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Protesters vow to push through with occupy Mendiola protests despite being violently dispersed

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

 Protesters vow to push through with occupy Mendiola protests despite being violently dispersed

“Mendiola is not only a street. That is why Chino Roces’s monument was built here because it is a symbol of the people’s struggle.” – Vencer Crisostomo, Anakbayan
By ANNE MARXZE D. UMIL
Bulatlat.com
 
MANILA – Youth, students, government employees and other sectors were violently prevented from setting foot on Chino Roces Bridge (former Mendiola Bridge) in what was planned to be Day One of Occupy Mendiola on Dec. 6, Tuesday. Different groups that support the camp-out condemned the violent dispersal.


(Photo Anne Marxze D. Umil / Bulatlat.com)
After marching from España, the groups were blocked by the Manila Police at Claro M. Recto avenue. When the protesters attempted to go through the police barricade, the police used water cannons and truncheons to push them back.

“Why are you blocking us? We will just have our campout in Mendiola,” Vencer Crisostomo, national chairman of Anakbayan told the police.

The Mendiola campout was supposedly inspired by the Arab Spring upheavals, strikes in Europe and the Occupy Movements in the US. The protesters lead by youth groups were supposed to stay at historic Mendiola Bridge up to International Human Rights Day on Dec. 10.

“It is time to send a message to those in power: We will no longer put up with lies, corruption, abuse, exploitation and injustice. Something has to be done. Let us stand up and make the statement that we want genuine change.” read the statement posted at the Camp Out website.


(Photo Anne Marxze D. Umil / Bulatlat.com)
Students from Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), University of the Philippines in Diliman and Manila, Eulogio Amang Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology (EARIST) and Philippine Normal University (PNU) marched from their respective universities and converged for the campout protest.

“Police should be arresting thieves. And the thief is in St. Lukes Hospital. You should be there arresting Arroyo and put her to jail and not here suppressing us,” Rommel Aguilar, PUP student regent, said.

The groups still held their program at Recto avenue. They were given up to 5:30 p.m. by the police. But the groups did not abide. “They (police) are giving us until 5:30. Do we agree to that?” Crisostomo asked the protesters, who replied with a resounding no. The police tried to intimidate the protesters by preparing the water cannon and firing up the engine of the fire truck but it did not stop the protesters from continuing with their program.

“Mendiola is not only a street. That is why Chino Roces’s monument was built here because it is a symbol of the people’s struggle,” Crisostomo said addressing the police.

He added, “Today we are not only fighting for a higher budget on education, social services, health, for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and housing. We are here today to initiate change! Down with the rotten system!” Crisostomo shouted..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/12/07/protesters-vow-to-push-through-with-occupy-mendiola-protests-despite-being-violently-dispersed/

Political prisoners, relatives, rights advocates launch hunger strikes, fasts

Political prisoners, relatives, rights advocates launch hunger strikes, fasts


“The Aquino government must immediately respond to their just demands if he truly adheres to justice.” – Fe Salino, Selda-Southern Mindanao
By ANNE MARXZE D. UMIL
Bulatlat.com

MANILA – Ligaya Cruz, along with her husband Consensio and two of their children, went to Camp Crame, Dec. 3, to protest the continuing incarceration of her son, Eddie.


On the International Day of Solidaity for Political Prisoners, former political prisoners, relatives and supporters staged a protest in front of Camp Crame in Quezon City to demand the release of political prisoners while condemning the special treatment given to Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (Photo by Anne Marxze D. Umil / Bulatlat.com)
Eddie, a Dumagat leader was arrested on June 12, 2010 and is still detained at Camp Bagong Diwa in Quezon City for a crime Ligaya said her son did not commit.

Ligaya’s family came all the way from Wawa, Rizal to join the families and supporters of other political prisoners in a protest action in front of the national headquarters of the Philippine National Police (PNP). Later that day, they visited Eddie. It has been two months since they last saw him. “We don’t have money to travel more frequently to visit him,” Ligaya told Bulatlat.com.
A week before the International Human Rights Day, Eddie and the other political prisoners in Camp Bagong Diwa started an indefinite hunger strike on Dec. 3. Other political prisoners from various detention cells in the country launched hunger strikes, noise barrages and other forms of protest.
Former political prisoners, relatives and supporters also staged a protest action in front of Camp Crame, coinciding with the International Day of Solidarity for Political Prisoners.


(Photo Anne Marxze D. Umil / Bulatlat.com)
According to the Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (Selda), there are 360 political prisoners in the Philippines. Belying claims by Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda, the group said there are 78 political prisoners arrested under the Aquino administration. Karapatan said most of the political prisoners have been slapped with common crimes, a violation of the Hernandez political doctrine.

Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño said in a statement, “It is ironic that Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the one responsible for so many human rights violations, is being given special treatment and even pampered by the Aquino administration while her victims have to go on a hunger strike just to air their demands that should and can readily be granted by the authorities.”.... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/12/07/political-prisoners-relatives-rights-advocates-launch-hunger-strikes-fasts/

Church, urban poor call on government to prioritize concerns of the poor

Church, urban poor call on government to prioritize concerns of the poor

 
“What will ‘development’ be when people are blinded by the glare of the arrogant lights of profit and the mantra of globalization and millions are pushed into further misery?”
By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
Bulatlat.com
MANILA — As the church calendar enters the season of Advent, church workers vow to push for better and just living conditions for poor dwellers not only in Metro Manila but the entire country. They likened poor dwellers to Mary and Joseph, who, when Mary was pregnant with Jesus, knocked from one door to another only to be offered a stable to give birth.

“In the spirit of Advent and Christmas season, God has inserted himself to experience the life and struggle of the urban poor people. And we could not do anything better than what he did,” Fr. Joe Dizon of the National Clergy Discernment Group said during the two-day Church people – Urban poor Solidarity Conference held at Adamson University.

The two-day conference paved the way for Church people and urban poor groups and its local leaders to discuss important topics that affect the lives of poor dwellers such as joblessness and wages, inaccessible social services, violent demolitions, relocations of urban poor dwellers to far-flung areas and militarization of communities resisting demolition.

Bishop Pabillo says helping the poor is deeply rooted in the scriptures and Church doctrines(Photo by Janess Ann J. Ellao / bulatlat.com)
In his welcome remarks, Fr. Gregorio Banaga Jr. CM, president of Adamson University, said the plight of the urban poor is hardly felt by others even if they are very much part of the daily urban life. He added that due to busy schedules, there is almost no opportunity to get to know the urban poor unless there is demolition or fire.

“Special preference is given to to the poor because they are the most who are in need,” Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo DD, Auxiliary Bishop of Manila, said, “It is the way of Jesus Christ. He, too, was poor and he chose to serve the poor and his followers were also from the ranks of the poor.”
Yet, Pabillo said, the attitude of most people toward the poor is either disdain, indifference, patronizing or using the poor for their own benefit. He added that what the church people must have is “genuine love and concern for the poor.”

No homes, no livelihood 

In a dialogue, urban poor groups were given an opportunity to share what they have been going through under the government’s slogan of “development.”

“Many workers hardly earn the minimum wage.” Allan Garcia, a member of Anakpawis, said in the conference. He said that in the name of development and resolving the heavy flow of traffic, the Metro Manila Development Authority has put the blame on street vendors who are merely trying to earn a living.
Authorities, Garcia said, would pour gasoline on the wares of the vendors — who, when they get home, would be confronted with threats of demolition..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/12/04/church-urban-poor-call-on-government-to-prioritize-concerns-of-the-poor/

Drones cleared for domestic use across the US

Drones cleared for domestic use across the US


What do you know about drones? You know drones — those robotic, unmanned planes that fire missiles for the American military across Afghanistan, Pakistan and anywhere else the United States needs to get away with murder.

Well if you don’t know too much, don’t worry, that’ll change soon. The Federal Aviation Administration is looking into rules that will bring the controversial aircraft into the country, creating an United States airspace buzzing with tiny, robot planes to look over every inch of American soil — and maybe more.

An article published Tuesday in the Los Angeles Times reveals that new drone planes could be coming domestically quite soon, as both law enforcement and the agricultural sector are seeing benefits in keeping an arsenal of unmanned planes ready to patrol the skies. For farmers, drones could bring a new method of pumping pesticides into fields of crops from above; for the cops, the aircraft could conduct surveillance over suspected criminals (think police chopper but remote controlled). The Times reports that utility companies see a benefit in drones as well, giving them a new set of eyes to monitor oil, gas and water pipelines..... MORE

SourceRT.com

URL: http://rt.com/usa/news/us-drones-border-patrol-489/

Battlefield US: Pentagon arms police departments with free heavy weaponry

Battlefield US: Pentagon arms police departments with free heavy weaponry

The military-grade pepper-spray that’s been all the rage with law enforcement agencies is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to an advanced arsenal of weaponry made available to police departments across the country.

It has become clear now that local PDs are stockpiling some seriously dangerous doodads free of cost as part of a little-known program from the Pentagon. You can thank Uncle Sam, the Department of Defense and your own American tax dollars for the 1033 Program, an initiative that is giving hundreds of millions of bucks’ worth of military hardware from the DoD and putting it in the hands of your favorite neighborhood cop.

