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UNITE WITH THE WORKERS! FIGHT AND RESIST THE TYRANNY OF THE US-DUTERTE REGIME THAT TERRORIZES THE WORKING CLASS

FIGHT FOR WOMEN’S EMANCIPATION, OPPOSE VIGOROUSLY THE ANTI-WOMEN FASCISM OF US-DUTERTE DICTATORSHIP


 

AMIDST THE WORSENING ECONOMIC CRISIS SUPPORT THE EMANCIPATION OF FILIPINO WOMEN, END ALL FORMS OF OPPRESSION

Statement of Congress of Teachers and Educators for Nationalism and Democracy on the 100th Celebration of International Women’s Day
8 March 2014

A hundred years ago, the Frenchman Charles Fourier, one of the first great prophets of socialist ideals, wrote these memorable words: “In any society, the degree of female emancipation is the natural measure of the general emancipation.” Today, with the harsh assault of neoliberal capitalism on the poor, Filipino women bear the weight of economic crisis. Hence the abysmal condition of the Filipino nation demands the full emancipation, not only of our people, but all the Filipino women.

Throughout the world, the Philippines has been regarded as one of the best place for women, based from the results of the 2013 Global Gender Gap Index. The Philippines ranked 5th, three levels higher than in 2012 and highest in the Asia Pacific. It even surpassed many developed countries such as United Kingdom, Canada, France and the United States. Yet the current anti-people policies of the US-Aquino Regime give the lie to this commendation.

The much touted growth of our economy by 7.2% increase in our GDP does not translate to better lives of our people especially women. Many women still suffer from unemployment, lack of social services such as health and education, daily violence, vulnerabilities from disasters, and unpredictable surges in the prices of basic goods and commercialized basic services.

Poverty incidence remains high at 25.2% despite having a costly poverty reduction of P62,614,247,297 to finance PantawidPamilya. While this program is supposed to target poor women and their children, it does not provide women the necessary resources to sustain their economic empowerment such as stable employment and better quality but free education in all levels. More than one million Filipino women were unemployed. There remains a huge gap in the labor participation rate among men and women. In 2013, about 9.5 million women were considered not part of the labor force. And according to Center for Women’s Resources, “[f]or those who were able to get a job, most of them (35%) are laborers and unskilled workers earning an average wage of ₱150.00. About 16% are service workers, also with a low wage of about ₱200.00. Worse, government statistics even count as employed 2.3 million women who are unpaid family workers. Massive contractualization and the two-tiered wage policy worsen the situation of women workers” (ULAT LILA 2014: The situation of Filipino women amidst worsening crisis and disaster, Davao Today, 2014/03/06).

As the perennial crisis of our economy subject our people especially women to poverty, the rich continue to get richer. National Statistics Coordinating Board said that people from the high-income class, which account for between 15.1 and 15.9 percent of the country’s population, enjoyed a 10.4-percent annual growth in income in 2011, while incomes of people in the middle-income segment grew by only 4.3 percent, and incomes of those in the low-income group by 8.2 percent. Meanwhile the bureaucrat capitalists in collusion with politicians and high ranking government officials shamelessly deprive the people of basic services by raiding public coffers for their self-enrichment.

While Filipino women are bearing the impact of economic destitution, they also experience different forms of violence. Based on Center for Women’s Resources statistics, at least 45 cases of domestic violence are being recorded daily. This is 43% higher than in 2012. This means that one woman is beaten every 31 minutes. Reported cases of rape also increased by 24% from 5,180 in 2012 to 6,432 in 2013. This translates to one woman or child raped every hour and 21 minutes, where 75% of the victims were children. There is one woman or child being harassed every two hours and 25 minutes.

And with series of disasters hitting our nation, the Filipino women who are very vulnerable to the impact of disasters, suffer even more. They become easy prey of human trafficking, rape, forced migration, and illegal recruitment.

Filipino women however do not remain passive amidst this vicious assault by the unjust economic system. Filipino women throughout our history had fearlessly resisted all forms of oppression. But the Aquino Regime, aided by the military powers of US imperialism, intensifies its repression of people’s movement and continues human rights violations. There have been 152 victims of extrajudicial killings under the Aquino administration, 18 of them were women. Some of those who fight against anti-people policies are harassed and detained. As of August last year, there have been 34 women political prisoners in various jails in the country.

In the midst of these intensifying economic crisis and the victimization of women, we the members of Congress of Teachers/Educators for National and Democracy-UP Diliman, express our strongest solidarity for all the oppressed women of the world, especially Filipino women. We salute all militant women and recognize their heroic sacrifices and persistent resistance against state violence.

We ask all our fellow teachers, educators and students to join all the women around the world, especially Filipino women, in celebrating the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, by demanding the end to all forms of violence perpetrated against women. We must teach to emancipate women. We must educate our students to be persistent like women in exposing and opposing all forms of exploitation and discrimination. In our classroom practices, we must expose the repressive ideology that subjects women to discrimination and repression. We have to end the slavery of the half of the human race!

With women rising against state violence, organizing against political and cultural discriminations, protesting against all forms of economic injustice, the oppressors and exploiters will have difficulty maintaining their hold on the vast majority of the Filipino people.

Down with feudalism that makes slaves out of women!
Down with capitalism that commodifies women!
Down with imperialism that traffics women!
End all forms of violence against women!
Oppose all repressive policies that discriminate against women!
For full emancipation of women!
Justice and equality for all women who are victims of violence!

NEVER FORGET THE MARTYRS OF MENDIOLA, HONOR THEIR SUBVERSIVE
MEMORIES BY FIGHTING RELENTLESSLY FOR GENUINE LAND REFORM
Statement of Congress of Teachers and Educators for Nationalism and Democracy-UP
(CONTEND UP) in commemorating the 27th year of the Mendiola Massacre

“If the land could speak, it would speak for us. It would say, like us, the years have forged the bond of life that ties us together. It was our labor that made the land she is.” Macli’ing Dulag, tribal leader, killed by military, April 24, 1980

On January 22, 1987, exactly 27 years today, on the so-called Black Thursday, state security forces brutally dispersed a farmers’ march to Malacañan Palace. Thirteen of the farmers were killed and many were wounded when government anti-riot forces opened fire on them. The farmers were demanding fulfilment of the promises made regarding land reform during the Presidential campaign of Cory Aquino, the mother of the Impunity King, Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III.

Twenty-seven years later, the murder of the farmers are still haunting the fascist state of US-Aquino Regime. In 1988, the Manila Regional Trial Court issued a decision to dismiss a P6.5-million class suit filed by relatives of the victims. This decision was upheld by the Supreme Court in 1993. This travesty of human rights merely demonstrates that “[t]hroughout history, as Lenin says, the state has been “an instrument for the exploitation of the oppressed class.” Usually the state is controlled by “the most powerful, economically dominant class, which, through the medium of the state, becomes also the politically dominant class, and thus acquires new means of holding down and exploiting the oppressed class.”

Twenty-seven years after the infamous Mendiola Massacre, our state is still controlled by the big landlord compradors. The sixty-six percent of lands distributed under the US-Aquino Regime are government lands and not those controlled by powerful landlords. The Aquinos, Roxases, Aranetas, Cojuangcos and other big landlord families wallow in excessive luxury. Big transnational corporations exploit the vast agricultural lands such as Dole, Del Monte, Nestle, Inc. and San Miguel Corp. Mining industries, through the neoliberal policies of the US-Aquino Regime, are also having bonanza in exploiting and destroying prime agricultural lands. The Comprehensive Agrarian Reform with Extended Reforms (CARPer) retained CARP’s provision allowing multinational corporations to control and operate the country’s agricultural lands through lease, management, grower or service contracts for a period of 25 years and renewable for another 25 years. Meanwhile, the Filipino peasantry, who comprise more than 70% of the country’s population, wallow in indescribable misery, unmitigated poverty, and subjected to massive militarization by the AFP, PNP and armed paramilitary units in the rural communities.

The First 100 Days Report of Pres. Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino’s administration made no mention of its program for land reform. Ibon Foundation, said that among post-Marcos presidents, Aquino performed the worst in terms of land distribution. And Pres. Aquino’s, a haciendero himself, support for the CARPer betrays his true class interests. The CARPer just like its predecessor land reform programs merely perpetuates the bondage of farmers to the land by mandating compensation for landlords and owners rather than redistributing the land for free. Under the CARPer, the required down payment for such compensation has even been raised from 25% to 50%. Under the CARPer, the conversion of hundreds to thousands of agricultural lands to non-agricultural use persists, which puts the livelihood of thousands of farmers’ families and the country’s food security at risk.

The oppressive and exploitative character of the CARP, its extended version in CARPer and the neoliberal policies of the US-Aquino Regime is demonstrated by the continuing violence at Hacienda Luisita. The agrarian reform dispute-cases of Hacienda Luisita, Hacienda Looc in Batangas, Roxas-Araneta lands in Bulacan, among others, are concrete cases where landlords made use of the CARPer to evade land distribution. The Cojuanco-Aquino clan continues to enjoy the benefits of what approximates a slave economy from which regular farmworkers are supposed to “receive only P 199.50 a day while seasonal or casual farmworkers, only 194.50. To this day, repressive acts such as harassment, imprisonment, bulldozing of farmlands and destruction of plants and crafts are committed against the farmworkers with impunity. Illegal arrest, detentions, and militarization of HLI is a regular activity.

In the face of these continuing exploitation of the Filipino peasants, the intensifying assault of the US-Aquino Regime’s fascist forces on peasants’ organization, the unmitigated influx of foreign mining companies and transnational corporation that exploit our prime lands and natural resources, we, the members of Congress o f Teachers and Educators for Nationalism and Democracy, UP Diliman, join the Filipino peasants’ clamour for genuine land reform. We support the peasants struggle to junk the CARP and CARPer for free land distribution. We are firmly convinced that there can never be genuine and lasting peace in our nation as long as the peasants remain landless and the big landlords and their families monopolize the ownership of vast tracts of lands.

Today, as we remember the heroism and martyrdom of the thirteen peasants who were killed in the Mendiola Massacre, we urge all patriotic and progressive teachers and educational workers to join the peasants’ centuries-old protracted struggle to dismantle the pernicious tentacles of semi-feudalism engulfing the Filipino peasants. As teachers and educators we cannot remain aloof amidst these struggles for they define the food security of our nation, and the coming generations. Our daily sustenance is made possible from the sweat and hard labor of thousands of landless and exploited peasants. As teachers, it is our duty to educate our students that landlessness is the fundamental root cause of insurgency, poverty, and the economic backwardness of our nation.

Junk CARP! Junk CARPer!
Down with feudalism!
Down with capitalism!
Down with imperialism!
For a genuine land reform!
Enact House Bill 252 or the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB) now!
For free land distribution!
Justice to all peasants who were victims of Mendiola Massacre and Hacienda Luisita Massacre!


charity

kim

DENOUNCE THE DETERIORATING HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION
UNDER THE LORDSHIP OF THE IMPUNITY KING BENIGNO AQUINO
Statement of Congress of Teachers and Educators for Nationalism and Democracy, University of the Philippines Diliman on the 63rd of International Human Rights Day
December 10, 2013

“Months into the end of Oplan Bayanihan’s Phase 1, human rights violations continue to belie the conjured picture of “peace and development” of the three-year US-Noynoy Aquino regime,” according to latest Karapatan Monitor report on the state of human rights in the Philippines. Under the presidency of President Aquino, there are already 142 extrajudicial killings and 164 frustrated extrajudicial killings, 76 cases of torture, and 293 illegal arrests and detentions. Most of the victims of extrajudicial killings are indigenous people (27) and peasants (80).
The failure of the Aquino Administration to bring to justice the personalities responsible for the infamous Ampatuan massacre had prompted many journalists and human rights advocates to hail President Aquino as “Impunity King”! However Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma promptly replied: “Suriin po natin ang ibig sabihin ng salitang ‘impunity.’ Ang ibig sabihin mo ng ‘impunity’ ay walang habas na nagaganap ito, hindi tinututulan ng awtoridad, hindi gumagawa ng karampatang aksyon upang pigilin ang krimen.” Ironically, Coloma’s definition perfectly fits his Boss.
Impunity persists because it has been four years since 58 individuals, including 32 journalists and media workers, were brutally killed in Ampatuan town, Maguindanao. To date, no one has been convicted of murder charges since the hearing began on January 5, 2010. And Sec. Coloma could only say pathetically that not all 58 victims were journalists!
Aquino has also refused to punish – and instead rewarded – the most rabid perpetrators of human rights violations. Gen. Eduardo Ano (implicated in the abduction of peasant activist Jonas Burgos) and Gen. Aurelio Baladad (charged with criminal and civil cases in relation to the arrest and detention of the 43 health workers or the Morong 43). To date, the US-Aquino Regime has not brought Gen. Jovito Palparan, the “berdugo” of activists, and his henchmen to justice.
Hence, we the members of Congress of Teachers and Educators for Nationalism and Democracy, UP Diliman strongly denounce the worsening state of impunity under the Aquino Regime. We denounce not only the direct violations of human rights of political activists and human rights workers and advocates, but also the ineptitude of the Aquino administration in securing the welfare and rights of the most vulnerable members of our society before and the aftermath of Yolanda typhoon. It is horrifying how the government in Tacloban had disposed dead bodies and how it failed to secure the safety of women and children.
We also denounce the deplorable act of the military who refused to heed the call of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippine, who declared unilateral ceasefire since November 8, 2013, and instead are now taking advantage of the ceasefire to carry tactical offensive against the New People’s Army. Such cowardly atrocities simply demonstrate how the US-Aquino regime takes advantage of people’s miseries to carry out its US-backed Oplan Bayanihan counter-insurgency program.
As teachers and educators we are also terrified by the impunity shown by the fascist force of the state in arresting people’s scientist, Prof. Kim Ajeas Gargar last October 1, 2013 in Sitio Spur Dos, Barangay Aliwagwag in Cateel, Davao Oriental. The barbarism shown by 67th Infantry Battalion of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in arresting and fabricating false charges against our fellow teacher merely strengthened further the attribution of Impunity King to President Aquino! We also condemn the continuing neglect of political prisoners especially our fellow teacher Charity Dino a public school teacher (arrested and tortured by the military, & detained for three years now at the Batangas Provincial Jail).
But the reign of terror perpetrated by the US-Aquino Regime should be seen in the light of the continuing meddling of US imperialism in Philippines. The unprecedented swarming of US military and para-military troops with their warships, planes, boats and drones in typhoon-devastated areas after Yolanda is an ominous warning that the imperialist forces are here to stay! We therefore strongly condemn the mendicant posturing of Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario who insinuated that the damage caused by super typhoon Yolanda to the country proves the need for greater presence of the US troops in our country. Such pro-US deportment of our DFA simply illustrates the continuing stranglehold of US imperialism on our country. Using disaster as leverage to gain foothold in our country is a gross violation of our right to self-determination. The continuing presence of US troops would merely translate to more human rights violations as our military will be assisted copiously by US intelligence to suppress people’s resistance and perpetuate semi-colonialism.
In celebration of the International Rights Day, we, the members of CONTEND UP Diliman raise our fists in defiance against the reign of terror under the Impunity King President Aquino! We join the chorus of voices of the people and express our profoundest solidarity for all the victims of human rights violations and join hands with all political prisoners who are now languishing in jails, in demanding the end to the impunity of the Aquino regime in violating the human rights of activists, our fellow teachers, journalists, human rights advocates and workers, indigenous people, church people, peasants and workers!
We demand justice for all those who have been tortured, brutally assaulted, politically harassed by the US-Aquino regime. We demand full accountability from this barbaric state and its fascist military forces.

Uphold Human rights!
No to Oplan Bayanihan!
Free All Political Prisoners!
Free Prof. Kim Gargar and Teacher Charity Dino!
Make the US-Aquino Regime Accountable for all its human rights atrocities!
Justice to all victims of human rights violations!
No to rotational presence of US troops in the Philippines!
Down with imperialism!
Junk VFA!


PCARI: THE WHITE ELEPHANT THAT WEIGHS DOWN THE RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT NEEDS OF THE COUNTRY
Statement of Congress of Teachers and Educators for Nationalism and Democracy-UP (CONTEND-UP) and Alliance of Concerned Teachers Philippines

What is the state of research and development in the Philippines?
The Philippines is lagging behind almost every other country in Southeast Asia in terms of research and development (R&D) in science and technology. Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand are taking the lead with the most scientific output in the region while Indonesia and Vietnam have already taken significant leads over the Philippines. Local scientific research is considered the lowest in quality compared with Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam (World Economic Forum 2012-2013).
One need not look too far to find an explanation for its miserable performance. The Philippines spent only a measly 0.12% of its GDP on R&D in 2005. In contrast, Malaysia allotted 0.63% of its GDP in 2006 and Thailand 0.23% in the same year. Public expenditure per tertiary level pupil as a percentage of GDP per capita puts the Philippines at 9.6% (2008), Indonesia at 21% (2009), Thailand at 22.7% (2009), Malaysia at 60% (2009) and Vietnam at 60.6% (2008). It is no wonder that the Philippines has only 81 researchers in R&D per million people as opposed to Malaysia’s 365 and Thailand’s 307 (All data from the World Bank).
What is PCARI?
The Philippines-California Advanced Research Institutes (PCARI), is a brainchild of the Filipino-American Silicon Valley entrepreneur, Mr. Diosdado Banatao which will receive an initial outlay of P1.76B (or $205 million over four years) per year over a five-year period, as provided for under the Special Provision No. 6 “Allocation for the Research and Scholarship Project” of the General Appropriations Act (GAA/RA 10352). The initial budget is more than sixty percent of CHED’s 2013 budget. All in all, eight to ten billion pesos of the budget of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) will be spent on PCARI over a span of five years.
Two research institutes in Information Technology and in Health will be established with the participation of five Philippine higher education institutions, the University of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University, Mapua Institute of Technology, and Mindanao State University (and other selected HEIs) in partnership with the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and the University of California Berkley (UCB). It will be focused on developing Philippine research and development capacity in information technology and medicine. PCARI is expected to give a strong boost to the Philippines internationally in terms of the number of scientific publications in international journals and the increase in the number of local PhD holderss and researchers. The Philippines will be the sole funder of all its projects.

Why is it disadvantageous and even harmful to genuine development goals of the Philippines?
The solution to the mediocre performance of the Philippines in R&D and in higher education as a whole is simple and straightforward. More priority should be given in terms of budget allocation to science and technology development, the strengthening of science program in basic education, and the improvement of tertiary education. All of these should then be linked to a comprehensive national industrialization program. However, leaders and technocrats in government always seem to fail to see the straightest path to solving the problems of the nation. They are addicted to quick fix schemes and pyramid scams, most especially when the potential personal and political gains in the short-term promises are quite substantial. The Philippines-California Advanced Research Institutes (PCARI) is quickly turning out to be one such neoliberal scam. Why? Because of the following reasons:
1) The Philippines will in effect be funding US researches to be done in UCSF and UCB singlehandedly since there will be no counterpart coming from the US partner institutions;
2) It is to be expected in such an arrangement that proprietary claims to the results of the researches which it singlehandedly funded will not redound solely upon the Philippines;
3) The Philippines will most likely end up funding US researchers and the use of facilities at dollar rates while Philippine researchers will be paid unequally at Philippine rates, an arrangement which harks back to the colonial era;
4) The use and disposition of the funds will be tied to just a few institutions in the US,the selection of which was questioned legally and morally,when greater flexibility in the use and disposition of its limited R&D budget would better serve the Philippines;
5) Private universities involved in the partnership, such as Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University and Mapua Institute of Technology, will greatly benefit from the scheme even as State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) like the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) continue to be starved of the funding they need for survival;
6) There is also reason to be uneasy about the composition of the PCARI steering committee. Mr. Diosdado Banatao, is concurrently serving as the Chairman of the University of California Berkeley, College of Engineering Advisory Board and as a member of the UC Berkeley Chancellor’s Executive Advisory Council, while his wife, Maria Cariaga Banatao, who is also part of the PCARI steering committee, is a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of California Berkeley Foundation. Whose personal interests are being served in this kind of arrangement when the main proponents of the project are personally connected with UC Berkeley?

What is its relationship with the current neo-liberal thrust of internationalization of higher education?
The PCARI is symptomatic of the neoliberal definition of internationalization of higher learning institutions which ties it to the effort to enhance international reputation of universities andembellish “outer appearance” with short-term and superficial schemes.Rather than addressing the root of the problems of educational and scientific backwardness in the Philippines through adequate state intervention, the neoliberal definition of internationalization is obsessed with selling its delusions as truths.

