UP falters against Adamson, slides to fifth place

Photo by Cleverlyn Mayuga

Text by Selina Jo Paredes

After surviving a late game thriller against the Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws, the University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons failed to overcome the Adamson University (AdU) Soaring Falcons, 70-86, today at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Maroons were plagued by foul trouble all throughout the game. The Soaring Falcons had a huge advantage in the charity stripe, hitting 25-of-28 free throws while UP only had 8-of-10.

Both teams went back and forth in the first frame with all of UP’s starters contributing a bucket, but careless defense made the Soaring Falcons a frequent visitor on the stripe.

Despite this, State U managed to keep their opponents at bay by being down just a point at the end of one, 17-18.

UP committed an early turnover in the second frame, but Maroon Kyles Lao secured a jumper to give State U their second lead, 19-18.

State U found themselves once more in the penalty late in the second and failed to fend an onslaught from Soaring Falcon Papi Sarr late in the frame. At the half, UP trailed by eight points, 31-39.

It was all Adamson in the third as they went on a scorching 13-0 run, leading by as much as 19 until UP skipper Paul Desiderio broke the Maroons’ scoring drought by shooting a pair of free throws. UP ended the quarter down, 50-69.

Determined to get back in the game, State U sparked a 10-0 run early in the fourth led by Desiderio, Gomez de Liano and Jun Manzo to narrow the gap within eight, 66-74.

However, UP could not overcome their cold shooting as they were nailed to 66 points in the closing minutes of the fourth.

In a last ditch effort, Jaboneta made both free throws and Gelo Vito made a bucket to end the game, 70-86.

“I was looking for a reason what numbers they were ahead of… I saw that they attempted 28 free throws out of our 10. It may say a lot about how badly [we] defended because ang dami naming fouls.” UP Head Coach Bo Perasol said on the disparity of free throws in the game.

Three Maroons scored in double figures with Desiderio leading the way with 20 points followed by Manzo with 15, and Javi Gomez De Liano packaged the double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Papi Sarr led the way for Adamson with 25 points and 17 boards.

Dropping to fifth place with a 5-7 record, UP will go up against the still undefeated Ateneo Blue Eagles in a crucial game this Wednesday to stay in contention.

Sown In Solidarity

Photo by Jobelle Adan

Text by Agatha Gregorio

You reap what you sow.

The words ring a sense of familiarity in most people’s ears, but it is nothing but cruel humour for the Filipino farmer. 40-year old Adelfa Alvarez toils everyday for her harvest, bending under the scorching heat of the sun as a coconut farmer in Camarines Sur. In exchange, she earns an average of P2,000 every three months.

P14,250 is the current daily minimum wage in the capital, a far cry from Alvarez’s average profit in a month, being P667. With the Philippines being a dominantly agricultural nation, one would think that farmers would be given more priority and financial security, or at the very least, rights.

This is only one of the many pleas she, along with farmers from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao have been forwarding in the “Kampuhang Magsasaka sa Department of Agrarian Reform” that happened on Tuesday.

The event was merged with a Grand Solidarity Night, organized by the Kilusang Mambubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) to showcase their advocacies with performances from musicians and dancers alike.

Alvarez, a member of Gabriela Women’s Party, has been joining the collective protests for five years now. She still fights against the same repressive policies against Filipino farmers.

Some farmers are burdened with having their lands and harvest taken from them. Abellardo Delos Reyes, a 39-year old farmer since he was 12 years old, joined the protests for the first time, having experienced the struggle of having what he had sown and harvested taken away from him. Retaliation, however, came at the expense of people’s lives.

“Maraming namamatay dito sa amin, dahil kinukuha nila ang niyugan. Ninanakaw nila. Ang gustong sabihin namin ay ibalik sa amin. Kawawa naman kaming magsasaka. (Many people die here in our area because they take the land from us. They steal it. What we ask for is that they return it to us. As farmers, we are unfortunate.)” Delos Reyes said.

A sign of refuge came in the form of a man who, like them, also knew what struggles and injustices farming in the country posed. He was appointed for a position that could have changed farmers’ lives, even having engaged in free land distribution with at least 300 titles given to farmers during his term.

Rafael “Ka Paeng” Mariano, the former Chairman of KMP and former Secretary of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), was recognized for his strong passion towards genuine agrarian reform for farmers. On Sept. 27, he was rejected by the Commission on Appointments, much to the disappointment of most Filipino farmers.

Additionally, there have been talks of junking a number of the administrative orders he had issued during his term, namely those that have been of great assistance to local farmers.

