Archive for the ‘All in a day’s work’ Category


May mga nagtatanong sa panawagang “resign”: “Sino po ba ang gusto ninyong maging presidente?”

Tapatang sagot: Wala ho kaming hinahangad na iluklok na kung sinong pulitiko para maging presidente. Ang hangad po namin ay baguhin ang sistemang bulok at mapalakas ang boses at kapangyarihan ng mamamayan. Tapatang sagot muli. Hindi po namin ito ginagawa para kay Binay o kung sinumang pulitiko. Wala ho sa pulitiko ang kaligtasan natin. Nasa kamay po ng mamamayan, wala sa mga pulitiko, ang tunay na pagbabago.

Eh ano ang ipapalit kapag nag-resign si Aquino ?

Dalawa lang naman ang pwedeng mangyari dyan eh. Parang EDSA 1 na extraconstitutional ang scenario o parang EDSA 2 na constitutional succession ang itsura.

Para sa mga aktibista, syempre mas maganda yung una. Mas malaki ang tsansang magtulak ng mga kagyat na reporma kung may konsehong transisyon na papalit. Ito rin ang maghahawan ng daan para sa eleksyon. Kasama dapat sa konseho ang iba’t ibang pwersa na kumilos laban sa kasalukuyang rehimen. Pero magiging posible lang ito kung malakas talaga ang pagkilos ng mamamayan para mapupwersa ang mga naghahari na kilalanin ito.

Magkakaroon pa rin ng eleksyon matapos ang transisyon. Taongbayan pa rin ang pipili ng lider na ihahalal nila. Pero kahit sa panahon ng transisyon, magtutulak tayo ng mga makabuluhang repormang makakatulong sa mamamayan. Sa proseso, lumalakas din ang boses ng mamamayan. Mahirap din ho talaga yung business as usual lang eh. Yung magpalit lang ng tuktok eh akala nila ayos na ang lahat. Wala po tayong ganung ilusyon.

So anu ulit ang papalit? Sa kagyat ay isang konsehong transisyon para sa pambansang pagkakaisa. Sino ang bubuo nito? Iyong mga nagtulak ng pagbabago at yung mga pwersa at personaheng naghahangad ng pagbabago. Lilitaw at makikilala natin sila sa proseso ng paglaban sa rehimen.

Tama po na hindi naman malulutas ang lahat ng problema natin kapag napalitan lang presidente. Pero ang mahalaga dito, at nakita na natin ito sa kasaysayan, napapalakas ang tinig ng mamamayan at napapahina ang sistemang bulok. napapanagot din ang mga malalaking maysala, hangga’t sa dumating ang araw na may sapat na lakas na tayo para ganap na mabago ang bulok na sistemang iyan.

Kaya ang tanong ay hindi kung sinong presidente ang nais nating ipalit. Ang mas tamang tanong siguro ay anong sistema ang nais nating ipalit. Walang maikling paliwanag o daan tungo dyan na pwedeng pagkasyahin sa isang FB post. Masasabi lang natin ang itinataguyod natin bilang alternatibo sa bulok na sistema ang TUNAY NA KALAYAAN AT DEMOKRASYA, REPORMA SA LUPA, PAMBANSANG INDUSTRIYALISASYON, NAGSASARILING PATAKARANG PANLABAS AT MAKABAYAN, SIYENTIPKO, MAKAMASANG KULTURA.

Sa mga nagtatanong, marami pong organisasyong kaanib ng BAYAN ang handang magpaliwanag sa inyo ang PAMBANSA DEMOKRATIKONG programang ito labas po sa FB at social media.

Pero sa kagyat, pwede naman siguro nating pagkaisahan na lubhang kailangan natin ang pagbabago. At ang kasalkuyang nakaluklok sa Palasyo ay hadlang di lamang sa pagbabago kundi pati sa katotohanan at pananagutan. ###


Ang artikulong ito ay orihinal na lumabas bilang FB status post.



  1. Who authorized the PNP-SAF operations against terror suspect Marwan? At what level was this decided? It is unbelievable that 392 supposedly elite SAF elements were mobilized against a high-value target on the US most-wanted list, and Malacanang says it knew nothing. That’s just unlikely for an operation of that scale and of that importance.