Firstly, the PCARI demonstrates a fetish for building up the “international” reputations of a few “elite” universities like the University of the Philippines (UP) while basic education and tertiary education as a whole languishes in utter state neglect. It ignores that efforts on improving the Filipino students’ competence in science and mathematics, which are at the backbone of research and innovation, need to be accelerated ifthe country wants to becompetitive.Our performance in Trends in International Mathematics and Science Studies (TIMSS) should give CHED and the government a big pause in considering where to put the P10 billion budget. Thus, it can be argued that the real quality of an educational system can be measured by its overall average quality rather than by its few showcases.
Second, it reveals a fetish for increasing international publications as a surrogate for the actual development of sustainable national basic industries as the foundation for genuine development. It can be argued that “first tier” countries in publication performance such as Thailand and Malaysia owe their advances in R&D primarily to their increasingly broad and stable industrial bases which the Philippines lacks. Indeed, a one-sided obsession with publication for “international” journals may not actually contribute to addressing local needs and more pressing national research agendas.
Third, it is driven by a fetish for credentialism that relies on accumulating advanced degrees and multiplying the number of PhDs as a seeming end in itself, when, lacking sustainable industrial growth, it is certain that the advanced graduates we produce, will continue to find themselves underpaid, underemployed or unemployed and will continue to stream outwards like Mr. Banatao himself, the pinnacle of a Filipino who “made it.” Why is it that the Brazilian government can send and finance 100,000 of their citizens to gain advanced degrees abroad? How is it possible that Vietnam can spend $50M of its yearly budget to send 1,000 Vietnamese abroad per year for their PhDs? The answer is because the majority of Brazilians and Vietnamese come home and contribute to building their own nations. Filipinos, coming from a country mired in government corruption,perennial poverty, and bleak employment opportunities, are driventomigrate and practice their professions abroad.This is made dramatic by the current exodus of our weather forecasters abroad. PCARI is another window for continuing “brain drain”.
And finally, the PCARI demonstrates a fetish for lauding individual entrepreneurship dislocated from the realities of collapsing local industries, stagnating agriculture and stupendous corruption. Our individual entrepreneurs will be simple compradors for the most part, agents of foreign businesses in the Philippines.
What are our calls?
Indeed, one has to start somewhere. But unless Philippine R&D and tertiary education initiatives are based on long-term plans for national industrial and agricultural development, such initiatives are destined to serve some other nation’s development and not that of the Philippines. And as in the past, we become a willing host for the advancement of the economically advanced nations. Without more fundamental reforms in education, especially strengthening science and technology programs in basic education, reversing the perverse outcomes of neoliberal reforms in higher education,and building industrial infrastructure based on sound agricultural policies, the PCARI will just end up as mere window-dressing, like so many “innovative” neoliberal scams of the past, to the chronic failure and miserable state of Philippine higher education. It is to be expected that there will be little to show when the last peso has been spent in financing this“white elephant”to the tune of10 billion pesosin five years for the country to attain academic respectability in the heartless global supermarket.

Oppose the Commission on Higher Education’s (CHED) extravagant PCARI scheme!
Oppose the privatization of social services and increase the budget of basic education and public tertiary education institutions!
Support research and development towards national industrialization and genuine land reform!
Propagate a Nationalist, Scientific, Mass Oriented Education!

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NINE YEARS AFTER THE INFAMOUS HACIENDA LUISITA MASSACRE,
ADVANCE AND INTENSIFY THE PEOPLE’S STRUGGLE AGAINST FEUDALISM

Statement of Congress of Teachers and Educators for Nationalism and Democracy, University of the Philippines, Diliman (CONTEND-UP Diliman) on the 9th Anniversary of Hacienda Luisita Massacre
November 16, 2013

On November 16, 2004, police and army units carried out a brutal massacre of striking sugar plantation workers at Hacienda Luisita. At least seven protesting farmers were killed in a clash with police and military personnel.It is the second recent massacre involving the Cojuangco family. The first one was the Mendiola Massacre on January 22, 1987, during the presidency of Corazon Cojuangco Aquino.Today, nine years have passed since the infamous Hacienda Luisita massacre, justice has remained elusive. Worse, the problems of peasants’ repressionthat had led to this massacre have remained, even worsened. Last October 31, Dennis dela Cruz, an official of the AlyansangmgaManggagawangBukidsaAsyenda Luisita (AMBALA), was found bludgeoned inside a hut he was fixing in Barangay Balete. His murder could have only been perpetrated by the Cojuangco-Aquinos’hooligans who harassed peasant organizations for exposing the bogus land reform scheme of the Department of Agrarian Reform in collusion with Cojuangco’s Luisita Realty Corp. and the Tarlac Development Corp.No land distributionis actually taking place. Instead, peasant organizations have exposed that what is being distributed are certificates of land amortizations which are to be paid for by supposed beneficiaries for the next 25 years. They have also exposed how the scheme has displaced a number of long-standing claimants to the land who have been excluded from the list of beneficiaries prepared by the DAR in collaboration with the Cojuangco-Aquinos.

In hysterical attempt to stem the tide of genuine land beingpushed by peasants’ organizations the Cojuangco-Aquinos are now forced to resort to fascist attacks as the farm workers’ sentiment for a free distribution of lands is ballooning. On Sept. 17, eleven members of the fact finding mission, which was organized to investigate the land claims of Tadeco in Hacienda Luisita and the intensified militarization in the area, were arrested at around 11:40 A.M. in the village of Balete. The fact-finding mission that gathered data to verify the initial reports that farm worker beneficiaries (FWB) were coerced into signing an application to purchase and farmers undertaking with the DAR. This accumulation by dispossession directed by DAR clearly obliges FWBs to pay amortization, consequently compensating the Cojuangco-Aquinos. In its bid to extract superprofits from the landless peasants, the Cojuanco-Aquinos are tricking the farm worker beneficiaries by distributing certificates of land amortizations which are to be paid for by supposed beneficiaries for the next 25 years. By requiring them to pay amortization, the FWBs are being robbed again of what rightfully belongs to them.

The AlyansangmgaMangggawangBukidsaAsyenda Luisita (AMBALA) had exposed how the scheme has displaced a number of long-standing claimants to the land who have been excluded from the list of beneficiaries prepared by the DAR in collaboration with the Cojuangcos. Furthermore, Ambala also asserted that the “tambiolo” method of distribution is outright illegal and violation of their rights as FWBs.The 200-300 hectares of land under the Tarlac Development Corporation (TADECO), which is owned by Aquino’s family, should be covered by land reform and thus distributed to farmworker-beneficiaries. These are in barangays Cutcut, Balete, and Mapalacsiao.

In the light of this iniquitous accumulation by disposession being perpetrated by the Cojuanco-Aquinos against the toiling landless farmers, we, the members of Congress of Teachers and Educators for Nationalism and Democracy,express our profoundest solidarity for all the farmworkers of Hacienda Luisita. We support the peasants’ demand to carry out genuine land reform by dispossessing the Cojuanco-Aquinos of their land. We support the free distribution of lands to the farm workers. Land redistribution however is not sufficient with genuine agrarian reform. Farm workers should not only be given lands to till but must be given the appropriateinfrastructure and much-needed subsidies so they can be the base of national industrialization program.

Hence we also call for the abolition of pork barrel system so that these gargantuan funds can be channelled to spur and support genuine agrarian reform. However staggering theamount of funds involved in stealing from the public coffers, they are insignificantcompared to the hundreds of billions of pesos plundered by various predatory governments in implementing one of the grandest and most deceptive projects in the country’s history—bogus land reform.From the Marcos dictatorship’s PD 27 to the CARP of the Corazon Aquino, Fidel Ramos and Joseph Estrada regimes to the CARPER under Gloria Arroyo and Benigno Aquino III, the reactionary state has spent P259.5 billion for land reform. But the face of feudal and semifeudal exploitation has hardly changed even on the eve of CARPER’s conclusion in 2014.

We call on our fellow educators, educational workers and students to mobilize and support the struggle of the Hacienda Luisita farm workers, and all the landless peasants of our nation, to intensify the struggle against feudalism. Pork barrel system is one of the offshootsof exploitativefeudal relations. The struggle against feudalism is the struggle to bring down patronage and electoral clientelism.

Down with feudalism!
Punish all parties and individuals responsible for the Hacienda Luisita Massacre!
Fight for genuine agrarian reform!
Fight for free redistribution of land to all landless farmers!
Support the Hacienda Luisita Farm Workers’ Struggle for justice and right to land!

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DEFEND AND UPHOLD ACADEMIC FREEDOM AGAINST STATE REPRESSION
FREE PROF. KIM GARGAR AND ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS

Statement of Congress of Teachers and Educators for Nationalism and Democracy, University of the Philippines, Diliman (CONTEND, UP Diliman) on the Arrest of Prof. Kim Gargar

We, the members of the Congress of Teachers and Educators for Nationalism and Democracy, University of the Philippines, Diliman (CONTEND, UP Diliman) strongly denounce the arrest of people’s scientist, Prof. Kim Ajeas Gargar last October 1, 2013 in Sitio Spur Dos, Barangay Aliwagwag in Cateel, Davao Oriental. Prof. Gargar, who hails from Iligan City, finished BS in Physics, magna cum laude, at the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology in 2000; and his MS in Physics at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City. Prof. Gargar has taught Physics in four universities: University of the Philippines as Teaching Associate from June 2000 to May 2003; Mindanao Polytechnic State College in Cagayan de Oro City from 2003 to 2004 and head of the Department of Physics from 2004 to 2005; Polytechnic University of the Philippines from 2005 to 2006 and the Mapua Institute of Technology from 2007 to 2008, where he also served as Research Director for Computational Sciences. He started his PhD in 2009 and did research on “Analyzing a mathematical model of the mammalian circadian pacemaker.”

Such academic track record did not deter the military to fabricate charges against Prof. Gargar: violation of RA 9615 or illegal possession of explosives, firearms and ammunitions; two counts of multiple frustrated/attempted murder; and violation of the election gun ban. These are unfounded charges that merely reveal the fascist and repressive character of our nation’s armed forces. According to AGHAM-Advocates of Science and Technology for the People , “Kim decided to devote his time to volunteer work in AGHAM. As a scientist for the people, he unselfishly shared his technical expertise and energy in explaining scientific concepts to local communities to help sharpen their analysis in confronting issues that affect them.”

We should acclaim Prof. Gargar for volunteering to be among the 69 members of a fact-finding team in mid-April 2013 that documented the March 4 killing of a Baganga village councilor and the state of the environment in the typhoon-hit areas in Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley. Prof. Gargar returned to Compostela Valley in late June for a six-month resource mapping for the rehabilitation of the devastated areas, “mainly for rainforestation program,” in coordination with Balsa Mindanao and the environmental group, Panalipdan. While doing his volunteer work for the people, he was arrested! Rather than commending his works, the military branded Prof. Gargar as the enemy of the state!

We are therefore alarmed by the way the 67th Infantry Battalion of the Armed Forces of the Philippines arrested Prof. Gargar and came up with trumped up charges to implicate him with the New People’s Army (NPA). This repressive tactic of the military, as part of the US-Aquino Oplan Bayanihan counter-insurgency program, sends a shockwave of terror among scholars and the community of scientists who are doing their legitimate field research in far-flung areas, and deters other scientists from doing their field work in conflict-ridden areas of our country.

We call on all concerned members of the scientific community to demand the immediate release of Prof. Gargar. His release is the last hope that can show the world that our country is civilized enough to respect the rights of scholars and teachers. We cannot just stand as innocent bystanders while our colleagues are being arrested, illegally detained like Charity Dino, a public school teacher (arrested and tortured by the military, & detained for three years now at the Batangas Provincial Jail). It’s part of our academic freedom as scholars, scientists, and teachers to work in the field with the people without being subjected to undue military harassment and surveillance. The arrest of Prof. Gargar sends a wrong signal to our nationalist scholars, scientists, and teachers that their research and works are no longer safe. Our armed forces, rather than guaranteeing our safety in the conducting our studies, have become the very threat to the integrity of our academic work!

We therefore call on all teachers and students to join us in our urgent call to expose and denounce the dirty tactics of the military to harass and repress people’s scientists. We call on all patriotic and progressive members of our society to demand the immediate release of Prof. Gargar and all other political prisoners who are now languishing in jails and prisons.

Free Prof. Kim Gargar!
Free all political prisoners!
Uphold academic freedom against state repression!
Abolish US-Aquino Oplan Bayanihan!
Down with fascism!

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TEACHERS AS ACTIVIST INTELLECTUALS:
TEACH TO EMANCIPATE, ORGANIZE TO RESIST BUREAUCRCAT CAPITALISM

Statement of Congress of Teachers and Educators for Nationalism and Democracy, UP Diliman on 19th World Teachers’ Day, 5 October 2013

On the 19th celebration of the World Teachers Day, we the members of the Congress of Teachers and Educators for Nationalism and Democracy, University of the Philippines, Diliman, join the raucous chorus of all teachers in the Philippines, and around the world, in fighting for better condition and social welfare and benefits for all teachers, while joining other progressive and advanced sectors of our society to denounce the continuing neoliberal capitalist practices, structures, and policiesthat aggravatethe already impoverished conditions of our teachers and educational system.

We decry the immoral and unjustifiable misappropriation of our national budget to debt service totalling toP1.06 trillionandstingily givingto Department of EducationP336.9 billion or 15% of the total proposed budget, while the total budget to education comprises 14.3% of the projected GDP for 2014, a far cry from the 4.3% GDP share of education (total P323.3 billion fund for DepEd, SUCs, TESDA and CHED). This is far from the UNESCO’srecommendation of allocating 6% of GNP to education. Also, we do not laud the realignment of P1.02 billion to the Department of Education for education and scholarships from the defunct PDAF. For it gives lawmakers the privilege to still tap the fund by submitting proposals for projects to the Department of Education and CHED. Patronage and clientelism are dubiously killed only to be resurrected through line-item budgeting, or patronage with transparency.

We deplorethe shamefulproposed P2.268-trillion national budget which is laden with big-ticket infrastructure projects, in which bulk of these infrastructure funds will undergo the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) scheme, wherein the government allows the private sector to invest and partly finance public projects (P1.6 billion for the amortization of the construction of 9,301 classrooms under “PPP Batch 1”).While the government boasts of an 18% increase in the budget for basic education, from P330.2 billion to P389.5 billion, the amount is still insufficient considering that DepEd will be shouldering the additional costs brought about by the full implementation of the K-12 program. This budget translates to only P6.22 funding per student per day, considering that there are 17.2 million learners at the basic level that DepEd needs to fund. This means teachers will bear the agonizing brunt of educating young people with meagre resources and insufficient funds.

We strongly repudiate the Roadmap for Public Higher Education Reform (RPHER) that seeks to further commercialize and privatize higher education through bogus rationalization and internationalization. The DBM-approved budget for state universities and colleges (SUCs) increased nominally by P1.9 billion, from the current P32.8 billion to P34.7 billion in 2014 (amounts net of RLIP). Despite the nominal increase, there will be 79 SUCs that will be suffering from budget cuts in FY 2014, some due to lower PS components, others due to lower MOOE, and many due to zero capital outlay. Rationalizing SUcs would mean merging SUCs and abolishing programs rather than strengthening and reforming the existing ones. This is a move to prepare our college students as infinite resources for capitalist exploitation and expansion.

We demand that higher state subsidies for education should be given to improve the current starting pay of teachers of P18,594 per month. Our public school teachers are at the borderline of poverty threshold considering that In the National Capital Region, IBON estimates that the family living wage (or the minimum amount needed for a family of six members to meet their daily food and non-food needs plus 10% allocation for savings) is Php1,034 for a family of six as of December 2012.Accoridng to National Statistics Coordinating Board, in terms of Purchasing Power Parity (PPP), Filipino teachers earn US$5,000 to $6,000 annually, while teachers in the US earn $35,000 to $45,000. Because of the large disparity in the salary, many Filipino teachers have gone to the US to teach. The NSCB said there have been a total of 2,768 teachers deployed to the US between 2005 and 2010. This pimping of our teachers for global markets is unashamedly celebrated by the Aquino Administration as internationalization of education.

In our critical historical periodwhen the assault of neoliberal policies on our educational system isescalating, which reducesour teachersto bureaucratic clerks of the state and proletarianizes educational workers through labor contractualization and harassing of unions, we urge all teachers to embrace their historic duty as activist intellectuals and organize through national democratic unions, creating alliances with progressive people’s movements of our society, to register our urgent demands for better educational services, better benefits for teachers, and greater subsidy for educational infrastructure.

We demand that the budget allocated to the controversial Priority Development Fund (PDAF) and the presidential pork barrel be abolished completely. The refusal of the Aquino Administration and its backers to let go of their pork barrel is unacceptable for teachers when educationisinabudgetsqueezeofgreatmagnitude. We join the Filipino masses in denouncing the pork barrel scam, and its newest expression in the notorious Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), prosecuting all guilty individuals and parties, and the rechanneling of congressional and presidential pork barrel to basic social services and to subsidize free land distribution for landless peasants.

We demand that debt servicing, the budget for modernization of the armed forces and militarization which are being used to finance the notorious US-backed Oplan Bayanihan counter-insurgency program, whose primary victims are civilians, human rights defenders and advocates including teachers like Charity Dino(a public school teacher arrested and tortured by the military, & detained for three years now at the Batangas Provincial Jail), be rechanneled to subsidize people’s welfare and other social services such as health, free housing for urban poor, free distribution of lands to landless peasants, and agrarian reform.

We, teachers, do not only teach! We are not simple submissive bureaucrat-worshippers of state policies. We refuse to be reduced to mere technicians perfecting our teaching methods. We teach to emancipate the silenced minds! Teaching is the most political and revolutionary praxis. For it is premised on the possibility of changing the consciousness of the oppressed so that they will rebel and emancipate themselves from the shackles of our semi-feudal, semi-colonial, bureaucrat capitalist society! We teach while we engage in political practice. Therefore, on the 19thcelebration of World Teachers Day, we seize this opportunity to fight andshout:

Education is a right!
Free education for all!
Rechannel pork barrel funds to education and other social services!
No to privatization and commercialization of education!
Down with colonial, commercialized, and elitist education!
Stop the repression and harassment of activist teachers and their unions!
Let’s fight for a nationalist, scientific, and mass based education!

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FREE THE LAND REFORM ADVOCATES NOW!
FIGHT FOR GENUINE LAND REFORM!

Statement of Congress of Teachers and Educators for Nationalism and Democracy UP Diliman
On the Arrest of Land Reform Advocates at Hacienda Luisita

September 18, 2013

As the Aquino Administration and its allies harass and push Janet Napoles and the non-administration lawmakers as escape-goats for its PDAF corruption, they are also busy defending their power and privileges by ordering its repressive military and police personnel to arrest people who want to expose and oppose their corrupt practices.

Police Officer 3 Norbelita Ingaw of the Tarlac City police confirmed to INQUIRER.net that around nine people were arrested at the sugar estate on charges of illegal assembly, direct assault, trespass to dwelling and malicious mischief last September 17, 2013. The group arrested include Anakpawis Representative Fernando Hicap, Danilo Ramos of Anakpawis party-list, Florida Sibayan, acting chairperson of Alyansa ng Magbubukid sa Asyenda Luisita (AMBALA), Sister Patricia Fox of the Zion Sisters, former political prisoners Ericson Acosta, Kerima Tariman, Rene Blazan, Karl Mae San Juan of Anakpawis, Ronald Matthew Gustillo, Luz Versola, Pong Sibayan of Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA).

According to Ericson Acosta, the arresting police force consisted of seven armed men in plain clothing and armed supervisors of Cojuanco-owned Tarlac Development Corporation. Antonio Flores, KMP secretary general, said the arrests took place on the last day of a fact-finding mission to look into allegations that a Supreme Court order to distribute the 5,000-hectare estate to around 6,000 farmers had been tainted by wrong land allocations, land-grabbing and militarization. Hacienda Luisita is a vast plantation owned and controlled by President Benigno Aquino III and his family for more than 50 years. The land reform advocates were confirming accusations of fraud and harassment in the area reported by land distribution beneficiaries.

We the members of Congress of Teachers and Educators for Nationalism and Democracy, University of the Philippines Diliman, strongly condemn the arrest of these land reform advocates. As teachers and educators we are alarmed by the intensifying fascist and repressive tactics being employed by the military and police to protect the private interests of the big landlords who are related to the President. We decry this incident as a flagrant demonstration of how the current administration is politically and morally bankrupt to its very core! While it talks about “daang matuwid” and the abolition of corruption in the government, it continues to preserve the oppression and exploitation of landless farmers by promising bogus land reforms. It brings to mind the repression, corruption and the anti-farmers’ and anti people’s policies during the martial law period whose 41st declaration will be on September 21.

As teachers and educators we express our profoundest solidarity with the arrested land reform advocates and with the thousands of landless farmers, not only in Hacienda Luisita but in the entire Philippines, who are still struggling to have a genuine land reform in our society. We cannot remain aloof and unaffected by these on-going fascist tactics of the government against our people. As teachers and educators we uphold the right of the farmers to have free access to the land they till. We therefore call on all patriotic and progressive Filipino teachers, educational workers and students to express their solidarity with the arrested land reform advocates and landless farmers.

We call for the immediate release of the arrested land reform advocates. We demand that the police and all those private individuals who were involved in this brazen human rights violation be held accountable. We demand for the end of state repression and all forms of militarization perpetrated against the farmers of Hacienda Luisita!

Free the arrested land reform advocates now!
Stop militarization and repression of Hacienda famers and agricultural workers!
Make accountable all police personnel and private individuals who made the arrest!
Distribute for free Hacienda Luisita to genuine farmers and farm workers not to the stooges of the Cojuangco and Aquino family.
Implement genuine land reform now!
Down with fascism!
Down with feudalism!
Never again to martial law!!