However, Mariano still trusts in the department’s ability to implement policies addressing farmers’ concerns with integrity, saying, “Ipaglalaban nila ang patuloy na pag-iiral at masugid at malaganap na pagpapatupad ng mga sabing mga mahahalagang DAR administrative orders and issuances na aking pinirmahan at inilabas sa panahon ng aking mahigit isang taong panunungkulan bilang secretary ng DAR. (They will fight for the continued existence and strong and pervasive implementation of the important DAR administrative orders and issuances that I have signed and released during my time of over a year being the secretary of DAR.)”  

Until their concerns have been entirely addressed, farmers continue to gather in the name of their rights, in hopes that the higher powers of the nation will hear and attend to their pleas. With colourful banners splayed out in a space of ardent expression for the significance of activism, the Grand Solidarity Night stood for a variety of advocacies, written out in paint, saying, “Stop tyranny!”, “End Martial Law!” and “Stop killing farmers!”

Having seen students and other members of the youth partaking in the activities, current KMP Chairman, Danilo Ramos expressed gratitude in the increasing awareness among Filipinos about the plight of farmers.

“Ang usapin sa lupa at reporma sa lupa at pambansang industriyalisasyon ay isyu ng taong bayan, (The issue of land reform and national industrialization is an issue of the Philippine people.)” he said, regarding the significance of the farmers’ struggles and call for collective action.

The national farmers’ struggle remains prevalent, as they continue to be deprived of land, and their labour consequently fails to translate to earnings, to reaping.

Still, there is a glimmer of hope reminiscent in the collective people’s march towards the equal treatment of national farmers.

“Naniniwala kami na magtatagumpay ang nakikibakang mambubukid. Magtatagumpay ang nakikibakang mamamayan para sa lupa, para sa pambansang kalayaan at demokrasya sa ating bayan. (We believe that the farmers in protest will succeed. The people in protest will succeed for land, for national freedom, and democracy in our country.)” Ramos said.

And oftentimes, it is the sowing of unified ideology that reaps the most bountiful of harvests.

Silakbo ng panawagan

Kuha ni Mikee Garcia
Panulat nina Jobelle Adan at Red Carao

Hindi na bagong tanawin sa Quezon City Circle ang parada ng pula’t dilaw. Gabi-gabi, maaaninag ang dagat ng pulang bituin sa kalsada dahil sa humaharurot na mga dyip at daan-daang mga kotse. Dadaan, aalis.

Ngunit isang gabi, dala ang nag-aalab na mga panawagan, pininta ng mga magsasaka ang QC Circle ng pula ng mga sulo. Bawat apoy, isang bituin. Bawat mukha, isang kwento ng pakikibaka. At nitong Lunes, dinala nila ang libo-libong mga kwentong ito sa Maynila para maghayag ng iisang mensahe:

Patuloy man ang pagtalikod sa kanila ng estado, hindi nila isusuko ang paglaban para sa lupa at karapatan.

“Sa araw na ito, libo-libong mga magsasaka, agricultural workers, mga sakada, peasant women, mga mangingisda, maralitang lungsod… Determinado tayong isulong ang ating laban hanggang sa tagumpay,” pambungad na mensahe ni Danilo Ramos, tagapangulo ng Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas.

Kasama rin ni Ramos ang iba pang tagapangulo ng iba’t ibang sektor sa agrikultura upang ipakita ang iisa nilang panawagan sa tinaguriang Lakbay Magsasaka. Dito, nagtipon ang mga magsasaka mula sa iba’t ibang rehiyon ng bansa, pinagkaisa ng iisang panawagan para sa lupa’t hanapbuhay.

Binubuo ng maraming sektor ang Lakbay Magsasaka tulad na lamang ng kabataan, mangingisda’t kababaihan.

“Kung hindi kikilos ang kababaihan, hindi pwedeng magtagumpay ang anumang kilos sa kanayunan,” paalala ni Zen Soriano, tagapungulo ng Amihan, pambansang kilusan ng kababaihang magsasaka.

Lumalaki ang panawagan para sa pagkakaisa, hindi lamang dahil sa patuloy na pang-aapi sa uring magsasaka, kundi dahil na rin sa tahasang pagbingi-bingihan ng estado.

“Nagpatawag nga ng dayologo itong si OIC Rosalino Bistoyong, ang pumalit kay Ka Paeng (Mariano),” anunsyo ni Jun mula KMP, “Pero hindi nila isinali ang organisasyon ng Kilusang Magbubukid sa Pilipinas at yung mga kasamahan natin sa Mindanao na mahigit isang linggo nang nagkakampuhan dito sa harapan ng DAR.”

