tula: Ang ilaw ng tahanan

June 10, 2012 in Featured, literary by emendator


Ikaw ay tulad ng isang lampara
Mayroong gaas at mitsa
Ang liwanag sayo, ito ay nagmumula
Ng sa dilim, mga mata’y nakikita

Ilaw mo sa mga tahanan, bata’y masasaya
Liwanag mo’y inspirasyon nila
Sa daan na aakyatin na mahaba
Para di sila mapahamak at maligaw pa

Liwanag mo sana kahit sa labas makita
Mga tahanang walang ilaw di sila kakapa
Sa araw nama’y sinag mo’y di makapinsala
Sa mga mata pag ika’y nakikita

Kulay ng ilaw sa modernong panahon
Dilaw, berde, puti nakikita sa lansangan
Ika’y ilaw ng tahanan sana di mabago ng panahon
Sana dating sinag mo’y di kukupas at kukulimlim

Sa tulang ito’y ang ina ay siyang tinutukoy
Ina kasi siya ang nagbibigay buhay
Pangarap ng kasambahay lagi siyang aalalay
Kaya ano mang pagsubok di siya bibigay

K+12 teachers honoraria delayed

June 4, 2012 in Cordillera, education, Featured by emendator


BAGUIO CITY — Over 200 volunteer Kindergarten teachers of the Department of Education’s (DepEd) K+12 program in the province of Abra were only paid lately a fraction of the agreed honoraria of P30,000 per school year by the government.

According to a volunteer teacher who requested anonymity because of the fear of drawing the ire of the authorities in the province known for violence, they have a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with DepEd.

In the said agreement, each volunteer teacher shall receive an honorarium of P3,000 a month for ten months or a school year. The MOA which was signed by the teachers and the DepEd on June 2011 stated that the teachers have the responsibility of teaching the students while the government has also the obligation to pay the teachers regularly.

But according the source, they only received their first pay on December last year and it was only P6,000 per teacher and they were again promised full pay the next year. They were able to collect another partial payment of P2,200 in March this year. But before they were paid, they were given a difficult time to file necessary documents and a number of other requirements.

Many of them had borrowed money from all the people they know in order for them to survive. “Papuskolen min a ti rupa mi tapno makapangan kami,” (we have to swallow our pride in order for us to eat) said the teacher. He added that many of them are the breadwinners of their families.

Alliance of Concerned Teachers-Cordillera Regional Coordinator Perry John Mendoza condemned the practice of holding back the much needed honorartia and pointed out that the fate of the volunteer teachers only shows the failure of DepEd to address the country’s education needs.

He stressed that before adding school years, the government should have considered the plight of the teachers who will be in the front line in the implementation of education programs like the K+12.

Last year, DepEd employed 19,063 volunteer Kindergarten teachers all over the country. ACT teachers PartyList campaigns for the regularization of the volunteer teachers.

According to ACT Teachers ParyList Representative Antonio Tinio, this will protect the teachers from such exploitative conditions.

The unpaid teacher said that they gave their best service to the children during the ten month school year. “But the government should also see to it that it lives up to its responsibility of ensuring that the teachers will also eat,” the teacher continued.

“Dakkel ti naitulong mi kadagiti ubbing ngem kasla met saan dakami met a pagan-ano ti gobyerno,(we have greatly helped the children but it looks like the government does not care.) said the teacher.

The teacher said that it is not true that the country lacks teachers. The teacher added that many of them were just unemployed and more of them are hired only on contractual basis for just a school year or just few months.

According to the teacher, they heard that there are also unpaid volunteer teachers in the neighboring provinces of Ilocos. #

Victims refute AFP claims of no HRVs

June 4, 2012 in Featured, human rights, Ilocos by emendator


SAN FERNANDO CITY — Victims of human rights violations in Ilocos provinces, and human rights group, Ilocos Human Rights Alliance (IHRA-KARAPATAN) filed complaints before the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Regional Office 1 to debunk the zero HRV claims of the military.

JUSTICE! Cries the victims and their kin as they filed complaints at the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) RO1. Photo courtesy of IHRA

The victims and their families sought intervention from the CHR after the military, belonging to the 3rd Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army threatened, harassed, intimidated and vilified civilians from Ilocos communities, including progressive leaders and human rights lawyer, Atty. Robert Tudayan.

Last May, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Human Rights Officer, Col. Domingo Tutaan announced to the media that the first quarter of 2012 recorded a zero-HRV and denoted that the CHR did not receive any complaints from the said period. KARAPATAN, the national umbrella organization of human rights advocates criticized the AFP and called the report a “big fat lie.”

Mila Marcelo, deputy secretary of IHRA lambasted the propaganda of the military that the Aquino government’s Oplan Bayanihan respects human rights and international humanitarian law and called them “a bunch of liars”.

