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An advisory on Cordillera food security 


Your most important priority is to send a Bulatlat team to this Cordillera province of yours and start gathering all of the surviving natural genetic or traditional genetic varieties of rice (and other crops as well) and try to preserve them in a kind of propagation heritage farm of several acres in size and whose purpose is to preserve the seeds for future generations. I know money is hard but remenber this, only natural varieties of your rice can be used not only as foodgrain and feedgrain but also as seedgrain.  Only natural varieties can be used indefinitely as a source of seeds after every harvest. But HYVs and GMOs cannot be used as seeds indefinitely, you have to buy them again and again because the harvested grain cannot be used as seeds.  Of what use are high yields if they cannot make you economically independent and assured of food security? What if something happens to the seed suppliers because of some kind of international disaster or crises that causes them to stop supplying you with seeds? The result is hunger and outright death by starvation and famine for most of your people.

Traditional varieties are lower in yields but cheaper to produce and is independent from any outside sources of agricultural imputs such as seed suppliers. Traditional genetic varieties allow the farmer himself or herself to become his or her own seed supplier. And he or she does not have to spend a single cent to spend on seeds. (Nov. 6, 2003)


The Filipino Mind - Sentimentality & Naivete

One of our strengths as a people is our capacity to emphatize. We Filipinos, just like other humans, form friendships with people of different nationalities and cultures as a result of immigration, travel or work or schooling. However, we unfortunately tend to confuse friendships between individuals and people, and "friendship or special relations" between our country and another, specifically as applied to the so-called "special relations" between the Philippines and the United States. This confusion is a continuously great and disastrous mistake for us as a nation or people. Because no truly independent and self-respecting country defines its socio-economic and political policies -domestic and foreign- on friendship. Its relations with other countries is based on its own national interests.

To apply, to hope and to expect a nation-to-nation relationship as one would expect between personal friends are pure sentimentality and naivete. We feel "utang na loob" (endless and servile gratitude) to the Americans for "granting" us an apparent independence; when all the while the roots and structures of colonialism or more precisely, of neocolonialism were established and embedded in the economic and military Agreements imposed on our country as preconditions to the granting of national independence. Throughout our "independent" post-WW2 years, these Agreements have greatly contributed to the deterioration of the national economy and therefrom continued poverty of the majority of the Filipinos. The first occasion for national economic bankruptcy almost came about within 5 years of "independence". These facts are difficult to appreciate because they are not obvious and overtly blatant [demonstrating the efficiency of neocolonialism]. However, the adverse effects to the Filipino people are the same.

American and Filipino politicians always talk about "US and Philippine Special Relations" most especially when July 4 approaches. Little that we know and appreciate that we are not that special to the USA as a country. Here are a few facts: 

After WW2, America completely rehabilitated Japan, its Asian enemy that smacked her hard in Pearl Harbor; while its ever-loving Filipinos, many of whom suffered or died during WW2 for America, were continuously gullible and forced to swallow the Parity Rights and Bases Agreements (among many others) just to get the equivalent of $500 each for war reparations; and the bulk of the reparations money actually went to the local American businesses, the ruling elite and their relatives and friends in the Philippine Congress/Senate. 

When, during the late1950's, President Carlos Garcia pushed for "Filipino First" and imposed foreign-exchange control to help native industrialization and minimize importation of luxury items, American foreign policy-makers helped Diosdado Macapagal defeat Garcia since Macapagal promised to remove the exchange control. 

When Marcos imposed martial law to perpetuate his presidency beyond the two-term limits of the Philippine Constitution, America disregarded the "showcase of democracy" in Asia and instead supported Marcos -because he promised to send Filipino troops to Vietnam and let her use the miliitary bases in bombing Vietnam. Filipino politicians continue to practice and show mendicacy by talking brave while having one eye- awaiting approval -at the United States.

No wonder other Asian countries do not respect the Philippines; no wonder American policy-makers do not respect us. Any thinking Filipino who has experienced being in America knows whether a fellow is honest or just bull____. Sadly, many Filipinos in the United States, the Philippines and elsewhere still have not learned that all the public relations, in the Philippine or American media, about the Filipinos/the Philippines as having "special relations" with the United States, as being special to America, to put it again in street lingo, is plain bullshit.

Truly independent countries and nationalistic leaderships primarily define their relationships with other nations only in terms of selfish, national interests, i.e. the common good and welfare of its own citizenry. If the national leadership or government does not pursue the common good of its people, it ought to be removed, either peacefully or forcibly. The government has to be of the people, by the people and for the people. We seem to have forgotten this fundamental fact - a community or society is formed to provide essential needs and welfare to its constituents. (Oct. 31, 2003)

Bert M. Drona

On Loren Legarda 

It obviously never occurred to the esteemed senator the huge conflict of interest she placed herself into for being a senator, product endorser and a television presenter. Perhaps a senator's' salary and perks were never enough for the privilege life that she was born into. With a very influential Legarda family on her mother side and the USA education she had after the marriage annulment of her parents, I was never surprise the ambitions of Senator Legarda. It might not occur to her that there are still people who know some details of the sordid family affairs that she and her sisters had.

It will surprise a lot of people and it can turn into a real life soap opera. (Oct. 13, 2003)


Eliminate the middlemen 

Why not those asinan owners organize together and sell their salt directly to the consumers? This way they can compete with import salt and get the most from their hard work. (Oct. 13, 2003)

"anak asin" 

About the spoils of war

I think that it is good reporting, but to get people to believe it is another story.  I used to work with Philips Magnavox until retirement in 1990.  A few years later Carlyle bought it up, then sold it to Hughes and then was sold to Raytheon.  Around 26 plants around Ft. Wayne in the 1980's,  now two plants are left with around 300 people vs. 8000+ in the 80's.  Very few people know this story and I am sure that there are a lot of things that I don't know either. 

I contend that we are headed for a one world government and the end to world in the not too distant future.  I am about 79, not worry about myself , but have children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren that I am greatly concerned about. 

I am glad that I found this website and hope to hear more from you.

Thanks. (Oct. 12, 2003)


Frederick L. Sprunger

Gawad Ka Amado

Nais ko lamang pong malaman kung saan makaka-download ng Entry Form para sa Gawad Ka Amado 2003 na na-feature sa inyong website kamakailan lamang.  Sayang at walang Entry Form sa inyong artikulo. 

Nahihirapan po akong makakuha ng orihinal na sipi nito sa kanilang upisina dahil narito po ako sa Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.  Kung makukuha ko po ito sa alin mang website, labis ko pong ipagpapasalamat kung maituturo ninyo sa akin ang tamang address. 

Nalalapit na po ang deadline (Oct. 24) kung kaya inaasahan ko po ang maaga ninyong kasagutan. (Oct. 7, 2003)

Salamat pong muli. 

Eduardo Carpena

Dumagats: A People's Struggle to be Free 

How do I can a hold of the documentary.. Please ask the producer/director to contact me thanks. (Oct. 6, 2003)

Philippine Action Group for the Environment (PAGE)

Plain and simple logic 

It is a very plain and simple logic. The roots of this high unemployment rate can be traced from the too much politicking of our Tongressmen and Senatongs. Instead of focusing to establish true peace and order thru tougher criminal laws, they are fighting each other in the Senate Chambers. Two, if 12.7 % is true and accurate, then, the DOLE secretary needs to be replaced immediately for the lousy job she's doing. We cannot continue further with this mess. Three, rampant government corruption in every level is driving investors away! The government must protect the business first. Without the business, there is no employee. Reform the labor laws, there's too much confusion and chaos. During the arbitration in NLRC, ang madalas manalo eh yung arbiter na nakakuha na ng pera sa businessman, yung mga union leaders na nalagyan na rin. (Sept. 25, 2003)

Jojo Al Malvar, PhD. Crim Justice. California

Request for reprints 

I admire the courage and perspective of your online publication. I read your mission statement and a few of your stories and already I salute you people for putting out a website that has the potential of enlightening millions of overseas Filipinos who thirst not only for news but for education about important issues that matter to their homeland.

It is so easy for overseas Filipinos to be apathetic or cynical when it comes to the future of their home country because they are often misinformed or brainwashed by the Philippine media. But not anymore because of the Internet and groups like you who dare to expose truth and bravely take a stand for the sake of justice.

I publish and edit a Filipino community newspaper in Toronto, Canada. My paper has been around since 1984 and we serve a community of about 150,000 in the province of Ontario. Our circulation though is still small, 7,000 copies, but we have a wide pass-on readership. I would appreciate it if you will allow us to reprint some of your stories in our paper. I imagine our readers would benefit greatly from your incisive articles and your paper's perspective. I would of course give credit to as the source of those stories.

Hoping for your immediate response. ( Sept. 24, 2003)


Hermie Garcia
The Philippine Reporter

Journalist in prison

Congratulations on this excellent piece (Commentary: Unionism as a Deterrent to Violence vs Media) !  I will circulate it among contacts here.

By the way, are there writers and journalists in prison today? Please give me their names and facts about their imprisonment. I can help--I am a member of the National Writers Union, a big national organization here, and also other groups. We need to publicize their cases around the world. (Sept. 23, 2003)



On media killings

 Alarming! But WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT? (Sept. 16, 2003)

Jackson Agaldang

Alternative reporting

Thank you so much for the news and feature updates. At least, I get alternative reporting of current events. It complements what I read from broadsheets mainly the PDI. I hope to be able to find time to share some views about the important issues in our midst. (Sept. 9, 2003)

Salamat po and more power!   

Malou Santigao

"Very informative"

The article about Roundup herbicide  would be very informative IF SOME REFERENCES WERE GIVEN. (Sept. 4, 2003) 

Stephen Sassman

Analytical Chemist

Purdue University, Department of Agronomy

Crop Soil and Environmental Sciences

915 W. State Street, Lilly Hall

West Lafayette, IN  47907-2054

Phone:    (765) 471-9135


Every now and then, I find some articles that I thought my congregation here would like to read or should read.  Is it possible then to reproduce these articles for insertion in the Sunday pew sheets that we distribute in church? Bulatlat will, of course be acknowledged and the pew sheets are free of charge. (August 30, 2003)


Fr. Dwight Q. dela Torre
Iglesia Filipina Independiente
(Philippine Independent Church)
Hong Kong

WTO and the youth

Greetings from the ASA!

We are very much grateful with the articles and continued update you post regarding the WTO and the impacts it has on people's livelihood and lives.

On our part, being one of the biggest sectors in the world, the youth and students are deeply affected by the continuous trends and schemes of globalization being implemented by the WTO and local governments.

It is funny how youth organizations are being used by these multilateral agencies to show the "good side" of imperialist globalization, stating it (globalization) blurs peoples' culture. And yes it does, from our perspective, blurring the rights of people to livelihood, to ownership of lands, rights and social services that are meant to be provided to them by their respective states. It blurs the rights of indigenous peoples to ancestral lands, self-determination and freedom. It redirects many of our social services to privatization and further corporatization.

Education, particularly higher education (to many post-secondary or tertiary), is beleaguered by schemes and agreements like the General Agreement on Trade in Services. Many educational institutions have been devastated by money-driven policies of the government. The WTO would even have the gull to call students "consumers" in UNESCO Meetings.

In this regard, we would like to inform you and all our colleagues that the Asian Students Association, together with national student organizations under its wing, shall hold a region-wide campaign against imperialist globalization. We call it Youthrage 2: Asia-Pacific Wide Days of Action against Imperialist Globalization and War. It is slated to happen between the 12th and 15th of September to coincide with the days of action announced by organizations like the International Union of Students, ANSWER and the International League of Peoples' Struggles.

We are currently on a massive information drive as well as research in order to keep up with our members and counterparts to make ready the grounds for a huge protest that we hope to deliver together with other people's organizations all over Asia and the world.

Bulatlat, like Malaysiakini of Malaysia and other independent media institutions, is an important avenue for us to deliver our analyses and courses of action regarding globalization and other issues concerning the students, the youths and the peoples.

We look forward to having a strong network of media organizations, youth and people's organizations working towards a more critical, mass-oriented and just culture and society.

Long live press freedom! Long live the peoples' struggle! Long live international solidarity! (August 28, 2003)

In the service of the students and the people, I remain

Sincerely yours,
For the Regional Secretariat

Rey Perez Asis


Asian Students Association (ASA)

Room B, 2/F., Wang Cheong Commercial Bldg.,

249-253 Reclamation Street, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR

Tel no.: (852) 23880515; Fax no.: (852) 27825535


On Danding’s workers

Just wanted to say that the article above was well-done and spot on in bringing corporate greed to our attention.   

Can you please send this congratulatory note to its writer – Dabet Castañeda.  Tell her that she has done us proud! (August 27, 2003) 

Best regards,  

Sydney, Australia

On Cojuanco's SMC

I'm not about to dispute the validity of your claims.  I know nothing of them. This company sounds like capitalism on steroids to this Yankee. Your article sounds like "venting of anger".  If you want to sway public opinion, hit your opponent where he has no defense and has to agree with your claims. Document what he has done and how he has benefited from the expense of his laborers.  

I am going to offer a suggestion as to the style of writing.  If you wish to sway the general populace, especially those with education (and thus power) you must substantiate your claims.  For example:  If SMC is mistreating its employees, then substantiate the claim with statistics. For example: Total payroll expenses or labor, year 19xx; versus total payroll for labor 2002, compared to profit 19xx versus 2002.  You need to show that management is profiting at the expense of labor.  Payroll % to profit year 19xx to 2002, provide your readers with hard numbers that cannot be disputed.   Voicing your opinion and grievances, without documentation and substantiation is only minor nuisance to large corporations.  If you want to be a real pain in their @$%<#@ , support your argument with numbers that they cannot dispute.  Become a stockholder and have all the data you want to fight them with. 

I am only suggesting that you play this game to win!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Choose your audience.  Can the down-trodden help themselves when they are worried about their next meal?  Sway those who can make a difference socially.  Truly bad press destroys companies of any size.  Target  their customers and stockholders.  

Good luck with your attack against the greedy $&^^(&#.  I truly wish you well, and admire your will to improve the position of the down trodden. I have been in their shoes too.  (August 25, 2003) 


'Institutional Euthanasia'

I agree with most of the observations, comments and analysis of Capt. Vizmanos (ret.).  This cancer has been there before I was born inside the camp of PMA. I saw a small part of the corruption and unfair treatment in the camp before and I used these as my theme for two winning speeches delivered by my sister and brother for a regional oratorical contest.  

Through these speeches, I spoke of or even exposed in metaphor, what was happening in the military.  I am a daughter of a retired soldier and I have been a witness to many corrupt and unfair practices not only in the military but in the government long before coups became the mode for expressing grievances and exposing anomalies. 

Like the real physiological cancer, this cancer is hard to stop.  It does not have any cure and the country is in pain. So, a logical solution might be an "institutional euthanasia." (August 23, 2003) 


Least understood sector

Indigenous peoples may be the least understood sector of our society. The trouble with our Philippine society today is that, if one doesn't make noise, he/she goes unnoticed, worst, marginalized just like the indigenous peoples. 

There's so much work to do for the rights of the indigenous peoples.  If many have worked for the rights of the children and women, as I had, and succeeded, then, at least the same must be accorded to the indigenous peoples. 

