Archive for the ‘Guilders’ Category

Tribute to Rachelle Mae Palang (1986-2008), press freedom fighter and nurse for the people

December 22, 2008

After getting her nursing license Mae-Mae immediately volunteered for a three-month medical mission to the hinterlands of Negros.  Mae-Mae barely finished her volunteer work in Negros when her dreams died with her.

Mae-Mae was killed by elements of the AFP on September 18, 2008 in an alleged encounter with New People’s Army rebels. Her face was barely recognizable; she was shot at point-blank range. Her feet and legs were black and bruised, signs of torture evident elsewhere in her beaten body.

— from the CEGP statement

Rachelle Mae Palang

http://www.arkibongbayan.org/2008-11Nov28-Maemae/cegp_small.jpg

September 24, 2008

PRESS STATEMENT

Justice for Rachelle Mae Palang (1986-2008),

press freedom fighter and nurse for the people

The College Editors Guild of the Philippines, in behalf of its National Office, regional formations and chapters, all member publications and affiliate organizations nationwide and across the globe, expresses its most heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Rachelle Mae Palang (1986-2008).

Rachelle, or Mae-Mae to her closest friends and colleagues, was beloved to the Guild for her bubbly, tongue-in-cheek demeanor. She graced the Guild’s gatherings with her easy banter and infectious smile, but was always brisk and business-like in her leadership. She has served as a valuable pillar and driving force in all of the conventions and gatherings she has attended and helped organize. To most Guilders, she was not only a colleague but a precious friend and confidante.

Shock for her untimely demise are evident in her Friendster and Multiply accounts, riddled with comments ranging from disbelief, grief, and even anger – all directed at her, as if to attest that even at the time of her death her friends and colleagues still go to her for conciliation.

Such was Mae-Mae’s legacy and brand of leadership. She has always been easy to approach, a rational adviser and generous in her time and efforts.

Mae-Mae was also an outstanding student at the Velez College in Cebu City where she took up and finished her nursing degree. She became editor-in-chief of Vital Signs, the official campus publication. As campus journalist and student leader, she exemplified deep commitment to uphold press freedom, freedom of speech and students’ democratic rights and welfare. She is respected by her fellow campus journalists nationwide for her wit, intelligence and sharp grasp of issues.

She was elected as Vice President for the Visayas during CEGP’s 67th National Student Press Convention and 33rd Biennial Student Press Congress held in Albay, Bicol in 2005.  She served her term for three consecutive years before she finally relinquished her post May of this year. The CEGP will without end be honored and grateful to have had someone as dedicated as Mae-Mae as one of its leading officers.

Mae-Mae worked hard to help re-open closed campus publications, establish student papers in universities who had none, and expose and fight campus press freedom violations as well as other forms of campus repression nationwide.  She led, organized and participated in countless poetry readings, cultural nights, Writers’ Trips, journalist skills workshops and protest actions and activities. Even after her stint as VP for the Visayas, she proved instrumental in gathering and collating cases of campus press freedom violations in the region for CEGP’s quarterly digest.

Mae-Mae had to cut short her attendance in CEGPs’ 68th National Student Press Convention and 34th Biennial Student Press Congress in Davao City for her scheduled nursing licensure exams in May 2008.  She passed with flying colors and eventually became a registered nurse. Even before she left, she announced to the Guild her desire to pursue an alternative medical career, one that she would devote to the less-privileged. Mae-Mae also took and passed the National Medical Admission Test. She dreamt of becoming a doctor.

It therefore did not come as a surprise to the Guild to learn that upon achieving her nursing license Mae-Mae immediately volunteered for a three-month medical mission to the hinterlands of Negros.  Mae-Mae barely finished her volunteer work in Negros when her dreams died with her.

Mae-Mae was killed by elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines on September 18, 2008 in an alleged encounter with New People’s Army rebels. Her face was barely recognizable; she was shot at point-blank range. Her feet and legs were black and bruised, signs of torture evident elsewhere in her beaten body.

Mae-Mae’s untimely demise reminds the Guild all too painfully of the same fate that another CEGP alumna suffered under the hands of the AFP.

In April 2002, Benjaline ‘Beng’ Hernandez, former CEGP Vice-President for Mindanao and a human rights volunteer, was murdered by the military while conducting a fact-finding mission in Cotabato province. Investigations revealed that the AFP, after wounding Beng, raped and shot her at close range. The AFP later on insisted that Beng was an NPA rebel.

Beng, like Mae-Mae, was also only 22 years old when she died.

The CEGP condemns in strongest terms accusations and insinuations by the AFP that Mae-Mae was armed and a combatant. She was in Negros in her capacity as a registered nurse and circumstances surrounding her brutal killing should be independently investigated.

The CEGP, in this regard, welcomes initiatives by the Commission on Human Rights Regional Office to conduct an investigation on Mae-Mae’s case.

The CEGP is also reviled at the AFP’s gall to celebrate Mae-Mae’s death by bestowing incentives and acclaim to her killers. It is an awful and terrible reminder of the state and characteristic of our security forces. They who are supposed to protect civilians are the main enemies of human rights defenders and social workers.

The CEGP also condemns in strongest terms the AFP’s malicious attempts to malign the Guild’s name through red-tagging and nasty insinuations. It is precisely this kind of twisted mentality that gives license to the military to repress, harass, silence and kill with impunity. Journalists are easily treated and branded as rebels simply because they are exposed to the ills of society.

The CEGP calls on all its member publications and fellow journalist organizations nationwide and abroad to collectively wield their pens and raise their voices to denounce Mae-Mae’s killers.

The CEGP regards the likes of Beng and Mae-Mae as heroes of the present generation, young martyrs who have chosen to exchange their lives of comfort for their noble convictions.

Highest tribute to Rachelle Mae Palang!

Justice for Beng and Mae-Mae!

Reference:

Vijae Alquisola, National President, 09162034402

Pamilya ng Desaparecidos para sa Katarungan
2/floor Erythrina bldg., #1 Maaralin cor. Matatag sts. Barangay Central, Quezon City
25 September 2008
Reference: Mary Guy Portajada,
Desaparecidos Spokesperson
Telefax 4342837

Impunity reigns as three disappeared in six days
Suspected military men abduct 2 peasant organizers in Bataan

Suspected military men abducted two peasant organizers in two separate incidents in Bataan province on September 21 and 22, bringing to 199 the number of disappeared under the Arroyo regime.

Nelson Balmaña, 29, a resident of Area H, Sapang Palay, San Jose del Monte, Bulacan was abducted Sept. 21, while Florencia Espiritu, 46, of Brgy. Santisima Trinidad, Malolos, Bulacan was abducted Sept. 22. Both are volunteer-organizers of the Sto. Niño Lubao Farmers’ Association (SLFA). The two victims have been organizing peasants from Lubao, Pampanga an adjacent barangay to Hermosa, Bataan .

The two victims were supposed to meet on Sept. 21 at a house in Purok 2, Brgy. Daan Bago, Dinalupihan in Bataan , but Nelson texted Florencia that he could not make it and would meet her the following day instead.

On September 22, Florencia left the house at 10:30 am and was boarding a tricycle, when at least six armed men believed to be elements of the 24th IB PA took her and forced her into a white L300 FB Mitsubishi. Four of the men were armed with .45 caliber pistols, while one carried an armalite.

The abductors fled towards the direction of Pampanga-Metro-Manila. After Florencia’s abduction, several people reported that a man fitting Nelson’s description was abducted at 5 PM the day before at the same spot, and was taken by the same getaway vehicle.

On Sept. 17, another victim, James Balao, 47, of the Cordillera People’s Alliance disappeared in Baguio City . James left his home in Fairview , Baguio City to go to La Trinidad, Benguet at 7am and was not heard of since.

“In a span of six days, three victims were disappeared. The Armed Forces of the Philippines clearly shows that it is untouchable, and continues to carry out enforced disappearances, even after the Court of Appeals had ruled that it is guilty of the disappearance of Sherlyn Cadapan, Karen Empeño and Manuel Meriño,” said Mary Guy Portajada, spokesperson of the Families of Desaparecidos for Justice, or DESAPARECIDOS.

Another victim, Elmer dela Cruz was reported missing on August 23 in Hermosa, Bataan . He is still missing as of this writing.

“We call on the people to be vigilant because this government does not sleep as it commits human rights violations. Impunity reigns as Gloria Arroyo and her military remain unpunished for its crimes,” said Portajada. ###

Rachelle was an intelligent student. She graduated Valedictorian at Mandaue Science High School. While a student she was active in rallies

Photo, rights, shows Rachelle Mae raising her clenched fist at the May 2007 miting de avance of the Kabataan Partylist, Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, and Gabriela in Cebu City

“Fil-Am Youths Pay Tribute to Fellow Youth/Fallen Nurse”

Jersey City, NJ – Last September 18, 2008, Anakbayan NY/NJ, LA and Seattle led Fil-Am and Filipino immigrant youths from coast to coast in the making of a protest video against the ongoing and escalating political repression in the Philippines, particularly those violations against the youth. Members from HabiArts, Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment (FiRE), Sandiwa, Kappa Pi and Pugadlawin, and several supporters including some nurses, and nursing students all coordinated with Anakbayan to make a tribute video for Rachelle Mae Palang who is the most recent victim of the military’s aggressive persecution of student activists and progressive youths in the country.

Rachelle, or Mae-Mae as her friends call her, recently finished her Nursing studies at the Velez College in Cebu and successfully passed the Nursing Licensure Exam in June 2008. Her passion, however, was to become a physician so she can better serve the poor and the oppressed. In pursuit of this dream, she took and successfully passed the National Medical Admissions Test. Sadly, the world will never see a Dr. Rachelle Palang; the Philippines lost one more vessel of hope and righteousness.

In July of this year, Mae-Mae asked her parents’ permission to go to Negros Oriental for a three-month medical mission. Her goal while in the hinterlands was to promote health, treat the sick and to investigate the causes of the people’s demise. Unfortunately, In September 18, 2008 at Dauin town, Negros Oriental, that mission was cut-short. Mae-Mae was shot and killed by elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines during an encounter with the New Peoples Army. She was shot at the back of her head at point-blank range; her face was barely recognizable, the rest of her body bruised as evidence of torture. According to the AFP, Mae-Mae was a member of the NPA, and was said to be carrying and using an M-16 during the fight. This claim however, came as a shock to those who are very close to Mae-Mae.

Her friends unanimously expressed disbelief in the AFP’s report. They said Mae-Mae was outspoken but she would never have thought of using a gun. Her weapon of choice was the pen as evidenced by her commitment as the editor of their school paper in Velez College. In 2005, she was elected as Vice President for the Visayas during the College Editors Guild of the Philippines’ (CEGP) 67th National Student Press Convention and 33rd Biennial Student Press Congress held in Albay, Bicol. She relinquished her position last May after three consecutive years of faithful service. Accordingly, she endeavored to reopen closed college publications and established student publications in schools that have none. Her work focused on student rights violations in campus. Her knowledge of the society was further honed when she participated in a Basic Mass Integration (BMI) program of the CEGP where she experienced the forms of oppression endured by the masses.

“What was once called youth activism and nationalism is now labeled as threat to national security by the government. When a young person like Rachelle wishes to genuinely contribute in uplifting the downtrodden and the oppressed, the fascist government led by Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo deal with it as if idealism is a menace,patriotism is a plague and serving the people a high crime,” said Kathleen Dy, member of Anakbayan NY/NJ.

In conformity with this recent surge of repression and oppression, the military has invaded the campuses of politically-involved universities. Military personnels are now a common sight in the country’s most prominent colleges and universities particularly in the University of the Philippines, Diliman (UPD) and Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Sta. Mesa (PUP).

Bea Sabino of Anakbayan NY/NJ and a nursing student expressed her concern as well, “We observed an increase of political harassment lately and one would think that this was a consequence of the newest impeachment complaint filed versus Gloria Arroyo after the one-year ban.” This latest impeachment complaint which was submitted in October 13, 2008 is already the fourth for GMA. Keen observation supports the hypothesis that the increased militarization right before the endorsement of impeachment was not a coincidence but a calculated move by the administration to scare off the opposition. Regrettably, they did not just scare off Rachelle, they killed her.

In their press release, the CEGP asserts that “the act of the military in linking Rachelle with the New Peoples’ Army is a desperate attempt to shadow the real reason why she went to Negros, that is to help the oppressed farmers. We are deeply insulted when the military praised and showered Mae-Mae’s killers with gifts and recognitions. The CEGP admonishes these inhumane and insulting actions of the military, as well as the brutal treatment of her body. We condemn the malicious attempt of the military to mislead the people from the real issue.”

Rachelle was an ordinary person who chose the road less travelled. Yes, she could have chosen a different path and lived to be a hundred but she did not. She chose to become an epitome of a student leader who struggles for genuine freedom and democracy for the people and for that, she will always be remembered.

“In memory of Mae-mae and countless other victims of state terrorism, we, the youth, reaffirm our commitment in the struggle against Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s tyranny and against the oppressive system that continue to burden our people. As long as our brothers and sisters in the Philippines are harassed, repressed, disappeared and killed the powers that be can expect more militant actions from the youth to come,” said Yves Nibungco, deputy secretary general of Anakbayan NY/NJ.

tioInstead of a Eulogy
Posted by: karlo mikhail on: September 24, 2008

One of the things I do very early in the morning when I wake up is to read the local news posted in the Internet. I don’t read everything and most of the times I just end up skimming through the mass of headlines lined up on my screen.

Like any other morning, I also went over all the headlines last Monday morning. One item that caught my attention was the news of an armed encounter between the military and alleged communist insurgents. It was titled “3 killed in Negros Oriental clash.”

http://www.arkibongbayan.org/2008-11Nov30-maemae2/doc/news/from%20misreadings/mutiparty-mitng-de-avanse-041.jpgNot that I felt it was something special, I am after all, like most people in this information-saturated society, desensitized to most accounts of violence. It was the proximity of the said event, the conflict occurring only an island away from Cebu, that “seduced” me to read the article anyway.

When I read the news item, I was surprised. I was shocked for I personally knew one of the names listed as casualties in the encounter.

Happier times.

Happier times: Rachelle Mae Palang in the May 2007 electoral campaign.

The front page of the local paper’s hard copy version even carried a different headline of the same story, “Cebu student killed in clash.” I knew Rachelle Mae Palang from two years ago when I was still chairman of the UP Cebu Student Council and later on with the Kabataan Partylist for the 2007 Elections.

Rachelle Mae was a stout, bubbly, but outspoken nursing student who was editor of Velez College’s school publication, Vital Signs. She was also an officer of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) – a national organization of campus journalists.

Needless to say, reading the news was depressing. After all, we were together in several causes – especially those related to students’ rights and the educational system.

The last time we saw each other was during the opening of the school yearhttp://www.arkibongbayan.org/2008-11Nov30-maemae2/rachelle_small.jpg in 2007 at the Arts and Sciences Lobby of the UP Cebu College. She was returning the book about how to write press releases that I lent her.

I cannot say that the military’s insistence on Rachelle’s brandishing of long arms in Negros is true. After all, it is characteristic for contenders of any armed conflict to ornament the truth for their own ends. The news of her unexpected death makes me sad. She was only twenty one.

[Photo] Rachelle Mae raising her fist during the May 2007 multiparty miting de avance of the Kabataan Partylist, Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, and Gabriela at Colon St. That’s me in the extreme left.

But what if the military is right: what if Rachelle really carried an M-16 rifle? This hypothesis leads us to question what made her forgo a successful career ahead of her to go to the countryside and take up arms against the State. What made some of today’s youth give up on peaceful means for the attainment of social change?

The lamentable state of the nation is such that our youth either, like most, join the diaspora to other lands or, like a few, are led to believe that the only solution is heading for the hills.

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AFP at CEGP: Dalawang ‘bukas na liham’

December 15, 2008

MAY dalawang liham na kumalat kamakailan sa internet na tumatalakay sa isyu ng panghihimasok ng mga elemento ng AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) sa mga kampus ng mga pamantansan para siraan ang mga aktibistang organisasyon ng kabataan.

Ang una, isang di-nilagdaang “bukas na liham” diumano ng AFP sa Philippine Collegian, lingguhang pahayagan ng mga mag-aaral sa UP Diliman, at mga mambabasa nito. Ipinamudmod diumano ang naturang liham sa UP Diliman. Kamakailan, lumabas ang ilang bahagi nito sa mga balita sa diyaryo. Kinilala ang awtor ng liham na isang Army Lt. Col. Leopoldo Galon Jr., kumander ng 7th Civil Relations Group ng AFP.

Ang pangalawa, mula sa College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP). Bilang tugon sa liham diumano ni Galon, naglabas ang CEGP ng “bukas na liham” din para sa AFP at “lahat ng kabataan at taumbayang nagmamahal sa demokrasya.”

Narito ang dalawang liham:

Open letter to the Philippine Collegian and its readers

This is a feedback to the Philippine Collegian’s story entitled, ‘Crossing the Line of Duty: Accounts of Militarization in Campuses” dated 08 October 2008. After reading the article, I noticed that there had not been any side of the military presented, not to mention the bad light it has unfairly shed to the military. It is for this purpose that I may impart a perspective other than what the article has presented.

