8 Killed In New MNLF Clashes In Southern Philippines

November 30, 2007 at 4:15 pm | Posted in 1 | Leave a comment

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Nov. 30, 2007) – Security forces clashed Friday with Moro National Liberation Front fighters in the southern Filipino province of Sulu, leaving eight soldiers and rebels dead, officials said.

Officials said the fighting also left six marines wounded in the town of Kalingalan Kaluang. Five soldiers and three rebels were killed in the fighting that erupted at around 5 a.m. in the village of Kambing.

Security forces were searching for a wanted MNLF leader Khabier Malik when rebels attacked them, sparking a fierce firefight.

“We have sent the rangers to reinforce the marines in the area and to hunt down those responsible in the killings,” Brig. Gen. Ruperto Pabustan, commander of the Army’s elite Special Forces in Sulu province, told the Mindanao Examiner.

Malik is facing criminal charges after his group held for 3 days a military peace mission in February and demanded that Manila free their jailed leader Nur Misuari.

Misuari signed a peace deal with Manila in September 1996 ending decades of bloody war. After the peace agreement was signed, Misuari, became the governor of the Muslim autonomous region. But despite the accord, there was a widespread disillusionment with the weak autonomy they were granted.

Under the peace agreement, Manila would provide a mini-Marshal Plan to spur economic development in Muslim areas in the south and livelihood and housing assistance to tens of thousands of former rebels to uplift their poor living standards.

Fierce fighting between troops and Malik’s group in April also left at least 21 soldiers and rebels dead and more than 100 wounded.

Malik, who has declared a holy war against the military, previously warned of more attacks after accusing the government of violating the peace agreement, saying, troops, pursuing Abu Sayyaf militants, had killed MNLF members and innocent civilians in several armed encounters in the province.

But the military also accused the MNLF of coddling the Abu Sayyaf.

Many former guerrillas were disgruntled with the peace deal, saying, the Arroyo government failed to comply with some of its provisions and uplift their standards of living. They accused Manila of failing to develop the war-torn areas in the south.

And in November 2001, on the eve of the elections in the Muslim autonomous region, Misuari accused the government of reneging on the peace agreement, and launched a new rebellion in Jolo island and Zamboanga City, where more than 100 people were killed.

Misuari then escaped by boat to Malaysia, but had been arrested and deported to the Philippines. He is now under house arrest in Manila. (Mindanao Examiner)

Philippine Coup Fails-Corruption Continues! The Imprudent Observer

November 30, 2007 at 9:26 am | Posted in 1 | Leave a comment

Philippine troops and SWAT teams stormed a five-star hotel that dissident military officers had commandeered after walking out of a coup trial. The military officers have insisted their aim is to end the blatant corruption of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s government.

They want her to resign in order to create a government that is both legitimate and honest. Their coup was supported by several political leaders including former Vice President Teofisto Guingona. Arroyo in a defiant response said the coup members would be held “accountable” and there would be swift justice.


The coup members had literally walked out of their trial accompanied by dozens of military sympathizers including General Danio Lim and went to the hotel. They claim Arroyo stole an election and has been manipulating the political process since taking office.

Unfortunately, the Philippines has been the scene of continual fights over the honesty of its government. This has led members of the military to become involved in political affairs.

The nation confronts a Muslim led insurgency in southern regions which has gone on for years. In the midst of this problem is the ongoing belief that President Arroyo is doling out money to politicians and has allowed corruption to become a hallmark of her administration. (Fred Stopsky)

Rebel Soldiers End Stand-Off In Manila; Journalists, Priests And Civilians Arrested

November 30, 2007 at 9:24 am | Posted in 1 | Leave a comment

Filipino senator Antonio Trillanes in this television grad speaks Thursday Nov. 29, 2007 during a television interview shortly after they surrendered to authorities “to save lives of civilians and journalists” inside Manila Peninsula hotel where they were holed out. (Mindanao Examiner Photo)

MAKATI CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Nov. 29, 2007) – Rebel soldiers calling for President Gloria Arroyo’s resignation have surrendered peacefully to authorities late Thursday afternoon ending hours of uprising at a posh hotel in the Philippines’ main business district of Makati.


