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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Marcopper case: Crocs are just bidding for time to strike again?

To refresh our people's memories. It will be recalled that during the second to the last session of the previous SP in June, the SP adopted a resolution that introduced the filing of a case in Canada. This is in continuation of Marinduque's call for environmental justice that has been marred in recent past by the most blatant kind of deception and manipulation by some in government and their legal cohorts.

An ethical Canadian law firm was identified based on track record after a prolonged search by stakeholders concerned. The said law firm was invited for talks by the provincial government of Marinduque in January this year. The said law firm had expected to receive a clear and direct mandate from the provincial government to handle the case in Canada after the dismissal of the case handled by U.S. lawyers in Nevada.

The U.S. lawyers also showed up in the talks held at the provincial government with stakeholders. Based on reliable information the Canadian lawyers made it clear that they would welcome talks with the U.S. lawyers. But months so quietly passed that civil society groups concerned felt that contrary to what were agreed upon, some people are just buying time to home-brew another plot.

Then earlier this month, an SP meeting called by the Committee on Environment was held at the Capitol.

Meeting at Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP)  Sept. 2, 2016 with U.S. legal counsel. FB photo: Carlo Manay

Lo and behold!  The U.S. legal counsel whose "actions, demeanor and articulations in many instances" was slammed by certain members of the previous SP, and whose continued participation in the planned suit to be filed in Canada is being openly opposed by Marinduque's foremost environmental org, appeared during the meeting with a powerpoint presentation of his plan and those of the U.S.lawyers to file the case in Canada with another Canadian law firm of their own choosing instead. 

No explanation was conveyed if the agreed negotiations between the two law firms who came over for talks with PGM ever took place, but this time in the SP meeting the controversial U.S. lawyer claimed to be ready already with draft contracts for approval by the SP. The contract excludes the Canadian ethical law firm identified and officially invited by the PGM in January.

Only very recently were copies of the purported draft contracts presented to key persons involved in this issue. One such person said thus: "It's simply worse, horrible, so much worse than the 2005 agreement entered into by the provincial government and the legal counsel concerned".

MACEC reps including the Bishop of Boac were invited.
FB photo: Carlo Manay

In another follow-up meeting organized by the environmental group, the general sentiment of those concerned was to enumerate the causes for terminating the involvement of the U.S. lawyers concerned. Asked why they seem to favor these lawyers in-spite of poor performance and questionable actions that put a cloud of doubt on their credibility and integrity, a provincial government official explained "many times" that they are thinking that if the U.S. lawyers will not be engaged, "baka mademanda ang probinsya!".

So is there anything more sick than this situation? How can the Province work with a law firm that allegedly appears to be threatening to sue if they choose another firm? Is that how lame arguments are being loosely and ridiculously sold in Marinduque? 

Common sense dictates that it's not how it works. The Province has every right to terminate relationship with any law firm. Not to forget that the case is over in Nevada. Fair terms to be negotiated between the U.S. and Canadian law firms mentioned, as agreed upon, is not for province to worry about.

Why should clients act under threat by their own lawyers if this is the case? Isn't that a terrible, abusive kind of relationship? Or are other 'arrangements' past and present behind all these?

We've seen a lot of related tragic-comedy plays before. Is this another such comedic and tragic Moro-Moro and Zarzuela in the offing? Batman, Robin, Superman and even Darna could make special guest appearances on this one for sanity and justice to reign in our beloved Marinduque.

Also read the following excerpts (posted here exactly 3 years ago): 

Marinduque board member decries 'unfair, insulting, disrespectful, irresponsible' conduct of stakeholders meeting and false claims

Marinduque provincial board member Adeline Angeles has decried the undue haste and pressure with which persons invited to a ‘stakeholders meeting’ in Marinduque were subjected to in relation to the Barrick Gold offer of settlement. USD20M was offered by the firm to prevent further litigation of the damage suit filed in Nevada by Marinduque. 

In a privilege speech before the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, Angeles stressed that prior to said meeting there was a clear understanding between the executive and legislative bodies that the provincial board would first await a proper endorsement from the Governor so the issue could be tackled by the legislative body. It turned out, she said, that people were made to believe that the premature ‘stakeholders meeting’ was a joint initiative of the offices of the Governor and the Sanggunian, yet the vice-governor/presiding officer was hardly aware it was being called.    

To top it all, while invoking and constantly reminding the invitees on the confidentiality of the information being discussed, those invited to the meeting were likewise asked to decide “ora mismo”, that same moment, there being purportedly no more time left for them to consult with their constituents, Angeles stressed.

“I found this conduct very unfair, insulting, disrespectful, not to mention very irresponsible for any government institution to do or allow to be done. With the pressure being given, this is an outright violation of the invitees’ right to make free and informed decision”, she said. "…  it maybe misinterpreted as “pakitang- tao” lamang if not “panggagamit at panggigipit lamang”.

BM Adeline Angeles (extreme right) and other board members in an earlier meeting with Walter Scott at the Session Hall.  (Photo from Fb Angeles' Report)

Suspending authority granted to chief legal counsel.

