From Philippine Daily Inquirer
After nine years of witnessing increasing poverty among the masses and spiraling corruption in high places, it is understandable that Filipinos see a strong correlation between corruption and poverty. And the judgment of many is probably correct that the candidates that are free of the taint of corruption stand the best chance of turning this country around. Moral leadership may not be a sufficient condition for successful leadership but it certainly has become a necessary condition in a country that has been so deprived of exemplary public figures like the Philippines.
Corruption, however, has become the explanation for all our ills, and this brings with it the danger that, after the elections, campaign rhetoric might substitute for hard analysis on the causes of poverty, leading to wrong, ineffectual prescriptions for dealing with the country’s number one problem.
Let me be more explicit: Corruption must be condemned and corrupt officials must be prosecuted because being a violation of public trust, corruption undermines faith in government and leads to an erosion of the moral bonds among citizens that serve as the foundation of good governance. Corruption, however, is unlikely to be the main cause of poverty. Wrongheaded policies are, and clean-cut technocrats have been responsible for more poverty than corrupt politicians.
Today, March 8, the International Day of Women, we march, together with our sisters across the globe, to celebrate the lessons, the triumphs as well as the challenges of our many-faceted struggles.
We are workers marching for full employment with dignity and equal opportunity, amidst a backdrop of a hollowed-out domestic economy, of unwieldy migrationand contractualization, precarious and informal work, and chronic unemployment.
We are rural women, marching for food sovereignty, sustainable livelihoods and meaningful asset reform, in a country characterized by increasing hunger, where profit continues to define the production and distribution of food; and wealth, inputs and productive assets remain concentrated in the hands of a few families and corporations.
Funerals are not so much for the dead as for us who have to go on living.
The dead have passed on; they can no longer hear us weeping. It is we—we who must scatter the flowers over their graves—who have to be comforted for our loss and who have to confront what lies ahead.
Cory has left but it is we who now have to come to terms with her contradictory legacies. Contrary to the impression conveyed by the media’s almost hagiographic coverage of her passing, the burst of emotions that followed Cory’s death has not simply been that of bereavement and pure adulation.
We are outraged! We protest and decry the brazen move by the majority faction of the House of Representatives, notwithstanding some dissension within its ranks, to pass Resolution 1109 upon the orders of Malacanang. It is clear that the HOR has been representing the interests of the Palace all along. This is survival at all cost.
The House Majority is violating the constitution with this highly unpopular move, blatantly ignoring the bicameral nature of Congress. This cabal of GMA lackeys has ignored its constituents by ignoring the need for rigorous consultation, because it is aware of public distaste for charter change at this time. This is frightening – the use of a simple resolution aimed at changing our future, and not for the better.
The administration’s avowal of elections in 2010 is a seemingly empty promise, as not even the Speaker of the House can aver as to what this convention is set to accomplish. That ignorance should be enough to raise the hackles of the most apathetic. This administration is used to subterfuge and lies, do not expect it to tell us the truth any time soon.
We give honor where it is due. We commend our earnest and hardworking members of the House Minority and the select, brave members of the majority for their valiant defense of our constitution. These lawmakers are aware of their place in history.
We invite the media to a special conference on Thursday, 4 June, 10:00am, Gabaldon Room, Club Filipino in Greenhills featuring presidential aspirants that are against this latest crime against our people. As of this writing, the following have confirmed their attendance - Sen. Mar Roxas, Mayor Jojo Binay, and former
president Joseph Estrada. We are awaiting the confirmations of Sen. Ping Lacson, Sen. Manny Villar, Sen. Chiz Escudero, Sen. Loren Legarda, Sen. Richard
Gordon, Among Ed Panlilio, JC de los Reyes. - - END
STOP (Sa Tamang Oras at Paraan) Cha Cha Movement
Your participation will definitely make the discussion richer and more interesting. Light snacks will be served with the filling exchange. The first 50 participants to register will receive a free copy of the book.
Please confirm your attendance by calling Lou at 4333387 or by registering to our website: http://focusin2009.focusweb.org
We hope to see you there!
THE FOCUS PHILIPPINES TEAM
Balay Kalinaw, University of the Philippines-Diliman
November 12, 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM
The world is entering what could be the worst global financial and economic crisis since the Great Depression in the 1930s – just as the food, employment, and climate crises are intensifying. These multiple crises threaten the lives of millions of already poor and suffering people across the globe, including in the Philippines. More workers could be unemployed; migrant workers could be sent home. Government services, limited as they are, could be further curtailed. Pensions and savings could be wiped out. Prices could soar just as incomes plunge. More will suffer from hunger, eviction, or displacement. The politics of authoritarianism or fascism could prevail.
But as the old paradigms and policies responsible for the crises are discredited, the crises also opens up new opportunities for pushing for the alternatives that could lead to a Great Transformation: one that will lead to raised living standards, social welfare, ecological justice, democracy, and equity.
