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 Read more feedback

On dismembering the republic

I was wondering why these governors want to protect and secure Arroyo's tenure in Malacanang?   

Also, why have these governors not responded to the complaints of the protestors regarding poverty and corruption?  Just like the Arroyo administration, they have been avoiding the issues being presented by the public.  And why isn't the media questioning this? 

Also, do you have any reports describing the revenues that the governors claim they will withhold if Arroyo is ousted? 

Pauline Santos
21 Jul 2005


American vet 

This may be completely out of line with your publication... I served in the U S Navy in Guiana in 1945-1946 and have a "group" picture that was taken alongside the Immaculate Conception church in 1945. Could it be mailed to you for publication? Maybe some of the "younger" ones shown can remember that far back.  

Jerry Higgins

21 Jul 2005


Silent majority

I’m sure this would not be posted on Bulatlat due to the seemingly one-sided material that you guys print. Not all Filipinos are for the resignation or forced ouster of GMA.  She should be tried, yes and prosecuted if guilty. Calling a Comelec official in the height of an election really constitutes bad taste and a lapse in judgment (as GMA would say) of all the election candidates that would have called Commissioner Garcillano asking for help and who would readily deny it with the most absurd alibis it was GMA who chose to admit it. 

GMA is and will be the sacrificial lamb for our country to move on no doubt about that, but I personally won’t accept a change of government brought about by mob rule.  It has been years since the original People’s Power and that first one was really called for but by god after all this years we still haven’t changed, we still haven’t put to good use the sacrifices and the gains that past governments after the Marcos era has laid for us. 

After all things will be said and done there is no doubt that we are in verge of a new era in Philippine politics with the old dogs of a bygone era being slowly replaced by young modern thinkers full of idealism and hope, old practices should give way to new governance, a governance which upholds the rule of law. Mind you the silent majority wants legal action but alas they remain silent and the minority hogs all the limelight.


19 Jul 2005



People power is constitutional


Those protesting are not only exercising a RIGHT, they are more importantly exercising THE ELECTORAL POWER.


They are unsheathing the PREROGATIVE of FINAL RECOURSE, to John Locke "antecedent and paramount," Sovereign PEOPLE forever retain, refuse to relinquish to Government the Governed CONSENT to create, reserve solely to exercise...THE ELECTORAL POWER...to dissolve Government violating the TRUST reposed, revoke delegated Powers usurped, concentrated, abused, "provide new Guards."


Our idea of a "comprehensive and lasting social reforms" for a lawyer's group such as CODAL to advocate are:


1. Abolition of Political Dynasty (and all those who have held ELECTIVE public office are permanently barred from public service);

2. Abolition of Usury (or Economic Slavery or Bombai which the Church remains silent about); and


(Territorial Filipinos are those born during the American Territorial Period). This way, the Overseas Filipino DIASPORA can be transformed into an EXPAT EXUDOS.


Domingo T. Arong

Fermin T. Rotea

No cell phone, land (Cebu) 262-6883


16 Jul 2005



Replacing Gloria


To lead our country from poverty and corruption so we want the younger version to LEAD our country incase the vice president can't govern. We want ESCUDERO, MAR ROXAS , LACSON  and  ZUBIRI, NONOY AQUINO any of them will be better. We are sick and tired of BROKEN promises already. We want a TOTAL CHANGE for our country. We also want the younger MILITARY men to replace the old ones so that they can have the chance to be our soldiers of TRUTH and HONEST Y.


WE mga Pinoy dito sa Japan want GMA to RESIGN now for the good of our country.


MABUHAY ang mga totoong PINOY na ipinaglalaban ang KALAYAAN natin kagaya ng pinaglaban ni NINOY AQUINO sa atin BANSA. TAMA na ... SOBRA na ... MAG-KAISA po tayo to FIND the TRUTH para matapos na po ang paghihirap ng ating mga KABABAYAN. MABUHAY ang mga STUDENTS natin dahil pinaglalaban nila ang KARAPATAN natin sa KOTOTOHANAN. HINDI po natutulog ang DIYOS ... at iyan ay ALAM ni GMA.


Pinoy Group of Japan


15 Jul 2005


Photo of the Week

Tungkol po sa "Photo of the Week' section ng Bulaltlat.  Maganda po at nakikita ng ating mga kababayan ang ibat-ibang pang-araw araw na pamumuhay sa ibat ibang bahagi ng Pilipinas. SALAMAT at MORE POWER SA BULATLAT.  


13 Jul 2005


Maraming salamat 

Maraming maraming salamat, lubos kong ikinagagalak na ako'y maging bahagi ng inyong organisasyon.nawa'y balang araw ako'y maging isang haligi ng ilaw at panitik. kasihan nawa kayo ng diyos... 

"richard moral"

8 Jul 2005


Indepth news

Salamat ho so trabaho niyo in bringin out the more in depth news from the Philippines. Maraming salamat ho at saka patuloy ang paglabas ng relevant news!

Chico Taguba
3 Jul 2005


On The Final Crisis of the Arroyo Government

Is it possible that the ouster of Arroyo from the presidency would also include nullifying the legitimacy of her stint as president after she usurped power through the so-called EDSA 2? 

Rosalinda Olsen

Jul 3, 2005


Very interesting

Your article is very interesting. It is already a fact known to many who are serious in their education. It'd be nice if the government would do something about this instead of busying themselves with senseless ideas of making themselves richer. Continue to work for the awakening of the people! God bless! 

"Stephanie Ramiro"

2 Jul 2005


Truth and justice


Today was the first time I read Bulatlat online, thanks to a friend who gave me the URL. 


Dabet Castañeda's article "The Oldest and the Youngest in the Day of Protest," brought tears in my eyes and in my heart as I read of my countrymen's pursuit of truth and justice.


I take the liberty of attaching a flash movie I made, in the hope that you can make use of it.


Rosalinda N. Olsen
Jun 29, 2005


Crediting Bulatlat and Charles Raiñer C. Marquez

Greetings from FUDGE! We are a pop culture magazine currently on our 10th issue, distributed at local newsstands in Metro Manila as well as Cebu and Davao.

We would like to notify your company of our use of a quote from Charles Raiñer Marquez's article "Medical Schools Rake in Profits –but Health System is in Crisis." The quote will be utilized in our feature on the rush of Pinoy medical practitioners to become nurses abroad.

We would like to assure you and the author that Mr. Marquez will be cited as the writer of the piece -and that the article will be credited to Bulatlat.com.

Anna Gan
Managing Editor
FUDGE Magazine
Jun 28, 2005


The Saga of Macapal Arroyo

Excerpts from the internet...

Iloilo in 1929, the king of jueteng was a Chinese named Luis Sane, widely known as Sualoy. He operated with impunity; his establishments were safe from raids; secured, it was said, by generous bribe money to
politicians and the local police.

In September 1929, Ening [Lopez] and El Tiempo began a crusade against jueteng in
Iloilo and the corruption it created in local government. The winning number each day was printed in a box in boldface on page one. Ening came out with one expose after another, alleging that top politicians such as Iloilo Governor Mariano Arroyo, Iloilo City police chief Marcelo Buenaflor and his brother Congressman
Tomas Buenaflor, had been bribed by Sualoy to turn a blind eye on jueteng.

Ening did not choose lightweight opponents. Mariano Arroyo was the most powerful man in the province. He was the brother of the late Jose Arroyo, a Nacionalista senator and good friend of Quezon. As the public's outrage over the corruption began to mount, Arroyo issued a statement that jueteng did not exist in Iloilo. That it did and that local officials benefited from it were matters of public knowledge in the
city. The question was not what needed to be done, but who had the courage to do it. As it turned out, Ening Lopez did.

In March 1930, due to the pressure created by El Tiempo, Sualoy's headquarters was finally raided; not by the do-nothing local police, but the Philippine Constabulary. Sualoy was arrested, found guilty
and jailed. He was eventually deported and died in China. With Sualoy out, the conflict had narrowed to a match between ElTiempo and the governor. The crusade had captured the imagination of Iloilo and made El Tiempo the city's leading newspaper. In August 1930, pushed against the wall, Governor Arroyo sued El Tiempo for libel. Ening struck back by filing administrative charges against the governor. He also called in his friend and former boss Vicente Francisco to lead his defense against the libel charge.

As the struggle intensified, some Lopezes sensed in it some unwelcome echoes of the political tempest that had taken the life of Ening's father (Benito Lopez) 22 years before. El Tiempo's editor, Jose Magalona, was badly beaten by a local thug who was believed to be in the employ of the governor's men.  The older Lopezes were afraid that as the row grew more heated, Ening might eventually share his father's fate.

Fortunately, news of the case had reached Manila and attracted the attention of (American) Governor General Dwight F. Davis. Governor Arroyo and his cohorts came under minute scrutiny. As a result of the
scandal, the Nacionalistas and Quezon began backing away from Arroyo. When Arroyo asked Quezon to recommend to Davis that he be acquitted of the administrative charges filed by Lopez, Quezon refused. Instead, Davis swiftly dispatched Judge Manuel Moran (later chief justice of the Supreme Court), to investigate the libel case. Moran established that Arroyo and the police chief were in fact heavily involved in illegal gambling. They even ran a gambling den as a means of generating money for the upcoming 1931 elections. Moran concluded that Ening and El Tiempo had not been guilty of libel.

In Arroyo's trial on the administrative charges, even more damning evidence against the governor came out. Pio Sian Melliza, a boyhood friend and active supporte! r of the governor, testified that when he had asked his friend to finally crack down on jueteng, the governor told him:

Compadre, why are you so determined to get rid of jueteng gambling? Isn't it clear to you that most of the jueteng runners and sellers are our own political ward leaders? The elections are nearing, and I am
running for re-election. Not including the money they are giving us for election expenses, they can hurt us in this election, because there are many of these jueteng runners in this province.

October 7, 1930, Governor General Dwight F. Davis ordered Governor Mariano Arroyo relieved of his post for corruption. Timoteo Consing, a friend of Ening, was named as his replacement. Iloilo Mayor Eulogio Garganera and Marcelo Buenaflor were suspended. The ex-governor staged a protest rally and attempted to make a political comeback, but his disgrace had been marked and he sank into obscurity.

Now, a postscript to history --

Don Mariano Arroyo, the disgraced governor of Iloilo who was dismissed  by the American governor-general for being a jueteng protector and coddler, had a brother, Jose Arroyo y Pidal. He is the grandfather of Atty. Jose Miguel Arroyo y Tuason, the so-called First Gentleman,  being the husband of the President of the Republic, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Jose Miguel, whose nickname is Mike, has a younger brother, Jose Ignacio Arroyo, who is now a congressman of Negros Occidental.

29 Jun 2005


Arroyo regime must come to an end

The belated confession of Gloria M. Arroyo that hers is the voice on the tapes, telling a commissioner on elections to deliver the vote margin that she wanted, cannot exculpate her from the grave crime of massive electoral fraud. This is not a minor lapse in judgment but a serious crime that must be thoroughly investigated and tried.

