UP MBT loses heartbreaker to champion FEU

By Ara Nacario

 

Fresh off a victory against the UE Red Warriors, the UP Fighting Maroons lost a heartbreaking duel against the defending champion FEU Tamaraws, 51-49, at the Araneta Coliseum, Sunday.

The first quarter score of 5-4 in favor of UP was the lowest output in a single quarter since 2013, according to UAAP Sports TV. Reserve forward Dave Moralde was the only Maroon to score in that quarter.

FEU led by as many as 13 in the third quarter, but an 8-0 personal run by tenacious UP guard Paul Desiderio trimmed the lead down to a single digit. On his several missed free throws (8/15 from the line), Desiderio admitted he needs improvement.

“Hindi ko nai-shoot yung mga free throws ko so kailangan ko pa mag-practice. Sa akin ‘yon, sa’ken,” Desiderio said.

The Maroons were tied with FEU with two minutes left at 47 points before FEU’s Monbert Arong ended it with a 3-point attack via a clutch free-throw and mid-range jumper at the next possession. UP missed the opportunity to take the lead when Jarrell Lim’s supposedly easy layup attempt was blocked by the 6’10” center Prince Orizu.

“I should have known better na parating siya, dapat hindi ako naging complacent na dapat libre na ako,” Lim said.

Nervous at first, Coach Nash Racela expressed his gratitude towards Orizu.

“Actually, natakot ako kasi nakita ko somebody was leaking out. Sabi ko, patay. So yeah, it’s nice that Prince never gave up on the play,” Racela said.

FEU starter Ron Dennison was ejected late in the game after he apparently hit Desiderio in the abdomen, which made him crumple to the floor. This move was met with backlash in social media as “Desiderio” trended on Twitter, with many people calling out the UP swingman for allegedly flopping – an overreaction to physical contact. Desiderio, however, reiterated that the hit was legitimate.

FEU is reportedly set to file a complaint to the UAAP for the disqualification call.

Desiderio once again led the Diliman-based squad with 13 points, although he missed seven free-throws and 11 field goals (3/14). Despite missing the potential game-winning shot, Moralde was all over the court and contributed a double-double (13 points, 11 rebounds).

For the champs of Morayta, only Arong scored in double figures in the low-scoring contest. Orizu went scoreless but had 15 rebounds and four critical blocks.

Overall, UP shot a horrible 22% from the field. FEU shot a little better at 30%, which was all they needed to edge out the Maroons.

UP will next face its neighbor school Ateneo Blue Eagles in a new Battle for Katipunan on Wednesday, Sept. 28 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.#

ERRATUM: FEU’s Arong did not make a three-point shot as written in an earlier version of this article. He made a free-throw and a mid-range jump shot at the next possession. We apologize for any confusion on our editorial team’s oversight.

Attacks on education, human rights prompt students’ walkout on Martial Law anniversary

By Tiara Nacario

Hundreds of students from all over the metro walked out from their classes and marched to Mendiola, Manila to commemorate the declaration of Martial Law as well as condemn neoliberal policies repressing human rights and education, Sept. 21.

Students from the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman, UP Manila, Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), University of Sto. Tomas (UST), National Teachers College (NTC), as well as Batasan National High School and Araullo High School joined the walkout protest.

Kabataan Partylist Representative Sarah Elago acknowledged the attendance of high school and college students from Baguio, Pampanga, Laguna, Naga, Cebu and Tacloban in what she dubbed as “Pambansang Araw ng Protesta para sa Edukasyon, Karapatang Pantao at Kalayaan.”

“Ngayong araw sama-sama nating ipakita na hindi tayo nakakalimot,” Elago said. “Sa hindi natin paglimot sa pagtapak sa karapatang pantao sampu ng lahat nang nag-alay ng kanilang buhay para sa ating kalayaan, tayo din ngayong araw ay nananawagan ng hustisya sa lahat ng biktima ng Batas Militar.”

According to Amnesty International, approximately 70,000 people were imprisoned, 34,000 tortured and 3,240 were killed from during the course of Martial Law, 1972-1981.

Elago also stressed the importance of the power of mobilizations in making sure Martial Law is never repeated again.

Marching alongside youth groups during the system-wide walkout were non-governmental organizations including Karapatan Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights (KARAPATAN), GABRIELA National Alliance of Women (GABRIELA), Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) and consultants of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

KARAPATAN’s NDFP consultant Loida Magpatoc, shared her journey towards collective action.

Noon sa kanayunan namin, edad lang po ang aming hinihintay para sumali sa bagong hukbong bayan at maging aktibo at kasapi ng armadong pakikipaglaban sa diktadurya,” said Magpatoc, who came from Mindanao.

At 19, Magpatoc had joined the New People’s Army (NPA) in her locality under the headship of Bandida Komunista ng Pilipinas.

Meanwhile, Student Alliance for the Advancement of Democratic Rights in UP (STAND UP) Chairperson Josiah Hiponia emphasized the need to continually fight for human rights well beyond Martial Law.
“Tunay nga ba tayong malaya?” Hiponia said, citing similarities between the conditions of Martial Law and current times when farmers still struggle for land ownership, employees work under unjust labor policies and contractualization, human rights are violated and summary killings are prevalent.

“Hindi tayo titigil sa ating laban hanggat hindi nakakapasok ang mga kabataang magsasaka, mga kabataang manggagawa at ang napakaraming Pilipino ang hindi maatim makapasok sa ating unibersidad,” Hiponia added.

Meanwhile, Anakbayan Chairperson Vencer Mari Crisostomo said freedom from all neoliberal policies will not be given unless the Filipino people take it.

“Itulak pa natin ang pakikibaka laban sa imperyalismo, burukrata kapitalismo at pyudalismo. Tuluyan natin ibagsak ang bulok na sistema na iilan lamang ang naghahari at pinagsasamantalahan ang nakakarami,”  Crisostomo said.

(Photo by Tiara Nacario.)

Editorial: What Never Truly Left

When President Ferdinand Marcos declared Martial Law on Sept. 21, 1972, the military and police were granted a dangerous amount of power.

Human rights were immediately stripped from the Filipino people with the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, which allowed the arrests of people without access to due process.

