Everyone wake up! Time to face the truth

Today, Friday, March 7, 2008 marks the 1st week anniversary (naks!) of the suppression and blatant violation of the Constitutional Rights to the freedoms of abode, information, speech and peaceable assembly of the 85 students, faculty and some administrators of De La Salle University – Dasmariñas at the hands of the Bacoor PNP. And don’t forget the harassment and putting our lives and safety at risk thanks to their UDJ-297 White Tamaraw FX. Which I may add, was parked at the Bacoor Police Sub-Station at Talaba, Bacoor, Cavite last Tuesday morning and was seen going around Zapote later that afternoon.

We struggle even in our own campus

Our tragic experience last February 29, 2008 has been made known to the whole country thanks to our own small efforts which have been magnified by the media. The next logical step to do is file formal charges against the Bacoor PNP. That’s what almost everyone is expecting. The question is, will the 85 Lasallians from Dasmariñas, Cavite do so? A majority of us 85 are willing to do just that, however, by the nature of how our University works internally plus the socio-political climate in campus, we are forced to take things in much more reflective and slow manner.

The reasons for such are valid and true. However to my beloved DLSU-D administrators, undecided faculty and “snakes in the grass” let me re-echo one classic maxim about law and justice: “Justice delayed, is justice denied.”

To add further appeal, let me share that prayer that has been the battle-cry of Lasallians who have come out in support of Jun Lozada and the crusade for truth and justice:

Let me be the change I want to see
to do with strength and wisdom all that needs to be done
and become the hope I can be

Set me free from my tears and hesitations
Grant me courage and humility
Fill me with Spirit to face the challenge
and start the change I long to see

Even if I am not the light
I can be the spark
In faith, service and communion
let us start the change we want to see
The change that begins in me

Live, Jesus, in our hearts FOREVER!

It saddens and frustrates me to know and experience first-hand that the very teachers, professors, and administrators all educators in one way or another who have been lecturing us to do the right thing, to fight for our rights, to stand for what is truth and just, to grow up into the righteous leaders of this nation, to become true Lasallians enliving the Lasallian mission and the three core values of faith, zeal and communion in mission to be the first ones to silence us, coil up and let the February 29 tragedy pass on by as if it had never happened.

However, I believe there is still hope. And we, the 85 victims: your fellow students, faculty and administrators will show you that there is hope.

Continuing the struggle outside campus

If the criticisms from inside our very own campus is not enough, which is normal in an academic setting, we have also been engaged by individuals and groups from the public who have sent us emails, sms and made comments in our blogs that range from fair criticisms, defense of GMA to downright behavior that is no different, even worse than what the Bacoor PNP has done to us.

I say to each and everyone of you; much thanks for the added insight and the healthy conversation. I respect your positions and opinions however, it’s time to wake up, re-think your stances and face the truths:

Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is “evil” and corrupt. From the “Hello, Garci” scandals, to the extra-judicial killings of activists and journalists, the overpriced government projects and the envelopes to Congressmen and the bishops, up to the NBN-ZTE controversy today. Add to that the treatment of her allies and loyalists, in particular the local government of Bacoor which was given to us last February 29, 2008 at Daang Hari and then at Niog, Bacoor.

You defend her by saying that Jun Lozada is a hypocrite and was once part of the system. True, Jun Lozada said so himself. We believe him, and we also believe that more must be exposed and confessed about the NBN-ZTE controversy by the other officials and individuals who were involved in the issue.

“Let he who has no sin, cast the first stone.”

Again, we’re not talking about Jun Lozada here, we’re talking about the “bukol” (lumps) in government projects and contracts. We’re talking about the exchange of “200” between government officials in a fancy golf course. We’re talking about the Chief Executive Officer of this Republic, who has sworn to lie, cheat, steal and kill, defend the Constitution and uphold the laws of this land who has knowledge and direct participation in of all of these irregularities but has done absolutely nothing to remedy all of it, as prescribed in our laws.

“It’s not the economy, stupid!”

You defend her by saying that she has done well for the economy of the country. I say again, wake up!

You harp and banner the 7.3 percent growth in our GDP, the fastest in 31 years so they say, but have you really taken a second look at it? Or have you swallowed more of this administration’s propaganda designed to deceive and fool us all about GMA’s “enchanted kingdom”?

Even a government agency, the National Statistical Coordination Board (NCSB) has reported that poverty in the country worsened in 2006 which only proves that the claim of Malacañang of an improving economy is false.

According to the NSCB, 32.9% of the population, or 27.6 million Filipinos, are poor, nearly three percentage points higher than the 30% reported in 2003. This was computed using an annual poverty threshold of P15,057.

So again, borrowing the government’s own tag line; “ramdam mo na ba ang pag-asenso?” Let’s hear the 27.6 million poor Filipinos answer that. If Arbet’s mother has been complaining about increased prices of some goods, I’ve been lamenting the constant shrinkage of the pandesal and it’s increased price from 1 peso to 2 pesos, all during the term of Gloria Macapgal-Arroyo!

Lastly, Peter Wallace wraps up all of this eloquently:

We have an economy today that is skewed to favor a few. The growth is not widespread and is not reaching the bulk of the people. It is an economy that is losing its middle class (it shrank in 2007). One could say that it takes time to reduce the huge inequality that exists, or that the momentum toward that is there. But after six and a half years, surely there should have been some improvement, not a worsening.

I told ya, it’s time to face the facts.

12 Comments

  1. @ Arbet: At least this would add up once history judges us. We made the call, those answered will be rewarded and heralded.

    Those who did not, will suffer in hell. Those will say otherwise; God, history and the people have mercy on them!

