Police attempts violent dispersal of peaceful UP rally vs GMA

 

UJP Diliman campus

 

December 2, 2009

 

 

 

 

The Quezon City Police used truncheons to beat up protesting students, three of whom had to be brought to the infirmary. They attempted to arrest several of the protesters and even handcuffed two of them. Adding insult to injury, Quezon City Police official Elmo San Diego tagged some of the rallyists as “addicts” as if this could justify the fascist acts the police committed.

 

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Photos courtesy of The Philippine Collegian and Roselle Pineda of CONTEND-UP
           
           

 

-UP COMMUNITY CONDEMNS POLICE BRUTALITY INSIDE THE DILIMAN CAMPUS
December 3, 2009

We strongly condemn the violence inflicted by the police against the peaceful assembly of UP students, faculty and staff protesting against Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who was supposed to inaugurate the George Ty-Toyota Buildings of the Asian Center yesterday, December 2, 2009.

The Quezon City Police used truncheons to beat up protesting students, three of whom had to be brought to the infirmary. They attempted to arrest several of the protesters and even handcuffed two of them. Adding insult to injury, Quezon City Police official Elmo San Diego tagged some of the rallyists as “addicts” as if this could justify the fascist acts the police committed.

This is the first time in the history of protest actions in UP Diliman since Martial Law that the police were allowed to enter the campus and conduct a crowd control operation. Even during the height of Arroyo’s declaration of a state of national emergency in February 2006 there was no visible police presence in the campus in spite of the daily protests held in Diliman.

A senior police officer interviewed on national television said that it was UP officials, particularly the UP Diliman Chancellor Sergio S. Cao, who called them to enter the university. We strongly condemn Chancellor Cao for calling the police and thereby giving them license to use violence against peaceful protesters inside the university. It is truly immoral, if not, malicious for the Chancellor of UP Diliman to inflict this violence on his own constituency.

Today’s protest against Arroyo in the university was not unexpected.

The immediate provocation was the Ampatuan massacre of 60 persons which included the killings of 30 journalists, two women-lawyers and over twenty women. This carnage underscored Arroyo’s lack of political will in confronting the Ampatuan clan and her inability to enforce authority in Maguindanao having ceded it to these warlords whom she and Garci relied on for votes in 2004 and 2007. The faculty of the College of Law, the College of Mass Communications and the Department of Women and Development Studies and the University Center for Women’s Studies, and the UP Sectoral Regents have come out with statements demanding justice for the victims and an end to impunity.

In addition, the day before Arroyo’s planned visit to the university, she filed her certificate of candidacy for Pampanga representative, further underlining her intent to stay in power.

But beyond these immediate reasons, the UP community has long been outraged by the corruption, fraud, terror, and impunity that have marked Arroyo’s nine years in office. The University Council of UP Diliman has come out with two statements demanding that “GMA must go” and another statement condemning the abductions of UP students Karen Empeno and Sherlyn Cadapan, who remain missing to this day.

Arroyo’s neoliberal education policies, which have required state universities and colleges including UP to generate revenues to cover the limited budget allocation for public higher education institutions, have led to increases in tuition and other fees and reliance on private donors such as Toyota and Ayala for badly needed infrastructure, transforming UP into a commercialized institution. Furthermore, Arroyo’s budget proposal for 2010 for the university means a budget cut of over P2 billion, including a P280 million cut in the maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) of the university, the biggest in recent years

We hold Chancellor Cao responsible for the condemnable acts of violence perpetrated by the police against a peaceful protest of faculty, staff and students. We likewise demand that the UP administration renew its commitment to maintaining UP campuses as havens for free assembly and expression. Finally, we demand that policemen involved in the beating up of the protesters be charged and brought to justice

Initial Signatories:

UP Faculty Regent Judy Taguiwalo
UP Student Regent Charisse Bernadine Bañez
UP Staff Regent Clodualdo Cabrera
CMC Dean Rolando Tolentino
Dr. Noli Reyes, Institute of Mathematics
Dr. Fidel Nemenzo, Institute of Mathematics
Former CSSP Dean Consuelo Paz
Prof. Roselle Pineda, Department of Art Studies
Prof. Sarah Raymundo
Former UP Student Regent Terry Ridon
USC Vice Chair Jaque Eroles
Antonio Tinio, Department of Filipino and ACT National Chair
Noli Anoos, National President, All-UP Workers Union
Prof. Danilo Arao, Department of Journalism, College of Mass Communication

 

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BEWS RELEASE
December 2, 2009
Reference: Terry Ridon, League of Filipino Students chairperson (09158513904)

Police assault youth rally in GMA visit to UP

UP DILIMAN, QUEZON CITY – Nine youth rallyists were hurt when Quezon City Police District police assaulted the protest action infront of the UP Asian Center where Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is supposed to attend the inaugural rites of a new building here.