The moment people rose against the dictator–with angry shouts and clenched fists–they were immediately chained back down and put behind bars, and those who live to tell the tale speak of heinous torture methods—electric shocks delivered to private parts, gallons of water forcefully pumped in one’s mouth, sexual assault and constant beatings, among others.

Human Rights advocacy group Amnesty International tallied 34,000 Filipinos who had become victims of such human rights violations in one of the darkest periods of the country’s history.

The non-government organization also listed 70,000 arrested individuals, 3,240 victims of summary executions, and at least a thousand victims of enforced disappearances in said era.

More than 40 years later, the Philippines remains subject to much of the same conditions as it was before.

The culture of impunity persists with President Rodrigo Duterte’s iron rule, which pays little regard for due process and human rights, scarily reminiscent of the ousted dictator’s regime characterized by fascism and heavy reliance on the country’s armed forces.

While the Philippines may no longer under Martial Law, Duterte has declared a “state of lawlessness” in the Philippines, authorizing armed forces to suppress any deemed lawless violence.

The writ of habeas corpus may still be intact, however, fairness still escapes alleged drug pushers and abusers, or at least those from the lower class.

While the poor are targeted and killed in cold blood, those from the other end of the spectrum–such as radio DJ Karen Bordador, who was caught selling illegal drugs amounting to P 2.2 M at a club in Fort Bonifacio last month–enjoy the human right to a fair trial.

Since Duterte’s inauguration in June 30, the drug-related killings have claimed more than 3,000 lives according to a Philippine Star report dated Sept. 11.

The president refuses to acknowledge these as human rights violations, despite many of the victims allegedly having willingly surrendered. Only recently, he had called the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon a ‘fool’ after he condemned the cases of summary killings in the country and said these acts were illegal and clear violations of human rights.

However, it is not only Duterte who has kept the country shrouded in Martial Law.  

The administrations following Marcos have continued this tradition.

Not one president has been spared these accusations, and despite his promised change, Duterte has not extinguished the fascist actions of the state. Instead, he has enforced it.

Despite the Constitution stating that no person shall be imprisoned by reason of political beliefs and aspirations, Filipino political prisoners still await their freedom while the numbers of enforced disappearances–2,300 since the 1970s according to the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearance (AFAD)–cannot be unseen.

These political prisoners include UP College of Mass Communication film student Maricon Montajes, who, together with Ronilo Baes and Romiel Cañete, are collectively known as the Taysan 3. In 2010, the group was unjustly detained on yet-to-be proven allegations of illegal possession of explosives and firearms.

While it cannot be denied that human rights violations have become rampant under the first stages of Duterte’s regime, one of the current administration’s commendable efforts is the resumption of peace talks between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and National Democratic Front (NDF).

This initiative has resulted to 16 political prisoners released for participation in the peace process. However, these releases are only temporary and account for so much less than the total of 550 unjustly arrested.

While chants of opposition against historical revisionism and Martial Law ring louder more than ever, the Duterte administration has chosen to respond to this by honoring Marcos with a burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LMNB), repeatedly insisting that the former president’s service as a soldier is what makes him qualified for the burial.

In doing so, the Duterte administration has ignored the National Historical Commission of the Philippines proof that Marcos lied about the war medals he received as well as soiled his hands with the lives his regime claimed during Martial Law.

Even the Official Gazette of the Philippines has not escaped from the clutches of historical revisionism. In a publicity material released Sept. 11, the online graphic tried to conceal the atrocities of the Marcos regime by stating that the former president and dictator had “stepped down from the presidency to avoid bloodshed” in 1986.

While the caption was edited later on to remove its initial inaccuracies, the fact remains that Duterte not only shares similarities with the former president but as well as aids in turning history to his favor.

Allowing this burial to ensue, along with the persistence of the ideology that Marcos is a hero, is historical revisionism at its finest, a negation of the freedom and the democracy the Filipino people have fought for and paid for in blood.

Nevertheless, it is not too late to fight back and oppose these human rights violations.

While social media may no longer be a desirable platform due to the persistent hate comments arising whenever an online user criticizes the president, the streets are more than open to those who wish to express dissent towards the administration’s war on drugs—its war on the poor—as well as its decision to bury the deceased dictator among heroes and brand him as such.

The streets are more than welcome to those who wish to support reconciling with Asia’s longest-running communist insurgency as well the release of those who have been imprisoned due to a different political ideology.

The streets are more than unobstructed to hear the voice of the people that has long since cried for societal change targeting the destruction of fascism and with that, the persistent culture of impunity.

The streets are open to the cries of ‘never again to what never really left.’

 

Student leaders, professors urge scrapping of ‘anomalous’ SAIS, eUP

By Nacho Domingo

With the implementation of the Student Academic Information System (SAIS) in UP Diliman potentially taking place next school year, student leaders and professors berated eUP for its “privatization of education, anomalous processes that betrayed public trust, and anti-student nature” in a forum held Sept. 20.  

In a talk entitled “System Breakdown: A forum on the eUP and neoliberal attacks on education” conducted in the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman Melchor Hall Theater, three different student leaders and a professor delivered messages of condemnation of University President Alfredo Pascual’s P750-million project.

University Student Council (USC) Councilor and Computer Engineering major Arvin Alba pointed out how eUP and its comprising five separate information systems (IS) have already consumed an accumulated P793 million as of June 2016.

“50 million pesos din yan,” Alba said on the seven percent of the budget allotted for furniture. “[Tapos] malaking portion din niyan, mga 2 to 3 million pesos ang ginastos para sa mga sofa, cabinet at iba pa na hindi naman directly related doon sa eUP project,” he said.

Alba added how SAIS had already used up P44 million in three years, P11 million more than the previous legacy systems’ expense for their entire lifespan.

“Dahil lang doon sa simpleng bagay na nakikipagpapartner [ang UP administration] sa ePLDT para sa proyekto na ito, yung mga gastos natin ay lumalaki at dumadami, at patungo siya doon sa mga companies na naging partner ng eUP project,” Alba said.

The speakers were united in their call to discontinue the implementation of SAIS, a supposed upgrade from the Computerized Registration System (CRS) that the university currently employs.