As an Army officer, there were cases where student youths were among those who fired their guns against us in combat up there in the mountains; student youths who have completely abandoned their studies in lieu for the armed struggle. The Philippine Collegian itself, in its website, has the story of “Gemalyn Lacadin @ Gemma” (not her real name) – she started out as an activist, she ended up carrying a gun, and… dead. Based on the article-tribute to her, she has shed off the luxury of her life devoting to her cause. The devotion for the betterment of the people is remarkable, but the cause to resort to armed struggle is not. The fact is, she will no longer be able to distinguish that there would have been other, more peaceful means of caring for the country.

Such was Gema’s story, and there are others equally, if not more heartbreaking. Our concern for the students is not unfounded. As with Gema’s, there have been many cases where promising students whose lives were ended too soon and too tragically because they have crossed the path to the armed struggle, where, however it is romanticized by the insurgent members, is still a portal to a life of suffering, violence, and crime. It is not the road less traveled by, it is a dead end. And to veer away from that path makes all the difference.

But more than feeling sorry for the loss; we, in the military see it as our duty to prevent such violent deaths from happening. Through the years, we have learned of the schemes of the CPP-NPA to access the youth sector – seeping through educational institutions and campus organizations, and targeting students. Their persistent presence and contact in campus communities speaks strongly of their adeptness in appearing inconspicuous but highly influential to students.

Ours is not to dictate, ours is just to inform our youth that activism and membership to some organizations could lead to this violent fate. Our visit to the campuses and our symposia are for this purpose. Students have the right to be informed, they have a mind of their own, so let us allow them to consider these facts, and decide for themselves. What could be prevented from happening, should be.

All of us are activists in our own ways; somehow at some point in our lives we find advocacies to which we devote our lives with. We are not against activism. What we are against is the armed struggle that lured away activists from their activism. We are glad to see our youth filled with confidence, assertiveness, and who truly care for the welfare of the country. Sometimes, we are even inspired by their idealism. That is why, we find the statement of Vijae Alquisola, National President of the College Editorials Guild of the Philippines, saying that our visits in campuses are to silence students and… to send a chilling message to youth and student leaders” rather inaccurate.

We would like to make it clear that rallies, demonstrations, and other protest assemblies are well-acceptable to us. Demonstrators can continue to argue, oppose, or debate over the merits and demerits of policies, decisions, etc – such are the works of democracy. Our premium concern is those who cross and double-cross the thresholds to armed struggle and illegality.

We, in the Armed Forces of the Philippines, do our level best to keep our students aware and vigilant. Wouldn’t it be a greater disservice to know what we know and leave the students badly informed and susceptible? No matter how many eggs are thrown at us, we continue to strive to prevent the youth and the students from entering into the borders of violent armed struggle. We choose not to lose by default.

Meanwhile, the military is accused of tagging certain legitimate organizations as communist fronts. Actually, the tag did not come from the military; the classification came from the mouth of Communist Party of the Philippine Chairman Jose Maria Sison that was video recorded. In that video record, Sison thoroughly explained the nature and purposes of these groups. Sison could be slighted for the incorrect attribution to the military; it is his brainchild in the first place. Sison sees no harm in tagging these groups, including the League of Filipino Students, as communist fronts, so, there is actually no issue here.

May I also clarify the disparagement made on the film “Batang Aktibista”. Contrary to the article’s criticisms, the short film in fact, presented the issues on the tuition free increase and the lack of school facilities as legitimate issues being raised by the students. Issues that are very much relevant to the students; issues that I, myself, as a parent, is very much affected with. The film was not about discounting these issues, but rather, the film is about groups who are using these issues into luring the students first, into activism, then later on into armed struggle.

We see regular NPA cadres agitate students, the kind of which that pushed the students from mere activism into the use of arms. Students are falsely told that they have become military targets, or that they will be harassed. Such is the paranoia sowed among the student activists for them to become allergic even when soldiers are merely helping communities clean their environment, or giving out free medical/dental services, or carrying out a feeding program, or conducting symposia in campuses for dissemination of information.

In speaking of paranoia, this has been the same obsession which shook the CPP-NPA-NDF when the group purged its own members on mere suspicion. A paranoia that is so deep that it claimed thousands of lives of its own members. There are those who lived from this nightmare and share their experiences; an example of such factual account of these sufferings is contained in the book of Bobby Garcia entitled, ‘To Suffer Thy Comrades”. We should not forget that most victims of these purges were student cadres who abandoned their studies and carried out cadre works.

Today’s students are better empowered, can interface and confront adversities with dynamism and composure. Anchored to what is right and steered towards the right path; with the right ideas, the right choice and proper application of thoughts, our students can create a world of difference and make the country proud. We too are parents who may not have all the answers, but who wants the best educational opportunities and experiences for our children sans interference from dubious groups and personalities.

* * *

This is in reply to “Open Letter to the Philippine Collegian and Its Readers” by the Armed Forces of the Philippines

Open letter to the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and all democracy-loving youth and citizens

The Armed Forces of the Philippines is resurrecting martial law in schools, universities and communities through its program of campus and urban militarization.

This move is clearly meant to silence, harass and repress youth and students who are committed in the fight for meaningful social change.

This is the very reason why the College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) stands by its position that the entry and intervention of the military in our schools through the launching of fora and symposia under the guise of ‘information dissemination’ is aimed solely to sow intrigue and division among youth and students and to demonize youth organizations critical of anomalies in government. This is the most accurate depiction of the present situation in our schools, universities and communities at present and there is no other way to perceive it.

We are not for a minute swayed by the diplomatic pitch of the AFP’s ‘Open Letter to the Philippine Collegian and Its Readers.’ Its contents and allegations could not be any farther from the truth.

If the AFP really appreciates student activism as a right and freedom, why are they the prime suspects in the forced disappearance of Karen Empeno, Sherlyn Cadapan, Jonas Burgos and James Balao?

If this were true, what explanation could the AFP give for the results of the investigation conducted by United National Special Rapporteur for Human Rights Prof. Philip Alston on rampant extra-judicial killings of activists and journalists? Why did elements of the military and its intelligence personnel have to infiltrate a peaceful protest action at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP)-Sta. Mesa on August 29 to maliciously take photos and harass students who participated in the rally? Was it not the military that shot our colleague and human rights advocate Benjaline “Beng” Hernandez from Ateneo de Davao point-blank in the face in a legitimate fact-finding mission in Arakan Valley last April 5, 2002?

Was it not the military who filed false rebellion charges against the editor-in-chief, student council president and five other students of PUP-Lopez, Quezon who did no crime but to oppose policies affecting their basic rights and freedoms? Since when has student activism, which the AFP claims to accept and appreciate, become an act of rebellion?

Unlike the AFP’s tactics, these incidents are not mere accusations, these are clear and present desperate moves of the military and its “commander-in-chief” to discredit, vilify and malign critical youth and student organizations.

This tactic of the AFP is not new. In 2005, a powerpoint presentation entitled, “Knowing Thy Enemy” released by the military for viewing in campuses and communities named organizations, including our Guild, as “enemies of the state” and baselessly tagged them as “communist fronts.” It is precisely through this twisted interpretation that the AFP seems to gather license to harass, repress, torture and kill with impunity. Where now does the profession to accept activism figure in this scenario?

Because of these, the AFP is sowing an extraordinary “paranoia” – not aimed towards activists but towards any visible AFP element in any area. Kaya’t huwag kayong magtaka kung bakit natatakot ang mga mamamayan sa inyong presensiya; inosente lang ang tanging may karapatang magtaka. And, sadly, the AFP could not convince anyone that it is innocent of the many atrocities hurled at it.

Lastly, we are proud of our activism. We do not and will not apologize for standing up for what is democratic and just. We maintain that it is the AFP, this government and its overly corrupt, militarist and tyrannical ways that are forcing youth and students to take up arms.

The College Editors Guild of the Philippines will never apologize for writing about the real situations in society and for the advancement of the youth and people’s rights. To write is already to choose, and we choose justice, democracy and freedom of expression.

COLLEGE EDITORS GUILD OF THE PHILIPPINES

PinoyWeekly

Justice for Rachelle Mae Palang (1986-2008): Press Freedom Fighter and Nurse of the People

September 28, 2008

BY THE COLLEGE EDITORS GUILD OF THE PHILIPPINES
DEMOCRATIC SPACE
Posted by Bulatlat

The College Editors Guild of the Philippines, in behalf of its National Office, regional formations and chapters, all member publications and affiliate organizations nationwide and across the globe, expresses its most heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Rachelle Mae Palang (1986-2008).

Rachelle, or Mae-Mae to her closest friends and colleagues, was beloved to the Guild for her bubbly, tongue-in-cheek demeanor. She graced the Guild’s gatherings with her easy banter and infectious smile, but was always brisk and business-like in her leadership. She has served as a valuable pillar and driving force in all of the conventions and gatherings she has attended and helped organize. To most Guilders, she was not only a colleague but a precious friend and confidante.

Shock about her untimely demise are evident in her Friendster and Multiply accounts, riddled with comments ranging from disbelief, grief, and even anger – all directed at her, as if to attest that even at the time of her death her friends and colleagues still go to her for conciliation.

Such was Mae-Mae’s legacy and brand of leadership. She has always been easy to approach, a rational adviser and generous in her time and efforts.

Mae-Mae was also an outstanding student at the Velez College in Cebu City where she took up and finished her nursing degree. She became editor-in-chief of Vital Signs, the official campus publication. As campus journalist and student leader, she exemplified deep commitment to uphold press freedom, freedom of speech and students’ democratic rights and welfare. She is respected by her fellow campus journalists nationwide for her wit, intelligence and sharp grasp of issues.

She was elected as vice president for the Visayas during CEGP’s 67th National Student Press Convention and 33rd Biennial Student Press Congress held in Albay, Bicol in 2005. She served her term for three consecutive years before she finally relinquished her post in May of this year. The CEGP will without end be honored and grateful to have had someone as dedicated as Mae-Mae as one of its leading officers.

Mae-Mae worked hard to help re-open closed campus publications, establish student papers in universities which had none, and expose and fight campus press freedom violations as well as other forms of campus repression nationwide. She led, organized and participated in countless poetry readings, cultural nights, Writers’ Trips, journalist skills workshops and protest actions and activities. Even after her stint as VP for the Visayas, she proved instrumental in gathering and collating cases of campus press freedom violations in the region for CEGP’s quarterly digest.

Mae-Mae had to cut short her attendance in CEGPs’ 68th National Student Press Convention and 34th Biennial Student Press Congress in Davao City for her scheduled nursing licensure exams in May 2008. She passed with flying colors and eventually became a registered nurse. Even before she left, she announced to the Guild her desire to pursue an alternative medical career, one that she would devote to the less-privileged. Mae-Mae also took and passed the National Medical Admission Test. She dreamt of becoming a doctor.

It therefore did not come as a surprise to the Guild to learn that upon achieving her nursing license Mae-Mae immediately volunteered for a three-month medical mission to the hinterlands of Negros. Mae-Mae barely finished her volunteer work in Negros when her dreams died with her.

Mae-Mae was killed by elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines on Sept. 18 in an alleged encounter with New People’s Army rebels. Her face was barely recognizable; she was shot at point-blank range. Her feet and legs were black and bruised, signs of torture evident elsewhere in her beaten body.

Mae-Mae’s untimely demise reminds the Guild all too painfully of the same fate that another CEGP alumnae suffered under the hands of the AFP.

In April 2002, Benjaline ‘Beng’ Hernandez, former CEGP vice president for Mindanao and a human rights volunteer, was murdered by the military while conducting a fact-finding mission in North Cotabato. Investigations revealed that the AFP shot her at close range. The AFP later on insisted that Beng was an NPA rebel.

Beng, like Mae-Mae, was also only 22 years old when she died.

The CEGP condemns in strongest terms accusations and insinuations by the AFP that Mae-Mae was armed and a combatant. She was in Negros in her capacity as a registered nurse and circumstances surrounding her brutal killing should be independently investigated.

The CEGP, in this regard, welcomes initiatives by the Commission on Human Rights Regional Office to conduct an investigation on Mae-Mae’s case.

The CEGP is also reviled at the AFP’s gall to celebrate Mae-Mae’s death by bestowing incentives and acclaim to her killers. It is an awful and terrible reminder of the state and characteristic of our security forces. They who are supposed to protect civilians are the main enemies of human rights defenders and social workers.

The CEGP also condemns in strongest terms the AFP’s malicious attempts to malign the Guild’s name through red-tagging and nasty insinuations. It is precisely this kind of twisted mentality that gives license to the military to repress, harass, silence and kill with impunity. Journalists are easily treated and branded as rebels simply because they are exposed to the ills of society.

The CEGP calls on all its member publications and fellow journalist organizations nationwide and abroad to collectively wield their pens and raise their voices to denounce Mae-Mae’s killers.

The CEGP regards the likes of Beng and Mae-Mae as heroes of the present generation, young martyrs who have chosen to exchange their lives of comfort for their noble convictions.

Highest tribute to Rachelle Mae Palang!
Justice for Beng and Mae-Mae!

Soldier hurt in NegOr encounter; nurse’s death angers youth groups

September 25, 2008

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ANOTHER clash between soldiers and a group of suspected rebels erupted yesterday morning in Oriental Negros, leaving a Cebuano soldier injured.

The gunfight took place hours before two other civilians who were killed in an encounter in the same province last week were buried.

Major Christopher Tampus, Central Command spokesperson, identified the wounded soldier in the latest incident as Private First Class Recto A. Moboayaen Jr., a resident of Barangay Pandacan, Pinamungahan, Cebu.

Moboayaen is recovering from gunshot wounds in the left knee and left hip.

He was taken to a hospital in the province. He would have been airlifted yesterday to Cebu but the transfer was put on hold upon his doctor’s advice.

Also yesterday, the College Editors’ Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) released an official statement on the death of 21-year-old nurse Rachelle Mae Palang.

When she was killed in an “encounter” between the military and armed rebels last Thursday, she died serving the poor and the deprived, her peers said.

“We shed our tears for Rachelle who was ruthlessly killed by armed goons of cold-blooded and self-serving tyrants. Her only fault, if it is a fault at all, was her love for those who are suffering because of an unjust system. Her only crime, if at all it is called a crime, was to give up her dreams of living a life of comfort in exchange for serving those who need her the most— the poor and the deprived. For this, she paid with her life,” read the CEGP statement.

Tampus said yesterday’s encounter happened around 7 a.m. in Sitio Mansugban-on, Barangay Manlukahoc, Sipalay City, Oriental Negros.

A section of Army troops under 61st Infantry Battalion led by Lt. Mc. Gary Dida traded gunfire with an estimated 17 suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA).

This occurred about five hours before the burial of Bernardo Villalonga and Jerry Cabungcag.

Villalonga, Cabungcag and Palang died in an alleged encounter between soldiers and rebels in Sitio Langub, Barangay Malungcay Dako, Dauin, Oriental Negros last week.

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) 7 is investigating the reported encounter, following a resolution passed by the Cebu Provincial Board.

Villalonga, who hailed from Sevilla town, Bohol, was buried at noon yesterday at the Carreta Cemetery, Cebu City.

At 2:30 p.m., Cabungcag, who resided in Sitio Lawis, Barangay Pasil, was buried in the same cemetery.

According to a radio DyLA report, the Municipal Council of Consolacion, Cebu, where Palang was a resident, passed a resolution supporting the Provincial Board’s call for the CHR 7 to dig deeper into the incident.

The council also passed a separate resolution extending their sympathy to the family of Palang. Palang’s father Elenito is a former municipal councilor.

In the encounter in Sipalay yesterday, Tampus said the troops led by Lt. Mc. Dida were on patrol when they spotted the 17 suspected rebels.

The gunfight that followed reportedly lasted 30 minutes.

Shortly after the gunfight, three suspected rebels were arrested.

Soldiers also confiscated an M16 Armalite rifle.

Those caught were identified as Meralyn Pedrosa Mahinay, alias Angel, 20; Robelyn Gelacio Aba, alias Geya, 22; and Roseby Fondador Cañete, alias Dyna, 19.

Tampus said the three were turned over to the Sipalay Police Station.

Lt. Gen. Pedro Ike Inserto, Centcom commanding general, sent two Huey helicopters to the area to assist the troops in the operation.

Two Marchetti planes were also put on standby to be deployed if there was a need to provide air cover.

Inserto, however, reportedly told his men to “strictly observe rules of engagement and absolute respect for human rights.”

The CEGP, however, condemned the “malicious” attempt of the military to confuse and mislead the people, and for refusing to see the difference between CEGP as a legitimate alliance of student publications and those organizations calling for armed struggle.

Palang was the CEGP’s vice president for the Visayas while she was still a student of Velez College and editor-in-chief of their publication, Vital Signs.

“We are deeply insulted when the military praised and showered Mae-Mae’s killers with gifts and recognitions. Like barbarians, they celebrate in the death of a peace and freedom-loving person who helped more people than they ever will in their lifetime,” read the statement.

Mark Ray Sison of the Student Christian Movement at the University of San Carlos (USC) said in a press statement that he was dismayed by how the military transported the bodies, which hung from bamboo poles, covered in plastic and cloth.

“It’s as if they (the dead) were animals,” he said.

Chuck de los Santos, chairperson of the USC League of Filipino Students, said he hopes that others would be as principled as Palang was.

