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UP NKE condemns warrantless arrest of Badidi Labra’s father; calls to drop charges

UP NKE condemns warrantless arrest of Badidi Labra’s father; calls to drop charges
Press Release
February 20, 2013
Reference: Kristian Jacob Abad Lora, kjalora92@yahoo.com

The Nagkahiusang Kusog sa Estudyante, a political and mass organization in University of the Philippines Cebu (UP Cebu) expresses its strongest condemnation over the inhumane and warrantless arrest of Lodgerio Labra, father of UP Cebu Fine Arts student Jay “Badidi” Labra, past 8 p.m, February 18, by the Team 2 of the City Intelligence Branch (CIB) of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) under Police Inspector William Alicaba.

Based on the accounts of Badidi Labra, who is one of the witnesses of the said arrest, PNP crashed into their house to arrest Mr. Labra for illegal gambling, specifically, masiao. The PNP ransacked the house which resulted to damages on Labra’s properties as they sought for any evidence supporting the case. Failing to find evidence, the CIB took Mr. Labra’s decades-old unused and non-functional .22 rifle (air gun).

Furthermore, Badidi testified that the arresting officers failed to present an arrest warrant, were not in uniform and even threatened to arrest him, as well, after seeking for an arrest warrant.

This afternoon, February 20, Mr. Lodgerio Labra has been freed on bail. He was detained in CCPO, yesterday, after the PNP filed two cases against him yesterday, February 19, for illegal gambling and illegal possession of firearms. Gambling paraphernalia surfaced only after the raid and when asked where they found the paraphernalia, the CIB could not answer the question, said Badidi. He added that the CIB negotiated to drop the charges in exchange of suppressing the issue from media attention.

 

Not an Isolated Case

Such inhumane acts of the security forces of the State such as the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) inflicted upon ordinary and innocent civilians are no longer unusual in our history. There are already a significant number of cases of police officers illegally arresting civilians without warrant, torturing them upon arrest and destroying properties while searching for evidences, among others. In the case of Mr. Labra, the arresting officers violated the rules in conducting an arrest stipulated in Republic Act No. 7438 such as using of unnecessary force despite his non-resistance and non-recital of the Miranda Warning.

Even the planting of evidences (the gambling paraphernalia allegedly recovered from Mr. Labra’s house) is also not new. It can be remembered that three of our UP Cebu students who visited the Aloguinsan farmers to document their struggle were also arrested last August 29, 2011, along with 36 farmers of San Roque Farmers’ Association after the PNP allegedly found acid, grenade and liquid laced with chili pepper inside their bags.

The case of Mr. Labra is yet another incident now added to the very long list of human rights violations committed by the State’s security forces. This incident further our claims that the institutions that are ought to serve and protect the people are the ones inflicting abuse, harassment and violence upon the people, especially the underprivileged and the powerless.

 

Our Call and Demand

Considering that the arrest of Mr. Lodgerio Labra is illegal and that evidences presented were only planted, we demand upon the Cebu City Police Office to immediately drop the charges filed against him. Furthermore, we call for an investigation of the incident and have the arresting officers held accountable for violating Republic Act No. 7438.

We are also calling the attention of the Commission on Human Rights-7 to look into this matter and conduct a speedy investigation to render justice to the party affected.

Meanwhile, we urge our fellow UP students, teachers, staff, REPS and alumni to join us and the Labra family in the pursuit for justice. Legal and financial assistance are very much welcome. Donation boxes will also be circulated around the campus.

Share so that no more citizens will experience the same plight of Mr. Lodgerio Labra!

DROP the charges filed against Mr. Lodgerio Labra now!
JUSTICE to the Labra Family!
UPHOLD Due Process of Law!
END Human Rights Violations!
SERVE and PROTECT the People!

PS: Here’s a video footage of some part of the incident: 

PSS: Spread awareness, and follow the case of Badidi’s dad by visiting Chai Fonacier’s blog.