Meanwhile, UP Manila Computer Science major and Agham Youth member Princess Florendo highlighted the flaws of the system.

Florendo explained how SAIS was the host of several user interface problems in the form of unnecessary white spaces with no function and several glitches, most notably inaccurate tuition calculation. She pointed out how the assigned days for certain batches during enlistment were not followed, which led to several students’ inability to attain units.

“We call on the junking of SAIS and eUP and develop our homegrown systems,” said Florendo.

SAIS has been operational in UP Manila since 2013.

“SAIS is not what we need,” Florendo said. “There is no perfect system, but we don’t need a system that is based on profit.”

Alba cited the poor results achieved by the system’s implementation in UP Los Baños. Of the students who used SAIS for enlistment for the first semester of this academic year, only eight percent were able to receive 21 units or more, while the largest 37 percent received no units at all.

Meanwhile, Dr. Ramon Guillermo, UP Filipino professor and member of Congress Of Teachers And Educators For Nationalism and Democracy (CONTEND), described how eUP requires 20 mouse clicks to do what used to be possible with two mouse clicks, further substantiating the systems’ lack of quality.

Although the scheduled implementation of SAIS in UP Diliman is scheduled to take place during the first semester of the Academic Year 2017-2018, the speakers made it clear how they believe that collective action from the UP community through continued rallies and forums can still bring about the discontinuation of the project.

“Kung tayong lahat ay naninindigan para mapabasura ang eUP Project, wala na rin namang magagawa si [President Pascual] kundi ipabasura ito,” said Alba.

Testifying 1081: The Casualties of “Change”

By Maisie Joven and Luz Wendy Noble

Change can either bring life or death.

Sporting his signature pomada-hairdo-and-barong-Tagalog, former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. appeared before the media on Sept. 21, 1972 declaring Proclamation 1081, which put the country then under the Martial Law.

It may have have been just another executive order, except that it was not.

So often the concept of change can enrapture the fantasies of people.

In his promise of a New Society, former President Ferdinand Marcos led his people to believe that the country would be more disciplined and economically developed in his term as president of the Philippines.

Under Martial Law, however, a different kind of change was experienced by the Filipino people.

The number of human rights violations rose to the thousands, with human rights organization Amnesty International tallying more than 70,000 arrested individuals and 34,000 victims of torture during what has been known as one of the darkest periods of Philippine history.

Renowned senator Jose “Pepe” Diokno was but one of those whose rights were crushed by the iron rule of the former dictator.

A trial lawyer in the 1960s, Diokno was witness to what is dubbed “the Golden Age of statesmanship and politics” by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) because of the intellect and depth of argument one could observe in the government.

In 1961, former President Diosdado Macapagal appointed Diokno Secretary of Justice. However, the lawyer was dismissed from office after investigating the controversial Stonehill case, which allegedly involved some government officials.

As a senator, Diokno belonged to the same party as Marcos – the Nacionalista Party – but resigned from the party before Martial Law was declared.

“Directly, to confront sa tingin niya [Diokno] iyong napipintong diktadurya, he [Diokno] was already speaking of the Marcos dictatorship, he was already warning about it,” electoral reformist Ramon Casiple said of Diokno who joined the Sept. 21, 1972 rally, according to a PCIJ documentary.

The lawyer-senator was then arrested without charges, detained in Fort Bonifacio and transferred to Laur, Nueva Ecija, where he was placed in solitary confinement.

Although they did not get a glimpse of each other, he and Ninoy Aquino were brought to the province blindfolded on a helicopter, Atty. Jose “Chel” Diokno, son of Pepe Diokno, said.

“Inside the cell, wala silang gamit, wala silang kahit personal belongings. Ang dala-dala lang ng dad ko noon iyong kanyang rosary, iyong kanyang pipe at tsaka pipe tobacco,” Chel recounted.

“Kinuha rin sa kanya iyon and he was only allowed to use his rosary once a day,” he added.

The Diokno family, like all other families of political prisoners, felt distraught at the loss of a loved one by their side. After several days, they were able to visit their father in Laur, but only for merely 30 minutes, Chel said.

What they saw surprised them.

Chel recalled the two sets of barbed wires separating them from their father. Crying, they talked to him from a distance as he held up his pants so it would not fall.

Diokno lost 20 to 25 lbs during his confinement.

“Iyon siguro pinaka-low point namin sa family,” Chel said.

As if losing a loved one to the cruelty of Martial Law is not enough, five more of them suffering the same fate is what faced the Quimpo family back then.

Their story is a grisly one. Out of 10 children, six suffered at the hands of the military.

Ronald Jan, 19 when he was arrested, was labeled as a communist simply by being a “chinito” University of the Philippines (UP) student, said Susan Quimpo, the youngest of the family.

At that time, Ronald was a member of Kabataang Makabayan, a progressive youth group working for democracy and people empowerment.

He was tortured in three ways: head-dumping in urine, electrocution and injection of genitals, and burning of cheeks. He now belongs to the thousands of desaparecidos listed by Amnesty International.

“‘Itotorture kita hanggang makasalita ka, makapagbigay ka ng mga pangalan ng iba pang aktibista tapos huhulihin namin iyong mga kasama mo. Ikaw, ipapasok ka namin sa ibang unit ng military, totorture-in ka uli, baka sakaling may makuha pa sila sa iyo,’” Susan said, describing how the military treated activists during the Marcos era.

Another sibling, Lillian, was arrested and transferred to three different prisons, where she was molested and also questioned about other possible activists she knew, according to the family.

The youngest brother, Jun, spent a lot of his time immersing with poor communities while he was still studying in UP.

He was arrested only because he was a Quimpo, a name Susan said the military had singled out for being a “factory of activists.”

Jun joined the New People’s Army after his release from prison and was found dead in Nueva Ecija five years later, with multiple shots on his body.

The remaining three: Nathan, a valedictorian; Norman, a math professor in Ateneo; and Ryan, a student leader, were all incarcerated without trial.

“Noong nag-Martial Law, ‘pag student leader ka…‘pag writer ka ng school organ, ‘pag presidente ka ng isang club kahit UP Repertory pa iyan o kahit na Biology Club…iyong picture mo nandoon na sa isang bulletin board next to the guard house,” Susan explained. “‘Pag pumasok ka, dadamputin ka na.”

