Communist Party of the Philippines
November 17, 2011
Philippines is a military pawn, not an ally of
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today blasted the military
alliance between the United States government and the Philippine state as
nothing but “a big myth.” “The reality is that for the past 60 years of
semicolonial rule, US imperialism have only used the Philippines as a pawn
in its military interventionism, wars of aggression and power projection
in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond."
The CPP issued this statement a day after the visit of US Secretary of
State Hillary Clinton to the Philippines to mark the 60th anniversary of
the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT). In a ceremony aboard the USS Fitzgerald,
Clinton and Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto del Rosario
signed "The Manila Declaration" where the US and Philippine governments
reaffirmed the MDT and their supposed commitment to "address regional and
global challenges, including maritime security and threats to security
such as climate change, nuclear proliferation, terrorism and transnational
"Filled with rhetoric on 'equality' and 'cooperation', the Manila
Declaration is nothing but a reaffirmation of the long-standing unequal
military, political and economic relations between the Philippines and the
US, between a semicolony and an imperialist power," pointed out the CPP.
"The fact that the declaration was signed aboard an American naval shipped
docked in Philippine waters in outright contempt of Philippine sovereignty
is symbolic of the MDT as a document of prevailing neocolonial relations
between the puppet Philippine government and its imperialist master."
"There is nothing mutual in the Mutual Defense Treaty," said the CPP. "The
MDT has never been anything to the Filipino people but a tool for the US
to bind the Philippines to the geo-political strategic interests of the
"On several occasion in the past, the MDT has been used by the US to
compel the Philippine government to fight the US wars of aggression,
overriding the diplomatic and political interests of the Philippines,"
said the CPP. The CPP pointed out that under the MDT, Filipino troops were
sent to fight in the US war of intervention against Korea in the 1950s and
against Vietnam during the late 1960s. The Philippines has also been used
by the US as a base and launching pad for its wars of intervention against
Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan.
"As long as the Philippines is bound to the MDT, it can never claim to be
neutral and independent," said the CPP. "With the MDT, the Philippines is
bound to the foreign policy decisions of the US imperialists. It makes the
Philippine government an enemy of the enemies of the US. It can only be
friends with governments friendly to its US master."
"Between an imperialist power and a puppet state, there can never be
anything mutual unless the master says so," said the CPP.
The CPP reiterated the long-standing clamor of the Filipino people for the
immediate abrogation of the Mutual Defense Treaty. "Amid the US'
intensified efforts to worm its way into the Asia-Pacific region, it is
imperative and urgent for the Filipino people to push more vigorously for
the repeal of the MDT."
"The US imperialist government is using the specter of Chinese
expansionism to provoke a dispute over the Spratly islands and use this as
a pretext for increasing its naval presence in the South China Sea," said
the CPP. "The US wants to project its military power and ensure its
dominance in the Asian sealanes with the intent on forcing open and
further penetrating the vast consumer market of China and the rest of the
Reflections on the heckling
by Alaysa Escandor
November 18, 2011 at 6:07am
That Hillary Clinton herself, the US Secretary
of State, was heckled by a Filipino, and a young student journalist at
that, triggered a debate of sorts on the role of journalists. The heckling
was done by Marjohara Tucay, incumbent editor in chief of the Philippine
Collegian, the student publication of the University of the Philippines.
A day after the heckling, he was interviewed by Mr. Howie Severino, whose
insights include –
“Syempre, ang expectation sa isang mamamahayag ay hindi magprotesta kundi
magtanong; Yung mga old-fashioned journalists katulad ko, yung training ay
nagcocover; May choice ka dun, kung ano ang magiging action mo: mamahayag
Okay, so there’s one huge, disturbing conjecture there – that journalists
cannot participate in demonstrations. I wonder though where this
conjecture has come from, because I don’t know of any code of ethics that
bans journalists from protest actions. From receiving gifts and cash,
certainly; from moonlighting, sure; from unfair means of information
collection, yes. But never from heckling, demonstrations, rallies,
strikes. These are, after all, based on the freedom of speech and
expression – the very same rights upon which the entire of journalism is
The freedoms that we have, the liberties that journalists like Mr.
Severino enjoy, were won through wide and numerous protest actions.
Martial law is a constant reminder of that.
