Monthly Archives: January 2017

ON MLK DAY, FAHRA COMDEMNS DU30’S REGIME WITCH HUNTING OF FILAMS

For Immediate Release
Filipino-American Human Rights Alliance (FAHRA)
Los Angeles, CA
January 16, 2016

ON MLK DAY, FAHRA COMDEMNS DU30’S REGIME WITCH HUNTING OF FILAMS15937284_1205293489558469_7480624118117592405_o

Los Angeles– On the commemoration of the Martin Luther King Jr’s Day in the United States, the Filipino American Human Rights Alliance (FAHRA)-Los Angeles vehemently condemn the DU30 Regime for it’s virulent witch-hunting against Filipino-Americans who are against his gross disrespect of human rights and wanton extra-judicial killings in the Philippines.

FAHRA-LA vigorously protest DU30 miscommunications secretary’s description of FAHRA as” a creation of US4GG’s and one of Loida Nicolas-Lewis’s organization”. That FAHRA is a part of the destabilization plots vs DU30. All the insinuations and presentation of FAHRA as “a destabilzation plot” is but a big joke!

We are well aware of DU30’s covert and overt action against the FilAm community in the guise of Andanar and Esperon visit to the US to attend the Trump inauguration in Washington on January 20. Its both a veiled and open attempt for witch-hunting and intimidation, a Marcosian tactic at its best.

What is FAHRA?

For the benefit of the American public and the Filipino people in our homeland, FAHRA is an national alliance that seeks to promote respect of human rights and protect it at a time it is under attack in the Philippines and elsewhere.

It was formed right at the crucible of the resurgence of Marcos fascism and the EJK killings in the Philippines when DU30 took over in July 2016.

Thus it is independent of any call for DU30’s Ouster or Resign Movement in the US or the Philippines.

DU30 witch-hunting, an Insult to All Filamsdigong-gunggong

Therefore we reserve the right to conduct our activities like having a Christmas Party like that in December 2016. We have the right to invite anyone for our party and merry-making for the holidays. And any attempt to present it as a plot is just very unchristian and preposterous.

We will continue to defend human rights, all its advocates and fight, stand up and expose as well as oppose any human rights violations and acts of fascism like EJK’s or state -sanctioned killings in the Philippines and elsewhere.

MAKIBAKA, HUWAG MATAKOT!

END

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RESPECT THE OFFICE, IF YOU CANNOT RESPECT THE PERSON

KOMUNIDAD
January 13, 2016

RESPECT THE OFFICE, IF YOU CANNOT RESPECT THE PERSON13528778_1570573783237996_732498832630707271_n

By Arturo P. Garcia

Martin Andanar gave the wrong analogy when he reasoned for the President when he explained the faux pas on the invite and disinvite to the traditional vin de honouer at the Palace.

Andanar said, “would you invite to your home a person who you do not like?’ What kind of reasoning is that?

False! Malacanang is not the home of Digong. He loved Davao more than Manila and his davao retreat more than Malacanang. Thus that is not his home.

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This is the first time in history when a Vice President was disinvited to that traditional occasion. All the Philippine Presidents from Garcia to Marcos, Cory Aquino, Ramos, Estrada, Arroyo who had differences with their Vice-President have invited their VIce President because they respected the office.

Well, Digong is different. He is very disrespectful, he did not learned anything from school on good manners. He disrespects everyone and thinks everybody is on his beck and call.

Even in the diplomatic circle, he disrespected and curses the President of the United States, the United Nations, some Senators and even threatens everyone who incurred his ire.

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He even disrespects the concept of human rights, foreign and local human riihts advocates and is always abusive in his language and acts like a King or a despot. What can we expect from a bull like him?

Thus, I loved the reply of Vice Presdent Leni Robredo. “ I don’t mind if he did not invite me. At least he should respect the office, if he does not respect the person.”

That placed DU30 in his rightful place as a despotic warlord that’s who he is.

Right on VP Leni. Always take the high ground.

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I agree with Mon Tulfo of the Inquirer when he said that CPNP Ronald De La Rosa is a “clown.Kidapawan Cartoon

The more he liked to be serious, the more he looked funny. And the more he want to look funny, the more people do not take him seriously.

And the problem is that he personifies the PNP. The more he loved to imitate his boss, the more he does not become credible. Look at what is happening to the PNP.

The more they brag that “crime is down’ the more crimes are committed everyday by crooked policemen and the more the PNP looked like syndicates in uniform.

An example is how a certain SPO1 Ricky Dela Rosa defy the PNP and go scot free and even Dela Rosa cannot do anything but to rant in front of media, cursing, rationalizing and spew empty threats against SPO 1 Ricky Dela Rosa.

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Columnist Ramon Tulfo wrote; “ The “idiot” policeman, SPO1 Ricky Sta. Isabel, who is suspected of being involved in the kidnapping of Korean businessman Jee Ick-joo, has been reporting to Camp Crame after all and not in hiding.

PNP chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa had ordered a manhunt for Sta. Isabel warning that if the cop didn’t give himself up he would be killed.

“There is a big chance this idiot is really guilty” because he had been hiding, said Bato.

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” But Rappler, an online news organization, said Sta. Isabel was reassigned to the Personnel Holding and Accounting Unit in Camp Crame.“I’m not in hiding. I’m ready to face whatever case they would file against me,” Rappler quoted Sta. Isabel as saying.

If that is so, how come Bato didn’t know the missing cop was in Camp Crame all along?Why wasn’t he told by his underlings that Sta. Isabel was at the Camp Crame unit which is composed of rascals?

