Sa Libing

ni Noel Sales Barcelona

Ponebre ang hinga
ng amihan at habagat
(Ano’t dugo
Ang kulay ng palay sa linang?)
Ulinig ko ang panaghoy
ng mga damo at bulaklak.
(Bakit nga ba
Kilala at dayuhan ang pangalang tinatawag?)
Walong daan ang aandap-andap
na liwanag na tinakpan.
(Higit isang daan naman
Ang sinaklot ng kadiliman.)
Kailan matatapos
ang prusisyon ng mga bangkay at kabaong?
Ilang diwa pa
ang tatabunan ng lupa?
Kailan ang pagkaduhagi — hindi ang laya
Ang aakayin sa libing?

Ano Na, Bayan?

ni Noel Sales Barcelona

Sa panahong
dinadayukdok
ginagahasa
ginugutom
dinarahas
pinapaslang
nililinlang
sinasalabusab
ninanakawan
ka
O Bayan,
Ano’t nangingimi
kang maghimagsik?
Huwag mong kalimutang
sa dugo, ang bukang-liwayway
ng sibilisasyon ay itinititirik.
Ano nga, bakit
Hindi ka maghimagsik?

Mag:net Katipunan
Oktubre 29, 2007 

Makupad ang Batas kay Jonas Burgos*

Ni RAUL FUNILAS

Bawat pangyayari sa Metro Manila,
O karatig-lugar, aktibong probinsya;
Ang hinala nami’y pawang ipininta
Ng Bruskong Militar sa poder ni Gloria.

Tulad nang makidnap si Ka Jonas Burgos,
Sanga ng militar, “Tumalon sa ilog
At doon nagtago sa daloy ng agos
Upang di maamoy ang utot-mabantot.”

Subalit maraming testigong tumindig,
“Sa gobyernong hangal sasakyang ginamit.”
Diskarte at kilos militar ang kisig
Kaya kay Ka Jonas walang nakalapit.

Sa’n ka man naroon O, Kasamang Jonas,
Kami’y di titigil sa pangangalampag;
Sukdulang ang buhay ang sukling katumbas
Makita ka lamang sa tuwid na batas.

*Ang tulang ito ay inihanda ng may-akda para sa kauna-unahang buwanang Protest Poetry Night ng Artists’ ARREST sa Mag:net Katipunan, na ginanap noong Oktubre 29.

Oda kay Jonas*

Ni AXEL PINPIN**

Malaya kang lilipad-lipad, palipat-lipat
sa pumpon ng dampa naming maralita
upang tipunin, simsimin ang tamis ng pawis
nang namumukadkad naming ngalit mula sa pagtangis;
na noong buwan ng Abril na iyon
ay kasinglapot, kasingpula ng dugo.
Sa gitna ng parang
ay namasdan namin ang iyong gintong pakpak,
narinig ka naming pumapagaspas,
nakikigapas at nakikiaklas.
Ikaw ang paru-paro naming magbubukid
at ang paroroonan mo ay walang nakabatid
nang patiyad, marahas kang lapitan
at hulihin ng lalaking salbahe at matapang ang hiya.

*Ang tulang ito ay inihanda ng may-akda para sa kauna-unahang buwanang Protest Poetry Night ng Artists’ ARREST sa Mag:net Katipunan, na ginanap noong Oktubre 29.

**Si Axel Pinpin ay kabilang sa tinaguriang “Tagaytay 5” – kasama nina Riel Custodio, Aristedes Sarmiento, Enrico Ybañez, at Michael Masayes – na dinukot ng mga pulis at militar noong Abril 28, 2006 sa Tagaytay City, pinaratangang mga “rebeldeng komunista” at ngayo’y mahigit sa isang taon nang nakakulong sa Camp Vicente Lim ng Philippine National Police (PNP). Naging fellow siya para sa tula ng UP National Writers Workshop noong 1999.

In These Times That Test Us

By ALEXANDER MARTIN REMOLLINO

I
It is quite tempting to be thankful
for this day’s dawning
even as we should not be so, by any means.

For these times, which test the mettle of men and women,
afford us this unusually rare opportunity
to see — in all their uncovered ignominy —
the sunshine patriots and summer soldiers among us:
they who, like the weeds,
would kiss the soil at the slightest huff of the wind.
It is not difficult in times like these
to recognize those
who would stand proud amidst the fiercest storms,
like the narra and the molave,
and refuse to settle for anything less
than the most glorious of triumphs.

