DILG closes the political intent of Bulan town executive

By Felix ‘Boy’ Espineda, Jr.

SORSOGON CITY (BicolToday.com/29-Feb-12) – The day of the hearts was not too good for the lady executive of Bulan town here when the joint committee of rules, privileges and amendments and the committee on public works, highways and infrastructure of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Sorsogon treated the core issues of Executive Order No. 1, Series of 2012 issued by the Mayor Helen de Castro which was based on Article III, section 32 of the Local Government Code of 1991 which speaks of general supervision.

The executive order requires and enjoins all public infrastructure and other projects within the direct supervision of the local chief executive . . . especially those implemented in the barangays before acceptance should be inspected and evaluated first by the municipal government.It also created a project monitoring team tasked to recommend for the final acceptance of the project. The committees at the onset set the tone of clarification, distancing themselves from the perilous issues of politics and instead tasked the DILG Provincial Director, Dr. Ruben Baldeo, to explain the limitations of an executive in executing administrative laws.

His explanation, doused cold water to the politically couched executive order.

DILG Baldeo’s observations said, that “supervising officials merely see to it that the rules are followed, but by themselves do not lay down the rules, nor they have the discretion to modify or replace them”.further stating that “if the rules are not observed, they may order the work done or redone, but only to conform to such rules”, in effect interpreting for Mayor de Castro the intentions and applications of Article III, Section 32, which the town executive interpreted to suit a political need.

Her executive order further laid down rules and regulations that limit the performance of the function of concerned barangay, in effect exercising control over the punong barangay which will limit the authority of the punong barangay.

Baldeo’s likewise zeroed in the creation of the executive order of a project monitoring team which he opined runs counter with the DILG MC 2004-78, subject of which is the organization/reactivation of project monitoring teams in the local government units, for it does not conform with the mandatory membership as provided for in the circular.

The circular has a mandatory membership for a project monitoring team that includes the DILG official assigned in the locality, two NGO or PO’s representative and four members to be appointed by the local chief executive from among five nominees of the local development council.

De Castro’s monitoring team came from the municipal engineering office. BicolToday.com

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Why soldiers don’t retaliate vs enemies

By

11:22 pm | Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

“You hit one of us, you hit all of us. We will come after you.”

Those brave, fighting words came from Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, addressing the gunmen who killed eight civilians and a policeman and wounded 12 other civilians in an ambush at Las Castellana town, Negros Occidental province.

If that stern warning was addressed to the New People’s Army (NPA), it sounded hollow and full of hot air.

In the past, NPA guerrillas had ambushed and killed many soldiers and cops, but government troops hardly retaliated.

Of course, press statements were made by the government after numerous soldiers or policemen were killed that troops were in hot pursuit of the NPA or Moro rebels who staged the ambush.

But those press statements were not followed up with news that government troops had avenged the deaths of their comrades.

* * *

Retaliation by government troops for the deaths of their comrades never happened because soldiers or policemen are confined to their barracks or police stations because of the peace talks with the rebels.

Besides—and this is more significant—the morale of soldiers in the field is very low.

Why? Because their personal welfare, as well as those of their families, is not attended to by the government.

For example, when a soldier is seriously wounded in battle and is treated at the Armed Forces or V. Luna Medical Center, he or his family is asked to buy his own medicines that are not available in the hospital’s pharmacy.

The soldier and his family are told the government will reimburse them for the medicines they buy outside the V. Luna Hospital pharmacy.

To an underpaid soldier, who has a family to feed and children to send to school, buying medicines is a big drain on his pocket.

And, by the way, the reimbursement for his medicines comes many months after he leaves the hospital.

And if the soldier is killed, his family has a hard time getting his pension.

Worse, a gigolo at the AFP Finance Center in Camp Aguinaldo seduces the dead soldier’s widow and runs away with the pension.

Now, if you were a soldier who is ordered to go after the rebels who killed your comrades-in-arms in an ambush, would you go after their killers hammer and tongs, given the situations I just mentioned?

* * *

During my father’s time, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) took care of the medical needs of soldiers and their dependents.

My father was with the defunct Philippine Constabulary (PC), one of the AFP’s major services, and he and his dependents—my mom and us, his children—enjoyed complete medical coverage.

When one of the children was sick—which was often since there were 10 of us—we were sent to the military doctor who was assigned in every PC camp.

Soldiers who were severely wounded in combat were flown to Manila to be treated at the Camp Crame General Hospital or the V. Luna Medical Center.

It was unthinkable then for a soldier wounded in combat to complain that his needs were not met.

* * *

If those gunmen who ambushed and killed or wounded innocent civilians were members of the New People Army (NPA), they have lost whatever moral ascendancy they claim they have over the civilian populace.

How can the NPAs now claim they protect the poor and the oppressed when they slaughter them?

Most of the sympathizers and supporters of the NPA come from the ranks of citizens disgruntled over the uneven justice system and the apathy of government towards their plight.

If indeed the gunmen who murdered innocent civilians in La Castellana are members of the NPA, they can no longer hide from the authorities.

The civilians who harbor them will tell on them. It will be the beginning of the end of the NPA.

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President Aquino’s visit in Zürich

President Benigno Aquino III’s visit to this ice - covered  Zürich last Saturday, January 26, was brief and concise as he gave a summary of his WEF participation in Davos and the progress achieved to date of his administration. It was a relaxed atmosphere in that morning in Renaissance Hotel Zürich where Filipinos – most of them also holders of Swiss passport – from all over Switzerland and the Liechtenstein flocked happily to meet personally their President.

There was a sense of pride all over the place for this time Filipinos were expecting to hear the good news coming from the President himself - good news this time about the growing economy, fight against corrupt government officials, etc. It is true that as we change our views and attitudes toward our system, we also change the same of the world upon us. The Philippine’s international image has been upgraded since President Benigno Aquino assumed office. And the Swiss are aware of the positive changes happening in our country and that’s really what affects the Filipinos in their daily life here in Switzerland. It’s amazing how the Swiss people react this way, this from the people whose country still has the best performing economy and institutions the world over. There are much to be learned from the Swiss system of governance, democracy and entrepreneurship. And the Filipino community here desires also only the best for our country - the Swiss way as much as possible.

President Aquino lauded the Filipino community here as being one of the most respected and appreciated foreign groups in Switzerland who contribute also to the stability of both the Swiss and Philippine economies. Not to forget that the old Swiss humanitarian tradition -  Switzerland being the birthplace of the  International Red Cross-  also has long found its niche in every Filipino residing here. Swiss-Filipinos, through their respective local organizations, are on the frontline when it comes to helping disaster victims in the Philippines.

The visit was short for the President had to catch his plane homeward bound after lunch. And so there was no more forum to throw questions such as the Enrile Problem and the current mess at the Senate where senators quarrel over their financial “Christmas” gifts, the ongoing talks with the Bansangmoro, the communist insurgency, etc.

We hope that President Aquino would realize much of his development plan for our country during his term, the institutionalisation of the reforms achieved to prevent the rollbacking to the old ways of Wang-wang mentality, to the self- serving government and public officials of the past administrations.

At the end of his speech was picture-taking. The Filipinos and some Swiss nationals who were present did not hesitate to be photographed beside President Aquino, another proof of his international popularity and trust to his intentions. Yes, public service is public trust.

jun asuncion

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(photos by junasun)

Related news extracted from the President’s official communication websites:

Aquino accepts donation from Filipino community in Switzerland for victims of Typhoon PabloJanuary 27, 2013

ZURICH, Switzerland) President Benigno S. Aquino III thanked the Filipino community from Switzerland and Lichtenstein for extending aid to victims of Typhoon Pablo in Mindanao.

An initial check worth 8,650 Swiss francs was turned over to the President during his meeting with the Filipino community here.

“Marami pong nag-donate ng konting halaga para sa mga biktima ng bagyong Pablo na tumalasa sa ating bansa noong nakaraang buwan. Noong nalaman po nilang darating kayo dito sa Switzerland, ninais po naming magbigay pa ulit ng kaunti pang tulong,” Ambassador to Switzerland Leslie Baja said in his remarks.

The initial donation, however, was increased to 9,050 Swiss francs.