“We will continue what Rachelle struggled for. Her death did not create fear in us but rather, made us more militant and courageous in serving the people, whatever the cost may be,” he added. (JTG/EPB)

A letter from Randy Malayao

July 14, 2008

Friends, relatives, fellow Libertarians and Human Rights advocates:

Warmest Greetings!

There is a pending motion/request from the State’s Armed Forces to transfer my detention from BJMP-Tuguegarao City , Cagayan to PNP Camp Crame Custodial Center and consequently, the venue for the trial on the strength of SC Circular No. 68-2005. This is the latest attempt to curtail my civil and socio-political rights as this is de facto Military Custodianship.

I rigorously oppose this transfer as this would be a convenient excuse for them to employ possible physical and mental harm, unchecked/uncontrol led tactical interrogation and confinement in harsh stockade conditions the way they did during my detention in a military camp. I have yet to overcome the stress and agony of having suffered non-stop physical and psychological torture that I had been subjected to under the hands of AFP & PNP officers on 15-20 May 2008.

I maintain that I am being detained on the basis of my political beliefs, a prisoner of conscience. I am innocent of all the criminal charges filed against me.. I am seeking all legal aid and remedies due me. I intend to file a Writ of Amparo and other options that the courts would provide for my security and protection.

I am appealing anew to all friends, relatives and fellow civil libertarians and human rights advocates to join me in my struggle to oppose and frustrate all attempts by the State to further curtail my rights and civil liberties and frustrate all moves to have me silenced.

I would be very grateful for all your unconditional help and continuing support.

In the service of the people,

Randy Felix Malayao

“An enabling law long denied to the people”

June 27, 2008

Bayan Muna files landmark bill for release on recognizance

Just before 14th Congress went into its first sine die adjournment, Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño and 20 other legislators filed a landmark bill “to correct one of the long-standing gray areas in the country’s criminal justice system – an enabling law on the Constitutional right to be released on recognizance. ”

Article III, Section 13 of the Constitution allows two modes by which a person under arrest may be released temporarily from detention before conviction of the offense charged: (1) by bail, and (2) by release on recognizance as may be provided by law.

“After more than two decades, we realized that there is still no enabling law on release on recognizance. House Bill 4369 or the proposed Recognizance Act of 2008 will extend the frontiers of the criminal justice system in the spirit of restorative justice,” Casiño, the bill’s principal author, said.

Explained Casiño: “It is easy for rich litigants to post bail and be free while the trial goes on. But most poor litigants simply can’t afford to post bail, much more hire competent lawyers. For them, release on recognizance is the only option to ensure that their rights as accused are respected even as they are being tried by the courts.”

Under the present state of the law, release on recognizance is implemented in a very limited scope under the Rules of Criminal Procedure and is based solely on the discretion of the court. In contrast, House Bill 4369 will promulgate the rules for the full implementation of release on recognizance, including its procedures, mechanisms and support programs down to the barangay level.

Under HB 4369, applicants for recognizance need the recommendation of two persons of good repute and probity in the baranggay where they reside and who shall guarantee their appearance in court. Such application should be endorsed by a recognizance field officer before it is approved by the appropriate regional trial court. Applications for recognizance can be contested by the prosecution.

The two recommending persons and the recognizance field office, as well as baranggay officials and community organizations, shall have roles in monitoring the applicant, ensuring his attendance in court and that he/she does not engage in any illegal activities.

The bill sets strict qualification and disqualification requirements for those who can apply for release on recognizance in Sections 4 and 5.

“The Constitutional right to recognizance is limited to Filipino citizen who have resided in the country for at least 6 months prior to the filing of his/her application; the alleged offenses committed by applicants are not punishable by death, reclusion perpetua, or life imprisonment; he/she has no sufficient means to post bail; and more than five years have elapsed since his last conviction or release from imprisonment after conviction for an offense, if any, and that he has shown good behavior during the said period,” Casiño said.

An applicant is disqualified for release on recognizance if he/she is: a danger to the community; the circumstances of his/her case indicate the probability of flight if released on recognizance; he/she is a recidivist, quasi-recidivist, or habitual delinquent, or has been previously convicted of a crime aggravated by the circumstance of reiteration; he/she has previously escaped from legal confinement, evaded sentence, or violated the conditions of his/her previous bail or release on recognizance, if any, without valid justification; he/she has previously committed a crime while under probation, parole, or conditional pardon; or that there is undue risk that he/she may commit another crime if released on recognizance.

“This measure will promote the principle of restorative justice especially among poor litigants. Bayan Muna and the bill’s co-authors hope that this would give the members of a community a bigger and more proactive role in reforming suspected offenders and upholding a fair system of justice,” Casiño said.

“This proposed law is also one way to address other problems confronting the criminal justice system such as protracted trials, the prolonged resolution of cases, the lack of legal representation, lack of judges, congestion in jails, and lack of opportunity to reform and rehabilitate the offenders,” Casiño said.

As of end 2007, the BJMP says that at least 11,563 inmates are qualified to post bail but cannot do so in the National Capital Region alone. Release on recognizance could be a valid option to them and thousands more. We hope that this will become a priority legislation of the House. We will also work to get a formidable Senate counterpart, ” he said.

House Bill 4369 has authors with various party affiliations and span a considerable area of the country: Partylist Reps. Casiño and Satur Ocampo [Bayan Muna], Rafael Mariano [Anakpawis], Liza Maza and Luzviminda Ilagan [Gabriela], and District Reps. Antonio Cerilles [Zamboanga del Sur], Roman Romulo [Pasig City], Rufus Rodriguez [Cagayan De Oro City], Teofisto Guingona III [Bukidnon], Fred Castro [Capiz], Jesus Crispin Remulla [3d, Cavite], Eduardo Nonato Joson [Nueva Ecija], Elpidio Barzaga, Jr. [2d, Cavite], Liwayway Vinzons-Chato [Camarines Norte], Luis Villafuerte [Camarines Sur], Ferdinand Martin Romualdez [Leyte], Vincent Crisologo [1d, Quezon City], Marcelino Teodoro [Marikina City], Niel Tupas, Jr. [Iloilo], Carlos Padilla [Nueva Vizcaya], Joseph Emilio A. Abaya [1d, Cavite], Rodolfo Albano III [Isabela], and Maria Laarni Cayetano [Taguig City-Pateros] . #

CEGP National Week of Action

June 27, 2008

 

July 7-11, 2008

 

July 7 – Unveiling of Giant Editorial, 11:00am, University of the Philippines, Philippine Collegian Rooftop, Vinzons Hall

                Let us collectively wield our pens and announce the Guild’s official stand through an editorial collaboratively written by editors and members from different campus publications.

                Theme: Campus journalists act now! Wield our pens against tyranny and corruption. Unite to defend the people’s rights and welfare.

                Mechanics:  Member publications and all those interested to participate are enjoined to contribute 1-2 sentences each for the collective editorial. Writing will be ‘rengga-style’ – one sentence/thought contributed will be followed by a corresponding sentence/thought from another contributor.  The National Office will provide a working outline as guide. Entries may be in English or Filipino.

                An egroup will be put up for this project. Please text in your email addresses to Karen, 09193078733 on or before June 25, 2008. Entries and contributions are welcome until July 4, 2008.

 

July 8 – Editorial cartoon exhibit launch, 11:00am, venue to be announced

                We are calling on all graphic artists to submit their editorial cartoons with socially relevant themes.

                Mechanics: Graphic artists must mount their entries on the black surface of a 1/8 size illustration board, plastic-covered, labeled with the name of the artist, campus publication and editorial cartoon title. Published or non-published editorial cartoons will be accepted. 

                Entries may be dropped at Rm. 305, National Press Club Bldg., Magallanes Drive, Intramuros, Manila, or contact Karla, 09273930753. Entries from the regions and provinces may also be mailed to the abovementioned address.

                Digital copies of your editorial cartoons must also be emailed (jpeg format) to cegpnational@ yahoo.com

                Please submit your editorial cartoons on or before July 5. Our target is to compile 77 editorial cartoons to commemorate the Guild’s upcoming 77th anniversary on July 25, 2008. The exhibit will run from July 8-July 25, 2008 in three different schools.

 

July 9 – Film showing and production work

                 SINAG, the official publication of UP Diliman College of Social Sciences and Philosophy, will sponsor a film showing and program for member publications. Details of the activity to follow.

                After which, members of the Guild are encouraged to join the production work of campaign materials, streamers and banners for the upcoming July 10 Youth Act Now! (Youth for Accountability and Truth Now!) National Day of Action.

 

July 10 – Youth Act Now! National Day of Action

 

July 11 – CEGP Cultural Night and Acquaintance Party, 6:00pm, venue to be announced

Militant groups stage “chain of protests”

June 20, 2008

BAGUIO CITY — Showing their disgust to the Arroyo government of the worsening economic crisis, different militant sectoral groups staged a “chain of protests” in key areas of the city’s central business district, here Tuesday.


RICE PRICE PROTEST. Passersby and people queued trying to buy the cheaper government-subsidized rice listen attentively to women protesters as they explain steep price hikes at the rice section of the Baguio City market Tuesday. Photo courtesy of Cye Reyes/NORDIS

Clad in apron while holding placards with calls of protest against the issue of rice crisis, members of Innabuyog-Gabriela and the Cordillera peasant group Alyansa dagiti Pesante iti Taéng Kordilyera (Apit-Tako) held a short program in the rice section of the market, where there was a long line of people trying to buy the cheaper government-subsidized rice.

The women protesters stressed that the “increase in rice importation made the country dependent on other countries to meet the local demand for rice” that eventually led to the condition of speculation and price manipulation.

“We are actually capable of producing our own supply of rice but thousands of hectares of our agricultural lands are now being converted into subdivisions and golf courses,” said Virgie Dammay of Apit-Tako adding that the country’s food security is also threatened by crop conversion where high-value crops such as oil palm and jathropa are substituted for palay.

Members of the urban poor organization Organisasyon dagiti Nakurapay nga Umili ti Syudad (Ornus) in their lightning rally at Km. 0 lower Session Road, showed their fury on the continuous oil price hikes resulting to the relentless increase in the prices of basic commodities.

“Mahal na ang bigas, mahal pa ang gas, kaunting kita lagas!” read the rallyists’ placards.

Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (Piston) Spokesperson Lito Wayas aired the sentiment of drivers and operators for the scrapping of the 12% expanded value added tax (EVAT) on oil and its by-products.

The urban poor sector pinpointed the oil deregulation law as the main culprit why multinational oil companies can have unlimited increases in the prices of their petroleum products.

The militant workers’ alliance Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) Cordillera chapter held a petition signing at the People’s Park calling for the enactment of House Bills 1772 and 1962 authored by the late Rep. Crispin “Ka Bel” Beltran of Anakpawis Partylist.

The said House Bills are to legislate the P125 wage increase of workers and the P3,000 across-the-board wage increase of government employees.

“We intend to get as much signatures as we can before submitting it to the appropriate committee in Congress,” said Nida Tundagui of KMU-Cordillera.


Photo by Cye Reyes/NORDIS

Different youth organizations led by Anakbayan also gathered along Session Road on the same day to ventilate the people’s remorse to the present economic crisis, specifically denouncing Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s late pronouncement asking colleges and universities not to increase tuition and other school fees.

“There is no other way to help the students with the high fees than to review and reform the Commission on Higher Education’s (Ched) policies on education and allocate higher state subsidy to education,” said Anjo Rey Cerdeña, chairperson of College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) Baguio-Benguet chapter.

According to the statement of Tongtongan ti Umili “the economic hardship would not only lead to increasing number of poor and hungry Filipinos but also to the widening and ever-growing movement to assert people’s rights and protest against this anti-people regime.”

The protesters all gathered at the People’s Park and held a short program to signify their united call to oust Arroyo. # Cye Reyes(NorthernDispatch)

On Rizal bday, youth groups urge fellow youth to be ‘pag-asa ng bayan’

June 19, 2008

Offer flowers at Rizal monument in Luneta, stage human chain in Espana

YOUTH ACT NOW! (Youth for Accountability and Truth Now!) celebrated National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal’s 147th birthday today by urging the youth to be ‘pag-asa ng bayan (the hope of the nation)’ and take action for meaningful social change.

YOUTH ACT NOW! member organizations the National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP), College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP), Student Christian Movement, Kabataang Pinoy, Anakbayan, League of Filipino Students, youth artists’ group KARATULA , Youth Revolt, Kabataang Kristiyano para sa Bayan and the Liga ng Kabataang Moro spearheaded today’s activities to mark the event.

Youth and student leaders offered red roses at the Rizal monument in Luneta early this morning as a symbol of the youth’s commitment to continue Rizal’s legacy of vigilance and courageousness.

In the afternoon, youth and students from different schools and universities gathered in front of the University of Sto. Tomas in Espana and formed a human chain ‘underlining the youth’s unity and collective action against the ills of society.’

YOUTH ACT NOW! Spokesperson and NUSP president Alvin Peters said, “We urge our fellow youth to emulate Dr. Rizal’s heroism. Kabataan, maging pag-asa ng bayan. It is our noble duty to criticize when we see wrongs done, to take action when there is oppression and repression against our fellow youth and countrymen.”

For his part, CEGP national president Vijae Alquisola said, “Rizal once said, ‘There can be no tyrants where there are no slaves’. Our country is experiencing a new kind of tyranny, that of economic slavery and a government marred by corruption and lies. We enjoin our fellow youth to reject this miserable status quo and act for meaningful social change.”

LFS Chairperson Vencer Crisostomo said that ‘to relive Dr. Rizal’s heroism, the youth of today should diligently study and analyze the country’s situation and bravely face the challenges of the present. Mag-aral, mangahas, makibaka, this is Rizal’s legacy. Our elders are counting on us to be the young radicals of the nation, to once again create history by toppling the Arroyo administration and to build a future of good governance and social justice.”

YOUTH ACT NOW! announced that it would conduct weekly protests that would escalate towards a nationwide ‘walkout protest’ by July, before Pres. Arroyo’s State of the Nation Address. ###

Randy Felix Malayao: Jailed But Still Defiant

June 19, 2008

Randy Felix Malayao, political and peace adviser of the National Democratic Front (NDF) in Cagayan Valley, was illegally arrested, tortured, detained and slapped with a string of criminal charges. For four days and four nights of relentless interrogation, Malayao told his captors, “Pipiliin ko na lang hukayin ang sarili kong libingan. Wala kayong makukuha sa akin.” (I’d rather dig my own grave. You will get nothing from me.)

BY RONALYN V. OLEA
Bulatlat
Vol. VIII, No. 19, June 15-21, 2008

TUGUEGARAO CITY, CAGAYAN (440 kms. North of Manila) – Randy Felix Malayao, consultant of the National Democratic Front (NDF) in Isabela province has been detained at the district jail in this city for almost a month.

Malayao was abducted on May 15, around 9 p.m. That day, Malayao just alighted from a G-Liner bus in front of a mall in Cainta, Rizal when six unidentified men who came from different directions abducted him. Two immediately handcuffed him. The rest held both his feet and forced him inside a vehicle. One of the armed men quickly covered Malayao’s eyes, first with a pair of goggles and then with a scarf.

The account of Malayao’s arrest was based on his affidavit and on statements issued by human rights group Karapatan-Cagayan Valley.

For four days and four nights, Malayao’s relatives and friends searched for him. On the fifth day since his disappearance, the 5th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army surfaced him at the Camp Melchor dela Cruz in Gamu, Isabela.

During the gathering of Free Randy Malayao Movement and Friends of Randy at the San Pablo Church in Isabela, June 8, elder sister Perla related, “Ilang gabi akong hindi makatulog. Iyon pala, nakakaranas na ng physical at psychological torture ang kapatid ko.” (I had sleepless nights. Later, I learned that during the same time, my brother was being subjected to physical and psychological torture.)

Tortured

During the visit of Malayao’s relatives, former classmates and friends on June the same day, Malayao was asked about the torture he endured. He said, “Relentlessly, talagang na-interrogate ako nang apat na araw, apat na gabi. Deprived ako ng tulog. At siyempre, may mahalagang impormasyong gusto nilang alamin. Sabi ko, pipiliin ko na lang hukayin ang sarili kong libingan… Kilala n’yo na ako. ‘Yung mga nalalaman ko, dadalhin ko na lang sa hukay.” (Relentlessly, I was interrogated for four days and four nights. I was deprived of sleep. Of course, they wanted to extract important information from me. I told them, ‘I’d rather dig my own grave. You already know who I am. I will just bring everything I know to the grave.)

Malayao’s affidavit details the kind of torture he went through, “My captors covered my head with a plastic bag which caused me to suffocate. I was made to lie down on bare cement purportedly to simulate how it feels dying that way. On several occasions, they forced me to raise my two feet while sitting on a chair until my feet got stiff and my muscles tired and ached. I was never allowed to sleep during the entire duration of my captivity except for the couple of hours they allowed me to take a nap so that my eyes would not appear puffy when presented to the media during the press conference. On those occasions when I seemed to doze off, they would repeatedly slap or box my shoulders and upper torso or continuously beat my legs with a flat wooden stick which caused pain on those parts of my body; But so as not to leave any mark of injury, the interrogator’s companions would massage the parts of my body that were either slapped, boxed or beaten.”

Each interrogation session usually lasted for two hours. During 30-minute breaks though, Malayao was treated to what he calls ear-drum shattering sounds from a speaker placed just beside him. There were times when wiretapped conversations of people were played. Karapatan-Cagayan Valley Secretary General Neil Galoy said that the song Impossible Dream was played repeatedly.

