Panata 2010:  Handa na tayo!

National convention of the Kabataan Partylist


UP Bahay ng Alumni


November 18, 2009


Video Clips



Kabataan partylist Rep. Raymond Palatino
Nominees of the Kabataan partylist Delegates and guest



12 November 2009

With the national elections merely six months away, we are all called upon to rise up to the challenge of contributing to genuine social change in our country.

Kabataan Partylist, the first and only youth representative in Congress, is a large network of energized and pro-active young people who are leaders in various organizations, formations and barkadas. Our members from across the regions represent diverse interests and backgrounds, tied by a common vision of a better future for the youth and for the nation. It supports youth and student-led organizations working for social, political, economic, cultural and environmental justice in the Philippines, and enjoins youth from all walks of life to foster active participation in nation-building, good governance and social change.

The National Convention of Kabataan Partylist is scheduled on November 18, 2009, Wednesday, 4:00pm at the Bahay ng Alumni, UP- Diliman, Quezon City. This National Convention with the theme “Panata 2010: Handa na Tayo” is the youth’s declaration that we are ready to step up, take the lead, and claim our rightful voice in the political process, and most importantly, change the way politics in the country is done. It will be participated in by different national organizations, student councils, student publications, young athletes, young celebrities, and youth leaders all over the country.

Mabuhay ang Kabataang Pilipino!




Rep. Satur Ocampo
Rep. Liza Maza
      PLM president Adel Tamano
Program Emcees Son proxies for detained Col. Ariel Quirubin QC Councilor Janet Malaya


By Carol Pagaduan-Araullo

Kabataan party list shows the way

For all intents and purposes, election rules be hanged, the campaign for the 2010 elections began several months ago. The ubiquitous paid political ads, the news headlines and opinion pages herald the fact. But except for the laudable efforts of a few media outlets, the academe and election reform advocates to draw out what the candidates stand for, the trend has been to focus on the admirable qualities of the candidates, be they pedigree, professional credentials, business acumen or government positions held.

And, oh yes, which showbiz personality or media figure is running with or has endorsed whom.

In an election season, one expects that candidates aspiring for national office will endeavor to explain the body of principles, objectives and policies on which they stand in appealing for the electorate’s vote. If it is not in the form of an official document called a platform, then by way of their innumerable speeches and other public pronouncements in the course of the campaign.

But this has not been the case. More often than not the public is left to deduce such an orientation or platform from the candidates’ safe, motherhood statements and elections promises that have no connection with historical precedents, current realities and future directions. The candidates merely pander to what they think the voters want to hear. Or else they try to hoodwink the public into thinking that programs and platforms are not all that important because in the end, it is the character of the candidate that matters.

Certainly, the many crimes of the Arroyo regime involving moral turpitude – stealing, lying, cheating – have so scandalized the people and dominated the political landscape that many of our people are led to throw up their hands in despair and look to heaven for the God-fearing Lot in the Philippines’ version of Sodom and Gomorra. In the process, key and substantive questions of public policy and governance are forgotten, set aside or papered over.

Such as how to revive an economy, create jobs and salvage livelihoods ruined by decades of anti-people, pro-elite and foreign-dominated policies and programs. How to protect the little that remains of our plundered and devastated environment. How to resolve intractable armed conflicts rooted in poverty, backwardness and social injustice. And, not least, how to keep the country from being a surrogate field of battle for the US and other powers bent on maintaining their strategic interests and spheres of influence in this part of Asia.

One political pundit who likes to “explain” things to those he thinks unenlightened or ignorant even posited his own scenario and theory of 3 stages in the current campaign leading up to the May 2010 polls. He does so to explain away why programs and platforms could not possibly be a prominent feature of the unofficial campaign so far.

There is supposed to be the first stage of “Hi and hello!” wherein the candidates “introduc(e) themselves, individually, to the public”. Upon the holding of party conventions, the same candidates will be “introducing themselves as standard-bearers of parties with platforms”. Then come the official campaign period, “they will be competing with the other candidates to convince voters… that they, their platforms, and coalition partners, deserve our vote.”