Heavily-armed members of the Philippine National Police Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT), backed by armored vehicles, fired tear gas inside the Manila Peninsula hotel in an effort to flush out rebel soldiers and civilians supporting them.

One armored vehicle broke into the hotel main entrance and fired more tear gas forcing journalists to seek cover.

Opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes and Army Brigadier General Danilo Lim led a group of soldiers and civilian supporters to a long march that ended in Manila Peninsula hotel in Makati where they called for Arroyo’s resignation.

Among those who joined Trillanes and Lim was former Philippine Vice President Teofisto Guingona and leaders of civil society groups opposed to Arroyo’s rule.

Both Trillanes and Lim were implicated in previous attempt to oust Arroyo, who they accused of corruption and fraud in the May 2004 elections.

Trillanes and Lim said they decided to end the stand-off to save the lives of civilians, including journalists inside the hotel. “This only shows how cruel this administration of Arroyo that they would sacrifice the lives of civilians and journalists,” Trillanes said.

Police also arrested at least ten journalists who were covering the stand-off inside the hotel and seized their equipment, including video cameras.

Television footages showed journalists coming out the room where Trillanes and Lim were holed out with their hands raised in the air.

Police spokesman Superintendent Samuel Pagdilao said the journalists would be held for questioning. He did not elaborate.

Philippine military chief General Hermogenes Esperon vowed Thursday to crush an uprising in Manila.

“We are trying to make plans here. I want to appeal for calmness and for the public not to allow to be hoodwinked by these people, Trillanes and Lim. We must not allow them to grab power,” Esperon said.

Esperon was in Zamboanga City visiting troops when news of the uprising broke out in a middle of meeting at the Western Mindanao Command headquarters.

Trillanes and Lim have urged the Armed Forces of the Philippines to withdraw its support from the Arroyo administration.

Government spokesmen taunted Guingona, saying, he was too frail to be jailed.

Guingona is one or Arroyo’s most vocal critic and had previously joined protest rallies in Manila. (Mindanao Examiner)

Crush Uprising! RP Military Chief Tells Troops

November 29, 2007 at 5:19 pm | Posted in 1 | Leave a comment

  Philippine military chief General Hermogenes Esperon, who is visiting troops in Zamboanga City in Mindanao island, speaks on his mobile phones Thursday Nov. 30, 2007 after a group of soldiers led by Army Brigadier General Danilo Lim and opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes and hundreds of civilian supporters headed by former Vice President Teofisto Guingona marched in Manila and called on the military to withdraw its support from President Gloria Arroyo. Trillanes and Lim, who previously accused Arroyo of corruption and cheating in the May 2004 elections, are facing coup d’etat charges following a failed coup attempt in February 2006. (Mindanao Examiner Photo Service)
 

MANILA, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Nov. 29, 2007) – Philippine military chief General Hermogenes Esperon vowed Thursday to crush an uprising in Manila.

Opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes and Army Brigadier General Danilo Lim led a group of soldiers and civilian supporters to a long march that ended in the posh Manila Peninsula hotel in Makati where they called for Arroyo’s resignation.

Among those who joined Trillanes and Lim was former Philippine Vice President Teofisto Guingona and leaders of civil society groups opposed to Arroyo’s rule.

Both Trillanes and Lim were implicated in previous attempt to oust Arroyo, who they accused of corruption and fraud in the May 2004 elections.

“We are trying to make plans here. I want to appeal for calmness and for the public not to allow to be hoodwinked by these people, Trillanes and Lim. We must not allow them to grab power,” Esperon said.

Esperon was in Zamboanga City visiting troops when news of the uprising broke out in a middle of meeting at the Western Mindanao Command headquarters.

Trillanes and Lim have urged the Armed Forces of the Philippines to withdraw its support from the Arroyo administration.

Esperon said the military is control of the situation and ordered security forces to resolve the situation without bloodshed.