Si Secretary Bistoyong ang pumalit kay Rafael ‘Ka Paeng’ Mariano nang ito’y tanggalin ng Commission of Appointments sa pwesto niya bilang kalihim ng DAR.

Mindanao ang may pinakamalaking ambag sa produksyon ng coconut, mais, saging, at iba pang pananim na madalas ilabas sa bansa, ayon sa Philippine Statistics Office. Hindi magiging posible ito kung wala ang libo-libong magsasaka sa rehiyon.

Dagdag pa ni Jun, pinag-uusapan raw sa DAR ngayon kung papaano matatanggal ang mga administrative order na tinakda ni dating DAR Secretary Mariano, ang kauna-unahang secretary na nanggaling sa hanay ng mga magsasaka.

Liban pa sa kawalan ng lupa, dala dala ring panawagan sa Lakbay Magsasaka ang pagpapatigil ng walang habas na pagpatay sa mga lider magsasaka sa kanayunan, na nangunguna sa laban para sa kanilang mga batayang karapatan.

Iniulat ng Karapatan, isang organisasyong pangkarapatang pantao, na 91 na ang mga magsasakang napapaslang sa ilalim ng administrasyong Duterte.

Isa si Rose Lammawing sa mga magsasakang naglakabay mula sa kanilang probinsya patungo sa Maynila. Siya ay kalihim ng Innabuyog, isang organisasyon ng mga babaeng magsasaka sa Kalinga, Cordillera.

Sa kanilang lugar, talamak ang pagpatay sa mga diumano’y drug suspect, ngunit ang pinupuntirya naman ay puro magsasaka. ‘Di man sila nakararanas ng mismong presensya ng militar at pulis sa kanilang komunidad na sa ibang rehiyon ay pumipigil sa mga magsasaka na magorganisa, mayroon namang nabiktima na ng Oplan Tokhang sa kanilang lugar.

Dalawampung taon na si Lammawing sa Innabuyog, at sumali siya rito bilang isang ina na nakakaranas ng kawalan ng tulong mula sa gobyerno lalo na sa pagpapagamot at pagpapaaral ng kanyang mga anak.

“Kulang na kulang ang budget sa amin sa Kordilyera. Lalo na sa edukasyon. Kulang ang classroom at mga guro,” aniya. “Karamihan pa ng mga eskwelahan ay malalayo. Ilang oras ang nilalakad ng aming mga anak para lamang makapasok.”

Nananatili ring luma ang proseso ng pagsasaka sa Kordilyera, ani Lammawing. Wala silang ginagamit na modernong kagamitan, at sariling lakas lamang ang nagtataguyod ng produksyon sa kanilang lugar. Mataas din raw masyado ang halaga ng pangsaka nila’t mababa naman ang presyo ng kanilang produkto.

Ganoon pa man, tuloy lamang raw sila sa kanilang pag-alpas at pagtuligsa sa binging estado. Hanggang sa tagumpay.


UP struggles anew, falls short against UE

Photo by Keith Magcaling

Text by Luisa Morales

With reports from Bei Zamora

It was another sorry Sunday for the Diliman community.

The University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons failed to get back on the win column, losing against seventh-seed University of the East (UE), 64-73 in the UAAP Men’s Basketball Tournament at the FilOil Flying V Centre, Sunday.

UE skipper Alvin Pasaol was hot from the get-go, opening the game with back-to-back threes to give the Red Warriors a quick 6-0 lead.

State U managed to get on the scoreboard with a bucket from Maroon center Ibrahim Ouattara, his only field goal in the game. Outtara spent most of his time on the bench after committing three personal fouls early in the game.

A tough start for the Diliman offense would leave them struggling to score throughout the first frame. At the end of the opening period, UP was down 13-21.

Come the second quarter, UP rookie Juan Gomez de Liano sparked the team’s offense with two treys in a row.

A bucket from fellow rookie Jun Manzo and another from Juan gave the Maroons their first lead at 23-21.

But the lead would be short lived. After UP’s scorching run to start the quarter, UE answered back with a 15-5 rally to lead the Diliman team 36-28 at the half.

After receiving a much-needed wake up call during half time, the Maroon offense once again came alive in the third canto.

Both the Maroons and Warriors traded buckets during the period, with neither team pulling away too far. UP only trailed by one, 47-48 with one quarter to go.

