The potent bite of the ‘Mosquito Press’

Documentary-Portraits of Mosquito Press

Documentary-Portraits of Mosquito Press

Congratulations to JL Burgos for bringing to the screen an important chapter in our history of struggle for press freedom.

“Portraits of Mosquito Press “documents the struggle for press freedom at the time when the country was still in the grip of the Marcos dictatorship.

“Mosquito Press” was Marcos’ belittling of the small, independent newspapers which he allowed to operate to give a semblance of press freedom under his autocratic rule.

The small, independent newspapers lead by We Forum, owned and edited by Jose Burgos, Jr., were called the “alternative press.” Alternative to the establishment press owned by Marcos cronies and relatives and toed the government line that Marcos was the savior of the Philippines.

We Forum was critical of Marcos. When asked by international media about issues raised in We Forum, Marcos dismissed it as nothing but the handiwork of the “mosquito press.” In effect, they are just mosquitos. Nothing that he cannot swat easily.

Later, Marcos would realize that mosquito bites can be potent.
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March 4, 2015 12:48 am  Tags: , ,   Posted in: Malaya, Media  No Comments

Hilarious FB translations

Screenshot of Jaime G post re Grace BongbongAside from the lively exchanges in Facebook (never mind the moronic posts- you have the choice to ignore them or better to unfriend the source), there’s a feature in this social media that is oftentimes hilarious, it makes FB surfing fun.

It’s the translation.

Like this translation of a post by business entrepreneur Jaime Gachitorena on a Lifestyle Inquirer article about the rumored father of Sen. Grace Poe (she was found abandoned in Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral in Iloilo): “ So Bongbong Marcos and Grace Poe are magkapatid?”

FB translation: “So Bongbong Mark and Grace Poe are brothers?
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February 27, 2015 12:00 am  Tags:   Posted in: Malaya, Media  One Comment

Mamasapano tragedy will be a factor in 2016 elections

Aquino meeting with families of SAF44. Feb. 18, 2015.

Aquino meeting with families of SAF44. Feb. 18, 2015.

Don’t expect the truth about the Jan. 25 Mamasapano tragedy to come from President Aquino.

He had one whole month to tell the Filipino people about his role in the debacle that claimed the lives of 44 members of the Special Action Force of the Philippine National Police, 18 members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and six civilians including an eight-year old girl who was hit in the crossfire.

He had three televised address on the armed operation that turned into a massacre – Jan. 28, three days after the tragedy; Jan. 30 necrological service at Camp Bagong Diwa, and Feb. 6 to announce his acceptance of the resignation of suspended Police Chief Alan Purisima.
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February 25, 2015 12:33 am  Tags:   Posted in: Elections 2016, Philippine National Police  15 Comments

Sarah

Photo for Sarah
The tragedy in Mamasapano, Maguindanao claimed the lives of 44 of the country’s elite policemen, 18 members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and some civilians.

One of those who died was an eight-year old girl named Sarah.

I learned about Sarah from Hussein Macarambon’s heart-rending post in Facebook:

“ At a forum organized by advocates of peace for Mindanao, the room started to get filled with a terrible feeling of sadness. Stories evoked tears when people who have followed the Mamasapano incident, on the ground or from afar, attempted to describe the pain and grief felt by many, especially the bereaved families of the 67 casualties- families of the 44 SAF troops, of the 5 civilians, and of the 18 MILF combatants.

“One of them lost the youngest victim, an eight-year old girl called Sarah. Her family was roused from sleep by the sound of bullets that had hit them. They survived. Sarah did not.
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February 19, 2015 6:12 pm  Tags: ,   Posted in: Malaya, Peace Process, Philippine National Police  11 Comments

Senators asked the wrong question

Sen. Grace Poe chairs hearing on Mamasapano carnage.

Sen. Grace Poe chairs hearing on Mamasapano carnage.


It was President Aquino who informed Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Armed Forces Chief Gen. Gregorio Catapang and the rest of the presidential party in Zamboanga on the Mamasapano debacle on Jan. 25, a source close to Malacañang said.

That’s why in the hearings in the Senate and the House of Representatives the three and Lt. Gen. Rustico Guerrero, chief of Western Mindanao Command said they didn’t inform Aquino of the dawn carnage that left 44 members of the Special Action Force dead when they were with him throughout the day.
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February 15, 2015 10:08 pm  Tags: ,   Posted in: Malaya, Peace Process, Philippine National Police  48 Comments

Values that tie PH and Iran

US-centric Filipinos may not be aware that the Philippines and Iran share a lot of common experiences-from rising from devastating natural calamities to political upheavals.

Left photo:The 1979 Iranian revolution. Right: The 1986 Philippine People Power revolution

Left photo:The 1979 Iranian revolution. Right: The 1986 Philippine People Power revolution

Foremost is the harnessing of people power against an extravagant and tyrannical regimes.