During his speech, the President lauded the members of the Filipino community for their donation. “Lampas po sa halaga na ipinagkaloob niyo sa ating mga kapatid na nabiktima ng Bagyong Pablo, talaga naman pong napapadama niyo sa kanila na hindi sila nag-iisa,” President Aquino said.

The President said that the donation is the best present that they could give to the Filipinos in the country. “‘Yun po ang talagang napakagandang ipapasalubong natin sa buong Pilipinas,” he said.

President Aquino met with the Filipino communities in Switzerland and Lichtenstein before his return to Manila following his successful participation to the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos.

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President Aquino calls on Filipino Overseas Workers in Switzerland to uniteJanuary 27, 2013

ZURICH, Switzerland) President Benigno S. Aquino III called on the members of the Filipino community here to unite and continue to tread the straight path as he moves to implement the various reforms needed to effect the country’s march towards progress and development.

The Chief Executive, who arrived here to attend the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum from January 23 to 27, spearheaded the greet-and-meet activity with the Filipino community at the Renaissance Hotel here to personally oversee their condition.

In his speech, the President shared the positive changes and the economic developments back home during the last two and a half years of his administration, including the confidence of the international community in the Philippines, and the stock market’s remarkable performance that keeps the country’s resiliency despite the global crisis.

The President told members of the Filipino community present during the event that the Philippines’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has continued to grow despite the global economic crisis. “Alam naman po ninyo na iyan ang pangunahing sukat ng sigla ng ekonomiya ng isang bansa,” he said.

The country’s GDP has expanded by 7.1 percent in the third quarter of 2012. The stock market index also posted record highs 70 times. “Tinalo po natin pati ang sariling mga projection. Sunod-sunod ang record-high sa ating Philippine Stock Exchange index,” he said.

“Sa katunayan, mula June 30, 2010, kung kailan po tayo nag-umpisang manungkulan, umabot na sa pitumpung beses ng nabasag ang record po ng ating stock exchange.”

The President expressed hope that the stock market index will reach the 6,500 level by next month, particularly on his birthday, and the 7,000 level by year-end. “Palagay ko, hindi pa naman ito nasisira sa atin, mukhang malaki ang pag-asang mangyari po ‘yan,” he said.

The President also cited the confidence of the international community in the Philippines as evidenced by the influx of investors who have already expressed their interest to invest in the country.

“Naaalala ko nga po dati, sa panahon ng aking ina: naisama po ako sa ilang biyahe po niya, nagpunta po ako sa Japan, at halos nagmamakaawa tayong magtayo sila ng negosyo sa Pilipinas. Pero ngayon po, tayo na ang pinipilahan,” he stressed.

“Gusto po nilang makisakay sa momentum ng pag-angat ng ating ekonomiya. At hindi po sa iisang sektor ito –mula sa edukasyon, sa imprastruktura, hanggang sa information technology, iisa ang bukambibig ng mga malalaking kumpanya –’Sali naman kami diyan,’” he added.

President Aquino likewise mentioned the reforms in the judiciary, and the signing of the Bangsamoro Framework Agreement between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

“Ipinakita natin sa buong mundo ang bisa ng isang mapayapang diyalogo; higit pa rito, inilalapit natin ang Mindanao, ang naturingang Land of Promise, sa pangako ng kapayapaan at kasaganahan, na matagal na niyang inaasam,” he said.

During his speech, The President called on Filipino overseas workers for a continued support.

“Nasa kamay muli ng Pilipino ang manibela –itutuloy ko ba ang paglalakbay sa tuwid na daan? O pipiliin ko bang mag-U-turn pabalik sa kalsada ng katiwalian at kahirapan? Mahalaga pong ipaalala –ang pagsisikap ng bawat isa ay magsisilbing gasolina sa matiwasay na pagtakbo at tuluyang pag-arangkada ng ating bansa,” he said.

“Kaya nga po, karaniwang tao man o kasama natin sa paglilingkod-bayan, nasa Pilipinas man, o dito sa Zurich, saan man pong sulok ng mundo –bawat brasong nakikisagwan, bawat balikat na nakikipasan, bawat kakamping sumasagupa sa lumang sistema upang itawid ang ating reporma–kayo po, kayo ang gumagawa ng pagbabago, at hinihiling ko ang patuloy pa ninyong pakiki-ambag. Pasulong po ang ating martsa sa tuwid na landas; wala pong atrasan ito; huwag tayong pumayag na dumulas pang pabalik sa dating kalakaran,” he said.

President Aquino noted that with his move to keep the country toward a straight path, the Philippines has indeed changed. “Wala na nga po sigurong dudang nagbago na talaga ang Pilipinas,” he said.

“Kung dati po, ang tinatanong sa inyo kung bibisita kayo sa atin, ‘Paano ka nakaalis? Anong mga hakbang ang ginawa ninyo para makatakas?’ Ngayon po, ang malamang itanong sa inyo kung kayo’y makakauwi: ‘Kailan kayo uuwi ng permanente?” Tunay nga pong kay sarap maging Pilipino sa mga panahong ito,” he said.

In closing, the President thanked the Filipino community of Switzerland for their warm welcome despite the cold weather. “Kahit ano pang kapal ng ating isuot, wala pa rin pong hihigit sa init ng pagsalubong ng mga kababayan nating Pilipino,” he said.

“Kaya naman po, maraming salamat ulit sa pagyakap ninyo sa amin ngayong hapon; talaga pong napaka-warm ng welcome po ninyo, talagang napapawi ang ginaw at pagod ng buo nating delegasyon,” he concluded.

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President Aquino says holding of 2014 East Asia Summit for the World Economic Forum in the Philippines to put country in the world mapJanuary 26, 2013

DAVOS, Switzerland) President Benigno S. Aquino said the holding of the 2014 East Asia Summit for the World Economic Forum (WEF) in the Philippines will put the country in the “center stage of the world map.” The President echoed this statement as he announced that he has accepted the offer for the Philippines to host the WEF East Asia Summit next year.

President Aquino arrived in Davos, Switzerland last Thursday to attend this year’s WEF Annual Meeting from January 23 to 27. His attendance to the annual meeting provided him the opportunity to highlight the Philippines as an investment haven and tourist destination for the benefit of the country and the Filipino people as a whole.

“We agree to host the East Asia Summit for the WEF in 2014,” the President said following his successful attendance at the conclusion of the WEF annual meeting.

He noted that when the East Asia Summit for WEF is held in the Philippines next year, the participants would be experiencing a warmer weather compared to the freezing weather condition experienced by the participants attending this year’s WEF annual meeting.

The President pointed out that the holding of the 2014 East Adia Mummit for WEF in the Philippines would certainly benefit the country and the Filipino people as a whole.

“It puts us at the center stage of the world map for that period, which is something like July or so. The details will have to be worked out, it was offered to us and I accepted hosting the event,” he stressed.

The President, who was visibly animated by his successful participation at the WEF Annual meeting which was participated in by global leaders, chief executive officers, top business financial executives and other stakeholders from Europe and other parts of the world said the best meeting he had attended was the roundtable luncheon meeting arranged by the Ayala Corporation.

The roundtable meeting was attended by chief executive officers and top businessmen not only from Europe but also from other parts of the globe representing a wide array of businesses.

“We were able to touch base with so many other leaders of various countries like the Dutch Prime Minister,” the President said.

He said that one of the entities who was in the roundtable meeting is sending a team to the Philippines anytime this year to look and explore areas that they would be interested in.

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Speech of President Aquino during his meeting with the Filipino community in Switzerland, January 26, 2013

Talumpati ng Kagalang-galang Benigno S. Aquino III Pangulo ng Pilipinas Sa pakikipagpulong niya sa mga Pilipino sa Suwisa

[Inihayag sa Zurich, Suwisa, noong ika-26 ng 2013]

Maraming salamat po. Maupo ho tayong lahat.

