Typhoon Sendong aftermath:
"Thousands are in the evacuation centers,

many are women and children--hungry, chilling, crying"


Iligan City and Cagayan de Oro Cioty


Posted: December 25, 2011







Photos courtesy of Rural Missionaries of the Philippines - Northern Mindanao Region


By Giovanni Tapang, Ph.D


Top 7 ways to reduce disaster risk

At the end of each year, we usually take stock of what transpired and assess our strengths and weaknesses in order to do better next year. Usually in the form of “New Year’s Resolutions,” we list down what we have to do for the next 365 days. In the light of the recent disasters in Mindanao, we list here the top 7 things we can do to address climate vulnerability in our country.

1. Improve our disaster response plans. In a country that is hit by around six to nine tropical cyclones each year plus around 12 more not making landfall, we seem to be always caught unprepared each time a typhoon arrives.

Typhoon Sendong is not the first time the Aquino government was caught flatfooted in its response to disasters. We recall typhoon Basyang (Conson) in 2010 and how Prisco Nilo and PAGASA became scapegoats for the inability of the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) and the Aquino government to respond correctly to the typhoon’s “divergence” from forecasted paths. Basyang should have been a lesson for us that in preparing for a typhoon, it is not just a matter of alerting one region but also ramping up the disaster readiness for the adjoining regions and cities as well. Ondoy, Pepeng, Pedring and Quiel should have been enough reminder for the government to be worried every time a typhoon comes.

We should have constant typhoon drills (ala fire drills), pre-positioned relief goods, well-planned (and practiced) evacuation plans and community-based disaster risk assessments. There should also be clear and direct lines of responsibilities between the national and local disaster agencies.

2. Have proactive warning systems. We should take advantage of technology, both advanced and local, in warning our communities with the risks associated with an incoming hazard.

Doppler radars, satellite information, SMS based technologies and other advanced tools will surely help but one cannot also ignore commonplace routes for warning dissemination such as Church bells, bullhorns and mobile teams that will go around communities. Public storm warnings should also include rainfall information.

3. Institute a nationwide emergency response system. We can emulate Cuba in its storm preparations. Cuba informs everyone 72 hours before landfall of the impending storm. Their National Civil Defense (DCN) organizes hurricane preparation efforts 48 hours before landfall.

This includes sending home students from school and inspecting shelters and supplies.

Evacuation are also done as early as this time. During landfall, media coverage continues and the DCN ensures attention and lines of communication. Afterwards, post-hurricane operations are instituted once such as rescue operations and inspection to certify that people can return back to their homes.

4. Cancel the permits and operations of big commercial logging firms in addition to the logging moratorium. Remove exemptions of mining companies from the log ban and reduce corruption in logging concessions.

Forest cover in the Philippines is already down to an estimated 6 percent of our original and around 160,000 hectares are lost to deforestation per year. The logs that were swept by the flash floods towards the basin drainages in Cagayan de Oro is a testament that the logging ban will not be that effective until the legalized logging operations of big commercial firms are stopped. Exemptions for mining companies would only aggravate the situation.

5. Stop the liberalization of the Philippine mining industry. According to the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), around nine million hectares of our total land area are geologically prospective for metallic minerals. While the Aquino administration rejected 903 pending mining applications, it favorably endorsed 247 foreign-backed applications for processing. Mining activities increase the vulnerabilities of an area not only to landslides but also to mining related incidents.

6. Impose a moratorium on the construction of new coal power plants. As PAGASA warns us that our wet days would become wetter as dry days would become drier, President Aquino is allowing more coal-fired power plants to operate and even inaugurated some of them during his term. Coal plants are one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases that contributes to global warming.

7. Reduce poverty. One of the most important determinants of vulnerability to disasters is poverty. An urban poor dweller or a peasant would lose everything once their small house gets swept by raging waters compared to one with a large stone house in a plush subdivision. The presence of available jobs and, of course, living wages are also critical. In rural areas, land to till and agricultural support can bring families right back on their feet after disaster strikes.

Without these in-place, the plight of our countrymen hit by typhoons, earthquakes and other disasters would always be at the mercy of donations and relief operations. It is high time to address the roots of our people’s vulnerability and face 2012 with a disaster resilient plan.

Dr. Tapang is the chairperson of Samahang ng Nagtataguyod ng Agham at Teknolohiya para sa Sambayanan and convenor of Kalikasan.


Preliminary analysis on extreme weather event Tropical Storm Sendong
by the Manila Observatory

Tropical Storm Sendong was an extreme weather event, rare in the past but, according to the IPCC, with climate change, could become more frequent. This analysis may serve as part of decision support systems which will need to be modified in order to prepare and plan accordingly.

Between December 16-17, 2011, Tropical Storm Sendong made landfall and crossed Northern Mindanao. Cagayan de Oro City was hit directly by the storm, with the eye of Sendong passing at approximately 12MN on December 16. About 180mm of rainfall was recorded in the PAGASA Lumbia Station according to PAGASA.


Flood damage map of Cagayan de Oro City due to Typhoon Sendong (December 2011)



26 Matulungin St. Central Dist., Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines, 1100
Tel./Fax; +63 (2) 924-8756; E-mail: kalikasan.pne@gmail.com
Website: www.kalikasan.org

Press Statement
1 January 2012

Geo-hazard analysis confirms role of state neglect, logging permissions in Typhoon Sendong tragedy

The findings of a geo-hazard analysis team from the University of the Philippines regarding the massive flashfloods of Typhoon Sendong was welcomed by environmental advocates under the Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE) to have confirmed the major role of the national government’s neglect in climate change adaptation measures in the resulting tragedy.

“The study revealed that communities were still unprepared for the massive rainfall that Typhoon Sendong released in only 24 hours. What we saw in Iligan, Dumaguete and Cagayan de Oro are the results when you marry intensifying extreme weather events with a national disaster response plan that has implemented no anticipatory climate adaptation and risk reduction measures whatsoever,” said Clemente Bautista, national coordinator of Kalikasan PNE.

According to the study, a total of 350 millimeters of rainfall were unleashed by Typhoon Sendong in just 24 hours, inundating even communities as far away as one kilometer from the body of water in Iligan. Despite the technical recommendation of relocating communities already evident years ago, Aquino had vetoed the allocation of Php5 billion to disaster preparedness that could have been used to facilitate these disaster mitigation schemes.

“For all the recommendations of having geo-hazard procedures, the government has failed to utilize its SMS-based early warning system with telecommunications companies. It has also failed to operationalize its climate action plan two years after the Climate Change Act of 2009 has been passed. A public uneducated and unresponsive on probable climate change impacts is the result of the national government’s toothless climate policy,” Bautista pointed out.

Logging confirmed as significant factor
The Kalikasan Partylist meanwhile noted that the UP study acknowledged the denudation of forest cover in Northern Mindanao as a significant factor to the severity of flashfloods in CDO and Iligan. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources was challenged by the party to take action on massive legal logging operations that it has permitted and exempted from Exectuve Order 23, or the total log ban.

“The supposed illegal loggers in Northern Mindanao remain unnamed and unaddressed. But we are sure that there are thousands of hectares in forest cover under DENR-permitted logging operations in Mt. Kalatungan. They should start walking their talk by dismantling the six Integrated Forest Management Agrements (IFMAs) that cover a total 55,578 hectares,” said Leon Dulce, convenor of Kalikasan Partylist.

Forests prevent soil erosion, acts as a sponge of rainfall and of carbon emissions that contribute to climate change, and its loss contributes exponentially to the increase of disaster vulnerability in communities. In addition to IFMAs, the government has also approved several Community-based Forest Management Agreements (CBFMAs) that have allowed logging through resource use permits.

Economic trends push poverty, vulnerability
Kalikasan PNE criticized the government’s acceptance of a $500-million loan from the World Bank’s Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, pointing out that genuine humanitarian assistance should come in the form of unconditional aid. Putting the P22-billion on top of the national government’s foreign debt would only further impoverish the Filipino economy.

“WB’s loan is no different from what the top polluter nations and corporations did to the Green Climate Fund being pushed as a global adaptation measure for climate-vulnerable nations during 2011’s climate talks. WB should in fact be paying unconditional reparations under the ‘polluter pays’ principle for their historic contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions,” asserted Bautista.

Disaster experts have pointed out that poverty is a major function in the vulnerability of communities to disasters. With the Metro Manila minimum wage of P404 only 2/5 of the pegged P988 family living wage, Filipinos have clearly no disposable income to access to information and education, infrastructure and other resources needed to effectively respond to extreme weather events.

“The gravity of Sendong’s impact can be correlated to the fact that Northern Mindanao is home to the poorest families in the Philippines,” noted Bautista.

Accountability of GPH pushed
The green groups reiterated the need to hold the national government accountable for its policy decisions before, during and after Typhoon Sendong hit. The DENR and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) has seeked in different statements to exonerate national agencies and the executive from culpability in the tragedy.

“The government has a lot to do to pay for its grave mistakes in responding to ‘Sendong.’ It cannot wash its hands off with its inability to implement an early warning system on the ground, its coddling of legally-permitted logging operations, and inability to address the poverty of communities at risk of disasters,” said Bautista.

“PNoy should have learned by now the need to radically reorient environmental policies on logging, mining, disaster risk management and climate change, among others. If we do not see Aquino departing from coddling large-scale logging, agro-industry and mining operations in 2012, we could very well expect more ‘Ondoys, Pepengs, Pedrings and Sendongs’ in the year to come,” ended Dulce.###
National Coordinator
Kalikasan People's Network for the Environment (Kalikasan-PNE)
No.26 Matulungin St. Bgy. Central, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines 1100
Tel. No. +63-2-9248756 Fax No. +63-2-9209099
Email: kalikasan.pne@gmail.com
Website: www.kalikasan.org



Relief Distribution Operations ▼


Appeal from Rural Missionaries of the Philippines - Northern Mindanao Region

Typhoon Sendong (international codename: Washi) whacked Northern Mindanao, Philippines, letting loose colossal floods across vast areas that left, according to official tally, 1010 people dead (and still counting) and nearly 800 others missing in the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan, and in some towns of Misamis Oriental.

Thousands are in the evacuation centers, many are women and children--hungry, chilling, crying.

Let's do our part and help.

You can send food items, drinking water, used clothing, blankets, medicines, cash and what you have to the following dropping centers

Priority needs: Cooked food to eat, drinking water, Medicines, Sleeping materials (banig, blanket), Toiletries(soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, sanitary napkin), Undergarments, Slippers for adults and children, Kitchen Utensils, Clothes, Towels

Cagayan de Oro City and Misamis Oriental:
Panday Bulig Relief and Rehabilitaion Center
12th-22nd streets, Nazareth
9000 Cagayan de Oro City
T/F: +63 (88) 856 6413
E: pandaybulig@gmail.com
(look for Ms. Beryl Tranco)

Iligan City:
Rural Missionaries of the Philippines
Northern Mindanao Sub-Region
Room 01, Kalinaw Lanao Center
0016 Bougainvilla Puti, Villaverde
9200 Iligan City
T/F: +63 223 5179
E: rmpnmr@gmail.com
W: www.rmp-nmr.org
(look for Ms. Ida Melody Bucog)

Valencia City, Bukidnon:
Bukidnon Peoples' Center
1st Floor, Montero Residence
Purok 4, Pantaron St.
Poblacion, Valencia City
Mobile #: 0926-592-1806
(Contact Zaldy Galamiton)

Malaybalay City, Bukidnon:
Medical Mission Sisters
cor Inicial & Murillo Streets
Malaybalay City, Bukidnon
Contact Sr. Mary Jane Caspillo, MMS
CP 0927-875-7496

Islamic City of Marawi DROPPING CENTER:
#009 3rd Street, MSU Campus, Marawi City
Mobile #: 0908-725-5931
(Contact Ms. Maria Ninotchka Herrera)

Davao City:
Initiatives for Peace in Mindanao
Rm. 101 Kalinaw Center for Interfaith Resources
13 Francisco Avenue, Juna Subdivision, Matina, 8000 Davao City
telefax +
email mindainpeace@yahoo.com
website www.kalinaw.com.ph
facebook inpeacemindanao

Cebu City:
St. Alphonsus Seminary
Mango Avenue, Redemptorist Compound
Cebu City, 6000 Cebu City
look for:
Fr. Cris Mostajo, CSsR (0933-335-6674)
Ms. Janet Alvina (0932-924-0002)
Ms. Armie Cornea (0915-712-0538)

KARAPATAN - Central Visayas Regional Office
Door 2 Annex, UCCP-CENDET Compound, 85
Osmena Blvd., 6000 Cebu City
email: krpt.cvis@pacific.net.ph
Look for:
Mara Arcilla (09326067054)
Cording Oyao (09324534907)

Baguio City:
Katribu Partylist and 'Serve the People' Brigade
#55 Ferguson Road, 2600 Baguio City
T: 0(74) 304-4239
Mobile: 0920 928 6370
(look for Mr. Emerson Soriano)
Dropping Center in Metro Manila:c/o StartArt Project10A Alabama st New Manila Quezon CityMobile: +63926 7112450email: info@startartprject.org or nikkiluna@startartproject.org

Metro Manila:
c/o StartArt Project
10A Alabama st New Manila
Quezon City
Mobile: +63926 7112450
email: info@startartprject.org or nikkiluna@startartproject.org

Erythrina Bldg
Matatag cor Maaralin Sts, Barangay Central
Quezon City
CP: 0918-991-0665
(look for Ms. Rita Baua)

For Online Transactions:
Donate using PayPal

Email: eagle_i9000@yahoo.com

For cash donations, please send to this account:

Bank Name and Address:
Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI)
Quezon Avenue branch, 9200 Iligan City, Philippines
Account number:
Swift Code:
Account Name and Address:
Room 01, Kalinaw Lanao Center for Interfaith Resources
0016 Bougainvilla Puti, Villaverde
Iligan City 9200, Philippines

Recent Statistics:(Download Link)
Iligan City Statistics
Cagayan de Oro Statistics
Related links:








Aquino regime must be held accountable for criminal neglect over failure to heed flood warnings--CPP

Communist Party of the Philippines
December 28, 2011

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today said the Filipino people should hold the Aquino regime responsible for criminal neglect over its failure to heed warnings as early as last year by several sectors that Cagayan de Oro was bound to suffer Ondoy-like floods. Such negligence resulted in the Aquino regime’s failure to put into place necessary preparations to prevent the loss of close to two thousand lives.

The other day, Malacañang admitted it ignored warnings issued by the Climate Change Congress of the Philippines (CCCP) which specifically pointed out the need to put into place disaster prevention mechanisms in Cagayan de Oro City parts of which form a water basin vulnerable to the swelling of the highly silted Cagayan de Oro river. According to officers of the CCCP, it issued the warnings at least three times since Aquino assumed power last year.

“Malacañang’s justification for such an idiotic oversight is completely unacceptable,” pointed out the CPP. Confronted by the media, Aquino’s spokesman can only claim to be too busy saying “we were really trying to do a lot of efforts at that time.”

