Friday, October 27, 2006

No to 250% UP tuition fee increase!

Esperon Egg Pelting Issue-Points and Counterpoints

For your reference: Here are seven articles circulated in the past few days/weeks that tackle the egg-pelting incident at the University of the Philippines-Diliman. There are more statements which were circulated by student organizations and/ or political parties like STAND-UP, Center for Nationalist Studies, etc. Unfortunately, no electronic versions are available at the moment.

1. Association of Political Science Majors (APSM) statement
2. Open letter of the USC Chairperson Paolo Alfonso
3. Prof. Alex Magno's Philippine Star column- "Fascists" (Dept. of Pol. Sci. UP Diliman)
4.Bad Eggs and Right Conduct by Dr. Giovanni Tapang (Department of Physics UP Diliman and Chairperson of AGHAM)
5. Justified Imprudence (unsigned statement)
6. What's in a Protest by Profs Gerry Lanuza and Sarah Raymundo (Department of Sociology, UP Diliman, members of CONTEND-UP)
7. The Limits of Academic Civilty-statment of the Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy (CONTEND-UP)

1. Statement of the UP Association of Political Science Majors

(On September 22, after speaking at a forum organized by the UP Association of Political Science Majors (APSM), Armed Forces Gen. Hermogenes Esperon and members of the AFP were pelted with eggs and mud by members of the STAND UP and LFS and other groups. This is the APSM's statement on the incident-Ed.)
Last Friday, Sept.22, the UP Association of Political Science Majors held a forum entitled "Untamed Conflict and Arrested Development: Finding a Way Out of the Vicious Cycle". The objectives of the forum were to shed light on the nexus of conflict and development and to examine proposed solutions from different actors and institutions. The speakers invited were Gen. Hermogenes Esperon from the military, Prof. Miriam Coronel-Ferrer from SULONG CAHRIHL, Dr. Florian Alburo from the School of Economics , and Usec. Danilo Encinas of the GRP Peace Negotiations Panel.
The forum should be noted for having successfully engaged different actors in a formal and academic discourse and an open exchange of ideas.
The UP APSM is a non-partisan organization with the slogan "where both ends of the political spectrum meet". Having Gen. Esperon and the Undersecretary Encinas talk to students affiliated to the militant sectors is no less than a perfect example of the meeting of divergent sides. The attendance of Gen. Esperon, together with the other speakers should be recognized as an effort to provide a balanced and unbiased discussion on the topic. The speakers even actively took part during the open forum where they engaged the audience in a dialogue and debate. However, it is unfortunate that some students went against the parameters of academic discourse in the incident after the forum.
Contrary to accusations, APSM stands for academic freedom. We believe that academic freedom means that a person, organization or institution can articulate ideas and political beliefs without the threat of being harmed in any way. In fact, the presentation of the forum is an attempt to achieve that objective. The military as an institution, just like other actors in society, deserves its right to participate in public discourse and present its ideas and policies. Fora such as the one presented promotes transparency by engaging the military in a public discussion of its ideas and policies.
We regret that at the end of the forum, some members of the group STAND UP, LFS and other groups threw eggs at the unarmed AFP delegates. A female officer was hit on the face and the cars were soiled with eggs and mud.
We would like to clarify that we do not condemn STAND UP and affiliated groups as organizations which pursue their own goals. What we are condemning are the actions of specific members involved in this incident. Among the issues raised in the forum were giving respect to human dignity and rights and rejecting violence as a means of struggle. However, these are the offenses which the perpetrators of this incident are guilty of: gross disrespect to the human person and violence. These are actions which give activists and UP students a bad name.
We in UP APSM believe that we all share the same goals of social justice, equity, and development together with our frustrations with government leaders and the shortfalls of existing institutions. We fight the same battles but we differ in the fronts we choose to pursue. However, in spite of this divergence, Prof. Ferrer's ultimate point should be a guiding principle: paradigm shifts are necessary to achieve peace and regardless of what camp you are in, conflict should be settled through peaceful channels; violence should be a last resort and in the unfortunate occasion that such is employed, camps should submit themselves to established rules of engagement.
During the forum, the UP APSM as the organizers were accused of taking inappropriate measures such as inspecting bags and asking members of STAND UP to leave.
First, we would like to clarify that nobody was asked to leave the forum. One of our members merely asked USC Chair Paolo Alfonso, in the same manner that other members of the audience were also asked, to vacate a seat reserved for faculty and invited guests. Second, as the organizers of the forum, UP APSM reserves the right to take precautionary measures which would ensure the general safety of the audience and the smooth flow of discussion. This decision to undertake such precautionary measures was decided upon by the organization and the organization alone. In fact, as organizers it is our responsibility to ensure the safety of students, especially those whom we invited. The violent and disruptive actions of members of STAND UP after the forum validated the necessity of measures we have taken.
We demand a public apology from the members of STAND UP, LFS and their affiliated organizations for throwing eggs and mud at the delegates of one of our invited speakers. We hope that this incident would never happen again. We also believe that Paolo Alfonso, who identified himself as the University Student Council Chairperson, should apologize to the general UP studentry for misrepresenting us. His actions during and after the forum do not represent the collective behavior of UP students. He should be more careful in his actions especially those that he is doing in his capacity as USC chair. Thus, we demand a public apology from Paolo Alfonso for his actions which were subsequently misconstrued as the general behavior of the UP studentry by the greater public.
How do we create a culture of peace in the midst of these kinds of actions? How can we propose solutions to the protracted conflict in the country and the underdevelopment and suffering of our people when some groups do not know what it means to be civil? We regret that these actions have come from no less than our fellow UP students. The perpetrators of this incident, by their imprudent actions have abused and misused the idea of academic freedom held sacred by the university. Again we denounce the incident last September 22 and enjoin our fellow UP students to do the same.