Thus the acceptable introductory spiel is supposed to be: "Hello, I'm running for President... I'm still looking for a running mate and we still have to build our senatorial slate. Let's talk about our platform later, okay?”

The thing is all candidates are paying lip service to the buzzword “change”, pretending to be the one who will change things for the better. Thus the public’s search for platforms and a serious discussion of issues doesn't stem from ignorance of the “stages” of the campaign. It stems from a demand to know from the candidates what change is needed and what they will commit themselves to.

Unfortunately, the logic that the slate must be put together and then the platform decided is that of the quintessential reactionary politician’s logic. To content oneself with this “staging” is obscurantism and tantamount to advocating things as they are. It even naively projects that at the 3rd stage - after the line ups have actually been formed – candidates will actually shift to a higher level of discussing the issues that people have been clamoring for.

The "explanation" also glosses over the fact that in the more economically and politically advanced countries, including the US, even in multi-party systems, the parties have clear political orientations which their members strongly adhere to. And the platform is a particular time-bound program for implementing that orientation under the prevailing circumstances and to address current issues.

In any case, there is nothing in the COMELEC rules which should prevent a prospective candidate from presenting his stand on the current issues of the day. There is not a single serious candidate on the national level who is still unknown and has to "hi and hello" himself or herself to the public.

The fact that there is no longer such thing today as a party orientation, and party-switching has become commonplace does not militate from the candidates' putting emphasis on their positions on issues and programs; if, as they claim, their new alliances are based on principle and not on political expediency and opportunism.

Thus, the demand on candidates, especially on those who claim they are frontrunners and harbingers of change, to base their introductions, alliances, and campaigns on issues and not on personalities, emotional appeals and other advertising devices is not only reasonable, but intelligent and wise.

One refreshing contrast to the prevailing political cynicism and opportunism dished out by the traditional political parties thus far, is the keynote speech of Kabataan Party List representative Raymond “Mong” Palatino in their recently-held national convention. In lays down simply but eloquently what it is these young, politically-aware and committed Filipinos stand for, essentially what their component organizations have been fighting for long before their first foray in the electoral arena in 2004.

It is neither the first nor the last time they cogently articulate their advocacies and vision of what should and can be. First, quality education for all, serving foremost the needs of the Filipino people. Second, decent jobs for all and protection of the rights and welfare of working people so that the youth need not go abroad to get jobs and secure their future. Third, good governance starting with the prosecution of corrupt officials under the Arroyo administration. Fourth, protection of the environment starting with a stop to destructive mining and an earnest program to address the devastating effects of climate change. Fifth, charting an independent domestic and foreign policy that is not held hostage to the vested interests of foreign powers especially the US.

In general, national leaders who are patriotic, pro-people and democratic, who uphold and protect human rights and who are fully supportive of the youth’s aspirations for a happy, productive and bright future.

Kabataan Party and other like-minded parties competing in the party list elections, show us how to conduct a campaign based on issues and not on personalities. Where the hi-and-hello is immediately followed by, here-is-what-we-stand-for. #


PUP Pep squad

Gloc 9    

Youth solon ‘dismayed’ over Comelec discrimination vs. gays

13 November 2009

Kabataan Party-list Representative Raymond “Mong” Palatino today expressed dismay over the Commission on Elections’ decision to bar Ang Ladlad Partylist from seeking congressional representation on grounds that it “tolerates immorality.”

“We feel saddened with the Comelec’s decision to dismiss Ang Ladlad’s petition. It is unfortunate that discrimination against the LGBT (Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgenders) community is reflected in offices such as the Comelec, an agency that is expected to know what the meaning of democracy is,” said Palatino.

The young solon said he “shares the disappointment of a broad number of LGBT in the youth sector.”

Palatino said the Comelec’s rationale for dismissing Ang Ladlad’s petition is “flawed and myopic.” “It seems that the Comelec is guided by antiquated beliefs, such as equating homosexuality with immorality. Para silang nabubuhay sa Stone Age,” he said.