Angeles also conveyed her observation that the actions, demeanor and articulations in many instances of Walter Scott, chief legal counsel of the provincial government should drive people to think if he is still capable of continuously representing the province in the case filed in the US.  Consequently, the board member proposed the passage of a resolution immediately suspending any authority granted by the province to the lawyer/law firm handling the case in Nevada.

Click here for full text of Angeles’ Privilege Speech at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, Sept. 18, 2013. 

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Welcome to my newly revamped website!

Hi Friends! Welcome to my new look website. I think you would agree that this one's much easier to navigate than the one before.

Thanks so much to my good friend,  Marinduque News Online moderator, Romeo Mataac for taking his valuable time out to do this new web design!


Monday, September 19, 2016

Pope Francis: Corruption acts like a drug

Agence France Presse

Vatican City - Corruption is like a drug on which people become dependent, Pope Francis said Sunday, addressing thousands of faithful assembled at Saint Peter's square in Rome.

"Some people behave with corruption as with a drug. They think they can stop if they want to," the Argentinian pontiff told the worshippers gathered for the weekly Angelus prayer.

"They start small, a small amount here, a bribe there," he said, warning that corruption was producing its own "addiction" which generates poverty and suffering.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Towards an Independent foreign policy; the filing of 'Bud Dajo Day' bill in Lower House

This has to do with history being told as it happened. Nothing to do with reinventing it, or revising it since majority of Filipinos are hardly aware of American atrocities that took place in this country and how knowledge of these things were deliberately suppressed. 

One Philippine study:

American colonial policy suppressed Philippine nationalism by military campaigns against resistance groups - the members of which is branded as brigands and outlaws –and by the Sedition Law (1901) which imposed the death penalty or a long prison term on anyone who advocated independence from the United States even by peaceful means. The Flag Law (1907) prohibited the display of the Philippine flag, that symbol of Filipino nationalism, from 1907 to 1919.

American public policy further undermined Filipino nationalism through the educational system which imposed the English language as a medium of instruction, projected American society and culture as models to be emulated, omitted all mention of Filipino resistance to American conquest and the cruel suppression of that resistance, inculcated the idea that Filipinos must undergo tutelage in self-government to deserve independence, and presented the United States as our generous benefactor.

Although the beneficiaries of American education began to imbibe American values and culture and to like American consumer goods, the majority of Filipinos remained faithful to the ideal of independence. Politicians therefore had to declare in campaign speeches that they would work for “immediate, complete and absolute independence”, in order to get the people’s votes.

Manuel L. Quezon himself had worked secretly against the Jones Bill. Because they had acquiesced to the growth of a dependent economy, these leaders could not very well explain the economic realities to the people nor could they espouse economic independence since they were the beneficiaries of economic dependence. Independence therefore remained a political goal.

So this is what the bill designating March 6 as Bud Dajo Day and moves toward true nationalism is all about.

'Bud Dajo Day' bill filed in Lower House

A bill designating March 6 as "Bud Dajo Day" to commemorate the massacre of Muslims by American soldiers in 1906 has been filed in the lower chamber of Congress a week after President 
Rodrigo Duterte presented photos of the incident at the Malacañan Palace.

Should the bill be passed into law, government agencies and local government units will be mandated to hold activities that would "raise public awareness on the events in Bud Dahu, Jolo, Sulu, on March 5 to 8, 1906 and its continuing significance to the Bangsamoro people and the Philippines."

Similar awareness campaigns about the bloody massacre at the crater of Bud Dahu are also expected to be rolled out in all school levels, both in public and private academic institutions.

“For us to truly assert an independent foreign policy we must be steeped in our history from the point of view of our people and continue to proclaim it around the world,” said Bayan Muna Party-list Representative Carlos Isagani Zarate who re-filed House Bill 3599. 

“We must never forget the abuses and atrocities done against the Filipino people and we should learn from its bitter lessons,” Zarate added.

The bill was first filed by Zarate in 2013 during the 16th Congress, but the issue of the Bud Dajo massacre made headlines after Duterte brought it up at an ASEAN Summit meeting last week.

Aside from the Bud Dajo massacre, the president has also blamed the United States for the Balangiga Massacre in 1901 where residents over the age of 10 were ordered killed by US General Jacob Smith following a successful attack on US forces by Filipino rebels. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Macario Sakay, revolutionary leader, was hanged on Sept. 13 inside Old Bilibid

As the Battle of Pulang Lupa was commemorated yesterday, Sept. 13 in Marinduque, others find it fitting also to reflect on the death on the same day of a revolutionary leader, Macario Sakay. He was among the last of the Filipino resistance fighters to surrender to the Americans.

(Seated L to R: Julian Montalan, Francisco Carreon, Macario Sakay and Leon Villafuerte; standing, L to R: Benito Natividad and Lucio de Vega.
Photo taken in 1907.)

Sakay was hanged on Friday the 13th of September 1907 on charges of banditry and armed rebellion, along with Lucio de Vega.

Born on January 3, 1870 in Tondo, Manila, Sakay, a close confidante of Andres Bonifacio, was one of the early members of the Katipunan.