“The military continuously covers-up their accountability in the gross human rights violations they commit and consciously use psychological warfare to deceive the people through their so-called socioeconomic programs.” Marcelo said and cited that in Ilocos communities they pretend to help the local government officials in their projects as part of Oplan Bayanihan.

Marcelo cited that from January 2012 up to present, peasants from Ilocos communities have been harassed by elements of 3rd IBPA and accused them as “supporters” of the New People’s Army (NPA) while they were conducting “Bayanihan” work.

Leonardo Sabalo, former regional vice chairperson and local leader of Solidarity of Peasants against Exploitation (STOP Exploitation), and two other peasants from Ilocos Sur in separate incidents, were threatened by the military elements operating in their towns.

Atty. Tudayan, STOP Exploitation chairman Avelino Dacanay, and other progressive leaders, were vilified in the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) report of Lt. Col. Rogelio Mesias, commanding officer of 3rd IBPA, as part of the Communist Terrorist (CT) Non-violent activities.

The CHR RO1, through Mr. Omir Cacho, head of the investigation unit, said they will look into the complaints. As a result of the filing, the CHR is set to hold a dialogue between the victims and the military this June.

These cases, according to Marcelo, were only first among the series of complaints IHRA and other victims of human rights violations will file at the CHR and at the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) and other mechanisms.

Marcelo refuted the zero HRV’s claim of the AFP. “We filed the case of Cervantes 4 last January which the CHR even committed to investigate”

Marcelo said they have yet to hear from the CHR on the complaints filed before their office.

“We call on the CHR to stand for the victims and hold the AFP and PNP accountable to these violations.”

IHRA and the HRV victims filed before the CHR RO1 exactly the same day the Philippine Government underwent the 2nd cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in Geneva.

The UPR is a mechanism where all member states of the UN undergo review every four years on their compliance to human rights treaties and instruments. A Philippine delegation, the Philippine UPR Watch, including KARAPATAN, which the IHRA is a member organization, headed to Geneva to lobby to the UN Human Rights Council on the cases of human rights violations under the Aquino government. #

Company sued even the dead

June 4, 2012 in Cordillera, Featured, mining by emendator


LA TRINIDAD, Benguet — “Nailaw-an a nainayon da,” (they were unintentionaly included) said Atty. Omar Evangelista who represents the Far Southeast (FSE) project of Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company (LCMC) during a dialogue at the Ben Palispis Hall of the Benguet Provincial Capitol.

Apologetic for the blunder Evangelista said his office shall review the listed. FSE sued 123 people for obstruction of their operations, and among those named were deceased and paralyzed locals accused in the criminal case.

Benguet Provincial Prosecutor William Bacoling told those present that he called for the dialogue in a bid to settle the issue before the case will go to the courts.

He said that he initiated this as he saw that there were so many named in the said case. He also added that this can be an opportunity for the two parties to talk and reach a possible amicable settlement.

According to Madaymen resident Engineer Alexander Labiawen, he received a summons to a hearing two days upon the receipt of notice. He said that they can “always answer the charges even if they have a hard time looking for a lawyer because of financial constraints but he does not know how the dead will defend themselves in court.”

He added that included in the list of accused is one paralyzed who was not at the barricade area at Sitio Madaymen, Tabio of Mankayan.

On an inquiry, Bacoling told the audience that the criminal case against the 123 was filed by the company with and on the testimony of a witness, a truck driver Roger Ramos, who identified the respondents from the community’s barricade.

Evangelista said that their basis for the criminal case against the people included reports from the workers of the company, they named people they frequently see in the picket line and those who signed the petition for the mines to pull out.

Tabio resident Larry Bestoca said that they have no intention of destroying any equipment of the company or hurt people of the company. He stressed that all they asked for is that FSE pulls out its operations and withdraw its application on their area as their proposed operations is not approved nor consented to by the people.

He explained that they did not harass anybody. They just explained to the people of the company why they are not allowing any drilling operations in their place.

Atty. Richard Kilaan, the legal counsel of SMM said that the people are just exercising their constitutional rights. He said that they are defending their land and peacefully setting up a barricade for such. He added that if the company heeds the demand of the people then there will be no such problem.

Bacoling said that his office will give the people accused an extension to the period to file or submit counter-affidavits. He also said that he will not bring the case to the courts until the people able to get lawyers. #

Kin of killed mediamen urge PNoy to stop media killings

June 4, 2012 in media, national, people by emendator


BAGUIO CITY – As the United Nations Human Rights Council scrutinizes the human rights record of the Philippine government, the families of killed journalists nationwide founded their organization on Sunday here in the city.