II
Hell is not easily conquered, and neither is tyranny.
To conquer them, we must all be willing to walk
where even angels fear to tread,
and not just wait for the day of glory to come,
for it will not come of its own accord.

But cowardice, like misery, loves company
and would search the earth end to end for it,
even as it rarely dares to show its face.

In these times,
the ones with cotton spines among us are fully unclothed —
and we see who should be left by the wayside
as we march on against the storm.

Muli

Ni NOEL SALES BARCELONA

(para kay Joema)

Muli, gusto nilang baliin ang pakpak mo
dahil sa sinasabi nilang kalayaan mo —

Kalayaang isagawa/ipagawa
ang maiitim na balak laban sa mga taksil.

Gayunman, nalalaman namin —
Kaming nakikiramay sa iyong dalamhati,
katuwaan, takot (kahit di mo sabihin), pagkahapo

na ang sala’y wala sa iyong kamay.

Nagagalit sila sa katapatan mo
at pagmamahal mo sa masa.

Naiinggit sila sa iyo dahil tunay ang pag-ibig mo
sa tao, sa bayan, at sa nakikibakang masa ng mundo.

Dahil nakikita sa sarili nilang bintang
na sila ang maysala

Kaya idinikdik ka nilang muli
sa karsel na naging tahanan mo rin naman.

Huwag kang mag-alala.
Narito kami… lalaban, kasama mo.

Kaya nga, huwag kang mag-aalala
Kasi, hindi ka nag-iisa!

Go Liar, Go

BY LOLITO GO*
Posted by Bulatlat
Vol. VII, No. 27, August 12-18, 2007

“Go! Liar!”, I discovered, is a perfect anagram
for “Gloria.” My apologies to all the Glorias of
the world. My apologies to all the liars too, it is
unfair that I tie you with Gloria Macapal-Arroyo,
peace be with Diosdado. He has such a daughter,
a nasty little liar. She said she won’t run back in
2004, now she’s aiming to stay forever and a half.
It’s useless to list here all her crimes, as one would
finish first naming all the stars before I could be
halfway enumerating. Did you know that all our
blood vessels, if they could be laid end to end, can
cover an astounding distance of about 60 thousand
miles? Here’s more: Did you know that an average
man lies about ten times a day and Arroyo has just
lied a quindecillion times, enough to fill the Library
of Congress in Washington? I could be lying with
that, yes, but at least I’m not stealing from your toils,
I’m not killing your fathers and uncles and brothers,
I’m not abducting your friends, I’m not cheating you
on elections, I’m not a friend of Raul Gonzalez, Jovito
Palparan, the two Prosperos and the two Hermogeneses.
At least I’m just a poet, who will never get tired of
juicing some metaphors out of the moon and the sky
and the love that inspires me to hum all the jazzy notes
of hope. Oh, hope! This poor country sees not an ounce
of hope, since there is a hideous soul obstructing the
sheen of the morning. Go liar, go. I’m not shouting
now, I am only begging: throw yourself to the river.
In there, you’ll discover all the sunken paper boats
that heaped beneath the reeking waters of Pasig. Go,
liar go. Give yourself a favor, take a deep breath and
dive. For the river can be twice as forgiving as we are.

Posted by Bulatlat

*Lolito Go is a Sangguniang Kabataan (SK or Youth Council) chairman in Olongapo City, Zambales.

Ay Naku, Muntik Na Akong Makalimot, Kasamang Marie at Ruth —

ni E. SAN JUAN, JR.

Habang humihigop ng di-kuno’y malahimalang tubig na bukal sa kanlungan ng Birhen
sa Ephesus, pansamantalang natigil kami sa paglalakbay sa Turkiya,
nakaligtaan kong kilatisin ang bigat ng pagsusumamo ni Lorena Santos
na ilitaw ng rehimeng Arroyo ang kanyang amang dinukot ng ISAFP, si Leo Velasco….

Habang pinanonood ang mga nagsasayaw na dervish sa Konya, pananampalatayang
ipinagbawal ni Kemal Ataturk upang maisulong ang makabagong bansa, sumingit
ang palaisipan ni Rumi— “Kung ikaw ay kasama ng lahat liban sa akin, wala kang kasama;
Kung ikaw ay walang kasama kundi ako lamang, kasama no na ang lahat…”

Walang bisa, patuloy ang pagkawala nina Jonas Burgos, Sherlyn Cadapan, Karen Empeño—
paano ito, Rumi, kahit narito ka, sapilitang pinawawala pa rin sila?