During the Filipino-American War, General Sakay fled to the mountains, organized the revolutionary forces in Bulacan, Pampanga, Morong (now Rizal), Cavite, Laguna, and Batangas, and later on proclaimed what he called the Tagalog Republic.

The Tagalog Republic had its own flag and with Sakay chosen as president, Francisco Carreon as vice president, drew up a Constitution largely based on the Katipunan creed of Bonifacio and warned all Filipinos not to swear allegiance to the United States.

His last words:
Death comes to all of us sooner or later, so that I will face the Lord Almighty calmly. But I want to tell you that we are not bandits and robbers, as the Americans have accused us, but members of the revolutionary forces that defended our mother country, Filipinas! Farewell! Long, live the republic and may our independence be born in the future! Farewell! Long Live Filipinas!

In its second regular session, the Philippine Senate (14th congress) adopted Resolution #623 honoring Macario Sakay and other Filipinos who gave up their lives for our freedom. 

This senate resolution called for the creation of a life-size statue of General Sakay by the Manila Historical Heritage Commission in Plaza Morga, Tondo Manila.

According to this Senate resolution, the National Historical Institute and the University of the Philippines have erected a marker at the foot of Mt. Banahaw where Macario Sakay and his troops gathered and performed their function as freedom fighters. PNA/Senate. Also read.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Battle of Pulang Lupa/Battle of Masaguisi

Battle of Pulang Lupa commemorative stamp issued by the Philippine Postal Corporation in 2000.

 “The marker stands at the site of the famous battle won by the Marinduquenos over the well-armed American forces on Sept. 13, 1900. The Americans led by Capt. Deverieux Shields surrendered to the Marinduque Revolutionary Forces led by Col. Maximo Abad. They were held captive for a month and were released on October 14, 1900 upon orders from the Revolutionary Government in Cavite.” – says the Battle of Pulang Lupa Historical Park Signage in Poctoy, Torrijos, Marinduque, courtesy of the Department of Tourism, LGU Torrijos and Philippine Tourism Authority.

This battle has been commemorated from the early 60s when September 13 was first declared as ”Marinduque Day” under the administration of Pres. Diosdado Macapagal, then by President Ferdinand E. Marcos who issued a proclamation referring to it also as “Marinduque Day”. It was only during the term of President Corazon C. Aquino when a law was passed (RA 6702) in 1988 declaring September 13 of every year as “Battle of Pulang Lupa Day”.

Teatro Balangaw group re-enacting the battle.
This blogger composed and directed "Awit sa Pulang Lupa" performed by Teatro Balangaw and the Marinduque Provincial Capitol Choir in several commemorations from 1995-2007.

Up to the present, no study has been made on the origin of “Pulang Lupa” as a place-name. Stories, however, are being told that it refers to pulang lupa, red soil that could be found in the mountain range of Kambindol, (apparently an older name of the same mountain range that could be traced to older maps, there are stories that Kambindol's origin was "Kang Bindoy", in reference of Hermenegildo Flores, Kapitan Bindoy, a local revolutionary leader from Sta. Cruz executed by the Spaniards during the Philippine-Spanish war in Marinduque). Other stories attribute the origin of Pulang Lupa to that bloody battle that transpired there in 1900.

But where ‘there'?  That a historical marker stands at the site of that famous episode in local history, a site even listed as a National Historical Landmark by the National Historical Institute, is not evidence. Not evidence that the battle happened atop that rugged mountain which offers a great panoramic view of the north-eastern and south-eastern sections of Marinduque. All accounts of the battle (and there are numerous accounts now available from primary sources) contradict this repeated claim of where it happened, as well as books with stories of that battle written by some of the world’s foremost historians.

‘Pulang Lupa’ as a place-name does not appear in eyewitness reports, soldier’s diaries, nor in U.S. military records relating to that war, nor in newspaper articles published in the U.S. during that period. The name appears, however, in a very brief account of the battle written by local historian, Ramon Madrigal, in 1963. Battle of Pulang Lupa Page

A highly informative website that contains significant literature, first-hand accounts and photos of the American engagement in Marinduque available in U.S. libraries, that have been researched and compiled by a Marinduque history and culture enthusiast, Curt Shepard and his Filipina wife Dalia, could be found on This will prove invaluable to historical researchers and may prompt a desire to know more.

In an earlier post entitled ‘Pulang Lupa: Scanning Masaguisi this time’ (Sept. 11, 2010), I pointed out a location mentioned in primary sources that the 'Pulang Lupa site' could not be the ‘battle site’ as we have been made to believe all these years. A place where, as described by Capt. Shields, he fell seriously wounded. This was a rice field near Masaguisi (written by the Americans as Massiquisie), where renewed enemy fire forced the Americans to take cover behind paddy dikes. Read Pulang Lupa: Scanning Masaguisi this time!

