widow
press conference

Press conference after meeting with DVA Secretary

JFAV-Los Angeles leaders, led by Arturo Garcia, JFAV national coordinator, held a press conference at Kapistahan Grill after meeting with the Secretary of Department of Veterans Affair in Washington DC. More »

veteran boycoot

FilAm veteran joins boycott

A FilAM veteran joins a picket calling for the boycott of China-made products. More »

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING

KOMUNIDAD
June 16, 2017

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING

By Arturo P. Garcia

According to Felipe Buencamino on Facebook, “Well, he finally reappeared. Heard it on the radio while driving home. Report said he landed in Davao a little after 8PM this evening.

Report did not say whether he came directly from Manila or by way of Manila from Guangzhou’s Fuda Cancer Hospital where he may have gone for a redo of the botched circumcision he claimed he underwent last February.

In case you’ve forgotten about the circumcision story….

**

Last February, Manila Times columnist Kit Tatad wrote that Fentanylla went to Fuda Cancer Hospital in Guangzhou, China.
Fentanylla didn’t take kindly to Tatad’s report so he reacted in his usual manner.

“Totoo nagpunta ako ng China. Totoo nagpunta ako ng hospital. Nagpatuli ako.

Pagkatagal bumalik. Kaya pumunta ako, Tatad. Sabihin mo totoo iyan.

Pinaputol ko ‘yan, ‘yan malinis, no dangling ano. Putangina mo,” he ranted and cursed.”

***

Digong and his PR crew knows how to enthrall the public. Thus be provoke the public with his words and pronouncement and he make the public and his enemies about his intentions.

He is very much like General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. Even his closest subalterns cannot guess his intentions. Thus they have to follow him.
Even in the thick of battles, he does unexpected things. That’s the reason he was called “Stonewall” He is like a stonewall that you cannot second guess.

But the bad thing, that’s how he died. He rode on night in the thick of the battle to look at the situation. He was shot by his own men.

Tragic, yes. But that’s how he lived and died.

**

During our weekly TALAKAYAN CLUB last Thursday, there was a spirited discussions about the health and whereabout of PDUT.

Dr. Art Flores explained that,”the public has the right to know the state of health of the President. It is in the Constitution that he has to disclose publicly his health conditions.”

David Rockello explained,”But who are we to force him. We cannot pressure him to disclose his health conditions.”

As the TALAKAYAN moderator, I also explained,” PDUT is the oldest President that the Philippines ever had. He is even older than Trump or Reagan.”

**

I also added, ” Malacanang is right. The President has a very brutal schedule. In the light of the Marawi Crisis, he is entitled to have some rest.”

But even in the United States, the state of health of the President is a well kept secret. In some instances the White House keep this secret on the public.

President Woodrow Wilson has a stroke and was incapacitated in the early 1900’s but the public did not know. But his associates continued governing the country from the White house.

**

The public did not know that President Franklin D. Roosevelt was a paraplegic but the public as never informed about this.

Political analyst says today, if the public only knew that FDR was a cripple he would not have been a President and will not even been re-elected four times as a President. But the media and the his close associates covered for him.

Even John F. Kennedy has a very grave health conditions but the public never know about this. He was taking pain killers for his war time injuries to keep him sane and lucid.

President Reagan’s early Alzheimer’s disease were kept way from the public during his two year term. IT was only revealed when he retired and as away from the public.

**

But the problem with the advent of the social media, this further complicates the situation. We have the Wikileaks and other sources that serves the public information.

But the problem remains. Nothing is confirmed. And everything becomes rumor mills churning dis-information, false information and fake news.

In the Philippines and abroad, the state of health of PDUT is the toast of his political enemies and rumor mongers. HIs statements and of his offcie does even help allay the rumors.

**

During martial law, the state of health of Dictator Marcos was the subject of rumors by the FIlipinos. It was said that DFM contracted venereal disease when he had sex with Miss. Korea during the Miss Universe Contest in Manila in 1974.

The story said, his Doctor gave him a dosage of drugs that resulted in the breakdown of his kidney that is why he contracted Lupus. In anger, he had his physician liguidated.

Later in 1983, he was operated on. He was in hospital when Senator Ninoy Aquino was assassinated at the Manila International Airport by the orders of Imelda Marcos. The rest is history.

**

As a de javu, the state of health of PDUT is now the subject of rumors. And the social media and even the Office of the President is stoking the fire of uncertainties.

The situation becomes more complicated with the absence of the President and the declaration of martial law in Mindanao. PDUT has a lot of surprises for the people.

But in the end the truth will eventually come out. And as always they say;

“The truth shall make us free.”

