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    Grim future for Human Rights in PH predicted

    December 10th, 2017

    A LABOR federation warned on Sunday of a grim future for human rights in the Philippines as the Duterte administration continues to encroach on the people’s political rights and civil liberties as it tries to provoke the organized left into action to create a scenario of violence and lawlessness in an obvious attempt to legitimize the implementation of the ruling elite’s fascist agenda.

    The Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) made the warning during a mass action commemorating the International Human Rights Day in front of camps Crame and Aguinaldo, the respective headquarters of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in Quezon City.

    At the same time, the BMP called on the police and military institutions to respect the people’s rights to live and to legitimate dissent as it noted that the PNP has again taken a lead role over the so-called “War on Drugs” while the AFP escalates its “War on Terror” against leftist organizations, particularly the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army, which President Rodrigo Duterte has recently labeled as “terrorist organizations.”

    Thousands have been killed in Duterte’s ‘Giyera laban sa Droga’ on the pretext of protecting the republic from the menace of illegal drugs. This wanton killing spree, which has been attributed to the ‘bounty’ from the Office of the President itself, has claimed the lives of poor youths such as 17-year old Kian de los Santos. Due process of law is virtually non-existent for drug-related or insinuated cases. Worse, it is evident that such violence is perpetrated by rogue elements of the State,” said BMP Spokesperson Dominic Dilao.

    He added that, “the brutal assassination of activist-priest Fr. Marcelino Paez of Nueva Ecija, which occurred a few days before Duterte formally labeled the Maoist inspired national democratic movement as terrorist, points to a grim future on the state of human rights in the country. The armed forces has been alleged as the culprits in this dastardly act.”

    On the other hand, BMP President Leody de Guzman BMP said “it appears that every form of dissent, even if unarmed, is now viewed by the State as actions that promote terrorism and not an exercise of Constitutionally-enshrined political rights and civil liberties. This is absurd and illogical because it is precisely such Constitutional rights that prevent people to seek redress via illegal means like terrorism.”

    Moreover, De Guzman insists that “the assaults on political rights and civil liberties are attempts to provoke the Left movement in order to create a scenario of lawlessness and violence, which would then serve as justification for direct authoritarian rule.”

    Furthermore, De Guzman said “the tendency towards fascism is usually attributed to the uncouth personality of Duterte. But it also perfectly suits the objective of the Duterte-Arroyo-Marcos clique in particular, and the warlords and their political dynasties in general to further consolidate their political control under a federal government.”

    Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino President Leody de Guzman in one of the many rallies where he spoke. Image ©

    Their economic design is the full implementation of neo-liberal economics that serves the interests of foreign monopoly capital with the local oligarchy in connivance,” he said.

    De Guzman also said there are now three possible tracks towards these economic and political objectives – Charter change (Cha-cha) through a Constituent Assembly (Con-Ass), the setting up of a Revolutionary Government (Rev-Gov) where the three branches of government are dissolved and/or a declaration of Martial Law.

    He, however, observed that Cha-cha is unpopular because it is a traditional politician dominated process while the setting up of a revolutionary government did not gain the support of the pro-Constitution faction of the military. As regards the a declaration of martial law, that is only possible if there is a specter of rebellion or lawless violence.

    The workers and the poor must not fall into their traps nor must we be cowed into fear and submission, De Guzman cautioned.

    With the further encroachment on democratic rights – particularly on civil liberties and political rights – the BMP calls on its members and on the entire labor movement to close ranks and lead the people in the resistance movement against the fascist Duterte regime. Welgang bayan – sagot sa Con-ass at Rev-Gov! Rebolusyon – sagot sa Martial Law!” he added.

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    The Integrated Bar of the Philippines is set to commemorate the 70th year adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

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    Beyond Deadlines on Howdy Philippines and Pinoy Houston TV YouTube #41 – “Day of Infamy”

    December 10th, 2017

    Kindly watch Beyond Deadlines’ segment at Howdy Philippines where I will talk about the “Day of Infamy.” Thanks and God bless…

    The Beyond Deadlines on TV/YouTube segment was produced by the Houston, Texas based Pinoy Houston TV. The program’s show time is every Saturday at 1 p.m. (Houston time) at Channel 15.3 with a repeat broadcast at 5:30 p.m. every Sunday.

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    The Integrated Bar of the Philippines is set to commemorate the 70th year adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

    December 9th, 2017

    Image ©

    IN A bid to promote human rights awareness amid mounting reports of its violation, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines on Monday will host “Human Rights Day 2017: Our Rights. Our Freedom. Always,” a legal forum to commemorate the 70th year adoption of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

    The forum, which is co-organized by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and the Philippine Association of Law Schools (PALS), is meant to promote awareness and acceptance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as recognize the importance of protecting human rights and fundamentally-guaranteed freedoms within the context of national development.

    The UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted in December 10, 1948 during the third session of the United Nations in Paris, France The Declaration consists of 30 articles affirming an individual’s rights which, although not legally binding in themselves, have been elaborated in subsequent international treaties, economic, regional human rights instruments, national constitutions, and other laws.

    According to Wikipedia, an open source website, the Declaration was the first step in the process of formulating the International Bill of Human Rights, which was completed in 1966, and came into force in 1976, after a sufficient number of countries had ratified them.

    Scheduled to speak in the 3 pm. human rights forum, which will be held at the 4th Floor of the IBP National Office, Doña Julia Vargas Avenue, Ortigas Centre, Pasig City; are CHR Commissioner Gwendolyn Pimentel-Gana, who will be speaking on “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Philippine Constitution;” PALS in-coming chairperson Lyceum University College of Law Dean Soledad Margarita Deriquito-Mawis, who will be discussing “Human Rights and Legal Education;” and IBP Presidential Adviser on Human Rights and Dean of the De La Salle University College of Law Jose Manuel Diokno, who will be sharing his personal and professional insights on “Human Rights in Practice.”