The answer is simple: Bato is not being taken seriously by his subordinates.” Besides who would follow a clown?

To quote a famous personality; “What is happening to our country, General?”

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FILAM COMMUNITY LEADERS LOOKED BACK at 2016, LOOKED AHEAD FOR 2017

TALAKAYAN CLUB
January 06, 2016

FILAM COMMUNITY LEADERS LOOKED BACK at 2016, LOOKED AHEAD FOR 2017talakayan1

Los Angeles—Goodbye 2016, Welcome 2017!

Los Angeles Filipino American leaders looked back at the most significant happenings in 2016 and looked forward for a challenging and progressive new year 2017 at the first community discussion at TALAKAYAN Club last Thursday, January 5 at the Manila Terrace Social Hall.

In a consensus, they all agreed that the election of a new President Donald Trump last November, 2016 is the most significant happening for the last year.

They also added, the US defeat in Syria and its surrogate armies like the Al Nustra and the rise and fall of the ISIS in the Middle East were also significant. The US failed pivot in Asia and the failure of the Trans=Pacific Partnership (TPP) was also mentioned

Implications and Challenges for 201715747713_10208419106340546_7161317664188241044_n

For Dondino Manzon, “ the fate of more than 850,000 Filipinos who are the targets of Trump’s deportation policies remained uncertain. For sure, life will be harder for them in the coming years.”

Dr.Orlando Cagampan said, “ in the Philippines, the economic policies of PRRD will be the straw that can break the camel’s back. It can make or unmake DU30 as the peso to the dollar exchange is in a free fall from P 52.00 to a dollar.

Despite the gravity of the EJK’s in the Philippines, DU30 still enjoys popularity and the killings goes unabated. It is an alarming proportion but people seems not to care.”

Prospects for the Philippines

Meanwhile, Arturo Garcia expounded on the rampant graft and corruption that now plagues the DU30 Regime. “ The recent expose of Senator Ping Lacson on the “pork” in the DU30 budget for 2017 just shows that the regime is no different from the past regimes.”SCFDS

Dr. Cagamapan added,”Du30 needs the pork barrel in the budget to keep the Senators and the Congressman for his agenda. On top of his list is the charter change from the Presidential to Federal form of government, the re-impostion of death penalty, martial law powers and others.”

The next TALAKAYAN will be on Thursday, January 12, 2017 at 12 Noon at the Manila Terrace Social Hall at 2328 W. Temple St. Los Angeles, CA 90026

END

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ANG PAGBABAGONG PURI NG RUSYA SA PILIPINAS

SALAG/BANAT
Enero 07, 2017

ANG PAGBABAGONG PURI NG RUSYA SA PILIPINASputin

Ni Arturo P. Garcia

Nagbago na ba ang ihip ng hangin? Muhang tama si Mao nang sabihin niyang, “Nangingibabaw ang hanging Silangan sa hanging Kanluran.”

Tunay na malamig ang hanging Siberia pero ito ang malakas na hangin mula sa Rusya na malaki ang epekto sa Pilipinas lalo na panahon ng tag-lamig.

Napakalaking diplomatikong pagkakamali ang nagawa ng Unyong Subyet o USSR na kilala bilang Rusya sa ngayon sa pakikipagrelasyong diplomatiko sa Pilipinas mula 1970’s hanggang 1990’s

Paano na ba? Noong panahon ni Diktador Marcos, kinilala ng USSR ang rehimeng Marcos bilang isang “makabayang rehimen an maka-Pilipino.”

Sa katunayan, pinayagan nito ang mga di-umano’y mga rebolusyonayong Pilipino- ang lumang Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas (PKP) na maka-Moscow at suportado ng USSR na sumuko sa rehimeng Marcos noong 1974.

Matapos ito, niyakap ng USSR ang rehimeng at sa katunayan, sa kabila ng Rebolusyong EDSA noong 1986,ito ang kahuli-hulihang bansa na kumalas sa rehimeng Marcos.

Sa kanila ng naghuhuniyaw na katotohanang kinasusuklaman ng masang Pilipino ang rehimeng Marcos, supurtado ito ng USSR hanggang sa huli.

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Kaya nga sa ilalim ng Rehimeng Cory Aquino, naitsa-pwera ang USSR habang sa bumagsak ito at naplitan ng Rusya na naging isang Federal na Republika mula sa isang Sosyalistang Republika noong 1991.

Pinutol ng Pilipinas ang diplomatikong relasyon sa USSR dahil sa pagiging malapit ito sa rehimeng Marcos mula 1972-1986 at muli lamang itong naiayos sa ilalim ng Rehimeng Ramos mula 1992-1998.

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digong-gunggongNgayon, sa ilalim ng Rehimeng DU30’ nagiging mainit ang relasyon ng Rusya at ng Pilipinas. Katunayan, umangkla ang barkong pandigma ng Asiatic Flotilla ng Rusya sa Manila t personal na bumisita si Presidente Duterte sa barkong panlaban sa mga mina na nadaong sa Port Area Manila.

Kaalinsabay nito, ipinahayag ng Kinatawan ng Rusya sa Pilipinas na naghahanda na ang Rusya sa pagdalaw ng Presidente ng Pilipinas sa Moscow ngayong tag-lamig.

Taliwas ito sa nakagawiang ang Presidente ng Pilipinas ay nagbibigay galang sa Amerika bilang unang gawi ng pagiging sunud-sunurang sa Imperial Amerika.