**

GULO AT INGAY SA GITNANG SILANGAN

SALAG/BANAT
Hunyo 14, 2017

GULO AT INGAY SA GITNANG SILANGAN

Ni Arturo P.Garcia

Nagulantang ang buong daigdig ng diplomasya nang ipahayag ng Saudi Arabiat apat pang ibang bansa sa Gitnang Silangan ang pagputol ng kanilang diplomatiko at ekonomikong relasyon sa Qatar noong Hunyo 5.

Ang Qatar ang ika-aapat na pinakamalaking may produksyon ng langis sa daigidig. Tahanan din ito ng 170 bilyonaryo dahil dito. Ito rin ang base ng Al Jazeera, ang pinakamalaganap at respetadong pahayagang Arabo sa daigdig.

Nagimbal ang buong mundo dahil sa desisyong ito ng Saudi Arabia, Libya, Egypt at ng United Arab Emirates (UAE) dahil napalaki ng implikasyon nito sa Gulf States at sa Gitnang Silangan.

**

Nasa Qatar din ang pinakamalaking base militar ng US. Mula dito nagmumula ang mga pandigmang eroplano na nagbobomba sa mga kaaway ng US mula Syria hanggang Afghanistan.

Kaya nga maraming nagulat ng kumampi kaagad si Trump sa Saudi Arabia. Pagkatapos namin ng ilang araw, kumampi naman ito sa Qatar at ngayon ay nakikipagnegasosayon sa dalwang panig para maresolba ang krisis sa Gitnang Silangan.

Para sa Pilipinas, ang may higit na 2 milyong manggagawa nasa Middle East ay apektado ng krisis na ito Nakansela lahat ng lipad ng eroplano papuntang Qatar at paalis mula dito.

***

May higit sa 200,000 Pilipino na nasa Qatar. Ito ang ikaapat na malaking populasyon ng mga OFW sa Gitnang Silangan. Nanguguna ang Saudi Arabia na may higit 1 milyong Pilipno sa bansang ito.

Kaagad na ipnagbawal ng Pilipinas ang pagpapadala ng mga OFW sa Qatar. Pero kaagad namang binawi ng DOLE ang utos dahil wala namang matinding gulo na naganap mula Hunyo 5.

Hanggang ngayon nagsisikap pa ang Kuwait at ang Amerika na lutasin ang suliranin sa diplomasya. Ngunit hanggang wala pa ring nangyayari sa usapan.

**

Ano ang dahilan ng gulong ito at sa desisyon ng Saudi laban sa Qatar?

Ang sabi ng iba, nagalit ang Saudi dahil sa nagsasariling pasya ng Qatar. Sumusuporta ito sa mga kalaban ng mga kapwa bansang Arabe.

Sinuportahan ng Qatar si Assad ng Syria, ang Yemen na kaaway ng Saudi, ang Muslim Brotherhood sa Egypt at ang Iran. Suportado din nito ang Turkey. Dahil dito, suportado ng Iran at Turkey ang Iraq sa nagaganap na iringang diplomatiko.

Sa katunayan, nagpadala ng tropa ang Turkey sa Qatar laban sa bantang pagsalakay ng Saudi. Gayundin ang IRan ay nagpadala ng kinakailngang mga pagkain tulad ng gulay at prutas sa Qatar na ginigipit ng kalapit bansa nito.

**

Pinaratangan naman ng Turkey ang UAE sa pagsuporta sa kudeta laban sa Turkey, Nagpadala daw ng higit tatlong bilyong dolyar( $3B) ang UAE sa mga militar na nagkudeta laban kay Erdogan sa Turkey noong 2016.

Subalit ang sabi ng marami, kinagagalit ng mga bansang Arabe ang pagbabalita ng Al Jazerra laban sa kanila, lalo na ang Saudi Arabia at Egypt. Sa katunayan, ipgabawal na ang Al Jazeera sa mga bansang ito.

Ngunit ang sinasabi ng maraming nagaanalisa sa suliranin ay galit ang inggit ang Saudi sa Qatar dahil maliit nga itong bansa pero napakamakapangyarihan at hindi maaring diktahan lalo ng Saudi.

**

Nababanala din ang mga trsdiyunal na bansang Arabe dahil liberal ang pamamalakad ng Qatar.

Mas malaya ang mga Qatari at moderno hindi tulad ng mga bansang Arabe na ang pamamalakad ay lubhang sinauna. Kaya nga gusto ng mga bansang Arabe na ito na paluhurin ang Qatar.

Ayon naman sa mga Qatari, “HINDI KAMI SUSUKO AT MANININDIGAN KAMi.” laban sa lahat nang nais na yumurak sa aming soberanya at kalayaan.”

***

Naiisip ko naman, sana ganito sana ang Pilipinas. Sana ganito sna ang mga numumino sa ating bayan. Matapang at may paninindigan.