Focus on the Global South-Philippines Programme is in need of new staff to join a team working on various thematic programmes – trade, the commons, alternatives, and peace and security—and the administrative and communications team.
Successful applicants can expect a healthy, collegial team
environment that celebrates staff strengths and encourages personal
and professional growth and development. There will be a probationary
period of six months where the successful applicants are given the room
to realize their strengths and a chance to discover the work programme
to which they are best suited. Focus offers a reasonable salary and
benefits package, which is augmented upon the successful completion of
the probation period.
Focus believes in the power of youth and initiative, and is in constant search of fresh talents and ideas. Fresh university graduates with rich internship/OJT experience and/or strong research and writing record are encouraged to apply.
Applicants may upload their resumé, a cover letter stating the position applied for, transcripts of academic record, a letter of reference, a sample of written work, and a colored 2x2 photograph by visiting this link
We are saddened and alarmed that the peaceful protest led by Buddhist monks in the Tibetan capital on March 10, which was followed by a wave of sympathy protests in the neighboring Tibetan areas after that day, has drawn a strong response from the Chinese authorities. We also deplore the unrest that followed, even though we understand the problems that gave rise to them.
We are concerned about the police and military build-up in response to these events not only in Lhasa but also in Tibetan areas of western China.
We believe that news blockade and censorship of the media are not helpful for the Chinese people and the international community and damage the credibility of the Chinese government.
The problems in Tibet are complex and long-standing and the demands for cultural and religious freedoms are well known. However, the more recent rapid economic development of the region has created huge inequalities and further marginalized
Tibetans. As we
have seen in many other regions of the world, inequality and
marginalization are the consequences of rapid economic development and
globalization, all too often resulting in tensions and conflicts.
These tensions and conflicts cannot be addressed through force and
suppression, but rather through dialogue based on respect.
As concerned Asians, we call on the Chinese government to respect the aspirations of the Tibetan people, to listen seriously to their problems, and to engage in open and transparent talks with the Dalai Lama and other Tibetan groups.
We believe that violence offers no solution and we call for restraint from both sides: the Chinese government should not arrest innocent people and should give fair trial to those who allegedly committed crimes during the unrest. We also advise Tibetans to avoid attacking or destroying properties of Han Chinese and Chinese Muslims as this could result to more militarization.
We urge the authorities to continue allowing foreign and independent press to enter the region to ensure that events are reported and for arrests of protesters to be known.
Finally, we ask the governments of India and Nepal to desist from using force to disperse demonstrations by exiled Tibetans in support of their compatriots and to allow them freedom of speech and assembly.
Alyansa ng Kabataang Mindanao Para sa Kapayapaan (AKMK), Philippines
Alternative ASEAN Network on Burma
Asia Pacific Forum on Women Law and Development
Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD)
Association of War Affected Women, Sri Lanka
BRP – Bahujan Maha Sangh, India
BALAY Rehabilitation Center , Philippines
Bombay Urban Industrial League for Development (BUILD), India
Campaign for Popular Media Reform (CPMR), Philippines
Centre for Peace Building and Reconciliation, Sri Lanka
Committee for Asian Women
Coordination of Action Research on AIDS and Mobility (CARAM Asia )
Demokratikong Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas-Lanao, Philippines
Educational Network for Global and Grassroots Exchange , Thailand / US
EKTA (Committee for Communal Amity), Mumbai, India
EQUAL GROUND, Sri Lanka
Focus on the Global South
Foundation for Media Alternatives, Philippines
Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW)
Human Rights Working Group, Indonesia
Institute for Global Justice (IGJ), Indonesia
Institute for Popular Democracy (IPD), Philippines
International Gender and Trade Network-Asia
International Friends for Global Peace, Sri Lanka
International Women's Rights Action Watch - Asia Pacific
KAISA – KA, Philippines
Lanao Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (LAHRA), Philippines
Lanao Fisherfolks Advocacy Network (LFAN), Philippines
Law & Society Trust , Sri Lanka
Liga ng Makabagong Kabataan (LMK), Philippines
LIPS / Sedane Labor Resource Center, Indonesia
Mindanao Peoples' Peace Movement (MPPM), Philippines
Mindanao Tri-People Women Forum (MTWF), Philippines
Nonviolence International - Southeast Asia
Northern Development Foundation, Thailand
Pakistan-India Peoples' Forum for Peace & Democracy, India
Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER), Pakistan .
Peoples Media Initiative, India
Peoples Partner for Development and Democracy (PPDD), Thailand
Peoples' Union for Civil Liberties, India
Ranao Tri-People Movement for Genuine Peace and Development, Philippines
Shan Women's Action Network (SWAN), Thailand
Social Development & Research Organization, Sri Lanka
Solidarity Workshop International, Bangladesh
Southeast Asian Press Alliance
Sumpay Mindanao , Philippines
Transnationals Information Exchange Asia (TIE Asia )
World March of Women – Asian members