By his own account, Shields and his companions had to march in a brook and run over an extremely rocky bed. Then he took a direction that led to Masaguisi. There he was again wounded with the bullet passing through his neck and mouth, falling partly in a small stream until he was lifted out of the water. Carried by his men about two hundred yards farther until they were captured by the local forces. Some of his men were even captured in a swamp near the seashore.
“What began as a slow withdrawal quickly turned into a race down a rocky stream bed, as the Americans scrambled to escape the pincers that were moving to surround them, the beleaguered detachment entered a rice field near the barrio of Massiquisie” , (From American War Department Record).

Incontrovertible proof that the battle took place in Masaguisi

To the point, here now comes a publication, The Encyclopedia of the Spanish-American and Philippine-American Wars: A Political, Social, and Military History – Spencer C. Tucker ABC-CLIO. 2009.  It is a book that covers the conflict between the U.S. and Spain and with the Philippines “with a depth and breadth no other reference work can match”.

Event Date: September 13, 1900

"In early September, the presence of the U.S. Navy (ex-Spanish) gunboat Villalobos gave Shields the opportunity to deploy his forces in Torrijos, located on Marinduque’s southeastern coast. Ordering First Lieutenant M.H. Wilson and 41 soldiers by water to land on September 11 near Torrijos. There the Americans scattered a group of 20 guerillas and demolished their compound.
"On September 13, Shields and his troops marched into the interior, intending to return to Santa Cruz. Abad then massed virtually his entire insurgent force of some 250 men with rifles and another 2,000 with bolos beside a vertical height overlooking the path. Shields led his detachment right into the trap. Following several hours of fighting, he ordered a withdrawal into a concealed gorge.
But this soon became a dash through a rock-strewn stream as he and his men struggled to flee the insurgent flanking columns that were attempting a double envelopment. After withdrawing for more than 3 miles, the harassed Americans took cover in a rice paddy close to the town of Massiquisie (Masaguisi); guerilla rifle fire compelled them to seek shelter behind paddy dikes. Shields was among the wounded.
"With no other recourse, Shields surrendered his entire force. Four Americans died in the action, and all others were taken prisoners, 6 of them wounded. The Americans estimated that 30 insurgents had perished in the fight, but this figure was never verified. Following months of stealth, in less than a day of fighting Abad had eliminated a third of the U.S. force on Marinduque.
"The Battle of Masaguisi, prompted sharp reprisals from the Americans, who reinforced their garrison on the island and launched a number of stronger punitive raids, which did little to cripple guerilla activities." - RODNEY J. ROSS

The truth, however, is that the guerilla activities were eventually crippled with the setting up, first time on a Philippine island, of five concentration camps for Marinduque's population of 50,000. The experiment was then applied in those days to various Philippine provinces.

Of the Marinduque episode, Governor-General Howard H. Taft, would be U.S. President said:

"The severity with which the inhabitants were dealt with would not look well if a complete history of it were written out".

Monday, September 12, 2016

Marinduque Battle of Pulang Lupa: Day of Filipino victory yes, but Americans retaliated with long reign of terror and severity they'd rather forget that part of our history!

Insulting Barack Obama made the headlines, but Rodrigo Duterte's remarks referred to a long and dark history of US interference in the Philippines. EPA

President Duterte was right. The president of a country who has a long history of suppressed atrocities in its war with the Philippines may not have exactly the assumed moral ascendancy to lecture on human rights and extrajudicial killings to the president of that same country it invaded more than a century ago. 

So asked Duterte after being confronted with a hypothetical question:
You must be kidding. Who is he to confront me? America has one too many to answer for the misdeeds in this country … As a matter of fact, we inherited this problem from the United States. Why? Because they invaded this country and made us their subjugated people … Can I explain the extrajudicial killing? Can they explain the 600,000 Moro massacred in this island [Mindanao]? Do you want to see the pictures? Maybe you ask him. And make it public.

For in the case of Filipino-American War in Marinduque, a would-be president of the United States, the former Governor-General Howard H. Taft had even this to say of its mission of revenge on that Island:
"The severity with which the inhabitants were dealt with would not look well if a complete history of it were written out', wrote Taft of the Marinduque episode.
This was after the dramatic victory staged by Col. Maximo Abad, Commander of the Marinduque Forces. Remember that Abad and his men armed with 2,000 bolomen and 250 rifle men battled against the forces of Col. Devereux Shields, September 13, 1900, and emerged victorious.

With The U.S. Army's Pacification of Marinduque, Philippine Islands, April 1900-April 1901 by Andrew J. Birtle as main source (on we further learn about the encounter and more:

Capt. Devereaux Shields
Shields walked right into the ambush. A fire fight ensued for several hours before Shields ordered a retreat into a covered ravine. What began as a slow withdrawal quickly turned into a race down a rocky stream bed, as the Americans scrambled to escape the pincers that were moving to surround them. After retreating for about three and a half miles, the beleaguered detachment entered a rice field near the barrio of Massiquisie (Masaguisi). Here renewed enemy fire forced the Americans to take cover behind some paddy dikes. Shields fell seriously wounded.
All told, the Insurgents killed four Americans and captured fifty, six of whom, including Shields, were wounded. Shields later claimed that the Filipinos lost thirty dead, though this number was never confirmed. After months of hiding, Abad in a few short hours had destroyed nearly a third of the entire American garrison on Marinduque.
It was in Marinduque where after negotiations for the departure from Marinduque of the American forces were grudgingly received by Abad, that the Americans soon imposed coercive measures on the civilian population to stop the people from giving food, information and material support to their defenders.