  1. Did the US provide intelligence for the operation against Marwan? The US has long been involved in operations against terror suspects including Marwan. In 2012, it was reported that the US Pacific Command provided real-time intelligence and helped in an airstrike that supposedly killed Marwan. The Mamasapano operation was supposedly triggered by the interception of a cellphone communication involving the target. Was the operation undertaken upon the directive of the US? What was the extent of US involvement in the actual operation? Was the operation approved because of the $5 million bounty dangled by the US?


  1. Why was the operation conducted exclusively by the PNP? Why is the AFP saying that there was no coordination between them and the PNP SAF? Is this a means to circumvent the processes of the ceasefire mechanism? Or were there other considerations? The firefight lasted several hours. Throughout this period, was the AFP ever notified or informed? Was there ever a PNP request for support during the fighting and was this request ever acted on by the AFP? If not, why so?


  1. Why was the MILF peace panel not notified of the operation considering it was being undertaken in an area that is a known territory of the MILF? Was this deliberate or was this an oversight on the part of the Aquino government? Based on the established protocols, who should have informed the MILF?


  1. Finally, did Aquino know of the operations? As commander-in-chief of the AFP, and as one who claims to support the peace process with the MILF, did Aquino have prior knowledge of the Mamasapano operation?


The Aquino government has a lot of explaining to do. The incident already has affected the peace process, including the congressional deliberations on the Bangsamoro Basic Law. Some quarters are also agitating for all-out war.


After successfully hiding the poor during the Pope’s visit, here’s a list of other things government will be trying to hide in the future. As proven by DSWD secretary Dinky Soliman, no problem is big enough that it can’t be hidden from the world.


  1. Metro Manila traffic – Government desperately wants to hide this after the Philippines ranked 9th worst in the world recently. Since providing efficient mass transportation is not on the government’s agenda, Davids Blaine and Copperfield are being tapped and paid to create their biggest illusion ever, a traffic-free EDSA during rush hour.Metro Manilans' daily calvary. Thanks to Inquirer for photo.


  1. Pork Barrel Scam Congressmen/Senators –It would be good to see them finally behind bars. However, that would require actual hard work and political will; two things that are sorely missing in this government. And so, to avoid all of those complications, the accused congressmen and senators will remain hidden in some far-away resort where they can do no harm and cause no further embarrassment.


  1. The depressingly long lines at the MRT station during rush hour- Government plans to use the tried and tested Imeldific formula of erecting walls to hide the unsightly queues that have spilled over to the sidewalks and main roads. Higher walls will also be erected along the train lines to conceal any breakdowns or derailment of the trains. The world can thus rest assured that our trains are in tip-top shape.

Photo from Manila Bulletin


  1. The pesky Media– Our great leader Noynoy Aquino, he who is beyond reproach and nigh infallible, has rightly complained that the media is a continuing source of negativity. They keep highlighting problems instead of achievements. Hence they too will be rounded up and sent to a resort that has neither cellphone signal nor Wi-Fi connection and where the only channel available is PTV 4.


  1. Annoying church people- Whether they are criticizing the President’s hair or his policies, these members of the clergy have proven to be such a major drag to this regime. Their inability to see the glass half-full or half-empty has earned them a one-way trip to the resorts where they will have plenty of time to “reflect” and see this regime in a different light.


  1. The New Bilibid Prisons- Secretary de Lima has had enough of convicted drug dealers and bank robbers making a mockery of our penal system. These gun-totting, and occasionally singing convicts will soon find themselves in a posh resort where they will receive a special kind of “training” from Lady Justice.

    Photo from


  1. The Ampatuan Massacre, Luisita Massacre and just about any reminder on how excruciatingly slow and unreliable the country’s justice system is. Government wants to hide the sad reality that justice has not been achieved. A much bigger backhoe will probably be needed.


  1. Political prisoners– Government has already declared that they do not exist. Yet time and again they manage to make their presence and protest felt, even during the Pope visit.

    Photo Karapatan


  1. Yolanda victims – This may require some effort and A LOT of resorts, but government thinks it would still be worth it. Aquino already got things rolling by not going to Tacloban during the first anniversary of the storm, even if Tacloban was the worst hit city. So worry not because government is doing all it can to magically Photoshop all those people still living in tents and unsafe bunkhouses.

    Photo Pinoy Weekly





President Aquino’s speech on the occasion of Pope Francis’ visit to Malacanang was criticized by many for being inappropriate and petty. While the Pope talked about rejecting corruption, confronting inequality and social exclusion and giving voice to the poor, the President whined about how some members of the Catholic Church continue to criticize him. He even took time to mention one bishop who criticized his hair.