“Aquino and his officials cannot simply explain away their inutility by saying they were too busy with other concerns,” said the CPP. “It is totally unacceptable that the Aquino regime does not consider securing the safety and welfare of people among its important priorities.”

“The failure of Aquino and his officials to heed the flood warnings by experts led to its inability to put into place necessary measures to ensure the people’s safety,” said the CPP. “Considering that meteorological agencies of government as well as private weather monitors have already predicted prolonged rains, government civil and disaster officials should have urgently ordered and organized the evacuation of people in the flood-prone districts to higher ground.”

“It is now clear that the Aquino government had all the information to prevent the loss of such a great number of lives, even if the massive destruction of property was unavoidable,” added the CPP. “For the Filipino people, especially those who lost their friends, relatives and other loved ones, the Aquino regime’s failure to act on such information can only constitute criminal neglect.”



December 30, 2011
Rep. Emmi De Jesus, 0917-3221203
Rowena Festin, 0915-6349308

On Typhoon Sendong’s Aftermath: Malacanang Must Cancel Big-Scale Mining and Logging Permits – GWP Rep. Emmi De Jesus

“The President need not form a fact-finding mission to determine who will be blamed for the Mindanao disaster. He needs to point fingers to himself for his inaction on the protection of the environment. This is a disaster waiting to happen because of large-scale mining and logging activities in the region,” said GWP Rep. Emmi De Jesus.

“Relief for Mindanao is an urgent action. But as we undertake relief and rehabilitation programs for Sendong’s victims, we need to prevent any other similar disaster. Government programs for flood control, environmental protection and efforts in natural resources conservation are just window dressing if large scale mining and logging permits across the country, not just in Mindanao, are not cancelled,” said the GWP solon who also noted that this disaster should be seen at the context of large scale environmental plunder.



There are 54 existing Mineral Production Sharing Agreements (MPSA) in Mindanao covering 125,670 hectares. There are two FTAAs covering more than 20,000 hectares of land and eight MPSAs covering more than 21,000 hectares in Cagayan Valley. In Central Luzon, there are 18 MPSAs and 5 EPs. More than 99 mining applications cover more than 51 percent of Mindoro. In Palawan, 14 towns are covered by existing operations and mining applications. In Davao region, 14 MPSA cover more than 35,000 hectares and 1 EP covers 24,600 hectares, and in Compostela Valley, there are five MPSA and two EP. Western Mining Corporation has taken over almost 100,000 hectares of the boundaries of Socsksargen. In Zamboanga Peninsula, 13 MPSAs cover almost 43,000 hectares. And the TVI Resource Development Zamboanga del Norte is planning to expand its operations to other parts of Western Mindanao.

“While the President is busy appointing members of his fact-finding team, the people of Mindanao and the entire country are pointing their fingers on this government that continues to coddle the caprices of multi-national corporations to the extent of bargain selling this country and leaving the people at the mercy of Mother Earth’s wrath.”

“We hold President Aquino accountable for the tragedy that left hundreds dead and thousands homeless in Mindanao because his administration continued the mining projects of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and he is in fact more aggressive in attracting foreign mining investor when he issued EO #23 this year, exempting mining corporations from the logging ban,” ended the Gabriela solon. ###





Pagbaha ng Trahedya

Tinig Kalikasan ni Lisa C. Ito

Sinabi ni Karl Marx: History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce. At ngayon, naulit muli ang trahedya na dulot ng baha at bagyo: dinaig ni Bagyong Sendong ang pinsala na dulot ng Bagyong Ondoy (Ketsana): mahigit 1,000 kumpara sa 747 na naitalang patay noong 2009.

Tatlong punto lamang habang nagpapatuloy ang mga relief operations ng pamahalaan at ng mamamayan:

1. Hindi na dapat isantabi ang banta ng tinatawag na ‘extreme weather events’ na dala ng pagbabago ng ating klima. Matagal nang may fire at earthquake drill sa mga eskuwelahan at komunidad. Panahon na rin upang pag-aralan ang mga typhoon at flood drill, lalung-lalo na sa mga lugar na nasa peligro.

Ayon sa Citizens’ Disaster Response Center, ang bagyo at pagbaha ay kabilang sa pinakamadalas at pinakamalalaking disaster na tumatama sa bansa, kasunod ng sunog at armadong labanan. Hindi ito nakakapagtaka. Ang Pilipinas ay nasa Western Pacific Basin, kung saan nagmumula ang halos 20 bagyo kada taon; sa pagtatala, halos lima rito ay mapanganib o mapanira dahil sa lakas at ulan nito. Tinataya ng mga siyentista na dadalas at titindi pa ang mga bagyo dahil sa climate change.

Katulad ng Ondoy, ang trahedya ay dulot ng dami ng ulan na dala ng bagyo at ang nagresultang flash flood. Nasa tinatawag na floodplain ang Iligan at Cagayan de Oro (CdO); pinalibutan pa ng malalaki at matatarik na bundok. Dahil sa matinding buhos ng ulan sa mga kalbong kabundukan, mas mabilis na lumaki at tumagas ang tubig—tangay ang malalaking troso at putik—mula sa bundok, dadaan ng ilog hanggang sa karatig na patag, kung nasaan ang maraming komunidad ng maralitang tagalungsod.

Noong Enero 2009, binaha ang CdO dahil sa ‘di karaniwang lakas ng ulan. Ilang beses nang nagbababala ang mga siyentista at makakalikasang grupo na lubhang maaapektuhan ng baha ang siyudad. Dapat maging handa ang mamamayan; pero ang bigat ng sakuna ay lalaki pa kung patuloy na magiging pabaya ang pamahalaan.

2. Pinahintulutan ng gobyerno ang kawalan ng kahandaan sa kalamidad at sistematikong pagkakalbo ng kagubatan na nasa puno’t dulo ng trahedyang ito.

Hindi dapat isinasantabi ang epekto ng pagkakalbo sa ating kagubatan. Kapag umuulan, nasasalo at nasisipsip ng mga puno at halamang-gubat ang tubig. Kung mawala ang kagubatan, mas mabilis na lumalaki ang tubig na napupunta sa mga sapa at ilog. Ang malalaking troso ay matatangay rin ng tubig-baha upang manalasa sa mga bahayan na madadaanan nito.

Sa kanyang opisyal na pahayag hinggil sa Bagyong Sendong noong ika-20 ng Disyembre, sinabi ito ni Pang. Noynoy Aquino: Kailangan ko pong tanungin ang aking sarili (at araw-araw ko pong itinatanong ang aking sarili): sapat ba ang nagawa ng inyong pamahalaan para iwasan ang ganitong klaseng trahedya?

Tama lang na tanungin ng Pangulo ang sarili—araw-araw at oras-oras pa nga—kung ano ang naging pagkukulang ng gobyerno sa pagkakataong ito.

Palasak ang legal at ilegal na pagtrotroso sa lugar. Sa Hilagang Mindanao, pinahihintulutan pa rin ng pamahalaan ang pagtrotroso ng mga pribadong korporasyon sa pamamagitan ng anim na Integrated Forest Management Agreement (IFMA) na sumasakop sa 53,578 ektarya ng rehiyon. Kasama rito ang IFMA na ibinigay sa Vicmar Development Corporation ng ARMM, na may 3,340 ektarya sa karatig na Lanao del Sur at sa Southwoods Timber Corporation na may 11,476 ektarya sa Misamis Oriental, 120 kilometro mula sa CdO. Matagal na itong tinutulan ng mamamayan pero nagbulag-bulagan ang lokal at pambansang pamahalaan. Kahit na inaatasan ang mga korporasyon na magtanim ng punong-kahoy, madalas hindi pa rin ito ipinapatupad.

Laganap din ang kumbersiyon ng kagubatan upang gawing plantasyon ng pinya, jatropha, saging, at iba pang export crops, ayon sa maka-kalikasang grupo na Panalipdan Mindanao. Ayon sa mga pag-aaral mula sa National Institute of Geological Sciences, ang CdO ay lalong nagiging bulnerable sa baha dahil sa kumbersyon ng 2,000 ektarya ng kagubatan sa Upper Pulangi Watershed upang gawing taniman ng pinya ng Del Monte Philippines—isa sa pinakamamaking exporter ng pinya sa buong mundo.

May kakapusan rin ang kasalukuyang patakaran. Nagpataw man ang administrasyong Aquino ng ‘log ban’ noong Pebrero, maraming pinahintulutang exemptions: maaaring magtroso pa rin sa mga plantasyon (tulad sa Hilagang Mindanao) at lugar para sa mga minahan.

Marahil ay nagsisisi rin ngayon ang Pangulo kung bakit hindi niya inaprubahan ang hininging P5 Bilyong badyet ng disaster preparation sa 2011 calamity fund; sinabi pa nga na marapat gamitin na lamang ang pera para tugunan ang mga aktwal na kalamidad. Nagkatotoo nga ito; at ngayon ay lalong malulunod ang Pilipinas sa dayuhang pautang para maibsan ang epekto ng Sendong.

Kung tutuusin, simple lang naman dapat ang sagot sa tanong ng Pangulo kung ano ang dapat ginawa ng pamahalaan. Dapat hindi nito pinahintulutan ang pagbebenta ng ating likas na yaman sa malalaki at dayuhang korporasyon. Dapat hindi ito nagbulag-bulagan sa tumitinding pagkasira ng kalikasan. Dapat nagkaroon ng programa at badyet para tiyakin ang kapakanan at kaligtasan ng mamamayan bago pa naging huli ang lahat.

3. Ang hamon ng paghahanda sa trahedya

Mahalaga ang siyensiya. Kung gagamitin ito sa wasto at maagap na paraan, mas maayos na matutukoy at matutugunan ang mga banta sa buhay ng mga mamamayan. Ipinakita ng trahedya na dapat lamang maging mas siyentipiko ang pagtugon ng pamahalaan sa mga disaster. Hindi laging sasapat ang ayudang pang-relief at emergency, lalo na kung lagi namang binabagyo ang bansa. Dapat maging handa sa lahat ng antas—teknikal, pinansiyal, patakaran, edukasyon, at iba pa—at dapat may malawak na partisipasyon at boses ang mga mamamayan sa bawat yugto nito.

Pero hindi lang dapat magtapos sa disaster preparedness. Higit na mahalaga ang maka-kalikasan at maka-mamamayang pananaw at paraan ng pagtugon.

Malinaw sa kasalukyang trahedya na magkakaugnay ang usapin ng kahandaan para sa sakuna, pangangalaga sa kalikasan, at pag-unlad na nagtataguyod sa kapakanan ng mga mamamayan. Dapat harapin ang ugat ng pagkasira ng ating kalikasan at ang bulnerabilidad ng mga mamamayan sa disaster. Mauulit lamang ang trahedya ng Bagyong Sendong kung hindi ito matugunan.


Mobile Soup Kitchens ▼



Disastrous neglect
y Giovanni Tapang, Ph.D.

Manila Times

As the year comes to a close, it now appears that Typhoon Sendong (international name Washi) is the deadliest storm of 2011. It affected more than 27,000 families in around 190 barangays, in 24 municipalities and cities in the 13 provinces of Region VI, Region VII, Region IX, Region X, Region XI, CARAGA and the ARMM. Retrieval operations are still going on and thousands of families remain in evacuation centers as their houses were destroyed and swept away by flash floods. With nearly a thousand dead and still more missing, many are asking how ready the Philippines is as a country to increased hazards such as typhoons and other climate change effects.

National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) director Benito Ramos said not to blame the national government for the disaster in Cagayan de Oro (CDO) and Iligan City. Instead, he puts the blame on the local disaster management council and on the settlements alongside the riverbanks.

It is disheartening to hear handwashing from the national government at this point since they are not entirely blameless in this disaster. Francis Morales of the environmental group Panalipdan Mindanao pointed out that the vulnerability of the area increased because of the land conversion of watershed areas to benefit pineapple and jathropa plantations. This has been supported by a 2009 study by the University of the Philippines National Institute of Geological Sciences of CDO’s susceptibility to floods . It revealed the increased vulnerability of downstream communities after the conversion of 2,000 hectares of the Upper Pulangi Watershed’s forest cover into a pineapple plantation owned by Del Monte Philippines, Inc.

Morales also noted the massive deforestation happening in the area where legal logging (with
permits) account for around 70 percent of logging activities. Mindanao-based environmental journalist BenCyrus Ellorin also reported persisting logging activities through various forest management agreements in Bukidnon’s Mt. Kalatungan that was exempted by the Aquino administration’s Executive Order 23 from the total log ban.

Enforcement of this log ban was supposedly one of the top environment “achievements” of the Aquino government. The logs that were swept down the river by the rushing floods point to the ineffectiveness of its implementation.

Instead of blaming the residents and the communities in the affected areas, the NDRMMC should have ensured that information and warning systems were working in all areas especially those which are known to be vulnerable. Residents and officials did not anticipate and were not able to respond to the month’s worth (180.9 mm) of rain that fell in a just a few days in Mindanao owing to Sendong.

Iligan and CDO being caught unaware revealed two facts. One, that the national government has no early warning system on the ground. Two, that the communities lack climate change education and capacity building. This calls for a serious overhaul of our climate change and other environmental laws in order to improve of our communities’ climate resiliency. Anti-environment laws such as the Mining Act of 1995 and the Forestry Code of 1975 are still in place. Mining corporations have even been exempted from EO 23’s total log ban.

Kabataan Partylist Rep. Raymond Palatino called on President Aquino to reverse his veto of the P5 billion budget for calamity preparedness in the 2011 budget, noting that the lack of response from both the community and the government can be linked to the lack of pre-disaster preparedness activities such as education and training for citizens and disaster personnel.

If the administration knew that the citizens’ lack of preparedness was the problem, why did Aquino cut the budget for disaster preparedness? Poverty is a key determinant of climate vulnerability and increasing hazards would result in more disasters. Experts are now acknowledging that extreme weather events are increasing because of global warming.

With the failure of the Conference of Parties (COP) 17 talks in Durban, South Africa, to forge a binding deal to set a limit on country emissions and replace the Kyoto Protocol, it becomes more urgent now to prepare our communities to increasing hazards. Recent scientific studies show that by 2050, global temperature will increase to 2 to 3 degrees Celsius. With this scenario most likely the majority of the world’s population especially the people from developing countries would experience grave climate change impacts such as famine, epidemics, natural disasters, and environmental degradation at a larger scale and greater intensity.

Ondoy and Pepeng, Pedring and Quiel, and now Sendong: extreme weather events are increasing in number and intensity and are here to stay. Relief operations are continuing and Pres. Aquino belatedly authorized the use of P1.17 billion in calamity funds for rescue and rehabilitation, but we cannot remain reactive if we are to rise above the climate crisis.

[Jose Leon Dulce is the campaign officer of Kalikasan and is a volunteer of the Samahan ng Nagtataguyod ng Agham at Teknolohiya para sa Sambayanan (AGHAM).]