    An Extra Judicial Killing victim Photo ©

    President Rodrigo Duterte has been in the cross hair of local and international human rights organizations due to the mounting number of Extra Judicial Killings (EJK) allegedly committed by the state and non-state actors in the name of his campaign against illegal drugs.

    The latest casualty figure was placed by human rights observers to be about 14,000 people since the Duterte administration took power last year. 

    Meanwhile, the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines-United States, the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-USA, and the United Church of Christ in the Philippines are set to stage rallies, candle light vigils and forums in New York City to encourage people, especially the Filipinos, to speak out against EJKs, disappearances, and illegal arrests and detentions.

    On the 10th of December at 5 pm. and the 12th at 5:30 pm. respectively, there will be an emergency rally and candlelight vigil in front of the Philippine Consulate at 556 5th Avenue. The following day, a forum, “Rise up for Human Rights” will be held at 6 pm. at the San Damiano Hall at 127 West, 31st Street where UCCP’s Bishop and Rise Up for Rights and Life member Reuel Marigza will be guest speaker.


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    PH environmentalists lauded senate’s move to probe stinking Canadian trash

    December 8th, 2017

    Imported Canadian trash. Photo ©

    PHILIPPINE based civil society groups, including environmentalists, public health advocates and members of labor groups, welcomed the Senate’s move to probe the already rotting Canadian garbage dumping issue, weeks after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said “it is now theoretically possible to get the illegal garbage shipments back (to Canada).”

    The Ang Nars Party-list, EcoWaste Coalition, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA), Public Services Independent Labor Confederation (PSLINK) and the Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa (SENTRO), in a joint statement, said the inquiry proposed by Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III is a step in preventing dumping incidents from ever occurring again.

    The same groups represented themselves as intervenors in the long decided Criminal Case No. 143-11191 (a suit about violations of the country’s environmental laws on dumping) by Manila Regional Trial Court Judge Tita Bughao-Alisuag. (Read More:

    The court’s decision has yet to be implemented because of strict Canadian environmental laws which prohibits the entry of hazardous materials in Canada.

    Senate President Aquilino Pimentel Photo ©

    Pimentel, early this week, filed Senate Resolution 553 which states that “considering the monumental consequences of allowing Canadian garbage to remain in the country, it behooves the Senate, in consonance with its mandate under the Constitution, to conduct an inquiry, in aid of legislation, to determine whether there are sufficient laws restricting the indiscriminate entry and dumping of solid waste and other forms of harmful trash into the Philippines and to formulate laws imposing high penalties for the introduction into the country of all forms of trash.”

    Dr. Leah Paquiz, Ang Nars Party-list representative to the last Congress, said “Sen. Pimentel’s proposal to conduct an inquiry in aid of legislation is exceedingly timely and should merit the support from all Senators regardless of their political affiliations. We expect the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, chaired by Sen. Cynthia Villar, to convene the first hearing in January next year as the current session is about to adjourn soon. We look forward to an expedited process as the same committee, then chaired by Sen. Chiz Escudero, had already tackled the issue at a hearing conducted in 2015.”

    Ecowaste Coalition coordinator Aileen Lucero ©

    For its part, the EcoWaste Coalition, through its National Coordinator Aileen Lucero, said “We welcome the probe being sought by the Senate President as this would assist in analyzing the gaps in current laws and regulations that made it possible for the illegal trash shipments to enter our ports and even overstay despite a court order to send them back.  More importantly, it will help in identifying corrective measures that must be introduced and promulgated to shield our nation from the adverse impacts of the unlawful waste trade to public health and the environment.”

    On the other hand, Froilan Grate, executive director, GAIA-Philippines; said “The outcome of the planned inquiry should put a lid on the entry on problematic waste imports into the Philippines in the guise of recycling, which has become a convenient excuse for dumping. Hope the Senators will join us in pushing for the country’s ratification of the Basel Ban Amendment to bar the entry of hazardous wastes in our territory for disposal and so-called recycling.”

    While PSLINK President Annie Geron said “The inquiry, we hope, will generate concrete results that will help strengthen front line agencies such as the Bureau of Customs and the Environmental Management Bureau in performing their strategic responsibilities toward safeguarding our country and our workers from the transboundary movement of proscribed wastes,” said

    The groups pledged to participate in the proposed Senate inquiry and support its important work in line with the state policy “to protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology.”

    “The Senate inquiry should create enough noise that will put additional pressure on Prime Minister Trudeau and his government to take back their trash now.  As there is no guarantee that the ‘theoretical possibility’ he was talking about last month was for real or not, we call upon all sectors to remain vigilant and assert our sovereign right not be treated as Canada’s dumpsite,” they added.

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    PH health department implemented dengue vaccination program sans WHO preliminary advice

    December 7th, 2017

    Image ©

    THE World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday clarified that it did not it recommended to the Philippines and other countries to use Dengvaxia, the world’s first dengue vaccine, for their immunization programs.

    The WHO issued the clarification after the French manufacturer of Dengvaxia, Sanofi Pasteur, revealed its findings on Friday that the vaccine’s use on individuals who have not been infected by the Dengue virus prior to immunization could lead to more severe cases of Dengue infection.

    The WHO, in its clarificatory statement, said its “position paper did not include a recommendation to countries to introduce the dengue vaccine into their national immunization programs. Rather, WHO outlined a series of considerations national governments should take into account in deciding whether to introduce the vaccine, based on a review of available data at the time, along with possible risks.”