The two speeches were worlds apart and again highlighted how self-absorbed the President is. The occasion could have been an opportunity for the President to show humility in the face of the message of the Pope; that much still needs to be done in the Philippines to address poverty and inequality. It could have been an occasion to discuss the need to address the root causes of armed conflict and push the resumption of the peace talks with the NDFP. Aquino could have taken the high road and announced the release of political prisoners as part of the peace initiative and as a goodwill gesture to the Pope.

But the whining President would have none of that. Instead, he called attention (again), to himself. One imagines that he is the equivalent of Kris Aquino whenever she conducts interviews. (Though his was many times more embarrassing than Kris Aquino telling Andrew Garfield how My Little Bossing trumped Spiderman at the box office.)

The speech of course does not come as a surprise anymore because it follows the Palace template for presidential speeches. This template has been duly approved by the President, so those wanting to fire last Friday’s speech writers are barking up the wrong tree.

As I posted earlier, there are 4 key elements in any Aquino speech. The first element is recalling memories of Martial Law, Aquino’s parents and how much his family suffered, and use this as a force field against any criticism of his presidency. You simply cannot criticize one who has gone through so much difficulty during the dictatorship. You just can’t.

These teachings have been central to my family’s advocacy, which is understandable considering what we, along with millions of Filipinos, went through under the dictatorship. Then-President Marcos declared Martial Law in 1972, when I was 12-years-old, beginning an era in which the most fundamental rights of many Filipinos were flagrantly and routinely violated. It was in this environment that I came of age.

The second element is of course referencing the “previous administration” ad nauseam, even though he’s already five years into his term. What better way to stand out than to constantly compare yourself to the disgraced Arroyo government every opportunity you get. This is also to remind critics that, despite pork barrel corruption, failed Yolanda relief and rehab,  record joblessness and continuing rights abuses; we are still sooo much better off now than we were 5 years ago.

Hence, there was a true test of faith when many members of the Church, once advocates for the poor, the marginalized, and the helpless, suddenly became silent in the face of the previous administration’s abuses, which we are still trying to rectify to this very day

The third element of an Aquino speech is hitting back at critics, no matter what the occasion, no matter how inappropriate. Since some critics refuse to be swayed by references to Martial Law and the Arroyo regime, the President will thus have to reserve his sharpest remarks for them. We’ve seen this many times, during Aquino’s speech at the TV Patrol anniversary where he took a swipe at Noli de Castro; at the anniversary of Yolanda where he criticized victims groups People Surge and the Tacloban Mayor, and during an IBP event where he slammed the Supreme Court and Chief Justice Renato Corona who was also present at the event.

In contrast to their previous silence, some members of the clergy now seem to think that the way to be true to the faith means finding something to criticize, even to the extent that one prelate admonished me to do something about my hair, as if it were a mortal sin. Is it any wonder then, that they see the glass not as half-full, or half-empty, but almost totally empty. Judgment is rendered without an appreciation of the facts.

The fourth element of an Aquino speech is actually a direct reference to the President. Words like, “I”, “Me” and “Myself” become very useful. This seeks to underscore how awesome the President is. And so during the event in Malacanang, in classic Kris Aquino fashion, the President talked about himself, amid other more pressing issues.

Take for example yesterday’s disturbingly messianic statement on why he ran for office:

I understand I am only human, and thus, I am imperfect. I ran for the Presidency despite my discomfort with the trappings of power, because if I passed up on this opportunity to effect real change, I would not have been able to live with myself, especially if the situation worsened.

Or how he is speaking the truth at all times:

Everything I have said has not been to criticize, but to speak the truth, for the truth shall set us all free.

Or why he and the Pope share a bond:

I believe that you are a kindred spirit, one who sees things as they are, and is unafraid of asking, “Why not?”

And why joining the President puts you on the path to truth:

We would like to think that even more will join us in the truth, in the fullness of time.

Because if you’re not joining the president “in the truth”, you’re screwed. You’re either with him or against him.

Such was the experience yesterday of more than 2,000 workers, farmers and urban poor who were prevented by police from welcoming the Pope, just as the Pope was calling on Philippine leaders to give voice to the poor. Same goes for the Mindanao nuns who were accosted by police on their way to Tacloban on suspicion that they were members of the NPA.