Secretary Albert del Rosario; Ambassador Leslie Baja; Secretary Cesar Purisima, baka hindi po n’yo po alam, Secretary of Finance natin; Secretary Greg Domingo of the Department of Trade and Industry; of course, marami raw hong fans ‘yung susunod na ipapakilala ko sa inyo, si Secretary Butch Abad, [laughter and applause] Marami raw hong taga-Batanes dito. Patay na. Hindi ka na uli mananalo ulit. Butch, nandito na lahat ang botante mo. [Laughter]

Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras [applause]; atin pong Director General, Secretary Arsenio Belisacan ng NEDA; [applause] si Secretary Carandang, kilala na ho n’yo siguro, hindi ko na ipapakilala; [applause] Ambassador Evan Garcia; Ambassador Esteban Conejos; Mr. Bill Luz; members of the Filipino Community in Switzerland and Liechtenstein—tama ho ba? [Applause]

Honored guests; mga minamahal ko pong kababayan:

Magandang hapon po sa inyong lahat.

Pagpunta ko dito, talagang tinuruan akong mabuti kung paano magbalot ng husto dahil malamig raw ho sa Davos, pero sabi ho ni Butch Abad, pareho lang sa Batanes. [Laughter] Basta may bagyo at madaling araw sa bandang Enero at naka-short pants ka lang, ganoon kalamig raw sa Batanes. [Laughter] Pero talaga naman hong napakainit ng pagsalubong n’yo. At alam naman ho n’yo— pangatlong araw ba natin dito? Pang-apat? Pang-apat na araw. Pasensiya na ho kayo. Pinaalis kami ng Pilipinas kasi, alas-onse ng gabi. Kaya counted na raw ‘yong one day. Tapos pagbalik ko, siyempre, bibigyan kami ng mga limang oras, balik sa mga problemang hinaharap natin, pero ang init ng pagsalubong n’yo, sulit na rin hong walang tulog, gininaw, pero marami hong nangyari. Kaya ulit, maraming salamat po sa inyong lahat. [Applause]

Ngayong naimbitahan po tayo dito sa Switzerland, naalala ko po, 1982 pa pala nang huli kong madanas ang winter. Sa bahay pa po namin iyon sa Boston noong naka-exile po ang buong pamilya namin. At kapag taglamig po ay talagang natatabunan ng yelo ang mga kalsada sa lugar po namin.

Sa mga pagkakataon pong iyon, bilang panganay at paboritong anak na lalaki ng aking mga magulang… [laughter] Kita n’yo, sang-ayon ho kayo, di ba? [Laughter] Ako po ang itinuturing na “tigas” sa aming pamilya: tiga-shovel, [laughter] tagapala ng snow, tigasilab ng apoy sa fireplace, tigalinis ng kotse, taga-alaga ng aso, at marami pang iba. [Laughter] Kaya ako ang pinakatigas ho doon. Minsan-minsan ho, tigasaing rin. [Laughter]

Kuwento ko na rin ho sa inyo: Dahil sa totoo naman ho, noong nag-aaral ako, ‘di naman itinuro ‘yong paano mag-saing eh. So sabi ng kapatid kong babae, kumuha ka ng ganito karaming bigas, tatapatan mo ng ganito karaming tubig, ilalagay mo sa rice cooker, i-on mo ‘to, ‘pag naluto, titigil ‘yan. [Laughter] Mayroon naman ho tayong titulo—kaya ko ‘yan. So, nagkataon ho, wala ‘yong nanay ko, wala ‘yong mga kapatid kong babae, kami lang ho ng tatay ko nasa bahay, siya paparating, ako tagaluto ngayon. Noong kinakain na po namin ‘yong aking isinaing na bigas, naging kanin, habang sinusubo ko, sabi ko, “Ba’t kaya ganito lasa nito, parang mapulbo?” [Laughter] Nakalimutan hong sabihin na kailangan palang linisin ‘yung bigas, [laughter] bago ilagay ‘yung tubig. Buti na lang ho, gutom ang tatay ko, ‘di na niya napansin. [Laughter] Pero nabawian naman po niya ako. Niluto niya kasi sa akin ‘yung bistek. Tapos eh, siyempre ho, ‘di ba wala namang kalamansi sa Boston. Pero ang sarap ho—tama ‘yung alat, tama ‘yung asim. Ang galing ng tatay ko talaga pati pagluto. Sabi ko, “Dad, galing mo palang magluto.” Sagot sa akin, “Wala kang bilib eh.” Kinabukasan, hinatid ko sa airport, mag-isa lang po ako. Tapos, mayroon ho akong binili kasing Lea & Perrins na sarsa the day before. Nagtataka ako, bagung-bago ‘yung bote, noong umalis ang tatay ko, wala na hong laman. Kaya pala tama ang timpla nitong bistek, ibinuhos lang niya ‘yung sarsa. [Laughter] Maabilidad ho talaga ‘yong tatay ko.

Alam n’yo ho, matagal na nga ho ako uling hindi nakaranas ng winter. Tapos, kailangan kong malaman ulit ‘yung, ano nga ang kailangang gawin para ‘di masyadong ginawin? So, tulad nga ho ngayon, iniisip ko kung kakaharapin ko kayo, iniisip ko po, kung anong magiging attire ko sa pagharap sa inyo, lalo na ngayong medyo hindi na ho kasing kapal ‘yong buhok natin. [Laughter] Sabi ko, “Magsusuot ako ng sweater. Papatungan natin ng coat; lagyan pa natin ng overcoat; [Laughter] maglalagay na rin ako ng ski mask, gloves, at mayroon pang matching scarf galing kay Kris.” Pero hindi ko na po itinuloy na isuot lahat ito. Baka naman ‘pag nakita n’yo ako, sabihin n’yo, “Sino kaya nagpanggap na Pangulo ng Pilipinas na ‘yan? [Laughter] Hindi namin makita ‘yung mukha.” [Laughter] So tiisin ko na lang ho ‘yong lamig, para sigurado kayong ako ‘yong katapat n’yo at hindi snowman. [Laughter]

Pero alam ho n’yo, kahit ano pang kapal ng ating isuot, wala pa rin pong hihigit sa init ng pagsalubong ng mga kababayan nating Pilipino. [Applause] Kaya naman po, maraming salamat ulit sa pagyakap ninyo sa amin ngayong hapon; talaga pong napaka-warm ng welcome po n’yo, talagang napapawi ang ginaw at pagod ng buo nating delegasyon.

Higit po sa lahat, nagagalak po kaming lahat makabisita rito at malaman na hindi lamang nasa mabuting kalagayan ang ating mga kababayan, kung hindi nagpapakitang-gilas din sa kanya-kanyang larangan. Nurse man o doktor, hotel worker o driver, accountant o manager, anuman pong propesyon, bilib at pinagkakatiwalaan po ang mga Pilipino dito sa Switzerland at sa Liechtenstein. [Applause] Sabi nga ho ni Ambassador Baja, kulang na lang po magsabit tayo ng banner sa convoy na nagsasabing, “Proud to be Pinoy.” [Applause] Sa tuwing may foreign trip po tayo at makakahalubilo ang ating mga kababayan, talagang taas-noo po ang mga Pilipino.

Hindi na nga po palaisipan: pagkalooban mo lang ang Pinoy ng kaalaman, kasanayan, at karanasan; ipuwesto mo lang ang Pinoy sa tamang lugar o kalagayan; bigyan mo lang ang Pinoy ng sapat na panahon, magpapakitang-gilas po tayo talaga. [Applause] Siyempre po, pinapatunayan ninyo ito; at pinapatunayan din ito ng mga Pilipino sa bawat panig ng mundo.

Sa kabilang banda naman, napapaisip din po ako: Bakit sa hinaba-haba ng panahon, hindi madala-dala sa ganitong ideyal na kalagayan ang kabuoan ng Pilipinas? Bakit may mga Pilipino pa ring isang kahig, isang tuka? Tila hindi dumarating ang nilaga, kahit buong-buhay nang nagtitiyaga?

Iyan nga po ang binabago natin sa Pilipinas ngayon. Inaayos natin ang mga kundisyon; ang gusto po natin, kung magbanat ka ng buto, tiyak kang aasenso. Inaalis na natin ang sistema kung saan ang umaangat lang sa buhay ay ang mga may kuneksyon, ang mga kayang manuhol, o ang mga nakakasikmura ng pandaraya. [Applause]

Napatingin ho si Jake ng relo niya, baka maiwan na ho kami ng eroplano. [Laughter] Huwag kang mag-alala, Jake. Papaspasan natin ‘to. Baka malagay pa tayong absent sa Lunes.