Much like other surviving victims of the Martial Law era, Susan laments the country’s present situation.

Together with other like-minded individuals, she created The Martial Law Chronicles Project to shed light on the stories of people victimized by the government.

“Bakit hirap na hirap ngayon kami – iyong mga former activists, mga Martial Law victims, mga families of Martial Law victims – na ipakilala o even to tell people about totoong nangyari iyong torture, totoong may human rights violations, totoong sinurcumvent iyong buong Constitution, totoong he declared Martial Law only to extend his term in office?” Susan asked.

“There are no mementos. There are no monuments. There are no museums with this information, or very few.”

A viral photo from Facebook that was posted during the height of the discussions regarding  President Rodrigo Duterte’s order of the Marcos burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani

 

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With the looming issue on the burial of the late President Ferdinand Marcos, Sr. at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, it seems like Martial Law may or may not have its consequences, 24 years after.

In social media, a lot of debates have sparked regarding Martial Law.

Joining the discourse are millennials who express their opinions from what they have learned so far. These youngsters are taking part as well in the discussion of whether Marcos deserves a spot in the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB).

While some of them oppose the dictator’s burial in the graveyard of soldiers and heroes, some of the youth are positive of both the repercussions of the Martial Law and the Marcos burial issue. Their reasons include the progress brought about by said era and Marcos’ being a soldier himself as enough of an eligible reason to be laid to rest in LNMB.

Citing Former President Noynoy Aquino’s approval of the Human Rights Repatriation Act in 2013, UP Manila History Professor Alvin Campomanes, like his fellow historians, believe that the “fact that the law was filed, recognizing the fact that there were people who were victims of the Martial Law regime, that alone contradicts the idea of him being a hero.”

As of May 2015, the number of victims of human rights violations during the Marcos regime went up to 75,730 from the initial 70,000 listed by Amnesty International in 1979. To this day, those still living are still asking for compensation from the Marcoses, with group Claimants 1081 leading the way.

However, Campomanes also acknowledged the subjectivity of the events in every Filipinos’ lives. For instance, he said that if a millennial’s uncle was an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) during that time, maybe what he could associate are memories of good remittances and investments.

“In short, we have different positionalities. Iba-iba ang pinanggagalingan natin,” Campomanes said.

Two Sides of the Coin

The Marcos regime saw the rise of infrastructure buildings. Among them were specialized health centers that were first of its kind in Asia. The San Juanico bridge, the longest in this country, which connects the islands of Samar and Leyte, is said to be the late president’s gift to his wife, who is a Romualdez, an established clan from Tacloban, Leyte.

The culture and the arts also became a priority during the Marcos era. Prodigies like Cecile Licad and Lea Salonga were especially supported by First Lady Imelda Marcos who also initiated the establishment of the Cultural Center of the Philippines which has served as a venue for artistic endeavors up to this day.

To Imelda, cultivating the arts was part of achieving her slogan – ‘the true, the good and the beautiful.’

With the glory that Marcos loyalists claim to have come from the best administration the Filipinos ever saw, the country also sank into one of the most tumultuous periods it had ever experienced.

In Proyekto Live: That Martial Law Thingy forum held on Sept. 10, 2016 at the Gateway Gallery, historians Michael Charleston ‘Xiao’ Chua and Alvin Campomanes discussed the good and evil effects brought about by Martial Law to the Philippines.

“Tatakbo si Marcos ng pangalawang term…at gagamit siya ng milyon-milyong dolyar o pondong publiko para siguruhing mananalo siya ng pangalawang term,” Campomanes said. This was in 1969.

In the same year, the Philippines also had a financial obligation already amounting to $286 million to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The $20 million worth of foreign investments in 1968 would be reduced to $8 million in just a year. All of these happened three years before Marcos even declared Martial Law.

The UP Manila professor has also been very vocal about his stand on the Marcos burial issue, strongly opposing the idea of transferring Marcos’s corpse in the haven of the country’s heroes.

However, he also acknowledged the subjectivity of people’s memories.

“Aside from being selective, napakalimited nito kumpara sa kasaysayan na mas malawak ang scope. Ang downside po ng memory is that it dies with the person,” Campomanes explained. With this in mind, he reiterated the role of history in making sense of events should be given importance.

On the other hand, for Chua, a history professor at the De La Salle University and public relations officer of the Philippine Historical Association (PHA), the problem seems to be that people regard historical events as either black or white – all good or all evil, which should not be the case.

“When you look at history, you draw from the strengths, look at the good ideas, you put them,”  Chua said. “Then iyong mga pangit, don’t repeat them…Ang akala mo, ‘pag nag-aassess ka ng history, namumulitika ka na…we historians, we don’t do that.”

According to Campomanes, a semblance of prosperity was experienced during the first few years of Martial Law.

He said there was actually a sustained real Gross National Product (GNP) increase from 1972 to 1977. Remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) were soaring high. Foreign investors benefited from the Martial Law as businesses were safeguarded. Rallies were prohibited, after all.

However, the bad repercussions of what Marcos called “constitutional authoritarianism” came alongside, which had made it harder for the common people. Campomanes claims that from 1970 to 1972 alone, which was even outside the Martial Law, inflationary rates were at 32 percent. 68,000 workers lost their jobs in 1983.

Marcos’s friends enjoyed the benefits. The administration passed laws which would kill their rival businesses. They were also always secured to get loans from the government.

“It was a historical wishful thinking that life was great during the time of Marcos,” Campomanes said.

Many years and six presidents after, new stories were framed pertaining to the Martial Law.

To some, the discourse of the era had been reduced to a tug of war of whether you are for the Marcoses or the Aquinos. Some would even convince their countrymen to just ‘move on’ from the atrocities it had caused, disregarding the accountabilities that have not yet dawned upon the victims.

For Chua and Campomanes, it is in this light that the study of history should go beyond memorizing dates and names and places. It is exactly in issues like this where a sense of history could guide its nation to progress or doom.

“We have to face our past no matter how painful it is… Kaya tayo minumulto ng isyu ng pagpapalibing kay Marcos at umabot na tayo sa punto na parang tayo pa ang nahihiya sa kanila,” Campomanes said.