By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
International League of Peoples’ Struggle
December 22, 2011

We, the International League of Peoples’ Struggle, express most heartfelt sympathy to the great number of flood victims in the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan, and the provinces of Misamis Oriental, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Norte. Lanao del Sur , Bukidnon and part of Caraga in Mindanao, Philippines.

We share the grief and sense of loss of the Filipino people over the death of more than a thousand people, the continuing disappearance of many others, the displacement of people by the hundreds of thousands, the lack of shelter, clothing, food, potable water and medicine and the destruction of homes, social infrastructure, agriculture and other means of livelihood as a result of the flash floods brought about by Typhoon Sendong.

We praise highly the people from various walks of life and many organizations and institutions for engaging and cooperating in retrieval, relief and rehabilitation work. We are deeply pleased to know that ILPS-Philippines, its member-organizations and allies in the Philippines are participating in the work to the best of their ability.

We call upon all the 400 member-organizations of the ILPS throughout the world and all their allies to initiate or participate in campaigns and activities for the purpose of raising funds and other resources for the benefit of those most victimized in the disaster-stricken areas in the Philippines.

We must understand how the disaster of colossal proportions has occurred. The causes include 1) the global climate change due to relentless imperialist plunder, 2) the massive deforestation, soil erosion and silting of the rivers due to unbridled logging, mining, plantation and real estate operations by foreign and big comprador-firms and 3) the clear absence of a system of disaster warning and relief due to the wanton diversion of public funds to bureaucratic corruption, military operations, profit remittances by foreign companies and debt service to foreign banks.

We must all try to provide immediate aid to the victimized people in terms of retrieval, relief and rehabilitation. But we must also expose and confront the long-running causes that have brought about the huge disaster and take the necessary measures to remove them for the long term benefit of the people.

The broad masses of the people must go to the full extent of holding the ruling system and the current Aquino regime accountable for the perpetuation and aggravation of the man-made causes of the disaster and must strive to undertake fundamental social



Press Release
December 20, 2011

Contact: Jun Cruz NAFCON Public Info Officer
info@nafconusa.org / 650 580 7382

NAFCON Activates Bayanihan Relief for Victims of Disastrous Calamity in Mindanao

On the quiet night of December 17th, the Philippines was struck by another calamity in the Southern Islands of Mindanao identified as tropical storm 'Sendong'.

Cagayan de Oro, Negros Oriental and Iligan were amongst the worst cities hit by flash floods and landslides leaving 650 confirmed dead, with more reported fatalities expected, and nearly 100,000 victims homeless.

The National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON), with member organizations throughout the U.S., is activating its Bayanihan Relief program for the victims of 'Sendong' in Mindanao.

NAFCON is collecting exclusively monetary relief (not material goods) and ensures that your donations go directly to the communities of the Philippines who are deeply and adversely affected by 'Sendong'.
"As we near Christmas, we urge our kababayan to ease the suffering of children, families, and loved ones back home who were hit hard by 'Sendong' by making immediate monetary donations in the true spirit of the holidays," said Terry Valen, NAFCON President.

NAFCON has established collections centers throughout the U.S and has a Paypal account. For Paypal go to: http://tinyurl.com/bayanihanrelief

Cash or checks go to locations listed below. On memo please write: NAFCON Bayanihan Relief
North East: Checks Payable to “Philippine Forum”
mail to 40-21 69th St. Woodside, NY
Regional Coordinator: Michelle Saulon, ne@nafconusa.org, (347) 867 - 1550

Mid West: Checks Payable to "Good Shepherd Congregation"
mail to 4707 W. Pratt Ave Lincolnwood, Il 60712
Regional Coordinator: Lorena Nabua, mw@nafconusa.org, (224) 678 - 3415

Nor Cal: Checks Payable to "FOCUS-Filipino Community Support"
mail to 4681 Mission St. San Francisco, Ca 94112
Regional Coordinator: Angelica Cabande nc@nafconusa.org, (415) 946 - 9904

So Cal: Checks Payable to "Tulong Sa Bayan (TSB)"
mail to: 519 S. Spring St., Los Angeles, CA 90013
Regional Coordinator: Alex Montances, sc@nafconusa.org, (253) 381 - 7444

North West: Checks Payable to "Pinay Sa Seattle"
mail to 5740 Martin Luther King Junior Way Seattle, WA 98118
Regional Coordinator: Freedom Siyam, nw@nafconusa.org, (206) 659 - 1130

For more information on fundraising and relief activities in your area please contact NAFCON regional coordinators nearest you. ###


PHILIPPINE FORUM: Making Filipinos aware of their roots, rights and responsibilities.

Philippine Forum is a not-for-profit community grassroots organization offering direct services
to the Filipino, and the larger immigrant communities, in New York. It was founded on December
10, 1996 and has recently formed its New Jersey chapter in 2008.

Philippine Forum is a member organization of the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns
(NAFCON-USA), MIGRANTE International, and International Migrants Alliance (IMA).

To join our mailing list, please email info@philippineforum.org.
network mailing list



Water Brigades ▼


Walang Pamagat na Pakisuyong Tula
by Abet Umil

December 23, 2011


Textula ni German Gervacio sa 'kin kanina: (may paumahin siya sa dulo ng text dahil minadali niya raw ang tulang ito. ang mga pagputol ng linya ay sinunod ko lang sa abot-kaya ng lcd ng selepono ko);

mahal na pangulo
ipagpatawad, marahil
ay dahil sa lapok ay
mamad, hindi
mapagtugma yaring
mga palad, sa trip ng
emcee na tunog ng
palakpak, ng mga
bakwit na
nagtututuwad, kapag
ikaw ay kanya na
kunong tinawag.
Umentra muna si dinky
soliman, astang robin
hanggat wala si
batman, dahil napuyat
sa xmas partihan. Wala
ngayon sa buhok ang
highlight ni dinky, nasa
P28 milyon na sa
biktima'y sinubi, upang
kahit papaano'y may
pamfrut salat at
ispageti, matapos
ilagak ang bahay at
buhay sa isantabi. Sa
wakas ay nasilip ko na
ang panot na tuktok,
katulad ng ininis
na bundok. Nanilaw ang
palad ko sa
kakapalakpak, mahirap
nang sa relief goods
hindi makapapak.
Subalit habang ang
balita ng karampot na
awa ay kanyang
ibinababa, impit na
sigaw ng kamalayan ko:
pusila! pusila!



Pakikiramay sa mga nadamay
ni Emmanuel Halabaso


Hatol ng kalikasan waring tahol
na umalingawngaw sa dila ng mga dilat
na namatay sa lunod ng anod
nadamay sa ganid na negosyo na nagpauso
ng pagputol ng puno sa bundok ng ninuno
napanot na bundok nagdudulas na lang ang ambon
kampeon sa pagtitiis ang nalitis
sa bawi ng nasawing kalikasan
at ito na nga,
nagdurusa ang nagkusa
ng malinis na pamumuhay
at silang dahilan ng kasalanan
nasa kanilang kama at nakatanga
buong araw na naghihilik ang mga lintek
habang silang wala naman muwang sa pagtunaw
ng kalikasang likas namang tagapagbuhay
ay namatay sa kamay ng mga kaaway
dalawa ang sawi sa pag-iwas na maturo
kalikasan at ang mga tao ang tunay na talo
kung akala nila tapos na ang laro, sila ang panalo
nagkakamali sila,
nagsisimula palang ang pangkat
na hahatol sa nandamay sa tahol ng kalikasan
bukas, pagbukas ng pagkakataon
taon-taon, buwan-buwan, araw-araw, minu-minuto kang dadalawin
ng panawagan ng mga nakikiramay at nadamay
sa makalupa mong pamumuhay
na nagkulay pula sa lupang mga bangkay ang nakahandusay.


Photos from: : http://www.interaksyon.com/assets/images/articles/interphoto_1324599342.jpg



20 December 2011

For Reference: REP. LUZVIMINDA C. ILAGAN 0920-9213221
Jang Monte (Public Information Officer) 0917-4049119


“Amid such grief and devastation we must now take immediate action towards pooling much needed assistance and resources to the tens of thousands who lost their homes and loved ones in flash floods in Cagayan de Oro, Iligan, Bukidnon and Dumaguete.”

Thus said Mindanaoan solon and Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Luz Ilagan today, explaining that the women’s partylist group is coordinating relief efforts with its chapters in Mindanao as well as with other socio-civic and religious organizations to make the distribution of relief goods more efficient.

According to Ilagan, those who would wish to donate to flood and calamity victims in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan may coordinate with Gabriela Women’s Party or they may pool their donations and send them to the following drop-in centers:

Panday Bulig Relief and Rehabilitaion Center
Tabang Mindanao Center
12th-22nd streets, Nazareth
9000 Cagayan de Oro City
T/F: +63 (88) 856 6413
E: pandaybulig@gmail.com
(look for Ms. Beryl Tranco)

Rural Missionaries of the Philippines
Northern Mindanao Sub-Region
Room 01, Kalinaw Lanao Center
0016 Bougainvilla Puti, Villaverde
9200 Iligan City
T/F: +63 223 5179
E: rmpnmr@gmail.com
W: www.rmp-nmr.org
(look for Ms. Ida Melody Bucog)

Account Name: RMP-NMR Inc.
Bank Name and Address:
Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI)
Quezon Avenue branch, 9200 Iligan City, Philippines
Account number: 009359-1348-08
Swift Code: BOPIPHMM


The Gabriela solon also called on concerted efforts toward ecological restoration and disaster preparedness and urged President Aquino to order the immediate cancellation of all mining and logging operation permits in Mindanao and certify as urgent, HB5276 Mindanao River Systems Rehabilitation and Conservation Authority and HB4315 People’s Mining Bill.

“This disaster is a result not just of the wrath and rainfall of typhoon Sendong. This disaster should be seen in the context of environmental plunder and destruction and urgent government action towards the prevention of such disasters from happening again should be put in place. It is thus imperative that mining and logging operations which caused the erosion of loose soil, mud flows and flooding and the destruction of lives be halted immediately.”

Ilagan who authors HB4315 or the People’s Mining Bill also led militant solons and Mindanaoan legislators in pushing for HB5276 or the Mindanao River Systems Rehabilitation Center. Aside from Ilagan, Reps. Emmi de Jesus (Gabriela), Teddy Casino (Bayan Muna), Neri colmenares (Bayan Muna), Rafael Mariano (Anakpawis), Antonio Tinio (ACT Teachers’ Partylist) and Raymond Palatino (Kabataan) co-authored the measure.

Mindanaoan solons also signified support for the bill. These include Reps. Isidro Ungab (3D Davao City), Yevgeny Emano (2D Misamis Oriental), Carmen Zamora-Apsay (1D Compostela Valley), Nancy Catamco (2D North Cotabato), Florencio Flores (2D Bukidnon), Daisy Avance-Fuentes (2D South Cotabato), Angelica Amante-Matba (2D Agusan del Norte) and Anthony Del Rosario (1D Davao del Norte). Rep. Rodolfo Albano, (1D Isabela) also co-authored the measure.

Ilagan explains, “The bill seeks to rehabilitate the Mindanao’s four major river systems including the Mindanao River, Agusan River, Davao River and the Cagayan de Oro River. The bill seeks to rehabilitate the rivers’ ecosystems but improve drainage areas which, in recent years, have become flood basins.”

“These disasters, including the flashfloods experienced in Davao City and Cotabato City in June and September of this year were unheard of prior to the destruction of Mindanao forests and eroded drainage areas. The disaster that occurred with the onslaught of typhoon Sendong should not have happened if we heeded these warnings from nature. Let us do what we can to avoid these disasters. Let us pro-actively preserve our natural resources and mitigate climate change.” #

Dwonload HB 5276 - Rehabilitation of the Mindanao River Systems



Anarkismo Ng Liberalisasyon
Ni Ramon Quizon

Anuman ang gawin ng mga naghaharian
sa itinayong kaayusan iisa ang patutunguhan

Debolusyon ang tawag
sa kapangyarihang pinaghahatian
upang bawat bayan
matutong gumuhit ng sariling kapalaran.

Balangkas na kodigong salalayan
biyayang lakip sa lokal na pamahalaan.
Kinalos na kasakiman sa sentrong pamahalaan
tanging pamanang pinag-iimbutan.

Pakiwari’y kabuhayan mapapabuti
bagkus pinagtulungan pagpapahirap sa bayan.
Likas na yaman di pinahahalagahan
dayuhan hinayaang kalbuhin ang bayan.

Sariling bayan ng may akda
pinarusahan ng baha.
Akdang pamamahala na nagpabilis
at nagpatindi ng paggahasa sa yaman ng bansa.

Liberalisasyon sa kapangyarihan
Liberalisasyon sa kabuhayan
Liberalisasyon sa kabundukan
Anarkiya ang patutunguhan

Sa patuloy na globalisasyon, naaagnas na ang bayan!





Sa Kawang-gawang Sinungkit Sa Labi
ni Mark Joseph Rafal


ginagahasa nila ang lahat ng mayroon tayo
ginagahasa nila ang umbok ng bundok
ginagahasa nila ang kaparangan
ginagahasa nila ang taimtim na tulog ng ilog
ginagahasa nila ang kasapatan ng karagatan
ginagahasa nila ang yaman ng kagubatan
ginagahasa nila ang lahat nating karapatan
na mabuhay

ginagahasa nila ang lahat-lahat sa atin tayo
ang biktima at ipamumukhang tayo at tayo
pa rin ang salarin

tayo at tayo ang ginagahasa at wala pa rin tayo
sa kamuwangan ng pagtindig

namatay ang isang ina, laksang mga anak
namatay, namatay ang kuya at isang ate ang nalamog
ang dibdib, namatay ang sanggol sa lunod at namatay
ang lola sa piling ni lolo sa tagpo ng creek, naipit ang mga ulo

nakanganga ang mga sinalanta at ginahasa
naninigas na kamay at paa, malamig, nakahihindik

hinahanap ng ama ang dalawang anak, ang asawa
ang mga magulang ang biyenan, hinahanap ng kaluluwa
ang unawang bakit sa sako humahantong ang bangungot
hinahanap ng biktima ang sarili sa putik, hinahanap
ng sarili ang pasko sa tumuwad na kotse at mayabang
na troso

ginahasa, ginagahasa at gagahasain nila tayo
lahat-lahat, mulang bumbunan hanggang kasukasuan

sila ang magmumukhang mabuti, sa huli
sila ang magmamabuti
sa kawang-gawang sinungkit sa labi
ng nagdadalamhati
sa TV
silang gumagahasa sa atin.



Office of Rep. Raymond V. Palatino
Press Release:
December 19, 2011
Athena Gardon, deputy secretary general, Kabataan Party-list, 0932-4015588 / 0905-6470797
Bugsy Nolasco, media liaison officer, 0922-8240740

Kabataan Part-list hits PNoy for insensitive partying, disaster preparation veto

Kabataan Party-list today hit President Benigno Aquino III for reportedly partying in the wake of typhoon Sendong and for vetoing disaster preparation in the 2011 national budget.