Nagtataguyod tayo ng lipunan kung saan kapag pumila ka, uusad ka; kapag nagsumikap ka, mabubuhay ka ng marangal at hindi inaabot ng gutom.

Hindi naman po natin kinailangan ng agimat o orasyon para simulang ilatag ang pagbabagong ito. Ginawa lang po natin ang dapat. Ang pera ng taumbayan, itinutok natin sa mga programang may katuturan; sinunod natin ang mga batas, at pinananagot ang mga lumalabag dito. Ang sabi nga po natin noong kampanya: Tanggalin ang tiwali, at itama ang mali.

Hayaan po ninyo, hayaan po ninyo akong magbigay ng ilang halimbawa. Mayroon pong isang kontratang pinasok ang pinalitan nating administrasyon: sabi po nila, ide-dredge daw po ang Laguna Lake. Maganda nga naman po sana. Tatanggalin ang naipong sediments upang lumaki ang water holding capacity ng lawa. Ang ganda hong pakinggan, ‘di ho ba? Dahil ‘yon ang pinagkukunan natin ng tubig para sa National Capital Region. Ang problema lang po, natuklasan natin ang huhukayin sa isang bahagi ng Laguna Lake, itatambak lang pala sa kabilang bahagi ng Laguna Lake. [Laughter] Baka akala ho n’yo, nagbibiro ako, nandoon ho ‘yun sa kontrata ‘yon. eh. Eh siyempre tanong naman ng ordinaryong Juan dela Cruz, “Paano naman lalaki ang water holding capacity kung ganoon?” Tapos, gagastos pa tayo, uulitin ko ho—tayo, gagastos pa tayo ng ‘di bababa sa 18.7 billion pesos. Baka hindi nakuha ‘yun, billion po ah, 18.7 billion pesos para maglaro ng putik. Putik natin ‘yon, ‘di ba? Sa Pilipinas ‘yun. Lalaruin natin ‘yung putik natin para sa prebilihiyo, at magbabayad ng 18.7 billion. Bakit po kaya may pumayag sa kahibangang ito? Sino kaya ang makikinabang? At palagay ko ho, hindi maglalaon, may maidedemanda na naman tayong panibago. ‘Di po tayo pumayag; pinigil po natin ang kontratang ito. Simple lang naman po ang gusto natin: kung may kontrata, idaan sa tamang bidding.

Patas na ang laban, hindi lang sa mga proyekto ng gobyerno, kundi sa ating mga merkado. Iyan po ang nakita ng buong mundo. Kaya nga po sa kabila ng global economic crisis, naging tuloy-tuloy ang pag-angat ng ating Gross Domestic Product nitong 2012.

Alam naman po ninyo na iyan ang pangunahing sukat ng sigla ng ekonomiya ng isang bansa; 7.1 percent po ang inangat ng ating Gross Domestic Product nitong third quarter ng 2012. Tinalo po natin pati ang sariling mga projection. Sunod-sunod ang record-high sa ating Philippine Stock Exchange index. Sa katunayan, mula June 30, 2010, kung kailan po tayo nag-umpisang manungkulan, umabot na sa pitumpung beses ng nabasag ang record po ng ating stock exchange. [Applause] Nito lang pong January 18, nagsara sa 6,171.70 ang ating stock exchange—isa na naman pong record-high. Alam po n’yo, bago tayo naupo, ‘pag umabot ng 4,000, pipitik lang ho sa 4,000, bababa na ulit. Parang paniwala ho, hindi kayang manatili doon o lampasan doon. Ngayon po, 6,000 na. ‘Yong mga gumawa po nito, sabi sa akin eh—hinamon ko na rin—kako nasa 6,000 na eh. Saan naman tayo tutungo susunod? Baka naman puwede 7,000? Ang sagot sa akin, aniya, siguro mga 6,500. Puwede na ‘yong 6,500. Baka puwede mangyari ‘yan sa birthday ko next month na ‘yun. [Laughter] Sabi ho niya, 7,000 na bago matapos ang taon. So palagay ko, hindi pa naman siya nasisira sa atin, mukhang malaki ang pag-asang mangyari po ‘yan.

‘Pag lalo pa po tayong nagtulungan, hindi na po ako magugulat kung sa susunod, sa talaan na tayo ng Guinness Book of World Records mapapabilang sa husay ng performance ng ating stock exchange.

Naaalala ko nga po dati, sa panahon ng aking ina: naisama po ako sa ilang biyahe po niya, nagpunta po ako doon sa Japan, at halos nagmamakaawa tayong magtayo sila ng negosyo sa Pilipinas. Pero ngayon po, tayo na ang pinipilahan. [Applause] Gusto po nilang makisakay sa momentum ng pag-angat ng ating ekonomiya. At hindi po sa iisang sektor ito: mula sa edukasyon, sa imprastruktura, hanggang sa information technology; iisa ang bukambibig ng mga malalaking kumpanya: Sali naman kami diyan.

Pinupuksa na rin po natin ang katiwalian sa mga institusyong panlipunan. Masusunod ang batas at kung lalabag ka rito, tiyak mananagot ka, gaano ka man kayaman o makapangyarihan. [Applause] ‘Di po ba, napatunayan na ‘yan nang natanggal sa puwesto ang mismong Punong Mahistrado ng ating Korte Suprema? Ang sabi po kasi ng Saligang Batas: Kailangan mong ideklara sa isang sinumpaang Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth ang buong kayamanan mo. So, ang pera pong idineklara niya, wala pang dalawang porsyento ng kabuoan niyang ari-arian. Parang sa English po, less than two percent of his cash assets was declared. Eh kailangan lahat. Ikinubli niya sa publiko ang mahigit nobenta’y otso porsiyento ng kanyang pera. Matapos ang impeachment trial, sinubaybayan po ng halos buong Pilipinas, lumitaw po ang katotohanan at walang palusot na umubra sa taumbayan. Ngayon po, gumugulong na rin ang reporma sa atin pong hudikatura.

Isa pa pong halimbawa: ‘Di po ba kaytagal-tagal na di matanaw ang kapayapaan sa Mindanao? Ngayon po, siguro nabalitaan na ninyo ang Framework Agreement na nilagdaan sa pagitan ng Moro Islamic Liberation Front at ng ating pamahalaan. Sa halip na ulitin lang ang dating “all out war” na estratehiya, “all out justice” ang ating naging tugon. Ang mensahe natin: Ang bandido ay bandido; pero kung talagang may lehitimo kang hinanakit dala ng kasaysayan ng pang-aapi, handang makipagbayanihan ang gobyerno. Imbis na walang humpay na barilan, ipinarating natin sa ating mga kapatid na Muslim: Iisa ang adhikain natin: Kapayapaan. Heto ang sagwan, tara’t itutok natin sa iisang direksyon ang bangka ng bayan, upang sabay-sabay natin maabot ang ating mga pangarap. [Applause] Ipinakita natin sa buong mundo ang bisa ng isang mapayapang diyalogo. Higit pa rito, inilalapit natin ang Mindanao, ang naturingang Land of Promise, sa pangako ng kapayapaan at kasaganahan, na matagal na niyang inaasam.

Sa huli, naniniwala po ako na anuman ang sitwasyon natin ngayon, dinala po tayo dito ng kolektibong panawagan ng Pilipino sa pagbabago. Naharap po tayo sa isang sangandaan kung saan kinailangan nating pumili ng tatahaking landas: Dito ba ako sa nakasanayang ruta ng baluktot na sistema? O ikakabig ko ba sa tuwid na daan, kung saan ang sambayanan ang mabibigyang-kapangyarihan upang sama-samang isulong ang bansa? Kung iisipin, napakadali po sana ng naunang ruta. Pipiliin ko na lang ang normal na buhay kung saan sarili lang ang kailangan kong intindihin.