Bulatlat may want to regularly input articles or news about this sector. This is the sector that is often displaced unjustly by large-scale infrastructure projects like power projects and highways. 

Many violations of the IPRA or the indigenous peoples rights act of 1997 have been made and will still be made if we don't consciously put them in our priority either in advocacy and programs. (August 23, 2003) 


Exorbitant placement fees

Since the government is also being benefited by the overseas workers remittances, why then can't the government help in lowering the exorbitant fees being charged by placement agencies? Isn't it about time that it does something great for its "modern day heroes?' How come the government has no "say" on this matter? it cannot even protect its own. (August 22, 2003) 

Coi Dela Torre

Payatas boy Jomer

Your article on the 12-year-old Payatas boy Jomer and his dream has touched me deeply.  I would like to a small part of the realization of his dream. Could you furnish me a way of getting in touch with him? (August 16, 2003) 

Faculty Member

P.S.: Could you have an option where a printer-friendly version is available? I have an outdated Epson dot matrix and I have to copy-and-paste your articles onto Word before I can print properly. 


Ang Istorya ni Maryo at Nanay Ising

Mawawalan ng saysay ang balitang 'to kung walang aksyong magaganap bilang isang tulong sa dalawang ibinalita....Sana'y magawan ng aksyon agad, mabilis na aksyon!!! Sa mga tulad ng mga anak ni Mang maryo, hindi po ba pwedeng makarating sa ahensya ng ating pamahalaan, tulad ng DSWD, ang sa tamang pangangalaga ng kaniyang mga anak? (August 13, 2003)  


Wondrous world, indeed

Nice Caloy. Am the driver. The car has found its peace already and am back in my bike. It's a wonderful countryside indeed. Hidden in its beauty though are poor fisherfolk, hungry children, not so healthy women and a deteriorating coastal and marine environment. (August 12, 2003)  

BenCy Ellorin

Fascinating photos

I am fascinated by the photos. If I am from GenSan, would you know how can I get to those places? Tell your friend if he would consider his vintage gallant. A can be of help. (August 11, 2003) 

hamboy anakpawis

Wondrous World

WOW! The pictures are breathtaking! Seeing the pics has taken a lot of load off my mind. How I wish I can take a break now and go to those places! It does not matter whether I have to walk, take a bus or hitch ride just to get there. You are luckier since you have a car even though it is two decades old.  Hope you will have more photo essays in this website.  (August 11, 2003) 

Suga D. 

On Coup Virus

I must congratulate Johnny Mercado's piece on the coup--it hits the mark, any which way you look at it. As one black-listed journalist who sought political asylum in the U.S. immediately before martial law, I am touched by the piece for indeed it would seem that "democracy grows from the barrel of a gun" in this country. Most of all, I admire the data gathered and presented and true "pagbulatlat." Johnny has done it again but then I have always been his fan from the old days. 

Hi to Johnny from Carol now holed up in Tacloban. (August 10, 2003) 

Rollie (Carolina) Montilla

Impeach Reyes and Arroyo!

The actions of party list Bayan Muna and Bayan is right! I agree on the call for resignation of Defense Secretary Angelo Reyes and much for President Arroyo for being useless and desperate to catch the attention of the Imperial US. Moreover, they will likely to be impeached for they are not responding to the revolutionary interests of the people. (August 9, 2003) 

Jaber Akmad 

CIA terrorism.... its true

Ka Roger's opinion is not an opinion but a truth that CIAs are doing the bombing here in Southeast Asia. 


About 4-5 months ago, an American staying in Evergreen Hotel here in Uyanguren Street, Davao City accidentally detonated a bomb intended to bomb Davao City. The news appeared for just a day in the local media... then nothing was heard of it. The injured American was brought to the hospital.... but before the news and investigation could fully take off a group of Americans picked up the guy at dawn. This group used a private jet to carry the guy directly to the US or anywhere, without passing Manila. Bombings could have taken place earlier in Davao City, but it was delayed a little bit because of this first casualty... 

So chaos in Southeast Asia will continue.... because of the CIA!....Peace will never be achieved by local effort.... and UN should have to investigate this! (August 8, 2003) 

A concerned citizen from Davao City



I appreciate your direct opinion expressed in your article.  Wish you continue disseminating your information to us all Filipinos. I commend you for this.  Honasan and other putschists should air their grievances to the media, and other avenues and to get the peoples majority to support them, if it is reasonable. (August 5, 2003) 

Fernando P. De Arce

Attack on indigenous communities

Indigenous life is cheap in the Philippines just like black life was cheap in apartheid South Africa. The president sleeps peacefully with the blood of innocent Aeta children on her hands while the church attacks abortion but together with the rest of the world remains silent on the killing of as yet unborn indigenous children. It is time for the struggle of the indigenous peoples to be screamed at the world - for the rights of children to be able to play peacefully in their homes to be heard and defended - for the rights of those who have come before us and the lessons and values that they continue to teach us to be defended in the spirit of keeping our culture alive. 

Filipino journalists have an added challenge to expose these atrocities to the world at large while the ngo community continues to build solidarity (not for more reports to be written on how our ancestors lived and now suffer), but for action to be taken against a government and a president who has no respect for where she has come from or where she is taking our people to. (August 5, 2003) 

Zaide Harneker

On Makati siege

Your article is factual, I believe.  Thanks. 

I admire Captain Trillanes and the rest of the rebels (maybe, they are even radicals as "radicals” strike the "roots" of problems - that is, corruption in the military and the government.).  I wish that there would be more of them, principled and courageous. 

How it was written is simply elegant and easily understood.  The key points were there - the drama in Makati, the soldiers' charges, key players, etc.  (July 30, 2003) 

Ines Basaen

Phosphate Mines

I am in complete agreement with the article.

I live in West Central Florida, where many phosphate mines produce the chemical fertilizers sold worldwide. 

Having been involved in archaeology and paleontology and the pursuit of fossils on these mining sites called "Bone Valley," I have seen the degradation and read of the adverse effects on the land and animals.

One article, from the Tampa Tribune, Feb. 16, 1984; "Fluoride-tainted pasture grass may harm cattle", notes the U.S. EPA found; "When the ore is processed  into fertilizer, as much as 85 percent of the fluoride may end up in waste gypsum piles...Those piles and other cooling ponds, ditches and smoke stacks are the major sources of the fluoride being detected in grasses."  "A mule breeder had experienced high rates of abortions in mares and deformed young.  A cattle rancher's herd was diagnosed as having fluorosis."

"The Geology of Florida", 1997, University Press of Florida, page 143 notes:

"In addition to uranium, fluorine  is an economic byproduct of phosphoric-acid production.  The fluorine from the rock reacts with silica to form SiF4 gas.  During acid production this gas is recovered as fluorosilicic acid (H2SiF6) in wet scrubbers that are part of the environmental-protection equipment.  Fluorosilicic acid is widely used in the preparation of chemical compounds and in the treatment of public drinking water." 

The U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services, "Toxicological Profile for Fluorides, Hydrogen Fluoride and Fluorine (F), 1993, notes that we are exposed to these chemicals from fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, food processing, etc.

The uranium decay series runs from radium, radon, down into three isotopes of lead, and the U.S. Center for Disease Control received the analysis of fluorosilicic acid showing uranium at <3 ppm and radium 226-228 at a lesser level.

There is little wonder so many virus and bacteria are mutating, causing new diseases, especially since one of the most touted antibiotics is Cipro (Ciprofloxacin) one of some 30 fluoroquinolones used extensively. (July 30, 2003) 

Anita Knight

South Korea migrant workers

Very informative. 

Unfortunately, this situation does not exist in South Korea alone. It seems more countries with migrant workers tend to abuse the situation. 

Emphasis should be made to improve and correct the migrant issue in the first place. (I know, easier said than done.) (July 25, 2003) 

"Nicanor C. Santos de Dios" 

Nice work

Dear Bulatlat,

Hope you can still remember me, I’m the avid reader/ visitor of your site. And I do really appreciate the work of your writers. Just keep up the good work and more power to Bulatlat. (July 24, 2003) 


What is USA's Secret

QUESTION:  What has made the USA become a super power in only 227 years? Many of the world's countries are centuries old and yet many of those century-old countries are third-world, poor and impoverished.  What does the USA have and much of the world does not?  Could it be freedoms and democracy that interest the world's peoples to immigrate to the USA in cargo ships, rowboats, railroad cars and even by foot?   

What is the USA's secret?

Jealous?? (July 22, 2003) 


What is a Filipino?

You sound so anti-administration, so anti-American.  So what are the solutions that you could offer to the Filipino people?  It is a fact that our "government" since it began after World War II was seeded with corruption and greed.  Our 'clanish' nature, 'kababayan muna' attitude leads us to protect and provide for 'our own'  first. Even to the point of 'arranging' the circumstances. 

Is there an upright Filipino left?  Is there an honest one left?  Is there one, upright, honest leader that made it on the political stage and remained an upright and honest individual?  It is like standing in front of a mighty ocean and confronting the waves.  Bribery and corruption will not be easily removed in a society like ours. (July 19, 2003) 

Oliver Kilayko


This is the first time I have seen this obvious fact stated so plainly. Somehow the "O" word seems to be verboten in the US. 

I'm definitely bookmarking your site. 

Thanks! (July 8 2003) 

Fred Dorn

Brilliantly conceived


Re: History's Memory, Literature's Memory - Including Ourselves in History

This was very helpful to me, I thought it was brilliantly conceived and written very well.  I saw a number of print errors that I which report if you are interested.  I worked as an editor during my last degree.  I think that you have beautiful ideas, but that some polish would do a lot.  Thank you for your reporting. (July 8 2003) 

In gratitude, a Canadian,


Resourceful and informative


Hi! It’s my pleasure to have those articles you've sent to me...It was very resourceful & informative...It really helps me a lot & I'm hoping to have this regularly. 

Well, all I can say is that may all of your staff have more strength to keep on their job & to continue your public service in helping the Filipino people to know what is really the truth & to whom they will believe in.

I'm happy & proud to be part of this business...thanks a lot & more power to all...

Everyone of you is our hero...keep up the good work... (July 4, 2003)


PhilHealth anomalies

I would like to request your good office to investigate the anomalies hounding the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), including the hiring of contractors to perform the jobs that are supposed to be held by regular employees. 

Since its creation 8 years ago, PhilHealth has not yet institutionalized its hiring of employees. In every region, there are around 130 workers of Philhealth. But only 20 or so are regular employees and the rest are contractors. These contractors have no security of tenure. But what is bad in PhilHealth is that they promise these contractors of continuing there contract but only to find out, they'll end up working for just 6 months. The notice of termination is sent a week after the actual date of termination. This is detrimental to those who could not prepare or look for alternative jobs after the termination of contract at PhilHealth. 

Please investigate this matter so that Philhealth will at least learn and do something to improve its service. The office is in the five earning corporations of the country but has no regular employees. In region 8 alone, its service offices are manned by job-order workers!

And the regional office has 20 regular employees and more than 80 JO's. This is a good story to take up. (July 3, 2003)


Gulftown Radio

The first time I heard your web site natawa ako but anyway, I really appreciate your site. And I wish that you will be able to have a Tagalog or Bisaya news. I’m a newscaster from our station Gulftown Radio 105.5 FM Lupon Davao Oriental and we air some news in the Bisaya or Tagalog languange. And also sana you will be able to have a daily news. 

Thank you and more power to Bulatlat. (July 3, 2003) 

Gulftown radio 105.5 FM


Only source of truth

I look forward to receiving relevant mail from the only source that bothers to show the truth - it will save me all the time spent reading fickle news items on the websites of the newspapers. (June 21, 2003) 

"Zaide Harneker"

Unelected President

The Philippine's unelected president flew into Washington and performed the colonial "suck up and shake down" act on her unelected Imperial American counterpart last week. (See her interview in Newsweek Magazine, June 2) Her conflation of Iraq with al Queda with Sept. 11, 2001 and with the kidnapping thugs Abu Sayef in order to hit the Bush Administration up for more financial and military support exceeded all her predecessors in shameless toadyism. Despite the horrible deaths and wounding of thousands of precious Iraqi people and their tragic loss  of national sovereignty, despite the growing threat of unprovoked US attacks on other sovereign nations in Asia, GMA persists in her lies and offers no proof to her contentions that Iraq committed any acts of terror against the United States, against the Philippines or against any other member of the "Coalition of the Willing" ( the "COW's" ). Even the shameless Phoney-Tony Blair makes a show of embarrassment over the lack of WMD's. Like Bush, her policies have meant economic and social instability for the masses of people. Her contempt for the truth matches her contempt for the brave, principled Filipino people , the vast majority of whom opposed the US invasion of Iraq. When she has served her purpose and since she has no mass support and no electoral mandate -- the US will discard her like a 'used condom' ( to quote a veteran activist). There are plenty of flunkeys waiting to take her place in the Philippine neo-colonial ‘Hall of Shame’.

Bobby's article was 'dead on'! (June 19, 2003)

Robin Eastman-Abaya


Thanks for the article Monsanto Unmasked. It was yet another crucial piece of information I knew I needed but hadn't the time to get to in and amidst all which is going on in this world. You have helped me tremendously with this succinct overview of Monsanto. 

I have posted the article on my website: on the news and information page:  (June 18, 2003) 

Adam Roufberg
Concerned Physicist
Publisher, Editor, webmaster


Prisoner of war

Maganda sa pandinig at sa mata na makabasa ng ganitong artikulo... na may sundalo na nakita ang tunay na layunin ng mga NPA... at ang mga kamalian na nagaganap sa Pilipinas ngayon... maganda rin at nailathala ang artikulo na ito para makita ng mga tao ang tunay na kulay ng NPA, na para sa masa talaga... (June 17, 2003)

Francis Verdote

SOS for Beng

Dear Editors,

I have read the article Beng Hernandez in your vol3 number11 issue. As you can see, the case that we filed against her perpetrators are pending due to the dispute of where to hold the case. Rightfully, it should be done in Region 12, where she was killed. But naturally, my family (Beng is my eldest sister, I am the 2nd to her) fears for their lives should we have to be there, which is the territory of her killers. Anyway, whichever venue will suffice for as long as the case shall start.

In this view, I am asking your support and assistance, if you could provide any, to "remind" DOJ secretary to put his nose on the case, and for Senate committee chair for justice Kiko Pangilinan.

Please help in my sister Beng's name, for her justice, and as well as the other people who suffered the similar fate. Please help me. (June 16, 2003)

Megace Hernandez

Sympathy for fisherfolk

The experiences of the fisherfolk of Tep-peng, Sinait is not far from the local fisherfolk down here in Southern Mindanao. I live in a coastal town of Maitum, Sarangani Province, where I have seen the living conditions of the local fisherfolk down here. Though they live by the bounty of the sea, they are suffering from the bad waves of the vast sea of life. 

Among the many reasons that contribute to the exploitation of these fisherfolk are due to micro-capitalists that lingers around town.  

The pitied folks burn their skins in the high seas, face the threats of nature, and sometimes if luck is really hard on them - they are caught by Indonesian Government for poaching. 

Amidst these threats and hard labor, still their family are getting only the smallest bounty of the sea.  

It is not enough to sympathize to what our fisherfolk are doing, but we must also take a closer look into their plights. They too are laborers who belong to the economic backbone of our country, yet they are not getting mush attention and protection from the government. 