“There is a confrontational effort and I have given instructions to ground commanders to address the situation without bloodshed, but if situation arises we will do what is necessary. We intend to terminate this situation as soon as possible,” he said.

“Rest assured we are in full control of the situation. Just be calm about it and we should be able to resolve this situation. It is something we can address.”

Esperon said the AFP is solid behind Arroyo and would not allow the uprising to continue. He said the military has been put in red alert and warned soldiers not to support Trillanes and Lim.

“There is no need to conduct loyalty check among troops. I am in constant touch with senior commanders. I salute the solidarity of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. We are intact and ready to enforce legal actions to address the situation in Makati,” he said.

Government spokesmen also taunted Guingona, saying, he was too frail to be jailed.

Guingona is one or Arroyo’s most vocal critic and had previously joined protest rallies in Manila. (Mindanao Examiner)

Australian Embassy Minister Visits Mining Site In Southern Philippines

November 28, 2007 at 7:16 pm | Posted in 1 | Leave a comment

SOUTH COTABATO, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Nov. 28, 2007) – Australian Embassy Minister and Deputy Head of Mission Stephen Scott visited the facilities of the Sagittarius Mines, Inc. (SMI) in South Cotabato’s Tampakan town.

SMI presented Scott its social and environmental management programs and projects. SMI is the main proponent of the Tampakan Copper-Gold Project.


Scott, who was welcomed by acting Mayor Pedro Cagas and acting Vice-Mayor Relly Leysa, toured the Maticura Field Trial Station where SMI personnel maintain a nursery of indigenous plant and tree species and a butterfly and insect farm.

Scott was also presented an update on the project at the SMI base camp in the village of Tablu. He was briefed on the project’s current technical and environmental activities and community engagement programs, said a statement sent to the Mindanao Examiner on Wednesday.

He also inspected a drill rig and the SMI Competence Center where he was briefed on the community education and capability-building programs of the company.

While in Tampakan, Scott, accompanied by Mark Williams, SMI general manager, met with government officials and businessmen. Scott commended the socio-economic development initiatives of SMI at the pre-operating stage of the project.

“This is a good experience knowing the growing support of major stakeholders of the Tampakan project, which has a very significant potential to develop the community, the region and the country as a whole,” he said.

Williams, for his part, reiterated SMI’s commitment to invest in the sustainable development of the project’s in the area.

He said community projects being delivered by SMI to the host communities include education assistance to students at all levels, health care assistance to community members, and capability-building programs for residents.

SMI has also embarked on environmental protection initiatives, such as environmental baseline studies and reforestation and biodiversity programs, Williams said.

“We want to undertake every aspect of the project the right way, consistent with world’s best practices. Looking after the long-term welfare of our host communities and protecting the environment are fundamental to the way we do business,” he said, adding, “support to these community activities will be increasing as the project moves forward.”

Williams also reiterated SMI’s policy of giving preference to qualified local residents and companies in hiring project personnel and in sourcing supplies for operations. “No less than 90 percent of our work force is from the local communities,” he said.

Storm Surge Leaves Thousands Homeless In South RP’s Zamboanga City

November 28, 2007 at 6:34 pm | Posted in 1 | Leave a comment





Big waves, spawned by Typhoon Mitag, destroyed houses in Sinunuc village in Zamboanga City in southern Philippines and the Philippines’s western coast overnight. There were no immediate reports of casualties from the onslaught of waves that sporadically battered coastal villages from the country’s mountainous north to the southern island of Jolo from late Tuesday to early Wednesday that left hundreds of families homeless and sending more than 5,000 people fleeing, some falsely thinking there was a tsunami, officials said (Mindanao Examiner Photo Service)

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Nov. 28, 2007) – Giant waves, spawned by Typhoon Mitag, slammed coastal villages in the southern Philippine port city of Zamboanga, destroying houses and leaving hundreds of families homeless.


Many houses sitting on silts in coastal villages were washed away and residents had fled thinking there was a tsunami.

