February 2008

This is so ridiculous…if this all wasn’t connected to the sad state of our nation, I should be laughing.

Malacañang has so many resources at their disposal…and they can’t get something as simple as a press statement correct.

Example #1: The .5M bribe offered to Lozada

As the Inquirer so astutely pointed out yesterday, the Palace offered no less 3 explanations for where the money came from. As reported in the Inquirer:

The first version had Gaite explaining in a statement that the money had come from him as some sort of personal loan to Lozada.

The second story had Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita saying the money did not come from Gaite but from a “private” anonymous donor.

With Lozada also appearing at the hearing, Gaite Tuesday told the Senate inquiry that he volunteered to give that much money out of pity after Lozada texted him at 2 a.m. on Feb. 3 saying he was in dire need of funds.

Gaite said the P500,000 came partly from his uncle and from his sister-in-law and was to be used for the renovation of his in-laws’ house. Later, he said the money was part of the P1.5 million he had advanced from his uncle, Melquiades Gaite, in exchange for a piece of land that Gaite planned to sell to him.

Example #2: GMA’s readio statement that she heard about the anomaly

On DZRH, GMA stated that she heard about the anomaly before the signing, but could not cancel the project because it would be “rude” to the Chinese government. In her words,

“Kaya itong proyektong ito, oras na may pag-uusap na may anomalya, ay agad-agad kong kinansela, agad-agad na gumawa ako ng hakbang para kanselahin.”

Apparently, 5 months (and in an atmosphere of deafening political clamour) is agad-agad.

Then, my best friend, Raul Gonzalez, stated that eventhough GMA knew about flaws, she is not legally responsible for not cancelling it right away because the flaws were not proven. Furthermore, he stated that she cancelled the project due to “political hullaballoo” and not due to any flaws.

Then, Deputy Presidential Spokesman, Anthony Golez, stated, “The President categorically denies that she said that the deal, or the contract, is flawed. It was misinterpreted. It was lost in translation.” Favila stated that he “studied” the transcript of the interview and GMA did not say the project was flawed.

Today, the Palace admitted that GMA said the word “anomalya” but the new explanation is that GMA did not say there was an anomaly, but was referring to insinuations that there might have been an anomaly. Ang labo naman.

Come on people.



The current crisis has elicited a huge debate. Groups are divided on calls for resignation, ouster, or no call at all.

But one thing we all agree on is the need to change the system. And as a large constituency of people dedicated to reform, it is imperative that we are united in this call for real change.

And that is the idea behind BUSINA! BUSINA! is the symbol for the broad forces who want change, wherever you stand on what to do with GMA as a person.


Bumubusina tayo if there is an obstacle in front of us.

The broken system is the obstacle to the basic quality of life that we all aspire to.

Everyone can participate in a Busina.

In a literal busina, participation can range from high-commitment activities like organizing and printing banners, to    low-commitment activities like blowing your horn when you pass by. Similarly, in BUSINA! the movement, participation can range from organizing groups and disseminating the message to simply displaying the symbol or talking about it.


The need for change is felt among the vast majority of people in the country. However, there are 3 main reasons that are currently preventing people from acting:

1. Uncertainty – People do not like GMA, but feel that there will be no real change if there is a new president.

2. Indifference – People are still able to ignore the situation and go on with their lives.

3. Exclusion – People do not feel that they are part of the movement because no one is showing them next steps, or they are weary of the groups that have been vocal.

 Proliferating this movement will address these three barriers in the following way:

1.      Uncertainty – Proliferating the message that we have tangible reform goals no matter who sits as president will answer uncertainty.

2.      Indifference – Think “Project Kalat.” The message has to be everywhere so that people can no longer ignore what is going on. Exposure in mass media is important, but do not underestimate simple reminders such as stickers, slogans, posters, armbands, and most importantly, people have to be talking about it.

3.      Exclusion – Related to indifference, people must feel that they are a part of what is going on. There must be more outreach beyond our regular circles. Communication is key – people must be constantly informed of activities and developments. Rallies are not the only way to be involved, displaying a symbol or repeating a slogan also makes you part of the movement (and is low cost).

 What You Can Do

1. If you are part of an organization, add the symbol and name to your materials, or use the sample materials above and add your organization’s name.