Let us not only focus to the plights of the workers in the urban industrial sites but also to the thousands of hardly exploited workers in the countryside. 

Hope that the article about the fisherfolk of Sinait would get attention from our leaders of all sides, anyway they too are gobbling the bounties that these fisherfolk are betting from the seas.... (June 15, 2003)

John Marshall Martos

Begging for obsolete war gadgets

I pity those kids... 

The government should find more access of fund for education instead of begging for obsolete war gadgets!

Instead that those kids learn how to appreciate the beauty of what our politicians called "democracy" they

learn how hard the life is under what we call "democracy" where all people gets a fir share from the services of the government. (June 15, 2003)

John Marshall Martos

Too short

Your article (on Davao terrorism) is very interesting but I find it too short.  I would like to know where I could find more information about it.   

Actually, I'm a French student on Philippines studies and I would like to do my first year PhD on the socio-ecenomic problems of Mindanao. I did my MA on EDSA DOS and I would like to THANK YOU VERY MUCH for all the informations and analysis you provide in your website.  (June 15, 2003)

Jean Philippe Busson

Progressive scientists

Thanks for the article on progressive activists scientists at UP. 

Advances in science and technology are monopolized by the imperialist powers for very significant reasons - that is why the first targets for destruction in Iraq after the fall of Baghdad were the research institutes and the universities followed by the mad scramble to capture and 'neutralize' Iraqi scientists. One of the first pronouncements of the colonial/occupation administrators was to forbid academics and scientists with Baath Party ties from ever being able to work.  That has effectively crippled the universities, agricultural and petroleum research centers and medical schools. 

And other countries with scientific research capacity are at risk:  Cuba's fine biomedical research centers have been cited by the Bush administration as 'proof' that the Cuban has capacity to develop biological weapons.  Imagine - Cuba with the finest educational system and health system in Latin America and the Caribbean and which serves not only all the Cuban people but also trains thousands of health workers and scientists from poor countries in Africa and Latin America is a target for US preemptive destruction precisely because of its scientific advances serving the needs of humanity.  Iran, which now has the largest, best educated generation in its history is being targeted. 

Computers and high tech gadgets are merely fluff that a scientifically ignorant and corrupt client like GMA would claim proves the Philippines has any capacity in science and technology.  Without major government support for the sciences and for research - the Philippines will never achieve real independence and will never be able to use its wealth and human resources to serve the real needs of its people. (June 14, 2003) 


Interesting and well documented article on Davao Terorrism

I'm just providing feedback on the article on Davao City's Descent into Madness: Davao Children Terrorized in Gov't Raid. 

It's well written, informative and well documented. It's very useful for our organisation, Save the Children, which is trying to highlight the plight of street children in Davao and lobby again abuses by the authorities. 

Keep up the good work! (June 10, 2003)

Best wishes

Kate O'Malley
Journalist/ Editor
Publications Unit
Save the Children


Agrarian reform doomed

Thank you very much for giving us space to air issues of farmers through This is a very much valued help, as the government uses all means to block farmers' issues in the mainstream media.  

Obet Pagdanganan, we believe has already done deals with the Negros political figures and landlords, whom would oil his campaign machinery in 2004 and that of the ruling party. He is just buying time because in December, he would resign to resume his electoral campaign.  

To date, 5 hunger strikers have been rushed to hospital for extreme vomiting and headaches.  

Again, thank you. We would keep you posted.  (June 8, 2003)

In behalf of farmers,  

Rorie R. Fajardo
TFM national 

Wonderful article about mothers

 We have placed a link to your web page on the article 'Mothers of Courage.' Thank you for such a wonderful article on the strong Filipino women. (June 6, 2003) 

Perla Paredes Daly
Founder/Site Director, BagongPinay
President, NewFilipina, Inc.


Bush lied. 

It seems amazing that more Americans have not gotten the wake up call on this.  OUR GOVERNMENT HAS CONSISENTLY LIED TO US ABOUT IRAQ, TAXES, EDUCATION and I could probably list 100 other things they have lied to us about.  I know all politicians lie.  I'm not naive.  What's important to me is what are they lying about?  Did he fib about having guests stay in the Lincoln bedroom or did he lie about the reasons we must go to war when we haven't been attacked?  Our current government is going to drive away all of our allies and bankrupt the country.  It's nice to be allies with smaller countries, but they don't have what we need, which is a strong military and money.  It seems ridiculous to be treating France, Germany, and others like we are because they disagreed about the war.  It actually looks like they thought about the consequences first and then decided against it.  The Bush administration shoots first and asks questions and thinks of consequences later.  I am very interested in politics and have followed various news and internet sites closely, especially during the war.  It's amazing that most of the truth in the media seems to be on the internet, not the mass media.  Now that the war is over, the mass media is not getting good ratings.  Now they are willing to look at the war as a possible scandal and question how it all happened.  Where in the hell were they before?  The mass media is interested now because scandals get ratings, just like wars get ratings.  You cannot trust mass media to educate the public on such important matters.  I read much of the lies you mentioned on your site and on other sites as well.  Thank goodness someone has the courage to address these issues.  On a side note, I thought it was funny that people from Eric Rudolph's (alleged Olympic Park bomber, abortion clinic bomber, etc.) area in North Carolina said they would have helped him when he was on the run from police for five years.  Some stated that, "He was doing what he thought was right." and they supported him.  Aren't these the same people willing to send our military into harm's way to get rid of a supposed terroristic dictator in another country?  Yet, they would support a domestic terrorist killing their own people.  This is why my husband and I want to move to Canada.  We just don't understand how people can think this way.  That doesn't count all the personal attacks on those who disagreed with the war in Iraq.  These insults continue even after its been shown the U.S. government lied and misrepresented facts at every turn.  I'm not sure there's any hope for America anymore. (June 3, 2003)

"Nancy Imlay" 

IRRI response

Thank you for the opportunity to respond to the recent article on BB rice, Golden Rice and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), especially as the author Mr Alexander Martin Remollino made no effort to contact IRRI to seek comments on his article in the interests of accuracy and balance. 

If Mr. Remollino had attempted to contact IRRI he would have found that we have acknowledge (sic) already that the initial benefits and achievements of the Green Revolution were mitigated to an extent by the overuse of pesticides.  But as he points out himself this was more than 30 years ago in the 1970s and since then rice farmers in central Luzon - for whatever reasons - have been using less pesticides.  This is a fact confirmed by a detailed survey of farmer practices conducted by PhilRice and IRRI.  In response the article mentions only the opinions of two KMP officials that seemingly agree with the survey's results while - at the same time - appear to suggest that such a reduction trend should still be considered bad. 

Finally, the article trys (sic) to once again revive the hackneyed claim that IRRI actively promotes genetically modified rice, completely ignoring the fact that some of the Institute's most important and influential donors are the same European nations that have expressed concerns over this technology.  Once again for the record, IRRI's role in this area is as an objective evaluator and it has never claimed that biotechnology could solve world hunger.  On the contrary, it has joined with other groups to publicly express concern over such claims, especially in relation to Golden Rice and its alleged potential to be a silver bullet for the problem of Vitamin A deficiency in the developing world.  IRRI does not believe this and has said so repeatedly. However, the Institute does believe that Golden Rice could provide a promising new strategy in the war on Vitamin A deficiency once it has been proved to be comprehensively safe for humans and the environment.   

Thank you for the opportunity to clarify these points. (June 3, 2003) 

Duncan Macintosh
Information Office, IRRI
"Hanoi Hotel" <>

On Lino Brocka

Lino Brocka was a good friend and artistic inspiration in the 1980s. Your short essay on his life is both well written and moving, but way on earth do you leave out the fact that he was GAY. This is 2003 and young Filipino gay people need as many serious minded, positive role models as they can find.

Shouldn't this be a primary concern for all concerned artists ? (June 3, 2003)


Jonathan Best 

Comparative charts of minimum wages

Your writings are very enlightening and informative. However, your charts comparatively showing the yearly minimum wages only indicate your source as the "DOLE." This is not very reassuring. I hope you can be more specific by citing the applicable wage orders of the Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Boards. 

I am in need of the source of your minimum wages for the years 1998 to 2002. (May 21, 2003)

Thank you very much in advance. 

Teodorico N. Pangilinan

Comment from Embassy of Cuba

After reading the paper of Paul Quintos which I found very enlightening I am sending you a recent declaration of the The National Council of the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba.  (May 19, 2003)

With best regards,

Ramon A. Medina 
Ambassador of Cuba

Real thugs

I have just finished reading Gracia Burnham's book and there are many things that point out to plain incompetent leadership in the AFP and evidence of collusion.... However, to term Israeli as a fascist state and Ariel Sharon a thug is way out of line. Israel remains the only true democracy in the Middle East, alone among a sea of Arab-Muslim autocrats.  True, Ariel Sharon's policies are oppressive toward the Palestinians but you or I would do the same if we were in the shoes of the Jews...The real thugs are the Abu Sayyaf. What freedom in Mindanao are they fighting for?  A so-called "freedom" of a fundamentalist-based religion that would give them good reason to oppress non-muslims? Theocracy went out after the medieval ages and there you are trying to justify it....  Wake up! (May 18, 2003)

Gerardo B. Reynaldo


Paul Quintos' articles are certainly thought provoking and informative.  I have saved the 2nd and 3rd parts of the series on my hard drive, but can't access the 1st part. The following URL is where it's supposed to be.  Please advise how I can get the "Pax Americana" article. (May 16, 2003)

Thank you,

--Jim Fox
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Very Proud

Warmest greetings! 

A million thanks from the bottom of my heart! I'm very proud of all of you in continuing this kind of job!  It was really very helpful to everyone who needs to know what the truth really is...

Once again thank you & more power! (May 13, 2003)

With great appreciation, 


Lesson from Ka Eden and Ka Eddie


Okay. Eden Marcellana and Eddie Gumanoy were killed. But that's not the end of my story. Tears were offered by my eyes.  I mourn their unexpected heinous death. Grief clouded my visions. But that's only for a while.


I will miss them.  Their militant voice over the megaphone.  Their unsurpassed love for the oppressed and disheartened.  The unequalled times I happily shared with them. But that also will not give any space for a feeling of uncertainty in my mind.


I will continue the fight.  Even if I know that my life is at stake. Their life taught me a lesson.  A lesson that I will treasure as I take the path to the hills and mountains. (April 25, 2003)


(Name withheld upon request)
Ocampo, Camarines Sur

Spoils of War


This is one of the most concise articles I have read and what the media would never touch or put in perspective.  I am active on the IRC in political discussions (coolchat #news_garden) and many of these points are brought up, but the public doesn't see, care, or understand.   I enjoyed it greatly. (April 19, 2003)



Dangerous assumption on pesticides




I have been disabled through exposure to pesticides.  That was back in 1979 but also back in 1960 I was exposed to toxic pesticides that were more than likely the ones later taken off the market.  I know what you are saying is true and vital information.  How can we stop its use?   People assume safety because it is marketed or it would not be marketed if it was dangerous.  Dangerous assumption.


The bugs are much safer in terms of illness and just killing them with soap and water and stepping on them than all the pesticide use we have now.  We have ants two weeks to three weeks a year... soap and water and wait until next year.  Others use heavy pesticides and there is no need for that for ants. 




Pattie Sullivan

Brave and bold


There are so few news reports that focus on the real problem of the health of society - blind acceptance of chemicals and pesticides pushed on us by powerful industries.  Thanks for your brave and bold article and I look forward to reading more like this! (April 14, 2003)


Norie Fukuda

Chemicals and Pesticides in the Food Supply


I want to know why someone doesn't do something about it. (April 13, 2003)


Eileen Orr

Chemicals do not cause SARS


I am just calling the attention to the people at for this minor mistake. I was quite disturbed when I read the title of that article by Karl G. Ombion and Edgar A. Cadagat which read "Pesticides and Chemicals cause SARS, Asia-Pacific Experts say".


It is a minor error but I think it is worth calling your attention. SARS is not caused by any ingestion of any chemical or pesticides for that matter, but in fact is an infection of a new strain of corona virus previously thought to cause pneumonia and pneumonia-like symptoms in humans. The role that chemicals have in this picture is their alleged influence in the mutation of this new strain, and the consequential weakening of the host's resistance and immunity toward these agents, as mentioned in the article. It would be wise therefore to attribute the role of these chemicals (agricultural and industrial) as not the cause of SARS but a factor that had the possibility of widening the spread of the ailment.


I applaud the site for its timely reports on issues that really matter; issues that we ourselves as Filipinos are experiencing first hand. I am even more delighted that this new scare has not been offset by the overcoverage of the war in Iraq, when in fact, we are in a position to be directly affected by this new epidemic if ever this is not controlled and information is not disseminated well.


Daghang salamat. Serve the people! (April 9, 2003)


"justin jaason bourne"

Archaeologists’ warning


I found Sandy English's article about the destruction and thievery of Ancient Iraqi material very interesting and very disturbing. I had been wondering how the war might affect the sites etc. The article sure puts the USA's concern about those giant destroyed buddhas in Afghanistan into some sort of perspective.


During the Crusades, the Western Christians who came to save Byzantium from the Muslims might provide another example such as mentioned in the article. Many of the treasures of Byzantium ended up in the West. Similarly for Iraq, if one has allies or "liberators" like this, who needs enemies? (April 8, 2003)


Keep it up,


Jan van Dalfsen
Geelong, Australia

Understanding the U.S. War State


This article by John McMurtry seems to say things about the USA pretty much the way I had been thinking. If we put his suggestions into practice we may make some sort of mark. (April 8, 2003)



Thanks for free articles


Thanks for adding me to your bulatlat group for e-mail discussions, sharing of stories and photos and coordinating events. We are also participating in the efforts for people’s discussion of situations and events happening in our country - and how we can all participate in the change process.


We would be happy, as before, to receive news, news analysis and opinions on events, policies, decisions in government and private sectors that affect the lives of our people and the world.  And thanks for allowing us to use FOR FREE articles and giving proper credit to Your news, analysis and opinions are very helpful and serve as alternative to what we get from traditional news sources.


Thanks for free articles. (April 3, 2003)




Rudy Bernal

Thumbs up for Bayan Muna


Greetings of peace base on justice! Why not charge President Bush a criminal case? Well honestly speaking GMA does not deserve to be in the position. I wonder if she could finish her term. She cannot answer the needs or calls of the majority of the people. Well if she'll be charged together with Bush, that would be okey. That's the crisis of an imperialist country. Kapal ng mukha! Mga mamamatay tao! I’m referring to Bush and GMA. Thumbs up for Bayan Muna!!!(April 2, 2003)


"huh-pee neri"

Filipino educators against the war


Your "ANTI-WAR STATEMENT BY 65 FILIPINO EDUCATORS" is compelling and admirable. My wife is a Filipina who came to the U.S. as a nanny.  Last year I took her to see the documentary film, "America's Forgotten War", by Camilla Benolirao Griggers and Sari Lluch Delena. It documents the Filipino-American War. It prompted her to learn more about the injustices that lead so many like her to work in subservient positions outside the Philippines to help their families. Anyone at your end who has not seen this film, really should! (April 1, 2003)


Jim Fox

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pax Americana


I would like to express my point of view on this particular issue, regarding the world domination of Pax Americana. I definitely agree on this particular report about the economic and military activities of the U.S. around the world. Your subject is very enlightening and gives even more concrete analysis on the role of the U.S. on the fate of other countries. I do believe that the Balikatan exercises in the Philippine is one concrete example of how the U.S. government would not and will not respect any territory as far as their foreign policy and supremacy is concerned. I would like to extend my support to your website of informing the people about the true meaning of investigative journalism.