The students, mostly coming from UP Diliman and from different youth organizations, were assembled at the left side of the Asian Center to lambast Arroyo’s congressional bid as a desperate effort to stay in power and get away from several charges of corruption and human rights violations against her.

A group of students attempted to gather exactly infront of the building to serve as welcome protest where Arroyo who is supposed to arrive at 1:30 PM.

Upon seeing the trooping, the QCPD police immediately assaulted the students. An unidentified officer of the police ordered his men to arrest the students. Some of them immediately took out their handcuffs and held two students, identified as Ronald Gustilo of the League of Filipino Students and Robert Somillo, student of the UP College of Social Sciences and Philosophy.

Another student, Yvan Yonaha, was hit in the right eye twice by an unidentified police.

The rest of the injured with minor cuts and abrasions were Yani Lasam, Rainier Sindayen, Lia Torres, Roel Flores, Maan Brillantes, Japo Parcero and Life Garcia, all UP students.

Meanwhile, two members of the media, Rolex dela Peña of the European Press Agency and Rouelle Umali of the Manila Bulletin were also assaulted by the police by trying to grab their cameras.

After the dispersal, it was reported that Arroyo will not attend the ceremonies anymore.

League of Filipino Students and UP College of Law student Terry Ridon condemned the assault.

“Never since the days of Martial Law that students were assaulted inside the campus bearing a very strong message, a message of indignation against how the Arroyo government has grown callous of the demands of the people for her to step down, and to make herself accountable from her sins to the Filipino people,” Ridon said.

He likewise commended the students, who were accompanied by teachers, employees and the student, faculty and staff regents of the UP Board of Regents, for sending the warning to Arroyo.

“She has no escape with the youth, we will not allow her to extend her reign anymore,” Ridon said. ###

News.scmp@gmail.com pw: john1010

 

     
     
           

 

Fascism in UP
Perpetrators: Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, UP Pres Emerlindam Roman, UPD Chancellor Sergio Cao

STAND UP strongly condemns Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Emerlinda Roman and Sergio Cao for the brutal dispersal of students, faculty, staff, and community by no less than members of the UP Diliman Police, SSB, Presidential Security Group, Quezon City Police District, NCR Police Office in a protest action on December 2, 2009 at the Asian Institute of Islamic Studies, UP Diliman. We also call for justice and genuine democracy inside the campus and in the country, not one that is imposed by violence.

The anti-Arroyo protest action was done in response to the decade-long impunity of Arroyo’s regime, Ampatuan-Arroyo perpetrated massacre in Maguindanao, and her candidacy for a congressional seat in the 2nd district of Pampanga despite allegations of massive electoral fraud in 2005. Students, faculty, staff, University officials, and members of the Board of Regents were victims of the violent dispersal of the protest action done by the Police. UP students from STAND-UP and KABATAAN Partylist were either injured or were nearly taken into custody with two being sent to the infirmary, one being handcuffed but later released, and more than a dozen left scarred and bludgeoned.

The mere fact that Arroyo was cordially invited to attend the inauguration of the GT Toyota Asian Center Museum is a slap on the face of the UP community calling for her ouster. Our right to protest on campus was paid for in blood by those that preceded us, much more the prohibition of external security forces from entering the campus. These were apparently glossed over when Roman and Cao were all too eager to give Arroyo a fitting welcome—with the blood and bruises of its community littering the streets. It is more appalling that while the protesters were being violently dispersed the UP Administration did not even do anything to stop the violent dispersal. It is even disturbing that after two days, the violent dispersal went unnoticed by the UP Administration. This shows how the UP Administration was an accessory in perpetrating such a crime towards its own community.

 

It comes as a no-brainer that such an atrocity could be done to the students under the regime that perpetrated the enforced disappearance of UP students Karen Empeño, Sherlyn Cadapan, and James Balao. It is not surprising that such atrocities are allowed by the UP administration responsible for repressing student organizations, faculty, staff, and the demolition of the communities.

While the crisis of the Arroyo regime deepens with her decreasing popularity, and while the Filipino People experience unprecedented levels of poverty, this event highlighted the fervent need and desire of the people to remove Arroyo from power and those who actively support and tolerate her anti-student and anti-people policies. The violent dispersal only served to trigger the unity of the UP Community in advancing the Peoples’ interests for genuine democracy and social change, and will to continue to call for the removal of Arroyo and her accomplices here in the University.