Malayao was also subjected to extreme temperatures. “My captors would turn off the air conditioner and cover me with blankets, making me sweat profusely. Then, they would set the unit in extremely cold levels and send me freezing to the bones.”

Not a criminal

Malayao was charged with murder for the killing of the late Congressman Rodolfo Aguinaldo and his close aide, and with frustrated murder of Aguinaldo’s secretary. He was also charged with murder for the ambush of some military personnel in Balgan, San Mariano, Isabela; for allegedly killing three more men including a barangay (village) captain of the same town, Benjamin Olalia, Jr. of Ilagan, Isabela and an Army personnel in the same place.

Malayao said, “Wala naman silang ebidensya. Puro imbento lang. Baka nag-iimbento pa sila ng iba pang kaso, di ko pa alam.” (They have no evidence. Everything is just made up. They may be inventing other cases, I still don’t know.)

Manang Perla, as what Randy calls his elder sister, could not believe the charges filed against her brother. She described her brother as thoughtful, caring, obedient and industrious. She said that an early age, Randy helped the family by selling ice candy in the neighborhood.

At the San Pablo Church in Isabela, Manang Perla told the crowd, “Talamak ang graft and corruption sa gobyerno kaya maraming katulad ng kapatid ko. Ipinaglalaban lang niya ang karapatan ng mga inaapi. Saludo ako sa kanya.” (Graft and corruption is rampant in government that is why there are many activists like my brother. He is only fighting for the rights of the oppressed. I salute him.)

Manang Perla works as the municipal development officer under the regional office of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Raymund Villanueva, Randy’s childhood friend and colleague at the College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP), depicted Randy as a good and brilliant son of San Pablo (Randy’s hometown).

In his speech, Bayan Muna Representative Teodoro Casiño Jr., said, “Kung may maituturing mang kasalanan si Randy, iyon ay ang pagtulong sa kapwa.” (Randy’s only crime is that he helped others.)

Casiño and Malayao met during their college days. When Casiño was elected CEGP national president, Malayao served as the Guild’s vice president for Visayas. “Magaling na organizer si Randy. Bilang vice president for Visayas, halos mag-isa niyang itinayo ang mga chapter sa maraming probinsya ng Visayas.” (Randy is a good organizer. As vice president for Visayas, he organized – almost single-handedly – the chapters in many provinces in the Visayas.)

Casiño revealed that Randy’s favorite song is You’ve Got to Do More than That. “It became his personal slogan. Para sa kanya, hindi sapat na tayo ay naaawa, nagagalit. Kailangang may aktwal na pagtulong.” (For him, it’s not enough that we sympathize or we are enraged. We must concretize this with acts of helping.)

What is more telling though is the influx of Malayao’s visitors. The Tuguegarao City District Jail was swamped with more than a hundred relatives, former classmates and friends on that Sunday afternoon. Some of his visitors came all the way from Quezon City. Each set of ten to twenty visitors was given ten minutes to talk to Malayao.

When egged on to sing, Malayao sand his favorite song You’ve Got to Do More than That. He was smiling and laughing during most of the short visit. When childhood friend Raymund handed over books, a MP4 player and magazines, Malayao jokingly said, “Gusto n’yo atang tumagal pa ako rito ah.” (It seems you want me to stay here longer.) He quickly added that he spends his day reading most of the time.

Defiant

On a serious tone, Malayao said, “Ang pagkabilanggo ay isang hamon. Susubukin ang katatagan ng aking pananaw. Ipinapangako ko sa inyo na kung ano ako ngayon ay panghahawakan ko. Lagi’t lagi, ang aking pinapanguna ay ang interes ng sambayanan bago ang interes na pansarili.Doon ko ibabatay ang lahat ng aking mga hakbangin.

(Detention is a challenge. It will test the firmness of my principles. I pledge to you that I will hold on to what I am now. I will always prioritize the interest of the people before my own interests. That is the basis of all my actions.)

In his message read by Villanueva at the gathering of Free Randy Malayao Movement, Malayao criticized himself for his laxity in security that led to his arrest. He called it a temporary setback.

But he quickly added, “Hindi titigil ang pagmumulat, pag-oorganisa at pagpapakilos sa kilusang bayan dahil nasawi o nadakip ang isang kasama. Ang bawat martir ay magsisilbing inspirasyon para sa ibayong pagkilos samantalang sa pagkakabilanggo, tanging pisikal na katawan ang nakapiit, ang diwa’t kamalayan ay lubos na malaya’t lumalaban!” (The mass movement will not stop raising the awareness of, organizing and mobilizing the masses just because a comrade died or was captured. Every martyr serves as an inspiration for continuing the struggle. While in detention, only the physical body is confined, the consciousness remains free and fighting.)

Malayao thanked all who have supported him. He asked them to support other political prisoners. The last part of his message reads, “Release Elizabeth Principe! Surface Leo Velasco!”

Malayao never missed the chance to give tribute to the late Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran. He called Ka Bel as an outstanding representative of the toiling masses and a great leader of the Filipino workers.

He also never forgot to mention the Arroyo regime. “Sa gitna ng tumitinding kahirapan, kaliwa’t kanang korapsyon at katiwalian, walang humpay na karahasang militar at pasistang pananalakay, lalo lamang nag-aalab ang paglaban ng mamamayang Pilipino. Sa malao’t madali, walang ibang tunguhin ang rehimeng Arroyo kundi ang kanyang pagkabagsak.” (Amid the worsening poverty, widespread corruption and irregularities, relentless military violence and fascist attacks, the resistance of the Filipino people ignites even more. Sooner or later, the Arroyo regime would face its downfall.) Bulatlat

Looking for Randy Malayao:A Night for Randy and The Visit(Pictures!)

June 17, 2008

View images taken by Kas/Comrade Teddy (inabot kong tawagan sa Guild noon e kas at comrade) here.

And here!

Thanks!

Campus press reports 279 cases of campus press freedom violations

June 8, 2008


CEGP calls halt to censorship, harassment

The College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) today reported that it has documented a total of 297 cases of violations against campus press freedom, mostly involving tuition-related issues.

Of these, 61 are cases of adviser/moderator intervention, 64 of censorship and 41 of harassment. Other complaints concerned with publication fee collection, the non-release of publication fee funds and illegal closure of publications are also included in the report.

The 279 cases of violations from 53 respondent campus publications nationwide were gathered in a caucus held during the CEGP National Convention last May.

CEGP National President Vijae Alquisola said that violations against campus press freedom sprung mostly from tuition-related issues and students’ assertion of their right to education and other democratic rights in campus.

“Campus editors and writers are easy victims of campus repression, censorship and harassment because of their orientation to uphold the interests of students,” Alquisola said.

Alquisola earlier demanded a halt to censorship, harassment and campus press repression in light of Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’ s announcement of a tuition hike freeze.

Alquisola said that one of the gravest cases of harassment reported to them is that of false theft charges filed against Tandem editor-in-chief Ma. Criselda Diocena. Tandem is the official campus publication of the University of Northern Philippines, and a member publication of the CEGP.

The UNP-Vigan administration filed false charges of theft against Diocena who it accuses of stealing a computer CPU (central processing unit).

Diocena has denied the charges and has cried harassment by school administrators because of her hard stance against the university’s proposed tuition increases. UNP increased tuition last year eliciting widespread protests from students.

Diocena was unable to get a clearance to take her final exams this summer and, as a result, is unable to enroll for the incoming school year. The case has also resulted in the UNP administration’ s illegal closure of the publication.

In a press conference held this morning, Diocena said that she is mulling over filing counter charges of grave slander and harassment against the UNP administration. She had already filed a complaint to the Commission on Higher Education last year but the agency is yet to address her case.

Alquisola said that they are also set to present Diocena’s case and other complaints to the House of Representatives’ Committee on Technical and Higher Education (CTHE) hearing on June 11.

Saving Randy Malayao: Newsdesk Bar Ticket (A Fund-Raising Night for the Legal Defense of Randy Malayao)

June 6, 2008

Please be present. 🙂

Students protest in Morayta vs high tuition

June 5, 2008

Militant student groups on Monday afternoon trooped to Morayta near Malacañang to protest the tuition increases in private colleges and universities, GMA’s Flash Report said.

The television report said that the protest started around 1 p.m. when members of College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) and other youth and student organizations marched toward C.M. Recto avenue from the University of Santo Tomas (UST)…

To continue reading, click http://www.gmanews. tv/story/ 98698/Students- protest-in- Morayta-vs- high-tuition

COLLEGE EDITORS GUILD OF THE PHILIPPINES
Rm 305, National Press Club Bldg., Intramuros,
Manila, Philippines
Tele Fax.: 524-3937
Email: cegpnational@ yahoo.com
“To Write Is Already To Choose”

CEGP to UNP Administrators: The fight will continue until Tandem re-opens, repression ends

June 5, 2008

04 June 2008

PRESS STATEMENT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Reference:

Vijae Alquisola, President, 09162034402

CEGP to UNP Administrators:
The fight will continue until Tandem re-opens, repression ends
This should be the prime agenda of today’s University of Northern Philippines Board of Regents meeting: to hold the violators of students’ democratic rights accountable.
The closure of TANDEM, the official student publication of UNP is nothing but a desperate attempt by UNP President Lauro Tacbas and his cohorts to prevent the issue of the “illegal” 33% tuition increase last year from reaching the students and thwart the possibilities of collective resistance against the said increase.
TANDEM members have been experiencing various cases of harassment from the school administration. Editor-in-chief Criselda Diocena was banned from taking her final examinations and was even charged with a baseless accusation of theft.
The CEGP strongly denounces the latter. The Guild considers the attack as part of a greater plan to further silence the TANDEM from voicing out different student issues inside the university and exposing the bleak future of the youth under the Arroyo regime.
Such move by the school administration leads to the illegal 33% tuition fee increase. This is a clear violation of the regulation that students should be made aware of such tuition hike. Instead, no consultation took place, which left the students totally unaware of this sudden increase. Aside from this, miscellaneous fees also increased.
For 33 years, the TANDEM has fulfilled its duty of being the vanguard of academic freedom and has never faltered in its commitment to the entire UNP community, which gained the publication numerous awards in campus journalism.
It has been steadfast in its task of informing students about different anomalies inside the university brought about by the evil schemes of this Arroyo government to hinder accessible and quality education.
This trend of silencing student papers has been imminent since the administration sees the power and ability of student publications to inform and mobilize the student population.
This issue does not call for a new student publication; thus the need for reforms in handling not only the publication but also the entire UNP community should be addressed.
UNP administrators should bear this in mind: freedom of speech and the practice of student’s democratic rights will never waver despite numerous attacks made against it. Such a move only strengthens and unifies the ranks of students against an oppressive administration.
This fight will continue until perpetrators are deemed liable, the Tandem re-opens, and repression ends. ###
COLLEGE EDITORS GUILD OF THE PHILIPPINES
Rm 305, National Press Club Bldg., Intramuros,
Manila, Philippines
Tele Fax.: 524-3937
Email: cegpnational@ yahoo.com
“To Write Is Already To Choose”

Looking for Randy Malayao: Friends of Randy

June 2, 2008

Narito ang pinakahuling update hinggil kay Randy at sa pagkilos para sa kanyang paglaya.  Paki-kontak na lang po ang mga nakatalang numero dito para sa inyong mga tulong.

Salamat. 🙂

==========================

Dear friends,

A benefit-gathering of batchmates, friends and colleagues of Randy Malayao will be held on June 14, 2008, 7pm at the Newsdesk Bar, Scout Madrinan, Quezon City.  This event is being organized to start a series of fundraising efforts of Friends of Randy (including Guilders all over the country and abroad) to raise funds for Randy’s legal fees. We have pegged an entrance ticket of Php 300 per person with one beer consumable.  Food and drinks can be bought at the Newsdesk bar although we also encourage folks to bring food to share with everybody.

A program is being arranged with some prominent artists performing and a special message from Randy himself.  We are in need of sponsors who are willing to provide food and drinks for the event.  Please contact me at 09277404663 if you have any ideas on this.  A formal invitation will be sent through e-mail shortly.

We thank those who have already promised to send contributions please channel all donations to the following bank account:

Account Name:  Raymund and Edna Villanueva
Bank Name:  Bank of the Philippine Islands
Peso Savings Account Number: 4259-0013061
Bank Address:  BPI Diliman Branch

Thank you and hope to see you all on June 14.

Jaz Lumang
CEGP Sec-Gen 1992-1996

CHR probes NDF consultant’s torture claim

May 29, 2008

By Villamor Visaya Jr.
Northern Luzon Bureau
First Posted 21:49:00 05/29/2008

CAUAYAN CITY, Philippines — The Commission on Human Rights in Cagayan Valley has started looking into the arrest and detention of a National Democratic Front peace consultant, who was allegedly tortured while in the custody of military and police personnel.

Lawyer Jimmy Baliga, CHR regional director, said the commission began investigating the case of Randy Felix Malayao, 39, without the prodding of nongovernment organizations and human rights advocates.

“This investigation is motu propio, [we’re doing it] on our own [initiative],” he said.

Baliga said CHR Chair Leila de Lima instructed them to look into the circumstances of Malayao’s arrest and detention to see if his rights were violated.

Police and military officials earlier denied reports that Malayao was tortured or maltreated while in their custody.

Senior Superintendent Manuel Piñera, regional director of the police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, said Malayao, spokesperson of the NDF Northeast Luzon, has been under “tight security” within the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology in Tuguegarao City.

Major General Melchor Dilodilo, commander of the Army’s 5th Infantry Division, said Malayao’s rights were never violated when he was arrested by CIDG personnel and members of the Army’s 502nd Infantry Brigade intelligence unit inside a bus in Cainta, Rizal, on May 15.

Malayao, according to Dilodilo, was arrested following the issuance of warrants for two murder cases and a frustrated murder case in Tuguegarao City.

According to Senior Superintendent Dominador Aquino Jr., Isabela police director, Malayao is among the accused in the June 12, 2001, murder of former Cagayan Representative Rodolfo Aguinaldo, a former military colonel.(PDI)

Barangay RP Advisory: National Youth Assembly sa UP-D!

May 29, 2008

VACATION IS OVER!
FULL STRENGTH ANEW FOR YOUTH POWER!

YOUTH ACT NOW! (Youth for Accountability and Truth Now!)

invites you to its

National Youth Assembly
May 30, 1:00-6:00pm
College of Education Auditorium
University of the Philippines- Diliman


Youth and students from different schools, universities and communities in Metro Manila, Laguna, Cavite, Rizal, Batangas, Central Luzon, Bicol, Panay, Davao, Iloilo, Negros, Ilocos Regions, Tacloban and Cordillera Regions will gather together tomorrow, May 30, 2008, to renew and pledge their commitment in the fight for truth, accountability and social change.

Guest speakers are Rodolfo ‘Jun’ Lozada, Joey de Venecia and Bro. Eddie Villanueva.

Fireworks display at the end of the program will symbolize the ‘start of the school year with a bang.’

Media coverage is requested.

Reference: Sarah Katrina Maramag, 09193486790/ Alvin Peters, 09206209362

‘Arroyo statement on tuition vindicates student protests’ – campus press

May 27, 2008

May 27, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Reference:
Sarah Katrina Maramag, Public Information Officer, 09193486790
Vijae Alquisola, National President, 09162034402

‘Arroyo statement on tuition vindicates student protests’ – campus press
CEGP demands public apology from Arroyo, ‘moratorium on violent dispersals, harassment’

The College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) today said that Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo‘ s latest statement calling for a freeze in tuition hikes vindicates students’ protests.

The CEGP said in light of Arroyo’s recent statement, students who have endured violent dispersals, harassment and violations of students’ rights to assemble and freely express themselves on tuition and other education-related issues deserve no less than a public apology from schools administrators, authorities and the President herself.

“Students from all over are not the least bit appeased by Arroyo’s latest statement. While it vindicates students’ protests and actions against the rising cost of education, it does not guarantee that students’ rights will be respected from here on,” said newly-elected CEGP National President Vijae Alquisola.

Moratorium on violent dispersals, harassment and repression of students
“Pres. Arroyo owes students an apology. She should also order for a ‘moratorium on violent dispersals, harassment and repression of students,'” Alquisola said.

Alquisola said that countless violent dispersals and harassment of student leaders have been results of students’ assertion of their right to education.

He cited the police’s brutal dispersal during the government-sponsore d education summit last January of this year where six students were nabbed while 23 others were seriously injured.

Alquisola also demanded the withdrawal of false theft charges against Tandem editor Ma. Criselda Diocena. Tandem is the official campus publication of the University of Northern Philippines, and a member publication of the CEGP.

Diocena was charged with theft by UNP-Vigan which accused Diocena of stealing a computer CPU (central processing unit). Diocena has denied the charges and has cried harassment by school administrators because of her hard stance against the university’s proposed tuition increases.

Diocena was unable to get a clearance to take her final exams this summer and, as a result, is unable to enroll for the incoming school year.