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OPPOSE THE IMPENDING US WAR OF AGGRESSION IN SYRIA,
CALL ON THE AQUINO GOVERNMENT TO REJECT THE US-PH FRAMEWORK FOR INCREASED ROTATIONAL PRESENCE AND DEFENSE COOPERATION

Statement of Congress of Teachers and Educators for Nationalism and Democracy UP Diliman
on the Impending Military Intervention in Syria
September 12, 2013

The Congress of Teachers and Educators for Nationalism and Democracy (CONTEND) UP Diliman opposes the impending US war of aggression against the Syrian people. Evidently, the US government’s warmongering schemes are rejected by the peoples of the world who recognize and respect the right of sovereign nations to self-determination and territorial integrity. The US government continues to be alienated in its scheme and lies.

In spite of the existence of international laws and international bodies like the United Nations (UN), US President Barack Obama’s regime is most desperate to unilaterally take military action that it considers to be the most solemn decision at the moment.

In 2003, the US claimed that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction to justify its invasion. Now, even with the absence of a UN report on the alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria and reports that reveal how the footage of the said attack was fabricated, the US is hell-bent in insisting that it wants to protect the international community against the proliferation of chemical weapons.

After more than a decade of US war of aggression in Iraq, the culprits remain unpunished for committing international crimes against humanity that killed more than a million innocent Iraqi people under the pretext of US war against terror. Now, it finds another ploy to justify its military intervention in Syria.

According to the International League of People’s Struggles (ILPS), the US has most to gain in economic, political and military terms from the destruction of Syria. Consequently, the fall of the Syrian government will weaken Iran whose oil resources are targeted by the US government.

Pope Francis even characterized this tactic a “commercial war to sell arms” as he called for a stop to violence and devastation and for people to “work with a renewed commitment for a just solution to the internecine conflict”.

More than ever, this is the time to call the Aquino government to reject the US-PH Framework for Increased Rotational Presence and Defense Cooperation. This framework of allowing more US troops in the country and letting them use Philippine bases sends a message to the international community that the Filipino people are fully supportive of the US agenda and its wars of aggression. It is high time to abandon this strategy and abrogate all lopsided agreements.

The Congress of Teachers and Educators for Nationalism and Democracy (CONTEND) UP Diliman strongly supports the moves of various sectors in calling for peace. Teachers and educators must be in the forefront in promoting peace and showing solidarity for the people of the world who fight for justice.

Today, we wear white ribbons to symbolize our call for peace in Syria. In the next days, CONTEND will be conducting discussions among the UP community to intensify our calls and unite the whole community in rejecting the US war of aggression.

OPPOSE THE US WAR OF AGGRESSSION IN SYRIA!
DOWN WITH US IMPERIALISM!
UPHOLD AND RESPECT THE SOVEREIGNTY OF SYRIA
JUNK THE VISITING FORCES AGREEMENT (VFA)
REJECT THE US-PH FRAMEWORK FOR INCREASED ROTATIONAL PRESENCE AND DEFENSE COOPERATION

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EXPOSE AND OPPOSE BUREAUCRAT CAPITALISM
PROSECUTE AND PUNISH THE PARASITES THAT FEED ON PEOPLE’S MONEY

Statement of Congress of Teachers and Educators for Nationalism and Democracy-UP Diliman
on the Intensifying People’s Protest for the Abolition of Pork Barrel

The current financial haemorrhage from the pork barrel scam finally revealed in broad day light the horrendous and massive siphoning of people’s taxes into the pockets of corrupt politicians, senators, and congressmen, and the rent-seeking capitalist leeches in the persons of Janet Napoles and her kind. As the criminal syndicate behind the pork barrel scam is daily unveiled through the media, the pot of booty that started with P10 billion is increasing in astronomically, while the number of people and organizations who are involved increase arithmetically. Its scope is getting infinitesimal. It is resulting in an irreparable moral delegitimation of our current political system that prompted the Catholic Bishops to call it an act of terror against the poor.

But the tail of the scam does not end with the corrupt bureaucrats and their rent-seeking partners. The hydra-like character of contemporary bureaucrat capitalism finds its focal point in the President of the Republic who responds to the issue with reformist rhetoric to conceal his ultimate aim to keep the pork barrel for his own political ambitions. Such deceptive reformist rhetoric however did not pacify people’s rage as thousands joined the million march to Luneta last August 26, 2013. Neither did it convince the thousands of netizens that reforms– by calling the pork barrel by another name– is the panacea to save the pork barrel from decapitation. In desperation, President Aquino’s claim that the Luneta protesters are his allies to clean politics of patronage, which was seconded enthusiastically by his minions including his official partylist, only further fuelled the uproar of people in protest.

The massive outpouring of people’s indignation against the reformist rhetoric of the Aquino Administration, the President’s stubborn refusal to let go of the Presidential pork barrel, the seemingly slow prosecution of all guilty personalities and organization, and mysterious surrender of Porkbarrel Queen Janet Napoles to the President, has qualitatively transformed the massive protests of the Filipino people towards a critical point when a total clean-up of the system is becoming possible. The Filipino nation has reached a critical juncture in history when a serious and profound transformation, which could even translate to regime change, is in the horizon. The Filipino people are demanding an end to the connivance of politicians and bureaucrat capitalists who want to stay in power, perpetuate their family rule, secure offices in all branches of the government, and siphon money from the national coffers to their swollen pockets.

At this critical juncture of our history, the alliance among various classes, political groups, and the politically unaffiliated in Philippine society has developed to such a point where the Aquino regime is in a defensive position. The Filipino people is seeing clearly that in spite of the anti-corruption rhetoric of Aquino, his so-called matuwid na daan, his administration is not different from previous ones. Bureaucrat capitalism remains and has expanded during Aquino’s regime. The people demand accountability, an end to impunity and patronage politics.

Therefore, we, the members of Congress of Teachers for Nationalism and Democracy (CONTEND) UP Diliman, call on all patriotic teachers, scholars, students, and educational workers to close ranks with the millions of outraged Filipino people throughout the archipelago, to demand and work for the immediate dismantling of the century-old patronage politics handed down to us by American colonizers. It is time we put a stop to bureaucrat capitalists’ use of public offices to squeeze profits from people’s money so that they can perpetuate their iron-grip on political power. The pork barrel scam is not just a creation of few wicked individuals. The financial haemorrhage cannot be stopped by simply prosecuting Janet Napoles and her cronies. The true test of people’s victory is when the people through collective struggle have finally abolished the presidential pork barrel, and imprisoned the untouchable politicians who made a travesty of people’s will and the common good.

It is the historic duty of teachers and educators to raise the political consciousness of our people about the social evils of bureaucrat capitalism through teach-ins, educational discussions, and social media. But as teachers and educators, we do not simply demand the abolition of pork barrel system in whatever form it might manifest itself. We also demand that the people’s money should be used to finance basic social services such as education, health, housing, and infrastructure for national industrialization. We believe that at this critical juncture in our nation’s history, we can seize this unique opportunity to create a truly democratic politics, dismantle family dynasties, implement a pro-people budgeting, and once and for all end political patronage and destroy oligarchy. United, we shout with the Filipino people:

Abolish the presidential and congressional pork barrel system now!
Prosecute immediately all guilty parties in the pork barrel scam!
Down with feudalism!
Down with bureaucrat capitalism!
Down with imperialism!
Rechannel pork barrel to basic social services!

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PUBLIC UNIVERSITY’S NEMESIS:
CORPORATIZATION OF COLLEGES BY RE-NAMING AND RE-BRANDING

Statement of Congress of Teachers and Educators for Nationalism and Democracy-UP (CONTEND-UP)
on the Renaming of UP College of Business Administration to Cesar Virata School of Business

“Universities are brands whether they like it or not,” declared Ian Pearman, CEO of Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, the UK’s largest advertising agency. But that’s only true when one views the universities as part of the market. Today with the growing corporatization of education, universities are no exception. With the corporatization of universities and higher learning, universities are scrambling to re-name and re-brand their existing names and logos, courses and academic programs. Naming is about branding. And in a highly competitive market of scarce academic goods, re-naming or re-branding a school is either priceless or expensive, for sale or not for sale. For instance, DePaul University’s College of Commerce received a $30 million gift from philanthropist Richard Driehaus to “enhance the academic programs” of the 100-year-old Business School. In recognition of the donation, DePaul renamed its business school the Richard H. Driehaus College of Business. So how much does it cost to rename a business school? Stephen M. Ross’s donation in 2004 to rename the University of Michigan business school the Ross School of Business: $100 million. David G. Booth’s donation in 2008 to rename the University of Chicago business school the Booth School of Business: $300 million. The latest headline-grabbing name change among elite schools occurred last year, when the University of Pennsylvania’s medical school became the Perelman School of Medicine after Raymond and Ruth Perelman donated $225 million to it. But some universities manage not to wear price tags. Harvard, Stanford, and Columbia are going with “priceless”; they say their business schools’ naming rights aren’t for sale.

Is the UP College of Business Administration any different? The Board of Regents during its 1287th Meeting held on 12 April 2013 approved the proposal of the Business faculty to honor its former Dean by renaming the College of Business Administration as Cesar E.A. Virata School of Business. For how much? Zero! But even if the Viratas can raise as high as $100 million, does it morally justify the renaming of the college? What’s in a name? Is the name Cesar Virata on par with the integrity shown by people to whom UP buildings and colleges were named after? Take Alejandro Melchor (1900-1947), a civil engineer, mathematician, educator, and member of the Cabinet of the Philippines, as an example. He was known for designing the pontoon bridges used by the U.S. Army during the Second World War. Melchor’s work contributed significantly in winning the war for the Allied Forces. In recognition, the building that houses the College of Engineering was named after him. Wenceslao Quinito Vinzons (1910 – 1942) was a Filipino politician and a leader of the armed resistance against the Japanese occupying forces during World War II. He was the youngest member of the 1935 Constitutional Convention. Among the first Filipinos to organize the guerrilla resistance after the Japanese invasion of the Philippines in 1941. He was executed by the Japanese army. The famous Vinzons Hall now houses student activities and organizations. And who will forget Palma Hall that was named after Rafael Palma (1874-1939), who served as the fourth president of the university from 1923 to 1933. He was a politician, journalist, and lawyer. Palma was dubbed as the “builder president” because during his term, many new buildings and laboratories were constructed. Palma believed in freedom of expression (being a journalist) so he supported liberalism and academic freedom. The list can go on.

Naming is a serious matter. Proper names, in one philosophical interpretation, are rigid designators: A proper name refers to the named object in every possible world in which the object exists. Names designate the essence of the thing or object being named. Naming is not just about description. It reveals the essence of the thing or object being named. In the case of a college or school, re-naming brings into existence the very idea of what the college stands for.

Branding is selling. And the UP Business School should have known how to brand properly. It is not just a question of the academic freedom and autonomy of the unit to re-name its unit simply because it fits their vision. The autonomy of the unit must also be framed within the wider context of the vision of the University as a community of scholars.

The re-naming of the UP College of Business Administration seemed so pressing and invaluable that it even violated the BOR Naming Policy approved by the said board on August 29, 2009. Former Sen. Rene Saguisag, in a statement, questioned the renaming on ethical and legal grounds, citing Republic Act No. 1059 prohibiting the naming of public places, crafts, vessels and institutions after persons still alive. Furthermore “the person so honored,” under the BOR rules, “must have exceptional or exemplary achievement in his/her field/profession, or significant contribution to the University or the Filipino people.” The person honored must have a “sterling reputation” or could be looked upon as a role model for the youth. It is obvious that Virata’s reputation as a loyal technocrat of the Marcos authoritarian rule is far from sterling and he cannot be foisted as a role model of the youth.

Yet in the website of Cesar E.A. Virata School of Business, on a hyperlink one can read: “Cesar E.A. Virata is a graduate, professor and dean of the College, and an honorable public servant who served as Secretary of Finance and Prime Minister of the Philippines. Dean Virata is respected as a professional manager by the business community in the Philippines and in the ASEAN region. His career can be an inspiration to and it is fitting that the business school of the University of the Philippines should carry his name.”

No mention of the political career of Cesar Virata other than being an “honorable public servant”. What is missed here but underlies the entire citation is: for “aspiring managers” doing business has nothing to do with political integrity. It’s like arguing that Martin Heidegger’s –a very famous German philosopher at the height of Nazism– philosophy has nothing to do with his Nazi past because he served honorably as the Rector of Freiburg University during the Third Reich. Virata was appointed finance secretary in 1970 and held the post until 1986 when Marcoses were ousted through people power.

As a University, are we operating on the premise that engaging in business activities and teaching our students the craft of the trade, is bereft of any political values and moral scruples? Isn’t this the reduction of business as mere instrument to accumulate wealth and amass profit without accountability to the community? Is this the message we want to impart on our students? And what does it mean to honorably serve as a “public servant”? Isn’t the highest honor to serve as public servant is to maintain one’s integrity by refusing to be part of corruption and authoritarian rule like Jose Abada Santos who turned down the Japanese offer for collaboration? Before he was executed, he said to his son: “”Do not cry, Pepito, show to these people that you are brave. It is an honor to die for one’s country. Not everybody has that chance.” That would have merited a re-naming of a college! The same message of Jose Abad Santos was embraced by many Martial Law activists during the darkest hour of the US-supported Marcos dictatorship. And that honor earned by many men and women of UP will be for nothing if Virata’s reputation will be upheld.

The name Virata therefore is the negation of what it means to serve one’s country with honor and integrity. It’s not only a question of Virata serving under the dictatorship but it is also a question of his economic policies that plunged this country into debt and financial crisis. Yet even if we follow F Sionel Jose’s charitable interpretation of Virata (in his article “The man who holds a candle: Cesar Virata in the Marcos regime” in Phillippine Star), which boldly asserts, “thus, there is always a special niche for an upright bureaucrat, a man of good will even in the most corrupt of systems; in the darkness, he who holds a candle is always needed,” we may concede that Virata may have possessed Jose’s integrity. But his integrity was muffled by the horrendous sufferings created by the Marcos dictatorship! Virata as the major economic technocrat of President Marcos plunged our country to what the political economist Ed Villagas calls as “debt peonage”. F Sionel Jose forgot that a candle is worthless compared to an eternal flame created by the heroic act of refusing to serve under a system that merely used the economic technocrats as leverage for getting good credit standing from IMF and WB. Virata willingly allowed himself to be the Trojan Horse for creating what Paul Hutchcroft termed as “booty capitalism” that left the Philippines with $28.3 billion debt in 1986! By the end of the Marcos years, the Philippines was the ninth most indebted nation in Asia, Africa, and Latin America in absolute terms.

In view of this scandalous and anomalous move to re-name the UP College of Business Administration to Cesar E.A. Virata School of Business, we the members of UP Diliman Concerned Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy (UP Diliman CONTEND), vigorously support the petition of the UP Kilos Na and the UP Staff Regent Rara Ramirez’s motion “to rescind the renaming of the UP College of Business Administration into the Cesar E.A. Virata School of Business.” We support such valid petition on the grounds of upholding to the highest degree the moral integrity of the University, the questionable legal basis of such act, collegiality and democratic consultation, and most importantly, on the vision that the college purports to uphold and what our University stands for, and what our people fought for during the Martial Law!

We therefore call on the members of the BOR who will meet on July 29, 2013 to thoroughly and critically examine this anomalous re-naming. We urge them to use their natural reasoning to understand the simple fact that such move is blatantly scandalous and improper.
And we urge all the faculty of Business to heed the voice of the majority of the members of the community of the University and even those voices outside the University now deploring such scandalous act!

Revoke the renaming of the UP College of Business Administration into the Cesar E.A. Virata School of Business!

No to corporatization of higher learning!

No to re-branding and re-naming in the name of corporatization!

Respect and preserve the heroism of all UP martyrs and activists who resisted the dictatorship under Marcos Rule!

Names of universities/colleges/schools are priceless!

For a market-independent, non-corporate University of the people!

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RESIST AND DEFEAT THE INTENSIFYING BRUTAL TERRORISM OF THE STATE AGAINST THE PEOPLE
SOLIDARITY STATEMENT OF CONGRESS OF TEACHERS AND EDUCATORS FOR NATIONALISM AND DEMOCRACY-UP (CONTEND-UP) FOR “FREE RENANTE GAMARA” MOVEMENT

“When our rights are trampled upon, we have to stand and fight…”
Nikki Gamara, daughter of Renante Gamara

Samahan ng mga Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA) defines “political prisoners” as “those who were arrested, detained and imprisoned for acts that further their political beliefs. They are arbitrarily denied their liberty and due process of law. They are charged with political offenses such as rebellion and sedition. More often, they are charged with criminal offenses like murder, arson, kidnapping, robbery-in-band and illegal possession of firearms to deny the political nature of their alleged offenses and to reduce them into plain criminals.” There are a total of 354 political prisoners (PPs) reported as of end June 2011. But La Via Campesina, that gathered together on June 10 to 12, 2013 in Jakarta, Indonesia, in its VI International Assembly, declared there are 398 political prisoners in the Philippines, at least 123 of whom were arrested under the Aquino administration. And this number is steadily rising every week as the fascist arm of the state cracks down on alleged “enemies” of the state.

Yet the state does not recognize the existence of political prisoners. As Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda declared, like Marcos: “We have no political prisoners.” The same state’s denial repeated 40 years after the declaration of martial Law. The height of irony is that such statement comes naturally from Aquino Administration, and President Aquino’s father was subjected to the same fascist repression.

The denial of course is a modus operandi of a repressive state in order to criminalize political offenses under Aquino’s watch. While The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) uphold the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) despite the unilateral termination by the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GPH) of peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), the Armed Forces of the Philippines, now that it is unbound by the CAHRIHL and desperate to achieve its goal of decimating the people’s armed resistance within the year, brutalizes and terrorizes the Filipino people through its notorious Oplan Bayanihan war of suppression even at the cost of committing massive human rights violations.

The fascist troops of the AFP have been committing grave violations of human rights such as the occupation of people’s homes, converting civilian infrastructures such as day care centers and barangay halls into soldiers’ barracks, imposing food blockades, restricting commerce and other economic activities, illegal arrests and detentions, abductions, tortures and extrajudicial killings. Not content with decimating people’s protracted war, the military through Oplan Bayanihan, is desperately targeting legitimate people’s political organizations. The most recent case is the arrest of Renante Gamara on April 3, 2012, at around 1:00 in the afternoon in Las Pinas City. The ISAFP and CIDG use an amended warrant of arrest putting the name of Renante Gamara to a kidnapping with murder case which was filed against a certain “Ka Mike” and 37 other aliases on May 2007 in Mauban, Quezon Province. Such blatant fabricated criminal charges should have no merit and value in a society that believes in the rule of law.

We, the members of Congress of Teachers and Educators for Nationalism and Democracy, therefore, express our profoundest solidarity with the family members of Renante Gamara, especially to her daughter Nikki Gamara, an iskolar ng bayan from UP Manila, who has to endure the physical and psychological turmoil’s –just like the rest of the children of other political prisoners– resulting from such political repression. As teachers and parents to our students, we cannot tolerate such gross human rights violations perpetrated against the family of our iskolar ng bayan. Our profession and our University uphold that the use of violence and the manipulation of the legal system to harass and falsely convict innocent civilians are barbaric ways that do not in any way fit with the democracy we fought for against the Marcos dictatorship. Hence we condemn in the strongest possible way the arrest and illegal detention of Renante Gamara. And we also express our gravest concern for all the other political prisoners who are now languishing in various jails nationwide. The zeal of the Aquino Administration to end the armed conflict has only resulted, not in addressing the genuine social and political problems that generate such contradictions, but in brutal extra-judicial killings, warrantless arrests, political harassment and repression of legitimate people’s political organizations.

We call on all progressive teachers, students, and educational workers to support the call of progressive sectors of our society for the Aquino Administration to immediately declare a general, unconditional and omnibus amnesty for all political prisoners. Such act is one of the most important ways to achieve lasting peace in our nation. We urge all progressive teachers to intensify our campaigns within and outside our schools and class rooms to educate our students and our people of the dark forces of fascism encroaching our democracy and threatening the very moral fabric of our civilized society. We should forge a strong solidarity with all the other progressive and patriotic sectors of our society to advance people’s resistance against militarization, state repression, and human rights violations.

Free Renante Gamara and all political prisoners!
Resist and defeat state fascism and militarization!
End state impunity!
Justice for all the victims of human rights violations!

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“A LIE TOLD OFTEN ENOUGH BECOMES THE TRUTH.”
VIGOROUSLY DEMYSTIFY THE ANTI-PEOPLE LIES OF PRESIDENT BENIGNO AQUINO III ON HIS 4th STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS (SONA)
Statement of Congress of Teachers and Educators for Nationalism and Democracy (CONTEND-UP) on the 4th SONA of President Benigno Aquino III,

22 July 2013

Lenin once said “A lie told often enough becomes the truth.” And this truism will again be confirmed on July 22, 2013 during the 4th State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Benigno Aquino III. The President, as expected from a habitual liar, will paint in glowing colors his accomplishments to conceal the worsening condition of our nation.

Through the paid rhetorical skills of his speech makers and the skillful statistics-manipulators, President Aquino will boast that the Philippines enjoyed the fastest growth in Asia, even better than China. He will preach to his flock in Congress that the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew an impressive 7.8% in the first three months of 2013, after an equally strong growth rate of 6.8% in the whole of 2012. But even the applauding economists are in quandary how to translate this growth into “a tide that left all boats.” For this much peddled growth has made little impact on unemployment, which hovers at around 7 percent. Underemployment is nearly 20%, and more than 40% of the employed are estimated to be working in the informal sector. Hence the President cannot lie anymore in the face of hard facts when he claimed in his last SONA, “our unemployment rate is declining steadily.” No, Mr. President, you’re lying!