More power and your site may continue to go on with their fearless expose, about the true evil of the world: "U.S. IMPERIALISM."  (March 14, 2003)


"Rajesh Kumar" 

Martial Law: Back in the Philippines?


This is your Jewish friend.

My Filipino friend told me that he is very concerned because of the news that the real reason why your president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said she isn't running is because the government is planning to impose back "Martial Law" in the Philippines. The Philippine senators are aware of it but are just too afraid to speak out against it. It seems that your country is no longer under your own national sovereign control, it is already under the control of a foreign government supported-Philippine government. A quick analysis has indicated that the government-sponsored violence is now being used to finalize the militarization of your national government under the control of your corrupt Filipino government politicians supported by this foreign government (actually there are two foreign governments involved).

Is there any truth to this claim? 

Shalom! (March 12, 2003)

Baguio Flyover


I praise your article regarding the construction of the new flyover near Baguio General Hospital. As a native of Baguio City and a survivor of the July 16 earthquake, I strongly support the cause against the

construction of that money-wasting, death-causing project. 


Thanks and more power! Cuidao! (March 10, 2003)


Kaloi Garcia

Graphic Artist

AQ Foundation Inc.

Aquinas University

Rawis, Legazpi City 4500

Martial Law in Mindnao


Your feature regarding a faction of the Abu-Sayyaf led by Rajisali being coddled by the military is snowballing slowly as true.


Why I said that to be true? I am a Mindanaon.  I am a Christian. For one, I work in the government.


I have noticed this kind of scenario happening nowadays in Mindanao.  I have heard from accounts of lowly farmers that there were instances that the military will stage mock gunbattles in the rural areas.  After these battles(?), they will point at the MILF as the ones that they encountered.  Although, these firefights were clearly done without even a single shot coming from the other side.  Even at the burst of guns, you will hear and feel from what direction these guns were positioned from. People were forced to evacuate from their places with the warning of the military about the presence of bad elements.  I have seen the exodus of innocent people who were dragged into such situations - that is- perpetrated out of something very cleverly, subtlety and step-by-step plans. 


I can now smell clearly what the opportunists and megalomaniacs in the government and military are cooking.  MARTIAL LAW - as clear as the sun rises in the east!  (March 6, 2003)

What's Ramos Doing in Carlyle?

Hindi lingid sa kaalaman natin na pinagbubuhusan na naman ng pamahalaan ng buong pwersa nito ang pagtugis sa tinatawag nilang mga "rebelde" sa buong kapuluan, at dahil sa hindi nila makayanan ang paglipol ay may lakas ng loob pang maghatak ng mga kanluraning pwersa upang magawa ang hindi nila kayang ipatupad na pagkatay ng kapwa nila Pilipino.

Hindi rin kaila sa atin na matagal nang inilalatag ng rehimeng Ramos-Reyes ang mga kaukulang dokumento at iba't-ibang uri ng "agreements" para mabigyang saysay ang patuloy na pagdating at pananatili ng mga pwersang Amerikano sa iba't-ibang bahagi ng bansa natin. At kung mananaliksik pa'y makikita nating pwedeng maging basehan ang isang kautusan ng pangulo na pinirmahan noong October 2002 na may titulong "Fifth Investment Negative List" (kung saan pinapayagan ang isang banyagang gumawa ng mga kasangkapang pangdigma sa Pilipinas na may kaukulang basbas ng Secretary of National Defense, ito'y may batayang batas sa RA 8179 o Foreign Investments Act na napirmahan noong panahon ni Ramos)  bilang patunay na nais manatili ng Amerikano sa Pilipinas nang mas matagal pa sa gusto natin dahil may balak silang magpasok sa mga "Industrial at Economic zones" natin ng mga makinarya at "investors" na kapitalistang nais gumawa ng mga naturang kasangkapan nang malaya at walang restriksyon! At maaaring doon din idestino ang mga sundalo ng Amerika upang hindi na mangailangan ng isang base na maaaring makasagabal sa kanilang mga plano dahil aalma ang mga tuta nilang senador at kongresista.

Sana'y bigyang pansin nyo ang liham na ito at ipabasa sa lahat ng kilala nyong nagmamalasakit sa kahihinatnan ng ating inang bayan.

Maraming salamat! (March 6, 2003)

Aaron Narciso

Outstanding, insightful, honest coverage

To the Bulatlat Group:

This is to express my thanks and congratulations for a truly outstanding example of journalism and analysis. I've been reading this week's issue and feel compelled to let you know how impressed I am with the scholarship, direct / frank approach and overall quality of the writing.

It is almost impossible to find the type of insightful, honest coverage and analysis of events in the Philippines provided by Bulatlat here in the United States.

I am a Euro-American who has developed a deep respect for the Philippines and her people over the last ten years or so. This developed through my marriage to a Filipino-American and my relationship with my wife's family. I've been lucky enough to visit the country twice, in 1995 and 2000, and have come away haunted. If there has been any friction between me and the in-laws, it has arisen from differences in our respective world views and politics. I tend to be progressive (left leaning) while the in-laws tend to be more conservative. They are a wealthy, business-owning family which was able to university educate all of the children, several of whom left for the USA or Australia to pursue professional careers. The discussions we have about politics in general and issues associated with the Philippines in particular get very, very interesting! I find myself supporting what I perceive to be the positions or point of view of the working or poor people against my sometimes oligarchical in-laws.

I am thrilled to finally have access to the work of some of your progressive journalists and scholars. It is a breath of fresh air.

In regard to the activities of the USA government, particularly since September 2001, please don't believe there is monolithic support from the American people! There is not! We had between 250,000 and 400,000 people in the streets of New York City on 2/15/03. That was one of at least 75 protests held in American communities that day. Many of us, despite the fact that we are college educated, middle aged adults, have only just learned to pierce the fog of the corporate media and our propoganda-filled early schooling. People feel ashamed of what our government has done in the past, afraid of what it may do in the future and angry that we have been kept in the dark for so long.

Keep up the good work! (Mar. 5, 2003)

George W. Hammarth 

On Talledo’s ‘Evacuation’ 

Congratulations to Tomas Talledo for a succinct and poignant articulation of the Filipino predicament under the shadow of US imperialism! (Feb. 28, 2003) 

Sonny San Juan 

Helpful site 

I’ve been researching for hours but I can’t find what I'm looking for until I found this site! It’s really helpful. Thanks! (Feb. 27, 2003) 

"Ginelle Rose Dy"

Ruthless Bushites

Well written and supported. I agree with its situation assessments but caution against underestimating the Bushies. They are clever, calculating and of course ruthless. They've been planning this for years. Exposing their belly by over extension will be there but not before some surprises are yet to be hatched. (Feb. 27, 2003) 



Thank you for highlighting the book on "Unmasking the War on Terror: US Hegemony and Crisis".   

It is so important that as much unmasking as possible must take place, given the glaring impunity of the U.S. Administration, in the Philippines and Iraq, and indeed all over the world.  Now Powell wants to meddle in the India-Pakistan issue over Kashmir. There is no place safe from their devious plans. (Feb. 26, 2003) 


Jack Lakavich
Kelowna, BC   Canada

For free speech

Thank you so much for letting me see this article. I think free speech is so important in our society today, and I am so glad to hear the feelings of those celebrities that I have enjoyed over the years. I would also like to exercise my right of free speech to inform "other celebrities" that I will no longer watch their performances or buy a ticket of any project they are involved in. If I could put them on a plane to Iraq, I would send them today. I hope that all my "fellow Americans" do the same thing. (Feb. 26, 2003)

Good article on Mindanao situation 


Thank you for this great article outlining the situation in Central Mindanao.  It is so gut-wrenching to see the pain on the peoples' faces, and to hear what is happening to them.

If only the Philippine Government would smarten up and distance itself from the U.S. foreign policy, then peace could begin.  The biggest threat to peace anywhere in the world is the U.S., and this present war-minded Bush administration is one of the worst ever.  It carries on with impunity, and it must be stopped. 

I always refer to the Filipino experience (I lived in the Philippines from 1978 to 1988), in the context of what is happening to Iraq today.  The U.S. with its deep roots of domination, is doing it again with impunity, what it exactly did in 1898, when it usurped Filipino victory against the Spaniards.  The hypocrisy is so glaring, giving the impression that the U.S. is for democracy, that it believes in the international community, etc. None of this is true, for the real name of the U.S. game is domination, full stop.  The sooner the countries of the world learn this stark reality, then will real change begin for peace.  It was bad enough when we had two super powers, but now with only one, it is infinitely more terrible for the globe.   

Your website is absolutely super.  Keep up the good work. (Feb. 24, 2003) 

Jack Lakavich 
Kelowna, BC. Canada

The Liguasan Marsh

The Liguasan Marsh must stay as a national park free from any economic or political or human encroachment. The eco-system in such place is so fragile that one mistake made by man can offset the balance and will affect the existence of so many plant and animal species that future generation of Filipinos may never see or enjoy. There must be no dam to be constructed in that river. Again, it will be more of problem than a blessing to the environment and to the people at large. However, eco-tourism can be established around the Liguasan Marsh in such a way that it will disturb resident species of plants and animals. This can be done with responsible environmental management system . Should there be a possibility of natural gas or oil in that area, then try to initiate an exploratory work not within the national park itself but outside it. Other countries have done a "side-winding" exploratory work and extraction where the drilling is done outside the perimeter of the park, but pin-pointed sidewards and downwards into the lower portion of the park. Once oil or gas is confirmed, they then extract these two items on a "side-winder" basis never encroaching the park itself on its upper ground level. In this case, we have a win-win scenario. The people and environment win, and the government and private investors also win .

The second most important thing, if exploration must be done, is for the government to talk to all the tribes that will be affected. There is nothing like a good line of communication between the people and the government wherein questions and problems are resolved for the benefit of all parties. If there is no communication, there will only be problems. (Feb. 21, 2003)

Manny Manguera 
Daly City, Ca 94015

Amnesty International on Bayan Muna killings

We are a local Amnesty International group in Aix en Provence (southern France). We are starting an action in favour of justice for the "disapearrance" of  Johny Orcinio and Honorio Ayrosio, two Bayan Muna activists abducted in Nueva Ecija in February 2002 and reported in your March 3-9, 2002 issue.  

Our action includes letter writing to Philippine authorities and media as well as information to the local public. It should last for three months. 

We believe that impunity must stop to prevent further abuses. Also the families of these two disapearred must get proper reparations. (Feb. 18, 2003) 

Christophe JOURNEAU
Amnesty International / France group 133
Aix en Provence

Lacson, a God-fearing man

Based on facts, people who accused Sen. Panfilo Lacson of crimes that were lodged against him that have never been proven in court. I have heard of witnesses who when under oath cannot pinpoint the guilt of Sen. Lacson. Lacson is a man of principle, has morals and more so a man of integrity, honest and fair. He is a true public servant and a God-fearing man. 

This is the man we need to lead the Filipino people. He is a great person. I believe that Sen. Lacson can lead our nation to its greatness if he is given that chance. (Feb. 14, 2003)


Filipino should remain the country's medium of instruction 

Sorry, my English is very bad. First of all, I am against the imposition of English as the main medium of instruction in the Filipino schools. It would be better to teach Filipino children in their own native languages, and promote a common and national language as Filipino is in fact. 

Spanish should also be taught because it is part of Filipinos history and culture. A lot of Filipino had Spanish as their language in the past. José Rizal himself wrote  his novels in Spanish and it is a shame that nowadays Filipino youth cannot understand him without translations. (Philippines is actually the only Hispanic country in Asia.)

Summarizing my point: Filipino should be the unique medium of instruction in all educational levels and English just a subject. Spanish should be also promoted as Filipino Constitution proclaims.  (Feb. 14, 2003)

"Julio Martin Cano" 

Pardon moi?

Dear editor, 

No, I don't think Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo qualifies to be Bush's spokesperson.  Being reputed as the "economist" president that sunk the Philippine economy is more than enough reason the Americans would be so scared of her.  They already have enough of the idiotic Bush who spent trillions of dollars of surplus spent in less than two years that now they are having problems to get rid of. 

Maybe, like most Pinoys are known for, (sorry, but this is our reputation as a people and I for one am not spared of) she can apply as the notorious and drunken Bush's daughters as their nanny.  She adores Bush so much that for sure she would be greatly honored to take care of her alcoholic children, just like the father.   

I apologize if I sound desperate but this is never funny and that this little president of the Philippines should be silenced sooner than later, I hope. (Feb. 12, 2003) 

"L. Tagalog"

Accidental reader from Canada 


This is the first time I accidentally opened your site and I just love it.  Keep up the work and the updates... you will surely have more readers in Canada for I'm going to forward your site to friends.  (That is if they haven't known about this yet...) (Feb. 12, 2003) 

:-) "L. Tagalog"

U.S. a barbaric country 

Dear editor, 

In the Gulf War of 1991, the US subjected Iraq to three extremely punishing blows: first, the aerial bombardment that dropped advanced depleted uranium shells, rockets, missiles and smart bombs, cluster bombs with deadly rain of armor piercing bomblets, leaving tons of radio active and toxic rubble on the hapless people, that gave rise to genetic defects among them, and wrecked their vital infrastructures, including crippling the electrical system that disabled the industries, agricultural production, water purifying system, sewage treatment, and operation of hospitals, clinics and laboratories,  aside from hitting at buildings such as a baby food factory and air raid shelter for children, women, and the elderly, crowded places such as markets, crowded homes, bridges. According to a reporter of The Guardian of London, "There was incredible carnage all around." 

While firing at fleeing Iraqi citizens, the pilots of these killer planes were heard to have shouted, to the accompaniment of the Lone Ranger and William Tell Overture, "They (the Iraqis) are like sitting ducks!" "It is like the biggest Fourth of July!" "They're white hot!" "It's wonderful!" 

Yet, White House spokesman then, Martin Fitzwater would have the gall to state, "Saddam does not share our value in the sanctity of life." 

After the aerial bombardment, followed the ground war. Iraqi soldiers who were surrendering to the US troops were applied ferocious weaponry.  And to cover their evil actions, US troops were told to pile the dead bodies of and dying Iraqi soldiers into trenches with the use of tanks and tractors, and to bury them so that there is no evidence of the carnage that the US troops dealt.  It was said that photographers who bravely took shots of these had their cameras seized from them by US soldiers.  Thus, we have no existing photographs of these cruelties, not like during the Vietnam War which photographers covered extensively.  Forever entrenched in our minds are photos of Vietnamese children screaming in pain upon being hit by deadly bombs. 

As victors who had already reduced Iraq to a rubble and killed 1.6 million people, the US was not satisfied.  It had to satiate itself by imposing a most cruel embargo that continues to this day.  Even humanitarian aid for the weak and dying Iraqi babies was denied of them. 