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Ngunit iba si Digong Duterte. Hayagang ininsulto nito si President Obama sa miting ng ASEAN sa Laos noong 2016 dahil sa pakikialam nito sa usapin ng Pilipinas lalo na sa usapin ng Karapatang Pantao o Human Rights.

Ang sumunod ay ang patuloy na pagbanat ni Digong sa Amerika at kay Obama. Nagbago lamang ito ng kaunti nang mahalal si Trump ngunit hindi humupa ang atake ni Digong kay Obama o sa Amerika gamit ang mga pangyayari sa kasaysayan ng pananakop at kalupitan ng Imperyalismong Kano sa Pilipinas.

Ang mas malala pa. dumalaw si Digong sa Tsina, nakipagkasundo na ayusin ang nagusto na relasyon dahil sa pagiging malapit ni Aquino III at pagiging masunuring nito sa mga patakarang panlabas ng Pilipinas sa kagustuhan ng Amerika.

Kasunod nito, inayos ni DU30 ang relasyon sa USSR, naging malapit at nakipag-usap kay Putin sa miting ng ASEAN habang ininsulto at hayagang naging maayo sa Rusya at Tsina.

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Malaking bagay ang pagdalaw ni Kalihim ng Depensa Dellfin Lorenzana sa Tsina at sa Rusya at ang negosasyon na sa pagbili ng mga makabagong armas para palakasin ang depensa ng Pilipinas na hindi na lamang nakaasa sa Amerika.

Malaking hakbang din ang pagdalaw ng Asiatic Flotilla ng Rusya sa Pilipinas at ang relasyong ekonomiko.

Ang pagpayag ng Rusya na umangkat ng mahigit bilyong dolyar na produktong agrikultural ng Pilipina sa Rusya na malaking tulong sa pagpapaunlad ng ekomikong relasyon ng dalawang bansa.

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Mukhang nakapagbagong puri na ang Rusya sa nasirang relasyon nito sa Pilipinas na tumagal din ng halos samping taon dahil sa maling kalkulasyon at pagtatasang pulitikal.

Dahil ito sa maling pagsusuri kapwa ng PKP sa Pilipinas at ng Partido Komunissta ng USSR na nalansag noong 1989 nang gumuho ang USSR ar naitatag ang Federal na Republika ng Rusya.

Sa pagtahak sa bagong landas ng Pilipinas para sa isang “Malayang Patakarang Panlabas” na hindi nakatali sa Amerika, pabor ito sa masigabong relasyong Rusya t Pilipinas.

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SOME QUESTIONS ON “ROGUE ONE”

CULTURAL NOTES
January 05, 2016

SOME QUESTIONS ON “ROGUE ONE”r1

By Arturo P. Garcia

A UCLA student leader wrote on her Facebook post this: “ This article captures the easier point to see, but I also would love to see an article that explains the conflicts within the Alliance itself: evolution vs. revolution, “non-violence” vs. militancy, privilege (to fight) vs necessity. At what point do the tactics of the Rebel Alliance lean towards militancy, or do they at all even at the end of the movie? The fact that the movie makes me ask these questions is what makes it so brilliant.”

I read the article in Politico and I want to write my own movie review to make it more profound. But instead before I write my own movie review, I would like to answer some questions by this student leader. I hope my elucidations answers her questions.

1. Evolution vs. Revolution. For many who are unitiated or not so serious student of history, the question of evolution or revolution is always a problem of change.

Some thinks, change will come even if we do not do anything by evolutionary means. By letting change by evolution come as it is. But this kind of change is like waiting for doomsday in the worst scenario or letting the oppressors have a change of heart or change by themselves is only for the kind-hearted and a lot of wishful thinking.

Evolution by its meaning is to let matters evolve on its own way and time. For the oppressed people, this had been the thinking fostered by the ruling class. As the Beatles said in their song, “Let It Be” during their reactionary times, but as they matured, even George Harrison and John Lennon rejected the evolutionary trend and went for the revolution.

So, former Beatles George Harrison became an avowed anarchist and supported Bangla Desh struggle for national liberation and nation hood in 1971 while John Lennon embraced Maoism and wrote the songs “War Is Over” and Imagine” both revolutionary in those times.

So, revolution is a revolutionary act. As Mao as pointed out, “ Revolution is not a picnic.”

But revolution cuts both ways. It is also an anti-toxin that cleans itself of opportunists and hangers on. Zealots including who thinks that “ all measures necessary to win by any means “ is essential. That is a no-no in a revolution,

sw2As in “Rogue One” the leading character, Shy Erso told the other character, Alliance Intelligence Chief Cassiam Andor, “You can’t give me that kind of talk.”

Some revolutionaries loved to rationalize and give all the reasons for their mistakes and errors. But revolution is such a noble thing, not a romantic one. As we waged revolution, we mature and as Mao has pointed out cleanse itself and lead towards the righteous path for the people.

Always for the greater good for the greatest number. Not for the glory of one party and a group of individuals or an vain-glorious individual or leader.

2. “Non-violence” vs. Militancy. In the scenario of evolution, it is always the advocacy of “ non-violence. But in history, non violence only figured out in rare instance like in the Bible in the case of Jesus Christ, in the triumph of Christianity as a religion of Mahatma Gandhi in India and in the United States, the example of the African-American Civil Rights movement led by Rev.Martin Luther King.

In the recent times, the Philippines EDSA People’s Power 1 and 2, in Poland and the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia are mentioned as examples on “non-violent revolution.

But these are all media hype and are not true. These changes were made behind the power of the gun or with the active role of the reactionary military.