Even Arsenio Balisacan, Director-General of the Philippine National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and incumbent Secretary of Socioeconomic Planning of the Philippines, admitted at a recent forum by the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD) that “[p]overty incidence remains high, and so does income inequality.” To pacify the restive poor, the government has quadrupled the budget for conditional cash transfers (CCT), aimed at the poorest fifth in the population of 95 million. The cash, which range from 500 pesos to 1,400 pesos per household, are given on the condition that parents send their children to school and have their health checked regularly. In his last SONA, the President boasted: “We want that figure to hit 5.6 million by the end of the presidential term.” Yet according to the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) poverty incidence among population was estimated at 27.9% during the first semester of 2012. Comparing this with the 2006 and 2009 first semester figures estimated at 28.8% and 28.6%, respectively, poverty figures remain unchanged. Unable to face up to this self-evident fact, Noynoy and his neo-Malthusian minions now blame overpopulation! We remain poor because of overpopulation, they say!

But the 2012 World Fact book of the CIA provides data showing the Philippines a little bit slower in poverty reduction than neighboring countries that have softened the neoliberal measures they had selectively adopted. Yet the Aquino government, unlike other Asian countries, continues to push in full throttle Philippine development towards neoliberal “reforms”.

While President Aquino can boast of strong peso, robust stock market, and newly acquired investment grade credit rating, he cannot deny that these trends fail to translate into more jobs and poverty reduction. The Philippines has one of the highest gaps between the richest and poorest citizens of any country in Asia. Our nation is still in 40th place in income inequality worldwide (and President Aquino’s imperialist ally, the bankrupt America is 41st!).

Boasting of making our economy friendly to investors means allowing the rampant abuse not only of our natural resources but of our human capital. According to the International Solidarity Mission on Mining (ISMM), large-scale mining companies are earning as much as P36 million for the two-day work of skilled Filipino miners who receive as low as P233 daily wage. The President therefore is a liar just like his predecessor, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. He only tells us the half-truth about foreign investments, not mentioning the exploitative price to purchase such “economic growth”.

The minimum daily wage in the Philippines ranges from P419-456, way below the P1,034 family living wage per day. It is not surprising that many Filipinos risk going abroad; an average of 4,000 daily in 2012. Many of them end up being maltreated and executed in their host countries. As Migrante International said: “5 Pinoys executed abroad in Noynoy’s midterm — all victims of desperation, poverty and gov’t neglect.” Desperate for help, our migrant workers are forced to take “sex-for-ticket” because of the Aquino government’s failure to address immediate repatriation of distressed OFWs.

Finally, the most important achievement that President Aquino will manipulate is educational reforms. The cohort survival rate at 73.46% in the past year was down from 75.26% five years before, in spite of the vaunted P20-billion conditional cash transfer (CCT) program to keep children in schools. The CCT fund this year is around P40 billion! Completion rate—the percentage of pupils who are able to finish their studies—was down at 70.96% from 73.06% over the five-year period. Yet according to the World Bank, the Philippines spends $138 (P6,650) per student per year compared to $853 (P41,110) in Thailand, $1,800 (P86,751) in Singapore and $5,000 (P240,975) in Japan.

A lot of our high school graduates—70 percent—do not go to college according to K+12 DepEd consultant Alice Pañares. But she, like her Boss, draws the wrong conclusion: “Under the new K to 12 program, they would at least be assured of a vocational certificate that would enable them to land jobs. Now they have a chance… They will not be a burden.” This reflects the misleading reform of our educational system under Aquino Administration. This Administration does not want to provide better education! It does not want to have a solid human capital base upon which to industrialize our nation. They just want to create an army of reserved laborers, thanks to K+12, in order to supply the BPOs and transnational corporations with cheap but skilled labor!

President Aquino will brag that our education budget rose 22.6%, from P238.8 billion in 2012 to P292.7 billion in 2013. As he said in the last SONA, “I said the increase is meant to eliminate all resource gaps—classrooms, teachers, textbooks, and other facilities by 2013. Next year will mark the second year of implementation of the K-12 basic education program in all Philippine schools, which added two more years in high school for all students.” Defending the Department of Education’s proposed P292.7 billion budget for 2013, he would boast of hiring 61,000 new teachers and finish constructing some 66,000 classrooms and 90,000 toilets for public schools to end the backlog once and for all.

Yet amidst these statistical ruse and grand-standing, the Philippine government’s “social debt to education” has reached P3.763 trillion, with the Aquino administration allocating less funds and giving a greater priority to debt payments than educational spending. The budget for debt (principal and interest) payments amounting to P739 billion is three times more than the P224.9 billion set aside for education. The budget for education amount only to 15.03% of the national budget and only 2.2% of the gross domestic product, well below the international benchmark of 6.0% of gross national product. The budget for 2013 at 14.97 percent was even lower than the post-Edsa average of 15%. Based on the data from UNESCO and the World Bank, the Philippines has the lowest education spending in proportion to the total budget (except Singapore), as percent of gross domestic product, and per student.

With budget cut, one out of eight Filipinos, or around 6.24 million Filipinos, between the ages of 6 and 24, was an out-of-school youth based on the National Statistics Office. Six percent of the estimated 29 million children 5 to 17 years old are working children. And the two main reasons these youths are not in school are the high cost of education and the need to earn a living.

Meanwhile data culled from the Commission on Higher Education showed that only 2 out of 10 high school graduates went to college in 2011. Based on the 2007 Annual Poverty Indicators Survey, the proportion of dropouts was worst at the tertiary level (16-24 years old). Out of every 100 college enrollees, only 19 will receive their college degrees.

Insufficient budget for education is aggravated by state abandonment of basic social services. Families do not only have to deal with high cost of education, but more importantly, they have to shoulder the growing inflation rate, rising cost of living, and staggering increase in water and electricity rates. And this incredible rate of increase in basic utilities has been due to neoliberal policies of privatization and deregulation dictated by the World Bank/IMF. So far, the Manila Water had the biggest figure passed on to consumers at a total of P132.8 million while Maynilad has passed on P7.2 million according to the Water for the People Network. The Manila Water and Maynilad had already earned profits of P16.9 billion and P17.1 billion or a total of P34 billion, as a result of these pass-on charges from 2007 to 2011, and they stand to earn much more, according to the business plans they submitted to the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System. And the President Aquino stands impotent but happy amidst these glaring institutionalized forms of robbery!

Therefore, Prof. Boehringer’s, a former Dean of Macquarie University Law School in Sydney, Australia, remarks about the current human rights situation in our country is very appropriate: “progress limited, some backsliding; needs to do better, but systemic barriers suggest will not improve.”

But let’s add: will not improve but will deteriorate further. This is specially true in the case of human rights violations. From July 2010 to April 30, 2013, Karapatan has documented 142 cases of extrajudicial killings, 164 cases of frustrated killing, 16 cases of enforced disappearance, 293 cases of persons arrested and detained and 16 cases of children killed, with ages ranging from 4 to 15.

But lies built upon lies, no matter how systematically disseminated by propaganda machine of the government cannot whitewash the intolerable sufferings inflicted on the majority of our people. Hence, the desperate Aquino Administration is relying heavily on the military and US intervention to show it is capable of containing dissent and massive protests against the interests of capitalists and their imperialist supporters. Aquino Administration’s announcement last week that it would virtually reopen the former US military bases in the country was signaled by more than 600 U.S. Sailors and Marines who participated in a six-day military exercise called CARAT (Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training). They held it in Subic Bay, Philippines, former site of one of the largest US naval bases outside of US mainland. This is a warning to all movements seeking drastic social change, that the Aquino Administration, will not only employ the local military force to contain dissent, but will also summon the forces of imperialism to quell and quash all forms of local resistance. Such blatant subservience to US imperialism is part and parcel of Aquino’s total war against legitimate people’s war being waged all over the country and is a preparation for the possible direct intervention of US military forces in the ongoing civil war. Hence the Aquino Administration is putting the blame on the NDF Panel for the breakdown of peace negotiation. And while the Aquino Administration keeps on shouting peace, it also restlessly keeps arresting suspected rebels, massacring innocent civilians, and rampantly violating international conventions on the conduct of just war.

But the Filipino people are not frightened by these muscle-flexing of the fascists and their imperialist allies. The Filipino people are not ready to give up their resistance against the encroachment of their territory and sovereignty by imperialist forces, the exploitation of our natural patrimony, and the repression of anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist movements. We, therefore, the members of Concerned Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy UP Diliman (CONTEND), join in solidarity the massive protest to be launched on July 22, 2013, to oppose and repudiate the lies and deceptive rhetoric of President Aquino’s 4th SONA. We are calling all progressive and patriotic elements of our nation, to express their united stand against the repressive, anti-people policies of the Aquino Administration. We stand strongly united with other progressive sectors and militant movements of our society in denouncing the American puppetry of the Aquino Administration. Critical and revolutionary educators cannot remain innocent bystanders as our nation’s children are brainwashed by imperialist rhetoric, raised in fascist values, educated under semi-feudal and neoliberal environment , and shipped directly to the capitalist machines. President Aquino and his administration has to face the wrath of the suffering poor, evicted communities, families of the disappeared, landless peasants, abused migrant workers, and exploited working class women and mothers. We join the chorus of these “powerless”:

EXPOSE AND OPPOSE THE ANTI-PEOPLE AND PRO-IMPERIALIST POLICIES OF THE AQUINO ADMINISTRATION!

UPHOLD THE PEOPLE’S RIGHTS TO LAND, JOBS, ADEQUATE SOCIAL SERVICES

PERSEVERE IN ADVANCING PEOPLE’S STRUGGLE AGAINST FASCISM, BUREAUCRAT CAPITALISM, AND IMPERIALISM!

ONWARD WITH THE STRUGGLE FOR NATIONAL INDEPENDENCE AND DEMOCRACY!

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REPUDIATE THE PERVERSE ROAD TO INTERNATIONALIZATION OF PHILIPPINE HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS BY THE COMMISION ON HIGHER EDUCATION (CHED)

STATEMENT OF CONTEND UP-DILIMAN and Alliance of Concerned Teachers-Philippines (ACT Philippines)on the International Conference on Strengthening the Internationalization Strategies of Philippine Higher Learning Institutions, CHED, July 3 -4

Internationalization requires engagement with interdisciplinarity in the teaching and research mission of universities. It requires universities to develop in their graduates the capacity to “solve problems in a variety of locations with cultural and environmental sensitivity.” Today however internalization, like globalization, has been hijacked by the neoliberal framework of marketization. Beginning in the late eighties, the term became part of the lexicon of Higher Education (HE) and especially became formalized following the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) conference in 2003. The process of globalization of HE is accompanied by a process of marketization, because universities have to adopt market-like ideologies and diversity policies. Marketization means attracting more students, raising the reputation of the University so it can attract more students, draw corporate players into partnership with the universities, and create better employable graduates. Despite the scepticism of scholars and administrators about national governments’ desire to foster “world class” research-intensive universities as a source of comparative economic and status advantage (King 2009), universities are scrambling to get a piece of the cake in the market.

What these prophets of internationalization miss is that the mobility and exchange of students have been primarily “education for the empire.” The internationalization of education is simply a reflection of the division of world economies into those who monopolize knowledge production and those universities that merely consume Western products. Poor countries become beneficiaries of western education, while supplying the imperialist countries with cheap migrant labourers! Undeniably, the measures and standards by which non-western universities are basing their concept of internationalization is based on Western models.

Internationalization is a move to integrate the local universities from isolation towards a common market culture called ranking. As higher education becomes increasingly subject to marketization, reputation becomes critical because it is regarded by universities, employers, government, and the best qualified and most mobile students as ultimately more important than quality. In the era of managed universities, universities must compete in the market to attract diverse students while maintaining a global standard. Education is thereby commoditized to serve the students who have been transformed from learners to customers. The rise of managerialist ideology and increased power of university managers has created an alienated and demoralized academic work force and a climate of resentment and resistance, even among academics who have become academic managers (Bellamy et al. 2003). Managerialism has centralized decision-making, increased workloads, fragmented work tasks and diminished academic autonomy by alienating academics from the decision making structures within universities (Coaldrake & Stedman 1999).
Now, the Commission on Higher Education whose mission is the “development of a Filipino Nation as a responsible member of the international community,” is vigorously pushing for internationalization that is based on managerialist orientation. Consistent with CHED’s neoliberal inspired Roadmap Public Higher Education Reform agenda that pushes for gradual state abandonment of higher education by forcing public higher learning institutions to generate their own resources, what we can expect is the catastrophic creation of an “enterprise university”, whose main objective is “to advance the prestige and competitiveness of the university as an end in itself. At the same time, academic identities, in their variations, are subordinated to the mission, marketing and strategic development of the institution and its leaders” (Marginson and Considine, 2000). Academics will be squeezed by the competing demands of entrepreneurial marketing and quality educational outcomes and academic standards (Bellamy et al. 2003, Chandler et al. 2002, Welch 1998, Winter et al. 2000). University entrepreneurial activities encourage a shift away from basic research to more lucrative commercial consulting activities and links with industry to increase revenue flows and institutional prestige (Marginson & Considine 2000, Pratt & Poole 1999/2000). The corrupting influence of giving incentives to faculty and staff to publish in international journals merely drive faculty to seek ever greater opportunities to augment income rather than building a community of scholars and researchers. Such internationalization will only result in further deterioration of the academic freedom of higher learning institutions, notwithstanding the deteriorating quality of education largely due to dwindling state subsidies to public higher education.

Such a roadmap that rationalizes Philippine HEIs and drives them into the global market of commoditized knowledge would lead to ‘over-concentration’ of high quality resources in certain places that may lead to only small gains through concentration and to serious losses everywhere else.

After three decades of promises and realities, it is becoming more and more evident that neoliberal economic globalization is not an engine for universal prosperity. Giroux and Searls Giroux (2004, p. 265) pointed out, “Neoliberalism, fuelled by its unwavering belief in market values and the unyielding logic of corporate profit-making, has little patience with noncommodified knowledge or with the more lofty ideals that have defined higher education as a public service.” Internationalization of Philippine HEIs, rather than leading to mutual exchange of culture, risks sacrificing the diversity of their national and cultural vitality to standardization, comparability and cost effectiveness. And this is very true especially when HEIs adopt university rankings defined along commoditized educational knowledge. University ranking that is vital to market-driven internationalization creates a hegemonic global- standard research university, but at the price of global standardization, subordination of most universities and countries, and the washing away of cultural and educational diversity.

In this light, we the members of Congress of Teachers and Educators for Nationalism and Democracy-University of the Philippines, Diliman, call on all progressive educators and educational workers to vehemently oppose the move of CHED to internationalize Philippine HEIs through marketization. Such a strategy will only push Philippine HEIs to deeper into the quagmire of crisis and will simply align them to the international division of knowledge production. We call on the delegates and participants of the CHED-sponsored International Conference on Strengthening the Internationalization Strategies of Philippine Higher Learning Institutions, to critically examine the ideological pitfalls of the program’s vision. We should never be seduced by the false promises of such marketization that simply aims further commodifying education further. As educators, we should never allow the conglomerates and conduits of imperialist pedagogical machine define our national agenda according to their profit-driven whims. Education is a weapon for social transformation, not a tool in the hands of neoliberal corporate managers to advance the interests of their imperialist masters and their local supporters.

No to corporate internationalization of HEIs!
No to market-driven internationalization of HEIs!
Down with educational imperialism!
No to university ranking based on corporate dogma!
Full state subsidy to all SUCs now!
Fight for a scientific, nationalist, mass based education!

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IPAGBUNYI ANG KILUSANG PAGGAWA, BIGUIN ANG REHIMENG US-AQUINO

Pahayag ng Congress of Teachers and Educators for Nationalism and Democracy (CONTEND UPDiliman) para sa Internasyunal na Araw ng Paggawa
1 Mayo2013

MANGGAGAWA
ni Jose Corazon de Jesus

Bawat palo ng martilyo sa bakal mong pinapanday
alipatong nagtilamsik, alitaptap sa karimlan;
mga apoy ng pawis mong sa bakal ay kumikinang
tandang ikaw ang may gawa nitong buong santinakpan.

Nang tipakin mo ang bato ay natayo ang katedral
nang pukpukin mo ang tanso ay umugong ang batingaw,
nang lutuin mo ang pilak ang salapi a lumitaw,
si puhunan ay gawa mo, kaya ngayon’y nagyayabang.

Kung may ilaw na kumisap ay ilaw ng iyong tadyang,
kung may gusaling naangat, tandang ikaw ang pumasan
mula sa duyan ng bata ay kamay mo ang gumalaw
hanggang hukay ay gawa mo ang krus na nakalagay.

Kaya ikaw ay marapat dakilain at itanghal
pagkat ikaw ang yumari nitong buong kabihasnan
Bawat patak ng pawis mo’y yumayari ka ng dangal,
dinadala mo ang lahi sa luklukan ng tagumpay.

Mabuhay ka ng buhay na walang wakas, walang hanggan,
at hihinto ang pag-ikot nitong mundo pag namatay.

—————-

MaiklingKasaysayan ng Progresibo, Makabayan at Militanteng Uring Manggagawa

Ang taunang paggunita sa Internasyunal naAraw ng Paggawa ay ang pagsasabuhay ng progresibo, makabayan at militantengtradisyon ng paglaban ng uring manggagawa at anakpawis sa sistemangkapitalismo. Paggunita ito sa lakas at tapang ng mahigit dalawang daang mgamanggagawa na lumaban, nagwelga at pinaslang sa Hay Square Market, Chicagonoong 1886 dahil sa kanilang pagtutol sa mapanupil at mabangis na mga palisiyaat patakaran ng estado ng Amerika.

Sa kasaysayan naman ng paggawa sa Pilipinas,hindi matatawaran ang dakilang kontribusyon ng mga uring manggagawa na lumabansa mga kolonisador na Kastila at Amerikano. Isinakatuparan angsapilitang-paggawa sa mga Filipino sa kalakalang galyon noong panahon ngpananakop ng Kastila. Naging malupit angmga kolonisador sa mga manggagawa sa pamamagitan ng paglatigo at pananakit samga katutubong tumatanggi sa sapilitang-paggawa. Dahil sa kolonyal na sistemang encomienda,iniluwal ang mga uring manggagawa at magsasaka upang lumikha ng mga produktongpinakikinabangan naman ng mga kolonisador at mga lokal na naghaharing uringpanginoong maylupa at malalaking burgesya komprador.

Batid ng mga magigiting na lider manggagawaat magsasaka ang malupit na kalagayang ito ng mga Filipino sa kolonyal na sistema.Kaya binuo ang lihim na kilusang Katipunan ng dakilang lider-rebolusyonaryo atsimbolo ng uring manggagawa na si Andres Bonifacio upang wakasan ang dayuhangpanaanakop sa Pilipinas. Lalong umigting ang pagsasamantala sa mga uringmagsasaka at manggagawa sa pagpalit ng Amerika bilang imperyalistang bansa nasumakop sa Pilipinas. Nagtakda ng mgadayuhang patakaran upang proteksyunan ang interes ng Amerika at dayuhangmangangalakal sa pag-abuso sa likas-yaman ng bansa at murang lakas-paggawa ngmga Filipino. Dahil sa pang-aabuso ng imperyalistang Amerika, itinayo saPilipinas ang kauna-unahang unyon ng mga manggagawa ng mga Filipino, ang UnionObrera Demokratika (UOD), sa pamumuno ni Isabelo de los Reyes, isang lider-unyonistaat dakilang manunulat. Hindi natigil ang pag-oorganisa sa mga manggagawa lalona sa panahon ng Commonwealth sapagkat mas umigting ang hirap na hatid ngpakikipag-ugnayan ng Pilipinas sa mga makapangyarihang bansa na patuloy nanagnanakaw sa ating likas-yaman at pang-aabuso sa lakas-paggawa ng mgaFilipino. Sa mga sumunod na yugtong neokolonyal na pamumuno sa bansa, sa seryeng pagtatalaga ng mga sunod-sunuran na mga pangulo at lokal na naghaharing-urisa dikta ng imperyalistang Amerika, hindi kailanman umunlad ang uringmanggagawa. Sa halip, mas lalong nasadlak sa hirap ang mga pangunahing pwersasa paglikha ng yaman ng bansa.

Hirap nakalagayan ng mga manggagawa sa ilalim ng rehimeng US-Aquino

Sa panahon ng neoliberalismo at globalisasyon, malupit at marahas ang laging tugon ngkapitalismo sa mga lehitimong panawagan ng mga manggagawa. Pinipipi angpanawagan sa nakabubuhay na sahod, sapat na benepisyo, seguridad sa trabaho, atmakataong kondisyon sa loob at labas ng pagawaan. Sa ngayon ay lalo pangpinasahol ng kontra-mamamayan at kontra-manggagawang rehimen ng US-Aquino angkalagayan ng mga anakpawis dahil sa garapalang pagpapatupad ng mga neo-liberalna mga palisiya ng globalisasyon. Walang maaasahang pagbabago sa mganaghahring-uri kaya’t hindi sila marapat pagkatiwalaan. Pinapakita lamang ngkasalukuyang kondisyon ng mga manggagawa na sa tanging lakas at kolektibongpagkilos maisasakatuparan ang mga pagbabagong panlipunan.