During the final quarter, Pasaol once again started hot with six straight points. Another bucket from the Red Warriors stretched their lead to nine, 57-48.

Despite efforts from Gomez de Liano brothers Javi and Juan to propel UP back in the game, UE’s offense proved too strong to overcome.

Combining for 39 points, the Gomez de Liano brothers proved to be the only bright spot for UP with Juan scoring a career-high 22 markers while Javi contributed 17.

It was a dismal outing for UP’s starters, with the starting five contributing a combined 17 points. State U’s go-to-man skipper Paul Desiderio was held to eight while starting guard Jun Manzo settled for seven.

Meanwhile, Pasaol scored a game-high 32 points on 11/21 shooting while Mark Olayon contributed 11 for the Warriors.“We have to address our reliance on mostly Jun and Paul.… I don’t think that any one or two [players] can give us a chance to really go up another level,” UP head coach Bo Perasol said after the game.

Perasol lamented his team’s character, citing struggles about discovering who they are and what they can achieve as a team.

“It’s definitely a work in progress but we’re not going to stop… I told them that I’m not going to give up on them… We have so much work to do in those four games,” Perasol added.

UP will face tough match-ups during the final stretch of the second round, going up against teams like the undefeated Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) Blue Eagles and season hosts Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws.

The Fighting Maroons fall to a 4-6 record. Due to the quotient rule, UP stands at sixth place in the standings below National University’s identical 4-6 slate.

Mbala grounds Desiderio, powers DLSU against UP

Photo by Maegan Gaspar

Text by Denver Del Rosario

The University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons suffered another setback at the hands of De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Archers, 62-85, today in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

The Maroons failed to repeat its first round victory over the Archers, who played amazing offense and defense from the get-go.

DLSU was successful in having big man Ben Mbala defend UP skipper Paul Desiderio, who only registered seven points and a dismal 15% shooting success rate.

The Diliman team started strong in the opening salvo with Jarrell Lim and Javi Gomez de Liano scoring from downtown to take the lead, 9-4.

However, the Taft squad responded in the last few minutes with treys of their own, courtesy of returning player Aljun Melecio and Jolo Go who gave their team the lead, 24-14, to end the first quarter.

The Archers continued its rampage in the second canto, capitalizing on the Maroons’ turnovers and fouls. The Taft squad held a comfortable 24-point lead by halftime, 51-27, courtesy of Mbala’s charity shots and Ricci Rivero from inside the paint.

Jun Manzo tried to uplift the Diliman team with a 13-point blast in the third quarter. However, the deficit was too big as the Archers still held the driver’s seat, 65-45.

It was all downhill from the Maroons as DLSU maintained aggressive in their offense and defense.

Ibrahim Ouattara tried to do some last-minute heroics by registering eight points in the final frame, but the Archers ultimately went away with the game with a 23-point lead, marking UP’s biggest margin of loss this season.

Mbala and Ricci Rivero led the onslaught for the Taft squad with 27 and 20 points, respectively.

On the other hand, Manzo was the lone Maroon scoring double digits with 13 points, all from the third quarter.

UP coach Bo Perasol admitted the lack of drive from his team, especially in the first two quarters.

“You cannot have a chance against powerhouse DLSU if you don’t bring your best game.” Perasol said. “We weren’t able to shoot, and hindi talaga namin nagawan ng solusyon.”

Desiderio took blame for the loss as he was caught off guard with DLSU’s tactic of Mbala defending him.

“Pagdating nung second quarter, wala talaga akong choice kundi bantayan si Ben,” he said. “Napagod din ako.”

With the loss, UP rests at fifth place with a 4-5 win-loss record.

UP will attempt to go back to its winning ways against the University of the East Red Warriors on Sunday.

Maroon Smashers take home silver

Photo and text by Denver Del Rosario

The University of the Philippines (UP) Maroon Smashers ends their campaign with a 1st runner-up finish after bowing down to powerhouse National University (NU) in straight games, 0-3, today in Game 2 of the UAAP Season 80 men’s badminton finals.
En route to the finals, State U ended a drought against the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) Blue Shuttlers, defeating the Katipunan squad, 3-1 in the semis.
The Diliman squad lost Game 1 yesterday to the Bulldogs, 1-3. NU gets its fourth straight championship with a perfect 35-0 record.
Meanwhile the women’s team failed to take a comeback win against the De La Salle University (DLSU) Lady Shuttlers, 2-3 and trail 0-1 in the best of three finals.