Late last night, actress and television host Valerie Concepcion tweeted about performing in a Malacanang party where President Aquino was allegedly laughing at her jokes and enjoying her performance.

“Done w/ work.. Tnx for having me.. :) It was nice to see Pres. P-Noy laughing at my jokes & enjoying my performance..ü #Malacañang #PSGNight,” Concepcion tweeted.

The twitter post, which quickly spread across various social networking sites, generated criticism against Aquino who was deemed insensitive for partying as thousands of Filipinos in Mindanao struggle to survive and recover from the tragedy brought about by typhoon Sendong.

“President Aquino, being the head of the state, should have made it his priority to be hands-on in alleviating the situation in Mindanao instead of attending a Christmas party in Malacanang. It smacks of utter insensitivity on the part of the President to merrymake while hundreds have been killed and thousands struggle to survive in the wake of typhoon Sendong,” said Athena Gardon, deputy secretary general of Kabataan Party-list.

Gardon added the President Aquino should also be answerable for vetoing disaster preparation in the P5 billion calamity fund for 2011 which she said weakened government capacity to prevent natural disasters from causing enormous devastation.

“We can dramatically reduce the devastating effects of of typhoons and other natural disasters by installing a clear and scientific disaster preparation plan which should include, among others, a decisive anti-large-scale mining stance and prompt evacuation drills. It was irresponsbile for President Aquino to veto disaster preparation in the calamity fund for this year,” Gardon said.

In his veto message on the 2011 national budget, President Aquino said that the P5 billion calamity fund should be mainly used by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) for “actual calamities”.and not for “preparation of relocation sites/facilities, and training personnel engaged in direct disaster.”

Gardon invoked Section 22 of Republic Act No. 10121, approved in 2009, which maintains that disaster risk reduction, prevention and preparedness should be the primary mandate of the NDRRMC. The law further states that quick response to calamities should be secondary and should only be given 30% of the total NDRRMC budget.

“The law affirms the importance of pre-disaster preparations over quick response measures. President Aquino’s decision to veto disaster preparation has resulted to unequipped personnel and inefficient government response before, during and after calamities. His decision is a man-made disaster that should be immediately reversed,” Gardon said.

Kabataan Party-list Representative Raymond "Mong" Palatino last month filed House Resolution 1864 which seeks an Congress inquiry on the impact of the President's disaster preparation veto.

Meanwhile, Kabataan Party-list together with national youth groups is calling on the youth to take part in “Tulong Kabataan” which aims to consolidate efforts for disaster preparedness and immediate relief of affected communties. ###


Office of Rep. Raymond V. Palatino

Press Release:
December 20, 2011
Rep. Raymond “Mong” Palatino, Kabataan Party-list, 0908-5927099 / 0922-8369693
Bugsy Nolasco, media liaison officer, 0922-8240740

PNoy accountable for criminal neglect of disaster preparedness – Kabataan Party-list

With deaths expected to outnumber 1000 and as thousands struggle to survive in the wake of typhoon “Sendong,” Kabataan Party-list Rep. Raymond “Mong” Palatino today said that President Aquino and his cabinet should be held accountable for the veto of disaster preparedness in the 2011 calamity fund and for failing to install proper preventive measures to mitigate natural disasters.

“As early as October 5 this year, during the budget talks in the House of Representatives, we have already raised concerns on the President’s veto of disaster preparedness in the P5 billion calamity fund and its impact on government capacity to mitigate calamities. In the aftermath of Sendong, it again becomes clear that the government still has no proper disaster preparation framework in place,” Palatino said.

“Typhoons are inevitable but the damage they may cause are preventable. Government officials are right in saying that massive destruction in Northern Mindanao was not simply caused by the heavy rains; they are mistaken, however, to downplay the crucial role of disaster preparedness in alleviating the shattering impact of the deadly typhoon,” Palatino added.

Responding to Palace spokesperson Edwin Lacierda who yesterday said that Palatino should “not politicize the issue”, the youth solon said:

“The Executive is evading the issue on the lack of a rational disaster preparation program with its standard arrogance against valid criticisms. More than the relief goods and the perfunctory visits of the First Family to affected areas, what our Mindanaons ultimately need is JUSTICE for the criminal neglect of the government. The issue of disasters is inherently political in this regard as it involves government policies and accountability.”

“That President Aquino was caught partying in the wake of Sendong is a form of insensitivity that exposes only the tip of the mud pile, as it were. The more serious kind of insensitivity the President is complicit to is thesystemic disregard to the welfare of the poor who, in the absence of a rational disaster plan, are the most vulnerable during calamities ,” Palatino added.

While spearheading relief efforts with national organizations and while recognizing the commendable assistance and volunteerism of the private sector, Palatino said that quick response measures should not be misrecognized by the government as the solution to the calamity problem.

“The government, with its prioritization of quick response measures, misrecognizes this as the solution to the problem. The real solution entails the creation and strict implementation of a rational disaster plan with a decisive stance on environmental protection and restoration, housing services, infrastructure building, area studies, equipment upgrading and community trainings,” Palatino explained.

Palatino vowed to push for House Resolution no. 1864 which seeks an inquiry on the impact of the President’s veto and the lack of a rational disaster plan guiding government agencies.

“We invite the Palace and government agencies to take part in this initiative. With the added involvement of scientists, urban planners and people’s organizations, we should be able to create a disaster preparation plan that will truly and effectively forestall destruction of property and tragic loss of lives,” Palatino said. ###


Office of Rep. Raymond V. Palatino
Press Release:
December 23, 2011
Rep. Raymond “Mong” Palatino, Kabataan Party-list, 0908-5927099 / 0922-8369693
Bugsy Nolasco, media liaison officer, 0922-8240740

Aquino gov’t should take responsibility for Sendong tragedy, install disaster preparedness plan – Kabataan Party-list

The tragedy speaks for itself.

That was the statement of Kabataan Rep. Raymond “Mong” Palatino to counter the claim of Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Butch Abad that disaster management and response of the Aquino administration is “robust”.

“The Sendong tragedy strongly disproves the fallacious claim of Secretary Abad that the disaster management and response of the government is robust. The tragedy speaks for itself. A tragedy of this magnitude would not have happened if the government had a rational disaster plan that put premium on disaster preparedness,” Palatino said.

Also responding to Abad’s claim that President Aquino did not veto disaster preparedness in the P5 billion calamity fund for 2011 but merely cautioned that quick response measures be prioritized, Palatino said:

“Secretary Abad’s attempt to cover up the accountability of the Aquino government in the tragedy only makes it more apparent. It is precisely the prioritization of quick relief efforts at the expense of disaster preparedness that we take as culpable negligence. What did the President’s “caution” against disaster preparedness in the calamity fund result to? Weak pre-disaster efforts and, tragically, more than 1,000 dead and half a million gravely affected due to a typhoon that could have been mitigated by disaster preparedness.”

“It is exasperating to hear the President and members of his cabinet rebut the issue of disaster preparedness by merely bragging about having billions to pour into quick relief efforts. They are evading the fundamental issue.Hindi lang po simpleng pera-pera ang hinaing ng ating mga kababayan kundi hustisya at pagbabago dahil sa kawalan ng maayos na disaster plan ng ating pamahalaan,” Palatino added.

Under Section 22 of Republic Act No. 10121, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDDRMC) is mandated to primarily ensure disaster risk reduction, prevention and preparedness. Quick response measures, the law states, should only play a secondary role.

Palatino said that once Congress resumes session in January next year he will push for the immediate discussion of his House Resolution 1864, a measure seeking an investigation on the impact of the President’s veto in the calamity fund and the lack of rational disaster plan by the government. He furthered that he will push the investigation to also include Executive Order 23, signed by President Aquino early this year, which exempts mining corporations from the indefinite total log ban.

He said that the youth party-list group will also reach out to scientists, urban planners, people’s organizations and concerned sectors to revitalize calls to repeal anti-environment laws such as the Mining Act of 1995 and the Forestry Code of 1975.

Palatino also appealed to the all sectors especially the youth to gather more efforts to aid affected persons in Mindanao. Kabataan Party-list, together with national youth groups, has an ongoing “Tulong Kabataan” campaign aimed at consolidating calamity assistance and initiating disaster preparedness in communities. ###


REPUBLIC ACT No. 10121 (Passed in 2009)


Section 22. National Disaster Risk” Reduction and Management Fund. – (a) The present Calamity Fund appropriated under the annual General Appropriations Act shall henceforth be known as the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund (NDRRM Fund) and it shall be used for disaster risk reduction or mitigation, prevention and preparedness activitiessuch as but not limited to training of personnel, procurement of equipment, and capital expenditures. It can also be utilized for relief, recovery, reconstruction and other work or services in connection with natural or human induced calamities which may occur during the budget year or those that occurred in the past two (2) years from the budget year.

(b) The specific amount of the NDRRM Fund and the appropriate recipient agencies and/or LGUs shall be determined upon approval of the President of the Philippines in accordance with the favorable recommendation of the NDRRMC.

(c) Of the amount appropriated for the NDRRM Fund, thirty percent (30%) shall be allocated as Quick Response Fund (QRF) or stand-by fund for relief and recovery programs in order that situation and living conditions of people in communities or areas stricken by disasters, calamities, epidemics, or complex emergencies, may be normalized as quickly as possible.




ni Lorena Castro

Wag daw ibunton ang paninisi
sa mg kapitalistang nakangisi;
nais lamang nila ng limpak na pera,
habang kalikasAn nati'y nasisira
ay naiipon ang tubo sa kanilang bulsa
na itatakas tungo sa kanilang bansa.

Wag daw ibunton ang paninisi
sa lokal na korporasyong nakaismid;
habang bagyo'y patuloy na kumikitil
dila ng mga opisyal ay tila naumid
"climate change" kanilang ipinipilit,
"kasalanan ng mga tao", kanila pang giit.

At mas lalong wag daw ibunton ang paninisi
sa pang(g)ulong mahilig gumala't magparti;
ayaw niya lang magpapogi sa kamera
o magmukmok sa gitna ng trahedya.

kanino ba dapat ang sisi?
sa taumbayan bang naapi?
sa daan-daan bang nasawi?
sa mamamayan bang sinalanta?
o di kaya sa kanilang di pa nakikita?
silang di sigurado kung lulutang pa,
o kung tuluyan nang nilamon ng baha.

Ang pagdurusa ngayon ng buong bansa,
wag daw natin isisi sa pang(g)ulong gala
kung ayaw nating siya ay maglupasay
o si Kris ay magsalaysay ng walang saysay
pag si panot ay di nakapunta sa piging
na matagal niyang tinungangaa't hinintay.


*sa panahon ng kagipitan, maiba-taya
na lang kung sino ang tunay na may sala.










-Nonilon V. Queano/19December2011

Hindi ito tula.
Lalong hindi awit.
Walang awit o tula
Na malilikha sa lagim at dalamhati.
Hirap din ang utak maglubid ng wika,
O umunawa man sa bagyong Sendong,
Na tila alimpuyong kamunduhan ng pagnanasa,
Isang gabi,
Sa namamanaag na alindog
Ng bundok at parang,
Sa lupaing yaong ating minamahal.

Hindi mahalaga
Kung ano si Sendong,
Duhapang o diyos man na gumahasa
Sa Iligan, Cagayan de Oro. Bukidnon,
Mindanao, Bisaya--
Kung babae o lalaki
O bakulaw ng langit:
Wala namang kasarian
Ang tigas o lapot o dulas ng pagnanasa.

At sino ba namang hindi maninigas
Sa daluyong ng gamundong libog
Sa pagkaganda-ganda,
Hubad na hubad na hihila-hilata’t
Masintahing dilag
Na bundok at parang
Sa bayang minahal din natin’t
Inaaring bayan;
Sinong haliparot o matikas na Sendong
Ang di mahihibang,
Sa lupang tiwangwang,
Hirati na sa pagpapagahasa,
Malaon nang sinasalaula
At hinuhubaran ng mga ulupong
At gahaman,
Pinutulan ng lahat ng kahoy at gubat,
Nilaplap ang balat,
At ngayon’y di makagulapay,
Pinagparausan’t napulbos na Maryang nabilad sa araw.

Kaya’t nang maligaw
Ang duhapang na diyos o bakulaw ng langit
At sibain ang bundok at parang
Di nakapagtataka
Na ang daluyong ng gahasa
Ay sagad sa buto’t kalalilaliman,
Nilaspag nang buo bawa’t madaanan,
Umapaw ang tubig at putik sa lunsod
Ng tao, bahay, sasakyan, at bagay na lumubog-inanod,
At kinulapulan ng bumahang lapot
Na pinasabog sa kasukdulan
Ng kaluwalhatian ni Sendong bakulaw.

Ay, ay!
Hindi ito tula.
Ito’y panawagan
Sa mga walang kaluluwa at nanggagahaman--
May araw ding kayo'y ibabaon sa putik at burak!
May takdang araw ding kayo’y magbabayad!

Oo, hindi ito awit, hindi ito tula.

Ay, ay!
Paano ba ihihibik, paano iawit
Ng hingalong utak at binagyong puso
Ang di maapulang pagdadalamhati,
Sigaw ng saklolo, iyak, pagtatangisan
Ng mga walang malay,
Alingawngaw ng impit na daing
Ng sisinghap-singhap at nangangasilam
Sa paglubog-litaw,
Palahaw ng mga namatayan,
At huling kilapsaw ng kamay
Ng mga nalunod sa tubig at putik
Sa lagim ng gabi at karimlang yaon
Ng kawalang-hanggan.


Evacuation center in Iligan City ▼



26 Matulungin St. Central Dist., Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines, 1100
Tel./Fax; +63 (2) 924-8756; E-mail: kalikasan.pne@gmail.com
Website: www.kalikasan.org

21 December 2011

Aquino administration must be held accountable for lack of disaster preparedness and coddling of logging

As latest data on casualties have indicated Typhoon Sendong (international name Washi) as the deadliest storm of 2011 with at least 957 dead, the Aquino administration was criticized by environmental advocates for its statement through National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) director Benito Ramos washing the national government’s hands off responsibility for the complacent response of communities in Cagayan de Oro (CDO) and Iligan City.

Activists under the Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE) pointed out that various scientific studies on the vulnerability of areas in Northern Mindanao to disasters and the effects of climate change did not translate into actual capacity building efforts for communities located in these hotspots.

“NDRRMC has no ascendancy to exonerate the national government from its mandate to ensure the resiliency of communities such as in CDO and Iligan against disasters. A plethora of studies and analyses have long demanded the need for GPH to implement strategic community-based disaster risk reduction and climate adaption measures. But the Aquino administration’s disaster battle plan remained limited to monitoring and reactive response,” said Clemente Bautista, National Coordinator of Kalikasan PNE.