The CEGP said that it is set to release a primer documenting other cases of harassment of students and repression of students’ rights in the following days. ###

COLLEGE EDITORS GUILD OF THE PHILIPPINES
Rm 305, National Press Club Bldg., Intramuros,
Manila, Philippines
Tele Fax.: 524-3937
Email: cegpnational@ yahoo.com
“To Write Is Already To Choose”

Looking for Randy Malayao: Guilders Exchange (2)

May 27, 2008

–> …sa mga aral,pagmulat at pakikibaka na ipinunla ni randy sa akin mismo…(at sa lahat ng kasama…) paano isantabi ang isang RANDY MALAYAO?
Laban mo RANDY, laban nating lahat…
On behalf ng MIGRANTE ABU DHABI, dito a U.A.E. ………… ……… ……… ..M A P A G P A L A Y A N G    P A K I K I B A K A!
This coming Fri. magkakaroon kami ng pag pulong at isama namin sa Agenda ito, dito may mga CEGP Alumni na naka base dito na sa UAE dati, hindi masyadong active pero batch natin sila sa 90s at mostly nakahalubilo nila si randy.whatever mapagkaisahan naming ambagan at taos pusong tulong, kay Jaz ko na rin ipaparating.
sulong
—– rose
==================================
Sino ang makakalimot sa isang Randy Malayao, I first met Randy in UP Miag-ao.We then organized CEGP- Capiz Chapter .Hindi nag kulang ang isang Randy Malayao sa supportang binigay nya sa akin habang pinamumunuan ko ang Capiz Chapter. Kasama sina Jonel Cabais, Toto Deduro , Joel Maghopoy at CEGP Capiz Chapter 90-94 nakikiisa kami sa supportang kailangan ibigay para kay Randy. On behalf of CEGP Alumni here in London please tell Randy na buo ang paniniwala at suportang ibibigay namin sa kanya. MABUHAY KA RANDY !
—–bernadette macato
==================================

Mabuti nabanggit ni Ruzanne na naglilinis ng bahay nila noong inampon nila si Randy.

Ngayong “ampon” ng pasistang rehimeng Arroyo sa Cagayan Provincial Jail si Randy, hindi maiiwasang may mga katulad na ganito hinggil sa kanya.

Una, request ni Randy sa mga bumibisita sa kanya na magdala ng panlinis ng banyo.  Brushes, sabon, clorox ang gusto ni kuya na dalhin sa kanya.  Plano pa yatang magbuo ng committee system si Randy para mapanatiling malinis ang banyo matapos niyang linisin ito.

Request din ni Randy ang maraming reading materials.  Matatandaang walang makauna kay Randy sa dyaryo ng CEGP national HQ.  Pagkatapos niya sa dyaryo, nauna na siyang kargado ng impormasyon kesa mga natutulog pang mga kasama–tulad ni Lahlee Taguba at Nigel Rances.  Balita ko, suportado ng jail guards ang pagdadala ng maraming babasahin kay Randy dahil malapit niya nang umpisahan ang records ng iba pang inmates sa CPJ.

Request din ni Randy ng mp3 player.  Siyempre kailangang may laman na ng mga kanta dahil saan naman siya makikilagay ng mga kanta sa kulungan?  Sa mga jailguards?  E baka “My Way” lang makuha niya or, worst, “Bawal na Gamot” ni Willy Garte na minsan ay kinanta ni Teddy.  Mainam kung yung powered ng 3A batteries at may radyo.  Magkakasinat si Randy kung hindi makakarinig ng balita.

Napapakamot daw ng ulo ang BJMP kay Randy.  Record-breaking daw ang dami ng mga bisita niya.  (Syempre, iba ang bisita ng CEGP colleagues.  Hindi ubrang dahil maraming bumibisita sa kanya ay ipagpaliban pa ang planong bisita sa kanya mula Maynila.)

—– raymund v

WAYWARD AND FANCIFUL: Seeking Randy. By Gail Ilagan

May 27, 2008

Gail Ilagan/MindaNews
Sunday, 25 May 2008 17:21
DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/24 May) — It’s official: Randy Felix P. Malayao, 39, had been arrested for the murder of an ex-military-man-turned-Governor.

I’m moving back nineteen years ago, imagining myself crossing the hall to the Ang Mangingisda newsroom and announcing that to a lanky kid who had a poet’s eyes. Or maybe I’d find that lanky kid with the eyes of a poet in the LFS office two doors down. That was Randy then.
I would tell him that it really wasn’t an arrest. If it were, Randy should have been taken to jail and allowed to call his lawyer within the hour. Instead, nobody heard from him until the 5th Infantry Division announced four agonizing days later that they would present him to the media.

I could imagine Randy listening to that with wide eyes. And he would have said, “Ay, ano ba ‘yan?”

Randy’s signature “Ay, ano ba ‘yan?!” was so catchy that even Vic Sotto was soon dropping it all over the place.

If you were among the first batch of students of the UP system that was consigned to the Miag-ao Campus the year it was opened, you couldn’t have missed Randy. He was not flamboyant or colorful, but he had a quiet presence. He was always polite, cheerful, and well-spoken. He was a gentleman – perhaps the most difficult thing to be at nineteen.

He was a student leader who was always at the forefront of issues that touched the lives of the UPV constituency and the student sector. No issue was too small for Randy Malayao and his cohorts. Dorm issues, tuition fee increase, US Bases Out Now, Oil Price Rollback, student rights, or Let’s Lampoon the VCA… you name it, they’ll give you the rundown on that one. The position papers they put out – and they never tired of putting them out – were informed, well-argued, and of course, very biased.

Under Randy’s editorship, the official student organ of the College of Fisheries, Ang Mangingisda, regularly put out such well-written issues that told just how vibrant the intellectual life in Mig-ao was and how, despite the campus being in the boondocks in the pre-SMS, pre-wifi era, the UPV studentry was kept abreast of national concerns. In fact, it was like that Vic Sotto and the “Ay, ano ba ‘yan?!” thing. Those guys were soon sitting in the CEGP hierarchy and creating the driving force to push student issues of the day.

It would have been so easy for me to be at odds with Randy. I was the liaison for the Office of Student Personnel Service. The school rules said that postings should bear my office’s stamp before they could be put up. So everyday that God made, I would find a 4-inch stack of position papers for stamping on my desk. Issues that wouldn’t die down had to be provided the venue for expression. Oh, they never ran out of issues. I just about ran myself ragged setting up fora and dialogues, documenting the proceedings, and following through on agreements arrived at between the students and the administrators.

Things got a lot more hectic for me when Chancellor Dodong Nemenzo chose to take up residence in the Miag-ao Campus. He liked talking to the students. In fact, even when the students weren’t agitating for an audience with him, he’d want to get them together anyway to improve their education on, for example, why there was a call to boycott the elections.

The students came to hear Dodong, but they never cozied up to him. Tribal lines divide. By virtue of my employment, I was on the other side, too – a representative of the oppressive administration bent on suppressing the voice of the students and denying them their right to oh, just about everything they should have.

Still, Randy and I were friends who sometimes took a stroll together under the moonlight. We laughed a lot. How Randy laughed. It looked like he were dying.

We talked about issues and I came to respect the depths of his passion. He, I’d like to think, came to respect my endless capacity to understand. We did each other the utmost respect of never trying to force our views on the other. He was that quiet presence that was there for me as I tried to work out frat tensions, disciplinary sanctions, problematic love affairs, and girls going on a bad trip.

Every morning, the dorm residents got informed of my impending arrival at my office because the loudspeaker they used for rallies would blare out Sheryl Cruz’ Mr. Dreamboy the minute I stepped out of the dining hall and crossed the green to the other building. Five minutes after I would have entered my office, a 4-inch batch of postings would be delivered along with coffee just the way I liked it.

I stamped away all day with nary a whimper and I allowed them their say whenever, wherever. In return, they’d follow me to the slopes to plant as many trees as we could on weekends. This despite the fact that they loudly criticized my idea that planting trees there could help solve the global ecological crisis. I didn’t mind their complaining because they did it while pulling their weight. At the end of the day, Randy’s group would have planted the most number of trees.

They were a very young bunch of idealists, yes. They were also a hardworking bunch of individualists who knew how to channel their talents. While they were at it, they honed their writing and power of argumentation. The organization and division of labor were most effective at getting things done. They ably handled regular critique sessions without expert help, which says how good they were at managing their ranks.

I still see some of them today. We’ve drifted apart somewhat, but I’m glad to be proven right on my observation. Nineteen years ago in boondocks of Miag-ao, those guys were making their destiny.

And planting trees? Well, I heard they’re all coming back to Miag-ao for the centennial celebration and they’re going to mark the reunion by planting trees. Randy had plans to be there.

I last saw Randy days after I gave birth to my firstborn. I never knew then that I would miss seeing him again this much. I wish I could just cross the hall and burst in on him and everything would be alright again. He was a lanky kid with the eyes of a poet. I love him like a brother. (Wayward and Fanciful is Gail Ilagan’s column for MindaViews, the opinion section of MindaNews. Ilagan teaches Social Justice, Family Sociology, Theories of Socialization and Psychology at the Ateneo de Davao University where she is also the associate editor of Tambara. You may send comments to
gail.ilagan@gmail.com. Send at the risk of a reply,” she says)

Tulungan Natin si Randy

May 26, 2008

Dear Fellow Guilders,
We all probably know by now what happened to Randy Malayao, a sterling activist who served as CEGP Vice President for the Visayas from 1991-95. To summarize, he was abducted last May 15, illegally detained, held incommunicado and tortured for five days and then presented by the AFP and PNP to the media on May 20 as an alleged ranking CPP-NPA-NDF official in the region.
In what appears to be a case of guilt by association, he is currently charged for various crimes in several courts in Isabela and Cagayan by virtue of his alleged position in the revolutionary movement. (For more details, please refer to the attached Karapatan Urgent Action Alert).
Randy has denied the charges against him. For its part, the NDF in Cagayan Valley asserts that Randy is an unarmed NDF political consultant covered by immunity under the GRP-NDF peace process.
Whatever the case, WHAT IS CLEAR IS THAT RANDY NEEDS OUR HELP. His rights have been violated, he continues to be under threat of physical or mental harm, and the government appears to be unjustly charging him with a slew of common crimes (including six murders!) to demonize him and stop his political activities.
What we can do
In a meeting last Thursday (May 22), a number of Guilders met and agreed to take all steps to ensure that Randy’s rights are respected, that he is accorded due process, and that his safety and well-being is assured. In this regard, we decided to embark on the following:
1. A delegation to visit Randy in the Cagayan Provincial Jail, Tuguegarao on June 7-8.
2. A fund-raising activity for Randy’s legal defense fund on June 14, Saturday, 7:00 p.m. somewhere in Quezon City.
Tickets will be priced at P300 but we appeal to everyone to please give more. We are scouting for pro-bono talents who can render music or poetry, visual artists who can donate some works that we can sell, and of course, donations or sponsorships of food and/or drinks so that we can raise more funds. If you also know a place where we can hold the activity for free or with minimal cost, please inform us.
We encourage alumni Guilders in other regions and provinces, especially in the Visayas, to hold similar activities for our dear Randy.
Who you should contact
If you are interested in joining or helping in any of these two activities, or if you have any other ideas, please contact Jaz Lumang at mobile no. +639277404663 or email <jaz_buncan@yahoo.com>.
Fellow Guilders, tulungan natin si Randy!
Thank you very much. Please pass this letter to other Guilders you know.
Rep. Teddy Casiño
Bayan Muna Party LIst
CEGP National President, 1991-94
————–
i deleted parts of Teddy’s letter (regarding the delegation to visit randy). if you are an alumnus of the guild, kindly contact the above-mentioned names and numbers for the detail.

Looking for Randy Malayao: Guilder’s exchanges

May 26, 2008

Hinggil sa paghahanap ng abogado ni Randy:

–> si romy capulong ba pala, ndi ba pwede makausap para mahawakan ang kaso ni randy? i think he’s the expert pagdating sa ganitong kaso. nakausap na ba sya? — Lahlee T.

–> we need siguro to gather muna ang lahat ng briefs regarding randy’s many cases sa cagayan valley before we can ask for an appointment with rtc.  pero sa bahagi ng legal struggle, we defer to his defense counsel atty ephraim lasam.

we know of 6 murder cases in two provinces.  baka mayroon pang iba.  the hr workers are still checking sa ibang mga rtc. — Raymund V.

–> Malabo si RTC. He’s too busy with the cases of other Guilders, namely me and Satur. Ha ha ha. Paborito talaga ng mga pasista ang Guilders. Palibhasa mga “tall, dark and handsome” ayon kay Tonyo. — teddy c.

–> I have sought assistance from a Beta Sigma friend from UP Diliman — Melvir Buela. they got a lawyer naman siguro. Nangangalap sila.

I suggest to the brods of Randy in UPV-Miag-ao hasten efforts to help on that end. Loaded talaga ang PILC lawyers natin. — Vince B.

–> ano ba, teddy boy… paborito lang talaga ng mga pasista ang guilders. period. kay randy mag-aapply ang tall, dark and handsome. ewan ko lang sa ‘yo. 🙂 — Ruzanne R.

–> What are the updates kay Randy Malayao?

For the information of those who care (meron ba!), Randy stayed with my family for like — forever!!! — in 1994, tended to my mama’s flower garden, cooked and cleaned the house, and most of all, witnessed the birth of my eldest son, si Gian (a.k.a. Bayan), and stood, along with teddy and bency, as my son’s “tatay” sa binyag.

nataranta nang konti si randy when i proposed ang ipangalan kay Bayan: Felix Teodoro Cyrus (after teddy, him and bency). hahaha.

last time we saw each other in 2002, and by sheer chance na nasa manila ako and he was with our “original kagandahan and kapogi-han” group sa 90s guilders, randy and i spent lots of time together. coffee, kain, coffee, kain. tapos parati remind  me to stop with the yosi.

anyways, randy’s stay with my family brought us so much joy and social consciousness. na-appreciate nang family ko why i am me bec. of randy and his words of wisdom…

please keep me posted. gotta stop here. mangiyak-ngiyak na me. feeling gretchen kasi. as usual! — Ruzanne R.

— > ruzanne,

I’ll be in malaybalay on wednesday, kita ta. my number is 09292146198. text or miskol me. am contacting sila ni former political detainee stan (i think sa batch natin, si stan was the first pol det, april 1996). he is working for an NGO in butuan. am also trying to contact sila oliver, he is now connected in the Provincial Gov’t. of Mis. Or., Atty. Felwina Opiso, who is now with the Court of Appeals. sorry my sched is very busy but we should try to get something on the ground. i’ll track on others whom randy had worked with when he stayed here in NM in 1994 in preparation of the 1994 CEGP Congress where we co-chaired the COC. -bency

==================

Panawagan sa mga brod ni randy sa UP-Miag-ao: maaari nyong kontakin yung brod nyo sa UP-D na nabanggit ni Vince, para mas madali ang inyong koordinasyon.

Looking for Randy Malayao: Happy Now? (akda ni uberjam)

May 25, 2008

Randy Felix Malayao had just come from having dinner with some friends somewhere in Ortigas. Unable to secure a taxi ride, he opts to take the bus instead going to a relative’s house somewhere in Pasig. As he alights from the bus, several men grabs him and shoves him to a vehicle where he is blindfolded. They drive in to the night, to God knows where. He later (as in a week later) turns up in a military camp in Isabela. Since then he has been turned over to the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group of the same province.

This is the good news.

And that is how pathetic it’s become.

Malayao is currently a peace consultant of the National Democratic Front, which has been in an on-and-off relationship with the Philippine government insofar as negotiation processes go. He is also a former youth leader and vice-president of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines for the Visayas.

Do these qualifications make his abduction and detention legal? No. Do they make him a convenient target for the government’s anti-insurgency campaign? Apparently, very much so.

But I digress. The sad thing about this affair is that the fact that Malayao actually turns up alive, albeit bearing signs of torture (according to reports of KARAPATAN), is actually good news. After all, his family would rather have him this way, bruises and all, than buried somewhere in some unmarked grave or just simply gone… forever.

Nevermind that his arrest (if one can call it that) was conducted in such a questionable manner. Nevermind that it was done by the military. Nevermind that after almost a week, he remains in custody without any case having been filed against him. Nevermind that during his “stay” with his abductors, he was prevented from having access to an attorney, or to any acquaintance at the very least, who could at least try to protect his rights.

Nevermind all that. At least he’s still alive and breathing.

Ang mga pinoy, mababaw lang ang kaligayahan.

Suddenly, that’s gone to take a whole new meaning. And that’s sad.

(Bisitahin nyo naman ang kanyang tahanan dito)

Looking for Randy Malayao: Photo

May 25, 2008

Randy Felix Malayao, 39, was being presented to the media before he was turned over to police custody led by Isabela provincial director Senior Superintendent Dominador Aquino at the Army’s 5th Infantry Division headquarters yesterday (20 May). Photo taken by FRANCIS C.HIDALGO JR. (Photo grab: karitoon.com)

Urgent Action Alert: CEGP Alumnus Gets Death Threats

May 23, 2008

Dear Friends,

Si Kelly Delgado, subject ng UA Alert na ito ay fellow Guilder. Regional Coordinator sya ng SoCSKSarGen noong 2001-2002 when Ronalyn Olea was National President.

Sana makatugon din tayo sa pagtulong sa kanya by responding to this UA Alert.

