Archive for February, 2013

Amidst tuition fee proposals and the nearing graduation season: Youth groups to defend right to education “Katipunan style”

Media Advisory:

During the Spanish occupation of the country more than a century ago, a momentous scene occurred in Balintawak which would later become an oft-cited example of the Filipinos’ nationalist spirit in the face of oppression – the Cry of Balintawak.


Today, even as the Spaniards are long ousted in the country, the Filipino people continue to be haunted by various kinds of oppression. Among the youth, one of the areas where their rights are grossly violated is in education. As we are now in the first quarter of the year, it is time to be vigilant of the proposed tuition fee increases within higher private educational institutions. The studentry must ensure that these tuition increase proposals undergo proper consultations following the guidelines issued by CHED. Our recent experiences have led to documentation of various means to bypass the proper consultation process such as the lack of information dissemination to the students and the school administration’s inability to show the school’s fiscal report. On the basic levels of education, as March approaches, we must guard against graduation fees which are already forbidden by the Department of Education. The KABATAAN Partylist already created a hotline where complaints against imposition of graduation fees can be made. Lastly, the controversial K Plus 12 program continues to be implemented and Grade 7 will begin this June. However, the old problems of insufficient facilities, books, classrooms and teachers persist and cast immense doubt on the effectiveness of the program. The government is clearly not heeding its constituents.

Tomorrow, February 21, the youth of Baguio City shall voice out their indignation regarding the current plight of the education system. Led by Anakbayan Cordillera, different youth groups will reenact the Cry of Balintawak with a contemporary twist –instead of acting against a colonial power, the youth will denounce the existing policies and mispriorities in education. Join us at 12 noon at the Main Gate of Saint Louis University and at 12:30 at K.M.O as we protect our right to education.

Media Coverage is likewise requested.


For Reference:

Tracy Anne Dumalo, Anakbayan Cordillera



As another witness in Gerry Ortega case dies: Justice system is dying, needs revival through our vigorous asking for it – CEGP Baguio-Benguet


Last Tuesday, Dennis Aranas, another key suspect-turned-witness in the infamous shooting of journalist and environmentalist Gerry Ortega in Palawan was found dead while in prison. He was the second witness to die which the Ortega family fears could hinder the progress of the investigation on Gerry Ortega’s murder two years ago.

CEGP Baguio-Benguet sees this incident as part of the gradual killing of justice in the country where those who forward legitimate calls for change in the face of an increasingly dismal social condition are being persecuted by the powers-that-be. The killing of a vital witness no doubt puts a major blockage in resolving the murder case of Dr. Gerry Ortega who was killed during the height of the controversial Malampaya Gas Project in Palawan. In his radio show in the province, Ortega used to fearlessly brought up the anomaly of funds’ misuse in the said project.

Tied with the duty of journalists is the exposure of all the facts and offering of sharp views concerning the concrete realities that each piece of fact implies. Ortega’s murder can be easily linked to his scathing remarks on what he deemed was an inappropriate transaction regarding the Malampaya Gas Project. Now, more than two years after his murder, justice keeps on being delayed and further tactics are being conducted to maintain the case under gray light.

This latest death of Dennis Aranas is the latest blow to the already frail justice system in the country. The obvious call now is for all of us to come together and inject some life to the sick order of justice in the country by vigorously and vehemently demanding for it from those whose interests are currently protected by this widespread injustice.



As Cybercrime TRO expires, efforts to junk RA 10175 need to be urgent

Press Release

February 05, 2013

On the last day before the end of the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) imposed by the Supreme Court on the immensely questioned Cybercrime Law, the College Editors’ Guild of the Philippines Baguio-Benguet continues its ardent call to oppose the law that could largely limit the flow of discourses and the exchange of information in the internet.

We continue to call attention to the libel provision which increases the penalty of the already controversial criminal libel stipulated in the Revised Penal Code. Mere liking or sharing a “libelous” post can now be deemed as a crime under the Cybercrime Law. We see this as posing a significant impediment in the impressive tapping of the internet as a medium for social involvement and dissent.

The consistent increase in internet usage all over the world has been more often touted as the increasing popularity of a supposed democratization of disseminating information and shaping public opinion. While there are legitimate contestations regarding this view, such as the varying extent by which the reactionary businessmen and the oppositional groups appropriate user-generation of content in the internet to advance their respective agenda, it cannot be doubted that the internet has been an effective tool in countering the status quo. This has been manifested in some European countries in the past decade and in there is no considerable lag in the Philippines. We have seen in the recent years how the internet, particularly the social networking sites have once been flooded by oppositional, if not subversive content, relating to current issues and the general condition of the society.

We see the Cybercrime Law mainly as a way to curb these potentials of the internet to be used against the existing order. In a move hauntingly reminiscent of a remodeled Foucauldian surveillance, the Cybercrime Law is threatening to always keep us on guard in our internet use.

We therefore need to recognize that we are being watched. And so before they can even begin to label us and our actions with names that demonize our intentions (libelous, terrorist, subversive), we must oppose this repressive law disguising, as most laws do, to protect the rights of the people


For Reference:

Ivan Emil Labayne, 09268105915


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