SARANGGOLA SUMMER CAMP. Children of killed journalists in the country participated in the annual summer camp, organized by the NUJP, as a way for these kids to recover from their nightmare of losing their parents whose job is for the realization of the contstitutional provision of the public right to know. Photo by Arthur L. Allad-iw

Called the Samahan ng mga Pamilya ng Pinaslang na Mamamahayag (SPPM), the new organization also urged President Noynoy Aquino to sincerely work to stop the killing of journalists and that justice be rendered to the victims of these media killings.

Elvie Sanchez, whose husband was killed in this city in 2005, said that their organization will move for the achievement of justice for the killed journalists.

Since 1986, there are 152 killed journalists in the country where only 10 of these are resolved or still undergoing court proceedings.

As most of the cases have no development, SPPM urged Aquino to order the review of the investigation and prosecution of media killing cases, said Sanchez.

“We also urge the President to work towards building an investigation and prosecution system that will protect the interest of the victims,” the SPPM added in their call which will be submitted to Pres. Aquino.

Mary Grace Morales, whose husband was among the journalists killed in the Maguindanao massacre and SPPM vice-chairperson for Mindanao, shared that their newly-founded organization is very important to the survivors of the killed journalists.

“We will closely monitor the cases of the killed journalists,” added Morales as she shared that even the cases filed against the Ampatuans in the Magunidanao massacre are delayed due to legal tactics and maneuvering by the defendants’ lawyers.

“Itigil na ang pagpatay sa mga mamamahayag…ang pagpatay sa mga media workers ay pagkitil sa malayang pamamahayag (The killings should be stopped…the killing of media workers are an attack against press freedom)”, added Morales whose killed husband was a correspondent of News Focus, a newspaper of general circulation in General Santos City.

As most of the killed journalists were the breadwinners of their families, the SPPM also urged the government to provide livelihood assistance to their families.

They also urged Aquino to avoid statements and actions that infringe on press freedom but instead build an enviroment where diversity of views are encouraged and those with contrary opinions should not be killed. They also urged Congress to pass the bill on Freedom of Information Act.

The families of the killed journalists were in the city for the Sarangola Summer Camp, a yearly activity organized by the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) which aims to help the children and their parents cope with their situation. NUJP also has education scholarship programs for the children of these killed journalists. #

Ifugao folks say gov’t projects cause disunity

June 4, 2012 in Cordillera, economy by emendator


LAMUT, Ifugao — Residents from the different communities of Lagawe, Lamut, Tinoc, Asipulo and Hungduan criticized infrastructure and socio-economic projects of the government saying that the projects only caused disunity in their communities.

This came out in a workshop on the efficiency of socio-economic and infrastructure projects implemented in the different communities in Ifugao during the Cordillera Day celebrations last May 29 in Tupaya, Lagawe. Participants to the workshop identified the conditional cash transfer or the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), Philhealth cards, distribution of farm tools, farm to market road and irrigation as among the government projects that has caused disunity.

According to Ifugao Peasant Movement Vice President Francis Awilan, the selection process for the 4Ps should be reviewed because at present it is not serving those who really need assistance. He added that brangay officials should be involved in the selection process because they know who among their constituents really need assistance.

Awilan further said all the communities represented in the workshop also complained of the selection process for the recipients of Philhealth cards and farm tools distribution. He said that like that of the conditional cash transfer the inefficient selection process for beneficiaries caused disunity in the communities.

“It is also notable that the Philhealth cards are distributed very late. The beneficiaries received their cards toward the end of the year, a few weeks before expiration. These should be distributed in the first quarter of the year so that beneficiaries can maximize them,” Awilan stressed.

He also stressed that road projects and irrigation repairs should be implemented properly to ensure long term service to the people. He cited as example the national irrigation project in Lamut that is being repaired yearly. “The beneficiaries called for a more permanent solution to their irrigation need and not just yearly repairs. This would save the government millions,” he pointed out.

Infrastructure projects, agriculture assistance programs and basic social services are very much needed in our communities to help us combat poverty. We need socio-economic projects that genuinely address out needs and not just band aid solutions,” Awilan stressed. #

Ti bisyom ken iti buwis a kasingin na

June 4, 2012 in national by emendator


Nabayagen nga ilunglungalong ti gobyerno ni Presidente Noynoy Aquino iti panagpangato ti Sin Tax wenno buwis iti basol. Daytoy kanu ti mangsolbar ti problema kadagiti adda ti bisyo na kas iti arak ken sigarilyo. Ania kadi iti Sin Tax?

BEER AT YOSI. Photo ni Noel Godinez

Ti Sin Tax ket buwis kadagiti tagilako a pangbisyo a kas ti sigarilyo ken arak. Ispesyal daytoy a buwis gapu ta nangatngato daytoy ngem ti ordinaryo a buwis dagiti tagilako. Kangrunaan a panggep na daytoy ti panangnayon ti koleksyon a buwis ti gobyerno. Sekundaryo laeng ti panangkissay dagiti adda bisyo na. Ti panagkolekta ti Sin Tax ti pamuspusan dagiti gobyerno a dakkel ti depisit ti badyet da (karaman ti United States) tapno basbassit ti utangen dan kadagiti banko. Pangkalub laeng dagitoy a gobyerno ti seknan da iti imoralidad ken salun-at ti umili tapno maingato daytoy a buwis.