Indeed, the President’s speech and the message of Pope Francis provided us with a study in contrast. As one religious said, there is truly a difference in the outlook of a religious leader and a politician.

Pope Francis’ message to the poor, his heartfelt speech to the victims of Yolanda/Haiyan and his critique of corruption and inequality, continue to resonate with the Filipino people. His challenge to the clergy to place the Poor at the center of the Gospel, to be with the poor to be able to understand the poor, is a most welcome exhortation towards social involvement. His call to “break the bonds of injustice and oppression” is nothing short of revolutionary.

We tip our hats to the Pope of the Poor even as we humbly ask forgiveness for the actions of our President.

Noynoy, for all his claimed achievements, truly does not know what he’s doing. ###



Sa gawain ko sa org, minsan din akong napagkakamalang ibang tao. Heto ang ilan sa mga nakakatawa at nakakatuwang halimbawa. #truestory

1. TV/Radio talent – Minsan sa jeep may lumapit at nag-abot ng maliit na papel, “Ser, pakibati naman misis ko sa programa nyo,” sabi nung tao. “Ano po, wala po akong programa,” sagot ko. “Ah hindi po ba kayo si Joe D’ Mango?” sabi nya.

2. “Reporter po ba kayo?” – Madalas mangyari ito. It raw yung Joseph Morong effect o di naman kaya’y epekto lang ng malabong signal sa TV.

3. “Uy, si Teddy Casino” – Marahil dahil si Teddy ay talagang kilalang lider masa, “Teddy Casino” na rin ang generic na katawagan sa ilang mga aktibista. Ika nga, household name.

4. “Si ano yan, sa Anakbayan/ Akbayan / Anakpawis / Bayan Muna etc” – Madalas na reference ang militanteng organisasyon na kinakatawan natin, kahit minsan hindi eksakto yung pangalan ng organisasyon. Nakatatak na kasi sa isipan ng madla ang mga grupo, dahil na rin sa ilang dekadang pakikibaka. Dun lang sa pangalawa ako di matunawan. Isang malutong na “HINDI PO!”

5. “Bakit po wala kayong security? Di ba congressman kayo?” – Hindi po, aktibista lang po.

6. Basketball player – Minsan sabi ng security sa checkpoint ng UP, “Di ba basketball player kayo?” Nasa loob kasi ako ng sasakyan. Kung bumbaba siguro ako, nagbago isip nya.

7.  Sorry po wrong number – Minsan may tatawag para sa interview. “Hello po, pwede po makausap si Fr. Robert Reyes?” Meron ding malupet na “Hello, ito po ba si Chief Justice Renato Corona?”

8. “Magkasama/classmate/kapitbahay tayo sa …” – Minsan may makakasalubong at mag-uusap kayo sa inaakala mong shared experience ninyo. Babatiin ka ng “Uy kamusta na? Dun ka pa rin sa inyo?” etc. Saka mo maiisip na hindi pala kayo pareho ng pinag-uusapan, na hindi pala kayo classmate/kapitbahay/ka-probinsya etc. Awkward.


Sa mga pagkakataong ito, isa lang ang magiliw kong sagot. “Sa BAYAN po ako.”

“Ang BAYAN po ay isang alyansa ng iba’t ibang organisasyon. Iba pa po ito sa Bayan Muna na isang partylist group,” ang madalas ding dagdag na paliwanag.

Bukas Mayo 5 ang ika-29 na anibersaryo ng organisasyong ito. Maligayang kaarawan sa Bayan, ang Bagong Alyansang Makabayan!

Instead of the annual Mass Movement Moments, my last blog post for the year would be about the people I will truly miss, comrades whom I personally knew. This year, there were so many funerals and tributes held, with so many comrades and friends who either passed on or were killed in the struggle.

I’d like to honor their memory one more time before this year ends.


Atty. Romeo Capulong  , people’s lawyer par excellence, fought to his last breath before succumbing to a lingering illness. A genuine champion of the masses, he was hailed not just for his accomplishments in the legal arena, but also for his commitment to the cause of national and social liberation. Prof. Jose Ma. Sison called him a proletarian revolutionary fighter. For many who belonged to a younger generation, he was a patient mentor. To his numerous clients from the oppressed classes, his death was a great loss.