2.USC Chair responds to APSM statement

(September 27--This is the UPD University Student Council Chair’s response to the APSM statement—Ed.)
Bukas na liham sa UP Association of Political Science Majors
Mga kasamang estudyante,
Mainit na pagbati!
Sumusulat ako ngayon upang sagutin ang inyong pahayag hinggil sa nangyaring protesta laban sa patuloy na panunupil, pagdukot, at pagpatay ng mga ahente ng military sa hanay ng mga progresibo at militanteng mamamayan sa panahon ng pagpunta ni Gen. Hermogenes Esperon dito sa pamantasan. May mga estudyanteng nagprotesta at nambato ng itlog kay Gen. Esperon bilang porma ng protesta at repleksyon na din ito ng galit ng mga mag-aaral dahil sa patuloy na pagkawala ng dalawa nating kamag-aral na sina Karen Empeño at Sherlyn Cadapan.
Una pa lamang sinabi ninyo sa inyong pahayag na: “The UP APSM is a non-partisan organization with the slogan where both ends of the political spectrum meet. Having Gen. Esperon and the Undersecretary Encinas talk to the students affiliated to the militant sectors is no less than a perfect example of the meeting of divergent sides.”
Ayon sa inyong pahayag, ang pagpunta ni Gen. Esperon at iba pang nagsalita ay bahagi ng inyong pagnanais na maging “balanced and unbiased” ang inyong talakayan.
Sa pagpili pa lamang ng mga tagapagtalakay ay hindi na kaagad kayo naging “balanced and unbiased.” Sinasabi ko ito dahil maka-isang panig lamang, pabor sa AFP at sa gobyernong Arroyo pa nga, ang mga tagapagtalakay. Si Gen. Esperon bilang Chief of Staff ng AFP ay walang habas na nakakapagbato lamang ng kahit na anong akusasyon sa mga binansagan nilang “enemies of the state;” malaya lang niyang nasasabi ang gusto at nakakapag-akusa ng kung anu-anong malisyosong pahayag at dahil wala namang kinatawan ng panig na kanyang sinisiraan ay walang makasasagot sa kanyang mga paninira. Nagmukha tuloy isang propaganda seminar iyon ng AFP kumpleto sa hitsura ng isang kampo na kung saan napaliligiran ng mga militar ang mga nakikinig.
Dagdag pa dito, kahit sa open forum na kung saan dapat ay nakapagtatanong ang mga estudyante at guro na nandun, ay tila pilit na iniiwasan ng tagapagpadaloy, na si Prop. Quilop, na ako ay tawagin; kahit pa ako ang naunang magtaas ng kamay at imposibleng hindi niya ako nakita dahil halos nasa harapan niya lang ako. Hindi pa ako dapat makakapagsalita kung hindi pa nagpumilit ang mga estudyanteng naroroon na ako ay pagsalitain. Tila napilitan na lamang si Prop. Quilop na ako ay pagsalitain dahil halata nang pilit niya akong iniiwasan. Maaring sa hanay ng mga mag-aaral na kasapi ng APSM ay totoong ninais na maging pantay, ngunit dahil na din sa ginawa ng adviser na si Prop. Quilop at dahil sa mga napiling imbitahan ay hindi na naging patas ang forum.
Hinihingi ninyo na ako ay magbigay ng public apology dahil umano sa: “His actions during and after the forum do not represent the collective behavior of UP students.”
Una, nais kong ipaabot sa inyo na wala akong ginawang mali habang at pagkatapos ng inyong forum. Noong ako ay pinaaalis ninyo sa aking inupuang silya, sinabi ko sa nagpapalipat na “wala namang nakaupo sa upuan na ito, at wala pa naman ang faculty na uupo dito”. Dinagdag ko pa na kung may dadating na at uupo sa aking upuan, ay aalis naman ako, pero ang aking kasama na gusto ding makinig at magtanong sana ay napahiya na at napilitan na lamang na lumabas. Tumakbo ang forum at wala namang lumapit muli na nagsabing naroon na ang uupo sa aking kinauupuan at kailangan ng umalis. Ang umupo pa nga sa inalisan ng aking kasama ay mga estudyante din.
Pangalawa, noong panahon ng malayang talakayan, lumapit pa ang isa ninyong kasapi at sinabing kung ako daw ay magtatanong, huwag ko daw gamitin ang microphone na nasa harapan ko, kung hindi ang mic na nasa halos labasan na ng bulwagan. Tumugon ako sa kanya ng may pagtatanong dahil maayos naman ang mic sa harapan ko. Sa puntong iyon na ako nakaramdam na tila ayaw akong pagsalitain sa inyong forum.
Sa aking palagay, nakapanlilito ang inyong pahayag dahil hindi naman ninyo sinabi kung ano ang aking “actions which were subsequently misconstrued as the general behavior of the UP studentry.” Batay sa mga naganap, malinaw na kung may tumapak ng karapatan, yun ay hindi ako. Ninais ko lamang na makapagsalita at iharap kay Gen. Esperon ang pagkondena ng lahat ng mga mag-aaral sa ginawang pagdukot ng AFP, na kanyang pinamumunuan, sa aking matalik na kaibigan na si Karen Empeaño at dating USC CHK Representative na si Sherlyn Cadapan; at ang ating kolektibong kagustuhan na sila ay palayain sa lalong madaling panahon.
Sa aking pananaw ay walang mali sa ginawa ng mga mag-aaral nang siya ay batuhin ng mga mababahong itlog.
Hindi layunin ng mga nag-protestang mga mag-aaral na makasakit, ito ay dahil kung nais man nila, sana ay binato na nila ng mga bato o ng mga bagay na talagang makasasakit ang mga militar. Sa aking palagay, kung mayroon mang nasaktan, yun ay ang pride ni Gen. Esperon. Sa aking tingin, nasaktan ang pride ni Esperon dahil ang buong akala niya ay tanggap na tanggap at minamahal siya ng mga estudyante pero lumalabas na galit na galit ang mga ito sa kanya dahil sa mga kasalanan ng AFP at niya, sa partikular, sa mga mamamayan.
Lehitimong protesta ang ipinaabot ng mga mag-aaral kay Esperon. Sa ibang bansa, ang mga pinaka-masahol na mga opisyal ng gobyerno na nagpapahirap sa mga mamamayan ay binabato ng kamatis at binubuhusan ng tubig. Makatarungan lamang ang protestang ginawa ng mga mag-aaral kay Esperon. Una, siya ay pangunahing heneral na sangkot sa pandaraya ni Gng. Arroyo noong nakaraang halalan; isa pa nga siya sa pinangalanan sa “Hello Garci” tape, bilang heneral na nagsasagawa ng pandaraya sa pamamagitan ng AFP. Pangalawa, si Esperon bilang hepe ng AFP ay tiyak na pasimuno at may direktang kaalaman sa mga nagaganap na pagpaslang, pagdukot at pagpatay sa hanay ng mga progresibo at militanteng mga mamamayan. Ang kanyang mga kawal ang nagsasagawa ng walang habas na pagpaslang sa mga inosenteng mga sibilyan. Inamin na din niya na walang pinag-iba ang mga armado at hindi armadong kaaway ng gobyernong Arroyo. Sa kabuuan, lahat ng organisasyon at lahat ng mga mamamayan na binansagan nilang “Communist Terrorist” ay target na nila. Walang ibang ibig sabihin ang binabanggit ni Esperon na mga “Internal Security Operations” at Oplan Bantay Laya, sa
partikular, kundi ang malawakang panunupil sa hanay ng mga mamamayan, halos araw-araw nga ay may dumadagdag na bilang ng pinapaslang/ dinudukot ng mga tinuturong ahente ng AFP!
Nangyari ang protestang iyon pagkatapos ng inyong forum kung kaya walang dahilan upang kayo ay makaramdam ng sama ng loob liban na lamang kung sa tingin ninyo ay natapakan ang inyong karapatan dahil sa ginawang protesta kay Esperon. Hindi naman kayo ang nilalabanan ng kapwa ninyo estudyante.
Bilang pangwakas, malinaw kung sino ang kaaway ng mga mamamayan at iyon ay ang mga berdugong ahente ng AFP sa pangunguna ni Gen. Esperon. Ginagamit ng mga ahente ng militar ang mga estudyante upang hatiin ang ating hanay at pagmukaing malinis at mabango ang imahe nito. Tayong mga mag-aaral ang nararapat na magkaisa sa pakikipaglaban upang mapalaya ang ating dalawang kasamahang dinukot ng mga uhaw-sa-dugong militar. Nararapat lamang na samahan din tayo ng UP administration sa laban na ito upang itigil ng rehimeng Arroyo ang hibang na kampanya nito ng panunupil sa mga mamamayan. Hindi tayo ang dapat maglaban-laban dahil pare-pareho lamang tayong tinatapakan at inaapi ng rehimeng ito sa pamamagitan ng AFP at PNP, tayo ang parehas na hinahambalos ng mga pulis sa mga rally, mga kapwa estudyante ang dinudukot at pinapaslang din nila.
Pansamantalang nakakita ng puwang ang mga ahente ng AFP sa loob at labas ng UP upang maghasik ng paninira at maling kaisipan sa ating hanay upang tayo ay pahinain. Ngunit mulat nating harapin ang kanilang hamon sa pamamagitan ng pagkakaisa. Maging daan sana ang liham na ito upang mas mapatibay natin ang ating pagkakaisa bilang mga iskolar ng bayan sa ikatatagumpay ng ating laban para sa ating mga karapatan.
Karen at Sherlyn palayain!
Militar sa kanayunan, palayasin!
Inutang na dugo ng pasistang rehimen, singilin, pagbayarin!
Iskolar ng Bayan, ngayon ay lumalaban!
Lubos na gumagalang,
Juan Paolo Alfonso
Tagapangulo, University Student Council
3. Fascists
The Philippine Star 09/26/2006

The University of the Philippines has become a truly dangerous place – for those who are not communists.

In the afternoons, Maoist militants gather in the walkway between Palma Hall and the Faculty Center and indulge in repetitive sloganeering and blood-curdling chants, resembling a voodoo ritual. Ordinary students simply detour to the other side of the road to keep as far as possible from this intimidating gang.

They have nested at the Faculty Center, sheltered apparently by the administration of the College of Arts and Letters, possibly out of ideological affinity. Their propaganda is permanently on display.

Irreverence, I can understand. But not impunity.

Over the past few years, helped by their own mediocre leadership and a University administration that seemed unwilling to enforce discipline, this gang has become noticeably rowdier. They march in corridors, whenever they wish to, disrupting classes.

They are suffered in silence. No one, it seems, wants the trouble of putting them in their place. These radicals are, after all, capable of mounting the most venomous attacks against persons they disagree with. And when they attack, they always do so treacherously, never with honor.

The CPP maintains cells in the faculty of the UP. Consistent with the subculture of the Maoist movement, these cells are comfortable with underhanded tactics. They circulate poison letters, pass intrigue and conspire to form a parallel line of decision-making to achieve their political goals. And woe to those who cross them or stand staunchly against their group-think: they can make one’s life miserable.

These are bearers of fanatical intolerance. They seek to control every medium of discussion and close out views contrary to theirs. The Philippine Collegian, which the leftist obsessively try to control is now more boring than Stalin’s Pravda. They sometimes spill out of campus premises to snipe at points of view they disagree with, such as when they text this paper’s Inbox section to demand that this column be shut down.

Tuesday last week, they were whooping madly as someone on a megaphone announced that they had received a few hundred thousand from the pork barrel of Bayan Muna. I remember thinking that perhaps these guys do not realize that part of that precious fund comes from the VAT, which they opposed so virulently.

Then, last Friday, these radical hooligans crossed a line that puts a large cloud of doubt over the UP’s vaunted academic freedom: they physically attacked the Chief of Staff of the AFP who had come to dialogue with the students.

I thought it was brave of Gen. Hermogenes Esperon Jr. to come to the UP to dialogue, given the sharply rising rudeness of the radicals. In between my classes, I made an effort to drop by his forum to show appreciation for his courage.

The forum was civil until the chairman of the UP Student Council began speaking. His impertinence and arrogance was matched only by his intellectual ineptitude. He jabbed with clichés and wove so much intrigue into whatever it was he was trying to say that made very little sense. But his fans club jeered and hooted from the gallery nevertheless.

Esperon gamely sparred and never lost his grace. A graduate of the Philippine Science High School and briefly a UP student before he entered the military academy, it seemed the general relished the joust – and scored points.

After the forum ended, Esperon walked to his vehicle, waving at the chanting radicals positioned outside the Faculty Center Conference Hall. I, along with two other faculty members, walked him to his car, as gracious hosts do.

Then the Maoists sprang their ambush. Led by the arrogant and incoherent chairman of the student council, they rained raw eggs on us. Esperon and his detail quietly withdrew to their vehicles and left. The UP police was nowhere in sight as this attack was in progress.

Quickly images ran through my mind as the assault was in progress: Hitler’s brown shirts killing Catholic professors in Berlin. Mao’s Red Guards throwing professors of classical thought off the ledges at Beijing University during the Cultural Revolution and burning them alive along with priceless antiquities from the museum and libraries of this great institution. Khmer Rouge cadres exterminating all intellectuals with a hammer blow to the back of the head.

One female militant standing beside me was shaking with rage and screaming invectives at the top of her voice. I remember thinking: here was a kid so thoroughly brainwashed she was ready to be a suicide bomber.