2. Spread the word. At this point, this is largely a propaganda war, a war of public opinion, and a war of taking advantage of the tangible frustration of the unorganized people, whatever class they may come from.



Lunes, 25 ng Pebrero


3 PM – Baclaran Church


                    Misa Para Sa Katotohanan

Pres. Cory Aquino

                                       Mr. Jun Lozada

                                      Black and White Movement


5 – 8PM – Ateneo, Quezon City


A Concert for Truth, Accountability and Reform

                                      Team RP



Biyernes, 29 ng Pebrero


5 PM – Ayala Avenue, Makati   

                             Pres. Cory Aquino





We ask everyone to join the Busina
para sa Katotohanan tonight at 6 pm at the various designated points
closest to your places or work, study, residence or worship. Among
CEAP schools, the following are the converging points in Metro Manila:
Katipunan (Ateneo/Miriam), Espana (UST), Taft (De la Salle
University-College of St. Benilde), outside ULTRA-Pasig (Pasig
Catholic College), Ortigas (La Salle Greenhills).

Busina para sa Katotohanan will also be held in the following
provincial city centers: San Fernando Pampanga, Imus, Legazpi, Naga,
Daet, Olongapo, Jaro, Iloilo, Bacolod, and Davao.

We encourage you to attend the SLB’s Kuwentong Bayan on Feb. 23, 1 pm
at Irwin Theater, Ateneo Grade School; the Mass for Truth and
Accountability at Adamson University on Feb. 24, 10 am; and Team RP’s
rock concert for Truth, Accountability and Reform on Feb. 25, 4-8 pm
at the Ateneo de Manila. We will also post an announcement to
coordinate and consolidate our participation in the planned interfaith
rally on Feb. 29. We will call an assembly before that date, so
please stay tuned.

Ipaglaban ang Katotohanan, Pananagutan at Tunay na Pagbabago!

The CBCP has announces a NATION-WIDE NOISE BARRAGE on Friday, February 22 at 6-7 PM.kitchen_potspans.jpg

This is an excellent way for us to show our frustration and get together and have a great time!

Points of convergence will happen in major universities. In the Metro Manila Area this includes UP, Ateneo, De La Salle and UST. I would imagine

Groups will also be meeting at the corner of Timog and EDSA.

Bring your drums, pots, pans and dancing shoes! FIESTA NA TAYO!

In related news, Police Senior Supt. Nicanor Bartolome has warned police not to join in any rallies.

In other words, rank and file police WANT to join rallies, otherwise there would be no need for this warning.

Let us keep in mind that our police are overworked, underpaid and, most importantly, that they are people too who also want to see something better for the nation. So let us not push away the police with anger, but invite them to join our cause.

And, just for laughs:

kahit hindi po tayo miembro ni itong mga organisasyon, dapat sama sama tayong lahat. now is not the time to think of our traditional divisions, isa lang ang kalaban.

tuloy-tuloy ang laban para sa katotohan, pananagutan at reporma
 Writing Alumni particularly Neri
 Alumni gathering s to discuss ZTE
 Ombudsman Watch
 Sumilao walk (SLB)
  Writing Pro-GMA Bishops
 Senate Tours (SOG)
 Signature Campaign for truth
 Revise Procurement Act
 Repealing E.O. 464
 Proposal for Independent Counsel (SOG)
 Convince LGUs to make a ZTE stand
Pray, Watch, and Act Movement (PWAM)
 Translating Fr. Manoling’s Sermon to different dialects
 Disseminating Fr. Manoling’s Sermon
22 Feb
Watch & Pray
 National Noise Barrage (all over Metro Manila and outside) from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
 Bell Ringing in Churches from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
ADMU  Pol. Science
 EDSA an Intellectual Discussion at the Ateneo from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
23 Feb
 KWENTONG BAYAN at Ateneo Grade School from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
25 Feb
 Youth Concert on TAR from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Ateneo de Manila University
 Political Education Materials ( E.g. Translating US$ 130 M to classrooms; to hospitals, etc.)
 Disseminating credible statements through internet, e-mail, etc.
 Regular weekly updating of projects
Al Alegre’s Group
 One Portal for all TAR information and activities
 Training on E-mail and Website Security
29 Feb
 Inter Faith Rally at Luneta?