“Our houses are destroyed. We have nothing, but these tattered clothes. We need help, but there nobody is helping us,” Idris Sangkula, a fisherman, told the Mindanao Examiner.

Seawater also flooded roads here. Some witnesses said strong winds carried the water and sands and debris from the sea.

“It was terrible. You can still see the sands on the road and pieces of broken corals and seaweeds,” Renato Sanches, a cigarette vendor, said pointing to the debris that littered the Roseller T. Lim Boulevard, a favorite stretch in Zamboanga.

Thousands of villagers left homeless by the onslaught of the typhoon sought shelters in higher grounds. But many were also spotted encamping on side of the roads, guarding their valuables and some still salvaging what was left of their houses.

There were no immediate reports of casualties, but local radio stations reported that at least 5 people were rushed to hospitals for wounds they suffered while trying to flee giant waves. A child was also reported missing in Marique village.

Heavy rains the past days also swamped many villages in Zamboanga. Ferry services were also canceled because of dangers posed by the weather. Zambonga City Mayor Celso Lobregat has put many villages under a state of calamity.

There were also reports of evacuations in coastal towns in Basilan and Sulu provinces, although there were no reports of casualties.

Philippine authorities said as many as two dozen people were killed and many injured by the typhoon since it hit the country this week. Another storm was also spotted north of the country, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

The Philippines sits astride the typhoon belt and as many as two dozen storms enter the country every year. (Mindanao Examiner)

Philippines Military Executing Leftist Activists, UN Independent Expert Finds

November 27, 2007 at 6:13 pm | Posted in 1 | Leave a comment

The Armed Forces of the Philippines has been executing leftist activists in recent years, an independent United Nations human rights expert said in a new report which welcomes Government measures to address the problem while emphasizing the need to end impunity through prosecution and punishment.

“A significant number of the hundreds of extrajudicial executions of leftist activists in the Philippines that have taken place over the past six years are the result of deliberate targeting by the military as part of counterinsurgency operations against the communist rebels,” said Philip Alston, the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.

The report which is accessible on this URL http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=24799&Cr=philippine&Cr1= was released on Tuesday. And the Philippine military has strongly denied the allegations it was behind the killings.

During a fact-finding mission earlier this year to the South-East Asian nation, Mr. Alston – who serves in an unpaid, personal capacity – investigated the killings in depth.

He interviewed victims or witnesses to 57 incidents involving 96 extrajudicial executions. He met with Government officials of all ranks, including local military commanders as well as the President, as well as with the leaders of the communist rebels’ National Democratic Front (NDF).

In a statement, he said he was “encouraged” by various measures adopted recently by the Government and by the fact that he had met with the country’s Executive Secretary in New York, but also stressed that those responsible for killings must be prosecuted and punished to stop them.

“The Government has undertaken a range of welcome reforms, but the fact remains that not a single soldier has been convicted in any of the cases involving leftist activists,” he said.

“In some parts of the country, the armed forces have followed a deliberate strategy of systematically hunting down the leaders of leftist organization,” Mr. Alston noted. “As commander-in-chief, the President must take concrete steps to end such operations.”

Since 1968, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) – which has an armed faction, the New People’s Army (NPA), and a civil society group, the NDF – has aimed to revolutionize what it views as the country’s “semi-feudal” society.

The Rapporteur said that the military officers he interviewed “relentlessly pushed” the theory that such extrajudicial executions had in fact been committed by the rebels to simultaneously remove spies while discrediting the Government, and he reviewed all of the documentation provided to support this idea.

“The military’s argument that the leftist activists who have been killed are the victims of a ‘purge’ by the rebels is strikingly unconvincing and can only be viewed as a cynical attempt to displace responsibility,” he said.

The Rapporteur criticized the rebels themselves for participating in some extrajudicial executions of civilians who are not directly involved with the hostilities and the death threats they have made against political opponents.

“The death sentences imposed by their ‘people’s courts’ provide only a veneer of legality for what is really vigilantism or murder,” he said.