Arroyo has made her confession because of the mounting popular demand for her to break her silence and the failure of her armed agents to locate the original tapes in order to destroy them.


The confession is done in bad faith. The apology is insincere and worthless because it is not accompanied by her resignation. It is intended to let the electoral cheat and her cohorts keep their ill-gotten power and all the opportunities for further bureaucratic corruption at the expense of the Filipino people.


After the confession of Gloria M. Arroyo, in the face of the undeniable truth and under the pressure of public opinion and mass unrest, there is greater and more compelling reason for the Filipino people to exercise their sovereign power to oust her and her cohorts from power or compel them to resign through the mass movement.


The House of Representatives is dominated by Arroyo loyalists headed by Speaker Jose de Venecia. It is therefore futile to undertake impeachment proceedings against her. The only way to remove her from power and make her answerable for her crimes is to undertake a mass movement with cumulative strength, scope and intensity.


Arroyo has committed too many grave crimes aside from massive electoral fraud. Following the orders of the US as her imperialist master, she has intensified the exploitation and oppression of the Filipino people. The broad masses of the people are revolted by their economic suffering and the cruelty of state terrorism under the Arroyo regime.


It is fine if the broad united front and the broad mass movement can remove the Arroyo ruling clique from power. They have a good chance of ousting the ruling clique within the second half of this year, if certain groups and movements of military and police forces keep their word to uphold civilian supremacy, respect the people's rights and withdraw support from the hated regime.


After the resignation or ouster of the Arroyo-de Castro tandem, a people's democratic council can act as a transition government to conduct snap elections of executive officials as well as delegates to a constitutional convention that is not in the clutches of Arroyo and Speaker De Venecia.


But some powerful forces wish to condone all the accumulated and continuing crimes of the Arroyo ruling clique because of the irrational fear that the entire ruling system might be undermined by the mass movement if once more this succeeds in removing a ruling clique from power before the next presidential elections.


For any length of time that it can prolong its rule, the rotten Arroyo reactionary clique can only deepen and aggravate the rottenness of the entire ruling system of big compradors and landlords servile to US imperialism. It can only drive the people to overthrow not only itself but the entire ruling system.


If the regime is able to stay in power through the use of brute force and because certain forces condone and support it, the Filipino people are more than ever justified in waging the armed revolution for national liberation and democracy against US imperialism and the local exploiting classes.

28 Jun 2005



Umamin na si arroyo bakit pinagtatakpan pa at.ayaw kasuhan ng mga nasa puwesto? Ano bang merong utak yang mga nakaupo sa Kongreso? Di pa ba sapat yung umamin na yan ng kasalanan? Kung pababayaan pa ng mga Pinoy sa Pinas ang ganiyang klaseng gobyerno di na aasenso Pilipinas. Nakakahiya dito sa Canada ang pinag-gagagawa ng babaing yan ikinahihihiya namin dito sa canada na nagkaroon ng madayang presidente ang Pilipinas.

"romen sammy"
28 Jun 2005


On Tracking `Gloriagate’ Scandal: The First Two Weeks

I was a fellow researcher in UP lately.  I'm very interested with your country and its political situation!

First of all, Thank you.  Your article is a master of art. It is exactly what is needed to understand the situation in Manila right now. 

But some points are definitely unclear to me, maybe in purpose.  

Why to accuse the US of "political sabotage" at the very start of the crisis, the 6 of June? Should we understand, in the ''Big picture'', the US is playing a role in all this?  Ok, why not, but why indeed!   What is your guess on this and on which basis?

The ISAFP is playing an important role here!   But to fire his head two days after the start of the crisis, I guess there is a trust crisis between the GRP and the AFP!  That's why I thought nothing will happen fast (like in 2000-2001)!  But, things are turning hot over GMA.  Even an impeachment complaint was charged against her the 28 of june!   Who is the new chief of the ISAFP?

Jean-Philippe BUSSON
27 Jun 2005


Stupidity knows no bounds

Ok, if folks believe GMA then you could say that is stupid.  But wait a minute:  stupidity knows no bounds here in the US, where 59 million people elected an imperialist war-mongering emperor. We hold the stupidity (and capitalist greed) gold standard and will not be outdone by anyone anywhere.

"Tim McGloin"
20 Jun 2005


Timely and relevant

I would like to congratulate all of you for the timely and relevant information and analysis of all the social realities happening in our country.  I always find time to open the website just to be updated of the news that can not be found int he dailies.  Concerning the killing of my friend Rev. Edison Lapuz, I was part of the documentation team who went to San Isidro,Leyte a day after he was shot, and was  present during the ABS-CBN live coverage of the re-enactment by his wife Emma that was aired at TV Patrol World and Insider.

Thanks and God bless.

Sr.M. Francis Antilde, RSM
19 Jun 2005


Distressed with Philippine news

I am currently working in China and I have been distressed lately with the news about what is happening in the Philippine political arena.  There is nothing more frustrating for us - Filipinos working and living abroad, than seeing our country being drowned by so many scams once again. 

While we try our best to project a positive image of Filipinos and the Philippines, news like what we have now, are doing nothing but washing out all our efforts.  From out of the box, I perfectly understand all the sides of the story - I can see that the opposition is fighting for a principle and that GMA is trying her best to put a face amongst all these allegations.  But at the end of the day, our country is still in shambles and even if we are not physically there, we are still very much affected by it.


The Philippine economy is the main reason why I and other Filipinos continue to seek employment in other countries.  It is easy for everyone to think that we are having a great life only because most of you have not gone through the experiences that we are having.  But come to think of it, with the meager salaries that companies can afford to pay their personnel in the Philippines, one can only tighten their belt, brave facing creditors or leave one’s family if only to survive.  At the rate that our economy is going, there is not one person without a debt in the Philippines.  And it is sad to think that we used to be one of the better countries in Southeast Asia.


Even education which was seen to be the solution to fight poverty has failed.  We have countless well-educated persons who deserve decent paying jobs but are unemployed or are employed as blue-collar workers in other countries.  Moreover, the quality of education has gone so low that from a recognized English speaking country, the younger generation can barely make a decent conversation in the business language.


The pit that the Philippines have fallen into is very deep and everyone just seems to keep on pulling each other down rather than doing something that would uplift everyone’s situation. 


Even investors who are willing to help third-world countries have shunned the Philippines. Only a handful of them take the risk in doing business with us.  Not even the skills and hardworking attitudes of the Filipinos can cover for the flawed business environment that we currently have to offer. 


It would be ideal at this point to have a strong leader emerge but let us be realistic and face the fact that politics will never be free from graft and corruption.  If we keep on ousting our leaders with no alternatives, we are only digging our graves deeper and we may not be able to rise for a very long time. 


It pains me to think that this is now the picture of the beautiful Philippines that I have traveled around in.  It saddens me to see that our people have turned negative and helpless, a far contrast from the positive and can-do attitude that we are known for.  It angers me that I can not do anything much from where I am right now. 


But I hope that with this letter, anyone who reads it can wake up and instead of just opening their mouths, they can do something to help in making our country whole again.


Ma. Clara Jesusa G. Guzman

S256 Provincial Highway, Houjie Town,

Dongguan City, Guangdong Province,

PR China 523962

18 Jun 2005


Gloria lies

So, what else is new! Gloria Arroyo will cover up her failure. She says anything to make her look good. And if you people believe all her lies, than you're stupid than her. No, offense! I'm just being honest.

14 Jun 2005


Isabela article 

Previously from your recent archive I found this very interesting subject "Isabela Farmers Lock Horns with American Mining TNCs", stating issues on the currently on-going Power Plant building on the said province. The writer's account of the name "Basilio Toquero” as “the owner of the Isabela Coal and Energy Corporation" is all untrue and complete lie. The name “Basilio Toquero” did not exist under the company which he claims he owns, for this company is legally owned and founded by my grandfather Mr. Julian V. Valdoz. Thank you and God Bless. 

Julius Valdoz
11 Jun 2005


Avid reader 

I must say that I have avidly followed your news reportage for several years now. Your insightful analyses and your fearless coverage of overlooked issues and events has always been a breath of fresh air. Thank you for all of your hard work, it is much appreciated.

Maraming salamat sa lahat ng inyong pagbubulatlat. Ipagpatuloy ninyo ang inyong mabuting ginagawa! 

Pepe Scalice
17 May 2005


Demolition of 20,000 houses in Bulacan

Gloria Arroyo doesn't give a s--- about the poor Filipinos. She already sold them for a few dollars to enrich herself and her corrupt cronies. It’s time to get rid of her. 

29 May 2005


Military operations in Andap Valley, Surigao de Sur

Dati forest products lang ginagamit yung mga six-by-six ngayon nasa mining industry naman yung military.
Marami pa silang supply na explosives para sa mining.

Alin ba ang dapat baguhin - yung Mining Law  na ni-reverse ng decision ng Supreme Court o yung military na laban daw sa Komunista?

Parang noong mga panahon nang world famous shoe owner and miner,  yung ating AFP ngayon ay dapat na palitan na as AMC (Armed Mining Company).

27 May 2005



I write for the student publication of UP Baguio and I'm glad that although I'm on vacation here in the U.S. I'm still informed of what's happening in the Philippines. Magaling ang bulatlat kasi masa ang tinutugunan. Para sa akin walang silbi ang mga balita ng iba.

ramille san juan
26 May 2005


Salungguhit: Marcos times?

There maybe sanctions during the Marcos times but no massacres happened in the rallies and demonstrations by students and political opposition. 

Even the Plaza Miranda bombing, the late President Marcos was cleared by no less than Senate-President Jovito Salonga.W ould you believe that GMA, FVR, Cory Aquino, Cardinal Sin and Makati Business Club  never knew who masterminded the Plaza Miranda Bombing? 

Of course you will not blame Marcos for the Luisita and Mendiola Massacre. Would you believe that GMA, FVR, Cory Aquino, Cardinal Sin and the Makati Business Club never knew who did it?  

You will not also blame Marcos for not paying the P2B obligation to the human right victims. Considering, that the $640M is already in the possession of the government. Baka ubos na!!!! 

For all of the above may ginawa ba sila? Yes, they kicked out Erap,  cheated the election of the late FPJ, the country is on the verge of economic collapse and bankruptcy and the Philippines was ranked the second most corrupt country next to Indonesia. 

Antonio Santos
San Francisco, California
May 25, 2005



Isang maalab na pagbati sa inyo.   

I salute your perseverance in the struggle and pursuit for truth in history of the Filipino people.  I know Boni Lagos and I have full respect for his integrity of his track record in serving the interest of the people. 

For the Bulatlat tribe, salamat sa inyong patuloy na gawain. Marami ang nakikinabang na mamamayan sa paghanap ng alternative information hindi lamang sa ating bansa kundi sa boong daigdig na nagnanais ipaglaban ang katotohanan ng kasaysayan. 