Hindi bahag ang buntot sa Tsina o sundu-sunurang sa Amerika. Sabi nga ni Ho Chi Minh ng Byetnam:

WALANG PINAKAMAHALAGA SA MUNDO KUNDI ANG KALAYAAN AT KASARINLAN. “

***

5TH KALAYAAN PARADE IN HFT, LAST, A TREMENDOUS SUCCESS

EPCC NEWS
June 09, 2017

5TH KALAYAAN PARADE IN HFT, LAST, A TREMENDOUS SUCCESS

Los Angeles– As usual. the 5th KALAYAAN Parade in Historic Filipinotown last Saturday, June 03, 2017 jumpstarted the 119th Celebration of the Philippine Independence, June 12, 1898.

More than 23 vehicles of all types like convertibles, cars, trucks. vans and ambulances were used as floats during the 45 minutes parade.

This was augmented by walking delegations led by flag bearers from the California State Northridge Filipino American Students Association (CSUN FASA).

Unity Despite The Differences

Very prominent during the parade two disparate group. One is the pro-Duterte group displaying Prsident Duterte’s image and another van from BANTAY PILIPINAS -USA with bold red signs NO TO MARTIAL LAW IN MINDANAO signs.

A proof that despite the political differences, the Filipino American community is united in celebrating its independence.

In keeping with a 5 year tradition for the parade, the Binibining Pilipinas USA 2017 candidates beauties led the parade. On the other hand, different convertibles also promoted Miss Philippines-USA 2017 candidates.

KALAYAAN After-Parade Program.

After the parade, PILAC President Bernie Ganon emceed the program at the FACLA Social Hall where the parade ended. She ushered in the guest speaker of the program, Councilmember Mitch O’ Farrell of District 13.
O’Farrell thanked the parade organizers for the event and awarded certificates of recognition to FACLA. PILAC, JFAV and the Kalayaan Organizing Committee (5KOC).

Then, the Candidates for Binibining Pilipinas-USA 2017 were presented to the crowd. Miss. Mildred Deang introduced the candidates.
Earlier before the parade, Consul General Adel Cruz visited the FACLA facilliites and was toured by newly elected FACLA President Fernandico Gonong Jr. He joined the parade but left earlier for other commitments.
Performers

Different performers regaled the crowd for more than one hour. The BURLINGTON SCHOOL children were the first to perform. They danced, sung and mimicked dance numbers to the delight of the crowd.

GINGEE, the Kulintang /Hip Hop artist brought the house down with her performance with the Kulintang.

Next to perform was Hip Hop Artist BAGYO with MERVIN LUWEE. They were followed by the SINGING DOCTOR RICHARD GILKISON and PARIS BEBE AGNES ended the program.

Thus the KALAYAAN PARDE and PRogram was another unqualified success.

END.

***

FACLA/JFAV WILL AWARD GOLD MEDALS TO VETERANS/WIDOWS<

For Immediate Release
Filipino Cultural Center/FACLA
June 07, 2017

FACLA/JFAV WILL AWARD GOLD MEDALS TO VETERANS/WIDOWS70 YEARS OF THE UNJUST RESCISSION ACT OF 1946

Los Angeles–” Honor our veterans, fight for equity and justice.”

FACLA President Fernandico Gonong Jr said, “the Filipino Cultural Center/FACLA and the Justice for Filipino American Veterans (JFAV) will award gold medals to all surviving and departed Filipino World War II Veterans and their widows.

The target date is Veterans Day, November 11, 2017. We cannot wait no longer for the replica of the US Congressional Gold Medals that will only be minted at the end of the year.”Besides, the replica of the medal is in bronze and cost $ 50 dollars each.

JFAV/FCC GOLD MEDALS

” We support the Philippine Consulate of Los Angeles effort to give the 20,00 surviving veterans the replica of the congressional gold medal. But we cannot wait that long.”Gonong added.

JFAV National Coordinator Arturo P. Garcia added, ” The US Congressional Gold Medal is the highest civilian decoration that the US Congress gives out to individuals.

It is a token recognition of the FIlipino Veterans wartime service. The Gold Medal worth $ 30,000 will be displayed at the Smithsonian Institute.
Thus, our gold medals will be symbolic award of recognition of their wartime service from the Filipino-American community.

END

****

JFAV: CONDEMN THE 15 TRAITOR SENATORS WHO SUPPORTED THE IMPOSITION OF PDUT’S MARTIAL LAW

For Immediate Release
Justice for Filipino American Veterans (JFAV)-USA
Los Angeles
May 30, 2017

JFAV: CONDEMN THE 15 TRAITOR SENATORS WHO SUPPORTED THE IMPOSITION OF PDUT’S MARTIAL LAW.

Los Angeles— Condemn the 15 modern MAKAPILIS!