Jaboneta catches fire, lifts UP past UST

Photo by Ally Sanga

Text by Luisa Morales

The University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons are finally back on the win column at the expense of still winless University of Santo Tomas (UST) Growling Tigers, 71-69, at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

Starting for the first time in his UAAP career, Fighting Maroon Janjan Jaboneta played flawlessly against the Espana squad. Jaboneta led the team with 12 points from 4/4 shooting from the three-point line.

It was another strong start for the Fighting Maroons, outscoring the Tigers 13-2 in the first two minutes of the match. But it seemed that UP’s offensive steam quickly ran out, only scoring a bucket in the remaining eight minutes of the period.

UST took advantage of this and went on a run of their own to lead UP, 17-15 at the end of the first.

Determined to ignite the Maroons’ offense once again, rookie Juan Gomez De Liano opened the second with a three to regain the lead, 18-17.

Both squads traded baskets and found themselves at 22-all, but a 9-0 explosive run by UP pulled them away to lead 31-22.

Stingy defense from the Diliman squad prevented the Tigers from catching up and ended the half leading by eight, 40-32.

After the half, UP’s offense didn’t falter. Despite efforts from UST to take the lead, State U still held a decent six-point lead with one quarter to go, 61-55.

Familiar with having difficulty in endgame, the Maroons made sure not to falter when it mattered the most. Tight defensive plays courtesy of Ibrahim Outtara and Paolo Romero would deny UST their first six field goals in the fourth.

But the Tigers weren’t going anywhere just yet. Foul trouble from the Maroons gave UST frequent trips to the foul line to keep them in the game.

A clutch three from UST’s Marvin Lee gave UP a scare, with the Maroons lead cut to one, 70-69 with eleven seconds to go.

Luckily for the Maroons, split free throws from Jun Manzo extended their lead to a couple, 71-69.

During the final possession, Lee heaved a hail mary three but couldn’t convert.

“We just wanted to get another win after the three loses we had, this is something that can at least perk us up, make us believe again that we can still do this” UP head coach Bo Perasol said after the game.

Overall, UP had an advantage in taking care of the ball. State U finished the game with only seven turnovers while the Tigers gave the ball away 23 times, with nine coming off Maroon steals.

Jaboneta led the Maroons with 12 while rookie Jun Manzo and skipper Paul Desiderio contributed 11 and 10 markers, respectively.

“Sobrang thankful ko lang kay coach na binigyan ako ng chance. It’s my first time to start sa UAAP career ko and di ko binigo si coach, binigay ko yung best ko” Jaboneta said.

Meanwhile Lee paced the Tigers with 17, Jorem Soriano following closely behind with 14 and Jordan Sta. Ana contributed 13.

UP improves their slate to 4-4 while UST remains winless after eight matches in the season.

State U looks to repeat their first round victory against the De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Archers when they face the defending champions on Sunday, Oct. 15.

UP loses third straight, falls short against NU

Photo by Cleverlyn Mayuga

Text by Luisa Morales

The University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons failed to end the first round on a high note, losing to the National University (NU) Bulldogs, 70-77, today at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena.

UP held the lead early in the first, courtesy of Maroon guard Diego Dario’s six points in the quarter.

Building off their momentum, State U’s offense continued to show in the second. The Diliman team had several chances to push the lead to double digits but settled for a nine point lead at halftime, 38-29.

The second half would spell trouble for UP. At the eight minute mark, Diliman Rookie Jun Manzo went down after NU Bulldog Issa Gaye accidentally stepped on his heel.

Manzo would eventually sit out the rest of the game. UP struggled after his exit but still managed to end the third within a trey’s reach, 53-56.

Despite State U’s hustle to get back in the fourth, UP could only manage a deadlock at 70-all with a minute and a half remaining.

The Bulldogs would eventually fire up a 7-0 run at the last minute to grab the win, 77-70.

Overall, it was a close game with 10 deadlocks and seven lead changes throughout the match.

Manzo’s injury left a big hole in the Maroons’ offense, only managing six points in 17 minutes. UP skipper Paul Desiderio led the squad with 15, followed by Dario contributing 11 points.

Javi Gomez de Liano had a good all around game with 10 points, 8 boards and 6 assists.

“He’s hurting right now. I’m just hoping he’ll be able to play in the next games because everybody knows that he’s going to be needed sa campaign namin,” UP head coach Bo Perasol said on Manzo after the game.

UP plummets to sixth place with a 3-4 record after the first round.