For indeed, this was an act of violence inflicted by the intolerant on the heart of academic freedom itself. I stood there for a few minutes, staring each Maoist in the face and then walked to my class, my clothes drenched with egg yolk. I was angry; but more than that, immensely saddened.

The Faculty Center Conference Hall is particularly dear to me. It was my personal cathedral to free speech.

During the dictatorship, we could articulate our dissident ideas in this hall. When news of that fateful mutiny February of 1986 spread, the UP community gathered here to debate our own course of action. During the great bases debate, the US ambassador came here to explain his government’s position and was treated with respect by an intensely anti-bases community.

When I directed the Third World Studies Center, we ran a long series of forums called "Academe Meets Government." Cabinet secretaries came to this hall to defend their record and explain their policies, often before a hostile audience. All of them were treated with respect, beyond all the disagreement. Reciprocity, after all, is the central thread of all civility.

That can never happen again at the UP unless the authorities respond as they must to last Friday’s incident. The fascist tactics of the Maoist hooligans have made not only dialogue with the outside world impossible, the very spirit of free thought and rational debate is seriously menaced.

I don’t think I can continue teaching in this atmosphere of communist terrorism. And if the UP administration does nothing, this university I love shall forever lose its claim to being a sanctuary of free speech and intellectual tolerance.
4. From Dr. Ganni Tapang on Esperon and the egg throwing incident in UP

Bad eggs and right conduct

It is so easy to throw back barbs at the activists who threw eggs at
Esperon in the form of condemnation and outright indignation, as one's
sense of academic decorum is disturbed by the very vivid and graphic

However, the condemnation can dangerously morph into uncalled-for
anti-communist hysteria and McCarthyist red-baiting, as is being done by
Alex Magno and his friends in the seats of power in Malacanang. In his
intolerant column supposedly written in defense of free speech and
intellectual tolerance in the university, he equates the incident to
fascism and "communist terrorism". Unfortunately, this only parrots and
tows the military's dangerous –and fallacious-- reasoning that unarmed
activists are no different from their NPA targets.

Equally dangerous is the opinion that activists must have deserved being
targets as they behave "badly". This is not a case of fighting fire with
fire. The AFP has guns. Students have only eggs and words. Esperon and
his men have outrightly taken part in electoral fraud and have blatantly
tolerated the abduction, torture and killings of unarmed civilians.
Nothing can be more shameful than simply letting go of such iniquity.
The activist students certainly put that difference in power in a
graphic light with the pelting that happened.

This is the same General Esperon, mentioned a few times in the Hello
Garci tapes, which is the reason he is also called a Hello Garci
general. He is one among a few generals who helped in the cheating for
Gloria in the 2004 elections. You can verify that by studying the
contents of the Hello Garci tapes. There was a new book launched last
Monday at the UP College of Law called FRAUD which documents the
cheating in the 2004 elections.

This is the same General Esperon, who has made public in several
instances his total absence for respect for the peace process. Did he
not welcome with open arms "President" Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo' s
declaration of "all-out war" against the Left, and the accompanying
grant of an additional P1-billion budget for state forces to use in the
counter-"insurgency " campaign?

The "all-out-war" declared by Arroyo, by the way, is not specifically
against the Communist Party of the Philippines, the New People's Army,
and the National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) -- which as
organizations are engaged in armed struggle with the Government of the
Republic of the Philippines (GRP) even as it strives to talk peace with
its foe. It is against the Left -- a broad term which can be taken to
include legal cause-oriented organizations like the Bagong Alyansang
Makabayan (Bayan) and progressive party-list groups like Bayan Muna or
even progressive individuals that earned the ire of the leading clique
in power. There is no distinction between guerrillas and unarmed
activists then.

This is the same General Esperon who continues to hide the Mayuga
report. Is he scared that the Mayuga report will expose his role in
Arroyo's massive cheating, and that he got his job not because of merit,
but because of patronage? Yet he is being fast tracked in promotion over
more senior staff in the AFP.

This is the General Esperon, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief
of staff who said at the Melo Commissin that the military and Palparan
are not the ones who committed the more than 750 extrajudicial killings
of activists and civilians. Instead he was saying that the Left
themselves are killing their members. He did not lift even a single
finger to touch Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan, Jr. while the latter was
calling Karen and Sherlyn members of the NPA.

With that, he has dismissed the charge that the two UP lady students,
Karen Empeño and Sheylyn Calapan, (abducted by the military in Hagonoy,
Bulacan 2 months ago and still missing) and effectively saying that they
were really not abducted by the military. Some of those students who
attended that forum were friends of Karen and Sherylyn and you can very
well imagine how they felt about it. Yet, despite these, the students
have had decorum enough to throw only eggs.###

Giovanni A. Tapang, Ph.D. gtapang@nip.
National Institute of Physics http://www.nip. ipl
University of the Philippines Diliman
5. Justified Imprudence
 They are such a polite lot, those worthy scholars of the people
under the Association of Political Science Majors or APSM. Angered by
militant students' egg- and muck-throwing of Gen. Hermogenes Esperon,
these idealistic (read: naive, naive!) studes came up with a statement
demanding that the UP student council and their grim-and-determined
fellows from Vinzons apologize to them and the public from the incident.
They specifically asked council chair Paolo Alfonso to publicly apologize "for his actions which were subsequently
misconstrued as the general behavior of the UP studentry by
greater public."
 What the heck are those UP political science professors teaching these
 First, let us state the obvious: The egg- and muck-throwing happened
after the forum, after Esperon had left Claro M. Recto hall. If it
happened while Esperon was speaking in the forum, there would have
been much reason in APSM demanding apology from Alfonso, for
was their
responsibility as an invited speaker. He is a guest, after
all. We are all familiar with the concept of Pinoy hospitality, and
the APSM kids are obviously not beyond practicing this cultural relic
of our feudal past.
 Should we continue to open our doors to all people, even those
undesirable character, nevermind that known cheats and killers would
understandably not expect people to welcome them in their homes? Or in
this case, nevermind that considering the humongous flak the
is getting because of its horrible human rights record Esperon should
have expected such incidents wherever he goes in the country? Or
nevermind that government officials and public figures not nearly as
controversial as Esperon should expect cries -- or in this case, eggs
-- of indignation to be thrown their way wherever they go for sticking
to a much-hated and discredited regime as Arroyo's?
 There are actually similar situations where controversial VIPs grace
events -- the National Press Club's rigodon night, for one -- where
they know they will be humiliated. In the case of Esperon's visit to
UP, he should have expected to be humilitated, if only for the
abduction and continued detention of UP students Sherlyn Cadapan and
Karen Empeño. I guess, having a thick face gets in the way of those
 What those super-sensitive APSM kids must realize is that they are in
UP, the so-called hotbed of radicalism, of impertinence
imprudence. Bold fraternity men with placards to boot run around the
campus naked, for chrissakes! Almost every moral norm has been
violated in UP, particularly in Sunken Garden and Lagoon, and they
concerned about a simple egg-throwing! They should ask their fellow
students in the History department to tell them about the First
Quarter Storm of 1970, when militant kids their age stormed Batasan
during Marcos's state of the nation address and threw an effigy right
at the would-be dictator's feet, sparking a
quarter-long series of
huge protests and confrontations that would be cited as the finest
hour of the Philippine student movement. They should ask about the
so-called Diliman Commune in 1971, that, while not exactly the type of
commune American and European hippies had during the Sexual
Revolution, had its share of impetinence with students taking over the
campus, renaming Palma Hall as Sison Hall, etc., and playing over
tapes of B-move actress Dovie Beams having sex with Marcos.

 It is way, way beyond any expectations of hospitality and politeness
to feel offended when Esperon gets "egged" after he steps out of the
conference room.
 But what is less obvious but nevertheless must be pointed out to
these kids -- and especially the administration officials so keen on
using APSM to attack the militants -- is that the armed conflict that
is raging all over the country can never be settled by mere talk. It
is the height of naivete to
claim that their forum was an "example of
the meeting of divergent sides". APSM supposedly prides itself
making space "where both ends of the political spectrum meet", but
there is no such space. I was once a writer for human rights group
Karapatan, and I heard so many, many times the stories of human rights
workers engaging the military in a dialogue, asking them to
investigate this or that case, or politely pleading to them to pull
out of areas where human rights violations occur. Very, very seldom do
dialogues bear fruit. Often these dialogues occur to the
detriment of the very ones engaged in dialogue -- the human rights
advocates, the families of the victims, who henceforth become targets
of the attacks they so passionately raised their voices against.
 They only have to know the story of Eden Marcellana, human rights
worker, and Eddie Gumanoy, peasant leader. They, too, raised their
voices. They used words to expose the inequities that they witness.
Eden, according
to those she worked with, had an encyclopedic
knowledge of human rights cases, and was especially skillful
negotiations with the military whenever they go to fact finding
missions. She held countless dialogues with Jovito Palparan and his
murderous cabal, in Mindoro , in Quezon, in Batangas. Her fate is a
testament to how the military and the state settle arguments. They
can't argue with her, but they won the argument by pelting her body
with bullets.