Ruth

URGENT ACTION ALERT * URGENT ACTION ALERT * URGENT ACTION ALERT * URGENT ACTION ALERT * URGENT ACTION

UA Date: 22 May 2008

UA Title: Human Rights Worker Gets Death Threats in Kidapawan, North Cotabato, Mindanao, Philippines

UA Case: Threat/Harassment/ Intimidation/ Fear for Life and Safety

Victim/s: Kelly Muñez Delgado

· 31 years old, male, single

· Human rights worker

· Secretary General, KARAPATAN-Southern Mindanao Region (SMR)

Place of Incident: Kidapawan City, North Cotabato, Mindanao, Philippines

Date of Incident: 16 May 2008

Alleged Perpetrators: unidentified men sending SMS (Short Message System), believed to be military elements.


Account of Incident:
Following the assassination of peasant leader Celso Pojas in Davao City on May 15, 2008,  Mr. Kelly Delgado, 31 years old and head of the Karapatan team that responded to the incident, was invited for a radio interview by Mr. Abner Francisco of Charm Radio based in Kidapawan City. He was interviewed on May 16, 2008 at around 8:30 a.m.  The interview lasted for about 30 minutes.

An hour and a half later, at around 10 a.m., Charm Radio received three (3) text messages (SMS) through its official mobile phone number.

The message read: “Charm, yn ang hirp s mga supporter ng mga NPA. Kong my mngyri s knl. Sundalo agd ang pbintngan. Kong sundalo ang mmty hnd mn kau ngsslita pra s pnig s sundalo. Ikaw nmn ang sunod jn mr. Kelly n iligpid. Six fet below d ground kn Kelly.” (That’s what’s wrong with New People’s Army (NPA) supporters, if something happens to the NPA, they immediately blame the soldiers. But if a soldier dies, they don’t speak to defend the soldiers. You are the next one to be eliminated, Mr. Kelly. You’re already six feet below the ground, Kelly.)

On May 19, 2008, the radio station forwarded these messages to Delgado to warn him of the threat.  The radio station, however, refused to disclose the number of the mobile phone that was the source of the threat.  According to them, it is the station’s policy to keep listeners’ contact details confidential.

As Secretary General of Karapatan in Southern Mindanao, Delgado has led quick reaction teams to respond to reports of human rights violations and is a vocal critic of human rights abuses of members of the military.

Karapatan, a national alliance of human rights organizations, desks, programs and individual human rights advocates, has lost 33 human rights workers to extrajudicial killings in the course of human rights work since 2001 up to the present. Each one was a victim of a vicious military campaign of incitement to violence.

Human rights defenders must be able to continue their work unhampered. Vilification campaigns must be stopped and the safety of human rights workers must be ensured.

Your urgent response to this action alert is being sought.

RECOMMENDED ACTION:

Please send letters, emails or fax messages calling for:

1.       The immediate formation of an independent fact-finding and investigation team composed of representatives from human rights groups, the Church, local government, and the Commission on Human Rights that will look into the threat, harassment and intimidation of Kelly Delgado and other human rights workers.

2.       The arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators of human rights violations.

3.       Ensuring the safety of Mr. Kelly Delgado and other human rights workers and allowing them to do their work unhampered; and,

4.       The Philippine Government to be reminded that it is a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and that it is also a party to all the major Human Rights instruments, thus it is bound to observe all of these instruments’ provisions.

You may send your communications to:

H.E. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo

President of the Republic
Malacanang Palace,
JP Laurel St., San Miguel
Manila, Philippines
Voice: (+632) 564 1451 to 80
Fax: (+632) 742-1641 / 929-3968
Cell#: (+ 63) 919 898 4622 / (+63) 917 839 8462
E-mail: corres@op.gov. ph / opnet@ops.gov. ph

Jesus D. Dureza
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process
*Office of the Peace Process
7th Floor Agustin Building I
Emerald Avenue
Pasig City, MM, Philippines 1605
Voice:+63 (2) 636 0701 to 066
Mobile:
Fax:+63 (2) 635 9579
osec@opapp.gov. ph

Gilberto C. Teodoro Jr.
Secretary
Department of National Defense
Room 301 DND Building, Camp Emilio Aguinaldo,
E. de los Santos Avenue
Quezon City, Philippines
Voice:+63(2) 911-9281 / 911-0488
Fax:+63(2) 911 6213
osnd@philonline. com

Raul M. Gonzalez
Secretary
Department of Justic
e
Padre Faura St., Manila, Philippines
Direct Line 521-8344; 5213721
Trunkline  523-84-81 loc.214
Fax: (+632) 521-1614
Email  sad@doj.gov. ph

Hon. Leila De Lima
Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights
SAAC Bldg., UP Complex

Commonwealth Avenue
Diliman, Quezon City

Philippines
Fax: (+632) 929 0102
Email: drpvq@chr.gov. ph

Please send us a copy of your email/mail/fax to the said government official to our address below.

URGENT ACTION Prepared by:
Karapatan (Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights)-National Office
2/F Erythrina Bldg., #1 Maaralin cor Matatag, Brgy. Central, Quezon City 1100 PHILIPPINES
Voice/Fax: (+632) 435 4146
Emails: <karapatan.pid@ gmail.com> / <karapatan.admin@ gmail.com>
Website: www.karapatan. org

CEGP Press Release:CEGP condemns abduction, torture of former student leader

May 22, 2008

May 22, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Reference:
Vijae Alquisola, Deputy Secretary-General, 09162034402

CEGP condemns abduction, torture of former student leader

The College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) condemns in strongest terms the illegal abduction and emotional and physical torture of former student leader Randy Malayao by suspected Military Intelligence Group agents (MIG).

Malayao was CEGP Vice-President for Visayas in 1991-1994.

Malayao was forcibly abducted last May 15. Last May 20, he was presented by the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) to the media at Camp Melchor dela Cruz in Upi, Gamu, Isabela.

He was then brought to the Regional Trial Court in Tuguegarao, Cagayan and is now being held at the Cagayan Provincial Jail under murder charges.

Malayao is a Peace Consultant for the National Democratic Front of the Philippines in Cagayan Valley. He was included as one of the co-accused in the killing of notorious martial law torturer Rodolfo Aguinaldo in 2003. Malayao denied the charges.

According to Malayao’s account as per human rights group Karapatan, “… he was grabbed by government agents as he went down the bus at around 9:45P.M of May 15.  He was shoved inside a vehicle, the model and brand of which he did not know.  He was immediately blindfolded… recalls that he could hear the sound of aircrafts passing above the place he was brought to…(h)e did not have any concept of time while under interrogation.  He said the military covered his head with a plastic bag while being hit in different parts of the body.  The soldiers threatened that he would be killed and that his mother will never see him again.  His blindfold was only removed when he was presented to media on the 20th of May, five days after he was abducted.”

“We are on one hand relieved while at the same time outraged by this development. Relieved that our dear alumnus is alive, outraged that he has been subjected to severe torture and his right to due process ignored and outrightly violated,” said Vijae Alquisola, CEGP Deputy Secretary-General.

“His being presented to the media by authorities after his five-day absence attests to the PNP and AFP’s extra-judicial and unlawful tactics in persecuting government critics. This is shameful and a cause for considerable alarm,” Alquisola said.

Alquisola said that regardless of his political affiliation, Malayao should not have been illegally abducted and tortured ‘under any circumstance. ‘ “He has apparently been working underground for more than a decade and his contemporaries and fellow Guilders respect his choice. The AFP and PNP still had no right and license under law to do to him or anyone what they did.”

“The CEGP hands to Malayao its deepest respect for his determination to stand up to his convictions, even under torture and duress. He is still what he was and more when he served us our student leader.”

Malayao was the Editor-in-Chief for two consecutive years of Mangingisda, the official campus publication of UP Visayas in Miag-Ao. He is also a brother and alumnus of the Beta Sigma fraternity in the UP Visayas.

He was elected CEGP Vice-President for Visayas during Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casino’s term as CEGP President in 1991-1994. ###

COLLEGE EDITORS GUILD OF THE PHILIPPINES
Rm 305, National Press Club Bldg., Intramuros,
Manila, Philippines
Tele Fax.: 524-3937
Email: cegpnational@ yahoo.com
“To Write Is Already To Choose”

Looking for Randy Malayao: His Story (from Bukaneg’s blog)

May 22, 2008

Five nights and four days of hell

Friday night, as Pom and I were at a gas station on our way home from another long day, I received a text message. The message contained a girl’s name and it asked permission if she could call me. The number was unregistered and so I was having second thoughts whether to answer the text or not. Besides, phone calls were prohibited in gas stations. But I said yes nonetheless.

The voice at the other end of the line was unfamiliar. But the distress was in her voice was unmistikable. She said she needed to talk to me as soon as possible and will I meet her that same night? I asked her, “About what?” “About Randy,” she replied.

It immediately felt like someone dropped a heavy stone at the pit of my stomach. This kind of call with a very unusual request can never be good. I had no choice but to say yes. We hung up. After a few minutes I got another text informing me of a change in plans. It also said it was too late in the night and it may probably be too unsafe. The meeting was surely not about a good thing.

I spent a fitful night. I kept waking up, worried to death. Randy has been working underground for more than a decade as a National Democratic Front political consultant. He was the Visayas’ most popular and effective student leader and organizer before that.

Very early the next day, Saturday, without a proper shower and breakfast, I rushed over to where I would meet the woman who turned out to be just a girl by her looks. She broke the shocking news—Randy has been missing since Thursday night and his cellphones could not be reached. The best case scenario was that he was abducted by the military, the worst case scenario was that he was tortured and killed.

I called up Manang Perla, Randy’s elder sister. She did not want to believe me at first but I am sure she knew I would never kid her with something like this—especially when my voice cracked.

I rushed over to the Karapatan human rights group and the Desaperecidos, an organization of relatives of the disappeared. They were already informed when I reached their offices. There were also volunteers from the Cagayan Valley human rights group Lakbay CV. We immediately asked Randy’s friends and relatives the circumstances of their last meeting with him. We got a rough sketch of what might have happened to him. We came to the conclusion that it could only be the military responsible for this dastardly act. I parked myself before a computer and started writing all about Randy, from our boyhood, our families, our fathers’ unparalled friendship that was broken only by Uncle Felix’s untimely death by vehicular accident. I also wrote about Randy’s history as student leader and organizer. It was an easy task for me. I know him more than his family does in this aspect. I also wrote down what information we had that day.

In the afternoon, a search group was formed and they drove around his last known point of origin to where he might have been abducted. When the group came back, we made plans for more searches the next day.

All the while, I burned cellphone lines to his family and other friends, asking additional information and suggesting courses of action. To hell with astronomical phone bills. This guy is more than worth it.

I came home very late that night on my own. As I rounded the street corner leading to Matalino street, I thought someone took a picture of me because a camera flash pop on my face. I drove from out of there like mad.

At home, I told Pom what I knew at the time. Another fitful night’s sleep passed. Randy kept appearing in my dreams, smiling at me everytime as if we were just having lunch at a restaurant. It was just that, when we were together at the CEGP, we could hardly feed ourselves, much less afford a restaurant meal.

Sunday morning, I met Aya Santos and we drove to Camp Crame. We visited her mom, Elizabeth Principe, who suffered the same ordeal as Randy did six months back. It was I who broke the news to her, Aya so choked with emotions she could hardly open her mouth. We spent five hours inside the claustrophobic visiting area thinking of what could be done for Randy. We went back to the human rights offices just as the two search teams arrived from their rounds. Then we digested the information they brought back. We also drafted media advisories. As the volunteers faxed them, we talked, waited, talked some more and waited. My cellphone was peppered with messages from distraught relatives and friends.

At about nine o’clock, I asked Randy’s siblings to send Manung Dodo, their eldest, for the press conference and the camp searches the next day. Before midnight, I drove to the airport to collect two volunteers. I was home and in bed by three in the morning.

At six the next day, I was up and rushing to the CERV office because a departing volunteer insisted on talking to me before leaving. I rushed to collect Manung Dodo and brought him to the Bayan conference room for the presscon. It was a bit disorganized. The media people who arrived early requested to interview us immediately because there were other events to be covered. Then other journos trickled in, so we had to give interviews many times. Teddy was there, Edith Burgos was there, Dr. Carol Arraullo was there and many other Guilders and friends. Manung Dodo was amazed at how popular his brother is. He could hardly believe the people who he regularly saw on television were shaking his hand and telling all sorts of positive stories about their kid brother. Ma’am Edith even gave him a hug.

After a quick lunch, though we have to force ourselves to swallow the food, we set off for a camp search. We visited the notorious ABC (Camps Aguinaldo, Bonifacio and Crame) to submit letters to the Chief of Staff of the AFP, the Commanding General of the Philippine Army and the Chief PNP, respectively. We also visited known holding (and torture) areas within Bonifacio and left pictures of Randy. We noticed the soldiers, with their M4 rifles at the ready, could not look us in the eye and seemed to be ill-at-ease at our presence.

We proceeded to where Randy was last seen by friends at the Ortigas Center. We talked to managers, security guards and crew and showed them pictures of Randy (wearing a suit!). By then, Lakbay CV volunteers already talked to a security guard who confirmed someone who looked like the guy on the picture had dinner there on the night in question.

At this time, Manung Dodo and I received a call from Manang Perla about a hopeful information.

Then we proceeded to Barangay Rosario and had Randy’s case blottered. While waiting for the police to process the complaint, I crashed right on the driver’s seat and caught a short but deep nap. I was energized enough after to drive again.

As it was getting dark, we terminated our search and went back to the office. All of us were tired and hungry, but no one was complaining. Upon reaching office, we bought some bread and ate while we assessed the day just past and made plans for the next day. The fish crackers Mrs Burgos bought was consumed in no time. (Bless this lady!)

I went up to the Kodao office were Pom was patiently waiting for me. Then we went to a nearby hotel to meet two of our volunteers. Afterwards, short of cash, we ate at a street eatery and went back to Kodao office for me to get another nap. At ten, we drove to the airport to pick up another volunteer. We were home by two in the morning.

By then, I was more than 50 percent sure the military would admit they have Randy. I woke up before six and started trawling the internet. There were several stories about Randy, a couple of which quoted me, as Randy’s close friend, blaming the 5th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army for Randy’s enforced disappearance. Then I received another text message confirming the public presentation. That was when I spammed the good news to fellow Guilders.

At about eight, I was flooded with calls and sms texts. Manang Perla, relatives and Karapatan volunteers were on their way to Camp Melchor dela Cruz of the 5th ID where Major General Dilodilo led Randy’s public presentation. At about 10:30 am, he was shown for 30 seconds and 20 meters away from family, friends and the media. At 12 o’clock, I again spammed this latest development. Randy was then being taken to Tuguegarao where he is being accused as one of those responsible for the death of the notorious Martial Law torturer and rapist Rodolfo Aguinaldo (who later reinvented himself as provincial governor and congressman).

My phone never stopped ringing with calls and sms messages after. At about four in the afternoon, I received a phone call from Manang Perla. While we were talking, I heard a familiar voice in the background. I asked Manang Perla to put him on. When he answered, relief flooded all over me like a cold shower on a hot Manila summer day. It felt that good and more!

It’s one in the morning already. I should be getting my fair share of rest and sleep, moreso that I downed a bottle of brandy in celebration. No, scratch that—in jubilation. (Brandy for Randy, got it? got it?) But am I ever so stoked I can not now sleep even when I have the luxury to do so.

My five nights and four days of hell are over.

= = = =

Randy’s five nights and four days of hell

As briefly as I could, here it is (as narrated to me by Randy himself a few hours ago):

From a fast food joint in the Ortigas Center, Randy tried to flag down several taxis. He noticed several guys before him waving the cabs off. He then decided to board the next G Liner bus that came his way. Upon hindsight, he said he was already being cased at that point.

Randy alighted near the Cainta Junction. When he stepped off the bus, two persons grabbed him and dragged him to a waiting car. Also taken from him was a substantial amount of cash, gadgets and personal items.

He was blindfolded and driven to where airplane noise came at short intervals. (Fort Bonifacio)

Still blinfolded he was interrogated for what he thought was 24 hours straight. By this time, he no longer had sense of time. He was being hit relatively mildly but repeatedly, so the marks won’t show. A bag was put over his head to asphyxiate him. All the while, he was being forced to admit he was someone else. His torturers kept on saying Randy’s mom, Auntie Nena, will die soon after she learns of Randy’s death. They also made him listen to voices they said belonged to his friends being tortured.

All the while, Randy said, he had just one answer for his abductors and torturers: “Kill me now if you want, but you will not get anything from me!”

After about 24 hours of physical, psychological and mental torture, Randy was taken to the CIDG headquarters at Camp Crame. This was most probably on the night of Saturday until Sunday. What followed was what felt like to him another 24 hours of interrogation and torture. At just about the time when Aya and I were also at Camp Crame, possibly just a few dozen meters away, Randy was there being tortured.

He overheard one of his captors saying there were already groups looking for him. He was then whisked back to Fort Bonifacio. A few hours later, they took him on a very long drive. On the road, they might have possibly passed Manung Dodo’s bus on its way to Manila.

When his blindfold was finally taken off, he was ordered to wear an orange shirt printed with the words “CIDG Detainee.” He then talked to some people in the holding cell and learned that some of them were from Tumauini, Isabela. Randy asked them to make contact with Manang Perla to inform her that he was at Camp Dela Cruz. He was then marched to where the cowardly military proudly presented him.