“If being gay offends the morals, what about killing activists and stealing from the people’s coffers? If it refused accreditation to legitimate sectoral representatives such as Ang Ladlad, why did it allow pseudo partylists like Bantay and Kasangga? As far as I know, these pseudo-partylists are the real threats to young Filipinos. Pseudo-partylists and political opportunists using the partylist system for their vested interests are the ones who are truly ‘immoral,” Palatino said.

Bantay Partylist is represented by retired general Jovito Palaparan, who was known as “the butcher” for his bloody human rights records, while Kasangga’s seat is taken by Lourdes Arroyo, younger sister of First Gentleman Mike Arroyo.

“We would rather work with Ang Ladlad here in Congress than with these partylists which do not represent marginalized sectors. We are one with the LGBT community, especially the LGBT youth, in condemning this flawed and lopsided decision,” the youth solon said.

Palatino also denounced the Comelec’s recent decision to refuse accreditation to Migrante Partylist, which represents Overseas Filipino Workers. Since the introduction of the partylist system in 1998, there hasn’t been any Congressional representative from both the LGBT and OFW sectors.###


Solon seeks probe on textbooks, other DepEd anomalous contracts

14 July 2009

Kabataan Party-list Rep. Mong Palatino today sought to re-open the investigation over unresolved corruption issues involving the Department of Education as some 200 high school students trooped to DepEd-National Capital Region to complain about erroneous textbooks being used in public high schools.

The high school students brought samples of erroneous textbooks that are still being used by public high schools despite previous orders from the DepEd to have them pulled out.

“If these are the same textbooks that were supplied by the anomalous textbooks deal that has already been scrapped by Malacanang and DepEd in June 2007 then they have to be pulled out from use immediately and investigated,” Palatino said.

From 1999 to 2004, the bulk of the bid awards for textbook supply and delivery was given to the Vibal Publishing Group suggesting a monopoly of services leading to “unfair competition” grossly disadvantageous to the government.

“This comes as a disappointment, a veritable cause to be enraged, especially in the face of the dilapidated state of public education, this blunt corruption at the expense of the quality education our youth so deserve,” Palatino said.

Kabataan Party-list also launched a petition campaign calling on the DepEd to pull out erroneous textbooks and calling on the investigation of unresolved corruption cases involving the DepEd, such as the textbook and instant noodles scams.

Palatino said that he also plans to seek an inquiry into DepEd’s anomalous contracts.

“Aside from the textbook and instant noodles scams, we have also learned about other cases of overpricing and anomalous bidding processes within the DepEd. We will expose these in due time,” he said. ###




We’re still scratching our heads
On DepEd’s response to allegations of overpriced medical and dental supplies, anti-lice shampoo

After three months, the Department of Education (DepEd) has finally gathered their wits and came up with an answer to our inquiry regarding the price discrepancies in the agency’s procurement of citronella shampoo and medical supplies. In a news report by Inquirer’s Philip Tubeza today, DepEd officials claimed that there was no overpricing as they put premium on quality over quantity. We would not be engaging in a tit-for-tat with the agency as they seem to be missing the point of our inquiry. Rather, we urge the agency to delve deeper into the issue. They may have come up with an explanation with regard to overpricing, but the core issues remain: transparency and irregularity in the agency’s bidding process, and the seriousness of the project in addressing the medical needs of the students. The price may be right but the process isn’t.

Why were there drastic and incredible changes in the item descriptions in the three bidding documents? In 2007, DepEd’s Bids and Awards Committee I (BAC I) called for eligible bidders for the supply and delivery of disposable dental needles, otoscopes (Php1,000,000 for 500 sets), citronella shampoo (Php900,000 for 150,000 sachets) and other items. In an invitation to bid (rebid) issued on August 3, 2008, the number of Citronella Shampoo to be procured was changed from 150,000 sachets to 75,000 sachets, but the budget for these items was still Php900,000. In another bid bulletin issued on August 22, 2008, the number of citronella shampoo to be procured was changed from 500 to 75 sets, still with the same allocation of 1 million pesos. Based on these changes, DepEd seems to be setting rock-bottom prices for these goods but in the end, they purchase items at a high or higher price.