With the above accounts culled from different stories of war correspondents and UN teams that visited Iraq after the Gulf War, we could daresay that the US is a barbaric country that does not deserve to the international community. (Feb. 11, 2003) 

"Rita Baua"

Plight of foreign workers 

Dear Editor, 

The Philippine government is totally helpless in protecting its own citizens working in foreign countries from the abuses of their foreign employers. Indirectly, the Philippine government is a consenting partner to all these abuses by being a signatory on all trade agreements with Middle East governments. From the viewpoint of the Philippine government, the value of money is more important than the value of human lives. The country would rather export people than agriculture products because people grow better and faster in the womb than in the land. (Feb. 11, 2003)

Dr. Nestor P. Baylan
New York, USA

Sorsogon killings

Dear editor,

Greetings and I wish it were of Peace.

I read with great sadness but little surprise your article about the increase in killings in Sorsogon. About 11 years ago I served as a government physician and an adviser to an NGO in Irosin, Sorsogon. I was one of the few doctors that served the area at that time.

I frequented Monbon, Irosin, where one of the suspected NPA sympathizers was killed.  There is this wonderful hot spring resort at the base of Mount Bulusan located there. This was where we would teach our barangay health workers. Fortunately, the time that I spent in Irosin was relatively quiet for both the insurgency and natural calamities. We all know that Sorsogon has long been a neglected province. It does not surprise me then that the insurgents are back especially with the failing economy. I guess, this ebbs and rises based on the fortunes of the people. But obviously, a lot of things do not change.

During my stint in Irosin, I met the military commander at a party. It was after an encounter that they had with some insurgents. The necropy of one of the alleged slain insurgents was done at our hospital. I, to this day, vividly remember what the major said. "Alam n’yo doc, we always have these barangay meeting where we try to convince people to lay down their arms and come back to the fold of the government. Alam niyo naman that the government has all these programs that help these people restart their lives," he said. "We tell them that we will train them to farm and give them money to start their farms," he added. Then he went on to say.."but you know doc, like that encounter yesterday...I love the thrill of the hunt! Besides, I also save the government money."

I believe that the value of life in the country continues to cheapen. It will do so as long as crimes committed by both criminals and law enforcement personel remain unsolved and the underlying apathy and malaise in trying to solve them continue. We have all heard the phrase, money begets more money. How about value for life begets more value for life and respect begets more respect. The alternative is what we have now. (Feb. 10, 2003)

Francis M. Dayrit
South Carolina, USA

Ang wika ay kultura

Dear editor,

Isa lang ang ibig sabihin ng pagkakaroon ng panibagong interes na buhayin ang isyu tungkol sa paggamit o di paggamit ng wikang Ingles/Filipino bilang wikang panturo: mahalaga ito upang higit na magkaintindihan ang nagtuturo at tinuturuan.  

Maganda ring suriin nang malalim kung paano ginagamit ang wikang panturo. Sang-ayon ako na gamitin ang wikang magsisilbing tulay para mapagtibay ang anumang kaalamang natutunan ng estudyante o sinumang gustong matuto (maging ito man ay Filipino o Ingles). Higit pa rito, upang masuri ang kaugnayan ng konseptong pinag-aaralan sa lipunang ginagalawan ng nag-aaral at sa kabuuan ng kanyang pinag-ugatan bilang mamamayan, sa madaling sabi, ng kanyang pagkakakilanlan. 

Kaya lang, kahit sa anumang lipunan o sitwasyon, kung sa halip na gamitin ang wika (Filipino man o Ingles) upang matamo ang mga layuning binanggit ko sa itaas, ito ay ginagamit upang makondisyon ang isipan ng mag-aaral sa mga konseptong walang pakinabang sa kanyang lipunan at pagkatao at lalong palalimin at palakasin ang anumang kaisipan at diwang pang-alipin, ito sa palagay ko ay dapat tuligsain.  

Walang indibidwal na di magnanais magkaroon ng isang wikang gagamitin niya upang maunawaan ang kanyang mga ideya at mithiin sa buhay. Subalit ang pagkakaroon ng isang wikang panlahat na ginagamit lamang upang lalong maging busabos ang gumagamit nito ay wala ring buting maidudulot. 

Ang wika ay kultura. Bahagi ito ng kultura. Kung paano ito ginagamit ay maaaring magbuo o sumira ng anumang maganda sa kultura ng anumang bansa. (Feb. 10, 2003) 

Jhun Elloso

4 Million Iraqis will die if U.S.  attacks Iraq 

Dear Editor, 

The possibility is there if the war becomes nasty, if the war will be turned from conventional to nuclear. 

I worked in Iraq from March 1983 to August 1984 and the situation at that time is already bad because of the Iraq-Iran war. The situation there was compounded due to the 1991 post-war sanctions against Iraq. 

But why did the international community through the U.N. impose the sanctions? 

If war will break out, untold calamities and sufferings will befall on the Iraqi people. However, if the present regime will continue, gradual sufferings, repressions, and death will remain in the country. (Feb. 9, 2003) 

"Benny Cenzon"

SM workers 

I completely agree with you.  SM should share its profits to their workers by way of bonuses, profit sharing, commissions, etc.  Or why not just make their union stronger and lobby Congress to pass laws that benefit the workers more than the employers? (Feb. 18, 2003) 

"Gaudencio R. Pacot, Sr."


Very interesting. Informative. Makes me feel better about upcoming war. I knew George Robert Kelly, father of Rear Admiral John M. Kelly,when we were in high school. (Feb. 5, 2003) 

"Norman Sutton"

Brain Drain 


I'd like to make an opinion with regards this growing "craze" of exporting our kababayans into this depressing kind of work.  

Does anybody out there know what caregiver/ health care provider means over here in the US? In our language it means "tsimay"or "atchay". I"ll not say "katulong" coz it is more decent compared to the others. The work involves a lot of time (24/7) as a matter of fact and depending on your prospective employers' needs and wants. And some also require you to clean their house, and some will also restrict you from using their stuffs - like phones, tv, or even opening the fridge.  

You could ask, how then can our professionals stay and not leave? The answer is, "I don't know!". Their dreams and aspirations will always motivate them in achieving their goals, but, they need to be weary and suspicious at all times with their undertakings. And maybe, with the help of our local media, they can do an investigative report on both employees and employers over this regard. Our kababayans need to be informed about everything that will eventually be a huge, huge decision of their future life. 

My apologies for being a little bit negative, I'm just being REALISTIC. (Feb. 4, 2003)

Pinoy pa rin ito   

Instrument of cultural hegemony

When I was teaching in a university here in Cagayan de Oro, I did not require  my students to answer or write their essays, term papers in English. My  attention was called by the administration. Thus some call me "Bisaya nga  Maestro," which I took as a complement and not derogatory. (In our  vernacular, we call those naive "bisaya.") I quit.  

The bad thing about English as the medium of instruction is that many  brilliant ideas by students, especially those who had their basic education  in the countryside and do not have a command of the English language cannot be expressed. 

Now, as a community organizer, I appreciate no end at the ideas, the understanding and wisdom of the poor "uneducated" farmer, fisherfolk. Ideas which are far more brilliant than those that society considers educated. 

The measure of education should not be proficiency in the FOREIGN English language but with the ideas of students, their grasp and understanding of realities, in the case of our backward country, in understanding the social relations that pushes majority of Filipinos (who do not know how to speak English) to poverty, to the bottom of the social triangle. 

Requiring English as a medium of instruction just aggravates the already aggravated colonial and elitist Phil. Educational System. Well, anyway in the first place the Phil. Educational System has never been designed and intended to educate the Filipinos, the "Indios." It has always been an instrument of cultural hegemony. (Feb. 3, 2003)

(sorry, in english ako nagsulat, 'di rin ako fluent sa Tagalog eh :) 

BenCyrus Ellorin

Not humanitarian

Bush's way of declaring war against Iraq is not a humanitarian, since many lives of innocent children and people will be wasted. Baka madamay tayo kasi ang bansa natin ay alyado ng America at may mga base ng mga kano sa ating bansa.  (Feb. 1, 2003) 

"Marilen Canda" 

What alternatives are offered? 

It is heartening to see that the masses have not been blinded by Arroyo's manufactured image and speeches.  But what alternatives do they offer, in the unlikely event of Arroyo's resignation?  Without a feasible plan or program of action, these demonstrations would go nowhere, as they can't hope for significant logistical support in toppling the corrupt regime.  (Jan. 24, 2003)


Hope of the Nation? 

Thank you for reminding readers of the "Last Quarter Storm".   In the 70s, the enemy was clearly defined.  Not today.  The enemy hides behind the shield of EDSA.   A usurper occupies Malacañang, applauded by Santa Cory and her patron the Cardinal.  When are the youth going to make a united front to protest the violations of the Constitution that had cheated the Filipinos of the president they elected?   (Jan. 24, 2003)


Not, anti-labor; class enemy 

Mr. Remollino, 

Sometimes, objective reporting in journalism has to give way to militant reporting of abuse of power by government officials.   The question  "Is Sto. Tomas anti-labor" is merely rhetorical.  She has practically sold the OFWs, developing selective amnesia when she conveniently forgets that the OFWs are hailed as "the new economic heroes" through their remittances.   (Jan. 24, 2003)


President Arroyo? Or The Usurper? 

To:    Alexander Martin Remollino 

Your profile of Gloria Arroyo is quite objective.  Interestingly, you sound a warning in the last paragraph but your phrase "assumed the presidency in a manner beyond the electoral process" is vague, almost misleading.   The Daily Tribune (online) had actually dubbed her a usurper in a couple of articles, as President Estrada had never resigned his office nor have the courts found him guilty.    That Arroyo was sworn as President does not change the fact that Joseph Ejercito Estrada is legally still the President of the republic as the Constitution provides. 

Online newspapers are my only source of information on the Philippines as I have been living in Norway since almost three years ago.  So far, The Daily Tribune appears to be the only metro broadsheet that continues to remind Filipinos that Arroyo is only acting president and had usurped the presidency by violating the Constitution, in league with her supporters. 

Attached is an article (October 30, 2000), downloaded from the Daily Tribune archives.  Dare I hope that you would distribute this through your website? (Jan. 24, 2003) 

Rosalinda N. Olsen 

Kintanar slay article

Your article on the Kintanar murder is no different from how the mainstream reported the event, i.e., a story based on a press release, and on simply the cpp's at that. How do you define bulatlat again in your masthead? (Jan. 26, 2003)

Joey Flora 
Daly City, CA


Greetings in this Christmas season!


We in Bayan-Mindoro congratulate you for your undying effort for an alternative media. It’s very helpful in bringing up the news and occurrences here in our country. My concern is about the issue entitled "The Other War on Terror" written by Bobby Tuazon. He mistakenly (or maybe a typographical error) wrote the name of the butcher of Oriental Mindoro as Col. Jovencio Palparan. It should be Col. Jovito Palparan, Jr.


The name of Palparan should be written accurately to isolate him from the people because he is really a criminal.


We hope that you would look on this matter.


We'll try also sending more information regarding events here in our province.


Thank you and more power. (Dec. 23, 2002)


Eman delos Reyes

Bayan Muna-Oriental Mindoro



I strongly agree with the article "The Economy in 2002: From Bad to Worse (Really)."  All this is in line with GMA's servility to the U.S. government.  She has been completely out of touch with the progressive forces in society and is thus anachronistic as president. (Dec. 22, 2002)

Alice Guillermo 


Why so much anti-American verbage? What’s your agenda? Do you not believe 3,000 plus (people of many countries) died in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center Towers on Sept. 11? What, if anything, has the U.S. done to the Philippines? Why the socialist/liberal ideas? Just my thoughts, but I still think Philippines has always bitten the hands that have fed them. (Dec. 19, 2002) 

Rocky Golleher

Thank you

Dear Friends, 

Warmest Greetings. May the spirit of the Advent Season continue to provide us with the sustaining faith as we work for equality, justice and peace by bringing alternative information and exposing the evils and machinations the powers in our society. 

We are writing to thank you for the articles sent to us - many of which were helpful in our studies of Philippine current  situations in our churches and communities - and  some we of which we publish in our forthnigly Newsletter, The Iloilo People's Forum. Your articles and features really provide alternative information from those that usually comes to us through the newspapers and international news agencies.

Thank you so much. (Dec. 19, 2002) 


Rudy Bernal 

U.S. Violence Across the Globe 

Gentle people: 

Thank you for your timely and comprehensive list of Washington's war crimes.  I will share it with my friends and family. (Dec. 18, 2002)

The Poor Churchmouse
"Adija Raintree"

More poems

Dear Editor,

First time, I visited your web and I really like it, especially poets/poem. Do you have any historical events/Philippines that I could share with my kids?

Salamat Po! (Dec. 17, 2002)

Christmas cheers

Dear Editor,

Christmas Greetings (photo of the week) brings tears into my grieving soul, reminds me back from the days.
Mabuhay! (Dec. 16, 2002)


Touching the hearts 

Dear Editor,

I have been using your website a lot, especially as resource for my presentations here in Canada regarding global justice issues. I did one last month about Women and War, and will be doing another one tonight in celebration of the International Day of Human Rights. Your stories about how people's lives are being affected touch the hearts of many here, and further strengthen their resolve to help in many ways. 

Maraming salamat sa inyong mahuhusay na artikulo! (Dec. 10, 2002) 


Military money for the poor

Hi friends! 

I like your articles in the Bulatlat. 

I wonder if the money the Philipines government allocates for its armed forces can be used instead for the poor. Will not this preference be humane and productive in the long run? (Dec. 8, 2002) 

Gerrit Olthof

Ontario Canada 

Painful, marvelous 

Dear Editor,

The Emmanuel Ortiz poem in the latest edition of Bulatlat is marvelous: painful to read, yet necessary.  Thank you for making it available. 

I would like to use it in public settings here, so would appreciate some information on Mr. Ortiz to help set the context when I use it.  Any information you can send would be appreciated. 

Thank you. (Dec. 2, 2002) 

Glen Herrington-Hall

Ortiz's moment of silence 

Dear Editor,

Emmanuel Ortiz's material could become powerful poetry; the rhythm and technique do not approximate the huge dimension of his message. The form does not achieve its content. The breadth of violent remembrances is worthy of an epic poem. 

As a plea for silence, it was noisy. (Dec. 1, 2002) 

Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

Depressing statistics

Dear Editor,

Politicians themselves perpetuate the dismal situation of education in the Philippines. Non-high school graduates are easily exploited to vote for "unworthy" candidates.

The Philippines should consider adding a new requirement for voters, that they be not only underage, or in jail or mentally incapacitated, but voters should at least be high school graduates!

This would in turn provide incentives by the government to turn the dismal situation around. More worthy politicians will be voted into office who in turn will promote for better education to have more productive citizens.  (Dec.1 2002) 

Better Critics

Dear Editor,

It is nice to read Gerry Albert Corpuz'article on activists' "10 Best Films." Sana naka-boto ako, kaya lang di naman ako activist, at doon ko lang nalaman may survey pala na ganito. My own list of the best films: Maynila Sa Kuko ng Liwanag, Merika, Himala, Oro,Plata,Mata; Kisapmata, Bayaning 3rd World and the first Bagets movie.

Mas mahusay silang critics (activists) kaysa doon sa mga mainstream kasi well informed sila sa mga sitwasyon at vigilant critics sila ng society, yun ang advantage nila compare to ordinary and self-proclaimed critics sa mainstream.