Papet, Pasista, Pahirap sa Masa, Patalsikin si Glora!
Ampatuan at Arroyo, Singilin! Panagutin!
Uphold and Defend Human Rights!

Papet, Pasista, Pahirap sa Masa, Patalsikin si Glora!
Ampatuan at Arroyo, Singilin! Panagutin!
Uphold and Defend Human Rights!
 

Yani Lasam
0915.6600710
 

           
     
     
           

 

News Release December 2, 2009
Reference: Terry Ridon, League of Filipino Students chairperson

Arroyo has no escape from people’s clamor for justice -- youth groups

With a warning they will not let her escape from accountability and the people’s clamor for justice, youth groups held a lightning rally when Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo visited the University of the Philippines this morning.

League of Filipino Students chairperson Terry Ridon lambasted Arroyo’s Congressional bid as an escape from charges that are lined up once she steps down from the presidency.

“There is no doubt that this is still part of the maneuvers for her to stay in power beyond 2010. Charter change is very much alive,” Ridon said.

Ridon recalled that once Arroyo is elected in Congress, the plans to call for a Constitutional Assembly can push through, with Arroyo being elected as Prime Minister and thereby perpetuating in power.

Devil from heaven?

Student Christian Movement of the Philippines chairperson Cristina Guevarra, meanwhile, criticized a priest’s liking of Arroyo to Christ, asking the former “where in the Christian faith will they find a devil descending from heaven.”

“Has the devil won? Where is justice in this country where the tormentors of the people get all the praise and vindication?” Guevarra said.

She added that Arroyo’s unchanged plans of running for Congress proved that there is no justice until she remains in power, most especially for the thousands of cases of human rights violations including the victims of the Maguindanao massacre.

“Blood is in her hands, for coddling mass murderers and butchers in her arms,” Guevarra said.

No way to go

For his part, Anakbayan vice chairperson Anton Dulce said Arroyo has no way to go but face the people’s wrath in 2010 elections and beyond.

“We believe that she will only win again by using her political and military might in Pampanga, same with how she won the presidency by widespread fraud and violence,” Dulce said.

He called on the people, not only in Pampanga, to keep vigil and push through genuine change while holding Arroyo accountable from the fraud, corruption and crises her administration has inflicted upon the people.

“There is no turning back with this fight. In the same way that the regime is bound to keep this evil president, we will continue to fight back,” Dulce said. ###

Student Christian Movement of the Philippines * League of Filipino Students * Anakbayan * National Union of Students of the Philippines * College Editors Guild of the Philippines

 

     
     
           

 

THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE MUST GO

STATEMENT OF CONCERNED UP STUDENTS, FACULTY AND STAFF

ON THE OCCASION OF GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO'S INAUGURATION
OF THE GEORGE TY-TOYOTA BUILDING OF THE ASIAN CENTER

December 2, 2009

An inaugural event is a promise of a new beginning. But new and hopeful beginnings emerge with endings marked by decisive ruptures. It is no accident of circumstance nor history that President Gloria-Macapagal Arroyo is tasked the important job to deliver an inaugural speech to commence a series of important events to take place at the George Ty-Toyota building, yet the newest edifice in the University of the Philippines' Asian Center.

This is the President who cheated her way to the 2004 elections and who betrayed the trust of the filipino people through a shameless phone call to then COMELEC Commissioner Garci, an act characteristic of the most reckless hustlers and gangsters.

Macapagal-Arroyo's corrupt ways include, among countless others, her penchant for fine dining in the most expensive restaurants in New York City, her shady dealings with profiteering government officials and big business people as in the NBN-ZTE deal; and her monstrosity towards whistle blowers who can no longer stomach the rapaciousness of this regime.

This is the president who has made it difficult for Filipino youth to gain access to education through policies that commercialize education, turning a basic right to a costly commodity. She who has consistently chosen to fund guns over books has consequently imposed scandalous and miserable conditions to the noble profession of teaching.

Macapagal-Arroyo has presided over a regime that has committed human rights violations which include more than 50 summary executions all over the Philippines, the worst and most recent being the Ampatuan massacre in Maguindanao that killed more than 64 people. Her close ties to the Ampatuan warlord clan is proven not only by political affiliation but even more so by the use of people's taxes to fund a massacre perpetrated by elements from the Philippine National Police (PNP), Philippine Army and armed Civilian Volunteer Organizations (CVOs).