1st post, 4am 2/19: Cebu Police Can’t Protect Ushttp://thebansheerabidcat.wordpress.com/2013/02/19/cebu-police-cant-protect-us/

2nd post, 2am 2/20: Updates on the Warrantless Arrest by Cebu Policehttp://thebansheerabidcat.wordpress.com/2013/02/20/updates-on-warrantless-arrest-by-cebu-police/

3rd post, 2/20 just now: Not Safe with Policehttp://thebansheerabidcat.wordpress.com/2013/02/20/not-safe-with-police/

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Carlos Celdran, the Revised Penal Code, the Church and the State, and the Cybercrime Law

After two years (that’s how speedy our justice system in our country is), the case of Mr. Carlos Celdran, a tour guide and reproductive health advocate who interrupted an inter-faith gathering by raising a placard with the name of Padre Damaso on it as he protested against the Catholic Church’s opposition to the RH Bill (which is now a law), is now finally resolved. The Manila City Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 4 under Judge Juan Bermejo found him guilty of “offending religious feelings’’ (Article 133, Section 4 of the Revised Penal Code) that has an equivalent penalty of “prison term of a minimum of two months to a maximum of 13 months and 11 days.”

Manila Bulletin (MB) intern Jamaica Digo again asked for my thoughts for MB Students and Campuses Section on whether Mr. Celdran deserves to be jailed or not.  The article was published last February 4 and here are my thoughts:

“The law says he is bound for imprisonment for violating Article 133 of our Revised Penal Code. But the issue is: is ‘airing out’ our sentiments amidst religious gathering or even amidst any gathering or any place including the cyberworld, a crime? As long as it is non-violent, it should not be considered a crime. Hence, our campaign for the decriminalization of libel and the junking of the Cybercrime Law.

On the other hand, seeing things from a Catholic’s perspective, the Church could have just forgiven Celdran. Blessed John Paull II did that to his assassin. Moreso, Christ is doing that to His people as He teaches them not to hate the sinner but the sin. It is then ironic that the Filipino Catholic Church went after an individual for committing an act that did not physically harm anyone whereas it is not aggressive in going after those who have physically abused, even killed people who were just asserting for their rights and liberty.” –Kristian Jacob Abad Lora, fourth year, Computer Science, University of the Philippines-Cebu

First published on Manila Bulletin, February 4, 2013 http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/392430/should-carlos-celdran-be-punished-or-not

AMEND the 83-year old Revised Penal Code!
ASSERT our Freedom of Expression!
DECRIMINALIZE libel!
JUNK Cybercrime Law!


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Continuing the Supremo’s Legacy: Live with and Learn from the Masses

Last November 30, we celebrated the 149th birthday anniversary of one of our greatest Filipino heroes and the Father of the Philippine Revolution – Gat Andres Bonifacio. I was not able to write an essay about it but I was able to write a poem for him. Moreover, an intern of Manila Bulletin asked me again about my thoughts on how the Filipino youth of today can live up to the principles and ideals of Gat Andres. The article was published last Nov. 29 and here’s my thought:

“One cannot emulate Gat Andres Bonifacio just by reading about his life and works but by studying the society as well. We go out of the confines of our schools and homes and live with the masses. It is in integrating ourselves with them that we can see and understand the ills of our society and feel the need to take part in the struggle towards liberating the oppressed. It is in immersing ourselves with them that we can understand why Bonifacio became a revolutionary and that the situation during his time is still happening today. It is then the task of our generation to continue Bonifacio’s ultimate goal – to gain genuine independence for the country and total liberation of the oppressed from the hands of the ruling class. We must continue the revolution he has started and end it with victory for the masses and for our beloved country.” – Kristian Jacob Abad Lora, BS in Computer Science, University of the Philippines – Cebu

First published on Manila Bulletin, November 29
http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/383597/continuing-supremo-s-legacy

Also published at Yahoo News! Philippines, December 1
http://ph.news.yahoo.com/continuing-supremo-legacy-033054780.html

“Bayan, bayan, bayan ko, ‘di pa tapos ang laban mo. Rebolusyon ni  Bonifacio, isulong mo, isulong mo!”

Robin Padilla who is playing the character of the Supremo in Bonifacio: Ang Unang Pangulo joins militant activists from BAYAN during the 151th Anniversary of Ka Andres Bonifacio, Nov. 30, 2014. Photo by Macky Macaspac posted in Pinoy Weekly.