Nakababad sa alingasngas sa TV sa isang otel sa Izmir tungkol sa halikan nina Richard Gere
at isang aktres taga-Indya (kamukha ba ni Rufa?), o sa orgies nina Paris Hilton at Britney Spears,
halos nawaglit na sa isip ang pagpaslang kina Diosdado Fortuna, Sotero Llamas,
Lizelda Estorba-Cunado, at ilan daang biktima ng terorismo nina Bush-Arroyo….

Ay naku, muntik ko nang malimot sina Alyce Claver, Juvy Magsino at Leyma Fortu
dahil pinagkakaguluhan ng petiburgis sa Ankara ang Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows
at mga huling pakulo ni O.J. Simpson sa If I Did It…. Maramdamin ba o tiyak na karamdaman?

At sa Antalya naman, kasiping sina Britney Spears at Catherine Zeta-Jones
at dyugyugan ng mga belly-dancer kaindayog ng makiring alon ng dagat Mediteranyo,
tuluyang napalis sa isip ang sakrispisyo nina Cathy Alcantara, Audie Lucero at
ilan pang susunod–mga bangkay na walang pangalan kundi sa pagsisikap ng Karapatan….

At sa lilim ng moskeng asul sa Istanbul, malayo na sa mga mosaic ng mga santo’t anghel
sa kubling yungib sa Cappadocia, sinubok kong baguhin ang bugtong ni Rumi:
Kung kasama mo si Mario Auxilio o si Eden Marcellana, wala nang iba pa,
kasama mo na sa tabi mo ang sambayanang humahatol at dumudurog sa pasistang Estado…

Kahit na isang taong pinagmalupitan, tulad ni Lourdes Rubrico, kahit nagayuma ka ng ngiting
malagkit ng dalawang Medusa sa haliging marmol ng cistern ng Hagia Sophia,
lagi kang gagambalain ng gunitang umaantak, tigib ng hirap at pighating tiniis at titiisin—
lagi kang pupukawin ng mga inulila saan ka man maglagalag, sa guhong imperyo
ng Romano o ng Ottoman, ng Britanya o Pransiya—Ozymandias, igala mo ang paningin—

o saanmang sulok ng imperyo ng kapital ng USA, tutugisin ka ng mga ahas na buhok
ng diwatang umaapaw sa biyaya ng kalikasang walang pag-iimbot at kasakiman,
walang pagmamalabis, armadong diwata ng katarungan at ng bayang naghihimaksik….

El Salvador: Terrorism Law Misused against Protesters

http://hrw.org/english/docs/2007/07/31/elsalv16545.htm

(Washington, DC, July 31, 2007) – The government of El Salvador should dismiss terrorism charges brought against protesters who allegedly blocked roads and threw stones at a July 2 demonstration, Human Rights Watch said today.

On July 2, a public protest in the Suchitoto municipality against a national plan to decentralize water distribution ended in a violent confrontation between police and protesters. Protesters blocked public roads and threw rocks at police, while police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters. Police also alleged that protesters fired shots, although none of the press coverage of the demonstration mentioned that protesters were shooting.

Fourteen people were arrested and subsequently charged with “terrorism”: 10 of them were charged on the basis of alleged involvement in the roadblocks and rock-throwing, and three others on the basis of additional claims that they used firearms against police. (Charges against the remaining defendant, who allegedly interfered with police operations, were provisionally dropped.) An appellate court sustained the charges against the 13 defendants, but found that the firearms allegations were not even minimally supported by the evidence.

If convicted, the defendants will face 10 to 15 years in prison.

“Blocking roads and throwing rocks may well be crimes, but they’re not acts of terrorism,” said José Miguel Vivanco, Americas director of Human Rights Watch. “The Salvadoran government can legitimately prosecute protesters who break the law, but it should not misuse counterterrorism legislation against less serious crimes.”

Although the international community has not agreed on a precise definition of terrorism, it is widely understood that the term applies only to the most serious crimes of political violence, directed at instilling fear in the population in order to achieve a political goal: “the peacetime equivalent of a war crime,” in the words of United Nations Terrorism Prevention Branch expert A.P. Schmid. El Salvador’s use of terrorism charges for less serious crimes allegedly committed during a political protest is inappropriate and represents a misuse of counterterrorism legislation.

