Wednesday, November 17, 2010


"...But first, we have to clarify who really are the victims," said President Benigno Aquino III, regarding compensation for victims of Marcos-era human rights violations. 

By admission of Marcos's own then Defense Minister, 100,000 people were arrested and imprisoned without trial;  they called it detention.

Less than 10,000 were plaintiffs in the Marcos tort case;  the Hawaii court's synchronized database is only 7,500. 

It's been 24 years and it's still not known who the victims are?  It didn't take that long to document the Holocaust victims who were in the millions. 

Don't hold your breath;  this is another 2+2=2+2, maintaining impunity alive.

Be outraged;  be very outraged.  -- ##


Here's a response to the piece I wrote on the Marcos Tort Case:

Let's see if 2+2 will be 4 this time. 

I'd like to be proven wrong on this one but I wouldn't hold my breath.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

2+2 Equals 2+2 Forever

The Texas Court approved a $10 million settlement of a case linked to the Marcos tort case -- i.e., about 10,000 victims sued the Marcos Estate for violations of human rights and were awarded $2 billion. It's been 24 years. Did two stories on this while on the crest of an overwhelming sadness; here's one:

Sadness came from realizing this was one more unending story of the archipelago -- kind of like Gulong ng Palad (Turn of Fate), a radio serial drama that went on forever. At some point, I think, patience becomes a vice.

So in a way, the mid-year US election results had some positive aspect, if taken as a manifestation of people getting fed up. Unfortunately, Pres. Obama seems to have misinterpreted the message and announced more "bipartisanship."

The message to me was simply: "we're tired of seeing government take care of the rich and powerful while the rest of us go into bankruptcy."

I for one would like to get bailed out from usurious credit card companies, overcharging cable-internet-phone companies, surcharges from my residential coop, etc.

I'd like to see Antartica before it melts.

And this issue of human rights violations committed by the Marcos Dictatorship resolved before the sea drowns the 7,100 islands.

Trust me, it will.  --  ##

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Is There A Civilians Day?

Marches, parades, bands, gun-salutes, white-glove salutes. 

Any recognition given to the civilians who died in wars, invasions, occupations, a hundred thousand armed conflicts?  The civilian dead likely number a hundred times the military dead.

As the Bob Dylan song goes, "how many times must cannonballs fly before they're forever banned?" 

The best way to honor Veterans, methinks, is to eliminate the causes of wars, invasions, occupations... 

I leave it to you to list such causes.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Character Calamities

The speechwriter of the President of the Philippines, Mai Mislang, tweeted, during a state visit, that the wine sucked in Vietnam – as though she had been raised guzzling Domaine Romanee-Conti.

Having been a French colony, Vietnam was likely amused by such judgment from a person of a country known for beer.

Ah, well, stupidity is a child of ignorance.

As if this wasn’t enough to upset one for weeks, one of the two women seriously injured at a grenade attack at La Salle university blithely forgave the assailant, whoever he was.  The two women lost limbs and nearly their lives. 

The grenade was thrown allegedly by one fraternity member to damage members of another fraternity – and by accident, collaterally damaged grievously two women whose lives are hereon changed in ways we cannot even conceive.

This readiness to forgive, in my perspective, does not necessarily make one a better person; it simply marks one as a patsy, who cannot even recognize the presence of serious evil.  Whoever threw the grenade was evil;  he knew and didn't care that he could not limit the damage to members of the other fraternity only.

Forgiving so easily allows evil to thrive; and this is probably why people known to have committed great crimes surface and re-surface, again and again, holding on to power, position and privilege, in the Philippine political world, as acts of injustice and terrorism remain un-redressed.

So, there’s the wine comment and the forgiveness comment and my comment: women of the Philippines can sometimes be arrogant and judgmental in petty matters and pushovers in really serious ones. -- ##