The Justice For Filipino American Veterans (JFAV) based in the United States, vehemently condemned the 15 Filipino/a Senators who signed the petition to support PDUT’s martial law in Mindanao

Like the craven and traitorous MAKAPILI’s during World War II who supported the Japanese Invaders, 15 Senators of the PDUT Majority signed a petition to support the creeping martial law of PDUT.

True to the Filipino American Veterans who formed the anti-martial law coalition in the United States, to stand against Marcos martial law in 1972, we stand again to oppose the creeping martial in the Philippines.

As we honor our veteran leaders like Commodore Ramon Alcaraz, Col. Bonifacio Gillego, Faustino Baclig, Jose Salcedo and many others this Memorial Day, May 29, 2017 in the United States, we again stand and fight martial law in the Philippines . We will continue their brave tradition as we stand for freedom.

Condemn The Traitors

Remember their names. Most of them were beneficiaries of the largesse of the brutal 14 years of martial law. Some of them human rights torturers like Col.Gringo Honasan and Ping Lacson. Others are scions of the families who benefitted from the US-Marcos dictatorship.

They are the following: Koko Pimentel, Tito Sotto, Sonny Angara, Nancy Binay, Miguel Zubiri, JV Ejercito, Sherwin Gatchalian, Richard Gordon, Gringo Honasan, Panfilo Lacson, Loren Legarda, Manny Pacquiao, Ralph Recto, Joel Villanueva, and Cynthia Villar.

Convene The Congress

We call on the Philippine Congress especially the Senate to convene and formally examine the declaration of martial law as mandated by the 1987 Constitution. Don’t hide behind your flimsy petition to support PDUT.

Do your duty to the country and do not circumvent the law. If you really support PDUT, make it formal, declare martial law if that is what you want. But convene the Congress and follow the Constitution.

Mahiya naman kayo sa bayan. Ayaw ba ninyong maitala ang inyong katrayduran at pagiging garapal na mga tuta ng Rehimeng Duterte?

END

**

More Organization Joins 5th KALAYAAN PARADE On June 03

For Immediate Release
5KOC
May 27, 2017

More Organization Joins 5th KALAYAAN PARADE On June 03.

Los Angeles–Ipagdiwang ang ika-119 Araw ng Kalayaan ng Pilipinas, Huno 12, 1898 sa Hunyo 3, 2017!

With less than 10 days to go, more organizations have joined the 5th KALAYAAN Parade in Historic FIlipinotown on June 03, 2017 at 8;00 AM.
Events Coordinator Arturo P. Garcia has confirmed that 15 more organizations have joined the parade. ” This brings the number of participating organizations to 35.” Garcia reported.

Sixteen (!6) New Organizations

The following groups have recently joined the 5th KALAYAAN Parade and Program on June 03, 2017.

The Temple Seafood Mart, Manila Terrace Apts., Southern California Filipino Dental Society (SCFDS), Miss Philippines-USA, Philippine National Bank (PNB), the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center (HPMC), the Silver Lake Medical Center (SLMC), Pilipino Workers Center of Southern California (PWC-SC ) and the Los Angeles County Pilipino American Seniors (LACPAS).

The Kabataang maka-Bayan Pro People Youth?KmB, Philippine Women’s Club of LA (PWC-LA),the Pangasinan Brotherhood-USA, the Filipino American Press Club of California (FAPCCA), the Friend of FAPCCA, the Queen of Asia Pacific (QAP).

The parade starts assembly area is at 8AM and the parade starts at 9 AM at 1711 W. Temple St in front of the Silver Lake Medical Center (LSMC). and the program will start at 11:00 at FACLA compound.

For more information please contact Al Garcia at (213) 318-9065 or email him at jfavusa8@gmail and visit our website at www.jfavusa.org
END

**

THE ATENEAN FACING MARTIAL LAW

EPCC NEWS
May 26, 2017

THE ATENEAN FACING MARTIAL LAW

( EDITORS NOTE: We publish CJ Sereno’s speech at the Ateneo De Manila University graduation. The following is the full text of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno’s commencement address before the Ateneo de Manila University, May 26, 2017.–Editors)

Los Angeles –Thirty seven years ago, dear Loyolans, I stood in your place, about to take a place of honor and privilege as a graduate of Ateneo.

Three years later, Ninoy Aquino would be assassinated; by 1986, the dictator Marcos would flee the country. But on my graduation day in 1980, it was difficult to be certain of a future outside of martial law. I was at once optimistic and fearful. Optimistic about my career prospects as any Atenean would be, but fearful lest the long nights of martial law overshadowing our country never end.

I had actually prepared to talk with you in a more lighthearted and general manner on themes of justice, democracy and what it means to be an Atenean, but the declaration of Martial Law and the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao this Tuesday impressed upon me a more urgent and specific subject matter.