The Americans then set their machines in motion for the release of all prisoners captured by Abad and his men.

Two full battalions (under Brig. Gen. Hare), of the 1st U.S. Infantry were dispatched to Marinduque with orders to free the prisoners and effect "the complete stamping out of the insurrection on that island."

A concentration camp in the Philippines. Location not specified.

All the male population over fifteen years of age were regarded as enemies, therefore rounded up and treated as prisoners of war. The entire adult male population were to be treated as hostages until the hostile ones are killed or captured. Later events saw these prisoners being shipped to Polo island, but it showed that there was failure in bringing the local males to battle or arrest all the male inhabitants.

Eventually Shields and his men were rescued. Abad failed to surrender.
Among those leaving the island for good were the men of A/29, who before their departure paid a visit to Paye, the site of the campaign's first ambush. They burned the barrio to the ground, destroying forty houses and over two tons of rice in retaliation.
Then a veteran of the Civil and Indian Wars, took over the Marinduque command, Lieutenant Colonel A.W. Corliss, whose task was "to bring the island to its knees through mass devastation."

Corliss's plan thus reflected the new mood and won the endorsement of Bates's personal observer, Captain Wright, who reported that "Marinduque is an excellent place to experiment with the numerous schemes suggested for the pacification of these islands."  

Lt. Col. A.W. Corliss

Marinduque Apocalypse

In mid-December Corliss launched the experiment. Corliss's policies meant that many expeditions took on an apocalyptic quality. For example, over the course of five days in mid-December Captain Francis E. Lacey, Jr., and 127 men destroyed 364 houses, 45 tons of palay, 600 pounds of rice, 30 bushels of corn, 188 bales of hemp, 330 ponies, 100 carabao, 233 cattle, and killed one Filipino who ran at the column's approach. Lacey saw no guerrillas, and none of the destroyed property was specifically linked to the insurgents. Conditions got worse before they got better.
Private Ralph L. Bitting described one such expedition:
(We) captured all the men, rations, and ammo we could get, burned all the houses and villages in sight. We had to shoot several who tried to run away. It was sad to see some old woman turned into the road, her rice (which is their chief food) scattered in the mud and her house burnt down. We left desolation in our trail; talk about American liberty and humanity, it makes me sick.
After releasing about 140 men due to illness, the Americans transferred the remaining prisoners to Polo Island for internment. Bitting reported the scene:
The friends and familys [sic] of the captured Gugus were allowed to bid them good-by before we loaded them on the boat ... You could not hear your own ears for the women and children crying and groaning. Just before we started them to the boat one woman who had no doubt come dressed for the occasion threw her dress over her husband and sat down on him. The sentry saw it though and so her ruse did not work. Just as we got them to the beach several tried by making a sudden rush to get away. Two were shot dead and several wounded right before their familys [sic] eyes
By February 1901 Corliss turned over the command of Marinduque to Major Frederick Smith, another veteran of the Indian wars. He capitalized on the successes of Corliss. Smith imposed the use of concentration camps. Spain had used it in Cuba and gained such distasteful reputation that the U.S. Army refrained from resorting to it in the Philippines.

Reconcentrados was what the locals called the concentration camps. Location of this camp in the Philippines not specified.
But such 'distasteful' practice was to be adopted in Marinduque. Smith initiated concentration on Marinduque's population of 50,000.

So the island's inhabitants had no choice but to come down from the hills. Failing to do so would mean being treated as enemies and be punished. By end of the month 12,000 people were in Sta. Cruz, more than 7,000 each were in Mogpog and Gasan.

The cat and mouse game between the Americans and the Filipinos continued without letup, producing Filipino casualties each time.

Governor-General Howard H. Taft.
Marinduque visitor and future U.S. President.

The would-be U.S.president came.

On 15 March Taft himself visited Marinduque together with the rest of the Philippine Commission which was touring the islands to establish civilian provincial governments.

Hard Abad
Apparently Abad proved hard to convince, for he made no move to surrender. By 6 April, Smith was losing his patience, and warned Trias's agents that if Abad did not surrender soon, he would be forced to "take the most stringent and severe measures . . . which unfortunately may affect many innocent people and sacrifice lives and property."
This blogger composed and directed Awit sa Pulang Lupa with Teatro Balangaw 
performers for several Labanan sa Pulang Lupa commemorations.

So from this island-province the U.S.concentration policy evolved, to be applied to all of the Philippines and then to future wars elsewhere. In the Vietnam War the U.S. program was called Strategic Hamlet Program which, however, failed as it merely alienated the rural Vietnamese and even contributed to the growth in influence of the Viet Cong.

An account of how it was eventually done in other nearby places such as Batangas described the oppressive method: 
"Filipinos were rounded up and herded into detention camps where overcrowded conditions and lack of proper food and clothing resulted in the predictable spread of infectious diseases. Malaria, beriberi and dengue fever took their toll. One correspondent described the prisoners as "a miserable-looking lot of little brown rats ... utterly spiritless."