El Salvador’s Special Law Against Acts of Terrorism, which entered into force in November 2006, does not include an explicit definition of terrorism.

The closest the law comes to defining terrorism is in Article 1, which provides that the purpose of the law is to prevent and punish crimes that “by their form of execution, or means and methods employed, evidence the intention to provoke a state of alarm, fear or terror in the population, by putting in imminent danger or affecting peoples’ life or physical or mental integrity, or their valuable material goods, or the democratic system or security of the State, or international peace.”

The provision used in the present case purports to criminalize “acts of terrorism against the lives, physical integrity or liberty of public officials and internationally protected persons,” but it makes no reference to terrorism in its operative language. Nor does it require showing that the prohibited act provoked a state of alarm or terror in the population (Article 5).

Instead, the part of the provision used against the 13 defendants simply criminalizes actions aimed at “destroying or damaging” the belongings of government officials. The provision covers a wide variety of acts that do not fall within any reasonable definition of terrorism.

The counterterrorism law contains other overbroad provisions as well. Besides criminalizing incitement of terrorism, Article 8 of the law imposes a sentence of five to 10 years on anyone who publicly justifies terrorism.

Article 6 prescribes a prison sentence of 25 to 30 years for people who participate in “taking or occupying, in whole or in part” a city, town, public or private building, or a variety of other locations, through the use of weapons, explosives or “similar articles,” when these acts “affect … the normal development of the functions or activities” of the inhabitants or other users of the location. Again, this provision criminalizes a variety of actions that do not fall within any reasonable definition of terrorism.

Human Rights Watch called on the Salvadoran legislature to amend its counterterrorism law to ensure that it is only applicable to certain very dangerous acts that are committed with the requisite intent and could thus be reasonably deemed acts of terrorism. In addition, the legislature should amend or repeal several provisions of the law, including articles 5, 6 and 8, which are vague and overbroad, and which prescribe sentences that are disproportionate to many of the crimes they encompass.

Human Rights Watch also called on the Salvadoran authorities to put in place safeguards to prevent inappropriate use of the counterterrorism legislation instead of ordinary criminal law, in particular where such use could be politically motivated.

Kung Gaano Karahas ang Ating Panahon

NI RICHARD GAPPI
Inilathala ng Bulatlat
Vol. VII, No. 25, July 29-Aug. 4, 2007

Mga mamamayan at artista ng daigdig:

Noon,
nang bumagsak ang bomba —
atomika sa Hiroshima, may
“isang anino na ibinakat ng araw
sa hagdan sa harapan ng isang gusali,
na inupuan ng pagal na mama
na-radiation ang katawan.” *
Humiwalay sa katawang tao
ang kanyang anino.

Ngayon,
nasaan sina
Sherlyn Cadapan
Karen Empeño
at mga tulad nilang
hinablot ng dilim?
Silang nagkakabit ng mga pulang parol
upang lumiwanag ang bawat bahay at buhay
ng mga nasa liblib na lugar…

Ni wala silang anino.
Nasaan ang kanilang katawang tao?

Mga mamamayan at artista ng daigdig:

Ganito karahas ang ating panahon —
pinapipili tayo
kung alin sa dalawang sungay
(noon o ngayon?)
ang hindi sagad-sagaran;
kung alin sa dalawang sungay
(noon o ngayon?)
ang mababaw lamang makasuwag
kung tumarak sa kaibuturan.

Ng ating katawang tao. Ng ating pagkatao.
Ng ating karapatang pantao na mabuhay sa mundo.

Inilathala ng Bulatlat

*halaw sa tulang “Hiroshima” ni Marra PL. Lanot na nalathala sa kanyang aklat na Witch’s Dance at iba pang tula sa Filipino at Español, pahina 114. Inilathala ng Anvil Publishing noong taong 2000.

Ang tulang ito ay bahagi ng eksibit ng Amado V. Hernandez Resource Center (AVHRC) hinggil sa Human Security Act. Nauna nang itanghal ang eksibit noong Hulyo 1-13 sa harap ng Vinzon’s Hall sa Unibersidad ng Pilipinas (UP) sa Diliman, Lungsod Quezon.