So yesterday I discarded my prepared speech and resolved that today I would try to address the questions that must be in your minds and those of your parents. I thought it behooved me to give you a lens through which you could view present events and make decisions regarding your participation in the making of Philippine history.

Allow me to guess at the questions in your mind: Will this Martial Law declaration bring back the human rights violations and the depredations that characterized the martial law regime of 1972? Will investors leave the country? Will young people still have enough good jobs? Will our labor force be squeezed into more painful contortions of diaspora? Will our voices still be heard? The answer, my dear graduates, is “It depends.”

Our hopes for the future depend on whether the Executive Department, led by the President, the leadership and the entirety of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police, Department of Justice officials and prosecutors, the Chief Public Attorney and her public defenders will take sufficient care to abide by the Constitution and the laws even while Martial Law is in place. It depends on whether there will be abuse of the awesome powers that Martial Law gives the Armed Forces and the police.

It also depends on whether Congress and the Supreme Court will exercise their review powers appropriately over the declaration of Martial Law and the suspension of the privilege of writ of habeas corpus; and whether both houses of Congress and all courts will continue to function normally and well.

It also depends on whether certain independent constitutional bodies, namely the Ombudsman, the Commission on Human Rights, and the Commission on Audit will persist in discharging their proper functions.

Finally, it depends on whether you, my fellow Ateneans, together with the rest of the Filipino population, do your part to ensure that this declaration of Martial Law does not imperil your future.

Allow me to clarify that the powers to declare Martial Law and suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus are expressly granted President Duterte under the Constitution. When properly implemented, this should not by itself unduly burden our country. This power was granted to allow the President to resolve the situation “in case of invasion or rebellion, when the public safety requires it.”

There may be questions before the Supreme Court regarding whether this can be extended to encompass situations akin to invasion or rebellion, and what circumstances constitute rebellion, but we will not venture into that for now. Suffice it to say that the Martial Law power is an immense power that can be used for good, to solve defined emergencies; but all earthly powers when abused can result in oppression.

If the Martial Law power is expressly granted the President, why are there fears expressed in some quarters regarding the declaration of President Duterte?

You must understand the history of a previous declaration of martial law, which occurred over forty years ago at the height of President Marcos’ power. Former Chief Justice Claudio Teehankee in Dizon v Eduardo described September 22, 1972 – the night Marcos announced Martial Law – as a dark evening when military authorities moved throughout the city to arrest and detain journalists and members of the opposition, upon orders of the President-turned dictator. Over the next two decades, enemies of the Marcos regime “disappeared,” were tortured or summarily executed.

The fears stoked by the terms “Martial Law” and “suspension of the writ of habeas corpus,” are therefore not surprising. But we must remember that these apprehensions were created by former President Marcos and the martial law that followed his 1972 declaration. If President Duterte and the aforementioned government authorities avoid the gross historical sins of Mister Marcos and his agents, then our country might reap the benefits of the legitimate use of the provisions on Martial Law in the 1987 Constitution.

You see, the 1987 Constitution in clear and unmistakable language rejects and absolutely prohibits the particular kind of martial law that began in our country in September of 1972. What do I mean by this? Allow me to refer to the decisions of our Supreme Court and other tribunals regarding the essential characteristics of the martial law dominating our country following its 1972 proclamation.

First, that period was characterized by widespread human rights violations in the form of murders, rape and other forms of torture, forced disappearances, arbitrary arrests and illegal detention, and forced isolation or hamletting of villages.
In the case of Mijares v. Ranada, the Supreme Court described the deep damage dealt to our institutions and the very fabric of our society as follows:

“Our martial law experience bore strange unwanted fruits, and we have yet to finish weeding out its bitter crop. While the restoration of freedom and the fundamental structures and processes of democracy have been much lauded, according to a significant number, the changes, however, have not sufficiently healed the colossal damage wrought under the oppressive conditions of the martial law period. The cries of justice for the tortured, the murdered, and the desaparecidos arouse outrage and sympathy in the hearts of the fair-minded, yet the dispensation of the appropriate relief due them cannot be extended through the same caprice or whim that characterized the ill-wind of martial rule. The damage done was not merely personal but institutional, and the proper rebuke to the iniquitous past has to involve the award of reparations due within the confines of the restored rule of law.”
Perhaps the most specific recount of the human rights atrocities during the Martial Law period beginning in 1972 can be found in a U.S. Decision, specifically that of the Hawaiian District Court in the case of In Re: Estate Of Ferdinand E. Marcos Human Rights Litigation, Celsa Hilao, et. al v. Estate Of Ferdinand E. Marcos. The case was a class action brought by victims or victims’ family members against the Estate of Marcos, seeking compensation for torture, disappearance or summary execution. The court made findings of human rights violations including numerous forms of torture such as beatings while blindfolded, rape and sexual assault, electric shock, and solitary confinement. The court noted:

“All of these forms of torture were used during “tactical interrogation,” attempting to elicit information from detainees concerning opposition to the MARCOS government. The more the detainees resisted, whether purposefully or out of lack of knowledge, the more serious the torture used.”