Many Filipinos like to think that we “invented” People Power with the ouster of President Ferdinand Marcos on Feb. 25, 1986 and inspired other countries in Eastern Europe, and much later Arab countries, to go out in the streets and overthrow tyrants.

But the Iranians did it seven years earlier than the EDSA People Power. On Feb. 11,1979 angry Iranians, mostly students, drove out the United States- supported Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi.
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February 12, 2015 11:15 pm  Tags:   Posted in: Foreign Affairs, Malaya  10 Comments

SAF44 stirred public interest on BBL

Norwegian William Hovlan, operations chief of the International Monitoring Team,

Norwegian William Hovlan, operations chief of the International Monitoring Team,

There was something amusing in the narration of Mamasapano Mayor Tahirodin Benzar A. Ampatuan that reflects a trait common to many Filipinos.

Mayor Ampatuan (yes, the Ampatuans of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre are still very much a force to reckon with in Maguindanao) said that at about 1:30 in the afternoon of Jan. 25, members of the joint Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH) arrived to stop the battle between the Special Action Force of the Philippine National Police on one side and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters on the other side.

The fighting had been raging since dawn. The SAF were on their way out of the area after they accomplished killing one of their targets, Malaysian Zulkifli bin Hir alias ”Marwan”, high in the terrorists list of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation. Marwan had a $5 million price of his head.
Their other target, Basit Usman, a bomb expert was able to escape.
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February 11, 2015 12:02 am  Tags: ,   Posted in: Mindanao, Peace Process, Philippine National Police  22 Comments

Justice Carpio explains Itu Aba issue in the PH suit vs China

Itu Aba, also known as Taiping or Ligaw

Itu Aba, also known as Taiping or Ligaw

Last year, Itu Aba (also known as Taiping or Ligaw), the biggest feature in the Spratly group of islands being disputed by the Philippines, China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan, figured in a controversy involving the appointment of the Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza to the Supreme Court.

Supreme Court Justice Lourdes Sereno opposed the appointment of Jardeleza to the High Court accusing him of treason when he omitted Itu Aba in the Memorial or memorandum filed before the United Nations Arbitral Tribunal in connection with the case filed by the Philippine questioning the legality of China’s nine-dashed line map which overreaches into the territory of the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei.

Itu Aba is occupied by Taiwan, once part of China but now considers itself a sovereign state as Republic of China. The Philippines adopts a One-China policy which considers Taiwan a province of China.
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February 9, 2015 12:52 am  Tags: , , , ,   Posted in: Foreign Affairs, South China Sea  2 Comments

Nagdurugo ang puso ni Aquino sa pagbitaw kay Purisima

Aquino announces he accepted resignation of suspended PNP Chief Alan Purisima last Friday, Feb. 6.

Aquino announces he accepted resignation of suspended PNP Chief Alan Purisima last Friday, Feb. 6.

Noong Biyernes ng gabi, lumabas si Pangulong Aquino (mga isang linggo din siyang hindi nakikita at naririnig mula nang pumunta siya sa lamay ng 44 na miyembro ng Special Action Force sa Camp Bagong Diwa) at nagsalita sa telebisyon tungkol sa trahedya sa Mamasapano, Maguindanao noong Enero 25.

Pangalawang pagsalita niya ito tungkol sa trahedya na hanggang ngayon ay hindi pa natutukoy ng opisyal kung sino tala ang may responsibilidad. Ngunit sa unit-unting lumalabas na balita, kahit mag-kakaiba nagkakaroon ng ideya ang publiko kung sino-sino ang may pananagutan.

Maliban kay Pangulong Aquino mismo, bilang commander-in-chief at nag-amin na alam niya ang tungkol sa operasyon at ang hepe ng SAF na si Chief Director Getulio Napeñas, may kinalaman din and suspendido na hepe ng Philippine National Police na si Alan Purisima.
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February 7, 2015 7:00 pm  Tags: ,   Posted in: Abante, Benigno Aquino III, Philippine National Police  31 Comments

Let him finish his term

Militant group renews call for Aquino to step down.

Militant group renews call for Aquino to step down.

I hold President Aquino accountable for the death of 44 Special Action Force commandos but I don’t want him forced to shorten his term which is due to end on June 30 next year.

I’m not joining calls for him to resign. I’m against a coup de’etat.

I want him to finish his mandate which the Filipino electorate bestowed on him when they elected him five years ago.

But he should shape up and take seriously his responsibilities as President.

He owes it to the Filipino people even to those who didn’t vote for him.
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February 6, 2015 9:08 am  Tags: ,   Posted in: Benigno Aquino III, Peace and Order, Philippine National Police  34 Comments