The militant students only pelted Esperon with eggs and muck, instead
of grenades, which some of their youthful counterparts in Palestine or
Iran would probably choose. The kids are understandably angry.
question in my mind, though, is why are those other kids in the APSM
OCTOBER 11, 2006
"Academic freedom" exists among the faculty of the University to some extent because, within our limited sphere of action and thought, all of its members are considered approximately equal in their possession of power or lack thereof. A situation in which a military man talks to an academic cannot exactly be characterized as a propitious and equal academic encounter. One is trained to impose order by force, while the other advances knowledge by thinking "disorderly" thoughts. One is an expert on human extermination, while the typical representative of the latter hardly knows heads or tails of the business of killing people. The authoritarian culture of the military is completely antithetical to the ideal culture of the University. The beauty of the University is not the fact that we can simply think or fantasize whatever we want to, but that we can actually think against the ruling ideas of the dominant groups and classes in society and still be protected to some extent by our intransigent and impudent claim to "academic freedom." "Academic freedom" is imperiled not by a "surplus" of oppositional and critical thought but precisely when the dominant political regime attempts to turn the university into a naked tool for the perpetuation of its power and when it seeks to expel, punish or curb the defiant voices of protest within the academe by means of McCarthyite witch-hunting.
The most serious threat to scientific thought and the spirit of inquiry is not the act of throwing eggs at government functionaries or generals in rare moments of rage. Rather, it is posed by the all too common occurrence of faculty members being reduced to fanatical functionaries and court poets of the powers-that-be. The latter type of "academic" is also known to develop grandiose ideas of his own significance, power and even intellect in direct proportion to the amount of money stashed away in his bank account. In the final analysis, they are just paid hacks with professorial pretensions who are undeserving of even the most civil intellectual treatment in the academic context. They should just quit the academe and take jobs in the field of advertising and political slogan-writing instead. When we become tired of their mantras, we even have the right to say to them, "Sell your voodoo ointments somewhere else! We can't pay you for them."
The "egging" of AFP Chief of Staff, Gen. Hermogenes Esperon, Jr., at UP Diliman has become a convenient pretext for some professorial state jesters to call for a crackdown on activists and activism on the Diliman campus. Gen. Esperon, also known as the "Hello, Garci General" is the head and representative of an institution which has been widely condemned if not reviled, both nationally and internationally for its evident role in the systematic murder of hundreds of activists, journalists, intellectuals and priests. These murders were and are still being accomplished with the utmost brazenness and impunity on the part of the perpetrators. The irony today is that those who pelted Esperon with eggs and mud at the UP Faculty Center are themselves being accused of having acted with "impunity"!
How can anything be more absurd than bearing down upon some harmless egg throwers when the real culprits, criminals and rotten eggs are left unpunished for their crimes against society. Such an eventuality would surrender justice to mere form. Have we already forgotten the "Garci tapes"? Have we forgotten the tragic fates of Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan? Were they given the proper "academic civility" by their military abductors? Do we forget the daily indignities and humiliating poverty that we suffer in order that our politicians, generals and their professorial jesters can swim up to their necks in the taxes we pay? Shame on us if we have forgotten all this. Because it means that we have lost the power to be angry at what is happening outside of our campus and have likewise become totally incapable of understanding the sources of the anger seething within it. Even we, who live and breath the life of teachers and students to our very core, have the right to be angry at the travesties of justice we daily see before our eyes.
There are indeed limits to academic civility and these are where the struggles for real social justice begin.
7. What's in a protest?
by Gerry Lanuza and Sarah Raymundo*
In a website about military jokes, the following can be found:
An Army recruiter delivered a windy pep talk to encourage a group of college students to join the VOLAR. But the culminating point of his oration was greeted with cat calls, whistles and projection of rotten eggs and an assortment of no less rotten vegetables and fruits.
A visitor asked a student: "Why do you throw tomatoes at the man and now you are applauding him?"
"We want an encore. I still have some tomatoes left!" explained the student.
AFP: Auckland : Around 600 anti-war protesters whistled, thumped drums and set fire to flags outside New Zealand 's parliament today as Australian Prime Minister John Howard met leaders inside. The protesters, who included three Green Party MPs, also hurled tomatoes onto the steps of the parliament building in a show of anger over Howard's unstinting support for US-led military action against Iraq .
From the Philippine Daily Inquirer: STUDENTS of the University of the Philippines pelted Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Hermogenes Esperon Jr. with eggs and mud on Friday inside the UP campus in Quezon City , the military said. Esperon was leaving a conference hall at the UP where he had been addressing a forum, when at least 10 students began chanting "fascist military" and throwing eggs and mud, hitting the general on his back and pants, AFP spokesperson Lt. Col. Bartolome Bacarro said. (Published on page A2 of the September 23, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer)
So what's in these incidents? Like the Holocaust there are various ways to interpret the UP incident.

The liberal interpretation
The APSM statement proposes the liberal neutral interpretation:
"Contrary to accusations, APSM stands for academic freedom. We believe that academic freedom means that a person, organization or institution can articulate ideas and political beliefs without the threat of being harmed in any way. In fact, the presentation of the forum is an attempt to achieve that objective. The military as an institution, just like other actors in society, deserves its right to participate in public discourse and present its ideas and policies. Fora such as the one presented promotes transparency by engaging the military in a public discussion of its ideas and policies."

This is the usual liberal mantra: dialogue please, but no riot! So while a liberal passionately attacks ideas she dislikes and vigorously defends her own stand, she recoils quickly from asserting the consequences of her viewpoint. So let's all work for the elimination of violence, but when this requires slightest violence, the liberal shirks. For instance, a liberal deep ecologist can retort: "How dare these green parties cause pain and suffering for those tomatoes!" to which the UP liberal animal rights advocate can rejoin: "How dare these Leftists cause pain and suffering to unhatched chicken eggs?" (which of course is questionable because the eggs are bad eggs) That's why he is often defeated by a staunch conservative who goes through the consequences of what he believes without hesitation. Since a liberal proposes non-violent, peaceful way of resolving conflict, he is bound to be peaceful even if he knows very well that her enemy is cruel. One must be reminded here of Herbert Marcuse's plea for intolerance:
The tolerance which is the life element, the token of a free society, will never be the gift of the powers that be; it can, under the prevailing conditions of tyranny by the majority, only be won in the sustained effort of radical minorities, willing to break this tyranny and to work for the emergence of a free and sovereign majority - minorities intolerant, militantly intolerant and disobedient to the rules of behavior which tolerate destruction and suppression." are determined and defined by the institutionalized inequality (which is certainly compatible with constitutional equality), i.e., by the class structure of society. In such a society, tolerance is de facto limited on the dual ground of legalized violence or suppression (police, armed forces, guards of all sorts) and of the privileged position held by the predominant interests and their 'connections'.
Can we not therefore claim that what the students displayed is a kind of "liberating tolerance"? A symbolic act to test the tolerance of the liberal tolerators?
We must insist today on the Leninist plea for intolerance and the futility of formal freedom. Formal freedom is the freedom of choice within the coordinates of the existing power relations, while actual freedom designates the site of an intervention that undermines these very coordinates. So within the so-called liberal democratic formal space, you can choose among varieties of dialogue: forum, debate, symposium, lecture, colloquium, roundtable discussion, etc. Egg-pelting? No, it's not in the liberal's civilized menu!
A more radical reading here presents itself: isn't the angry protest of the students, against the sector of the military that protects the President and not the People, a real _expression of highest military honor: the principle of non-toleration of unethical behavior? And that the pelting of eggs to General Esperon is a symbolic act reminding him of the highest military valor, which is saying NO! to politicians who drag the nation to chaos and division? And if General Esperon claims he is innocent (of involving himself in electoral fraud and omission in the face of political killings), then, all the more he has to show vigorously that the military does not tolerate any form of corruption whether inside or outside the military. Any gesture short of this is to diminish military honor!
Liberals can retort: "But throwing eggs could have been substituted by throwing sour arguments against the General in the forum!" What is hypocritical here is that the liberals who flaunt this argument are doing what Lacan calls as “acting out”: two people with different, irreconcilable, political beliefs, being nice and sharing congenial glances, when there is a seething antagonism between them. What the egg-pelters accomplished is a kind of symbolic act: the suspension of the rules and assertion of one's passion.
The "Maybe those who threw them were bad eggs" argument
According to this, UP students who participated were not representative of the entire UP system and therefore they must apologize to clear the stained reputation of UP students. The obscene supplement to this argument is the condescending (but unaristocratic statement of General Esperon): "I still have high regards for UP." This obscene supplement flattens out the difference between Esperon's statement and the fetishistic statement: "I still trust the electoral system even if it has room for allowing some politicians to cheat." This obscene supplement abolishes the remainder between egg-pelting and political corruption.
What is missing in this argument is the Hegelian notion of concrete universality. The ideals of the University are empty ideals that must be filled with concrete content. Each generation of UP students must struggle to define what will count as UP values. So if academic freedom is part of UP values, then we must leave room for antagonistic negotiation on how to define this value. So the question now is this: Is the action of the egg-pelters part of that quasi-Kantian transcendental value? What must not be missed here is that the liberals and detractors of the egg-pelters had already scored points by invoking the value of academic freedom: pelting eggs to a General violates academic freedom! What an irony! The immediate task of those who are sympathetic to the incident is to claim universality on their side. "Yes, egg-pelting is part of our academic freedom!" As Marcuse argues, "According to a dialectical proposition it is the whole which determines the truth--not in the sense that the whole is prior or superior to its parts, but in the sense that its structure and function determine every particular condition and relation. Thus, within a repressive society, even progressive movements threaten to turn into their opposite to the degree to which they accept the rules of the game." Egg-pelting is definitely a refusal to play the liberal coy game.
An Aristocratic Response, Yes, Please!
According to one of the aphorisms of the German military: "That which does not kill me makes me stronger." And Nietzsche endorses this in the Twilight of the Idols. That is why cruelty and power are so dear to Nietzsche. Miller interprets Nietzsche as saying that, "To exercise actively the will to power, he regards as the essence of life. To exercise this power with abandon is not only to court being cruel but, when cruelty occurs, to enjoy the pain the suffering, the agony that cruelty causes. "To practice cruelty is to enjoy the highest"-note the adjective: the highest -"gratification of the feeling of power." To enjoy the exercise of power is, in effect, to be cruel. And cruelty is the virtue of the noble individuals. As Miller points out BE CRUEL in your resoluteness, welcome the harsh renunciations and sometimes brutal costs of relentlessly pursuing any vaulting ideal, be it wisdom, Godliness, or revolutionary purity. This we may call the cruelty proper to the ascetic, an eagerness to suffer the pains entailed by unswerving commitment to any burning faith or transcendent ambition." Of course the military and the Rightist can claim they can also be cruel. This is where the liberal are out-smarted: they shy away from inflicting cruelty to realize their ideals, but the reactionaries do not!
Fabricating the Bad Egg Festival
In the age of post-politics, and what Giddens calls as post-traditional society, where new traditions are fabricated, the egg-pelting incident is a perfect candidate for staging a festival of spectacle, which eventually can rival the Tomatina (tomato battle) Festival in Bunol,Valencia, Spain, every last Wednesday of August, or the Mr. Tomato Head Festival of Ukrainians, during Indpendence Day. If Nietzsche says, "Without cruelty there is no festival," we must also assert its obverse: "Without festival there is no cruelty." If Ukrainians throw tomato on the picture of the most corrupt politician, and Spaniards engage in tomato battles, then the UP festival can be called the Egg-pelting at Fascists Day or Bad Eggs Festival. If the Alpha Phi Omega fraternity has the Oblation Run, then progressive students can have their own "fabricated" festival.
The One Measure of True Love Is: You Can Insult the Other
This festival should be a reminder to the future generations of UP students, that for a brief moment, the students are able to equalize the status gap between them and the highest military official, no less than the Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines . (Because if the incident happened elsewhere it could have been catastrophic!) And that UP can be a freedom zone where statuses do not matter! And that is the highest meaning of RESPECT --A VIRTUE being misrepresented by liberals, and being flaunted by the MILITARY! Esperon deserves RESPECT, yes! --BUT RESPECT ON EQUAL TERMS. As Nietzsche reminds us, respect can only be exercised among equals! THE HIGHEST FORM OF RESPECT THEREFORE IS DISREPECT! As Zizek puts it, "For me there is one measure of true love: you can insult the other... That's the truth of it. If there is true love, you can say horrible things and anything goes."
But then again, no activist could even imagine true love for Esperon. What is at stake in their symbolic protest, apart from staging the principle of respect on equal terms is precisely the radical youth’s intelligent idealism. Against the corrupt and criminal practices of the military apparatus, the egg-pelters staged a symbolic argument for the construction of an ideal military apparatus. They who refuse the underside of military force (read: abuse of military power) have grasped the true horizon in through which respect can be affirmed and accorded. Meanwhile, the ones who insist upon respect for an official of a corrupt institution are the ones who are, actually, disrespectful. For, it appears that they are willing to give up on their desire for another form of democracy that is supposed to be protected by the Army for the sake of good manners and right conduct. But the question is, can anyone respect predominant military practice in the Philippines ?
True love is destroying the Other's illusion. The Other in this context is the military establishment. The students who pelted eggs to Esperon are the young radicals who have seen through the illusion: The current military establishment cannot defend the people. Therefore, the act of pelting eggs, especially to Esperon symbolizes a hopeful stance towards the military establishment: That it can be other than what it is today. An armed Forces that serve the people and not the system of private property that protects the interest of a few. As for the liberals, they are simply playing a coy game, and like the reactionaries and state functionaries from within the UP faculty, they never registered their concern when it was established that Karen Empeno and Sherlyn Cadapan were abducted. Yet lately, their mouths are frothing over the "desacralization of the University" erroneously equated with Esperon's momentary shame.
The liberals and the reactionary fascists have indeed closed ranks on this issue. Their tantrums range from the authoritarian demand for public apology to the outright fascistic suggestion to expel the egg-pelters from the University. This, then, brings us to our desire to defend a third modality of action. The action of the community of believers, the "uncoupled outcasts" from the university's liberal order. These are the collectivities whom the reactionaries and liberals love to warn us against. These collectivities are often constituted as monstrous. To this we assert Heiner Muller's well-known aphorism: "The first appearance of the new is the dread."
*The authors are faculty members of the Department of Sociology, University of the Philippines Diliman.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Ang pagsulat ay malikhaing gawain