    The WHO noted that the vaccine should be used in areas where a high proportion, or at least 70%, of the population had been exposed to the virus. It also said the vaccine must only be given to people aged 9 and above, and those to be vaccinated must receive 3 doses. (Download a copy of WHO’s position paper

    Former health Secretary Janette Garin. Image ©

    News reports indicate that on April 4, 2016, former Philippine Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Janette Garin launched the school-based dengue vaccination program in the country’s National Capital Region, Central Luzon, and Calabarzon. Since then, more than 700,000 Filipino grade school students have received the risky dengue vaccine.

    Garin put the vaccination program into effect even before the WHO Strategic Group of Experts (SAGE) published its preliminary advice on Dengvaxia.

    Nevertheless, according to the WHO, the Philippines had met all three conditions for the vaccination.

    WHO acknowledged mid-April 2016 that these conditions appeared to be met in the 3 regions of the Philippines in which the dengue vaccination effort…,” the WHO said.

    The world health body, however, observed that the vaccination “was already ongoing at that time – noting that the decision to roll out the vaccine had been taken by the DOH before WHO’s advice became available.”

    Meanwhile, the Philippines’ health department announced that it has suspended the vaccination program, pending consultations with the WHO’s SAGE next week.

    In reaction, the WHO said it is supporting the suspension of the vaccination program.

    As always, we stand ready to work with the DOH to provide information to affected families, and to support the DOH’s deliberations on the future of the dengue vaccination program,” said the WHO.

    WHO continues to advise anyone [vaccinated or not] with signs of dengue disease – high fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pains, nausea, vomiting, swollen glands and/or rash – to seek medical care,” it added.

    As this developed, Malacañang said it will ask the National Bureau of Investigation to investigate the matter.

    Garin, who was appointed by former President Benigno Simeon Aquino III, said she welcomes the investigation.

    In the event that there will be authorities who will point culpability to me, I am ready to face the consequences,” she told ANC TV in an interview. She also insisted that the vaccination program was “implemented in accordance with WHO guidance and recommendation.”


    Read More:

    Dengue Prevention Program in Philippines Could Actually Worsen Disease

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    PH Drug Enforcement Agency welcomes return of police in drug war

    December 6th, 2017

    PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino

    THE Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, in a statement Tuesday, welcomed the return of the Philippine National Police in the anti-drug war.

    The PDEA welcomes the decision of the President (Rodrigo Duterte). It has been the desire of PDEA that PNP will return in the fight against illegal drugs,” said PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino.

    In the same statement, the PDEA admitted that it is undermanned, under-budget and under- equipped and that there is a need for other law enforcement agencies particularly the PNP in the fight against illegal drugs.

    From the time it was given the sole responsibility in the conduct of anti-drug operations, PDEA conducted a total of 2,161 anti-drug operations from October 11, 2017 to December 4, 2017 that resulted in the arrest of 750 drug personalities and seizure of P104.10 million worth of illegal drugs.

    Media observers noted that the PDEA operations are so professionally executed that no casualty has ever been reported.

    Read More:

    Philippine President Orders Police to Rejoin Fight Against Narcotics

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    Student group calls for genuine Filipino people empowerment

    December 4th, 2017

    A STUDENT organization calls for the true empowerment of the Filipino people towards genuine progress and liberation as it warned that President Rodrigo Duterte’s planned “revolutionary government” will only further entrench the elite domination of the political and economic system of the nation.

    In a statement, the Samahan ng Progresibong Kabataan (SPARK) said Duterte’s “Rev-Gov” is not about sincerely solving Philippines’ ills but a means to pave the way for charter change and federalism that will allow more foreign control of the economy and the nation’s sovereignty.

    This (Rev-Gov) will only fortify the hold of imperialist powers on our country as we follow an economic model which will most benefit transnational monopolies. Federalism then aims to forward political changes which only strengthen existing political dynasties and support warlord rule in the different provinces which have had a history of violating human rights of their people,” SPARK said.

    The group added that “these changes will only forward what’s best for a new set of oligarchs through their consolidation of power. These are not in the interest of actual national development. It is an insult that this is being branded as a ‘revolutionary government’ when it actually sets aside meaningful political and economic reforms for the people.”

    SPARK admitted that changes are really needed in the 1897 Constitution but it is not the kind of change that Duterte had in mind.

    We concede that a change is needed with the elitist 1987 Constitution but it is not the change being sold to us by Duterte that will put an end to contractualization, lack of jobs and basic social services such as housing, education and health. Duterte’s change is not revolutionary because it does not directly empower the masses and address the systemic ills. His proposed change will only encourage and empower by the foreign corporations which his regime serves.”

    Freedom will not come from Duterte or any other elitist. It can and will only come from the power of the people, led by the working class, in their unity and struggle.

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    Beyond Deadlines on Howdy Philippines and Pinoy Houston TV YouTube #40 – “Battle of Tirad Pass”

    December 3rd, 2017

    Kindly watch Beyond Deadlines’ segment at Howdy Philippines where I will talk about the “Battle of Tirad Pass.” Thanks and God bless…

    The Beyond Deadlines on TV/YouTube segment was produced by the Houston, Texas based Pinoy Houston TV. The program’s show time is every Saturday at 1 p.m. (Houston time) at Channel 15.3 with a repeat broadcast at 5:30 p.m. every Sunday.

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    Filipino Time*

    December 1st, 2017

    TAYONG mga Filipino ay napupuna dahil sa ating palagiang pagiging huli sa ating  mga appointment o schedule.

    Ito ang dahilan kaya nabansagan ang pagiging huli natin sa mga lakaran na “Filipino Time.” Subalit hindi naipaliliwanag ng bansag na ito ang dahilan ng ating kakaibang pagbibigay halaga sa oras o panahon na ikinasusuya ng hindi lamang iilan, lalo na yung mga taga-lungsod at mga banyaga mula sa kanluran.

    Dapat nating maunawaan na ang Pilipinas, sa kabila ng mga naglalakihang malls, five-star na hotel at dami ng magagarang sasakyan sa daan ngayon ay nananatiling isang agrikultural na bansa ang ating bayan. Ika nga, tayo ay may “makabagong” bihis lamang.