23 May 2005


Sta. Cruz is in trouble because of military presence

Ako po ay concerned citizen from Sta. Cruz Occidental Mindoro. Nabasa ko kc ngaun lang yung article/news nyo tungkol sa militarization sa Occidental Mindoro,particular sa St. Cruz Occidental Mindoro. Ako po eh lumaki at nagkaisip sa bayang ito. Mulat sapol tahimik po ang aming bayan kaya lubha po akong nababahala sa mga kaguluhan na nangyayari sa aming bayan. Simula sa mga pagdukot at mga pagpatay..medyo matagal na po kasi yung article na nabasa ko tungkol sa pagdukot kay Wandale at Jomar Toreliza,pagpatay kay Alegria at marami pa pong ibang naganap na pagdukot at pagpatay sa aming bayan. Pagkatapos po ng pagpatay kay Alegria 11 pa po ang mga namatay,ang pinakahuli nga po ay ang No.1 konsehal na si Pingko Gatdula. Siya po ay tinambangan ng 3 kataong nakabonet 30 metrong layo sa kanilang bahay nuong ika 24 ng Disyembere 2004. Si konsehal eh human rights advocate dito sa aming lugar. Sa katunayan tinuligsa nya ang mga patayang nagaganap at pagdukot dito sa aming bayan..Sya po ay isang ring mamahayag dito sa aming local newspaper/na kung tawagin ay Balikatan. Bulgaran po ang pagkondina nya sa mga militar nya sa dahilang ang kanyang mga kababayan ang naapektuhan ng  mga kaguluhan dito sa aming bayan. Gaya na lang po ng pagkondina nya sa pagtatalaga ng Cafgu sa aming bayan. Naawa po ako sa mga naiwang pamilya ni konsehal na puro makadyos sa dahilang walang nagyayaring linaw sa mga imbestigasyon at ang wala din atang nagiimbestiga..Maihahalintulad ko po ang kaso nya sa kaso ng pinaslang na vice mayor sa Oriental Mindoro. 

Sa ngayon parang martial law ang aming lugar. Walang habas ang mga pagdukot..nakakatakot pong isipin na ang isang mapayapang lugar ay naging magulo dahil sa mga militar. May nabasa nga po akong pahayag ni Lt. Mangalos na kaya maraming militar dito sa aming bayan eh 90% ng mga tao dito samin eh NPA/sympathizer.Hinde po tutuo ang kanyang sinabi. Meron nga po silang pinalabas na mga rebelde na sumuko kuno dito sa aming lugar sa brgy. Casague..alam nyo ba na ang mga sumuko daw ay mga lehitimong magsasaka lang....sa ngayon po eh kaming mga tagarito eh natatakot lumabas lalo na sa gabi na kasi baka mapagbintangan kami na NPA at madukot tapos mapatay.

Patnubayan nawa kayo ng maykapal.

21 May 2005


Sliding back to Martial Law

I wasn't born yet when Martial Law was declared in 1972. I was seven years old then when the 'Peoples Power' struggle restored the country's democracy.

Having no background of activists within our family and raised in a typical Filipino family unmindful of social issues but only to ensure of daily survival – my voice was rarely heard, or I may not draw attention among human rights intellectuals when I speak of human rights and Martial Law.

But I'll take chances now than not to try at all.

With more than only two years of engaging in human rights work and having first-hand experience of getting involved with the families and victims of killings, torture, illegal arrest and detention - I am convinced my country has yet to overcome the shadows and horrors of Martial Law.

With the unrestrained killings of political and human rights activists, journalist, continued practice of torture of persons illegally arrested and detained with impunity, and the resurgence of armed fanatics reportedly sowing anti-Muslim sentiment in the South - was exactly the phenomenon in late 70s and early 80s.

Although the government has done something to address killings of journalist unfortunately it has not done enough when it involves the political and human rights activists. Killings of activists and members of the opposition once became the phenomenon during Martial Law. Since early March this year, the Hong Kong based Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has already reported the killing of six activists.

Despite the prohibition to the practice of torture in our Constitution, still torture remains methods use during police and military investigations. On April 1 this year, four farmers were tortured in Laak, Compostela Valley by the same military unit accused of killing three people in April 2004. That incident follows after the arrest, torture and solitary confinement of a 60-year old female detainee that took place at the AFP Southern Command's headquarters in March 8, 2005.

The government has not done enough to initiate domestic laws to criminalize acts of torture despite its being signatory to the Convention Against Torture (CAT), nor initiate measure to prosecute police and military accused of torture acts and afford compensation to the victims.

I may have been absent in Edsa in 1986, wasn't born during Martial Law and was raised in a family reluctant to discuss social issues - but my self-learning and understanding of my country's democratic struggle, and

encounter with the victims – it is enough to convince myself that we haven't overcome yet from shadows of martial law and we're sliding back to it. Something must be done.

Danilo A. Reyes, Intern
Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)

Hong Kong

20 May 2005


Avid reader 

I must say that I have avidly followed your news reportage for several years now. Your insightful analyses and your fearless coverage of overlooked issues and events has always been a breath of fresh air. Thank you for all of your hard work, it is much appreciated.  

I am a researcher at the University of California, Berkeley studying the Philippine left. I recently read a book by one of your correspondents, Ricco Santos, entitled Beyond the Surface: A theoretical framework for the analysis of the mode of production and social formation in the Philippines.  

I would very much like to correspond with Ricco Santos personally regarding his work. Would it be possible for you to forward this inquiry to him on my behalf, or to send me his email address?  

Maraming salamat sa lahat ng inyong pagbubulatlat. Ipatuloy ninyo ang inyong mabuting ginagawa! 

Pepe Scalice
17 May 2005


Sr. Mary Grenough: American Sister to the Filipino People

Thanks much for that wonderful tribute to a beautiful person.  Sr. Mary grenough has been with us for a long time.  My wife went to school with her here in Louisville, Kentucky. We need more Sr. Marys.

Luv ya, keep up the good work.

Caryl and clara gene gruneisen
Louisville, Kentucky
17 May 2005


Denial of Permit to Rally - Unlawful

How can they get a permit when the court does not give them when they apply anyway? Instead of rallying they should just kick her out, after all she's not the duly elected president because she only stole her title from the duly elected president Joseph Estrada, and she stole it again on May 10, presidential election from FPJ. She's nothing but the bogus president of Cebu. She doesn't deserve to be a leader.

17 May 2005


Cordillera Day 2005 

I would just like to clarify that in his address, Rep. Joel Virador must have unconsciously jumbled the numbers of the House bill Bayan Muna has filed to repeal the Mining Act of 1995. It is House Bill 3846, and not 8634.

3 May 2005


Sagada photos

I am a British engineer working on an American project in Egypt. Two years ago I met a Philippine Lady from Sagada who is now my wife. We are planning to return to Sagada this coming July to undertake a traditional marriage and enjoy our home in the village. For some considerable time I have searched the web for photos, news, etc. relating to the area. Fortunately at the Pinoy club this week I mentioned it and was given your website.

What a breath of fresh air. Photos, news (good and bad), generally a true and honest web site suckering to no one. Great. Being greedy more photos would be nice.

Dr James Sennett
Wadi Nil St
Cairo, Egypt.
19 Apr 2005


Farmers Poorer Despite CARP?

TFM CARP Study Belies Report



In the April 16 articles in the newspapers that came from Agence France Presse ’s news feed, the media came out with sweeping titles (Philippine Daily Inquirer: “Farmers poorer despite land reform” page A9 , The Manila Times: “Local farmers poorer despite land reform”, page A6,  Tonight: “Farmers getting poorer as land reform nears completion”, page 5) --- all  implying that land reform did not make any difference or had in fact worsened the economic situation of farmer-beneficiaries of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).


While it may be true that CARP won’t make millionaires out of poor independent tillers, a study by national peasant federation Task Force Mapalad (TFM) and several other studies prove that CARP has a positive impact on subsequent economic success of agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) – that  while a more equitable distribution of landownership is not the panacea for rural poverty, it nevertheless contributes to socio-economic development.


Based on TFM’s March 2004 baseline survey of North and Central Negros Occidental landholdings covering 55 sugar haciendas, average on-farm monthly income of a non-ARB farm worker (or those working under landlords) is P 748.83. Meanwhile, the average monthly on-farm income of an ARB or CLOA (certificate of land ownership award) holder already installed and productively working on his/her land (outside a landlord’s control) is P 1,498.64 – or 100.13% higher than the average income of a non-ARB.


TFM’s study also showed that there are many installed CLOA-holders in Negros Occidental who are capable of fully repaying farm loans from private lenders even with very high interest rates (60 to 120 percent payable after harvest) and still earn from sugar cane farming.


For instance, in the province’s Hacienda Sta. Isabel in Brgy. Dos Hermanas, Talisay City, a CLOA holder’snet income from more than a hectare of sugar farm is from P6,000 to P34,000. The income of CLOA holders could have been higher had they availed loans with lower interest rates and had the government provided them with much-needed support services. In Hacienda Refugio, Brgy. Purisima, Manapla town, a CLOA holder could still enjoy a net income of P28,000 per harvest after paying a very high farm loan interest of 120 percent.


Meanwhile, in Hacienda Sto. Rosario in Brgy. Plaridel, Sagay City, collective sugar farming by CLOA holders has earned them a net income of almost  P1 million. Their net income could have reached P 1.5 million if not for the very high rate of loan interest from private loan sharks.


This therefore shows that the CARP is not a hindrance to growth, but is in fact an essential element not just in reducing poverty but in bringing back the lost dignity of enslaved land tillers. The income of ARBs or CLOA holders who are not within foreign-funded agrarian reform communities or ARC areas could have been higher had they been provided support services by the government


Previous comprehensive studies made by local and international land reform experts also showed that agrarian reform helped in the reduction of poverty.


For instance, in Celia Reyes’ study titled “Impact on Agrarian Reform on Poverty” (January 2002) published by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies, data gathered from 1,500 farm households showed that agrarian reform “has had a positive impact on farmer-beneficiaries” as the program “led to higher real per capita incomes and reduced poverty incidence between 1990 and 2000.” Reyes further stated that: “Compared to non-agrarian reform beneficiaries, the agrarian reform beneficiaries tend to have higher incomes and lower poverty incidence.”   


Seven other research studies were earlier made through funding support from the United Nations Development Programme, Asian Development Bank, Food and Agriculture Organization and the European Union (EU), with counterpart funds from the Philippine Government which showed that agrarian reform beneficiaries “are in a more favorable position than non-ARBs in terms of average farm income, educational attainment, access to potable water and sanitary toilets and ownership of household assets.”


It was further found out in these studies that between 1990 and 2000, poverty incidence among ARBs declined from 47.6 to 45.2 percent, while it increased among non-ARBs from 55.1 to 56.4 percent


Still, in other studies, international evidence (as pointed out by experts such as Klaus Deininger and Rogier van den Brink of the World Bank, Hans Hoogeveen of the Free University in Amsterdam and Sam Moyo of the Southern African Regional Institute for Policy Studies) has established the positive impact of redistributive land reform in reducing poverty in countries such as Japan, Korea, Taiwan and China.