“Hindi pwedeng muntik na tayo manalo eh, we just have to find a way to get through that hump… It shouldn’t have been easy but we could’ve been 5-2 right now instead of 3-4,” Perasol lamented after losing two close games.

Despite a three-game losing streak to end the first round, Perasol remains hopeful going into the next set of games.

Medyo mapagpalaya: A “lesson” on hypocrisy and assertion

Inscribed on the very walls of the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication (UP CMC) are three words which for so long, the institution has fought for: midyang malaya at mapagpalaya.

A free press. One which liberates the people.

Time and again, the college’s studentry has proven itself to be outspoken and militant against the injustices which threaten the rights of the people, as well as that of the country’s future media practitioners. However, with recent developments curtailing the students’ democratic right to organize, CMC’s ideals as an institution are put on the line of questioning.

Packaged as a document listing guidelines dictating which student organizations are duly recognized by the college, the Faculty-Student Relations Committee (FSRC) manual obstructs CMC students from exercising their right to organize through measures such as the 15-member minimum requirement and the prohibition for freshmen to join these groups during their first semester.

This led to the dying out of organizations such as Filmmakers’ Guild of UP, UP Mass Communicators’ Organization and UP Aperture.

During a town hall meeting conducted last week, a Film Institute faculty member justified this phenomenon, citing it as the “life cycle” of organizations.

While these inhibiting regulations are strictly enforced by the administration, the college’s duties to the organizations which are also listed in the manual are often neglected, as is the case with the right to student spaces. Renovations in the college basement displaced student organizations such as the Union of Journalists of the Philippines – UP, UP Broadcasters’ Guild, Anakbayan Maskom, STAND UP CMC; including the college student council and Tinig ng Plaridel itself.

In protest of the CMC admin’s unwillingness to address dissent, CMC organizations withdrew their application for college-based registration, refusing to adhere to their fascist policies.

Instead of viewing the unified action as an indication of this view, the admin countered by imposing room reservation fees on CMC students themselves. Since free use of rooms are limited to college-based orgs, renting a classroom during weekdays now costs P250 per hour, while the CMC Auditorium costs P1,120 per hour during weekends.

The same admin welcomed officers from the Philippine National Police (PNP) into the college, supposedly for a communication skills workshop. Notwithstanding the 1989 agreement between the UP System and the Department of National Defense, the PNP is not allowed to enter university premises except for cases of emergency and hot pursuit.

These officers visited the college for a partnership proposal to teach them “communication skills”, an administration officer said earlier.

This is the same institution carrying out state-sponsored killings under the blanket of the campaign against drugs, all the while establishing even deeper the culture of impunity which CMC claims to fight against.

While some organizations in CMC organize and conduct media literacy workshops for students and communities nationwide, the CMC administration chooses not to extend support and instead exposes its priorities by offering a helping hand to the police force. To help the PNP communicate the injustices they commit is to help justify the blood they have on their hands.

These fascist attacks by the CMC admin should not, in any way, dilute the solidarity reached among the organizations, even though the admin itself consists of CMC alumni who have been part of the very organizations they are trying to suppress.

Instead, these actions should further bridge the students to fight against an institution hell bent on disregarding their rights.

Rattled as we are with what is happening within the college, something greater is afoot. All over the country, campus publications are being shut down or taken over by their respective college administrations; student activists are being harassed by police; national minorities, peasant leaders, and urban poor turn up dead everyday; and communities are being bombed.

Through his consolidation of political power and the wars he waged against his people such as War on Drugs, Oplan Kapayapaan, and martial law in Mindanao, the Duterte administration is actively cultivating conditions that make smothering the people’s rights easier, and these conditions have steadily made their presence known in our university.

The role of the media in times of ardent crises and blatant fascism is historic; our loyalty is to the people and our mandate is to keep the state in line. Moreover, time and time again it has been proven that when the youth brave the frontlines in times of turmoil, success is inevitable.

Now more than ever, students of mass communication and future media practitioners are called  to serve the people. Now is not the time to remain silent and complacent, especially as we are looking at darker times ahead.

The challenge now for the alagad ng midya is to be one with the Filipino people in their fight against a system that stifles the fight for freedom and rights, and to remain steadfast and militant in rejecting any form of repression inside and outside the college. For the alagad ng midya, there is no other path to take but the path of struggle— because ours is a just fight, and a just fight will always succeed.

UP loses thriller against Adamson

Photos by Cleverlyn Mayuga

Text by Luisa Morales

The Fighting Maroons got a taste of their own medicine.