Twenty meters away, Randy saw his Manang Perla, Manung Anton and other relatives, friends and human rights workers. He beamed his famous smile at them.

Randy’s five nights and four days of hell ended.

visit bukaneg’s blog here.

UNP sues student publication editor-in-chief

May 22, 2008

VIGAN CITY (May 14) — The University of Northern Philippines (UNP) administration filed a criminal complaint for theft before the City Prosecutor’s Office here against one of its student leaders.

Docketed as I.S. Number 08-049, UNP alleged that in January 11, 2008, their student stole the computer central processing unit (CPU) of Tandem, its official student paper from the locked and the barricaded publication office.

In the complaint-affidavit filed by Mr. Nolito Ragunjan, Coordinator for Student Publications of UNP-Vigan, accused Ma. Criselda Diocena, 23 years old, of taking the CPU outside the office without permission from the administration. His complaint was supported by an affidavit signed by Warren Rafal stating that Diocena took the CPU, issues of Tandem and other personal belongings out of the office.

Warren Rafal, in his affidavit said he asked permission on January 11, 2008 from the administration to open the office, which was locked by the UNP administration since October 2007. The school president Dr, Lauro Tacbas allowed them to enter the office provided they will only get some receipts.

The CPU brought to the UNP Student Resource Center (SRC) still within the UNP premises.

Diocena and Rafal were Editor-in-Chief of Tandem and Student Regent respectively, active student leaders and one of those who led the campaign against tuition and other fees increase and other repressive policies of the university administration.

As of press time the Office of Student Affairs (OSA) Director Dr. Gilbert Arce has not issued any clearance for Diocena and she has not been allowed to take her final examinations.

Meanwhile, Rafal had to plead with the UNP administration to be able to enroll. Both Diocena and Rafal were also sued by the administration for robbery earlier but the case was not pursued.

Also, last March 2008, Dr. Joel Beleno of the UNP College of Health Sciences sued Jeric Pelayo, the standard bearer of Alliance of Concerned Students-Partido ng Demokra-tikong Mag-aaral (ACS-PDM) for slander.

Desperate attempts

According to TANGGULAN Youth Network for Civil Liberties and Human Rights spokesperson Reizell Santos, the cases filed against Diocena and other students leaders are desperate moves of the UNP administration to silence the students who are conscious of and are upholding academic freedom; for their rights and the welfare of their fellow students.

Santos stressed that these cases are the reaction of UNP administration to the steadfast campaign of the publication and student organizations against the increase of tuition and other fees; and against campus repression.

“The UNP administration opts to suppress the basic rights of the students to protect its interest from the growing clamor against its tuition and other fees increases. It clearly shows its disregard for academic freedom that we should enjoy.” Santos concluded.

Santos also added that the guards and administration officials constantly harassed Diocena and her colleagues during the peak of the campaign that led to the barricading of their office . To date, Tandem office is still locked-up. The UNP administration has opted to produce a new publication, The Blazers.

Diocena admitted that they took the receipts, issues of Tandem and personal belongings out of the office and brought them to the Student Council Office so that they can be read and utilized. “Mr. Rafal suggested that we also bring the CPU out of the office and because we still have files saved in the computer for the next regular issue of TANDEM.” She furthered.

Diocena said she does not have access to the Student Resource Center where the CPU is now found, Mr. Ragunjan has unlimited access to it so that he can have the CPU anytime he wants. “I never intended to take the CPU for my own use. Even the accompanying affidavit of complainant Ragunjan’s supposed witness, Warren Rafal, states that the CPU is and has been at the Student Resource Center at the UNP premises” she stressed saying that if his interest was to protect the property of UNP, Mr. Ragunjan has all the means to verify himself that the CPU subject of his complaint has not been taken away from his watch.

The Diocena and Pelayo’s cases were brought to the attention of various institutions such as the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Committee on Education and Culture of the Provincial Government of Ilocos Sur, Committee on Education of the City Government of Vigan and the Office of Congressman Ronald Singson. # Rod Tajon for NORDIS

Update: Urgent Alert Action on Randy Malayao

May 21, 2008

URGENT ACTION ALERT • URGENT ACTION ALERT • URGENT ACTION ALERT

UPDATED REPORT

UA Date: 21 May 2008

UA Title:  UPDATE: Abducted Peace consultant for NDFP in Cagayan Valley, Philippines surfaced in PNP-CIDG’s custody

UA Case: Abduction, Torture, Illegal Arrest & Detention


Victim/s: Randy Felix P. Malayao

  • 39 years old, male
  • Resident of Minanga Norte, San Pablo, Isabela
  • Peace consultant for the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) in Cagayan Valley, Northern Philippines
  • Former youth leader: Vice President for the Visayas of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines (1992-1995) and Former Editor-in-Chief, Ang Mangingisda (The Fisherman), official student publication of University of the Philipppines in the Visayas, Miag-ao in Iloilo (1990) where he attained a BS Fisheries degree.
 

Place of Incident:    In the vicinity of Pasig City, Metro Manila, Philippines

Date of Incident:     15 May 2008, around 9:00 P.M.

Alleged Perpetrators:    Suspected Military Intelligence Group (MIG) agents

Possible motive: Victim was listed in 2003 as co-accused in the killing of martial law henchman Cagayan Congressman Rodolfo Aguinaldo, a former military colonel. The New People’s Army claimed to have meted death sentence to Aguinaldo in 2001.

Account of Incident:

On May 15, 2008 at around 8 o’clock in the evening, Randy Felix P. Malayao, 39 years old, was having dinner with his friends at a restaurant in SM North EDSA in Quezon City when they noticed two men suspiciously looking at them (both were sporting crew cuts and holding high-tech mobile phones with headsets). One of his female companions noticed the men still observing them, and suggested that they transfer to another place. While leaving, another companion of Randy heard one of the men, said ‘positive sir, positive’ while still following them.

They then proceeded to a fast-food chain along Ortigas Avenue in Pasig City. Again, they noticed a burly man also sporting a crew cut, wearing shorts and slippers and a headset, observing them. This man was accompanied by two more men with the same built and gadgets. Randy told his friends not to worry.

Shortly before 9 P.M., Randy left and walked towards Ortigas Avenue to get a cab but it was difficult to find one so he decided to ride a G-Liner bus instead. He was on his way to a relative’s house in Pasig. He sent a text message to his friends and relatives that he was on his way to the relatives’ place.

When his relatives inquired about his location, Randy replied that he was somewhere in Rosario, Pasig and stuck in traffic. By 9:17 P.M. he sent a message that he was being followed.

It was the last message received from him and his relatives did not hear from him since. He did not make it to his relatives’ house.

Randy’s relatives have again tried to call him several times on his mobile phone but it kept ringing. Sometimes it rings and turns busy and other times they hear music and different sounds as if the phone was being held close to a radio device and then disconnected after a few seconds. The phone could no longer be reached by noontime of May 16.

Malayao was listed in 2003 as a co-accused in the killing of martial law henchman Cagayan Congressman Rodolfo Aguinaldo. Malayao denied his involvement. The New People’s Army claimed to have, under their justice system, meted death sentence to Aguinaldo in 2001 for alleged “crimes against the people.”

Several weeks ago, officers of the 5th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army (5th IDPA) bragged over local radio station Bombo Radyo in Cauayan City in Isabela that it was only a matter of time when Malayao would fall into their hands.

A quick reaction team (QRT) was dispatched by Karapatan and Desaparecidos since Sunday, March 17 after family and friends sought their help.

After five (5) days, around 10:30A.M. of May 20, Randy was presented by the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) to the media at Camp Melchor Dela Cruz in Upi, Gamu, Isabela, Northern Philippines. He was brought before the Regional Trial Court in Tuguegarao, Cagayan and is currently detained in Cagayan Provincial Jail facing murder charges.

According to the victim, he was grabbed by government agents as he went down the bus at around 9:45P.M of May 15. He was shoved inside a vehicle, the model and brand of which he did not know. He was immediately blindfolded and he recalls that he could hear the sound of aircrafts passing above the place he was brought to.

Malayao said he did not have any concept of time while under interrogation. He said the military covered his head with a plastic bag while being hit in different parts of the body. The soldiers threatened that he would be killed and that his mother will never see him again. His blindfold was only removed when he was presented to media on the 20th of May, five days after he was abducted. §

RECOMMENDED ACTION:

Send letters, emails or fax messages expressing indignation and calling for:

1. The immediate formation of an independent fact-finding and investigation team composed of representatives from human rights groups, the Church, local government, and the Commission on Human Rights that will look into the Abduction, Torture, and Illegal Arrest & Detention of Randy Felix Malayao.

2. The arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators of the crime/s of abduction, torture, illegal arrest & detention.

3. The immediate and proper indemnification of the victims; and

4. The Philippine Government to be reminded that it is a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and that it is also a party to all the major Human Rights instruments, thus it is bound to observe all of these instruments’ provisions.

You may send your communications to:

H.E. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo

President of the Republic

Malacanang Palace,

JP Laurel St., San Miguel

Manila Philippines

Voice: (+632) 564 1451 to 80

Fax: (+632) 742-1641 / 929-3968

Cell#: (+ 63) 919 898 4622 / (+63) 917 839 8462

E-mail: corres@op.gov. ph / opnet@ops.gov. ph

Jesus D. Dureza
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process
*Office of the Peace Process
7th Floor Agustin Building I
Emerald Avenue
Pasig City 1605
Voice:+63 (2) 636 0701 to 066
Mobile:
Fax:+63 (2) 635 9579

osec@opapp.gov. ph

Gilberto C. Teodoro Jr.

Department of National Defense
Room 301 DND Building, Camp Emilio Aguinaldo,
E. de los Santos Avenue
Quezon City
Voice:+63(2) 911-9281 / 911-0488
Fax:+63(2) 911 6213
osnd@philonline. com

Hon. Raul M. Gonzalez
Secretary, Department of Justice

Padre Faura St., Manila

Direct Line 521-8344; 5213721
Trunkline  523-84-81 loc.214
Fax: (+632) 521-1614
Email  sad@doj.gov. ph

Hon. Leila De Lima

Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights

SAAC Bldg., UP Complex

Commonwealth Avenue

Diliman, Quezon City

Philippines

Fax: (+632) 929 0102

Email: drpvq@chr.gov. ph

Please send us a copy of your email/mail/fax to the said government official to our address below.

URGENT ACTION Prepared by:

KARAPATAN (Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights)-National Office

1 Maaralin cor Matatag, Brgy. Central, Quezon City 1100 PHILIPPINES

Voice/Fax: (+632) 435 4146

Emails: <karapatan.pid@ gmail.com> / <karapatan.admin@ gmail.com>

Website: www.karapatan. org

Communist leader Sison asks Dutch court to drop case

May 21, 2008

THE HAGUE, The Netherlands — Philippine communist leader Jose Maria Sison on Tuesday asked the Dutch court to drop the case against him for his alleged involvement in the killing of his former comrades Romulo Kintanar and Arturo Tabara.

After the hearing, the court, according to Sison’s lawyer Michiel Pestman, said it will issue a ruling on or before June 10.

Pestman said the prosecution, on the other hand, asked for an extension of the investigation period.

“The request for extension is necessary because they have not got anything, otherwise, they would have indicted him already,” he said. “This is a desperate attempt to save the case.”

Pestman said the court decision on or before June 10 may indict Sison or drop the case.

But Sison’s lawyer is optimistic about the case going their way because the prosecution submitted a new set of evidence that were “more of the same,” like the structure of the Communist Party of the Philippines.

“There is no evidence whatsoever linking Sison to the killings,” he said.

“They admitted that there would be no smoking gun [against Sison] and they would have to construct a case with circumstantial evidence,” he added.

Pestman said that under ordinary circumstances, Sison’s case should have been dropped “a long time ago…There are higher forces at work because obviously this is not an ordinary case. There’s a lot of political pressure involved.”

Dutch investigators went to the Philippines in February and interviewed some witnesses, he said, but even then, they “did not find any witness” to prove their case (PDI)

Press Statement NDF-Cagayan Valley condemns latest AFP abduction of NDF consultant

May 20, 2008

May 18, 2008

Press Statement NDF-Cagayan Valley condemns latest AFP abduction of NDF consultant

The National Democratic Front-Cagayan Valley condemns the abduction of Randy Malayao, 38, last May 15, 2008 at the vicinity of Rosario, Pasig City. He is a political consultant of the National Democratic Front for Cagayan Valley. We hold the 5th Infantry Battalion, through its special agents and death squad, responsible for Malayao’s abduction.

A month before his disappearance, Malayao was reported in the Cagayan Valley’s Security Council meeting as “about to be captured.” Malayao was active in various political activities for the advancement of the people’s national democratic interests. He pushed for justice for all political prisoners and victims of the state’s terrorism, the advancement of the peasants’ struggles and fought against unjust government programs and policies. He was an active leader in the campaign against the Dy political dynasty in the region, which led to the overthrow of Faustino Dy, Jr as governor. Before his disappearance, he was active in peasants’ discussions and fora regarding the high rates of rice and other issues concerning farmers. The Arroyo government has once again committed a blatant violation of human rights and International Humanitarian Laws.

Malayao was an unarmed NDF consultant covered by immunity when they took him and detained him against his will until now. We urge all sectors, people’s organizations, human rights groups and other justice-loving individuals in Cagayan Valley and the country to join in various actions to compel the AFP to resurface Malayao. We shall not cease until his whereabouts are known and the criminals responsible are punished.

Buhay si Randy (2)

May 20, 2008

Guilders,
Ngayong umaga, inilabas ng 5th INfrantry Division ng Philippine Army sa Camp Melchor de la Cruz sa Upi, Gamu, Isabela.  Inaresto raw nila si Randy at hindi dinukot kaugnay sa pagpatay kay martial law torturer at rapist Rodolfo Aguinaldo.
So mula Maynila ay dinala siya roon para i-interrogate.  Tapos na ang media presentation at dinadala ngayon si Randy sa Tuguegarao dahil nandun ang kaso.  Itutuloy daw siya muna sa Provincial Jail sa Tuguegarao.
Nakita ni Manang Perla, ate ni Randy, mula sa malayo.  Nasa maayos na kalagayan naman daw si Randy at walang obvious na bugbog sa katawan.
May mga kababayan kaming nakausap si Randy bago ang prescon.  Pinapaalam ni  Randy na sinabi niya raw sa mga dumukot sa kanya:  “Patayin niyo na lang ako, pero wala kayong maririnig na impormasyon galing sa akin!”
Mabuhay si Randy!  Mabuhay ang mga magigiting na Guilders!  Mabuhay ang nakikibakang sambayanang Pilipino!
Pero mga kasama, wala pang abogado si Randy.  Wala yung kamag-anak naming abogado.  Tulong!
Ngayon, may nagmungkahi nang mag-organisa ng madaliang bisita kay Randy sa provincial jail.
Kailangan ng suportang pinansiya at sasakyan!

Buhay si Randy! (1)

May 20, 2008

Guilders,
Buhay si Randy!
Kinumpirma ni Major General Melchor Dilodilo na hawak ng 5th INfantry Division ng Philippine Army si Randy.  Ipiprisinta raw ngayon sa media sa Isabela mismo.
Ang pamilya kasama ang Karapatan CV at mga kaibigan ay pupunta sa naturang media presentation upang makita ang kalagayan ni Randy.
More news as they come.

Mungkahi pa rin na ituloy ang pagbubuo ng Friends of Randy para sa kampanya para sa pagpapalaya!

