Daily Archives: September 13, 2016

Happy Eid Mubarak!




September 13, 2016



Los Angeles–Today, we pay tribute  and honor   General Macario Sakay.  On September 13, 1907, Macario Sakay, revolutionary leader .

He was among the last of the Filipino resistance fighters, President of  the Tagalog Republic (1902-1907)  was hanged inside the Old Bilibid Prison in Manila, together with Col. Lucio de Vega.

Born on January 3, 1870 in Tondo, Manila, Sakay, a close confidante of Andres Bonifacio, was one of the early members of the Katipunan.

During the Filipino-American War, General Sakay fled to the mountains, organized the revolutionary forces in Bulacan, Pampanga, Morong (now Rizal), Cavite, Laguna, and Batangas, and later on proclaimed what he called theTagalog Republic.




September 13, 2016


'"They are afraid of our mighty fists....they are even afraid of our songs of love..." - Carlos Bulosan, writer, poet, labor activist. (1911-Sept 11, 1956)

“They are afraid of our mighty fists….they are even afraid of our songs of love…” – Carlos Bulosan, writer, poet, labor activist. (1911-Sept 11, 1956)



September 9, 2016


By Arturo P. Garcia.Mysterious-image-appeared-onPH-flag-during-Dutertes-inaugural-speech
After US President Obama spoke about Human Rights and the universal concept of respect for human rights at the Laos ASEAN Summit , President Duterte set aside his prepared speech and spoke impromptu and recounted US atrocities during the Filipino-American War and the US War against the Moros when they colonized Mindanao.

He displayed gruesome pictures of the American Massacre of Bud Dajo of March 1906 in Sulu at the turn of the century during the American Moro Wars in Mindanao during its pacification drive from 1902-1906 during the Filipino-American War.

The Duterte speech seems to embarrassed the Americans but won admiration from Asian allied nations lie Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Burma, Indonesia and China which are all not truly democratic nations and have problems with human rights like the Philippines.

Consistent Anti-Imperialist Rhetorics

On this issue of anti-US imperialism, Duterte is quite consistent. He has not forgotten his socialist content and progressive anti-imperialist education. And on this note, he has lectured his fellow Asians who admired his guts and boldness.

Other political analyst says this is just to cover up the human rights violations brought about by his current anti-drug campaign. But he reasoned out that is the historical roots of the Muslim insurgency and the Abu Sayaff problem in Mindanao.

No other Filipino President nor a Filipino politician had been brave enough spoke out this historical matter ever since the birth of the Republic in 1946. Only Duterte has the balls and the guts to speak about this historical transgressions of the United States.

President Rodrigo Duterte has consistently echoed anti-American sentiments even before he became a politician. Even during the campaign, he spoke about the roots of the Mindanao conflict and even the insurgency wars of the government against the NDF.

It is no secret that as a student of the Lyceum of the Philippines, Duterte was a member of the Kabataang Makabayan, a leftist movement formed in 1964 whose leaders would later on form the Communist Party of the Philippines.

It was Prof. Jose Ma. Sison, who was Duterte’s professor on Political Thought, was then the founding chairman of KM, which espoused an anti-US position. Duterte said, “Sison contaminated us early on and we became the first KM members. If I make it, God-willing, to the presidency, I will be the first left President of this country,” Duterte said days before the May elections.

Quite an accolade or just buttering up Sison like all traditional politician does to known revolutionary leaders?

The Meiring Affair of 2003

Duterte also admitted having a falling out with the US government as he accused Washington of having a hand in a terrorist attack in his hometown, Davao City.The then mayor of Davao City claimed that agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) spirited one Michael Terrence Meiring out of the country and without any approval from the Philippine government.

News reports said, Meiring was injured inside the Evergreen Hotel in Davao City in 2002 when there was an explosion inside his rented room. The following day, FBI agents took Meiring out of the hospital and brought him to Singapore before finally going back to America.

Duterte recalled, “It was early in the morning when [former US Ambassador to the Philippines Francis] Ricciardone flew here and met with me in a hotel here. He assured me then that they will conduct an investigation regarding the Meiring incident.