We understand why these kinds of anti-CARP story packaging appear at this time, despite the fact that the program has had a very positive impact on the lives of ARBs. The CARP is at its last and most difficult phase of land acquisition and distribution involving vast private agricultural landholdings mostly in Negros Occidental. These landholdings are controlled by a few but very powerful landlords who are now pressured to take moves that would discredit CARP so as to prevent and/or impede the program’s goal of correcting the pervading socio-economic imbalance in agriculture – the source of the landlords’ wealth, power and influence and also the source of centuries-old exploitation and misery of landless tillers.


Going through the contents of the April 16 articles would show that the source of the information (Ms. Martha Salcedo, policy and research director of the Department of Land Reform) did not actually pinpoint CARP as the cause of ARBs’ poverty. 


In the fourth paragraph of the AFP article, Ms. Salcedo was quoted as saying that: “We cannot attribute productivity changes specifically to CARP.” In fact, she explained that the decline in the incomes of farmers is attributed to the long-run decline of agricultural production in the Philippines, where yields for major crops have been “lackluster” compared to those of other Asian countries.


Implying that land reform caused the drop in the income of farmers is thoughtless – especially when there is nothing in the story that would prove such claim - or such story angling which did not only misinform the readers but has actually insulted the informed public including farmers who have already proven that people-led asset redistribution through agrarian reform does not only offer them economic opportunity but is also a means to reclaiming their dignity trampled by decades of landlord exploitation.


In the story, it was clearly discussed that the drop in farmers’ income over 10 years to 2000 both happened in areas WITH AND WITHOUT land reform. And while it may be true (as stated in the story) that real incomes among agrarian reform beneficiaries fell 8.9 percent to P65,730, it was also mentioned in the article that incomes in landholdings without land reform dropped 11.6 percent to P51,360. ERGO, THE DROP IN FARMERS’ INCOME WAS WORSE ON FARMLANDS WITHOUT LAND REFORM. So how could it be claimed in the stories that “farmers are poorer despite land reform” when in fact, based on the statistics used in the story, farmers get poorer in areas that are without land reform?


There are many other factors that would pull down the income of farmers. If DLR’s Ms. Salcedo said that the drop in farmers’ income could have been caused by the decline in agricultural production, this does not necessarily mean that such decline was primarily caused by land reform (as what the titles of the April 16 stories implied).


One explanation in the drop of yields for major agricultural crops may have something to do with the country’s dependence on agricultural imports. Instead of sourcing domestic sugar consumption from local produce, sugar imports address domestic consumption because it is cheaper to import sugar than to plant sugarcane. From 1999 to 2003 total Philippine sugar export was 1.2 million tons while sugar import was 1.7 million tons. The same thing is happening in rice production. 


And why is it cheaper to import? Because our government does not provide enough support services and subsidies (just like those enjoyed by farmers in First World countries) that should benefit the ARBs (and not the already wealthy landlords), modernize the agricultural industry, increase production and lower the prices of agricultural commodities. 


Statistics do not lie. Philippine agriculture stagnates. In 2000, average corn production per hectare in Thailand was 3.6 tons. In China, it was 4.6 tons. In the Philippines it was only 1.8 tons. Average sugarcane yield per hectare in Thailand was 58 tons. In China, it was 75 tons and in the Philippines, 55 tons. In rice production, the average in China was 6.3 tons. In Japan, it was 6.7 tons but in the Philippines, it was only 3 tons.


It is partly true to say that the government has not implemented the CARP to its full extent that would enable farmers to rise from the rut. But there is danger in saying that agrarian reform did not in any way made a positive impact in the lives of farmer-beneficiaries. It actually did—through the farmers’ own initiatives – even without the full support of the government --- and more so, if the government would have the political will to implement social justice through agrarian reform.


The needed political will of the state to push for a more just and equitable rural development through CARP would mean a lot of things – definitely a lost of better things not just for the farmers but for the Filipino poor. There would be less squatters, prostitutes, house-helpers and disenfranchised workers crowding Manila and other urban centers. Becoming an overseas Filipino worker would be less tempting as there would already be a bright future waiting for them in the countryside.


We hope that the media would not become a tool for legitimizing land monopoly and the legacy of colonial development that built wealth on the backs of the poor. We hope that the media live up to its being the fourth estate – the defenders of public interest.




Task Force Mapalad
22 Apr 2005


In Praise of an Honorable Man by Ninotchka Rosca

Great review. Thanks for sharing.

P.E. Kiram
Apr 16, 2005


The Straw that Broke the Camel’s Back

Sad.. very sad.

11 Apr 2005


April 11, 2005
Letter To The Editor:

Below is our open letter to the Macapagal-Arroyo administration and to all who cares, with regard to the spate of killings that's victimizing the leaders and lawyers of progressive organizations.

We hope you'll be kind enough to give it space in your paper's letter to the editor section. Thank you very much and more power to you.

Lito Ustarez
(National Federation of Labor Unions – Kilusang Mayo Uno)
509 Canteras St., New Zaniga,
Mandaluyong City

Calling on the Macapagal-Arroyo Government:
Please Take Necessary Actions to End the Killing of Progressive Activists and Give Justice to Its Victims

We in the sector of organized labor are calling on the government of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, on its agencies and branches like the Courts of Justice, the Commission on Human Rights, the Department of Labor and Employment, the Philippine National Police, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and practically everyone in the government whose avowed concern and reason for being there are supposed to be maintaining peace, order, justice and respect for labor and human rights – will you please take actions to give justice to victims of the killings of progressive unionists and activists?

From this year's January to March alone, about 29 leaders and lawyers connected with progressive organizations such as Bayan Muna and Anakpawis have either been murdered or abducted. But until now, the government has not even issued any statement or call for a serious investigation on the matter. Why are the killings happening? Who are behind it? Why are they murdering the people connected with legal and progressive organizations? Why such organizations, for that matter?
How come nobody from the government, not even from its human rights sector, is raising these questions about the killings? Are they blind and deaf to its pattern and impunity? Why such monumental silence and inaction?

NAFLU-KMU's very own lawyer in
Eastern Visayas was a victim of this killing spree. Attorney Fedelito Dacut, 51, married and with two young children, was not your usual lawyer – he was unusual in the sense of Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago's infamous expectations of lawyers. Attorney Dacut didn't opt for plum clients and positions. Instead, he opted to offer his lawyerly services to the peasants, sugar workers and their cooperatives and associations, to the workers, employees and their unions and federations, to the urban poor people, victims of military harassments in the countrysides, political detainees, etc., in Samar and Leyte. He had been doing it for more than 20 years. He would have gone on doing it except that on the eve of March 14, he was gunned down in Leyte. Until now, the so-called investigation on his murder by the local police hasn't yielded any result yet.

Attorney Dacut's murder has brought to 18 the number of murdered progressive personalities in legal and progressive organizations in this month of March alone. Attorney Dacut was the legal counsel of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) in the
Eastern Visayas. He once served as coordinator for Bayan Muna in the area. He was also the lawyer for unions affiliated with or close to the National Federation of Labor Union (NAFLU) and Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) in Eastern Visayas.

Not content with just providing legal services, Attorney Fedelito Dacut had actually rolled up his sleeves and mingled with the workers. He actively discussed with them their conditions and helped them build up and strengthen their unions. He'd joined the activities of hacienda workers, and workers in plants producing and/or distributing fertilizer, electricity and water, in Samar and Leyte.

Sammy Bandilla, Attorney Fedelito Dacut's colleague in helping the workers of Leyte Metropolitan Water District in forming their union, was also gunned down five months ago. Again, until now, the culprits were still unknown to the police or to the military; thus, they haven't been brought to justice yet. Sammy Bandilla was only 40 years old at the time of his murder; he was married with three children. He used to be a Regional Coordinator for the National Federation of Labor Unions (NAFLU); he had once been a member of the Kilusang Mayo Uno National Council.

And just last week, even as we wrote this call to action regarding the killings, another Bayan Muna leader was shot in Eastern Visayas, in the same manner in which Dacut was gunned down on March 14.

All these murders are begging for investigation and justice. So please, will the government of Macapagal-Arroyo, who owes its original power to people power, please do something, soon?

Can the Arroyo government please do something to stop the killings? Can they please bring to justice its perpetrators?


Lito Ustarez
(National Federation of Labor Unions-Kilusang Mayo Uno)
509 Canteras St., New Zaniga,
Mandaluyong City


Shift of U.S. Forces from Okinawa to Philippines 

Thanks for this timely article.  Such news is badly under-reported in the US, even by the progressive media.  Will circulate to anti-war, anti-imperialist, and international solidarity lists.     

Dave Pugh
Feb 21, 2005


Articles on VAT hike

I am a MBA student from De La Salle University Graduate School of Business. I am currently working on a paper about the impact of the Additional 2% VAT on the Filipino Consumer.

While looking for helpful articles on the web, I came across several links that led me to your website.  I would like to commend your team for coming up with such substantial commentary regarding the VAT issue.  I truly find the materials helpful. 

Christina De Guzman
3 Mar 2005


Restraining Media from Arroyo

Here we go again, Arroyo restraining the media…her military generals and her elite crooked government proposing to restrain any media folks from interviewing as such "terorist". What are these fools talkin about? I remember Marcos signed a decree against media and now they want to revive it. I remember as well these people calling the poor masses to revolt against Estrada by means of media and now they want that to be illegal. Tsk, tsk what a pity.

Doc Roni
6 Mar 2005


Goodbye for Cojuangco farm workers

It is a goodbye for our 5,000 kababayans in Hacienda Luisita. GMA will always support the Cojuangcos vs our fellow workers and peasants of Hacienda Luisita. Down with GMA and the hypocrisy of her Government towards the Masang Pilipino! 

Mabuhay ang Pilipinas! 

Bobby de Lara
Daly City
, California
30 Mar 2005


Napakaganda, malalim

To Alex Martin Remollino:

Maraming salamat sa tulang "Huwag Hayaang Tayo'y Gawing Hayop". Napakaganda at malalim!

Pwede ba naming basahin ito sa misa rito sa Seattle? Isa pa, meron ka bang salin sa Ingles para sa mga Amerikanong progresibo?

Ago Martinez
Philippine-US Solidarity Organization

, WA
2 Apr 2005


Entertaining site

I just visited your website for the first time and I found yours is really an entertaining site. There are lots of things I found here. I loved to read the article written by one of your teammates - about Homonhon Island of Guiuan, Eastern Samar. It is really sad to know that this paradise island of Guiuan is now undraped and excavated out of mining.  

Yes it is all about developments but leaving an image of great destruction - destroying both the island and its inhabitants in the near future re article “Samar Folk Struggle to Regain a Paradise Lost” by Maureen Japzon/Bulatlat.


Good read, informative 

This article is a good read and informative. Now I am asking your utmost permission - please let me use this article. I found it so good for a forum discussion and other articles written about Eastern Samar? Please… just let me know reply to: (pop_odi@yahoo.com). 

