I agree with you, Ms Vice President Robredo and Senator Poe.
The Congressmen were total jerks in asking questions not to surface the truth or untruth about how Sen De Lima used her driver-lover Ronnie Dayan to mulct money from drug lords, but to satisfy their baser prurient instincts. I condemned this earlier than you did. I condemned it as soon as it happened.
But I think you discriminate. You discriminate against a lot of women who are the women who need you more. You defend the right of a woman who possesses enormous power, who is on TV everyday to appeal to public pity, often by telling tall tales. She goes as far as audaciously claiming the position of the ultimate aggrieved woman declaring that no woman deserves to be betrayed by a man, stealing a line more fittingly uttered by the woman cheated by her husband for 7 years to be with his employer, a woman of power who may have committed sexual harassment. Why can't you also use your loud, powerful voice to stand up for one helpless woman who is the ultimate victim, who is actually more #everywoman than De Lima? I do not know her name, but she is the wife of Ronnie Dayan.
Unlike Senator De Lima, she has no claim to power. Her husband and De Lima acted as if she did not exist for 7 years. The House of Representatives acted as if she did not exist when, in a televised hearing, its members asked Dayan unnecessary questions about the depth of his love for The Other Woman who shamelessly claims to be the victimized #everywoman.
Now, you, women of power who are defending Sen. De Lima in the name of women's rights, are also invisibilizing Mrs Dayan. Didn't she ever cross your thoughts while you listened to those dirty old men in Congress ask questions in aid of ejaculation and not in aid of legislation? Couldn't you have defended De Lima and her in one breath? Could you not feel her humiliation as well?
You are doing Mrs Dayan a monumental disservice. You are spitting on her broken heart. You were elected to alleviate the situation of the marginalized. Why do you do this to her?
But again, what you are doing is reflective of how political power is traditionally used in this country. It comes to the aid of the rich or powerful more than the poor and the weak who are all too often overlooked.
On this day four years ago, this was my Facebook status:
"Today marks the beginning of the 16 Days to End Violence Against Women.
"I am reflecting on what Harriet Beecher Stowe, one of the women in the 19th Century who fought so hard for gender equality, said:
"It's a matter of taking the side of the weak against the strong, something the best people have always done."
Mrs. Dayan, thank you for this chance to emulate the best people. My voice is not the voice of power. It is inaudible compared to those of Vice-President Robredo and Senator Poe. But I shall use it for you. Please know that you are in my thoughts.


Because neo-liberalism failed the people, because the promises of capitalism benefited only the likes of Donald Trump and made the poor even poorer...
The US presidential election was decided less by specific gender, ethnicity, race, and migration issues (or identity politics) than issues that matter to class. The rejection of Hillary Clinton (but not necessarily the victory of Trump) is a strong indictment of corporate capitalism personified by Wall Street. Wall Street is seen to be the Democrats' principal veering away from its historical role as the defender of the oppressed.
Similarly, in the Philippines...
We should be looking at the trigger of mass anger and address it instead of self-righteously shouting from lofty bourgeois windows about how we are now held hostage by the choices the idiots and uneducated made that now affect us. Education may come from books and universities but theirs came from experience. Electoral choices may be dictated by desire for comforts and privileges derived from a system that deprives the masses of the ability to survive decently. Theirs are dictated by the deprivation they suffer from a system that showers comfort on the few while sweeping them aside like dead leaves to the periphery.
(Un)fortunately, "We are the many; (you )are the few," goes a song inspired by the Occupy Movement.
If democracy is the rule of the majority, then we have to respect their choices. We keep saying that democracy is the best form of government. Well, in the US, democracy decided that Trump should be President. Those who insist that democracy is the only form of government acceptable in a civilized world must honor the choice of the majority.
But maybe, we need to give democracy a second look.
It seems when capitalism logically advances to its worst anti-poor shape, it negates democracy. Government ceases to be for the people, of the people, by the people. It is for the few, of the few, by the few. The masses can no longer exercise freedom of choice and do not enjoy freedom from want.
So, auspiciously, a dictator must rise to undo the imbalance but not in the fashion of Marcos who became a tyrant to enrich himself and his cronies. This dictator will reverse the wheel to the end that government must make the greater good for the greater number its goal.
Our own Jose Laurel said that the best form of government is an authoritarian regime with an angel on the throne. That angel is biased for the poor and the weak.
Now I am looking for that angel. S/he might be able to show to us that a dictatorship for the poor and marginalized is the true democracy. Why? Access to goods and services gets opened and sustained for the majority who make up the traditionally ignored or forgotten poor.