Robin Padilla who is playing the character of the Supremo in Bonifacio: Ang Unang Pangulo joins militant activists from BAYAN during the 151th Anniversary of Ka Andres Bonifacio, Nov. 30, 2014.
Photo by Macky Macaspac posted in Pinoy Weekly.


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Martial Law @ 40: It Can Happen Again Anytime

Yesterday was  the commemoration of the infamous 1972 Martial Law that left scars among the Filipinos. I was not able to write an essay about it because we were busy at school but few days prior to yesterday, I was interviewed by an intern of Manila Bulletin about it. She said that they are making an article on how the Filipino youth today perceive the 1972 Martial Law. Here’s mine:

IT CAN HAPPEN AGAIN ANYTIME. “Marcos placed the whole nation under Martial Law as a result of the rise of activism among students, workers and other sectors, the growth of communism, and the infamous assassination of former Defense Minister and now Senator Juan Ponce Enrile. It should not just be viewed as an isolated case of absence of democracy but as a reflection of the unjust societal system that we have until now — the people of the ruling class uses the government, the State, and even the State’s military forces to protect and promote their interest and to preserve their top position in the social pyramid. This means Martial Law can actually happen any time when the people of the ruling class feel that the masses are at work in revolutionizing the society, that is, ang pagbaliktad ng tatsulok. At the same time, the 1972 Martial Law showed how Filipinos would sacrifice themselves for the liberation of the oppressed and of their nation.” — Kristian Jacob Abad Lora, 19, Nagkahiusang Kusog sa Estudyante

First published on Manila Bulletin, September 19 http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/374023/what-martial-law-means-today-s-youth
For our generation, the challenge is to continue protecting the freedom that was fought by our ancestors and continue the struggle towards full and genuine national democracy as the threat by the ruling classes remains until now.
NEVER AGAIN! NEVER AGAIN TO MARTIAL LAW!


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Congratz NKE! 2-0, for the 2nd time!

Congratulations to NKE candidates Angel Rose Trocio and France Kevin Degamo for having elected as First Year Representatives, winning the positions by landslide. For the 2nd time, NKE wins 2-0 and NKE’s victory has always been the students’ victory! Election has just ended; now is the time to UNITE to achieve our goals and to push for our rights and welfare. Iskolar ng Bayan, ipagpatuloy ang laban! SERVE THE PEOPLE! GOD BLESS! ^____________^

NKE: Tunay. Palaban. Makabayan. | 25 Years of Genuine Service to the Students and the Masses.


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Huwag Patayin ang Apoy ng Diwang Nasyonalismo | Mensahe para sa Nat’l Youth Day of Protest (Cebu) 2012

Mga kasama, madalas na sinasabi nila na walang patutunguhan itong mga pagmamartsa natin. Madalas na sinasabi nila na walang nagagawa ang pagra-rali natin.

Pero mga kasama, sa kasalukuyan, itinaas ng Department of Budget and Management ang badyetpara sa edukasyon at iba pang mga batayang serbisyo nang 14 na porsyento para sa susunod na taon.

Ang tagumpay na ito ay dulot ng ating mga militanteng kolektibong pagkikilos. Sa ating mga pag-walkout, sa ating bawat pagmamartsa, sa pagdadala natin ng mga placard, sa bawat sigaw natin, at sa ating pagkakaisa’y katunayan ay nasisindak natin ang gubyerno upang ibigay sa taumbayan kung ano ang tama’t nararapat.

Datapwa’t di pa rin tayo dapat maging kampante. Una, ang ibinigay na dagdag na badyetay di pa rin sapat para pag-aralin ang nakararami sa mga anak ng magsasaka, sa mga anak ng mangingisda, sa mga anak ng manggagawa. Ikalawa, ang dagdag na badyet ay nasa lebel ng DBM pa lamang at maaaring mabago sa deliberasyon ng Kongreso. Maaari ring ang dagdag na badyet ay isangpabango lamang sa Administrasyong Aquino lalupa’t malapit na ang eleksyon.