During his visit to the Philippines, Mr. Alston also investigated extrajudicial executions in western Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago, which have seen armed conflict involving several insurgent and terrorist groups, including the Moro National Liberation Front, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Abu Sayyaf Group.

Since witnesses in the regions live in great fear and it is difficult to ascertain who is responsible for abuses, he said that bolstered human rights monitoring is crucial to protect the civilian population.

Mr. Alston also looked into the actions of a death squad in Davao City on the island of Mindanao, interviewing victims and witnesses as well as speaking with local police, military officers and the mayor.

“The mayor’s position that he can do nothing to stop men without masks from routinely killing children for petty crimes in full view of witnesses lacks all credibility,” he said in the report. “Mayor Duterte should be stripped of his control over the local police, and the national Government should assume responsibility for dismantling the death squad and prosecuting its members.”

RP’s High Tuition Fees Assailed

November 27, 2007 at 4:36 pm | Posted in 1 | Leave a comment

Members of the Anakbayan protest in Davao City in southern RP on Tuesday, Nov.27, 2007.



DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Nov. 27, 2007) – Members of the militant youth group Anakbayan led a picket rally Tuesday in Davao City in southern Philippines to protest the government’s failure to put a stop on continued tuition fee hikes in the country.

Students also joined the rally and picketed in front of the University of Mindanao (Bolton Campus) where they displayed streamers denouncing the unabated increase in tuition fees.

The protest also signaled the group’s commemoration of the Andres Bonifacio’s Day celebrated on November 30. Bonifacio is one of the Philippines’ national heroes who led a revolt against Spain in 1896. “Nothing has significantly changed for the better since the 1896 Revolution led by Andres Bonifacio – the Filipinos are still poor and oppressed, the youth deprived of an affordable and quality education.”

“Statistics and surveys would show that more Filipinos are hungry, more youth dropping out of school or not ever stepping into formal education (8% of all six-year olds o 200,000 Filipino children will never ever step into school and 1 million cannot enter high school every year), more unemployed, more and more leaving the country (3,400 per day) to work abroad,” Karla Hyasmind Apat, Anakbayan regional spokesperson, said in a statement sent to the Mindanao Examiner.

“In the education sector in particular, the government’s policy is to push for the rationalization and soon privatization of state universities and colleges in the country, while passing on into the private sector the responsibility of providing education to its citizen,” she said.

She said education in the country has now become very expensive that forced many students to stop schooling. She also assailed private universities and schools in Davao City for taking advantage of the students.

“Private universities and schools in Davao City continue to rake in millions of pesos as profits from the students, yet they continue to increase their tuition and other fees. Education is being driven into becoming a business enterprise. Ateneo for instance, earns millions of pesos a year from its space rentals alone, yet, it continues to increase its tuition and other fees,” Apat said. (Mindanao Examiner)

Documentary Film Sulu Premieres In Manila Indie Film Fest

November 27, 2007 at 12:35 pm | Posted in 1 | Leave a comment




 

“SULU” – 2007 / Documentary

KONTRA-AGOS RESISTANCE FILM FESTIVAL begins on December 5-11, 2007 at Indie Sine, Robinson’s Galleria, Manila
Plot:

Born of a Muslim mother, young writer Arthur Sakaluran Abasalo decides to visit Sulu despite the perceived strife and presence of Muslim rebels and Abu Sayyaf terrorists. In Sulu, he meets a former Muslim rebel-turned policeman who tells him about his life story and how he got separated from his family for more than a decade. He returns to Sulu to start a new life after being reunited with his family.

Arthur returns to Manila after a short stay in Sulu, bringing with him memorable stories and truths about the island feared by many as a dangerous place to go.