Ang Pagsulat ay Malikhaing Gawain

Ang imahinasyon ang pangunahing lahok sa pagsulat, lalo na ng panitikan. Malaya at hindi ito. Malaya dahil sa indibidwal na antas ay mayroong sapat na ahensya ang manunulat para magkaroon ng kumbiksyon bilang mamamayan at iba pang identidad, kahit pa ito ay sabjek ng mas makapangyarihan na estado. Overdetermined rin naman ang akto ng pag-eehersisyo ng manunulat ng kanyang kalayaan. Tila mayroon siyang kalayaan gayong ang kanyang pagpipilian na opsyon ay napili na ng mga aparatong represibo at kultural ng estado. Kaya rin hindi siya lubos na malaya, at ito ang dahilan kung bakit pinapaslang ang mga peryodista, intelektwal, manunulat at aktibista—dahil may limitasyon, para sa estado, ang pwede at hindi pwedeng malikha ng imahinasyon.

Malaya at mapanganib ang imahinasyon, pero ito ay kung pipiliin lamang. Ang rekurso ng pagiging malaya ay pagiging mapanganib. Hindi kakambal ng kalayaan ang burgis na kasiyahan, ligtas na posisyon ito. Ang kasiyahan ay nanggagaling sa mga bagong paraan ng paglalahad ng nauna nang sinasabi hinggil sa porma ng panitikan at pagkatao sa lipunan. Defamiliarization ang tawag rito, at kung gusto mong maging major dito, kailangang paglaruan mo ang porma ng panitikan—nang hindi ganap na nae-alienate ang mambabasa kundi ang suma-total ay nasisiyahan ito sa sensasyon ng pagtunghay sa reinbensyon ng porma at laman para ilahad ang isang familiar na bagay bilang hindi familiar.

Malikhain ang panitikan sa ganitong antas. Tunay na wala nang masasabi hinggil sa engrandeng kaalaman at realisasyon sa buhay. Ang tangi na lamang magagawa ay ilahad ito sa kakaibang paraan, na parang engrande pa rin pero hindi inihahayag na engrande nga ito. Patagong proyekto ng pagtatayo ng monumento. At ito ang extra-challenge sa manunulat. Paano itatago ang monumento habang ginagawa ito?

Madalas sabihin ng nakakatanda, “Gamitin mo ang iyong imahinasyon.” Tila ito ang alamat ng pinya, kaya naparusahan ang babaeng tamad na maging matinik na halaman at prutas, “Gamitin mo ang iyong mata, hindi ang iyong bibig.” Bawal mag-ingay ang babae. Madalas sabihin ng mga nakakatandang manunulat, “show don’t tell.” Kung gayon, ang imahen ng matimtimang babae ang kognitibong mapa ng pagiging malikhain sa pagsulat—tahimik hindi garapal, masunurin hindi nagbabalikwas, internal hindi palabas ang gawi.

Kapag nagsusulat, nagbibigay-ngalan sa karanasan: ang dapat mabatid ng mga Tagalog, ang pagiging babae ay pamumuhay sa panahon ng digma, kung ang tula ay isa lamang…, azucarera, kristal sa uniberso, at iba pa. Tila hindi pa nararas ito ng tao kaya hinahawi ng manunulat ang mapa ng karanasan hinggil rito. Kung gayon, may bagong perspektiba—at ang kahilingan ay mapagpalaya ito—ang manunulat sa karanasan sa lipunan.

Ang kakatwa rito ay ang perspektiba ng manunulat, sa akto ng pagsulat, ay humahawi rin ng mapa sa paraan ng pagsulat at sa panitikan. Ibig sabihin, ang naisulat na tula tungkol sa paksang ang pagiging babae ay pamumuhay sa panahon ng digma ay tumutukoy rin sa paraan ng pagtula ng makatang nagsulat nito. Bawat tula ay manifesto hinggil sa panulaan, at bawat pagtula ay manifesto hinggil sa panitikan. O di ba, napakalaking atas tuloy ang pagsusulat.

Malikhain ang pagsulat dahil ito ay lumilikha ng bagong paraan ng kognitibong pagmapa sa karanasang pinapaksa nito. Ang panlaping “ma” sa salitang-ugat na likha ay tumutukoy sa batayang katangian ng pagsulat—masalapi, maalam, matanong, at iba pa. Nililikhang intrinsikong katangian sa paglikha ang pagiging malikhain nito. Arkitekto ang manunulat kung gayon—nagtatayo ng struktura ng panitikan, struktura ng karanasan, at maging struktura ng karanasan sa panitikan. Ang unlaping “in” naman ay tumutukoy sa pagiging definitibo ng katangian ng pagiging aksyon bilang deskripsyon ng likha—ito ay hindi lamang nag-uutos (likhain), kundi nagsasaad ng pagkilos sa pang-uri (malikhain). Kung gayon, paratihang isinasaad ng katangiang “malikhain” na ang proseso ay parating dinamiko, fluido, at patuloy-tuloy sa pagdaloy. Hindi pala naikakahon ang pagiging malikhain.