Opo, madaling sabihin, pero hindi ko po yata ito maaatim na gawin. Kung ito ang landas na pinili kong tahakin, para ko na ring sinabing normal ang masadlak ang Pilipinas sa katiwalian at kahirapan; normal ang talikuran ang ipinaglaban ng aking mga magulang; normal ang pagtaksilan ang mga Pilipinong matagal nang naghihikahos para sa mas maliwanag na kinabukasan. Buong-loob po nating pinili ang tuwid na landas, kaakibat ng lahat ng kailangang pagdadaanang lubak at sakripisyo. Hindi na po bago sa atin ito. Ako po, labindalawang taong gulang pa lang nang makaranas ng Martial Law, at mahigit apatnapung taon na po ng aking buhay ang umikot sa mundo ng serbisyo publiko. Dati po’y dakilang alalay, ngayon inaalalayan ng lahat. [Laughter and applause] Mulat din po tayo, bawat Pilipino ay may kanya-kanyang binuno at binubunong pagsasakripisyo. Ang kailangan lang po nating tandaan: lahat ng pasakit ngayon, ginhawa ang kapalit sa susunod na henerasyon. Ngayong abot-kamay na po natin ang pagbabago, saka pa ba tayo hihinto?

Nasa kamay muli ng Pilipino ang manibela: itutuloy ko ba ang paglalakbay sa tuwid na daan? O pipiliin ko bang mag-U-turn pabalik sa kalsada ng katiwalian at kahirapan? Mahalaga pong ipaalala: ang pagsisikap ng bawat isa ay magsisilbing gasolina sa matiwasay na pagtakbo at tuluyang pag-arangkada ng ating bansa. Kaya nga po: karaniwang tao man o kasama natin sa paglilingkod-bayan, nasa Pilipinas man, o dito sa Zurich, saan man pong sulok ng mundobawat brasong nakikisagwan, bawat balikat na nakikipasan, bawat kakamping sumasagupa sa lumang sistema upang itawid ang ating reporma—kayo po, kayo ang gumagawa ng pagbabago, at hinihiling ko ang patuloy pa ninyong pakikiambag. Pasulong po ang ating martsa sa tuwid na landas; wala pong atrasan ito; huwag tayong pumayag na dumulas pang pabalik sa dating kalakaran.

Hayaan po ninyo akong magtapos sa isang kuwento. Noon pong congressman pa lamang ako, pinalad tayong makaharap ang isang grupo ng walumpung estudyante ng nursing. Ang tanong ko sa kanila, “Ilan sa inyo ang mananatili sa Pilipinas pagkatapos ninyong maka-graduate at pumasa ng board exams?” Ang nagtaas po ng kamay ay napakarami: dalawa. [Laughter]

Wala na nga po sigurong dudang nagbago na talaga ang Pilipinas. Kung dati po, ang tinatanong sa inyo kung mabisita kayo sa atin, “Paano ka nakaalis? Anong mga hakbang ang ginawa ninyo para makatakas?” Ngayon po, ang malamang itanong sa inyo kung kayo’y mauwi, “Kailan kayo uuwi ng permanente?” [Applause] Tunay nga pong kay sarap maging Pilipino sa mga panahong ito.

Bago po ako magtapos, gusto kong iparating sa inyong lahat, lampas po doon sa halaga ng ipinagkaloob n’yo sa ating mga kapatid na nabiktima ng Pablo, eh, talaga naman po’y pagpapadama n’yo sa kanila na hindi sila nag-iisa. ‘Yon po ang talaga ang napakagandang ipapasalubong natin sa buong Pilipinas.

Kaya magandang hapon po sa lahat. Maraming salamat muli.

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Filed under Europe and Bulan Observer, News, Politics, President Benigno Aquino III

From Sta. Cruz to Binãn: The Asuncion- Yatco- Carillo Lineage

Bulan

Bulan Pier

Bulan. The picturesque coastal town of Bulan was one of the first migration destinations of the Asuncions of Sta. Cruz. The spirit of the time of transition had already been felt in the Asuncion household. The master painter Justiniano was the first to realize that it was no more his time. Styles had changed and so was the taste of the artistic consumers. New names like Luna and Hidalgo were in everyone’s tongue  as they had just brought home the bacon from Europe. It was this existential uncertainty that drove Justiniano to follow his son Zacharias in Bulan who had already successfully established himself being a grocery store owner and his political  engagement in the community. The ageing Justiniano for sure did not travel alone but in the company of somebody – probably Benita.

justiniano asuncion from damian domingo book, 2010 (5)

Dolores Paterno
ca. 1870 by Justiniano Asuncion

Binãn and Pasig. Perhaps around this time, those pretty nieces of Justiniano, once his favorite models for his portrait works, also moved southwards of Manila, namely, Binãn, Laguna, hence, making Binãn the second known migration place of the Asuncions. These women, Romana and Valentina Asuncion were the daughters of Antonio Asuncion (born 1794), Justiniano’s brother, whose wife was Remigia Sta. Ana of Pasig. The third place where an Asuncion migrated was Pasig with Antonio Asuncion, a known artist and where he also became Gobernadorcilo in his time - true to this rare mixture of politics and arts in the Asuncion  blood. This migration to Binãn resulted ultimately into the blood fusion with Yatco, Carillo-Trinidad and Yaptinchay - all prominent Binãn families.

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The Binãn Church

We were toured around the center of Binãn by my relative Christopher Yatco where he showed us the houses where  the Yatcos, together with Romana and Valentina Asuncion, once lived. A nostalgic mini tour, shooting pictures of these old spanish houses as I tried to imagine how they lived there at that time. Romana and Valentina were my first cousins, me being three generations younger.

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Valentina Asuncion married a Yatco which is one of the oldest gems of  Binãn. His name was Ignacio.  His brother Gregorio was the father of Ysidro Yatco, the progenitor of the “Tres Marias de Yatco” of Binãn. The merchant’s Ysidro Yatco wife was Bonifacia Mercado, sister of Jose Rizal’s father, Fransico Mercado. The Tres Marias- Salud, Leonila and Paz- were Jose Rizal’s first cousins. (The young student Jose Rizal did not use his  family name Mercado upon the advice of his brother Paciano to avoid being linked to Father Gomez who was executed by the Spaniards).

Filomena Villafranca Y Asuncion

Valentina Asuncion and Ignacio Yatco’s children were Eleuterio, Jose, Leoncio and Filomena [ married to Eugenio Alzona]. (Note: There are two other Filomenas: One Filomena [married to a Castrillo] , daughter of  Romana Asuncion Carillo and another Filomena [married to a Villafranca], daughter of Leoncio Asuncion [born 1813] , Justiniano’s older brother. )

According to Christopher Yatco (born 1974), Eleuterio Yatco y Asuncion had a son in the name of Francisco whose wife was Asuncion Belizario (here the name Asuncion is a first name).Their children being : Josefina Yatco (married to Andy Francia),  Digna Yatco (married to Momoy Concepcion),  Thomas Yatco (married to Florinda Sabater), Ruben Yatco (married to Adelaida Ponce) and Ernestina Yatco (a spinster) .

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Jun, Christopher, Florabel and Mila
November 2012, Felix Restaurant, Greenbelt 5 Makati

Christopher Yatco’s parents are Ruben Yatco and Adelaida Ponce. Christopher is a soft-spoken man, open-minded, friendly, very generous, informed and interested in many things. He and his wife Florabel Co- Yatco run a chain of reputable restaurants in Metro Manila. This photo above was taken at Felix restaurant owned by Chris and Florabel, a great venue with excellent food, service – and a jazzy background music! Indeed, they’re very industrious and successful entrepreneurs. Christopher’s interest in genealogy is amazing at his age despite the work that he has as a businessman - in true Yatco- Asuncion fashion. He is a first cousin three generations younger of Don Ysidro Yatco, once a prominent business person in Binãn. His great, great-grandfather Antonio Asuncion had not the slightest idea that, 218 years after his birth, one of his “offsprings” in the name of Christopher would meet another offspring of his younger brother Justiniano. We both sensed the significance of that evening, acknowledging that we both were living extensions of our ancestors and that we have the duty to look back and honor them. Christopher is my fourth cousin a generation younger  and fifth cousin to my sons.