In the case of the Philippines, EDSA 1 in 1986 was a failed coup and the in EDSA 2 in 1991, that was a case of the military changing sides again and supporting the people.

Not entirely a peaceful change as other envisioned it to. Thus, it was a political revolution. A change in political power of individuals and not a systemic change. Thus, the more it changes, the more it remained the same.

In the case of a “militant change” or “militancy”, it can be divided into two. A change led a group of conspirators either by a military group or a rebel alliance like in “Rogue One”.str1

But the rebel alliance can also be –a revolutionary one led by a group dedicated to the people or a group using the name of the people for their own purpose like in the last three parts of the “Star War” trilogy led by the emperor of the evil empire and Darth Vader that necicitated the formation of the real Rebel Alliance ( supported by former Jedis, Luke Sky Walker, Princess Leia and the adventurer Hans Solo).

But even in militancy, change can come and change can be for the worst or for the better. We cite the case of the Iranian Revolution of 1979. The corrupt and feudal regime of the Shah of Iran supported by the United States were overthrown but was replaced by a feudal theocracy led the Ayatollahs. But at least it was a change for the sovereign people of Iran who still up to this day opposed US Imperialism.

Thus, revolution or militancy as the western portrayal of revolution in “Rogue One” is a real serious matter. IF we are really for the people.”absolute devotion to the cause” is developed and mature in us. It is not fanaticism that is inculcated into soldier’s training. It is a conscious effort and has a iron-disciple, not blind following. Those are basic revolutionary principles we should learn.

And that was what the leading character of “Rogue One” learned. First Shy detested the cause because it cause her family and her, personally a lot of pain. But from personal, from Dad’s ( Galen’s) death and the last moments they shared, she changed into a revolutionary. That is the wonder of the revolution or militancy.

3.Privilege (to fight) vs necessity. Revolutions are always necessary. Even at the most personal selfish end of a dictator’s need to control a society for an individual end for privilege it is a necessity . As the slogan said it all” Who Dares Win.”

In classic examples, in a revolution there is not a thing called “privilege to fight.” It is always a duty. But to some people it became a privilege because they were born into a revolutionary families that It became their tradition to continue the legacy of serving the people. Their nation and the cause.

In the case of Jyn, she does not see it that way. In the eyes of the Captain Andor it was a privilege to serve the cause. Thus he rationalizes and also agonize for his mistakes.

For may of us, we see it as both. It is always a privilege of a lifetime to be in the service for the people and the cause to have joined and served in a revolution.

4.At what point do the tactics of the Rebel Alliance lean towards militancy, or do they at all even at the end of the movie? In the tactics of the Rebel Alliance, the tactics is always for militancy or for winning the revolution.star-wars-1200x675

Tactics are formulated at a time or a particular period to survive and then lastly to win. Lucas, a Marxist echoed in his film the essence of class struggle.

In his first three films, the Rebel Alliance won. But in the last series, class privilege won, revisionism sets in, the Dark Lord masquerading as the wise one seduces Anakin Skywalker and launched a coup and turned the Rebel Alliance rule into a an Evil Empire.

Thus, the struggle started again with the offspring of Darh Vader fighting their father to re-impose justice in the galaxy far,far away.

One thing and the best part I enjoyed in “Rogue One” the character Jyn in the end, with the sacrifice of his father, Galen Erso to the cause learned to embrace the truth that only in struggle and by militant struggle will they win.

“Hope in the resistance.” She realized it and she became the epitome of revolutionary sacrifice.

And in the process, she was infected by the adherence to the force by people who believes in her and who believed in the force of the cause like defector pilot Rook, Imwe and Malbus. Even Captain Cassim Andor and his cohorts went to their glorious end just to finalized their mission.

After watching “Rogue One”.It is better than the “Hunger Games” that tried to be partial to evolutionary change and to show that revolution is futile and meaningless as it makes matters worse for change. Contempt for revolutionary shows its angry side.

At most the author of the ” Hunger Games “Trilogy lost the handle because in the end, she does not know how to end her stories.

Besides, “Rogue One” it helped me to become more firm in holding on to my revolutionary principles

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THE EMPIRE IS US: THE POLITICS OF “ROGUE ONE”

EPCC NEWS
January 04, 2016

THE EMPIRE IS US: THE POLITICS OF “ROGUE ONE”

(Note; We published this article in THE POLITICO as a movie review. The article was written by Ian Daescher in the US Congress Capitol based, POLITICO. Editing is our–Editor)r1

Los Angeles-What happens when we become the empire?

In an early scene of Rogue One, the new Star Wars spinoff, we follow the protagonists Jyn Erso and Cassian Andor to the desert moon of Jedha. Walking through the streets, looking for a contact, Cassian perceptively comments, “This town is ready to blow.”

Moments later, his words prove prophetic when a group of radical, masked rebels plans a surprise attack on an imperial squadron.

As I watched the scene, my jaw dropped. A desert setting. A group of soldiers in uniform. A surprise attack by a radical group that strongly opposes the more powerful force. This is Star Wars, yes, but it could also describe American combat in the Middle East, and as I watched Rogue

One I was struck by the similarity. Thinking through the analogy, though, made for a troubling realization—if the radical rebels of Rogue One stand in for modern-day extremists, does the Empire they fight symbolize the United States?

In 1977, when Star Wars: A New Hope was released, there was no ambiguity about the good guys and bad guys. The good guys were Luke, Leia, Han and Obi-Wan, and Darth Vader, the Emperor and the stormtroopers were the bad guys. Easy.

As a child, I identified with the rebels and their fight for justice. (Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, on the other hand, recently confessed he was “inclined to root for the empire.”)