Naikakahon ito dahil mayroong limitasyon. Ang mismong pagpili ng manunulat na maging manunulat at hindi tubero, tagapastol ng kalabaw o nagtitinda ng droga sa kanto—kahit malamang ay parating may katambal na paggawa sa kahalintulad o suplementaryong trabaho dahil sa pang-ekonomikong kalagayan ng manunulat—ay nagsasaad na ng orihinaryong limitasyong pang-ekonomiko ng manunulat. Hindi pera ang dahilan ng kanyang pagsulat gayong pera ang hinihimok na dagdag sa kanyang kultural na kapital. Kung magtagumpay ang pera, hindi na siya manunulat sa artisanong paraan kundi manunulat na siya sa ilalim ng poder ng kapital. Kung hindi naman, at sa maraming pagkakataon ito ang kalakaran, ang aspirasyong maging dakila ang paratihang nasa likod ng pag-akda at pagiging malikhain. Kung gayon, ang pagiging malikhain ay nakaangkla sa utopia ng pagiging dakila.

Sa bawat akdang naisulat at naitanghal bilang panitikan, dumaraan ang naisulat sa serye ng paglimi ng mga tradisyong makakapagtanghal na ito nga ay dakilang panitikan, at kung magkagayon, na ang manunulat nga ay dakilang pantas. Ang institusyonal na praktis tulad ng pampanitikang kontests, publikasyon, workshops, pagtatanghal, organisasyong pangmanunulat, pag-aaral at kritisismo, at iba pa ay bahagi ng pagtahip na maghihiwalay ng ipa sa bigas. Sasalain pa ito—tulad ng paghihiwalay ng mismong mga daliri sa nakasamang bato at palay sa bigas—ng mas mahabang tradisyong pinanggagalingan ng mga larangang pampanitikan. At ang kolektibong karanasan ng mga ito ang magtatanghal kung ganap nga bang dakila ang akda.

Kung gayon, ang pagiging malikhain ay ang kapasidad ng akda na hindi lamang maitanghal na dakila ng mga higanteng tradisyon sa panitikan kundi ang pananalig na rin sa mismong diwa ng tradisyon bilang hulmahan ng kagalingan. Bagamat ang tradisyon ay may tatanghaling paisa-isang panitikang rebelde, ang mga ito naman ay incorporatable na rebelde na nagbibigay-prestihiyo pa rin sa establisyimento ng tradisyon. Wala ring dinadakila ang tradisyon na xerox lamang nang mga naunang kagalingan. Ang panuntunan ay mayroong ibang garden variety na iniluluwal ang bawat pagsulat.

At ito ang kinahaharap ng manunulat. Paano magiging tunay na malikhain kung mayroon nang parametro nang paglikha, ng likhain at pagiging malikhain? Ano pa ang pwedeng magagawa para maging malikhain? Ang dilemma ko ay kapag may masasabi pa ako, nagawa na ito, at kung gayon, naging bahagi na ng tradisyon.

Kung gayon na naman, ang maaring pag-isipan ay ang tradisyon. Mayroon bang nasa labas nito? May posisyong ng pagsulat ba na nasa labas ng pagiging dakila at pagkita sa panulatan? Kung mayroon, pagbati dahil mayroon naman palang ibang landas na maaring tahakin patungo sa nais mapuntahan.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Kontra-Gahum Book Cover-Launching Soon!

Kontra-Gahum Table of Contents

The Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy's (CONTEND-U.P.) PUBLIKASYONG IGLAP SERIES and Ibon Foundation invites you to the launching of

Academics Against Political Killings

Rolando B. Tolentino and Sarah Raymundo

on November 23, 2006
2:00-5:00 pm Bulwagang Claro M. Recto, Faculty Center
College of Arts and Letters, University of the Philippines Diliman

see book details below

Published by Ibon Foundation Inc.
ISBN 971-0325-87-0
Number of pages: 296
Release Date: November 23, 2006
Regular Price:Php 295.00
See attached file for the book cover

Books will be sold at a discounted price during the launch
Royalties of the contributors will go to HUSTISYA (newly-formed organization of the families of the victims of political killings and forced disappearances)


Judy Taguiwalo

Counterpoint by Sarah Raymundo

I. Historicizing Terror

E. San Juan
: Neocolonial State Terrorism and the Crisis of Comprador/Imperialist Hegemony

Elmer A. Ordoñez
:The rites of Summer/Pall over the land

Ramon Guillermo
:Panimulang Pananaliksik na Open Source kaugnay ng Diskurso ng OPLAN Bantay-Laya

Peter Chua
:Bloodshed and the Coercive Communal Peace Negotiations:Some Hallmarks of the Macapal Arroyo Regime

II. Theorizing Terror and the Political

Rolando B. Tolentino:
Spectacle ng Politikal na Pagpaslang at ng Tunay, STD (Short-Term Deficiency) ni GMA

JPaul Manzanilla
:Terror Talks: The Public Secret

Danilo A. Arao
:Tracing the Roots of Killings of Journalists

Rommel Rodriguez
: Casus Belli

Jonathan Beller
:21st Century Fascism, "Political" Killing and the Crisis of Representation

Alamon:.H.A.M! Bang! Thank You Ma’am: Winning Hearts and Minds and the People’s War

III.(en)Countering Terror

Luis Teodoro
: Boomerang

Neferti Xina Tadiar

Gerardo Lanuza
:Affirming the Universality of Human Rights in the State of Exception

Sarah Raymundo:Ang Etika ng Tunay Laban sa Diskursong Wakasan

Gary C. Devilles
: The Violence of Grotesque and the Grotesquerie of Violence In Two Filipino Short Stories in English

Melania Lagahit Abad
:Ang Mga Winawala, Nagwawala at Wawalain: Pagwiwika sa Sistematikong Pamamaslang Sa/Ng Rehimeng Arroyo

Choy Pangilinan
: Karahasan, Pagpaslang, Kamatayan, Media at ang Ating Papel Tungo sa Bagong Naratibo ng Bansa

: Akademya at Pagpaslang ni Rolando B. Tolentino

Guide Questions and Discussion Outline for Teachers and Activist Educators by Arnold Alamon

From the back cover:

Gahum is a Cebuano word for power and hegemony in and through which Macapagal-Arroyo's "end game" may be read, analyzed and opposed as the word kontra (counter) designates. Macapagal-Arroyo's "end game" strategy against sectors and quarters that oppose her prolonged stay in power seeks to decisively defeat the "insurgents", especially the communists. But the spate of political killings of civilians and leaders of people's organizations has reached an alarming number of 744 since 2001, and this gives the term gahum its flavor as it is used in this book.

This volume focuses on the three major dimensions of the dialectical relationship between state repression and the people's movement. The state, in this context, creates a semblance of banality in the midst of its malevolent violence to which it subjects its critical citizens. Meanwhile, the people's movment, long engaged in counter-hegemonic praxiologies, strongly gains ground amidst the most barbaric and nervous conditions. Each chapter captures the ideas and sentiments of the authors into a thought-provoking and moving compilation that itself manifests the dialectics between the national democratic movement and the academe.

Friday, October 06, 2006



Sino ang hindi nabubuhay sa fantasya sa kasalukuyang panahon? Fantasya ng mga hubad at halos hubong babae at lalake sa panahon ng bikini at model searches. Fantasya ng maging next big star. Fantasya ni Darna na muli’t muling pinapapanood sa atin, ngayon naman sa telebisyon.

Matatawag rin fantasya ang malling at window shopping. Binibigyan tayo ng pasubali sa posibilidad sa mga pinakabagong damit, bag, sapatos, gadget—ang maaring makamit kung mayroon tayong sapat na salapi sa wallet. At tunay namang abot-tanaw lang ang pangarap na napapagitnaan ng salamin—ang kakulangan sa mamimili at ang tagapamatid-kulang na bagay.

Sa pagtindi ng krisis pang-ekonomiya at pangkabuhayan, sino ang ayaw maniwalang maililigtas tayo ni Darna, o kahit na sa kapangitan ng pabalat ay ginintuan pa rin ang puso ng Kampanerang Kuba? O sa pagtayo ng pinakabagong exklusibong mall sa Cubao—ang Gateway—sa pagitan ng dalawang mass rail transit lines ang siyang karugtong ng pangarap na maging First World?

Sa isang banda, mahalaga ang fantasya dahil ito ang nagiging paraan ng negosiasyon sa paghihirap ng buhay. Sino ang hindi nangarap magkaroon ng superpowers para malampasan ang kawalan-katarungan sa sarili o para maisalba ang mahal sa buhay sa kumunoy ng paghihirap?

Sa kabilang banda, ang hindi produktibo sa fantasya ay ang pagiging kabahagi rin nito ng mismong mga institusyong pagbibigay-lagusan sa fantasya bilang solusyon sa problema. Binebentahan tayo, halimbawa, ng ABS-CBN ng pangarap na pwede tayong mag-artista o maging sikat na singer, pati boxingero, kapag nagpursigi tayo sa ating mga pangarap.

Sila na nagbebenta ng pangarap natin ay sila rin naman na nagpapangarap sa atin. Mayroon bang magkakaroon ng lehitimong interes na maging boxingero via reality search kung may oportunidad naman sa mga larangan ng palakasan?

Sa kadalasan pa nga, sa malawakang korapsyon sa bansa, ang mga institusyon din ang nagnanakaw ng pangarap ng sambayanan. Hindi nga ba’t sa pagkapangulo ni Erap ay dinambong niya ang mga pangarap ng bayan sa pagnanakaw ng yaman-pambansa? Ang mamamayan na nagpakat ng kanilang pangarap sa tagumpay ni Erap ay naiwang nakabinbin sa hangin hanggang sa may bagong panday o aparisyon ng birhen na kanilang makikita bilang katubusan ng kanilang kalagayan.