A 2009 study by the University of the Philippines National Institute of Geological Sciences of CDO’s susceptibility to floods revealed the increased vulnerability of downstream communities due to the conversion of 2,000 hectares of the Upper Pulangi Watershed’s forest cover into a pineapple plantation owned by the Del Monte Philippines. Inc. Mindanao-based environmental journalist BenCyrus Ellorin also reported persisting logging activities through various integrated and community-based forest management agreements in Bukidnon’s Mt. Kalatungan that was exempted by the Aquino administration from Executive Order 23 or the total log ban.

“The NDRRMC has exempted the national government from blame saying it was able to provide ample warning. But isn’t the enforcement of the total log ban part of its mandate to mitigate disasters? 2,000 hectares of forest cover have already been converted into a pineapple plantation, so why has the Aquino administration further exempted various legal logging operations in the Mt. Kalatungan watershed area when its tributaries go straight to CDO and Iligan? This is a problem that Aquino definitely did not inherit this from the previous regime,” asserted Bautista.

The Kalikasan Partylist meanwhile noted that the fact that residents and officials did not anticipate and was not able to respond to 180.9mm or a month’s worth of rainfall in Mindanao indicated that this policy recommendation remained unheeded.

“Iligan and CDO caught unaware revealed the fact that the national government has no early warning system on the ground on one hand, and that communities lack climate change education and capacity building on the other. This calls for a serious overhaul of our climate change and other environmental laws that has not qualitatively done anything for the improvement of our communities’ climate resiliency,” said Meggie Nolasco, Kalikasan Partylist Spokesperson.

“Ondoy and Pepeng, Pedring and Quiel, and now Sendong: extreme weather events are increasing in number and intensity, and have exposed real problems that government has left unaddressed. Relief operations are continuing and Pres. Aquino belatedly authorized the use of Php1.17 billion in calamity funds for rescue and rehabilitation, but we cannot remain reactive if we are to rise above the climate crisis,” ended Nolasco.###

Reference: Clemente Bautista, Kalikasan PNE National Coordinator - 0922 844 9787
Meggie Nolasco, Kalikasan Partylist Spokesperson – 0927 480 2878


26 Matulungin St. Central Dist., Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines, 1100
Tel./Fax; +63 (2) 924-8756; E-mail: kalikasan.pne@gmail.com
Website: www.kalikasan.org
19 December 2011

Typhoon Sendong tragedy: Aquino administration falls flat in addressing climate vulnerability

Environmental activists under the Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment assailed the administration of Pres. Benigno Aquino III for blaming citizens through an Office of Civil Defense statement for the disastrous impacts of Typhoon Sendong on Cagayan de Oro, Iligan City and other communities in Mindanao. The increasing number of dead and missing as a result of flashfloods and landslides demonstrated the government’s ineptitude in addressing the country’s worsening climate vulnerability.

“It is the height of the Aquino administration’s callousness to blame the supposed complacency of residents for the tragedy of Typhoon Sendong. It is the government’s responsibility to build the capacity of communities to respond to disasters and natural hazards such as typhoons,” said Clemente Bautista, National Coordinator of Kalikasan.

652 people have died and 808 are still missing after the typhoon struck, as of 8:00PM on December 18. The effects of climate change have been blamed for the increasing severity of typhoon impacts in the Philippines, as reports from Iligan have indicated that even areas never flooded in the past were inundated by flashfloods. Climate Change Secretary Mary Anne Lucille Sering said before that recent typhoons Pedring and Quiel left Php15 billion in agricultural and infrastructural damage and demonstrated the effects of climate change in the Philippines.

“The government shifted the blame game on climate change, but does not even lift a finger to address the current environmental crisis brought about by flawed policies and programs,” Bautista said.

“Despite Pres. Aquino's recent signing of the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP), anti-environment laws such as the Mining Act of 1995 and the Forestry Code of 1975 are still in place. Mining corporations have even been exempted from EO 23’s total log ban. The budget for disaster preparedness has even been vetoed and cut,” Bautista elaborated.

Kalikasan supported Kabataan Partylist Rep. Raymond Palatino’s call for Pres. Aquino to reverse his veto of the Php5 billion budget for calamity preparedness in the 2011 budget. Bautista noted that the lack of response from both the community and the government can be linked to the lack of pre-disaster preparedness activities such as education and training for citizens and disaster personnel.

“If the citizens’ lack of preparedness was the problem, why was the budget for disaster preparedness cut by Pres. Aquino? Poverty is a key function of climate vulnerability, but why do we have budget cuts on education, health care and other social services while the allocations on debt servicing, military and the ineffective Conditional Cash Transfer program get bloated?” Bautista pointed out.

“While Pres. Aquino enjoys a Christmas party, the vast majority of his constituents remain mired in poverty, which is the largest factor why people remain doubly vulnerable to disasters. This insensitivity to the plight of the poor is manifested in our country’s climate action plan and development policies which prioritize the profit interests of the market instead of the poor’s welfare. Aquino must quit his empty climate rhetoric and get some actual work done in addressing realities on the ground, such as poverty, disaster-unpreparedness, and ecological destruction,” ended Bautista.###

References: Clemente Bautista 0922 844 9787, national coordinator | Leon Dulce 0917 562 6824, campaign coordinator

National Coordinator
Kalikasan People's Network for the Environment (Kalikasan-PNE)
No.26 Matulungin St. Bgy. Central, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines 1100
Tel. No. +63-2-9248756 Fax No. +63-2-9209099
Email: kalikasan.pne@gmail.com
Website: www.kalikasan.org




Appeal from KMP National Secretariat


Dear friends,

We are supporting the call of the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines-Northern Mindanao Region for relief and rehabilitation at Cagayan de Oro City, Iligan City, and parts of Bukidnon province which have been ravaged by floods caused by tropical storm Sendong (international name Washi) that started on December 16.

As of today, the total affected population is 26, 928 families (or 142, 961 persons) from 190 barangays in 24 municipalities and 8 cities in the 13 provinces of Regions 6, 7, 9, 10 and 11 including Caraga and ARMM.

Recorded dead is 632 while documented missing is 82. Damaged houses is 6,917 ( 1,448 is totally damaged and 5,469 is partially damage).

Please SEND your donations to (just inform us if you made deposits and which bank was used) :

Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI)
Quezon Avenue Branch, 9200 Iligan City, Philippines
Account number:009359-1348-08

Panday Bulig, Inc.
RCBC Velez Branch, Cagayan de Oro City
Account Number: 1095029776

Please help us circulate this widely to your networks. Thank you.

On behalf of the Oplan Sagip Kanayunan!

KMP National Secretariat
25-B Matiyaga Street, Barangay Central, Quezon City
Telefax: 632-4352383
Email: kmp@kilusangmagbubukid.org
Web: www.kilusangmagbubukid.org

The Oplan Sagip Kanayunan - BALSA or Oplan Rescue Countryside was launched
in September 2009 when Ondoy hit the country. It is a relief and rehabilitation effort to benefit peasant communities ravaged by the typhoons.
It sponsored several relief missions in rural areas in Montalban and Binangonan in Rizal, San Jose Del Monte and San Miguel in Bulacan, Tarlac, Laguna and Isabela. We conducted a relief mission in cooperation with Ms. Angel Locsin (an actress) and Folded n’ Hung apparel at Sitio Wawa, Bgy. San Rafael, Montalban, Rizal.
We also organized several relief and rehabilitation missions with other institutions such as the National Council of Churches of the Philippines (NCCP), Citizens Disaster Response Center (CDRC), University of the Philippines Workers Union, UNICEF, to name a few.
We also organized relief and rehabilitation to survivors of typhoon Pedring that hit the country on September 26 to 28, 2011.




Media Release
20 December 2011

In Sendong’s wake
KMU to SC: junk mining, logging laws

With the death toll in the aftermath of typhoon “Sendong” reaching a thousand, labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno called on the Supreme Court to junk the country’s laws on mining and logging, saying these are responsible for the flashfloods that caused the deaths and destruction in the Visayas and Mindanao.

In particular, KMU called for a halt in the implementation of Republic Act 7942 (Philippine Mining Act of 1995) and Presidential Decree 705 (Forestry Reform Code), as well as the immediate junking of these laws.

“These laws are responsible for bringing the country’s environment to its present sorry state and for causing Sendong-level destruction,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.

“It is now clear that the destruction of the environment due to wanton mining and logging caused the flashfloods that killed more than a thousand of our fellow Filipinos and washed away entire communities,” he said.

“In the interest of the Filipino workers and people, the Supreme Court should act immediately to stop the implementation of these laws and to junk them immediately. Large-scale corporate mining and logging should be banned completely,” he added.

The labor leader said that Pres. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III has refused to junk the said laws, despite calls from people’s and enviromentalist organizations.

“The Aquino regime’s drive to sell more of the country’s natural resources to big foreign and local capitalists should be stopped dead in its tracks,” Labog said.

“Now it is clear: the government has not only sold our natural resources to big corporations. It has in the same breath bartered the workers’ and people’s lives with the devil,” he added.

KMU said that the sellout of the country’s natural resources is at the center of the Private-Public Partnership program of the Aquino government and the renewed drive to amend the 1987 Constitution.

“That is why it is imperative for the Supreme Court to step into the fray, stop the destruction of the environment and prevent Sendong-level disasters in the future,” Labog said.

“Given the changing weather patterns in the world, we cannot sit back and relax thinking that Visayas and Mindanao will be spared by typhoons,” he added.

Reference: Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson, 0908-1636597



Press Statement
18 December 2011

Aquino govt caught flat-footed by ‘Sendong’ – KMU

We express our heartfelt condolences to the families of those who died due to typhoon “Sendong.” We share their grief and pain over the loss of their loved ones and the destruction of the little property that they have. We share their desire to rebuild and recover.

We are calling on the Filipino workers and people to extend all the support that we can to our fellow workers and Filipinos in the Visayas and Mindanao who are devastated by typhoon “Sendong.” We are calling on our unions, federations, regional chapters and mass organizations to gather donations. The KMU National Office is open to all forms of donations.

We reject the attempt of Undersecretary Benito Ramos, head of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, to lay the blame for the devastation caused by typhoon “Sendong” on the people of the Visayas and Mindanao who are affected by the typhoon.

Given the extent of the devastation – an estimated 600 dead and entire communities washed away – it is clear that mere warnings are not enough. The government’s capacity for prompt evacuation, and the soundness of its disaster preparedness plan, are put into question.

The devastation caused by typhoon “Sendong” also highlights the destruction of the environment in Mindanao and the Visayas due to flagrant large-scale mining and logging. We need to put an end to these amidst the threats posed by climate change to our people.

Given the changing weather patterns in the world due to climate change, it is of utmost necessity for the country to beef up our disaster preparedness and stop the plunder of our environment.

Sadly, given the country’s experience with previous typhoons and despite the government’s repeated assurances about disaster preparedness, the Aquino government was again caught flat-footed, this time by the onslaught of typhoon “Sendong” in the country.

In recent months, Pres. Aquino used “disaster preparedness” as an excuse for beefing up the country’s military strength. It is now clear that the allotment of bigger and bigger resources to the military does not enable it to respond to a strong typhoon like “Sendong.”

“Without a vision, the people perish,” says the Bible. The deaths and destruction caused by typhoon “Sendong” illlustrate the truth to this passage. Pres. Aquino has no vision of making the country prepared for disasters and ending the wanton destruction of our environment.

Reference: Roger Soluta, KMU secretary-general, 0928-7215313




Dec. 19, 2011

REFERENCE: Vencer Crisostomo, Anakbayan national chairperson, 09174416739, 09224290258

Anakbayan disgusted with presidential 'show of insensitivity', culpability for Mindanao flood tragedy

The national youth group Anakbayan today expressed its 'utter disgust' at what it called 'insensitivity' by President Benigno Aquino III towards the victims of the Northern Mindanao floods, as well as the administration's 'direct hand' in the lethal deluge.

In several posts by actress Valerie Concepcion in the mini-blogging site Twitter, she accidentally revealed that Aquino was partying with members of his Presidential Security Group (PSG) in the same day the flood death toll hit 652. (Screencap picture attached below)

"At first, we were puzzled why Aquino will only visit the flood-affected areas post-Christmas. But with Concepcion's revelation, we can guess that Noynoy's calendar is jampacked with Christmas parties and he does not want to miss a single one" said Vencer Crisostomo, national chairperson of Anakbayan.

The president's 'antics' with Concepcion, however, is 'just the icing on the cake' for youth activists outraged with Noynoy's policies that contributed to the tragedy.

Anakbayan slammed the prevalence of large-scale mining in the country, pushed in part by the current administration, which has led to the denudation of many mountains, especially in Northern Mindanao.

The group's chairperson pointed out that massive denudation of mountains lessens the capacity of mountainside soil to absorb water, meaning it takes less rainfall to cause floods. Such a condition aggravates the record rainfall caused by recent storms in our country, which in turn are caused by climate change.

Despite this, Aquino continues to push for large-scale mining. In fact, one of the largest NPA (New People's Army) attacks against mines this year took place in the same region last October 3, in the province of Surigao del Norte. However, the president defended the massive destruction caused by the Taganito Mining Corporation, and instead ordered the formation of 'mining private armies'.

Further aggravating the situation is the fact that Noynoy vetoed, or removed, spending for disaster preparedness projects and initiatives in the 2011 national budget. Instead, the president ordered funding for post-disaster response activities, something which Crisostomo called 'blatantly stupid.

"Anyone with half a brain would rather spend on preventing floods, instead of spending for post-flood expenditures, say like victims' coffins" said the youth leader.

"It's natural to experience heavy rains in a tropical country like ours, especially with climate change. Disaster preparedness and risk reduction is the 'safety net' which can lessen the rains' impact on the people. But the combination of Aquino's pro-mining policy and the removal of disaster risk reduction funds is the equivalent of pushing the Filipino people off the ledge and then removing the safety net" said Crisostomo. ###
Anakbayan Public Information Committee
Contact us at: anakbayan.media@gmail.com / +639175197758
Visit the Online Campaign center @ anakbayan.org

"Only through militant struggle can the best in the youth emerge"


Dec. 21, 2011

REFERENCE: Vencer Crisostomo, Anakbayan national chairperson, 09174416739, 09224290258

The national youth group Anakbayan condemns the Aquino administration for its direct hand in the massive floods in Northern Mindanao which has taken the lives of close to a thousand Filipinos. It further condemns yesterday's speech of President Benigno 'Noynoy' Aquino III at Cagayan de Oro city as a disgusting attempt to cool down growing public outrage against his administration, and insensitive in its attempt to place the blame for the tragedy on the victims themselves.

We reiterate that it is the Aquino regime which is a man-made disaster, turning the unavoidable reality of heavy rains into a tragedy: First, because Noynoy himself removed the funding for disaster preparedness in the 2011 national budget. Not a single centavo in the P5 billion 'Calamity Fund' went to preparing Northern Mindanao, or any other part of the country for that matter, for natural disasters. Second, because he continues to allow massive, 'legal' logging by mining, agricultural, timber, and real estate corporations. This causes the denudation of our forests and mountains, which in turn lessens the capacity of our soil to absorb rainwater.