Sincerely yours, 

Paul Pruel 
Guiuan, Eastern Samar - Philippines 
Riyadh City, KSA - Foreign Address 
pop_odi@yahoo.com" pop_odi@yahoo.com 
16 Feb 2005


Sickening, disturbing

Giving foreign mining companies 100% ownership is sickening and disturbing. There are many issues here that should be discussed such as environmental reclamation and prevention and how much bond the company is willing to put up. What if the company files bankcruptcy? Is the bond enough to take care of the disturbed environment? What about environmental negligence, who is liable, will it be the head honcho? Or Juan dela Cruz? 

"OVIDIO DULAY" oviddulay@verizon.net" oviddulay@verizon.net
17 Feb 2005 


Palawan: The Endangered Paradise 

You are doing a wonderful job in promoting Palawan as the Philippines last ecological frontier. Hope we can keep it that way. 

So the article of Roland Simbulan in Bulatlat- Palawan: the Endangered Paradise (July 7-13,2002)- was very disturbing.  He talked about  Palawan
being eyed as a site for U.S.-Philippine military exercises  that could lead to ecological disaster and displacement, even  extinction, of Palawan's dwindling  indigenous people. 

As a concerned Filipino now living in
Canada, I like to strongly encourage you to use your website to alert not only your local politicians and local people (Bantay Dagat) about the danger of military training  exercises  being done in Palawan. Use the press, mass media, alert international environmental groups to exert pressures  on our Philippine government and US military forces to leave Palawan alone. We don't want our Last Frontier to be like the small islands in Tahiti. 


Good job

Keep up the good job! 

Jim Angeles 
Calgary, Canada 
Jaimedla@aol.com" Jaimedla@aol.com

22 Feb 2005 


Emman Lacaba

Thanks for featuring the article "Open Letters to the Filipino Artists" by Emmanuel Lacaba. I do have a hard time understanding the poem, and it was assigned to us by our mentor to interpret it. Can you kindly help me to understand the poem very well? Thank you very much and more power. 

"MA. HAZEL SAN JUAN" <hayze_sj@yahoo.com>
23 Feb 2005


Laban pa

Maraming salamat po 

Maraming salamat sampu ng taga bulatlat.com

Dahil sa inyo kabayan mga puso namin dito naliligayahan

Laban pa!

Doc Vozi
23 Feb 2005


Maynilad Water provides no Water 

I am a resident of West Fairview, QC for almost 4 months now. I was surprised when I moved here beacause the subdivisions only have water for 7-8 hours a day. That is from 5-9am and 5-9pm. I thought this was really bad since where I used to live in Bgy. Bahay Toro near Visayas Ave,, QC we had 24 hrs supply even if the pressure was low. It is also ironic since we are located less that 3 kms from the La Mesa Dam.  

But from "bad", things have become "worse", since the middle of Feb. the water supply was further cut in half. Now we only get water for about 4 hrs a day, that is from 6-8 am and 7-8.30 pm. Even if we have a reserve tank, we can't fill it up completely since it take 2++ hrs for it to be fully filled.  

What kind of service is Maynilad prividing? Aside from jacking up the rates by more that 300% ever since they took over the operations of MWSS, there are providing much worse than the already worse service of the MWSS. Before according the residents here they have 24 hrs of water, now after more that 5 years this was reduced to only 8 hrs a day or 1/3 of the previous service time. And recently, more prodcution cutbacks brought it down further to 4 hrs or 1/6 of the previous service time.

Maynilad has not done anything to make the water system in Metro Manila any better, it has made it worse.  

Water supply here in West Fairview is so bad, ther will come a time when we can't take a bath everyday.  

A Concerned Citizen Stinking to Death
25 Feb 2005


Alternative view

Great site! 

Yeah man I love your website. It gives an alternative view on a lot of things. Unlike other websites that large networks own, bulatlat seem so free of political and commercial walls..  

"Malaya Javier" <sssink0o0@yahoo.com>
27 Feb 2005


Hopeless case

Isa ako sa mga humahanga sa idelohiyang dapat palitan na ang gobyerno natin wala ng gamot ang problema dahil sila na ang sakit.  Maraming salamat sa pagbibigay ng kaalaman sa sambayanang Pilipino.

"Dennis Mazo" dennis_mazo@yahoo.com
27 Feb 2005


Gambling near police station

Magandang araw ho sa inyo.  Hindi ko ho alam kung mabibigyan ninyo ng pansin ang aking sumbong o mga komento lang at suhestiyon ang inyong tinatanggap.  Nais ko ho sanang ma expose yung pasugalan sa mismong tabi ng police station sa cavite city.  Sa aking pagkakaalam, bawal ho ang mga pasugalan, kaya hindi ko ho maintindihan kung gaano kalakas ang loob ng may-ari nito sa pag operate nito gayong katabi lang nila ang police station.  Me dalawa-tatlong mesa sa baba ng kanilang bahay na kitang kita naman ng mga taong nagdaraan dahil sa hanggang bewang lang na pader nila (na walang gate) at hindi ko lang ho alam kung ilang mesa ang nasa ikalawang palapag ng hay nila. Ang laro ho rito ay mahjong at baraha. Nais ko ho sanang mabulatlat ang baho na ito.  Maraming salamat po.

Name withheld


Do we still have hope? 

I am Eric Samaniego a nursing student of Chinese General Hospital college of Nursing. We all know that we are suffering from a fiscal crisis, Many Filipinos are now living in a poverty line. I just wanna ask: Do we still have hope? Thank you. God bless! 

Eric Samaniego


Europeans grateful 

It's great for us Europeans to read independent news in English. Like this - we can learn about what happens. Like the Tarlac massacre. There were no newsflashes about that in Belgium, but now everybody knows what that something is wrong and we can understand the people better. If we didn't had this news bulletin we would think that everybody is happy and everything is going well. Now we know better and we know whom to support. 

"Chris De Vos" <crystalion@belgacom.net>
29 Jan 2005



The VAT should be justified. It should be imposed to the consumer using any luxurious item/product/services like plastic surgery, spa services, massage services and other entertainment services. Also luxury products not classified as generic items like cosmetics, health buffs products. 

albertini bortyas wuryton" <albertinibortyas@yahoo.com
15 Feb 2005


 Waiting for Bulatlat

Can I have a copy of your news through mail? I'll appreciate it and my ka-bok if this happens. Continue your great work! We are proud you all! 

"clara adlao" <carhrihl18@yahoo.com>
9 Feb 2005



I found this article to be very interesting. I was looking to purchase land in Samar and wanted information so far this article has provide me with some great info. Thanks 

"KEITH JOSEPH" bayou_blaster@msn.com
29 Jan 2005


 ZNet’s journalistic style

Just for your information. ZNet, which you carry as a link in your resoures page I think, has recently published the Walden Bello letter attacking the CPP without any of the political context provided by a simple tour of your website. I have written them questioning the use of a month old letter without any of the responses to it by the targets of its assertions. I have as yet received no response and they continue to carry the letter in their archive of recent articles. Perhaps you can get them to practice some honest journalism, or maybe this incident could provide the material for an interesting journalistic piece on why North American leftists think they can insert themselves into Third World politics without a basic investigation of the facts behind polemics and accusations.

William Small
26 Jan 2005 


On corruption

What is corruption in the Philippine government, is it a status symbol?  Or a new way of survival or maybe new past time to gain wealth in an effortless manner or maybe a definition of economic massacre?/sabotage? Or a historical legacy by our foreign conquistador?

"Bolivar Albert" bolivar_albert@yahoo.com
26 Jan 2005 


Paging Noynoy

I would like to pose this question to the "Honorable" Congressman, Benigno Aquino III - Is Hacienda Luisita worth killing for?  The farmers and workers should never expect protection from politicians especially if their vested business interests are involved.  Next time when we vote people to represent us in the legislative department, think of the peoples' interest first and never to those pseudo pro-masa politicos. 

"Jose Bite Jr." jbitejr@yahoo.com
24 Jan 2005


Against mining 

The lay people should be made aware that these companies do not care about the environment but are there for the money to be made from research and development. Third world countries have become the targets of companies - victims to the number one weapon that they have - money. Hopefully organizations such as yours will be heard one day and those companies will be completely eradicated. It is a vicious cycle that will not end, unfortunately. Is there ever going to be an end? Here where I am at, the community is shielded from the evil that is going on around the world. We should be made aware of the destructive potential that big companies are made of. Back to the roots of humans- being humans.

"ppadua" ppadua@rogers.com
23 Jan 2005



Hi, what does Bulatlat think about David C. Martinez's A country of our own: partitioning the Philippines?

21 Jan 2005


Dear Bulatlat Permissions Staff, 

I’m writing to request permission to reprint the following articles for academic purposes only.  Professor Claudine del Rosario-Concordia at the University of San Francisco wishes to use them in a course pack for the class detailed below.  Thank you for your consideration!

“Sustainable Development and Globalization in the Philippines: An Alternative View,” Bulatlat 42, December 2001.

Course: Philippine Studies 0182-301-01
Term: Spring 2005 (February)
University of San Francisco (USF)
Professor: Claudine del Rosario-Concordia
Approx reprint quantity: 10 copies

Thank you!

Erin Hayes
Project Manager
University Readers
21 Jan 2005


Rustan Strike in 2003

Have there been any improvements to the plight of Rustan employees since the strike?  I live in the US, but go to Manila often, at least once a year, and shop at Rustan for Filipiniana things.  I want to know if I should continue to boycott the store.

(I haven't been to Rustan's since 2001, and certainly not after the strike.)

Thanks for the info.

R. Salientes
20 Jan 2005


Interesting and informative

We find your articles very interesting and informative and would like to share them with our readers who may not have access to your online publication.  

We publish a weekly newspaper, the Fil-Am Weekly MEGASCENES and a quarterly magazine, the PhilippineTIME-USA, with offices in Chicago, Illinois and Houston, Texas. Our print copy editions have a free circulation. 

Bart Tubalinal, Jr. 
11 Jan 2005 



As a journalism student I am glad that there are still a few writers who try to uphold the truth and to report the atrocities in our very discouraging and deteriorating society. Nakakatakot mang aminin pero I am slowly being disheartened by the way our government is being run. I just hope and pray to God that we people may stand and take our responsibilities as citizens of the Philippines to finally fix this problems that we ourselves are in fact to blame.. 

May you keep on doing what is right and just and uphold the truth! And may God bless you! 

Vincent Go" vincenthaoson@yahoo.com
10 Jan 2005


Pasko photo essay 

I am amazed with the photo essay you've done regarding Pasko at Hacienda Luisita. Continue to publish essays and articles about Hacienda Luisita. We can’t join in solidarity with the workers and peasants of HL, but with you we are able to know what’s happening there. 

Mabuhay kayo! 

Lina gumpad <linagumpad@yahoo.com>
Jan. 7, 2005


Looking for Kaibigan na "Exzur"

Hello!, I did'nt know that "Exzur" is from Ilocos Sur. He was my classmate at K-C elementary School and been a friend later in High school. If you know where I could contact my friend "Exzur" could you give me the feed back  'cause I lost communication with him since I left for United States in 1980. We both from Kamuning he was living in K-3rd St. while I was in K-8th St. Our childhood had left a lot of interesting memories in our place in Kamuning. It's gonna be a lot of help to me to know his contact address to at least just say hello to him. OK until then. Again, God Bless. 

