“EDSA DOS Rebolusyon”, Isang Malaking Pagkakamali at Kahihiyan sa Ating Kasaysayan

PRESS STATEMENT
January 20, 2009

Sa buong mundo, anumang araw na naganap ang isang “rebolusyon” ay ginugunita at ipinagdiriwang ng buong bansa ang katagumpayan nito.

Subalit bukod tanging sa Pilipinas, sa araw na ito na sinasabing naganap ang “edsa dos revolution”. Tila nakalimutan na ng lahat ang pangyayaring ito.

Marahil hindi makuhang gunitain ng bansa ang pangyayaring ito, dahil sa halip na mapabuti ay lalo lamang nasadlak sa walang kaparis na kadiliman ang bansa sa pagtitimon ng kasalukuyang bangkaroteng rehimen.

Maging ang mismong prinsipal na nakinabang sa “rebolusyong” ito na pamilyang Arroyo, ay ayaw itong ipagdiwang! Dahil lalo lamang makikita ang pagkakahiwalay nito sa mga Pilipino. Iniwanan na si Arroyo ng mga mismong nakipagsabwatan sa kanila. Kaya’t batid nitong sa halip na magamit ang “edsa dos” para sa pagpapakita ng pag-asa, alam nitong lalo lamang masasadlak sila sa isang depensibo at walang katapusang pagpapaliwanag at KAHIHIYAN!

Marami na sa mga naging bahagi ng madilim na pangyayaring ito ay nagsisisi at humihingi ng paumanhin hindi lamang kay Pangulong Erap kundi mismo sa masang Pilipino.

Marapat lamang na itala ang araw na ito na tinawag nilang “rebolusyon” bilang isang MALAKING PAGKAKAMALI AT KAHIHIYAN sa ating kasaysayan. Patawarin sana tayo ng mga kabataan at ng susunod na henerasyon.

JOSEPH VICTOR G. EJERCITO
Mayor

Explanation of Vote: Extending CARP Until 30 June 2009

NO Vote
Joint Resolution No. 29
17 December 2008
Rep. Lorenzo R. Tañada III

Mr. Speaker,

I am constrained to vote against the Joint Resolution before us, which, on the surface seeks to extend CARP, a social justice and poverty alleviation program, until June 30, 2009. While at the barest minimum, I am for extending the program, I would have wanted a more responsive agrarian reform program. I, together with other members of the Liberal Party here in the House of Representatives, have actually filed HB 4085 which likewise seeks to amend CARP to fine tune it given the developments and frustrations in the program.
However, Mr. Speaker, what we shall be doing, if ever we pass this Joint Resolution is decimate the whole program. It takes away Compulsory Acquisition among the modes by which land will be acquired and distributed.

Mr. Speaker,

We are now in the tail end of the Agrarian Reform Program where lands that are actually difficult to acquire and distribute are the ones lined up for acquisition and distribution. I’m talking about commercial farms and huge tracks of privately-owned lands. To my mind, these are the types of land which should have been prioritized in the land acquisition and distribution program. But if we would go back to Section 11 of RA 6657, the law even provided for a reprieve from compulsory acquisition of commercial lands and they will only be covered by compulsory acquisition ten years after the law is enacted.

Mr. Speaker,

By removing compulsory acquisition from CARP in this Joint Resolution, we are in fact removing from the State the power to use the most progressive instrument of the program. By removing compulsory acquisition, we shall be denying the very farmers who have long yearned for real ownership of the land they till, a chance to develop, a chance to get out of poverty, and for the State to deliver a much-delayed social justice program. The six-month extension that this Joint Resolution gives would in fact create a condition for landlords to preposition themselves to eventually evade CARP coverage.

Mr. Speaker,

I would have easily supported a Joint Resolution that merely extends the program by another six months and does not tinker with any of CARP’s provisions but the one before us is downright unacceptable.

As such Mr. Speaker, I vote NO to this Joint Resolution.

14 Ateneo professors: ‘RH bill adheres to Catholic teaching’

I do not know why my friends and fellow professors at the Ateneo did not solicit my signature in this statement, but I sure agree with them on this note. It shows that dissent — and the light of reason — exists even when the official statement and the statsus quo say just to follow the Catholic teaching, blindly if need be. — Danton Remoto

***

BY Carmela Fonbuena, abs-cbnNEWS.com/Newsbreak | 10/16/2008 4:45 PM

Fourteen faculty members of Catholic school Ateneo De Manila University are out to prove that not all Catholics agree with the Catholic Church’s opposition to the controversial reproductive health bill pending in the House of Representatives.