Maita Gomez became a legend for being a beauty queen turned rebel. Her passing was unexpected. She had devoted her life to the cause of women, and to the struggle for national democracy. Her sudden passing was mourned by comrades and friends. At the time of her death, Maita was the co-chair of the Makabayan Coalition. She was also one of the founders of Gabriela.



Arman Arbarillo first came to public attention when his parents were killed by soldiers believed to be acting under the orders of one Col. Jovito Palparan in Mindoro. Arman would go on to become the secretary general of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan – Southern Tagalog. He would lead marches and lakbayans to Manila. He would be at the frontlines of the movement to oust to US-Arroyo regime. Because of the unjust persecution of activists in the region, Arman went underground and joined the revolutionary armed struggle. He died a Red Fighter in the province of Quezon in an military encounter with the military.


DSC_1173Willem Geertman was a Dutch development worker who had lived in the Philippines for more than three decades. He was gunned down, execution-style, in broad daylight, at Alay Bayan Inc. office in Pampanga. The suspects are believed to have links with the military. Geertman is the second European development worker killed under the Aquino regime, the first being Fr. Pops Tentorio from Mindanao. I had the chance of working with Willem during a relief mission to Nueva Ecija last year. His death also came as a terrible shock to us. His work in the Philippines, which he considered his home, was indeed outstanding. Hundreds joined his funeral march as he was buried in Aurora province.
ed manalo

Ed Manalo – Tsong Ed’s departure was sudden. He has long been involved in the mass movement through cultural work. He helped in the mounting of Pol-Det, a production on the plight of political prisoners staged in 2011. He was present during major mobilizations, including the recent SONA 2012. He was also our friend. He helped decorate our wedding reception, as we were full-time activists. His wake was attended by media people, artists and activists. I’m sure he will be missed in the annual December 26 “Christmas Party” of his friends who hang out in Conspiracy Cafe.

mamaPacita Maniquis Reyes, our mom, passed away this year at the age of 77. She was one of the strongest women I’ve known, raising three children virtually by herself, from 1992 onward. While she had initially disagreed with the complicated life I chose, she eventually came to accept and support it. It was from her that I got my own copy of the book Philippine Society and Revolution, handed down from her friend who asked her to keep it when Martial Law was declared. She was also the one who influenced me to take up music when I was 6 or 7. In her last years, she helped us raise Dylan. This is our first Christmas and New Year without her.


There were many other comrades in the struggle who passed on this year. I may not have personally met them, and I apologize if I may not remember all their names. We celebrate their life, grieve their passing, seek justice for their deaths, and draw lessons and inspiration from their sacrifices. We are ever grateful.

They help make us stronger as we face the challenges of the coming year.

Talumpati sa Forum on Democratization

UP Diliman Sociology Department ,

Setyembre 23, 2012

Magandang umaga po. Ako si Renato Reyes, Jr, isang aktibista na ngayon ay secretry general ng Bagong Alyansang Makabayan. Ngayong 2012 ang ika-20 taon ko bilang aktibista. Maikling panahon pa rin ito kung tutuusin, kumpara sa maraming namulat nung dekada ’60,  ‘70 at ’80 na hanggang ngayon ay kumikilos pa rin.

Nagsimula ang aking involvement sa UP Diliman noong taong 1992, nung freshman ako sa College of Business Administration. Sumapi ako sa League of Filpino Students sa aking ika-3 araw sa kolehiyo.

Lumahok ako matapos kong makita ang isang lightning rally sa University Theater pagkatapos ng freshman orientation. Ang protesta ay laban sa Tuition Fee Increase o TFI. Kami ang unang batch na nakaranas ng P300 per unit, na sa panahong  iyon ay medyo mabigat lalo’t sa mga naunang taon ay P200/unit lang, at bago pa yun ay P40 per unit lang.

Noong una akong sumali sa LFS, aaminin kong medyo na-culture shock ako sa mga aktibista. Galing ako sa isang Catholic school para sa mga lalaki. Kakaiba para sa akin yung mga tibak, at marahil yung UP sa kabuuan.

Sa unang tingin, parang  merong fashion sub-culture yung mga tibak. Gulo-gulo ang mga buhok, punit-punit ang mga pantalon, naka-tsinelas o minsan Our Tribe sandals, o Chuck Taylor sneakers, may tubao, may batik shirt. Pero kung tutuusin, di naman nalalayo ang itsura nila sa mga kilalang personalidad noon sa campus tulad ng Erasersheads, Yano at si Romeo Lee (na mas wild ang itusra noong una kong nakasabay sa jeep).