    Ang mayorya sa mga nagpapatakbo ng ating bansa ay mga panginoong maylupa pa rin at kakaunti lamang ang tinatawag na “industrialists” o mga may-ari ng industriya.

    Sa madaling salita, marami pa rin sa ating mga kababayan ang nabubuhay sa pamamagitan ng lupa. Hindi sa pabrika o mga opisina, na ginagabayan ng oras sa pagtatrabaho, nakasalalay ang kanilang ikinabubuhay.

    Kung magbabalik tanaw tayo sa kasaysayan ng mundo ay malalaman natin na ang panahon o oras para sa mga taong sangkot sa agrikultura tulad nating mga Filipino ay nakabatay sa ritmo ng panahon at katawan. Seasonal ang oras sa mga tagapagtanim at ang saligang batayan ng mga ito ay ang nasabi ngang ritmo ng panahon at katawan.

    Iba naman ang konsepto ng panahon para sa mga nasa industrialisadong bansa kung saan ang batayan ng orasan ay nakasalalay sa segundo, minuto o oras. Ito ay mga artipisyal na pagtataya ng panahon na inimbento ng mga kapitalista bilang bahagi ng kanilang paraan nang pagdidisiplina sa mga manggagawa ng pabrika o industriya upang sila ay dumating sa takdang oras ng trabaho.

    Walang halaga sa mga gumagamit ng artipisyal na orasan (halimbawa ay relo) tulad ng mga kapitalista ang ritmo ng panahon o katawan. Tanging ang patak lamang ng segundo sa kanilang relo ang importante dahil ito ay isa sa kanilang ginagamit na sistema ng panukat para sa oras na itinrabaho ng isang manggagawa.

    Lumalabas ngayon na para sa ating mga Filipino, sa kabila nang pagkabighani natin sa konsepto ng panahon na pinangingibabawan ng segundo, minuto at oras; ang nasusunod pa rin na orasan ay ang ritmo ng panahon at ating katawan. Sa ayaw o gusto natin, ang ating puso at damdamin ay nanatiling malapit sa kalikasan o kung ano yung natural at malaking bahagi ng ating kultura ay nakabatay sa mga paniniwalang ang ugat ay may kaugnayan sa lupa.

    * * *

    Kung ibig ninyong maligo sa hot spring ay maari kayong pumunta sa Infinity Resort sa Indigo Bay Subdivision, Brgy. Bagong Kalsada, Calamba City. Malapit lamang sa Metro Manila at mula sa resort na ito ay tanaw ninyo ang banal na bundok Makiling.

    Magpadala nang mensahe sa para sa karagdagang impormasyon o reserbasyon ng lugar. Salamat po.


    *Ang mga pananaw sa artikulong ito ay sa sumulat.  Maaring hindi ito ang opisyal na posisyon ng Beyond Deadlines.

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    November 30th, 2017

    NGAYONG ika 2 ng Disyembre ay ang ika 118 anibersaryo ng kamatayan ni Gregorio Del Pilar sa Pasong Tirad.

    Nasawi ang batang heneral sa Pasong Tirad habang binibigyan ng panahon ang kanyang padron na si Emilio Aguinaldo na makalayo mula sa mga humahabol na sundalong Amerikano kahit malinaw pa sa sikat ng araw na winaldas niya (Aguinaldo) ang pagkakataon para magtagumpay ang rebolusyon na inumpisahan ng kanyang ipinapatay na si Andres Bonifacio.

    Si Gregorio, na mas kilala ng mga kababaihan sa palayaw na Goyo, ay ipinanganak noong ika 14 ng Nobyembre, 1875 sa Bulacan, Bulacan. Pamagnkin siya ng magiting na bayani na si Marcelo H. Del Pilar.

    Si Gregorio ay isa sa pinakatapat na tao ni Aguinaldo na iniuugnay sa kamatayan ng magkapatid na Manuel at Jose Bernal, mga tauhan ni Heneral Antonio Luna na ipinapatay din ni Aguinaldo sa kanyang mga bantay sa Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija noong Hunyo 5, 1899.

    Bagamat sinasabing tunay na matapang si Gregorio kaya ito naging heneral sa batang edad, mas nakilala siya dahil sa kanyang walang saysay na pagkamatay sa Pasong Tirad sa bayan Cervantes, Ilocos Sur.

    Ayon sa mga testigo ay nakumbinse ni Aguinaldo si Goyo na manindigan sa Pasong Tirad upang harangin ang mga Amerikano sa kabila ng kakapusan ng tao at kawalan ng maayos na paghahanda. Kaya naman hindi kataka-taka na sa loob lamang ng anim na oras ay natalo sila ng mga Amerikano katulong ang isang giya na Pilipino na nakilalang si Januario Galut.

    Ayon sa namayapang premyadong historyador na si Nick Joaquin sa kanyang akda na “A Question of Heroes,” dapat ay nagwagi si Gregorio sa Pasong tirad kung mayroon lamang tamang preparasyon at hindi hibo lamang ang nasa likod ng desisyon na manindigan sa Pasong Tirad.

    Sabi ni Joaquin, “The annals of war show that in mountain warfare, especially in actions on a mountain pass, the advantage is with the defender, not the invader, and victory must be expected from the defender.”

    Idinagdag pa ni Joaquin na katangahan ang pasya na tindigan ang Pasong Tirad ng 60 tao lamang (52 sa kanila ang napatay sa labanan samantalang dalawang Amerikano lamang ang kanilang napatay). Pinatunayan ng Pasong Tirad na hindi puwede ang istilo nating mga Filipino sa pagtugon sa mga problema na “pwede na yan o OK na yan.”