In his speech, he blamed informal settlers in the 'Isla de Oro' community for living in such a 'danger zone', as well as 'settlers', or peasants in the mountainsides who cut down trees for farmland. Aquino is ignorant of the fact informal settlers anywhere in the Philippines only persist in living in such hazardous places because the government does not provide affordable and decent housing. He is also ignorant of the fact that it is massive landlessness (worsened by years of fake agrarian reform programs) which push 'settlers' into the fringes.

Meanwhile, Aquino's claim of a 'total log ban' is an absolute lie. There are so many 'permits', or exemptions, being issued to mining corporations, agricultural corporations, 'legal' loggers in the form of timber corporations, and real estate corporations (building subdivisions).

In Northern Mindanao itself, 23,000 hectares of upland forests have been replaced by the pineapple plantations of the Del Monte corporation (University of the Philippines NIGS). 4,000 hectares, meanwhile, were cleared to make way for the Rapalin palm oil plantation (B. Ellorin, 2011). Many 'legal' logging corporations in the area have received exemptions from no less than the Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) national office.

Even worse is the fact that Noynoy is using the tragedy as an excuse to again borrow from foreign lenders such as the World Bank ($500 million, or roughly P21.5 billion) and the Asian Development Bank ($3 million, or roughly P129 million). Apparently, he is not satisfied that our government's debt is already equivalent to 73% of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and wants to continue enriching these banks.

The thousands of Anakbayan members nationwide stand with the rest of the Filipino youth in demanding that the Aquino regime be held accountable for the Northern Mindanao disaster. ###
Anakbayan Public Information Committee
Contact us at: anakbayan.media@gmail.com / +639175197758
Visit the Online Campaign center @ anakbayan.org

"Only through militant struggle can the best in the youth emerge"



December 22, 2011

Reference: Julienne Urrea, Kabataan Partylist Los Banos coordinator (09053007385)
Ma. Cristina Madeja, Samahan ng Kabataan para sa Bayan chairperson (09058915908)

Serve the People Brigade launches relief drive for Sendong victims

Following the onslaught of Typhoon Sendong in Northern Mindanao, the Serve the People (STP) Brigade has once again called upon its ranks to organize a relief mission in cooperation with the UPLB Kaiban, Samahan ng Kabataan para sa Bayan (SAKBAYAN), and Kabataan Partylist Southern Tagalog and Los Banos.

Donations from UPLB students, faculty and staff, as well as Los Banos and Laguna residents began pouring since the booth opened last Dec. 20. Boxes of used clothes, canned goods, noodles, rice, medicines, beddings and other relief goods are now in stock for shipment to our fellow Filipinos in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan, both of which have been hardly hit by the typhoon. In addition, the STP Brigade has raised more than 5,000 pesos in cash donations since the first day.

“We are in awe with how the Filipino people have overwhelmingly shown the virtue of bayanihan in times like these,” said SAKBAYAN chairperson Ma. Cristina Madeja. “Some donors are supposed to save their money for the holidays and yet the urgency of the situation has compelled them to donate whatever it is that they have left. The true meaning of Christmas is being tested upon us all,” she added.

Donation center is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. until Dec. 23, Friday at the Vega Center, near the UPLB Gate, Los Banos, Laguna. Madeja said that the relief drive may resume after Christmas considering the influx of people in Laguna who are still looking for ways to help.

“Aside from encouraging everyone to go to the booth for their donations, our volunteers have also done house-to-house collections and jeepney hops to reach our fellows who are willing to send aid but do not know how to.”

The STP Brigade for the victims of Typhoon Sendong is a continuation of what various Southern Tagalog organizations and individuals started back in 1972 when the region was struck with a series of super typhoons. In 2009, the brigade has sent material and psycho-social relief to thousands of families in the region that were affected by the Typhoon Ondoy deluge.

Kabataan Partylist Los Banos coordinator Julienne Urrea asserted the youth’s significant role in times of calamity. “We are strong and driven, and we have lots of time to spare. It is high time for us to realize that what we do for others is tantamount to our own self-preservation as the heirs to this country,” Urrea said.

But more than anything else, she said that the Filipino people should also be reminded that today most calamities have become man-made, and thus, could have been prevented with a pro-people and pro-environment foresight in government policy-making. She added that the Typhoon Sendong could have spared a lot of lives if government agencies were able to curb disastrous logging and mining activities in the area which were mostly operated by multinational corporations, citing for instance, the pineapple plantations in the uplands of Cagayan de Oro and Bukidnon which were owned by the Del Monte Philippines, Inc.

“It should now be common sense that replacing acres of natural rainforest with pineapples can lead to a deluge. Local and national government officials should have known better than to risk the lives of the people in favor of profiteering corporations,” Urrea said.

She also condemns the Aquino administration’s laxness when it comes to disaster risk management and prevention. “We can forget about him (Pres. Aquino) partying at the Malacanang with celebrities while people are dying down south. What we can never forgive is the fact that this year alone, Pres. Aquino has just exempted mining companies from the total log ban and to top that, has vetoed a 2011 budget allocation for disaster preparation from the 5-billion-peso calamity fund.

“We are rallying for the support of everyone who has material goods and time to spare this Christmas season to join various efforts across the nation to send aid to the victims of this man-made disaster. But we do not wish to forget that preceding charity is our search for social justice to those who have lost their loved ones as a result of atrocities caused by negligence and greed,” Urrea said. #



Evacuation center in Cagayan de Oro City ▼


News Release
December 24, 2011
Reference: Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño, 09209035683

Even the poor and marginalized chip in for Sendong victims
Bayan Muna launches 'bente-bente' fundraiser

Even the poor and marginalized sectors are chipping in to help the victims of typhoon Sendong.

Bayan Muna this week organized a fund and resource generation campaign among its poor members and supporters dubbed “Bente Mong Pamasko, I-donate sa Biktima ng Bagyo” to show that poverty is not an excuse to help others.

"You don't have to be rich to be a donor. Bente-bente lang, pwede na," said Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño of their ongoing campaign in various urban poor communities.

Said Casiño: “As the spirit of Christmas is now being manifested in the pouring of relief goods and funds to the victims of Tropical Storm Sendong, one is reminded of a parable narrated by Jesus himself about the poor widow who put a measly two copper coins in the temple treasury. Jesus said, 'this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.'"

“Those who are themselves hard up and still give truly understand the meaning of giving, so we are encouraging those from the ranks of the poor to donate to the victims of Sendong,” he said.

He said in just two days, organizers were able to gather P1,947 and 28 sacks of used clothing from their members in the urban poor communities. "We hope this will help not only those devastated by Sendong but empower and give dignity to the poor who, in their own little way, also help their fellow poor,” said Casiño.

Casiño was in Cagayan de Oro city yesterday to help in the relief operations in the various devastated barangays of the city. He joined various NGOs and people's organizations under the Bantay Bulig Disaster Relief Center in distributing relief packs to more than a thousand affected families in Barangays Makasandig, Tambo, Carmen and Balulan. # # #




News Release
December 23, 2011
Reference: Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño, 09209035683

Casiño in Cagayan de Oro to help in relief efforts
Calls for all-party list relief effort in Congress

Cagayan de Oro City - Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño today arrived in this devastated city to help in the relief efforts for the victims of typhoon Sendong.

Casiño led various non-government organizations and peoples organizations in distributing relief packs for some 1,000 families in three barangays which bore the brunt of the storm, namely Macalindong, Pag-asa and Baculiling. The relief operation is a joint effort of the progressive party list bloc, Panday Bulig Network, Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP) and Bayanihan Alay sa Bayan (BALSA). .

“We are once again calling for more help for Sendong victims. While it is good that help is already pouring in to the affected areas, more is needed considering that it would take some time for the humanitarian crisis to subside," he said.

Casiño expressed concern at the slow processing of relief goods sourced by the DSWD from the congressional funds. "The process is so full of red tape that by the time the relief goods and funds are released the crisis has already passed and many have already suffered, just like our experience in the Batangas fish kill early this year. The DSWD even said that they do not even have goods and funds for the Cagayan de Oro relief operations. When we managed to get goods and followed every step to ensure that the DSWD will ship it free to the affected areas, for the second wave of relief operations, now they are saying that they cannot carry our cargo unless we pay for it,” said the progressive solon.

Casiño called on other party list groups to conduct similar relief efforts considering that the ones most affected by Sendong are the marginalized sectors which the party list are supposed to represent. He said he would try to organize an all party list relief mission next month.

“Donors can also checkhttp://www.facebook.com/HelpNorthernMindanao?sk=wall on how they can help” ended Casiño. # # #




News Release
20 December 2011

Anakpawis seeks help and justice for ‘Sendong’ victims

As death tolls in southern Philippines reach 927, Anakpawis partylist extends its heartfelt condolences to the victims of tropical storm ‘Sendong’ (international name ‘Washi’).

“With utmost grief, we express our deepest condolences to the victims of this horrific disaster. As of today, 927 people are confirmed dead, hundreds are still missing while thousands of families are left homeless. It is with urgency that we call on our countrymen to extend all the help they can give for the immediate relief and rebuilding of the affected areas” Anakpawis Executive Vice President Joel Maglunsod said.

The progressive partylist also seeks justice for the victims of this tragedy saying the Aquino administration should be held accountable for the massive devastation brought by ‘Sendong’.

“It is hideously unacceptable that almost a thousand lives were lost because of the Aquino administration’s gross negligence and disregard for the people’s welfare and safety. The damage of this calamity could have been prevented if not for Aquino’s anti-people policies of budget cuts and promotion of foreign large scale mining and logging operations” Maglunsod said.

Anakpawis slammed Aquino’s veto on the 2011 budget for disaster preparedness amounting P5 billion saying the budget could have helped saving lives.

“We should be enraged by this administration’s budget policy of prioritizing debt servicing over social services. Instead of saving lives, the government gave away our taxes to foreign lending institutions” said Maglunsod.

Anakpawis also blamed Aquino’s Executive Order No. 23 early this year, exempting mining corporations from the logging ban for massive deforestation in the country that causes tragic damages during storms and typhoons.

“Aquino has shown complete disregard for the people’s safety by allowing large foreign mining corporations to plunder our environment. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) already know that Cagayan De Oro is a flood magnet, still, large scale mining operations in nearby mountain ranges were permitted and were even given protection by the AFP.” Maglunsod said.

Anakpawis cited that the largest mining firms in the country are operating in Mindanao. Maglunsod named these large-scale mining firms as APC Corporation, Singapore-based Orient Pearl Mining, Chinese mining firm Ni Hao Mineral Resources, Sagitarrius Mines and Cessmag Development in Misamis Oriental.

“It is also too callous for this government to put the blame on the victims’ complacency. A disaster this horrifying is not a result of mere complacency, but of this administration’s pro-mining stance and persistent rechanneling of social service budget to debt servicing” Maglunsod said.

“We demand justice. This disaster should not pass by without anyone being held accountable for the massive loss of lives, properties and future of the victims.” he ended. ##

Reference: Joel Maglunsod, Anakpawis Executive Vice President, 0949-755-2415
Partylist ng masa... ANAKPAWIS
56 K-9 Street, West Kamias, Quezon City 1102
email: anakpawis2003@yahoo.com, anakpawis@gmail.com
visit our website http://anakpawis.net/



After rampaging waters swept entire communities ▼



The people must join hands in the retrieval, relief and rehabilitation of the victims of typhoon Sendong!
Jorge Madlos (Ka Oris)
December 11, 2011

The enormity of the damage to lives and property in Northern Mindanao as seen in the aftermath of tropical storm Sendong is a clear call for the people to take immediate and decisive action, especially in undertaking retrieval, relief and rehabilitation operations.

The death toll stands at over a thousand and is still rising, hundreds remain missing, thousands, especially those in the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan, and in the provinces of Misamis Oriental, Bukidnon, Lanao and part of Caraga, are displaced. The devastation wreaked upon property, infrastructure, and agriculture is estimated to reach billions of pesos. Aside from experiencing heavy shortage in safe shelter, food, and potable water, the psychological trauma and emotional stress afflicting the survivors of one of the worst disasters ever to hit Mindanao are becoming prevalent.
In view of this, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines–Mindanao (NDFP-Mindanao) is also raising funds and gathering all kinds of material support to help in the retrieval, relief and rehabilitation of the victims of tropical storm Sendong.

We are requiring all mining, logging, and agri-business companies that have profited in the past decades and in the present from their business operations to make substantial contributions to defray the cost for effective retrieval, relief and sustainable rehabilitation.

In concretely expressing our solidarity behind the victims in their hour of need, we ask all the revolutionary forces and the broad masses in Mindanao and the entire country to contribute whatever means they can afford for the flood victims. Please channel your donations and contributions to authorized revolutionary representatives in your localities.

Moreover, we encourage all Party Members, Red commanders and fighters, and masses in Mindanao, who will celebrate the 43rd anniversary of the re-establishment of the Communist Party of the Philippines in various guerrilla fronts on December 26, to observe frugality and simplicity in holding these activities in deference to the survivors and victims of this latest tragic event. Let us spare other contributions to the celebration and channel these to legitimate relief and rehabilitation centers.

We concur with the standing order of the North Central Mindanao Regional Party committee to its units of the New People’s Army – NCMR to suspend tactical offensive actions against military detachments, camps and outposts, including police stations and outposts from Dec 21, 2011 to January 3, 2012 to pave the way for the continuing retrieval relief and rehabilitation of the affected vicinities and service to the flood victims.

Let us all unite in the face of grave tragedy; we must willingly, without delay, extend all our strength to help unfetter our brethren from despair and further destruction.




Greedy multinational corporations and the local ruling class are accountable for the recent calamity in Mindanao

Jorge Madlos (Ka Oris)
December 20, 2011

The NDFP-Mindanao is one with the people in grieving for the tragic demise of hundreds in the wake of tropical storm Sendong, and sympathizes with all the bereaved who now suffer this great loss. Even as multitudes face a bleak Yuletide season, we also stand side by side with the people in raising the strongest condemnation against the “man-made causes” – decades of unrestrained mining, logging, multinational agribusiness plantations and other environmentally–destructive big business operations.
We have again witnessed another horrific calamity that killed close to a thousand people and still counting, while hundreds more are missing and billions–worth of properties devastated in the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan, in several municipalities of Misamis Oriental and Bukidnon in North Central Mindanao, and in certain parts of the Caraga region.

The accumulated denudation of forests in past decades by the large-scale operations of imperialist and big bourgeois comprador-owned logging companies as well as continuing illegal logging activities caused this devastation. These callous big logging concessions have risked the lives of thousands of people because superprofit is paramount to the appeal to reason and concern for humanity.

The continuing expansion of multinational agri-businesses Dolefil, Del Monte-Agrinanas, and Sumifru, colluding with local big landlords, have grabbed vast tracts of arable lands that resulted in the displacement of peasants and were driven to join the horde of odd-jobbers in the slums of overcrowded cities such as Cagayan de Oro and Iligan where they are forced to settle in disaster-prone locations.