In 2011 alone, the Department of Defense forked over roughly $500 million worth of military machinery to law enforcement agencies coast-to-coast that would have been left otherwise unused. In many instances, however, the goods are grabbed by sheriffs in smaller jurisdictions that don’t have much need for the weaponry, other than to install fear within the community. The Daily reports that, according to documents made available by the Pentagon’s Defense Logistics Agency, among those items offered up to officers at no cost at all last year were grenade launchers, helicopters, military robots, M-16 assault rifles and armored vehicles..... MORE

SourceRT.com

URL: http://rt.com/usa/news/police-weaponry-military-pentagon-205/

(w/ Video) American police: To serve and protect (the 1%)



 American police: To serve and protect (the 1%)

The ongoing anti-greed Occupy protests have seen too many instances of police using brutal tactics against demonstrators. Some says the US is militarizing its police force and squashing the very freedoms it is so keen to preach internationally.

In recent months, US police officers have made an enemy out of those citizens using their freedom of speech to protest against corporate greed and corrupt politics, reports RT’s Marina Portnaya.

Today’s breed of law enforcers are dressed in riot gear and armed with heavy weaponry, body armor, flash bangs, tear gas, and potentially lethal projectiles. As tens of thousands of Americans assemble, cops have been accused of creating confrontation, not defusing it. Some veterans of the force can’t help but resent the situation..... MORE

SourceRT.com

URL: http://rt.com/news/police-brutality-occupy-protests-207/

‘Disenchantment more pronounced’ — Pulse Asia 12/07/2011

‘Disenchantment more pronounced’ — Pulse Asia

12/07/2011
President Aquino is considered ineffective in improving the economic conditions of Filipinos despite his still high performance and trust ratings that nonetheless are on the decline, based on the latest survey of Pulse Asia.

Pulse Asia noted in its assessment of the results that “disenchantment with the Aquino administration’s performance on selected national issues (became) more pronounced between (the) August and November surveys.”

The survey showed that approval on Aquino slid to 72 percent of respondents in the November survey down five points from the 77 percent in the August survey. Aquino’s trust rating also declined to 74 percent from the previous survey’s 75 percent..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20111207hed3.html

Noy like Cuba’s Fidel Castro; supporters rally behind SC By Benjamin B. Pulta 12/07/2011

Noy like Cuba’s Fidel Castro; supporters rally behind SC

By Benjamin B. Pulta 12/07/2011

President Aquino isn’t going to get away this time around over his bad conduct and ill manners in excoriating Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona and the SC itself as displayed by Aquino during the judicial summit last Monday.

An avalanche of criticisms has cascaded against Aquino, following his open hostility against the judiciary and the Chief Justice.

Fr. Joaquin Bernas, former dean of Ateneo graduate school of law, found President Aquino’s attacks “quite disturbing” and “really alarming,” as he likened him to Cuban strongman Fidel Castro..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20111207hed1.html

Family of convicted drug smuggler flies to China By Danessa O. Rivera 12/07/2011

Family of convicted drug smuggler flies to China

By Danessa O. Rivera 12/07/2011

The family of the Filipino drug trafficker, who faces execution in China, left the country for China yesterday, said an official of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

DFA spokesman Raul Hernandez said the family already has their schedule in China and will be assisted by officials in the Philippine consulate in Guanzhou. Today there is a mass for our kababayan and to the family. They will leave for Guangzhi… then the following day they will visit their relative in prison,” he said.

He also said that the Philippine government is still in touch with the Chinese government through its embassy in Manila and its Foreign Ministry in Beijing. “As you know we have already sent our letter to the President, hopefully we will receive their final reply to our quest for commutation as soon as possible,” Hernandez said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20111207nat3.html

Watchdog steps up campaign vs toxic substance in some toys By Jason Faustino 12/07/2011

Watchdog steps up campaign vs toxic substance in some toys

By Jason Faustino 12/07/2011
A toxics watchdog has intensified its campaign to inform and warn consumers on the chemical hazards in some toys being sold in the market amid the pre-Christmas shopping spree.

In a bid to reach out to grassroots consumers, the EcoWaste Coalition organized yesterday the first-ever free-of-charge “Toy Check-Up Tent” outside the Redemptorist Church in Baclaran, Parañaque City.

The event coincided with the Feast of Saint Nicholas, also known as Santa Claus or “Father Christmas,” the generous gift-giver..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20111207met3.html

Pinoy street games of yesteryears revived in Navotas 12/07/2011

Pinoy street games of yesteryears revived in Navotas

12/07/2011
Navotas residents have urged the administration of Mayor John Reynald Tiangco to host more projects in the entire barangays which involve the revival of various Filipino street games that have been outshone by those found in the computers.

The residents’ clamor came following the three-day Filipino Sports Festival dubbed “Palaro ni Juan” that took place last week and held at the ground level of the city hall.

“The city government has been holding an annual sports event among its employees to promote camaraderie, teamwork and sportsmanship,” Tiangco said.

This year, to make a little twist and stir more excitement, the city chief executive chose to feature Filipino street games..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20111207met2.html

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