Sana mayroon din kayong mga reviews ng movies at iba pang performing arts. This would help the people elevate and raise their appreciation sa culture and the arts at ma-enhance pa yung critical thinking.

Pag-nag-migrate na kami sa Canada next year, promote ko itong website nyo. Pero dito pa lamang sa Pinas, I told my barkada na ugaliin yung pagbisita sa website n'yo, dami kaming matutunan dito.

More power to Bulatlat editors and writers (Dec. 1, 2002)

jiggy s.

Kudos to

Dear Editor,

Kudos to for giving us the chance to read well written and analyzed articles. Among your writers, I have high praises for Danilo Arao ( for his analytical and scholastic presentation of issues), Bobby Tuazon (for his political analysis on issues of national importance), Alex Remollino (for his feel-good articles) and Gerry Albert Corpuz (for his standout news feature articles and flexibility in writing).

This is one online news magazine that gives my P 20 budget for internet a hundred times worth. This was referred to me by a friend in Canada and I started reading it since July 2002. More power and thank you for this wonderful website and online news magazine.

By the way, I am Jiggy Santos, a 25 year old internet addict here in Caloocan City..(Nov. 26, 2002) 

"jiggy santos"

Hybrid rice varieties

Dear Editor,

Your article about IRRI and Genetic Engineering is an eye-opener.

I agree with Masipag farmers that the only way to go is to disregard the hybrid varities and plant traditional rice varieties. 

The Tribal Filipinos of the Philippines, especially in Mindanao were able to protect these precious genes (traditional varieties) by hiding them inside bamboo tubes for hundreds of years. 

In North America and eleswhere, the public and consumers are wary of these Genetically Engineered farm produce. So the Multinational Corporations are dumping these seeds in Third World countries. At the same time they are using the Filipinos as guinea pigs for their GE research and reap huge profits while Filpinos are dying from the effects of toxic pesticides and eating these altered crops. 

More Power to Masipag Farmers and the nationalist farmers and scientists of the Philippines. ( Nov. 19, 2002)

Edwin Mercurio
Enviro Media Services

Washington's war crimes 

Dear Editor,

I think this article is great. thanks for telling it like it is.  (Nov. 17, 2002)                                              

thurman c morgan 

History of U.S. Violence Across the Globe: Washington's War Crimes

Dear Editor,


I found this one (Jeff Rense's site)...  Wish that he had posted it as a link directly to your site (as he sometimes does).

Otherwise, wholly excellent and almost fully inclusive..  As a Canadian, however, I notice your timeline begins AFTER the War of 1812-14, for what that's worth, and omits actions in Indonesia (which may have some bearing on recent events)...

Do you intend to add to it as further instances are drawn to your attention?  If so, I will put on my thinking cap...(Nov. 17, 2002)

Your local Global Village Terra-ist,

"Mr. Ding"

Worth reading

Dear Editor, 

I have only now discovered your site and found it very much worth reading--which I have done for the past hour.  There are many interesting articles, and I read most. 

You have a solicitation announcement on your site asking readers to submit items for posting links on your site.  Here is a suggestion for you, an essay entitled :

UNDERSTANDING THE NEW IMPERIAL EMPIRE:  Will America’s past become America’s future?  The essay can be obtained from this site:

See you. (Nov 16, 2002)

Bush: A dangerous man

As an American, I heartedly agree with your stance on the subject of civil freedoms being trampled.  There are many Americans who do not agree with Bush.  Hopefully, many will see the light and oust him from Washington come the next election.

Bush is a dangerous man to those who enjoy freedom of speech and the many freedoms we have in America.

An excellent article. (9 Nov 2002)

"judy quigley"

Center of activism

Just because mahina ang nat dems (national democrats)  sa FEU and UST it does not mean that it is not a center of activism, now or before. I hope that this letter will help force you to review your student activism history. And maybe you should review you data, if you have any.

The reason for this reaction is that your article is opening a dangerous crack for authorities to further clamp down on FEU and UST all the more by making people believe that the two institutions can be pawns to sacrifice in favor of the more militant schools you seem so hard pressed to defend. 

Now if you argue that your intention to exclude FEU and UST among the more militant school will help ease the pressure on the two institutions, then that is not objective and is also biased, whether for good intention or bad.

Anyway, since I doubt if you will have the opportunity to undo the message of your article, it might help your groups' impact assessment session. (12 Nov 2002)


  "John B. Bayarong"

Reply to Cinco

Dear Mr. Cinco,

For a computer professional to imply that there exist some perfectly-built systems, is simply unthinkable. Your negative outlook towards computerized application systems, on the other hand, does not seem to match the profession that you are in. Yes, sometimes technology alone will not work. But talking about systems, I do remember that technology is only one aspect of an application system. Well, at least an IT practitioner has come up with a stand on this ID system issue, unlike the rest of the industry which has kept silent or rather has remained un-involved in the issue leaving other people who are without the proper know-how to speak up and suggest that even bank records and sexual preferences will be included in the ID. How sad indeed. (Nov. 5, 2002) 

jerry borja

Very enriching 

Dear Editor, 

It's been very enriching reading from your site's published articles. I would like to request to be updated with articles on the democratic space particularly issues on democratic space. 

Thanks and more power. (Nov. 1, 2002) 


Thank you 

Dear Editor, 

I am Mordz Visitacion of Dumaguete. I was also the chairman of ANAKBAYAN Camanjac National High school chapter. I would like to thank you for publishing the reported harassment in our school.

I am currently here in Dipolog City, trying to finish my studies despite the harassment I had experienced in my previous school.  

Have you heard about the kidnap case of Edmund Sestoso, a DYSR reporter and also the bureau cheif of Visayan daily courier at Dumaguete? I hope you could have a report on him, sir. I am also very grateful to him, because he was the first one who reported our case to the media. (Oct. 27, 2002) 

Thank you very much. 


Diwalwal gold rush

Attached is our position paper on the proposed Mineral Reservation over the Diwalwal Gold Rush.

 I read with interest your articles on Diwalwal.  Thanks for the coverage. 

I disagree, however, with Brgy Capt. Franco Tito, expressing his hopes that they would eventually "own" Diwalwal.  The State owns all natural resources.   (Oct 18, 2002) 


Martin T. Lu

Reader wants Bulatlat dead

Your site is obviously a communist forum of the Communist Party of the Philippines-National Democratic Front who are hiding in the guise of human rights and peace- your (sic) nothing but a bunch of opportunists and liars!!! commies drop dead!!

Your (sic) all terrorists who desrved (sic) to be executed!!!! Your (sic) a plague in Asia  and in Europe!!!!

To Danilo Arao

First of all, thank you for including me in your mass mailing list. The experience you narrated ("Trip to Bicol: A Snapshot of Poverty and Teachers' Resolve to Organize") was not an isolated case and should not be taken as a ridicule or anything of that kind. It should rather be analyzed in a constructive and positive manner. This is also a very good copy for government officials and those who still love our people to read, read, read, read and reread.....and see what can be done!

I am thousands of miles away from home. I now live in Jersey City, New Jersey, USA. I have been here for a dozen of years. Yet, I ALWAYS read news and other information about my country, very especially Bicol and Naga City in particular.  I have so much memories of our beloved Philippines and my hometown. And each time I open the pages of our dailies, I cannot avoid but wonder and contemplate - WHAT IS OUR GOVERNMENT DOING? WHEN WILL OUR PEOPLE START ENJOYING LIFE?  Sadly, I refuse to this minute, to accept my own answers. I have had that question almost everyday of my broadcast career. And,  the answers remain the same.

Keep doing what you think is good for our community and our country. I appreciate every word you contribute for the betterment of our people. "Dios Mabalos asin mapasaimo an biyaya nin Dios." (Oct 18, 2002)

Fiorel Salvo

Snapshot from Bicol reader 

My comment about the Philtranco Bus that was taken during the trip from  Manila to Sorsogon City was just an unfortunate case. I'm a native of Iriga  City and usually took Philtranco in my way to Manila and vice versa. Many  times I encountered those kind of problems too, but most of my travels were  fine. In this world there is no perfect for everything so if you don't want  to risk and you're in a hurry, next time take your own car for your travel.  There is no such assurances on any bus companies that you'll have a good or bad trips. It is also the same case as in any college whether it private or public. As per my knowledge not only in Bikol are there institutions that have very poor facilities. But not all the institutions in Bikol are bad though. Indeed there are a lot of colleges and universities  in Bikol that are performing much better than in any other regions and some of  them are much better than those in Metro Manila. 

I felt deeply sad that you guys never visit some of Bikol schools, colleges  or universities so that you can compare it to your places. It is unfair that  what you saw was the one side of a coin. (Oct 16, 2002) 

"Ariel Ensano"

(Editor’s Note: The article was precisely based on a trip to Bicol where the writer meet state college professors who, among others, told him about the state of public education in the region. The conference where the writer spoke in a symposium was held right inside one of these schools.)


Hi, I was one of the workers of SM Shoemart way back the 80's .You are right the way the employer treats them is not fair. When they built SM in Cubao around 1979 or 1980 I was only 17 years old and I applied as a salesclerk and got hired the same day. But before that ,I went to a very  difficult screening at first. I and 9 other applicants were told to line up while screeners checked our elbows, skin and lifted our skirts or dress to make sure you have a nice pair of legs which is very discriminating. As I went through all of that screening I felt like we were going to work as a display or a slave for all the customers.  

Try to think about it. These Chinese employers should learn how to help the Filipino people instead treating us like slaves. (Oct. 14, 2002)  

Dioscora Baja

Rockwell’s Che

Dear Editor,

Ang galing ng artikulo ninyo tungkol kay Che Guevarra. Ganyan din ang sentimiyento ko simula nang biglang magsulputan ang mukha ni Che Guevarra kung saan-saan. Hindi lang siya, pati si Bob Marley. May narinig nga akong hirit na silang dalawa ang bagong “hello kitty” ng lipunan ngayon. Nakakapanlumong isipin, lalo pa't may isang 'cafe' diyan sa Rockwell na pinangalanang, CHE. Mabuti sana kung sa pagkauso ng isang rebolusyonaryo, kasabay din nito ang pagkamulat ng tao, lalo na ng mga kabataang naaastigan sa pagrarampang suot-suot ang mukha ni Che Guevarra. Pero hindi. Lalo lang tuloy bumabaon sa utak ng kabataan ang pagka-apatetiko at "sunod sa uso"-ng kulturang pinalalaganap ng mga sakim na negosyanteng walang inisip kundi kumita. (Oct. 14, 2002)    

"kuwan pante"

Martial Law Anniversary

It's superb and excellent…coming up with editorials like this and others like sacrifices of those before us to attain where we are right now would be an excellent one. 

See, what happened to those in the streets, during the Marcos era…trying to build their own empire except for Joker Arroyo and Jovito Salonga I can't think of anybody whose sacrifices were put in vain but to their vested interest in life. 

More Power to this website the good work and God Bless. (Oct. 11, 2002)

Josh of Santa Barbara, California

Che and the young generation

I first heard the name Che Guevarra in the motion picture "Evita." I have never really read any serious article about him. It was only after reading your article that I discovered his pivotal role in South American history if not in the history of the world. I don’t really mind teenagers wearing shirts bearing the face of this hero-turned pop icon Guevarra. I even thought he is one cool guy because so many people have been idolizing him in their shirts, car stickers, mugs and more. If they find him cool, then I think they should at least try to read more about him. 

The life lived by Che was no joke. Making money out of his popularity is not really a big issue. Those opportunist manufacturers have been doing it to almost everyone who could deliver them the bucks they need. It’s a democratic country after all. But I think what is being sacrificed here is the real essence of what and who Che Guevarra really is to the younger generation. (Oct. 11, 2002) 

vanessa lacuesta

Only Fools will believe the Marcoses

Only fools will believe the Marcoses. Ang bawat buhay ng pamilya na kanilang sinira ay lamat na nananalaytay sa bawat anak ng mga nawalan ng buhay.  

Maaring magpaloko ang mga nasa poder at kapangyarihan. But, the martial law real victims are not crazy to buy such craft. 

What Imee is doing right now is the same thing what Gloria is doing. Gusto nilang linisin ang pangalan ng kanilang mga pamilya sa pamamagitan ng pagbabaluktot ng kasaysayan. 

Ilublob nila ang sarili nila sa kangkungan! (Oct. 9, 2002) 

rommel linatoc


Destruction of Negros forest prelude to natural calamities 

Toronto, Canada - The mindless destruction of Negros Island's only remaining forest reserve by local politicians and forest poachers must not go unpunished. 

The massacre of these old giant trees and the unmitigated balding of Negros' forests will not only bring future misery to the Negrenses but will surely destroy the fragile ecological balance of the province. It will lead to more serious natural calamities such as flash floods which will ravage the lowland towns and cities, cause dry spells and lower water tables (dry well effect). The destruction will increase soil erosion and choke and destroy coral reefs and mangrove swamps (breeding grounds of fish and marine resources).  

I have seen all of these happening in Southern Mindanao while living  with  seven indigenous tribal communities for almost a decade.

When old forests are gone, then comes the extinction of rare flora and fauna and other wild life resources. 

Fr. Frank Fernandez, the alleged head of the revolutionary movement in Negros Island is justified in his fight to save these last forest resources and must be supported.  

There is wisdom in the words of a tribal chieftain when he said," We do not inherit the Earth. We borrow it from our children." (Oct. 6, 2002) 

Edwin C. Mercurio

A hungry soul 

Hello to my Kabayan, I was surfing the net and having found any no interesting stories in and other Manila news online... I found this story (Ex-Cafgu Finds A New Cause).  It suited my hungry soul and loved reading it. 

I really do appreciate this site and from now on it is now my early morning MUST read news and before bedtime. Please kindly put into it more explicit info if you can.. and please write more of this kind and I will spread it around to my friends. How lucky we are to get away and to live here. But we continue fighting injustices from afar with our own ways.

Mabuhay tayong mga Pilipino.

Mabuhay sa malayang pamamahayag! (Oct. 1, 2002)


On Che Guevarra

I think you’re right about saying that the face of Che Guevara has been used by capitalists as a propaganda and I am a bit sad about this phenomonenon (which I think it is) and am sadder that these persons wear garments with Che's face never knowing who he is and his cause. I hope somehow they'll be educated. They should stop using Che's name and face for that matter. 

"We stay because we believe, we leave because we are disillusioned, we come back because we are lost, WE DIE BECAUSE WE ARE COMMITTED." –Che (Oct., 2002) 

"Desiree Joy Galila"

We're getting screwed too! 

Military budgets are getting out of hand, here in the U.S. also. 

I wonder if this so-called "war on terrorism," is just an excuse to gain greater control over civilian population and many individuals are getting rich, by claiming we need to increase military budgets, i.e. the Carlyle Group, once headed by that thug Cheney. 

You article was very detailed and informative. 

Your people I know need serious increases in social programs, as well as improvements of the infrastructure. However, the HAWKS see no profit in that, what a shame! 

