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Abandoning the promise of PH sovereignty an act of betrayal to the country—Ex-Bayan Muna Rep

Former Bayan Muna Representative Satur Ocampo said that President Duterte neglecting his promise to assert the Philippines’ sovereignty is an act of betrayal to the country.



Photo taken from PHILSTAR

Former Bayan Muna Representative Satur Ocampo said that President Duterte neglecting his promise to assert the Philippines’ sovereignty is an act of betrayal to the country.

Ocampo stated in an ambush interview with TomasinoWeb that the issue regarding the West Philippine Sea should not be disregarded and undervalued for it concerns the exclusive rights of the Philippines under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

“Ang naging issue riyan ay yung nakipag-usap si [President Duterte] kay Xi Jin Ping, pumayag siya na pwede kayo mag-fishing diyan. […] Kung payagan mo ‘yan mangisda sa atin, pakikialaman natin, maliliit lang ang ating boat, malalaki ang kanila. Sila, sasairin na nila yung laman ng dagat. Para sa atin ‘yon,” Ocampo said.

“Balikan niyo ‘yung campaign promise niya noon, on the West Philippine Sea, ang sabi niya ia-assert nya ‘yung Philippine sovereignty, tamang paninindigan iyon. Aayon tayo sa paninindigang iyon. Pero kung ia-abandon niya ‘yon, pagtataksil na iyon sa bayan,” he added.

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Moreover, Ocampo mentioned that President Duterte’s prioritization of the anti-drug campaign and his response against the United Nations Human Rights Council were improper.

“Mali ang kanyang prioritization ng anti-drug campaign. Gayong inamin na niya ay hindi niya maso-solve. Pero sabi niya tuloy-tuloy pa rin ang campaign. Sige patay-patayan. Kung alam niya na hindi maso-solve sa pagpatay, bakit ipinagpapatuloy niya ang pagpatay?,” Ocampo said.

Last year, the president admitted that he cannot solve and end the problem with illegal drugs during his term, contrary to what he promised that he will finish it in 3 to 6 months and later on changed to 2 years.

“Mali ang response ng presidente na nagagalit,” the former Bayan Muna Representative said regarding the resolution of UNHRC to review the state of the Philippines during the war on drugs.

“Ang principle dito [ay] sumanib at na-elect ang Pilipinas sa United Nations Human Rights Council. So, bound siya sa action o resolution ng bagay na ‘yon, hindi ‘yun tatanggihan. So, taliwas siya sa ginagawa niya,” Ocampo added.

Kristine Erika Agustin

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Accountability must be internalized, institutionalized — Hontiveros

“I could only share yung mga naging karanasan ko, yung mga reflections ko of those experiences, the same way I’ve learned so much from the women who came before me,” Hontiveros said.



Photo from the Office of Senator Risa Hontiveros

Senator Risa Hontiveros tackled motherhood in her newly launched book and how she managed to have a work-life balance along with her Senate work.

Last March 26, Hontiveros was also asked about issues concerning women in society, in education, and in the workplace. 

The incumbent senator wrote in her book “Healthy Buhay, Happy Mama: Risa Hontiveros’ Journey Through Motherhood,” her personal tips, life lessons, and experiences on the challenges she encountered as a mother, as well as coping mechanisms during the COVID pandemic. 

In the intimate event organized by BookShelfPH at the Astbury in Poblacion Makati, the Women’s Leader Summit was facilitated by Big Deal (2021) editor and Fearless Filipinas (2021) co-author Katya Lichauco. 

When Lichauco asked why she felt it was important to write the book, Hontiveros replied, “I’ve always loved reading. Bookworm din ako nung pagkabata ako.” She continued on how it was important to be able to share her experiences as a woman, a mother, a lifelong activist, and a legislator. 

In response to Lichauco’s question on how women are more affected by the pandemic’s socio-economic effects, the senator said, “Yung vulnerabilities talaga in terms of jobs and livelihood, enterprises tumindi rin during the pandemic…[T]apos yung vulnerability pa natin to violence against women and children in the homes lalo na during [the] lockdowns.”  

Hontiveros then emphasized that we have to adapt and move forward in terms of work and health. 

“[D]apat dalhin na natin sa new-normal, [to] our workplaces, our schools, our online spaces. We are all responsible for each other. Kailangan yung accountabilities na ‘yon di lang i-internalized, i-institutionalize rin natin. Para it’s really a better normal for everyone and, please, especially for women.” 

Hontiveros hopes that her generation may share their experiences to encourage the next generation of women. 

“I could only share yung mga naging karanasan ko, yung mga reflections ko of those experiences, the same way I’ve learned so much from the women who came before me,” she said.

Hontiveros also acknowledged the pandemic’s costs on education and how it “exacerbated the digital divide.” As the economy recovers, she said it is a challenge for the government and the private sector to improve internet connectivity. 

“Talagang ang lawak na ng digital divide ‘di ba, even before the pandemic. Kaya tuloy, nung pandemic, mas maraming bata at estudyante na napag-iiwanan at nag-drop out na. So, lalong na-exacerbate yung digital divide na iyon,” she said.  

The fireside chat between the two was followed by an open forum. The event was attended by women leaders from the media, corporate, and entrepreneurs. 

Ms. Lyn Ventanilla, one of the attendees, stated why women’s summits like these are important. “These conversations are crucial because not only can we hear from the sources directly, we can also hear from the other participants. We get to hear many stories. It also validates some questions that we have.”