Apart from the environmental destruction resulting from forest denudation, indiscriminate and destructive mining and quarrying in the vicnity of the hardest hit cities aggravated rapid soil degradation and erosion, making the area defenseless against flashfloods and landslides in the event of heavy downpour as in the case of the recent typhoon Sendong.

As can be gleaned from this cataclysm, a far worse scenario is expected in areas where extraction and exportation of raw mineral resources of mining giants such as Sumitumo-Taganito, San Roque Mining Inc., Xstrata-SMI, and Toronto Ventures Inc. operate.

These companies are further expanding at a more aggressive pace using AFP-Cafgu-SCAA forces to eliminate with impunity all impediments to their capitalist interests. Resistance from peasants and Lumads are dealt with naked force and worse, with brutal military operations.

Moreover, these destructive business entities, which are currently enjoying unhampered access to plunder our national patrimony and tax holidays under the Aquino regime, degrade the ecological balance, compromise food security and threaten the general welfare of Filipinos permanently.

What must be done?

The Aquino government must immediately redirect its resources to effectively launch relief and rehabilitation operations to all those who have lost lives and livelihood in the aftermath of storm Sendong, and decisively address the root causes of such disaster. All AFP-Cafgu-SCAA forces who are currently involved in COPD, RSOT and CMO operations in various areas in Mindanao must stop and be redirected for mobilization in relief and rehab operations.

Multinational corporations such as Dole, Del Monte-Agrinanas, Sumifru, Sumitumo-Taganito and other environmentally-destructive businesses responsible for causing this latest disastrous blow against the Filipino people must take the lead in the relief and rehab operations, in the relocation of all disaster victims to safer places and in extending assistance to the families of flood victims.

More serious and effective steps must be taken to prevent illegal logging. Emphasis must be given to reforestation.

Put a stop to the expansion of agri-business in the whole island; in line with our genuine land reform program, initiate measures of reverting to basic food crop production from the existing mono-crop plantations and step by step implement the distribution of land to the tillers for free.

All current plantations must stop their pollutant and highly environmentally-destructive practices, such as treating the soil with toxic chemicals, aerial chemical spraying, etc.;

Punish all large-scale companies that plunder the country’s natural resources, destroy the environment, displace peasants and Lumads, and exploit workers.

As an indispensable component in the launching of effective relief and rehab operations, the people must actively guard against graft and corruption by unscrupulous elements in government, especially those in high office, of the funds and resources used for such operations.

For people from the urban poor populace who are interested to return to farming, the revolutionary movement is open to have their families settled in guerilla zones in Mindanao for their livelihood.

Business entities that abide by our revolutionary policies on environmental protection, the preservation of national patrimony, the defense and promotion of the rights and welfare of the workers and affected communities shall be allowed to operate on a certain extent for as long as their operations serve the attainment of the aspirations of the Filipino people for genuine land reform and national industrialization.

We therefore call on the people and well-meaning indviduals to unite in these bleak times to hold the real culprits – the ruling class and its imperialist master – accountable and are justly punished for inducing such terrible disasters that kill thousands.

It has been proven time and again that the reactionary government is inutile in genuinely addressing this man-made calamity because of its anti-people, pro-foreign capitalist character. Thus, only the revolutionary movement can provide for a long term solution to the root causes of such disasters as articulated in the concrete program of the National Democratic Revolution on genuine agrarian reform and nationalist industrialization.




NDF-NCMR sympathizes with flood victims

Cesar Renerio
NDF-North Central Mindanao
December 20, 2011

Several hundred people in Cagayan de Oro, Iligan City and a number of towns in Misamis Oriental and Bukidnon would have been looking forward to the traditional Christmas celebrations. Sadly, hundreds of families would instead be gathering for funerals these following days. Worse, others would spend their Christmas still looking for missing family members and loved ones in the aftermath of the worst natural disaster to hit the region in several years.

Flashfloods brought about by tropical storm Sendong have claimed the lives of almost a thousand people in Cagayan de Oro, Iligan, Misamis Oriental and Bukidnon— lives that would have been spared from a natural disaster worsened by environmental plunder and destruction, and the reactionary government’s negligence. This doesn’t include hundreds of others who are still missing to date. In addition, it destroyed the homes and properties of several thousand other families, especially those living in low-lying areas and riverbanks.

The National Democratic Front- North Central Mindanao expresses utmost sorrow and sympathizes with the families, relatives and friends of these hapless individuals who have been victimized by the disaster. In deference, the Communist Party of the Philippines-NCMR has ordered all units of the New People’s Army to suspend all tactical offensives in the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan and the provinces of Misamis Oriental, Bukidnon and Lanao del Norte from December 21, 2011 to January 3, 2012.

Who is to blame for this?

If anyone is to blame for the casualties and damages, it would be the greedy companies engaged in logging, mining, big agri-business operations, and quarrying who are responsible for the environmental damage to the forested and mountainous areas and vast tracts of land surrounding the low-lying cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan— the two worst-hit areas during the storm. These companies have for decades relentlessly destroyed the environment— increasing the risk of flashfloods and landslides— all in the name of super-profits, without due consideration to the people’s welfare and safety against calamities.

Further aggravating the situation is the negligence of the reactionary government. This is best manifested in its giving these logging, mining, agri-business and real estate companies a free hand for their operations and turning a blind eye to their abuses. Another manifestation is its negligence of the thick urban poor population— to which the majority of the victims belong— who are left with no other choice but to live and work in disaster-prone areas such as riverbanks, shorelines and in the feet of landslide-prone mountains and hills. A great majority of this urban poor population come from the great mass of peasants driven away from the countryside, by relentless land grabbing and plunder imposed upon them by the local landlord class and foreign-owned plantations, which in turn are promoted and supported by the reactionary government.

To cover its incapacity, the reactionary government blatantly blames the residents of disaster-prone areas for supposedly not heeding government warnings and calls for relocation. In the first place, these people have barely enough income to live decently on a daily basis, and much less to find suitable dwelling places. Without genuine mass-oriented housing projects of the reactionary government (and even with government housing projects, since these are unaffordable, and its close-to-nil budget is ever-prone to corruption), these people have little choice but to make do with shanties beside riverbanks and seashores.

Above all these is the imperialist rule imposed upon this semi-colonial nation which is essentially the root cause of all the evils above-mentioned. Imperialism, together with its local puppets, is to be held responsible for the denudation of our forests by logging companies, destruction of our mountains by mining companies, and the poisoning of our land, water and air by plantations, which have plundered the resources and the environment of poor countries such as ours. It is also the reason why thousands of peasants have been evicted from their lands by foreign agri-business companies which push them further into dire poverty. Imperialist states such the United States are also the primary cause of climate change, given the gigantic carbon emissions belched from its industries.
As long as imperialism carries on with its hegemony, one can only expect worse disasters to come in the future. In fact, in other countries such man-made natural disasters have victimized a countless mass of people.

It is sad to note that instead of lanterns and Christmas lights, candles, flowers and wreaths for the dead will grace the streets and households in the affected areas. If not for these greedy giants, several hundred lives would have been spared from this disaster. Hundreds of homes would have been standing still today. And hundreds of families would have been celebrating Christmas, albeit simply, instead of attending vigils for the dead.

The people have to awaken and struggle against the further plunder and destruction of the environment which cause such disasters. We must by all means advance the people’s democratic revolution, which will implement genuine industrialization based o a genuine agrarian reform, which is the real solution to these man-made calamities. The revolutionary movement shall ensure to make these plunderers pay in due time. It remains a task for the people in the cities and the countryside to struggle against these greedy giants who have been killing us slowly in dire poverty and negligence. We call upon the poor people living in the cities who want to farm: our guerilla zones are ever open to accommodate those who wish to make a living here.

The revolutionary movement calls upon its forces and the people to extend help, as much as possible, to the victims’ families who have almost nothing left due to this man-made tragedy.




Information Bureau
Communist Party of the Philippines

Press Release
December 23, 2011

Use CPP anniversary to mobilize resources for rehabilitation efforts in Mindanao--CPP

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today called on all revolutionary forces to mark the upcoming 43rd anniversary of the CPP by mobilizing resources to help in the rehabilitation efforts in Mindanao areas devastated recently by the floodings.

"The CPP calls on all Party committees and branches, all units of the New People's Army (NPA) and revolutionary mass organizations to use the activities to mark the CPP anniversary to seek donations and contributions and channel these to the relief and rehabilitation efforts being carried out by the local revolutionary forces and other legitimate people's organizations," said the CPP.

According to the CPP, revolutionary forces under the National Democratic Front in Mindanao (NDF-Mindanao) have already initiated efforts at raising funds and collecting all kinds of material support for the victims of the disaster.

"While exerting efforts at relief and rehabilitation, the revolutionary forces should also help mobilize the victims of the calamity and the people in general to undertake mass struggles to make those responsible for the natural disaster and the ensuing massive loss of lives to answer to the people," added the CPP.

The CPP also expressed support for the 13-day continuous unilateral ceasefire declaration issued by the Regional Command of the NPA in Northcentral Mindanao as ordered by the Regional Committee of the CPP in NCMR. The people in Northcentral Mindanao suffered the worst in the disaster. The ceasefire declaration will cover the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan and the provinces of Misamis Oriental, Bukidnon and Lanao del Norte.




Grief and sympathy to the victims of Sendong

Norsen Mangubat
CPP North Central Mindanao (Regional Committee)
December 19, 2011

Once again, the Communist Party of the Philippines-North Central Mindanao (CPP-NCMR) expresses grief and sympathy to the more than 45,000 families in the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan, and the provinces of Misamis Oriental, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur and Bukidnon, who were affected by the flashfloods brought about by the tropical storm Sendong, and who, for the moment are still recovering from the staggering damage wrought by the tragedy.

The Party reinforces the call made by the National Democratic Front-NCMR for the people and all revolutionary forces to extend much-needed help to these victims.

The immediate retrieval, relief and rehabilitation of the victims being of urgent necessity at present, the Party shall take the following steps to be of help:

All material and financial donations for the Christmas season and the Party’s 43rd anniversary celebration received by the CPP-NCMR from benefactors shall be diverted to the retrieval, relief and rehabilitation of the affected families; and

All expected donations yet to be received by the Party shall be used for the same purpose as mentioned above.

The Party calls upon the people to unite and stand together as one from this tragedy. The Party trusts the broad masses of the people to be the great makers of history. United, we shall form a formidable force to build a society that is truly devoted to the welfare of the people, a society finally free of elements that push us deeper into the mire of poverty and despair.




Officials warned of massive floods in CDO as early as 2007: MGB
by Dharel Placido, abs-cbnNEWS.com

Posted at 12/20/2011 9:38 AM | Updated as of 12/20/2011 3:40 PM

MANILA, Philippines – A top Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) official on Tuesday said Cagayan de Oro City officials were warned as early as 2007 about the possibility of massive flooding in the river bank area, where many of the fatalities of tropical storm “Sendong” (international name: Washi) came from.

MGB Director Engr. Leo Jasareno said as early as 2007, the MGB had distributed geo-hazard maps to all Cagayan de Oro City officials which identified the river bank areas at high risk for flooding.

Jasareno added that even in the first quarter of the 2011, they met with CDO officials to warn them that the river bank areas, where many of the "Sendong" victims lived, are not suitable for habitation.

He lamented that residents and local officials did not heed their warning, resulting in the massive loss of lives.

“Naitndihan nila ang pinaliwanag namin. Kaya lang sa nangyaring sakuna, isang bagay ang nalaman namin - na ang mga kababayan natin ang attitude ay ‘to see is to believe,’” Jasareno told radio dzMM.

As of 6 a.m. Tuesday, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said the death toll from the storm is now at 957, with 49 still missing.

100-year flood cycle

Jasareno explained that the weekend flooding was part of a 100-year flood cycle.

He said based on MGB’s research, the same massive flooding took place in the area in 1916.

However, no one died from the deluge because of several factors such as the abundance of trees that could absorb flood waters, and a less dense population.

Jasareno said rampant cutting of trees along Cagayan river’s water tributaries and the small-scale mining activities along Iponan River have contributed to the silting of the main river system which had resulted in the massive flooding.

He added these activities had altered the normal flow of water in the river. The Macajalar Bay was supposed to catch rain water.

No habitation

Jasareno believes the relocation of all the residents along the river bank areas is the best solution to avert massive fatalities in the future.

He said in 2006, informal settlers living in the river sandbars requested the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to formally declare the area as residential.

However, seeing that the area was not fit for habitation, Jasanero said the DENR did not grant their request.

These areas include Isla de Oro and Isla Delta. Jasareno explained these areas are actually part of the river system.

“Kaliwa’t kanan nagpapalala, dahil wala nang allowance sa tubig, kumbaga yung tubig, ginipit ng mga settlements,” Jasareno said.

Jasareno said another option to prevent flooding is engineering intervention, which includes dredging and construction of dikes.

If relocating the residents becomes impossible, Jasareno said setting up early warning systems for residents may be considered.

Flood-prone areas

Jasareno warned that flooding is expected to worsen in the future, especially for the flood-prone areas of Pampanga, Pangasinan, Tarlac, Bulacan, Nueva Viscaya, Metro Manila, Ilocos Sur, Maguindanao and Mindoro Oriental.

He said the likelihood of an Ondoy- or Sendong-type of flooding happening in the future is very high.

“Habang gumagalaw ang kamay ng orasan, lalong magiging matindi ang epekto [ng mga pagbaha]. Tulad ng population, dumadami ang bahay, dumadami ang obstructions sa ilog, lalong lalaki ang casualties at damage kapag walang solusyon,” he said.






Geologists from the University of the Philippines National Institute of Geological Sciences conducted an aerial survey and rapid assessment of Cagayan De Oro City a few years ago. The four person team included Prof. Fernando Siringan (now with the U.P. Marine Science Institute), Prof. Alfredo Mahar Lagmay, Prof. Emeritus Kelvin Rodolfo (also with the University of Ilinois) and Riovie Ramos, associate researcher from the U.P. MSI. We can better understand the recent massive flooding of Cagayan De Oro City by reviewing the findings and recommendations of the UP NIGS geologists. What were their main findings and recommendations? Cagayan de Oro should encourage movement to higher grounds, not necessarily uplands. This should not compromise the city’s remaining forest cover since reforestation will play a key role in mitigating further calamities. Reforestation is a must. If it will not take place upstream, the areas downstream will suffer. Floods in Cagayan de Oro have become more frequent and higher, in large part due to the 2,000 hectares of forest cover from its watershed which were converted to agriculture and other uses and never replaced. As a result, riverside areas suffer from poor water retention and contribute to the high sediment loads of rivers, constricting waterways and shallow river mouths.

By: Uro Tahup
Photos: 9
















Rmp Nmr shared Uro Tahup's photo.
December 20
The Del Monte Pineapple Plantation is one of the largest pineapple plantations in the world and the biggest in the Far East. It is owned by Del Monte Philippines Inc. (DMPI) which is based in Cagayan de Oro City, the main urban center of Northern Mindanao.

