Letters: Letter to MP Exponent

August 21, 2011 in Featured, letters, opinion by editors

www.nordis.net

By SIMON “KA FILIW” NAOGSAN
SPOKESPERSON
CORDILLERA PEOPLES DEMOCRATIC FRONT (CPDF)

12 August 2011

Dear Greg,

This pertains to your column (Mountain Fire: “I will not resign”) in the July 24 issue of the Mountain Province Exponent. While recognizing your right to speculate on who supports Dr. Nieves Dacyon, our concern is the implication of your red baiting and red tagging that puts the safety of the subject person vulnerable to danger by state security forces in the light of Oplan Bayanihan which doesn’t spare target victims including children, the elderly and plain political activist.

Such an innuendo that has no basis or proof surely violates journalistic ethics and is unfair to the concerned. False allusion unwittingly plays into the psy-war and spin machine of Oplan Bayanihan cum Internal Security Operation.

The revolutionary movement respects the right of the studentry and the faculty/staffs to press for their legitimate issues and demands to the school administration and likewise for the latter to address these issues promptly. They may enlist the support of parents and the community as well. However, these supportive roles should not supercede the primary roles of the main stakeholders; neither can politicians take advantage of the situation to pursue their selfish and narrow interests. Let Dr. Dacyon answer whatever lapses she may have commited after a speedy, thorough and impartial investigation by an appropriate entity may establish. While at the same time, the root causes of the predicament of this state college should not be glossed over. Lest it be forgotten that the national government, past and present, has never really invested in education. It never went beyond its rethoric of seriously responding to the education of the youth. Simply note the significant budget cut on state subsidies on SUCs. Its budget cut on education in 2011 has affected SUCs by more than 15% while increasing its budget allocation on the parasitic and corrupt-ridden AFP and PNP and never putting a cap on debt sevicing.

Thus we also find your comparison of Nieves Dacyon (Pnad) with Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as ridiculous. We may not fully appreciate the yardstick of your comparison but indeed it succeeds in vilifying and demonizing Pnad. Add to that the red baiting and red tagging, you did very well in fullfilling the political requirements as elaborated in the US Counter Insurgency Guide that put her squarely vulnerable in the brutal chopping board of the AFP’s ‘neutralization’ scheme, a hallmark of Oplan Bantay Laya and carried on with the present Oplan Bayanihan. The previous regime brought about the extrajudicial killings of more than 1,000 activists, the involuntary disapperance of countless others including our very own kailian James Balao. Up until now, not one of the perpetrators has been put to fully answer their heinous crimes.

While on the subject of corruption, understandably, it is an endemic disease of a semi-colonial and semifeudal society. Even government official pronouncements admit that more than 40% of the national budget is being gobbled up in the multi-layered bureaucratic incidence of corruption. In fact the Philippine government has always landed topnotcher in the area of corruption. The culture of impunity on corruption permeates in every government line agency.

We stand with the academic community for the speedy, thorough and impartial investigation of the accusations hurled against Dr. Dacyon. Whatever lapses she may have done within the purview of her mandate as president of the college, let her account for it. If it means her dismissal, so be it. But give her the benefit of doubt until proven otherwise. In the meantime, let us not sacrifice the bigger interests of the studentry and faculty and the college community as a whole. Let us rise above the confines of the school and examine national policies and actual measures undertaken to address the education sector beyond the mere rethorics of saying they are concerned with the education of the youth. Likewise, speedy and thorough investigation should be conducted on the agent provocateurs who misled the protesters through falsehood and disinformation and allowed themselves to be pawns by the spinmasters of the Oplan Bayanihan. Of course, the revolutionary movement believes that a genuine mass, national and scientific system of education can only be instituted with the advent of a liberated society free of exploitation and oppression.

In particular, the national oppression of the indigenous peoples in the Cordillera is brought about by decades of government neglect, social chauvinism and the trampling of indigenous socio-political practices and structures. This is reflected in the educational system, wherein SUCs in the region are inadequately subsidized. This includes of course the MPSPC. As the national government pursues its policy to privatize SUCs , the burden is now passed on to the parents to shoulder necessary fees. We believe that unless these national policies are reversed, whoever replaces Dacyon will suffer the same predicament as the school administration’s hands are tied down. The CPDF Program’s second point stipulates that certain indigenous socio-political institutions and practices are being used and abused by the government and powers-that-be for selfish interests. Oplan Bayanihan’s implementors in the Cordillera region have mastered this well, in recruiting indigenous officers and positioning rank-and-file from tribes with existing peace pact pagta in barrios where operations of the Peace and Development Operations Teams (formerly called Reengineered Special Operations Teams) are taking place. The revolutionary movement condemns the vested interests who abuse indigenous practices for their own interests. The role of the community must be put in proper place in the case of the MPSPC protest.

A sober assessment of the situation in MPSPC is needed. Shutting it down is irrational, unjust and will exacerbate the historical denial of the right to education of the indigenous people in the province. On the other hand, transforming the current protest actions into a venue to study the social ills of the nation would create a forum for the further enlightenment of the academic community of MPSPC.

We urge the readers to study well the unreasonable proponents and forces behind the anti-student, anti-faculty, anti-community and anti-people shutdown movement against the MPSPC administration, and join hands in forging greater unity of the academic community to advance students’ rights and welfare.

Thank you for the opportunity to clarify matters. # nordis.net

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