Yet since then, the US government failed to fully explain to me how come they violated our sovereign right to prosecute Meiring who committed a crime here in our city,”

Duterte said in an interview with CNN in 2011.“When a bomb exploded at the airport and followed by another explosion at the wharf several months after the hotel explosion that injured Meiring, that was when I started suspecting that the US could have had a hand in the said explosions,” he added, referring to the March 2003 explosion at the Davao International Airport which was followed a month later by another explosion in the Sasa wharf.

The military rebels led then by Navy Lt. Commander Sonny Trillanes who launched a failed coup against PGMA in 2006 , blamed the ISAFP and General Victor Corpus for these bombings.

Duterte went further surmising that the US had a hand in the bombings in Davao City.

Using the Past to Cover Up for The Present?

Still angry after years of American duplicity and slight, He said at the press conference, before he left for Laos, Duterte responded to a reporter, “I do not respond to anybody but to the people of the Republic of the Philippines. I do not care about him [Obama]. Who is he?

When as a matter of a fact, at the turn of the century, before the Americans left the Philippines in the pacification campaign on the Moro in this island—how many Moro died? Six hundred. If he can answer that question and give the apology, I will answer him [on the alleged extra-judicial killings],” the President said.

A real patriotic Filipino should have been proud of President who knows his history and people’s struggle.

But there is another problem.Why is Duterte so quick to tell the history of the American conquest of the Moros in Mindanao more than a hundred years ago but he will allow the burial of a dictator in the Libingan ng mga Bayani?

Why did he forget the 14 years of martial law and the recent history of less than 30 years ago?

He cites the American abuses and disregard of human rights more than one hundred years ago but conveniently forget the atrocities of martial law thirty years ago?

Selective amnesia or for the sake of convenience?



September 13, 2016


by Pat Nabong, Rappler, September 8, 2016

CHICAGO, USA – Despite being thousands of miles away from the Philippines, some Filipinos staged a protest in Chicago on Wednesday, September 7, to oppose President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to bury dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.


They marched to the consulate general of the Philippines in downtown Chicago to submit a petition against a heroes’ burial for Marcos. Consul General Generoso Calonge told them he would forward their demands to the Office of the President.

“All the views that are being ventilated right now worldwide will reach Manila,” Calonge said.

In their petition, they called for President Duterte to honor “true heroes worthy of emulation” and to reconsider his decision to give Marcos a heroes’ burial.

“I think burying Marcos in the Libingan ng Mga Bayani means a lot,” said Jerry Clarito, who has been living in Chicago for more than 3 decades. “It’s erasing the history of the people who fought against dictatorship and [an] oppressive system.”

The petition was signed by over 23 people, some of whom claimed to be included in the list of thousands of people who were oppressed and repressed during Martial Law.

Joseph Lariosa, who said he was imprisoned while working as an entertainment journalist in thePhilippines during the Marcos era, was one of the 70,000 who were arrested during the regime, according to Amnesty International.

“I will agree [to a heroes’ burial for Marcos] only if the Marcos family will recognize the mistakes of Marcos under Martial Law and also if they return the loot that they have taken away from the Filipino people,” said Lariosa, who moved to Chicago in 1986.

“Otherwise, I’ll feel bad if they let him get away with the murders, thievery, and all the bad things that happened under Martial Law,” he said.

The late dictator’s ill-gotten wealth is estimated at P170 million, according to the Presidential Commission on Good Governance.

Continuing the fight abroad

Although they have migrated, Filipino participants at the demonstration believe that being involved in Philippine affairs is still important.

“That’s happening here in Chicago – that we continue the tradition of resistance against any form of tyranny and we try to empower the community and the people by speaking out,” said Lariosa.

He said his opinions were repressed during the Marcos regime. “We were silenced and so at least here in America we’re allowed to talk and to express our sentiment.”

Their views were also echoed by the younger ones.