Sa loob ng tatlong taon ni Benigno “PNOY” Aquinosa Malacanang, wala itong kongkretong ginawang solusyon sa usapin ngmakabuluhang umento sa sahod habang pinahintulutan nito ang pagtaas ng presyong mga bilihin at serbisyo. Sapagpapatupad ng mga makadayuhan at maka-kapitalistang polisiya sa usapin ngpaggawa, tanging ang interes ng mga lokal at dayuhang naghaharing-uri angpino-proteksyunan nito. Kaya’t sa halipna maglatag ng solusyon, mas pinahahaba ang paghihirap ng karaniwang mamamayanna binubuo ng malaking porsyento ng ating populasyon; ang mga manggagawa atmagsasaka.

Tinututulan din ni PNOY ang pagpasa ng mgapanukala ng mga makabayang kinatawan ng partylist sa Kamara gaya ng House Bill375 o dagdag na P125 across-the-board para sahod ng mga pribadong manggagawa atpanukalang dagdagan ng P3000 ang sahod ng mga guro sa pampublikong paaralan atmga kawani ng gobyerno.
Sa pananaliksik ng Ibon Foundation,napatunayan na nasa P363 lamang ang tunay na halaga ng daily minimum wage saNational Capital Region (NCR) at lubhang napakalaking agwat nito sa FamilyLiving Wage na P1,022, o ang minimum na halaga na kailangan ng pamilya na mayanim na miyembro para makabili ng pagkain at iba pang mga pangangailangan. Itoay batay sa pagtataya sa datos mismo ng National Wages and ProductivityCommission ng DOLE.

Sa tala naman ng Ecumenical Institute forLabor Education and Research (EILER), ipinatupad ni Aquino ang Two-Tiered wage system o ang iskema parapababain ang napakababa nang sahod ng mga manggagawa sa pamamagitan ng pagtakdang floor wage na higit na mas mababa sa minimum wage at nakabatay sa povertythreshold at ang higit na pleksibilisasyon ng sahod alinsunod sa kapritso ngkapitalista gamit ang pakulo na productivity-basedpay.

Pilit nitong tinatakpan ang tunay na sitwasyonng kahirapan sa bansa sa pamamamagitan ng pagpapababa sa poverty threshold batay sa baluktot nitong pamantayan. Para sa rehimengAquino, hindi ka mahirap kung mayroong kang P46 kada araw o kaya mongpagkasyahin ang P15 sa bawat almusal, tanghalian at hapunan. Ngunit sa kabilang pamantayang ito, lumabas pa rin sa pinakabagong sarbey ng NationalStatistical Coordination Board (NSCB) na walang pinagbago ang sitwasyon ngkahirapan sa bansa, bagkus ay lumala pa sa nakalipas na anim na taon. Nagsilbiring tagapagsalita at tagapagtanggol ng mga kapitalista si Aquino na maya’tmaya ay nagbabanta ng tanggalan sa trabaho at pagsasara ng mga pagawaan satuwing iginigiit ng mga manggagawa na itaas ang sahod at dagdag ang kanilang mgabenepisyo.

Ipinatupad din ng rehimeng Aquino ang kontraktwalisasyon sa bisa ngDepartment Order ng 18 series of 2011 ng Deparment of Labor and Employment(DOLE). Ipinagpatuloy nito ang kapangyarihan ng kalihim ng DOLE na pangunahanang pamamahala sa mga strike at labor dispute na siyang naging lisensyang gobyerno sa Hacienda Luisita masaker noong ika-16 ng Nobyembre 2004. Pinatutunayanlamang nito na ang pagpapasok sa lehitimong paraan ng pagresolba sa mgasuliranin ng mga manggagawa’y nagreresulta lamang sa mas matindingpagsasamantala at lalong paghihirap ng mga lumilikha ng yaman ng bansa. Sa pagpasok ng kasalukuyang administrasyon sapakikipagkasunduan sa mga pribadong kompanya, lalong lumala ang mga patakaransa batayang serbisyo ng bansa, partikular sa sektor ng edukasyon atkalusugan. Mas interes sa kita atganansiya ang pinapapaboran ng mga bagong polisiya sa pamamahala sa mgaserbisyong ito sa halip na tunay na maglingkod sa mga lubos na nangangailangan.

Isinabatas rin ng adminstrasyong Aquino angNational Tripartite Industrial Peace Council na siyang pormal na mekanismo parasa kuntsabahan ng gobyerno, malalaking kapitalista at mga dilawang grupo ng mgamanggagawa. Pinirmahan rin nito ang isang batas na nagtatakda ng compulsory arbitration sa mga labor dispute na nagiging balakid parasa pagsusulong ng mga manggagawa sa kanilang mga karapatan. Lalo ring lumala attumaas ang bilang ng disempleyo (7.1%) at underemployement(20.9%) ayon sa pinakahuling resulta ng Labor Force Survey nitong Enero 2013gamit ang baluktot nilang depinisyon. Samantala,patuloy rin sa paghahasik ng karahasan ang rehimeng US-Aquino sa pagpapatupadng Oplan Bayanihan na umaatake sa buhay at karapatan ng iba’t ibang sektor nainilalantad ang bangkarote at bulok na sistema. Lalo itong nagmamaniobra upang biguinang mga makabayang kinatawan ng mamamayan at partylist sa nalalapit na halalansa ika-13 ng Mayo.

Uring manggagawa, hukbong mapagpalaya

Ang lahat ng ito ay patunay lamang na walangmakabuluhang pagbabago sa ilalim ng rehimeng US-Aquino. Lalo nitong pinapatingkadang kawastuhan ng kilusan ng mamamayan na matagal nang isinuka ang neo-liberalna mga polisiya ng globalisasyon at kapitalismo tulad ng diregularisasyon, liberalisasyonat pribatisasyon. Gaya ng paglaban ng mga manggagawa mahigit isang siglo na angnakalipas, walang ibang daan kundi ang militanteng pagkilos ng masang anakpawisupang baguhin ang sistemang mapang-api at mapanupil.

Nararapat lamang na manindigan ang mgamanggagawa kasama ng malawak na sektor ng mga magsasaka, kabataan, kababaihan,makabayang guro, katutubo, sektor-pangkalusugan, ang buong sambayanan upangisulong ang kanilang mga demokratikong karapatan at kagalingan. Kasaysayan narin ang nagpatunay na hindi kailanman magtatagumpay ang mga abusadong opisyalat gahaman ng mga panginoong maylupa at burgesya komprador sa kanilang planongpaglusaw sa kilusang paggawa sa Pilipinas. Sa patuloy na pag-aaral ngkasaysayan at tunggalian ng mga uri, dumarami at patuloy na namumulat ang mgamanggagawa sa kanilang aping kalagayan. Gayundin naman, higit nilang nauunawaanang halaga ng kolektibong pagkilos para sa mithing pagbabago, ang isanglipunang tunay na malaya.

MABUHAYANG MGA MANGGAGAWA!
LABANAN ATBIGUIN ANG KONTRA-MANGGAGAWANG POLISIYA NG REHIMENG US-AQUINO!
ISULONGANG PANAWAGANG P125 UMENTO SA SAHOD!
ISULONGANG PANLIPUNANG PAGBABAGO!
MANGGAGAWA,MAGKAISA!
IMPERYALISMO,IBAGSAK!

Bisitahin ang aming website sa contendup.wordpress.com. Maaaring makontak ang CONTEND-UPsa contendup@gmail.com. Puntahan at i-like din ang aming facebookaccount sa http://www.facebook.com/pages/Congress-of-TeachersEducators-for-Nationalism-and-Democracy

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FORTY DAYS AFTER KRISTEL’S DEATH:
NEVER FORGET, CONTINUE OUR COLLECTIVE RAGE, FIGHT FOR FREE EDUCATION
Statement on April 24, 2013, the 40th Day After Kristel Tejada’s Death

Congress of TeachersEducators for Nationalism and Democracy UP Diliman
(CONTEND-UP Diliman)

Salamat sa lahat magkikita pa ulit tayo.
(Kristel Tejada, 16, suicide note written in red, which was found in her pocket)

When a promising but poor UP Manila freshman student chose to end her life last March 25 because she was forced to either pay her tuition or stop studying by filing FLOA (Forced Leave of Absence), the entire moral edifice of our much-touted model of excellence for public higher learning institution crumbled! Now, everyone recognized that the Emperor has no clothes. That the state policy to reform public higher education is a deterrent to the poor students, that policy to rationalize our state universities and colleges (SUCs) through commercialization, amalgamation, and dissolution are the harshest austerity measures that could spell the end of the aspirations of many young students to have a decent but free education. Tejada’s death is the “decisive” test that exposed the contradictions and errors of University of the Philippine’s STFAP. As Caritas executive director Fr. Anton Pascual said at Immaculate Conception Parish, during the requiem mass for Kristel, “It’s a scandal in these modern times and in this supposedly growing economy to have such a tragedy because of failure to pay tuition…May the death of the 16-year-old Behavioral Sciences freshman from UP Manila open the people’s eyes to their responsibility to one another as children of God.”

The lone but outrageous death of Kristel Tejada served as a scandalous refutation of the entire neoliberal approach to reforming higher education. Neoliberal philosophy that extols privatization, commercialization, deregulation and marketization of education viciously promotes competition, self-reliance, individualism, “all-or-nothing” values that are inimical to the universal ethical notion of social solidarity. The increasing commercialization of our education is brutally tearing apart the very moral fabric of our society. Tejada’s death spelled out the anomaly of state abandonment of education as a public good.

Today, on the 40th day of Kristel’s death, we the members of CONTEND-UP DILIMAN, remember her tragic death. We express once more our profound solidarity and sympathy to Kristel’s family, friends, and all iskolar ng bayan. We mourn but we continue to rage. We refuse to accept that her death is an exception. For the exception proves the rule. Our collective moral outrage should sustain us in the “nights” as we face the tarrying of the UP Administration and of the Aquino regime to our call for justice . On our part, the worst injustice we can commit is to let Kristel’s death be meaningless by giving up our perseverance to struggle and and our moral outrage. The self-anointed apologists and “official” propagandists of the existing system may continue to deny that the system and its unfeeling bureaucrats are guilty of the blood of Kristel’s death; they may use all available mass media mileage to sanitize the impatience and agitation among the masses that is escalating every day; they may even accuse the activists of fomenting uncalled-for collective resistance; and they may use Kristel’s death as an excuse to salvage the system by making it more efficient. But they can never suppress the truth! The multitude of students, teachers, educational workers and other progressive sectors of our society know very well that the system has to go! We do not just want to end repressive and exploitative policies of schools against students and teachers. We want a new system installed that can provide free education for all! We are fighting for a system that nourishes the necessary social conditions for the full exercise of education as a right!

April 24 is the 40th day of Kristel’s death. Four days from that day, UP Diliman will hold its graduation rite. We are therefore urging all graduates of UP Diliman and all UP graduates of Batch 2013 to remember all your comrades who had fallen on the long night of waiting for the light, to engrave in your hearts and memories that the diplomas and degrees that you will receive are made possible by the sweat and blood of the toiling and oppressed Filipino masses who are desperately looking up to you to create a just and humane future for our nation so that there will no more young and innocent students who will have to die just for us to know that EDUCATION IS A RIGHT!

JUSTICE FOR KRISTEL!
NO MORE KRISTELS!
SCRAP STFAP! NO TOFI!
RESCIND THE FLOA AND NO LATE PAYMENT POLICY NOW!
REVOKE REVISED CODE OF THE UP SYSTEM NO. 330, 430, 431 NOW!
FULL STATE SUBSIDY TO SUCS!
FOR A NATIONALIST, SCIENTIFIC, MASS- BASED EDUCATION FOR ALL!
SERVE THE PEOPLE!

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A SINGLE SPARK CAN START A PRAIRIE FIRE, A SINGLE DEATH OF A STUDENT CAN MOBILIZE THOUSANDS TO CHANGE THE WORLD

Statement of Congress of Teachers and Educators for Nationalism and Democracy-University of the Philippines Diliman (CONTEND-UP) on the Death of Kristel Tejada, Iskolar Ng Bayan of University of the Philippines, Manila

“Hindi nila alam, iyung impact doon sa estudyante, hindi pare-pareho. Minsan, may mga estudyante kahit masakit, nakakaya iyon. Eh paano kung ang estudyante na katulad nung anak ko na iyung edukasyon, iyon ang tangi niyang kayamanan.” -Kristel’s mother, radio interview

The members of Congress of Teachers and Educators for Nationalism and Democracy express their profound grief and extend their condolences to the family, relatives, and friends of Kristel Tejada, 16-year-old first year Behavioural Science student at the University of the Philippines Manila, who was declared dead on arrival around 3:30 a.m. Friday, March 15 at the Metropolitan Medical Center (MMC) after she committed suicide.

As educators and teachers we are outraged by the gruesome fate imposed by our discriminatory educational system against innocent young Iskolar ng Bayan, Kristel, whose only aspiration is to finish a college education and help her parents. The death of Kristel is an infinite judgment against an inequitable educational system that prides itself of helping students through pseudo-humanitarian socialized tuition scheme. Professor Andrea Martinez of the Department of Behavioural Sciences is reported to have said that Kristel was forced to take a leave of absence as “her family cannot cope with the necessary finances to support her education.” [Education Commission Supports Probe on UP Manila Student Death, Sunstar.com.ph]

Last year, Kristel had to fight it out against the 70,000 students who annually take the UPCAT, and she was part of the 10,000 who made it through. The ordeal of the 35% who pass the UPCAT yearly but don’t enrol ends in quitting the struggle for the survival of the fittest [based on 04-05 UPCAT]. But those who make tremendous efforts to survive are subjected to the daily grind whose rules are defined by abstract principles of neoliberal economic wisdom. Our economic tsars who follow to the letter the so-called “eternal truth” of neoliberal economic theory, espoused by International Monetary Fund-World Bank and parroted in the sacred halls of our classrooms, who champion the ruthlessness of the market and competition, translate these eternal propositions into policies of marketization of public education, commercialization of educational services, deregulation of higher education institutions, and gradual withdrawal of state subsidies on public education. President Aquino is the spokesperson of this neoliberal economic ideology: “We are gradually reducing the subsidy to SUCs to push them toward becoming self-sufficient and financially independent, given their ability to raise their income and to utilize it for their programs and projects.”

To rationalize public education, government is weeding out non-productive colleges and state universities. Consequently, those SUCs that survive are forced to enter into public-private partnership to shoulder the cost of rationalization, and to augment much-needed budget school officials become CEOs who docilely implement income-generating projects to sustain their program. The results are dismal: reduction in enrolment, austere policy against non-payment of tuition fees and other loans, the creation of a culture of narcissism among students, and educators re-invent themselves from being public intellectuals to entrepreneurial stockbrokers.

The abstract truths of neoliberal economic policies are translated into memos by administrators, embedded into electronic-generated enrolment programs, institutionalized in offices providing services to students. Once in place, these policies not only become a burden and punitive measures against students who cannot comply, but operate as a guillotine that mercilessly wipe out clean the students’ dreams. Abstract economic propositions therefore don’t remain the realm of Platonic abstraction. Once institutionalized and implemented as programs, these abstract truths either KILL STUDENTS or consign them to unbearable hopelessness. Like the Avenging Angel of death, Azrael, such abstract economic propositions, painted with humanitarian rhetoric and armed with mathematical machetes, stalk students at night, knock down parents to the brink of psychological breakdown, and possess teachers’ souls and manipulate administrators’ will to become purveyors of anti-student policies –all in the name of doing one’s duty, for efficiency! Kristel is the latest death toll of these violent abstractions.

As teachers and educators, we are supposed to be the surrogate parents and guardians of our students. We are therefore troubled that many of our colleagues fall victim to this profit-oriented and competition-driven system of education. Unable to break the hold of these ideologies in their supposed “critical” minds, many of our colleagues become unsuspecting pawns of these ghastly abstract propositions. Some of us think the system is not stringent and efficient enough; some even are very busy suggesting solutions to patch up the loopholes in the system which students and parents are thought to exploit to circumvent the rules.

As teachers and educators we should feel responsible for Kristel’s untimely death. As the anti-Nazi German theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer once said: “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” Like a rat trapped in a gas chamber, Kristel’s life was already marked for death the moment she enrolled in the University. She struggled valiantly together with her family to the very end. But the system overwhelmed them. This should serve as a lesson for those who believe that Kristel lacked the will to survive or that she had akrasia –weakness of the will. Or, that she was already suicidal from the very beginning! These are just frivolous apologies to exonerate the violent system that consigns poor students to the bottomless pit of endless suffering.

State abandonment of education means transforming the universities, colleges into nasty jungles. Kristel was a victim of state-abandonment of public education. The system clouded her young and already-confused mind from realizing that it was neither her fault nor her family’s poverty that placed her in the quagmire of financial trouble. Faced with dwindling budget, teachers, students, and personnel are forced to scramble for scarce resources by competing against each other. Rather than finding a common cause to struggle, each one becomes an active competitor for the other’s share in the much coveted pie given by the state. Solidarity is undermined by atomization.

In 2006, UP increased its tuition rates by 300% from P300 per unit to P1000 per unit. And in 2011, the default tuition was changed to P1,500 per unit to those who are unable to show documents that they are not millionaires! According to reports, more than one third of UPCAT passers or around 1,300 of the 3,826 UP College Admission Test (UPCAT) qualifiers in UP Diliman (UPD) did not enrol in 2011 many because of high tuition rates. Raising tuition fee from P300 to P1,500 is flaunted as a way to cope with meagre budget, to upgrade salaries of teachers, and fund the construction of new facilities, purchase of new equipment. It is unfortunate that the good of the teachers and personnel are pursued at the expense of the welfare of students. Students are pitted against students, students against faculty, and personnel against teachers and students. And while the war of all against everyone is raging, poor Kristel quietly took her exit. Lurking in the shadows are the faceless Iskolar ng Bayan who are silently enduring the destitution.

The death of Kristel should teach us one thing: WE HAVE NO CHOICE UNDER THE CURRENT SYSTEM OTHER THAN TO STAND UP AND FIGHT FOR OUR RIGHTS! The death of Kristel is death for all of us. Her sufferings are ours, too. We cannot remain and pretend to be innocent spectators when our hands are also stained by the death of our fellow sufferer, an iskolar ng bayan. But it is not enough to cry in anguish like Dostoevsky: “We are all responsible for everything and guilty in front of everyone, but I am that more than all others.” Our work of mourning, for the passing of a young Iskolar ng Bayan, should now go beyond temporary paralysis and weeping and blame-game. We know our enemies.

This is not a question of heartless bureaucratic officials who simply follow their Kantian duties like the Gestapo as against the teachers who act with compassion towards their students by lending money and taking the role of loan-guarantors. Infinite supply of compassionate teachers can never be a substitute for the abolition of commercialized education! Let’s direct and master all our energies against the logic of capitalism that puts profits and abstract principles before human beings! Let’s demand justice for Kristel and all those students, Iskolar ng Bayan, who had silently endured their sufferings and untold miseries! Let’s break the cycle of violence and injustice!

We, the members of CONTEND-UP express our strongest solidarity to all students, parents and educators who are clamouring and fighting for the right to education by standing up against tuition increases and against other privatization and commercialization policies energetically implemented by Aquino, Licuanan and SUC administrators. We salute our Iskolar ng Bayan, all students nationwide and worldwide who are gallantly standing up for their rights, who are opposing government abandonment of education and other social services and who are unwavering in their commitment to create a just and humane society!

We will join the students, parents, fellow educators and education workers, and other progressive sectors of our society to show our indignation, and we will relentlessly struggle until education becomes free for all! We will not stop until justice is served. We condemn strongly those who refuse to take responsibilities for the death of Kristel especially those who want the issue to be de-politicized! Depoliticizing Kristel’s death is a second death for Kristel! Depoliticization simply preserves the “normal” politics of defining crisis situations as mere management problem. We should use this “dangerous memory” against the depoliticizers. We should remind them that “[t]here is no document of civilization which is not at the same time a document of barbarism.” –Walter Benjamin

Justice for Kristel!
Junk STFAP! Kill TUITION AND OTHER FEE INCREASES! Kill TOFI!
No to state abandonment of education!
Aquino and Licuanan: enemies of the iskolar ng bayan!
No to commercialization, privatization, marketization of education!
Education is a right! It is not a commodity!
Free education for all!
Struggle for a nationalist, scientific and mass-based education for all!

CONTEND –UP Diliman joins the activities of Luksang Pamantasan

CONTEND –UP Diliman joins the activities of Luksang Pamantasan

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Sulong Kababaihan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya
Pahayag para sa Pandaigdigang Araw ng Kababaihan
Congress of Teachers and Educators for Nationalism and Democracy (CONTEND-UP)
Marso 8, 2013

“In law there is naturally complete equality and rights for men and women… we are seriously carrying out the demand in our program for the transference of the economic and educational functions of the separate household to society. That will mean freedom for the woman from old household drudgery and dependence on man. That enables her to exercise to full her talents and her inclinations.” –Vladimir Lenin (Lenin on the Women Question, 1920)

Halos isang siglo na ang nakararaan nang ilatag ni Vladimir Lenin ang mga tunguhing magtataguyod ng karapatan at kagalingan ng kababaihan sa lipunan. Sa kasaysayan ng progresibo at anti-kolonyal na kamalayan ng mga babae at kilusang kababaihan laban sa yugto-yugtong kolonisasyon ng nangyari sa Pilipinas, iniluwal ng pakikibaka para sa kagalingan ng kababaihan at bayan ang mga babaeng bayani. Nariyan ang pagpuri ni Jose Rizal sa mga kababaihan ng Malolos na naggiit ng kanilang karapatan para sa edukasyon. Gayundin, hindi lamang sa mga mito at epiko isinalaysay ang pagiging mandirigma ng mga babae. Kilalang mga babaeng mandirigma sina Gabriela Silang at Teresa Magbanua na piniling humawak ng armas para sa pakikibakang anti-kolonyal.