It will perhaps surprise Mr. Severino that some of the best known
journalists, some even more veteran than him, have actually been involved
in demonstrations and other overt political acts. There was Marcelo del
Pilar, also Plaridel, who did not just participate in demonstrations, but
was part of a whole movement. There was Anna Politkovskaya, the well-loved
Russian journalist who spoke fearlessly against Russia's "dirty war" in
Chechnya. And who can forget Muntadhar al-Zaidi, the Iraqi journalist who
threw both his shoes at then Pres. George Bush, all the while shouting
“This is for the widows and orphans and all those killed in Iraq!" Al-Zaidi
was declared a hero by his people.
It may surprise Mr. Severino even more that the alternative press and
other prestigious media organizations – the Center for Media Freedom and
Responsibility, the Center for Community Journalism and Development and
the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, for instance – often
organize demonstrations and protest actions for various reasons: to
commemorate the Maguindanao Massacre, to demand that justice be delivered
to the victims of the massacre, to protest the 43 libel cases slapped by
Mike Arroyo, to campaign against lay-offs and contractualization, to
campaign for freedom of information, to march against censorship, among
Well, in the first place, the heckling should never have been a matter to
contend with. It was a public forum. And by definition, a forum should be
open to contesting ideas and debates. The event was even described as
“ground-breaking” by Clinton’s team precisely because it was supposedly
more accessible to the youth. But it reeks of pretense to call the event a
forum when there is an immediate clamp down on individuals who convey
ideas that deviate from the usual polite, even worshipful, lines.
“Junk VFA! There is nothing mutual in the Mutual Defense Treaty!” These
are valid, timely issues presented by Tucay. It would have been the
opportune moment to discuss in-depth the repercussions and implications of
current US-Philippine relations. But instead of Clinton addressing these
concerns, or at least Mr. Severino permitting time for Tucay to expound on
them, the student journalist was hurriedly whisked off with the clear goal
of preventing another, in Mr. Severino’s term, “disruption.”
Like any other demonstration, the heckling was a created and symbolic
event. What the heckling did was to expose the farce that was being played
out on national television – the display of liberal democracy values, the
supposed existence of freedoms, and the pretense of objective journalism.
The heckling exposed it all for the travesty it was.
For all her declarations on protecting democracy, Clinton did not blink
when, in a clear act of suppression, Tucay was led outside and barred from
re-entering. Would the guards do the same if, instead of “Down with
Imperialism!”, Tucay shouted “We love Hillary! We love the US!” while
enthusiastically waving a placard that said “Onward with VFA and the
Mutual Defense Treaty”?
Tucay was removed from the forum because of the ideas he forwarded – ideas
that did not sit well with Clinton and the existing powers-that-be that
she represents or supports. And while she, and the forum’s two hosts,
tried to appear magnanimous, the suppression that followed exposed their
When artist Mideo Cruz’s Politeismo was censored, the banner call was to
protect the “freedom for the thought we hate”. Columnist Raul Pangalangan
quoted Atty. Robert Jackson to explain: “The freedom to differ is not
limited to things that do not matter much. That would be a mere shadow of
freedom. The test of its substance is the right to differ as to things
that touch the heart of the existing order.”
Finally, however we many pretend that journalism is objective, the reality
is, it is not. Journalism is rife with subjectivities and suppositions,
and therefore, is ideological. It will never be objective or neutral.
Mr. Severino’s own biases and subjectivities were demonstrated in the
questions he chose to ask Tucay in the aftermath of the heckling, and in
the way he chose to frame the interview – “Yung training sa amin ay
nagcocover, hindi tayo ang tumatayo sa gitna ng press con o public forum
para magsisigaw. Ganito na ba ang orientation ng journalists sa generation
Perhaps it’s time that “old-fashioned journalists” like Mr. Severino come
to recognize that journalism, being ideological, can either perpetuate the
system or interrogate it. The question is – which side will he/they/ you
Interview with Clinto forum
Nakita na ito sa Iraq noong 2008, nang minsang binato ng isang mamamahayag
na Iraqi ng sapatos si US Pres. George W. Bush. Sa Pilipinas, kung saan
masigla ang kultura ng protesta at kilusang masa, may kasaysayan din ng
paninindigan at "speaking truth to power" ang mga mamamahayag. Pero hindi
ibig sabihi'y hindi na katangi-tangi ang ginawa ng isang campus…
NOVEMBER 17, 2011
Pauline Gidget Estella
National Deputy Secretary General
Campus journalist registers people’s call to scrap VFA -
The College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) commends
Marjohara Tucay, current editor in chief of its member publication
Philippine Collegian, for registering the call to scrap the lopsided
Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) and the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) in the
forum with visiting US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton.