Realizing how harshly his people were being treated, and with the news of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo's capture in Palanan, Isabela, Abad and his remaining men, who withstood all the hardships for four months since the Americans reigned, came down from the rugged Marinduque mountains to surrender. 

Col. Maximo Abad and comrades who surrendered.

U.S. brutality in Samar, however, would seem to surpass the Marinduque atrocities based on oral commands. There was General Jacob H. Smith of the infamous order in Samar, 
"Kill everyone over ten"."Kill and burn, kill and burn, the more you kill and the more you burn the more you please me." It was, said Smith, "no time to take prisoners." War was to be waged "in the sharpest and most decisive manner possible." Smith ordered Samar to be turned into a "howling wilderness' so that "even the birds could not live there." (The First VIetnam: The U.S.-Philippine War of 1899, Luzviminda Francisco, 1973)

No human rights, not even bird rights. Birds not allowed to fly there!

"Hindi kayo napahiya!" (I did not let you down). said Duterte upon arrival in Davao from the Asean Summits

Back to Duterte

So what are they saying now after the initial Duterte media flurry? The international view is changing. From The Conversation:
"Who is he to question me about human rights and extrajudicial killings?"
So asked Duterte on Monday. It’s actually a very good question, and one long overdue from a Philippine president. The extent to which the violence of US relations with the Philippines has been made invisible by a history written predominantly by Americans themselves cannot be overstated.
It began with a three-year war (1899-1902) that most Americans have never heard of. The war overthrew a newly independent Philippine republic and cost between 250,000 and a million Filipino lives – only to be called “a great misunderstanding” by American colonial writers.
After all, the US had chosen the Philippines to be its great Asian “showcase of democracy”. The invasion was a benevolent act. Hence the complete erasure of acts of American violence from the Philippine national story.
Now they're paying attention to US misdeeds in the Philippines.
Why is the Philippines president so angry about the prospect of the US president confronting him about human rights abuses? History. As Duterte said himself on Monday, violent acts of the past don’t stay in the past. They get passed on from generation to generation, especially when the injustice goes unacknowledged and unaddressed.
But if we condemn the president for his recent remarks because we claim to be concerned about the rights of Filipinos while showing no interest in acknowledging the past crimes and injustices against the Philippines, we fall into our own sort of hypocrisy.
Let’s be honest, if Duterte didn’t curse and swear and offend our sensibilities, would we be paying so much attention to the Philippines? For once, I heard a Philippine president holding the US to account for all its doublespeak and hypocrisy in US-Philippine relations. And I couldn’t help but appreciate that. 

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Lason sa Marinduque: Sabwatan sa pandarambong, panggagahasa sa kalikasan at pagpinsala sa kaginhawahan ng mga tao ayon sa mga grupong pangkalikasan.

About the Marcopper environmental crimes that the exceedingly exploited people of Marinduque have been made to suffer no end, many documentaries have been produced by civil society groups or news media. But one that got curiously generated to my YouTube page just a couple of days ago as something 'recommended for you' caught my attention. 

Produced by The Center for Environmental Concerns-Philippines and the Marinduque Council for Environmental Concerns (published on YouTube in 2012), the title is: Breaking the Chains of Imperialist Mining (25 minutes).

No reference to Marcopper, Placer Dome nor Marinduque in the title but it's just simply about all of them with quite a few mouthfuls revealed. Some may find parts of the narrative shocking even today, particularly those who have enjoyed their sleep of nights for decades. 

But hearing it straight from the lips of government officials, doctors, scientists, farmers, fisherfolks, environmental advocates, Catholic priests and children/youth who underwent detoxification could still blow your mind. You might find yourself emphatizing with some of their deepest feelings if you're one of those inclined to feel a tinge of malasakit.

Portions of the video were taken in earlier years and in 2004. The re-opening of the mines was being pushed by the powers that were, even when the foreign mining partners had stunningly fled the scene to escape responsibility.

Bahagi ng mapapakinggan mo:
Matapos ibigay ng Estados Unidos ang huwad na Kalayaan noong 1946, ang bansa at likas na yaman ay nanatiling hawak ng mga dayuhan at ng mga kasabwat na pulitiko at panginoong may lupa o mga naghaharing-uri ng bansa. Ganito ang nangyari sa Marinduque.
Kasabwat din sa pandarambong ang mga pulitiko't panginoong may lupa sa mga lalawigan at rehiyon. Sa Marinduque, ang panginoong may lupa na pamilyang Reyes ay nananatiling makapangyarihan pati sa usapin ng pagpapahintulot ng pagmimina...
Pasok ang footage kay Father Malapad:
Dahil sa totoo lang ay nagsasalita sila na ibig sabihin ay sila ay hindi papayag na magbukas ang Marcopper, ang minahan, pero ngayon ay talagang sigurado na yung kanilang posisyon na sila'y pabor doon sa pagbubukas ng minahan.
Sabi ni Vinia, naging biktima ang anak dahil sa lason dulot ng mina:

"Kung ako laang ang atanungin, matindi ang galit ko diyan... Sila'y mga walang puso, walang kaluluwa. Sariling bulsa laang nila ang kanilang inapuno. Alam laang nilang busugin ay ang kanilang sikmura."