Jun Tejada
San Francisco, CA – USA


For self-respect

Cannot the Arroyo regime project our Filipino nation as a sovereign, honorable, dignified race .. equally as proud as other nations ? Kahit na tayo mahirap, "in fiscal crisis", baon sa utang, corrupt, etc. ? Don't we not have anymore self-respect as a people with a great, glorious noble past ? Why should we "beg" for jobs in Japan ? Is that how low and desperate we have become ? "Beggars of jobs" ?

Japan's move to restrict visas to Filipino entertainers is a sovereign policy act by Japan. Why make "makulit" pleas to Japan to change their internal act ? Suppose we were Japan and Japan was Philippines.

We enact restrictions on visas for Japanese entertainers ? Here comes Japanese government zealously negotiating with us to change our visa restrictions. What will lapdog Ignacio Bunye immediately reply ? "This is a sovereign act of the Philippine govt. and hence, Japan should not interfere on this matter it because it is a Phil. internal affairs, etc."   
I am not against our people finding employment overseas. What I am against is GMA regime's BEGGING STATURE so dishonorable in that GMA does not even have qualms on respecting the sovereignty of other countries.

We should stand tall as a people, as a nation. If Japan restricts so, we should respect that. One follow-up is enough. Igalang naman natin ang ating pagka-Pilipino. Upang tayo ay igalang ng ibang bansa.
Huwag tayong parang sobra na kawawa .. na mag-mamaka-awa sa Japan .. na luwag-luwagan ang kanilang visa restrictions. Ipakita natin sa ibang bansa, na kahit na tayo ay mahirap, tayo ay may self-respect pa naman.

New Jersey, USA
Jan. 3, 2005



We the FPJ-Jubilation Mindanao extend our deepest condolence from the 7,000 Leaders for FPJ to our leader Fernando Poe Jr. almost we lost our hope but after we hear from Mr. R . Cortez reading in the telivision the message of our Leader our hope is alive, Ma’am, Susan, we support the mission of our leader the good dreams for future of the Filipino people. Eli Barredo a former OIC mayor of the Municipality of Panabo, Davao del Norte province, also was a candidate as Board Member under Liberal Party but he whole heartedly contribute his building for a free and campaign for FPJ Jubilation Mindanao. I would like to express  why FPJ earned this honor it is because he showed honest, deserve to lead for a real change. Barredo said I believe that FPJ mission now our people will continue and we are now teaching our constituents in Particular Davao del Norte in general the moral and political virtues of FPJ. 

John Lim Cordova
MMRM-Bantay Bilang- Secretary General
Email add: cicc_construction@yahoo.com

21 Dec 2004


Dodds Report

I have been trying to find more information on the Dodds Report since I read Alejandro Lichauco’s essay Roots of Crisis and I was wondering if you might be able to help me out. Do you know where I could find a copy of this report or more information? 

Marissa Merker" <merkerm@hotmail.com>  
19 Dec 2004


How about this?

Can I ask an essay about Globalizing Mining in the Philippines?

"Jad Ganman" <jad_ganman@yahoo.com>  
17 Dec 2004


Who’s the real culprit?

It seems our government is clueless about who's the real culprit in the illegal logging issue. I am sharing this article again, which i posted last June, so that we nature lovers and mountaineers alike would realize who the real killers of the trees are. As we can all see, Minalungao National Park is in the vicinity of Gen.Tinio in Nueva Ecija, one of the province severely affected by the recent deluge.


Minalungao Incident

I want to share with all of you our group’s experience in Minalungao National Park in Nueva Ecija. People seldom visit this corner of N.E. for two reasons: 1. Where the hell is Minalungao?, and 2. The road is hell. Well, not exactly hell, I’ve seen worse. We rented a jeep in Penaranda to drop us to the site and to pick us up the next day. There were four of us, two guys and two girls (all photo enthusiasts). We met some bikers around who frequent the area to practice dirt biking and to have a short dip in the cool water of the river. The place is beautiful, the river clean, and the towering rock formations amazing.


After taking our lunch, suddenly, my two female companions ran to the edge of the river to take pictures of people standing on long queue of wood planks that started to float downstream. I’ve heard of stories of illegal logging activities in the area being protected by the soldiers. We can hear them singing an Aegis song on top of their lungs, obviously drunk. So when I saw their commander, who saw my two companions taking photos, running in my direction with an angry face, I told myself, “This is it.” He asked us if we are press people and demanded for our IDs. We obliged and told them that we are there for sightseeing and camping. The commander went on to explain that these logs have the permission of high government officials and that they are just following orders. As if such intimidation is not enough, we were asked to visit their barracks, only to answer more questions, this time from a man, obviously drunk, who introduced himself as the DENR official who manages the park. He was accusing me of entering the park without permission. I told him that the bamboo pole gate was open and there was no guard around so we went in. He went on insulting me by asking if I had been to other national parks of the country and why I am not familiar with the regulations. I gave him a litany of national parks I’ve been into and told him that yes I am familiar with park regulations and that we are not breaking any rules. All this went on with soldiers around, some with their M-16’s. I saw more wooden planks hidden beside the river.


By this time, the commander it seemed fell at ease with the two girls since I saw him posing for pictures on a raft near the edge of the river, a few meters away from where I am standing. This time another soldier joined in to question me. I can feel the heat in my ears and my patience nearly depleted so I told them, “Wala kaming pakialam kung anong milagro ginagawa nyo dito. We are here to enjoy the place as Filipinos, in which the last time I checked, is not illegal. Just tell us if you want us to leave and we will leave.” I’m quite sure these people will never hurt us, but you can never be sure. Sensing my distress, I saw their commander hand-signaled to the soldiers to leave me alone. They did. Only then I loosened up a bit and joined my companions in taking photos of the place.


We spent the rest of the day bamboo rafting upstream with the help of some soldiers and we did a short hike to the cave. It rained but it only amplified the wonders and mystery of this enchanting place. In fairness to the soldiers, they were very accommodating this time around. Regardless of their motives, we felt the innate Filipino sense of hospitality in them. Still, it felt more like we were being guarded instead of being accommodated. But then again, another long line of floating logs suddenly appeared in the river with men standing on it.


The water that ran through Minalungao came from the Sierra Madre part of Bulacan (near Angat Dam, a water shed) and in some parts of Aurora (Dingalan and Umiray). Some parts of the river are up to 70 feet deep. It is a very important route for the illegal loggers to bring their logs downstream with ease. And this has been going on for years, one resident there told me.


I know I am putting myself in a very dangerous situation here by telling you this story but I feel I need to inform everybody about the degradation of our forest. Please send this to people you know who genuinely care for the environment. Awareness is our first step.

From A Concerned Traveller

Escape Outdoors Club


Noynoy Aquino and the Hacienda Luisita massacre

Nothing can justify a massacre of innocent and hungry Hacienda Luisita farm workers.

Rep. Noynoy Aquino appears to justify the brutal massacre by stating that the policemen were also hurt and that the Left has provoked the strikers. Defense Secretary Eduardo Ermita says that outsiders orchestrated the strike at Hacienda Luisita. The police say the gunshot started from the ranks of strikers. DOLE Secretary Patricia Sto. Tomas says, she did not pull the trigger, so why blame her. There is nothing immoral or illegal in ordering the military to assist the PNP in breaking the strike. There are other statements from people in the government, statements that stop short of saying that strikers shoot themselves. Statements that only serve to further ignite the fury and outrage that consumed the more than 15,000 people who were at the picket line when the massacre took place. These are the people who brought wealth to the Hacienda Luisita and were mobilized to face the tanks at EDSA to support Cory Aquino in 1986.

CTUHR joined the fact-finding mission held on November 18, a day after the massacre. We saw in the people’s faces the anguish and raging anger. We heard their stories on what had really happened in the Nov.16 terror. They belied the accusations that they have arms. “Wala na nga kaming makain, may ipambibili pa ba kami ng baril?” Aling Sandra (not a real name) stated. She has been working at Hacienda Luisita for 20 years but found no better life in the Cojuangco estate despite the promises of the elite clan. There were charges that the outsiders (the Left) orchestrated the strike. The workers answered these. “Hindi totoo yan, walang mga NPA dito, bakit may pay slip ba ang mga NPA?,” Marisa, a 13-yr.old girl told us. She said she was in the dispersal area when the incident happened. Asked why she was there, “eh wala kaming makain sa bahay e. Doon sa piketlayn nagluluto kayo pumunta kami doon. Doon nakakakain kami”, she answered.

They have a heavy heart to the authorities, other personalities and to certain media organizations, which are blaming them for the terror in the hacienda. “Kami na nga itong namatayan tapos kami pa itong sinasabi nilang nanggugulo. Mamamatay na kami sa gutom kung hindi namin ipaglalaban ang aming mga karapatan”, another mother stated. The Hacienda residents expressed their fear that once our team leave the place, the soldiers will keep come back to coerce them. 

We are in solidarity with these powerless workers and their families who have been victims most of their lives as they laboriously till the land that it seems will never be their own. The massacre which took 14 lives (two of which are children) more than 200 injured and 100 more strikers missing signifies not only an abuse and misuse of state power but government utter disregard to the plight of the poor.

The Center for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR) condemns in the strongest term this brutal act by those in power- the Cojuangco family, the police and military, DOLE Secretary Patricia Sto. Tomas.  We hold the Arroyo government responsible in this picket line violence that often occurred when military forces and PNP counter-insurgency units such as RSAF and Scouts intervene in labor disputes. 

Sto. Tomas deputized the military to intrude in the Hacienda Luisita dispute through her Assumption of Jurisdiction Order. This legality is now used by  the military and PNP in its bloody dispersal of hapless workers. Jaivhie Basilio, 20 years old and a son of one the strikers was shot, strangled by and hanged on the barbed wire, then shot at the chest in full view of the shocked workers. If it is not immoral, what could have been immoral than that? Yes it is not just immoral, its cruelty at its highest form that deserves strongest condemnation. 

Pres. Arroyo is liable for allowing the use of brute force in the said dispersal. She has done nothing to help the workers when in fact the strike started on November 6. Anakpawis Rep. Rafael Mariano is right when he said that the Arroyo government allowed military and the police “to be used as private army of the Cojuangcos”. The massacre could have been avoided, if only Pres. Arroyo intervened earlier.

Former President Cory Aquino, who seems to be very prayerful and peaceful person, has done nothing to resolve the labor and land dispute in her family-owned 6, 000 hectares of land.  It is not surprising though, as Mendiola and Lupao massacres happened also in her term.