Although there is no shortage of books and references on the Martial Law era, the country still lacks monuments and memorials for the many who were killed and disappeared.

A high school student will less likely see a picture of the dauntless Edgar Jopson talking to Marcos in Malacañang, asking him not to run again for office. Lorena Barros will not ring a bell as much as a fellow great Filipina warrior like Gabriela Silang does.

The epilogue of the story, which is whether the Marcos burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani will materialize or not, will tell so much on where this country has gone so far, decades after singing “Bayan Ko” with clenched fists raised to show the world that freedom was worth fighting for.

Much like history repeating itself, a change again can bring forth life or death, closures or even more unanswered questions.

UP MBT breaks three-game losing streak against UE

by John Remil Isaga

After suffering three straight losses to open Season 79, the UP Fighting Maroons Men’s Basketball Team are finally back on the win column after a 75-71 victory over the winless UE Red Warriors.

It was a battle of scoring runs to open the first half. After UE shot out of warm-ups with a 13-3 run, UP answered with a run of their own to close out the quarter with only a three-point deficit, 19-16, thanks to key baskets by UP returnee Kyles Lao and co-captain Jett Manuel.

UP carried on its momentum to the second quarter with a barrage of threes from Manuel. At one point, the Maroons led by ten, 29-19, after trailing by ten in the first. However, sticking true to its name as the Warriors, UE launched a 16-3 run courtesy of its scrappy sophomore guard Bonbon Batiller. At the half, UE led 37-34.

The third quarter showed why these two teams are evenly matched, as they played tug-of-war with the lead. UP showcased its trademark perimeter shooting paired with Paul Desiderio’s relentless slashing. Meanwhile, the scrappy cagers from Sampaloc employed its terrifying pressure defense, making a simple inbound of the ball and crossing half-court tall task for the Maroons.

More lead trading occurred in the final frame until the final two minutes. Momentum swung back to the Diliman-based ballers as reserve guard Jarrell Lim buried a three, as the lead rose to 71-69 in favor of the Maroons. Sensing a possible win, the UP bench and fans alike jumped out of their seats in excitement – in stark contrast to the first three games.

The incoming win became more apparent as Manuel and swingman Dave Moralde played unfazed and sank crucial free-throws like they were only for practice. UE could only watch as the clock ran out while Desiderio jumped to embrace Coach Bo Perasol, who has now earned his first coaching victory for his alma mater.

Happy as Manuel may be, he also noted that at the end of the day, they have ten games to go.

“We were down three games and with this being my final year in UP, it was very frustrating, so medyo emotional ‘yung win na ‘to,” said the fifth-year shooting guard. “I still know that there are ten games left. We have a long way to go. It’s just a hump that we needed to get over.”

Coming off his controversial post-game comments after the loss to UST, Desiderio was satisfied that his teammates stepped up.

Ngayong laro, sobrang saya ko na napalabas namin yung gigil namin. Sana magtuluy-tuloy,” said the third-year guard/forward.

Manuel aend Desiderio led the Maroons with 17 points apiece. Desiderio also grabbed ten rebounds en route to a double-double finish. Morald chipped in 13 points in only 19 minutes of action. UP’s rookie Javier Gomez de Liano added seven points after scoring 15 against UST. Co-captain Andrew Harris contributed four points and a season-high ten rebounds and three steals.
UP will next face the defending champion FEU Tamaraws this Sunday, 2 PM at the Araneta Coliseum.

UP MBT breaks three-game losing streak against UE

by John Remil Isaga

After suffering three straight losses to open Season 79, the UP Fighting Maroons Men’s Basketball Team are finally back on the win column after a 75-71 victory over the winless UE Red Warriors.

It was a battle of scoring runs to open the first half. After UE shot out of warm-ups with a 13-3 run, UP answered with a run of their own to close out the quarter with only a three-point deficit, 19-16, thanks to key baskets by UP returnee Kyles Lao and co-captain Jett Manuel.

UP carried on its momentum to the second quarter with a barrage of threes from Manuel. At one point, the Maroons led by ten, 29-19, after trailing by ten in the first. However, sticking true to its name as the Warriors, UE launched a 16-3 run courtesy of its scrappy sophomore guard Bonbon Batiller. At the half, UE led 37-34.

The third quarter showed why these two teams are evenly matched, as they played tug-of-war with the lead. UP showcased its trademark perimeter shooting paired with Paul Desiderio’s relentless slashing. Meanwhile, the scrappy cagers from Sampaloc employed its terrifying pressure defense, making a simple inbound of the ball and crossing half-court tall task for the Maroons.

More lead trading occurred in the final frame until the final two minutes. Momentum swung back to the Diliman-based ballers as reserve guard Jarrell Lim buried a three, as the lead rose to 71-69 in favor of the Maroons. Sensing a possible win, the UP bench and fans alike jumped out of their seats in excitement – in stark contrast to the first three games.

The incoming win became more apparent as Manuel and swingman Dave Moralde played unfazed and sank crucial free-throws like they were only for practice. UE could only watch as the clock ran out while Desiderio jumped to embrace Coach Bo Perasol, who has now earned his first coaching victory for his alma mater.

Happy as Manuel may be, he also noted that at the end of the day, they have ten games to go.

“We were down three games and with this being my final year in UP, it was very frustrating, so medyo emotional ‘yung win na ‘to,” said the fifth-year shooting guard. “I still know that there are ten games left. We have a long way to go. It’s just a hump that we needed to get over.”

Coming off his controversial post-game comments after the loss to UST, Desiderio was satisfied that his teammates stepped up.

Ngayong laro, sobrang saya ko na napalabas namin yung gigil namin. Sana magtuluy-tuloy,” said the third-year guard/forward.

Manuel aend Desiderio led the Maroons with 17 points apiece. Desiderio also grabbed ten rebounds en route to a double-double finish. Morald chipped in 13 points in only 19 minutes of action. UP’s rookie Javier Gomez de Liano added seven points after scoring 15 against UST. Co-captain Andrew Harris contributed four points and a season-high ten rebounds and three steals.
UP will next face the defending champion FEU Tamaraws this Sunday, 2 PM at the Araneta Coliseum.