“I think there’s a lot of intersection between social problems abroad and social problems here,” said Naomi Salcedo, a Filipino-American born in the United States and who works for the Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment Chicago.

“It’s very important for a lot of people even if we’re not born in the Philippines, even if we’re not all Filipino, we’re still part of that narrative, and our parents were part of that narrative. So I think regardless of whether you’re here or there, it still transcends those barriers,” she said. –Rappler.com



September 12, 2016


By Arturo P. Garcia


During the 1960’s decades after World War II, when the Philippines was second to Japan as an economic power and without American help, then President Diosdado Macapagal founded the Association of Southeast Asian Countries or the ASA.

The Philippines then acquired prominence in International diplomacy. Thus when Macapagal formed in 1961 called the Association of Southeast Asia (ASA), a group consisting of the Philippines, Malaysia, and Thailand. It was diplomatic marvel for the Philippines.

It was then the height of the Cold War between the Western Bloc led by the US and the Eastern Bloc led by the USSR. In fact there was a military alliance in Southeast Asia called the South East Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) also known as the Manila Pact formed in 1954.

Thus with the birth of ASA and the dissolution of SEATO in 1967, ASEAN itself was created on 8 August 1967, five countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand, signed the ASEAN Declaration, more commonly known as the Bangkok Declaration The creation of ASEAN was motivated by a common fear of communism and a thirst for economic development.

But as years past and as ASEAN grew and as the Philippines is now second to the basket bowl, Bangladesh , the last developing nations in Asia, the Philippines lost its pre-eminence in the ASEAN itself.

It also coincided with ASEAN becoming more and more a lame duck economic organization beholden to the United States, European Union and Japan. Here are the reasons why:20160402_LDD001_facebook

1)The ASEAN can even take a united stand against China on the issue of its aggressiveness in the South China Seas against 5 ASEAN nations namely the Philippines, Vietnam Malaysia, Brunei,Taiwan and Indonesia and the Japanese islands in Shenshuku

Laos,Burma and Cambodia and even Thailand are toeing China’s line that own the South China Seas and never dares to take a united ASEAN position unfavorable to China. Why? Even the Philippines and Vietnam are circumspect on the issue despite the ruling of the International Arbirtral Tribunal (APT).

Only Malaysia,Vietnam and Indonesia supports the Philippine position of the disputed West Philippines Sea and the China’s rabid agression in the area. Other ASEAN nations are just fence-sitting.

2) The ASEAN as an economic partnership with no military might is becoming more and more an adjunct of the US policy of “Pivot Asia “ and the Trans Pacific Partnership or TPP. Thus each nation takes foremost their economic gains not the ASEAN or collective interests.

In fact, Vietnam and Thailand in fact have joined the TPP earlier and enjoyed “Most Favored Nation” status in the United States, far ahead of its ASEAN neighbor. Vietnam was also a recipient of US military aid and assistance. In fact, more than the Philippines,

3) The ASEAN toes the US line on the maritime disputes against China. Thus, the ambivalent stand on the maritime issues but follow the US lead on “ peaceful settlement of the dispute” and the obedience to the arbitral ruling on the South China Seas.

The ASEAN also supports the US and the “freedom of international navigation “ escalating the militarization of the area

Thus, the presidency of ASEAN now in the hands of the Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is a lame duck organization in reality. Duterte’s promise to make it as an “economic regional power” is a pipe dream as long as the US controls ASEAN.

In the end, Duterte’s declaration to “follow self-reliant foreign policy” is the key to Philippines progress sans ASEAN. Duterte also pointed out, “ ASEAN interests must also serve “our national and people’s respective interests.”

For ASEAN is a lame duck organization controlled by the US. The same US dog with different collar.

As the British statesman Sir. Winston Churchill described diplomacy:

“ The art of telling people to go to hell in such a way that they will ask for directions.”




September 13, 2016


By Arturo P. Garcia


I only know Senator Jose W. Diokno in the news and discussions with my grand-father. He has a lot of good words about the man and as a Secretary of Justice and then a Senator.