 

This is the President who has never heeded our call for justice for more than a thousand victims of extra-judicial killings. Families and friends of more than two hundred desaparicidos are still searching for their loved ones. Our very own Karen Empeno and Sherlyn Cadapan were forced to disappear in June 2006. Since then, we have only learned of the brutal torture inflicted by military elements on these two brave and young women activists. Macapagal-Arroyo has committed all these crimes under the legal framework of this government's internal security program called Oplan Bantay Laya I and II.

As an academic community, we have demanded for her to step down through our collective call “GMA MUST GO!” We have, time and again, participated in mass protests that have turned every street to a site of transformation through our resolute strides and clenched fists. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's undeniable interest to continue to remain in power after the 2010 elections is a possibility made more real by her announcement that she is going to run as a representative in Pampanga. This shameless and arrogant intent to cling to power must be countered by our collective demand to end impunity and for justice to prevail now.

That the president herself is here in our University for an inaugural affords no alarm and no surprises. On account of our legacy and history as the UNIVERSITY OF THE PEOPLE, we shall give Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo the welcome that she deserves. Our vow to SERVE THE PEOPLE bids us to shake the ground beneath her feet: Gloria Macapagal Arroyo—ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE—must go, now!

Join the protest action of the Iskolar ng Bayan, assembly at 10 am by the College of Law parking lot across the Asian Center.
Wear black.

End Impunity, Justice Now!
GMA MUST GO!

UP AWARE (UP Alliance Working for Arroyo’s Removal)

 

           
     
   
     
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Protests hound Arroyo at GT-Toyota Asian Cultural Center inauguration

 

by Marjohara Tucay

Philippine Collegian

At least nine protesters were injured after attempting to breach a police barricade in Magsaysay Avenue, where Gloria Arroyo was scheduled to attend the inauguration of the GT-Toyota Asian Cultural Center (GTACC) in UP Diliman.

Over fifty protesters from UP Diliman and the Polytechnic University of the Philippines held a protest action near the GTACC, holding signs condemning the Ampatuan massacre and Arroyo's bid for representative of Pampanga to Congress.

Students, faculty and employees, including Faculty Regent Judy Taguiwalo and Student Regent Charisse Banez, were violently restrained by around two dozen members of the Quezon City Police District (QCPD), the UP Diliman Police, and UP's Special Services Brigade (SSB).

"Ipinagbabawal ng [Enrile Accord] ang pagpasok ng mga pulis sa loob ng UP," said former Student Regent Terry Ridon.

The entry of members of the military and police forces other than UPD police within 50 feet from the school premises is banned by the Sotto-Enrile accord, unless otherwise allowed by university officials.

Chancellor Sergio Cao officially requested the assistance of police troops, said QCPD officer Elmo San Diego.

Also, the UP administration did not set a limit on the number of police allowed into university premises for the inauguration ceremony, said San Diego. The QCPD will send as many policemen "as necessary" to secure the area, he added.

Arroyo canceled her appearance, but Senator and former UP President Edgardo Angara attended the event. # (With reports and photos from Larissa Mae Suarez)

Tags: corruption, asian center, gma, up, gt-toyota
Prev: Despite BOR order to take action; ‘UPLB administration still allows militarization, red-tagging’

 

     
           
     
     
     

 

www.anakbayanhq.multiply.com
anakbayanphils@gmail.com


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 2, 2009
Reference Person:
Anton Dulce, Media Officer, 09151127148

ANAKBAYAN holds protest in UP against Gloria’s planned lifetime rule

Youth group ANAKBAYAN today joined students, faculty, and employees of the University of the Philippines in a rally at the UP Diliman Campus condemning Gloria Arroyo’s run for Congress in 2010.

Arroyo was a guest at the inauguration of a new building in the Asian Center of the Diliman campus today.

"The signs are everywhere: she is preparing to rule the country forever" said ANAKBAYAN chairperson Ken Ramos.

The youth leader explained that should moves to change the Constitution push through, one probable change would be a Parliamentary-form of government. In such an event, Arroyo would become eligible to be elected to the highest position in the land, this time as Prime Minister.

He also slammed the Supreme Court decision allowing appointed officials who are running in the 2010 elections remain in their posts.

"This allows Gloria to use the full might of the government in ensuring her electoral victory" said Ramos.

At the center of such moves is her desire to escape prosecution from the many charges of corruption and human rights violations accumulated in her eight-year reign, he added.

"The only position she deserves to be elected is as mayor of a cell in the Bilibid" he said.

Ramos also warned of the implications of Arroyo's candidacy on the investigation of the Maguindanao Massacre and the primary suspects, Datu Unsay Mayor Datu Andal Jr.