Second, the period of martial law that began in September of 1972 was likewise characterized by its heretofore unprecedented scale of plunder.

The case of Presidential Commission on Good Government v. Peña described the rule of Marcos as a “well-entrenched plundering regime of twenty years,” with respect to “the ill-gotten wealth which rightfully belongs to the Republic although pillaged and plundered in the name of dummy or front companies, in several known instances carried out with the bold and mercenary, if not reckless, cooperation and assistance of members of the bar as supposed nominees.” The Supreme Court in that case “noted the magnitude of the regime’s organized pillage and the ingenuity of the plunderers and pillagers with the assistance of experts and the best legal minds in the market.” The ill-gotten assets identified so far by both the Presidential Commission on Good Governance and the Solicitor General are valued at approximately 5 billion US dollars.

Third, the martial law following the proclamation of 1972 was extremely oppressive, concentrating power only in Mister Marcos and his group.
At one point, the Supreme Court, quoting Chief Justice Teehankee, characterized the time as “a return to the lese majeste when the voice of the King was the voice of God so that those touched by his absolute powers could only pray that the King acted prudently and wisely.” The dictator amassed so much power as the Commander-in-Chief, that he was able to take “absolute command of the nation and… the people could only trust that he would not fail them.”

We know what happened. Marcos failed our people. Those of us who were alive at the time bore witness to the human rights atrocities and the corruption caused by such absolute power.

Fourth, the martial law period of 1972 put the Philippines in an economic tailspin that saw us go from the second most vibrant economy in Asia to its sick man. In Marcos v. Manglapus, the Supreme Court noted that excessive foreign borrowing during the Marcos regime stagnated development and became one of the root causes of widespread poverty, leaving the economy in a precarious state. In Republic v. Sandiganbayan, the Court described the economic havoc created by the authoritarian regime in this manner:

At the time that the government of former President Marcos was driven from power, the country’s debt was over twenty-six billion US dollars; and the indications were that “illegally acquired wealth” of the deposed president alone, not counting that of his relatives and cronies, was in the aggregate amount of from five to ten billion US dollars, the bulk of it being deposited and hidden abroad.”

These are only a few excerpts from some of the many decisions of the highest court of the land that memorialize for all of history the atrocities committed during the era heralded by the 1972 declaration of martial law. They may not be the most heart-rending of accounts due to the necessary haste with which I compiled them, but I encourage you to do further reading on these and similar cases. These excerpts together with unrefuted historical accounts are a testament to our country’s resolve to never again allow ourselves to return to those dark and terrible times.

Thus the 1987 Constitution clearly says:A state of martial law does not suspend the operation of the Constitution, nor supplant the functioning of the civil courts or legislative assemblies, nor authorize the conferment of jurisdiction on military courts and agencies over civilians where civil courts are able to function, nor automatically suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus.

As we face the days following President Duterte’s declaration of martial law in Mindanao, it behooves us to ask what we can do in the present, with the time that is given to us, to ensure that the horrors of martial law that followed the 1972 declaration do not happen again.

For if being an Atenean means anything, it is that each of us — individually, and as a member of the Ateneo as an institution — bears a great deal of responsibility for the well-being of this country. And this responsibility entails leading not by possessing power for power’s sake, but by sacrificial example, by dying to ourselves and taking up our crosses daily. If power is to be granted to an Atenean, then such power must be exercised the way Christ exercised his leadership, by being a servant first, to the Father, and to His brothers and sisters.

These are times when everything that can be shaken is being shaken, when institutions are being challenged to their very foundations, and basic ideas of decency and human dignity are being violated with great impunity. These are times more than any other that will sorely test the Atenean’s capacity to distinguish right from wrong and the Atenean’s ability to act in service of what is right, and true, and good.

Do not be discouraged, for you are well-equipped for the challenges of these times. You only need to look within and around you and reflect on the Atenean principles inculcated in you over the years –Magis, or the constant pursuit of improvement and excellence, for difficult times require extraordinary people.

AMDG! For the greater glory of God — for these are times when our faith will be tested, our paths will be dark and full of shadows, and only by surrendering all our actions to God may we continue towards the light.

One Big Fight! More than a cheer used in our basketball games, One Big Fight embodies the wholehearted passion and dedication that must fuel all our actions.