“More than just reporting on the events, a journalist has to
make a stand based on a critical analysis of the issue. A measure of a
good journalist is when he or she knows all sides well enough to form a
sound judgment. Like Tucay, the people knew well enough that the VFA has
only been a tool for the US to encroach on Philippine sovereignty,” said
Pauline Gidget Estella, national deputy secretary general of CEGP.
“It was an action that transcended advocacy journalism. And
in fact, this is what campus journalists should do. We must take part in
the people’s struggle for our own rights because journalists should not be
isolated from the society they claim to serve,” said Estella.
The VFA, for a long time, has allowed the overstaying of US
troops in Philippine territory, making a part of the country a huge
military base. Despite numerous cases of rape and human rights violations,
the MDT, which gave birth to VFA in 1998, still has not been scrapped,
The current administration, just like the previous
administrations, appears to have no political will to scrap VFA and
frustrate the superpower, Estella added.
“Some people described Tucay’s action as rude, while in
other reports it was reduced to a mere disruption. Those were a perversion
of a brave statement of indignation. These people gasp in horror of what
they deem as a callous act, but turn a blind eye on how US has breached
national sovereignty through VFA and supported the charter change to
further profit on the country’s cheap labor and resources,” said Estella.
“At any point in time, a government that cannot stand for
its people is a thousand times worse than ‘disrupting’ a forum. This
disruption, in fact, is not a bad thing, because it was just a journalist
telling the US Secretary of State the truth in her face,” said Estella.
THEIR KIND OF 'JOURNALISM"
by Luis V. Teodoro
November 22, 2011 at 9:36am
In a supposed interview with Marjo Tucay, editor in chief of the
University of the Philippines student newspaper the Philippine
Collegian,GMA7 TV's Howie Severino implied that by expressing his
opposition to the Visiting Forces Agreement in that alleged press
conference with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the latter was in
violation of the ethics and professional standards of journalism. In so
many words, Mr. Severino asked if what Mr. Tucay did was the journalism
his generation was being taught.
With even more reason can we ask if, while demanding “objectivity” on the
part of Tucay, Severino was also being “objective” when he practically
harangued the latter in favor of his own views-- and over his own network,
which also described Tucay as the Collegian editor who caused a
disturbance (nanggulo) in the GMA 7 event. We might also ask if the media
spectacle GMA7 and Severino put in place in behalf of Clinton is what his
generation has learned about journalism.
Apparently their idea of "objective" journalism is to stage and script
what could have been a meaningful interview by planting in the audience
brain-dead actors and actresses charged with asking the most asinine
questions ever asked of anyone, in a too obvious attempt to shield Clinton
from being asked the hard questions that journalists not only can ask, but
should be asking..
Among those questions, for example, is what Clinton meant by saying she
was visiting Asia and the Philippines in behalf of peace: is Asia, in the
US view, then at war? Or is the US, by using the Spratlys issue to justify
establishing bases in Australia and the Philippines through the VFA,
actually fomenting conflict, specifically with capitalist China? And what
of the Aquino government, which has assumed the usual role of its
predecessor puppet governments as the US Trojan Horse in the latter’s
current focus on once more penetrating Asia? Is the Obama administration
not in fact following the Bush blueprint of projecting US power all over
the planet in furtherance of its strategic, political, and economic
interests, with Asia being currently in its sights? Have these anything to
do with the US elections next year, given the US Republican Party’s demand
that the US turn the screws on China?
These questions, among others, should have been asked, the answers being
significant to this country’s future, its development, and the kind of
"democracy" that has mutated in it. What GMA7 staged may have been a media
event; it was certainly not a journalistic one. In these circumstances,
Tucay had every right and indeed the responsibility not only to express
himself, but also to demand some sanity in an alleged press conference. By
assuming that it was a press conference, Tucay was being too charitable: a
press conference that event wasn’t, which means that Severino had no
business demanding compliance with the ethics and professional standards
of journalism, violations of which GMA7 could be more justifiably accused
than student journalists, most of whom, in the University of the
Philippines, for example, know better than to behave like fawning and
November 17, 2011
International Students Day
Students burn US-flag over unequal US-RP
relations, commend Clinton-forum protester
Reference: Mai Uichanco, Deputy Secretary-General LFS 0927.761.9716
“The interest of the students is not just to get a good education, but to
be living in a just and humane society. In the Philippines, it’s clear
that poverty and inhumanity is being perpetrated by the world’s number one
imperialist power, the United States.”