The Yatcos and Mercados are related as in-laws. We may that Ysidro Yatco, being the husband of Jose Rizal’s aunt Bonifacia Mercado, was Jose’s “uncle in-law” (or Jose Rzal being Ysidro’s “nephew in -law”) and so were Ysidros’ other brothers, as they were the uncles of the Tres Marias. From the surface there seems to be no direct blood relationship among the other Yatcos with the Mercados and that all other Yatcos do not carry the Mercado’s genes, that they are just in- laws. Yet Bonfacia’s next offsrings carry the Yatco genes in themselves, the same copy that Christopher has. And if we would go a little a deeper in the sense that we would forget people and talk of blood as a collective entity then the mixing of these two bloods - the Yatcos’ and the Mercado’s”- through the union of Ysidro and Bonifacia- had ultimately effected a chemical bonding of both bloods which affects all other people carrying these bloods. This is perhaps what we mean when we say ” that person is my distant relative”.

If in-laws are distant relatives, then it goes beyond the common consanguinity relationships from first to seventh cousins. For how distant is a distant relative really? Who and what defines and limits relationships? The western concept of family relationship is very limited to biology. There are cultures and even certain people that regard family relationship beyond this common concept. The English term “next of kin” does not necessarily mean a blood-relative. And a person has the natural right to call somebody to whom he or she feels strong affinity as brother or sister. There is somehow also a spiritual dimension to human and family relationship. I mean, if we would extend the line of Ysidro Yatco as son- in-law of Juan Mercado, the grandfather of Jose Rizal, and Christopher being a great, great grand-nephew of Ysidro Yatco, therefore, Christopher could be Jose Rizal’s three generations younger “first- cousin-in-law”, with Paz, Salud and Leonila being Jose Rizal’s direct (blood) first cousins as seen from Jose Rizal’s family tree and Christopher being Salud, Paz and Leonila’s second cousin by blood, two generations younger as seen from the Yatco family tree.

Romana Asuncion
portrait done by Justiniano Asuncion

With Romana Asuncion, the ninth child of Antonio Asuncion and Remigia Sta. Ana, the Asuncions got connected with another prominent Binãn family, the Carillo-Trinidad. Romana married Andres Carillo-Trinidad. Their daughter, Petronilla married a Yatco (as if following the foosteps of her aunt Valentina Asuncion). His name was Fermin Yatco y Yaptinchay, the son of Aniceto Yatco and Simeona Yaptinchay. Aniceto was Ignacio’s brother. Simeona herself was a daughter of a Carillo-Trinidad, Maria, who became the wife of the first Yaptinchay, namely Yap Tin Chay, a migrant Chinese, with Yap as the family name and Tin Chay the first name. However, his descendants adopted the combined names Yaptinchay as their family name (source : Toto Gonzalez). How Andres and Maria Carillo- Trinidad were related to one another is my question to the  Carillos of today.

But you may have noticed by now that Fermin Yatco y Yaptinchay who married Petronila Carillo- Trinidad, actually was a Carillo- Trinidad also through his grandmother Maria Yaptinchay  y Carillo- Trinidad. Hence, Petronila and Fermin were blood relatives.

Now, Petronila’s and Fermin Yatco’s son, Macario Yatco y Carillo  (y Asuncion y Yaptinchay!) married Guia, an Asuncion and daughter of Zacharias Asuncion from his first wife Juana Zalvedia. I was informed that Juana Zalvedia was also an Asuncion- being the daughter of Canuta Asuncion, Justiniano’s sister. (Love seemed to be so blind among the first Asuncions). From this union between Macario and Guia was born a daughter named Gracia Yatco (y Carillo y Asuncion y Asuncion). Formally, Guia was three times an Asuncion and her daughter, Gracia, four times an Asuncion. Gracia married a Rojas (hope the mother of Emmanuel Rojas, Sr. was not an Asuncion!) and they gave birth to Ed and Noel Rojas. Hence, although a Rojas, and taking Zacharias as point of reference (common ancestor), Ed and Noel are more Asuncion than an Asuncion because they are five times an Asuncion, formally speaking, through Zacharias- Zalvedia- Macario- Guia- Gracia! And they can count two great, great grandfathers, too: Justiniano Asuncion (through Zacharias) and Antonio Asuncion (through Romana)- two great artists!

Mini reunion. This explains the intense drive and fascination of Noel and Ed in their search for the Asuncion roots! I met them last November 2012 in a restaurant somewhere in Ortigas, and this  intense discussion shown in this photo is not about the Menu for the dinner but about the family tree that Ed and Noel brought with them. We enjoyed the food, naturally, but we spent more time discussing the tree than eating that evening of November.

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Jun, Ed and Noel

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The Asuncion women

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Noel with daughter Anna

Now, with all this complexity because of internal marriages, how are we related really to one another? Taking Mariano Asuncion as common ancestor,  Juana Zalvedia  (Zacharia’s first wife) would be a niece to Justiniano,  a first cousin to Zacharias, first cousin to a generation younger  Adonis;  Andres, Sr. being first cousin two generations younger and me first cousin three generations younger. Her daughters, Consuelo and Guia, formally speaking, were second cousins to and yet were half-sisters of Adonis, ( half-) aunts of Andres, Sr.  Now, to Guia’s daughter, Gracia, I would be a generation younger third cousin- while I’m a fourth  cousin to Ed and Noel, Gracia’s sons.

This picture would change, however, if we would take Zacharias as the starting point (common ancestor): Guia and Consuelo remaining as Adonis’ half-sisters; I become Gracia’s one generation younger first cousin while Ed and Noel being my second cousins. Making it more simpler, if we follow Macario’s line (remember Macario was also an Asuncion through Petronila) all the way to Antonio Asuncion and finally to the patriarch Mariano Asuncion, then Ed and Noel would appear as one generation younger fourth cousin to me. In truth, I’m younger than them. But why this?

(to be continued) jun asuncion

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Remembering The Three Martyrs Of Bulan

(Taken from Bantayog ng mga Bayani website: “Bantayog ng mga Bayani Foundation honors those who fought, died and were martyred during the repressive rule of Ferdinand Marcos. It keeps a roster of 207 heroes and martyrs, adding more to the list as new persons are nominated and their specific contributions established. The names of these heroes and martyrs are etched on the Bantayog’s Wall of Remembrance, a granite structure that serves as the centerpiece of the whole Bantayog complex”)

VytiacoVYTIACO, Ma. Antonia Teresa V.

Ma. Antonia Teresa Vytiaco, who was Nanette to family, spent her growing up years in Bulan, Sorsogon and later in Metro Manila. She was the eldest of seven children. Her mother worked as a high school teacher and college instructor. Her father was of a landowning family in Bulan.

Nanette loved animals, played the guitar, and in high school, discovered that she loved to dance. She won a government scholarship in college and started on a degree in veterinary medicine, following after her grandfather’s footsteps. During the July-August fl oods of 1970, Nanette was among the hundreds of UP students who volunteered for fl ood relief operations. The experience politicalized her. She started joining rallies and attending workers’ pickets. Later she joined the UP chapter of the Samahang Demokratiko ng Kabataan (SDK) and became more deeply involved in activism. She spent several weeks in Central Luzon learning about community organizing. She met her future husband Nicanor Vergara who was a member of the Hukbong Mapagpalaya ng Bayan (HMB), an armed group that traced its roots to the anti-Japanese resistance.

In 1971, Nanette and her husband left Manila and moved to Bicol as fulltime members of the Kabataang Makabayan, traveling around the region organizing KM chapters.

Nanette is remembered by fellow activists in Gubat, Sorsogon, as a dedicated worker, thoughtful with comrades, humble and patient. Although urban-bred, Nanette did not spare herself the diffi cult working and living conditions that her comrades also had to suffer.

Nanette and fellow KM activists in Bicol hatched many plans, primarily for education of the local people, using mostly cultural activities, such as skits, jamming sessions, dance-and-mime, and poetry reading. Nanette acted in the plays and sometimes directed them as well. Her interpretation of the Amado Hernandez poem Kung Tuyo na ang Luha Mo, Aking Bayan always moved her audience to tears, comrades remembered.

When martial law was imposed by Ferdinand Marcos, Nanette and her comrades continued with their consciousness-building activities clandestinely. Just days after the declaration of martial law, Nanette and her group were distributing handwritten fl iers reporting about a fi refi ght that erupted between a unit of the New People’s Army and government soldiers. To avoid detection, Nanette left the fl iers inside the churches for the church-goers to read.