P.S. I was looking for the story of the recent bomb blast and couldn't find anything, why is that? (Oct. 2, 2002) 

White Guy from Seattle,
Fred Tripp

Against imperialist globalization 

People of the Philippines must know of what foreign businesses are doing  to their country. They were not there to create jobs for the people, they were not there to help us, but to exploit us. What they’re doing is  privatization of the land and destroying the environment. With the help of the corrupt government of the Philippines, this kind of system remains.  People of the Philippines must unite and fight the oppression of the imperialist globalization. (September 29, 2002) 


Robert Fisk article "Titanic War" 

Thank you for posting Fisk's work. He is a fantastic journalist, and one of the few who really understand the extent of the hypocrisy and mendacity of U.S. policy in the Middle East. Keep up the good work!  (Sept. 22, 2002) 


Great Opportunity

Thank you for the great opportunity to read the news from bulatlat. (September 21, 2002)


Marinduque Experience an Eye-opener 

What happened to Marinduque should never happen again in other mining areas in the Philippines. Let Marinduque's experience be an "eye-opener." Big foreign corporations will use their dollars to gain access to our mineral resources. It is a shame if the Philippine government grabs a "fake opportunity" to let these irresponsible mining corporations ruin our environment and leave their mess to the people. 

The Philippine government should revise our Mining Laws to benefit the local government and the people, as well as to make mining corporations responsible for their mess. There should be a bond to cover such dreadful event to make sure the province or town and its people are covered from toxic waste spillage and other unforeseen events. (September 18, 2002) 

 Rey Muhi

Appreciation for Bulatlat Articles 

To the editors, I appreciate a lot your online reports. Each of your issues helps a lot in my future career. I like the way your writers do their reports. Hope you'll continue sending me every issues you have. Thanks! (September 17, 2002) 

bhimz baut

On Martial Law Article (Issue 32) 

Your article is short but incisive–enjoyed reading it as I was once a UP activist before the Martial Law.  The article brings me memories of my UP days in the 60's when the campus was shut down and DZUP, the campus radio, was taken over by activists.  Those were the best and memorable years of my life. I was very idealistic and still am as a social and labor activist.  Contrary to the popular notion that one's idealism wanes as one matures and raises a family - I have matured and now have grandchildren–I still am fighting for causes as an expatriate.  Our battlecry in the labor union movement here in Toronto is "No Justice, No Peace!" which other groups have also adapted. (September 16, 2002)


On young martyrs

I just want to say that the article was a very good piece, and if only it could be published where a lot of people could read and get an easy access to it, especially the young ones. I may be naive but I was wondering why there were no cases filed for the abuses and death caused by Enrile and the Marcos' "genocide" during Martial Law? The fact of the matter is that Enrile and the Marcos' still hold power in our country. 

Thanks and I really hope articles like this could go out and be published in the mainstream. (September 16, 2002) 

Mike D.

Good Articles And Very Good Website! 

Good to see there are some smart progressives in the Philippines. If Bush declares Martial Law here in the United States, I'll be looking for a new homeland. Then again, if that fascist Bush has his way, there will be no safe place in the world. 

Check out, which shows more proof that US elites & zionists plan to take over the Middle East. 

I play Bingo, with a lot of Filipino brothers & sisters, and many of them say the same things you do! 

Good Luck. (September 16, 2002) 


Shining evidence of a raped natural resources 

It seems the government is doing nothing to monitor mining activities in our country.  They would just react if things are getting worse or the damage is just too enormous to solve.  Some of our kababayans doesn't even bother to know the effect of continued mining even if it cuse their life.  Yes, gold is everywhere, but still it entails crime, prostitution, environmental destruction and the worse death to the place. (September 10, 2002) 

Rizaldy Rodriguez 

Brave People Like

My name is Bandar (aka Rene) Arcilla and I'm a programmer currently working here in Saudi. Having stayed here for quite a while only strengthened my nationalistic if not radical views of our society owing to the fact that the continuous plunder of our native land has gone unabated and is becoming more blatant than ever.

I am not speaking for myself alone but for the other countless OFW's that we see no real hope to live a comfortable and decent life once we get home. I fear for my kids and my kids' kids. What is the legacy that we could give them knowing full well that our situation as of the moment is a big question mark.

I have been following your site every now and then and sad to say, yours is a depressing exposition. Well, at least I'm luckier here when I am just depressed but thinking about the others there right now who are directly suffering the sickle of oppression makes me want to shout - "HEY PHILIPPINES, WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO YOURSELF?"

Think about it: we still have no genuine land reform where people can call their ancestral lands their own especially in Mindanao where large tracts of land are untitled. The production that we quote on the business front are just products of the multinationals. They're not our own. We import even rice?! In other words, we have no real produce. And the little produce that we make competes against the cheaper alternatives coming from abroad (globalization).

The electronic products we make are under the dictates of the foreign businessman. They dictate the profit margins which is divided unbalanced between the local capitalist and the poor laborers. And the local capitalists almost always get guarantees from the government against financial loss?!

Do we have a solution? I am not a very violent person but I think the masses wouldn't have any option left once 30% of the people (I think it's about 15% now) can 't afford anything to eat but dried noodles. (Buti pa non may Nutri-ban, di ba?) It's not a solution but rather the bleak outcome of things to come. I hope I could be more optimistic.

I believe that the Philippines is not that poor. No. It is just the wise use of our resources that is lacking. First and foremost is the land reform issue. People cannot stand up for themselves thinking they wouldn't have anywhere to stay once the employers stop giving salaries. They have no leverage. Large tracts of land are still being gobbled up by 'them people' at the expense of 'development' while 'them people' does not even cringe at how even the bridges down their very noses are housing poor people underneath the noise and grumble of the buses over them. I was wholly depressed one time I went on vacation when I saw people coming out of one of the bridges in EDSA apprently going off to work. How do they live there? What's in their future with that kind of address?

No amount of OFW’s will elevate the poor status of our country if things stay as they are. The government is pro-capital because they're the capitalists themselves if not cronies. These people control the people who would rule. And these same people are the ones being sponsored by the great last superpower. They're the real cronies. Ergo, going against them is like going against the superpower. Deja vu. Like it was in the time of Aguinaldo. Nothing had changed.

We had a real chance then. Lands were already planned for subdivision to the revolutionaries after they were confiscated from the hacienderos and the catholic church. And then came Uncle Sam. They did not want to touch the status quo. They bought Aguinaldo and restored the lands to their previous owners. Who won the revolution then? I think Bonifacio is weeping in his grave. Ditto with Aguinaldo, maybe.

Now tell me, is the situation hopeless?

No. Not really. As long as there are brave people out there bringing out expositions like yours. We should not stop. I want land for my children as well not mere hourly salaries! If I could give some more than this, please let me know. There's no peace in a land where a few people splurge and many are dying to get out if not stay in hunger.

Thanks for your time and more power. (September 6, 2002)

Bandar aka rene

Photo of the Week: Ifugao protester

 It is one of the best photos published by in recent memory.  Very candid, smart but politically engaging.

Keep up the good work! (September 3, 2002)


“To have or not to have”

I have to admit I am not at all familiar with all the complexities of the medical profession but I think, the connotation of simply hearing the word 'malpractice' triggers much of the emotions placed regarding this issue. It is not a bill to serve as an umbrella caution of sorts that will cover a patient once he approached a doctor. I agree with some of the supporters of this bill that the present law addressing this is not enough, it has to have more teeth because there are indeed many negligent, arrogant doctors. It will not create, I believe, more tension between the patient and the doctor because there will be more confidence that your 'health handler' is less likely to make gross errors with, in you because of the law. On the other hand, since suing takes a great deal of time and money, isn't it also safe to assume that unscrupulous people won't be encouraged to sue if they really believe that there was no malpractice, in the first place?  I just hope that both parties will meet somewhere which will empower not only the doctors, not only the congressmen, not only the rich and moneyed lobbyists, but the majority of the people. It is not an issue of having this law nor not having this law. I believe it has a great room for compromise and half-way sentiments.

Thank you. (September 2, 2002)

Judith D. Octavo
Sta. Ana, Manila


Concern from a campus journalist

I just wonder at how Ms. Arroyo formulates her branding of the militant and progressive groups like BAYAN-MUNA and other mass organizations as 'reds' and definitely, cases of human rights violation and militarization has alarmingly increased in the country.'terrorists'.

We can already feel that the critical student publications and the College Editors Guild of the Philippines will the next target for this 'red' gimmick of hers. Violating human rights as well as militarizing the countryside is another lame excuse in building her 'strong republic', whereas, we are just slowly turning into a 'strongly militarized republic'. (August 31, 2002) 

Jason Valenzuela 
member, CEGP-National Secretariat

No difference

It wouldn't make the Philippines better or worse if Sison were dead or alive or to be assassinated or extradited anywhere… (August 27, 2002)

Climaco, Rafael

On oil deregulation article

Very informative article, well-written and exhaustively researched. Are you the same Danilo A. Arao of the late 80's Philippine Collegian? Just asking. (August 22, 2002)

Randy Cruz de las alas juan 

Is there a Kaibigan 1?

 And did I just miss it? 

Thanks - not just for this poem but also for the lively, thought-provoking, courageous and interesting articles week after week. (August 18, 2002)

Pinky Choudhury 
<> is indeed what exactly Filipinos need

I am writing you to congratulate you on a well-made website: is indeed exactly what the Filipino public needs. I'd like to suggest an addition to your list of "Media Criticism/Media Education"

links: is the address for Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting, well regarded by media critics from a progressive perspective.  Keep up the  good work! (August 17, 2002)

Ed Y 
Lansing, MI USA

A great job 

I would like to thank you and your staff for the great job you all do there. It is extremely hard these days to find news coverage that has not been bought out by government or by industry. In fact I do not know of any site that carries as much up to date information in an unbiased manner as your site does.

We have come to depend on and it has in fact become one of our number one sources of current news on the Philippines.

Living here in Canada prevents us from seeing first hand what is happening to a country that should be on the world map as being one of the last remaining paradise on earth. Sad to say, it is clear that exploitation of the Philippines makes it impossible for its very citizens to be able to enjoy it due to the poverty created by it. (August 17, 2002)

Reinier Kanis 
British Columbia

As one foreigner who does really care about the Philippines, I have involved myself with the website <>, where on more than one occasion we have featured articles from your site, with credits and links to your site on our bulletin board. 

Principal Reference

Unang-una, binabati ko kayo sa napakahusay na reporting online (First, I would like to congratulate you for an excellent online reporting).  It has been my principal reference for current issues in the Philippines for my radio program in Australia.  There are stuff I cannot get from any online Philippine newspapers or magazines. Thank you. (July 31, 2002)


Enraged at Ricciardone

I would like to commend Mr. Carlos Conde's commentary "Ricciardone's Disingenuous Indictment." Indeed it was simple but hit the nail right on the head. I am so enraged at him (Ricciardone)! Bwisit ba! Anyway, I would just like to ask you guys there in Bulatlat if ever you have any links (to web sites) or even a soft copy of the full statement. If you have, is there any means of accessing that (i.e. email)? (July 24, 2002)

Thank you very much!

Jay de Quiros

Bloody SONA courtesy of General Aglipay and GMA

Eight thousand policemen in full battle gear against a peaceful but militant mobilization who desperately want  to bring their pleas within hearing distance of a President gone deaf with only one and half years in Malacanang…that is just the initial paranoia.  So what if the leaders prodded the crowd to get near the Batasan, that is just voicing the true sentiments of the people gathered there. Stones were hurled from a distance and certainly not from the crowd, the leaders were even the first to quell suspected provocateurs. But the mad dog hysteria foisted by the now thick phalanx of the police, mercilessly aiming their truncheons and shields at helpless protesters is nothing but an act of war they most have probably long conditioned to unleash.

We, at Health Alliance for Democracy, have estimated more than 100 casualties. We brought 30 seriously injured at the East Avenue Medical Center, and have rendered first aid treatment to 20 more. At the moment, victims of the SONA violence still trek to our clinics. Of the 30 brought at EAMC, 14 suffered head injuries. While the police had tough head gears, it seems they have the penchant to hit the heads of their perceived enemies. The victims suffer an average 3 to 4 blows, some still exhibiting the hematoma imprints of the truncheons. Most of them were hit when they skid or have fallen on the ground. So much for gentlemanliness, not even teenage girls were spared the blows, one police even walked over a hapless victim.

While the alleged injured policemen were sent to the plush St. Lukes and Medical Center Manila, the victim protesters mainly workers, farmers and even government employees had to fall in line at the already crowded East Avenue Medical Center. The President has given P20,000 financial assistance to Corpuz who was hurt in a separate rally (but if viewers were undiscerning, may have mistaken him for a SONA victim as well.) The victim protesters on the other hand are still soliciting medicines for their other companions…and can’t even locate where they can buy the 50% cut-off medicines reported in GMA’s SONA.

Yes, we were there with the people. We wanted to raise the issue of chronic neglect in our health care system…uncared government health workers, low budget, lack of medicines, privatization of hospitals etc. And yet we emerged more educated with what militants predict will be a renewed plague of FASCISM. So, this is the preview of the “strong republic” of GMA! (July 24, 2002)

Joseph M. Carabeo M.D.
Health Alliance for Democracy

Heartfelt Thanks from Canada

In solidarity in this dangerous post-9/11 world, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks for your web site, your courageous investigative journalism and dead-on analysis of what is really going on between Manila and Washington.

Your web site, particularly the series by Bobby Tuazon, served as a primary and extensively quoted source for my six-part series "The United States in the Philippines: post-9/11 imperatives" that is now posted at my publication, the Online Journal <>. My colleagues at the Center for Global Research <> may also carry this series (Online and CRG have a collaborative relationship). (July 18, 2002)

Larry Chin
Contributing Editor
Online Journal 

Lewd Sexual Poses in FHM

We are utterly appalled at the video clips and photos of women in various lewd sexual poses taken during the so-called Victory Party of the Gokongwei-owned For Him Magazine that was held last July 9 at the NBC Tent at The Fort.  We could easily dismiss the event as nothing but a cheap publicity stunt by the magazine to attract its target audience.  Unfortunately, it was done at the expense of women’s dignity. 

We also take exception to the tabloid that published the photo for using the photo itself (in front page, no less) to sell the newspaper.  We deplore the continuing penchant of businesses to use women’s bodies to sell products and services.  Such affront to the dignity of women is already a form of violence against women.  Women are not seen as persons who deserve respect but as commodities that these businesses can pay to make the women do whatever they want them to just to sell their business, whether that business is a magazine, a tabloid, a car wash joint or even a SIM card feature (as advertised by ZED in a tabloid using what looks like a photo of a raid in a bar with scantily-clad women covering their faces).

Allow us to stress, however, that the women are not the objects of our condemnation because we believe that they are merely forced by circumstances.  In a society like ours that is chronically in crisis, whatever job is available for women is something that they are thankful for.  That is when businesses take advantage and exploitation of women comes in.  That is when the government’s anti-women stance is most apparent. (July 17, 2002)

Emmi de Jesus
Deputy Secretary General

Message of Thanks

Thank you for posting my press release on I wasn't able to thank you  personally when we met at the IBON forum because I still haven't checked your site then and didn't know that it was already published.