Samantala, nariyan naman si Geronima Nacionales, ang tanging babaeng naging bahagi ng pagpa-plano para sa engkwentro sa Balangiga noong panahong ng pananakop ng imperyalistang Amerikano. Bahagi ang babae sa tagumpay na ito. Sa panahon ng batas militar lalong umigting ang pakikiisa ng mga babae laban sa imperyalismo. Nabuo ang MAKIBAKA (Malayang Kilusan ng Bagong Kababaihan) na nagsulong ng pambansa-demokratikong pakikibaka, sa kalunsuran man o kanayunan. Hindi malilimutan si Lorena Barros, mag-aaral ng antroplohiya sa UP Diliman, pulang mandirigma na pinaslang ng mapanupil na estado sa panahon ng batas militar. Matapos ang yugto-yugtong pakikibaka ng mga babaeng bayani at kilusang kababaihan sa Pilipinas, nagpapatuloy ang paglaban para lubos na makamit ang tunguhin ng lipunang malaya; walang gapos ang kasarian, walang pandarahas at bahid ng pang-aapi’t pagsasamantala.

Sa panahon ng monopolyo kapitalismo, napaigting ang dobleng eksploytasyon ng kababaihan sa relasyon ng produksyon. Sa mga pabrika, patuloy ang pagpiga sa kanilang lakas-paggawa upang magkamal ng malaking tubo at ganansya ang mga kapitalista’t nagmamay-ari sa mga negosyo. Idagdag pa ang patuloy na diskriminasyon at di-pantay na pagtrato sa kanila dahil sa pagiging babae, malawakang kontrakwalisasyon at panggigipit sa pamamagitan ng pagbarat sa karampatang benipisyong marapat na ibinibigay sa mga babaeng manggagawa. Ang pagsamba sa pribadong pag-aari ang nagiging baluktot na katuwiran para sa lumalalang komodifikasyon ng kababaihan. Isinasalang sila bilang mga pangunahing kalakal sa sex industry, eksportasyon ng lakas-paggawa, at paglaganap ng mga eksploytatibong imahen ng kababaihan sa mass media at pyudal na kultura. Nangyayari ang lahat ng ito habang sila rin ang pinupuntirya ng kapitalismo, ang labas-masok ng tubo at kapital bilang pangunahing konsumer ng mga produktong nilikha para sa pagpapanatili ng dominanteng representasyon ng babae sa lipunan na umaayon sa pyudal na relasyon.

Lumalala ang kaso ng pandarahas sa kababaihan. Noong nakaraang taon may naitalang 1 sa 25 na babae na nasa edad na 15-49 ang nakararanas ng sapilitang pagtatalik, habang 1 sa 10 babae naman ang nakararanas ng sekswal na karahasan. Sa tahanan, 1 sa 7 babae naman ang nakakaranas ng pambubugbog ng kanilang mga asawa. Nito lamang nakaraang araw, ibinalita ang pagpaslang kay Cristina Jose, lider ng mga lokal na nasalanta ng bagyong Pablo sa Mindanao. Pinaslang si Jose ng mga di-kilalang lalaki dahil sa kanyang patuloy na pakikipaglaban para sa kabuhayan at hustisya ng mga kababayan niyang pinagkaitan ng tulong ng pamahalaan.

Sa kabila ng lumalalang sitwasyon kinasasadlakan ng kababaihan sa bansa at kultura ng impunidad, higit pang karahasan at pagpapahirap ang sagot ng rehimeng US-Aquino. Patuloy ang implementasyon ng mga neoliberal na polisiyang sumasagka sa pagkakaroon ng batayang serbisyong panlipunan hindi lamang ng mga babae kundi ng buong sambayanan. Kaliwa’t kanan ang pribatisasyon ng mga ahensiya ng pamahalaan dahil sa programang Public Private Partnership ng gobyerno. Dahil sa pribadong kontrol, walang habas ang pagsirit sa bayarin sa mga serbisyong sosyal sa bansa, tulad na lamang sa mga dati-rati’y pampublikong ospital. Sa kapitalismo, maging ang kahirapan ay pinagkakakitaan.

Walang trabaho ang karamihan sa mga babae sa bansa. Malaking porsyento ang nananatili sa impormal na sektor ng kabuhayan upang magkaroon ng kitang tutugon sa pang-araw-araw na pangangailangan ng pamilyang Pilipino. Walang sapat na serbisyong sosyal, programa sa edukasyon, at serbisyong pangkalusugan para sa kababaihan. Sa panahong idinuduldol ng rehimen ang pagsuporta nito sa kawsa at kagalingan ng kababaihan, ang mga babae ay nananatiling bahagi sa pinagsasamantalan at pinahihirapang malawak na bilang ng mamamayan ng Pilipinas. Lalong nakikita ang pangil ng estado sa pamamagitan ng kontra-insurhensiyang Oplan Bayanihan na bumibiktima sa mga karaniwang mamamayan, partikular sa kababaihan. Hanggang sa kasalukuyan, hindi pa rin nabibigyang-linaw ang kaso ng dalawang babaeng desaparesidos at Iskolar ng Bayan na sina Karen Empeño at Sherlyn Cadapan. Nananatili ang kanilang mga ina sa paghahanap sa hustisyang mailap.

Ang hirap ng kababaihan ay hirap ng sambayanan. Ang karahasan sa kababaihan ay karahasan sa sambayanan. Mayroong mahigpit na gapos ng dayuhang kapital at kontrol sa bansa, at mala-kolonyal at mala-pyudal na kaisipan at relasyong pam-produksyon na patuloy na bumubusabos sa bansa at sumasagpang sa soberanya ng bayan. Kaya’t ang pagpapalaya ng kababaihan ay nakaangkla at kasama rin ng pagpapalaya sa sambayanan. Dagdag nga ni Lenin, “The working women’s movement has for its objective the fight for the economic and social and not merely formal, equality of woman.”(On the International Women’s Day, March 4, 1920, Lenin).

Sa kabilang banda, hindi mapapalaya ang bansa kung hindi rin sa malawak na partisipasyon ng kababaihan sa rebolusyunaryong kilusan. Sang-ayon pa kay Lenin, ang danas ng tuluyang pagpapalaya ng mga kilusan na nagpapakita ng tagumpay ng rebolusyon ay nakabatay sa pakikibahagi ng kababaihan. Sa ganitong paraan nakibahagi ang mga babaeng martir tulad nina Tanya Domingo, Erika Salang at Mayang Algarme kaya’t kailanma’y hindi sila malilimot ng kasaysayan ng pakikibaka at rebolusyon.

Hindi kailanman matutugunan ng mga papet na rehimen tulad ni Aquino ang kahirapan at karahasan sa kababaihan at sa mamamayan. Nalalantad ang kahungkagan nito sa pagyakap sa mga patakaran ng imperyalismo tulad ng public-private partnership o PPP, Oplan Bayanihan at ang walang pakundangang pandarambong sa likas na yaman ng bansa ng mga imperyalistang korporasyon sa mina. Lalong nailalantad ang kahungkagan ng rehimeng Aquino sa tema para sa Buwan ng Kababaihan ng kanyang Philippine Commision on Women: “Kababaihan: Gabay sa Pagtahak sa Tuwid na Daan!” Hindi lamang tuwirang pangangampanya ito para sa mga kandidato ng rehimen kundi hungkag na panawagan sa harap ng mga ehemplo ng pinuno ng kanyang DSWD na si Dinky Soliman na pasimuno sa lalo pang pagpapahirap sa mga nasalanta ng bagyong Pablo sa Mindanao. Saan ang matuwid na daan para sa mga katulad ni Cristina Jose, lider ng Barug Katawhan, na pinaslang nitong Marso 4, 2013? Saan ang matuwid na daan sa pagsuko ng ating teritoryo sa Sabah at pagwawalang-bahala sa mga kapatid na Muslim na nagtatangkang buhayin ang ating karapatan sa Sabah? Saan ang matuwid na daan sa pagpapabaya sa pagkasira ng Tubbataha ng pandigmang barko ng mga Amerikano?

Kaya sa ika-102 na taon ng selebrasyon ng Pandaigdigang Araw ng Kababaihan, patuloy nating isulong ang laban ng kababaihan at laban ng bayan upang wakasan ang karahasan, pagsasamantala at patuloy na pagpapahirap sa kababaihan at sambayanan. Ito ay laban sa imperyalismo at sa mga tuta nito tulad ng rehimeng Aquino! Isulong ang pambansang demokrasya.

Wakasan ang karahasan laban sa kababaihan!
Wakasan ang pagpapahirap sa sambayanan!
Imperyalismo, ibagsak!
Aquino, pahirap, brutal, sinungaling at tuta!
Abante, babae, palaban, militante!

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We must take sides.
Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim…
Sometimes we must interfere…
Wherever men and women are persecuted…
that place must – at that moment –
become the center of the universe.
– Elie Wiesel

CONTEND STATEMENT
ON THE 2013 UNIVERSITY STUDENT COUNCIL ELECTIONS
20 February 2013

The Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy calls upon the entire UP studentry to actively engage in the University Student Council Elections 2013. The USC Elections takes but a brief, two-week period in the Academic Year for students to examine critical issues in the University and in society in general; to forge solidarity with fellow students in responding to the call of the times; to be socially responsible — to be active critics and movers for progressive change.
There is a clear need to establish a strong and unified USC in the face of pressing issues within and outside the University. The instituted Socialized Tuition Fee Assistance Program (STFAP), which condones the treatment of tertiary education as a private good than a social service, continues to place the burden of subsidizing education from the state to private citizens. This scheme, wherein the “richer” students’ higher tuition fees subsidize the “poorer” students’ education, in effect, condones state abandonment of public education. Once education is posited as a private good that is accessible to and, hence, benefits only the individual who can afford to buy “quality” education, service to the people (previously the Iskolar ng Bayan’s central credo) becomes but a mere choice rather than a social responsibility. This has resulted in the arbitrary division of “service” and “profession,” where the latter reduces the notion of “progress” to individualist careerism.
Consequently, student involvement in pertinent social issues is eroded, the Iskolar ng Bayan losing the capacity to recognize how the larger society impacts upon the UP studentry. While the destruction of the coral reefs in Tubbataha clearly points to the abrogation of our national sovereignty by the US imperialist power, the wanton violation is legitimized by the Visiting Forces Agreement and other neoliberal policies implemented by the state. In fact, the estimation of damages to the reef is to be determined by the US Attorney-General — proof that the much-flaunted Philippine-US relations is but a smokescreen for the imperialist masters’ continuing subjugation of the Filipinos. Meanwhile, the rampant violation of human rights continues with impunity. To attract foreign investors such as big mining companies, the state permits the destruction of its own people’s ancestral domains. To maintain its power, the state resorts to extrajudicial killings and military harassment. To date, there remains over 340 political prisoners in the Philippines, including UP film student and activist Maricon Montajes. Since 2001, there have been more than two thousand cases of extrajudicial killings, 129 of which were committed during the Aquino administration and the majority of which are indigenous peoples and peasants. At present, there are more than two hundred cases of enforced disappearances, amongst which are UP students Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeno, who have been illegally detained by the military since 2006.
Notably, during the time of Martial Law, the USC Elections were suspended to prevent the students from standing up against the oppressive regime. This goes to show that the University Elections is a crucial platform for students to take on a proactive stance in the perpetual construction of alternatives. As the student-leaders of previous generations have fought for their rights, so the UP students of today must take up the cudgels and forge solidarity with the political party that has consistently fought at the frontlines of social struggle while sustaining the groundwork without the affectations of personality politics and fakery.
We respectfully urge the Iskolars ng Bayan to stand up to traditional politics and never allow redecorated, watered-down discourses to define political engagement in UP. Instead of riding on the success and media blitz of campaigns which have already been passed into law — such as the RH Bill and the Sin Tax Bill — more importantly, the Iskolar ng Bayan must take part in relevant issues that can still be pushed at different levels, through unified, collective action. The USC stands as a representation of the ideals of the Iskolar ng Bayan: one that stands up, stands firm, and stands with the students.
The studentry must forge solidarity with the political party that has consistently fought for democratic and participatory governance , for students’ rights, as a major sector and stakeholder of the university, to actively participate and be part of decision-making, policy reform and governance. A political party that has not been afraid to be critical of and offer alternatives to university policies and programs that adversely impact on/violate the rights and welfare of the students deserves the opportunity to serve the University.
The chance to serve the University under these times of state abandonment, undermining of national sovereignty, and violence with impunity must be given to those who know their rights and are unafraid to fight for them; to those who stand unruffled against repressive administrative policies; to those who draw the sharpest line and do not concede at the slightest obstacle.
Exercise your right to vote! VIE FOR 100% COMMITMENT, 100% VOTERS’ TURNOUT!

Find out more about CONTEND

Webpage: https://contendup.wordpress.com/
FB Page: Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy
E-mail questions and comments to Dr. Gerry Lanuza

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PAHAYAG NG PAKIKIISA SA MGA KABABAIHAN SA ONE BILLION RISING
MULA SA MGA V-MEN NG UNIBERSIDAD NG PILIPINAS

Pebrero 14, 2013

Isang mapulang hapon sa Araw ng Mga Puso sa lahat ng mga babae sa buong daigdig, sa mga kababaihan ng UP Diliman community na nagtitipon ngayong hapong ito upang tumindid, bumangon at wakasan ang lahat ng pangaabuso laban sa mga kababaihan.

Bilang na ang mga araw ng mga nangaabuso sa kababaihan –mga manyakis, mga sexual harassers at rapists. Mga nangbubugbog. Narito na ang billion rising. Matakot kayo sa kapangyarihan ng mga babae. Sa isang babaeng maaapi may isang bilyong susugod sa inyo.

Bakit kailangang may mga kalalakihan dito sa pagtitipon ng mga kababaihan? Bakit ang isang tulad ko na kasama sa uri ng mga nangaapi sa mga kababaihan at benipisyaryo ng pangaabuso sa kababaihan ay dapat sumama? Dahil aagawin ba namin ang tagumpay na ito ng mga kababaihan? Sabi nila: Behind the success of every man is a woman. Ngayong, sa araw na ito ay babaliktarin na ito: Behind every success of a woman is a man who is willing to support women in all forms of struggle. Sa bawat pakikibaka ng mga kababaihan ay kasama ang mga kalalakihan. Dahil ang pinaglalaban ng mga kababaihan ay hindi lamang ang kanilang paglaya ngunit kasama na rin ang paglaya ng mga kalalakihan sa kanilang maling kinalkihang paniniwala na ang mga babae ay mahihinang klase ng nilalang. Walang batayan ito sa kasaysayan, sa biology, sa ating mga dugo, tadhana, bibliya, at genes o chromosomes. Hindi lang lalaki ang ginawang kawangis ng Dyos. Ang babae rin ay kawangis ng Dyos dahil tayong lahat at pinanganak na pantay-pantay.

Isang malaking hamon sa aming mga lalaki ang sumama sa pagbangon at pakikibaka ng mga kababaihan. Mahirap maging V-men sapagkat nangangahulugan ito ng malaking responsibilidad –ang mangalaga, gumalang at magmahal ng dalisay sa mga kababaihan na walang halong dahas, na hindi sila tinitignan bilang mga gamit o di susing laruan o mga robot.

Hindi kami naririto upang agawin ang tagumpay na ito ng mga kababaihan. Hindi rin kami narito upang ilagay ang mga kababaihan sa pedestal. Lalong higit upang sumayaw lang at pagkatapos ay uuwi upang mangbubugbog ng mga kababaihan. Hindi! Kami ay naririto upang maging katuwang ng mga kababaihan sa pagbuo at pagpanday ng isang lipunang malaya sa karahasan sa kasarian, babae man iba pang kasarian.

Alam din namin na hindi lang karahasan ang pinaglalaban ng mga kababaihan, ngunit pantay na karapatan sa larangan ng edukasyon, pulitika, at ekonomiya: mataaas na sahod, mababang presyo ng mga bilihin, pagpapahinto sa kontraktwalisasyon ng mga manggagawang babae, pagtigil sa prositusyon, at pagyurak sa inang kalikasan. Sa ganitong mga usapin, kaming mga lalaki at kayong mga babae ay dapat magkapit bisig upang durugin ang ugat ng pangdarahas sa mga kababaihan. Ang pangaalipin at pangaabuso sa mga kababaihan ay nakaugat sa sa isang lipunan na tinitignan ang mga babae bilang kalakal –kung birhen, magand, maputi, at bata mas mataas ang presyo sa merkado ng kapitalismo. At walang kapangayarihan ang mga kababaihan sapagkat wala silang sapat na oportunidad upang isulong ang kanilang pang-ekonomiyang kalagayan. Sila’y ginawang palaasa sa mga tatay, mga alipin sa pabrika, katulong sa mga tahanan.

Kaya hindi kailan man sasapat ang pagpapalaya sa mga kababaihan laban sa karahasan hangga’t hindi nabibigyan ng pantay na karapatan ang mga kababaihan sa larangan ng paggawa, hanggat nananatili silang nakatali sa burgis na pamilya. Sabi nga ni Marx, isang rebolusyunaryong tunay na nagmahal at nagtaguyod sa karapatan ng mga kababaihan: Ang tunay na pagunlad ng lipunan ay nakabatay sa pagtrato ng lipunan sa mga kababaihan.

Kaya sa araw na ito, kaming mga kalalakihan ay nakikiisa sa pakikibaka ng mga kababaihan laban sa lahat ng uri ng pagsasamantala sa kasarian, uri, lahi, at kulay! Mabuhay ang mga babaeng nakikibaka alang-alang sa mga anak ng bayan at iskolar ng bayan!

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THE ONE BILLION RISING TO END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
HAS TO BE ADVANCED BY THE RISING OF WOMEN AND MEN TO OPPOSE IMPERIALISM AND ITS NEO-COLONIAL PUPPETS
Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy-University of the Philippines
(CONTEND-UP)
February 14, 2013

On February 14 one billion women worldwide will be rising, striking, and dancing against violence against women. Women have long time ago identified its enemy. It is private property with its concomitant views of women as weak and subordinate or as chattels or commodities of men. But why now? Have women been silent? No! Since Engels’ correct analysis of the “world historic defeat of the female sex”, when private property emerged and propertied fathers took command of the home and production, women across the world, together with the general working class movement, had advanced their cause.

The overthrow of feudalism and the victory of capitalism in the West during the 18th and 19th centuries, led to the emergence of a bourgeois women’s movement which demanded legal and educational equality with men and an end to the feudal view of women as weak and fit only for domestic and reproductive work within the home but was silent about capitalist exploitation of working class women and men. It was the working class women of the International Congress of Socialist Women who made the clear connection between women’s right to vote and the struggle for socialism when it raised the banner of “The vote for women will unite our strength in the struggle for socialism”. The socialist women were also clear about the limits of advancing women’s rights in capitalist society: “But what use are these rights to working women in the framework of bourgeois parliaments. While the power is in the hands of the capitalists and property owners, no political rights will save the working woman from the traditional position of slavery in the home and society. “

The road to women’s emancipation is the road of unity with men in the struggle against the capitalist system and, in our present context, in the struggle against imperialism

Women’s oppression under imperialism has meant the further commodification of women, the extraction of tremendous profit from women workers especially in neo-colonies and the emergence of new forms of violence against women such as human trafficking, female drug trafficking, global sex industry, child prostitution, selling false promises to women via mass media spectacle, and targeting women and children as consumers. Women have been victimized by the imperialist wars, be they wars of aggression disguised as war against terror or proxy wars fought by puppet regimes. They have seen their villages pillaged or destroyed by imperialist mining corporations or by bombs provided by US military to their puppet governments. Women have been on the receiving end of the devastation brought about by neo-liberal policies which have reduced or eliminated access of the poor to education, health or housing.

The global One Billion Rising campaign which highlights the call to end violence against women comes at a time when global capitalism is in deep crisis. It is women, especially working and single mothers in former colonies and in the home front of imperialism that are much affected by the economic crisis. With the continuing crisis of capitalism worldwide, women are driven to take multiple jobs, forced to be slave labourers in sweatshops, sold in different countries as masseurs and sex workers, forced to be entertainers, recruited as soldiers of imperialist or puppet armies and sent to combat “terrorists”, and kidnapped by libidinal economy of “beauty capitalism” that reduces them as endorsers of fake notions of beauty and feminity.

By rising and resisting, women have recognized that their struggle is NOT against a system of domination created by males to subjugate women inside and outside the home, but against a global division of labor rooted in a neoliberal world order, that consigns poor women as either domestic labourers or slave-labourers in assembly lines of export processing zones in third world countries. The exploitation of women has not stopped but only intensified and mutated into benevolent multicultural celebration of hegemonic definition of middle class women as hyper-commodified bodies –pro-women models, “chic” porn stars, “intelligent” consumers, super-housewives. Meanwhile the liberal ideology of “politically correct” feminism has patronized feminism by demanding mere respect and cultivating reactionary pluralism instead of demanding economic equality!