But the most fundamental Atenean value today is that of being a person for others. To be an Atenean is to serve — compassionately, selflessly, with unceasing dedication. To be an Atenean is to constantly continue the work of addressing others’ needs; to think broadly, not merely in terms of impact on one’s self, but impact on one’s community and country. To be an Atenean is to deeply and completely understand that it is in service to others that our lives take on their full meaning. To be an Atenean is to forsake a life of self-centered safety for a life of service.

To be a person for others is to commit to a just and noble cause greater than oneself.

Given the present day, when the possibility of history repeating itself looms imminent, no cause requires your commitment as much as the cause of human rights, justice, and democracy, themes you have aptly chosen.

For today, people’s fundamental human rights and freedoms, the core of our democracy, face grave and blatant threats. The culture of impunity is on the rise. People are pressured to favor the easy choice over the right choice: expediency over due process; convenient labeling over fairness; the unlawful termination of human life over rehabilitation.

You need to make a stand, dear Ateneans. And to make a stand you must act. More than merely ruminating on the idea of justice, I call on each of you to confront the common injustices of our society and seek to address them. I urge you to speak out with truth even against the overwhelming tide of popular opinion and reach out to the oppressed and disenfranchised.

When you face threats to the sanctity of human rights or the stability of our democracy, give your all to protect these freedoms. Give your all to protect our nation and our people.

Stand up and give One Big Fight. As I stated in my speech to the lawyers in the Integrated Bar of the Philippines National Convention last March 23, we are not fighting a person or an establishment but a culture, a pattern that pervades our society today. It is a pattern of apathy, rage, and despair: one that began when people learned to tolerate wrong, stopped hoping, and ceased caring.

I understand that the task before you is immense, but I have no doubt you are more than up to the challenge. For you have been honed over your years in the Ateneo to fulfill your calling in extraordinary ways.

That is why I do not feel only hope when I look at you – my heart is filled with grateful gladness. Throughout the countless calamities that have struck the country, Ateneans have always been among the first to respond and help. Unstintingly and without hesitation, Ateneans have reached out, time and time again, to complete strangers — giving of themselves to people they may never even meet.

Last year, when the history of our nation was subjected to attempts at revision, you were among the first to speak up. I saw young men and women from the Ateneo spill out into the streets, furious and indignant, speaking up against this distortion of our history and reaching out to show fellow Filipinos that they were not alone. As a fellow Atenean, I understood that this passionate outpouring of righteous anger sprang from a deep understanding of what it means to be a person for others.

Know that being a person for others and standing for human rights, justice, and democracy are one and the same. To stand for human rights is to value others’ freedoms as much as you value your own. To stand for justice is to oppose any attempts to value one group’s freedoms more than those of others.

To stand for democracy is to love your country and your people so fully that you will act to ensure democratic processes are followed despite great personal cost. To stand for all of these is to sacrifice yourself so that others may know freedom, safety, and all the fullness of life.

Know that you are not alone. You will not be alone. Have the courage to stand.

My prayers are with you, young Ateneans. As you face this crossroad and move on to a new chapter of your lives, may the Lord bless and keep you; may He make His face shine on you and be gracious to you; may the Lord turn His face towards you and give you peace.

Mabuhay kayo, class of 2017! Make us proud

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NO TO MARTIAL LAW, FIGHT FOR OUR DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS!

ALLIANCE NEWS
May 24, 2017

NO TO MARTIAL LAW, FIGHT FOR OUR DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS!

Los Angeles–“Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

When President Marcos declared Martial Law in 1972, he reasoned that he was fighting the oligarchs and he was “saving our republic.” But the truth is that he lusted for power and absolute power corrupted him and the system.

Now, another Marcos lover, PDUT declared martial law in Mindanao to “save the people” but the truth is that he wanted to perpetuate himself and his clique in power . He is even thinking of extending martial law nationwide.

The sad fact is that the attack on Marawi is an isolated incident that PDUT blows up like his ‘drug war” to rationalize his fascist rule all over the land.

Playing With Fire

Previous Presidents like Arroyo declare martial law only in specific places like Central Mindanao to contain the problem. And only for a short time.

Even President Quirino declared martial law only in Central Luzon at the height of the HMB rebellion in the 1950’s.
President Aquino III did not even declared martial law during the Zamboanga Siege in 2013. So does President Ramos during the Ipil Siege in the 1990’s.

PDUT An Extremist Strongman

Why did PDUT declared martial law? His motives has been very clear. He wanted to show that he is a strongman and toyed with the idea of martial law imitating his idol Marcos, playing with the lives of the Filipino people.

At his worse, PDUT is an extremist. He promised to be “harsher than Marcos.” That is his only way to cover up for the failure of his drug war against the poor, rampant graft corruption, his failed federalism experiment and his promise to the Bangsa Moro of an Autonomous region.