Again, thank you for supporting our campaign. We are hoping that other media outlets will follow suit. (July 15, 2002)

Ilang-Ilang Quijano

PCPR reaction to NAD paid ad

We in the Promotion of Church People’s Response cry foul over the July 11 paid ad of the National Alliance for Democracy (NAD) in the Philippine Daily Inquirer. While human rights activists risk their lives in defense of the violated and sinned against, the military and para-military apparatus of the government such as NAD are out to discredit KARAPATAN, BAYAN MUNA and other cause-oriented groups that expose human rights abuses committed by military and paramilitary troops in the course of their counter-insurgency operations.

NAD is certainly far from being nationalist and democratic. We know very well that like many other vigilante and paramilitary groups, NAD is a creation of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). As the passage in the Bible in 2 Timothy 3:12 warns, “Everyone who wants to live a godly life in union with Jesus Christ will be persecuted; and evil persons and impostors will keep on going from bad to worse, deceiving others and being deceived themselves,” impostors like NAD are tools of the repressive state to spread black propaganda against grassroots people’s organizations that oppose large-scale militarization, human rights abuses and systematic political repression.

We hold the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo administration accountable to the worsening human rights situation and fascist attacks against the people. Contrary to her vow of bringing  ‘all-out peace,’ GMA even ordered the deployment of more army battalions in Mindoro and we have heard nothing from her when series of killings, abduction and harassment against Bayan Muna, Bayan and other cause-oriented groups have occurred in the island province. Moreover, church people in the human rights advocacy work are not exempted from military harassment and intimidation, as in the following cases:

  • UCCP Pastor Joseph Agpaoa, a human rights worker, was abducted and interrogated by the military in Isabela last year.

  • Offices of the Education Forum and the Social Action Center of the Diocese of Isabela, where priests and religious sisters joined local peasant groups’ protests against land grabbing were ransacked on May 7, 2002. A computer set containing important files on their campaign against Danding Cojuangco’s Cassava Project and Coal Mining Project in the region was taken by suspected military agents.

  • Good Shepherd Sisters who supported the petition of Banwaon tribes for the pull-out of military and CAFGU detachments in San Luis, Agusan del Sur were branded as ‘communists’ and  ‘NPA sympathizers’.

These cases prove that state persecution, imprisonment, torture, forced disappearance and brutal death are great risks faced by those who defend the rights of the poor. As promoters of justice and peace, we will never be cowed by NAD and all instruments of the state that actually betrays its avowed duty of promoting the people’s rights. And we will rally on July 22 to protest the worsening state of human rights under GMA. (15 July 2002)

Bishop Alan Ray Sarte, OFM
Co-Chairperson, PCPR

Fr. Allan Jose Arcebuche
Spokesperson, PCPR

Amie Dural

On Doreen Fernandez as Revolutionary

I did not know that she is a member of the movement, well I'm always reading her article in the Inquirer. I assumed that she is just an ordinary woman, ordinary as she is but at the inside a fighter. I like the way she handles subject about food.  I'm gonna miss her and her zest for Filipino cuisine , I wish her family peace even though its a bit late. (July 14, 2002)

Rizaldy Rodriguez

"Fearless website"


I'm a filipino student residing in Los Angeles here in the United States and I would like to commend the contributors, writers, staff and webmasters of your very informative and fearless website for a job well done.


With many online news providers like INQ7 and Philstar, it is which I found enlightening, fearless and most important, news reporting with a pro-people and nationalist viewpoint 


I always look to for the real "stories" behind the issues facing our nation. Please keep up the excellent work!


Kindly inform me of any events that you may have here in the US or any assistance I could extend to your staff or writters whenever they are here in the US.


More power to you at! (07 June 2002)


"Nikko Buenaseda" 



On Hidden War in Sulu (Vol. 2, No. 15)


It is totally disturbing, reminiscent of US atrocities in Vietnam. (31 May 2002)



Peace and all good. I am a native of Jolo, Sulu and works as Executive Assistant of CO Multiversity. I am very much interested with what you have documented about my place, but quite disheartened not to access those information from my e-mail.  Can you please send me attachments of the result of your fact-finding team? Hoping this will help me in my future works in Sulu as peace advocate. Such information for sure will help some NGOs in Sulu specifically Peace Center in the town of Jolo. This will challenge them and empower them to realize that there is so much more to do in Jolo.  Suluhanons should consider those documents you gathered as an eye-opener--that they are human beings with dignity and rights.  (20 May 2002) 


Elle Fernandez


On U.S. Plane Shot at by Angry Residents (Vol. 2, No. 14)

Dapat pinabagsak ng tuluyan. (21 May  2002)


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On Attack vs. Migrants Group (Vol. 2, No. 15)

If this animals in uniform under the coddling of Arroyo can do such things blatantly and without due respect to the process of law, then we're sliding back to the era of the 70's under the Marcos dynasty.
I would be glad to hear any notions or movement to oust Gloria. (21 May 2002)

Bert Dooma  eLagda-Australia


On Rally vs Placer Dome (Vol. 2, No. 11)

Thanks for the article. It is good to know that Filipinos abroad receive coverage from your publication! (30 April 2002)

Ted Alcuitas

Very interesting and worth sharing with other Filipinos especially Igorots who never dared understand this portion of our history, to be able to carry on the heroic and sensible response of our elders in defense of our being as a people. (30 April 2002)

ET <>  

Against `Holiday Economics’ (Vol. 2, No. 11), But…

Thank you for the article. Your figures are true. I am also against the policy when it comes to holiday expenses. But in all policies, there will always be beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries. When you look at the non-expenditure side, there are valuable benefits to people from all walks of life. One of them is gathering all the family members together in the home, for a group cleaning, playing, praying, and all sorts of small or big activities that families could do together without spending. Nowadays, both parents work to augment the family income. That leaves the children to their yayas or relatives. Holidays like this are much needed to somehow fill in the long lost time that parents should have with their children. (23 April 2002)

Martino C. Dominguez

Photo Contribution and Letter of Appreciation

I read with great interest your article on the death anniversary of Flor Contemplacion (Vol. 2, Issue 6).

Attached is a photo of Japanese-Filipino children who performed a dance rendition of Bayan Ko that ends in reading the children statement saying Out with US Troops in the Philippines Now! The photo was taken last March 17, 2002 at the Special Assembly of Kalipunan ng Filipino na Nagkakaisa (KAFIN) held at Aoki Kaikan, Kawaguchi City, Saitama. This KAFIN activity is part of the news you have written.

For more information, or in case you need additional source of news about the sentiments of the Filipinos here in Japan, just send us an email. Thank you very much and we appreciate very much your support.

Cesar V. Santoyo
Center for Japanese-Filipino Families (CJFF)

Reaction to Coco Farmers' Plight (Vol. 2, Issue 4)

I totally agree that whatever was taken from the farmers should be returned to them instead of going to a "plunderer." It is about time that the Supreme Court step into this so that the people's faith and trust in the government and the courts will be regained. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo should stop campaigning for the 2004 elections and just concentrate on working for the betterment of the people. (March 5, 2002)

Raoul Ruiz

Seeing the Bigger Picture

September 11 has been a memorable and tragic day for all of us, even if we live far away from New York. We not only think of the economic crisis it caused us, but also felt the pain of those who lost their loved ones in the bombing, we felt they were a big loss in our economic development.  We all cried, we mourned with the whole world.

We are not aware that while mourning for those who died in the bombing, there are thousands of other people dying on that same day, not for the same reason, but for the old same problem, poverty and sickness.  Because this is so common already, we pay so little attention to this big problem of the whole world, where in fact we should think of this as a major tragic.  But again, who are these people dying of poverty or of illnesses?  They are the people who do not contribute much, as they say, to our economy.  Life is so unfair.

Let us not only remember the day Sept. 11 for those who lost their lives in the bombing of the World Trade Center, but I hope that we would not also forget those who lost their lives as victims of this crucial, unequal world, the poor and the outcasts. (March 3, 2002)

Anna Marie Tiamzon

Erap Camp on a PR Blitz

Last night's (i.e., February 28) late show in the two major TV networks of the country (ABS-CBN and GMA 7) were on Erap. Isyu had an exclusive interview of Erap while Debate had Erap’s current woes as the topic.

In the Debate show, all pro-Erap panel slots were filled (Atty. Cleofe Verzola, Atty. Felix Carao and “Liar” Ferdie Ramos). On the other side were Rey Malonzo and a virtual nobody in the TV circuit (i.e., the vice president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines or IBP).

It occurred to me that the Erap camp is using media to the hilt to propagate their lies to the people. The Debate show was practically tilted towards Erap. The pro-Erap panel had the credibility at least to talk about the issue despite their lies. Their opponents were not directly involved nor courtroom observers of the trial. Thus, Malonzo could only parry the allegations of the other side.

I was wondering where on earth were the Plunder Watch and E-just people? Atty. Marichu Lambino, Atty. Leonard de Vera, Carol Araullo, Fr. Joe Dizon, COPA, etc. Where were they?

I think in the PR game, issuing press statements is not enough as Plunder Watch is wont to do. They have to be more visible on TV --- more on the TV shows please since their statements in the news are often cut short while Erap is given all the airtime to poison the public with his lies.

The so-called EDSA 3 was clearly well planned perhaps months before the incident and we were caught with our pants down. I think the anti-Erap (for want of a better term) group should at least be proactive rather than be left behind reacting and fixing the damage being done by the Erap publicists. (February 28, 2002)

JS, Cebu City

Good Analysis, Unlike Inquirer

I look forward to reading more Bulatlat articles. They have full grasp and analysis of current events, unlike some columnists in PDI (Philippine Daily Inquirer) who couldn't "rub" and too stupid to be anything but mediocre. (21 February 2002)

Giovanni Reyes

Congrats on’s First Anniversary (Vol. 2, No. 1)

As a compatriot who has been away for more than 12 years, the presence of in cyberspace is a great endeavor. You have provided compatriots like me valuable information that helped in understanding the present issues of our times. The format is very excellent, easy to navigate, and links are very helpful. Once again from the very cold land of Canada, you have kept our hearts warm and rekindle our desire to support the struggle of our kababayan. Mabuhay and happy surfing to all.  (February 10, 2002)


Hello there. I am an avid reader (and endorser) of Providing the masses and the people of the world with analyses of the Philippines' social, political and economic issues from a different perspective is a great task. You deserve praise and congratulations on your first anniversary.

It is very appropriate to remember your anniversary, even in a very simple way. Remembering our past is part of our definition of who we are at present. It is part of the making of our future. The failure of the past and present dispensations in the Philippines lies in their forgetting its past. The GMA administration, whose foundation is anchored on the power of the masses, forgets its past by accommodating and prioritizing the interests of the US and the local elite. Remembering your first anniversary, I hope, will continue your fervent desire to face and scrutinize the current burning realities in our country and challenge these for a better future. Our future.

Happy 1st anniversary again! (February 10, 2002)

Rei Aldaba
Ottawa, Canada

Reaction to "Shame in Victory" (Issue No. 50)

Have the Filipino domestic workers in Hong Kong really won a victory by successfully persuading the HK government not to implement wage cuts? Perhaps the 'victory' will backfire as the poor economy in HK will lead to many HK people not being able to afford to employ them anymore. (February 6, 2002)

Jonathan Perez

On Probable Downfall of Arroyo

I agree with what Joma Sison (Democratic Space, Issue 45) said. GMA has showed off her true loyalty --- the US government as her big boss. Being a traitor to national sovereignty and not properly addressing the problems of the people, the time will come that her presidency will end. Thanks for the space. (February 4, 2002)

Louise Vincent Amante

Article Good Enough, But...

On the article about American involvement in the Philippines (Learning Lessons from the Past, Issue 49), it's good as far as it goes. Unfortunately, it does not adequately convey the full horror of the American imperialist and racist intervention in that country. Please read Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States, pages 305 - 313 for a more thorough and straight ahead look. Thank you. (February 3, 2002)

Tarak Kauff

No Mock Battle in 1899

I just can't buy this portion of the story (Learning Lessons from the Past, Issue 49). A mock battle! The Spaniards under Adm. Montojo were really badly defeated in Manila Bay.  All the Spanish vessels were destroyed, and the Americans did not lose a single man. This is the reason too why Commodore Dewey (who later was promoted to admiral) is known in US history as the hero of the Battle of Manila Bay. I wonder what Sonia Zaide would say about this "opinion." (February 2, 2002)

Ernie Turla

Greetings from Okinawa

This is my first time to open your news on-line through a friend's recommendation and actually I find your articles interesting and different than the usual news I get online from Philippines. Thanks! I'm hoping to interact with you more online. (February 1, 2002)

Luisa Kobayashi

Reactions to Fil-Am War article (Issue 49)

I cry for the past and current actions of my country. (January 31, 2002)

Elena Barnes

I just read the article entitled "Learning Lessons from the Past." It presents an interesting, and I think, accurately drawn parallel between our history and what is happening now.

I am always filled with anger every time I read accounts of our close but brutal history with America. I hate it that hundreds of thousands of our ancestors were ruthlessly killed by American marauders who, while they were engaged in wholesale slaughter and rapine, were pretending to every American back home, who was fool enough to believe them, that what was being done was part of their "Manifest Destiny." (This offers another interesting parallel to the current (pseudo)war against terrorism: i.e., that it was America's duty as the "brightest beacon of democracy" to rid the whole world of the scourge of terrorism. Which it attempted to do by bombing the poorest country in the world--killing thousands--while leaving Osama unscathed and, most probably, gloating in his cave.)

I hate it that America still continues to wreak sorrow and degradation all over the world and we can do virtually nothing about it. And with hundreds of U.S. troops in our country, it sinks in again that we never really had a government that took an active stand against imperial America and its policy of violence and greed. And we have many Pinoys who either don't know our history, or don't care. From freedom fighters to mendicants!

Thanks for this article and the rage it evoked. I think we should feel enough rage (against subjugators) and compassion (for victims anywhere and everywhere) to keep us from living smug, complacent lives and spur us into doing our share for a genuinely just world. (January 31, 2002)

Divine Love Astor Salvador

Looking up to Satur Ocampo

I'm quite grateful that every time I surf the internet, I am able to read news that are true and not sugarcoated.
I also would like to commend your online magazine for the write-ups about Ka Satur Ocampo whom I am fond of and look up to. I remember seeing him and listening to his talks about the national situation. From him, I learned what the media fail to report, what the media deliberately sugarcoat. I became more critical about what is really happening around us, concerned with the plight of the Muslims, the militarized Mangyans, the landless farmers, and the worsening poverty because of corruption, US imperialist control and other things that add to the woes of our people.
But time is ever changing, thanks to your magazine, thanks to the vigilant workers, farmers, women, youth; thanks to Ka Satur, Ka Lisa, Ka Crispin. The fight goes on... (27 January 2002)

Sheryl Fuentes

Kudos to

A friend introduced me to your online magazine. I read about your news reports and it's quite amazing that you have the courage to publish such reports. Just as what my friend did, I will also recommend your online magazine to my friends. Serve the People! (January 23, 2002)

Sheryl Fuentes

Poor must practice family planning

I am just wondering if you have population management as one of your advocacy. I am not really impressed by your group in the way you deal with the poor.

We are a poor country and yet the poor do not even practice family planning. The corrupt government may have a fault. But if the poor have at the most two children, they could easily afford to send them to school. The children do not even have time to read your website.

May I suggest that there would be forced castration on the poor family who have already two children. (19 January 2002)

Dante Almazan


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