"Gloria needs the Ampatuan family, and her other allied warlords, more than ever to ensure that her allies are elected in droves on 2010. We are no longer surprised by the government's foot-dragging in the Ampatuan investigation."

The youth leader called on youths and students nationwide to form ‘welcoming committees’ to ‘greet’ Gloria Arroyo as she visits schools nationwide.

“But instead of flowers, we should give her rotten eggs and tomatoes which symbolize the rottenness of her rule” said Ramos. ###
 

     
     
           
     
     
     

www.anakbayanhq.multiply.com
anakbayanphils@gmail.com

PRESS STATEMENT
December 2, 2009
Reference Person:
Anton Dulce, Media Officer, 09151127148

Gloria preparing herself for life-long rule - ANAKBAYAN

"We have it straight from the horse's, or rather the devil's mouth"

This was the reaction of ANAKBAYAN chairperson Ken Ramos on the
pronouncement yesterday of Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita that
Charter change remains a top priority of the Arroyo regime.

The group had previously warned that Gloria Arroyo, who has already
filed her COC for Representative of the 2nd District of Pampanga,
would seek to remain in power after her presidential term ends in 2010
through Charter Change.

According to Ramos, should Arroyo win in 2010 while Charter Change
succeeds in shifting the form of government from presidential to
parliamentary, there would be no stopping from her being elected again
as the country's head of state.

He reiterated that Arroyo's primary motivation would be to escape
multiple cases of corruption and human rights violations which she
would be forced to face once she loses her presidential immunity from
criminal suits.

The youth leader also slammed the recent Supreme Court decision
junking a COMELEC resolution which mandated that appoint government
officials should resign from their posts if they opt to run in the
upcoming elections.

"The same state machinery that used electoral fraud and violence to
Arroyo's advantage in 2004 and 2007 is again at her disposal, thanks
to the ruling" said Ramos.

Meanwhile, ANAKBAYAN praised the youths who participated in an
anti-Arroyo rally yesterday at the University of the
Philippines-Diliman campus, calling on other youths to emulate their
actions.

"Yesterday's battle at the UPD Campus is but the opening shot in the
youth's revolt against a power-hungry president. Youths everywhere
should form 'welcoming committees' to 'greet' the President with
rotten tomatoes and eggs" said Ramos, also a former UP student regent.
###

     
     
           

Streetwise
By Carol Pagaduan-Araullo

Clinging to reins of power

Her term ending in June 2010, de facto president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo finally filed her candidacy as congresswoman in the second district of Pampanga, her hometown, ending all speculation that she would seek the post.  The prevarication and manipulation that preceded it, the orchestrated “clamor” for her to run and the barrage of legal, religious and political justifications for a sitting president, with all the unfair and undue advantage of her office, to seek a congressional seat – all clearly point to a vile scheme to keep the Arroyo-Ermita-Gonzales clique in power beyond 2010.

The members of the Arroyo cabal have managed to escape accountability by stretching, distorting and mangling to previously unimaginable lengths not only the laws of the land but every single norm of decency, propriety and morality.  They have displayed to all and sundry - at the expense of the Filipino people - what one can do with a decaying social and political system to gain, expand and preserve power, wealth and privilege.  

The Arroyo clique has been close to a decade in power.   It has gotten away with stealing the 2004 presidential elections; with declaring emergency rule and cracking down on the protest movement demanding Arroyo’s ouster; and with scams to amass mind-boggling wealth together with the gagging of witnesses by invoking “executive privilege” (a trick upheld by a Supreme Court packed with Arroyo appointees).  

It has masterminded, through Oplan Bantay Laya, the summary executions of critics and unarmed dissidents and displaced tens of thousands of civilians in the name of countering “terrorism” and “insurgency”.  It has deliberately sustained warlordism and the concomitant reign of lawless terror in the countryside in order to “multiply” the capacity of the military, police and paramilitary forces in waging a US-directed “dirty war” against the restive populace. The recent massacre perpetrated by the Ampatuans in Maguindanao is only the latest and so far worst atrocity brought about by the Arroyo culture of state-sponsored violence and impunity.

It has driven the economy and the people’s livelihood to the ground by blindly following the neoliberal “globalization” policy framework.  It has persisted in implementing the debt-driven, export-oriented and foreign investment-led economic model that has consistently failed to bring about genuine development but instead worsened the grinding poverty, want and misery of the people.

Not least of its sins is that, in exchange for continued United States backing for its illegitimate rule, it allows the world’s Superpower to establish an unwarranted, illegal and downright interventionist military presence on Philippine soil. In so doing, the Arroyo regimes has undermined the rights and welfare of Filipinos in their own country especially victims of military operations and crimes committed by US forces.