Pagsayaatan wenno nayon a problema?

Inlungalong ti Department of Finance sumagmamano a lawas kalpasan ti panagtugaw ti baro nga administrasyon a maingato ti Sin Tax manipud 125% nga agbalin a 400%. Sinuportaran ti Department of Health (DOH) daytoy a lungalong tapno adda kanu paggapuan ti pondo para ti pannakaagas dagiti addaan ti sakit a kanser.

Kinontra a dagus dagiti diputado manipud kadagiti probinsya nga agmulmula ti tabako daytoy a lungalong. Kunada a matay kano ti industriya ti tabako ken rumigat ti kasasaad dagiti mannalon ti tabako no maipatungpal ti pannakaingato ti Sin Tax. Uray ti mayorya dagiti gobernador, mayor, bise-mayor ken konsehal iti Rehiyon 1 ket impeksa da ti panangkontra da kadaytoy a lungalong.

Interesado ti gobyerno ti buwis

Ti buwis ti maysa kadagiti kangrunaan a paggapuan ti pondo ti gobyerno. Adda dagiti direkta a makolekta a buwis kas ti buwis iti masapulan (income tax) dagiti empleyado, mangmangged, negosyante, propesyunal, ken dadduma pay nga addaan regular a pastrek ken amilyar dagiti dagdaga ken pasdek. Adda met ti saan a direkta kas dagiti buwis dagiti gagatangen ken serbisyo. Ti Expanded Value Added Tax wenno EVAT a konkontraen tayo ket maysa a klase ti saan a direkta a buwis. Daytoy ket nakapauneg iti presyo ti gagatangen tayo. Dakdakkel ti mapastrek ti gobyerno iti saan a direkta a buwis gapu ta sapasap ti agbaybayad kadaytoy.

Para kanu ti serbisyo?

Masapul nga agsubli dagiti buwis iti umili kas serbisyo. Saan a nainkalintegan ti agkolekta ti buwi no saan a maisubli daytoy ti umili. Iti kapadasan ken makitkita tayo, bassit ti masagsagrap dagiti umili a serbisyo-agkurkurang ti badyet para iti irigasyon, awan ti subsidyo para iti agrikultra, manmanon ti malibre a maagasan kadagiti ospital ti gobyerno, nangina iti matrikula ken dagiti mabayadan iti iskwela, ken agkurkurang ti tulong ti gobyerno iti panawen ti kalamidad. Ngem agtaltalinaed a nangato ti badyet para iti panagbayad iti utang ken ti militar ken pulisya. Iti ayan na a pagdaksan adu ti kaso ti panagkurakot iti uneg ti gobyerno.

Partikular iti pondo manipud iti excise tax ti tabako wenno RA 7171, magasgastos dagitoy basar iti pagayatan ti politiko a mangig-iggem ti pondo a saan ketdi a pagayatan dagiti mannalon ti tabako a makagapu no adda daytoy. Nalaka nga agbirri a kalkalsada ken dagiti sobra ti ngina na a multicab ti makitkita tayo a pappapanan ti pondo. Nabayagen nga ilablaban dagiti mannalon ti Ilocos nga idiretso ti gobyerno ti pondo manipud RA 7171 kadagiti lehitimo nga organisasyon ti mannalon ti tabako ngem agkedked dagiti politiko. Awan ngamin makurakot da no datayo ti mangtengngel iti pondo.

Awan sabali a papanan ti Sin Tax

Gapu ta saan met laeng a sigurado nga agserbi iti pagsayaatan ti umili ti aniaman a panagngato ti Sin Tax, kontraen tayo ti lungalong ti gobyerno a panangipangato kadaytoy. Nalabit nga agturong met laeng ti nayon ti agdama a Sin Tax kadagiti bulsa dagiti buklis a burukrata.

Mamati tayo met a narabaw ti rason dagiti diputado ken dadduma pay a politiko ti rehiyon 1 a matay kano ti industriya ti tabako no maingato ti Sin Tax. No pudno a kayat dagitoy a politiko nga agtalinaed ti industriya ti tabako, pagserbien da koma ti pondo ti manipud RA 7171 kadagiti mannalon ken suportaran da ti laban dagiti mannalon a panangragpat ti umno a presyo ti tabako. #

Ni Zaldy Alfiler iti agdama a secretary general ti STOP Exploitation, ti kalawaan nga organisasyon dagiti mannalon ti Ilocos a mangilablan kadagiti karbengan dagiti mannalon.