Beyond Retrospect: Resisting the remnants of martial law

By Arianne Christian Tapao

“Hinahanap ko ang buhay ng mag-aaral, ang kaluluwa ng inosenteng mamamayan na binalot ng takot, kahit ang buto at laman ng taong minsang nawala.”

A woman speaks with striking authority, as tragic tales of oppression—killings, anti-student policies, labor—flash in the listeners’ minds. Other women join her, together they speak: “Hinahanap ko, hinahanap ko.”

In another, a woman begins, grieving: “Ganito ba ‘yung nais na pagsulong? ‘Yung mismong gobyerno pumapatay sa kanyang mga tao?”

The crowd gives a round of applause for both, but not before staring in awe.

Filling the air with both calming and revolutionary music, spoken poetry and vocal declarations of unity in “Overthrowback Tuesday,” was how around 100 student activists commemorated the eve of Martial Law’s 44th anniversary at the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman.

“Ipapakita natin na sama-sama tayong kumikilos,” said Alay Sining President Patrice Valero. The progressive group was the main organizer of the event held at the Palma Hall lobby.

On several occasions, it was here – on the Palma Hall steps, to be exact – that the UP community stood ground against former President Ferdinand Marcos, who had signed Proclamation No. 1081 on Sept. 21, 1972 declaring military government.

Prior, the Palma Hall witnessed the Diliman Commune of 1971, when 12th UP President Salvador Lopez urged UP community to unite and stop military forces from coming into the university.

Fearing history may repeat itself, activist groups believe it relevant now more than ever to look back at the Marcosian regime.

The university president today, Alfredo Pascual, earns the ire of student leaders, who say he is employing anti-student policies.

Earlier yesterday, a forum on the electronic UP system project (eUP Project) was organized by the UP College of Mass Communication (UP-CMC), wherein several speakers lambasted Pascual who said UP will not junk it despite overwhelming criticisms.

“We expect that as we report these [protest actions], they will cast doubt,” said Student Regent (SR) Raoul Manuel, who based the expectations on the past actions of the Board of Regents (BOR).

But Manuel said he will present more reasons as to why the eUP system should be abolished in the next BOR meet.

Zooming out in the national level, the groups also slammed President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration for resorting to extrajudicial killings on alleged drug pushers and dependents rather than abiding by due process, said Valero.

“Our human rights continue to be violated to suppress our dissent,” activist groups said in a statement, citing farmers who were killed fighting for genuine agrarian reform in Nueva Ecija.

Moves to bury Marcos’s remains at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani in Taguig City have created a divide among critics and supporters, the leading of them being Duterte himself, who ordered the burial to take place.

Had the Supreme Court not ruled a one-month burial extension, he would have been buried last Sunday.

“Ito ay matinding pambabastos sa makasaysayang papel ng mga Iskolar ng Bayan na lumaban para sa ating mga karapatan,” said Anakbayan chair Kenji Muramatsu, speaking before the audience.

The groups said the events now are no different to those during martial law. Said Valero: “Kung titingnan mo siya sa panahon ngayon, hindi siya nalalayo sa kinakaharap nating isyu.”

It is because of these issues that University Student Council councilor Shari Oliquino said mobilizing the student body has become a pressing need now more than ever.

In the College of Fine Arts, she said several students staged a protest action demanding for the local administration to return student privileges because as of now, they are prohibited to stay in school grounds later than 6 p.m.

The result: The administration threatened to let the UP Diliman Police and Special Services Brigade be involved, said Oliquino.

“Gayunpaman, hindi tayo titigil doon,” she maintained. “Kaya tayo nagkakaroon ng mas malawakang protest para mas maunawaan tayo.”

Indeed, the councilor and Rise for Education Alliance convenor was proud to say they have clinched seven deans to approve of the university-wide walkout of classes to happen tomorrow—the culmination of the three-day campaign made by the progressive groups.

Students should urge co-students to join these events, Oliquino said. “Kung hindi tayo sama-samang kumilos, hindi tayo magtatagumpay.”

Such was Gabby Endona, 18, who sang “Pula ang Kulay ng Pag-ibig,” while her boyfriend, Josh Guevarra, played the guitar during the cultural night.

She recalled her boyfriend’s first time attending a protest rally was when he came with her to a protest rally against the Socialized Tuition System, which activist groups denounce for being an “income-generating scheme.” Said Endona, “Simula nun, nag-aattend na rin siya sa mga event sa UPLB.”

As Himig Maskom president, Endona hopes events like this will happen more frequently.

“Isa rin ‘tong avenue para ma-express namin ang aming sarili,” she said. “Nakakakanta na kami, pero may relevance.”

Like the calm night before a raging storm, the solidarity event was meant to be a simple merrymaking for the audience for the walkout tomorrow, where the students along with other sectors are expected to march to Mendiola, Manila.

But even more, it has also become an avenue to prepare the would-be marchers of tomorrow for a long day ahead.

From mournful expositions to the rallying songs everyone joined in chanting, Overthrowback Tuesday has become a reminder that indeed, as the lyrics of the song goes, “Ma-disperse man sa Mendiola,” the activist groups will always have each other like they did four decades ago.

This story originally appeared in Tinig ng Plaridel’s third print issue released Sept. 21, 2016 in time with the 44th anniversary of former President Ferdinand Marcos’s declaration of Martial Law. 

(In)Visible light: Unheard voices in the spectrum of diversity

By Andrea Jobelle Adan

As dusk began to settle and shadows came to life, Diliman remained animated, its sidewalks littered with rainbow flags, banners, tarps, people marred with rainbow art.

That, and liberation.

But whose?

Unabashed in his wig, dress and high heels, University Student Council (USC) Chairperson Bryle Leaño expressed that the liberation of the Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgenders, Queers, Intersex, and Asexuals (LGBTQIA) would include addressing class struggle and discrimination.

Steps have been taken to address the latter, such as House Bill 5687, also known as the Anti-Discrimination bill, making a comeback in this 17th Congress after 16 rejections since its creation.

