The poet as agitator for social justice

“Artists love deeply, and so when they find themselves amongst the masses, the masses inevitably become their muse” November 30, the birthday of revolutionary Andres Bonifacio, has always been a day of both celebration and grievance. It is joyful as we commemorate the meaning of resistance, and angry as we still struggle against oppression. This …

Mad about fake news

“MAD released a statement in support of Nobel laureates Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov’s 10- point plan to address the information crisis in the country.” In the latest Pulse Asia Survey, conducted September 17 to 21, 90 percent of Filipinos are exposed to fake political news while 86 percent believe false or fake news is …

De Lima’s safety is Marcos’ responsibility

“The least the government can do now is to take steps to ensure her safety, conduct a thorough investigation on the matter, and expedite the resolution of the remaining cases.” Filipinos got a big scare yesterday when news came out that former senator Leila de Lima was held hostage inside her detention cell at camp …

Fighting Badoy’s contempt of the judiciary

“Red-tagging equates to a very dangerous threat. And so, it is only right to take it seriously and respond accordingly” Lorraine Badoy, former spokesperson for NTF-ELCAC, will face the court after red-tagging Judge Marlo Magdoza-Malagar. Badoy is notorious, together with NTF-ELCAC, for continuously and loudly red-tagging progressives, marginalized groups, as well as ordinary citizens. In …

Children of Mindanao’s endless wars

“Development aggression pertains to development projects that exclude and oppress the indigenous peoples and other marginalized sectors even further.” Last Friday, I spoke at the Youth for Climate Justice for Mindanao’s (YCJM) webinar, “ML @ 50: The Impact of Martial Law on the Environment and the People in Mindanao.” YCJM is convened and led by …

How to become a dictator

“One week after the official issuance of Proclamation 1081, the whole legal and extralegal structure to totally control the whole country was almost complete.” Presidential Legal Counsel Juan Ponce Enrile floated the idea of reverting to the Philippines’ 1935 Constitution, which, according to him, has a broader provision for declaring martial rule. So, we are …

A day we must never forget

“To remember is to memorialize those who sacrificed their safety and personal desires so that future generations would not suffer what they did” This week, we remember the declaration of martial law 50 years ago. There is some debate on when martial law was declared, as esteemed historian Ambeth Ocampo has written recently. Was it …

Martial Law and media repression, a collective memory

Memory alone cannot be purely truthful – this is how the collective memory was pervaded by Marcos myth and propaganda Co-written with Bernardine de Belen When we hear of Marcos Sr.’s Martial Law, we are haunted by the voices demanding to never forget. What happened must remain engraved in our collective memory so that we …

The wisdom of Senator Loren Legarda

“The way to go…is to restart the peace process with the Communist rebels, to encourage and entice them to return to the fold of the law, throw away their arms and become partners with the civil government and the society at large in addressing social inequality and social injustice” In a privilege speech a week …

Never again, never forget: The violent memory of Martial Law

To remember is to memorialize those who sacrificed their safety and personal lives so that future generations would not suffer what they did. Co-written with Bernardine de Belen September marks the anniversary of a turbulent, violent, and painful memory in Philippine history – Ferdinand E. Marcos’ Martial Law. This year, in particular, denotes the 50th anniversary …