Sa Mogpog River. "Umulan laang ng kaunti ay kuwan ay umaagos yung naga-asul-asul.. tilapya patay lahat pati hipon", "Wala na pong katapusan ang problema namin dito".

Deklarasyon naman ng Governor Carmencita O. Reyes:

"Marcopper had paid 7.8 billion pesos in taxes, generated 1.2 billion dollars in current exchange". (Reyes)
Ayon naman sa dating Mayor Percy Morales ng Sta. Cruz:
"84 million dollars annually ang magiging income ng national government..."
Sambit tuloy ng Macec: 

"Samantalang hanggang ngayon ay may utang pa sa real property tax sa bayan ng Sta. Cruz at sa buong Marinduque ang Marcopper-Placer Dome." (Umabot na sa higit P 1-Bilyon ang utang sa buwis ng Marcopper sa Marinduque).

Sa usapin naman ng walang katapusan at walang kasawa-sawang pangako ng mga ganid, ay deretsahan din ang mga salita.

Patunay ni dating bokal Lety Monte ay ganito::
Maraming pangako, katulad ng may power subsidy, may employment... apprenticeship, may medical mission pa, tapos ang pangako pa sa barangay na 7% ng 1.8 million bawat barangay bawat taon ay ibibigay sa barangay... parang pinapangako na nila ang langit at mga bituin para masungkit ang pag-oo ng mga barangay.

Pag-oo raw saan? Para sa pag-gamit palang muli ng Calancan Bay bilang tambakan ng tailings!

Patotoo ng isang barangay kagawad:
"Sinabi rin sa memo na binasa sa amin ay ang pagtatambak ng basura ay dito raw muli sa Calancan Bay. Iri ay yung muling pagtatambak ng basura nila. So iyon ang mahigpit na tinututulan talaga..."
Footage ni Dr. Catherine Coumans ng MiningWatch Canada:
"I heard this morning that the plan is to dump the waste again to Calancan Bay... and how the Philippine Government could even contemplate such a thing is beyond me."
Balik sa ating barangay kagawad:
"Nagmungkahi kami na dadaanin sa assembly, subalit ang aming kapitan ayaw pumayag sapagkat ang gusto niya ay siya na yung mag-house-to-house, magpapirma..."
Iginiit naman ng isang pinapapirma:

Ay yung pinapirmahan na kung gusto nganing matuloy ang tailing ulit dito ay yung hindi mapirma ay hindi raw kakapasok sa Marcopper, ay di ito anakin ay pananakot.

Ayon kay Dr. Romeo Quijano, Toxicologist ng UP College of Medicine tungkol naman sa P 20-million USGS study ay "kitang-kita diyan yung sabwatan":
"Ginastusan nila ng napakalaki, samantalang nung humihingi ng budget ang Toxicology Team ng Pollution Control at Department of Health hindi nila mabigay ang budget na yoon. Parang inaabswelto nila yung Marcopper.
"Sa balita ko nga ay mismong si Congressman (Edmund) Reyes, pa nga ang nagfacilitate ng USGS study diyan at nagbigay ng false hopes. E talagang kitang-kita diyan yung sabwatan ng big business, ng national government at pati, to a certain extent, ang local government sa tingin ko."
Dr. Aloysius Baez, Head Spokesperson CEC-Philippines:
"Ang tiyak lang diyan ay, in due time, puwedeng ang lahat ng tao ay puwedeng maapektuhan."

Moral lesson ayon sa dokumentaryo
"Ang trahedyang sinapit sa Marinduque ay patuloy na nagsisilbing aral sa iba pang lalawigan at kabayanan sa ating bansa, bagay na nagpapalakas sa pambansang pagtutol sa pagmimina ng makadayuhan kontra kaunlaran at kontra mamamayan."

Pahabol ni Monsignor Ramon Magdurulang:
"...Sa ating sarili, sa ating bayan, hindi lamang ngayon kundi para sa mga susunod na henerasyon."

At ni Father Allan Malapad:
"Kasama din tayo sa simbahan ng mga dukha. Pero ang tanging posisyon nga lamang namin ay ipaglaban at manindigan".

"... Sa kabila ng mga mapanupil na mga batas, mga pangakong mapanglinlang, at pagtatalaga ng maraming militar sa area para supilin ang mga mamamayan, ang paninindigan ng mga mamamayan ay nananaig, Ito ang paninindigang kalagin ang kadena ng pagkaalipin sa makadayuhang pagmimina sa lalawigan ng Marinduque.

"... Patuloy na iginigiit ng mga Marinduqueno, sampu ng mga makabayan, makamamayan at makakalikasang organisasyon ang mga panawagang ito."

Ano ang iginigiit na 'panawagan'?