This film, along with six other short films from Mindanao, will have its World Premiere on December 6, 7 p.m. at Indie Sine, Robinson’s Galleria, Ortigas Center in Pasig City. A Mindanao Examiner Production. Directed by Al Jacinto

LIST OF OTHER FILM FEST FILMS

PUBLIC SERVICE ADVERTISEMENTSRIGHTS Volume 2

Invited Filmmakers:

JP Carpio,Karl Castro, Joy Domingo, KhavnBon Labora, Teng Mangansakan, Ron Magbuhos Papag, Seymour Sanchez, Sherad Sanchez, Keith Sicat, Carlitos Siguion-Reyna, Sine Patriyotiko

FEATURE LENGTH FILMS

1. Adjani Arumpac: WALAI (60 mins/DOCUMENTARY/2007)

WALAI is an exploration of spaces. It prods on thememories of four Muslim women who once lived in theinfamous White House in Cotabato City. The documentaryseeks narratives in “places…we tend to feel withouthistory.” It traces the past through the women’sexperience of what has happened inside the wreckedhome—nostalgia and fear, loss and love, and birth anddeath.

2. Waise Azimi: STANDING UP (155mins/DOCUMENTARY/2007)

STANDING UP follows the lives of the young Afghan mentraining to become part of the first line of defensein the War Against Terror.

The film also follows thelives of the Coalition soldiers charged with helping ready them for that crucial task. Situated at the Kabul Military Training Center ‘Standing Up’ provides an exclusive window into one of the most important tasks in the stabilization of Afghanistan and the wider region.

3. JP Carpio: HILO (90 mins/NARRATIVE/2007)

Originally conceptualized as a short film shot in 2004 and completed nearly three years later as a full length, the film charts the various emotional courses during a dinner between Emerson, a universityprofessor, and Jenny, a university student.

HILO isa narrative driven not by large, exaggerated silverscreen emotions but by the subtlest of movements; thehint of a smile, the way two lovers eyes meet and loseeach other, the manner in which a person serves foodto the one they care about.

In three parts, Hilo talksabout the big issues a couple faces by using the small movements that make up our everyday lives.

4. Clodualdo del Mundo, Jr: EheM!Plo (DOCUMENTARY/50min/2007)

EheM!Plo shows that indeed corruption is violence. If this is true, then stopping corruption and spreading integrity are now the new ways of working for peace.

5. Teng Mangansakan: THE JIHADIST (75mins/DOCUMENTARY/2007)

THE JIHADIST is an autobiographical documentary that posits the filmmaker as a mujahid (jihadist).

6. John Torres: VOICE, TILTED SCREENS AND EXTENDEDSCENES OF LONELINESS: FILIPINOS IN HIGH DEFINITION(100 min/NARRATIVE/2007)

VOICE, TILTED SCREENS AND EXTENDED SCENES OFLONELINESS: FILIPINOS IN HIGH DEFINITION is, at once,a meditation. It is a meta-film that unravels ajourney, a chronicle of stories through foreign regions.

It is a probing letter from outside circles,an honest account of illegitimate views from uneven terrain, and a narrative-driven exploration of the nooks and peripheries of the body, geography, and weather.

As the journey progresses, the film increasingly traverses the countries of revelation,film, and heart to where all journeys are meant to endwith.

SHORT FILMS

1. Elvert de la Cruz Bañares: ang bayan kong payapa, 5 mins/2007/Experimental

This is the state of our nation cycle.

2. Jeck Cogama: PUTOT 2006/Narrative

PUTOT (Visayan for “small”) is the heartfelt story ofa young boy growing up at a squatter colony by thesea.

Putot, aged 13, is a taciturn boy who takes careof his mentally-ill father, and ekes out a living by selling mussels. He meets Mayang, a mysterious young girl with secrets of her own. A friendship begins between the two.

3. Gabriela Krista Lluch Dalena: RED SAGA15 mins/b&w, color/2004/Experimental

Children of the Land faithfully guard the last harvestfrom thieves. This poetic film offers a glimpse intothe passion and pain of the people’s protracted war in the coutrysides.

4. Sari Raissa Dalena-Sicat: DIVINE WIND (KAMIKAZE)4 mins/b&w/2001/Experimental

A Japanese soldier hides in an island, in the belief that the war has not ended.