Monopoly capitalism as the highest stage of capitalism has profited much from women’s oppression by making a “spectacle” out of feminism. By integrating the gains of feminist movements within the shop floors and corporate world, monopoly capitalism has produced a “gender-sensitive” capitalism, just like what it did to anti-racist struggle – capitalism with a feminist face! The counter-insurgency programs of imperialists specifically target mothers and women. It takes advantage of the vulnerability of women while showing no mercy for women rebels.

Hence the one billion rising has the danger of being reduced by capitalism to another media spectacle in which men, through media spectacle worldwide can watch women dancing while beating their wives and raping their daughters afterwards. Or by governments lauding the rise of women but continuing with imperialist-dictated economic, military and political policies that kill women, their families and their communities. After dancing and the party ends, we will all go home and so the violence continues. Hence If rape is the most potent and violent weapon of males to subjugate women, imperialism is the most powerful weapon of monopoly capitalism to extract surplus from third world and subjugate underdeveloped economies. Rape and imperialism seamlessly go together! Therefore the struggle against female oppression is also a struggle against capitalism that commodifies women.

The struggle of women to end violence against women does not end after the rising and dancing on February 14. We, women and men, should continue organizing, collectively analysing, and collectively advancing our struggle to end women’s oppression and to fight imperialism internationally and nationally. We must recognize the fact that the source of women’s oppression lies in the material exploitation of women under capitalism, and will only be finally eliminated with the complete destruction of classes and class society. There will be no complete emancipation of women without economic and political equality.

We, the Congress of Teachers / Educators for Nationalism and Democracy (CONTEND), therefore, call on all women and all men who are against violence against women and against the role of imperialism in intensifying, reinforcing and expanding such violence to stand together and dance against imperialism and the programs and policies that imperialism propagates in countries like the Philippines. At present the Aquino regime is the principal executor of such programs and policies on behalf US imperialism and the Filipino ruling class. Hence for CONTEND, One Billion Rising in the Philippines to be truly a step towards ending violence against women, must be a political call to expose and oppose the Aquino regime’s neo-liberal programs, its fascist scheme called Oplan Bayanihan and its puppetry to US imperialism.

Struggle to end all forms of violence against women!
End Modern Day slavery!
Down with commodification of women!
Oppose imperialist dictates! No to public private partnership! No to Oplan Bayanihan!
No to imperialist rape of our patrimony! Junk VFA!
Expose and oppose the anti-women, anti-people US-Aquino Regime!
Struggle for nationalism and democracy!

February 14, 2013

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The American War of Conquest versus Our People’s Democratic Struggle

114 years after the start of the three-year Philippine-American War on February 4, 1899, the changing faces of US imperialism until the present is cause for neither relief nor complacency. While commemoration serves, rightly, to recall the 1 million Filipinos who had died at the hands of the colonizers’ “Benevolent Assimilation,” the persistence of neo-colonial atrocities today places us at a point of reckoning rather than mere memorial.

In 1896, the Katipunan, led by “The Great Plebeian” Andres Bonifacio, spearheaded the struggle for Philippine Independence. After years of the Katipunan’s unified struggle against Spanish colonization, this revolutionary ambition was undermined by the usurpation of power of Aguinaldo’s faction through the Tejeros Convention. Under Aguinaldo’s leadership, the Supremo was eventually captured, tried falsely, and murdered by Aguinaldo’s men. By 1897, Aguinaldo had denounced the revolution for $800,000 (Mexican), going into exile in Hongkong and leaving the revolution to kowtow to US imperialist dictates towards the end of the war against Spanish Colonization.

Meanwhile, the US entrenched itself firmly in the Philippines as the new colonial government. Governor-General McKinley wrote the Proclamation of Benevolent Assimilation in 1898, which sanctioned the grave encroachment of the US on Philippine sovereignty under the pretext of “helping” the Filipinos towards independence. When Aguinaldo returned and became the US-backed “First Philippine President” in 1899, he agreed to a “peace compromise” with McKinley after a short-lived resistance against the Proclamation; all the same, the compromise subjected the newly installed Philippine Congress to the caveat of US constitutional considerations. In retrospect, it is clear that McKinley’s Benevolent Assimilation was nothing but the full-scale American War of Conquest. The US’ rise to the status of a global superpower after World War II was an outcome of the systematic genocide the US had inflicted and continues to inflict on the peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Subsequently, the post-war period was defined by a brand of neoliberal peace based on military and economic domination of so-called post-colonies, whose political and economic structures were marked out by the alliance between the U.S. ruling elite and their local counterpart. The Philippines, as a client state of the U.S., has preserved a system of oligarchy in which political dynasties in the country thrive in plunder and all sorts of debauchery.

Today, the US’ unlicensed violation of Philippine sovereignty and independence continues. The US War of Conquest has taken shape through its export of democracy in countries whose resources have been the target of America’s quest for profit maximization. The US COIN (counter-insurgency), nowhere better articulated than in its so-called “War on Terror,” whitewashes its own efforts to augment military and economic power in the face of economic recession and stagflation. The recent destruction of the Tubbataha coral reefs by the USS Guardian, a US mine sweeper, is but one of the many damning evidences of imperialist encroachment on our national sovereignty to date.

These encroachements have been conveniently overlloked through loopholes in the Visiting Froces Agreement, itself a malfeasance designed to undermine the people’s struggle. The VFA is on of the many neoliberal projects and policies sanctified by the puppet regime, allowing for the continued accumulation of profit of the US ruling class and its allies in client states like the Philippines. In fact, to this day, since 1998, the VFA has failed to specify provisions for defining the allowable conduct and operation of foreign vessels in Philippine territories. This has given license to the US to renege accountability for their damage to the Filipino people and environment. The presence of US drones, battleships, and warplanes on Philippine territory has been condoned, even authorized, by the Aquino regime. This simply exposes the current administration as inutile — as an enemy of the people.

Meanwhile, the unfinished revolution of Andres Bonifacio continues to be waged against the malevolence of US imperialism. The ever growing armed as well as the open and legal anti-imperialist resistance worldwide has empowered peasants, workers, and patriotic forces in every country ravaged by imperialist loot. Our own struggle for genuine independence bears upon itself the necessity to advance the people’s democratic struggle for national sovereignty and peace based on social justice. Now, more than ever, the American War of Conquest must stand trial for genocide, exploitation, and oppression of the laboring people worldwide.
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PINAPANATILING URONG ANG INDUSTRIYA NG AGRARYO, PARA SA TUBO AT GANANSYA NG IILAN
Pahayag ng Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy-UP (CONTEND-UP) para sa ika-26 taon na paggunita ng Mendiola Massacre

Sa ika-22 ng Enero 2013, gugunitain ang ika-26 anibersaryo ng Mendiola Massacre na nangyari matapos ang unang taon ng pamamahala ng dating pangulong Corazon Aquino. Labintatlong magsasaka ang namatay sa kamay ng bakal ng pasistang estado na pinamumunuan noon ng nasirang pangulong Corazon C. Aquino. Inakala ng estado na sa pamamagitan ng dahas, manghihina at tuluyang malulusaw ang kilusan ng mga magsasakang ipinaglalaban ang tunay na repormang agraryo. Subalit muling pinatunayan ng mga magsasaka, kasama ang iba pang sektor panlipunan, na hindi maaaring malimutan ang mga pagpasalang sapagkat ang mga ito ang magsisilbing testimonya ng patuloy na pakikipaglaban ng masang inaapi upang buwagin ang monopolyo sa pag-aari sa malawak na lupain sa Pilipinas.

Ang lupa ang pinakamatandang suliranin ng ating bansa. Ito rin ang dahilan nang patuloy na pakikipaglaban ng mga kilusang panlipunan. Noon pa mang panahon ng kolonyalistang Kastila, sa pamamagitan ng pwersahan pagpapatupad ng sistemang encomienda, na di naglao’y naging sistemang hacienda, lupa na ang pangunahing produktong pilit na inangkin at inagaw sa mga mamamayan upang gawin pribadong pag-aari. Ang pag-aari sa lupa ang batayan kapangyarihang politikal, at ito rin ang batayan kung bakit kailangang bawiin ang kinamkam na yaman ng mga panginoong maylupa at mga malalaking burgesya komprador. Dahil sa pag-aangkin sa lupa, sumulpot ang mga uri sa lipunan; ang mga nagsasamantalang panginoong maylupa, mga dayuhan at lokal na kapitalistang naghaharing-uri, at ang mga kasama na pumaloob sa sistemang tenansi. Sa pamamagitan ng malupit na ugnayan ng kapital na pagmamay-ari ng panginoong maylupa, at paggawa, na siyang tanging pag-aari naman ng masang magsasaka, lumubo ang kita ng iilang pamilya dahil sa hirap ng karamihang Filipino na siyang nagpunla ng yaman sa bansa.

Ilang ulit na rin ipinangako ng mga lumipas at kasalukuyang administrasyon ang pamamahagi ng lupa sa mga magsasaka. Subalit hanggang sa kasalukuyan, nagpapatuloy at tumitindi ang mga pandarahas at agresyon ng mga lokal at dayuhang kapitalista sa bansa. Nitong nakaraang Disyembre 2012, iligal na inaresto at ikinulong ang 19 na magsasakang Bukidnon dahil sa walang batayang hinala na naging bahagi sila ng armadong engkwentro sa pagitan ng mga miyembro ng Bagong Hukbong Bayan at Philippine Army. Ugat ng labanan ang militarisasyon sa kanayunan na naghahawan ng daan sa pagsasagawa ng land conversion plans sa mga malalawak na lupain na magluluwal nang malaki at tiyak na tubo at ganansya sa mga kapitalista at mga lokal na may-ari ng lupa.

Nagpapatuloy ang kurapsyon sa mga ahensiya ng pamahalaan. Sang-ayon sa pahayag ng Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, may planong paggamit sa Coco Levy Fund upang ipatupad ang huwad na Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program. Lubos itong tinututulan ng mga magniniyog sapagkat ang pondong ito ang gagamitin upang bayaran ang mga malalaking panginoong maylupa sa bansa. Hanggang sa ngayon, walang malinaw na resolusyon sa nangyaring Fertilizer Scam ng Department of Agriculture. Pinatutunayan lamang ng mga pangyayaring ito na walang maaasahang tunay na repormang agraryo sa sistemang pinapanatili ng estado. Wala itong ibang pino-protektahan at panapangalagaan kundi ang interes ng mga burgesya-kumprador at mga panginoong maylupa sa bansa.

Hangga’t pinananatili ang urong na kalagayan ng industriya sa agrikultura, patuloy na nakikinabang ang iilan dahil sa paghihirap ng karamihan sa mamamayan. Walang ginawang mabuti ang mga naghaharing uri, kundi ang patuloy na makinabang sa hirap ng masang anakpawis. Kabilang na dito ang kasalukuyang presidente ng bansa na si Noynoy Aquino, na mula rin sa pamilya na may monopolyo sa lupa. Kung tutuusin, dahil sa kanyang hinahawakang posisyon sa bansa, madaling maipapatupad ang tunay na repormang agraryo, subalit walang maaasahan sa kanya. Mas matimbang at nananaig ang lubusang niyang pangangalaga sa interes ng kanyang pamilya na manatili sa kanila ang hacienda Luisita. Hanggang sa ngayon ay walang naparurusahan sa nangyaring masaker sa sariling lupaing pagmamay-ari ng mga Aquino.

Sa lahat ng ito, palagiang nakamasid ang mata ng imperyalistang U.S. Sa pamamagitan ng kanilang mga dikta sa pampolitika at pang-ekonomiyang polisiya sa bansa, nagpapatuloy ang sumpa ng neoliberalismo sa Pilipinas. Ang pananatiling urong ng ating kabuhayan ang siyang nagpapayaman sa mga bansang mayayaman tulad ng Amerika. Malinaw pa sa sikat ng araw ang kanilang interbensyon sa ating lupain. Sa pamamagitan ng kanilang pagmamaniobra ng mga pumapasok na multi-national companies sa bansa, nagpapatuloy ang pagsasamantala sa lahat ng antas; ang pagnanakaw sa mga hilaw na sangkap, ang patuloy natiang pag-eksport sa lakas-paggawa at ang pananatiling nakasalig ng ating ekonomiya sa mga ini-import na produkto tulad ng bigas. Isang malalaking kabalintunaan na sa gitna ng mga likas na yaman ng ating lupain, marami ang nagugutom at naghihirap.

Monopolyo sa kapital at lupa ang ugat nang bulok na kalagayang pang-ekonomiya ng bansa. Habang nananatili ang iilan sa mga estratehiko at susing posisyon ng kasalukuyang pamahalaan, walang magaganap na pag-unlad. Sa halip, mas lumalawak ang pagitan ng mga mahirap at mayaman. Subalit ito rin ang dahilan kung bakit nagpapatuloy ang paglaban ng mamamayang Filipino.

Isulong ang pambansang industriyalisasyon!
Ipatupad ang tunay na repormang agraryo!
Katarungan sa mga biktima ng Mendiola Massacre at Hacienda Luisita Massacre!
Imperyalismo, ibagsak!

dagdag na sanggunian at babasahin:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebetyUHC9hE (Sa Ngalan ng Tubo)
http://kilusangmagbubukid.org/?p=1402
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DEFEND HUMAN RIGHTS, DEFEAT STATE FACISM, AND ADVANCE PEOPLE’S ANTI-IMPERIALIST STRUGGLE
(Statement of CONTEND-UP on the 64th International Human Rights Day, December 10, 2012)

The young Karl Marx once denounced the illusory character of human rights under the bourgeois democracy by pointing out that “[n]one of the so-called rights of man, therefore, go beyond egoistic man, beyond man as a member of civil society – that is, an individual withdrawn into himself, into the confines of his private interests and private caprice, and separated from the community.” Lenin is equally dismissive. Freedom of the market gives reign to predatory wars. Freedom of labor is merely another excuse to rob workers. Freedom of the press, the right to free speech is actually freedom for the rich to own the press and propagate their bourgeois views and befuddle the people. Indeed the human rights being flaunted by the defenders of monopoly capitalism have been bastardized beyond recognition to further the superexploitation of the masses and defend the rights of the bourgeoisie against the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism.

Marx and Lenin’s denunciation of human rights belie the neutrality of universal rights! How can there be a human right to food when two billion people in the world face food insecurity each day? How can there be a human right to be free from torture when literally scores of countries (many of which are states parties to the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, or Torture Convention) continue to carry out this practice with impunity? Under President Aquino’s regime, there are already seventy cases of torture! How is it possible even to think about the human rights of women when one in three women has been beaten, coerced into sex, or abused in some other way; when more than half the women in the world over the age of fifteen cannot read or write; and when a woman dies every minute of the day from preventable pregnancy-related causes? And, finally, how can anyone really take the provisions of the Children’s Convention seriously, despite the fact that there is near-universal ratification of the treaty, when over 100 million children of primary school age are out of school; when there are 250 million child laborers worldwide and every year 22,000 children die in work-related accidents; and when, in 2007 alone, 9.2 million children died before reaching the age of five, many of the causes of which are preventable? (Carey, et al., The Politics of Human Rights 2010, 12).

The French revolutionaries in 1789 declared the Rights of Man and the Citizen against aristocratic despotism. On 10 December 1948, the UN General Assembly adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris, France. One of its original drafters, Rene Cassin, explained that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “is the voice of millions of human beings, victims of oppression, misery and ignorance, who aspire to live under conditions of greater justice, freedom and simple dignity.” Today, however, the imperialists and their local allies are making a travesty of human rights by defending capitalist exploitative expansion and decimating the rights of those who resist imperialist wars of aggression.

The neoliberal economic program of President Aquino, that is wreaking havoc on the Filipino masses, does not stand unopposed by the movement of patriotic and progressive forces of our society. And it is in this unwavering resistance of the broad mass of the Filipino people that the fascist state of former President Arroyo and now President Aquino repudiate the rights of those who resist imperialist policies. So when the farmers of Hacienda Luisita demanded the right to own the land they till, the big landlord-compradors called the police to suppress the farmers’ barricades on 6 November 2004, which resulted to killing of twelve picketing farmers and two children, and injuring hundreds. When the 8,266 informal settlers were demolished in President Aquino’s term, the state propagated for the right to the national development. When political activists and families of the disappeared claim justice for their relatives, the military invoked the right of national security! The right of national security quashed the rights of 114 activists who were summarily killed in Aquino’s watch, as well as the rights of the 127 victims of frustrated extrajudicial killings. When rentier capitalists—former President Arroyo and family, Abalos and his accomplices, Corona and others—are caught embezzling public funds, they invoked the right to privacy and the right against self-incrimination.

It is therefore a grave insult to the oppressed masses of workers and peasants that those who advance their cause for land reform, higher wages, decent jobs, and lower prices and fight for national and social liberation are denied of rights in the name of spurious “rights” being proclaimed by the fascist state. Recently, the Aquino regime offered a bounty of P466.88 million for 235 alleged leaders of the revolutionary movement. This is not just another flagrant violation of the binding bilateral peace agreement that provides safety and immunity guarantees to those involved in the peace negotiations, but more importantly, those who fight for genuine rights of the oppressed are lined up with notorious criminals and fascists such as Palparan—the “butcher” of activists—and his military aide Rizal Hilario, Palawan Governor Joel Reyes and his brother Mario, the brains behind the killing of Palawan broadcaster and environmentalist Gerry Ortega, and Pampanga representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Human rights defenders and political activists whose rights are supposed to be protected are now criminalized!

But who are in reality the criminals who must answer to the Filipino people? Who are the true human rights violators? Those who perpetrate the extrajudicial killing of Italian missionary Fr. Pops Tentorio, Dutchman Willem Geertman, Leonard Co and 111 others during the current Aquino regime. Those who carried out the enforced disappearances of Leo Velasco, Prudencio Calubid, Rogelio Calubad, and the 12 others since 1 July 2010. Those who abducted Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan on 26 June 2006, and Jonas Burgos on 28 April 2007. Those who are responsible for forced eviction and demolition of 8,266 squatters; those who perpetrated the forced evacuation of 29,613 under Aquino’s watch; and the military and paramilitary groups that killed 34 anti-mining advocates from Mindanao, 26 of whom are Lumad leaders according to KAMP (Kalipunan ng mga Mamamayang Katutubo sa Pilipinas). President Aquino even lied to the UN through Universal Periodic Review to get more than $13 million in US military assistance, blocked since 2008, when international solidarity groups brought to fore issues of extrajudicial killings and other rights violations in the Philippines. To top the hypocrisy, President Aquino even adopted the ASEAN HR declaration at the 21st ASEAN Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Ironically, this happened while indigenous peoples’ leader Genesis Ambason, a Banwaon tribal leader in Agusan del Sur, was shot and tortured to death by CAFGU members and elements of the 26th Infantry Batallion, according to Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay. Worst, the Senior Army officer who led the counter-insurgency operations in Quezon, and one of those with direct supervision over a military team tagged by witnesses among those who abducted Jonas Burgos had been designated as chief of the Intelligence Service of the AFP (ISAFP), one of the most coveted posts in the military establishment. The fascist state of President Aquino is now dividing the spoils of imperialist war of aggression by rewarding the military “butchers” of activists.

On the second death anniversary of scientist Leonard Co and his companions who were murdered in Kananga, Leyte, not one of the perpetrators from the 19th Infantry Battalion (IB) has been brought to justice. The same goes for other rights violations. The 19th IB has committed three other massacres, wherein seven children and three pregnant women were among those killed. Government troops enjoy impunity on military offensives disguised as for “peace and development.” Such counter-insurgency programs negate the human rights of those who are suspected of sympathizing with the enemies of the state. Military propagandists bastardize human rights and international humanitarian law whenever they claim to be upholding these while many civilians are being unjustly affected by Oplan Bayanihan.

More and more, the Aquino regime is intensifying its Oplan Bayanihan war of suppression, saturating rural communities with its armed forces equipped with humanitarian propaganda, resulting in grave and widespread cases of human rights abuses such as massacres, extrajudicial killings, illegal abductions and torture, indiscriminate firing, and other terror tactics. The state has even outsourced human rights violations to non-state actors. The Ampatuan massacre of 58 people, including 32 journalists, is a classic example of what happens when the state deregulates violence, privatizes armed forces, and liberalizes political dynasties. Recently, this dismal condition of human rights in our country led Christof Heyns, UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, to stress that “many of the death threats and killings taking place appear to be perpetrated by non-State actors. Paramilitary groups, death squads, and corporate security guards feature prominently in this group.” This outsourcing of state violence does not absolve the fascist state of President Aquino. By withdrawing its legal protection for human rights defenders and activists, the state effectively exposes them to the horrendous privatized violence by political dynasties.