Mga kasama, nakakagalit na kinakailangan pa nating magmartsa sa Daang Matuwid upang ipaglaban ang ating mga karapatan. Subalit ito’y naging realidad na at wala nang ibang nakakalamang pa sa paraang ito upang makamtan natin ang ating mga karapatang ipinagkait nila. Bagkus, nararapat lamang na ipagpatuloy natin ito sapagka’t kung hindi, wala tayong matatamasang dagdag na badyet at wala tayong matatamasang tunay na demokrasya.

Mga kasama, huwag patayin ang apoy ng Diwang Nasyonalismo sa ating mga puso! Padayon kita sa pagsulong ng Pambansang Demokrasya! Maraming salamat!

 

Kristian Jacob Abad Lora

Representante, Nagkahiusang Kusog sa Estudyante (NKE)


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Junk MGT 186 Lab Fee!

As the academic year begins, Iskolars ng Bayan are greeted with another set of fees. The Management Cluster of the UP Cebu College has submitted a proposal, dated 18 April 2012, to institute P500-laboratory fee for the MGT 186 (Management Information Systems and Technology) which is a new course under the new Business Management Curriculum that was approved in 2009.

NKE (Nagkahiusang Kusog sa Estudyante), as a political and mass organization that has been in the forefront in protecting and promoting students’ rights and welfare, is firm in its opposition to the proposal and is calling for its junking, given the legitimate and justifiable grounds stated herein.

 

Not a Genuine Consultation

The proposal was approved by 177 out of 207 Management students consulted. However, the consultation was not genuine because the students concerned were not given ample time to study the proposal for them to have a scientific decision. In addition, some students admitted they approved the proposal because of fear.

 

Questionable Costs

Questionable costs are included in the schedules such as the construction of the laboratory room. For years, the government has not allocated even a single peso for the university’s Capital Outlay (CO), which is supposed to cover construction cost. In other words, the construction of such facility will start once the laboratory fees have been collected. However, the collection of fees is proposed to be implemented next semester or immediately after the UP Board of Regents (BOR)’ approval, which means that third year Management students taking the course next semester will be paying for a room that is non-existent.

 

Redundant Items

There are other items in the schedule that should not be shouldered by the students. Some of the scheduled items are redundant since such items receive allocation from the national budget.

For instance, the proposal includes the monthly salary of a full-time teacher who will handle the course’s laboratory. Teachers’ salaries are already covered by the Personnel Services (PS) budget of the UP’s Annual Budget allocated by the government.

In addition, the proposal includes maintenance cost (which the proposal fails to specify what are to be maintained) and the power consumption of all equipment of the laboratory. These expenses are already covered by the Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) allocated by the government. In fact, this also makes our payment of P250 energy fee per semester redundant and questionable.

 

Where is the 300% TOFI?

 

In 2006, the UP Board of Regents approved then UP President Emerlinda Roman’s recommendation to increase the “tuition and other fees” by 300%. Despite the students, teachers and workers’ opposition, President Roman defended her proposal.

 

“The President said tuition is being adjusted to be able to increase stipends, increase the number of beneficiaries and to be able to improve facilities and have additional funds for MOOE. UP is not adjusting tuition only to break even or so that all of incremental income will go to stipends. Part of the incremental income should go to facilities improvement and MOOE. After all, students who will now pay more have a right to expect some improvements in the facilities” (“Matters Arising” p. 7).

 

Five years have already passed yet there has been no remarkable increase of STFAP beneficiaries despite the 300% tuition and other fees increase (TOFI). In a recent study conducted by UP Diliman school publication Philippine Collegian, “of the 3,364 STFAP applicants (UP Diliman) this semester, 2,325 also applied for student tuition loans, according to data from the Office of Student Scholarships and Services (OSSS)” (Borlaza n. p.) Meanwhile, to date, there are still facilities that have not yet been improved such as the “stiff-necked” electric fans in some of our classrooms.

 

If the “the incremental income should go to facilities improvement and MOOE”, why do Management students still have to pay for maintenance cost of MGT 186 Laboratory? Or is it just another profit-generation scheme of the University?