    Bukod sa walang saysay na sakripisyo sa Pasong Tirad, ay umalabas na ang kamatayan ni Gregorio ay bunga ng kawalan ng karanasan sa labanan.

    Ayon kay Telesforo Carrasco, isa sa mga sundalo ni Gregorio, pinagsabihan na ang heneral na magkubli dahil siya ay isang target subalit sa kagustuhan na makita niya ang mga bumabaril sa kanya ay pilit na sumungaw ito mula sa damuhan kaya nabaril sa leeg at agad na namatay.

    Idiniin ni Joaquin na ang Pasong Tirad ay hindi simbolo ng kabayanihan kundi ng katangahan.

    * * *

    Kung ibig ninyong maligo sa hot spring ay maari kayong pumunta sa Infinity Resort sa Indigo Bay Subdivision, Brgy. Bagong Kalsada, Calamba City. Malapit lamang sa Metro Manila at mula sa resort na ito ay tanaw ninyo ang banal na bundok Makiling.

    Magpadala nang mensahe sa para sa karagdagang impormasyon o reserbasyon ng lugar. Salamat po.


    *Ang mga pananaw sa artikulong ito ay sa sumulat.  Maaring hindi ito ang opisyal na posisyon ng Beyond Deadlines.

    1 Comment "

    Stop buying firecrackers and instead donate for the rehabilitation of war ravaged Marawi City

    November 28th, 2017

    War torn Marawi City. Image ©

    A PHILIPPINE based environmental group called on the Filipino people to stop buying firecrackers for the yuletide season and instead donate the money to the people of Marawi City to help them rise from the tragedy that struck their community.

    In a statement, the EcoWaste Coalition, a public health and environment watchdog; said government offices, private companies, households and ordinary individuals can help Marawi City rise up out of the devastating armed conflict by not lighting firecrackers and fireworks this Yuletide season.

    The coalition noted that aside from expressing solidarity by making donations to Marawi City residents in lieu of exploding fireworks, the nation will have an environment friendly, healthier, quieter, safer celebration of Christmas and New Year. It also stressed that the Maranaws and other people in the war devastated area are still grappling with the impacts of the war caused by the Maute terror group.

    Ecowaste Coalition coordinator Aileen Lucero ©

    We appeal to our fellow Filipinos to think twice before buying firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices or staging costly firework displays at a time when tens of thousands of residents of the war-torn city are in need of our compassion and assistance,” pleaded Aileen Lucero, EcoWaste Coalition national coordinator.

    We ask everyone, especially those with money to burn for firecrackers and pyrotechnics, not to be insensitive to the plight of the Marawi people, especially the children, the elderly and the internally displaced persons,” she said.

    Lucero then suggested that “Instead of causing bodily injury and property damage, and instead of polluting the environment with chemical-laden smoke, soot and trash; caring individuals, households, local governments, and businesses should refrain from spending for firecrackers and pyrotechnics and share the money saved to responsible charities and agencies helping to rebuild shattered lives.”

    Aside from not spending for firecrackers and pyrotechnics, the EcoWaste Coalition also asked government and private entities not to spend for “Merry Christmas” tarpaulins and excessive decorations and to avoid ostentatious parties and celebrations, and to instead channel the resources saved for the rehabilitation of Marawi.

    At the same time, the group urged the public to heed the calls for help from ABS CBN Foundation, Alagang Kapatid Foundation, Caritas Manila, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines-National Secretariat for Social Action, GMA Kapuso Foundation, Philippine Red Cross, Save the Children, World Vision and other charitable institutions.

    It also invited the public to support the government-created Task Force Bangon Marawi, which is the inter-agency body in charge of the recovery, reconstruction, and rehabilitation of the war-ravaged city.

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    PH Drug Enforcement Agency destroys more than PhP 11 million worth of illegal drugs in Davao del Norte

    November 26th, 2017

    Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Director General Aaron Aquino

    THE Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency has destroyed PhP11.6 million worth of illegal drugs in Davao Del Norte early this week as mandated by law to prevent it from being “recycled” in the streets by criminal elements.

    PDEA Director General Aaron N. Aquino said, a total of 962.90 grams of shabu, 1212.10 grams of marijuana and 7.5 grams of cocaine with an estimated value of Php 11,648,284.00 were destroyed in Mankilam, Tagum City, Davao del Norte.

    Davao Del Norte Governor Antonio Rafael del Rosario and Davao Del Norte Regional Trial Court Branch 30 Presiding Judge Sharon Rose Saracin led the November 21 destruction ceremony of the illegal drugs which was used as evidence against suspected illegal drug dealers and users.

    Davao Del Norte Municipal Mayors Virginia Perandos of Carmen, Leah Moral of B.E. Dujak, and Rhodora Alcoran of New Corella, Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) representative Atty. Kim Galagala, Department of Justice Prosecutor Roman Bondaon, Civil Society Group member Joel Jorolan, members of the local media and of the Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council also witnessed the destruction ceremony..

    “PDEA continues to regularly destroy illegal drugs right before the public,  allaying any misconception that these pieces of drug and non-drug evidence are being recycled or peddled back in the streets”, Aquino added.

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    Beyond Deadlines on Howdy Philippines and Pinoy Houston TV YouTube #39– “How history of a former colonized nation should be written”

    November 26th, 2017

    Kindly watch Beyond Deadlines’ segment at Howdy Philippines where I will talk about “How history of a former colonized nation should be written.” Thanks and God bless…

    The Beyond Deadlines on TV/YouTube segment was produced by the Houston, Texas based Pinoy Houston TV. The program’s show time is every Saturday at 1 p.m. (Houston time) at Channel 15.3 with a repeat broadcast at 5:30 p.m. every Sunday.