In this time, where the hungry poor are openly exercising their right to food, to jobs and to life are not just brutalized but killed, where will they go? The casual farm workers in Luisita for example are only allowed to work once a week and get a net pay of P9.50. Nearly all of them have children or old parents to feed. With the constant price increases, do you need an outside instigator before you cry out for food and jobs? Will you not claim what is rightfully yours for the sake of your hungry children who looked pale and sunken?  Let us all reflect on that, for not only the farm workers of Hacienda Luisita are bleeding but also everyone who even in one of moment of their lives felt hungry and their dignity and rights have been violated.

Sr. Emelina Villegas
Chairperson, Board of Directors
Center for Trade Union and Human Rights
20 Nov. 2004


 Freedom of the people to speak and communicate
(re FBI seizure of Inymedia servers)

Your article is correct and courageous and shows you support the people’s democracy to fight back against the oppression by monopoly corporate agents--the F.B.I.  This struggle is not over yet as the rulers of monopoly capital feel the masses organizing for a new system they usually get quite reactionary and utilize terror, prisons, suppression of truth, propaganda, and all forms of exploitation to maintain their ruling positions.  However the peoples are the majority, they can if they organize change the system to favour nature, and to stop imperialist war which is the exploiters last hope to rule against the victories of the workers winning ruling class position, a workers state.  this means the people must utilize every form of struggle and uphold the new society waiting to be born.  In today’s context that means something like this--- re-tool the entire industrial revolution, as coal, gas, oil, and atomic energy is destroying the planet’s livabillity therefore the last forty years of ecological green revolution has brought into being the hi-tech tools to put in place wind, tidal, and solar power which is more power than can be used.  This non-pollution solution is  given freely in nature’s kinder laws and provides work for all and forever more.  Viva socialism. That you can put solar panels on your homes roofs and have free electricity.  That can be done on all factories, railways, shipping etc. of course the oil monopolies headed by Bush aren’t likely to let us do so. 

"Jack" <mardypt-@oberon.ark.com> 
1 Nov 2004


Paging Manila Water Corp. 

I just know kung kanino ko dapat ipaalam ang complain kong ito but I hope you can help.

Almost a month ago pumunta sa area namin (E. Mateo St. Barangay Sta Ana, Taytay, Rizal) ang Manila water workers at tinaggal nila lahat ng lumang kontador ng tubig sabi nila papalitan daw ng bago. So wala kaming tubig since then and until now wala pa rin ang sinasabi nilang kontador. Its very unfair for us kasi we are paying customers and we never neglect paying on time and they just let us wait for their action that long. Napahirap magpaigib at maghakot ng tubig to all parts of the house kaya please lang baka pwede matulungan mo kaming mga naninirahan sa lugar na nabaggit ko. 

Salamat sa tulong.  

Joy Santos

13 E. Mateo St.

Brgy. Sta Ana, Taytay, Rizal

Tel# 818-8889/6696214/09178481504

"Joy Santos" crcjsantos@yahoo.com

3 Nov 2004


While the country and the people bleed in poverty,
certain few wallow in wealth

Huge Malampaya Natural Gas is 40% Shell, 40% Chevron, 10% Petron  but Petron is 50% Saudi-Aramco and 50% Philippine Govt. Therefore, our country which has sovereignty over Malampaya owns only 5%. Shell reaps 40% of the entire Malampaya revenue.       

Philippines is one of the two major oil companies in the country.  The successive waves of gasoline-diesel oil price increases ultimately flow to the hands of Shell Phils. Stockholders.

Who are among the major stockholders of Shell, Phils., Inc.? Lourdes Tuazon Arroyo Inc. (LTA). And other relatives of the First Gentleman Mike "Jose Pidal" Arroyo.

P450 na ang isang LPG gas tank. P150 isang kilo ng karne baboy. Patuloy ang pag-taas ng gasolina, diesel, pamasahe, bilihin. Pahirap ang bayan sa malaking pag-taas ng koryente. Even "dying" is now costly. Mahal maski ang halaga ng mga kabaong. Kaya nagiging trend na : cremation. Sa hirap ng maging buhay.  Sa hirap ng maging patay. Ahh, "PhD in Economics".

Meanwhile, nag-pi-piyesta sina Pidal and Pandak .. sa dividendo  nila na kita mula sa stocks nila on Shell Phils., Inc.

New Jersey, USA

11 Nov 2004


An officialdom of Pinocchios .. 

The Arroyo regime is not only an officialdom of Pinocchios.  GMA regime - a "high place" (Bible term for places of idolatry) of governance by patronage.

Statement from Cong. Herminio Teves that billion pesos "flowed" to members of Congress who "watered-down" the sin tax proposal .. from original 30% to 20% .. is believable. When GMA appeared to the cigarette manufacturers and haughtily said that SHE had worked hard to see the sin tax proposal "watered-down" to 20%. A 10% reduction in tax amounts to billions and billions of peso "savings" by the manufacturers. THUS a billion pesos "lobby money" will have been peanuts to manufacturers .. compared with paying 30% tax instead of 20%.

Hindi man lang tinablan si GMA sa statement ng European Chamber of Commerce na nagsabing "the simple problem with the Philippines is neither the law nor the Charter but the liberal, shifting and often self-serving interpretation of the law, which wreaks havoc on the investment climate.

GMA's ulterior motive in soliciting reconciliation and national unity is to prevent people from ousting her from occupancy of  Malacanan. GMA is not after national welfare and well-being.  

See .. El Shaddai just got a tremendous financial support. Do the people know that Mike Velarde's son is now monopolizing the lucrative business of supplying LRT (Light Rail Transport) requirements ? Who is the boss of LRT ? El Shaddai's worship leader.

New Jersey, USA
11 Nov 2004


Alternative reader articles 

I have followed your alternative reader articles, I'm wondering if you have compiled them in non-html format. It is because I hope to ask you to send those articles (1-93) in a zipped file for bulatlat.com subscribers if they want it or have a downloadable/printable format link within the site. 

Anyway, anything that will lessen my browsing/clicking will greatly help and I will appreciate much. Thank You. 

"John Rizle Saligumba" johnrizle@yahoo.com
9 Nov 2004


Anti-corruption bills petition

I just wanted to send you this link to an online petition on Petition Spot, Petition to Expedite the Passage of Hon. Mar Roxas' Senate Bill Nos. 1760 and 1761 in both Houses of the Philippine Congress. Please sign this Petition at:


Copies of the Senate Bills can be downloaded at:

Please pass.

Senator Mar Roxas
Republic of the Philippines


Bridge Program 

For me, the bridging program looks kinda weird in the sense of thought that this adds another year for highschool & grade 6 too! Because we're gonna issue a debate about this bridging program (çause we're in the negative side, alright!) I think this does or doesn't do good or any good for students like me.  

"Diane Matias" diane_matias2000@yahoo.com
4 Nov 2004


Dagupan Poor Give Way to “Bangus”

I always believe that an official’s decision should benefit the provincial interest of his constituents. First, will the decision promote more jobs? If yes, this is one decision to be commended. In the first place if one official does not promote jobs for his people, wouldn’t he be attacked by people for not doing his task? 

Second, will it generate more revenue? When the government policy imposes more taxes on citizens to increase funds, wouldn’t they be criticized again?  It is very clear that the attempt to increase funding would come directly from an investment opportunity that would promote the city not only within the Philippines but also internationally. 

Dagupan Poor does not give way to “Bangus’ alone but for additional jobs, revenue and prestige that would benefit Dagupan itself. I am not saying that the decision is completely just and fair. What I am trying to point out is to view things from a balanced and objective point of view. If the government does not have an action plan to relocate the poor, then they have to be criticized for such inhumane actions. But if they have at least an effort to reconcile the costs and benefits of putting up that Bangus plant, then it would be unfair and unjust to over criticize and highlight the costs and disregarding the benefits of the said project.

If the relocation site is not conducive to live in, then there has to be additional negotiations with the government. 

jhgasek gmkghds                
Oct. 25, 2004


U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier Faces Last Battle

I think there is more to it than just salvage operations.  They should stop the salvage operation as it poses no obstruction or danger to human and marine life and hamper development of the area.

If the area is diveable, I think it should be considered as a dive area for toursim purposes.

nixon de jesus      
Oct 26, 2004


Panahon na .. Bayan .. Panahon na ..

Greetings ..

Sana makatulong ito. I-require sa bawat at sa lahat ng mga nasa gobierno mag-mula kay Gloria Arroyo, kasama lahat ng mga AFP/PNP opisyales, kasama lahat ng Supreme Court/Court of Appeals/sandiganbayan/

Ombudsman, kasama lahat ng Cabinet members/advisers/ambassadors, kasama lahat ng mga nasa Senado at sa Kongreso, kasama lahat ng nasa govt. Institutions - GSIS-SSS-NHA-napocor-BC-BIR-etc - lahat lahat, all the way to the lowliest barangay tanods ..
Sa kanilang uniporme/pananamit .. May naka boldly displayed-emblazoned-imprinted-pinned-etc .. Na mababasa-makikita-mag-pa-alaala :

"I am an employee of the Filipino people, not of the Administration. I fear GOD Whom I will see someday. That someday can be. Hence, in all these remaining days of my life, I should be praise to HIM. I should be a beautiful song which will bless heart. Woe to me if I am corrupt, or can be corrupted. Woe to me if I lie, if I commit adultery even in my heart. I steal, if I am hypocrite, if I am proud, if I am selfish.If the love that speaketh from my lips is untrue because actually do not care. If I am un-godly. Woe to me if instead of being a vessel of GOD, I am being a vessel of Satan."

At i-display nang malaki sa bawat opisina-kampo-klinika-police station. Sa halip na ang naka-display ay malaking picture ni Gloria Arroyo. We serve the people .. NOT the occupant in Malacañang.

Panahon na .. Na alisin, na buwagin .. Ang subservience ng empleado-sundalo-pulis-medical personnel-legislature-judiciary-executive kay Gloria Arroyo. Ang DAPAT na subservience ng lahat .. Ay ang taong-bayan MISMO. DAPAT na ang malaking larawan sa bawat establisimiento ng gobierno .. HINDI larawan ng Pangulo.

DAPAT ay larawan ng isang mahirap na pamilya-Pilipino. Upang mag-inspire na maglingkod. Mag-remind na maging SENSITIVE sa mga na-a-aba, mga na-a-api, mga umiiyak dahil sa hirap, dahil sa gutom, dahil sa karandaman, dahil sa kapansanan, dahil sa pang-aapi ng iba.

Tingnan natin na lang. Hindi ba't mahirap i-describe ang feeling of joy each time we are able to help the needy, the poor, the broken-hearted, the mourning, the dispossessed. Lumuluwag ang ating dibdib, sumisigla ang ating araw, payapa ang ating pag-tulog.

Sila - ang poor, ang needy, ang suffering - sila, ang kanilang larawan sa ating tabi sa opisina, sa kampo, sa ospital, sa police station, sa barangay .. AT HINDI ang larawan ng Pangulo .. Ang siyang effective model, siyang profound source of inspiration .. To serve.

Panahon na .. Na buwagin ang captivity sa tao .. Na hindi marahil napapansin ng mga tao .. Ang pag-di-display ng larawan ng Pangulo.. Sapagkat ito ay cultic ang dating, cultic ang effect.