The clamor to put an end to the Arroyo regime is clearly overwhelming. Most have pinned their hopes in the coming elections, believing there is no way Arroyo and her gang can hold on to the presidency beyond June 2010.

 

This is deja vu circa 1971-72, when the Marcos presidency was about to reach the end of its constitutional term.  Ferdinand Marcos orchestrated a series of incidents, from the Plaza Miranda bombing in 1971 to the fake ambush on then Defense Secretary Enrile on the eve of the declaration of martial law, to justify the perpetuation of his rule as martial law dictator.

Recent history and current circumstances tell us that whether or not elections take place, the Arroyo clique will still be in a position to retain power.   Mrs. Arroyo may appear to have "graciously stepped down" from the presidency by running for a congressional seat, but she still has sufficient de facto control and political clout to catapult herself back in power.  

The administration machinery, with all the ill-gotten wealth and the military and police establishments behind it, will certainly be utilized once more to realize the electoral "victory" of Arroyo followers at all levels (congress and local government).  With such notorious characters as Garci, Bolante, Abalos off the hook and living now in even greater comfort, how many more scams and millions of votes can this machinery produce for these coming "elections"?

Moreover, the Arroyo clique has the ability, resources and the strong motivation to disrupt the electoral process itself, declare a failure of elections en toto or selectively, and resort to emergency rule anytime it estimates that this is necessary to ensure its hold on power.  

The apparent complacency and cavalier attitude of the COMELEC towards addressing the gargantuan and critical problems in implementing the Automated Elections System is not at all reassuring.  The entire system appears to be designed to fail and is indeed headed for failure.

We cannot allow the Arroyo gang to succeed with its evil design to remain in power.  We cannot wait until after the elections to unmask, resist and defeat such a horrendous plot that portends to be even worse than the palace coup that imposed fascist rule under the Marcos dictatorship.  

The broad array of anti-Arroyo forces and personages must awaken to the real and malevolent threat that the Arroyo clique presents to any semblance of a democratic electoral exercise in 2010 while recognizing the basic defects in the ruling system that breeds such evil.  

Despite the substantial differences and the divergent campaigns being waged by the opposition  candidates for national and local offices, a way must be found to unite once more and face the menace of an Arroyo regime entrenching itself in Malacañang for years to come.  

Opposing the Arroyo gang's bid to perpetuate itself in power is the necessary first step to bringing about genuine reforms in our society.  #

           
     
     
     

 

News Release
03 December 2009
Reference: Emmi de Jesus, GABRIELA Vice Chairperson /Gabriela Women's Party Nominee
371-2302 / 0917-3221203

END ARROYO'S EVIL RULE – GABRIELA

“There was never any doubt charter change is the foremost agenda in Arroyo's bid for congress and it is towards seizing power as the prime minister. Sobrang kapal ng mukha niya. Wala siya ni katiting na kahihiyan.” This was the statement of the militant women's group GABRIELA on the plan of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to run for congress in the coming elections.

Confuting allies of the president who compared Arroyo to Jesus Christ for “coming down to serve,” the women's group said that Arroyo's bid for congress can be more likened to “Lucifer's manuevering to seize power not to serve but to be served.”

“Arroyo's evil rule for almost ten years created the state of lawlessness in this country where cheating, robbing and killing is encouraged by rewarding criminals with more political power. She insists on staying in power to shield herself from being tried and punished knowing her hands are sullied with the blood of Filipinos, including women and children, killed under her regime,” said Emmi de Jesus, GABRIELA vice chairperson and Gabriela Women's Party nominee.

De Jesus added that aside from political killing, Arroyo is also responsible for the Filipinos who perished from hunger and poverty due to government's policies that intensified the miseries of Filipino families.”

According to De Jesus, their group calls on women and all concerned citizens not only to strongly oppose GMA's shameless scheme but also to kick her out of office now to end her immoral rule. “The long list of Arroyo's crimes against women and the Filipino people is enough reason to ban the president from seeking public office. It is not a issue of legality but the need to salvage the country and the people from imminent disaster should Arroyo head the government once again.”

“We will muster women power to frustrate the political bids of Arroyo and the rest of her evil ilk,” said De Jesus.###


Public Information Department
GABRIELA National Office
(+632) 3712302

     
           
     
     
     

 

Law group shall file plunder cases against President Arroyo et al.

“If President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo thinks that she would continue to remain immune from suit by being a member of the House of Representatives in 2010, the president is dreaming,” human rights law group National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) said.