Nearly 40 years later, the global situation has shifted. American military might has grown exponentially (thanks, in part, to Ronald Reagan’s strategic defense initiative, nicknamed “Star Wars”), the Soviet Union—another latter-day empire—has fallen, and America boasts a force that considers itself the peacekeepers of the world.

In 2016, we are the undisputed masters of the universe, with a well-earned reputation for crushing our enemies. To the extent that adversaries dare challenge American power, they do it through asymmetric means—like terrorism or hacking—not outright war.

In 1977, this U.S./Empire parallel was there, but is far less obvious in A New Hope. The country was still nursing its fresh wounds from a protracted and painful conflict in Vietnam, and filmmaker George Lucas was fresh off of Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, a movie he passed up, worried it was too explicitly political.

Instead, he plowed his outrage over the U.S. presence in Vietnam into Star Wars – he even once described the plot as “a large technological empire going after a small group of freedom fighters,” according to a biographer — but as a child I never picked up on it.

Rogue One, by contrast, presents a Rebel Alliance far different than the white-washed, happily-ever-after rebels of the original trilogy. The rebels in Rogue One are gritty and scrappy, and while they give lip service to the Force and its power, they are more inclined to use the less spiritual (but more effective) lowercase-f force. Brute force. Violent force. These rebels kill you for their cause in cold blood and without a second thought. (In one of the first scenes of the film, Cassian kills an informant for little reason other than his anxiety about the information he has shared with Cassian.

I imagined Cassian, after disposing of the unfortunate fellow, speaking Hamlet’s line to Horatio over the deaths of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern: “Why, man, they did make love to this employment; they are not near my conscience.”)

Although Rogue One immediately precedes the action of A New Hope, these rebels would not be at home in the 1977 film. One suspects even Han Solo would find Jyn, Cassian and company a little edgy for his tastes.

The rebel/extremist and Empire/U.S. analogy may seem forced or unfair, and certainly it is only one possible interpretation of the film. It’s also worth noting that Lucasfilm regularly denies political agendas to their films. That said, consider these parallels:sw2

1. The heroes aren’t all white. Compared to A New Hope’s white-bread American heroes—Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford—Rogue One gives us an international cast featuring a British woman (Felicity Jones as Jyn), a Mexican man (Diego Luna as Cassian), two Chinese men (Donnie Yen as Chirrut Îmwe and Wen Jiang as Baze Malbus), an English man of Pakistani descent (Riz Ahmed as Bodhi Rook), and an African American man (Forest Whitaker as Saw Gerrera, the extremist rebel leader).

The only white men among the leads are the villain, Ben Mendelsohn’s Orson Krennic, and the voice of Alan Tudyk as the droid K-2SO.

As such, this the least white, least American cast of any Star Wars movie (for which I applaud Lucasfilm), which has the effect of removing my simple identification of white America with the rebel cause as a child. If anything, the film takes extra measures to remove itself from such a privileged comparison.

The mantra Chirrut Îmwe repeats—“I am one with the Force, and the Force is with me”—particularly as he marches to his death—both brings to mind Buddhist meditation and echoes the religious tones of the Islamic shahadah or the cry of “Allahu akbar!”

2. In Rogue One, the rebels’ mission is a stealthy one and, ultimately, a suicide operation. In the end of the film, none of the main characters are alive and at least two have offered themselves willingly to death during battle.str1

An X-wing pilot kamikazes into an imperial ship. Most strikingly, during the final battle’s climax, an entire rebel ship purposely crashes into a star destroyer, causing it to careen into another star destroyer nearby.

Although this is not exactly airplanes flying into twin towers, the parallel was enough to make me gasp. Americans recoil at the glorification of Japanese kamikaze pilots during World War II or of suicide bombers in the Middle East; Rogue One has the uncomfortable effect of making us sympathize with zealots willing to martyr themselves for the cause.

As one of my friends put it, it’s “terrorism from the terrorists’ point of view.” Except, in this case, the terrorists are the ones we’re rooting for.

3. The rebels are massively outgunned. Repeatedly, in Rogue One, reference is made—visually and through dialogue—to the superior might of the Empire. The Death Star is only the latest and largest in the line of weapons put on display; we also see TIE fighters, AT-STs, AT-ATs and star destroyers.

On a weapons-to-weapons comparison, there is little hope for the rebellion. The X-wings may keep the imperial forces busy for a while, but at no point in the film—particularly not by the end—is there any hope the rebels will defeat the Empire in direct battle.

Similarly, by nearly any standard, the United States has vastly more combat power than other countries of the world. We rely on our ability to “shock and awe” our enemies into submission, and often the small counterattacks our enemies can make must be carried out by stealth, subterfuge and surprise.

4. The Empire seeks to preserve order. From their point of view, the Empire and its minions are the peacekeepers of the Star Wars galaxy. If I were a stormtrooper, how different would I consider myself from a modern police officer or U.S. soldier?

Put yourself in the mind of one of those black-and-white clad minions, and you probably wouldn’t think of yourself as being part of an evil superpower full of menace and vengeance. Instead, you might, justifiably, consider that you have a job to do, which is to maintain order in a dangerous galaxy—even if the task is sometimes unpleasant. (After all, freedom isn’t free.)

And thought it’s a different film from a different era, consider Darth Vader’s pitch to Luke Skywalker at the climax of their light-saber duel in The Empire Strikes Back: “Don’t make me destroy you,” he says. “Join me, and I will complete your training. With our combined strength, we can end this destructive conflict and bring order to the galaxy.” In the lingo of American international affairs experts, one might call that a power-sharing agreement.