Ang Presidente ay isa lamang empleado ng taong-bayan. Ang dapat natin i-please ay ang mga aba, mga nangangailangan, mga nag-dudusa, mga mahihirap. HINDI .. At hindi kailanman ang nakaupo sa Malacanan. Siya man, na nakaupo sa Malacanan, GANITO rin ang dapat attitude, ang dapat philosophy, ang dapat conviction, ang dapat work-ethic, ang dapat .. Na prayer.

Panahon na .. Bayan .. Na tayo ay makinig mula sa Mt Gerizim .. Sa halip na sa Mt Ebal.

Panahon na .. Bayan .. Na we pitch our tents .. By Jacob's Well. That we may climb Mt Gerizim. That we may hear HIM bless us. As we drink that water of everlasting life.

Kamakailan, lumindol sa Japan. Marami ang nasawi. Hihintayin pa ba natin na tayo man ay lindolin .. Ang Malacanan ay kainin-ilubog sa Pasig River .. Bago tayo FINALLY bumaba mula sa Mt Ebal .. Pitch our tents at Jacob's Well .. And find our rest .. At the mountain of Mt Gerizim .. And hear HIM- our Almighty - bless us.
New Jersey, USA
27 Oct 2004 


U.S. Elections by Petras

The U.S. Left (Chomsky et al) has betrayed its progressive history by supporting the 'lesser of two evils'. in the form of a millionaire, neo-liberal warmonger.  I'm sure Bulatlat doesn't buy their capitulationist line.  This essay by Petras with references to Latin America (for the Mexico City daily, La Jornada) is relevant to a broader progressive public. 

As always,
24 Oct 2004


Video Documentary for Plaza Miranda

Good Day!

I am a graduating Visual Communication student from the College of Fine Arts UP Diliman. For my thesis, I am doing a video documentary on Plaza Miranda and its significance to history and culture of the Filipino people. I wanted to highlight the plaza's role as place for freedom and democratic speech, particularly through the rallies that are usually held there. I was referred to your online newspaper by the Independent Media Center, and I was wondering if you have photos or video clips that I could use in this undertaking. All materials would of course be acknowledged.

Anthony Cruz from the IMC also suggested that I ask you how I could contact Kodao Productions, which according to him, produces the video materials for the mass movements.

Thank you so much and I am looking forward to hearing from you.

Yours truly,
Katrina Encanto
24 Oct 2004


Magellan's death at the hands of Lapu-lapu

Ho! Bulatlat,

Your article made me feel something that I thought was lost to the years of political and economic upheavals the Philippines went through- the feeling of pride in being a Filipino. Being a minister of the Gospel, I have had many opportunities of travelling. And in these travels here and abroad I experienced the different ways a Filipino is regarded, from evident suspicion to derision. There were many times that I felt other nations were preferred before me.  

I have discovered that people who are fiercely nationalistic earn the respect of other countries that often has nothing to do with being rich or the color of your skin. Tell me honestly if we as a nation is worthy of our neighbor's respect? We break covenants so often that the law of the land is not worth the paper it is printed on.

Thank you for your research and giving the honor of a true hero to Lapu-lapu that is long time in coming. Personally, I would rather have Lapu-lapu as our national hero, but that is just me. 

God bless you, 

Rev. Ernie Palacio
New Jersey, USA
22 Oct 2004



This is a new pnenomenon in the Filipino culture.  I left the Philippines in 1972 and this is the first time I have heard of masskara.  Ely Santiago was my contemporary in Diliman in the mid 60's.  This is a very interesting and unique sociological event and should be tracked over the years to see what it evolves into.   Events of this type are typical in the Filipino psyche.

"Sal Santos"
20 Oct 2004


Courage and wisdom

Dear Dabet: You have courage and wisdom to take and make public this photo. I applaud your desire to make known the dire living conditions of some of your country's poor peoples. Let us strive together, working always to eradicate such poverty. 

Kindest Regards:

Winford Allen
19 Oct 2004


AFP top officers have field day

While the ordinary Filipino foot-soldier in the combat zone is not provided the rice allowance ostensibly because of budgetary constraints, rampant and immoral thievery by high-ranking military officers (nowadays, not necessarily gentlemen) are having a field day with the peoples' tax money. Thus, one reason for taxpayer to understate his taxable income is further "justified" or rationalized... to the fact that his paying more taxes will add more to the money pot being stolen by corrupt civilian and military powers-that-be.  

It is at the very least sad that now, we are realizing that some PMA'ers, educated with taxpayer money but who were admired and looked-up by many generations then (including myself who am proud to have a first cousin who graduated in the 1940s and taught at the Academy), have become extremely corrupt (and brutal) since the Marcos dictatorship, which began the homeland's predicament and precipitated the demise of social conscience and morality.  

"I either want less corruption, or more chance to participate in it." - Ashleigh Brilliant, 1933 

"The accomplish to the crime of corruption is frequently our own indifference." - Bess Myerson, 1924-present 

"In all institutions from which the cold wind of open criticism is excluded, an innocent corruption begins to grow like a mushroom - for example, in senates and learned societies." - Friedrich Nietzsche, 1844-1900 

"Corruption is like a ball of snow, once it's set a-rolling, it must increase." - Charles Colton, 1780-1832 

"Corruption is worse than prostitution. The latter might endanger the morals of an individual, the former invariably endangers the morals of the entire country." - Karl Kraus, 1874-1936. 

"We shall be better and braver and less helpless if we think that we ought to enquire, than we should have been if we indulged in the idle fancy that there was no knowing and no use in seeking to know what we do not know..." - SOCRATES

"Upang maitindig natin ang bantayog ng ating lipunan, kailangang radikal nating baguhin hindi lamang ang ating mga institusyon kundi maging ang ating pag-iisip at pamumuhay. Kailangan ang rebolusyon, hindi lamang sa panlabas, kundi lalo na sa panloob!" --Apolinario Mabini La Revolucion Filipina (1898) 

19 Oct. 2004


“Australians ignorant of Mindanao situation”


The re-election of the Howard government in Australia on October 9,  2004,  (Will Australian PM Launch Pre-emptive Strikes in RP?, October 10-16 issue) will strengthen the policy of strong support for the Bush  Administation's  global policy of pre-emptive strikes against emerging threats to US  interests. South-East Asia and China are two sites of powerful US  concern.


This next Howard government will have a three-year term during which it  will  develop a bigger naval and army capacity to intervene in strength in  other  countries.


While Howard used the 'pre-emptive strike' rhetoric for political  effect in  the election campaign, there should be no doubt that he would  energetically support any US military aggression in the region, or anywhere else in the world.


The Australian media regularly carries stories, sourced to unnamed intelligence sources, that Jemaah Islamiyah continues to use Abu Sayyaf and MILF training capacities in Mindanao. This indicates continuing pressure on the Macapagal Arroyo government to take more decisive action in Mindanao, and a threat to develop a more direct US and Australian military intervention.


The Australian people have virtually no understanding of the real situation in Mindanao, and this makes it relatively easy for the scare-mongering from intelligence sources now developing. Reflecting this broad ignorance, the Labor Opposition also has no grasp of what is at stake, while some of its key leaders are as rabid in their support of US policy as Howard.


Peter Murphy





Good Reporting


Dear Bulatlat,


I am a 19 year-old student in the United States. My parents  immigrated to  California from the Philippines during the Marcos dictatorship.  Growing  up, I did not learn that much about what was really going on in the  Philippines. I just assumed that all of the problems in the country  were  the result of domestic corruption, Islamic and communist "terrorism",  and other similar factors; in other words, I blamed it all on the Filipino  people.


Only in the past 2 years have I analyzed what has really been  going on. In high school and in my first year of college, I learned  about  American imperialism, and specifically what happened in places like  Nicaragua and Vietnam. I was horrified to learn of the genocides, the  secret invasions, the economic exploitation, etc.


It was a revelation  for  me to learn that the Philippines is included among the nations that are  victims of American policies. I was shocked to find out that Marcos  was  fully supported by the U.S. government, that a genocide occurred due to the American invasion of the Philippines, that IMF and WTO policies have been detrimental to the Filipino people, especially the poor.


I also now view the Muslim "problem" in the Philippines in a new light; that these people have been struggling to preserve their religious and cultural identity for over 500 years: from the Spanish, the United States, the Japanese, and now the U.S.-dominated Philippine government.


I am trying to learn more about the realities of the Philippines. They offer Southeast Asian studies courses here at Cornell, and hopefully I can study abroad in the Philippines next year. But anyways, I wanted to inform you that I have been reading your site, and I think you offer the best commentary and analysis of what is going on in the Philippines. Thank you for keeping people well-informed.


B. Cardozo





Hundred Islands National Park Threatened


Dear Editor:


We have a photocopy of the Initial Protected Area Plan for the reclassification of the Hundred Islands in Alaminos City, Pangasinan, from a National Park to a Protected Landscape/Seascape. In this plan, conducted in 1998, Bolo Development Cooperative, Inc. (BOLODECO) was shown to be a THREAT:


“It was in November 29, 1993 when Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) awarded a Certificate of Land Ownership Agreement (CLOA) to BOLODECO covering 40.7514 hectares.”


“…the presence of BOLODECO still serves as the major threat to the marine ecosystem of the national park since the proliferation of fish pens and fish pens will eventually result to the abundance of organic wastes coming from fish meals. These wastes then upset the marine area’s ecological balance, thereby threatening the survival of other marine species and organisms endemic in the area.”


“However, the status of BOLODECO within the jurisdiction of the national park still remains a problem considering the effect of fishpond developmentand its operation on the marine resources.”


We are an Environmental Group of Concerned Citizens without the legal or financial means to pursue an investigation into this threat. Some of us are in positions that may also be threatened if our identities are known, so we prefer to be anonymous at this time. In the initial stages of the investigation, we feel it more prudent and safer to be anonymous so the investigation can prosper unhindered. Our anonymity will reduce the chance of a cover-up or a scapegoat chosen from within our ranks.


We have created a website as a means to make applicable information available to the public and interested organizations. The website contains our initial research and will be updated as new information is gathered. The website URL is http://www.freewebs.com/tgigas.


Any suggestion, information, advice, comments, and assistance on this matter will be greatly appreciated.




Darby Shaw






Extraordinary Book Review


Hi Alex,


Thank you so much for the extraordinary book review you have written  for the Untold People's History: Samar Philippines (The Untold People’s History: Samar Philippines, Sep. 26-Oct. 2 issue). In behalf of  Sidelakes Press here in Los Angeles, California, we extend our heartfelt  thanks to you and to the rest of the Bulatlat staff.


More power to you!




Ricco Santos

Bonifacio Lagos





Very Progressive Articles


I have read the articles and I just wanted to commend Bulatlat for  their effort of having very progressive articles which are really true. I do hope Bulatlat will be properly made known in the country so that the Filipinos will be awaken of the reality that we are still under a semi-colonial and semi-feudal system.


Marycone Oribe



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