Today, on the 64th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy (CONTEND), joins all human rights defenders in calling for the end of state impunity. We all express our deepest solidarity and draw our inspiration from the countless families whose loved ones had disappeared, tortured, imprisoned, and those languishing in state prisons, who are fighting for justice and social emancipation! In solidarity with Ericson Acosta, we shout and testify for the countless victims of imperialist-sponsored human rights violation worldwide and in the Philippines:

Naririto ang dibdib ko
Ito ri’y bakal at kongkreto
Hinding-hindi magpapadurog sa pasismo.
“Astig” by Ericson Acosta, June 2012

Defend human rights against state fascism! No to Visiting Forces Agreement! Junk VFA Now!
Junk Oplan Bayanihan now!
Stop the killings and military harassment of indigenous anti-mining advocates in Mindanao!
Release all political prisoners! Free Ericson Acosta, Maricon Montajes!
Justice to the families of the disappeared – Karen Empeño, Sherlyn Cadapan, and Jonas Burgos!
Bring Palparan, all military torturers, and their henchmen to justice!
Support people’s struggle against imperialism, bureaucrat capitalism, and feudalism!
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Angkinin ang alaala ng Ika-149 taon ni Andres Bonifacio: Anti-kolonyalismo, Lider-Rebolusyonaryo

Pahayag ng Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy-UP (CONTEND-UP)sa ika-149 Kaarawan ni Andres Bonifacio

Ipinagdiriwang ngayong Nobyembre 30, 2012 ang ika-149 na kaarawan ni Andres Bonifacio, bayani at rebolusyonaryong nagtatag ng Katipunan. Mahalagang balikan ang araw na ito dahil isang mapanupil na kolonyal na sistema ang nagluwal sa isang lider-rebolusyonaryo tulad ni Bonifacio–isang pyudal na sistema na kinalinga ng mga kolonyalista, subalit sa panahon ding ito iniluwal ang mga rebolusyonaryong naghimagsik sa mga naghaharing-uri. Nasa transisyon mula pyudal tungong malapyudal ang Pilipinas mula noong kalagitnaan ng ika -18 siglo at umusbong ang binhi ng uring manggagawa, ang uring kinabilangan ni Bonifacio. Kanyang nasaksihan ang iba’t ibang uri ng pagsasamantala tulad ng sapilitang-paggawa, pag-angkin sa lupa ng mga pesante, pandarahas sa mga katutubo, pagbura sa mga katutubong praktika at kultura sa arkipelago. Higit lalo, nasaksihan niya ang kriminalisasyon sa mga nakiisa sa himagsik laban sa mga kolonisador.

Mariin ang anti-kolonyal na sentimyento ng Katipunan upang wakasan ang kolonyal na paghahari ng mga Kastilang sumakop sa bansa. Ang pagsiklab ng rebolusyon ng 1896 ang siyang naging daan upang ipagpatuloy at pag-isahin ang hiwa-hiwalay na pakikipaglaban tungo sa pambansang kalayaan at tunay na demokrasya. Ipinaglaban ng Katipunan sa pamamagitan ng armadong rebolusyon ang kalayaan mula sa Espanya at ang pamamahagi ng mga lupain ng mga prayle sa mga magsasaka. Subalit dahil sa pakikipagsabwatan ng mga lokal na naghaharing-uri sa dating kolonisador na Kastila at sa imperyalismong Amerikano bilang bagong manlulupig, hindi naging matagumpay ang hangarin para sa pambansang kalayaan at soberanya. Itinuring pa ng burgis na kasaysayan ang imperyalistang Amerikano bilang tagasagip sa mga Pilipino sa mga kuko ng kaapihan.

Umigting sa kasaysayan ang pagsasamantala simula nang umupo sa posisyon ng kapangyarihan ang bagong mananakop, ang imperyalismong Amerikano. Patuloy na nakipagsabwatan ang mga lokal na naghaharing-uri, ang bagong ilustrado, sa mga mananakop. Itinalaga sila sa mga posisyon ng kapangyarihan sa iba’t ibang institusyon. Pinili ang iilan upang umupo sa iba’t ibang salalayan ng kapangyarihan–sa batas, husgado, kalusugan, at sistema ng edukasyon. Nagpatuloy ang paghihirap ng malaking porsyento ng populasyon habang nakikinabang sa lakas-paggawa ng karamihan ang iilan. Pinalaganap ang monopolyo sa lupa, lumawak ang sistemang pyudal sa bansa hanggang sa magmistulang ito ang ideyal na ugnayan na mga uri.
Pilit binubura ang tunggalian ng uri at ipinamumukha na mapayapa at maayos ang kolonya. Ginawang tambakan ng mga labis na produkto ng Estados Unidos ang Pilipinas habang nanatili ang monopolyo sa pag-aari sa kagamitan sa produksyon at yamang agrikultural sa mga panginoong maylupa. Dumaan-lumipas ang yugto-yugtong pamumuno ng mga ilustradong nakipagsabwatan sa may hawak ng materyal na basehan ng kapangyarihan sa bansa. Subalit sa lahat ng ito, nananatiling mapagmatyag ang mga minulat ng Rebolusyon ng 1896 na pinamunuan ni Bonifacio.

Sa pagdiriwang ng kaarawan ni Bonifacio, asahan ang sadyang pagpapalabnaw ng estado sa paggunita sa rebolusyonaryong adhikain ng dakilang lider-anakpawis. Sa halip na isulong ang kapakanan ng aping mamamayan na mitsa nang himagsik at paghawak ng armas ni Bonifacio, pipiliin ng estado na idaan ito sa isang selebrasyong pinalamutian ng taliwas na pagpupugay, ng mga kasinungalingan. Ang selektibong alaala ng estado’y mananaig sa pamamagitan ng pagdiriwang ng natamong huwad na kalayaan ng bansa. Ipamumukha ng mga naghaharing-uri na tapos na ang yugto ng kolonyalismo at pananakop: wala nang tunggalian ng mga uri sapagkat nalikha na ang demokratikong espasyo, na sa esensiya nama’y neoliberalismo; isang mapanlinlang na sistema ng pamamahala sa dating kolonya, subalit ngayo’y huwad na republika.

Gagana ang manipulasyon ng kapitalismo sa paglikha ng mga huwad na katotohanan. Magsasagawa ng mga selebrasyon; pag-aalay ng bulaklak sa estatwa’y monumento ni Bonifacio. Itatatak sa iba’t ibang produkto ang mukha ni Bonifacio upang ang sistemang kapitalista’y magkaroon ng mukha at pakikiisa sa pambansang paggunita sa bayani. Sa ganitong lente higit na matutukoy ang lantarang panlilinlang ng estado. Itatanyag ang huwad na tagumpay ng mga manggagawa sa halip na isiwalat ang patuloy na pagsasamantala sa uring ginagawaran ng koronang pinalibutan ng tinik.

Marapat ilantad na sa panahon ng neoliberalismo, ang higit na apektado ay ang sektor ng paggawa. Kailangan ang patuloy na pagbebenta sa sariling lakas-paggawa, habang ang malalaking burgesya komprador ang nakikinabang ng malaking kita, habang ang labis na pagtratrabaho ng ilan ay kawalan naman ng trabaho ng karamihan. Marapat na ilantad din ang patuloy na pagsasamantala’t pag-aalipin sa uring magsasaka sa kasalukuyan dahil hindi nabubuwag ang monopolyo sa lupa ng malalaking asendero.

Ang halaga ng pagpapatuloy ng rebolusyonaryong adhikain hanggang sa kasalukuyan ni Bonifacio ay nakasandig sa proletaryong perspektiba, sa mga uring manggagawang pangunahing pwersa sa moda ng produksyon na siyang may katangian mamulat, at sa huli’y mag-aklas upang baguhin ang mapang-aping sistemang kinasasadlakan ng bansa nating mahal.

Kung may naituro ang buhay at kamatayan ni Bonifacio, ito’y hindi pa tapos ang laban para sa pambansang kalayaan at tunay na demokrasya. Ituloy ang laban at pakikibaka, pakikidigma hanggang sa tagumpay!

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LIWANAG AT PAGSIKLAB
Pahayag ng CONTEND-UP sa Paggunita ng Masaker sa Hacienda Luisita
16 Nobyembre 2012

Sa ika-anim na taon ng paggunita sa masaker sa Hacienda Luisita na naganap noong 16 Nobyembre 2006, walang liwanag na nababanaag ang mga magsasaka at manggagawang bukid sa kanilang mahabang pakikibaka para sa hustisya at tunay na reporma sa lupa, sa ilalim ng rehimeng Benigno Aquino III.

Sa kabila ng tagumpay ng masang magsasaka sa paghimok sa Korte Suprema upang magbaba ng utos na maipamahagi ang mahigit 4,000 ektaryang lupa sa Hacienda Luisita at sa pagkansela ng mapang-alipustang Stock Distribution Option (SDO), pilit pa ring ginagawang masalimuot ang disinsana’y makatarungang pamamahagi ng lupa—mula sa madugong proseso ng pagpipinal sa listahan ng mga benipisyado ng lupa hanggang sa paghahaing muli sa Kongreso ng limang taong ekstensiyon ng bogus na Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), na ibayong magpapabagal sa pagpapatupad ng utos ng Korte Suprema.

Sa ilang taon ng panunungkulan ni Aquino bilang Pangulo, hindi lamang nabigo ang administrasyon sa pag-resolba ng krimen sa Hacienda Luisita, bagkos ay naging instrumental pa ito sa pagsasabatas ng mga patakarang kontra-magsasaka at kontra-mamamayan. Dagdag pa, nananatiling galing sa hanay ng mga magsasaka ang may pinaka-malaking bilang ng biktima ng mga paglabag sa karapatang pantao. Mula nang maluklok si Aquino sa puwesto, nakapagtala na ang Karapatan ng mahigit animnapu’t anim (66) na kaso ng pagpaslang at siyam (9) na kaso ng sapilitang pagkawala sa hanay ng mga magsasaka mulang Hunyo 2010 hanggang Setyembre 2012. At hanggang sa kasalukuyan ay nananatiling mapanglaw ang dapat sana’y kaliwanagan sa paghahanap ng hustisya para sa mga naging biktima ng masaker sa Hacienda Luisita.

Batid natin ang siklo at nanunuot na pagkabulok ng isang sistemang nagluluklok ng naghaharing uri sa mga posisyon ng kapangyarihan. Paulit-ulit na pinapatunayan ni Aquino at ng kaniyang mga galamay ang kanilang pagkiling sa uring kanilang pinagmulan. Sakamatwid, walang maaasahan ang mga magsasaka kung hindi ang sarili nilang lakas sa pamamagitan ng malawak na kilusang masa. Ayon nga sa dakiliang pantas na si Mao Zedong: “Ang kasalukuyang kilusang magsasaka ay isang higanteng kaganapan. Sa mga darating na panahon, ang mga magsasaka ay dadaluyong na tila bagyo, na tila ipo-ipo, isang uri ng lakas na mabilis at marahas na walang makahihigit na lakas na makakabalakid nito. Yuyurakan nila ang mga sagka sa kanilang mga bisig at susulong hanggang kalayaan.” At kapag sumapit ito, kailangan nating pumili at manindigan.

Sa ika-anim na taon ng paggunita sa masaker sa Hacienda Luisita, ang pagpili at paninindigan ay patitingkarin ng pagpasyang iugnay ang ating sarili sa uring magsasaka. Ang mapanglaw na daan tungo sa tunay na kalayaan ay paliliwanagan at sisiklaban ng mga naibuwis na buhay ng mga kasama sa pakikibaka, hanggang sa tuluyan nang mapabagsak ang mga nakapangyayaring uri sa bansa.

Hustisya para sa mga biktima ng Hacienda Luisita Massacre!
Tigilan ang karahasan sa kanayunan!
Junk CARPER Law 9700! Ipaglaban ang tunay na reporma sa lupa!
Pyudalismo, ibagsak!
Mabuhay ang mamamayang nakikibaka!

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TEACHING AGAINST THE IMPERIALIST PEDAGOGICAL MACHINE
Statement of CONTEND on 2012 World Teacher’s Day
5 October 2012

Peter McLaren, a leading proponent and practitioner of ‘revolutionary critical pedagogy’ states, “We [teachers] need to learn not only how to educate, but how to be educated in terms of ripening class antagonisms. Teachers disqualify themselves from historical struggle when they fail to locate their own formation as educators within the degenerative process of contemporary capitalist society and the enduring and intractable class-driven social arrangements: to wit, within the agonistic arena of class struggle.”
Hence, as we celebrate World Teacher’s Day, let’s oppose the state-sponsored celebration of teachers’ heroism that lavishly romanticizes the condition of teachers while trivializing their oppression. Such lip service glorification of teachers as unsung “heroes” (My Teacher, My Hero) reduces the image of teachers as docile and self-sacrificing emotional workers sanitized from the exploitative, repressive, and alienating effects of neoliberal reforms in education, nationally and globally.
After seventeen years since October 5th was declared as international day of recognition for teachers by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Filipino teachers, who are supposed to liberate the young minds of the future generation and prepare them to engage in social transformation, still wallow in most despicable working condition and are subjected to a pedagogical system that fetters their critical minds.
The P309-billion budget of the education sector for 2012, which accounts for 17% of the total national budget of P1.816 trillion, remains inadequate to cover the annual shortages in classrooms, desks and teachers. There are a total of 104,000 additional teachers needed, according to the Philippine Development Plan, but the 2012 budget can only fund P2.9 billion for the hiring of 13,000 teachers. This means teachers will absorb the brunt of teaching large classes. Such capitalist-driven austerity measure translates to longer but unpaid teaching hours, more preparation, and unspeakable physical labor. To address teacher shortage, an additional education budget of P650 million is needed that would include the creation of 38,593 permanent teacher items at the basic level and 8,000 new teaching items at the tertiary level, according to ACT Partylist (Alliance of Concerned Teachers). But the government pushes for K+12 that spreads the already thin budget to programs that will surely increase teachers’ burdens as well as exacerbating the already squeezed expenditures of parents.
In Metro Manila, the latest family living wage or the amount needed for a family of six members to live decently has been pegged at P998 or P21,956 per month. But the salary for entry-level position of Teacher 1 remains at P15,649, pending deductions. Sen. Allan Peter Cayetano even suggested that public school teachers belong to the country’s “poor sector” because their monthly salary falls below the poverty threshold defined by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA). In his estimation, a public school teacher earns an average of P10,933 monthly, but with the mandatory deductions such as GSIS and Pag-Ibig, a teacher takes home only about P8,000. Overworked and superexploited, thousands of Filipino teachers are compelled to borrow from loan sharks or pawn their ATM cards, if not totally forced to go abroad to find employment.
But employment abroad also subjects Filipino teachers to the violence and racist character of imperialist out-sourcing of their educational woes. Thus, the hundreds of Filipino teachers who were debarred from Maryland and Louisiana public schools prompted a Los Angeles federal judge to rule that the conditions that Filipino teachers were subjected to when brought to Louisiana qualify their case to be heard under the federal human trafficking law. The US Labor Department slapped the Prince George’s County Public School system (PGCPS) last year with a two-year debarment and $1.7 million fine for illegally collecting placement fees from international teachers, most of them from the Philippines.
Neoliberal reforms worldwide have drastically redefined the role of teachers and educational workers. Teachers’ unions are being busted, contractualization of teaching profession has become the norm for hiring, tuition fees and other school fees are skyrocketing due to privatization and deregulation, school culture is becoming commercialized and corporatized through corporate funded research, and academic values transformed to market-defined curricula and courses tailored to the needs of the international division of labor. Such education produces self-learning learner that follows the lifelong learning philosophy of World Bank. The World Bank ideology of lifelong learning that celebrates the neoliberal values of multiculturalism, multitasking, hybridization, and interdisciplinarity—supply the transnational corporations with the skills necessary for accumulation of capital on a worldwide scale.
Yet amidst this horrendous turmoil under neoliberal reforms in education, the most advanced section of teachers and other educational workers and administrators through their unions, with the support of militant section of the working class and other progressive sectors of Philippine society, are militantly and patiently struggling to dismantle the weakening imperialist grip on our educational system. Last year, the united protest actions of teachers, students, and other progressive groups forced Aquino’s semi-colonial state bureaucracy to reckon with the dwindling budget for public education.
But teachers have to wage a two-pronged struggle. On the one hand, they have to unite with all legal movement of patriotic and progressive forces of Philippine society to eliminate imperialism, feudalism, and capitalism—the fundamental causes of our educational crisis and backwardness. On the other, they have to practice ‘revolutionary critical pedagogy’ in order to neutralize and win over the reactionary faction of teachers who serve the interests of the imperialist machine. Teachers have to fight against the ideology of apolitical education, dismantle neutrality that breeds ‘culture of silence,’ and stop the auction of knowledge to the highest corporate bidders. As the state abandons its obligation to public education and forfeits its mandate to promote education as a public good, teachers are exposed to the most rapacious and exploitative menace of capitalism. Only in engaging in these two-pronged struggles that teachers will have the chance to win the world!
So today, 5 October, World Teacher’s Day, CONTEND registers its strongest revolutionary refusal to surrender education to the highest bidders through public private partnership, corporatization, and profligate commercialization. We strongly condemn all violence perpetrated by the state police and all its repressive apparatuses against teachers, students, and other educational workers who are struggling against all forms of exploitation and oppression.
We therefore join the resounding chorus of all progressive forces of our society who are calling for NATIONALIST, SCIENTIFIC, and MASS-ORIENTED EDUCATION. All militant and nationalist teachers should fight for education that serves the end of national sovereignty, industrial modernization, and economic redistribution. Teachers must espouse and cultivate a culture that is critical, one that which combat dogmas and discourses that legitimate social injustices and all forms of exploitation. A just and humane social order entails the elimination of mass ignorance through ‘revolutionary critical pedagogy.’ Thus, teachers are duty-bound to fight for democratized access to and practice of education.
FOR A NATIONALIST, SCIENTIFIC, AND MASS-ORIENTED EDUCATION!
FREE EDUCATION AT ALL LEVELS!
TEACHERS UNITE AGAINST EDUCATIONAL IMPERIALISM!
OPPOSE AND EXPOSE ALL FORMS OF IMPERIALIST, ANTI-PEOPLE EDUCATIONAL SCHEMES!
FIGHT FOR GREATER STATE-SUBSIDY AND BUDGET FOR STATE UNIVERSITIES AND COLLEGES!
HIGHER AND BETTER BENEFITS FOR TEACHERS NOW!
PASS HOUSE BILL 2142, AN “ACT UPGRADING THE MINIMUM SALARY OF PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHERS FROM SALARY GRADE 11 TO 15 NOW!

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THE FIRST SONA WAS A COMEDY,

THE SECOND WAS FARCE, AND THE THIRD IS FIASCO!

OPPOSE THE ANTI-POOR, PRO-US IMPERIALIST

CHARACTER OF AQUINO GOVERNMENT

On July 23 2012 President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino delivers his third State of the Nation Address (SONA). Like his preceding SONA the President, and his minions, will once again rise like sphinx to employ the populist rhetoric to flaunt its fabricated achievements in the past two years, while ignoring the real problems confronting the nation and our people.

Karl Marx reminds us that for Hegel, the Great German philosopher, great events in history happen twice. All radical social upheavals must happen twice, for in the second repetition, the failure of the first attempt must be overcome. But Pnoy miserably missed his two chances. Now, after two years as President, his SONA finally turns into a fiasco. For Aquino finally reveals his “true bosses”: not the people but the corporate bosses, big monopolists and landlords, the military, and US imperialists.

Expectedly, the third SONA on July 23 will just repeat the past SONA’s conjuring up of the middle class “anti-corruption” –WALANG MAHIRAP KUNG WALANG CORRUPT– propaganda as the primary program of the administration. It will highlight the impeachment of the Chief Justice and the gains made in cleaning up government departments. Mouthing impressive statistics, Aquino will blow his own trumpet on the improved ratings by global credit groups (Standard & Poor’s Ratings Service and Fitch Rating), including our getting a reprieve from a blacklisting by the Financial Action Task Force. But all of these profile-raising oratory are nothing compared to the immiseration of the vast majority of our people.

To begin with, the Aquino administration does not have a comprehensive and sustainable industrialization program that will create employment for our people. It has become the prime exporter of Filipino workers among all past administrations. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) places the Philippines as the fourth leading migrant-sending country in the whole world!  The data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) show that the deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) under Aquino has already reached around 1.4 million a year. During Arroyo’s time, annual deployment was pegged at 1 million.  In its desperation to generate income with minimal capital outlay, in March this year, Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz lifted the ban on the deployment of Filipino workers to Nigeria, Libya and South Sudan.

According to Migrante International, by October 2011, an additional 1.35 million Filipinos have been forced to go abroad by sheer lack of opportunities, decent jobs and wages, livelihood and social services in the country. This figure is higher by 5.3 percent than the 1.281 million OFWs from January to October 2010. While the Aquino government is adept in exporting labor, it is impotent in protecting our OFWs. Migrante states: “For the first time in history, four Filipinos were executed abroad under one presidency. The number of Filipinos on deathrow has increased from 108 to 123. At least 7,000 Filipinos are languishing in jails abroad without legal assistance and at least 20,000 are stranded and awaiting repatriation.”

Meanwhile IBON Foundation estimates based on National Statistics Office (NSO) data, the total number of unemployed and underemployed Filipinos has increased by 780,000 in the last two years, from 10.9 million in April 2010 to 11.7 million in April 2012 – consisting of 4.4 million unemployed and 7.3 million underemployed. While the unemployment rate over the same period fell from 11.4% to 10.3% this was more than offset by rising underemployment which rose from 17.8% to 19.3 percent. These trends remain even if official NSO data that underreports unemployment is used.

 

Wages remain too low for decent living. Despite the recent staggered Php30 wage hike, far cry from across-the-board Php125 wage hike demanded by labor groups, in NCR, the mandated minimum wage of Php446 in May 2012 is just 44% of the Php1,017 family living wage (FLW). This wage gap is even greater than a decade ago, in May 2002, when the minimum wage was 53% of the FLW. As it is the real wage of wages that workers actually received was v

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