Kakatwa sa titulo ng isang pelikula, “Kung mangarap ka’t magising,” walang gumigising sa pangarap. Natatapos lamang ang pangarap para simulan ng bago. Ang ating pagtanghod sa pang-araw-araw ay pagsasalit-salit ng mga pangarap.

Nagigising lang naman talaga kapag hinaluan ng politikal ang pangarap. Sa isang banda, ang pagtukoy sa realidad kaysa sa fantasya ang katapusan ng pangarap. Paano ka mangangarap kung mulat ka? Sa kabilang banda, kapag nilagyan ng politikal ang fantasya, ito ay nagiging causa na nagkakaroon ng lugar sa “cause-oriented groups” o mga organisasyon may layon ng panlipunang transformasyon.

Utopia ang dulot nito. Nagsasakripisyo ka dahil mayroon kang pangarap na maabot sa hinaharap na lampas pa sa sarili mong kabutihan. Ang utopia ay kolektibong pangarap. Kapag maramihan ang naniniwala at nakikipaglaban para sa paniniwala, ito ay utopia.

Si Narda, isang pilay at mahirap, nangarap na mapabuti ang kanyang sariling lagay. Pumasa siya sa isang pagsusulit ng enkantadang matanda na binigyan siya ng kapangyarihan. Ang agimat na bato, kapag isinubo at binigkas ang kataga, ang ordinaryong si Narda ay magiging extraordinaryong si Darna.

Pero kailangang isakripisyo ni Narda ang kanyang sariling interes. Kailangan niyang tulungan ang mga higit na nangangailangan, gamitin ang kanyang kapangyarihan para sa kabutihan. At sa dami ng natulungan ni Darna, nangarap tayong maging tulad niya—may kapangyarihan at may kapangyarihang makapanlimi sa kinakailangang gawin.

Pero hindi tulad ni Darna, hindi magical ang transformasyon ng sarili. Wala tayong boses o lakas para baguhin ang kalagayan ng sarili, lalo na ng nakararami. Tayo ay tulad ni Narda na may kapansanan at kabilang sa hanay ng mahihirap. Ano ang puwang ng pamamantasya?

Ang pamamantasya ay tulad ng aktibidad ng pamimintana. Patanaw-tanaw ka lang sa labas. Nakatanghod ang paningin sa kung ano-anong dumadaan. Wala ka naman talagang tinatanaw o nakikita kundi ang nais mong makita.

Ginagamit mo lang ang external na kapaligiran para tunghayan sa isang relaxadong pamamamaraan ang kalagayan ng internal na sarili. Nababawasan ang anxiedad ng internal, nakakawing sa haraya ng posibilidad kung saan pwede tayong lahat magkaagimat, sumigaw ng Darna, puksain ang katiwalian, makamit ang sosyalismo, maging Richie Rich, magkaroon ng syotang kasing ganda ni Paris Hilton o guwapo ni AJ Dee.

O di ba, kay ganda ng buhay? Siempre, dito lang yon sa maliit na bubble na kay daling pumutok sa bigat ng aktwal na kapaligiran: Payatas, korapsyon, presyo ng gasoline at pamasahe, pagbaba ng buhay sa ilalim ni GMA, at iba pa.

Hindi na maganda ang buhay. Ang buhay, para maging kapaki-pakinabang, kailangang pagsanibin ang paglangoy sa dalawang ilog—ang daloy ng fantasya ng nagbibigay posibilidad sa mga imposibleng bagay; at ang daloy ng realidad na aktwal na ginagawalan ng buhay.

Kaya si Narda at Darna ay pinag-uugnay ng matibay na katotohanan ng batong hindi madudurog pero lagusan para makalabas-pasok sa mundo ng fantasya at realidad.

Political Literary Criticism (Afterword to Duke Bagulaya's Waray Literature Book)

Political Literary Criticism

One of the most enlightening points for political criticism has been articulated by Terry Eagleton in his conclusion of Literary Theory.[1] Contrary to the dominant notion of literary criticism that elucidates on style and form and/or liberal humanist content, Eagleton argues that whatever kind of approach and theory in literary analysis is itself an equivocation of the politics in which such approach and theory developed and became integral to individuals and society’s own understanding of its way of seeing the world. Literary theory itself is political theory for it espouses a way of seeing the world, analyzing it and prescribing a prognosis to its imperfect state; thus, a way of perpetuating or changing the world. Literature, like artifacts of material life as we experienced it, becomes a prism to look at the very operation of sight and aura, cognition and, in a la Matrix realm, of misrecognition. Literary analysis becomes the veritable mode of expanding the understanding and misunderstanding of the experience of the world. Literary theory is mobilized to become the tool of analysis to reframe the worlding or way of experiencing of the text, literature and society.

While formalists in Philippine academe would object to the intrusion of political criticism in an object constituted as universal as art and literature, they negate the idea of themselves involved in a political act—the maintenance of purity of art and the humanities against the material conditions of massive social inequity and injustice. Literature and arts become the last beacons of hope, thus the paranoia to sustain this turf in all its para-militaristic glory. Epistemic violence becomes the exemplary act of teaching, as the Little Prince has enlightened us, “what is essential [as] invisible to the eye.” Departments of Literature participate in the generation of invisibility of the material condition, aestheticizing pain, suffering and massive poverty as beholden to the literary experience of the human conditions. Is it not the aesthetic of pain that nurtures the condition of fascism, generating a montage of militaristic beauty in the service of the state? These departments also participate in the generation of the visibility of the universal soul and humanity, giving form and content to the abstractions of the reactionary state.

How can one else characterize the Philippine state other than as reactionary or over-protective of its own inadequacies to either provide basic services to the majority of its people or to legitimize pain and suffering of the historically disenfranchised, delivered unto the silver platters of transnational businesses and their local elite cohorts? The Philippine state itself is primarily operationalized to make politics and politicking its cause for being. Borrowing from a comprador business motto, “In the service of the Filipino,” the state retransforms its role from provider of basic services to the masses to these services and the masses as beholden to state functions. Academe in general and literature departments in particular sanitize the state through the depoliticization of art and education. Neoliberal academics would even contend that education and art, like those of any commodity, should be supervised by market forces. How can Communications 1, Social Science 2 or Rizal, therefore, be political as the delaborized commodities, such as Diet Coke, 555 Tuna or Bid Mac? How can all these commodities be political as the systematic deaths of 28 members of the militant Bayan-Muna party list since 2001 or the numbing murders of 71 journalists since 1986?[2]

Yet as Eagleton contends, “the history of modern literary theory is part of the political and ideological history of our epoch.”[3] The sterilization of the political in academe represents the cleansing of the state of both its inadequacies in alleviating the suffering of the masses and its excessive production of violence to overcompensate for these inadequacies and to protect its real economic stakeholders. On the one hand, as Eagleton has quoted of Barthes, “Literature is [simply] what gets taught,” on the other hand, it is also the censuring of divergent modes of experientiation that is fetishicized in literature that does get taught and the literary theory of choice in the teaching of literature.[4] In a nation where the status quo wears its badge off its sleeves—to be Liberal Party, Lakas, Christian Democrats or Partido ng Masa is synonymous to be neo-Aristotlean, Chicago, formalist, humanist and so on—fascism and corruption are produced with so much non-apology as the citizenry’s own path of living. The Philippine literary tradition, as well as Philippine society and nation-state themselves, are products of branding the status quo as continuous reification of fascist ideology for popular support.

For how can literature be unique to the discourse of the state when literature becomes the very apparatus of maintaining forms of state benevolence—from the heralding of the National Artist to the extraction of reading list for literature courses for secondary and tertiary levels of education, to the manner in which these texts are to be taught, to the selection of the guest speaker in the awards’ ceremonies of the premier literary contest. There is very little doubt that even the perceived contraction of funding and the discipline itself of the humanities merely serves as a flawed logic to the perils of neoliberal education that places a greater emphasis not so much on the sciences as to the shift in the educational thrust that will serve the niche market of the nation’s placement in the global and sexual division of labor. Although as part of the ideological state apparatus, literature also forms parcel to a public sphere that is able to interrogate the state, much to what the bourgeois civil society purports to do, but does so without the transformation of the critical mass. Liberal humanist education, after all, might be able to cohere a critical mass of the intellectual kind, but will not be able to be held solely responsible for the transformation of masses of people to better their lives.

Eagleton would even extend the argument by stating that liberal humanist education is the best effort of the state to articulate its own flawed logic. What literature, literary theory and analysis of the dominant liberal humanist type attempt to formulate is the formulation of the state’s aplogia, “the best ideology of the ‘human’ that present bourgeois society can muster.”[5] As the University of the Philippines, a state university, for example, has pioneered neoliberal education in the country through its postmodern pluralism in its Revitalized General Education Program and the abandonment of state subsidy in the financing of higher education in its proposed modernization of the University charter, the progressive politics is at once negated in favor of a pragmatic politics embellished in critical academic jargon. How can one claim neoliberalism as the culprit when the experience of academic transnationals magnify neoliberalism as accounting for both the borderless flow of goods, people and capital and the further depreciation of the historically disenfranchised? What has become of the trace of progressive rhetorics, articulated, for example, by a bureaucrat president in Marxist clothing, is the usurpation of progressive idealism for the pragmatics of neoliberalism. Spoken by a bureaucrat, progress signifies development politics as a way of bettering the community members’ lives. Spoken by a Marxist bureaucrat, it signifies the twisted logic of positivism made more reactionary—what can and cannot be done as validated by the economics of higher education financing. What has become of the academe is to provide academically attuned arguments to the rhetoric of the nation-state. It is not surprising, for example, to find out how the state university has continued to supply various administrations of high-level bureaucrats and apologists. The intellectuals serve as the state’s crown of thorns for its mismanagement of desires of people and institutions. But then again, how can the state mismanage something that is ingrained in its continuity? To think of ideological state apparatuses, like education, media and the arts, is to amplify how these, in the grand schema of things and events, serve the primordial interest of no other entity other than the state. If at all, the state may be forecasted to have withered away, albeit slowly and violently, but it does so with the continuous reconstitution of multinational capital and U.S. imperialism within the national territory. The state does not wither away, it is rejuvenated and reinvented for the purpose of serving the greater economic and political interests of the global hegemon.