On 10 November 1972, Nanette was visited by her mother in a village just outside of their town. Nanette was four months’ pregnant, in high spirits, and ate heartily of her mother’s adobo. Her parents wanted her to surrender to the military authorities because of the growing danger to her safety but Nanette said: “I have chosen my path. I would rather die than surrender.”

Nanette did not survive the day. Later in the early afternoon, Nanette’s group was pursued by a group of constabulary soldiers and Nanette was killed in the exchange of fire.

A street in her town has since been named after her, just as another has been named after townmate Liliosa Hilao, another Bantayog martyr. The municipal resolution that authorized the naming of the two streets cited the two women as “examples of determination and spirit that the coming generations, young and old alike, can emulate.”

Death:November 10, 1972.

Place of Death: Bulan, Sorsogon

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HILAO, Liliosa, R.

Hilao,%20Liliosa%20R_Liliosa Hilao was a sickly student whose frail body was wracked by regular asthma attacks.

However, she was strong of mind and convictions. In 1970, she joined the Samahang Demokratiko ng Kabataan (SDK). She could hardly join rallies due to her poor health but she expressed her convictions in her writings as associate editor of the Hasik, the student paper at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, where she was a student in communication arts.

Despite her weaknesses, Liliosa (“Lilli”) was active in school. She graduated with honors in elementary and high school. She was features editor of her high school organ. In college, besides writing for Hasik, she was twice elected as student president of the communication arts department. She was a representative to the Pamantasan students’ central government. She served as secretary of the Women’s Club of Pamantasan, and organized the Communication Arts Club also in Pamantasan. She was also a member of the College Editors’ Guild of the Philippines.

Lilli was abducted in 1973 by drunk soldiers who raided her family’s house. She was found dead the following day.

The soldiers, members of the Constabulary Anti‑Narcotics Unit (CANU), had come looking for her brother. Lilli had demanded a search warrant, and was slapped and her body mashed by the soldiers. Then she was handcuffed and taken in for questioning. A brother‑in‑law came to see her at the camp and found her face swollen. Lilli said she was tortured. The following day, Lilli’s sister Alice was called to the Camp Crame Station Hospital where she was told Lilli was in serious condition. Alice found Lilli dead.

The official CANU report was that Lilli committed suicide by drinking muriatic acid. But post‑mortem findings confirmed her torture. Her face was severely swollen. Her lips bore burns from cigarette butts. She had 11 injection marks in her arms and deep handcuff marks on her wrists. Her torso was badly bruised with finger marks and gun‑barrel marks. It is possible she was repeatedly abused sexually. Her brains and other internal organs were cut to pieces, soaked with muriatic acid.

Lilli died before she could graduate, but because she was a consistent scholar, Lilli was given posthumous honors (cum laude) and her seat kept vacant for her during the graduation ceremonies. Lilli’s was the first reported case of death under detention during martial law.

Birth: March 14, 1950.

Place of Birth: Bulan, Sorsogon.

Death: April 6, 1973.

Place of Death: Camp Crame, Quezon City

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ARIADO, Antonio G.  

The boy Antonio was born to a landed and well-to-do family in Sorsogon province and he grew in the midst of plenty. He excelled in academics and had a variety of interests such as acting, performing, and sports, particularly basketball, volleyball and table tennis. He also liked reading poems and giving orations. He would memorize long poems and recite them before his audience, usually spellbound playmates. His parents’ tenants called him “escribiente.”

Antonio, or Tony to friends, moved to Manila for college and became involved in the 1970s peace movement. His boarding house in Manila’s Sampaloc district saw long hours of impassioned discussions among students that included Tony and several of his provincemates.

The Vietnam War was escalating and the Marcos government had sent a contingent of soldiers called the Philippine Civic Action Group, or Philcag, to that country. The move drew strong criticism from Filipino peace groups and student groups. The National Union of Students of the Philippines called on students to protest the Philcag.

Tony was in his first semester in college when he joined a rally at the Manila Hotel where a Vietnam conference was being held. The rally was violently dispersed, resulting in street fighting between police and students, and giving Tony his first taste of teargas and truncheon.

Far from getting discouraged, Tony joined more rallies in front of Malacañang, the Congress building and the US Embassy, and in Plaza Miranda, mostly in protest of the Vietnam war. He joined more discussion groups involving students and laborers from Manila’s factories.

Tony became a member of the moderate NUSP and the more militant Kabataang Makabayan. His experience of the First Quarter Storm of 1970 sharpened his political awareness. School became second priority. He took a few units only to allow him access into the campus of the Araneta Univesity for his organizing work. By 1971, he had stopped going to school altogether.

Later, he went home to Sorsogon, more for political than sentimental reasons. Relieved at first to see their son back, Tony’s parents soon realized he had come home with his activism. He favored the company of his parents’ farmer-tenants, spending very little time at home. When he did, his talk focused on the farmers’ poverty and in convincing his parents “to share more” with them.

Tony helped organize a KM chapter in Sorsogon and undertook its propaganda and education section, while also helping in organizational work. Eventually he became local KM chair, the KM headquarters becoming more like home to him than his own. He gave fiery speeches during rallies and earned a local reputation as an activist leader and speaker.

Under his leadership, Sorsogon’s activists joined a historic “long march,” that took almost four days. The marchers were sometimes harassed by politicians’ goons, but more often they received warm greetings from local people.

By 1971, Tony and his fellow Bicolano activist leaders were in the government “wanted” list. When Marcos instituted martial law in 1972, Tony went underground and, not long after, joined a small group of armed activists living clandestinely in the villages far from the towns.

As his name became a military byword in Sorsogon, his family suffered for it. Many of his relatives were harassed by soldiers. His father was taken to prison for a week. His brother Norberto, a policeman, was mauled by soldiers for refusing to join a military operation.

Tony and 12 others died in a military ambush less than a year after he had gone underground. When his family brought his body for viewing at the townhall, some of the family’s tenants and villagemates wiped the activist’s battered face clean of blood and grime, a final gesture that showed their love, respect and affection for this young “escribiente” who had given up his short life for their cause. Tony was 24.

Birth: January 15, 1949
Place of Birth: Isidro, Bulan, Sorsogon
Death: July 24, 1973
Place of Death: Sorsogon
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CEBU GOVERNOR SHOULD VACATE CAPITOL

JGL Eye

By JOSEPH G. LARIOSA

(© 2013 Fil Am Extra Exchange)

CHICAGO (FAXX/jGLi) – When I advised then San Juan, Metro Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada to ignore the order of Revolutionary President Cory Aquino in 1986 to vacate the San Juan municipal hall, I questioned the validity of the order because it was not addressed to anybody. I told Mayor Estrada the anonymous order was an insult to his person and his office.

If he really wanted to make a point, Mayor Estrada should call a television cameraman and tear the order to pieces, which he did. Estrada would leave the mayor’s office after a violent take-over by the Aquino forces. And only after presenting a detailed financial report – a surplus – which was unheard of at the time to the Aquino government officials so Estrada would not be accused of running away with the taxpayers’ money.

I was already in Chicago, Illinois, when the iconic defiance of Estrada of tearing the order that conjured an image of a Bonifacio tearing up the cedula (residence certificate) and would launch Estrada’s political fortune to the stratosphere.

Of course, I don’t want this to happen in Cebu. And I appeal to former President Estrada and his allies, including Vice President Binay and Senate President Enrile, to tell Cebu Governor Gwendolyn F. Garcia to vacate the capitol while she appeals her case. What she needs are lawyers, not her grandstanding supporters, to win her case.

The case of Gov. Garcia, whose six months suspension by the late Sec. Jesse Robredo of the Interior and Local Government was sustained by President Noynoy Aquino’s Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa, Jr., was a far cry from Estrada’s case.

In Estrada’s case, the order came out of the blue. But in Garcia’s case, there was a full-blown administrative hearing, where she was given a day in court. She knew a decision was forthcoming.

ROBREDO FOUND GARCIA GUILTY OF GRAVE ABUSE OF AUTHORITY

Robredo found Garcia guilty of grave abuse of authority among others for usurping the appointing power of the Vice Governor, for hiring 19 consultants without prior authorization from the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP), and “slashing the budget, while not illegal, is suggestive of harassment, oppression, and vindictiveness with respondent utilizing the powers of her office and affinity to the SP.”