Yun unang nakausap kong mga tibak, kakaiba din. Yung isa may bandage ang buong braso. Yung isa naman may mahabang scar sa kanyang mukha. Naisip ko, susmaryosep, ang tindi siguro ng mga rally dispersal na dinanas nila. Kinalaunan, malalaman ko na wala palang kinalaman sa rally ang kanilang mga injury. Vehicular accident at rumble ng frat pala ang sanhi.

Unti-unti, nakasalamuha ko ang mas maraming mga aktibista mula sa iba’t ibang kolehiyo. Napagtanto ko na yung problema pala ng UP sa tuition fee increase at mga bulok na facilities ay may kaugnayan din sa mga pambansang patakaran. Sa patakaran sa pambansang budget, sa pagbabayad ng utang at iba pang  panlipunang usapin. Nakita rin namin yung iba pang realidad sa loob at labas ng campus. Medyo nabawasan yung mga stereotype sa mga aktibista ko nung mas malapitan ko na silang makilala.

Nakita ko na may komunidad pala sa loob ng UP campus na dine-demolish din. May mga unionized workers na kinakailangang mag-welga dahil sa di makatarungang mga patakaran sa trabaho. Unang piketline na napuntahan ko ay yung sa mga nagwelgang pampublikong guro habang nasa Philippine Independent Church sila sa Taft Avenue. Nakalahok din kami sa welga sa SM, sa San Miguel dyan sa Aurora Blvd at sa PasVIl  sa may Novaliches. Nakasalamuha din namin ang mga magbubukid mula Gitnang at Timog Luzon.

Nakasama ako sa welga ng mga workers ng SM noong 1994, at dalawang beses na nakaranas ng dispersal sa loob ng SM North (at dahil sa trauma at inis ay ilang buwan din kaming di nanood ng sine dun). Nakaranas na rin ako ng dispersal sa mismong kahabaan ng riles ng LRT sa Maynila.Dun naman sa welga sa Manila Hotel natutuo kaming tumakbo hanggang may lupa dahil hinahabol kami ng mga malulupit na pulis. Nakaranas na rin kaming ma-water cannon, sa loob ng UP campus (Pres. Javier oathtaking).  At syempre, naranasan ko na ding maaresto habang nag-rarally.

Sa mga panahong ito, nakilala ko ang iba’t ibang sektor, mga ordinaryong manggagawa, magsasaka, mga urban poor, mga teachers, health workers at iba pa. Naunawaan ko yung motibasyon nila sa pagpo-protesta. Laging may malalim na batayan kung bakit sila nagpo-protesta, kung bakit kailangang mag-welga, hunger strike, barikada at iba pang porma ng collective action. Kadalasa’y hindi nakasasapat ang mga umiiral na mekanismo ng gobyerno, lalo pa’t hindi pumapabor halimbawa ang sistema ng hustisya para sa mga mahihirap. O di naman kaya masyadong malakas ang pwersa ng employer, o ng landlord kung kaya’t tanging sa sama-samang pagkilos lang pwedeng maisulong yung interes ng mga sektor.

Ah oo nga pala, yung usapin ng interes. Nakita namin yung pag—iral ng mga magkatunggaling interes. Yung interest ng mga makapangyarihan sa ekonomiya at pulitika ay taliwas o kontra dun sa nakararaming inaapi; tulad ng panginoong maylupa at magsasaka sa Hacienda Luisita, yung mga malalaking kapitalista tulad nina Danding Cojuango at Henry Sy at ang kanilang mga manggagawa.

At nakita ko rin na yung pag-protesta ay isang bahagi lamang ng mas malawak na gawain. Malaking bahagi ng oras namin ay inilalaan sa pag-oorganisa, sa edukasyon, sa pagkausap sa mga tao, sa pagbubuo ng mga samahan.

Nabawasan din yung angas naming mga estudyante lalo’t sa maraming pagkakataon, mas malalim ang pagkaka-alam ng mga inoorganisa namin kesa sa aming mga estudyanteng peti-burgis. Mas natutuo kami sa karansan ng mga manggagawa, magsasaka at iba pang maralita.