The term of President Arroyo shall end at noon on June 30, 2010, in accordance with Article VII, Section 4 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution.

The law group intends to file plunder charges and human rights abuses against the president and her cohorts before the Ombudsman as soon as the president’s immunity from suit is pierced come noon of June 30, 2010.

If the president has a dream of becoming a prime minister to bring back her immunity by pursuing charter change in Congress, she certainly would not succeed. The Filipino people have already perceive the president as ‘a megalomaniac, a woman obsessed with power and wealth’. If she could not successfully pursue charter change while still a president, due to strong opposition from different sectors, with more reason that she would fail in that ‘evil purpose’ as a congresswoman, and with a new president already elected.

Surely, the newly elected president would not agree to a revision of the constitution establishing a parliamentary form of government as such a move would clip the powers of the elected president. No newly elected president would agree to such an ‘evil purpose’.

Hence, even if President Arroyo wins a seat in the House of Representatives, she will be tried and punished for her crimes. The prescribed penalties for plunder and human rights abuses are certainly beyond the six-year imprisonment which is the limit from which a member of Congress is privileged from arrest under Article VI, Section 11 of the Constitution.

There is no way for President Arroyo to escape the wrath of the Filipino people for her crimes. President Arroyo and her cohorts will one day wake up and see themselves in prison cells. That is inevitable.#

Reference:

Atty. Julius Garcia Matibag
0927.9293089

     
           
     
     
     

 

Despite BOR order to take action
‘UPLB administration still allows militarization, red-tagging’
by Pauline Gidget Estella
(This report was published in print in issue 17 of the Philippine Collegian on 1 December 2009.)


UP Los Baños (UPLB) Chancellor Luis Velasco has refused to take action on the branding of UPLB students and faculty as “communists-terrorists,” leading the Board of Regents (BOR) to order him for the third time in its November 23 meeting to issue a statement condemning the “black propaganda.”

Starting October 12, flyers labelling 111 students and faculty members as members of the New People’s Army (NPA) were circulated in UPLB, reportedly by members of the military, said Student Regent and former UPLB University Student Council (USC) Chairperson Charisse Bañez.

The flyers, which pointed to 81 members of UPLB political party Samahan ng Kabataan para sa Bayan (Sakbayan) as NPA recruiters, were signed by Save the Youth Against Communism and Terrorism (Say-Act). Say-Act identified itself in the materials as students from universities in Southern Tagalog.

The materials also identified 36 staffers of the Perspective, the official student publication of UPLB.

But the black propaganda has spread as military presence increased in the campus, said Bañez in the BOR’s November meeting, citing reports from students in UPLB.

‘Faceless’ organization
As early as September, the BOR had asked Velasco to issue a statement condemning the “black propaganda” on behalf of the UP administration.

When no such statement was released, the board in its October 21 meeting again requested Velasco to release a statement condemning the red-tagging in UPLB. The chancellor assured the board that he would follow its suggestion.

But Velasco’s “only response” was his October 22 letter addressed to Leo Fuentes, chairperson of Sakbayan, Bañez said. Fuentes had written to Velasco on October 12, asking the chancellor to release a statement condemning the red-tagging.

The UPLB administration could not act on the matter because “Say-Act has yet to come out in the open,” said Velasco in his letter to Fuentes. As such, the administration could not find a respondent who will represent Say-Act in a dialogue, he explained.

Velasco also challenged the status of Sakbayan, telling it to “first establish its identity” because it is not recognized in UPLB as an official student organization.

It is ironic that the UPLB administration recognizes the right to freedom of expression of a group that “threatens the students’ safety [by] accusing them as terrorists,” while questioning the identity of student alliance Sakbayan, said Fuentes.

“It is only logical then to guess that Say-Act is a state machinery designed to instill confusion among the studentry,” said the College Editors Guild of the Philippines in a November 15 statement.

Lack of action
Velasco, who attended the November BOR meeting at the board’s request, said he has adopted a “policy of tolerance [towards the black propaganda] because UP is an academic institution.”

Issuing a statement of condemnation is “tantamount to preventing any individual or group [from airing] their concerns without fear of retaliation,” Velasco said.

Instead, Velasco said, “his position is to bring the case of all concerned to the court [of law].”

However, the UPLB administration’s lack of action “endangers the safety of UPLB students and faculty” as red-tagging of students continues in the campus, said Bañez.

The “red-baiting” in the flyers resembles the tactics of those who perpetrate extra-judicial killings, said Faculty Regent Judy Taguiwalo. Many students and civilians were tagged as communists by alleged members of the military before they disappeared, she added, citing the still-missing UP students Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan.