This was the statement of Aki Merced, spokesperson for the League of
Filipino Students, as students from all over the country burned flags of
the United States of America to express rage over the parasitic control of
the United States to the Philippines and continued puppetry of the Aquino
regime to the United States. The group also commended Marjohara Tucay,
Editor in Chief of the Philippine Collegian, for standing up and
protesting inside the Hillary Clinton forum held at the National Museum
“All over the world, people are rising up against the greedy monopoly
capitalists and banks of the USA. The Philippines is not saved from the
crippling effect of the global capitalist downfall, especially because we
are in the throes of US imperialist control. In time of great economic
depression, the US turns to its semi-colonies like the Philippines to suck
more blood and attempt to revive its economy.”, said Merced.
Merced continued that even the problems of the Philippine education sector
are due to the ongoing policy control of the US and its instruments—the
IMF, WB and WTO. “Deregulation and continued slashing of the education
budget is directly attributable to the profit-promoting policies of these
financial institutions. The people have retaliated and the US government,
together with Aquino, has responded with intensified military campaigns
“We commend Marjohara Tucay for serving as a great example for the
Filipino youth, standing up with militancy and principle. It is for Ms.
Hillary Clinton’s benefit, now that she knows that the Filipino youth is
not happy with the US troops staying in our islands and pinning down the
iron hold of the United States on the Philippines.”
‘Today, on the International Students Day, we collectively call for the
junking of all unequal and onerous US-PH agreements, and vow to intensify
the struggle for genuine patrimony and sovereignty. We are one with the
Filipino people in saying: Down with US Imperialism!”
International Student's Day in UP Diliman
By Up Kilos Na (Albums)
Prof. Gerry Lanuza: "On November 17th 1939 students resistance in the
streets of Prague against Nazi occupation inspired the establishment of an
anti-Nazi students coalition. In 1941 November 17th was declared
International Students Day by the International Students Council in
London. Today, a world-wide opinion survey in late 2009 found 51% calling
for regulation and reform of free market capitalism, including
nationalization and income distribution, and 23% calling for an entirely
new system. The desperate need for alternatives is clear. The question is
whether the iskolar ng bayan can develop the capacity to once again be
relevant social actors in transforming global inequality. Happy
International Students Day!"
The brief commemoration of the day in UP Diliman answered Prof. Lanuza's
question: the militant iskolar ng bayan showed that they are "relevant
social actors in transforming global inequality!"
Marjohara Tucay with his courageous act of calling for the junking of the
VFA and the Mutual Defense Agreement during the live broadcast of the
meeting with Hilary Clinton yesterday proved it.
And he is not alone, the conscious, militant youth and students are
calling for an end to imperialism and for a new world order. In the
Philippines, this translates to the assertion of national sovereignty
through the struggle for national democracy with a socialist perspective.
Campus journalist registers
people’s call to scrap VFA - CEGP
NOVEMBER 17, 2011
Pauline Gidget Estella
National Deputy Secretary General
Campus journalist registers people’s call to scrap VFA - CEGP
The College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) commends Marjohara
Tucay, current editor in chief of its member publication Philippine
Collegian, for registering the call to scrap the lopsided Mutual Defense
Treaty (MDT) and the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) in the forum with
visiting US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton.
“More than just reporting on the events, a journalist has to make a stand
based on a critical analysis of the issue. A measure of a good journalist
is when he or she knows all sides well enough to form a sound judgment.
Like Tucay, the people knew well enough that the VFA has only been a tool
for the US to encroach on Philippine sovereignty,” said Pauline Gidget
Estella, national deputy secretary general of CEGP.
“It was an action that transcended advocacy journalism. And in fact, this
is what campus journalists should do. We must take part in the people’s
struggle for our own rights because journalists should not be isolated
from the society they claim to serve,” said Estella.
The VFA, for a long time, has allowed the overstaying of US troops in
Philippine territory, making a part of the country a huge military base.
Despite numerous cases of rape and human rights violations, the MDT, which
gave birth to VFA in 1998, still has not been scrapped, said Estella.
The current administration, just like the previous administrations,
appears to have no political will to scrap VFA and frustrate the
superpower, Estella added.
“Some people described Tucay’s action as rude, while in other reports it
was reduced to a mere disruption. Those were a perversion of a brave
statement of indignation. These people gasp in horror of what they deem as
a callous act, but turn a blind eye on how US has breached national
sovereignty through VFA and supported the charter change to further profit
on the country’s cheap labor and resources,” said Estella.
“At any point in time, a government that cannot stand for its people is a
thousand times worse than ‘disrupting’ a forum. This disruption, in fact,
is not a bad thing, because it was just a journalist telling the US
Secretary of State the truth in her face,” said Estella. ###