Besides being from Batangas where my Lolo came from, he was admired by my Lolo for being the first Filipino who both was the  topnotcher in both Accounting and the Bar examinations . A rare feat accomplished by someone. He was bought good in speaking Spanish and English as well our native tongue-the Tagalog language.  Much like the great Batangueno, Senator Claro Mayo Recto.

I first met him at the National Press Club (NPC) during the week that the Writ of Habeas Corpus was suspended. The fear was prevailing those times. The documents to be signed were at the table and yet, no body want to start signing the papers for the formation of the Movement of Concerned Citizens for Civil Liberties in the Philippines or the MCCLP.

Senator Diokno, the ever-smiling person said, “ I guess I have to start…” and he went to the table and signed the document. He was followed by lawyers, former justices of the Supreme Court and others.  As usual, I signed second to the last, making sure everybody have signed. And everybody clapped at the end of the ceremony. The movement was launched without so much fanfare.

Later, I met him personally and worked with him together with other leaders and staff of the Movement for a Democratic Philippines (MDP). Always, our meeting place was the NPC.

I saw him work first-hand. Always gathering consensus and quick to diffuse argument between us, the militant student /youth leaders and moderates like Edjop ( who still a  moderate student leader then of the NUSP) and other leaders of  the left-of-center YCSP like Joey Lina.

We hold him in high respect that everybody stopped arguing about disagreements and will start collect points of unity.  He deferred to us especially on the nitty-gritty of the mass actions like marches, rally and all the needed permits. At that time our main leaders were in China and were all blacklisted and cannot come home.

The writ has been suspended but are still working as if it never existed. Only our guts makes us persevere so much.

Our first real acid test for the MCCLP was the march to Caloocan. .  Mayor Macario Asistio, who ruled Caloocan City with an iron hand, warned us that he would not allow any march or rally inside Caloocan City.But we push through with the march rally and entered Caloocan City and rallied in front of the City Hall’. During the first march, we were greatly outnumbered by the goons of Caloocan Mayor  Macario Asistio. Sr   Tension was in the air as good jeered and proved us. But we kept our cool and linked arms as we held out rally.

We were ready to fight if anything happened. The goons menacingly tried to frighten us but we held our ground. We were corralled inside the City Plaza surrounded by goods and Caloocan City Police as well as the METROCOM.  But maybe the presence of Senator Diokno made the difference.

Later, Senator Diokno treated us, the full MCCLP Committee to a Restaurant in Chinatown Manila to celebrate our tactical victory- our bold rally in Caloocan City. .  That was the first time I enjoyed my Chinese Lauriat lunch and has casual conversations with the Senator as if we knew each other for a long time.

At the second rally, it was bloody and turbulent. The goons ambushed our column at the boundary of Manila and Caloocan. The goons were deployed at both sides of Rizal Avenue and behind the walls of the La Loma Cemetery.

Only the proximity of our base in Barrio Obrero in the boundary and Gagalangin, Tondo gave us an advantage to retreat and regroup. But how can we fight police and goons with guns, pillboxes, stones and explosives of our adversaries?

My work organizing the peasants intervened and I lost contact with Senator Diokno. The next time, I heard that he was arrested and was imprisoned together with Senator Aquino in Fort Magsaysay during martial law.  I also heard that in  September 11, 1974, on Marcos 57th birthday, he was released.

After his release, he formed the a legal group composed of lawyers who fought for human rights called Free Legal Aid Group or FLAG. They aided victims of human rights violations during martial law,

During the duration of the 14 years of martial law, I followed his speeches, activities and works by radio and TV news. But even when Marcos was overthrown in 1986, I did not have any opportunity to meet him again.

And yet, my memories of working with him are still vivid in my memories. My memory is still fresh about Senator Diokno in the Senate.

I still remember them, Senate greats like  Senators Lorenzo Tanada, Jovito Salonga, Benigno Aquino Jr,   and most of all-Senator Jose W. Diokno at the halls of the Senate of the Philippines.

And those were interesting times. When I once worked with the Senator in 1971.