And most of all, the failure to fufill all his broken promises to the people on his one year in office.

But as they say, “ when you repeat history, the first is a tragedy, the second is a farce. Only the fools never learned from history. Only the power hungry and corrupt will proclaim that martial law is good for the people.

Repeating the dreaded times of martial law and recreating its horrors will only institute the rule of impunity, the culture of corruption and terrible violations of human rights against our Moro brothers and the people of Mindanao?

Must PDUT repeat the horrors of the past to proclaim himself as strongman?

We say, NO TO MARTIAL LAW. NEVER AGAIN MARTIAL LAW IN MINDANAO!

FIGHT FOR OUR DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS!

ALLIANCE PHILIPPINES
Los Angeles

Arturo P.Garcia
West Coast Coordinator

May 24, 2017

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PERFORMERS FOR THE 5th KALAYAAN PARADE PROGRAM

For Immediate Release
5th KOC
May 22, 2017

PERFORMERS FOR THE 5th KALAYAAN PARADE PROGRAM

Los Angeles--They stepped up for the 5th Kayaaan Parade.

In a response to the call of the 5th KALAYAAN PARADE IN HISTORIC FILIPINOTOWN for performers and participants to the after parade program to spice-up the celebration, performers and more participants stepped up to the plate.

Well known singers MALOU TOLER, CIAMARA MORALES and BAGYO will perform June 03 after-parade program at FACLA Dr.Richard Gilkison and Melvin Luwee will also perform at the stage.

The EXACT BAND with singer VANNESSA will also perform at the FACLA stage at 11;00 AM,

Free Parking at SLMC,

Another good news. Parking will be available on June 3 at the nearby SIlver Lake Medical Center (SLMC) parking lot.

There is parking at the lower lot and also at the upper parking lot of the SLMC. Enter via Burlington St. on the right side of Temple St.

There is no parking at FACLA. It will be used for the program.

More Organization Joins

12 more organizations have joined the parade. They are the following groups:

The Philippine National Bank (PNB), the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center (HPMC), the Pilipino Workers Center of Southern California (PWC-SC ) and the Los Angeles County Pilipino American Seniors (LACPAS)

The Philippine Women’s Club of LA (PWC-LA),the Pangasinan Brotherhood-USA, the Filipino American Press Club of California (FAPCCA), the Friend of FAPCCA, the Queen of Asia Pacific (QAP) are some of them.

KALAYAAN Committees Formed

The Medical Committee that was formed early last week will be headed by Dr.Orlando Cagamapan with his medical volunteers .

They will be in-charge of first aid and any medical emergencies during the parade and program on June 03.
Meanwhile, the Security Committee was also formed. It will be headed by Jerry Esguerra of BANTAY PILIPINAS-USA and Eddy M. Gana Jr of the Kabataang maka-Bayan/Pro People Youth KMB on the day of the parade.
More Performers

On the other hand, more performers joined the program. This was announced by Bernie Targa-Ganon, head of the Program Committee for the 5th KALAYAAN Parade and Program..
School kids from the BURLINGTON SCHOOL will also perform and will also join the parade in the early morning.

This was assured with Mrs. Cecille Ramos of the BURLINGTON SCHOOL and the HISTORIC FILIPINOTOWN NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL (HFNC).

For more information please contact Al Garcia at (213) 318-9065 or email him at jfavusa8@gmail and visit our website at www.jfavusa.org

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ALLIANCE SLAMS XI FOR BULLYING THE PHILIPPINES ON WPS

ALLIANCE NEWS
May 22, 2017

ALLIANCE SLAMS XI FOR BULLYING THE PHILIPPINES ON WPS
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Los Angeles— The Red Dragon is acting up. China bullies the Philippines over the West Philippine Seas issues.

The Alliance-Philippines based in the United States slammed Chinese President Xi Jing Ping for bullying Philippine President Duterte for ‘threatening war” on the issue of the West Philippine Seas.

Philippine President DU30 was told by Xi that ” China might go to war” in case the Philippines drill oil in the West Philippine Seas.
PDUT also stated that ” he does not know what to day or do” on the matter. For sure he reiterated ” he does not want to go to war” saying “it will be a massacre for us.”

China’s bellicose on WPS

China has been always belligerent towards its neighbors especially on the issue of the South China Seas especially towards Japan and Vietnam and also on the Philippines despite the warming of relations between the two countries.

China and Vietnam fought battles on the control of South China Seas. Japan and China are also on logger heads over the disputed Shenseku islands claimed by Japan in the northern Pacific.

PDUT has not used the ITLOS ruling on the WPS that favored the Philippines. PDUT seems loved to use diplomacy on China on the issue of the disputed seas.

Instead, PDUT has shamed the United States for sitting idly by while China fortified seven of the atolls in the West Philippine seas.

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