“We have to share more stories. Or else the congress is going to ask why the public isn’t clamoring over the issue,” Dinagat Islands Representative Kaka Bag-ao, one of the principal authors of the bill, implored during the HIV forum last Sept. 15 at the UP College of Law.

Yet, notably, in the bill’s definition of sexual orientation, there had been no nod towards the asexual umbrella as they were not mentioned at all in the entire bill.

Asexuals, in the most general sense, do not experience sexual attraction. They are often confused for being celibate, giving the erroneous notion that asexuality is a choice.

According to Vince Liban, one of Pride week’s key coordinators, the bill aims “to prevent discrimination regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.” To drive the point, he called it “anti-discrimination for all of humanity.” Leaño’s opinion mimics this tune as well.

The question then is: In this dire to attempt to share more stories, is every voice being heard?

Do we truly see each color of the rainbow’s critical role in the whole picture?

Sin Posadas knows this crisis to be a thing of the past. A demisexual herself, being part of the asexual umbrella introduced her to the many treatments people who called themselves “ace,” “gray-ace,” or “demi” received.

Being demisexual means feeling the sexual pull only after a deep bond has been established with another person.

“Ang stigma dati is that asexuals shouldn’t even be considered part of the spectrum due to the nature of the definition of the word “sexuality.” Bakit daw isasama ang “asexual” doon, when asexuals barely feel sexual attraction, if at all,” Posadas said in an online interview.

Given the nature of the anti-discrimination bill, as well as the contents of Outrage magazine and Rainbow Rights Philippines’ Media Reference Guide, her seemingly outdated knowledge on the asexual struggle may continue to hold merit.

The Media Reference Guide, though aware of its contents probable inaccuracy, only includes heterosexuals, homosexuals and bisexulas under its definition of sexual orientation.

“It’s hard to be inclusive kapag hindi mo alam ang full picture,” Posadas said. But more than obliviousness, some groups continue to treat asexuality with malice.

Sites whose credibility are often questioned but retain popular to most like Psychology Today, still treat being asexual as a disorder, caused by horrendous and superbly dramatic experiences, lack of attention, or psychological problems.

This and Posadas’ experiences seem every bit the gay-gets-drowned-to-change narrative, except here they aren’t asking you to change, they’re denying your existence, your narrative, altogether.

In the Philippines, mass media repeatedly brings to the fore the question, “does asexuality exist?”

Discussion of the orientation ranges from this seemingly harmless question to the notion that perhaps people who claim to be asexual are “broken.” After all, some deduce, sex is an absolute human desire that must be credited for the expansion of life.

UP Psychology Society member Mariel Cunanan, however, argued that though unusual to some, asexuality must cease to be called the “sexual desire disorder”. Labels like these put people who identify under the orientation under even more discrimination.

Just as Posadas explained, it all came down to information.

Pride march first-timer Aly Sulaik, her eyes alight with both curiosity and the Pride party’s strobe lights, admitted she had no idea what being demisexual meant. The Public Administration sophomore also said she believed asexuals were receiving less attention than other members of the party.

Posadas, an alumni of the UP College of Mass Communication, has had to answer a lot of inquiries and assumptions on demisexuality, making up for what she believed to be a “striking indifference” towards asexuality and demisexuality.

She recalled one instance when a friend of hers invited her to walk around a campus to search for her “type”, insisting that Posadas was capable of being attracted at first sight.

“I proved her wrong, instead. Napagod lang siya sa kakalakad,” she recounted.

People inject their own beliefs for each time she tries to explain. She has been called old-fashioned and sapiosexual. She has been toured by her friends, each one attempting to quickly ignite an attraction in whoever man or woman by pointing them out.

All attempts ended in the bin.

“It meant nothing to me,” Posadas said. “If my past relations and attractions are anything to go by, then I’m pretty sure that my demisexuality is real.”

In the Philippines, men who have gone off to remain bachelors are degradingly called “paminta”, while women who stay single are either good-for-nothing women, or presumably lesbian.

Earnest learning, and not mere assumptions, Posadas believes, is what this society needs.

She asked, “What are these labels [worth] if we do not fully understand what they stand for and what they mean to each other?”

Since time immemorial, the struggles of the queer community have been considered as a fight fought by what is considered the minority. Even with the debunking of the misconception that heterosexuality is not equivalent with the terms “normal” and “majority”, unheard voices still reside within the queer community.

As children we were asked to memorize red-orange-yellow-green-blue-indigo-violet, and they made us call it the rainbow. Now, it has become vital to understand the shades in between. And maybe then, finally, we land a step closer to liberation.

UP WBT goes 0-4 in thriller versus UST

By John Remil Isaga

In what was no less than a tooth-and-nail contest, the UP Lady Maroons fell to the UST Tigresses, 80-73, at the Araneta Coliseum, Saturday, 8 AM.

For the first two quarters, the Lady Maroons pummelled the Tigresses in the post as they jumped to a 42-35 lead at the half.

However, UST’s Shanda Anies provided the spark the Tigresses needed, scoring 11 points within the game’s first four minutes.

The early scoring explosion for UP was led by the twin towers of Christine Aliermo and Lourdes Ordoveza, while point guard Daphne Esplana and team captain Maria Wong facilitated the offense. They were responsible for a 13-4 run in the second quarter and held UST scoreless for over five minutes.

UST brushed off the first-half beating and came back roaring with more perimeter shots, forcing UP to burn timeout after timeout as the lead slowly vanished. Esplana, however, reigned in the Tigresses as she sank nine straight points off three three-pointers.

Both teams amped up the intensity in the final period as they started to trade leads off buckets and defensive stops. Six out of the game’s 11 lead changes were recorded in the fourth quarter alone. Frustration steamed from both benches as neither team was able to take control.

However, fatigue caught up with the Diliman-based ballers as they repeatedly gave away possessions and failed to convert crucial free-throws.

Anies did them no favors as she sank threes whenever UP got back within striking distance of España’s pride.

In the end, UST broke free and got their largest lead of the game as they sank free-throws off intentional fouls.

Ordoveza led the balanced effort with 17 points while Esplana chipped in 16. Aliermo and Wong both recorded double-doubles. However, Wong also had nine turnovers.