‘Anti-student’
Most alarmingly, Velasco’s administration has condoned military operations inside the campus, Fuentes said.

For instance, military personnel were frequently seen within the university premises this November, said Fuentes, sometimes dressed in full military uniform.

The entry of members of the military within 50 feet from the school premises is prohibited, according to the Sotto-Enrile accord.

But the “military visitors” to UPLB are merely helping in the distribution of relief goods to the victims of Tropical Storm Ondoy, Velasco said.

Also, the Laguna Peace and Order Council (LPOC), which was attended by high ranking military officials, met in UPB campus on July 22, said Fuentes. UPLB Office of Student Affairs Director and LPOC member Vivian Gonzales hosted the meeting as a “representative of the academe,” Velasco said.

Students present at the LPOC meeting reported that military officials “brazenly discussed tactics targeting progressive student leaders,” Fuentes said.

Clearly, the UPLB administration is only “making excuses” for the military to intrude into the academe, said Pamela Pangahas, UPLB USC chairperson.

“With such an anti-student character, the UPLB administration [works] with the military in intensifying campus repression,” Bañez said. ■

     
     
     
     
           
     
     
           

 

3 law students dismissed as college amends academic rules
Students slam lack of consultation, repression of protests

by Enrico Gloria

Philippine Collegian

(This report was published in print in issue 17 of the Philippine Collegian on 1 December 2009.)

As the second semester opened, three senior law students were dismissed and 16 more placed under probation after the College of Law (CL) amended rules on academic delinquency and formulated new guidelines on overloading “without due consultation with students,” said CL representative to the University Student Council Cristina Yambot.

The revised rules removed the immunity from probation of graduating students, and allowed overloading only to students who did not drop any subject or get a grade of 2.5 or lower during the preceding semester.

Under the new rules, graduating students may also be dismissed from the college if placed under probation for a second time.

The rules were amended to ensure that students graduating from the UP law school are better prepared for the bar exams, said law Dean Marvic Leonen in a November 18 forum. It would be difficult to let students with poor academic standings graduate because they will have a harder time passing the bar, he explained.

However, the dean and faculty did not publish and explain the amended rules to the student body properly, said Yambot.

“We don’t need to publish the rules because relevant and related rules have already been published in the College of Law student handbook and I also explained the rules during a student-faculty dialogue at the end of March this year,” said Leonen.

The only consultation that took place was between the dean and the Law Student Government (LSG), said Yambot. The law students were not involved in any consultation, she added.

Student repression
Several law students only found that they were affected by the amended rules and new guidelines when registration for the second semester of AY 2009-2010 opened in November 3, said LSG Vice President James Donato.

The affected students then filed appeals to the dean on November 4 to negate the dismissal and allow some appellates to overload.

In response, the dean included the appeals of the students into the agenda of the semestral full faculty meeting, scheduled on November 6.

A number of senior students signed a petition protesting the amendments. They also organized a vigil to be held during the full faculty meeting where the decision regarding the appeals presented by the students is due.

“Leonen called LSG president JV La Chica last November 5, 2009, telling [La Chica] that he [would] be forced to decide unfavorably against the appeals if the vigil and petition pushed through,” said LSG in a statement. The dean even said he would cancel the faculty meeting if he got any hint of a petition or vigil, according to the statement.

Due to Leonen’s warning, the LSG cancelled the protests planned by the law students, La Chica said.

Leonen’s action stifled the students’ right to express dissent, said Student Regent Charisse Bañez.

In its November 6 meeting, the faculty allowed two probationary students to take regular loads because of their good academic records during the past years. However, the faculty denied the appeals of two dismissed senior students and six more under probation.

Another senior student who submitted a separate appeal to the dean was also dismissed from the college. The student was not able to join the previous appeals because of the late release of grades, Yambot said.

“Students suddenly felt stifled, freedom of speech being so paramount among our rights.
The [Law} community is factioned, but we’ve tried to heal it with several dialogues to patch up the miscommunication,” said UP- National Union of People’s Lawyers President Krissy Conti.
“There were messages coming from the faculty that there would be a picket outside… [but] it could have just been a solidarity gathering and because of this miscalculation, I apologized to the law student government that those statements have ever been made,” said Leonen.

“It did not matter whether it was a picket or a ‘solidarity gathering’ because we’re banking on the premise that it is right of the students to express themselves,” said Bañez.

On November 25, the dismissed students sent a formal appeal to the University Council (UC) for the reversal of the law faculty’s decision. The UC is set to decide on the issue on December 14. ■

 

     
     
     
           
     
 
 
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