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    Metropolitan Manila Development Authority urges MM local governments to be WHO-compliant in their Smoke-Free Ordinances

    November 25th, 2017

    MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim Photo ©

    METROPOLITAN Manila Development Authority Chairman Danilo Lim on Friday called for a sustained campaign against smoking as he urges all local government units in the National Capital Region to pass ordinances compliant with the World Health Organization-Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

    In a message to the participants of a smoke-free forum at the MMDA auditorium in Makati City, Lim, at the same time, applauds the efforts of the 17 Metro Manila LGUs in supporting the campaign against smoking and cleaner air.

    We have to stand our grounds despite the struggles in implementing a smoke-free Metropolitan Manila,” Lim, who is a non-smoker, said.

    The MMDA has implemented “no smoking in public places policy” and provides technical assistance to the LGUs in policy development, capacity building, communication strategies, and compliance monitoring.

    Meanwhile, in the same forum, MMDA Health, Public Safety and Environmental Protection Office chief Dr. Loida Alzona lauded the cities of Caloocan, San Juan, Muntinlupa, and Mandaluyong; and the municipality of Pateros for passing ordinances compliant with the WHO-FCTC.

    According to Alzona, the MMDA goal is to have the entire Metro Manila with laws compliant with the WHO-FCTC to promote better health and to lessen the cases of smoking-related diseases.

    She added that the purpose of the smoke-free forum is to “highlight experiences of the local government units in Metropolitan Manila relative to the passage and implementation of tobacco control policies compliant with Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.”

    At the same time, the forum tackled the effective ordinances in protecting the health of the public and the strategies towards public awareness and compliance.

    According to its website, the WHO-FCTC, is an evidence-based treaty that reaffirms the right of all people to the highest standard of health. The treaty was developed in response to the globalization of tobacco epidemic.

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    Beyond Deadlines on Howdy Philippines and Pinoy Houston TV YouTube #38– “Andres Bonifacio”

    November 19th, 2017

    Kindly watch Beyond Deadlines’ segment at Howdy Philippines where I will talk about “Andres Bonifacio.” Thanks and God bless…

    The Beyond Deadlines on TV/YouTube segment was produced by the Houston, Texas based Pinoy Houston TV. The program’s show time is every Saturday at 1 p.m. (Houston time) at Channel 15.3 with a repeat broadcast at 5:30 p.m. every Sunday.


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    PH Police Commission promotes two heroic cops

    November 18th, 2017

    Photo ©

    THE Philippine National Police Commission has promoted two policemen for their “conspicuous courage and gallantry at the risk of their lives above and beyond the call of duty” that led to the slaying of three suspected criminals and the arrest of four others in separate occasions.

    Police Office 3 Cyril B. Gobis of the Sta. Cruz Municipal Police Station, Laguna Police Provincial Office; and PO2 Joselito A. Lantano of the Police Security and Protection Group, Philippine National Police National Headquarters were respectively promoted to the next higher rank through Resolution Nos. 2017-538 and 539 last October 26.

    NAPOLCOM Vice Chair Rogelio Casurao

    NAPOLCOM Vice-Chairman and Executive Officer Atty. Rogelio T. Casurao, who announced the promotions, said Gobis was promoted for successfully neutralizing the armed bank robbers as they were about to escape on board a tricycle after breaking into the Philippine National Bank (PNB) in Sta. Cruz, Laguna on January 27, 2016.

    While Gobis was on patrol, a concerned citizen reported to him about an on-going bank robbery. Gobis immediately proceeded to the area, flagged down the get-away tricycle and accosted the suspects. However, two of the escaping suspects opened fire at Gobis and this prompted him to retaliate killing two of the suspects, the arrest of two more and the recovery of three firearms, ammunition and cash money amounting to P54,535.00.

    The Commission earlier recognized such heroic act of PO3 Cyril Gobis through the conferment of the PNP Gallantry Award with P10,000.00 cash reward during the NAPOLCOM Golden Anniversary program last September 8, 2016,” Casurao said.

    On the other hand, Casurao said Lantano was promoted for foiling a bus robbery.

    Casurao said Lantano was on his way home to Bulacan when the bus he was riding was held up by three men before dawn last April 4, 2017.

    He added that the bus was along the north bound lane of EDSA when one of the suspects declared a robbery and fired a warning shot. Lantano immediately stood and introduced himself as a police officer but the robber shot and missed him, which prompted the policemen to shoot back.

    Lantano took control of the situation and upon reaching Quezon Avenue, he spotted a mobile car and alerted his fellow officers of the robbery.

    Lantano’s gallant act resulted in the death of a suspect, the apprehension of two others and the recovery of two firearms, live ammunition, a fan knife and other pieces of evidence, Casurao added.

    Under Section 38 (b) of RA 6975 (PNP Law), as amended by Section 33 (b) of RA 8551 (PNP Reorganization Law), any uniformed member of the PNP who has exhibited acts of conspicuous courage and gallantry at the risk of his/her life above and beyond the call of duty shall be promoted to the next higher rank, provided, that such acts shall be validated by the Commission based on established criteria.

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    Panahon na para maitayo muli ang konsulado sa Houston, Texas*

    November 15th, 2017

    SA KABILA ng napakaraming Pilipino na ang naninirahan sa State of Texas, ang pangalawa sa pinakamalawak na estado ng United States kasunod ng Alaska, ay nanatiling tila nagdadalawang isip pa rin ang pamunuan ng Department of Foreign Affairs na magtayo ng konsulado sa State na ito.

    Ayon sa mga ulat na nakarating sa Usaping Bayan ito ay dahil sa ilang interes umano na  sinasabing sumasabotahe sa planong pagtatayo muli ng konsulado sa Houston, Texas kung saan naninirahan ang bulto ng mga Pilipino sa State na ito.