Immediately decommission all mine structures specially the tailings dams and ensure that further spills are prevented.
Remove and clean-up all toxic wastes from the mine pits, tailing dams, rivers, tailings contaminated lands and all other areas affected by mining and establish a program for the rehabilitation of Marinduque.
Marcopper-Placer Dome must pay all back wages and benefits of all previous workers and employees.
Ensure the people's easy access to safe, clean, sufficient and affordable water.
Provide free continuous and full medical support for all suspected victims of mine-related illnesses.
Marcopper-Placer Dome must immediately pay just compensation and provide alternative sources of livelihood to all its victims of irresponsible mining.
Permanently ban mining in Marinduque.
Prosecute all Marcopper-Placer Dome and government officials liable for the plunder and destruction of the environment and for the damage to the health, livelihood and well-being of the people.

At ang pakikibaka raw na ito ay patuloy na isasagawa "sa diwa patriyotikong pakikibaka ng mga Katipunerong Marinduqueno".

Dahil daw:
"Nagpapalit-palit ang mga pangulo, subalit wala ni isa ang tunay na nakinig at tumugon sa isyu ng mga Marinduqueno. Itinuturo ng kasaysayan na walang ibang maaasahan kundi hindi ang pagkakaisa at samasamang pagkilos".

Pero naasa ngani ng husto ang mga Marinduqueno na may pagbabagong magaganap sa wakas sa usaping ito. Sa ilalim ng bagong pamahalaang Duterte!

"Sa diwa ng patriyotikong pakikibaka ng mga Katipunerong Marinduqueno,  ang ating paglaban para sa pagpapatigil sa imperyalistang pagmimina at para sa makatarungang pamahalaan ay nagpapatuloy."

Credits: Malu Maniquis, CEC-Philippines, MACEC Marinduque in cooperation with Development and Peace, Institute for International Cooperation of the German Adult Education Association.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Duterte reminds US of Bud Dajo massacre

'Yan na ngani ang inasabi ko ay

Estela Estremera, SunStar

BUD DAJO MASSACRE. A photo from with the title “US soldiers pose with the bodies of Moro insurgents, Philippines, 1906” is captioned: The bodies of Moro insurgents and civilians killed by US troops during the Battle of Bud Dajo in the Philippines, March 7, 1906. (Above is same photo from MNLF website)

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte was referring to the killing of 600 Moro people by American soldiers in 1906 when he said Monday, September 5, that the United States has not even apologized to the Philippines for its atrocities during the turn of the century.

Duterte spewed out a tirade of historical extra-judicial killings when asked by a Reuters reporter Monday about discussing extra-judicial killings (EJKs) with US President Barack Obama.

“Who is he? When as a matter of fact at the turn of the century, before the Americans left, the Philippines, in the pacification campaign of the Moro in this island, there were around 6 million ang population ng Moro, how many died? Six hundred. If you can answer this question and give an apology, I will answer him,” Duterte said.

The incident he was referring to happened in 1906 in the island of Jolo, Sulu. It was named the Battle of Bud Dajo.

It was in December 1898 when the US signed a treaty with Spain, acquiring the Philippines for $20 million. The Filipinos, however, refused the takeout and they waged a war.

On July 4, 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt declared the war over after successfully subjugating the insurrectionist Filipino forces, and in his own proclamation said, “except in the country inhabited by the Moro tribes, to which this proclamation does not apply.”

The Moro Province was created in 1903, comprising the southern Mindanao and the Sulu islands. Unlike the other provinces, the Moro Province was to be staffed by US Army officers, simply because US believed the Moro Province was backward and need to be civilized and educated on democracy.

The Americans capitalized on the tribal divisions of the Moro Province and subdued them that way. Except those in Jolo. Despite three years of persuasion by Woods, the leader of the Jolo tribes refused to recognize the US as the ruler of the country.

In 1906, hearing words that the Americans were going to invade, the Jolo people fled to the 15-acre wooded crater of Bud Dajo, an extinct volcano, believing that the spirits of the volcano will protect them.

On March 5, 1906, Woods ordered his officers to gather 800 of his men from the 6th and 19th Infantry, the 4th Cavalry, the 28th Artillery Battery, the Sulu Constabulary, and sailors from the gunboat Pampanga, led by Colobnel Duncan, to Jolo.

They were armed with mountain guns, rifles, bayonets, fast-firing pistols and grenades.
When negotiations for the Moro people who sought refuge in Bud Dajo failed, they attacked.

The Moro warriors were armed with kris, barongs, and spears. The attack ended on March 7, 1906, with not one Moro standing; women and children among them.

The Americans lost two dozen men and some 70 wounded. It was a complete massacre.

The “victory” that was earlier celebrated in the US was immediately tainted with shame after the US Congress realized there were women and children among the dead.

"The PH is not a vassal state, we have long ceased to be a colony of the US. Alam mo, marami diyang mga columnista they look upon Obama and the US as we are the lapdogs of this country. I do not respond to anybody but to the people of the Republic of the Philippines. Wala akong pakialam sa kanya. Who is he to confront me, as a matter of fact, America has one too many to answer for the misdeeds in this country," Duterte said.

Also Read:

Muslim Moro massacre by Americans referred to by President Duterte

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