The educational institution has been engineered to serve the para-military emphasis of the state. Academe’s production of critics and specialists form part of the vigilante groups, para-military civil organizations that uphold state interests. Departments of literature produce these graduates and postgraduates in forms of literacy campaigns to be able to read and write in “certain ways.” As Eagleton has noted, “Nobody is especially concerned about what you say, with what extreme, moderate, radical or conservative positions you adopt, provided that they are compatible with, and can be articulate within, a specific form of discourse.”[6] On the one hand, academic Marxists or feminists, for example, find equal footing with the formalists in higher education, even as, from their contending points of views, they are mightier bearers of individual and social transformation. On the other hand, the radicality of Marxists or feminists is only perceived to be real within the academic setting. How then to actually transform society is beyond the confines of the academe and higher learning. It is this edge that distinguishes liberal humanist education from a national, scientific and mass-oriented education.

Literary theory, like all artifacts of material social existence, “is really no more than a branch of social ideologies” or an extension of belief systems of contending and dialoging groups, sectors and their interests.[7] If this is true, then the motivation of the critic is to expound on already foregrounded ideologies. The interest of the critic in not only introducing but dwelling on the political—doubly in using the national democratic framework—in literary analysis is to lay bare the vested interest of the critic. Partisan criticism, after all, is the imperative drive of all criticism, be it in politics or in literature. It is along this logos that the critic’s work is to be criticized and metastasized to another text. The journey of carrying a text to another stream flow is invariably a long tedious one. Duke Bagulaya’s critique of the development of Waray poetry is connected to the ways Gelacio Guillermo and Edel Garcellano have a priori articulated the terrain of nationalist democratic literatures. Bagulaya even conjures connections along Bievenido Lumbera’s theorizing of national literature as these earlier studies have in turn negotiated their own place in the critical literary space production. It is in dialog with “fusion criticism” of the Maoist and western marxist variety, and of the related positionality of Amado Guerrero’s Philippine Society and Revoltuion. In academic practice, the parochiality of self referentiality is intertwined in another’s self reflexive literary mode as contending and dialoging positionality in the guerrilla warfare of literary criticism.

What Bagulaya interjects is a national democratic renarrativization of the historicity of development of minority poetry, from folk to media driven to movement driven. Like other critics of the pasyon or awit who have renarrativized the context in which it might have been used for nationalist agenda from below, Bagulaya lays bare the social and historical contexts in which the national democratic agenda and poetry have become integral in articulating alternative and parallel visions of the bayan and bansa. This is the placement of Bagulaya’s edge in the schema of competing texts, disciplines and ideologies, allowed in the confines, of among others, the acacia-laden trees, of the state university. Like all literary, humanities and social science analyses, or for that matter, even mathematical and scientific paradigm shifts, Bagulaya’s study articulates a political ideology in ways in which all ideologies are vested upon—“always a way of describing other people’s interests other than one’s own.”[8] Like all social ideologies, the use of utopia is a vital impediment to political analysis whether it be notions of beauty and aesthetics or form and poetics. Like all analyses, Bagulaya articulates a political agenda—a framework of speaking about national democratic ideology and utopia.

When Eagleton published his conclusion in 1983, he estimated that there were over 60,000 nuclear warheads, and the approximate cost of these weapons is $500 billion dollars a year, of which, just five percent of the amount is capable of lifting the Third World against hunger.[9] Some twenty years later, there are an estimated of more than 128,000 nuclear warheads built worldwide since 1945.[10] Total world’s arm expenditure has gone to $800 billion a year or $160 per person.[11] With intensified imperialist globalization that has lead to the U.S. in the post-Iraq War era to be the single global hegemon, human conditions have worsened. The global poverty in 1993 has affected some 1.3 billion people, living on less than $1 per day; and by the end of the second millenium, it has already reached 1.5 billion people.[12] There were some 3 billion people living on less than $2 per day, which was approximately the buying power of $2 in 1985.[13] Just with the economic crisis of 1997, poverty incidence in Indonesia, Thailand and Korea increased to as much as more than twice in a year’s time.[14] India’s 300 million poverty stricken ranks in the 1980s swelled further to 340 million in 1997. It is estimated that 840 million live with chronic hunger and 8.8 million people die of hunger-related causes per year; of which, only 10 percent can be traced to emergency causes, such as war or catastrophic weather.[15] Yet only 44 percent of the world’s potential arable land produces food.[16]

If literature and the humanities have set forth the human spirit free, then why has the material body still experienced excess want and lack? Some 450,000 women still die unnecessarily from childbirth every year, 97 percent of which are from former colonies.[17] There are 35 million unemployed in the developed world and some billions in the developing world.[18] Why does the emphasis in military spending that sustains global hegemony remain so much in place than ever before? How has the humanities reproduced the para-military bent of imperialist globalization? Compared to the $800 billion on arms spending, only $50 billion is needed to support debt repayment of the neocolonial world.[19] Clean water could be offered for $300 million.[20] Some 11.65 million children in the developing world could be saved if these children had the same access as those in the developed world.[21] L3.3 (UK pound) billion per year is needed to ensure that every child gets to go to primary school; L1 billion to feed starving people in Africa for a year, and another L1 billion to feed other starving people elsewhere; L7 billion to fight Aids, tuberculosis, malaria and other infectious diseases.[22]

However, the gap between the world’s poorest 20 percent and the richest 20 percent has more than doubled since 1960.[23] And overcapacity in the industries are as high as 30 percent.[24] Are we better off today with our gadgets in easy reach and academic prestige in pedestals? Suburbanized, as Eagleton claims of liberal humanist ideology, critics in neoliberalism excel in producing the cruelest of studies devoid of the historicity of the material condition. Statisticized, mathematicized, scientificized and humanitastized, the human is devoid of actual pain and suffering as he or she is vilified as both victim and abuser or abjected as a massified entity. Scholarship becomes a testament to both human life in general abstracted ways and its barbarism in its depoliticized mode.

What happens is the production of a quasi-stable identity, devoid of politics, and if at all, the political and political struggle. Eagleton suggests that this, in itself, the distancing of the object of study to its relational field of politics of power relations is cogent to the imperialist project, the imposition of “alien ways of experiencing.” I remember my experience as a panelist in a masteral defense on the topic, oil industry in the country. The thesis had to undergo a long journey to being defended because of a double time-lag bind. The scholar had been off from the program for some years now. But more than a time lapse, there was also a perceived paradigm lag. The scholar was calling for the nationalization of the oil industry at a time when this industry has already been liberalized in the country. The thesis had to be passed on from an economics adviser who espoused neoliberalism as a newer frame to a Philippine Studies adviser whose background in the humanities somehow makes him a more liberal coach. Defended as a Philippine Studies scholarship, the thesis passed and was even conferred with a best masteral thesis award in the humanities.

Given the metanarrative of globalization, any analyses that purports to be a primarily a project of nationalization, nationalism and nationalist agenda would prove detrimental to the student’s cause. Philippine Studies acts as a kind of enclave to the normativizing modality of neoliberal and global researches. But these too provide a limited view of the area concerned. What is actually being undertaken is a project of depoliticization in surrounding the research itself—downgraded when failing to use the rhetoric of globalization as the overarching paradigm to dwell on the necessity of the national to be internationally competitive or upgraded for providing a beacon of utopian capitalism or socialism at a time of great deluge. Thus, the award for best thesis becomes the interjection to the real status of the scholarship, deemed otherwise as impalpable at this globalizing age.

But the political contends as politics always contend. As bearers of political ideologies, criticism asserts not just a vision of a social ideology but also a material practice leading to the vision. To historicize is to politicize, and in our nation’s context, to politicize is to organize.[25] This is the adage of the political in criticism, its intended mobilizing factor to swing people to opinion, consciousness, action and organization. Then literature does not simply become allegorical of the material, a symptom of the historical and social.[26] It then becomes the receptacle of the material in historical and social transformation.


[1] Terry Eagleton, “Conclusion,” Literary Theory: An Introduction (1983) in

[2] Quoted in “Letter of Concern of Foreign Church and Development Workers in the Philippines” (unpublished) by Philippine International Forum, 2003.

[3] Eagleton, ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Quoted in “Facts at a Glance,” CDI Nuclear Issues,

[11] “Too many people—Too much poverty?”

[12] “World Bank Updates Global Poverty Report,”

[13] Ibid.

[14] Poverty Incidence

Year Indonesia Thailand Korea

1997 11.0 11.4 8.6

1998 19.9 12.9 19.2


[15] “Global Hunger Alliance,”

[17] Ibid.

[18] Ibid.

[19] Ibid.

[21] Ibid.

[22] “Bullions Wasted On Warfare,”

[23] “World Economy: Will There Be A Recovery?”

[24] Ibid.

[25] This is an idea I borrow from Professor Sarah Raymundo on Judy Taguiwalo’s improvement of Fredric Jameson’s idea on the need to historicize via her involvement in political causes.

[26] For a repository on the documents, essays and discourse of the national democratic literature, see “IPASA: Instityut sa Panitikan at Sining ng Sambayanan,”