5. Apol Dating and Michael Cardoz: MEDALAWNA2007/Documentary

The story of a young girl named “Inday Liit” who helpsher family earn a living by happily sweeping graveyards.

6. Sheron Dayoc: DREAMS2007/Narrative

Nine-year-old Satra has been mute for as long as shecould remember. But her determination to secure a good education reverberates clearly amid the strictures ofher Yakan culture.

7. Emman Dela Cruz: THE SINGH FAMILY HOME VIDEOS2007/Documentary

A documentary work in progress, “The Singh Family Home Videos” charts an intimate look at the family life of the filmmaker’s neighbors, a Punjabi Indian family whohas assimilated into the Filipino culture andcommunity.

Is nationality a matter of origin? Is identity a matter of choice? Or is your “home” amatter of where you are or where you’ll be?

8. Moises Charles Hollite: GEORGE’S TOWN2007/Documentary

George Sabandal is one of about 2,500 internally displaced persons (IDPs) who have sought refuge in thetown of Buluan, Maguindanao as a result of the“all-out war” in 2000. Refusing to go back to the place of his origin, he has created a new life forhimself and his family in their ideal town.

9. Noriel Jarito: BINGO18 mins/2007/Documentary

Bingo reveals life’s monotony of rural existence.People embrace almost anything: dull, inspiring, tame,untamed, reputable, and even deceptive.

To play “Bingo” inside a church is never questioned and is licensed by some Catholic Church leaders. Christianity is the largest religion but many of its followers are destitute enough to consider “Bingo” inside their church as a source of momentary abundance.

10. Kodao Productions: PUSHING THE PARAMETERS:LAWYERING FOR THE PEOPLE, 27 mins/2007/Documentary/2007

2006 was the worst year for the members of the bar,with seven lawyers and judges reportedly killed within the year. A significant number of these lawyers aredirectly involved in human rights advocacy.

Under the administration of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, 19 lawyers and 12 judges were killed. And this can be seen in the light of more than 850 victims of extra-judicial killings from 2001 to 2007.

11. Loren Hallilah I. Lao: TRANQUIL TIMES 2007/Documentary

The documentary delves on the good governance effortsof the private sector, civil society and the local government unit of Wao, Lanao del Sur working together to erase remnants of the religious and ethnic clashes of the 1970s.

It explores how peace has been achieved in this multi-ethnic town, propelling the once-turbulent municipality into its present agricultural renaissance.

12. Mona Labado: STEP FOR MY DREAM 2007/Narrative

Seven-year-old Abdul dreams of becoming a leader of his town. He has natural charisma and easily becomes friends with people even if he hasn’t known them for long. But his grandmother reminds him of their peasant roots which is no match to the traditional ruling family.

Undaunted, Abdul sees it as a challenge envisions his future.

13. Ruelo Lozendo: SIMULA 10 mins/2006/Experimental

A worm enters a man’s ear and lives inside his body. As the worm’s metamorphosis unfolds, the man experiences his own transformation.

14. RJ Mabilin: A DAY IN THE LIFE OF GLORIA ARROVO, 1 min/2005/Animation

A satire on the different political and economic issues the country faces under the Arroyo administration.

15. Ana Isabelle Matutina: UNCONVENTIONAL WARFARE 30 min/2005/Documentary

This documentary contextualizes the issue of US military presence in the country within the long and bitter history of conflict in the south.

Countering the reductionist frame set by the narrative of the“global war against terror,” it examines the historical conditions that led to the emergence of the Moro separatist movement and the subsequent rise of the Abu Sayyaf.

It dissects the government’s contradictory attempts to downplay its threat while atthe same time justifying escalating military operations in the region. Against this backdrop, the documentary then probes allegations of US military involvement in the war.

16. McRobert Nacario: BINITON 2007/Narrative

A story depicting the process of preparation and cooking of a dish called Biniton that is particular to the community of Saniag, Ampatuan.

The process of cooking, in the eyes of an old woman, brings to lifethe hardships they experienced amidst armed conflict at the same time the process of preparation, through the experience of Amel, her grandson walks us through the current situation of their community.