Here’s where I hit the emergency brake. Equating the rebels of Rogue One with Islamic extremists is simplistic and inappropriate and, despite the parallels I have drawn,

I will not take that analytical leap. If, however, we accept the idea that—if the Star Wars conflict were mapped onto our modern geopolitical map—the United States is the Empire, it should give us pause, particularly as Donald Trump prepares to assume the presidency.

Maybe he’ll turn out to be a wise ruler and preserve the republic, rather than destroy it – despite what many in both parties fear. But he’s already shown an alarming tendency to provoke strong reactions all over the world, even before taking office.

The American empire, to the extent we have one, has always been held together as much through mutual consent and trust as by sheer military might. As K-2SO might say, “I’ve got a bad feeling about this…”

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KOR-HFT MARKS 120TH RIZAL DAY, DECEMBER 30, 2016 IN LOS ANGELES

For Immediate Release
Knights of Rizal-Historic Filipinotown Chapter
January 02, 2016

KOR-HFT MARKS 120TH RIZAL DAY, DECEMBER 30, 2016 IN LOS ANGELES15747713_10208419106340546_7161317664188241044_n

Los Angeles- –Mabuhay ang Knights of Rizal Hsitoric Filipinotown Chapter!

Scores of Knights of Rizal (KOR) and guests attended the Knight of Rizal-Historic Filipinotown Chapter (KOR-HFT) as they marked the 120th Rizal Day in Los Angeles last December 30, 2016 with simple and solemn ceremonies.

The KOR installed Dr. Orlando Cagampan as the new Knights Commander of the KOR-HFT for 2017-2018. The outgoing Knight Commander, Arturo P. Garcia for 2015-2016 passed the baton of leadership to Dr. Orly Cagampan after banging the gavel of leadership for the last time

Initiation and Installation of New members15823696_10208419097660329_3397393083467362016_n

Four new members of the Knights of Rizal were also installed on Rizal Day. The four were Joel Jacinto , LA City Public Works Commissioner , Rufino Pangan, Ronnel Tiburcio and Alberto Frias,

The Guest Speaker for the occasion was City of LA Public Works Commissioner Joel Jacinto. Other guests were Leo Pandac, LA County Commissioner for Veterans; Tony Berango, West Area Commander-KOR and Fernandico Gonong Jr, incoming FACLA President, 2017-2019.

Every December 30, the Filipinos in Los Angeles mark the martyrdom of Dr. Jose P. Rizal as Rizal Day to honor its foremost hero. On December 30, 2016 marked the 120th Anniversary of his death.15823120_10208419096500300_5915762407338698680_n

The Martyrdom of Dr. Jose P. Rizal

On December 30, 1896, the Spanish colonial government in Manila executed Dr. Jose P.Rizal in the Bagumpayan Field ( now known as the Rizal Park) after a mock-trial.

He was suspected to be the leading the Philippine revolution that erupted on August 26, 1896 led by the Katipunan of Supremo Andres Bonifacio.

After Rizal was executed, the revolution spread like wild fire and on June 12, 1898, the first Philippine Republic was born. And then Spain sold the Philippines to the United States by the Treaty of Paris, December 10, 1898 and the U.S. occupied the Philippines.

10th KOR-Los Angeles Rizal Day15727366_1645910392376750_7891150173196389084_n

The KOR-HFT was formed in December 30, 2012and since than have conducted activities to memorialize the heroism of Dr. Jose P.Rizal and venerate his lofty ideals of patriotism and nationalism.

There are four KOR Chapters in Los Angeles County. The most active is the KOR-HFT Chapter. They have just formed the Damas De Rizal or Women For Rizal Chapter too.

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

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IMPUNITY

EPCC NEWS
January 02, 2016

IMPUNITY

By Patricia Evangelista

(NOTE: We reprinted Ms.Patricia Evangelista’s article in the Rappler Magazine from the Philippines. Please read so you will be enlightened on the effects of PRRD’s anti-people “Drug War” in the Philippines.–The Editor)

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Los Angeles–The playground is crowded with children on Christmas Eve. They sleep under plastic chairs in a tangle of arms and feet. Those who are still awake sit scattered across the room holding paper plates of watery spaghetti. There is tinny music from a mobile phone. Cards are dealt out at a plastic table. Two coffins stand at one corner.

It is 21-year-old Alex who tells the story. How he had bought his mother dinner and left her sitting at a plastic table across a corner Ministop in Mandaluyong City. How he had walked away to the motorcycle parking lot. How he heard the gunshot, and turned to see his mother’s bowed head. How he ran, shouting, to find blood running down her face and her pulse gone under his fingers.

Everyone loved Liwayway, Alex says. The family had been on the streets a year, ever since Alex’s grandfather sold their home. Liwayway would survive by begging money from friends. Five pesos at a time, sometimes more. It was Liwayway who patted the heads of the children in the village, who shared what food she had and what money her husband Andy earned from garbage collecting and the occasional stint as village watchman.

After she died, Andy Yabut disappeared, got into a boat one day and never came back.

Now Alex sits, surrounded by children, the cousins and street children who came to join his mother on Christmas Eve. It is Alex who watches over them, the oldest of them 17, the youngest 7 years old, just as his mother did when she was alive.

He has sent home the few who have families for Christmas dinner. He has shared out the food a neighbor sent in. He tells them to behave. He tells them to stay away from drugs. He tells them to love their parents, because you don’t know how long you have them.