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  2. Hahaha. Talk about fooling us with the so-called 'growth'. Okammon. Why do Filipinos keep on working overseas and send remittances in our country? It's because our country being desperately a murky mud pool of hopelessness. If this tiny tweeb named Gloria Arroyo with her tublard FG keep on blabbing bout efforts to sustain our economy boom, then yes, she is successful in her explosive damage to our country with her keeping her powers intact. The surge of remittances does not justify that our economy is growing. ADB disproves that, claiming our country has public and private investment to remain sluggish while "share in gross domestic product has continued to decline".

    And my favorite Pancit Canton becomes more and more expensive. Inflation? Fock. They should eat kangkong. 😆

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  3. i must admit that i am still far the being the change i want to see…anger against the policemen is still here…the process is still along way to go…the consolation is that there are people who wants to change our cultre from within and not only the people in the oligarchy 😆

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  4. Greetings,

    It is right to carry on the struggle, inside and outside of campus, inside ourselves and the bigger society. (I am the one who helped facilitate our meeting last Friday, but just included my nickname for security reasons because the agents of the state within and outside our ranks will be monitoring our actions… we really have nothing to be afraid of, but we must be careful because they will derail our efforts, and for worse, some of the paid mercenaries will strike at us violently… this has always been the history of just struggles).

    Filing a complaint against the PNP is the right thing to do, though one section of the DLSU-D community (some administrators) have strong feelings about retaliation (martial law trauma). If the Lasalle Brothers dare take a stand since 2001, then in 2005, and also again giving sanctuary to Jun Lozada, they should be more than willing to support a formal case against the violation of civil liberties last Feb. 29, 2008. Let us continue the dialogue, and friendly pressure. As it has been said, YOUTH are the fountains of courage, and many in our generation laid down their lives against the Marcos dictatorship. However, I would strongly advocate the path of active nonviolence in our struggle to transform our society. It is a path less developed systematically (philosophy, strategy, tactics, institution-building, leadership training). This path can be further developed by linking up with institutions beyond our academic community. Also STUDENT POWER should go beyond the confines of the campus. I do advise you to take care of your academic studies as that will be the source of your RIGHT LIVELIHOOD in the future. Many student activists in the 1970s who were deep in the struggle had stopped their schooling, and those who survived had difficulty meeting their basic economic needs (especially when they had children/ families of their own).

    As in any Gandhian tactic, all moves should be done with full knowledge of media, even the filing of cases. Security measures should be undertaken by those involved too. All moves should be part of transforming the system, small and strategic actions.

    We can perhaps launch a study group on MAHATMA GANDHI and the philosophy and practice of ACTIVE NONVIOLENCE AS WELL AS CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE as a tool of the oppressed.

    In peace

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  5. Greetings,

    I posted a followup message but got lost while sending it (naputol yata connection). Testing…. that was a long letter….

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  6. I have been reading some of the comments. Those who did not answer the call to action will have the chance to stand up in their lifetime. Be patient with those who are undecided, and show compassion to those who cower in fear. For the apathetic, be compassionate too, That is the way of active nonviolence, we will attract people by our examples. While just anger can motivate us to action, it can become deep hatred which will bury our souls in mud, which can destroy us, our allies and ultimately ourselves. It is not just poetry to say that love can be a stronger motivation to live and die for our people, but also a universal bond which can even transform the oppressors. In fact, it has a medical application too !

    in peace,

    jun

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  7. Greetings again,

    The Lasalle administrators and Brothers are in a dilemma. They have taken a stand, but are also concerned about being responsible should members of the community face retaliaton from the state. Let us show compassion for any conservatism they show in this regard.

    That is why STUDENT POWER along the path of active nonviolence has to be independent of administrative support, and go beyond the academe. STUDENTS should link up with other student organizations in other parts of the Philippines. With or without administrative support, it should evolve and stand on its own, while being enriched from the positive experiences and support it can get from different sectors. Youthful revolutionaries in our history did not get permission from their parents when they engaged in struggle. Should there be hesitation on the part of the administration, thank them for the position they have taken so far, and exert friendly criticism whenever you think they have failed also, the youth can do independent, responsible actions.

    In fact, Lasallian youth should form independently a nationwide organization of youth, independent of other political blocs if necessary, starting with electronic yahoogroups and blogs, while being careful of saboteurs from within.

    Youth can be creative. During martial law, the Filipino youth were not cowed but engaged in creative communal actions like lightning rallies, and other forms of mass agitation and community organizing work.

    History has lots to offer us for our forthcoming work ahead. Mag-organisa !

    in peace,

    Jun

    Philippine Greens

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  8. indeed a sad truth bro…our elders who lectured us of our rights as persons, our dignity as christians, our sacred place in the greater scheme of things, are the very people who let us down and lectured to us to be more reflective, somber, slow, and sorry for the word coward in this sense. now that we are fighting and voicing for our right and most of all justice, they are like some of our elders who scold us like unruly toddlers.

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  9. message ni lozada kahapon bro sa dlsu-taft…sya ay lubhang nalulungkot (ay may tono ng pagkadismaya) dahil sa sinasabi ng mga kabataan sa mga paaralan na napuntahan nya na sila ay gustong lumaban at ipagtanggol ang katarungan at katotohanan, pero ang mga nakatatanda at mga magulang nila ay ayaw silang pasalihin at magulo raw, baka kung anong mangyari, o bka harasin…parang ganun din dito sa la salle dasma! 😥 😡

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  10. hope you never lose your enthusiasm for fighting for reform. you guys take up the slack that we young professionals have so sadly occupied for the past few years. but we are waking up and starting fighting in our own ways. 🙂 good luck sa Pilipinas!

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