Looking for Randy Malayao (6)

May 19, 2008

Guilders,
Ito ang nangyari ngayong araw, pang-apat na araw ng paghahanap natin kay Randy:
Dumating ngayong madaling araw ang panganay nina Randy na si former San Pablo (Isabela) councilor Isidro (Manong Dodo) Malayao para sa prescon at search.
Alas diyes y media ng umaga, inumpisahan na ang presscon sa Bayan conference room na inorganisa ng Desaperacidos at Karapatan.  Kumayod dito si Ruth Cervantes at mga kasama sa HR.  Dumating si Teddy, Mrs Editha Burgos, JL Burgos, ibang mga guilders tulad nina Len Olea, Vince Borneo, Dabeth Castaneda atbp.  Naroroon din ang Lakbay CV na walang pagod na tumutulong simula pa lamang noong biyernes nang una nating nabalitaan ang pagkawala ni Randy.  Si Dr Carol Araullo, sampu ng Bayan ay buong-buo ang suporta at naroon sila hanggang matapos ang prescon ng tanghali. Bagaman andun ang mga pinakamalalaking diyaryo, channel 5 at DZMM, wala ang channels 2 at seven.
Lumabas naman agad sa MM at kung igoogle niyo, marami-rami na ang lalabas.  Karamihan ay gamit nila ang statement na inihabol ng CEGP national para sa prescon. (May congress sila ngayon sa Davao.)
Kasama ang Desaperacidos, Karapatan, Lakbay CV at si Manong Dodo, inikot namin ang ABC (Camps Aguinaldo, Bonifacio at Crame).  Nagsumite kami ng letters of inquiry sa opisina ng Chief PNP, Chief of Staff-AFP at Commanding Gen ng PA.  Sinubukan naming mag-iwan ng larawan ni Randy sa mga alam nating holding areas ng mga victims of abduction ng state forces.
Pagkatapos ay pinuntahan namin ang restaurant kung saan huling nakita si Randy ng kanyang mga kaibigan noong Hwebes ng gabi.  Kinausap natin ang manager ng establishment gayun din ang kalapit na gas station.  Nangako naman sila na tatawag sa Karapatan office kung makausap na nila ang mga naka-duty nilang personnel noong gabing yun.  (Bagaman sa unang pag-iikot pa lang, nasabi na ng gwardiya ng resto sa Lakbay CV na namumukhaan nga niya si Randy).
Binaybay namin mula resto hanggang sa lugar kung saan huling nag-text si Randy na kanyang nilulugaran (Rosario, Pasig City).  Nagpa-blotter tayo sa istasyon ng Eastern Police District na nandun mismo sa barangay na yun.
Ang pagsulat sa mga kampo at pagpapa-blotter ay maaring rekisito sa plano nating paghingi ng Writ of Amparo sa korte sa lalong madaling panahon.
Hindi dumating ang inaasahang abogado na kakausapin ng Karapatan na gagawa ng petisyon.  (Isa itong kahinaan kasi kulang na kulang tayo sa mga abogadong kagyat na makakatugon sa ating mga panawagan sa mga kasong tulad nito.)
Pagdating ng gabi, nagsuma at nagtasa ang search committee at nagplano hanggang bukas ng mga gagawin.
Samantala, walang tigil rin ang mga efforts ng pamilya at kaibigan sa probinsya.  Ika nga natin sa prescon, hindi ordinaryong pamilya sina Randy sa aming probinsiya.  Inaasahan natin ang tulong ng mga kamag-anak at kaibigan sa paghahanap.  Sana ay may magandang balita sa bahaging ito bukas o sa hinaharap. Ipaparating natin dito kung anuman.
Mga mungkahi:  Ang bawat rehiyon, lalo na yung may mga nakatrabaho si Randy ay magbuo na ng komite.  Magplano na ng prop actions, magsumite ng mga petisyon, maglabas ng mga pahayag, atbp.  May dalawa na ritong nagsabing mag-aambag ng pinansiya (kanina lamang ay medyo hirap na sa gasolina at ibang gastos at sasakyan.) itutuloy namin nina presto ang pagkikita bukas at mas malaking pagkikita ang mangyayari sa Miyerkules.  Nag-usap na kami ni Karen Faith Villaprudente at Toto Deduro para sa West Vis tru internet at phone.  (Wala pang balita sa Beta Sigma).
Kung ililihim man ng militar na hawak nila si Randy o ililitaw nila, kailangan pa rin nating magbuo ng mga ganito.  kahit pa ang panawagan ay “Surface!”, “Free!” or “Justice!”  (Hindi lang naman si Randy ang dapat suportahan nito.  Marami namang Guilders ang nahaharap sa ganitong peligro at may mga martir na nga tayo.)
MAG-INGAY! KUMILOS!

Salamat.

Looking for Randy Malayao (5)

May 19, 2008

Before Randy became the National Vice Chair for the Visayas, he was
responsible for almost single-handedly reviving the Western Visayas
chapter of the Guild in the 1990s. He was all over the region
organizing chapters and bringing the Guild closer to the school
publications to the point that he helped campus pubs in their issue
planning, lay-out, etc.

He is a good friend and colleague who never let us down. And we
shouldn’t let him down now.

Some former Guilders in Western Visayas have already expressed shocked
over this dastardly act. We will help in any way we can even as Manila
would be the main focus of our campaign.

For Guilders in Western Visayas, please email me privately or text me
your mobile phone number so that we can reach you in case we will meet
here in Iloilo. We will also try to ask the support of teachers and
the administration of UP in the Visayas and also Randy’s fraternity
brods (Beta Sigma).

Nestor Burgos Jr.
former Secretary General
CEGP-Iloilo chapter

0917-2430318

Looking for Randy Malayao (4)

May 19, 2008

Dear Guilders,

I was sec-gen of CEG when Randy was VP for Visayas in the early 1990s. Kilala natin si Randy as someone who will offer his help when you need him. Grabe yan magtrabaho, dedicated at very committed sa cause. We owe it to him to make an effort to find him. I propose that we meet on Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at 7pm sa Treehaws, Matalino St., Diliman, Q.C. to discuss what we can do to help find Randy Malayao. Marami ang nagtatanong (especially yung mga ka-batch ni Randy) kung ano ang gagawin. Pag-usapan natin sa Wednesday night kung papaano tayo tutulong. Paki-circulate na lang ang invitation sa lahat ng kakilala at nakatrabaho ni Randy. Salamat! Kita-kits!

Jaz Lumang

News Release: State agents must surface & release former youth leader — Casiño

May 19, 2008

News Release – May 19, 2008
Reference: Bayan Muna Rep. Teodoro Casiño, 0920.9035683
For more information: Vince Borneo, 0927.7968198
Casiño: State agents must surface & release former youth leader
At the House of Representatives, Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño called on AFP Commander-in- Chief Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’ s “to immediately and unconditionally release former youth leader and fellow campus journalist and colleague Randy Felix Malayao who has been forcibly disappeared by suspected Military Intelligence operatives last May 15 in Pasig City.”
Malayao, 39 years old, and resident of of Minanga Norte, San Pablo , Isabela is a Peace consultant for the National Democratic Front of the Philippines in Cagayan Valley , Northern Philippines .
“Malayao served as my Vice President for the Visayas of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines (1992-1994) and was Former Editor-in-Chief of the Ang Mangingisda (The Fisherman), student publication of the University of the Philippines in the Visayas, Miag-ao, Iloilo (1990) where got his BS in Fisheries degree. If he has committed any crime, he must be accorded the rights to due process and not be forcibly disappeared, held incommunicado, tortured or extrajudicially executed,” Casiño said.
The human rights group Karapatan said that on May 15, 2008 at around 8 o’clock in the morning, Malayao was having dinner with his friends at a restaurant in Ortigas when they noticed three men who were suspiciously looking at them (all three men were sporting crew cuts and wearing high-tech communications equipment).  This made them feel uncomfortable since they heard one of the men, said “positive sir,” while still looking at them.
They finished dinner and went their separate ways.  At around 9 P.M., Randy boarded a taxi on his way to a relative’s house in Pasig .  He sent a text message to his friends and relatives that he is on board a taxi and on his way to the relatives’ place.
When his relatives inquired about his location, Randy replied that he was somewhere in Rosario , Pasig and stuck in traffic. By 9:17 P.M. he sent a message that he was being followed.
“Malayao’s relatives said that several weeks ago, officers of the Philippine Army’s 5th Infantry Division bragged over local radio station Bombo Radyo in Cauayan City , Isabela that ‘it was only a matter of time when Malayao would fall into their hands.’ We shall hold Mrs. Arroyo and her AFP generals accountable for this crime against Malayao. He must be immediately surfaced,” Casiño said. #

Vincent Michael L. Borneo
Political Affairs Officer
(Media and Public Relations)
Office of BAYAN MUNA Rep. Teddy A. Casiño
Rm. 508, North Wing Bldg.,
House of Representatives, Quezon City
Telefax no: 931-5911

Looking for Randy Malayao: Urgent Alert Action!

May 19, 2008

URGENT ACTION ALERT • URGENT ACTION ALERT • URGENT ACTION ALERT

INITIAL INFORMATION

UA Date: 19 May 2008

UA Title:  Peace consultant for NDFP in Cagayan reported missing in Pasig City, Philippines

UA Case: Enforced Disappearance


Victim/s: Randy Felix P. Malayao

  • 39 years old, male
  • Resident of Minanga Norte, San Pablo, Isabela
  • Peace consultant for the National Democratic Front of the Philippines in Cagayan Valley, Northern Philippines
  • Former youth leader: Vice President for the Visayas of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines (1992-1995) and Former Editor-in-Chief, Ang Mangingisda (The Fisherman), official student publication of University of the Philipppines in the Visayas, Miag-ao in Iloilo (1990) where he attained a BS Fisheries degree.

Place of Incident: In the vicinity of Pasig City

Date of Incident: 15 May 2008, around 9:00 P.M.

Alleged Perpetrators: Suspected MIG agents

Possible motive: He was listed in 2003 as co-accused in the killing of martial law henchman Cagayan Congressman Rodolfo Aguinaldo. The New People’s Army claimed to have meted death sentence to Aguinaldo in 2001.

Account of Incident:

On May 15, 2008 at around 8 o’clock in the morning, Randy Felix P. Malayao, 39 years old, was having dinner with his friends at a restaurant in Ortigas, when they noticed three men who were suspiciously looking at them (all three men were sporting crew cuts and wearing communication equipments). This made them feel uncomfortable since they heard one of the men, said ‘positive sir,’ while still looking at them.

They finished dinner and went their separate ways. At around 9 P.M., Randy boarded a taxi on his way to a relative’s house in Pasig. He sent a text message to his friends and relatives that he is on board a taxi and on his way to the relatives’ place.

When his relatives inquired about his location, Randy replied that he was somewhere in Rosario, Pasig and stuck in traffic. By 9:17 P.M. he sent a message that he was being followed.

It was the last message received from him and his relatives have not heard from him since. He did not make it to his relatives’ house.

They have again tried to call him several times on his mobile phone but it kept ringing. Sometimes it rings and turns busy and other times they hear music and different sounds as if the phone was being held close to a radio device and then disconnected after a few seconds. The phone could no longer be reached by noontime of May 16.

Malayao’s safety and his life could be in jeopardy. State security forces may have a motive and they certainly do have the capability and opportunity in view of 193 documented cases of enforced disappearances in the Philippines so far since 2001.

Malayao was listed in 2003 as a co-accused in the killing of martial law henchman Cagayan Congressman Rodolfo Aguinaldo. Malayao denied his involvement. The New People’s Army claimed to have, under their justice system, meted death sentence to Aguinaldo in 2001 for alleged “crimes against the people.”

Several weeks ago, officers of the 5th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army bragged over local radio station Bombo Radyo in Cauayan City in Isabela that it was only a matter of time when Malayao would fall into their hands.

A quick reaction team (QRT) was dispatched by Karapatan and Desaparecidos since Sunday, March 17 after family and friends sought their help.

RECOMMENDED ACTION:

Send letters, emails or fax messages expressing indignation and calling for:

1. The immediate formation of an independent fact-finding and investigation team composed of representatives from human rights groups, the Church, local government, and the Commission on Human Rights that will look into the enforced disappearance of Randy Felix Malayao.

2. The arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators of the crime/s of Extra-judicial Killings.

3. The immediate and proper indemnification of the victims; and

4. The Philippine Government to be reminded that it is a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and that it is also a party to all the major Human Rights instruments, thus it is bound to observe all of these instruments’ provisions.

You may send your communications to:

H.E. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo

President of the Republic

Malacanang Palace,

JP Laurel St., San Miguel

Manila Philippines

Voice: (+632) 564 1451 to 80

Fax: (+632) 742-1641 / 929-3968

Cell#: (+ 63) 919 898 4622 / (+63) 917 839 8462

E-mail: corres@op.gov. ph / opnet@ops.gov. ph

Jesus D. Dureza
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process
*Office of the Peace Process
7th Floor Agustin Building I
Emerald Avenue
Pasig City 1605
Voice:+63 (2) 636 0701 to 066
Mobile:
Fax:+63 (2) 635 9579

osec@opapp.gov. ph

Gilberto C. Teodoro Jr.

Department of National Defense
Room 301 DND Building, Camp Emilio Aguinaldo,
E. de los Santos Avenue
Quezon City
Voice:+63(2) 911-9281 / 911-0488
Fax:+63(2) 911 6213
osnd@philonline. com

Hon. Raul M. Gonzalez
Secretary, Department of Justice

Padre Faura St., Manila

Direct Line 521-8344; 5213721
Trunkline  523-84-81 loc.214
Fax: (+632) 521-1614
Email  sad@doj.gov. ph

Hon. Leila De Lima

Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights
SAAC Bldg., UP Complex

Commonwealth Avenue
Diliman, Quezon City

Philippines
Fax: (+632) 929 0102
Email: drpvq@chr.gov. ph

Please send us a copy of your email/mail/fax to the said government official to our address below.

URGENT ACTION Prepared by:

KARAPATAN (Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights)-National Office
1 Maaralin cor Matatag, Brgy. Central, Quezon City 1100 PHILIPPINES
Voice/Fax: (+632) 435 4146
Emails: <karapatan.pid@ gmail.com> / <karapatan.admin@ gmail.com>
Website: www.karapatan. org

Campus press joins calls to surface missing alumnus

May 19, 2008

May 19, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Reference:
Vijae Alquizola, Deputy Secretary-General, 09162034402

Former CEGP vice-pres for Visayas possibly abducted on May 15

The College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP), on behalf of its more than 700 member campus publications nationwide, strongly condemns the enforced disappearance of Randy Malayao, former CEGP Vice-President for Visayas in 1991-1994.

Malayao is believed to have been abducted by unidentified military elements last May 15.

On the night of May 15, Malayao rode a taxicab from SM Megamall to Rosario, Pasig to visit a relative. His sent a text message to the relative that he noticed some suspicious-looking men tailing him. That was his last text message. He has not been heard of, contacted or seen since.

“We have strong reason to believe that Malayao’s abduction is yet another handiwork of the military. Malayao has no enemies to speak of, but we would not be surprised if he is considered an ‘enemy of the state’ for his political convictions and continuous work for the oppressed. We demand the immediate surfacing of Malayao, a proud CEGP alumnus and one of the Guild’s most dynamic former student leaders,” said CEGP Deputy-Secretary General Vijae Alquizola.

Alquizola also said the pattern and manner of Malayao’s forced disappearance is similar to that of another CEGP alumnus’, Jonas Burgos. Burgos was also abducted by possible military elements at a bustling mall’s food court. He has been missing since.

The CEGP is presently holding its 68th National Student Press Convention and 34th Biennial Student Press Congress in Davao City. “We vow to raise the alarm among our member publications nationwide and join our concerned alumni, Malayao’s friends and relatives in elevating the clamor for his immediate surfacing,” Alquizola said.

The CEGP is set to hold an indignation rally to condemn Malayao’s enforced disappearance on May 28 in Davao City.

Malayao was the Editor-in-Chief for two consecutive years of Mangingisda, the official campus publication of UP Visayas in Miag-Ao. He is also a brother and alumnus of the Beta Sigma fraternity in the UP Visayas.

He was elected Vice-President for Visayas during Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casino’s term as CEGP President in 1991-1994. ###

COLLEGE EDITORS GUILD OF THE PHILIPPINES
Rm 305, National Press Club Bldg., Intramuros,
Manila, Philippines
Tele Fax.: 524-3937
Email: cegpnational@ yahoo.com
“To Write is Already to Choose”

Looking for Randy Malayao

May 17, 2008

Fellow guilders,

Ikinalulungkot kong ibalita sa inyo na si Randy Malayao (CEGP Vice President for Visayas 1989-91) ay hinihinala naming dinukot and we are raising the alarm.

Ako po ay nasa Karapatan, isang human rights NGO, at nitong umtaga lang nakarating sa aming kaalaman na nawawala si Randy simula noong gabi ng May 15.

Initial information pa lang ang maibabahagi namin sa inyo: Nitong May 15, bandang alas-9 ng gabi o ilang minuto bago mag-alas 9 ay nagtext si Randy sa isang kaibigan na siya ay nasa Megamall at pasakay ng taxi para tagpuin/puntahan ang kanyang kamag-anak sa Pasig. 9:15PM ay nagtext umano ang relative nya at nagtatanung kung nasaan na siya. Nakatanggap ng magkasunod na reply ang relative bandang 9:17PM (1) na nakasakay na sya ng taxi, nasa Rosario, Pasig na sya kaya lang ma-traffic at (2) napapansin nyang may sumusunod sa kanyang sinasakyang taxi. Yun na ang huling mensaheng natanggap ng relative mula sa kanya at hindi na sya nakarating sa bahay ng naturang kamag-anak.

May 16 ay sinikap pa rin syang kontakin ng mga kamag-anak sa kanyang cell phone. May mga pagkakataong nagri-ring tapos pinapatay. May pagkakataon ding sinasagot pero sa wari nila ay itinatapat ang telepono sa radyo dahil may naririnig silang tugtog. After lunch ng same day hanggang kanina ay nakapatay na ang telepono.

Nangangamba kami para sa kaligtasan ni Randy. Naghahanda kami ng quick reaction team na magpa-fact finding mission at search simula lunes. Nag-oorganize din kami ng press conference sa lunes. May kapatid na willing humarap sa media para manawagan. Si Teddy na kasama ni Randy sa NEC ng CEGP ay sasama din sa press con. Inform namin kayo kung saan ang venue and we’ll keep you posted sa developments.

Sa ngayon ay kailangan natig mag-ingay para alam ng mga dumukot sa kanya na hinahanap sya at makapressure para ilitaw nila si Randy. Kailangan natin dito ang tulong ng fellow guilders na nasa media. Kailangan din natin na kung may mga kakilala kayo sa militar, ISAFP, pulisya ay makakuha ng impormasyon. Kung may makakatulong din para tustusan ang pangangailangan sa search (financial o material gaya ng pagpapahiram ng sasakyan) ay malugod po naming tatanggapin.

Tutok tayo sa developments.

Salamat!

Ruth Cervantes
Karapatan Public Information Officer
(cegp nat’l pres 1998-2000)