Alex has appointed himself guardian to the passel of children who crowd around the coffins. He worries for them all. He cannot return to work. He cannot bury the bodies. The cost is too high, and there is no more money left to raise. A bucket sits by the playground door. There are coins inside, assistance for the family.

It is Christmas Eve, and Alexander Yabut is alone in a crowded room. He isn’t looking for justice, he says. He only wants to bury his mother.

JR’s storyimpunity-01

In the beginning there were two sisters. Liwayway and Teresita. Liwayway married Andy Yabut, Teresita married Richard Reyes.
Liwayway had two children: Alex, and 18-year-old Cecil. Teresita had 3: JR, 15; Kongkong, 13; and 12-year-old Rose Ann. Five cousins, four parents who were occasional drug users, all living on the streets of Mandaluyong City at Village Harapin Ang Bukas.

One day not long after the declaration of the war on drugs, a cop went up to the sisters and told them to surrender. He told them their lives would be better. All four surrendered on the same day. All four travelled to rehabilitation seminars – to Zambales, to Baguio, to Bulacan, to a church where they were told miracles would happen.

Then the culling began. First Liwayway, dead on a plastic chair. Then Richard, killed at her wake.

It is JR who tells the story. Fifteen-year-old JR, Teresita and Richard’s eldest boy. JR says he knew his parents would die, ever since the first surrenderee was gunned down along Boni Avenue. All those who surrender are killed, says JR. Had the killers known that Teresita and Andy were at the crime scene when Liwayway was killed, there would have been 4 coffins on Christmas Eve, not just two.

On the evening of December 19, JR was at the street corner buying peanuts for the wake when the motorcycles passed him – two motorcycles, without plates, two men riding in tandem on each. They wore masks and bonnets. JR ran after them, screaming, Papa, Papa.

Then there were gunshots.

Kongkong’s story15109515_10153920874937854_8116099888226469306_n

It was 13-year-old Kongkong who was at the wake when the motorcycles came roaring in. The men in masks shot Richard just across from Liwayway’s coffin. Three shots, one sliding past Richard’s cheek to catch on an earlobe, the next two between the eyes. They would have left if Richard hadn’t raised an arm.

Don’t, said his wife, but the killers had seen Richard move. They shot him again, seven bullets to the body, 10 in all.

It was at the tenth that Kongkong came running to throw himself at his father. The eleventh bullet hit Kongkong in the leg. He felt nothing, held tighter to his father.

Shoot the man, said the motorcycle driver. We have a last bullet.
Please, said Kongkong. Please leave my father a breath. Let me speak to him.

The man with the gun stepped back. The poor kid, he said. Let him be.

The killers left.

Richard told Kongkong to take care of his mother and his brother and sister. He said to watch out for them. He didn’t say who it was who killed him.

The killer came back with a warning, while Kongkong was on the ground, still holding on to his father. The killer told Kongkong to go. He said they would be back for another kill, and Kongkong and his family might get in the way.

When they roared off, Kongkong began screaming. One of the men on the street went chasing after the motorcycle. Grabbed a heavy length of metal. Yelled he would beat the killers. The big man was a fast runner and caught up with the motorcycle.

He swung back his arm just before they aimed a gun at his face. He stepped away.

Richard Reyes died that night at the San Jose Hospital, with his son watching his last breath.

Cecil’s story15284967_10208966520932968_5357779205953715625_n

Outside, along Senator Neptali A. Gonzales Street, a quartet of teenaged boys duck behind cars and shoot pellets from toy pistols. A string of blinking lights wrap around a tarpaulin with Liwayway’s face.

There are no parents left to celebrate Christmas with the children. Liwayway is dead. Her husband Andy is gone. On the morning after Richard Reyes was shot, the Reyes children woke up to discover their mother Teresita gone, their youngest sister Rose Ann with her.

There was no note, no phone number, nothing to tell them where she went.

It is 18-year-old Cecil, Alex’s sister, who talks about Christmases past – when Liwayway put together spaghetti and fruit salad, when they took what money they had to buy new pants and shoes, when they were all together and everyone was happy.

She is not angry her father abandoned the family – she understands he is afraid.

Richard Reyes was not the first body in a coffin brought to the playground in December. It began with the wake of Milton Bolos, Richard’s godson, killed along the same street on December 6 while sitting on a yellow canvas chair one house away from the village hall.

Milton was on a list of 10 suspected drug personalities marked for assassination. Sources say Liwayway and Teresita were among the targeted, along with their husbands. Although it is unknown who created the list, the few who have seen it have warned neighbors and friends – the same way Milton Bolos was warned the night before he was killed.

There are no suspects in the murder of Richard Reyes. The police say the case is “under follow-up.” Since July 1, at least 6,199 have been killed in the war against drugs. As of December 25, the police list 2,150 suspected drug personalities killed during police operations, with 4,049 dead from extrajudicial killings.

“Before, when you’re talking about murder, it’s people who are innocent. They are victims of drug-crazed people who committed crimes,” said Philippine National Police chief Ronald dela Rosa.
“Now most of those killed are drug personalities. That’s the very big difference.”

He added that while the murders should be investigated, “people should appreciate the difference between the innocent and the drug personalities.”

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Kongkong sits slumped on a chair across his father’s coffin on the night before Christmas. His pupils are pinpricks. His voice speeds then slurs.

It is a Merry Christmas, he says, because he gets to spend it with Papa.