Now, they blame the 16M who voted for Duterte. They say to us: Putang ina ninyo!
Who made Marcos a hero?
You did, by worshipping at the altar of his anti-poor, pro-oligarch economic policies perpetuated by Corazon Aquino, Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada, Gloria Arroyo, and Noynoy Aquino. You did not protest when Ramos was privatizing public utilities even if you knew this would make life harsher for the poor. You did not protest when Congress authorized foreign plunder of our natural resources. You did not protest when Ramos allowed the oil industry to operate without a leash around its neck controlled by the State.

You did, by keeping quiet when the winter of human rights during Martial Law returned during Arroyo's Reign of Terror. You were apathetic to the thud of falling bodies of more than a thousand activists. You did not even say a word when lawyers and judges were getting killed. You did not say a whimper of protest when people were disappearing just for telling the truth.
You did, by keeping quiet about EJKs during Aquino's time. Indigenous leaders were being killed, disappeared, or tortured for defending their ancestral lands. Environmental defenders were suffering the same fate. Their domains were being militarized and they were being brutalized. You did not mind it when Arroyo and Aquino allowed mining corporations to use the government-paid military to become mining corporations' private security forces to harass indigenous communities. You would not even post a status on Facebook to express solidarity. You posted pictures of your food and travels. You could afford those. Some of you made money to help the corporations abuse indigenous communities and the environment some more. You made money to help companies abuse the rights of workers.
You did, by not speaking out against cronyism after Martial Law. You did not question Kamag-anak, Incorporated, and Kabaralin, Kaklase, at Kaibigan.
You did, by not speaking out against Palparan and his ilk. You did not speak out against the very conditions which made Martial Law a dark period when they resurfaced after the Marcos tyranny.
You did, by condemning the national democratic activists who would take to the streets on a regular basis to expose and reject what is Marcosian in society. You called them public nuisance. You called Renato Jr. Reyes a pest more than once.
You helped make Marcos a hero. Shame on you for doing a Pontius Pilate.
And yes, you made Duterte President. Your endorsement of Marcosian practices made Duterte stand out as the only hope for the poor.
Remove that mote in your eye before you remove the mote in other people's eyes.
This is the time to examine national conscience, not to wash the guilt off your hands.



This is a 'multiple choice' quiz.

1. In the near future, what brand of drones or bombs will be dropped by the US on some Third World Country? 

2. What brand of rubber-stamps will the military industrial complex be using in the White House to destroy world peace?

3. What breed of attack dogs will the US government unleash to try to silence the indigenous Americans from opposing corporate expansion on their sacred grounds?
For each question, there are only two very possible answers to choose from: a) Republican; and b) Democrat.


The red-tagging of indigenous Lumad schools by the military has been going on for a time. The military has always alleged that these schools were established by the Communist Party of the Philippines. Teachers have been branded as members of the New People's Army (NPA). Families who send their children there have likewise been tagged as communists. As a result of the communist-baiting, these people have been harassed by the military and its paramilitary sidekicks. Under former Pres. Aquino's Oplan Bayanihan, some schools were shut down by the Department of Education upon inducement by the military. In other cases, soldiers took over the schools and assumed teaching. One school was burned. Another was fired at by the military. Some became military camps. Some Lumad became victims of extrajudicial killings (EJKs). 
The harassment as a consequence of the tagging was one of the reasons why Lumad evacuated to Davao City and other areas in previous years. This was truly sad because the Lumad are so attached to their ancestral domains. They returned home to rebuild their lives when Pres. Duterte assumed office. But the military seems to have a life of its own and regards the Lumad with eyes different from Duterte's. And this is happening in the midst of peace talks between the government and the National Democratic Front. It appears that certain elements are sabotaging the peace talks.
One, the schools were established not by the CPP but by the communities with the assistance of NGOs. Two, the establishment of the schools was a response to the failure of government to make education accessible to the indigenous Lumad. Three, the schools were given permits by Department of Education. In short, the government must encourage and even support the schools.
While tagging remains unpunished, it will continue. If it continues, certain people's lives and liberties will remain at risk. Prof. Philip Alston, in his 2007-2008 report to the UN as special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, and arbitrary killings, stated that EJKs perpetrated against activists in the Philippines were preceded by red tagging. In one forum I attended in 2011, participants claimed that they were denied social services by the Department of Social Welfare and Development due to suspicions they were NPA members or sympathizers.
It has always been my view that red-tagging is not protected by freedom of expression. It is more than libel which destroys reputation. It is a form of hate speech. It subjects the target's life, security, and liberty to serious peril.
More than condemning it, Congress should pass a law criminalizing red-tagging.