A copy of the decision on Garcia’s case was emailed to me by Provincial Board Member Vladi Frivaldo of Sorsogon, whose Governor, Raul R. Lee, was denounced by Frivaldo in a privilege speech earlier before the SP for “usurping legislative authority of the Vice Governor by transferring the funds from SP to the Office of the Governor and reducing the budget of Vice Governor from PHP23.2-M in 2009 to PHP2.5-M in 2011 or 76% and the SP budget by 30%.”

Garcia’s trouble started when the late Vice Gov. Gregorio G. Sanchez, Jr. filed complaint against her before the office of Secretary Robredo on Nov. 8, 2010 for encroaching upon Sanchez’ legislative powers, grave misconduct and abuse of authority.

On July 26, 2012, a few months before his death, Secretary Robredo came up with a ruling and elevated the case to the Office of the President “for appropriate action.”

According to the decision of the Office of the President, Gov. Garcia gravely abused her authority by: (1) encroaching on the appointing authority of the complainant over employees of the Office of the Vice-Governor (Sanchez); (2) slashing the budget of the Office of the Vice Governor by 61%; (3) stopping the publication of the Legislative Gavel and non-payment of honoraria of the publication staff; (4) transferring the funding of the Legislative Research and Codification Project from the Office of the Vice-Governor to the Office of the Governor; (5) hiring consultants without prior authority from the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) or Provincial Board; (6) withholding the overtime pay of the personnel of the Office of the Vice Governor; and (7) issuing a check worth PHP10-M without prior authority from the SP.

ELECTION CONDONATION OF PRIOR MISCONDUCT

Gov. Garcia denied all the allegations in the complaint with respect to acts that occurred before June 30, 2010, (when she was re-elected for the third time as governor), invoking the case of Aguinaldo v. Santos. The case held that a public official’s re-election to office operates as a condonation of the official’s misconduct committed during a prior term. I agree with this ruling only if the misconduct was made known to the voters on or before the election.

Garcia was later accused of charges she committed after June 30, 2010.

The ruling did not give credence to her claim that all acts complained of are within a governor’s powers of supervision and control over all programs, projects, services, and activities of the provincial government.

Prior to the investigation of the complaint, Sanchez died. But DILG moved forward with the formal investigation, requiring parties to submit their respective memoranda.

In her memorandum, Gov. Garcia moved for the dismissal of the case due to the death of the complainant, “absence of a valid substitution of complainant” and lack of interest to proceed on the part of the complainant’s successor in office.

In his ruling, Robredo said “administrative case survives the death of the complainant and is not rendered moot by the dismissal of related civil cases,” adding, “unilateral acts of a private complainant will not bind the disciplining authority in its exercise of disciplinary power over erring public officials” and “complainant is only treated as witness.”

The ruling also found Garcia to have usurped the appointing power of the Vice Governor, who has a power to appoint “employees of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, as well as those of the Office of the Vice Governor, whose salaries, are paid out of the funds appropriated for the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.”

After the complainant Sanchez died, Garcia restored the salaries and wages of contractual employees of the Vice Governor, which evoked “malice and bad faith,” “suggestive of an arbitrary exercise of authority,” according to the ruling.

But when Sanchez’s successor, Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale, “transferred to another political party,” Garcia suddenly reduced “the budget of the Vice Governor and the SP for 2011,” which indicated “malice and bad faith,” the ruling added.

Garcia also gravely abused her authority when she hired 19 consultants without “prior, express and separate authorization from the SP.” The ruling said, “continued practice does not justify an illegal act and no vested right can be acquired by an administrative official from an erroneous construction of the law.”

I just hope when a similar complaint is filed against Gov. Raul Lee and other governors, the Office of the President would swiftly investigate and carry out its suspension order as it did against Governor Garcia. (lariosa_jos@sbcglobal.net)

JOSEPH G. LARIOSA

Correspondent

Journal Group Link International

P. O. Box 30110

Chicago IL 60630

U.S.A.

Tel. 312.772.5454

Telefax 312.428.5714

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Law bans Hit List Of Gov’t Enemies

(I find this article by Michael Lim Ubac  of Inquierer News very important, hence I reprinted it here. See also Mr. Lariosa’s article below entitled Gangsters Of Capitalism. junasun)

Rights groups urge swift enforcement

By Michael Lim Ubac

1:23 am | Sunday, December 23rd, 2012

The military is now prohibited from issuing a hit list—officially called “order of battle”—with the enactment of a law against enforced disappearances, Malacañang said on Saturday.

Order of battle is a list of people security forces say are “enemies of the state” to make them “legitimate targets as combatants,” including those not formally charged with crimes.

People on the military’s hit list are open to assassinations, abductions, harassment and intimidation.

Those who have disappeared are known as desaparecidos—the disappeared—a term first used in Latin America to refer to the critics of the Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet who were seized by state security forces and never seen again.

Local security forces have used the order of battle to justify the seizure and detention of critics of the government, mostly activists suspected of being members of the communist New People’s Army or of front organizations belonging to the communist movement in the Philippines.

The new desaparecidos law “rejects [the] use of an order of battle or any similar document to exempt” state agents from the prohibition or “justify” the detention of enemies or critics of the government, President Aquino’s deputy spokesperson, Abigail Valte, said in a radio interview.

The President signed the Anti-Enforced Disappearance Act late Friday, hours after attending the 77th founding anniversary of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

The new law, the first major human rights legislation under Mr. Aquino’s nearly three-year-old administration, imposes up to life imprisonment for state agents convicted of being involved in enforced disappearances.

Its enactment has made the Philippines the first country in Asia to treat enforced disappearance as an offense distinct from ordinary kidnapping.

US-based nongovernment organization Human Rights Watch challenged Mr. Aquino to “move quickly to enforce it.”

“Effective enforcement of this new law by the Philippine government will deter enforced disappearances and address the deep-seated problem of impunity for human-rights abusers,” Brad Adams, the group’s director for Asia, said in a statement.

Missing

According to the human rights group Karapatan, more than 1,000 political activists and suspected supporters have disappeared since the 1972-1986 dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos, including more than 200 under Mr. Aquino’s predecessor, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Karapatan has documented 12 cases of enforced disappearance since 2010 under Mr. Aquino.

The desaparecidos law defines an enforced disappearance as the abduction or “any form of deprivation of liberty” of a person by state officials or their agents who subsequently conceal the person’s fate or whereabouts.

Human rights groups have reported that such people have been kept in a network of “safe houses” where they are tortured and sometimes killed, their bodies buried in unknown graves or dumped in remote areas. They say this was extensively practiced during the Marcos regime.

The law against enforced disappearance prohibits secret detention centers and safe houses and authorizes the government to conduct “regular, unannounced … inspections of all places of detention and confinement.”

The law cannot be suspended even during wartime and does not permit amnesty for those convicted. Superior officers of those found responsible are to be equally penalized.

 

Reporting requirement

According to Valte, the law requires public officials and private citizens to report forced disappearances, and state agencies to investigate cases and report their findings.

It also requires the regular updating of the lists of people being held in state detention centers.

The number of attacks against political opponents of the government has risen alongside the growth of the 43-year-old communist insurgency and the decades-long Moro rebellion in Mindanao, which appears close to a political solution following a preliminary peace accord by the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front signed in October.

Mr. Aquino, son of prodemocracy icons, has pledged to take steps to prosecute violators of human rights during the previous administration and prevent new ones. Rights groups, however, say violations have continued under his administration.

The groups have urged Mr. Aquino to prosecute violators of human rights during the Arroyo administration, particularly retired Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan, who has gone into hiding after being ordered by a court to stand trial for the enforced disappearance of University of the Philippines students Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan in 2006.

Palparan is also believed to have knowledge of the enforced disappearance of left-leaning agriculturist Jonas Joseph Burgos, son of the late journalist Jose Burgos, in 2007.

Rights groups have also urged the Aquino administration to give priority to the passage of a bill pending in Congress to compensate thousands of victims of human rights abuses, including enforced disappearance, during the Marcos dictatorship. With reports from AFP, AP

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