The children change Kongkong’s bandage every day. Wash the wound, smear it with antiseptic. There should have been a cast around his leg, but he had it removed, said it was too heavy and made it harder to walk. Maybe they could have found the money to get the bullet out of his leg, but Kongkong said no. Bury Papa first. It was his decision, and his cousin Alex says he has a right to it.

So Kongkong sits and talks, staring at the wall, doped up on over-the-counter painkillers and not much else. He refuses medical treatment. He refuses help. He will not return to any hospital, because a hospital is where his father died.

Kongkong wants the bodies buried. He will stay until they are, then he will leave, because the killers have promised to come back. He believes his mother and sister are dead. He hopes they are all happy with his father.

It was a good Christmas, he says. It was a merry Christmas, because Papa is here. – Rappler.com

Updated editor’s note: The Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, the Redemptorist Church of Baclaran, has offered to cover all remaining expenses related to the burials of Liwayway Yabut and Richard Reyes. (READ: The Church of the Resistance). All quotations have been translated into English.

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BANGAG TALAGA SI ANDANAR

EPCC NEWS
January 01, 2017

BANGAG TALAGA SI ANDANAR

Bangag nang talaga
si Martin Andanar
halos araw araw
ay palagi s’yang high
di rin nag iisip
utak ay nalusaw
sa laki ng ulo
mistula ng ampaw

aba’y biruin no
kanyang ikumpara
ang kanyang idolo
kay Hesukristo pa
hindi na nahiya
praning ng talaga
wala na sa wisyo
mistulang tanga

nasobrahan kasi
sa kanyang pagsinghot
tuwinang si Digong
ay napapautot
at sa bawat buga
ng hanging mabantot
papasok sa ilong
sa utak lulusot.

#SinghotSipsipHigopAndanar

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PINOY FILES ( Blowing in the wind)

FAI NEWS
December 31, 2016

PINOY FILES ( Blowing in the wind)

By Rodney Jalecodigong-gunggong

(My column in the Jan 1-15 issue of the Manila Mail DC that hits the stands this New Year’s eve — the last for the year or the 1st for 2017 depending on how you want to see it)

WASHINGTON DC–It looks like the Duterte administration’s penchant for “urong-sulong” is spreading like a germ even to Washington. The new United States Ambassador Sung Kim is making quite a splash as he acclimatizes to Manila and threads the delicate diplomatic disposition of his host nation’s mercurial leader.

After announcing last August that Marciano “Jun” Paynor Jr., then Philippine Ambassador to Tel Aviv, was succeeding Jose L. Cuisia Jr. in Washington, Padre Faura changed its mind. In October, the Palace announced that businessman and Philippine Star columnist Jose Manuel “Babes” Romualdez would serve as “special envoy” to the US; late in November, he was apparently promoted to be the new ambassador.

Meanwhile, Paynor has been replaced by former journalist Robert Borje in Tel Aviv and according to reports Romualdez has set a time frame for his tenure in Washington – one year only because he reportedly preferred the business universe over DC’s cocktail circuit – even if the posting positioned him in the capital of the world’s biggest economy.

Pres. Duterte also appointed millionaire Jose E. B. Antonio last October as “special economic envoy” to the US. For those who still don’t know, Antonio is Pres. Donald Trump’s partner in the $150 million Trump Tower in Makati – what the New York Times described as a “57-storey symbol of affluence and capitalism”. After the November elections, he reportedly flew to New York for a private meeting with Trump’s children to discuss, among others, purported Trump-branded resorts in the Philippines.

Between a chief envoy who can’t wait to get out of office and another who’s apparently more concerned with tapping into expanded investment opportunities with America’s new leader, how would relations between the US and Philippines fare over the next four to six years? Saan kaya ito pupulutin?

Mr. Duterte, almost like clockwork, lashed out at the US after the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) revealed it was setting aside a new multimillion-dollar aid package because of concerns over extrajudicial killings in the country. The State Department had already previously blocked the delivery of automatic rifles to the Philippine National Police (PNP), an otherwise routine transaction, on widespread perceptions they are involved in the killings – an estimated 5,000 dead since the new administration took over last June 30.

The burden could fall on the Philippine Embassy’s Charge d’affaires Patrick Chuasoto. A career diplomat and certified bachelor, he’s held the post at the Embassy for the same length of time as Duterte has been president.

And unfortunately for the soft-spoken, amiable shotgun aficionado he’s taken much of the brunt of his boss’s improprieties – and there’s been a flood of those – including a couple of tongue lashings at Foggy Bottom.

Don’t worry, we know he’s a pro but it just feels like a huge waste of talent when he could be busier building on the gains of former Ambassador Cuisia, including the US-Philippine Society, than defending the increasingly indefensible Pres. Duterte.

Chuasoto could have been a perfect mix for Amb. Paynor, a member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class 71 who’s found a niche in Philippine diplomatic service but who likely had the good sense to beg out of the Washington assignment.

Bangko Sentral Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. has reportedly telegraphed his desire for no extraordinary measures to keep him at his post beyond this coming July. The BSP charter allows only two terms for the governor and Congress has to amend it for Tetangco to serve another term.

Duterte has asked Tetangco – named as one of the world’s best central bankers by the Global Finance Magazine – to stay but also proceeded to disparage both the BSP and the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) that he’s headed for over a decade. “You’re also a part of the garbage which I resent to this day,” he said of the AMLC.

And yet insiders say, the President is eager to keep Tetangco to soothe investors’ confidence shaken by his behavior and declarations.

Urong-sulong. Ano ba talaga, Digong?

Over six months in, Pres. Duterte has yet to build clarity and credibility for the policies he’s working to put in place, including where he wants to take Philippine-US relations.

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