 

 

An Effect that Also Causes State Abandonment

 

Annually, the government is decreasing its public spending for basic social services such as education and health while spending large amount of the national budget to foreign-debt-servicing, militarization and even pork barrel. Recently, the government is lending the International Monetary Fund (where it borrows money from) $1 billion while millions of Filipinos grow hungry and poor.

 

In effect, state universities and colleges (SUCs) such as UP (which suffered from a P1.39B budget cut last 2010), are forced to find other means to generate income. Apparently, immediate means are increasing the tuition and imposing other fees such as laboratory fees to students.

 

Concurrently, increasing tuition and imposing other fees such as MGT 186 Lab Fee give more reason to the government to abandon public schools like UP. The government can now just decrease UP’s budget, while the administration willingly plays the role of profit-earners who fill the budget deficit which the government yearly imposes. This may fulfil the neo-liberal policies of the US-Aquino administration in its “Daang Matuwid”:

 

“We allocated P23.4 billion to 112 State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) in 2011. This is 1.7 percent lower than the P23.8 billion budget for 2010. We are gradually reducing the subsidy to SUCs to push them toward becoming self-sufficient and financially independent…” (Aquino n. p.)

 

This is contrary to the government’s Constitutional mandate that is to give the highest budget priority to education (Art. XIV, Sec. 5.5 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution).

 

 

Our Call

 

Obviously, the proposal to institute P500 fee for the MGT 186 Laboratory is flawed and questionable; thus, we are appealing to all Management students to withdraw their signatures and to the UP Cebu Academic Council to junk it. Furthermore, the proposal is said to have been patterned from the past proposals that have already been approved and implemented. Therefore, we also call for the review of all other laboratory fees instituted.

 

On the other hand, it has been made clear that mechanisms like increasing tuition and imposing other fees tolerate the government in its abandonment of UP and all other public schools that it is constitutionally bound to fund and prioritize. Hence, we call all students to oppose any proposal to increase tuition and institute laboratory fees.

 

Meanwhile, we appreciate Pres. Pascual administration’s active solidarity with the students, teachers and workers in asserting higher budget as they also recognize that the main problem is state abandonment. However, we also urge them not to entertain and approve any proposal to increase tuition and impose fees. Doing so will make our efforts futile. We cannot kill the weeds when, at the same time, our actions are watering the weeds.

 

We also call the UP administration to uphold transparency especially on the tuition increment raised by the five-year old 300%-TOFI. This is mandated by the UP Charter of 2008 (Sec. 3(h), Republic Act 9500) that stipulates:

 

“The University shall… Provide democratic governance in the University based on collegiality, representation, accountability, transparency and active participation of its constituents, and promote the holding of fora for students, faculty, research, extension and professional staff (REPS), staff, and alumni to discuss non-academic issues affecting the University.”

 

Most importantly, we call on all students, teachers, workers and administrators of all UP units to unite in preserving the public and mass-oriented character of the University of the Philippines – a National University that educates and equips students to be citizens who are highly contributory in building the nation and in liberating fellow Filipinos from oppression.

 

 

Junk the 500-Peso Mgt. 186 Lab Fee!

Uphold Transparency on the 300% TOFI!

Continue the Fight for Greater State Subsidy!

Protect UP as University of the Filipino People!

Onward to a Nationalist, Scientific and Mass-Oriented Education!

Serve The People!

 

 

 

References:

 

Aquino III, Benigno S. “2011 Budget Message of President Aquino”. Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines 24 Aug. 2010: n. p. Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines. Web. 28 Jun. 2012.

 

Borlaza, Isabella Patricia H. “2 in 3 UPD students under STFAP also apply for loans”. Philippine Collegian 17 Mar. 2012: n. p. Philippine Collegian. Web. 29 Jun. 2012.

 

Chaves, Mary Gretchen F. Letter to Ritchelita Galapate. 18 Apr. 2012.

 

“Matters Arising from the Minutes of the 1216th Meeting (15 December 2006)”. The University of the Philippines Gazette Jan-Mar 2007: 6-8. Office of the Secretary of the University and Board of Regents. Web. 28 Jun. 2012.

 

“Proposal to Institute Laboratory Fees for: MGT 186 (Management of Information Systems and Technology)”.  UP Cebu Business Management Cluster. Feb 2012.