An Anonymous Voice From the Left

Dear Friends, Comrades, mga Kapatid, mga Kababayan:

Activists from all over the world celebrate the Filipino people for EDSA I. It was a glorious triumph of democracy over dictatorship, of peace over violence, and of the will of the people over the force of a dictator. Yet, as Filipinos, when we hear these compliments we utter a bitter smirk. Yes, EDSA I was a triumph, but where did it get us?

As we prepare to celebrate the anniversary of EDSA I, we must look at it in its entirety and learn from it. Yes, it was a gargantuan victory as a dictator was toppled, democratic institutions were reinstalled and democratic space was won. Yet, it was also a failure, as those institutions were and remain semi-democratic at best, the democratic space that exists is too tight to allow meaningful maneuvers, and the vile social structure of so many that have so little, so few that have so much, a middle class that chooses voluntary exile, and a president who exists above the law remain well in tact.

What was the mistake in 1986? WE, the progressive forces, the democratic left, the forces for change, whatever we call ourselves, were too proud, too knowledgeable, and too ideologically pure to join in the new order. As a result, the cooperating elite forces designed our so-called democracy according to their terms without the progressive forces to mediate, moderate, and most importantly guide, which, of course, resulted in the perpetuation of the vile system. In protecting our purity, we victimized our own masa, whose interests we claim to embody.

Then came EDSA II, which was answered by EDSA III. As the “EDSA Factors” appear to be once again coagulating, it is time for us to ask ourselves: What have we learned?

As the Lozada testimony is the talk of the town, 1 public rally and 2 public masses showing support for Jun have been held in the past 5 days. These gatherings have a different, exciting character that was not present in the first 3 EDSA revolutions. These gatherings have been heavily populated by the middle classes (the steady middle class and the new middle class that depends on OFW remittances), and middle-upper classes. The centers have not been UP, but Makati, LaSalle and Ateneo. These people are not trained and hardened activists, but unorganized numbers searching for a venue to release their frustration. At these gatherings I heard several people say “I’m 43 (55, 62) years old and I’ve never joined anything like this before.”

Yet, it is this exact characteristic which the democratic left seems to be wary of. These gatherings are not real rallies because they lack aggressive speeches. These gatherings are not pure because JDV is welcome to attend. This is not a real movement because the people are unorganized. This cannot be called a mass movement because it is centered in the middle class and not in the masa. As a result, the appearance and involvement of the democratic left has been depressingly lackluster as we continue our decades-long debate about what form the revolution should take.

It appears we have not learned from the past. WE, the progressive forces, the democratic left, the forces for change, will once again be left in the dust as another opportunity for meaningful change is wasted, as magbabago ang ulo pero maiiwan ang katawan. More importantly, the masa will be left in the dust as we continue to pursue the same strategies of non-cooperation with the middle and elite classes and all or nothing that have brought us nowhere in the past 22 years.

I wish to argue that what is happening has the potential to turn into a mass movement. People, no matter what class, gathering in large numbers, not because someone is pushing them but because they believe in something, is the definition of a social movement. But whether or not you believe that argument, you must believe this, it is our role, as the democratic left, to spread this movement out of Makati, LaSalle and Ateneo, into the communities, sectors and classes whose interests we claim to live, work and breathe for. It is our role to turn this into a mass movement.

Yes, the newly mobilized middle classes are not activists. But we are activists. If they do not know how bring their message to the unorganized masa, we must teach them; if they do not know how to approach laborer/farmer/peasant/indigenous/women groups, we must show them how; if they are not going around organizing and training students, we must do it for and with them.

Why should we work with them? Because we all want the same short term goals, which are the end of the GMA administration, the reform of a corrupt system, and free and fair elections. We may disagree on our broad ideologies, but we agree that these are the immediate obstacles to our various long term goals.

But, perhaps more importantly, if there is anything we should have learned from our EDSA experiences, it is that we want bargaining chips when this is all over so that we can influence the future. And those bargaining chips only come in the form of weight of our participation and the numbers we draw.

And by the way, they’re ready. Yesterday, when I asked a taxi driver if he would join in a movement to remove GMA, he responded, with a grin, “Oo, e.” They are waiting for us to take it to them. Where are we?

Next Page »