Jeanine Bautista was the lone Maroon who scored off the bench, tallying only five points off a woeful 2/12 shooting. On the other end, UST got 34 points from their reserves.

Anies fired off 23 points for the Tigresses with a staggering 7/13 clip from three-point range.

This loss would mark UP’s fourth straight to open Season 79. Their opponent for next Wednesday, Sept. 21, will be the Ateneo Lady Eagles at the Mall of Asia Arena.#

UPD student summit raises student mobilization success, collates student concerns

by Pathricia Ann Roxas & Krysten Mariann Boado

The Office of the Student Regent (OSR) together with the University Student Council (USC) tackled the success of the student movement during the Diliman Student Summit at GT Toyota Asian Center Auditorium, UP Diliman, Sept. 15.

In the USC’s report, Chairperson Bryle Leaño cited consultations on other school fees and org repression as well as mobilizations concerning political prisoners and summary killings among others as part of the Council’s agenda to defend democratic rights.

Meanwhile, SR Raoul Danniel Manuel mentioned privatization, the eUP Project, neoliberal curriculum reforms, and the selection of the next UP President as the concerns that would be brought up in the next Board of Regents Meeting.

“Kung hindi tayo kikilos ngayon, kailan pa? Kung hindi tayo, sino?” Leaño said, quoting former Philippine Collegian editor-in-chief Abraham Sarmiento, Jr.

“Dapat tayong kumilos para sa ating mga karapatan, hindi lamang para sa mga Iskolar ng Bayan na nandito sa pamantasan kung hindi para sa susunod na henerasyon ng kabataan na pinagkakaitan ng karapatan sa edukasyon,” he added.

Among those who attended the summit were UPD Chancellor Michael Tan and recently freed National Democratic Front of the Philippines consultants Benito and Wilma Tiamzon.

Benito Tiamzon had the opportunity to take the stage to emphasize the role of the youth in the ongoing peace negotiations and the armed struggle against the oppression of the Filipino masses.

He also thanked UP students for carrying on the militancy, which has been present a long time in the university’s student movement.

“Ang mga estudyante ng UP ay hindi lamang nagtutuon sa kanilang pag-aaral kung hindi pati rin sa mga pagsusulong ng mga demokratikong interes ng estudyante at lipunan at… may sapat na pag-iisip para mag-ukol ng pansin at panahon sa mga pundamental na isyu ng bayan ay tunay na pag-asa ng ating bayan,” Tiamzon said.

Later on during the summit, UPD students also raised their concerns such lab fees, org recognition and other school fees to the OSR.

These concerns will be forwarded by Student Regent Raoul Danniel Manuel at the selection of the next UP President.

The OSR annually holds student summits in all 15 UP units to consult and discuss the year-long campaigns of the office as well as the pressing local and national issues surrounding the university. —With reports from Paula Angeline Calayan

CoE, partners call for urgent PH industrialization

by Jeuel Barroso

Campaigning for economic self-sufficiency and nationalism, the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman College of Engineering (CoE) along with several organizations urged the immediate initiation of national industrialization in the country in “The Change We Need”, a forum held at the CoE auditorium, Sept. 15.

Experts from different fields tackled the country’s urgent need for national industrialization, citing massive importation, unfinished land reforms and lack of available technology as roadblocks to its activation.

“We really need to plan… we need capital goods… to pave the way for the country’s economic self-sufficiency and modernization of machinery,” Advocates of Science and Technology for the People (AGHAM) Chairperson Dr. Giovanni Tapang said.

Meanwhile, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) Secretary General Renato Reyes tackled the relevance of national industrialization to the ongoing peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

“It’s basic and fundamental that we should be able to acquire the agrarian reform and national industrialization because it is the grounding means of the country’s development,” Reyes said, urging the audience to support the ongoing peace process.

According to Reyes, the peace talk on Oct. 6 to 10  will discuss agrarian reform and rural development, national industrial and economic development, and environmental protection and rehabilitation.

“President Duterte believes that the revolution cannot be resolved with war. It must be through negotiation to know the root cause of the war, which is the social exploitation and abuse of the Filipino people,” Reyes said.

 

‘For the Filipino people’

Addressing the current economic situation of the country that hinders industrialization, Tapang said there is a lack of basic industries and programs for industrialization as well as unavailability of machineries for continuous manufacturing in the Philippines’s industrial sector.

He also discussed the problem of massive importation by local companies, saying the country’s research and development capacities are not utilized to their potential.

“What’s the sense if we are able to produce day-to-day products but a large part of it is imported?” Tapang said.

“If companies will continue to import ready-made products, what use is there for the country’s engineers and scientists?” he added.

Meanwhile, Rafael Hidalgo, vice president for corporate development of SteelAsia Manufacturing Corp., pointed out that the top obstacle Philippine industrial companies face is that businesses prefer imported products over local manufacturing because they are more available and easier to obtain.

“How do they do it? Powerful traders and influence peddlers relax importation rules in the name of trade facilitation,” Hidalgo said.

According to him, other means of this trend include the allowance of substandard steel, red tapes, smuggling, and fly-by-night or un-registered manufacturing.

The SteelAsia vice president also stated the steel-producing process available in the country lacks the required equipment that links raw materials to finished products.

SteelAsia is one of the leading steel manufacturing companies in the Philippines, specializing in the product called rebar, which is but one of the numerous steel commodities made and available in other countries.

Consequently, in a global comparison statistics presented by Hidalgo during the forum, the Philippines ranked 50th in production among steel-manufacturing countries.

However, despite these hindrances, Hidalgo stated that SteelAsia continues to support local manufacturing industries such as construction and, hopefully in the future, shipbuilding.

As for the agricultural sector, Tapang said it needs the long call for proper reform with the modernization of its technology.

“It seems that the more basic problem [in line with modernization of farming] is that our farmers have no stewardship with the land that they farm,” Tapang said.

“They have a feudal relationship with their landlords. They are not able to exercise the full potential of their abilities as farmers and the technology they can use,”  he added.

Furthermore, Tapang emphasized that the vision of national industrialization is for the country to have the technical capacity to build life industries that will provide the Filipino people with day-to-day needs.

“National Industrialization is not really just for the industry,” he said. “It’s for the Filipino people,”