In a 16-page position paper full of quotes from Catholic Church teachings and scientific studies on health, population, and poverty, the faculty members expressed their strong support for House Bill 5043 because “we believe that the provisions of the bill adhere to core principles of the Catholic social teaching.”

The bill is controversial for promoting contraceptives and imposing sex education in schools starting in Grade 5. Catholic bishops have tagged the bill as “pro-abortion” and “anti-life.”

Although they are aware of the Church’s position, the faculty members said in the paper “our reason, informed by our faith, has led us to believe and say otherwise.” They argued that the bill is actually pro-life, pro-women, and pro-poor.

They argued that the HB 5043—by providing universal access to medically-safe, legal, affordable, and quality reproductive health services—will improve the country’ maternal and child health situation, prevent abortion, help poor families, and make the youth more responsible sexually.

“We ask our bishops and fellow Catholics not to block the passage of House Bill 5043…. To campaign against the bill is to deny our people, especially our women, many other benefits, such as maternal and child health and nutrition; promotion of breastfeeding; adolescent and youth health; reproductive health education; prevention and management of gynecological conditions; and provision of information and services addressing the reproductive health needs of marginalized sectors, among others,” the paper said.

Theology department, too

The faculty members came from various departments of Ateneo. One of them belongs to the Department of Theology. They stressed that they are only speaking for themselves and not for the University.

Their position paper came out after the results of Social Weather Station’s poll on public support for the reproductive health bill were released. It showed that 68 percent—7 in every 10 Filipinos—want a law on contraceptives.

The following are the signatories:
1. Marita Castro Guevara (Department of Interdisciplinary Studies)
2. Raymond Aguas (Department of Theology)
3. Liane Pena Alampay (Department of Psychology)
4. Fernando Aldaba (Department of Economics)
5. Remmon Barbaza (Department of Philosophy)
6. Manuel Dy Jr. (Department of Philosophy)
7. Elizabeth Uy Eviota (Department of Sociology-Anthropology)
8. Roberto Guevara (Department of Theology)
9. Anne Marie Karaos (Department of Sociology-Anthropology)
10. Michael Liberatore (Department of Theology)
11. Liza Lim (Department of Sociology-Anthropology)
12. Cristina Jayme Montiel (Deparment of Psychology)
13. Mary Racelis (Department of Sociology-Anthropology)
14. Agustin Martin Rodriguez (Department of Philosophy)

‘Pro-poor, pro-Life, pro-Women’

In saying that the “Scripture teaches us that God has a special concern for the poor and vulnerable,” the faculty members stress the provisions of the reproductive health bill that are “explicitly pro-poor.”

Section 11 of the proposed bill mandates congressional districts to acquire, operate, and maintain “a van to be known as the Mobile Health Care Services” to deliver reproductive health care services to the poor and needy.

The poor’s lack of access to health services is blamed for the poor maternal and child health situation in the Philippines.

· 10 women die every 24 hours from almost entirely preventable cases of related to pregnancy and childbirth.
· 6 out of 10 women deliver at home, where they rarely have access to a skilled birth attendant.
· 24 out of 1,000 babies under one year old die every year.

The paper also stressed the importance of planning the family. “There is no question that poverty in the Philippines is exacerbated by our rapid population growth,” the paper said.

It cited studies showing that women in the lowest quintile, who usually bear an average of six children, have at least two children more than their ideal number (3.5). They noted that the increase in family size also means a decrease in per capita income, a decrease in per capita savings, and a decrease in per capita expenditure on education and health.

This will be prevented if Filipinos are familiar with the family planning methods, they said. “The inability of women in the poorest quintile to achieve the number of children they want stems from their high unmet need for family planning,” the paper said.

It will also prevent abortion, they said.

Based on 2000 statistics, there were about half million recorded abortion cases—or 27 abortions per 1,000 women. According to the position paper, this is because “abortion has become a family planning method, in the absence of information on and access to any reliable means to prevent an unplanned and unwanted pregnancy.”