    Ibig daw ng “saboteurs” na manatili ang kasalukuyang siste kung saan sa isang outreach program lamang naabot ng konsulado ng Pilipinas mula sa Los Angeles ang mga kababayan natin na naninirahan sa buong Texas, lalo na yung kailangang mag-ayos ng kanilang pasaporte at dual citizenship.

    Dangan kasi ay nabibiyayaan daw ang mga interes na ito sa tuwing magkakaroon ng outreach program sa Texas. Tiyak daw na mawawala ang biyaya kung matatayong muli ang konsulado sa Houston.

    Gayun man ay pinabulaanan ito ng isang “insider.” Wala raw katotohanan ang haka-hakang ito. Nagkakaisa raw lahat ng mga kababayan natin sa panawagan na kailangan na nga ng konsulado sa Texas sa lalong madaling panahon.

    Para sa kaalaman ng lahat ay dati ng may konsulado sa Houston, Texas – ang ika-apat sa pinakamalaking lungsod sa US at sentro ng iba’t ibang konsulado ng iba-ibang bansa. Isinara ito noong dekada 90 dahil kaunti raw ang bilang ng mga Pilipino na naninirahan dito. Subalit sa pagdaan ng panahon ay lumobo na ang bilang ng mga kababayan natin na naninirahan sa southern state na ito at ayon sa census ay umaabot na sila sa halos 200,000.

    Karamihan sa kababayan natin na nasa Texas ay mga doktor, nars at guro na nagsususmikap upang makapag-padala ng pera sa mga naiwan nila sa Pilipinas.

    Hindi lingid sa mga taga-konsulado sa Los Angeles na umaabot sa 24 oras ng walang tigil na mabilis na pagmamaneho ang biyahe mula sa Houston, Texas hanggang sa ating konsulado sa LA at umaabot naman ng tatlong oras at kalahati ang biyahe sa eroplano.

    Malaking gastusin at abala sa libong mga kababayan natin ang magparoo’t parito sa konsulado sa LA. Sila ang mga tao na matutulungan ng DFA kung itutuloy ng departamento ang pagtatayo ng konsulado sa Texas.

    Kaya nananawagan po ang Usaping Bayan kay DFA Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, Philippine Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Patrick Chuasoto at Consul General Adelio Angelito Cruz na pakinggan ang daing ng nakararaming kababayan natin.

    * * *

    Kung ibig ninyong maligo sa hot spring ay maari kayong pumunhta sa Infinity Resort sa Indigo Bay Subdivision, Brgy. Bagong Kalsada, Calamba City. Malapit lamang sa Metro Manila at mula sa resort na ito ay tanaw ninyo ang banal na bundok Makiling.

    Magpadala nang mensahe sa para sa karagdagang impormasyon o reserbasyon ng lugar. Salamat po.

    * * *

    (Maari ring mabasa ang Usaping Bayan sa Opinion Section ng pahayagang Hataw tuwing araw ng Miyerkoles at Biyernes. Makikita rin sa ang tala na ito).

    *Ang mga pananaw sa artikulong ito ay sa sumulat.  Maaring hindi ito ang opisyal na posisyon ng Beyond Deadlines.

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    Stop the transfer of toxic wastes from developed to less developed countries!!!

    November 12th, 2017

    Image ©

    FILIPINO environmentalists called on all world leaders to ratify the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, also known as the Basil Ban Amendment, to end the practice by  developed countries of transferring their toxic wastes to developing countries like the Philippines.

    Led by Franciscan Friar Robert Reyes, Ang Nars Partylist Rep. Leah Paquiz, labor leader Joanna Bernice Coronacion and EcoWaste Coalition’s Aileen Lucero they also renewed their demand to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to implement the “Canadian solution” to remove tons of residual trash illegally sent to the Philippines from Canada under the guise of recycling.

    It will be recalled that on the sidelines of the 2015 Asia Pacific Economic (APEC) Summit held in the Philippines, Trudeau stated that a “Canadian solution (was) being developed” to plug the loopholes being used by private companies to ship garbage out of Canada, but skirted the issue of taking back the illegal trash shipments as demanded by various quarters.

    “Almost two years have passed since PM Trudeau talked about the so-called ‘Canadian solution’ and the garbage-filled container vans are still languishing in the Port of Manila,” lamented Dr. Leah Paquiz, representative of Ang Nars Partylist in the 16th Congress.

    “The real test of the efficacy of the ‘Canadian solution’ is the actual removal of these illegal trash shipments from our territory, the payment for the storage fees and other costs incurred, and the fixing of legal ambiguities that allowed the garbage to be shipped out of Canada,” she pointed out.

    “We further demand that both Canada and the Philippines should ratify the Basel Ban Amendment, which prohibits the transboundary movement of hazardous waste from developed to developing countries even for recycling,” she added.

    According to an open internet source, the Basel Ban Amendment is an international treaty that was designed to reduce the movements of hazardous wastes between. It also specifically prevent the transfer of hazardous waste from developed to less developed countries (LDCs).

    The convention entered into force on 5 May 1992. As of November 2016, 184 states and the European Union are parties to the Convention. Haiti and the United States have have signed the Convention but not ratified it.

    For his part, Reyes, said “the overstaying containers of contraband garbage shipments in our port provide a stinking evidence that the touted ‘Canadian solution’ is nothing but a hollow word.”

    He also said that “it’s high time for the Prime Minister to do what is just and righteous, as his name Justin stands for, intercede and re-import the unlawful garbage consignments for environmentally-sound disposal in Canada. Nothing less than this will put the dumping scandal to rest.”

    Ang pinakamasaklap sa lahat ay ang ituring tayong mga Pilipino na basura o basurahan ng Canada,” Reyes quipped.

    Joanna Bernice Coronacion, Deputy Secretary General of the Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa, said “we are awfully disappointed to say the least over the apparent failure of the Canadian government to correct a clear case of environmental injustice committed against our nation and people, especially to our port and waste and sanitation workers who have to deal with the dumped foreign garbage. We could not help but censure PM Trudeau for his lethargic response to resolve the garbage dumping scandal.”