Situated on plateaus with elevations ranging from 1,600 to 2,200 feet, the pineapple plantation covers an area of 23,000 hectares that includes the municipalities of Manolo Fortich, Impasug-ong, Sumilao and Libona of Bukidnon Province of Mindanao. Harvested fruits are sent to Del Monte plant in Philippine Packing Corporation in Bugo, Cagayan de Oro City for processing and canning. Products such as sliced pineapple and pineapple juice carrying the household brand Del Monte are sent to different countries like the United States, Japan and European and Middle Eastern Countries.


Victims ▼
Accountability ▼



Media Release
22 December 2011

Picket in Mendiola
Workers, youth slam Aquino’s criminal culpability for Sendong disaster

Workers, urban poor, and youths held a picket this morning in Mendiola to condemn Pres. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III’s criminal culpability for the devastation left behind by typhoon “Sendong,” saying the president weakened the country’s disaster preparedness while conniving with big mining and logging corporations.

The protesters, led by labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno and youth group Anakbayan said the president removed the budget for disaster preparedness for 2011, leaving government agencies with no other option than to simply issue warnings to the public.

They also said the president connived with big foreign mining and logging companies, allowing the latter to destroy the environment in the affected areas, paving the way for the flashfloods that killed more than 1,000 people.


The protesters, who all wore black, carried crosses with the words “Ilan pa ang kailangang mamatay (How many more should die)?” written across. They also carried a streamer that read “Pabaya sa kalamidad! Kasabwat ng mining at logging companies! Noynoy, panagutin!”

“We are deeply angered by the Aquino government’s criminal culpability for the deaths of more than 1,000 people and the washing away of entire communities because of typhoon ‘Sendong’. It weakened the country’s disaster preparedness while allowing mining and logging companies to plunder our natural resources and leave us vulnerable to flooding,” said Roger Soluta, KMU secretary-general.

“It is plain to see that the government’s warnings did not suffice to save the people and communities of the Visayas and Mindanao. At the very least, the government should have evacuated the people from their homes – that is, if it took to heart warnings from experts about the vulnerabilities of the areas affected,” he added.

“Because we have lost all hope on the president on this issue, we are calling on the Supreme Court to junk the Mining Act of 1995 (Republic Act 7942) and the Forestry Reform Code (Presidential Decree 705). These laws are responsible for the destruction of our environment, leaving us more vulnerable to disasters,” he said.


The protesters also criticized the president’s callousness in dealing with the disaster.

“The fact that the president can still party amidst all the deaths and devastation in the Visayas and Mindanao is proof of his persistent insensitivity towards the people and the poor in particular,” said Anton Dulce, Anakbayan vice-chairperson.

“It is also callous to blame the poor for living in flood-prone areas. It is the government who should be blamed for failing to provide the poor with decent housing and decent jobs,” he added.

“No amount of poor-blaming will hide the president’s criminal culpability for this disaster. The president should not be so arrogant as to think that he can get away with his anti-people policies that are resulting in death and destruction,” he said.

Reference: Roger Soluta, KMU secretary-general, 0928-7215313
Anton Dulce, Anakbayan vice-chairperson, 0917-5197758

Various initiatives to provide assistance to the calamity victims ▼


Kompanya ng logging, pinarusahan ng NPA

Delio Baladon
NPA South Isabela (Benito Tesorio Command)
December 07, 2011

Dahil sa paglabag sa mga patakaran ng rebolusyonaryong gobyerno na nagbabawal sa walang-habas na pagsira ng kalikasan at pangaagaw ng lupa mula sa mga magsasaka, pinarusahan ng Benito Tesorio Command-NPA ang dambuhalang logging company na Monte Alto Timber Resources Corporation (MATRC).

Sinunog ng mga kasama ang dalawang six-by-six truck noong Disyembre 5, 2011 sa Barangay Nilumot, Jones, Isabela. Ang nasabing mga trak, na pag-aari ng barangay kapitan sa nasabing baryo na si Virgilio Lorenzo, ay ginagamit sa pagbyahe ng mga troso ng MATRC. Aktibo rin sa paniniktik sa rebolusyonaryong kilusan si Lorenzo.

Noon pang Enero 2010 nagtroso ang MATRC sa Jones at Echague sa 8,000 ektaryang konsesyon nito. Sinakop nito ang nalalabing kabundukan sa nasabing mga bayan sa kabila ng malawak na pagtutol ng mamamayan laban sa walang-habas nitong pagkalbo sa gubat. Ang MATRC ay pag-aari ni Sammy Ong, isang malaking kapitalistang taga-China. Taunang umuuwi si Ong upang doon itago ang kanyang mga kinokopong kayamanan. Malapit niyang kaibigan at kasabwat sa pagtotroso ang mga pulitiko at kapitalista sa Isabela na sina gubernador Bodjie Dy at si Joseph Tan, ang kapitalistang may-ari ng Brostan Construction and Development Company.




Ang Pilipinas ay Hindi Gaya ng mga Damit Sa Divisoria na ipinagbibili at Maaari pang Tawaran.
ni Gem Karlos Aramil

December 18, 2011


Bakit ganoon na lang kalaki ang pinsala ng Bagyong Sendong? Kung tutuusin likas namang daanan ng bagyo ang Pilipinas ngunit hindi naman ganun kalala ang naiiwang pinsala nito.

Bakit ganoon na lang kabilis ang pagtaas ng tubig na ikinasawi ng mahigit 600 na katao, pagkawala ng mahigit 500 pa, pagkasira ng kanilang tahanan, pagkawasak ng kanilang mga ari-arian at hanap-buhay?

Dahil iyon sa pagkakalbo ng kagubatan at kabundukan sanhi ng walang habas na pagtotroso ng puno at malawakang pagmimina ng sabwatang gobyerno, ang magkapatid na gahamang dayuhan at naghaharing korporasyon (na karamihan ay dayuhan din).

Pinahihintulutan ng gobyerno ang pagmimina at pagtrotroso ng mga naghaharing korporasyon at ng kapatid nitong gahamang dayuhan. Pinahihintulutan ng gobyerno na gahasain ng magkapatid ang ating likas na yaman kapalit ng konting kita at pamumuhunan ng mga ito. Ang galing 'no? Parang inosente pa lang tayo, binubugaw na ng gobyerno.

Tapos parang nagtaka pa ang gobyerno ''kung bakit ganoon kalaki ang pinsala''. Wow, kasama atang inanod ng tubig baha ang mga utak ng mga ito.

Wag na kayong magtaka kung sa susunod eh maulit pa ito, hangga't nandiyan ang sabwatang gobyerno, dayuhan at naghaharing-korporasyon asahan n'yong mau-ulit at mauulit pa ito.

Bakit 'illegal logging' lang ang sinisisi ng gobyerno at ng media sa nangyaring sakuna sa Mindanao, bakit hindi nila masabing gawa ito ng 'ligal' na malawakang pagmimina na pinahihintulutan ng gobyerno?
Junk Republic Act No. 7942 o Philippine Mining Act of 1995
Sa pagmimina, liban sa paghahanap ng mga mineral ay kasama rin dito yung pagku-quarry ng gravel and sand. Sa parteng Mindanao napakarami nito.

Ayon sa Mining Act of 1995, ang mga local government units (LGU's) ay tatanggap ng 40% ng kabuuang kita ng National Government sa mga ipinapataw nitong ibat-ibang taxes mula sa pagmimina.
Provincial - 30%
Municipal - 70%
mula sa 40%. (ewan ko lang kung totoong 40%)

- LGU's - ang magbibigay ng permit doon sa mga tinatawag na mga 'small scale' at 'medium scale mining operator'.
- magsisilbing tagapamagitan kung magkaroroon ng usapin sa pagitan ng cultural minorities o komunidad at ng mga operator ng minahan.

Dito pa lang malaki na ang problema, kasi papaano ka makaaasa na papansinin ng provincial o municipal yung mga reklamo ng mga apektadong mga komunidad kung ang mga tagapamagitan ay kumikita sa mga taxes mula sa pagmimina at iba pa ang tuwirang suhol o padulas galing sa mga operator o kapitalista.

- DENR - naman ang siyang nagbibigay ng permit don sa tinatawag na large scale mining, dahil mas malaki ang tutubuin ng bulsa nila rito, galing din sa mga padulas o suhol ng kapitalista. Pinahihintulutan lang nila nang pinahihintulutan ang mga dayuhan at kapitalista (nakaramihan ay dayuhan din) na minahin nang minahin ang ating likas na yaman. At ang naging resulta, kagaya ng nangyari sa kalakhang Mindanao.
S'yempre para mas makaakit ng dayuhang korporasyon na nagmimina ay mas mababa ang buwis na binabayaran nila sa ating gobyerno. Barya kapalit ng likas na yaman na sinira nila sa atin sa ganyang presyuhan tayo binebenta, na hindi naman sa'tin napupunta ang kinita, kundi kalimitan sa bulsa lang nila!

Mayroong tinatawag na closed areas at open areas for mining. Nakadefine o tukoy na yung mga lugar na hindi maaring pagminahan pero ang Secretary of DENR ay maaring magsabi na ito ay maaaring pagminahan ayon sa kanyang pag-aaral (daw).

Madaming mga violations sa halos lahat ng mga minahan at ang mga komunidad sa paligid nito ang tuwirang nagdurusa. Ilan dito ay yung mga napapanood natin sa tv.

Bakit hindi mawawasak ang ating mga kabundukan at talagang kung saan-saan bumabaha eh ang lahat ng mga provincial pati municipal government natin ay maaring magbigay ng permiso sa mga mining operator, ito ang tinatawag na liberalisasyon sa industriya ng pagmimina. At ang katumbas na kahulugan nito, ay ang pagkawasak ng ating mga kagubatan at kabundukan. At ang liberalisasyong ito ay paghahanda na tinatawag na globalisasyon sa larangan ng pagmimina.

(Salamat kay R. Quizon at L. Castro para sa mga impormasyon at sagot sa mga tanong ko)

Hindi pa huli ang lahat may magagawa pa tayo:

*Wag pahintulutan ang mga gahaman na pagsamantalahan ang ating bayan.
- wag hayaan ang gobyerno na ipagbili tayo sa mga dayuhan at kapitalista (na karamihan ay dayuhan din). Ang Pilipinas ay hindi gaya ng mga damit sa divisoria na ipinagbibili at maaari pang tawaran!

*Sa Charter Change o Cha-Cha na isinusulong ngayon sa kongreso ang ilang batas na nais nilang alisin ay ang mga batas na nagbibigay ng restriksyon na pumuprotekta sa ating ekonomiya. Nais nilang pahintulutan ang mga dayuhang kapitalista na makapagmay-ari ng buong-buo sa mga negosyo o kabuhayan ng bansa. At kasama na dito ang buong kontrol ng mga dayuhan sa operasyon ng pagmimina. Kaya dapat natin itong tutulan.

*Ibagsak ang kapitalismo. Maisasalba lamang ang kalikasan sa patuloy nitong pagkasira kung maibabagsak ng uring manggagawa ang Kapitalismong sistema. Kapiitalismo ang s'yang puno at ugat ng lahat ng nangyari. Habang kapitalismo ang naghaharing sistema, asahan n'yong patuloy na mawawasak ang mundong ating tinitirahan at madami pang buhay ang masasawi. (nabasa ko kung saan)

*tutal hindi naman natin maaasahan ang gobyerno sa usaping ito. Palakasin natin ang ating sariling hukbo, hukbong hindi nasisilaw sa kinang ng pera. Hukbong hindi tuta ng dayuhan at Hukbo na s'yang tunay na nagmamalasakit sa'tin at sa'ting likas na yaman.##


Naanod Na Pangarap
-lenkurt lopez

bakas na'ng lungkot ng bukas
sa nawasak na tahanan
sa putik ng mundo
maihahabilin ang adhikain
pagtangis pa rin ang mangingibabaw-
sa pagdungaw ng liwanag
luha ang yumakap
sa mga naanod na pangarap

bakas na ang pagkaway bukas
ng mga nagtanim ng putik
bukas palad sa mga biyayang
hindi maipapalit-
sa buhay ng mga pumanaw

budhi ng minero
ang mineral
kawangis ng pawis ang dugo
buhay ang kaukulang buwis
sa pakikipagtalik ng dilim
sa kalikasan


Photo by Mark Landicho




Punto por Punto: Deforestation worsened 'Sendong' disaster?


View this video. DENR Secretary and Kalikasan partylist convenor Leon Dulce discuss the CDO and Iligan floods worsened by the continuing logging operation of companies allowed by the government to operate despite then nation-wdie log ban.
Well, there is supposed to be the EO23 by PNoy that bans logging nationwide but logging continues.
Video has aerial views of the denuded mountains.






Before and After Typhoon Sendong ▼
View of this part of Cagayan de Oro before Sendoing..... .... and after Sendong wiped out entire communities.
Weather charts for Dec. 14 to 16 ▼
Dec. 14, 2011 Dec. 16, 2011  


January 1, 2012

The Kawagib Moro Human Rights grieve with families who were affected by Typhoon Sendong that left more than 1,400 persons dead, more than 1,000 missing and more than 613,000 individuals displaced in Northern Mindanao.

Kawagib also mourn the loss of our Muslim brothers and sisters, those who died due to the flood in Cagayan de Oro City and Iligan City.

Barangay Balulang, a predominantly Muslim community in Cagayan de Oro City, suffered flashfloods on December 16 that affected more than 3,000 families leaving 91 dead and 464 persons still to be recovered.

In Iligan City, Barangay Mandulog, a community composing of Muslims and Christians located in the foothills were devastated by the flashflood that registered at least 33 casualties: nine (9) recovered bodies while 23 are still missing. One was hospitalized after the incident. Two hundred and forty-five (245) houses were totally washed out while 300 houses were partially damaged.

We are saddened by the stories of survivors of Bgy. Bulalong on how their houses including their madrasah (Islamic School) were washed out by the flashflood. Only the mosque stood still. The destroyed madrasah beside the mosque was able to prevent the destruction.

In Mandulog, the Muslim residents are not able to use the mosque for congregational prayer because it was filled with mud.

Kawagib Moro Human Rights is part of ‘Balsa Mindanao’ or Bulig Alang sa Mindanao, a relief and rehabilitation campaign led by religious, people’s organizations, and cause-oriented groups in Mindanao which will conduct a relief, medical and psychosocial mission in Cagayan De Oro City and Iligan City on December 29 and 30.

Kawagib also registers its strongest condemnation to those who had caused the denudation of forests in the mountains of Northern Mindanao, such as the corporations and investors in mining and logging operations as well as agricultural plantations. We hold them responsible for the flashfloods that led to the massive destruction of communities and loss of lives.

The Moro people has suffered too many man-made calamities that displaced hundreds of families. Much has suffered from displacement not only due to flooding, but also due to military operations in conflict-areas.

We pray that as new year comes, the Moro people in Mindanao will be able to find peace and justice.

Bai Ali Indayla
Secretary-General, Kawagib