Isa sa mga inilatag na tanong ng porum na ito ay ang pangangailangang magprotesta at magbuo ng kapangyarihan laban sa mga umiiral na institusyon ng gobyerno. Sa iba’t ibang pagkakataon, kailangan ng mga protest actions para:

  1. maipanalo ang mga immediate demands ng mga sektor sa pamamagitan ng sama-samang pagkilos na magbibigay ng pressure sa mga kinauukulan
  2. maipahayag sa mas makararami ang mga layunin ng kilusan
  3. ma-organisa at ma-konsolida ang mga lalahok tungo sa mas pangmatagalang paglaban

Sa pamamagitan ng sama-samang pagkilos ay nape-pressure ang mga kinauukulan, ang gobyerno, ang administration, ang landlord, para ibigay ang collective demand ng mga nagpo-protesta. Esensyal ito lalo’t kung aasa lang sila sa legal struggle sa mga korte at ahensya ng gobyerno, malamang hindi papabor sa kanila ang resulta.

Sa proseso ng mga actions na ito, naitatambol sa iba pang sektor ang pangangailangan ng pagkilos. Halimbawa yung pakikibaka at tagumpay ng mga magbubukid sa Hacienda Luisita ay nagsisilbing inspirasyon sa iba pang magbubukid na kumilos din.

Ang mga protesta ay hindi lamang para sa kagyat na mga kahilingan. Paraan din ito para ma-organisa ang mga kalahok. Dito nakikita ng mga tao na may kapangyarihan sa kanilang sama-samang pagkilos, na taglay nila ang tunay na kapangyarihan labas sa mga instrumento ng gobyerno.  Ito yung gusto nating i-develop na empowerment, yung sa pamamagitan ng mga organizations, unions at asosasyon. Kinalaunan, magiging mas malakas ito sa kapangyarihan ng mga naghaharing iilan sa lipunan.

Sa history natin, nagkaroon tayo ng mahabang period ng mass protests laban sa Martial Law at Marcos dictatorship, na humantong sa Edsa 1. May nangyari ding Edsa 2. May naganap ding protest movement laban kay GMA, na tumagal bilang pangulo mahigit 9 na taon. Nagkaroon din ng malakas na protest movement para mapatalsik ang base militar ng US sa ating bansa.

Lumalahok din ba kami sa eleksyon? Oo naman, dahil isang larangan din iyon para maisulong ang interests ng iba’t ibang sektor. May mga local elective posts na nilalahukan, at meron din yung tinatawag na partylist system kung saan may maliit na puwang ang mga marginalized sectors para makapsok ng Kongreso. Pero sa pangkalahatang iskema ng mga bagay-bagay, hindi yung elections ang pangunahing pokus ng gawain namin. Yung pagkakaroon ng elective positions, halimbawa sa partylist system, nakakatulong yun, pero marami ding limitasyon ang larangang iyon. Yung mga traditional parties and personalities, yung mga ruling class pa rin ang dominante sa larangang iyan. At kahit yung maliit na espasyo para sa mga marginalized at underrepresented, winawasak na rin ngayon lalo’t marami nang partlylist reps ang di naman talaga marginalized dahil mga impluwensyal at mega-rich sila. Idagdag pa natin na ang AFP ay nangangampanya laban sa mga progresibong grupo.

Sa dakong huli, ang usapin talaga ay tanging ang mamamayan ang makakapagpalaya sa kanyang sarili, at magagawa lamang ito sa sama-samang pagkilos.

Nung naging aktibista kami 20 taon na ang nakaraan, hindi naman namin hangad na mahalal sa gobyerno o maging bahagi ng gobyerno tulad ng ibang grupo dyan. Ang hangad namin ay makaambag sa pagpapalakas ng kilusan nang mamamayan nang sa gayon ay mapalitan nito ang bulok na umiiral na sistemang panig lamang sa iilan.

Tulad nyo, marami din akong agam-agam noon, marami din akong stereotypes. Hindi ko naman kayo masisisi. Pero bukod sa impresyon na ang mga aktibista ay pampatrapik lang sa kalsada, mahalagang ang papel ng kilusang ito sa pagsisiwalat ng mga isyu, pakikipaglaban para sa kagalingan ng iba’t ibang sektor, at sa pagtutulak ng tunay at makabuluhang pagbabago. At sana po ay maging bahagi din kayo ng kilusang ito.

Maraming salamat po.