On the issue of overpricing, DepEd cannot yet say that it doesn’t overprice when the bidding documents clearly show otherwise. For instance, included in the invitation to bid were P125,000 pieces of disposable dental needs priced at P11 each. Yet, other companies only offer them at P2.80 to P4.75. What is DepEd’s excuse for this one?

In the same report, DepEd officials also stated that the citronella shampoo sachets have yet to be bought. During the plenary interpellation of the Education department’s budget, however, DepEd said that the shampoo and otoscopes have already been purchased but have yet to be delivered. Why such conflicting statements? The objective of the project under question is to improve the condition of our students. As DepEd itself stated, almost 8 million school children were affected by pediculosis in 2000. If the agency is indeed serious in addressing these concerns, the sachets of citronella shampoo and otoscopes could have reached our students by now. Moreover, we ask DepEd, can 75 sets of otoscopes and 75,000 sachets of citronella shampoo address the medical needs of millions of school children? Such quantity can hardly make a dent especially in the face of worsening health conditions of our students.

In light of the unresolved instant noodles and textbook scams, these discrepancies are deeply concerning and confusing for the public who only wish for DepEd to effectively implement health programs and projects and look after the welfare of public school children. While we push for higher budgetary allocation for the department, we also want DepEd to intelligently use its meager budget by conducting transparent and efficient bidding processes, and launching programs that our students needed the most.

We can only scratch our heads over DepEd’s half-baked answers.

-Kabataan Party-list Rep. Raymond “Mong” Palatino


Registration of delegates
Delegates in front of the UP Bahay ng Alumni

Oil price freeze a publicity stunt -solon

16 November 2009

Kabataan Partylist Representative Raymond “Mong” Palatino today said with the government implementing the price freeze for only 27 days, EO 839 became nothing but a publicity stunt by Malacanang. EO 839 mandates that oil prices in Luzon, particularly in areas affected by the typhoon Ondoy, remain in their October 15 rates.

“EO 839 attempted to change the government’s image of siding with big oil companies. In the end, when it scrapped the price freeze, it revealed its ugly face-that it will continue to allow the profiteering designs by oil companies at the expense of the Filipinos,” he said.

Palatino said the 27-day price freeze was not long enough to make a siginificant impact on oil prices.

“When Malacanang ordered the prize freeze, oil prices were already overpriced by P5.48 per liter,” he said, adding that price increases also occurred in areas not covered by EO 839 while it was still in effect.

“Malacanang said it scrapped the order on the condition that oil firms will implement discounts on oil products in selected areas and provide help to flood victims. Such conditions, however, are inadequate because the oil prices have increased to unbelievable levels because of the continued implementation of the Oil Deregulation Law,” Palatino said.

Meanwhile, Palatino said oil companies who will be found hoarding oil supplies should be charged with economic sabotage.



Solon to Ombudsman, House: Heed Senate Blue Ribbon recommendations immediately

11 November 2009

Kabataan Partylist Representative Raymond “Mong” Palatino today challenged the Ombudsman and the House of Representatives to immediately act on the recommendations of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee to prosecute President Arroyo and other public officials involved in the NBN-ZTE controversy.

“An impeachment case against Arroyo and graft raps versus those involved remain in order. We especially want to see FG Mike and former Comelec chair Abalos in trial, while further investigation may just shed more light from the testimonies of the likes of Neri, Joey de Venecia and Jun Lozada,” Palatino said.

Palatino said he found it unfortunate that Lozada and de Venecia were included among those who should be charged with graft and corruption. “This might send a wrong message to future whistleblowers,” he said.

“The problem, however, is that institutions that can prosecute them are so tight with the First Family. In fact, their clout in the House of Representatives and the Ombudsman has resulted to the junking of several impeachment and graft raps in the past. Arroyo has virtually destroyed checks and balances in the government,” he said.

The young lawmaker said, “Once again, the dismissal of possible cases versus the Arroyos would put them in a bad light among the youth who only want those who abuse their power for plunder and massive larceny. We hope that these institutions at least redeem themselves, especially Arroyo’s allies in Congress, before the 2010 elections.” ##