Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Is murder now a public policy?

Pandayan condemns the murder of one of our members in Negros Occidental, Rico Adeva, who was killed in front of his wife. It is unfortunate that Rico, an organizer of the Task Force Mapalad, became another statistic in the on-going campaign of summary executions against activists around the country.

It is no secret that violence related to agrarian reform has been happening in rural communities in Negros and around the country. Rico’s death looks like another incident of muzzling the efforts of agrarian reform advocates to distribute land to the powerless and hungry Filipino farmers. This demonstrates the failure of the government to act decisively on the issue of agrarian reform. It is a testament to its pathetic implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program.

Moreover, this cowardly act of killing a defenseless NGO worker and agrarian reform activist also highlights the inefficiency of the Arroyo government to deal with people instigating these attacks against progressive elements of our society. It shows that her administration is really no different from Marcos’ repressive and brutal regime. It is getting to be really difficult for NGO workers and activists to continue their work under this climate of fear.

We ask the president: is the practice of murder now a public policy? If President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo truly values the sanctity of human life she should now put the brakes to these senseless killings. The culture of impunity must stop now.

Pandayan calls on the Filipino people and the international community to break their silence on the Arroyo administration’s grotesque human rights record. We must act now before it is too late. Public apathy will only encourages more killings.

Finally, Pandayan salutes Rico Adeva. We will continue his work in upholding the rights of the millions of Filipino peasants nationwide. We pledge to continue to pursue the ideals of freedom, democracy and justice.

Pandayan para sa Sosyalistang Pilipinas (PANDAYAN)
Room 207, Center for Community Services Building,
Social Development Complex, Ateneo de Manila University,
Loyola Heights, Quezon City

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

mabuhay ka rico!

At 12:25 yesterday afternoon I was suddenly awaken by the loud ringing of my mobile phone. I picked up the damned phone and asked grumblingly who the caller was. It was Elaine. What happened next was a blur. I only recalled snippets of our conversation, all I know was i kept on cursing.

me: natutulog ako!
elaine: kaya ako tumawag kasi....ano...may pinatay na pandayan sa negros
me: huh?! tangina! bakit?
elaine: TFM rico.
me: tangina talaga

I'm not sure if i've met Rico. I tried to recall the names and faces of kahanays from the regions but I can not remember him. Elaine said Rico was a new kahanay. She said Rico, who was a peasant organizer in Negros, was shot in front of his wife. He also left behind three of four small children. Tangina talaga nila. I felt anger swelling within me. Yes, I did not know Rico personally but he was a kahanay. He was just doing his job so that the farmers can own the lands they have been working on for generations. Wala siyang kalaban-laban.

According to Nante, Rico's buddy in TFM, the men who shot Rico were hired guns. The police authorities are now eyeing the landowners as suspects. Two years ago, a 60-year old woman farmer from Negros, an agrarian reform beneficiary from the same area, was also gunned down. Is murder a public policy now? Are we back to the dark days of the Marcos dictatorship when thousands of activists and human rights workers were hunted down and killed? Parang hindi nangyari ang EDSA.

So far, 30 activists have been killed since last year. Sino naman ang susunod? Are we going to let this government to continue to trample on our rights? When will the majority of Filipinos realize that enough is enough?

"First they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak out because I was not a Jew.

First they came for the Communists, and I didn't speak out because I was not a Communist.

First they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak out because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me."
- Pastor Niemoller

Monday, April 10, 2006

brokeback to the future

I was reading the weekend edition of Business World and found this article about this fake movie trailer made by college kids from the comedy troupe of Emerson College, Chocolate Cake City. This video parodies Ang Lee's groundbreaking movie, Brokeback Mountain, and took clips from Back to the Future series.

The trailer wants us to believe that Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) and Doc were lovers. Harharhar. I can't help but laugh my head off. It's the BEST joke about Brokeback Mountain.

For ipod version go to this link. Other hosts for the Brokeback to the Future trailer are:
1. Google