The University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons suffered a heartbreaker at the hands of the Adamson University (AdU) Soaring Falcons, 71-73, today in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

Reminiscent of Paul Desiderio’s last second shot against the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Growling Tigers in their season opener, Soaring Falcon Sean Manganti dealt a fatal blow with a putback to give Adamson the lead with one second to go.

State U started the game strong, converting bucket after bucket to lead Adamson, 17-3. Stingy defense from the Maroon squad left the Falcons with only a single field goal until the four-minute mark of the first.

But Adamson slowly recovered, going back and forth with the Maroons. By the end of the first, UP held a nine-point lead, 25-16

It was all Adamson during the second frame, with Soaring Falcon Jerrick Ahanmisi scoring 17 markers single-handedly while the whole UP squad had 19.

The Maroons were holding onto a slim one-point lead, 44-43, courtesy of UP Rookie Lorenzo Battad’s first UAAP basket.

After the half, both teams exchanged blows to keep the game close. But the San Marcelino squad came out with a 3-point lead, 57-54, with one quarter to go.

Adamson continued to convert at the fourth, leading UP by as much as six. But State U wasn’t going away that easy.

The Diliman team caught up with a few baskets of their own and led by two, 67-65, despite skipper Desiderio failing to convert on an and-one opportunity.

No team could pull away. The game was in deadlock, 71-all with 22 seconds to go. But Adamson was able to convert with a Manganti putback to take the lead with a second left.

State U was unable to inbound the ball and lost the game, 71-73.

Desiderio and Jun Manzo paced the Maroons with 19 points each. Rookie Juan Gomez de Liano struggled all game, only scoring three points.

Despite the loss, UP head coach Bo Perasol focused on the positives of the game.

“We just have to pick up the good things about [the game] and find a way how we can get another win” Perasol said.

The UP coach commented on the team being unable to sustain a lead, losing a double-digit lead in the first period.

Perasol wanted his bench to step up after his starters, “I challenged the people coming off the bench… if I had a team that could sustain how we start, I can say for sure we’ll be in the final four.” He said.

The UP bench was outscored, 14-27 by Adamson’s reserves.

The loss puts UP with an even 3-3 slate. State U looks to fnish the first round strong in their match against National University (NU) on Sunday.

UP labor, transport groups question TRAIN bill implications

Photo by Cleverlyn Mayuga

Text by Kim Jem Muaña

Despite experts’ emphasis on its importance, the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman labor sector contended some provisions on the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) bill proposed by the Department of Finance (DOF).

TRAIN bill aims to reform the 20-year-old tax system. Under the DOF proposal, 99% of personal income taxpayers will be paying lower tax.

DOF Assistant Secretary Ma. Teresa Habitan talked about the tax reform bill as a priority of the Duterte administration in the Kapekonomiya forum held in the UP School of Economics last Thursday.

“The framework of the TRAIN really is an aspiration to give back money to the people, [specifically] those who are considered middle income groups,” she said.

Organized by UP School of Economics Student Council and UP Economics Towards Consciousness, Kapekonomiya was held to “inform students about the proposed TRAIN bill, give different perspectives on this proposed tax reform and give an opportunity for our audience to  come up with their own stand/opinion on the bill given,” according to Fiona Layson, convenor of Kapekonomiya.

However, the labor sector questioned the goals and implications of the said bill.

National Economic Protectionism Association (NEPA) Executive Director Kristina David said, “Noon pa, may problema na iyan kasi kinakargo ng mamamayang mahihirap ang mga taxes ng malalaking kompanya, diba, naipapasa lang naman iyan sa atin eh.”

National Executive Vice President of All UP Workers’ Union (AUPWU) Connie Marquina also stated that increase in tax collection would not necessarily mean well until wages [for government employees] have not increased to strike the balance.

Oil Excise Tax

Additionally,TRAIN also aims to increase excise tax on petroleum products and luxury cars.

According to the DOF proposal, oil prices will gradually increase by six pesos for three years. It will target the wealthiest citizens since the highest 10% taxpayers consume 51% of oil consumption.

“Kapag tumaas ang langis, lahat tataas. Ultimong asin tataas, kasi lahat yan gumagamit ng oil, pagtransport,” Marquina said.

David further stressed that oil excise tax increase would attack the livelihood of fishermen and farmers due to the high price of crude oil which fuels transportation costs essential to their source of income.

“Yung product nila to the market, higit sa doble ang transportation cost nila,” she added.