An AI Start-up Founder, Ms. Cherry’s shared a message to young women who want to make their mark on the world. “Don’t be afraid to explore. Especially now that we are entering a new world, the new normal. Everything is definitely new. We need to come out of our shells.”

Hontiveros is an advocate for women, the labor sector, the marginalized, and LGBTQIA+ issues and championed landmark laws like Expanded Maternity Leave Law and the Safe Spaces Act. She is currently campaigning for re-election as her six-year legislative term ends in this year’s election. 


Lance Zafe
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New youth coalition: clean and honest elections

“Hahamunin natin ang sistema gamit ang sistema, gamit ang katotohanan,” Agustin said.



Photo by Genise Danga/TomasinoWeb

Several universities and organizations joined forces to advocate for a peaceful, clean, and honest 2022 national election.

At the launch of the Kabataan, Tayo and Pag-asa coalition in Ermita, Manila on Apr. 9, UST Central Student Council President-elect Nathan Agustin emphasized the need for combating misinformation during the election season but also stressed the need to advocate for the country’s welfare afterward. 

“Susubukan nating ipaglaban ang direksyon ng ating election pero hindi tayo titigil diyan,” he said. 

He also cited UST’s motto, “veritas in caritate,”  saying that Thomasians are prepared to be truth-bearers for a peaceful society. 

“Hahamunin natin ang sistema gamit ang sistema, gamit ang katotohanan,” he said.

“Naniniwala ako na gustong-gusto namin na sumama sa laban na ito, at handa kami upang ipaglaban ang isang malinis na eleksyon,” he added.

The Artlets Student Council and Botanteng TAMAsino are signatories of the said coalition.

The country’s national elections will be on May 9.

Ian Patrick Laqui
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Manila court junks fratmen’s plea to dismiss Atio Castillo hazing charges

In junking the accused’s claims, the court established that there is sufficient evidence from the prosecution for the charges to continue and for the defendant to present their own evidence.



Photo by Tristan Deang/TomasinoWeb

A Manila court has denied the motion of 10 Aegis Juris fraternity members linked in the alleged hazing death of UST Civil Law freshman Horacio “Atio” Castillo III.

In a 12-page decision released on Wednesday, March 3, Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 11 Acting Presiding Judge Shirley Maglipoc-Pagalilauan ruled that the frat men’s demurrers to evidence for the September 2017 incident were junked for “lack of merit.”

Screengrab from the Manila Regional Trial Court’s decision

A demurrer to evidence is a motion to dismiss a criminal case on the basis that the evidence of the prosecution is insufficient. Once granted, this would lead to the acquittal of the accused without them presenting their own evidence.

In junking the accused’s claims, the court established that there is sufficient evidence from the prosecution for the charges to continue and for the defendant to present their own evidence.

“Through the testimonies of the said prosecution witnesses and documentary exhibits, the prosecution was able to establish all the elements of the offense of hazing as well as the presence of all the accused during the hazing,” the ruling, dated February 24, read.

The motions were filed separately by Jose Miguel Salamat, Joriel Macabali, Robin Ramos, John Audrey Onofre, Marcelino Bagtang Jr., Axel Munro Hipe, Mhin Wei Chan, Arvin Balag, Ralph Trangia, and Dannielle Hans Matthew Rodrigo.

Mark Ventura’s ‘inconsistent testimony’

The court said that the petition challenged the credibility of star witness and fellow Aegis member Mark Anthony Ventura, saying that he “has a motive to implicate the accused to save himself from the prosecution and his testimony is inconsistent with physical evidence.”

But the court asserts otherwise: “[Ventura] was able to provide a detailed, direct and straightforward narration of the events that transpired during the hazing. Evidence does not show that Mark Anthony Ventura has improper motive to falsely testify against the accused, his ‘brods’ in the Aegis Juris Fraternity.” 

The inconsistencies in Ventura’s testimony were “minor,” according to the court. “It rules that such inconsistencies, and even probabilities, are not unusual ‘for there is no person with perfect faculties or senses,’” the decision further read.

READ: Atio’s parents hopeful as trial continues

Atio’s cause of death

Another argument of the petitioners was that Castillo suffered from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or thickening of the heart muscle, not from the hazing itself. 

However, the court sided and gave much importance to the conclusion of medico-legal officer Dr. Mesalyn Probadora and pathologist Dr. Joseph Palmero that Castillo died due to “severe blunt traumatic injuries.” 

The decision even noted that, even if Castillo’s cause of death is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, the accused can remain criminally liable because they were “committing a felony of hazing when Horacio died.” 

“Still, even if the victim is suffering from an internal ailment, liver or heart disease, or tuberculosis; if the blow delivered by the accused is the efficient cause of death; accelerated his death; or is the proximate cause of death; then there is criminal liability,” the judge added.

READ: Aegis Juris fratman guilty of obstruction of justice in Atio’s death

In 2019, John Paul Solano, who brought Castillo to Chinese General Hospital only to be declared dead on arrival, was found guilty of obstruction of justice. He was sentenced to an indefinite penalty of a minimum of two years, four months and one day in prison and a maximum of four years, two months and one day.

If found guilty, the accused will have to face up to 40 years of imprisonment for the violation of the Anti-Hazing Law or Republic Act 8049. 

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