Earlier, 27 professors from the University of the Philippines economics department issued a statement, backed by research, supporting the reproductive health bill.

How to survive as a nouveau-poor: a mother’s guide

by Danton Remoto
http://www.abs-cbn.com/news

I wrote this piece in the mid-1980s – after returning Senator Benigno Aquino Jr. had been shot at the airport and before the People Power Revolution that swept his widow, Cory, into the presidency. I dug this up in the journal I kept during those turbulent times.

I am publishing this because I want to ask – have times really changed for our poor but beautiful country? It’s written from the point of view of a mother who is a public-school teacher. The mother is both the fulcrum and focus of the Filipino family, keeping it balanced, not teetering to despair, or to doom. It would have been easier for us in the Young Turks to just stay abroad after our studies there. I left twice to study and returned home twice to our country. I was not happy teaching Literature and Creative Writing to American college students. Jose Rizal said the world is so big, but there is only one home. And we all know where it is.

***

1. Every morning, repeat this line after waking: we’re better off than a million others. At least we have fried fish and tomatoes for breakfast. Then rise form bed, wash your face and mouth, proceed to pour vegetable oil into the frying pan. Usually during cool mornings, the lard would have congealed. Get a tablespoon, scoop the lard and let it rest on the bottom of the pan. Let the lard sputter and quiet down. Now the lard is hot and you can begin frying the tuyo (dried fish).

2. After frying the tuyo, flatten a head of garlic, throw into the pan, and then follow this with last night’s rice. Sprinkle salt to taste.

3. Wake up the only child, now a teenager having his share of rebellion. Tell him to wash up and then sit before the breakfast table. Fill him with rice enough to last until snack time, then give him his allowance of ten pesos per day.

4. Buy minced meat, not whole meat. Use the minced meat sparingly, just enough so your mung-bean stew would smell of meat. Buy a big bagful of mung bean, and let a bowl of it stand overnight in water. The bean sprouts could be cooked the next morning, mixed with garlic, onion, tomatoes, soy sauce and calamansi juice.

5. Look around in your workplace. Check what item was not yet being sold. In my elementary school, almost everything was already being sold: sweet meats of tocino and longganisa, clothes and decorative items of angels painted pink; insurance plans, funeral service and memorial-park lots. I sold Tupperware, like I did in the 1960s. It was like returning to an old love. My sales pitch: these lunchboxes would save you money in terms of cheaper, home-cooked food, in the short run, and hospitalization, in the long run: the canteen sells overpriced slabs of cholesterol.

These plastic glasses could contain calamansi juice you had squeezed right in your very kitchen. No Coke, no false orange flavors, no coffee, no tea: just pure, natural citrus good for bones (ours are beginning to ache from age and this horrible inflation) and teeth (the stronger the better, for the inflation rate would still go up before it went down, and we would need stronger teeth for the chattering to come).

6. On the way home, I would ask for cassava leaves from Mareng Mely who lived around the corner. She thought I would give them to the children in the neighborhood, to play with. They would break the stems into inch-long strips, the tough skin hanging on, and the strips of stem could be turned into instant necklaces, with the star-shaped leaves as pendant. But no, the cassava leaves could be simmered in coconut milk flavored with shrimp paste from Pangasinan. It reminded me of what my parents ate in World War II.

7. Bring home the nutribuns, those bread hard as rocks distributed to school children by the Nutrition Foundation under the sponsorship of the First Lady. Bring these rocks home, use a hammer to break them down into bits, soak them in a basin of water. When sufficiently soft, pour half a small can of Alaska condensed milk, then add sugar. Pour the mixture in your old pans, then steam. After 30 minutes, lift the lid (the steam blurring your very face), set the cans on a basin quarter-filled with water, to cool. Then put in the ref (heaven help us this 15-year-old ref would not break down, not now, Lord), and the morning after, serve as breakfast to your rebellious teenager, in case he has already gotten tired of having fried fish every morning.

8. Night. Draw a deep, deep sigh (a mother is a lifeline and the rope should not break). My husband was working thousands of miles away, in deepest, hottest Riyadh. The distance would spread between us like a desert. My heart would thud heavily in my chest. A stone of pain would fill my throat.

Then I would repeat numbers one to eight when morning comes through, again. I am a mother, and have no choice but to survive.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.