How amidst the hardships and diversity in culture they had all managed to bounce back and become united.

17. Nick Olanka: LUNES NG HAPIS 2006/Narrative

18. Mikhail Red: THRESHOLD 2007/Experimental

19. Sine Patriyotiko: MENDIOLA 31 mins/2006/Documentary

Through the First Quarter Storm to Mendiola Massacre to Calibrated Preemptive Response: from the very start, Mendiola houses the eye of conflict. Fact is,the road from Mendiola to the Palace is several hundred meters away.

Nevertheless, this still is agreat risk: to look directly at the center is to showthe strength to confront those in power. On the roadto mendiola, one can tread across the history of our continuous struggle for change.

20. Mariami Tanangco: BINYAG 2002/Narrative

One night, two tragedies are about to take place. In an abandoned warehouse, rookie policeman is tasked to execute a suspected drug pusher. In the quiet suburbs,a mother is worriedly waiting for her son to comehome.

A social commentary on police-instigated “salvaging” that was prevalent in the late 80s, thefilm is intended as a personal elegy on lost innocence.

21. Tudla Productions: SA NGALAN NG TUBO 2005/Documentary

A video documentary that chronicles what happened on November 16, 2004 when seven people died at the picketlines of the Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac. Mill workers and farm workers of the sugar refinery and plantation owned by the Cojuangcos, one of the wealthiest, landed families in the Philippines, went on strike.

Their demands were met with a volley of gunfire from military and police. Beginning with the history and background of the land issue, the film builds the tension gradually, leading up to the actual footage ofthe Hacienda Luisita incident, when even the filmmaker holding the camera has to run for his life.

22. Eduardo C. Vazquez, JR: ME’GUYAYA2007/Documentary

Me’guyaya is a Te’duray term for merry-making orthanksgiving. In 2003, an active and concerned groupof people in Upi, Shariff Kabunsuan initiated afestival that would unite all residents in thankingGod for the abundant harvest.

Since then, it has become a big town event that celebrates the richness and diversity of the Muslim, Christian and Lumad peoples of Upi.

The documentary delves on how theMe’guyaya serves as a catalyst for cultural unity as everyone gets involved in the festivities.

OTHER KONTRA-AGOS EVENTS:

8 December, 5-7 PMPANEL DISCUSSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS AND ARTISTIC FREEDOMIN PHILIPPINE CINEMA

6-9 DecemberPHOTO EXHIBIT AT THE LOBBY courtesy of the FREE JONASBURGOS MOVEMENT

*KONTRA-AGOS RESISTANCE FILM FESTIVAL 2007 is an Initiative of ST Exposure and Digital Cheese in cooperation with UP Sining at Lipunan, Sine Tres Marias and the Independent Filmmakers Cooperative.

Visit www.kontra-agos.blogspot.com for updates.

Philippines Searches For Missing Military Jet Over Spratlys

November 26, 2007 at 6:35 pm | Posted in 1 | Leave a comment

MANILA, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Nov. 26, 2007) – The Philippines mounted a massive search for one of its Italian S211A military trainer jet which went missing near the Spratly Archipelago.

The jet took off Monday morning and was one of two aircrafts heading towards Kalayaan group of islands where a Filipino fishing boat capsized last week, leaving 25 people missing.

Philippine Air Force officials said the search began later in the day after the aircraft failed to return to Palawan province where it took off. The other aircraft returned safely.

At least 30 sailors were rescued near the Zhongye Reef in the Spratly islands by Chinese trawlers. The Philippine boat sank after huge waves and strong winds battered the vessel.

The Spratly islands are being claimed in whole or part by China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines and Taiwan. The Chinese call it Nansha islands, believed to be rich in oil and gas deposits.

The S211 supplied by Aermacchi is a military jet pilot trainer in operation with the air forces of Haiti, the Philippines and Singapore. S211A, the latest high-performance version of the aircraft, has full acrobatic capability and can be armed with a range of weapon systems. (Mindanao Examiner)

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