Mass transportation

DOF adapted to their proposal the Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) Modernization Program where jeepney units will be phased out and be replaced with electrically-powered jeepney engines or e-jeep.

Ikot jeepney driver Edwin Dela Cruz, 37, said that this program under the TRAIN bill will also be another burden to jeepney drivers.

“Kung kunwari, [five years rent to own] itong hawak ko, tapos wala pa sa kalahati yung naibabayad ko rito, bibigyan na naman nila ako ng panibagong utang. May utang na ako sa taong pinagkuhaan nito, tapos may utang pa ako sa gobyerno,” Dela Cruz said.

“Bago ka makapag-e-jeep dito, … hindi ko alam kung paano tatakbo ang e-jeep. Hindi pa nakarating sa kabilang kanto, wala na yung baterya [dahil sa traffic]…,” Marquina added.

According to the DOF website, PUV modernization, Pantawid Pasada and other programs were added by the department to mitigate the effects of the increase in oil excise tax.

Habitan said that jeepney passengers are exposed to danger with the old structure of the jeepneys.

“Kailangan natin ng PUV modernization. Kaya lang, maraming jeepney driver, mga operator, nagra-rally. Nagiistrike, diba? Ayaw nila ng pagbabago. And one wonders why they do not want to change,” Habitan said.

However, as direct stakeholders, jeepney drivers perceive the issue differently.

“Di naman pagbabago kasi gusto nila eh. Hindi naman pagbabago eh. Gusto nila yung electric agad. Mahirap naman kasi yung sinasabi nilang electric,” said Dela Cruz, who has been driving the Ikot route around the campus for almost 20 years now.

David agreed with the need for a tax reform but questioned its implementation. Whether it is progressive or not, she said, should be a big determining factor.

“Kailangan muna nilang siguruhin na ang basic necessity ay naibigay ng gobyerno bago sila magtaas.” Marquina said.

UP receives wake up call, blowout from FEU

Photo by Keith Magcaling

Text by Selina Jo Paredes

After a morale-boosting victory against defending champions De La Salle University, the University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons sputtered against the Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws, 59-78, today at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

State U’s offense fell quiet as FEU posted them to their season low in scoring and pushed their winning streak against the Maroons to 12, dating back to the second round of Season 74 of the UAAP.

UP opened the first frame by taking the early lead off a Juan Gomez De Liaño three-pointer, but Ron Dennison and Richard Escoto were quick to score back-to-back baskets to give FEU a one-point advantage, 4-3.

Paul Desiderio answered with a triple to give UP their second and final lead throughout the game as the Tamaraws continued to hound the Maroons with their relentless defense and ended the first up by 4, 14-18.

Come second frame, FEU was quick to take advantage of the hole in UP’s defense as they scored six unanswered points early in the quarter.

Late in the second, Desiderio scored what would be his last bucket of the game. At the end of the first half, the Diliman squad found themselves down by 16.

The Tamaraws scored by committee early in the third with all players on the floor contributing a basket to further widen their lead, momentum briefly switched to the Maroons side late in the frame, as they made a 7-0 run and held FEU to just 56 points.

Despite cutting the deficit to 10, UP’s offense froze in the fourth as they were unable to hold off the Tamaraws that bolted a 16-0 run.

With less than 90 seconds left in the game, the Maroons sparked an 8-0 run which could only trim FEU’s lead to 19 points. At the final minute of the game, Maroon small forward Noah Webb went down with an apparent ankle sprain.

State U’s backcourt consisting of Team Captain Desiderio and rookie Jun Manzo had a rough outing, scoring a mere 13 points combined.

“Ineexpect ko na talaga na, grabe, halos di na ko makatanggap ng bola sa struggle, titira ako may tao na talaga.” Desiderio said on his off-game.

On how they’re going to bounce back next game, head coach Bo Perasol said, “We have to cut short our lamentations and focus on the next game kasi what’s important is we cannot get pulled down by our emotions.”

Big man Ibrahim Ouattara set his career-high of 17 points and was active around the rim to secure 13 boards to package the double-double alongside the career-high effort of Juan Gomez De Liaño with 16 points to serve as bright spots for the Diliman squad’s offense

Tamaraws Dennison and Escoto led the way for FEU with 16 and 12 points, respectively.

The UP Fighting Maroons are looking to bounce-back against Jerrick Ahanmisi and the Adamson Soaring Falcons at The Big Dome this Wednesday, Oct.4.

Webb will be unable to play on Wednesday’s game.