    The EcoWaste Coalition, meanwhile, insists that Canada take back its trash.

    Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Image ©

    “We insist that Canada should take their garbage back now. We hope PM Trudeau is not waiting for the discarded adult diapers, household wastes and mostly plastic residuals to break down in the container vans as that might take hundreds of years. Canada is rich and unquestionably capable of managing its rubbish in a proper manner that will not jeopardize public health and the environment,” Lucero, the coalition’s national coordinator, said.

    To put it bluntly, “the Philippine is not Canada’s dumpsite,” said Annie Geron, President of the Public Services Labor Independent Confederation (PSLINK).

    “PM Trudeau, clean as you go. Take your garbage with you!”

    A total of 103 shipping containers of mixed household garbage declared as scrap plastics for recycling were exported to the Philippines from Canada in 2013-2014.

    The Bureau of Customs seized the said shipments by Chronic Inc. (a Canadian company) to Chronic Plastics (a Filipino company) after being alerted by the Environmental Management Bureau about the misdeclared waste imports.

    The authorities eventually charged the consignee for violations of the country’s environmental, tariff and customs laws.

    A waste analysis and characterization study conducted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) showed that 64% of the shipments were “bailed municipal solid waste or garbage destined for immediate local disposal and cannot be recycled.”

    Such garbage shipments, according to the DENR, “are strictly prohibited to be exported and are classified as Waste No. Y46 listed in Annex II of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal.”

    Twenty-six of the garbage-filled container vans from Canada were illegally dumped at the Metro Clark landfill in Capas, Tarlac in June-July 2015, causing public outcry and galvanizing vocal opposition against foreign waste disposal in local landfills.

    In June 2016, Judge Tita Bughao Alisuag of the Regional Trial Court of Manila (Branch 1) ordered the return of 50 shipping containers (approximately 1,400 tons) of illegal garbage imports from Canada, stressing that the Philippines is not a “trash bin” and that the dumping incident “should not be made a precedent for other countries to follow.”

    As Criminal Case No. 143-11191 was limited only to 50 of the 103 container vans of illegal Canadian trash imports, civil society groups urged Canada, in the spirit of environmental justice, to voluntarily ensure the repatriation of all the illegal garbage shipments.

    Ang Nars, EcoWaste Coalition, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, PSLINK and SENTRO are intervenors in the said case versus importer Adelfa Eduardo and customs broker Sherjun Saldon for violation of R.A. 6969, or the Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act of 1990.

    Read More:

    PH evironmentalists calls on Manila court to implement order to return hazardous trash to Canada

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    Beyond Deadlines on Howdy Philippines and Pinoy Houston TV YouTube #37– “Battle of Leyte Gulf”

    November 12th, 2017

    Kindly watch Beyond Deadlines’ segment at Howdy Philippines where I will talk about the “1944 Battle of Leyte Gulf.” Thanks and God bless…

    The Beyond Deadlines on TV/YouTube segment was produced by the Houston, Texas based Pinoy Houston TV. The program’s show time is every Saturday at 1 p.m. (Houston time) at Channel 15.3 with a repeat broadcast at 5:30 p.m. every Sunday.

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    PH Drug Enforcement Agency burns PhP6 billion worth of dangerous drugs

    November 10th, 2017

    PDEA destroys illegal drugs through thermal decomposition in this facility Photo ©

    THE Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency on Friday burned some PhP6 billion worth of dangerous drugs to prevent it from being recycled in the streets.

    In a statement, the PDEA said a total of 952.69 kilograms of assorted pieces of drug evidence – methamphetamine hydro-chloride (shabu), cocaine, ketamine, marijuana, benzphetamine HCl, N-benzylpiperazine, zolpidem, ephedrine, propanolol, sodium carbonate, valium, nitrazepam, nalbuphine, clonazepam, alprazolam, midazolam, methylphenidate, MDMA, codeine, pseudoephedrine, expired medicines and 1,079.159 liters of liquid shabu – were destroyed through thermal decomposition at the Integrated Waste Management Incorporated (IWMI) facilities in Trece Martirez City.

    Thermal decomposition is the process by which various compounds are broken down into single units by the application of heat wherein reconstruction of the substances is impossible.

    Based on the consolidated report of the PDEA Laboratory Service, among those destroyed during the activity were 873,033.14 grams of shabu, with an estimated street value of PhP4,365,166,700.00; liquid shabu weighing 1,070,159 ml. worth PhP1,605,238,500.00; 82.73 grams of cocaine worth PhP314,374.00; 300.25 grams of ketamine worth PhP1,501,250.00; 9,002.33 grams of marijuana worth PhP135,034.95; 16,258.26 grams of ephedrine worth PhP650,330.40; and 896 grams of pseudoephedrine worth PhP309,657.60; among others, and other expired medicines weighing 30,000 grams, with a total estimated value of PhP6,001,826,947.80.

    Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Director General Aaron Aquino

    “We want the public to witness the destruction of dangerous drugs seized by drug enforcement officers to allay public apprehensions that these illegal drugs and illicit substances are being reused, recycled or sold back in the streets,” said PDEA Director General Aaron N Aquino.

    The burning of the narcotics was witnessed by Senator Richard Gordon, chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee; and Mr. Ruy Moreno, as an advocate of the House of Representatives. Also present during the event were key PDEA officials, officials of Barangay Aguado, Trece Martires City, justice and local government departments representatives, members of non-government organizations and media partners.

    The destruction of the dangerous drugs is in compliance with the guidelines set on the custody and disposition of seized dangerous drugs required in Section 21, Article II of Republic Act 9165 (the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002) and Dangerous Drugs Board Regulation No. 1, Series of 2002.


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