Friday, April 14, 2006

Batasan Bloggers

The Batasan 6: Representatives Satur Ocampo, Teddy Casino, Liza Masa, Ka Paeng Mariano, Joel Virador, and Ka Crispin Beltran blogs about their stay in the House of representatives in their new blogsite.

The entries highlight their personal views and testimonies regarding their stay in the House of Representatives, due to threats of illegal arrest and detention. (Ka Crispin Beltran is an exception as he is now detained in Camp Crame. More on their case here.)

I was particularly moved by Ka Satur's entry on how he misses his mother the most this Lent:

What saddens me is the thought that I wouldn't be able to see my mother, all of 95 years now. I will not be able to comfort her with the assurance that I am okay, and that her brood of 12 children, all living, would become whole one more time: within view of her failing sight, her hearing our familiar voices that are music to her, as she gives us her tender loving caresses and blessing.

We really should feel bad that our highly respected reps are being treated this way by the Arroyo government. I have always thought of them as examples of genuine leadership with utmost sincerity and humility.

I just do not understand how some could equate Ka Satur and the other congresspersons with the traditional politicians such as Prospero Pichay and Mikey Arroyo. Just a look at them will tell you the difference, that unlike the latter, the former's position in Congress did not come from wealth and influence "the trapo way," instead, from genuine mass support for their party and the progressive and pro-people politics it carries.

Ask a trapo like Pichay to tour you to the district he represents, he will surely have you to meet the "power blocs," the influentials and will bring you to see his vast lands and assets. Ask Ka Satur to bring you to his constituents and he will introduce you to the poor, the toiling people, the workers, the peasants, the activists who commit themselves to struggle and service, the people who have nothing but dreams of a better future.

The last time I marched with Ka Satur in the frontlines of a rally last February 24, I realized how much the people really respected and loved the congresspersons. It was a three hour march from EDSA to Ayala Avenue, and there were a lot of people watching, along the sidewalks, the march of around 10,000 people. Most expressed their enthusiasm and support to the rally, and the moment they see Ka Satur, they would wave and shout "idol!" or "mabuhay kongresman Satur!", some would salute while some would unhesitatingly go to the middle of the crowd just to shake Ka Satur's hand.

It wasn't because of power or wealth, it wasn't because of "political machinery" or a "personality cult," it was simply because the people sees in the reps the hope, that despite their helplessness and their poverty, they have the Batasan 6 to stand up for them in the halls of congress. That despite the grim reality they are facing, they have a hope for a better future in the programs and actions of Bayan Muna, Anakpawis and Gabriela.

Keanna Reeve's Batasan visit have drawn different reactions from some, but for me, it was a perfect illustration of how the "masa" (which Keanna also appealed to, leading to her victory in Pinoy Big Brother) supports the reps.

In the news: the Mayuga report comes out, absolves "Hello, Garci" generals. (Perfect timing, all broadcast news are off.)

Ina reports the death of a youth immigrant in HK.

International update: here's an article on the Nepal protests.

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